Well played, Mother Nature…

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Mornin’ all.

I can’t believe it’s April already. Where does the time go?

I know, I know. Only old folks say that, and they say it a lot. I’m not all that old, but I get it. I blinked for a hot minute somewhere around Groundhog Day, and we fast forwarded in time to April.

Well, we humans did. Mother Nature? Eh, not so much. She’s still stuck in an endless loop of snow and ice and sadness. I just want spring. That’s all.

I’m not alone, either. I was out shoveling the insanely heavy slurpee she dumped on us yesterday morning and I overheard this exchange from two miserable song birds sitting in the tree across the way:

“I told you we should wait another couple weeks, Harold. But noooooo. No-o-o-o-o. You HAD to beat the traffic.”

“Shut up, Phyllis.”

“We could have stayed with the Jensons in that four star mangrove, if you were so itchy to get away from my mother…”

“YOU’RE the one that wanted to get away from your mother!”

“I can’t think in that place! Everything’s so cluttered and…”

“I’d take your mother’s cramped nest over Enid’s cooking! I said it before and I’ll say it again. There’s no way in hell I’m going to spend two weeks choking down stink bugs just because they’re some hipster foodie trend. I don’t care how old fashioned it makes me sound, but give me a plain worm any day.”

“*arches eyebrow* *nods toward snow piles* And how’s that working out for ya?”

“*sniff*…shut up, Phyllis.”

I think the only thing those early birds are catching is a cold.

*author’s note: Yes, I’m fully aware that you don’t actually catch a cold from being cold. Sheesh. It’s just for comedic value. Is that really your line? Really? In everything you read, THAT’S your objection? Hmm??*

It’s a spring snow, though. Heavy. Arm, back, leg achingly heavy. A real shovel-breaker. BUT, it shouldn’t last long. The beauty of the spring snow is exactly the same thing that causes the misery at the shovel. It’s warm enough outside to ensure that whatever accumulates won’t be around for long.

April.

Did anyone do any April Fooling? I did not. I generally don’t. I know people who love the…holiday? I mean, I don’t think it’s an actual holiday, is it? It’s a day of resigned annoyance borne from a bygone era of lifelong serfdom misery. Their lives sucked so badly that for one day- ONE DAY- they just needed a way to laugh at the misfortune of others, to trick someone into being the fool so they could feel just a tad superior for a single shining moment of glory.

If it is actually considered a holiday, it’s a shit one.

I don’t mind mild pranks where no one gets hurt. A guilty pleasure of mine is the show Impractical Jokers. It’s funny to watch someone get tricked, have a harmless giggle, move on.

What I don’t get, though, are the pranks that take it to the next level. I cannot wrap my head around wanting to cause your friends pain for laughs, be it physical or emotional. I don’t get what’s funny about buttering the floor so someone falls and cracks their head open, and I don’t understand why anyone would dream up staging a kidnapping where the friend/victim honestly believes one of his buddies was killed (actual YouTube prank by a hideous human being). The kid now has legit PTSD. Oh, yeah. That’s a fucking laugh riot.

I think anyone who could do stuff like that is a true sadist.

“Bethie, I think that’s a little harsh.”

Is it? I’m not saying they go out and torture the neighbor’s kittens. I’m saying that a mind that thinks, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we abducted Jeff, put a pillow sack over his head, threw him in the back of a van, drove around awhile, shoved him to the ground, shot off a gun, and then ripped off the sack so he could see his best friend face down on the ground in a pool of fake blood,” is not a healthy person. That dude absolutely tortured someone who was supposed to be a close friend, someone he supposedly cared about. He not only tortured him in the moment, but gave the kid lifelong mental problems. For a laugh. And DEFENDED the content when the internet said, “Not cool, bro.”
Think about that. It was bad enough that the internet– the greatest hive of villainy and deceit ever conceived- thought it went too far. The same juggernaut of debauchery that give uninhibited access to Two Girls One Cup drew the line at this “prank”.

