Thanksgiving in an alternate universe is pretty rad…

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Mornin’ all.

I see I’ve got a few early risers today! Getting those birds in the oven, are we? Well, help yourself to the coffee. It’s not good. In fact, it’s fairly terrible. But it’s free and it gets the job done. You need a kick in the ass, and this will most definitely flip your turbo switch. Chew a stick of chalk after you swallow. I find it helps with the burn.

“I think I’ll pass, Bethie.”

Really? Don’t you have a Thanksgiving meal to prepare? Hm? One that’s going to be eaten by your in-laws, your self-righteous cousin, and the older sibling you’ll never quite live up to?

“… … … GIMME ALL THE COFFEES!!!”

That’s the spirit! Just make the stuffing soft. You really aren’t going to want to bite down after that java strips all your tooth enamel. Trust me.

So it’s Thanksgiving! I’ve waxed eloquent on the T-days of my childhood in previous blogs. If you don’t know that my grandfather was an accomplice in piscecide, you really should go into my backlogs and check it out. Don’t worry, the statute of limitations had long run out before I told the tale. I’m no stoolie.

If you go back and look, or if you’ve got a decent memory, you know that my childhood Thanksgivings were damn near the lyrics to the song “Over the River and Through the Woods”…er, only with a mini van instead of the sleigh. You know the song. Your second grade music teacher used to make you sing it over and over and over in the month leading up to Thanksgiving.

Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go,

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifting snow—Oh!

….Over the river and through the woods trot fast my dapple gray,

Spring over the ground like a hunting hound for this is Thanksgiving Day!

That’s the abbreviated club remix. Sorry about the extra bass. Skrillex needed somewhere to spin this holiday and I felt bad for the little guy, ya know? Go get some pie, Skrillex. And please try not to spin it this time, k?

Sorry, folks. He’s a little more of a handful than I imagined.

*smooshy smooshy bwaaaahhhh splatsplatsplat gwaaaaahhh boop splosh*

SKRILLEX! NO! Eat the pie. EAT it!

*hangs head* *shuffles away*

Yikes.

ANYWAY, that song is old fashioned, yet when you hear it (extra bass and all) you get an image, a feeling. It’s special. It’s excitement. It’s a crystal wine glass that you absolutely mustn’t touch, young lady! It’s a holiday, a real, true holiday. THAT was a Thanksgiving when I was a child.

Now?

Look, families have peaks and dips, ebbs and flows with generations. One generation is little enough to want to hide under the snacks table with their cousins and try to snitch extra treats, while the older generation wants to commiserate about having said snacknappers, and the grandpas and great-aunts happily munch cheese in the corner easy chairs.

But then something happens. Time moves on. Soon the little imps are no longer under the table. They are big enough and old enough to start wanting to branch out, to go other places, to start being adults themselves. Some of the adults move, either physically or temporally, and one day, you find that there’s too much uneaten cheese, and empty chairs at a once full table.

I’m not trying to be a downer. Life just happens. Right now the little kids are no longer little, the adults have shuffled off or simply away, and we’ll have to mark time until the elder teens become adults themselves and start providing a new batch of snack-stealing cuties.

A LONG TIME FROM NOW, TEENAGERS. AFTER YOU’RE DONE SCHOOL AND HAVE JOBS AND HOUSES AND MET YOUR PERSONAL GOALS FIRST!! I DON’T REGRET YOU FOR ONE SECOND, BUT I WANT BETTER FOR ALL OF YOU!!!

*achem* Sorry. Just had to make that clear in case any of them are reading this. Babies shouldn’t start happening for awhile yet.

So we’re not doing a bird today.

“*collective gasp from the internet*”

Oh shit. Now Skrillex is looking even more lost and sad. We’re having food, Skrillex. Just not turkey, okay? We’re doing our turkey on Sunday.

“But Bethie, that’s not Thanksgiving!”

…why not? The date is arbitrary anyway. And before you pick up your muskets and torches, it IS arbitrary. The Pilgrims did not dine in celebration with the Native Americans on November 26. Scholars believe the event that truly inspired the holiday happened perhaps as early in the year as July, and certainly not in 1620, as all the place cards we had to make in first grade led us to believe.

