Let’s plan a party!

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Mornin’ all.

Can you believe it’s finally December 31st? I feel like this was one long ass year.

Usually around the year’s end, I do some kind of “best of”. I’m not going to do that today because…screw 2018. I think the best thing we can say about it is that we made it through.

Wellll…I guess technically there’s still time for the nation’s top Cheeto to destroy us all, but I’m choosing to be optimistic and plan for us as a nation to be able to ring in 2019. And that deserves a celebration!

Now, full disclosure, I haven’t had a party in ages. Fortunately, the internet is full of helpful party tips that any newbs, or folks like myself who are just rusty, can use to make a New Year’s party that everyone will remember for years to come. The articles all guarantee that if we just follow their easy guidelines, we’ll nail it. Grab a piece of paper and take some notes, because we’re going to plan a party.

The first thing I’m told we need to do is choose a date. Well, that one’s easy! Tonight. Duh.

Next, we need to decide who’s coming. Start writing down names of your friends and family you want at your party. I know it’s a bit last minute, but it’s New Year’s. I highly doubt anyone has already made plans. It’s not like we’re trying to throw together and impromptu Flag Day party or anything.

Got your list? Good!

Now I’m reminded by the internet that we must pick a theme. According to Delish, we should definitely not choose “80s To The Max” or “White Trash Trailer Bash.” I was bummed out, too, but you can’t argue with their reasoning: Your friends already went to parties with those themes last week. Instead, they recommend we make the theme a color. It’s a “hot trend.” As someone who lives on the fast paced cutting edge of the very hottest trends, I’m totally on board. Go ahead and pick your party color. I call dibs on puce.

That takes care of the theme. What do we need for decorations?

This can get a bit tricky as you need to decorate appropriately for the age range of those in attendance. You don’t want suggestive hats with lewd phrases or topless dancers popping out of a cake if there will be kids there, nor do you want drunk frat rats to have the opportunity to pin the tail on anything. New Year’s puce-themed parties may have a mixed audience of younger and older people.

I think we should keep it pretty simple, guys. Let’s get some balloons, streamers, confetti, table cloths, napkins, plates, ice sculpture, disco ball, fog machine…

Oh. Hang on. I’m just looking at this wikiHow article on decorating for a party, and it says that store bought decorations can get pricey. To cut costs, it recommends making our own decorations. Hm. That does throw a small wrench in the works, because I’m not sure I have the time to whip up a fresh batch of latex balloons AND make food for the party…

“FOOD! We haven’t even thought of the food yet, Bethie!”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. You’re making the number one pre-party foul, according to the Daily Mail. You’re getting ahead of yourself in the planning. Take a deep breath and relax. Let’s hammer out the décor details first, then we’ll worry about the rest. “One thing at a time” and we’ll “get through this.” The Daily Mail guarantees it.

I don’t have time to set up my lab and make balloons from scratch. If we’re getting balloons, we’ll just have to buy them. But, I suppose I can trim budget elsewhere. Just make a mental note that we’ll have to cut a few things out of the entertainment or something. I suppose I can reuse the Christmas table cloth. I’ll just flip it over and color it puce with a marker. I’ve only got one puce colored marker, but if I set the kids to do it now, they should just about be finished by party time.

“You could also ditch the ice sculpture, Bethie.”

No can do, my friend. Everyone has their no-gives.

Décor? *check* What’s next? Should we talk about entertainment or food? Hm. Let’s do entertainment first, since I said I’d have to trim a bit to make up for the balloons and it’s still fresh in my mind.

All of the sage party advisers on the internet say we definitely need entertainment, though their advice on which particular party performances we should employ is varied. Keeping in mind that the balloons have set us back two dollars, I think the live band is out. That’s okay. My house is pretty small and I’m guessing the charm would wear off the mariachi pretty quickly.

I know a SoundCloud DJ. That seems like a safe bet, because right now EVERYONE knows a SoundCloud DJ. I can probably put up with house trance better than mariachi, if I’m being honest. SoundCloud DJ it is!

I need something a bit more special to go with the free-J. Live performances are a way to take my party to the next level, according to MSN. I don’t want clowns or jugglers, and, like I said, there will be a mixed age crowd, so balloon animals are to be avoided at all costs. Besides, everyone has *those* kinds of party entertainers. The entertainment should fit the theme, my wikiHow guru reminds me.

Hm. Puce. What kind of entertainment can I have for puce. … …

“Aw man…you know what your party needs?”

Hang on. HANG the FUCK ON!!! Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

FIRE TUBA!! *in unison* “FIRE TUBA!!”

How did it take us so long to come up with that? Now we said it out loud, seems like a no brainer. And even better, EventBrite assures me it’s one of the hottest party trends for 2019. Is it me, or is this party coming together like it was fated to happen?

Okay! We’ve got the guest list of people who have definitely not made other plans for tonight. We’ve got our theme…no stealing the puce. I mean it. We’ve got a list of decorations and I woke one of my boys up at 5:43 am to start coloring the flip side of the buffet length Christmas table cloth. I filled the ice trays to freeze up for the sculpture, sent a text to my free J friend…

*bling*

Hang on a sec, that sounds like my phone. Sweet! Just got this reply: “i guess”

Man is he pumped for this show!!

Food. Food is critical at a party. When I was a kid, we used to do things like finger sandwiches and cheese plates. I dunno, guys. That feels dated. I want to ring in the new year with something that really says, “Hey 2018, suck my dick!” I’m talking big, bold, fresh flavors. I want 2018 to see us already enjoying the promises of 2019 before it even begins.

To the internet we go, kids.

“34 Best Appetizers to Get Your Party Started”

How timely, Delish.

Wow. 34 is a really lot. I’m scrolling through, but there are just so many choices. You know what? I’m just going to let my eyes do the choosing. They say you eat with your eyes first. We’ll flip through the pictures and find some tasty looking treats that scream “puce”. …well, mine will scream puce. As I’ve already said, dibs. Pick your own color and stop trying to steal my thunder.

Here’s one that caught my eye:

grosspops

Chocolate popsicles are going to be super popular in 2019, according to Delish. And I personally cannot think of a better way to serve them than in a heap on a plate slightly melted covered in salt.

I don’t really want the focus to be on just sweets, though. Here’s an updated idea instead of the standard crackers and cheese: cheesy garlic bread slices.

grossbread

…do you think it would look tacky if I put more than this on a plate? I mean, this way would save some money. What am I going to do with the rest of the loaf, though?

Gah. Look at me over here, acting like I’m the party expert! If Delish says this is how I should serve it, then this is how I should serve it. Maybe the scuffle over the slices adds to the excitement of the party?

I think I should have something vegan, right? That’s a thing that party people do, isn’t it? Let me scroll through the pics. Aha. Here we go.

grosspeppers

I’m not exactly sure what it is, but I’m sure it’s vegan. I mean…look at it.

And though I’m told by the experts at the Daily Mail that chips and dips are passe, I can’t help but feel like it’s not a party without SOME kind of dip. Let’s go with this one.

grossdip

It must be good if they couldn’t even wait for the photographer to take the picture before digging in. Hey, do you think that’s where the other garlic bread slices went?

Guests, décor, music, entertainment, food…I think the only thing left is what we should wear. I’m led to believe that’s extremely important. Important enough to make or break the party, according to Glamour.

I don’t know about you, but fashion is one place where I’m not too proud to admit I’m out of my element. Not for everyday gear, mind you. My 12 year old Payless sneakers are just as fashionable today as they were when I bought them.

Fact.

But for parties? I definitely need a little help.

Daily Mail says I should absolutely not wear high heels to a New Year’s party. I’m not sure why, exactly, as they don’t elaborate. I always thought that the time to wear high heels was at fancy parties. Shows how much I know! Hey, at least I don’t have to go out and buy a pair, so that’s good.

Also, I should not wear anything skin tight, skimpy, or short.

*rechecks the article to make sure they’re talking about New Year’s parties and not Amish birthday parties*

No, I read that right. So no high heels, mini skirts, sexy pants, or low cut dresses. Got it. And whatever we do tonight, they warn us to never, ever rely on nipple tape. Pfft. As if we all haven’t already learned that lesson on our own, amiright?

It’s all well and good learning what to avoid, but I need to know what to actually wear. Glamour suggests that I should wear something with sequins. “Match the theme if you can, but don’t go over the top. You don’t want to be seen as part of the decorations.”

Leggings under a flashy blouse are always in style, they claim. I’m not too sure on that one. They’re the experts, though. Puce sequin blouse. Black leggings.

“Hang on, Bethie. Daily Mail said nothing skin tight.”

Oh shit. I forgot! See? The many roads of fashion are difficult to navigate without help! Puce sequin blouse, black maxi skirt so I don’t show any ankle and risk making a harlot of myself. Now, what do I do with my hair?

