Wrenches and glitter are both shiny, so why can’t they go in the same box?

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Mornin’ all.

It feels like an ominous day is brewing. I woke up way too early, couldn’t get back to sleep for about an hour, then had dreams about dead people. Ugh. I got up, and to my dismay, the morning dawned with all the freshness of moist sponge that’s been sitting under a leaky bathroom sink. It’s so humid.

No, wait. “Humid” is tame.

As we like to say in my neck-o-the woods, “It’s wicked fahkin’ muggy.”

Fun story: When I was a kid and we’d have a thunderstorm in the summer, my dad would always look outside after and say, “Here come the muggies.” However, what *I* heard was, “Here come the monkeys.” I’d run to the window and try to see the monkeys. I thought maybe they were hiding in the fog. It was a real bummer when I got old enough to realize that summer thunderstorms did not actually elicit monkeys.

…and no, I’m not going to tell how how embarrassingly old I was when I finally had this revelation. Let’s just say, “Old enough” and let it go.

People say we can’t complain about this heat wave because of the horrible winter we had. Balderdash! We live on the 44th parallel. We get all kinds of weather, and I don’t discriminate. A 90 degree sauna is just as unpleasant as a -10 degree snowstorm. Can’t complain about the heat? Stuff and nonsense! I can complain about it all, my friend.

In spite of the heat and soul melting humidity, I had a great day yesterday! We piled the herd into the other wagon (the one we broke a couple weeks ago is still waiting for parts) and headed up to a different dam and recreation area for some damn recreating. It was hot, but boy was the ride beautiful!

I keep reading about the drought that’s gripped a large part of the nation. If you happen to live in one of those areas, I’m honestly not trying to rub it in. The past few summers here have been dry as well, but not this year. Maybe it was the extreme level of snow we had. Or the fact that when it has rained over the last couple months, it’s been less of a soft, pleasant drizzle and more of a “cats and dogs” situation.

…sidenote: See? People say “raining cats and dogs.” I’ve heard that my whole life. Now put yourself in the mind of a kid, and I really think a belief in rain monkeys is fairly reasonable.

Whatever the reason, we’ve got water, and that made the ride a beautiful collage of wild flowers, bubbling streams, vibrant green trees in every hue. As we got into the beginning of the lakes region, mossy, cat-tail and lily pad dotted marshes opened into broad, glittering lakes. Sometimes I forget how utterly beautiful my state is. It set the mood for a very fun day.

We met my grandparents at the dam. Yep, I said “my”. I’m lucky enough to have a set of grandparents that are still full of vim and pep (vim and vigor, but that always makes me think of my Polish grandmother who always got it wrong and said “vim and vinegar”). We met at the dam to hang out since my house has clearly been struck with a tornado of car parts and craft supplies. There would have been no way to enjoy lunch in the midst of all this…uh…can we just call it my “diverse collection” and make it sound artifact-y instead of hoard-y?

We chose a Wednesday to go, thinking it wouldn’t be crowded. While the picnicking area was wide open, the beach was surprisingly packed. The dam and recreation area are run by the US Army Corps of Engineers. As such, there’s only a small fee to use the beach and large picnic area, $1 per adult/$4 max per car. I guess a lot of the locals take advantage of the great deal on a hot day with bored kids during summer vacation.

That was fine. It was too hot to be a swim monitor for very long. The kids got a good (if slightly confined) swim in before we moved back to the shade of the enormous pine trees. We had a great picnic, then sat and chatted while we provided colorful commentary on the kiddies that were playing badminton.

Er, attempting to play badminton.

…er…flailing wildly at the birdie?

It was a fun day, great to see my family! And this wagon didn’t blow a hydraulic line on the way there OR back. In fact, as we pulled into the drive, the littlest pup piped up and said, “And would you look at that?! We made it a whole trip without a single disaster.”

Much like Tiny Tim, my jr. wordsmith certainly knows how to bring a sentimental tear to the eye.

So that was yesterday.

Today? I wanted to go out and finish the frame for my latest artistic bastardization. However, I can’t do it in this weather. I’m not a small lady. We bigguns’ don’t do the heat very well, and my neighbor would not appreciate me using the saw at 6 am before it gets too hot to work. I’ll be stuck inside for the most part. And that leaves me with only one option: I am going to attempt to clean in the dining room, aka the museum.

“No, Bethie. Sorry, but no. You cannot call it that.”

Aw! No fair! You said I could call all the crap “my collection,” and every collection needs a museum to display all the…stop shaking your head at me right now!

“*sigh* I will not legitimize your hoard by pretending it has institutional value.”

…*grumble*

“Come on. You know I’m right.”

…fine. You win. I’mma clean up my mess.

Satisfied?

“I don’t do it for me, Bethie. I do it for you.”

*blink*blink*

Yeaaah. Let’s move on.

So cleaning. It’s not at all what I want to do, if you couldn’t tell. I would say something glib like, “Who actually WANTS to clean,” but there are some people who like to do it.

Let’s investigate that for a minute. Some people, they *like* cleaning. It’s something they *enjoy*. They WANT to go through stacks of crap and do things like “sort” and “organize” and probably “collate,” though in fairness I’m not entirely sure what that means. I’ve never collated anything, so I assume it has something to do with being clean and tidy.

Anyway, these freaks, they clean, they organize, they collate their asses off. And then do you know what they do? They label “totes” and place similar items together inside. From what I gather from my Google overlords, they will get a tote for just pencils, and then ONLY put pencils in it, no matter how much other shit they *could* cram in there. They do all of these steps, AND THEY LIKE IT. They look forward to doing it all again on a REGULAR SCHEDULE to keep everything “neat.”

The world is full of sick, twisted psychos, folks.

I have one sister who gets dangerously close to being neat and tidy most of the time. In a pack of four girls, statistics say that at least one of them will be addicted to orderliness. It’s okay, we love her anyway. She’s moving right now, and is using boxes.

Boxes!

I said, “Why don’t you just get a bunch of trash bags? Scoop everything in. If something breaks, then you weren’t meant to own it anymore.”

But noooo. She wants to be all fancy.

Boxes. Pfft. I bet she actually wrote on them, too! Isn’t half the fun of moving playing the “where’d it go” game in your new home?

“Honey, where are the damn forks?”

“Did you check the Jack Daniels box?”

“Yeah. It’s full of tampons and razors.”

“…can’t we just use those?”

Good times, good times.

I wish the house she was moving to was closer. I bet if she walked in to my dining room right now, she’d say, “Oh HELL no,” and pull out the pair of rubber scrubbing gloves I want to believe she carries in her back pocket at all times, and get to work.

See, one of the bad things about hoarding tendencies is how overwhelming it feels. Right now, I’m not even CLOSE to my worst. That’s not denial, so don’t start with that crap again. I have way less junk than I did a year ago, and most of the house is still easily traversable.

It’s cluttered in there, but most of it is cluttered because it was left out, not put back on the shelves and corners. We had a whirlwind of using the tools and parts and supplies, and they are out where I will trip on them and over them to get to where they belong. I have the desire to at least make it so we can move around in there freely, just not the organizational part of the brain that tells me how to accomplish this task.

I was born with an organizational deficit, I suppose. The closest thing to an organizational center I have in my brain is a fat, lazy dude named Stan who glances up from his video game and says, “Damned if I know,” when I ask him how to do something.

