Feelin’ a little froggy for a fight this morning. You feelin’ lucky, punk?

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Mornin’ all.

Heads up…bad mood.

I didn’t sleep last night. I’m irritated and can’t shut the brain off. I gave up trying, and even though it’s my day off when I was supposed to be able to sleep in, I got up and found a mostly empty pot of coffee, a brand new roll of paper towels shredded to bits on the floor, and I stepped on a cold, squishy chunk of broccoli someone must have dropped last night and never picked up.

“The internet. I’ll get in a better mood if I just pop on the internet for awhile,” I said to myself.

Stop laughing. Stop it right now. I JUST said I didn’t sleep or have coffee yet. Of COURSE I was being a tad delusional! Sheesh.

So, I clicked on my local news site to check the weather, because that’s always a good place to start, and those fuckers decided to go with a new format for giving the weather report: emojis.

Weather. Emojis.

Because, you know, I’m not an ADULT or anything. I totally want to log on to see that this morning we’re having what looks like a skull with a barrette for a little while, then a…butt? Yeah, I mean, it’s either a butt or a peach, and how in the hell would a peach make any sense, amiright? We get a giant ass for awhile, until the ass starts taking a radiant dump around noon. Eventually the butt goes away and we get two suns until we watch “The Ass Returns: An Evening Dumping.”

Tomorrow we get a crying skull followed by an ass with a lightning bolt tramp stamp. Fun!

Why did they do this?

There was absolutely zero need to tell me the weather in kindergarten runes. Are people actually too stupid to click and read, “Rain tapering off through the morning, with sunny skies in the afternoon giving way to another rain storm?” WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT THAT?? STOP emojifying everything! I’m not a fucking five year old!

Sticking emojis in place of actual news on a legitimate news website is the literary equivalent of pumpkin spice.

“Bethie? You okay over there?”

*sigh* yeah. fine. *sigh* I warned you I was testy today.

“Wanna talk about it?”

Nope.

I’m not good at talking. Er, I mean, talking about real shit. I’m good at babbling on and on about dumb things, but when it comes to personal feelings, door closed. I know that’s not always fair. I can’t help it. It’s not just a wall to others, it’s a wall for myself that I honestly can’t really seem to get over.

“Well that’s not healthy.”

No shit, Sherlock! Gee, maybe that’s why I’m a hoarder with other obsessive tendencies, anxiety, and low self esteem?

“You don’t have to get sarcastic.”

I do. It’s my coping mechanism.

“…I…I can’t even get mad now.”

Heh heh. I know, right? Thought that one was pretty good, actually.

Look, I got issues. I am well aware. Sometimes they are more in the forefront than usual, and that’s what’s going on right now. I plan to try and have some kind of emotional reset day…cleaning, sorting out my latest collection of greasy car bolts, maybe making a lamp… I’ll work it through like that. It just makes for a real shitty start to the day, especially when I should be looking forward to seeing a tramp stamp on a giant ass in the sky tomorrow.

There’s one thing that always puts me in a good mood, though. Or, at least provides an outlet for the pent up snark.

“Oh! I know! What an excellent idea!”

Cue the dancers, start the catchy theme music, because it’s time for a…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP ! ! ! * * *

For those who don’t know, sometimes news headlines are shit. Sometimes they’re poorly worded or misleading. Sometimes they’re plain stupid. And sometimes, they give me a funny mental image I must run to this here internet and share. I always present the headline to you in its natural form…I just photoshop some snark at the end. Everyone on the same page? Good. Let’s jump in.

– Rapper Behind the Song “Sell Drugz” Accused of Selling Drugs

Classic case of profiling, if you ask me. Where’s the justice.

– Preemies Treated to a Halloween Party

Why. I just need to know why.

– Election Workers Prepare for Voters to Head to Polls

BREAKING NEEEEWWWS!

– 13 Grizzly Bears Gather in Foothills

This sounds like some crazy apocalypse-harbinging to me.

– Tiny NICU Tots in Halloween Costumes

For real. I honestly do not understand why these babies who are fighting for their lives should be treated like dolls for the parents’ amusement. Savage AF.

– Domino’s Forces Pizza Guy Robbed at Gunpoint to Repay the Money Stolen From Him

*slow clap* New levels of corporate douchebaggery right here, folks. Bravo.

– Scientists Discover ‘Lake of Death’ At the Bottom of the Gulf of Mexico

Lake of…death?? NO!!! Not Bikini Bottom!!!