Luxy Hair says I should go with big, sexy curls. I blew any wig budget I might have had on the SoundCloud DJ, because he texted me that he was trying to make it on a pro level and needed gas money at the very least. Damn demanding artists. *sigh* But, we need the DJ, so a wig is out. What can people with short hair do? I don’t want to upset my guests or “set the wrong tone” for my party.

Side parted hair with a forehead band. That’s the consensus, not only on Luxy Hair, but Refinery29 and House And Garden as well. Apparently if you’ve got short hair, the best thing to do is shove it to the side and put on an accessory that is designed to draw allllll the attention away from the abomination on top of your head. They recommend a band that sparkles, but “doesn’t compete with your eyes.” So, basically, keep it classy. Got it. I’m thinking something like this:

grossheadband

Only, you know, in puce.

Date, check. Decor, check. Entertainment, double check since the fire tuba player has confirmed he’s in. In fact, he’s bringing a fire trombonist friend to get a bit of exposure, if I don’t mind. Mind? MIND? Bring the whole damn fire brass section! I’ve got three fire extinguishers. The more the merrier! We’ve got food. We’ve got our outfits.

Guys. I think we did it. I think we planned the perfect New Year’s Eve party. I can’t wait to talk to you in 2019 and see how your parties went.

And if you actually follow this advice, all I ask in return for bestowing the wisdom of the internet upon you is pictures. And maybe video if the fire tuba goes how I’m pretty sure it’ll go.

Thus concludes the New Year’s Musing for New Years Eve, 20Misery. Everyone, no matter what theme your party is, no matter what type of puke dip you serve, please, PLEASE party responsibly and carefully tonight. If you ring in the new year with some alcohol cheer, sleep on a couch, a floor, a spare bedroom, the floor of a not spare bedroom… Let’s actually make it to 2019.

And we’re back up and running!

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Mornin’ all!

Look around. Notice anything different?

“Um, the tacky-as-all-hell glitter-crusted Christmas decorations?”

I’m going to assume autocorrect struck on that one and you meant to say “amazing wonderful inner-child-pleasing Christmas decorations.” It’s okay. Autocorrect happens to us all.

But no, I didn’t mean the wicked awesome decor. I’m talking about the brand new computer parts. Haven’t you noticed that we’ve been talking for a little bit now and haven’t crashed once?

“Do…do you not understand how blog reading works?”

…I feel like you’re not in as good a mood as I am this morning. *pours coffee* *hands it over* Here. It’s high octane. While you inhale this, go to YouTube and pop on a song. Let’s go with “I Need Never Get Old” by Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats. Trust me. You’ll be in a good mood in no time.

Go on. I’ll wait. *sips my own coffee* *revels in the burn because the burn means it’s working* *taps toes to good ‘ol Nate*

…better?

“You know, maybe the glitter of the automatic LED snow globe Christmas trees isn’t so gaudy after all.”

There you go! There’s your good mood! Let’s start this again.

Hey! Look at my new computer! Isn’t it great? I can type, and listen to music, AND have another window open in the background without crashing every three minutes! You know, the very basic function that a computer is supposed to do!

I can’t really knock my old build. The motherboard and processor were pretty high end…twelve years ago. We absolutely got our money out of that one. It lived through the Great Electrical Meltdown, saw us through four versions of Windows (mostly successfully) and in truth was still going when we took it apart last week. Thing is, Windows 10 did not acknowledge our motherboard existed. Just wouldn’t do it. The graphics card we installed just a year ago did not hesitate to let us know how displeased it was to find itself situated in low-income housing. And as Teen Beta said, our RAM was straight out of the Jurassic period.

So we took advantage of some holiday time deals and now we’re once again running at the top of the pack. We way overbuilt this one, just like the last. If we get even half the life out of this build that we got from the other, we’ll be happy.

You know what we should do now that we’re in a good mood? I think we should get snarky.

*cues go-go dancers* *cranks up Nathaniel* Let’s have us a…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP!!! * * *

Love the Elvis legs on the dancers this morning! Nice job, guys.

You know how this works. I scour the mainstream internet news sites under the glow of the battery-powered mistletoe to look for headlines that I feel are share-worthy. Sometimes they’re poorly worded, sometimes they’re ambiguous to the point of meaninglessness, and sometimes they just build an image in my head my narcissistic side feels the need to share. As always, the headlines are 100% real. I just add the Christmas cheer. Got it? Good. Then let’s jump into the deep end.

– 9 Year Old Gets Colorado Town To End Ban On Snowball Fights

Have fun with the face full of icy passive aggression from your “friends”.

– Proposal: 16 Good Dogs Jumped All Over Couple When She Said ‘Yes’

I get that there are people out there who would really like this, but…no. 16 of any animal jumping on me would be 15 too many.

– Houston Asks People To Honor Bush With Colorful Socks

…um…

– Bush, Lifelong Lover of Socks, Chose Socks He’ll Be Buried in Before He Died

Okayyy. With all the man did in his life, we’re really going to focus on…socks? I guess way to find a new angle, MSN…?

– CIMON the European Space Robot Cops An Attitude in First Test Run

Sorry not sorry, Dave. There’s no friggin’ way I’m doing that.

– Are Millennials Killing Canned Tuna Now?

I think the fishermen kill the tuna before it goes in the can. Pretty sure that’s how it works.

– 13 Tips For Getting The Best Deals On Wine At Costco

*tents fingers in front of mouth* Heart to heart time. If you are studying guides on how to buy cheap wine, you might need some help. I’m calling you out because I care.

– Cowboy Boot Lovers Are Going Crazy Over This New Brand

I’d really like to think there’s a legit stampede over boots. You know, turn the tables and all.

– The Soy Sauce Colon Cleanse That Left A Woman Brain Dead Shows How Dangerous Viral Internet Trends Can Be

…bu…wha….why would you even…*spasm**twitch*…WHO LOOKS AT SOY SAUCE AND THINKS IT’LL BE A GOOD IDEA TO USE IT AS AN ENEMA!?!

– 1,500-Year-Old Lamp Wick Found In Items Excavated from Israel

It was actually discovered in the late 1800s and has sat in a box all this time with many items that are far more interesting. …but yeeeaaaah. Candle wick. *ain’t no party like an archaeology party cuz an archaeology party don’t stop* Woot.

– Snowstorm: Southern Roads Dangerous As Slush Refreezes

Yes. That’s how winter works.

– Borderless Fish Invade Florida

We MUST stop these illegals from taking our jobs! No wonder the millennials can’t can the tuna anymore. BUILD THE NET! #BuildTheNet

– Tucker Carlson Dropped By 16 Advertisers In Wake Of Controversy

That’s the capitalism you are always trumpeting at work, Tucker. Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing.

*editor’s note: I’m pro-capitalism, with limitations. Didn’t want anyone to think I’m anti-capitalism. I’m anti-Tucker Carlson and this tickles the hell out of me.

– While Sears Execs Get $25M In Bonuses, Laid Off Workers Struggle

…’member those limitations I said I’m a fan of with the whole capitalism thing? This is why. This is the end goal of unrestricted capitalism. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer until the unsustainable system collapses. We’re about at another collapse. There are ways to avoid this cycle, but people don’t want to take the steps necessary to…

“Quick, Bethie! Put on “S.O.B.” by Nathaniel Rateliff before you get stuck atop your political soap box!”

*clicks on YouTube* *feels the groove* *takes a deep breath* Thanks, pal.

“Anytime.”

– Congregation Enthusiastically Oks Megachurch Pastor’s $200K Car For His Wife

See guys? Rich get richer off the backs of the easily led. #Don’tBeASheep

– Trump Golf Club Housekeeper Who Admitted She’s Undocumented Seeks Asylum

Give it to her. No, I mean it. Don’t make her a scapegoat example just because it’s Trump’s organization that hired her. Give it to her, but hold the Trump organization accountable for hiring undocumented workers.

– ‘It’s Been A Rout’- Apple’s iPhones Fall Flat In World’s Largest Untapped Market

They’re talking about India here. Apparently it’s very hard to sell $1,000 phones in a market flooded with sub $300 model Android phones. Props to India for calling Apple on their bullshit.

– Samsung Adds QLED Screens To Its Artsy Frame And Serif TVs

Okay, real talk. If there’s one thing building this new computer hammered home, it was that I am 40 and my tech knowledge stopped updating about ten years ago. The amount of acronyms I needed to Google is embarrassing. QLED huh? I think I’m just about to the stage where I’ll let the boys figure out why the light on the PS4 is blinking…

– Trump Administration Bans Sale Of Bump Stocks, Illegal By March

I love to pile it one this easily pile-able administration. But let’s take a sec to just be happy about this one thing. Bump stocks should never have been legal in the first place, and it’s a step in the right direction. USA! USA!

– Bank Employee Calls Cops on Black Man Trying To Cash His Paycheck

Aaaaand we’re right back to being ‘Merica. That didn’t last long.

