Any Les Mis fans out there?

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*a light shines on a lone baker, center stage* *soft music begins to play*

One day more.

Another pie, another past-er-y,

On this never ending road to feed my fam-i-ly.

These customers who spend their dimes

Will surely come another time

One day more…

Mornin’ all.

Today is my tenth day straight at work. Tomorrow, I get a day off. I’m feeling a tad bit punchy, if you couldn’t tell.

Though, to be honest, isn’t starting the day off with an epic musical routine always the goal?

A coworker got injured while one of our Janes-of-all-Trades started a two week vacation. We are already short handed as it is, so it’s very hard to absorb the blow of someone missing work from being hurt.

I’ll mix the cream up fresh today

How can I pipe if it has parted?

Tomorrow I’ll be worlds away,

And yet right now my shift’s not started…

You see, we knew someone was about to get hurt. We’ve gone way too long without injury.

There’s a curse on our bakery.

No, don’t laugh. It’s true! How else would you explain the fact that in the not quite year I’ve been there, we’ve had four major injuries I can think of, if you include pregnancy. Which, let’s face it, you should.

If I worked in a large bakery, that would be a pretty fair number. Humans tend to be clumsy and inept. I do not work in a large bakery, though. I work with 7 other people. That’s it. Four major health-related reasons for missing work is a LOT in that short time span.

One more day not at my home,

One more day not in my jammies.

What a nap I might have known,

But they say they need me there…

My working theory is that someone got pissed off about an order they placed. While we do a damn fine job, mistakes happen. Or, more often, people don’t understand what they’re actually asking for when they place the order and are then ultimately disappointed when they pick up donut holes that don’t match their croquembouche dreams.

Anyway, someone was unhappy enough with their order that they hopped on a plane to New Orleans, prowled around the old quarter until they found a tiny shop filled with dried chicken feet and alligator teeth, gave the secret password to get into the hidden back room to see an ancient priestess, and had her construct a voodoo doll for each of our employees.

Only thing that makes sense when you think about it.

One more day of icing cupcakes,

We will top them with rose buds,

We’ll be ready for those orders,

They will stuff themselves with food.

Boy am I looking forward to the day off. It’s not like I’m going to do anything fabulous with it. In fact, I am going to probably catch up on housework. Woot woot. The fun don’t stop on THIS party train.

It’s just having the time to DO the housework, ya know?

I’m not a full time employee. Hell, around here it seems like “full time” is just a bedtime story folks tell their kids to trick them into staying in school. A mythical carrot dangled in front of their naive noses, just to be pulled away by modern corporate America. Some weeks I only get about 25 hours. Not these past couple weeks. Those have been almost full time. Juuuust shy so that I don’t qualify for benefits.

So not quite full time. Doesn’t sound like a lot, does it?

But then there’s the other part of life that comes with having a passel of kids. It just feels like every day I fall further behind on my list.

I’m not complaining. I like the job, I like getting money. That passel sure eats a lot and last time I checked, grocery stores weren’t giving out chickens and spuds for free. I’m just saying that tomorrow will feel damn good.

Watch them oooh and ahhh,

Get them testing treats,

Never get to rest when sales are at their peak,

Here a little taste,

There a little try,

Get ’em with a sample and then watch them buy.

Teen Prime bought me an early birthday present. Mass Effect: Andromeda. I am DYING to play it, but I am a good mummy.

…actually, I’m not. At best, I’m so-so. But, I do have my moments, and one of them is waiting to play the game until Teen Prime can be here for the weekend to watch. He loves watching people play. It didn’t work out this week, so all I can do is cast longing glances at the gleaming new game disc and smell the potential trapped within the pristine plastic.

If he could have made it down, that’s what I’d be doing from punch out time today until clock in time Monday morning. A bit of sleep in between, and I’d come up for air once in awhile to make sure the passel had wrassled up some grub and weren’t bleeding. Instead, we clean. *sigh* Hey, at least we get to clean at home, right?

Gaming. That would have been an awesome way to spend …

Tomorrow I won’t be at the baker-ay. Tomorrow I’ll clean house all day…

Tomorrow we’ll discover

What our laundry piles have in store.

One more tart,

One more caaaaaake,

ONE

DAY

MORE

Thus concludes a…Musing? Is it, though? Is it REALLY? Or is it more like insane rambling?…for Saturday, March 25, 2017. I get it, Weird Al. Props.