*fistbump to anyone brave enough to admit they know what I’m talking about*

– Woman Won $43M Jackpot, Offered Steak Dinner Instead

Seems fair. I mean, it was Angus beef.

– The Favorite Foods of Our Presidents

William Henry Harrison’s favorite was squirrel stew. You seemed like you needed to know that.

– Researchers Say This is Why Facebook Users Live Longer

Because 12 years is certainly enough time to make such a bold statement.

– Loch Ness Monster in Alaska?

What? Cryptozoological critters can’t have a little “me time” to recharge their batteries? Have fun on your vacay, Nessie!

– China’s New Stealth Jet Looks Suspiciously Familiar

Whoa. Are you accusing the Chinese of stealing a product and mass-manufacturing it as if it was their own design??

– Sen. Burr Once Helped Ease Export Controls Over Bomb-grade Uranium

Folks, Dem or Rep, one thing we ALL should agree on is the short list of shit we should never, ever export. The list is as follows:

1. Nuclear weapons.

2. The main component in nuclear weapon manufacturing.

3. Cheesecake Factory’s “Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake.” That shit’s delicious and we need to keep it all for ourselves.

– Mysterious ‘Alaskan Ice Monster’ Surfaces in Bureau of Land Management Video

Aw hell, Nessie. I know what happens in Alaska is supposed to STAY in Alaska, but didn’t anyone ever tell you there are cameras everywhere in the US? I hope you’ve got some good PR people, because flashing your tits and shouting “Alba gu brath!” is on the internet now, and that shit’s NOT going away on its own.

– Alejandra, Age 7, is Facing A Judge Alone. Is That Due Process?

No, it isn’t, and it’s utterly disgusting. #get.your.shit.together.America.

– Elementary School Cancels Mock Election After Kids Repeat ‘Negative Rhetoric About Minorities’

THIS is the damage that all this smear campaigning does. #GET.YOUR.SHIT.TOGETHER.AMERICA

– Dem’s Attempt to Clone Dead Son Not An Issue in WVa Race

…I don’t even know where to go with this one. You stumped me, MSN. I tip my hat.

– Hillary Clinton Could Be Impeached if She Wins Election

Hm. Plot twist. That would make our pres Tim Kaine, a person who seems generally pretty boring and overall, middle of the road fine. I’m not going to lie. “Boring and fine” sound kind of nice right now, if I’m being honest…

– New Robot Toy Uses ‘Emotions’ To Interact With People

Oh HELL no. Stop it. Stop it before it’s too late.

– Japan’s Factory of Robots Operates Up to One Month on its Own; Robots Make More Robots Without Human Aid

I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN. But would you listen? NOOOOO. You just HAD to have a cute wittwe wobot that would talk to you, didn’t you? *sigh* Everyone bow down to our new robot overlords.

– Uber Looks To Flying Cars As Next Big Shift

Don’t hold your breath, folks. We’ve been waiting for flying cars since the Jetsons.

– Astronomers Find Hints of Planet Nine

We already HAD a ninth planet. #LongLivePluto #NeverForget #TearsForPluto

– Hard Crash-landing May Have Wrecked Europe’s Mars Probe

Did you know that crashes cause things to be wrecked? Wowie, aren’t scientific discoveries amazing??

– When Pranking Goes Wrong

Always. It ALWAYS goes wrong. No one likes pranks. No one likes people who pull them. Don’t be that guy, okay?

– Baby Rhino Shows Off Belly While Taking Bath

Whore.

– He Spent $9M on License Plate

And I needed to pay in quarters and dimes to buy a gallon of milk last week. WHY DO MORONS HAVE ALL THE MONEY??? #forREALtho

– Canada’s Positivity Police

Piss off already, eh.

– Can Trump Turn Iowa Red?

Tell a bawdy joke and we’ll find out.

– ‘Pussy Project’ Women Speak Out Against Trump

*smh* I’m sorry, but I just can’t take ‘Pussy Project’ seriously. I just can’t.

– Believe it or Not, This is Earth

HOLD THE PHONE. This isn’t Mars?

– Huma Abedin Is Lying Low

I think they tacked on an extra word at the end there…

– World Series: Can the Cubs Force Game 7?

Can Bethie Care Any Less?

– Man Commutes to Work in Manhattan By Kayak

Hipsters, you have your new Master.

– New Hampshire: Tiny But Important in 2016

“In 2016?” Just in 2016???

Get it straight: 603’s ALWAYS important.

Thus concludes a grouchy Roundup for Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Clocks back this weekend, country *hopefully* back next week. Really looking forward to the election being over. Then we can stop fighting on FB and get back to looking at cats on the internet, as nature intended.