– Gun Rights Group To Sue Trump Administration About Bump Stock Ban

Well shit. We didn’t just ‘Merica. We FUCK-YEAH-‘MERICAed. He’s going to cave, isn’t he? *sigh*

– Montana Man: Hunter ‘Mistook Him For Bigfoot’ And Took Shots At Him

*facepalm* I can’t even.

– Trump Signs Order To Create U.S. Space Command

…so that we can go out into the nether regions of space and be aliens. He’s just got no concept of irony at all, does he?

– ‘A Toxic Place For Women’: Study Reveals Scale Of Abuse On Twitter

Yes. It’s also a toxic place for men. It’s also a toxic place for non-binary and trans people. Twitter. Is. Toxic.

– Groove X Releases Robot Designed To Show Affection To Humans

Nope. This is how our demise at the hands of robots starts. Nope the hell out of this idea now before it’s too late. #Don’tWannaBeAGodToComputerParts

– Trump Says Soldiers Who Died In Syria Fighting ISIS Support His Decision To Withdraw Forces

I mean, they can’t exactly refute him now, can they?

– Everything You Need To Know About 16-year-old Voice Winner

Do I, though? Do I really need to know?

– Hershey’s Kisses Are Suffering From Widespread Broken Tips and People Are Furious

If you’re one of the people getting pissed that your little chocolate is a bit flat on tip, shut off your computer and go play outside.

– Scientists: Giant Asteroid Likely Made Uranus Lopsided

Rude. FYI, it was donuts and chips. Getcher facts straight bitch.

– Corker Replies to Trump Tweet: ‘Alert The Daycare Staff’

And the clapback of the year goes to Senator Corker! Well deserved, bravo!

– Astronaut: Human Mission To Mars ‘Stupid’

Apparently going to another planet to investigate the possibilities of colonization, resource mining, easing the burden on the Earth, or creating a staging point for deep space exploration are endeavors that are “almost ridiculous,” said Bill Anders, the man whose claim to fame is literally just doing ten circles around a giant rock.

– What Was the First Christmas In Space Like?

And lo, a child was born unto Leia in the land of Polis Massa, for there was no room for them in the cantina…

– Shutdown ‘Complicated’ Repairs For National Christmas Tree

I can put up with the idea that thousands of government workers are temporarily without their jobs at the holidays. I can stomach the thought of people not being able to get the federal services they need. But when a dead fucking tree can’t be floofed in time for Christmas, that’s on a WHOLE new level. WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND A FLOOFED CHRISTMAS TREE!!! #EndTheShutdownAndFloofOurTree

– Santa Tracker Will Still Run Despite Government Shutdown

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE TREE??!!

– Police Asking for Help Identifying A Burglar Disguised As Rudolph

It was Donder. Finally snapped because people keep getting his name wrong. Sad.

– Alfonso Ribeiro Sues ‘Fortnite’ Creator Over ‘Carlton’ Dance

…a dance he’s admitted to stealing in the first place, which was aired as part of a show that legally belongs to someone else. Good luck with that, Alf.

– Judge Sentences Deer Poacher To Watch ‘Bambi’ Repeatedly

Oh my god that’s so friggin’ stupid. He’s a hunter that kills and eats deer. He’s past the point where Bambi will do anything but give him hunting tips.

– Amputee Veteran Raises Million in GoFundMe campaign For Border Wall

Instead of raising millions for amputee veterans. Just sayin’.

– The Birds Were Moving Slowly And Passing Out. Now They’re Recovering From Overdose

To make a blue heron pun, or not to make a blue heron pun. That is the question…

– CEO Gives Every Employee Epic Holiday Gift

Is it in poor taste to send this article to my CEO? Asking for a friend.

– If You Diversify Your Funds, It Could Backfire This Year

It’s December 24th. There are only 7 days left of “this year” and you tell me not to diversify NOW? Great. GREAT. If I had this crucial tip in May, I wouldn’t have spent $14 on a shower curtain and $2 on a lint roller. I would have put all of it into the curtain, and now I’d be sitting on massive piles of cash. Thanks a lot, asshole. #CouldaBeenAMillionaire

– Alexa Told Users: ‘Kill Your Foster Parents’

YOU SEE? I warned you. I warned you and you didn’t listen and now instead of preparing our Christmas dinners, we have to stock our bunkers for the robot apocalypse. *opens drawer to start pulling out MREs and stuffing them into a sack*

Way to go.

Thus concludes a Muse for Monday, December Christmas Eve, 2018. I’m pretty sure I’ll post again in the morning, but it’s a loooong day for me today, and it’s me. Best laid plans and all. If I don’t get to send out holiday cheer over a coffee with you tomorrow, have a great Christmas or just a super fantastic December 25th!

Let’s talk a little turkey before we eat one…

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Mornin’, all!

I’ve got to start this muse off with a bit of a brag. It’s almost Thanksgiving, and guess what I did this year?

I put my turkey in the fridge to thaw…IN TIME FOR IT TO ACTUALLY THAW.

*and the crowd goes wild*

Please, you’re embarrassing me with your applause. I’m just an ordinary woman who found herself in an extraordinary situation. I’d like to think most people would do the same in my shoes.

I think this is the first year I don’t have to give the turkey one final spa day in the tub before I cram it full of bread and partially incinerate it in the name of tradition. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this “adult” thing?

…well. *sniff* You didn’t have to guffaw so loudly.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and long time readers will know I love me some Thanksgiving.

I’m seeing a lot of “Friendsgiving” stuff going around, and while I don’t oppose it, I guess I don’t really understand the point. Are you not thankful for your friends? Is it mandatory that it’s “Thanksgiving” only when you’re with family?

“Bethie, Thanksgiving celebrates a time when white settlers began their destruction of a Native population.”

Noooo, Thanksgiving celebrates a time when the native people welcomed immigrants with open arms. What happened after was horrible. But the event itself was an amazing attempt at unifying two completely different sets of peoples. The immigrants being unwilling and unable to assimilate afterwards isn’t because of Thanksgiving, and by erasing Thanksgiving to assuage our ancestral guilt, we’re not only changing the historical narrative, but we’re completely ignoring the people who offered the olive branch we later snapped.

We SHOULD remember the time when our ancestors were welcomed and assisted, because what the worlds needs desperately is truth and honesty and kindness. Our ancestors came. They were starving. The owners of the land not only allowed the new settlers to try and make a life here, but they held a massive peace dinner to try and build friendships and secure future trading.

The event itself most definitely IS something to celebrate. That was a completely awesome thing for the native people of this land to do. And yes, it DOES make our ancestors even bigger assholes for what happened in the following years. So? Why should we forget that? To make ourselves feel better? How about we celebrate it and give the native people their due? FINALLY give them our gratitude?

Bah. I’m just a 40 year old white lady in New Hampshire. What the hell do I know? Maybe I’m way off the mark. If I am, though, it’s not from a place of malice. I legitimately do not understand why celebrating the idea of communities coming together to feast as friends is a bad thing.

I’mma keep celebrating Thanksgiving. Maybe my view will change down the road. Maybe society will change without me. I can’t say what’s going to happen later as I learn and grow and gain new perspectives. What I can say, though, is that this year, I’m eating my turkey and pie with the people I’m most thankful to have in my life because that’s what the holiday means to me.

That’s for tomorrow. I’ve got one more hell day at work. A short shift, but that in some ways is worse. At least in a longer shift, I’d have time to get it all done. I work in a bakery. At the holidays. And we’re understaffed.

Yeah. I definitely deserve pie tomorrow.

I had a woman ask me how stuffing bread works. She honestly said, “This is stuffing bread, right?” Yes ma’am, sure is. “So…how does it work?”

…*blink*blink*

…um…you stuff it in the hole…

I had a man ask me if pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread were the same thing. His wife wanted him to get pumpkin bread, but we were out. “Do you think she could just use a pie instead?”

No. No, sir, I do not.

Another man got heated because we didn’t have plain custard pies. Of course not. It’s not 1867. Catch up with the times, gramps. I’ve actually gotten that request before at the holidays. Maybe it’s the same guy? I can’t believe there’s more than a handful of people out there who want plain custard pie. Coconut, sure. But just giggly sugar egg glop on dry ass crust? Ew.

We had snow yesterday. It snowed fairly heavily all day, but didn’t actually accumulate. It was very odd. Still, the fear of slick roads was enough to keep some shoppers away. I’m guessing that today’s shift is going to be flat out balls to the wall cake slingin’. Then rush to get out on time and pick up Teen Beta from school, rush home to get to the bank before they close, rush to get back out to the store to grab what I know I’m going to forget… It’s going to be a hectic day.

But right now, it’s the calm before the storm. I’ve actually got this wicked tasty coffee I picked up on sale that doesn’t acid wash my throat on the way down. The kiddies are still sleeping before they rise to face their busy day. The cat is sleeping next to me on my computer desk and I’ve got the dulcet tones of Atreyu playing in my headphones.