That is not someone I would be comfortable being around. And it’s not someone whose “work” I want to watch for shits and giggles. I honestly cannot understand the people who do.

But, a good old rubber band around the sprayer nozzle on the kitchen sink? Comedy gold.

My kids didn’t prank, either. Maybe because they’ve grown up aware of all the idiotic pranks on the internet? None of them ever really got into it at all *knock wood*. The only one that’s really tried is the youngest pup, and his are so benign that the very innocence of it all is what gets the laugh.

I don’t know if there’s anyone out there who is a Spongebob survivor. If you had kids in the early 2000s, you know what I’m talking about. There’s an April Fools episode where Spongebob spends his day pulling off pranks like giving a customer a large drink when he ordered a medium, adding an extra ice cube, etc. The littlest pup does stuff like that, then stands there with twinkling eyes waiting to see if you notice. It is extremely cute, and since he doesn’t read this blog, I can say “cute” free from fear of repercussions. I guess he’s my little April Fool. His birthday is this month, so that really works.

But shh, because he’d be SO pissed if he knew I said that.

It’s supposed to be 50 today. At the moment, my driveway looks like a spring break mud wrestling match is about to begin. Er, minus the drunk girls in bikinis and “bros” in board shorts shouting “what’s good, fam?” in a desperate attempt to sound cool and force people to like them.

The 50 degree day will, in no way, make the situation any better. I’m a bit worried. I drive a heavy clunker, and if the snow melts too fast, it might just succumb like Artax.

*NeverEnding Story fistbump*

It’s happened before. My driveway has honestly eaten a car. Tried its best to, anyway, until the tow pulled the Nissan from the brink of death.

It was right around this time of year in a funky spring not unlike this one. There was late season snow piled high from a storm, and I was having family over after a funeral.

Now, I live in an area with a lot of underground springs, and I’m right by a river. None of my yard is what I would consider stable. In fact, every year, there are new bumps and dips and outright trenches from the shifting water underneath. Our driveway stretches across a large section of this unstable land. Every spring there’s a large area of the driveway that gets squishy and mushy and awful. Usually it’s no big deal to just not park there for a few weeks, but, as I said, we were having people over and the driveway filled up fast.

We had been carefully placing cars away from the suck zone, but ran out of room. The little Nissan Sentra was the lightest car, and we figured, “Eh, seems solid enough,” when the wheels didn’t immediately start sinking. We partied as the Polish do when someone kicks off, and as the day was fading, people started to leave. As soon as the Nissan tried to move, the driveway let it be known that action was not allowed. The tires dug right down into that mud and in seconds the whole car was bumper-deep.

Now, that car was being driven by my mother.

“Oh, Bethie. Tell me you didn’t laugh.”

Oh, how I wish I could!

Was it the nice thing to do? No. Did we try everything to get it unstuck? Yes. We helped. It took a hired tow truck to move the car in the end, but we got covered in mud trying. I think that made up for the laughter.

Maybe?

But come on, people. Things turned out okay in the end, and I’m only human. You weren’t there to see just how quickly things went south. One second, perfectly normal car about to turn out of the drive. The next? Snarlax victim. It was as if the earth itself decided to suck in the rear end of the car like a spaghetti noodle. I’m sorry, Mum, but that shit’s funny. I still laugh about it today.

Maybe none of us should do April Fools tricks. We can’t possibly compete with Mother Nature.

Thus concludes the first April Musing for Sunday, Mass Effect Andromeda Day, 2017. I’m going to be playing. All day. I have been waiting for this game forever and now my screw off day is here. I’ve got soda and chips. I’ve got some kind of meat to throw in the crock pot for dinner. I’ve downloaded the updates, designed and named my character, and I am about to embark on the long awaited adventure. …so what am I still doing here???

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.

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…

*blows the dust off the keyboard*

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Mini mornin’ to you all!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Things went awry. The six of us here spent about three weeks swapping back and forth between a stomach bug and the plague. As soon as that started to pass, the computer had a freak out and decided to play “What Program Will We Pretend We Don’t Know How To Run Today?”