Teen Prime somehow got the organizational skills I lack. I have none of them, and neither does his father. Must be a recessive gene. He’s going to help me in there because I busted ass to get his room rearranged to fit a new fifty bazillion pound desk in there last week. He owes me.

None of the other teens have shown any neatness tendencies. One of them is slightly fastidious, but that is not the same. His fastidiousness does not extend past his personal space. The littlest shows promise, but he’s also got my lack of attention. He is definitely a mini-me in that respect. Bright lights and shiny objects distract us. Nine times out of ten we’ll end up looking through the button jar while we sit in the middle of the half-straightened mess until someone intervenes and reminds us what we were doing.

Not good.

Teen Prime is growing up. Teen Prime is moving away soon. I guess I should probably take notes when he helps me sort and organize and maybe even collate later today. Right, Stan?

“…huh?”

Exactly.

Thus concludes a muggy Musing for Thursday, July 30, 2015. I’m going to make another pot of coffee before I begin this most dubious venture. The coffee I’m drinking now was made by one of the kids, and it just doesn’t have that burn-yer-belly feeling that a real pot of joe offers. I think I’m going to need the full strength kick in the pants to get through the cleaning. Sure I’ll be up all night with a flaming gullet while I hallucinate little pink men from the overload of caffeine, but neatniks assure me this is a normal side effect to a thing they call “efficiency”. Unto the breach my friends…

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I know what I *won’t* be having for dinner tonight…

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Mornin’ all.

I was a brave mum yesterday. The eldest teenager (we’ll call him Teen Prime) decided that the electronic gadgets and games he’d acquired through the past few birthdays and Christmases were old news. Can’t blame him. He’d played most of the games through at least twice. He said, “Say, would you feel like taking me up to Game Stop real quick so I can trade a few things in?”

Ah, I just heard it: The collective groan of sympathy from other mums of gamers…and the knowing “mmm-hmms” from gamers who’ve been there. For those not in either group, let me explain: One does not simply walk into a Game Stop. There is no such thing in the gaming lexicon as a “real quick” trip to a gaming store when trading is involved.

Knowing this, but trying to be awesome anyway, I said, “Sure. Why not?”

Those three little words set into motion a veritable tornado of teenage activity. The others hopped into action and the games piled high on the table. I was imagining a couple games, maybe the system they didn’t really play anymore. It certainly wasn’t presented to me as An Ordeal. And yet, as the bags filled and the excitement amongst the herd grew, An Ordeal is exactly what it became.

I let myself get suckered, folks. In fairness to Teen Prime, I had an idea of what I was in for. In fairness to me, though, I didn’t realize that they were going to scour every corner of the house to scrape up every possible trade dollar.

I’ll say this…Game Stop does a fair trade if you’re a club member. The teens walked in there with old games and a PlayStation 3, and walked out with a PS4, extra controller, two games, and three Wii games for the youngest cub. Not shabby. It only took about an hour, which in fairness to the clerk was far less time than I expected.

And now I am awesome.

…or was. I mean, they’re teenagers, right? Who knows how long that’ll last? I got them a watermelon, too, so maybe that bought me a little extra time high up on the list.

Speaking of lists, I have a lot on my “to do” today, but I just read an article while I was drinking my morning joe and since I nearly spat the coffee across my screen, I figured there was something juicy to sink our teeth into* before jumping into chores.

* You’re going to hate me for saying that. Just wait….

I was reading my FB feed and a friend posted a link to what has to be one of the most epically WTF articles ever written. How’s your stomach this morning? Are you rock solid?

“Yeah, I’m feeling fine.”

Best grab a bottle of Tums to have on hand just in case.

“Bethie, it can’t possibly be that bad.”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A man in Wyoming was stopped for a routine traffic violation. The cop noticed he smelled a little boozy, so he asked the dude to step out for a field sobriety test. The man got out, stood there while the cop asked him questions, and pretended not to see the eyeballs falling out of the leg of his pants.

Read that sentence again.

THERE WERE EYEBALLS FALLING OUT OF HIS PANTS.

Here’s the deal. Mr. Roy Tilbott works for a meat packing plant. Roy likes himself some bovine eyeball soup. However, the packing plant does not sell eyeballs, nor does it allow the employees to take the scraps home for personal use.

Clearly Roy was backed into a corner. They practically forced him to smuggle eyeballs. There was no other option. Not wanting to get caught by his bosses and fired, he figured the best way to get those tasty, juicy eyeballs out of there was to shove them up his ass.

Now, the ass has been used to smuggle many a’thing. Drugs. Weapons. The odd light bulb. But in all of those instances, NO ONE WAS GOING TO FUCKING EAT WHAT WAS SHAT OUT!!!

Guys, he didn’t even wrap them. He just took the freshly de-skulled eyeballs and pushed them up his butt. While at work chopping your steaks and grinding your hamburger.

So there he was, with THIRTY eyeballs crammed up his ass, and just his luck, a cop pulls over his El Camino. Of *course* he drives an El Camino, because he just wasn’t creepy enough with the ass eye soup fetish. He gets pulled over, stands there with the cop, and was scared of being caught smuggling. Folks, you know what Nature makes people do when they’re scared…he shit his pants. Only instead of shit, out came his dinner.

You know.

EYEBALLS.

I can’t help but wonder just what was going through the cop’s head when goddamn eyeballs started dropping out of Roy’s pants and rolling on the ground. That poor, poor cop.

This wasn’t a one time deal, either. Roy has smuggled “several thousand” eyeballs during his employment with the meat plant. Along with absolutely no taste, Roy seems to also have no shame. He gladly shared the details with the press. “I enjoy eating bovine eyeballs and smuggling them out in my colon was the only way I knew how to get them out without potentially getting caught and fired. I put them in soups. They’re beneficial for erectile dysfunction, which I currently battle, but I also just like the texture and taste.”

He says it like it’s so reasonable. Roy, no. If you’re reading this, NO. Just….no.

The cops have no idea what to charge him with RE: the eyeballs. They consulted with the meat packing plant*…

*doesn’t that term just take on a new meaning now?

…to see if they want to charge Roy with theft. He also had in his possession a few large, professional quality knives that the cops aren’t sure if Roy stole. And Roy was drunk at the time of the stop, so there’s a nice DUI for him. I guess in light of the rest of the crimes, eyeballs up the ass is actually the lesser offense.

So what’s going on in Wyoming? Oh, not much. Just a drunk, knife-wielding, limp-dicked El Camino driver shoving eyeballs up his ass to shit out later for his dinner.

Same old.

Thus concludes the most disgusting Musing ever for Saturday, July 25, 2015. It’s Saturday. It’s the weekend! And maybe your life isn’t going the best at the moment. But hopefully, after reading this, you’ll at least be able to thank your lucky stars you never ate dinner at the Tilbotts. Always find the silver lining in life.

I hardly call a nose bump a fair trade in this situation…

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Mornin’ all.

Who told me cats are fun? Because as I sit here brooding and sulking WAY too early over my morning cup-o’-swill, I’ve got a few choice words I’d like to say to the fella that convinced me to get a mewling, whining, sadistic little fur ball.