Even a hippie has an off day once in awhile…

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Mornin’ all.

The funk continues.

Hang on, sit back down. I’m in the fifth stage of a bad mood: acceptance. I’m not going to yell or snark. I’m not going to moan and groan. I’m not even going to bother trying to deny the facts. I’ve accepted it. My funk is here, and I accept that.

Hello, my name is Beth, and I am grouchy.

I popped on some non-Christmas music. One of my favorite calming hippie songs, Daniel’s Jojk, the Jonassi remix. I highly recommend it. You can find it on YouTube. Go on. Go check it out right now. I’ll wait.

Nice, huh?

Don’t worry, I didn’t break out any crystals and I totally washed my hair and put on a bra today, so I’m not going full hippie or anything. Besides, I call it hippie music, but it’s actually traditional Sami chanting. Totally different.

…really.

I’ve been working on crafts the past few days. Usually that makes me feel better, like writing. If I’m in a funk, nothing beats it like creating something. I got two interesting needle point samplers and some cool bead work out of the deal, but I STILL couldn’t stifle my brain and get some sleep last night.

I said bead work, NOT macrame. I am NOT a hippie.

Though really, I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with macrame, per se. A neighbor we had when I was growing up was a macrame freak and she made some really killer stuff with nothing more than rope and beads. I’m talking next level shit here, patterns so complicated that I gave up trying to duplicate them and stuck with…

…oh. Uh…heh heh…did I say that out loud?

Okay, so maybe I’ve dabbled in macrame. It’s not like I’m sitting on my back deck, barefoot and listening to folk music while I twist and knot hemp fibers in yet another hanging plant basket while Mother Sun shines rainbows through my prisms. That would be ridiculous. I only bring the prisms outside in the spring, sillies.

….

I said prisms, not crystals.

….

*sigh* FINE.

Hello, my name is Beth, and I am a grouchy hippie. But I’m still going to wash my hair and wear a bra. Guess I’m still partially in the hippie closet. Baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

It’s been rainy here. The boys had their first “snow” day which really turned into nothing major. I think it was still good to cancel, because it was just a few degrees of temperature away from the roads turning into skating rinks. For those of you who don’t live in a colder climate, there is nothing more dangerous than “maybe” for road conditions. If the temperature is hovering right around freezing, the wet roads could be just wet…or they could be icy. At that temp, the ice looks the same as water. I would greatly prefer that the kiddies go an extra day in the summer than risk their bus suddenly trying a Michelle Kwan routine on a side road.

…and if I wasn’t too busy grooving on this sweet, sweet folk music, I’d find the axel/axle pun in there.

That was Tuesday, and since then, it’s just kept right on raining. Not heavy rains, but drizzle yucky rains that feel like a million little sprites are gently spitting cold water in your face. I’m going to be honest…that’s not helping the mood. According to the weather report, on Sunday we might just have a bit of sun. If there is any possibility of soaking up a few rays, you can bet your ass I’ll be out there. Mama needs some vitamin D.

So we’re gamers, as I’ve mentioned. The whole lot of us. My littlest is 8-going-on-42, and he came home from school yesterday talking about a game his friend plays. It’s a horror shooter, meaning exactly what you think. You’re playing in the middle of a horror movie and you shoot things. I know the title, I’m familiar with the series, though I’ve never played it myself. Horror games get me too het up. I get sweaty-palmed and have to pause often to get a drink and cool the adrenaline. One time I got so startled that I actually jumped and hit myself in the face with the controller. True story.

Yes, these “games” can feel that real.

My dad was a gamer. He was absolutely blown away by Myst.

*gaming reference fistbump*

For those who are suddenly lost, Myst was a ground breaking game. Released in 1993, it was one of the first computer games that put people in a visually stunning 3D world. It had all the things we take for granted now: full music score, ambient environmental sounds, more than 16 colors… If you’ve never seen it and you looked at it for the first time now, you’d say, “…so?” But take my word for it…when it came out, Myst shattered what people thought of “gaming”. It honestly did feel like being in a movie, being part of it instead of an outside user.

Interesting side note: the system requirements to play this epic game were Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, 386DX 33MHz, 4 MB RAM for Win 3.1 or 8MB for Win 95, Super VGA running a resolution of 640×480 with 256 color mode enabled, and a CD-ROM drive. I can say this for fact because I just pulled out my nostalgia copy from the bowels of my gaming desk and read them directly from the user’s manual. Ah. Myst. Good times.

