All too quiet on the Eastern front…

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Mornin’ all.

As it turns out, this week had a couple life lessons in store for me.

First, never buy McCafe coffee, no matter how good the sale or how big the coupon. I’m not talking about the cups of it you get at McDonald’s. That’s fine. Rather bland, but overall fine. I’m talking about the cans of grounds you bring home and brew yourself. Those are not fine. They not bland, either. The grounds have a distinctive tinny taste with light notes of rotting tree bark and a bouquet of dirt. Avoid it. Learn from my mistakes.

The other big thing I learned this week is that “empty nest” is going to royally suck when it happens. The littlest pup is on a school trip until Friday afternoon and I am finding myself adrift. It’s been compounded by the offspring formerly known as Teen Prime (still working on a new nickname) and my man having closing shifts all week. That leaves just me and Teen 2.0. And the cat. And maybe a mouse, but I don’t hear him this morning so the cat may have erased him from the equation as well.

RIP Stuart. *pours a bit of peanut butter out for the homie*

It’s a quiet week in my natural habitat and I do not like quiet weeks.

Ah well. The littlest pup is only 12. I figure I still have at least six years of the older kids slowly moving away to get acclimatized to the Impending Quiet Years. I’m just not a fan of the preview.

Shit coffee, quiet house, another round of “where did the cat stash the body” on the horizon. *sigh* You know what we need? A pick me up. Cue the go-go dancers. Strike up the band. I think we need a…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP * * *

Let’s give it up for our new dancer, Chaz! He auditioned over the summer and has been training his ass off. Judging by that split, I’d say the hard work has paid off! Bravo Chaz! Welcome aboard!

You all know how this works, but let me fill in any newbs. I scour the internet for news headlines that pop out at me. I feel like I have to start mentioning that I try my best to stick to actual news outlets. Fake news breeds funny- but also fake- headlines, and that’s not what I want. I pull from sources like MSN news, Yahoo News, CNN, local channels, Fox, BBC… Big and classically “respectable” news outlets. I’m not looking for intentionally bad headlines. I’m looking for mistakes, poorly worded snippets, or just a regular old headline that conjures a scene in my head I want to share. All of the headlines are real. I just supply the commentary/snark/screen play.

*glances at Chaz, still bowing on stage* Um, can someone come get Chaz so I can get right into it?

*quick little flurry of activity* *Chaz takes final bow while being pulled off stage with a giant hook*

Sorry about that. He’s new. Shall we begin?

– Omarosa Releases Tape of Sanders Agreeing With Trump’s ‘Lies’
Is it really “earth-shattering” if the secret recording contains the same things Sanders publicly tells the press every single day? I guess the take away is that Sanders is as dumb in private as she is in public.

– Trebek Has Beard and We Have All Sorts of Questions
What questions could you POSSIBLY have? It’s a fucking beard. It’s self-explanatory.

– Doctors Reattach Girl’s Leg Backwards So She Can Dance
Moonwalk level: MASTER

– Georgia School Reinstates Paddling As Punishment
Calm down, guys. They’re *only* allowed to administer “three licks on the bottom with a wooden paddle not to exceed 24 inches in length.” It’s not abuse if it’s state sanctioned, right?

– Principal Paddled Elementary Students So Hard They Bruised, Parents Say
WHAT *clap* THE *clap* FUCK *clap* DID *clap* YOU *clap* EXPECT!?! You gave the school permission to beat your child. News flash, genius: If you hit a six year old with a wooden paddle, it’s going to hurt them, you ignorant, abusive son of a bitch. MAYBE DON’T LET ANYONE BEAT YOUR CHILD WITH A STICK, M’KAY??!!!

– Yellowstone Hit By Global Warming
Would be weird if it wasn’t. That’s pretty much how the “global” part works.

– This is Why You Shouldn’t Pop Advil Like Candy
Oh holy shit. Have we really reached a point in society where the news needs to tell people the difference between medicine and candy??

– Trump Admin Wants to Make It Easier To Release Methane Into the Air
Look, I hate the guy, but when someone’s as full of hot gas as Trump, you kind of have to let him vent it.

– 1 in 5 Floridians Say They Won’t Evacuate for a Category 4 Storm
Oh, Florida.

– Candidate After Siblings Endorse His Foe: ‘Stalin Would Be Proud’
I’MMA TELL MOM!

– Woman Stole Ambulance, Led Cops on Chase for 39th Arrest
It was the big 3-9, folks. She had to do something special.

– Rainbow Flag-burning Priest Removed from Church By Cardinal
You burn a flag, you get kicked out. You rape some kids, you get promoted. Hard to figure out your line, Catholics…

– No Whispering, Just Horses and City Kids, Learning On A Farm
“Now listen up, you lilly livered city slickers. I don’t care what you’re used to in the ‘hood. Out in these parts, we don’t tolerate any of that namby pamby sneak talky *air quotes* whisperin’ *air quotes*. Do I make myself clear?”

– After ‘Sexual Racism’ Accusations, Gay Dating App Grindr Gets ‘Kindr’
In a nutshell, folks are gobsmacked that a hook up site where people browse for booty calls based on nothing but superficial three second views of a selfie might breed an unhealthy environment of snap judgments and biases. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying sites like Grindr shouldn’t exist. Get your freak on. My problem is with the people pretending to be surprised and offended that the whole thing is biased and judgy.

– Purdue Holds Gender-neutral Homecoming, Honoring ‘Royalty’ Rather Than King, Queen
Or maybe just have a fun party where the point is a good time for everyone and not a popularity contest? Could do that, too, ya know. #WokeFAIL

– Greek Beach Completely Covered in Giant Spider Webs
Aaaaaand Greece is over. It was a good run, guys. We’ll remember you fondly.