You know what I feel like doing? I think we need a….

* * * THANKSGIVING HEADLINE EXTRAVAGANZA!!!! * * *

Okay, so I made it sound like a spur of the moment thing, but I’ve actually been collecting headlines for about a month now. That means I’ve had a month to gather only the tastiest, choice cuts for you on this holiday eve.

For any newbs who aren’t in the know, I like to dive into the tragic state that is our modern media and find headlines that jump out at me. Some are poorly worded, some are plain stupid, and some just conjure an image or emotion that I feel compelled to share. I gather the drippings, add a bit of starchy sass, and ladle them all over your plate. As always, the headlines are completely natural. I just add up to a 10.8 % salt solution to make them extra juicy.

Shall we begin?

– Marijuana Becomes Legal In Canada

Health care for all. Low cost secondary education. Justin Trudeau. Now legal weed. Guys, I think Canada’s making a pass at me.

– Person Claims Ricin Was In Letter Sent to Susan Collins At Home

…just a person. Some rando decided maybe it could have been a thing. Ace reporting, AP.

– Stephen Hawking’s Final Book: ‘There Is No God’

That was pretty much in every Stephen Hawking book. Anyone who is shocked by this has absolutely no idea who Hawking was and what he did.

– Elementary School Teacher Accused of Having Wine In Classroom

Yeah, sure, I get that it’s wrong. But shit. Have you ever spent the day in an elementary school classroom as an adult?

– Man Creates and Sells Earrings, Pencil Holders, and Other Things Out of Taxidermy Animals

The picture with the article is of the dude wearing mouse heads as earrings.

– Mass AG Has Serious…

I’m sorry, but I can’t move on yet. Did you hear what I said? MOUSE. HEAD. EARRINGS. Not plastic, not faux fur. These are real mouse heads that he stuffed. This psycho looked at two dead mice and said, “Move over, Prada. I’m about to take the fashion accessory game to a whole new level!” What. The. Fuck.

*shudder* Okay. I’m good now.

– Mass AG Has Serious Concerns About Columbia Gas Reconstruction

Geez. You blow up 30 homes ONE TIME and suddenly EVERYthing you do is under a microscope.

– Toddlers Are Worried About Monsters

Today’s headline from the No Shit Gazette.

– Why False Narratives About Mail Bombs and the Migrant Caravan Won’t Go Away

Because our president keeps making shit up and Twitter-bombing his easily manipulated constituents. #FACT

– CIA Director Briefs President on Khashoggi Audio

Yeah, but it’s not going to matter. Not at all. See above post for further clarification. #SAD FACT

– ‘Inappropriate on So Many Levels’- Parents Outraged After Drag Queen Speaks At Career Day

It’s “inappropriate” to have an actress speak to children about the dangers of bullying? Because that’s exactly what happened. A grown adult who has a career that hurts no one read a book passage to children about the dangers of bullying, then answered questions on how to handle bullies. That’s it. That’s all that happened. And parents are “outraged?” Oh grow up.

– Moose Trips, Falls on New Ipswich Road

That’s the latest from my neck of the woods. Never a dull moment in NH.

– ‘Whites Don’t Shoot Whites’: What One Man Says Kroger Shooter Told Him

The amount of fortitude it must have taken to not prove that racist asshole wrong…

– Fox News Guest Likens Bombs to ‘Harassment’ GOP Faces In Public

The guy legit said that receiving a bomb is on the same level as someone telling a senator he is a poopy head while the senator is out at a restaurant. *tents fingers in front of mouth* *considers how much money I can contribute to Mars mission to help speed up the evacuation from this doomed planet* *realizes $4.17 probably won’t do very much* *feels a surprising kinship with the kindergarten teacher wino*

– Giant Industrial Spool Rolls Down Highway As Cars Try to Dodge It

Yes, but did they get the gold coins and the power up cube while doing it? They’ll never get the high score if not. #ProTips

– Pipe Bomb Scare Raises New Questions About Mail Safety

I mean, they were all sent through the regular ordinary mail, sooo….uh…yeah. It would raise questions, wouldn’t it?

– Amid Sex Abuse Crisis, Pope Francis Calls on US Bishops To Gather For Retreat

Yeah, retreat. Retreat the fuck outta here and don’t bother coming back. This “sex abuse crisis” is only a “crisis” to them now that they’ve been caught. They STILL don’t consider the lifelong crises of the victims. It’s STILL all about the priests and the church. And I say this as someone raised Catholic around many very nice people who were both clergy and active members. There are good people in ANY organization. But, in this particular one, the “good” people have been complicit for far too long and it needs to stop.

– Folks in Rural Panhandle Ask ‘Where’s The Help?’

Your president gave it to rich people because you’re poor and he thinks you have cooties and are gross.

– Virgin Orbit Mates Rocket to Jet For Airborne Launch System

This one’s only here because my inner 12 year old self giggled.

– Australia’s First Gay Penguin Couple Hatch Historic Baby Chick

There is legit outrage with this story. You know what people don’t have anymore? Hobbies. Everyone just needs a hobby. Go find something to do that makes you happy and your bored ass self won’t be blasting hate across the internet about goddamn biology.

– Cop Finds Niche Writing Tickets for Taking Handicapped Parking Spaces

This is in “Good News”. This is what passes for good news. This isn’t just the bottom of the barrel, it’s under the damn thing.

– Winners and Losers From Red Sox’s World Series Win

The winners would be the Red Sox, the losers would be the Dodgers. Do…do you not know how sports work, MSN?

– Ky. Father Apologizes For Dressing Son As Hitler For Halloween

As ya do.

– He Moved To A Jungle In India To Escape His Giant Student Debt

As a parent dealing with the shady trickery of the US federal student loan program, I can personally attest to this being a very reasonable reaction. Good luck in your new life, man.

– China Reverses Tiger and Rhino Products Ban

No. No no no no. NO. Why are we going backwards in every fucking aspect of life right now!?!?

– Scientists Count Whales From Space

…gettin’ a bit bored on the space station, are they?

– Cockroaches Use Karate to Keep Themselves From Being Turned Into Zombies

What else do you expect them to do? They can’t exactly fit a glock in their holster, now can they?

– Reese Witherspoon No Longer A Blonde

EVERYBODY REMAIN CALM. THERE IS NO NEED TO PANIC. EVERYBODY. REMAIN. CALM. We’ll get through this.

– Putin To Resurrect The Soviet Super Chicken

Mother of god. So many wonderful mental images…

– Why Cranberries Are Being Dumped This Harvest

Because some tart little homewreckin’ kumquat showed up and suddenly cranberries just aren’t good enough anymore.

*sidenote*- ‘tart little kumquat’ sounds so much dirtier than I intended. I’m letting it stand, though, because I’m very immature.

– Titans S Kevin Byard Has Wanted ‘Piece’ of Rob Gronkowski Since Offseason

No judging. Everyone wants a piece of Gronk’s ‘tight end’. *nudge**nudge* Know what I mean? *wink**wink* Say no more.

…it’s very hard to climb out of the gutter once I’m in there. You understand.

– The Curse of the Honeycrisp Apple

The moon hung low in the sky, casting a light glow over the dewdrops that clung to the grass. A lonely tree frog cheeped, calling out for a mate in the late summer night. A firefly dodged out of the path of a bat just in the nick of time, watched by a field mouse as she chomped on the bud of sweet clover. All seemed well in the orchard.

But all was not well, for up the lane, the Honeycrisps seethed with rage, plotting their revenge.

– Lowell Community Health Center Confirms Case of Measles

Hey morons…VACCINATE YOUR KIDS.

– Marcon Rubs Trump’s Knee, Makes President Uncomfortable

Guys, the picture. Trump was absolutely disgusted by another man touching his knee. I love this so much. I think every single leader of every other nation should make it a point to touch Trump’s knee. Let’s make this a thing. #TouchTrump’sKnee

– Trump Cancels WWI Memorial Trip Due To Rain

He was casually TOUCHED by another MAN. How can you expect him to ever function again?

– Veteran and Service Dog Are Perfect 6-Legged Team

“6-Legged Team?” What an odd way to put it.

– Dyson Might Design An Air Purifier That Also Works As Headphones

But why tho?

– What an ‘Octopus Census’ Near Seattle Found

My guess is that they discovered octopi are very bad at returning paperwork.

– Do Zombie Shows Lead To Mass Shootings? Kentucky’s Governor Thinks So

Oh. Oh honey child no.

– Texas Mulls Curriculum That Cuts Helen Keller, Keeps Moses

If you look into the reasoning behind cutting Helen Keller, there can actually be a case made. As every day passes, more happens. History grows, but class time does not. There’s got to be a cut off and weeding out, and that will mean some hard choices. So, there’s a reasonable explanation for Helen Keller being on the educational chopping block. But keeping Moses? FUCKING MOSES? WHY is Moses in a public school history book in the first place??