It’s a step up from last year’s epic meltdown brought about by the electrical apocalypse, so I suppose I can’t be too upset. We are heading in the right direction. Fingers crossed that the next New Year’s PC woe is just a couple dead batteries in the mouse.

The littlest pup went and broke his thumb, my boss needs me 6 days straight for the next two weeks…

It’s been a month of “wut the hell just happened?”

Things are starting to sort themselves out. Through the power of our Winter Overlords (Vicks, Halls, and the saintly Robitussin), I think the plague has passed. No one’s shit their pants for a couple weeks, so that awful stomach nastiness seems to be done. *knock wood to both* I have tricked my computer into letting me access my writing program…we’ll see how long this lasts. And I don’t have to go into work for a couple hours.

I thought about checking out the news and commenting on things that have happened while I’ve been down for the count, but holy. shit. There isn’t enough time. There wouldn’t be enough time if I had the whole day off. And all of it happened in the circus tent we used to call the White House. Barnum and Bailey didn’t call it quits…they just changed venues.

There’s so much that it’s exhausting to read through it all. It’s become a dreaded chore. “What did our idiot in chief do now?” I don’t want to be exhausted. I’m in the middle of a push at work and I just don’t have it in me right now to slog through the slime trail Trump leaves in his wake.

Instead, let’s meet a new customer I have.

I love customer interactions, even the bad ones. I am a very character-driven person, not just in my writing but in real life. I like to hoard knowledge about all the wonderful, weird, and wacky ways beings who are almost chemically and molecularly identical are in actuality so very different. People are fascinating.

This lady is one of the more interesting ones I’ve got. She’s elderly, my guess would be in the late 70s. She’s short, with short white hair that’s poorly styled. About half of it has been curled, probably with those old pin curlers that were popular in the 50s and 60s, and the other half is clearly too far back on her head for her to reach. Her face is that of an Old World grandmother, with a large, bulbous nose, baggy eyes, and the perpetual frown crease in her forehead earned by years of telling kids to “knock it off or else.”

In some ways, she reminds me of my own Polish grandmother. Perhaps that’s what drew my attention to her in the first place.

When she comes in, she’ll look through the baked goods as if she’s searching for a lost piece of jewelry. Each item will be lifted, flipped, scrutinized. She’ll shake her head, place it back down, and move on to the next. She’s been in many times in the last couple months, and it’s always the same. She’ll spend about half an hour looking over everything, and then come to the counter asking for help.

“I can’t see so good. Bad eyes, you know. Can you tell me what this says?”

Up close under the unkind fluorescent lights, a general lack of care becomes obvious. The coat she wears speaks to another time, another life she led where she was an upper middle class housewife who was able to keep up with Jackie O. At one time, the coat was white, quilted, with a furred collar. Now, it’s stained a cigarette-butt yellow, the collar matted with years of sweat and old make-up. There’s a broach pinned to the corner of the collar, dirt crusted between the shiny rhinestones. It’s a coat that says she was somebody, and it’s clear she still believes herself to be that person.

We have several elderly people who ask for what I would consider to be an extended level of service. They want you to take them product by product, answering the same questions about each they asked the week before. I think they’re overall just lonely and looking for some human interaction. You nod, smile, walk them through until you can find a kind way to get back to your job.

The other week, this particular lady was in. I watched her sift through the tables, and was ready when she called me over. We did our regular routine, then she thanked me and moved on without buying anything.

They never buy anything.

I got back to work, feeling good. Who wouldn’t? You make a lonely person’s day a little better with just a couple minutes invested. It feels good. I finished up my shift about a half hour later, punched out, and headed onto the store floor to pick up a few things. I entered the soda aisle to grab some seltzer and I saw the same woman. I’m not going to lie…I briefly considered turning around before she saw me. Feeling good about helping is one thing, but come on. End of my work day, I just wanted to get my seltzer and go home. I didn’t want to be sucked into doing ALL of her shopping for her.