– Annual Oktoberfest Kicks Off in Munich With Beer
WHAT? BEER at Oktoberfest!? How in the hell did Reuters score such a scoop?

– Young Catholics Shun Modern Life, Embrace Religion in U.K.
“Should we cloister ourselves and shun modern life, Pip?” “I don’t know. I’ve heard about the baby raping, but did you see how woke the church is when it comes to burning pieces of cloth?” “Indeed, my good man, that shit is dope.”

– Man Accused of Kidnapping A Woman And Masturbating On her After He ‘Choked Her Out’ Is Given ‘One Pass’, Won’t Serve Jail Time
Accused? He pleaded guilty. He admitted to offering a woman a ride, then taking her to a secluded area so he could choke her unconscious and jack off on her incapacitated body. He admitted this. And the judge believed that in the year since he had turned his life around and said this is his “one pass.” He got time served and probation. And this woman gets a lifetime of terrified flashbacks and legitimate anguish. WHY DON’T VICTIMS REPORT? Maybe because the system and even the fucking media STILL slants these things against those victim. Sometimes people take shit too far in their outrage. I get that. But when the guy pleads guilty, only gets probation, and the leading headline from a supposedly liberal news organization like The Washington Post still classifies it as only an accusation, HOW am I wrong to be angry on behalf of the victim??

– Critics Say Race and Privilege Helped A Wealthy Teen Beat A Murder Charge
I’ve already got a headache from rolling my eyes this morning. I can’t even anymore.

– Teacher Uses Toddler to Steal Prizes from Game Machine
The dude shoved his little kid inside the prize drop area of a claw machine and had him climb into the part that holds all the loot to grab as much as he could. What concerns me is not that a man who can think a scheme like that up in the first place is a teacher. I mean, come on, that’s fairly clever. What worries me for the youth he taught is his complete and utter lack of understanding of life in the modern world. Cameras, cell phones, Instagram, Facebook, Google Overlords…there is no way to commit this type of crime in a department store and NOT get caught. What an idiot.

– 7 Year-Old With Terminal Cancer Crowned Homecoming Queen
“BETHIE NO! *slams warning button* IT’S A CHILD WITH CANCER!”

Calm down. I wasn’t going in on the kid with cancer. I was just bringing you today’s top headline in MSN’s “Good News” section. This is the “good news” for today.

“…oh. THAT’S what they consider good news? That’s pretty messed up.”

And now you see why I had to share. I appreciate that you’re quick on the “don’t let Bethie tank herself on the internet with one bad joke” button, but have a little confidence in me.

– This Photo Has Not Been Edited, Look Closer At The Hole
Oh ho ho. Nice try, internet, but I’m not falling for THAT trap again.

– Alabama Revisits Ten Commandments, Hoping For Help From Kavanaugh
This isn’t hard, people: Keep your churchy shit outta my kids’ schooly shit. It’s honestly that simple.

– New Kavanaugh Accuser Emerges
Let’s get real for a second. Why is anyone pretending to be surprised by this rich kid preppy asswad entitled culture that we ALL know exists? YES he was a fucko. YES he was a shithead. YES he could get away with it because his parents’ dollars were big enough to hide behind. Gah. I wish people would drop the “WHAAAA? I never HEARD of this type of culture in OUR America!” act.

– Mattis: ‘The Jury Is Out’ On Women Serving In Combat Roles
No it’s not. Around the world, and throughout human history, women have served ably in combat. Let’s correct this headline to say what Mattis actually means. American Men Continue To Be Butthurt About Women Kicking Ass On The Front Lines

– Bill Cosby Sentenced To 3 to 10 Years In State Prison
Finally!

– Pussy Riot Member Was In ‘Black Hole’ Following Possible Poisoning
Maybe don’t use “pussy” and “black hole” in the same headline. It’s the internet. Just sayin’.

– Iran’s Rouhani Says Trump Has ‘A Nazi Disposition’
Don. DON. Listen. If even I-frickin’-RAN thinks you’re too much with the racism, then it might just be time to step back and reassess.

– This ‘Robotic Skin’ Can Bring Your Stuffed Toys To Life
Aw HELL no.

– Kanye West Says He Changed His Name To Ye
sure. why not. k.

– Ricin Sent to Trump: A THIRD Envelope Containing White Powder Intercepted
Wow. Okay, kids, here’s a quick little School House Rock teaching moment about political basics. If the president dies, the vice president takes control. Stop sending the pompous buffoon poison before we end up with the man who not only wants rich white dudes in power while their women stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but has a big enough brain to figure out how to start making that happen if he gets into a position of real power and control. #Ican’tBelieveI’mSayingThis,ButDon’tPoisonTrump

– Ricin Sent to Trump: A THIRD Envelope Containing White Powder Intercepted
Now that I’m mulling it over, this might not actually be as nefarious as it seems. I think his constituents might be trying to send him a gift, not trying to harm him. If you’re one of the people just trying to send Donny a present, let me help you out. It’s not white powDer that he wants, guys. You’ve added a letter there, see? Easy mistake.

– Trump’s NATO Ambassador Sets Off Diplomatic Incident
Is anyone surprised? *crickets**crickets* Yeah, didn’t think so. Please don’t nuke us, Russia.

– Facebook Inc.’s Instagram App Down In Many Cities
But…but…how will we keep track what people ate for dinner???

– She Had No Sanitary Pads. No One Knew And No One Helped
Hang on. Is someone SUPPOSED to help when you don’t have a pad? Are we supposed to have some menstruary fairy I don’t know about?? I’mma hafta check my woman handbook and get back to you…

– Why Elephants Have Cracks In Their Skin
Because their moisturizing routine is basic af.