They also didn’t have much in the way of turkeys, certainly didn’t wear belt buckle hats, and definitely didn’t wear all black.

But just because we fudged the details doesn’t mean the spirit of the holiday isn’t legit. We should be thankful. We live in a country that might be far from perfect, but it’s certainly also far from the pits. We’ve got food available, clean water, mostly fresh air. There’s still a strong sense of community, even when those bonds are tested, and a genuine desire to find our way back to the top. We’ve got mountains and valleys, prairies and canyons, TWO oceans and so many rivers it’s impossible to see them all. Even if you feel that you’ve got nothing, if you live in this country, you’ve already got a whole lot.

When you look at it like that, does it matter if we sacrifice a turkey on Sunday instead of Thursday? No. No it does not.

Because we’re a blended family, I always let the Others schedule the teens and then do our bird later when the chickadees return to the roost. It makes it much easier than stomping my foot and having a temper tantrum that puts the kiddies in the middle. And it SUCKS to have to have one dinner here, then waste a perfectly good turkey coma by having to rush back to the other family’s house to try and cram in MORE turkey and stuffing. It makes the holiday stressful for a kid to be treated like an overfed yo-yo. Let them go eat other birds today, and then let them have their turkey comas in peace. It’s their right as Americans to eat one enormous meal and pass out on the couch to the sound of their grandfather arguing about the football game with their loud uncle.

Today, it’s just the youngest pup, the guy, and myself at home. Oh, yeah, and Skrillex. We’re going to have Thanksgiving pizza.

*Skrillex perks up*

Get that look off your face right now, young man! YOU CAN’T SPIN THAT EITHER! Geez. Every round thing and he’s just GOT to give it a whirl… *exasperated sigh* Where was I?

Pizza. While not traditionally a Thanksgiving meal, I’ve got to think that if it had been available to them back in the 1600’s, the Native Americans would have just called out for pizza when the Pilgrims were hungry and starving. Would you really want to cook for all those people while you were trying to ready your village for winter? Hm?

The Native American husband would have come home, slung a handful of rabbits on the table. His wife would have said, “Better get cleaned up. We’ve got that dinner with the Smyths.” The husband would have groaned and tried to wheedle out of it. “You said you wanted to be good neighbors,” she’d remind him in that universal tone all wives through history have used. “Fine!” he’d say. “I’ll get cleaned up.” She’d nod, never doubting that he’d get in line, and then remind him that they had to bring the food, too. He’d groan and roll his eyes, then say, “I’ve been out hunting all day, and you’ve been gathering corn and weaving. How about we swing by Little Caesars?” She’d pull a face. “We can’t bring that cheap shit to dinner!” He’d slowly grin. “Why not? They’re Pilgrims, dear. Have you SEEN what they call food? They’re not going to know the difference.” She’d hem and haw, but in the end, they’d have shown up at the first Thanksgiving with ten Hot n’ Ready pizzas.

And the Pilgrims would have rejoiced and given many thanks, for even a Hot n’ Ready piece of shit pizza would have been better than boiled acorn mash.

The day of the week doesn’t matter. The meal doesn’t matter. Today, I’m celebrating the Thanksgiving that could have been, and might possibly be in another universe. On Sunday when I have my teens back home, we’ll celebrate the Thanksgiving that never actually was, at least not on our world. And every single day I’ll be thankful for being where I am, for who I’m with, and for what I have.

*Skrillex drops a poignant beat*

Exactly, man. Exactly.

Thus concludes a quick T-day or P-day, if you’re of the mind, Musing for Thursday, November 26, 2015. Everyone, have a fantastic day today, no matter what you eat or who you eat it with! I’m off to start the pizza dough. Come on, Skrillex. You can finally put those mad spinning skills to work. I’ll mix the dough, and you knead it for me. “Like remixing?” …sure, buddy. Just like that. *rolly eyes*

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Pardon me, but you, sir, are a worm.