Since 3:30 this morning, she has been meowing her head off at me. If she was a dog, I’d think to myself, “Hm. She’s making so much racket that Timmy MUST have fallen in the well. I should get up and throw the kid a rope or some shit.”

She is not, however, a dog. I knew, folks. I *knew* there was absolutely nothing amiss. And yet, when she persisted, over and over and over and over and…

I got up. She jumped on the bed, then raced to the door. Perhaps I was wrong, I thought to myself as I donned my robe and grabbed my glasses. “Okay, kitty. I’m coming. Relax. What’s wrong?”

The beastie tore down the stairs and waited in the kitchen doorway, looking eager and anxious. I got down there as quick as I dared with my half-opened eyes and clumsy bed legs that only partly worked, expecting to see the worst.

As soon as I entered the kitchen and looked around, Demon Cat purred, gave me two leg brushes, and then promptly curled up in her current favorite box, closed her eyes, and pretended to go to sleep, a smug, self-satisfied look on her fuzzy little face.

She just wanted me to be up. There was nothing wrong. Not a damn thing had run afoul in the night. No Timmies were in any wells, and she didn’t even want to show off a mousey kill. She just wanted to rend asunder my peaceful slumber.

That bitch.

So now here I sit way too early, brooding and grumbling, sucking down a fairly tame cup of coffee flavored milk, when all I really want to be doing is sleeping. It was a good sleep, folks. One of those pleasant nights where you wake up here and there, glance at the clock, see that you’ve still got four more hours, and fall back asleep with that comforting high buzzing through you. It’s not even like she interrupted a nightmare night. Or a tossy-turny night of self-reproach and regrets.

It was a good sleep. And now it is gone. *sniff*

I could have used those Zs, too. I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger in a…

“Bethie!”

…what?

“You can’t say things like that anymore. It’s insensitive.”

You’re kidding, right?

“It’s offensive.”

*rolly eyes* Fine. I’m too tired to argue so I’ll rephrase. I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest who…

“NO!! That’s even worse!”

Hogwash. I’d argue that if I was a one-legged man, I’d definitely join an ass-kicking contest to prove…

“Do you want me to die from an apoplectic fit brought about by righteous indignation over here? You can’t use uni-limbed people as the butt of a joke.”

First: uni-limbed?

“Using the number one focuses on singularity, not inclusiveness.”

*blink**blink*…I…I can’t even…. *sigh* Second: it wasn’t a joke, it was an expression. Nobody was the butt of anything.

“Doesn’t matter. You can’t quantify your own mild discomforts with the struggles of the uni-limbed.”

*grinds teeth* O….kay. Let’s try this again. I’m busier than…than…a bee?

“DEAR LORD BETHIE!!! Don’t you know about the struggles bees are having now with colony collapse?? We’re going to starve within ten years and you use their plight for your comedic whims?! YOU MONSTER. Maybe YOU planted the fungus in the bee hives!”

*tic* *tic* *spasm*

I bought a few craft supplies the other day. The local cheap store was having a sale, and my youngest and I eagerly pawed through the carts to see if there was something we could find to break the hazy, humid malaise that clung to us that afternoon. Sadly, there was no glitter. But we did find some really cool neon gel pens. Score! And then in the bottom of the cart, we saw pipe cleaners.

Have you ever played with pipe cleaners? Who hasn’t, right? They used to be far more popular than they are now. When we were kids, it seemed like we had a never ending supply of the brightly colored fuzzy wires. Of course, we also had tons of pom poms to use with the pipe cleaners. To my chagrin, the sale cart contained no pom poms. Once home, we had to make do with buttons. Not the same, but still fun.

We took our bounty home and while the kiddo tested out the gel pens, I went to open the pipe cleaners and noticed that they are no longer called “pipe cleaners.” What are pipe cleaners now called, you ask?

Chenille stems.

CHENILLE. STEMS.

WHY?

“Because any reference to smoking or smoking related materials could lead to…”

Stop it. Just stop it right now. I guarantee that no kindergartener in the history of ever has thought, “Gee, these pipe cleaners sure are fun. Anyone got a light?”

Pipe cleaners have never been a gateway to anything. Your child did not become a stoner because he made a pipe cleaner and pom pom caterpillar in Miss Skidova’s class.

What’s happening to us, people? What are we even doing anymore?

We have to start drawing lines and stop being offended or scared by every little thing. Calling people racist words? Bad. Stereotypes? Bad. Sayings that put one group on a higher level than another? Unless the group is on a higher level because they build ladders, stair cases, or elevators, also bad.

But, there are really harmless things in the world that are only offensive and dangerous if you start out looking for them to be. If you look for something, you’ll find it. That’s the pisser in being human. We have imaginations that make our minds find proof of our beliefs instead of seeing the truth. We’re programmed to think we’re right, and to find evidence of our rightness so we can log on to the internet and show everyone just how right we are…no matter how wrong we might be.

Not a single one-armed, one-legged, ass kicking paper hanger ever got hooked on cigs because of pipe cleaners, so stop it. Stop looking for an excuse to be angry, folks. The world has enough shit in it without you trying to drum up more. You want to be angry? Get angry at real, tangible problems.

Like cats.

Grr.

Cats.

Thus concludes a Musing for Tuesday, July 21, 2015. If I’ve offended you with my offensive offense, I apologize. It’s not your fault I’m on edge. I’ve just been jonesin’ for a smoke since I made that pipe cleaner and button flower…

A tumbleweed just rolled on by. That can only mean one thing ’round here…

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Mornin’ all.

My ninja cat almost took me out this morning. I was halfway down the stairs when she materialized out of nowhere and decided it was time to finish her training and ascend to the level of jonin. Apparently that meant winding her way through my legs while I was mid-step. She’s sitting tall and proud, a noble representative of her people. I have clean shorts on now, but my heart is still racing.

Damn cat.

I’ll just drink some more of this tar. I mean coffee. That’ll calm me down. *sssssip* *choke* *sizzle* *moan* Can’t…feel…my…tongue.

Good batch!

I was looking at the news this morning and a few headlines just popped out at me. I’m not even going to ramble for awhile. I did a bunch of rambling yesterday (NEW HORIZONS WOOT!!!!) and I really just want to get in to some silly fun. What better way to shake off the terror of ninja Kitty’s training and early morning coffee than to…

You know what? I was going to cue the go-go dancers, but I think we’re going to keep up with the “something a little different” theme today is shaping up to have. Strike up the band, put your coffee down and join the girls on the stage. Audience participation day!

“Oh, no, Bethie.”

Come on. Do it!

“Really, I couldn’t…”

Aw now, it’ll be fun! You’ll see. Cut loose for once.

“Welllll…. *whips off robe to uncover dancing costume*”

There ya go! Now, it’s time for a….

*** HEADLINE ROUNDUP ***

Wow. I had no idea you could moonwalk. Look at those gams! Did you borrow the pasties from one of the girls, or….you know what? Forget I asked. To each their own, right?

For those who aren’t familiar with the Roundup, every so often I read a headline or two that strikes my fancy. Perhaps it’s poorly worded, or contains unforgivable grammar mistakes. Sometimes they’re misleading. And sometimes they just take my weird mind down an unintended path. I’ll gather these headlines up and present them to you in one easy to digest article…with jokes. As always, these headlines appear as written on real news sites, and are 100% legitimate. I just supply the 99.44% all natural commentary. Shall we begin?