– Outside Counsel in Kavanaugh Hearing Told GOP She Would Not Have Been Able To Prosecute With Evidence Available To Her
I love how the GOP is trying to spin this as a win for them. Of course she wouldn’t have been able to prosecute. She didn’t HAVE evidence. At that point, there was no investigation yet. Why would anyone think she could prosecute without being given the opportunity to actually investigate? Just bizarre.

– Enfield’s ‘Dollar Store Grandpa Bandit’ Sentenced to 8 Years In Prison
“Hey, new blood. They call me the Red River Assassin. That’s the Montana Menace, and this here’s the Charleston Cannibal. Whaddo they call you?”

…gramps is in for a rough 8 years.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Wednesday, October 3, 2018. I got to the point in the news where it was talking about the president mocking Ford’s testimony to a crowd that was CHEERING for him while he did so, and I decided I’m done for the day before I make a bad ricin joke. See? I told you I could monitor myself.

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Hey! Remember me?

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Mornin’ all.

Summer has been jam packed with…well, lots of work, many gaming hours with the Littlest Pup, a too-brief vacation to the mountains, and then LOTS of work. I promise to do a big catch up session soon, but my computer has decided to punk me out again. It’s playing the “Crashy Crashy Piss off Bethie” game it loves. But, I wanted to pop in, say hey, and let you know I didn’t forget about your.

Also, to leave some of these….

* * * HEADLINES! * * *

…no catchy theme music or dance routine, though. The go-go dancers are on an Alaskan cruise ship enjoying their summer and the band director is taking a sabbatical to study migratory patterns of the eastern hook nosed vole. Hum your own theme music if you’d like.

You know the deal with the headlines. They’re real. They caught my attention. I feel compelled to share them…with commentary.

– Joy Behar Spends Night in Hospital After Avocado Accident

Handling an avocado is a lot trickier than it might seem. They tend to be top heavy and corner like shit.

– FBI Agent Whose Gun Went Off While Dancing Taken Into Custody

In fairness, nowhere in the rules of an impromptu dance off does it state that you can’t shoot your opponent to win. In fact, many former contestants have used finger pistols in their push for the crown, and I haven’t heard so much as a peep of complaint. I think the dude has a real shot at acquittal.

“Bethie, apologize for that pun.”

NEVER.

– Little Boy Starts Dance Off With Airport Employee

Uh oh. Hope this one’s not packing, too.

– Recovered Tapes Solve a Moon Mystery

I accuse Astronaut Armstrong in the Sea of Tranquility with the core tube.

– Ray Liotta Doesn’t Believe the Woody Allen Assault Accusations

OHHHHH. See, all this time I was basing my opinion of the situation on the statements of the people involved. But, if THE Ray Liotta says Allen didn’t do it, guess I’m gonna hafta have myself a rethink on the subject.

– Ivanka Trump Quotes ‘Chinese Proverb’, but China is Baffled

“Those who rely on Google for ancient wisdom will be called out on their bullshit.” – Confucius

– Tom Brady Pulls a Tom Hiddleston with His T-Shirt

Guys, they both wore t-shirts!!!!! Can you believe it? They so crazy.

– Nobel for Trump? Odds Improved, But Awards Committee May Be Wary

Every atom in my body just threw up a little. I can’t even take this shit anymore. Do not give Donald Drumph a Nobel.

– Trump Says In TV Interview He Trusts Kim Jong Un

He trusts the man who is still, at this moment, committing massive human rights atrocities against his own people. DO NOT GIVE THIS IDIOT A NOBEL!!! #I’mSerious,DoNotGiveThisIdiotANobel

– Defining Historical Moment From Year You Were Born

Of course I looked. The defining historical moment from the year I was born was the release of Space Invaders. Explains a lot about me, really.

– Man on a Mission to Mow Lawns In All 50 States

Holy shit. Has he hit NH yet? Because I’d be willing to help him out and donate my lawn to the cause…

– Nevada’s Most Famous Pimp Wins GOP Primary

Imagine the small talk as he hob-knobbed during his fundraisers. “So I says, Don, I know you like to grab ’em by the pussy and all, but you can’t do that shit for free. Not on my watch. Gotta pay to drain your ‘swamp’, amiright?” #We’reSoScrewedIt’sNotEvenFunny

– Little Green Gems Are Spewing Out Of Kilauea

They are olivine crystals and I WANT THEM.

– Mom Issues Warning About Caterpillars After Baby is Injured

I’ve been saying it for years: caterpillars are thugs. I’m glad people are starting to listen. Spread the word. Those little bastards will fuck you up.

– Tourists Shocked by What They See on San Francisco Streets

Buskers and mimes will leave ANYONE a little shaken. It’s okay, tourists. Just take a minute and breathe. You’ll get through it.

…what? Were you expecting a gay joke? I think that says more about you than it says about me.

– Jerry Lewis’s Massive Gun Arsenal Auctioned

He was gearing up for the next salvo in his life-long war on comedy.

– Trump Vows to Create New Military Branch: Space Force

I can’t help thinking we should probably just let him go ahead with this one. Might just keep us out of WWIII if his attention is focused elsewhere. If you can’t beat ’em, distract ’em. SPACE FORCE!

– Trump Vows to Crate New Military Branch: Space Force

Also, anyone else want to reboot “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” to cover all the relevant Space Force news? …no? Come on. It can’t be just me.

– S. Korea, US to Announce Cancellation of Drills

…but we clearly already know about it. What do you think you need to announce at this point?

– Boat Migrants Rocked by EU Political Storm Start to Arrive in Spain

That’s some old school reporter word play going on right there.