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Mornin’ all.

I want broccoli.

And when I say that, I don’t mean I thought, “Hm, wouldn’t broccoli be nice to have with dinner tonight?” I mean, I WANT SOME BROCCOLI TOOT FUCKIN’ SWEET.

…you ever get cravings like that? My man has a theory that if you crave a food to the point of distraction, it’s your body saying, “Hey, dipshit, give me some niacin…” or vitamin C or zinc or whatever that particular food offers in terms of nutrition. I have no idea if science backs that up, but it makes sense.

Not just any old broccoli will do. I want a specific style of broccoli. I want fresh, not frozen, and overcooked to the point of it juuuust barely being able to retain its status as a solid.

My Gram used to make it like that. Boy could she cook.

“Uh, Bethie? Didn’t you just say she made overcooked broccoli?”

Yeah, but it worked somehow. She always cooked her veggies a bit too long, but they tasted so damn good it didn’t really matter. Crisp broccoli would have been weird served next to the perfect roast beef and mashed potatoes with gravy so good you “accidentally” spilled a little too much from the ladle and had no choice but to take another slice of bread to mop it up. Couldn’t let it go to waste now, could you?

Sunday dinners were THE best. All the fam around a gigantic table at the same time with jokes and shouts and laughs. My Mum cutting up our meat and still warning us not to choke, my Dad taking an hour to prepare his food just so, my uncle pulling out the list of 2-letter entries he prepped to play his favorite party game “Initials”, my grandfather rolling his eyes and making expressive faces to say the words he could no longer utter due to illness, my Gram making up for his lack of talking in abundance…

I wonder if I actually want the broccoli for the nutrients like my man thinks, or if I just want one more Sunday dinner of my childhood?

*WAWRma* *WAWRma* *WAWRma*

“What the hell is THAT?”

Looks like I tripped the melancholy alarm. I just had it installed to…

*WAWRma* *WAWRma* *WAWRma*

WHAT? I can’t hear you!”

Hang on. Lemme shut it down.

*WAWRma* *WAAAWWWWRRRrrrmmmaaaa…..*

Yikes. Sorry about that. It’s my new melancholy alarm and it seems that it’s on a hair trigger. It’s supposed to help keep me peppy and lively and not allow me to melt into a sad sack of holiday grouchery. Guess I need to read the manual and adjust the sensitivity. I mean, SOME melancholy is okay, right?

*WAWRma* *WAWRma* *WAWRma*

“BETHIE.”

Yeah, yeah. I’m on it.

*plink* *fzzt*

There. I unplugged it completely for now. Guess I’m on my own to keep myself pepped up.

“No. You’ve got me.”

You know what? You’re right. I do have you. You’ve come all this way to share some teeth-melting coffee and day old pastries and here I am being a self-centric ass. I’m sorry, friend. Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?

“*picks at sweater lint*”

Oh! There is! I can see it on your face! What do you want? Another day old prune danish? You really should only have one a day, but help yourself if you’re willing to risk it. No? Okay, then. A pillow for your feet? A pony? Say the word and it’s yours.

“…wellll. I have been thinking that it’s been awhile since you’ve done a Roundup…”

*claps hands* Done! *snaps fingers for the go go dancers* *strikes up the band* Looks like we’re going to have ourselves a….

*** HEADLINE ROUNDUP!!! ***

“*squee*”

Wow! Look at the can-cans on those dancers! How do they get their legs so high? *claps* Brava ladies! I see you’ve been spending your time off in the dance workshop. Well, kudos! That was spectacular!

*dancers bow and shuffle off*

You asked for it, and I aim to please! I’ve scoured the internet news sites to find headlines that are poorly worded, in need of serious editing, misleading, or just generally strike my admittedly odd funny bone. I’ve harvested the headlines and will present them to you in 100% organic condition. I just supply the garnish of commentary. Sit back, relax, and I’ll start serving.

– Dallas Woman Charged In Missouri Butt Injection Death

Nope. No details. Make of it what you will.