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Who the hell invited Stella!?

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Mornin’ all.

So here’s the thing. Two weeks ago, it was 65. Sunny. T-shirts were dusted off and donned by the citizens of the area eager to let the door hit Winter in its ass on the way out.

Of course, spaghetti strap tank tops that stop way too short and hot pants that would have been better off left on the store shelf also came into play. Can’t have a warm day without a few folks stuffing themselves into knit wear that’s probably silently weeping the whole time.

“Bethie! Are you fat shaming?”

No. I am refusal-to-wear-the-proper-sized-clothing shaming. They make clothes in different sizes for a reason. If wearing your clothes tests the physical limits of thread, you should wear a bigger size. If your feet turn purple because your hot pants are cutting off your circulation, you should wear a bigger size. If you need “someone to pull it up while I suck it in” to get any part of it zipped, you should probably go ahead and wear a bigger size.

Trust me. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. Stop obsessing over the number and just wear what actually fits.

Anyway, we were all enjoying the laid back intro to spring, when Mother Nature said, “Psych.”

Winter storm Stella. They have named my enemy. Supposed to be a real nasty piece of work, too. They’re talking potential FEET of snow. In mid March. Not unprecedented by any means, but not a common occurrence. March snow tends to be a few inches of heavy, wet stuff that melts away in a day or two. This one? This one’s gonna take a bit longer.

It has put me in a funk. I am vexed. *slurps coffee* And the coffee’s not doing all that much to help, if I’m going to be honest. I woke up with heart burn and didn’t want to make it worse, so I watered down the usual varnish. Just doesn’t have the normal kick in the ass my body has come to expect.

Maybe I’ll grab a fresh cup, full strength, and just do a Pepto chaser.

“Ew.”

Snowstorm. Heartburn. And my cat shredded a whole roll of tp in the night. I gotta get this shit turned around. I still have to work, and you can’t make a nice cake when you’re pissy. Hm. What can we do to make this day better?

*whisper from off stage*

Hang on a sec. One of my go-go dancers is trying to get my attention.

*whispers**muttering**sound of a guitar tuning echoes through the quiet living room*

I’m back, and I have a plan. *achem* Oh, yeah, sorry. WE have a plan. *waves finger* Cue the go-go dancers and fire up the catchy theme music, because we’re going to have ourselves a….

* * HEADLINE ROUNDUP !!! * * *

Let’s thank the dancers for their most excellent idea! And while we’re at it, give a hand to the band. They totally nailed that intro.

Yes, it’s a Roundup. We haven’t done one in awhile, so for any newbs out there, here’s the deal: News is stupid. Often the headlines reflect the idiocy. I scour the internet news sites looking for tidbits that jump out at me. Sometimes they’re poorly worded, sometimes they’re confusing, and sometimes they just put an image in my head that I must share. The headlines are always 100% real. I just supply the heartburn-fueled snarkiness after.

Up to speed? Good! Then let’s get right to it.

-Conway on Surveillance: We Have ‘Microwaves That Turn Into Cameras’

Oh no. Oh honey, no.

– Is Preet Bharara Trying To Tell Us Something?

I don’t know. Is Preet Bharara talking? Because if he is, then the answer is probably yes. #TheMoreYouKNow

– N. Korea Warns of ‘Merciless’ Strikes As U.S. Carrier Joins S. Korea Drills

Aw, whatsamatta Kim Jong? Did Donald Trump stealing the “Most Insane Ruler” championship belt hurt your feelings?

*sidenote: Can we please, PLEASE actually make that belt happen? I’m thinking huge, like a WWE belt, only not as classy.

“Not as…classy??”

You heard me. Make it happen.

– Florida Agency Puts Out A Want Ad For Python Killers

Is “python killer” slang? Is that…is that the female version of “pussy slayer?”

“BETHIE!”

In my defense, it’s Florida. It’s a fair question.

– Conway Isn’t the Only One Afraid of Microwaves That Spy

Of course not. There is an organized society of people who not only believe the earth is flat, but PUBLICALY believe the earth is flat. They’re so convinced that we live on a dinner plate that they SAY SO OUT LOUD. Of COURSE there are people who think we’re being spied on while we nuke our leftovers. Just make them all some tin foil hats and go about your lives.