– Musk’s Plans for Tesla Keep Getting Weirder, Putting the Firm’s Future at Risk

Elon. Listen to me. Do not go full super villain yet. We planned on getting cheap space travel and a moon base out of you first. Someone hand him a puppy and an ice cream so he can remember the good in the world that’s worth fighting for.

– Mueller Asks Judge for September Sentencing for Papadopoulos

The orange prison jumpsuit will complement the autumn leaves nicely.

– Everybody Crashes on First Lap at Sports Car Race

I was thinking it had to suck for the racing fans that spent time and money to watch folks duke it out on the speedway, but in a way, it’s almost more impressive than a race when you stop and think about it.

– Michelle Obama Describes Upcoming Memoir

“Uhhh…it’s about my life, guys. Duh.”

– China’s Media Calls Trump Delusional

I don’t know that I’ve ever agreed with Chinese media before. Guess common ground can be found when the right crisis presents itself.

– What’s Behind Tom Arnold’s Bizarre Anti Trump Media Blitz

My guess would be his deep hatred for Trump, but I’m just spit ballin’ here.

– Plymouth Toddler Recovering After Getting Stuck In Rock

How exactly does one get stuck in a rock?

– Alaska Ferry Hit By Breaching Whale, Prompting Federal Investigation

Whales are crashing into our ferries now? Looks like we need another branch of the military! WATER FORCE

“Bethie, we have the navy.”

Yeah. And we have the air force, too. But the air force only deals with, like, planes and shit, not aliens. The navy only deals with boats. The whales, man. WHAT ABOUT THE WHALES??

“…but…”

WATER FORCE ASSEMBLE!

– Plane Takes Off, Falls Into Ditch At Florida Airport

Hang on a sec. The plane got stuck in a ditch AFTER take off? Only in Florida, man.

– Study Warns Fashion Industry Is Normalizing Obesity With ‘Plus Size’ Lines

How DARE those clothing companies make garments that fit us fatties?! What message is it sending when they pretend we’re human beings with feelings and don’t just make fat ass chub monkeys wear burlap sacks? What the hell are they thinking enabling slovenly pieces of subhuman shit to hate themselves just a little less by offering them clothing that actually looks good? OH the HUMANITY!!! THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!

– Study Warns Fashion Industry Is Normalizing Obesity With ‘Plus Size’ Lines

And why is my fat ass your concern? Really? Why do people get SO angry when fat people are at all happy? You know what you have to do to get healthy? You have to care about yourself. You have to care what happens to your body. You have to feel like you’re worth something. And ya know what? MY study shows that piling on the shame and hate will never, ever, EVER help. Ladies and gents of size, ignore these bullshit articles written by people who are skinny and STILL bitter and miserable. Gear the fuck up in whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

– Hawaii Explosion Had Force of 5.3 Magnitude Earthquake

Oh. Snap. You know what this means. LAVA FORCE

– A Swimming Teacher Fed Up With Seeing ‘Sad’ Kids Has A Message for Parents

“These little dudes are, like, bumming me out, man. Can’t you take them for a happy meal or something before you bring them here?”

– Eric Trump’s Family Received White Powder, Security Added

Wait. Wasn’t that exactly what they wanted?

“PowDer, Bethie. With a ‘d’.”

OHHHHH.

– Clever Uses for Your Unwanted Pennies

I hear that if you save enough of them, you can take them to the bank and cash them in for dollars. Read it on the internet somewhere, so take it with a grain of salt. #LifeHack

– Nobel of Mathematics Stolen Minutes After Being Awarded

I had no idea there was a thriving black market for Nobel prize medals. That’s some high brow thievery right there.

– Nobel of Mathematics Stolen Minutes After Being Awarded

…hang on a sec. That IS some pretty high brow thievery. Like a plot out of a movie. Uh oh. Has anyone seen Elon?

– Gold Lunar Module Replica Stolen From Museum Still Missing

Yep. That’s it. Elon’s snapped. He’s gone full on super villain. Hug your kids, take that last vacation.

The end is clearly nigh.

Thus concludes a quick check in for Friday, August 3, 2018. I guess it might be a bit pointless to make cakes when the end is so close, but maybe the best thing to do is pretend it’s all normal until Elon’s robot army marches in and takes control. Hey, wait. Do robots like cake? Because I may be able to bribe our new digital overlords. Hm…

Not all heroes wear capes.

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Mornin’ all.

You’re looking at a person who deserves a medal.

Yesterday at work, a man came sauntering up to my counter. “You the cake designer?” he asked, by way of salutation.

“Sure am, how may I help you?” I asked, shoving aside the trash can that’s always in my way and grabbing my order pad.

He was carrying a piece of paper with him which he proceeded to unfold with unnecessary levels of sass. The paper snapped he unfolded it so hard, and I knew right there this was not going to be a customer interaction I would enjoy. He had an annoyed expression, too, as if I’d already sullied his shopping experience somehow by asking how I could help. He opened the paper, then tossed it on the counter, and said, “Make me that.” He crossed his arms. He stared a ridiculously defiant stare.

I had a pen in my hand. It’s a nice pen. Looks very professional unless you read the words on it. “Camp Dipstick.” That’s what the pen says and I love it. It’s my favorite pen. It’s got real heft to it, too. It’s metal, with a silicone coating that gives excellent grip. Heavy, metal, sharp, easy to wield…

I gripped that pen. My hand twitched. Time slowed. My hand began to move forward, seemingly of its own will, as condescension radiated from the man’s expression like a physical force. I couldn’t stop myself. I couldn’t help it. That smirk. THAT SMIRK. I HATE condescension. I can’t stand it. Be rude to me, that’s fine. Be an asshole if you want. But come at me with a dismissive tone dripping with judgment? Nothing gets me angrier faster. My hand lifted and moved and before I knew it I was…

Writing out his order.