It was out of my hands, though. She glanced up from the bottle she was squinting at down to the opposite end of the aisle, then quickly placed the soda in her cart and spun around. She saw me, grabbed my arm, and said, “Oh no, dear. You don’t want to go down there,” before quickly scooting out of the aisle. I looked toward the other end to see what had ruffled her feathers.

A black man was shopping for potato chips, shaking his head. He heard her. I knew he heard her. He looked up at me, then he knew I knew he heard her. It was one of those frozen moments I will never forget.

My first thought was, “HOLY SHIT DID THAT REALLY JUST HAPPEN??!!” My second thought right on the heels of that was, “Well you certainly saw THAT you crazy old bat! Blind my ASS!”

I got my seltzer, then asked the man if there was anything he needed help finding. I did not, in any way, want him to think I was on board with the Racist Granny. I know, I know, I know. Trite in the extreme. But what else could I do?? Should I have gone up and said, “Oh my god, I’m so sorry that wrinkled old pit stain was such a cunt?” I don’t know. I don’t feel like I handled it well, but honestly…???

He and I exchanged a few pleasantries. I hope he at least knew that I was trying.

I told him to have a nice day and went to check out. Racist Granny was in the next register, putting her groceries up on the belt faster than I’d ever seen the old bat move.

I feel sad for her on one level. She truly is stuck in another time and place. The world moved on, and she just didn’t. It’s clear why she’s lonely. Her nasty streak is no doubt why there is no one to help her curl the back of her hair, or tell her the stained coat needs a good dry cleaning.

I said customer interactions are fascinating, and that certainly fits that description. But, fascinating isn’t always good.

Thus concludes a quick Musing for PAY DAY WHOOP WHOOP, February 23, 2017. I’m hoping I can get back on track with regular Muses. No promises, though. I’m at the mercy of my technological overlords, who seem to be very impish during winter. Fingers crossed that my curses and tears have appeased them for yet another year…

When a soccer mom meets a soccer mom coming through the rye bread…

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Mornin’ all.

I am being hounded by an elderly Jehovah’s Witness.

She came to the door last week to offer me a magazine. Not “Watchtower.” Apparently folks have wised up to that title. Now the magazines are called “Awake!”. She offered, I said, “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested in any way. Have a nice day.” I closed the door, but I didn’t slam it in her face or anything. I get that in her mind, she’s doing what she feels is required of her. I made it clear to her that I did not want to share that mindset, and I thought that was the end of it.

That was not the end of it.

A few days later, she came back. I said, “I told you I’m not interested, and I meant it. There is no way I’m going to join your religion. Please stop coming.” I shut the door with a little more enthusiasm, just enough for her to get the point.

She did not get the point.

Tuesday, she kicked it up a notch. She knocked again. I opened the door, shook my head, then shut it with gusto. Do you think that stopped her? No! She opened my screen door and stuck a copy of “Awake!” in the door crack!

I think I need a new tactic. The hubby said I should threaten to call the police. That would probably be effective, but in no way enjoyable. I read the magazine. Holy shit. Or, unholy, depending on your personal beliefs.

Fun fact, I love learning about religions. Love it. I am not, however, religious. I just think religions are fascinating.

I read the magazine, a magazine filled with advice on avoiding ebola, tips for a successful marriage, and a detailed explanation of the byssus strands on mussels. On the back page of the magazine, they list their other magazines for the year and what “real life issues” are addressed in each. I got “Awake!” #6. I wish I had gotten “Awake!” #5. The main topic? “How to discuss sex with your children.” Man I bet that one was good. All I got was some hack shit about making sure to appreciate your wife not only for her looks, but her ability to clean your house (like any swell husband would) and how the perfectly perfect byssus is so perfectly perfected it couldn’t possibly be the result of evolution because science is a tool of Satan. Or something. That’s what I got out of the article.

I need to get this old lady to leave me alone, and I’ve got an idea. I think I’m going to make my own magazine.

“Oh, Bethie.”

I could fill it with articles that are almost the same as the articles in “Awake!”, with the key difference of applying logic and morals.

