Can the smell of sulfur give you a hangover?

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Mornin’ all.

Boy, what a day of celebrating our nation’s independence yesterday!

…for other people. I actually ended up going in to work for the morning to make a wedding cake. I didn’t mind going in, but it did raise a few questions that you’re probably asking as well. I’ll sum up the answers for you.

Yes, the couple was getting married on the 4th of July. No, I didn’t make any jokes to the bride about the irony of shackling herself to another human being on “Independence” Day. And yes, in fact I DO feel that it’s beyond selfish to have your wedding on a holiday.

“Bethie, didn’t we just trash on selfish brides last time?”

Fair enough. I’m just feeling a little testy this morning. I got shit for sleep last night, and I think there are some firework ashes in my morning Joe. To be honest, aside from the slight tang of sulfur on the finish, there’s not a whole lot of difference than the usual morning tar I make…

I’m in a bad mood, and my redneck town put me in this funk. It was the noise. The bangs. The booms. The whizzes and hisses and sizzles.

All.

Fucking.

Night.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I friggin’ love fireworks. We’ve spoken of my pyro admiration before. In fact, if we had even a couple bucks of spare cash this year that did not have to go immediately into fixing the cars, we would have been giddy, fireworking rednecks ourselves.

However, WE would have shot them off at a reasonable hour in consideration for everyone who has to get up this morning and face a regular old Tuesday at work.

Around 10 p.m., the barrage was constant. Makes sense. Late enough to be really dark, but not so late that people will oversleep their alarms in the morning. I could deal with that.

By 11, as I was staring up at the crack in my ceiling that looks like an “H”, I was thinking, “Okay. They’ve GOT to do the finale soon…”

But they didn’t, folks. They just kept setting them off. As the hours dragged, there started to be lulls in the activity. The drunk people got distracted by Stairway to Heaven or some shit and forgot the rest of the fireworks Bubba had in the back of his Bronco. I’d get a few minutes of silence, just long enough to be able to drift off, before Bubba had his hazy “aw shit tha’s what I was gonna do” moment and remembered he still had a bag they hadn’t lit up yet, bro.

At 2 a.m., there was a mega boom that shook my windows. In milliseconds, Panic Kitty raced across my chest, Wolverine claws out.

And then, of course, once the aftershocks of the last redneck-nuke stopped echoing through the valley, I was left trying to sleep angry.

Don’t you hate trying to sleep angry?

It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. The brain starts listing every single thing you’ve ever been mad about and you work yourself up into a good old snit. You roll over to get more comfortable, but the blankie bunches and that pisses you off more. The pillow has the audacity to be lumpy and warm, and you can’t get the goddamn fan to blow on your face without your fucking hair breaking loose and squiggling across your nose.

Trying to sleep angry is the worst.

So I got up at 4. More accurately, I gave up at 4. I’m slugging back this sulfur-infused rotgut I call coffee and hoping for the best. When my kids get up for school in a foul mood, I always tell them to go to school and come back with a sweeter disposition. Methinks I need to apply the same annoying edict to myself today.

Looming over us is another major car repair. At the moment I call it major, because we actually don’t know what caused my work horse to begin suddenly veering left and right. I wasn’t in the car when it happened. The man of the house was using my car because it had been acting funny, and he’s had much more experience behind the wheel of a hoopdie than I have. He’s fairly unflappable when it comes to limping home a broken rig, so when he came in the other night literally shaking like a leaf, I knew something was very seriously wrong.

My beastie sits in the drive, slumped down in defeat.

I had someone suggest to me that it was the steering rack. I, too, had thought of it, and immediately dismissed the idea. Not because it’s not valid or possible, because it totally is both. In fact, were I being a realist about it, I believe it’s probably even likely. But, I do not have a replacement steering rack, so it cannot be that.

…that’s how car repairs work, right?

I’m personally hoping we cracked a few major bushings or something, which is also extremely likely. Remember, we only paid $800 for the car two years ago and it was in such rough shape that it didn’t really have a functional floor. I can think of three bushings that could cause dangerously sloppy steering if they fall apart, so let’s hope for that. I mean, I don’t have spares of those on me, but they’re a helluva lot cheaper and easier to source than a steering rack for a 30 year old German diesel.

Teen Prime had his trip to Atlanta! Remember he placed third in the state for a game design competition through FBLA? The nationals in Atlanta were this past week. He said he’s not sure how he placed. They only posted the results for the top 10, and his team wasn’t on that list. He’s not a bit disappointed, though. He got three days in a new city, and seemed to love every minute of it.

I…I think somehow I gave birth to someone who…likes…traveling???

How does this happen? Is this some sort of rebellion? What’s next? Is he going to want to be an ACCOUNTANT, too!?? WHERE DID I GO WRONG???

…in all honesty, I’m very pleased that at least one of the kids wants to go out and see. He wants to go somewhere new and touch and taste. He wants to experience and do and try. And no bullshit, I love that. Somehow I managed to create a human that wants to go beyond the safe and the known, and I think that’s fantastic. Think of the postcards I’ll get!

Postcards are still a thing, right?

Speaking of travel, did you read the news that Juno has made it to Jupiter!? NASA’s latest probe locked into orbit around our solar system’s largest planet in the wee hours. Well, our wee hours. Who knows what the time was on Jupiter? There aren’t really locals there to tell us in which manner they arbitrarily mark “time”.

…or ARE there?

Maybe hidden under all those dark, swirling sulfuric clouds are Jupiterian rednecks scrambling to hide their spent, smoking firework shells from the Jupiterian cops, too.

“Wow Bethie. You really didn’t sleep last night, did you?”

Now, I’m not really expecting to find Jupiterians setting off fireworks. Do you even know the odds against that? They’re astronomical.

“*groan*”

But, there really is a chance we could find evidence of some sort of life forms that exist, or existed at some point in Jupiter’s stormy history. Just a cell. That’s all we’d need to see to help us better understand life.

And even if we don’t manage to find life, we will still be able to fill in some gaps in our knowledge void about why or why not. Juno is about to start sending us digital postcards from 370 MILLION miles away.

Fuck inconsiderate yokels and their cans of powdered thunder. We just sent a robot 370 million miles to unlock the secrets of an entirely different planet. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.

Thus concludes a ramble for Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Is it bad that I was only half kidding about “knowing” Jupiterians don’t exist? Come on, admit it. There’s part of you that’s hoping, too…

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