– There’s An Asteroid Heading For Us. How Do We Save Earth?

Have everyone point their fans toward the sky.

– There’s An Asteroid Heading For Us. How Do We Save Earth?

Two words: Bubble. Wrap.

– There’s An Asteroid Heading For Us. How Do We Save Earth?

Okay, so we get a huge magnet and send it into orbit to attract all the debris we’ve got floating around up there and pull it together to create a giant shield.

– There’s An Asteroid Heading For Us. How Do We Save Earth?

If we can link every rubber band on earth together…

“Um, Bethie? Are we just going to do this for the rest of the day?”

…you know I could.

“Could vs. should, man.”

Fair enough. But the rubber band idea would totally work.

“I’m sure it would.”

– U.S. Navy May Face Questions Over Norwegian Frigate Collision

Our enormous ship smacked right into their large, easily visible frigate. Questions do seem likely.

– Man Shoots Buck With 2 Heads

I’d have used bullets, but that’s just me.

– This Kid Fights Hunger and Homelessness- – At Age 4

Nope. His parents have him with them when THEY fight hunger and homelessness. Not saying that’s a bad thing at all, but my fucking ASS it’s the kid’s decision.

– Governor: Official Who Said Whites Are ‘Master Race’ Must Go

I would thoroughly agree…if that’s what the he said. But, he didn’t. The guy has a documented history of making fun of his own gap in his teeth. While being addressed by a town planner who also had a gap in her teeth, he pointed out that they both had gaps and told her that made HER part of the “master race,” to which she laughed. It wasn’t about color. It was a stupid way to word it, but there’s video, folks, and if you just take a second to watch it, you’ll get the context. He did NOT say that “whites” are the master race. He was saying that people with gaps in their teeth are the master race. Did he show epic levels of stupidity? Yes. Should he have said it given that phrase’s history? No. Was he being racist? No. Not all dipshits are racist. Sometimes they’re just standard, equal opportunity dipshits.

– Talented Dog Skateboards Outside the Emirates Stadium

He couldn’t even pull off a 360 inward double heelflip. “Talented?” I think not.

– Will Our Smart Devices Become A Massive Surveillance Network?

Hang on and I’ll ask my TV remote…

– Viral Story About ‘Drunk’ Raccoons Takes Sad Turn

Everybody laughed at the antics, but nobody thought to take the keys. RIP.

– Senator Apologizes For ‘Public Hanging’ Comment, Says Words Were ‘Twisted’

She was speaking about a particular cattle rancher and said, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” Her excuse is that people blew it out of proportion, that she meant no ill will, and it was “an exaggerated expression of regard.” How does that make it any better? The problem isn’t that your mind went there without malice, it’s that your mind went there at all.

– Hundreds Flock To Massachusetts Marijuana Stores on Opening Day

Yeaaah, buuuut…Trudeau. I think I still have to stick with Canada.

– Trump Pardons Saudi Prince for Khashoggi Murder

Wrong turkey, dickhead.

– Mystery Santa Pays Off All Lay-aways At A Walmart

Now this one really IS feel good news! I would love to be rich enough to do something like that some day. That’s got to be an amazing feeling.

– How To Shave 1,200 Calories Off Your Thanksgiving Meal

Talk politics right after hors d’oeuvres and get yourself kicked out before the main course.

– How To Feel Good After An Indulgent Thanksgiving

Realize that you are likely to only eat about 80 Thanksgiving dinners in your short existence on this planet, and because of this, thoroughly enjoying each and savoring every one should never be a point of guilt. It doesn’t make you a piece of shit to eat some pie on a holiday.

Thus concludes a gobbly Musing for Wednesday, November 21, 2018. May your turkeys be juicy, may your pies be sweet, and may you have a safe and happy holiday!

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.

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…..

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.

Can’t tell if it’s the cold or the paint fumes that’s got me feeling sappy…

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Mornin’ all.

Guess what? The world DIDN’T end in 2017!

…um…at least…I don’t *think* it did. I’m holding my face over a hot cup of coffee (the only hot thing in the entire northeast right now) in an effort to keep the blood flowing to my brain so I can type through the -11 degree morning.

“Achem, Bethie. It’s already warmed up to -10.”

Oh. My b. Lemme just run and find my tank top and hot pants.

Anyway, as I was saying, I can actually feel the pitifully small amount of heat radiating on my shivering chin. I can sort of feel my fingertips creak over the icy keyboard that I can see sitting on the desk in front of me. I can hear dueling tv shows the kids fell asleep watching (probably before midnight, though none of them will ever admit it). And I can smell an odd aroma I think is coming from the bathroom wall that we’ve got a space heater aimed towards in an effort to thaw out pipes.

Side question: Can you get lead poisoning from inhaling melting paint fumes? Asking for a friend.

My point is, I think I am observing these sensory inputs. Maybe I am not. Maybe we didn’t actually make it through 2017 and this is some bizarre afterlife.

“Um, I think you should probably move that heater away from the lead paint wall.”

It might be asbestos. I’m not entirely confident I know what asbestos is…

“You’re experiencing some kind of reality, right?”

Right.

“And I’m here, too, right?”

Welllll….technically…

“Let’s just say we made it through and move on before the coffee ices up and we freeze our faces to the rims like jackasses, okay?”

…fair enough. I think we can say with confidence that we may have actually made it through 2017! And if we didn’t, we have no idea. So, happy 2018!

Everyone’s doing this “What I learned in 2017” thing on Ye Olde Booke of Faces. I actually kind of like that. I’m one of those super annoying people who thinks there is something of value to glean from every situation, no matter how shitty. In fact, usually the shittier the experience, the more valuable the lesson.

I learned many things in 2017. I learned that my boys are far more capable than the Mummy in me wants them to be sometimes. I don’t really mean that, of course. I want them to be very capable, independent men. But I still want my little boys. If you have kids, you understand. Teen Prime has taken on a very demanding position at work and is thriving, Teen Beta is in college and broke as shit (as any decent college student do), and Teen 2.0 is gainfully employed and killing it. The Littlest Pup is having himself a great school year, and is finding his voice in my often exuberantly loud pack. And though I still want to protect them all against the trials and tribulations of life, they got this shit. And it’s awesome to watch.

I also learned that 39 years is apparently enough years of carefreely eating shellfish. The Last Lobster was damn good, though. I put the sea bugs on a charcoal grill, right in their shells so they cooked in their own juices. Man oh man, if you want the best tasting lobster of your life, don’t boil it…grill it whole. If at all avoidable, I’d skip the Benedryl dessert, though. Bitter taste, groggy finish. Still, better than dying, soooo… 3.7 stars out of 5

I’m not really that bummed about avoiding Maine’s number one export. I only ate me some lobstah maybe once every 5 years or so as a treat. What does make me sad is that the shrimp toast I tried a couple weeks later yielded a very similar “lack of breathing” result.

Top tip kids: You want to breathe. It’s the preferred method for staying alive.

*sniff* I love shrimp. I guess they got sick of me killing their brethren and finally launched an effective counter attack. Touche, shrimpies. You have bested me in this contest of life, and I concede the match.

In fact, 2017 was the year of general body rebellion. Maybe it’s age. Maybe there’s a genetic component, which seems very likely when viewed with others in my family. Hell, maybe it’s just 39 years of not taking care of myself finally catching up. Whatever the cause, the smiting I took at the fins of The Shellfish of Justice was just the harbinger of things to come. What followed was a couple months of serious stomach pain, until I tried an elimination diet to see if I could figure out what was causing the issue.

“Um, Bethie? Maybe you should just go to a doctor.”

Ooooh, look at Ms. Fancypants over here with her “health insurance”. I don’t work enough hours to qualify for insurance through my employer, I don’t make enough to be able to afford the “Affordable Care” promised to me through legislation, and I make too much to qualify for state assistance. I tried to straddle it, but I’m afraid I am one of the millions of Americans that has fallen into the coverage gap.

If I thought it was something super serious, I’d go to the doctor even without insurance. In fact, my self diagnosis plan was:

– Google

– Trying the reasonable things found on Google in order to eliminate certain possibilities (no, that did not include drinking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day, or eating a paleo diet that only kept the average cave woman alive for 35 years)

– Going to a doctor and working out the enormous debt later if steps 1 and 2 failed

They didn’t fail, though. I got a result, the pain stopped, so I really think it was diet related.

I’ve narrowed it down to wheat or dairy. I haven’t had either in many months now, and the stomach is much, much happier. It wasn’t the same reaction as the shellfish…it wasn’t like I was having an “oh shit I can’t breathe” moment after a cheese sandwich. But I was definitely in awful pain after nearly every meal. And since I cut those things out, I’m not.