I asked for his name and phone number, the standard opener for taking an order. He flipped the paper over and thumped the back where he had the information written down. I was supposed to know he already did that. My b.

A couple of times I got, “Yeah, suuurrrre,” as response to my questions, questions that clearly inspire sarcastic retorts like, “Would you like buttercream icing?” and “Would you like a filling between the layers?” I suppose if I’m going to ask questions like that, I kind of deserve ridicule. I mean, who do I think I am, right?

After the brief mostly grunty exchange, I went to read back the order to make sure we were on the same page. This is standard. They order, you confirm the order. I wasn’t doing it to hold him up or ruin his life, but I guess I just didn’t stop and think about my actions, did I? Don’t worry, he let me know I crossed a line. He rolled his eyes and sighed as if he was Atlas himself. “Just make it,” he snapped before storming away.

Folks, while there were many things I could have said or done, I took the order. I smiled. I wished his back a nice day as he too-cool-for-school strolled out the door. I put my nice, heavy, sharp pen away and filed the paperwork in the appropriate slot for long term orders. And next week, I’ll make his froofy unicorn cake the best goddamn froofy unicorn cake he’s ever seen.

Maybe I don’t deserve a medal. That seems a bit small for such an amazing feat of self-restraint and personal fortitude.

What, exactly, do keys to the city unlock?

Thus concludes a Musing for Thursday, June 7, 2018. I think it goes without saying that this is entirely sarcastic and I would never, ever harm a customer. It should, anyway. But, this IS the internet, soooo…..

With high fashion labels like “Hanes” and “Just My Size,” who WOULDN’T want to display them for all to see?

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Mornin’ all.

I have two bureaus in my bedroom.

In one, I keep hard copies of the stories I’ve written, DVDs, and knives. In the other, I’ve got a random assortment of pillow cases that I haven’t used in 14 years, a few keepsake baby items from when the boyos were little, and an entire drawer of mystery cords and keys. I don’t know what they power or open, but I can’t throw them away because the moment I do, I’ll need them. That is how life works and you know it.

I also have a closet. It’s tall and long, but narrow, with a six foot shelf over a six foot pole. The closet is juuuust wide enough to hold the clothing on hangers from that pole, and the shelf is juuuust wide enough to stack neat piles of folded laundry on top.

I’ve got plenty of storage space for our clothing. So of course, my clothes are kept on cardboard boxes in the corner of the room. They’re folded and stacked in two large piles, a dusty one of clothes my man and I never, ever wear, and the other small pile contains the few things we wear when we’re not working. Our work clothes get hung up on the coat rack. Downstairs. Next to the front door. Duh. Where else would I hang them?

Every family has their quirks. Think back to when you were a kid sleeping over at a friend’s house for the first time. There was definitely something that family did that made you say, “whhhaaaaa? People DO that?”

When I was growing up, our family’s oddity was laundry. Dirty clothes were piled in front of the washer. They’d go through the wash and dry cycles, then be put in a clean pile on the floor in front of the dryer. Once in awhile, Mum would get sick of it and go through a “I mean it this time, we’re going to get this sorted and KEEP this sorted!” phase, which usually lasted about two days until one of us didn’t feel like folding the clothes fresh out of the dryer and began a new pile.

When I grew up, I decided I would be better at laundry, mostly because I absolutely HATE doing it and the thought of having to sort an entire pile that got out of control was nauseating. I figured that if I just got on top of it and stayed on top of it, no piles would grow.

That plan…it did not go so well. I vastly overestimated my interest in sticking to laundry commitments.

When we moved to this house fourteen years ago, I decided to finally do what I actually always wanted to do and get the laundry situation manageable. The new place was larger, and we actually had some space, so we picked up real bureaus. Nice ones, too…for the most part. One of the dressers in my room is coated in Pepto Bismol pink paint that I’m fairly certain is lead-based. We got it for free from the junk shop across the street, so I don’t mind the color, and I didn’t plan on licking it, so the lead paint wasn’t a drawback.

Fourteen years later, I still haven’t licked it. *knock wood*

I’m saying that I have plenty of socially acceptable storage space for our clean laundry. Hell, I even fold everything as soon as it comes out of the dryer. I don’t have a pile on the floor that would be excellent for hide and seek (…just sayin’), but I also just can’t take that final step and put it away where it belongs. In my room, it’s all folded on boxes. In the boys’ rooms, it’s on chairs. I’ve got linen cabinets in the bathroom, yet the linens sit on top of the dryer because why would I put linen in a linen cabinet when I could use that space for spare computer parts?

I’m looking at a move within the next year or so. Big changes in Le Chateau au Bethie have led to the man of the house now having to commute three hours a day. That’s not sustainable, especially in the winter. I’m beginning the process of cleaning with the intent to move, no small feat for a hoarder.

Here’s the thing, though. As I lay in bed unable to sleep at 3 this morning, looking at the dressers and clothes in the dim glow of the night light, I couldn’t decide if I should just actually be better at laundry, or stop fighting what is clearly in my nature and get rid of all the bureaus.

Bureaus are heavy and bulky. Tough to move. I’ve done well with the not-eating-the-lead-paint goal, but how long can I really sustain that level of self restraint?

Maybe I can just look for a place with built-in bureaus. That would solve all my problems. I could ditch the dressers and still have plenty of storage space for my DVDs, knives, and spare computer parts.

Ya know, I think I might just be on to something here…

Thus concludes a quick Musing for Wednesday, May 30, 2018. I wonder if they have a “built in bureaus for hoarders” tag on Zillow?