– Conway Isn’t the Only One Afraid of Microwaves That Spy

Look, I’m not saying it’s not possible. I’m saying it’s inept. We don’t need to use microwaves to spy. We’ve got far better, more reliable, more controllable ways of spying on every aspect of our citizens lives. If the government wants to spy on you, they can. And they can do so much more efficiently than using microwaves. Someone’s reading old spy novels again. I think we need to enroll the White House in a book of the month club and get some modern day CIA action on their radar. Er, an audio book of the month club. At least then the conspiracy theories would be current.

– Harvey Still Has Bodyguards With Him After Flub

Oh for FUCK’S SAKE Steve Harvey! Get over yourself. No one’s trying to kill you. It just didn’t matter all that much. Shit.

– Rubio Warns Snoop Dogg on Trump Video

…well there’s a headline I don’t think anyone expected.

– Rare Find Revisited: A Barn Full of ‘Birds’ 10 Years Later

I would like to think they are actual birds, because the thought of a documentarian being so desperate for a story that he goes back to a barn to film some damn pigeons 10 years later is dark humor I can get behind. The look on his face when he realizes they all died about 5 years ago would be film legend.

– Celeb Couples Who’ve Split in 2017

Awful early in the year to be pulling this one out. You’re wasting the best click bait. What the hell are you going to write about in November? You might actually have to report…news! *gasp*

– Ramirez’s Contract in Japan Has Some Hilarious Perks

…okay, I’ll bite. *reads* He gets a hotel room. He can opt out of practices in certain circumstances. He gets a car and driver. He has a meal budget. …and that’s it. Honestly, I can barely type through the laughter wracking my body.

– GM Has A Huge Supply of Unsold Cars

That’s called “inventory,” dear.

– Was Jane Austen Poisoned? New Evidence About the Writer’s Weakened Eyes Raises Questions

Holy shit, just the breakthrough Scotland Yard has been waiting for! Maybe they can finally arrest the guy. #JusticeForJane

– Europe Is Facing 4 Existential Tests. Can It Hold Together?

Oh, I know this one! Okay, Europe, when you get to the huge knot, just cut it. Saves so much time. #TopTip

– UK Cruise Ship Damages Pristine Indonesian Coral Reef

But the vacation pics Buffy and Skip got were totes worth it.

– WH Analysis Projects Bigger Health Care Coverage Gap than CBO

So what they’re talking about here is the Republican backed ACA health care replacement proposition. You know, the one that Trump ordered the Republicans to present? Yeah, now Trump is desperately trying to distance himself from the disgraceful piece of potential legislation. Think about that. It’s so bad that DONALD FUCKING TRUMP won’t even put his name on it. No jokes on this one. Please, PLEASE encourage your representatives to shoot this puppy down.

– Florida Girl Writes Letter To Burglar Who Targeted Her House

What a great way to get back at the burglar. I’m sure that she’ll read it and feel just awful about what she’s done. Then she’ll call you and tearfully apologize and you can meet up for coffee to allow her to cleanse herself by confessing and you can go about your life knowing that because of your letter, she will never burgle another house again, you noble crusader, you.

*heavy sigh*

– Facebook Bans Use of Its Data For Surveillance Tools

So, you know, don’t microwave popcorn when you’ve got the FB app open.

– Snaphash Is An Augmented Reality Weed Doctor For Your iPhone

I have absolutely no idea what the hell I just read.

– On Galapagos, Revealing the Blue-Footed Booby’s True Colors

Red. They dip their feet in blue paint just to screw with the scientists. Shh.

– How To Reset Your Body Clock For Daylight Saving Time

Don’t do it! Go rogue. #DamnTheMan

– The Controversial Campaign for Canada’s National Bird

Canada’s got a different set of criteria for what constitutes a controversy, don’t they?

– Boaty McBoatface Embarks on Its Maiden Voyage This Week

Remember the campaign to name the exploration submarine last year? Boaty McBoatface won the internet contest to name the serious, highly tuned scientific sub, but the society decided to choose a different, more respectable name. However, the pressure from the internet got too great and they have officially renamed the technological wonder Boaty McBoatface. Well done, internet. This makes me proud.

– Trump Has a New Rocket and Spaceship. Where Will He Go?