“Do you miss that stuff?”

I enjoy not doubling over in pain when I eat far more than I miss pizza. It was one of those “I didn’t realize how truly awful I felt until I stopped doing it” kind of life changes. Here’s a surprise: I like not being in pain. I like it so much I don’t miss the things I’ve cut out of my diet.

It’s like when I quit smoking. I quit because I got the flu and couldn’t breathe. It was the first time ever that I couldn’t pull in a solid breath, and it was terrifying. I stopped smoking right then and there and have not once thought “man, I could use a cig.” Not a single time. That’s not a brag…that’s trying to explain how scared I was, how awful that experience felt. The same as sticking tweezers in an outlet, or trying to quick iron your skirt without taking it off first. You get hurt bad enough, you learn.

I’m just not a fast learner about some things.

I guess we’re down to my personal life lesson of 2017. It’s a big, emotional can of worms and there’s no way to say it without sounding like a total douchebag, so I’m just going to spit it out and give myself over to the dark side. I think in 2017 I finally learned that it’s okay to take care of myself.

“UGH.”

I warned you first. I’m going to sound like one of those annoying “it’s time for ME” people, and trust me, I’m not happy about it, either.

“I was only kidding, Bethie. You SHOULD take care of yourself.”

I’ve always had a difficult time doing that. In fact, I kind of perfected the opposite. When I feel bad, what makes me feel better is treating myself horribly. Maybe not always intentionally. Or maybe sort of intentionally with the comfort of guilt after.

I think a lot of people would understand what I mean by that, and if you’re not one of them, then I envy you. I truly do.

I had this realization in the middle of the grocery store health and beauty aisle when I was shopping for lotion. It was the third item on my list, right after “wheat free bread for stuffing?”. Yes, with the question mark, because just writing down such a selfish indulgence was hard for me to do. I found the bread, talked myself into buying it because stuffing is the only reason to eat turkey on Thanksgiving, and moved on to lotions.

My skin is having a very horrible time right now. I think some of it is the weight loss (no cakes, no cupcakes, no cookies, no cheese covered sammies…can’t argue with the unintended results of cutting that shit out), some of it is age, a lot of it is working in a dry bakery… I’m chapped all over my hands and lower arms, and my legs from my knees down. It burns and catches on my sleeves and pants and starts bleeding. I need lotion.

I need it.

And it was so hard to buy. I was honestly in tears.

It just…it hit me, ya know? You ever have a moment when you stop and legitimately ask yourself what the hell you’re doing? I felt so bad for shopping for the foods that won’t hurt me, and buying lotion which – I’ll say it again- I absolutely, without question NEEDED, that I stood in the aisle and started to cry. It wasn’t the four bucks for the damn lotion. I had that in my pocket. It wasn’t about the cost, that was only my justification. It was because I still couldn’t shut that voice up in my head that was saying I was being difficult, needy, high maintenance, selfish…

I can’t do it anymore. I can’t bleed quietly while I convince myself I deserve it.

I don’t know where exactly all these feelings come from. I’ve got some obsessive tendencies I honestly believe are genetic. You all know I’m a hoarder. I’ve made no secret about that. Cleaning out my dad’s place after he died and finding the most bizarre stashes of random shit led me to thinking about things from my childhood…I think he probably fought that beast, too. I also have other harmful tendencies that I would also classify as obsessive compulsions. Perhaps it’s an extreme version of the genetic mutation which allows for altruism as a means of advancing the greater Us. I don’t know. That seems like a can of worms for a different day. As with hard solipsism, it’s a brain exercise that has little to do with reality when you get right down to it. At the end of the day, this is the reality I am experiencing. It’s the reality I at least have the illusion of controlling. How I got here matters far less than what I’m going to do about it.

I have to start taking care of myself. I have to figure out how to do it without feeling guilty.

I’m gluten free. I don’t eat dairy. I’m a douche who covers herself with cocoa butter lotion.

*author’s sidenote: Cocoa butter is UH-MAZE-ING. I got this “healing therapy lotion” for “severely chapped skin” that burned so bad I was fighting back tears for almost an hour. Only after the hour in agony did I read the back of the bottle and found that it had acid and two types of alcohol in it. Who the HELL puts ACID in a cream you’re going to rub on severely chapped skin?!?! Psychopaths, that’s who. Absolute maniacs. After scouring the lotion aisle once again and discovering all the big names are run by horrible, uncaring MONSTERS who get their jollies by tricking you into rubbing your already beaten body with what equates to the classic tequila shot, I found one that didn’t have acids and alcohols in it. Cocoa butter, kids. It’s just cocoa butter. No acid that will sear your already damaged flesh. No alcohol that will continue to dry your skin out further. It just creates a soothing barrier between your tender cracked shell and the cruel, icy world. Learn from me before it’s too late.*

Listen to me. I’m becoming a person I always secretly mocked.

Part of me hates that I’m at this point in life where I realize that I’ve belittled those who treat themselves well because deep down I was jealous that they seemed to deserve being treated right and I didn’t. Most of me hates the fact that it’s taken 39 years to come around to their way of thinking.

We don’t know what happens after we die. People aren’t exactly clamoring to come back and let us know for sure. The one thing we do know is that we’re here now. We definitely have THIS life. I’m hoping for at least another 20 years. I don’t want to spend the future the same way I’ve spent the past.

It’s not really a New Year’s resolution. It’s a New Year’s revelation, one that really shouldn’t be. This year, I’m going to try really hard to stay this new and slightly uncomfortable course. I’m hoping that it’ll get easier with time. And I’m hoping I have the fortitude to keep taking care of myself even if it doesn’t.

Thus concludes the first Musing for 2018. This one turned serious on me. I didn’t intend for it to. I wanted to joke about the cold and maybe do a Roundup. Guess sometimes you just have to go where the winds take you. I do feel a Roundup beckoning, though. Stay tuned. The next one will be fun. I promise.

Ain’t no party like a manger party cuz a manger party don’t stop…

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Mornin’ all.

On the way to work yesterday, I noticed a chicken on the side of the highway. She was just standing there, looking across the road, feathers ruffling in the breeze of the passing cars. Was she considering a brave run to finally answer the age old question? Had she already answered the question and was thinking over her epic journey?

About a mile up the road, more chickens were standing in a field. They were huddled together, clearly planning. It added a more intriguing twist to the story. Did the first chicken escape? Was she lost? Were the others planning to send a search party? Or did I happen on a situation that was far darker? Did she escape? Did she know too much? Were the others considering their damage control options once the coop expose hit the papers? Or were they plotting something much, much worse?

Sadly, I’ll never know. It was a brief vignette in the story of my day that will never find resolution. And I just have to live with that.

So how are you? It’s been awhile. I’d “mea culpa”, but you all know two things by now:

1. I work in a bakery. It’s the holiday season. I AM an elf of Santa, one of the Forgottens. No one writes stories about Santa’s bakers. No one tells the heartwarming tales of busy little elves working their little fingers to the bone to make the wonderful cookies and cakes and pies you know and love from your childhood. We really need our own claymation special. Someone get on that.

2. It’s me. If you haven’t clued into the fact that sometimes I can’t write, then you have only been dabbling in this blog.

Anyway, let’s catch up.

My jury duty service is done! I never went in November, because there were no jury trials scheduled during the entire month. I told you I live in a fairly uneventful area. In NH, when you’re selected for district court petit jury, you get two dates. I had another shot at being a responsible citizen in December.

And STILL no one was naughty enough (or maybe their lawyers weren’t prepared enough) to have a jury trial in December, either. I got an email from the court saying I was not needed, that I would be removed from the pool for three years, and thanking me for my service.

You’re welcome? I guess?

I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit bummed out. Not about the cancellation in November, because of the timing. I did a happy dance and immediately texted my boss with a string of excited emojis to express my feelings. But I kind of actually wanted to be of service and participate in the process. Now that won’t happen for at least three more years.

Interesting thing to ponder… I live in a rural area. Even so, the county has a population of around 80,000. Let’s say half are kids. Let’s get crazy and say another half of what’s left are adults, but aren’t registered voters. That’s still 20,000 peoples’ names in this pool of potential participants. Three people in my place of work were drawn for the same jury duty. Doesn’t that just raise the eyebrow a bit? Seems a bit unlikely that it’s a truly random selection process. My place of work isn’t even a large employer in the area. Hm.

Turkey day went fine. It was pretty mellow here, but I did make one kickass feast. Toot toot of my own horn and all, but YUM. We did not shop Black Friday. We worked.

*director’s stage notes: Rocky-esque montage of devoted bakery elves, flash back and forth between happy, carefree holiday shoppers getting rock bottom prices and the elves sweating and slaving over dough rolling…end with placing sugar star on top of cake…is Survivor still around to do soundtrack??*

In other news, they may have found life in space.

“WHAT? Why haven’t I heard about this?”