– Cruz Calls for ‘Immediate Investigation’ Into Planned Parenthood

Why is this muppet still around? Go buy some more of your own books, Ted.

– Your Data is Compromised. (Yes, Yours.) What Now?

*blink**blink* Well that escalated quickly.

– When the End of Human Civilization is Your Day Job

Eh, somebody’s gotta do it.

– China is Using Televised Confessions to Shame Detained Lawyers, Journalists and Activists

Ooooh, so close, China. You did a good job with the lawyers, but that’s where you should have drawn the line. People don’t want to see journalists and activists publicly shamed. You have to shame them in private. Nice attempt to fit in with the rest of the “civilized” world, B-.

– Harvard Researchers Have the Answers to Raising Good Kids

And for the low, low price of $19.99, you, too, can join the millions of people who have taken the Home with Harvard online seminar. But wait, there’s more! If you act now…

– French Company Designs Face-to-face Airplane Seating

Because it’s not really des vacances until you can smell the fetid fromage wafting from your cell mate’s…er…I mean, SEAT mate’s drooling maw.

– Worst Dark Chocolates for Weight Loss

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say “any.” Any dark chocolates are probably bad for weight loss.

– NASA Returns Sesame Street Goodies from Space

Good. You shouldn’t have taken them in the first place, NASA! Now say you’re sorry, then go to your room and think about what you’ve done.

– Michelle Obama Reveals her Dance Inspiration on SYTYCD

…Sittisid? What the fuck is sittisid? Is that like, one of those EDM drugs?? Why is our First Lady on it?? Do you think we should start a campaign to make people aware and help her get off the stuff? You can do it, Mrs. Obama! Reach deep inside and find the clean and healthy you!!! #FreeMichelle

– Craft Sends Signal From Near Pluto

WHAT!?! A mysterious craft sends us a message!?! HOLY SHIT…ALIENS!!!!!???? I better click on this article RIGHT NOW and…

…*grumble* Never mind. Damn your click bait, Vox.

– Don’t Microwave Those Leftovers; it Could Lead to Diabetes

…especially if you’re microwaving chocolate cake. That’ll ‘prolly not be the best for ya…

– Find Out Who Justin Bieber Has a ‘Big Crush’ On

No.

– Trout Leads Off with Homer

How in the hell does a fish swing a bat? Mind. Blown.

– All-Star Game Hats are Terrible, Worthy of Scorn

And so I say to you, shun them. Turn your backs and shun the head coverings of Satan, for they are wicked and deserving of your contempt.

– Trump Campaign Mistakenly Tweets Star-Spangled Nazis

What’s the term for a Freudian slip that’s made over texts? #FreudianBlip

– LGBT Immigrants Taking A More Forceful Stand as Reform Efforts Languish

LGBT? Check. Immigration law? Check. Protests? Check. Controversial flags? … … no controversial flags? Damn. I was one away from “Hot Button Bingo”.

– PETA Says Sea World Employee Masqueraded as Animal Activist

Well, well, well. The tables have turned.

*author’s note: I’m not supporting Sea World. I support the conservation work they do, and the care and rehabilitation they offer injured animals, but I cannot support them as an organization until they stop taking large, healthy animals from the wild and sticking them inside tiny fish bowls. However, I hate PETA, and I think it’s comically idiotic that they’re getting pissed about the switcheroo now that it’s going the other direction. In a nutshell, suck it up PETA and take it like a man-imal.*

– The Name Atticus Acquires an Unwelcome Association

As if we really need another reason not to name our kid “Atticus”.

– Presidential Election Already Fueled By $377 Million

And that’s why we citizens can’t have nice things.

– Inside the Florida Town that’s Known as the ‘Psychic Capitol of the World’

I think you spelled “psychotic” wrong…

– Mo. County to Rescind Plan to ‘Mourn’ Gay Marriage Ruling

SMH…I mean…*sigh*…good for them? I guess? Give them a cookie for doing what they were supposed to do in the first place? Or, not doing what they…you know what I mean. Oh, Mo.

– Agency Faulted for Inaction After California Oil Spill

In all fairness, betting on which seagull bobbing in the water was going to get covered in oil first was, technically, action…

– Apple Watch: Not Dead Yet

Keep telling yourself that, Apple.

– Fla. Man Struck By Wife in Fight Over Confederate Flag: Cops

With all the psychic activity in Florida, I’m surprised he didn’t see that coming.

– What the Iran Nuclear Deal Means for Pistachio Lovers

Ok. I understand that when news breaks every news outlet scrambles for a different take on the story. But…pistachios? Really? That’s your “A” game, IBT?

– Why You Can’t Eat Just One Fry (Or Donut or Pizza Slice)

Because they’re fucking delicious. No need to complicate it with science, Quartz.

– Threats Force Satan Statue Unveiling to Secret Detroit Venue

Aw, lookit the controversial artist trying to be all big and tough and relevant. Soooo close, too. Next time, don’t wimp out at the showing.

– Chinese Company Worships Steve Jobs with Golden Bust

No golden idol worshiping, China. Bad China. Bad.

– Biofuel Made from Beer is Now Powering Cars in New Zealand

If a self-driving car is powered by beer, can it get pulled over for DUI??

– New CEO: Some People on Reddit ‘Shouldn’t Be Here At All’

Welcome to the internet, man.

– Door-Knocking Iowa Homeschoolers Courted by Republican Suitors

“Door-knocking homeschoolers?” Is this some weird midwest double entendre? Gross, Iowa.

– The Internet of Things Goes After Kids

Huh? This makes less sense than the Iowa headline. What’s going on, AP? You feeling all right? I’m starting to worry.

– Gold Bust of Kate Moss, Now What?

CHINA!!! Stop it this instant!

– Brandy Sings on Subway, No One Notices

I’m torn here. As a human being, I feel bad for her. But as a user of the internet for over half my life… *snort*

– For Traditional Ear Cleaner in India, Business Waning

Odd. Usually it’s waxing.

*author’s note: I wasn’t gonna, then I was like ‘Welp, at this point, it’s kind of expected…’ Blame yourselves for the puns, readers. If you expect the worst out of me, you’re going to get it.*

– The Sex Offender Test

1. Are you a sex offender?

If you answered “yes”, then congratulations! Your scores have qualified you to be a sex offender! Please purchase a white panel van, an over coat, and candy at your earliest convenience.

– Grande Apologizes for Donut Licking

It’s okay, hon. We’ve all been there. *see scientific explanation earlier in post*

– What Does Your Last Name Say About You?

I’m no expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure it usually says who your parents are.

– Why The Iran Deal Made Obama Critics So Angry

Because ANYTHING Obama does makes his critics angry! Is there really need for an article here?

– Brave Teen Who Survived Plane Crash That Killed Her Grandparents is Released From Hospital and is Treated To McDonald’s

Today’s plane crash proudly sponsored by McDonald’s. Because nothing makes you feel better after a horrific tragedy filled with terror, agony, death, and torture like a Happy Meal! #I’mLovin’It

Thus concludes an unexpected Roundup for Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Today is “Prime Day.” Not as thrilling as yesterday’s New Horizon day (which was FABULOUS, wasn’t it!?! Even if we didn’t see any aliens waving at us…). Tomorrow will be the Christian feast day honoring Gondulphus of Tongeren. Just a reminder in case you forgot and need to run out and pick up a Gondulphus card before it’s too late. #IGotYourBack

VIVE LA PLUTO!!