– Feds Seize Hundreds of Tamales Smuggled From Mexico

Damn tamales crossing our borders taking jobs from Taco Bell chalupas… When will the madness end?

– iPhone 6 Has Problem Apple Won’t Discuss

It’s nice to see that they keep the same “la la la can’t hear you” crisis management plan Steve Jobs implemented even after he’s gone.

– Texas: We Don’t Need Academics To Fact-Check Our Textbooks

They ain’t got no time for liberal hippie agendas like “facts” and “educational accuracy”. #commoncorevalues

– 21-Year-Old Georgia Woman Takes College Exam While In Labor: “My Goals Will Not Be Put on Hold”

The woman had a critical exam to take when she went into labor. Instead of making excuses, she worked on the test through the contractions, saying afterwards that since she is now responsible for another human being, nothing can stand in her way of reaching her goals to make a good life for them. No wiseassery for this one. The woman’s name is Tommitrise Collins and she is our hero for today.

– Why is Israel Encouraging Gun Culture?

Are we really going to pretend to be on a moral high horse with this issue? REALLY?

– Official Study Reveals ISIS Determined to Make Chemical Weapons

Dude, I’ve read some bullshit studies before, but this one HAS to be one of the bullshittiest. What a waste of resources. There is no way in hell we’re going to defeat this enemy if we couldn’t predict this “revelation” without wasting scads of precious time and money. Gah.

– Pink-and-white Gun Linked Suspect to Attempted Robbery

Yeah, the gun was pink and white. So what? Why you gotta focus on the color of the weapon? Thugs like pink, too! #unfairgenderconstructs

– Per Capita, Baltimore Reaches Highest Homicide Rate Ever

Thank god folks are fighting so hard to keep our country safe by refusing to accept refugees! It would be tragic if we couldn’t walk the streets at night without worry.

…oh…wait…

– NASA is Keeping Under Wraps A Secret Mission to a Mysterious Water World

Well they’re not doing a very good job of it, are they?

– Congress Says Yes to Space Mining, No To Rocket Regulations

CONGRESS SAYS YES TO SPACE MINING!!! *ROCKETMAN SQUEE* Do you even know that this means?! #aliens,guesswho’scomingtodinner

(The article called commercial space miners “entreprenauts”. I don’t know if the article writer made that up but goddammit I would have killed to think of that first…)

– Is This a Real Life Lightsaber?

Well now I’m going to be really disappointed if it’s not.

– deadmau5&CHVRCHES to Perform at Game Awards

I think a cat walked across the editor’s keyboard there…

– Turkey Struts His Stuff to Get Spared From the Thanksgiving Plate

12 people looked at thousands of turkeys and selected the one with the best “personality and appearance” to get the Presidential pardon. They held a beauty pageant to decide which turkey wouldn’t be eaten. … … …do you even realize how fucked up we are as a species? Hm?

– Humans Have Rescued Pumpkins From Extinction

I guess all that effort I put in to sabotaging tractors and linking my arms in an impenetrable wall of solidarity when the farmers tried to enter the fields for harvesting back in my college days really had an impact. So lucky to have been there to make a real difference! #fightingthegoodfight

– Gum Returns to Famed Seattle Wall Days After Cleaning

…the same gum? Because I’mma be honest…I only care to read the article if that’s the case.

– While World Leaders are Preoccupied, Cats Take Over the World

*sigh* Welp. It was bound to happen eventually. I’m just going to step out and buy a sack of catnip to offer in tax payment to my new feline overlords.

– Man Films Entire Vegas Vacation in Selfie Mode

Though there have been a lot of competitors these days, I think we may have found the World’s Biggest Douchebag. Someone give him a crown.

– Pastafarian Gets to Wear Strainer on Head in License Photo

…hold off on the crowning. We’ve got a last minute contender.

– Donald Trump Said He Would “Absolutely” Require US Muslims to Register, Shrugs Off Nazi Comparison

Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Can I just put the crown on his head with a drone so I don’t risk getting infected with doucheism?

– Winter is on Its Way

It’s November. So, uh, no shit.