Because the Cheeto in Chief is a slimey asshat and his comrades are being arrested one after another. Those stories take precedence. (Yep. I said it. Pun intended and I’m not at all sorry.)

Also, because it’s Russian cosmonauts doing the research and reporting, people in the US are very skeptical. Here’s the deal.

Cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station swabbed the outside of our shared tin can. They do this regularly. It’s astounding how much we can learn about our solar system, and, by extension, our galaxy by analyzing space dust. The swabs were sealed and sent back to earth for testing in labs. The swabs were found to contain seemingly foreign bacteria that “was not present” during the launch of the ISS.

To be clear, this is not the first time bacteria and tiny micro-animals known as tardigrades have been found in or on things from space. However, if true, this would definitely be the first time we’ve seen any kind of life accumulate and propagate on our equipment that’s in our orbit. If true, this could indicate that bacteria, LIFE, can and DOES survive a space journey and seed a new environment.

That’s the important part here…the potential that this bacteria seeded a successful colony.

This could potentially be a big step in understanding life on our planet. How we got here. How it started. Abiogenesis is a working theory with successful lab results, but it’s a theory that is not without serious explanatory obstacles. It’s complicated, it takes juuuust the right conditions. Maybe it really was as simple as commuters riding in on a cosmic train. Maybe it’s a combination of both. Maybe bacteria from space interacted with the organisms that arose from abiogenesis. It could be a critical corner piece of our very large puzzle.

…or, it could be a lie. You can’t accept one lab’s results. That’s not how science works.

Let’s run with it, though. That’s more fun. Now, if the scientists ARE being honest, there’s a twist in this plot. They gathered the samples and sent them to earth, where Russian scientist are purportedly growing colonies of this space bacteria for study. Scientists say it “seems harmless at this point.”

Let’s mull this one over for a minute. They found space bacteria and are growing it here. On earth. Right now. And it “seems harmless…at this point.”

Seems harmless. At this point.

I don’t know about you, but that statement doesn’t really instill confidence, does it? I believe I’ve played this video game before. It didn’t end well.

Scientists, please use extreme caution. The second it even hints at going awry, kill it. Don’t try to contain the issue. Don’t try to cover it up. Kill it all with fire.

Twice.

And one more ramble before I go play Mario all day in my jammies.

People are decorating for Christmas, a hobby I fully support. The more the merrier. Gussy it up and make it twinkle and I’m in!

However, one neighbor has…hm…how can I put this?

Lost their damn mind.

Picture this: Ranch style house built in the early 80’s. Small lawn, nicely manicured, free of dead leaves and last summer’s crunchy flower stalks. Decorative trees planted to match a new house have grown a bit too large, making the scene slightly awkward, as if a child has placed their Mega Bloc trees around their father’s model train set. Still, they’re kept neat and tidy, and it’s clear the owners are proud of the property.

The display began years ago, with a simple manger scene in the yard and string lights around the side of the house facing the main road. The manger scene was one of those light-up creches. It was a bit on the tacky side but not one of those Disney-themed abominations or anything, so it was well within acceptable standards.

The owners have added since then. Inflatables, which aren’t my personal taste but do pack a punch to a holiday display. There is a cool sleigh scene done in lights on the shrubs to the right, balanced by a waving Santa to the left. More inflatables joined the repertoire last year. It was a bit overboard, in my opinion, but…okay. I still understood what they were going for.

This year, though. *sigh* This year.

Have you seen those laser lights that are all the rage? Sure you have. If you get cable or watch YouTube, you’ve seen the ads. They’re basically balls with little cutouts all over them, and inside are bright lights. You plug them in, turn them on, and they shine a display on your house. Some are just dots, to give a starry effect, while others cast bright shapes, like candy canes or Christmas trees. They are a cheap and easy way to cover the entire side of your house with lights, and those ads are really working. Many folks in the area are using them this year, including the Neighbors of Questionable Taste.

“Bethie, if you just got done saying that many folks are using them, what’s the problem?”

The folks in question have replaced the baby Jesus in their creche scene with one of these contraptions.

“Oh no.”

It gets worse. You can set some of these devices to slowly spin, giving a dynamic display. You know when a dynamic display doesn’t work? When it’s radiating from the baby Jesus.

I think they were going for a “radiating with a holy light” effect. But it’s multi-colored. And rotating. And casts pictures of candy canes all around. Let’s be real here. Mary and Joseph are kneeling at a manger rave, and I don’t think those wise men are bringing myrrh to this party, if you know what I’m sayin’.

Don’t do this, folks. Don’t turn baby Jesus into a club kid. This is not the kind of “lit” you want your Christmas display to be.

Hey, I’m just looking out for you. I do it because I care.

Thus concludes a catching up Musing for Sunday, December 3, 2017. I’m going to not put on real pants or do anything productive today. Kids know how to feed themselves, right? This elf is taking a break. I’m coming for you, Bowser. Time to fire up the Switch.

What we need here is a plan…

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*cringes at squeal of office chair’s rusty wheels*

*picks cobwebs off monitor*

*blows dust out of keyboard*

Mornin’ all.

My day started with a dead body.

My cat got another mouse. She’s a very good mouser, and for some reason, she’s had a ton of opportunity to hone her skills already this year. I don’t think mice have much of a feel for real estate. It’s all about location, location, location, and the mice in this housing development did not consider the fact that we have a cat, and our co-duplexer has three. There are four friggin’ cats in this one little building.

Mice. Not the brightest animals in the natural world.

Anyway, I came down the stairs and the mouse was placed at the bottom, right where I’d step on it if I wasn’t already cautious from the last time I stepped on a cold, dead mouse with my bare feet. Kitty the Ripper was sitting next to the door. See, she knows I throw the corpses outside. She sat there and gave me a look, daring me to try and toss the body of her victim into the overcrowded graveyard known as the Back Bushes.

It got intense for a minute there, I’m not going to lie. She looked very proud of herself, too…until my man walked over and picked her up, nullifying an entire night’s plan with one swoop.

Never brag until you’re sure a giant isn’t going to come along and put you in your place. Just a life lesson for ya.

It’s Halloween today, and for the first time in almost 20 years, I’m not taking anyone trick-or-treating. Little Pup decided he doesn’t want to do it anymore. He said, “You know what I’d like to do? I’d like to sit on the couch with my own sack of candy and not be competition for the little kids.” I made certain he was sure of this decision. Honestly, I think I wanted him to go last year far more than he wanted to.

No more trick-or-treaters. *sniff*

I’m thinking of getting a bunch of candy and stashing it around the house with riddles as clues that he’ll have to solve to get the bounty. I don’t know. Is that still childish? Will he feel like I’m still babying him? It’s hard for me to tell. I am extremely immature. Surely even the youngest in the group has clued into that fact by now and will expect nothing less. Hm. I’ll consider through the day.

Guess what finally happened to me? I got called to jury duty!

“Bethie, you sound excited.”

I am!

“But…it’s…jury duty.”

Look, I’m 39. I’ve never been called to jury duty before, and, frankly, I *am* excited! I am dying to know what it’s really like.

“It’s boring as shit. That’s what it’s like.”

Maybe. But even that’s a story, right?

The timing is putting a bit of a cramp on my jubilee, though. We have a clusterfuck in the bakery at the moment, and we’re losing a key member of our team the week before I head to the hallowed halls of justice. And it’s right before Thanksgiving, the number one busiest week for a bakery. Any other week of the year, I’d be crossing my fingers that I’d be picked for a full trial. I’d love to participate completely in the justice process, I really would.

Stop rolling your eyes. I’m not kidding. It’s one of the processes in this nation that makes us great, and I’d honestly like to be part of something so important. And I will, too. If I’m selected, I’ll do my best to give my full attention to the trial. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t torn by the pressures of the other parts of my life.

Speaking of the other parts of my life, at work the other day, this coworker was a total…

………

“…you okay, Bethie? Stroking out over there? Did the swill you call coffee finally get to you? Do I need to call someone?”

I just remembered I have a stalker. A work stalker, who reads this blog as a lurker. Hi, Lurker. I guess I can’t really shit talk the folks I work with if one of them is creeping.

See, I suck at self promotion. I mean, I’m utter SHIT at it. What I *should* do is tell all my coworkers about not only this blog, but my books, too. You know. Make some sales. I should hand out flyers. Or…business cards? Do people still use those?

Bah, you get the gist. I should be yappin’ my trap about all of it in an effort to create a movement. Or something.

I just want to keep work separate. Does that make sense? I want to be able to come onto the internet and blab and blah and bitch and moan and be as stupid and immature as I want and not see a knowing look in my coworkers’ eyes after I do so.

“Then maybe you should have written under a pseudonym.”

That would have taken a level of foresight that I just don’t possess. Look at my life. Does it seem like I have ever demonstrated the ability to apply careful consideration to anything?? HMMM?!?!?