You call it “procrastination,” I prefer the term “creative time management…”

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Mornin’ all.

When we last spoke, I was about to embark on a mission to clean my house. I got garbage bags, extra coffee, queued up a good podcast, and dug in.

Now, I’m not so sure how it happened, exactly, but I started the day cleaning and ended up welding together a new lamp.

Company will be here tomorrow. TOMORROW. They’ve got nowhere to sit. But at least there will be plenty of light…?

…I don’t know why I’m like this.

While I was cleaning, I found my stash of transmission gears and sprockets, and uncovered the MIG welder. It was nice weather, I hadn’t been able to weld yet this spring, and the urge to smell hot metal was too strong to ignore. I suppose I understand what led me down the path, I just wish I had a bit more fortitude against my own impulsiveness sometimes.

*sigh* I guess anyone coming to my house should know me, right? I mean, there are some things I’m very good at. I’m a good cook, I’ve got a decent brain, even if it’s as little scattered sometimes, I try my damnedest to be kind to other people… And there are a few things I don’t do well at all. I’d say the three things in life I really suck at are being skinny, respecting myself, and keeping the house in shape. In the grand scheme, that’s not so bad…right?

So I have to mad-dash clean today and tomorrow between work shifts. It’s not the first time. Won’t be the last.

I should be doing it right now, in fact. And I’ll get there, but first, let’s get distracted by something else. You know what we haven’t done in awhile?

*cue the go-go dancers* *strike up the band* Let’s have ourselves a good, old fashioned…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP ! ! ! * * *

You know the deal. I peruse the news for headlines that jump out at me. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re poorly worded, and sometimes they just beg for commentary. I gather them up and present them to you as nature intended. I just add the snark.

Let’s begin.

– African American pastor warns, “Black folks need to stay out of white churches” ahead of megachurch opening

Hoo boy. So much to unpack, so little desire to leave indelible footprints through this internet minefield. Imma step away from this one slowly…

– People have tried to stop lava from flowing. This is why they failed.

Oh, honey, no. If an entire MOUNTAIN isn’t strong enough to stop magma from bursting forth, what in the holy hell do you think YOU can do? Hm?

– Residents voice frustrations at meeting as Hawaii volcano continues to wreak havoc

“I don’t know whose idea it was to allow the magma to flow down my street, but this is a clear violation of my rights as a homeowner.” “Um, ma’am? We can’t control the lava. You do know that, right?” “But I pay taxes!”

– Idaho State University loses weapons-grade plutonium

Some people misplace their keys, some people misplace their elements of mass destruction. Don’t judge.

– Tourists unknowingly toss dinosaur footprints into lake

HOW!?!?

– Man mauled to death while trying to take selfie with bear

Sounds about right.

– Scientists excited by huge New Zealand sinkhole

In other news, a recent survey shows nine out of ten New Zealanders think scientists are dicks.

– Jennifer Lopez shows the world how to rock an exposed leg

I sure hope it was hers.

-McCain’s critiques of Trump anger president’s supporters

*crash* Oof! *scramble* *uprights chair* *mops up spilled coffee* Oh my god, that’s never happened before. I was literally bowled over by that shocking news. Wow. I always thought it was just a figure of speech.

– Jessica Simpson back in her Daisy Dukes

Okay. Thanks for the update? I guess?

– First Lady launches initiative to stop cyber bullying, is immediately criticized for husband’s social media history

I believe Melania is a fairly smart woman who put herself in a stupid situation in life. I think she’s trying to make the best of it, and she’s trying to do something that will make her feel good about this time her husband is spending in office. But I just think the reality of her situation is going to belie anything she could promote for the happiness and well being of the children she’s trying to reach. I actually legitimately feel bad for her in this endeavor. Her critics aren’t wrong here, and that’s sad. #FreeMelania

– Israel offended Japan’s prime minister by serving him dessert out of a shoe

Sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the challenges that arise when two different cultures are trying to come together. It’s often hard to know what’s going to cause offense. But sometimes, some asshole blatantly serves dessert in a fucking shoe. You don’t need cultural context to get that message loud and clear.

– Israel offended Japan’s prime minister by serving him dessert out of a shoe

Sidenote…Who even thinks of that, anyway? Who sits there and has a “eureka” moment that leads them to filling a loafer with tiramisu?? You’re a weird dude, whoever you are.

– In Japan, remarks by finance minister spark #MeToo outrage

The guy was caught on camera asking a female reporter if he could hug her and touch her breasts. I’d like to apologize, Israel. I get it now. #LoafersOfTiramisuToo

– “Heroes” rescue special-needs teen dodging rush-hour traffic

Uh, not so sure why heroes is in kind of sarcastic quotes up there…

– Heroes stop rush-hour traffic to help ducklings cross road

OHHHH, okay. The full stop heroes title is reserved for those who save cute animals, not human beings. Got it.

– Daughter of NYPD hero who died on 9/11 follows in dad’s footsteps

*DANGER* *DANGER* *DANGER* …sorry. That was the new warning app I installed. It’s supposed to help stop me from making completely tasteless jokes on the internet that could have lasting consequences. Seems to be working as advertised. Four and a half stars.

– Teen accepted to 113 colleges, awarded $4.5M in scholarships

Her name is Jasmine Harrison. Just wanted to give a shout out to a young woman who is absolutely rocking life.

– Trump considers benching Guiliani from doing TV interviews

Oooh, Trump’s jelly. Since Guiliani’s been on the team, the press is all, “Rudy said WHAT?” and “You won’t believe what Guiliani’s doing now”. Trump hasn’t been clickbait all week! That’s GOT to be killing him.