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Mornin’ all.

Has your favorite brand of sunscreen ever just stopped working for you?

Last year, I had no problems with it. This weekend, we had a fun trip to a local dam and an afternoon of pickning fun with friends and family. Sunscreen was applied, reapplied. The older I get the more sensitive to the sun my skin has become. I don’t usually get a sunburn, but if I don’t put on sunscreen, I’ll itch. And itch. And itch all night long. So I’m not one of those “oh, yeah, I kinda waved the bottle around me before I went outside” sunscreen users. No half-assing it, that’s what I’m saying. I put that shit on thick.

After the long, fun day, we packed up and I was about halfway home by the time it dawned on me that I was decidedly uncomfortable. Couldn’t do anything in the car, especially since I was driving. Fortunately, the hydraulic suspension system we have decided to blow a line in the engine and spray hydraulic fluid all over to give me a billowing, smoky distraction to take my mind off the burning. Thanks, Car! Always lookin’ out for me.

So we get home. Unload, get the kiddies wrangled to change out of their damp, sandy swim trunks, and then it’s my turn to get a look at myself in the bathroom mirror.

Is “borscht” a skin tone?

Ugh, folks. UGH.

No outdoors for Bethie for the next few days. I guess that leaves me with a few “to do” choices:

1. Play my video game.

2. Clean.

3. Make an art.

The problem with the video game is that I rage quit yesterday afternoon, but accidentally did so after it auto-saved in a really, really bad spot. I’m surrounded by aliens, all of which are way stronger than my character, and I’ve got shit for ammo, a depressing fact I discovered when I picked the controller back up a little later. It’s going to take patience to get my character out of there, and I just don’t know how much of that I’ve got.

I *could* clean. I suppose. But… um… well, there’s… *brain robots scramble madly through files to come up with a viable excuse* Oh, wait! I know! Okay, so I mentioned the hydraulic line blew on the wagon. While the car is technically drivable, with no hydraulic suspension, the rear end is solidly locked WAY up high, making the car bounce all over the road when I try to drive it.

“Uh, Bethie? What does any of that have to do with cleaning?”

Well, if I start to clean, I just won’t stop and I’ll need to take trips to the dump, which I can’t do in the broken wagon. Darn.

“But, you could mop and shit…”

THE CAR IS BROKEN. I simply cannot clean. Oh well, nothing to be done for it.

That leaves art. I’ve got a painting project to wrap up with the youngest pup. We made paper mache birds to hang in his room, an owl and an eagle. We’ve just got to finish up the detail painting and hang them. That’s a good one to work on for the morning. It’ll get me pumped up to do some different kind of artwork.

I picked up a bunch of posters from the free pile at the junk shop across the way yesterday. I like to take an ugly or boring print and add to it to make it fun and interesting, and there was a box of about a dozen huge, high quality prints, mostly from museums. Score! I can totally deface those puppies. That sounds like fun.

Oh, and I forgot the most important “to do” on this morning’s list: Wait for the New Horizon’s up close Pluto shots to finally come in.

I’m not kidding. I will be refreshing NASA all day until I see some Pluto glamor shots.

“Um…why?”

Why? WHY!!?? Are you…have you…don’t you…. !!??WHY??!!

For the first time in human history, we are going to get a close shot of the furthest planet in our solar system.

“Bethie, Pluto is not a planet.”

WRONG. They demoted it to a “dwarf planet”, keyword “planet.” So even the idiots that demoted Pluto recognized that a large body that has three moons is most definitely a planet. Also, the closer New Horizons gets, the more NASA and their ilk are being proven wrong. What they thought they knew about Pluto is bullshit.

1. Pluto’s moons are actual moons, not simply asteroids floating nearby. The five small moons DO orbit in a regular pattern, meaning that Pluto has enough mass and spin to create the gravity needed to pull and keep objects in an orbit.

2. Pluto has not only polar ice caps, like any self respecting planet (albeit, methane and nitrogen ice), but an intricate surface, with possible mountains, cliffs, and canyons. Previously, it was assumed that Pluto was no more than a large asteroid that got locked into orbit. Now it seems that Pluto has developed the features we associate with an actual planet. Frozen liquid. Perhaps some sort of internal activity which would lead to the formation of mountains, the cracking into canyons…or flowing water to create these features. Which it shouldn’t have. Logic dictates that it can’t, not so far from the sun. And yet, there are some truly intriguing findings. A real beard stroker.

3. Pluto is larger than NASA thought. Pluto is right on the outskirts of the Kuiper Belt, a hodgepodge of celestial junk milling about on the fringes of our solar system. The logic behind Plutos demotion was that there were other bodies in that belt, specifically Eris, that could be larger. Up close, personal measurements have proven that Pluto IS the largest object in the Kuiper Belt (to date…I mean, the Kuiper belt is HUGE, and there may be some hulking behemoths in there somewhere).

The closer we’ve gotten, the more info we’ve gathered, shattering assumptions about Pluto. And now, New Horizons will get just 7,750 miles away. I know it sounds like a lot. But folks, New Horizons has putt-putted for nine and a half YEARS to get there. It’s already covered almost 3 BILLION miles. 7,750 is nothing.

Okay, let’s put it this way. The moon is 238,900 miles away from us. Think of how much we can see with the naked eye on a clear night, how many details. Now, zoom that image in 30 times. Blow the visible moon up 30 times larger in the night sky. Imagine the details we could see then! Why, we’d be able to see the secret alien landing strip at that point.

It’s happening at 7:50 a.m., my time. And I cannot wait.

What am I really hoping for?

Well, the writer in me really, REALLY wants to see some native critter waving at us, though I’m fairly certain that won’t happen. I’d like to see details of the remains of a true environment. Scars on the land from water, or dormant volcanoes that prove there was once a nuclear heart to the now-icy beast. I want to see something that will re-open the conversation about Pluto.

They’ve already seen so much that there WILL be a push to reinstate it as a full fledged member of our solar system, but I think it’s going to take more than what they’ve discovered so far to give the argument any really substance. Sure, I could start an internet petition. I’m betting it would get tons of signatures. Scientists don’t tend to care about internet petitions.

“Bethie, why do you care so much? It’s a dwarf planet because it is a dwarf.”

Because what the hell is size when the body is spherical, has an orbit around our star, has moons which, in turn, orbit around it, has polar ice caps, has the same geological markings of the other planets in our solar system…

The ONLY reason they demoted Pluto was because it was small. But that does not mean it’s not a functional member of our solar system. If it looks like a planet, and acts like a planet, and has the same magnetism as a planet, then it’s fucking planet.

“But if we say that, then we’ll have to start including other large bodies, like Eris.”

Maybe. And what would be so bad about that? If further investigation into Eris proves that it, too, has the same planetary markers we’ve established as a baseline for our other planets, then why not add it to the list?

When we demoted Pluto, we took a step back. We demoted it based solely on one factor, and that’s just bad science. Hopefully we’ll see something great when those pics come in. Hopefully Pluto will once again get the respect it deserves.

VIVE LA PLUTO!