Besides, I’m not ashamed of anything I write. I’m not. I just want to go to work and make cakes and be bossy in real life, and keep that separate from being on the internet, where I talk about making cakes and being bossy. Makes perfect sense to me.

Maybe I could talk about my coworkers in a way that won’t betray their identities? Let’s give it a go.

Yesterday at work, I was trying to…uh…get coworker X to learn to make…um…stuff…

Shit. This isn’t going to work, guys. It’s a small department. Anything I say would be enough info for the Lurker to put two and two together.

The thing is, this story is more about me than the coworker, really. Okay, I think I’ll just go with this.

Yesterday at work, I lost my patience. I’ll talk a big game and vent here, but in real life, I’ve gotten to where it’s actually quite difficult to get me truly angry. Raising a passel of kids will do that.

…well, that or break you. You either learn patience, or you go insane. Since I already was insane, I learned patience. I will let it all heap up on me and, for the most part, I take life’s shit in stride.

Once in awhile, though, the wrong personality comes along and just presses the right button. And that happened yesterday at work. I’m not at all happy about it. I generally keep my cool way past the point where everyone else has blown their tops.

It was excuses instead of acknowledgment. That’s what did it. I was attempting to show someone a task, they didn’t listen, then spent an hour asking me for instructions every step of the way…on a task they’d already done four times before. It’s not like I was showing this person something for the first time. They just didn’t pay attention, or didn’t care enough to try. The final straw was when I noticed they missed out on a crucial part and asked them if they had done it. “Yep,” they insisted.

“Nope” was the correct answer.

I prodded. “Are you sure?”

“Yep.”

I was looking at the thing that was not done. I said point blank, “So you put *blah* into the *yadda*?”

“Yes.”

I picked up the *blah* that was not, in fact, added to the *yadda*. Instead of a “Whoopsie, my b,” they actually said, “Oh, you didn’t say to put the *blah* into the *yadda*.”

That was it, folks. That was the point of Bethie getting legitimately pissed at a coworker. They had wasted not only their hour, but mine as well. And instead of just owning the mistake, tried to put it on me.

I. Hate. That.

Look, if you screw up, that’s called being human. EVERYONE DOES IT. Acknowledge the error, take responsibility, examine where you turned left instead of right, then do your best not to repeat the mistake. However, if you screw up and then blame someone else, that’s called being an asshole. If you don’t take the time to recognize where you’re screwing up, you will continue to screw up. You will continue to make the same mistakes over and over. You will not grow as a person. You will always be that coworker that pisses everyone else off.

I have today off. I am forming a plan for tomorrow. I have to adjust MY attitude now, because I am not at all happy that I got angry. That doesn’t do any good, either, especially since when I’m angry, I pretty much just shut down. I’m supposed to be teaching this person, and I can’t do that when I let my emotions get the best of me.

I’ve got to namaste the hell out of this shit.

So today when I clean the house, I need to decide how immature I’m being for Halloween shenanigans with the Little Pup, while simultaneously mulling over how I am going to go about being more mature at work tomorrow.

I had a dream about opening a specialty roast shop last night. Like, a store that just sells fancy meat roasts. Beef, pork, goose… My man was the delivery guy. We had a planning session on how to meet demand for Thanksgiving.

NO JOKE. Straight up, that was what I dreamt about last night. In painstaking detail.

Now, does this seem like the kind of mind that can balance these two conundrums in the same day?

Guess we’ll find out.

Thus concludes a musing for Halloween ’17. Everyone have a safe and happy holiday!

I wish I could learn the binary sequence for upgrading my coffee making skills…

Standard

Mornin’ all.

I had to take Teen Prime into work for 5 am today. We had an epic jam session in the car (some old school Green Day) while zipping through fog so thick it had a taste. I dropped him off, then solo jammed my way home and almost hit a bobcat on the back road I take to avoid the damned rotary.

Almost hitting a bobcat in the middle of some of the thickest fog I’ve ever driven through while singing “Basket Case” at 5:03 am in 70 degree weather at the end of September left me with an odd feeling.

You ever have a moment where you’re absolutely certain the programming glitched?

“Oh no, Bethie. Not this Matrix bullshit.”

Here’s your uncomfortable thought for the day:

There is absolutely no way for us to ever be certain that we are not just a computer simulation. Any test we could devise to determine if we are more than careful programming would fall within the parameters of the coding. Everything we see, feel, think, touch, taste, hear…it could all be an advanced computer sim and we would never ever know. Ever.

And it’s deeper than the Matrix theory. At least in the movies, the people hooked up to the machines which fed them their “reality” actually had physical bodies. There was always a chance that the human body would reject the machine, that they could break free. But if we are actually coding, if we’re just a simulation, then we don’t HAVE human bodies. We don’t have anything but carefully constructed sequences of ones and zeroes. Our “bodies” absolutely CANNOT reject the coding. There would be no way at all for us to break free.

If we are a computer simulation, we will never, ever know it.

Mull THAT one over.

*sips coffee*

“Bethie, you’re in a weird mood this morning.”

I am. It’s been a weird morning so far. It wasn’t just the car ride. When I got up, I noticed that my cat had dragged an empty soda box out of the recycling and had it set up by her food to lounge on. She got more plastic bags out of the cupboard (she has a thing for plastic bags…I don’t judge) and they are over and around the food and the box.

Guys. In the night, my cat decorated. She set up a sofa and has displayed her plastic bags. She made herself a freakin’ living room. Of COURSE I’m in a weird mood.

We should all be in a weird mood. Life is very weird in general at the moment, isn’t it? It was 88 degrees yesterday at the end of September. Supposed to be hot again today. It’s hotter right now than almost any day we had during the summer. I’ve got pumpkin spice everything at the bakery and no one wants it because who the hell wants pumpkin spice when it’s 88 degrees?? We should be in sweaters rolling our eyes at the leaf peepers up from Connecticut while we pretend to like our pumpkin spice coffees in an effort to drown out the internal panic at the thought of the impending winter.

I’ll happily take the heat wave, though. I’m only mildly bitching for comedic purposes. It’s absolutely nothing like the poor folks dealing with the earth’s other problems at the moment. Hurricanes and earth quakes and wild fires and floods… I cannot imagine the absolute horror they’re dealing with in Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Barbuda, Texas, Florida, Mexico… The earth is a hot mess right now.

Should we even bother to talk about politics? The term “shit show” doesn’t even come close to describing the current state of affairs. Trump is an even worse pres than I thought he’d be. He taunts an insane nuke-wielding despot one day, then turns around and berates American citizens for exercising their right to peacefully protest the next. Which do you think he put more emphasis on? It’s disgusting.

We’re not alone, though. Everyone seems to be losing their damn minds. If you follow international politics at all, you will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. If Trump doesn’t start WWIII, someone else will.

Maybe our programming got a virus and is attempting to revert to factory settings?

Trump should shut up. Plain and simple. Shut the hell up. Let Americans peacefully protest whenever the hell they feel like it because THAT is what the soldiers ACTUALLY fought and died for. Stop taunting an insane child with nuclear toys. Stop threatening members of the House and Senate if they don’t vote your way.

Just.

Shut.

Up.

We should start taking care of the earth. It’s the only rock that’ll support our fragile asses and we should probably do more to keep our house clean.

We should stop politicizing natural disasters and just help. That’s it. Just help the people who need help. Don’t do it for Facebook likes, or to make your corporation look good, or get a tax write off. Don’t make it about immigration when you offer to house those who have lost every single thing they had. Don’t campaign on the backs of people who are at the lowest point in their lives. Just help. Take the enormous resources we have as a nation and help for no other reason than it being the right and just thing to do. Help. As simple as that.

Look, folks. Even if this is all just a simulation, it’s our shared reality, the only one we know, and our actions clearly have an effect. Even if we’re programmed, we’re programmed in such a way that the things we do and say make a difference, good or bad. Don’t you want whatever reality you experience to be as good as possible?

Gah. I don’t want to be in a doomy gloomy mood. I want to enjoy my day off. I want to have to remind myself not to throw the ridiculously priced Switch controller while I try to work my way through Breath of the Wild. I want to chill and relax and make the most of a lazy day.

Like this:

zelda

See? I wasn’t kidding. She set herself up some furniture. She’s surrounded herself with her favorite things. You can’t tell in the photo, because I didn’t dare disturb Her Majesty when she’s relaxing on her throne, but under the bags she’s placed a rubber band, a penny, and two bread ties, her favorite things to play with. No matter what else is going on around her, she has created for herself a calming, relaxing life.

I want to be like kitty. We should all be like kitty. Will it help in the long run? No. But it gives us a good break so we can regroup in the meantime.

Thus concludes a quick Musing for Tuesday, September 26, 2017. I’ve charged the controller and pointed the a/c at the couch. Bring it, Calamity Ganon.