“No.”

I’ll tweak the little things, like saying, “Isn’t the wonder of evolution amazing?” instead of “Isn’t the glory of God’s creation amazing?” and “A husband should respect his wife because she is a human being with same rights and responsibilities as him.”

“Bethie, you can’t do that.”

I’ll have these printed up and leave them in the basket by the door, and when Grandma Pushy Pants comes back, I’ll say, “Oh, you’ve got a magazine for me? Thanks! I have one for you, too.”

“Please, do not do this!”

Why not?

Honestly. WHY NOT?

“She’s just trying to spread her religion!”

TO SOMEONE WHO HAS ALREADY TOLD HER NOT TO.

Look, she has a right to her beliefs. But, so do I. I have made it abundantly clear that I am not interested, that I do not now, nor will I ever subscribe to her religion. I have asked her to leave me alone. She has chosen not to. Why shouldn’t I present a counter argument at this point?

“Because you have to respect her religion.”

NO. That is something people get wrong all the time. Freedom of religion does NOT mean you must respect all religions. Or any, for that matter.

I don’t have to respect her religion. I respect her right to believe in any religion she chooses. That’s a huge and important difference. I don’t have to respect any religious doctrine itself. I think what she believes in is utter bullshit. But, as a human being with a firm stance on personal freedoms, I totally and absolutely respect her right to be part of that religion if she wants.

That’s not really the point here, though. I’d be willing to keep that opinion to myself if she’d let me, a stance I’ve proven through the course of my entire life when I have never once tried to foist my beliefs on anyone else. I am perfectly happy to keep my thoughts and let her have hers. She’s the one that came to preach at me, not the other way around.

SHE is the one that has a problem with MY right to be left alone with MY beliefs.

I don’t know. It’s like the King of Passive Aggressive Plans, isn’t it? A slow play, too, since it relies on her coming back again. And it would be time consuming. Hmm.

“*resigned sigh* You’re going to do it anyway, aren’t you?”

I’ll keep you posted.

It’s been a week of odd interactions, not just at home, but at work, too.

We get a wide variety of customers at the bakery; some good, some bad, some noteworthy and some forgettable…and some noteworthy because they’re SO forgettable that I stop and think, “Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever met a more beige person in my life!”

Usually my interaction determines whether or not I will remember a customer. However, once in awhile I get a scene. I get to watch as customers act out their personal vignettes in front of my counter all on their own without involving me in any way. It’s not really “dinner theater,” because I can’t count a sample of the bread of a the day as “dinner”. It’s more like “snack-time soap opera.”

The other day, one such episode happened. I was icing red velvet cakes (on sale this week for the low, low price of $4.99! Come on down! Hurry while supplies last! Offer void in Guam.), which is a pretty boring task. Ice, crumb the sides, do red criss-crossy lines, shell the border, repeat. It’s mundane, and my mind was wandering.

I think that’s why I noticed the ladies at all. One soccer mom espied another familiar soccer mom, and they met in the empty space between the rye bread and the muffin table. There was a toddler in tow, one of those that an elderly aunt would have called “well turned out.” Perfect little hair cut, crisp, ironed OshKoshes, not a smear of snot anywhere on his face. His shoes were still tied, he had both socks on, and I bet his hands weren’t even sticky. I never had one of those kinds of kids, myself. I’m not really sure where you’d get them. Babies ‘R Us?

The mum of the Perfect Lad was, herself, a vision in carefully groomed perfection. Her hair was in a pin straight pony tail, her ironed Nike sweatshirt matched her ironed Nike t-shirt. Not any t-shirt. Not MY kind of t-shirt. It wasn’t a two dollar has-been pulled off the Walmart clearance rack with glee. I bet that t-shirt was cashmere just pretending to be casual. She was in yoga pants, of course. When I was a kid, capris were the pants of choice for soccer moms. Now, it’s yoga pants. Her socks were folded in half (I didn’t know anyone even did that anymore) and her shoes didn’t have a speck of dirt on them.