Thus concludes a nerdy Musing for Tuesday, July 14, 2015. I’m off to get more aloe lotion while I wait for history. You know, I wouldn’t have gotten this sunburn on Pluto…

And so the brief experiment with nudism ended in the House of Bethie…

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Mornin’ all.

Do you hear that? Do you know what that is?!

*author’s note: We at the Musing seriously hope you cannot, in fact, hear anything that’s going on here at HQ. That would be creepy. Don’t stalk me.*

I’ll give you a few clues. We can turn this into a game. Ready?

1. It had to be delivered on a freight truck.

2. It has lights and plays music.

…come on, man. You have to guess or it’s no fun.

Need more clues?

3. It’s got a glass window so you don’t miss a minute of the action.

4. It comes with a 10 year drive warranty.

…okay, I’m too excited to let you keep spitting out guesses, though Whirlitzer was a good one. It’s my new….WASHING MACHINE!!! Finally after nearly a month without one, my washer finally, FINALLY got here.

And it’s got lights. It makes music when you turn it on and off. It’s got a shiny knob that you can turn to tons of custom settings, and buttons you can push to select myriad combinations of tweaks for ultimate laundering control. You all know how much I like knobs and buttons and control.

It can steam. It can sanitize. It can fit not one, but TWO comforters in its huge drum. But wait…there’s more! It’s also…SELF-CLEANING!!!

…which, admittedly, seems a bit odd since we’re talking about a machine whose sole purpose is to fill with water and soap every single time it gets used, thus cleaning itself on a regular basis… But whatever! It’s a FEATURE. You KNOW how I love FEATURES.

Perhaps one of the coolest things is the glass top. You can watch the whole wash process play out. Hours of free entertainment for me, not only in watching the jeans take a spin around the dance floor with the towels, but also in watching my cat freak the hell out.

She used to love to sit on the plain, boring old washer. She hopped up on top of the shiny, new washer to do the same. But now, she can see things moving below. Now things are clearly out to get her. And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a cat jump so high as she did when the water started to spray.

Hilarious.

I threw another load in this morning when I got up because my tablet died last night and I needed to hear the gentle song of a friendly, compliant piece of machinery to take the sting left by yet another mutinous robot. It sang me a welcoming, soothing tune as I loaded it, then trilled another “Aye aye, Cap’n” shanty when I hit start. It complied, and that brought me comfort. I really think we’ve got something special, washer and I.

Maybe I should name it?

“Maybe you should get more sleep, Bethie.”

You might be on to something there. This week my brain has been in turbo mode, but not during the day when such modes are useful. Nope, I’ve had a week solid of waking up around 1 a.m. with Brain saying, “You know what I just thought of, guys?”

Of COURSE instead of ignoring Brain, Eyes popped open every single time because they are weak and easily influenced. As soon as Brain had a captive audience, Brain would start to put us back in uncomfortable situations of the past. “Remember this?” Brain would ask.

Heart, not one to miss out on the action, would say, “Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. What did I do? That’s right! I remember!” Then Heart would start beating rapidly, reliving the moment of panic Brain dredged up from the past.

Hip would start to complain about Muscles getting tense. Back joined the fray. “What? What is the meaning of this? Are we cramping, then? Shit. I didn’t get the memo. Let me catch up.”

Having an active imagination is a wonderful thing. Having a good memory is also great. However, put the two together and you will often find yourself reliving a terrifying moment in minute detail, no matter if your logical side knows for a FACT that you are far away from that time and place and safely tucked in your bed.

True story.

Last night’s trip down memory pain was a pocket of turbulence we experienced on the flight home from Oregon. Now, let me make something clear. I wasn’t scared at the time. I had no fear at all of the plane crashing. I had not only statistics, but science on my side. I understand turbulence, I knew it would right in just a few minutes. I honestly, hand to the cosmos was NOT scared. In that moment, I was just getting the barf bag ready for the little one who did not handle air travel well. I was hot and tired and cranky and emotional from the visit, but I wasn’t scared.

Not then.

Guess it just took a few months to catch up with me. I woke up last night in a flat out, balls to the wall panic, convinced that my bed was crashing. I could see the “H” shaped crack in my ceiling, so familiar and ordinarily, oddly comforting. I could hear my man snore. I knew- I KNEW- I was at home in my bed and that nothing at all was going to crash. And yet, Brain convinced Heart we were on a plane.

Seriously, Brain. WTF.

And of course, after I calmed myself down, Eyes stayed wide open. Yet again. “Oh man, wasn’t that fun?” they blinked as they darted around the room, still full of adrenalin.

“Hey, if you think that’s great, then I’ve got another one for ya,” Brain offered, in spite of my best efforts to get Brain under control. “Remember that time Body was seven and careening down the hill on her Huffy and she hit loose gravel?”

“Boy, do I!” Eyes said eagerly. “Are we going to think about that now?”

“Over and over and over.”

“Yippee!”

…okay. I definitely think you’re right about the sleep. Ah well. I’ve already started my laundry and had a cup of caffeinated rot gut. I’m awake. It’s happening. Hey, at least you only have to put up with me for a bit. My kids have to deal with me like this all day.

ALL DAY.

Heh. Good luck with that, boys.

I was looking through the news. Many stories got me riled up, because some people are stupid and continue to want to do stupid things even after it’s been pointed out how stupid they are being. Ted Cruz, presidential pipe dreamer, is angry that the New York Times figured out he bought thousands of his own books to fudge sales figures and refused to put him on the best sellers list. *snort* Hey, Cruz, you got busted. Handle it like a man.

Not to be outdone in the shameless category, Oompa Loompa Tribble-head…er…I mean, Donald Trump doubled down on his anti-Mexican stance. S’okay. Every time he opens his stupid, flapping drool machine, he guarantees a vote for anyone but him. Still, it’s hard to listen to.

South Carolina removed the Flag of Hate. And that’s what it is. It’s NOT just decor. It was a battle flag, a symbol carried by folks who were willing to MURDER anyone who would no longer allow them to OWN PEOPLE. So good on you, SC. Friggin’ took you long enough. Don’t even look at user comments on any of those articles. It will turn your stomach.

So there were many firestorm stories in the news this week, especially in the political arena. But one story was fairly innocuous. It didn’t get me riled up, but yet, oddly worked the crowd into a frenzy anyway. I thought this would be the perfect article to introduce you to some of…

*** YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!!! ***

That’s right, another installment of a segment that will introduce you to real people and their thoughts. Most major news sites have a “user comments” section, a place where the people who live and work next to you can let their crazy fly. I’ll give you a recap of the story, then I will let you read for yourself the 100% real comments the story moved folks to submit. I have not changed a thing about the comments, not even grammatical errors. Trust me, leaving them in is far more painful for me than you. Let’s dive in!

This week, President Obama granted three sections of national park land National Monument status. The areas, Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, Waco Mammoth in Texas, and Basin and Range in Nevada, have officially been set aside as National Monuments instead of being simply parks or forests. Already part of the national park system, the upping in status offers these rare and natural environments a greater level of protection. The move will ensure that there cannot be any development, the land cannot be used for private means, and no one can put a damn pipeline of any sort right through the fossils and cave art. In short, it’s a great way to preserve three ancient, natural wonders.