– Carjackers Steal Car with 8-year-old in Back Seat, Then Take Him to School

Poor kid. Here he is thinking he’s got an unexpected skip day, and those bastards go and ruin it. Grown ups suck.

– NIH to Retire Last of Government-owned Research Chimps

Wonder if they’ll get watches and cake?

– Watch an Electronic Tongue Taste Wine

Yuck no.

– How to Flirt in Panda: Bears’ Squeaks Decoded

Look, I understand things get boring and lonely in the lab. But scientists…heart to heart time. Cut it the fuck out. Back away from the pandas and watch human internet porn as nature intended.

– Police Pull Over Google Self-Driving Car

Oooh, technological philosophy time. In a world pushing for more of these truly auto-mobiles, who gets the ticket? Discuss.

– Bush Says He’d “Kill Baby Hitler” if He Could Travel Back Through Time

*internal debate raging on whether or not to make Trump quip here*

– Legally Blind Barber Awarded $100K For Wrongful Termination

…but…but he can’t…if you can’t see…and with the sharp scissors near the ears…?? Oh, wait. It’s Massachusetts. That clears it up.

– Carson Compares Syrian Refugees to Rabid Dogs

*sigh* Looks like we’re going to need another crown.

– Firm Reveals No Fat Noodles Made from Trees

Soooo….you made toothpicks?

– “Anti-feminist” Student Reveals He Won’t Party With Women in Case He’s Accused of Rape

That his mind went there tells us far more about him than the “feminists” he’s so against.

– “She Cried When I Gave Her My Boots”: New York Woman’s Post About Giving Her Shoes to Homeless Woman Sees Her Hailed As An “Inspiration” Online

NO SHE’S FUCKING NOT. She’s a media hungry, self-obsessed, attention whore. If you do something inspiring just to brag about it, YOU’RE NOT DOING SOMETHING INSPIRING. You’re just stroking your own ego, and you’re doing it at the expense of someone else.

– Naive Children Believe Everything They Read Online

Uh, is that really just a problem in children? Really?

– Welcome to the Family! Acorn Worm Is Distant Human Relative That Shares 70% of Our Genes

Heh heh. We’re worms. That explains a lot. #VegasSelfieKing #Pastafarianbeinganactualterm #Trump/CarsonCrownShare

Thus concludes a Roundup for Friday, November 20, 2015. I’m off to wake the little cub for a follow up x-ray and then swing by to get some broccoli. Hope the docs don’t care that it’s only been a week and already his cast is a mess. I’m not saying he’s Pigpen exactly, but I highly doubt he’s got a future in any field that requires using a clean room.

Any more additions to the injured roster and we’ll have to forfeit the game…

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Mornin’ all.

I’m just going to warn you right off the bat to stay away from the coffee today. Have some tea. Or water. We’ve got some of the cleanest, purest water in the state. Fresh ice in the freezer. Help yourself.

“So you invite me over for coffee and a chat, and won’t share your coffee?”

You misunderstand.

See the coffee pot? See the melting handle? If you listen closely, you’ll hear the quiet gloop of the glass morphing from a solid to a liquid state under the corrosive properties of the contents within.

It’s been a week, my friends. A long, long week. And it’s not even over yet.

To get through, I stood there this morning and just kept adding scoops of cheap coffee to the machine until my brain began to quake in fearful anticipation. My previous limit was five, and that’s enough to make your stomach pack up and leave in protest.

You know the “big red button?” Turns out, six scoops does exactly the same thing as smacking that button.

As soon as the first drop of devil’s brew blopped out of the machine, a dry, lonely wind began to blow and a tumbleweed rolled across the scuffed wood floor. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to make it to the end of the pot and find a scorpion or worm preserved at the bottom.

I’m not bogarting the coffee all for myself because I don’t want to share. I’m saving you from my fate. #IGYB

Last week at work, one of the teens pulled an abdominal muscle. Because he is

a) male, and

b) teenaged,

he is a teenage male. Anyone who has one of these knows that when they get injured, they will instantly try and prove how unaffected they are by said injury.