The one who approached was almost a carbon copy. Different brands. Soccer Mom #2 was repping Rebok AND Addidas with her sweathshirt and t combo. I think she won. Most name brands worn at one time is the winner, right? Or does she get points off for not matching? She had yoga pants, too, and again with the folded socks. I guess that is a thing. Damned hispsters and their unwanted influences.

“Hi, I haven’t seen you since the kids’ playdate!” said SM#2.Of course the convo would start like that. How could you POSSIBLY expect any different with that stage setting??

Soccer Mom #1, the mum of the Ironed Tot, began talking about how she and her husband spent their holiday season. She started with Thanksgiving, when they went to Mexico. She said, “Fortunately his mother took the kids, because girl.” She dragged out “girl.” “Girrrrrrllllll.” She is not a person who should do that.

Soccer Mom #2 said, “I hear you.” Apparently “girrrrrllllll” is soccer mom short hand. She understood what was meant. Thankfully, she also clarified. “Trust me, I’ve got two myself. It’s too much sometimes.”

SM#1 continued with joy that someone else understood the trials and tribulations of a rich, white, suburban mother of two whole children. “Riiiight?”

Quick aside: I’m thinking that dragging the words out might be like a verbal secret handshake of the Moms of Soccer. It’s my current working theory. I need more data, or some external corroboration. Please feel free to leave your assessment of the evidence, or any anecdotal studies you’ve personally conducted.

Anyway, she riiiiight?s and then talks about her holiday season in detail. After they got back from a week in Mexico, they decided to “low key” Christmas, because “we really needed time to decompress after the trip.” Don’t worry, guys, she was totally able to con her hubby’s mum into taking the kids again for New Year’s, which was good since childless holidays in Mexican resorts are real “stressors on a marriage.”

SM#2 was nodding and riiiiight-ing the whole time until SM#1 took a breath. This was the break SM#2 was eagerly awaiting, because she started talking about her own holidays, and how she and her husband decided to spend all three, T-day, C-day, and NY-eve, with their kids this year. “We were looking to keep it reaaaaallllly low key and reaaaaalllly classic.”

SM#1 took that as the jab it was meant to be. I may not have been sporting name brand apparel, but even I picked up on the subverted snarkiness. SM#1 could not allow such a thing to pass without firing her own salvo. “Did I hear that you are looking at downsizing? Someone said your house might have to go up on the market?”

OH SNAP.

SM#2 pinched. Her face pinched, her muscles pinched. I mean, everything about her pulled in to prepare for warrior mode, and I honestly thought she was building up a “Hadouken” to slam into opponent.

*gamer fistbump* *damnit guys…could you at least wipe the Cheeto dust off before I fistbump you next time?*

SM#2 said that her husband took a new career path.

“I heard there were layoffs. I’m sorry,” meowed SM#1, not at ALL sorry.

“Oh, no,” SM #2 corrected. “He wasn’t laid off. He started in a new division, one that will give him much more time at home with the kids. They won’t be young forever, and if he just works the entire time, he’ll miss it. He doesn’t want to miss it.” The “he” was said with the arch of an eyebrow and the twist of a knife, clearly indicating some not-so-secret rumblings among the soccer mom community about the state of involvement of SM#1’s husband in the lives of his perfectly presented progeny.

Now it was SM#1’s turn to assume the fighting stance. “That sounds…rustic.”

And with that, it was really on. A half hour. They went at it for a solid half hour. Smiles on their faces the whole time as they held their verbal sword fight, the toddler standing there with a level of patient sadness I have never before seen in one so young. He didn’t cry. He didn’t fuss. He was simply resigned. 2 years old, and already resigned to a life of dealing with his mother’s bullshit.

It wasn’t pretty.

I can’t relate to these people in any way. Take away the expensive clothes. I really don’t give a shit what they’re wearing. The snark about that was just for comedy. It was everything else, all the intangible things that made these two women not only unrelatable, but thoroughly unlikable.