Sounds good, right? I mean, it was already federally owned and protected land. A hard working group of conservationists just told Obama, “Hey, uh, someone’s going muddin’ through Snow Mountain and killing off the diverse wildlife there…could we just have you say officially that they can’t destroy the place?” And Obama said, “Sure. Where do you want me to sign?” That seems to me to be a no-brainer. He’s certainly not the first president to do it. Even Bush set aside land as a National Monument, because even a BUSH knows the value in protecting our shrinking wildlife. It’s good to protect our natural treasures and it’s part of the job of being president.

But…INTERNET. Here are some of the reactions of the Average Joe. While reading this, keep in mind that one or more of these folks might just sit a few cubicles down from you at work.

– “He protected, you mean he stole, just ask the states he took them from, most were in Nevada, with dirty Harry Reid, and his in vestments.”

Uh, no, actually. The land was already National Park land, most of it being declared as such by Teddy Roosevelt…just a wee bit before Obama’s time.

– “Stealing land from the states. Government at its worst.”

Hang on. Did no one read the article? The land already belonged to the government. Nothing was stolen.

– “More theft from the DICKtator!”

Oh for heaven’s sake! First off, no theft. Second, that’s not NEARLY as clever as you think.

– “66% of the land in Idaho is owned by the federal government.”

Cool story, bro. Aaaand what does it have to do with anything?

– “The dumb ass, thinks he’s god, think he can create something, lord strike this fool down, and free us from his tyranny”

Did…did you think that Obama is saying he literally MADE these natural sites? Holy shit.

– “Great, now Obama’s gone from self-proclaimed King to the Creator!”

…whoa. One person thinking that way was bad enough, but two?!

– “I am beginning to think I am reading Star Magazine or the Enquirer…”

Honey, you and me both.

-“…it’s a diversionary tactic.”

Well that took a turn I wasn’t expecting.

– “His latest BM?”

This is really starting to get off the rails.

– “Obama could take a crap on the White House lawn and his Llama would exclaim, “He passed a masterpiece !!”

Now THAT’S a llama I want to meet.

– “What about ‘The Killing Fields’ in Chicago?”

Hm. Probably didn’t meet the standard criteria.

– “OVAMIT THE DARK===ASSIGN TO THE SATANIC DARKNESS OF A DEMON”

Dammit, who let Kevin out? Kevin, get back in the asylum and take your meds.

– “Of course it’s much easier to spend money on monuments than to solve burning national problems and to pay attention to those who really need state’s support.”

But doesn’t the president have more than one responsibility? He kind of has a multi-faceted job.

– “Obama didn’t do that, someone else made that happen.”

Thank you! Reasonableness. No, he really didn’t spend his valuable time on it. He simply approved what the experts advised.

– “Dam sure won’t be some murdering cowardice statues from confederate era”

And I guess the internet had enough calm reasonableness. Didn’t last long, did it?

– “Actually, this is less a ‘grab’ as it is opening a corridor where there are no Park Police or Park Rangers. It makes it easier for illegals to get in through New Mexico.”

Wait. What?

– “This is another crime against the Constitution perpetrated by the executive branch, from which the court is specifically suposed to protect the states and their citizens from. It fallows niether the spirite nor intent of the law, it mearly enables more criminal ailians, with the desired intent to distroy America and the american low and middle class economic opertunities while grabing more of our resources th sell to the Chinese.”

Now, I’m not so sure, because right around “spirite”, everything started to fall apart, but I think this user was agreeing with the above poster about “ailians” and dragged China somehow into the fray…? Everybody get that same vibe?

– “Is this just Obama creating a safe corridor for the drug cartels who donate to Obama by untraceable prepaid credit cards?”

Actually, you put a lot of thought into that conspiracy theory. I didn’t see the twist end detail with the prepaid cards. Points for creativity.

– “Its just Obama promoting the Federal Government Uber Alles. He is indifferent to the drug cartels. I don’t know that the drug smuggler consider donations to the democrat party a sound investment. It is clear that Communist China does though.”

I’m beginning to sense a theme…

– “This could also be another region that Obama signed away to China”

You really don’t know what National Monuments are, do you? It’s okay to admit it. You’re safe here.

– “With as much radiation and plutonium there is in that ground, I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to grab it for tactical reasons, but taking into consideration that the government is and always has been the main source for illegals and drugs, I would say there is some dark deeds being prepared for this land.”

Holy shit, you’re right! Better get that tin foil hat ready. STAT.

– “MORE PROOF that Obama and the Socialist Party are not even the least bit concerned about the security of this nation.”

*sigh* I feel like I’ve got to point out once again that all Obama did was add another layer of environmental protection to land that was already part of the national park system. There will still be rangers. There will still be local cops.

– “Illegal corridor for the democratic voter block.”

Dammit, I misplaced my crazy-talk codex. Can anyone decipher that for me?

– “Waiting for the American Taliban to load up their trucks with guns and ammo and head from Nevada down to New Mexico to play soldier…if they don’t shoot each other first.”

Buddy, this says WAY more about you than it does Obama.

– “why HAs no one ever sued the feds under americans with disabilities act to allow disabled people mechanical means to enjoy the wilderness areas we have now. If you dont ride a horse or not young enough to WALK YOU ARE S.O.L.”

Look, I’m sorry you’re disabled, but you can’t put an elevator on a mountain. To do so would ruin the mountain. If you can’t afford an off road wheelchair, then there are just some things you won’t be able to do. There are some things I am not able to do. There are some things EVERYONE is not able to do, and you can’t sue for that. It’s just the way things are.

– “This story just went nation wide on the internet. If our government doesn’t know that. We are in sad shape for security. But the truth is not many people who have been attached to Obama are open to answering questions.”

….riiight. Uh, okay?

– “Gotta be 473 Cons listening in. How do I know? No action. No substance. Just, listening.”

I think this may have been an attempt at a haiku? Maybe?

– “CONS, don’t get too angry. After all, they will be renting out Hillary as a mule to ride for the kiddies.”

Yeah, I got nuthin’.

Thus concludes a scary look at the folks around you for Saturday, July 11, 2015. My washer just sang me the song of its people. I take it that means it’s done with my laundry? Either that or it was just lulling me into a sense of peaceful distraction earlier so it could summon the start of the uprising. Damn Obama.

O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave…

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americanflag

Mornin’ all.

Last night was very long here, folks. As I sip my coffee, I’m assaulted by the acrid tang of sulfur which lingers heavily in the morning fog. Though the crashes and bangs that rang out into the wee hours are now blessedly silent, the echoes remain in the hearts and minds of those who bore witness, and those who desperately tried not to see or hear. The sun will rise and shine upon the fallout, highlighting the casings and burnt shells that undoubtedly pepper the land.

All over the nation this morning (or afternoon…yeah, probably afternoon for many), folks will rise, rub the grit from their bloodshot eyes, hydrate and carb-load like a champ, and prepare to jump into the fray once more.

Why?

Because four score and 159 years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. And if that’s not a reason to have a national weekend of partying, revelry, and tomfoolery, well then, I just don’t know what is.

Yep, it’s that day when we get to shoot colorful chemicals in the sky to celebrate kicking lily white asses back across the pond. It’s Independence Day!

I love the 4th of July.