To put this in terms even non-geeks can understand: When Myst came out, you needed a fairly decent computer to run it. Not top of the line exactly, but not that far off. Today, this game could be run by your phone, in the background, as an on screen gadget, taking up little more for resources than your clock.

Now it’s lame, but back in the day, Myst kicked off a trend. Before Myst, there were great games, and I’m not saying any different. But Myst was pretty. Really, really pretty. Pretty enough so that if you stretched your imagination just a bit, you could pretend you were really on that island solving the admittedly easy clues. It was beautiful…but the game itself, meh. I was 15 when it came out and I beat it in no time. The game play was not the best.

That wasn’t the point, though. The point was to prove an idea, to make a gamer actually part of the game, to prove that there was now a medium that could combine story line, gaming, action, and sound in a way that had been yet unseen but often imagined.

It worked. It worked so well, in fact, that it fueled a technology race that has just finally begun to slow. Gamers saw the possibilities in Myst and demanded more of the same, but with a decent story line. They got it, then wanted better game play. I mean, making things look and sound pretty is only part of gaming. Let’s have some difficult, innovative maneuvers through this new terrain of beauty! Game houses turned their attentions towards the gaming aspects, but then noticed that, while three dimensional, the trees still looked flat, the mountains were papery planes that disappeared when people started to trek past… The graphics and processor companies saw there was an eager market and spent the rest of the 90’s, 00’s, and 10’s (so far) trying to up the game.

Yes, gamers are responsible for your speedy phones and pretty desktop slide shows. You’re welcome.

…what? Don’t think so?

Look, the vast majority of computer users in the 90’s were using their rigs for typing. TYPING. Data entry, accounting, ordering, writing, taxes… That was what the bulk of computer users did on their electronic work machines. Hell, that’s STILL what the overwhelming majority of computer users do on their machines…that and surf the internet. I have an old electric typewriter in my closet that’ll pretty much type as well as this program I’m using right now, and you could easily surf the ‘net in 2D. If there were no gamers, we’d still have work machines and nothing more. Gamers DEMANDED more, and were willing to pay. Companies like Intel, nVidia, and AMD decided to out-think each other to fill this demand.

Now we have video games that feel so real I need to ice my eye and promise people that the only person abusing me is Bethesda. Damn nazi zombies.

**NEWS FLASH: We interrupt this Musing for a weather update: The rain has stopped. It is now snowing. *eye twitch* *spasm* We now return you to your regularly scheduled Musing… **

These games are real. They are really happening while you’re playing them. The sound of a floor board squeaking when your character steps on it is exactly the same as one would make if you stepped on a half-rotten floor in real life, and the directional sound programmed into the game honestly makes it sound like someone is maniacally snickering juuuuuust behind you. The graphics have come so far that many times it’s nearly impossible to tell if a cut scene is live action footage or CGI. The blood dripping off the fangs of a monster looks so real you can almost smell the metallic tang, and it doesn’t matter a bit that your ass is actually firmly on the couch of your mother’s living room. Games are so well done that in those moments, the experience is real. To your brain and body, it’s real.

My son asked if he could check that game out. There is no way in hell that’s going to happen. I’ve mentioned before that I’m the daughter of a librarian. As such, I’m not big on censorship. However, there really are some things for big kids that are not for little kids. It’s not like he’s an advanced reader asking if he can take a stab at Catcher in the Rye. He’s a little kid asking if I’ll let him play a game where the sole purpose is to make the user truly feel like they are being hunted.

Nope.

I can’t believe other parents let their 8 year olds play that, either. It boggles the mind.

The Grand Theft Auto series. That’s another one I don’t understand parents letting kids play. In that series, you’re basically a thug going about a thug life. Killing, selling drugs, running over prostitutes. The whole point of the game is to be a thug. I support the series, though it’s not my cup of tea. I’m all for people creating it and adults getting enjoyment out of playing it. It’s entertainment, not reality. It’s an escape, an exploration of something different, not real life. I can’t support one art form and piss on another. It doesn’t work like that.

I just don’t support kids playing it. Really, what’s the harm in waiting until your kid even knows what a hooker is before you let them run one over with a car?

Wait a second. I support a game that allows users to mow down prostitutes, rob little old ladies, and sell stolen goods to amass a pile of stinky, materialistic money. You know what this means, right?

Hello, my name is Beth and I am NOT a hippie.

Maybe today holds a ray of sunshine after all.

Thus concludes a rather rambly Musing for Thursday, December 11, 2014. I’m going to go do some more beading and ignore the snow. It’ll go away if I ignore it. Right?

RIGHT?!