I would never, ever see someone I knew in a grocery store and think, “Hey, there’s Sally. She looks like she’s having a nice day, that bitch. Let’s ruin it.”

And it went beyond the vicious verbal volley. It was what they were saying, the lives they described between the hissing and meowing and implied clawing. Just in another realm entirely. Real Housewives of NH.

Oooh. Now there’s an idea. It would be kind of like Duck Dynasty meets Desperate Housewives. Throw in the Jehovah’s grandma to attract a religious crowd and all the bases would be covered. We’ve already cast three members to having a show that would totally own the autumn line up.

I’ll take ten percent for coming up with the idea. The rest is up to you, Bravo.

Thus concludes the first truly long-winded Muse of the year for January 19, 2017. I got a new keyboard. My old one shit the bed with the help of some coffee the hubby spilled and I’ve been using a donor from Teen 2.0 that was tiny and straight and overall unappealing to my hands. But the new ergo. one arrived, so it’s smooth typin’…until the man kills another. I either have to get some kind of keyboard cover, or he needs a sippy cup. Gotta start carving notches in the desk for all he’s killed. I think we’re up to 11 now…

2016 Unnoticed Enemy…

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Mornin’ all.

I’ve got to talk about something that’s been really eating at me lately. I know I promised in the last Muse that we’d get silly again, but sometimes life requires deep, meaningful discussion to suss out the lessons we can glean from a troubling issue.

Or a controversial one.

I’m not going to lie; I may lose friends here.

It began with a set of lyrics I heard. You all know how important music is to me. Music is a siren to my emotions and sometimes the words grab hold and twine in my head and heart. So it really shouldn’t be a surprise that a set of lyrics kick-started a deeply emotional journey.

What lyrics were those which moved me to obsession for days?

These four walls have a got a story to tell
The door is off the hinges, there’s no wish in the well
Outside the sky is coal black and the streets are on fire
The picture windows cracked and there’s no where to run
I know, I know
This house is not for sale.

“Uh, Bethie? Is that…is that a real estate song? What the HELL kind of music are you into these days?”

Yes, it is, and the answer is rock ‘n roll.

“That is not a rock song.”

Agreed. But sadly, it is. It’s from the recent Bon Jovi song “This House Is Not For Sale.”

Now, here’s the controversy:

Bon Jovi should have hung up his guitar ten years ago.

“Bethie!”

READ THAT SHIT AGAIN. It’s PAIN-FUL. It doesn’t even rhyme. YouTube it if you must and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s set to the world’s most basic public domain rock beat. He sings in it that burnt-out-jaded-bartender voice that’s WAY too high on sincerity and way too low on self-realization.

“But it’s BON JOVI.”

No. I disagree. I think the person we once knew as Jon Bon Jovi is gone and he’s been replaced with an intergalactic pod person. A husk. A shell of himself filled with the soul of an interloper who’s desperately trying to work its way into the upper echelon of society by possessing a once-loved superstar. The Bon Jovi I know, the one I grew up with, would never stoop to such drivel.

Here are more lyrics:

Drove a spike into the ground and I staked my claim
Standing on the dirt where they’ll dig my grave
Now what built these walls is in my veins
No time for looking back, the wolf is at the door
This heart, this soul
This house is not for sale.

You know the infinite monkey theorem? The one that states if you put a enough monkeys in a room with typewriters, they’ll eventually produce an entire copy of a Shakespeare play?

If you put enough monkeys in a room with typewriters and leave them in there long enough, they may end up with a Shakespeare manuscript, but I guarantee they will never, ever produce this song, because even monkeys that can’t read know it’s a steaming pile of shit that should never have existed.

I set each stone and I hammered each nail
This house is not for sale
Where memories live and the dream don’t fail
This house is not for sale
Coming home
I’m coming home.