Why? Why you gotta do this, guys? Just take the ibuprofen and use the heat pack and lay still for a few damn days. It’s not being a baby to take care of yourself! Gah.

Then my man got the first flu-like illness of the season. He was feeling very crummy, but at least he’s old enough to just take the ibuprofen and use the heat pack and lay still for a few damn days.

Not to be outdone by father or brother, the youngest decided his bones were all way too pristine. First trip to the ER for that one. Frankly, I’m surprised it took so long. If any of my kids can be considered “extreme,” it’s that one. He mushed an arm bone.

That’s how they explained it. It’s a type of fracture that happens when the bone bends too much but doesn’t actually snap. The x-ray looked like someone had just pushed on the side of the bone with something flat, like a ruler. It’s just…mushed.

Gawd that kid is tough. Almost no crying. In fact, the triage nurse and doc in the ER at first thought he was kind of faking. The doc came back with the x-ray results and said, “Well, this is surprising.”

He just doesn’t cry. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t in a ton of pain. I could see the signs. He gets fidgetty. His answers get short and he holds his breath. And he was shaking like a leaf for hours. He just does not cry.

Not in front of other people, anyway.

They give you a temporary cast in the ER now. When I was a kid, a friend of mine and I decided that THE thing to do was play full contact basketball. On a lawn. Yeah, that ended pretty much how you’d expect.

When I got to the ER, they gave me a full cast right there. After a few days, the swelling went down and my ankle could wiggle around in there so much that I think the only thing the cast really did was collect the coins my older sister decided to stick down it to piss me off. And a knitting needle, a broken plastic fork, and car from the Game of Life.

…don’t ask.

My kiddo got a temporary cast in the ER, then went back a couple days later to get his hard cast. He got a bright red one and can’t wait to show it off at school today.

The cast person asked if he was going to let friends sign it. He thought for a minute, then said, “I don’t know. I have some pretty inappropriate friends. I don’t think I want to wear what they’re going to write.”

Smart boy. I hobbled around with more than one Sharpied “fart” on my cast for six weeks.

Because I don’t need anyone else getting sick or injured, I put gas masks and hazmat suits on the other two, then wrapped them in bubble wrap. There were some muffled noises. Maybe protests. Who knows? Couldn’t really hear them through the masks and wrap. Eh, they’ll be fine. I will MAKE them be fine.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. Agree with the conflicts and wars or not, we live in a world that requires soldiers. Some other asshole is ALWAYS going to be waving a pointed stick at us, and I, for one, am very thankful for the women and men who willingly put aside their lives to protect and defend our nation. I may be an anti-conflict hippie at heart, but I most definitely love and respect the military. As much as we might want Utopia, we don’t have it. The military keeps us safe when morons try to prove it.

Being Veteran’s Day, there were many posts on Facebook thanking vets. Paying homage. Poems in tribute and all that. Some were well intentioned but eye-rolling in their insincerity. Some were very moving. Some were powerful. I’m guessing all were appreciated by the veterans.

However, I noticed a trend I hadn’t seen before.

People started posting Veteran’s Day posts in honor of military service animals.

Like, “Thank you to the women and men who risked your lives for us, but who I’d REALLY like to remember today is a fucking dog. He sniffed soldier asses and licked his balls with courage. And let’s not even talk about the way he chased that tennis ball in the line of service. I mean, it was an Iraqi tennis ball. Now THAT’S bravery.”

Let’s just forget for a minute that there are zero military service animals looking at Facebook to read your thanks in the first place. Let’s not even bother to address what kind of mental state it takes for a person to post a thank you to a¬†god dammed horse on Facebook. We’ll just accept that in someone’s warped mind, animals have FB accounts and are touched to read messages from average citizens about their service. I’ll sadly stipulate to these facts even though everything inside is now weeping for the world.

All that aside…

Really? We’re really going to dilute the importance of Veteran’s Day by thanking animals? It’s not enough that we keep cutting spending on after care for our vets? Or don’t pay them jack shit? Or rally against them when we disagree with a conflict the government has joined? We’re now going to degrade them further by taking the one day half of America remember soldiers exist and using it to thank dogs and ponies?