Where? Irrelevant. The only question is “WHEN?” #SendTrumpToMars.Personally.StuffHimIntoASpaceshipAndLaunchThatSucker

– The 50 Hottest Video Games You Shouldn’t Miss in 2017

They lead the article with the remastered Crash Bandicoot. The thumbnail is…Crash Bandicoot. The opening graphic is a still from…CRASH BANDICOOT. Are. You. KIDDING me?! Mass Effect: Andromeda? The Last Of Us 2? Red Dead 2? Breath of the FREAKIN’ WILD??? But no. NO. Crash. Bandicoot. Fistbump to all those who feel my outrage. #CRASH.BANDICOOT.REALLY!???

– John Cena Reveals Surprising Video Game Choice

Spoiler: it’s not Crash Fucking Bandicoot!

– Our Black Hole Has Been “Eating Snacks” For the Last 6 Million Years

Aaaand that’s it. I’m out. When you start talking about what you put in your black hole, it’s time to get off the internet.

Had to ruin it for everyone, didn’t you, IBT?

Thus concludes a quick Roundup for Pi Day, 2017. If there wasn’t a storm, the amount of puns at the bakery would get old. I guess that’s one thing to thank Stella for.

A legitimate argument for bringing back typewriters…

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Episode 8/6/17…in which we check in on our heroine, who was bravely battling electronic gremlins and digital devilkins when last we met…

Mornin’ all.

‘Member that temp fix I did to allow me to babble for a bit? Yeah. Like duct tape on a crack in a dam, it didn’t hold. However, we have a brand new hard drive.

“Oooh, I thought it looked bright and fresh in here.”

Yes, but the newness came with a price. Doesn’t it always? Microsoft removed a very handy tool that used to be built into their software which would allow us to move programs from one hard drive to the other. The forums said to use this outside software. Microsoft’s web page pointed us to the same thing, saying they had “partnered with” this other company. We even called tech support and got a woman who just suggested we copy and paste…

*techie top tip: You cannot do this with a program. Individual files? Sure. But a program? No. Otherwise pirating software would be as simple as a right click. Programs embed parts of their coding tree all through OTHER programs, just to make sure that if you DO try to right click and paste, you won’t get what you need to actually use the program. And a techie at Microsoft’s call center should at least know that.*

…which sent the man of the house into an incredulous fit of scoffing befuddlement. After being briefly educated by said partner, she put him on hold to go ask for another opinion, came back, and said that the company recommends the same software we saw everywhere.

We got the software.

We should not have gotten the software.

It hiccuped in the middle of transferring the data, and almost everything on that hard drive was lost.

Again.

*sigh*

Okay. It’s not as bad as it might sound. Since the build we did after last year’s Electrical Apocalypse, I was never comfortable with the replacement hard drive, or the Windows 10 To Go OS we used. We were broke and had to take the cheapest option. Because of this, I never stored too much on it. I did not trust it, and as a result, I didn’t lose much. A couple of photos, some writing that I do not want to talk about because it was almost finished and it may just send me into a rage because I’m really trying hard to oooohhhhhmmmm the hell out of this situation and you bringing it up and asking for details is making it REALLY FUCKING HARD TO…

“Whoa Bethie! Easy, now. I won’t talk about it anymore! *grabs coffee* Here. Take it.”

*chugs rotgut* *the sizzle of the stomach lining brings the beast back into the present* *deep, albeit slightly inhibited by the burning pain, breath*

Thanks. Sorry.

“Namaste.”

Indeed.

Long and short, we’ve got a spiffy new hard drive full of wonders and possibilities, clearly I was not going down the right path with that book, and Microsoft can suck my dick.

“Why don’t you use a different OS?”

*snort* You know, people always say that. But when you get right down to it, why? They make the easiest to use, plug and play operating system. While not without flaws, it is the industry standard. I almost never have to tweak a program to get it to run without hassle on Windows. I can dig around and shut off annoying features without fear of tanking the whole thing…

It’s like shopping at Wal-mart. Everyone pretends to hate it. And on a visceral level, maybe we all really do. But when you’re on vacation and you realize you forgot to pack socks and underwear and your kid just fell into the Peabody river when you DAMN WELL TOLD THEM NOT TO HOP ON THE ROCKS, and now it’s 5:30 pm, starting to rain, and your hubby is griping about the goddamn traffic while the wet, hungry kid yammers that he’s cold, something inside you warms at the sight of a Wal-mart sign. Don’t even pretend like you don’t understand what I’m saying right now.