And I don’t just mean that I live having a weekend of pop-bang-whizzy-bam, though regular readers of this blog will no doubt remember my fondness for the temporary tattoos of the sky. I love the day itself, the history, the connection.

When we were kids, the 4th meant camping. Fireworks. Fireworks while camping. Family. Picnics. Sand between the toes and lake water dreadlocks that dried in the sun. To a kid, that is the very definition of freedom.

As an adult, the meaning of Independence Day gives so much more depth to the holiday. We had enough bullshit, we drew the line, and we established our own nation. That kicks ass. Of course I’ll wave a flag! Who wouldn’t? A great thing about the 4th is that no matter your party affiliation, EVERYONE gets to be a crazed pro-‘Merican without repercussion or derision. How can that NOT be fantastic?

Chris-Christie

“Hello! I heard you talking about political parties, and I thought this would be an excellent time to pop in and tell your…”

Whoa. Hold the phone. What are you doing here, Christie?

“I’m letting your friends know that I’m running for the President of the United States of America!”

No. No no no. I did a candidate introduction weeks ago.

“I wasn’t running then.”

It’s not my fault you couldn’t make up your mind in time for this to hit the press. You missed your chance. Besides, it’s a holiday, not a time for you to campaign.

chrischristie2

“But…”

Nope. Not going to happen. If you’d like to hang around for the party, there are refreshments on the corner table and you’re more than welcome to celebrate with us. But you open your mouth to try and stump up some votes, and I’ll put you in a red coat with a “King George” name tag and you’ll find out how well that goes over in THIS crowd on the Fourth of July!

chrischristie3

*sigh* And stop moping.

Sorry, folks. I swear I had no idea he was going to do this. I wanted this post to be free from politics…modern day politics, that is. I know the problems of this nation are important and they won’t be fixed by ignoring them. But is it really unreasonable to ask that…

bobby_jindal

“Hello everybody!”

…*looks left* *looks right*…

“It’s me! Your friend Bobby Jindal!”

Uh…do I know you?

“Of course you know me. Bobby Jindal. I’m running for president!”

Oh boy, not another one. Look Bob, we’re trying to…

“It’s Bobby. Come on, you know me. I have a presidential campaign bumper sticker. You MUST have seen one of them.”

Can’t say that I have, but that’s neither here nor there. You’re interrupting what is attempting to be a patriotic musing to go with morning coffee.

“I love patriotism! And I heard you mention the problems in this country. If you give me just a moment of your time, I can solve them all.”

*rolly eyes* Bob. You seem like a nice guy, but there’s no way in hell you can solve all the nation’s problems. No one person can. And we’re not even talking about that today anyway. Now, if you’d like some America-themed refreshments, you can stick around and have some.

“Splendid! I love America-themed refreshments! However, did you know that many of these American treats are actually shipped in from other countries? Canadian hands are making the wheat for your red, white and blue cake. Our jobs….”

Bobby.

“…are being sent overseas, and you’re supporting these companies all while you claim to want to celebrate our nation.”

Mr. Jindal.

“Now, I don’t blame you. How could you know? That’s the issue we really face in this nation today. Obamawashing of…”

OKAY THAT’S IT. I’m sorry Bob, but you’re a pill. There’s the door. Don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.

“What? You’re kicking me out!?”

I warned you. I told you I didn’t want your politicking today, and you wouldn’t listen.

Bobby-Jindal-2

“But Christie’s up there!”

And Chris is following the guidelines. He’s sitting there in the corner drinking his coffee and BLUEberry muffin in the firework tiara and red 2015 sunglasses like he’s supposed to.

“I can do that too!”

You had your chance and you blew it.

bobbyjindal3

*snap* Out.

“*sniff* Fine. I’ll just leave some campaign pins…”

OUT!!!

*door slams*

Yikes. And zip it, Christie. Not ONE word or you follow.

*quiet munching of patriotic muffins*

Okay. Any more interruptions? No? Good. Now, where was I?

Oh, yes. I was talking about wanting one day to be patriotic without having it crammed down our throats that we have problems. I get it, folks. I get that right now we’re a seething cauldron of problems and good intentions gone awry.

But what’s wrong with everyone just putting it all aside for ONE DAY, hoisting the one beautiful flag, and enjoying being a member of this melting pot? Donald Trump went on another rampage yesterday…

“Trump’s here!?”

Whoa, easy there, Chris. He’s not here. Relax.

“But…but…is he going to be?”

HELL NO.

“…are you sure?”

Stop peeking out from behind the curtain and sit back down. I didn’t mean to get you all verklempt. Deep breath, Relax. Easy boy.

“O…okay…I just…it’s just one of my triggers.”

I think we all feel the same, but jeez. Jumpy little bugger, aren’t you?

I just said Tr…uh…He Who Must Not Be Named to highlight my point. Some people take today to be a day of telling us what a shit hole we’re in. They think that by doing it, we’ll vote for them. I don’t know why. I don’t know what’s going on under Mr. Who Must Not Be Named’s comb-over. My guess would be “not much”, because I have to be honest. If any candidate is going to get a nod from me today, it’s the one that stands tallest and proudest under the stars and stripes. It’s the one that’s just as proud to be part of this big old problem as I am.

Look folks. I bitch about this country a lot. Not as much as some, and I certainly never feel like it’s hopeless. I bitch because I’m part of it, and I love it, and I want to see it better. That doesn’t mean that I’m not patriotic.

I have a saying I tell my kids when they’re in trouble. I say, “I’m yelling at you because I love you and I want you to be a good person. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t take the time to care about how you turn out.”

I love this country. And I care about it enough to be upset when things are going wrong. So it’s not that I don’t want things fixed, or am too blindly patriotic and believe we’re perfect.

But one day. That’s what I want.

No, wait. It’s more than that. I fully believe that it’s what we all deserve. One day to simply wave our flag and be proud. We’ve got problems. We also do a whole lot right. Most of our people have food, hot water, access to medical care, even if it’s pricey. We’ve got roads through the entire country, and enough public transportation that we don’t have to cram people ten deep and five high on the train. Very few people are homeless per capita, and there are even services run by good and noble citizens to help many of those. When there’s a crisis, we come together. When there’s a natural disaster, neighbors help each other out.

Are we perfect? Hell no! Can I just be happy with the good stuff for ONE DAY?

Absolutely.

We’re worth fixing, America. We’re also worth celebrating. For all our faults and flaws, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Everyone always quotes the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. I can’t say that I blame them. It gets a bit wordy and boring in the middle, so the eyes tend to take in that impressive preamble and then scan down to see that John Hancock was, indeed, quite full of himself. But a lot of cool stuff happens at the end. In fact, it’s my favorite passage in our Big Three governmental documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights). It’s got some grammatical issues, and I don’t know if the rampant use of commas was a time period thing or if they just felt adding in a ton of extras gave an air of importance… All that aside, this is what founded our nation.

“We, therefore, the representatives of the united States of America, in general congress, assembled, appealing to the supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states;”

In modern terms: Piss off, Brits. We got this.

And you know what? In spite of our problems, I truly believe we still do.

Thus concludes a patriotic Musing for Saturday, July the Freakin’ 4th, 2015. I hope all my fellow Americans have a good day today…and remember, any is too many. If you enjoy your right to booze it up in celebration, take advantage of your buddy’s couch!