That’s the chorus. Over and over. Whiskey-voiced, takes-himself-WAY-too-seriously-for-someone-pumping-out-musical-diarrhea Jon Bon Jovi beating this dead horse over and over and over…

Do you remember when Madonna came out with the album “Hard Candy?” No, of course you don’t, because it was 2008 and Madonna had become so thirsty and desperate that the handful of people who pretended to like anything off that album only did so out of pity. No one wanted to see her wrinkly pancake ass flapping out of her Spanx on the stage. It reached a point where it just got sad. “Hard Candy” was the start of the sad.

“This House is Not For Sale” is Bon Jovi’s “Hard Candy.”

It’s okay for rock stars to age. It’s actually often more than we can hope for. It’s good to see a wrinkled former rocker, because that means that they somehow navigated through the “sex and drugs” part of the lifestyle that claims so many. We WANT them to age. I WANT Bon Jovi to get older.

You hear that, Mr. Jovi? I WANT YOU TO GET AS OLD AS THE HILLS.

But Jon. Can I call you Jon? Heart to heart time here, Jon. You just released a single about goddamn real estate. Maybe it’s time to just rest on the previous successes you’ve had. I don’t want to see you go full on Madonna. Nobody does.

“Bethie, it’s metaphorical. He’s not ACTUALLY talking about real estate.”

He was going for metaphorical. He was going for, “I built this house and you can’t tear it down.” But that’s not what he says, is it? He’s been in the rock game so long, he KNOWS that’s an old trope, a staple that’s been way overused. So in order to attempt to put a new spin on a tired sentiment, he tried to cram as many metaphors together as possible.

What he gets in the end is not a metaphor. It’s just a jumbled pile of shit that winds up meaning nothing.

Look at it from a critical standpoint.

“You haven’t been doing that?”

No. I’ve been looking at it from a place of disappointment. There’s a difference.

Take all the emotion of a long forgotten teen who had Mr. Jovi’s “Tiger Beat” photo on her wall out of it, and just look at the words from a basic writing standpoint.

He starts out talking about the four walls and stories they could tell, but never actually tells those stories. Instead, he jumps right into the muthafuckin’ apocalypse happening outside, then says his house isn’t for sale. The story…progresses? We’ll humor him and call it progress. The story progresses by going back to points about the construction of the house he’s currently in according to the massive context cue of the overuse of “this house”, only to throw us for a loop when he promises to “come home.”

Which house were you singing about, Jon? If you’re singing about “this” house, but you have to “come home” to it, then you’re not really singing about “this” house, are you? You’re singing about THAT house.

“It’s METAPHORICAL. He’s talking about himself.”

He drove nails into himself? He has four walls and a broken-hinged door? Okay, weird, but let’s roll with it. How do you explain this next steaming pile?

This house was built on trust
That’s what it is and always was
No wrecking ball could knock it down
This house was built on higher ground

GODDAMNIT JON. That doesn’t even make sense!!! What the hell does higher ground have to do with trust? You’re not talking about living through a tsunami or hurricane. You’ve mentioned nothing about erosion or the foundation being weak. A wrecking ball most certainly CAN take down a house on top of a hill.

Have you ever stopped to think about what words mean!?!

*sigh*

If a new music group released this song on YouTube hoping for it to be their big break, they’d get 82 views, most of those from Grandma trying to be supportive…and even SHE would give it a thumbs down under the blanket of anonymity that is the internet. People would laugh at them because this is a terrible song. The ONLY reason this is playing across the radio waves is because it’s Bon Jovi.

Jon. Remember when you were “Livin’ on a Prayer?” When you made us all imagine we were in an old westerny shoot out with “Dead or Alive?” What happened, Jon? This…this is shit, man. This is worse than shit. It’s lazy. You didn’t just get old. You got LAZY. Lazy lyrics, lazy music, lazy tempo. You made a plug and play pop song, Jon.

Get it together, man. I’m saying this because I care. Get it together, and fast. Otherwise you’re going to find yourself in Spanx jiggling next to Madonna and wondering where it all went so wrong.

Thus concludes a Muse for Friday, January 6, 2017. I’m off to keep changing the station on my way into work in the desperate attempt to avoid hearing this piece of trash.