I understand that animals play a role in our military. I understand that those animals are loved and respected by the units that utilize them. But it’s not really the same thing, is it?

A pup is born. The breeder says, “Say, now, that’s a swell pup. Let’s give him to the military to train.” The military trains the dog to hone its skills. Maybe it’s a good sniffer and can help find mines. Maybe it’s better at detecting bombs. It could just have a cutesy-wootsey face and be a really good morale booster for the soldiers. Whatever the skills, the dog is just that. A dog. The dog made no choice to be in the military. The dog did not enlist. There was no thought whatsoever given by the animal to the potential consequences of being a military service critter. The pup didn’t worry about the family left behind, or what would happen to the rest of his litter if he died in duty. It just did what it was told to do in order to get a treat and a belly rub.

I’m not saying that the animals of the military shouldn’t be thought of or respected. In fact, when you think about it, what kind of assholes are we to make all those choices and rope OTHER DAMN SPECIES into OUR stupid fighting in the first place!? Why aren’t there robots to replace them yet? We have the technology. Make it happen!

What I AM saying is that Veteran’s Day should be for the humans who knowingly and willingly chose to make such sacrifices. Who could fully understand the scope and magnitude of their choices and still join the line to protect hippies like myself. Who somehow get okay with the idea of dying as long as they can do it FOR US.

It strikes me as such a slap in the face to say to a veteran “Thanks,” and use your very next breath to say, “But let’s not forget to also thank the brave carrier pigeons because their sacrifice was just as meaningful.”

It wasn’t, folks. It just wasn’t.

Thus concludes a quick Musing for Thursday, November 12, 2015. I didn’t make that up, you know. Someone actually posted a Veteran’s Day thank you to carrier pigeons. I…I just…*sigh*

I wonder if cats are still assholes in a parallel universe?

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Mornin’ all.

My cat’s a dick.

This is Saturday morning. With the guy’s new schedule, it’s the one morning all week that allows me to delay contributing to the kinetic energy field of my household. Kitty knows this.

“Uh, Bethie? That sounds a little…”

KITTY KNOWS THIS.

If you have a cat, you understand. If you do not have a cat, this is probably one of the reasons why. Kitty knows. She knows when I’m trying to sleep. She knows when I just want to be left alone for five more minutes. Cats can sense it. They can feel your calm and tranquility and it pricks at their little feline psyches until they MUST do something about it immediately.

So there I was, snoring peacefully like a buzzsaw, and what did the furred she-devil do? She stood by the head of the bed and meowed.

“Awww! Kitty meows are so cute!”

A kitten meowing when it’s got extra milk on it’s squiffy wiffy face is cute. A cat that slips into a fish tank and looks to you and meows one sad, yet singularly perfect response to its current situation is cute. A furry friend that sees you get your video camera out and meows in a way that sounds sort of like “I love you” is…well, that’s not really cute, is it? That’s creepy as shit.

But it’s still better than what my cat did this morning!

She said, “Mau. Mau. Mau. Mau. Mau. Mau…”

When I woke enough to mumble, “Shhfuckoff,” she turned up the volume.

“MAU. MAU. MAU. MAU. MAU…”

It was so persistent and annoying that I almost automatically hit the snooze button.

” * GASP!! * ”

Calm down. I said “almost.” The furry beast from hell remains unscathed.

I was looking through the news. Big Mars news this week, though it kind of passed under the radar. NASA sent a probe to study what remains of Mars’ atmosphere to see if it was possible to determine how a once vibrant planet became a desolate rock. As it turns out, solar winds blew the atmosphere away. Things shifted, our young star flared, Mars was in the way and paid the price.

RIP Mars. *dumps a bit of coffee out for the fallen*

“But why…”

Shh. Moment of silence, man.

*hangs head* *kisses fingers* *flashes V to the sky*

Now, what were you saying?

“I was asking why it’s big news.”

It’s big news because it proves several important theories on everything from the extent of the importance of our star, to how our solar system was formed into the kooky bitch we know and love today, to how a planet dies in relation to how it lived before…

Trust me, this is actually quite big stuff. This is the type of data dump that sparks an instant intellectual orgy among scientists.