– Rubin: What exactly are Republicans running on?

Tears of migrant children. Stronger than coffee.

– Trump: “Every…AHAHAHAA!!!

Sorry. *snicker* Sorry, guys. It’s just, this one is so hilarious that I’m having a difficult time spitting it out. Let’s reset and I’ll try again.

– Trump: “Everyone thinks”…GA HA HA HAHAHAHAAA!!!

DAMNIT! I’m GOING to get through this with a straight face! *deep breath* Okay. *lips twitch* *calming mantra* Okay, I got it this time:

– Trump: “Everyone thinks” I deserve a Nobel Prize

SEE?? *groan* *wipes tear* Now my sides hurt.

– What’s killing the west coast’s young great white sharks?

Ennui. Lack of leadership. Parents who didn’t instill the value of hard work and the importance of goals. It’s a complicated issue, really.

– How salad became a major source of food poisoning in the US

The vegan movement is just a ploy by the Illuminati to dumb down the masses and make us subservient. They’re poisoning you, sheeple. The truth is out there.

– Canadian zoo faces charges after taking bear out for ice cream

I don’t know if anyone has ever Canadian-ed so hard before.

– Massive chocolate spill shuts highway after tanker truck crash

Oompa loompa doopahdedoo, I’ve got another riddle for you…What do you get when your truck has a…FLAT…Tipping and slipping with a chocolatey…SPLAT…

– White House says Iran nuclear inspections must continue

Oh my god I can’t even take how stupid he is. Yes, you gangrenous knob, we DO need to keep monitoring Iran’s nuclear program. THAT’S WHY WE HAD A DEAL WITH THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. *thumps head on the desk* Someone fix this.

– France condemns US over Iran sanctions

*heavy sigh* That’s fair.

– Students use history books that claim not all slaves were unhappy for ten years

Yes. Yes they fucking were. It makes me sick to think that children are being encouraged in any way to think that ANY person likes being owned as another person’s property.

– Oregon school forced LGBTQ students to read bible verses as punishment

Slavery being touted as “not really so bad”, forcing kids to read the bible, punishing anyone at all for their sexual orientation…what year is this? Did we go back in time???!!!

– Oregon school forced LGBTQ students to read bible verses as punishment

To be clear, the facts as we know them are that these are allegations that are still being investigated. However, an unnamed administrator of the school admitted it to police, which is why the investigation is continuing and will go deeper. I could get on a rant here, you KNOW I could, but that won’t reach the people I want to reach. So, I’m just going to ask this question: How would you feel if your child came home and told you they were forced to read the surahs of the Quran as punishment for having blond hair?

– Dragon float in Disney parade catches fire

…they say, as if realism is a bad thing. Pfft. Some people just don’t appreciate art.

– Scientist: Hawaii lava flow has similar chemical structure to 1955 eruption

It’s the same magma source. Same location. In geological epoch terms, it’s essentially the same eruption. I’m not so sure these science writers know how to science…

– US fighter jets intercept Russian bombers in international air space near Alaska

They were flying planes legally in a zone that’s designated free range…air space they use for military practice, just like us. It’s like kicking the kids from the other neighborhood out of the town park because they brought bats. Doesn’t matter that they are planning on playing baseball. They have BATS. And it’s sorta close to our house. Can’t you see that means they’re going to smash our car windows!? It’s ridiculous. WE were the aggressors in this situation. I will not go back to McCarthy era paranoia. I never thought I’d say this, but I am rejecting the trip in the time machine.

– Nearly two years later, “world’s saddest polar bear” no longer sad?

I didn’t click. I was afraid they’d interview an “animal psychologist” and I’d have no choice but to quit the internet. You understand.

– Family chased by cheetahs highlights the dangers of wildlife parks

No, it highlights the stupidity of humans. #TeamCheetah

– An emergency call center operator tells dying woman that “everyone dies”

It’s graduation season. Some of you reading this may be wondering what you want to do in life, where you’re heading, what will bring you happiness. Here’s a tip for ya…if you hate people, and have zero compassion, maybe don’t be a 911 operator, k?

– Opioid crisis makes more organs available

“Mr. Smithers, I see you’re awake. The operation was a success. You no longer have cirrhosis! But your insurance restricted us to a level 2 organ donation. Got it from the free clinic down the street. You might feel a bit jumpy and edgy. Fortunately, your insurance covers methadone, so I’ll just write you out the scrip…”

– People “outraged” to discover cemetery threw away flowers day after Mother’s Day

Oh grow up. You left flowers on a rock. You already flushed that money down the toilet. Close the Twitter app and put that energy into something meaningful.

– Ukraine: Army dolphins starved after Russian annexation

Russia, heart to heart: Wtf.

– A Vietnam veteran was going to be buried alone. Then a stranger helped find his family.

…and now they’re being buried with him?!?

– Avalanche survivor’s final thoughts: “This could be it”

Final thoughts? She survived. Is she just not planning on thinking anything else ever?

– Astronauts give commencement speeches from space station

If they didn’t tell the students to reach for the stars, I’m going to be very disappointed. I don’t pay taxes to have astronauts drop the ball when it comes to bad jokes.

– You’re reheating your cold pizza wrong

You don’t know me. You don’t know my struggles. GTFO with your pizza shaming.

– Scientist trains spider to jump on command

“Bethie?”

Yes?

“I can’t help but notice that you are now scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

…your point?

“Stop procrastinating and go clean your house.”

But…

“Bethie. *stern look*”

*sigh* Fine.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Thursday, May 17, 2018. I guess I hafta go clean my house now ‘cuz you’re gonna be all mean about it and stuff.