When push comes to shove, I’m glad I use Windows.

That said, Microsoft, your software partnership is ass, your tech support is a joke, and your fucking “To Go” build is worse than Windows ME.

*fistbump to anyone who understands just how horrible that is*

Yesterday was a big day. Teen Beta turned 18! I now have two adult children. *sniff* I made it clear to the other two that this trend is really getting old, and I forbade them from growing anymore. Of course, I had to look up at Teen 2.0’s laughing face to tell him this as he’s over 6 feet tall now. And the youngest pup laughed and said, “Can’t stop, won’t stop.”

I get the feeling that they did not take my dire warning as dire.

He’s 18. Man. I don’t talk about it all that much, because it’s not exactly my story to tell, but he’s the one that had cancer when he was 10. In fact, it was on his 10th birthday that I noticed an odd lump on his neck. It was the weekend, and he had just played his saxophone in a concert. The lump was right about where the strap would have rested, and we figured it was swollen because of that. Honestly, it wasn’t much of a lump. Certainly didn’t seem like anything to worry about.

He went to his Mum’s house for his birthday, and she called the next day saying that overnight it seemed that the lump grew. She brought him back, and we got him to his doctor, who sent us up to the hospital immediately. At that point, they thought he had “cat scratch fever”, and we tormented him with the Nugent song. When the antibiotics did nothing, though, and the lump grew instead of shrank, we brought him back a couple days later.

I will never forget that visit.

The man and Teen Beta (then only 10 year old Beta) were in the doctor’s office, and I was in the waiting room with the youngest pup, only a couple years old at the time. The pup was coloring, and I was chatting with the cashier of a local dent ‘n bent I was casually friendly with over the years. She was there because her husband had an ear infection, and we chatted while we waited for our folks to get out of their appointments.

The doctor came out. Not my husband, not the cat scratched kiddo. The doctor. That is NEVER good. He called me over.

“I’ll watch him,” the cashier said, pointing to the little one.

I followed the doctor into the hallway. He had a look on his face that made me want to run away. “I didn’t want to tell your husband in front of *child’s name*, but I’ve seen this a couple times before and in every case, it’s been cancer. I am going to tell them that the appointment I schedule is a routine exam, but it’s actually a biopsy. I’ll have my nurse bring you the information. I don’t want the boy worrying yet.” He put a hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m so sorry.”

I think that every person gets blindsided at least once in their life, truly blindsided with a situation that takes them utterly by surprise slapping down upon their shoulders a heavy burden that they never saw coming. We never saw it coming. It wasn’t on our radar. Cancer is slow. Cancer takes time. It was just an infection…it HAD to be! It popped up so very fast, they MUST be wrong!

I went back to the waiting area shaking. I’m generally a private person.

“*scoff*”

No, not here. Here is my outlet. But in person, I tend to keep everything surface-level with people. It is not a good trait. I’m aware.

That day, I could not keep things to myself. It was too much, and I started to cry on the shoulder of the cashier I barely knew.

There are moments in life you remember for their sheer impact. Getting told the kiddo had cancer was one, and yet, sitting in the waiting room being comforted in such a personal way by someone I barely knew was another…for an entirely different reason. I will never, ever forget that connection I made with her that day.

…in a twist, a few months later one of Teen Beta’s chemos gave him a reaction and he had to be brought to the emergency room. The cashier was there in the waiting room. Her husband had just suffered a heart attack, and it was my turn to comfort her. Anyone who says life is boring is just plain wrong.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stage 4C, by the way. That’s what the kiddo had. In his chest, around his lungs, in his leg. In the few days it took for them to do a biopsy and get us into an oncology appointment at the major hospital in the area, the nodes grew from the size of peas to the size of large grapes. It was fast, aggressive, and everywhere. It was so aggressive, in fact, that as soon as he was declared cancer-free, it came right back and he had a stem cell transplant, where the doctors seemed to try their damnedest to do the poor boy in. All of that began right after his 10th birthday.

And yesterday, he turned 18.

You know what? I think I found my calming mantra.

Thus concludes a Musing for Wednesday, March 8, 2017. I have the day off! …but not, because holy shit has the housework piled up. Methinks its a day to put “Hoarders” on in the background. You know, keep me motivated…