“Then how come I didn’t hear about it?”

Because media.

NASA held a press conference. They just don’t know how to drop info in a way that gets the average Joe jazzed. They put out a notice that they had some big, big news. And then they held a press conference about Martian climate change and I think the majority of the reporters fell asleep. They wrote small, boring little articles, which most people seemed to scan for the words “alien life” before moving on when they didn’t see that the rover found a Martian baby rattle or some shit like that.

What a bummer.

I wish folks would get excited about this stuff. It *IS* exciting. Okay, perhaps it’s not thrilling in the actual findings themselves. It’s a whole lotta numbers and those suck. What’s truly exciting, and what NASA should have focused on and the media should have made even the slightest effort to convey to the public, is the potential we now have because of this information.

Look, we actually know diddly squat about the universe. Oh, we’re okay at knowing things about our own rock. Not great, mind you. Just okay. Outside our one, tiny little sphere, we don’t really “know” anything. We can observe through a lens and make theories based around those observations. But “thinking” and “knowing” are two different things. Thinking leads to more thinking. KNOWING leads to more DOING.

Every bit of info we gain from our time spent zipping the most expensive RC car and remote controlled drones ever built around a “dead” rock is precious. Each bit of info opens scientific doors that we can’t even begin to comprehend in the moment. And we just got a billion bits of new info. New proof. New knowledge.

The more we know, the further we can go.

The other huge space news that no one cared about was a light.

Now, this is another theory based on an observation. It’s only a theory. But it’s a pretty cool one.

On the edge of the observable universe, there is a light. It is not coming from within the universe. It appears to be seeping in FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE.

“Uh, Bethie? Is the use of capital letters there really necessary?”

HELL YEAH.

Think about it, man. This might just prove the multi-verse theory.

“Multi-verse theory? Shit Bethie. This is getting awful deep.”

I accidentally made the paint stripper I call coffee extra strong this morning. I wasn’t paying attention and scooped too much into the basket and thought, “Well, let’s see where this leads…” Here. That led us here. Have some. Inject some caffeinated molecules into your lethargic body and catch up.

So where was I?

In the old big bang thinking, there was a sea of nothing. That nothing got bored and pulled in on itself and created enough somethings to explode. Those exploded things created our universe and keep traveling out from that single point of origin into…a sea of nothing. You with me?

“*slurp* Yep.”

Well, that theory doesn’t make much sense, does it? How can something be made from nothing? Enter the multi-verse theory. Many universes exist. And perhaps one of them had a dense pocket of matter that got out of control. Maybe a black hole, a giant, epic black hole. Maybe even a worm hole. Whatever caused it, there was such a build up of matter in one tiny spot that it HAD to explode, to bang, to create our universe.

Now, there are those who would say that simply means we’re part of another universe, that we’re a neighborhood in an existing city, that it means that our term for “universe” is simply the problem, that we still really are just one singular universe.

Maybe it’s a terminology problem. Until now, there really wasn’t anything that made it necessary to really explore that. There was no proof either way that there was anything outside our observable universe, so redefining terms and taking a hard look at multi-verses was not necessary.

The light is there. It is real. It can be seen and it either came from us and bounced back off shit we didn’t have any idea existed, or it came FROM that unknown shit itself. Either theory is equally exciting. There is more outside of our “everything” than we thought. Is that part of us? Is that something different? Is this an issue of our universe being so much grander than we thought? Or are we a separate entity among other entities in a vastness we can’t begin to comprehend?

One little light is going to lead to so much.

How cool is that?

Thus concludes and exercise in way too much coffee way too early for Saturday, November 7, 2015. I see by your convulsions that you took me up on the offer to share my java. Please tell me you didn’t drink the entire mug?! …oh…oh shit. Uh, you might want to get to a soft, safe place and lie down. If you aren’t used to it, the aftershocks can be hell. Lie down with a damp towel over your eyes and think happy thoughts. It’ll pass.