I’ll take a mentally challenged duck over that old confused rooster any day of the week…

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Mornin’ all.

Yesterday when I got home from work, the weather was perfect. It was about 70 degrees, sunny but not aggressively so as the high, fluffy clouds casually meandered across the sky. Birds were chirping, the kids at the daycare next door were laughing as they played outside, the very confused duck who’s been living in what is essentially a puddle in the back yard was yammering in response to the distant sound of a chainsaw.

As the afternoon rolled along and people started arriving home from work, the distinct sound of lawnmowers echoed through the valley.

Those who don’t live in a climate that gets a deep winter might not understand the psychological yuckiness (official term) of being surrounded by dead things for months on end. Everything is brown or gray. The naked trees, the half melted snow banks, the hills…even the evergreens lose their luster and take on a dark, brownish existence.

We had a long and particularly assholish winter this year. The past few weeks were spent searching the crusty piles of dead leaves for tips of green poking through. It wasn’t really until last week that spring began to arrive with gusto. While the trees are still pretty stark, with only a few species popping their buds enough to provide shade, the lawns are really beginning to change the cold, unwelcoming earthen blanket from drab to fab.

We survived the winter, and now we’re rewarded with a green lawn.

Better hurry up and cut that shit down!

We humans are very silly. I LONGED to look out my window and see verdant signs of life, and now that I have the view I craved, I’m thinking about what I need to do for spring time mower maintenance before I can hack it to smithereens.

If there is a Mother Nature, she’s probably very confused. “Hold on a sec. You people asked for grass. You begged me to end the long winter. BEGGED!! And now that I gave you everything you wanted, you’re cutting it down?”

Well, yes. I mean, look at it. It’s…long. And just…so…grassy. Besides, it’s full of dandelions.

“You don’t like the flowers? I grew them just for you. I think they add a little pop of color.”

Dandelions aren’t flowers. They’re weeds. Ew.

“And what the HELL are those big scissors for?”

You can’t expect me to leave the bushes as you grew them. Honestly, what would the neighbors think?

“I worked all winter long to come up with the perfect décor. You think this is easy? You think all I do is wave a magic wand and *poof* it’s spring? It takes time, planning, dedication…are you even listening?”

Hm? What? Sorry, didn’t hear you. I was looking up the cost of spark plugs for mowers. Think I could get away with just cleaning the old ones?

“You know what? You people deserve a long, cold winter!”

…soooo…is that a no on the cleaning?

Hey! Where are you going? Mother Nature? *door slam*

Sheesh. Some people are so touchy.

Thus concludes a quick Musing for Tuesday, May 8, 2018. I am off to not mow my lawn. I have other priorities today. I’ve got company coming in a week and a half and nowhere for them to sit. I’m going to get a shovel and a box of trash bags and start in on the dining room. Yep. I’m tackling the hoard. If you don’t hear from me, that means I lost. Tell my family I love them.

I’m back, and boy do I have a great idea…

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Mornin’ all.

Why don’t people tailgate at craft fairs?

“Uh, Bethie? You okay over there?”

I was driving home from dropping Teen Prime off at work, and an ad came on the radio for tickets to minor league ball games. They were advertising a partnership with stores that sell the tickets, and mentioned that folks should stop in and get tailgating supplies while they were at it. They said something about also not forgetting poster board and body paint to show their spirit.

In New England, we have a series of yearly craft fairs that fill the calendar. There’s a circuit of them, on a fairly standard schedule. During spring and summer, they take place at different outdoor venues, often as part of farmers or flea markets. In the colder months, they’re most often held in the basements of whichever local church draws the short straw.

Except for the Catholics. They don’t do “craft fairs”. Craft fairs are banal events attended by uncouth swine. *sniff* Catholics hold Christmas bazaars.

The people who attend these crafting events are the same people year in and year out. Once in awhile, they’ll drag along new blood, and of course they raise their children in the die hard craft culture. The point is, the craft world has a very dedicated core group of fans who seasonally plan their weekends around attending these fairs. They are just as ravenous as sports fans.

Why doesn’t society allow us to pregame a craft show with the same fervor and dedication as sports fans?

“Bethie, I highly doubt the people who go to these craft shows would be the tailgating type.”

Are you smoking crack? We’re talking about a group of people that gets giddy at the mere mention of naturally dyed wool. Their panties don’t just get wet at the thought of hand pressed card stock, they get BEDAZZLED. Do you think that level of fandom happens without wine? Granny would pregame the shit out of a craft fair if it was accepted by society.

Think about it.

We have grown ass men and women who cover their bodies in paint and glitter while holding up a hand painted neon sign to support their sports team. Paint and glitter? They stole that shit from us! Aren’t those supplies the very BACKBONE of the crafting world? And who do you think makes the snacks for the sporting tailgaters? I bet behind every family’s tailgate tradition was a mum who loved the hell out of her family, her team, and her secret Lil’ Smokies sauce recipe. It’s a no brainer, folks. It’s like this shit was made for the crafting world.

Why isn’t this already a thing??

I don’t often take a stance on an important issue. But, I am going to right here, right now. I am officially throwing my support and the support of this entire blog behind this movement. Let’s take back the glitter and paint. Let’s reclaim our secret kielbasa sauce recipe. Let’s pop open those bottles of Merlot while eagerly betting on who’s going to have a Pinterest worthy table and who’s going to end up on a bad craft sub-Reddit. Let’s cut the bullshit machismo and let the crafters party.

Who’s with me?

Thus concludes a new format Musing that I’m going to try out for Tuesday, May 1, 2018. I’m going to try shorter formats. Life has shifted, and my mornings have become busy. I’m going to see if just a quick blog allows me to pipe up with these million dollar ideas more often.