And the rockets red glare, the headlines lacking in flare…

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Mornin’ all.

Can you believe the year is half over already? You know what that means. It’s almost the 4th of July! I’m waving a sparkler, but I guess you’re just going to have to take my word for that.

I actually really love patriotic holidays. I am a hippie AND a patriot. I love my country. Yes, it’s a messed up blend of fever-dream-meets-bad-acid-trip at the moment, but I still think it’s worth saving.

I don’t want this post to be overly political, though. I mean it’s me, and I won’t be able to pass up taking a few jabs. You understand. But as far as actually addressing the issue with more than quippy snark? I’ll try not to. It’s a holiday, after all! We can get into the nitty gritty another time. For now, let’s just have some fun. And what do we do around here for fun?

*cue the full marching band for the catchy theme music* *cue the red, white, and blue go-go dancers* *set off the confetti cannon*

That’s right. We’re doing a super duper, ultra mega, eXtremerific…

* * * HOLIDAY HEADLINE ROUND-UP!!!! * * *

It just pulls at the heart strings to see the dancers finish in a sequined pyramid under a shower of red, white, and blue fireworks just as the founding fathers intended, doesn’t it? *wipes tear* Well done, ladies.

I haven’t done a Roundup in awhile, but it’s not that hard to explain. I look at large news sites and scan through the headlines. When one grabs me for whatever reason, I copy it as written and present it for you perusal. Sometimes they’re poorly worded, sometimes they’re just ridiculous, but mostly, they put a thought in my head I feel compelled to share. As always, the headlines are 100% true red, white, and blue blooded. I just add the apple pie for dessert. Ready? Great! Put down your fifes and drums and let’s take a look at the world one headline at a time.

– You’d Never Guess These Salads Are Vegan

Vegans always think other people can’t taste the difference because they’ve eaten work-around foods for so long that they can’t tell. I’m sorry, any of my vegan pals, but I can guarantee you that I 100% CAN tell that your fauxmatoes and tofucumbers aren’t the real thing.

– Jana Kramer Reacts to Husband’s Cheating Dealbreaker: It ‘Hurts’

Really dug deep on that one.

– US Says Border Wall Will ‘Avoid’ Historic Texas Cemetery

Can’t the wall just ‘avoid’ the historic Mexican border?

– ‘A Bad Idea’: Senate Republicans Warn Trump Over Mexico Tariff Threat

Trump had a bad idea? Nooo. Not Chief Baby Hands.

– Here’s What Melania Trump is Doing Today

Probably silently weeping every spare moment she gets, if I had to wager.

– China Warns Citizens Against Travel To The US

Can you blame them? Really?

– Why Financial Literacy is Being Taught In Schools Across America

Um, maybe because it’s just a good fucking idea that should have been happening all along? Just throwin’ it out there.

– O.J. Simpson’s First Tweet: ‘I’ve Got A Little Getting Even To Do’

Damn, just got a major sense of deja vu. Huh.

– Man Captivates Cows With Saxophone Serenade

Boy, Kenny G’s career really took a turn, eh?

– Woman Spreads ‘Hope’ To Tornado Damage Victims

The woman gathered pieces of broken houses to make cross necklaces she’s then selling. She’s literally taking the proof of her god’s intended destruction of peoples lives and turning it into jewelry to remind them that they were on her god’s hit list. And suddenly, the quotes around the word hope make sense.

– New Hampshire Installs First Historical Marker to Honor Computer Programming

BASIC was invented here. Bet you didn’t know we were wicked fahkin’ tech savvy up here, didja bub?

– Facebook To Unveil New Cryptocurrency

Hm, should I let Facebook have any role in my financial future? Let me weigh the pros and cons. On the one hand, no. But, on the OTHER hand, also no.

– Palestinian Leaders Reject Kushner’s Economic Plan

Wise move. The only thing worse than letting Zuckerberg hold your purse strings is letting a peripheral Trump do it.

– Great Jobs To Boost Your Income When Retired

I wish the headline was something more along the lines of, “Americans Vote To Pitch In A Few Extra Bucks A Year To Increase Social Security So Our Elderly Who Have Worked Hard and Served Our Communities Can Have A Comfortable Last Few Years Because People Are Sick Of Watching Their Grandmas Work Menial Labor Jobs Just To Be Able To Afford The Luxury Of Eating AND Buying Medication Every Single Week,” but that’s not the world we live in.

– Underwood ‘Speechless’ Over Cheese Sculpture

I think she’s just stunned that it didn’t also come with a case of crackers. I stand with Carrie on this one. Tres declasse.

– The Brief (And Bizarre) History Of Selfies In Space

I wasn’t prepared for the “bizarre” facts in the story, but you know me, I have to share. Brace yourselves. You know what they had to do to take pictures of themselves in space? These crazy mofos at NASA had to make…get ready for it…a special trigger that the astronauts can use through their thick space suit gloves. What absolute freaks.

– Police Arrest 70 Climate Change Protesters Outside New York Times

These idiots laid in the street and attempted to scale the outside of the Times building to get the NY Times to stop calling it “climate change” and call it a “climate emergency” every time they referenced the situation in print. Which would be a lot of times, BTW, since the NY Times is most definitely an ally to their cause, printing many deep dive articles over the years trying to alert the public to the dangerous situation. I’m all for peaceful protests, but these mugs literally protested an organization that is already on their side over meaningless semantic bullshit when they SHOULD be protesting Fox News, Congress, the White House, and all the other massive organizations who continue to deny the effects of humanity on nature. It’s petty ass bullshit like this that weakens a cause.

– 30th Horse Death At Santa Anita Park Prompts Officials To Boot Trainer

Silly trainer. You’re only supposed to push the horses to the brink of death in the name of entertainment. Dead horses don’t make money. Duh.

– Trump Delays Immigration Sweeps. Here’s Why California Police Say They Won’t Take Part

*police spokesperson walks out on stage**adjusts mic**clears throat* “Because it’s stupid.” *turns**walks off stage*

*sidebar*- Do you still have that warning button? You know, the one you push when I’m about to say something that has the potential to land me in hot water?

“Yeah.”

Good, because I’m reading this headline about an SUV crash, and the first half is all jokey and has a fun vibe, but then there’s a comma and everything after that is doom and gloom and I kind of have the urge to make a “well that Escalade-d quickly” pun, because, you know, Cadillacs and shit, and I just don’t know if it’s appropriate.

“Hm. Are there kids involved?”

Yeah.

*WARNING* *WARNING* *WARNING*

Got it. So no puns where kids are involved in a crash. Thanks for having my back.

– Sex Abuse Charges Against La Luz del Mundo Leader Are the ‘Tip Of the Iceberg’

But just the tip.

*WARNING* *WARNING* *WARNING*

…no sex abuse jokes either?

“NO!”

Hmph. Fun killer.

– What We Know About Those Buried At Tampa’s Forgotten Zion Cemetery

They worded this headline like we’re getting fast breaking news on a developing situation. Calm down, Tampa Bay Times. I don’t think anyone’s in a rush to scoop you on this one.

– Fact Check: Trump Makes 3 False Claims About Hispanics in Interview

Only three?

– Fish Eggs Can Hatch After Being Pooped Out By Swans

This is a thing you now know. You’re welcome.

– SpaceX Is About To Launch 152 Dead People’s Remains Into Orbit

Only into our own orbit? How are the remains supposed to be carried by the cosmic waves to other places in order to seed faraway landscapes with human DNA if they’re stuck in our own orbit? Has Elon Musk never read decent sci-fi??

– This Robot Fish Has Robot Blood

…soooo…oil?

– 40 Things No One Over 40 Should Have In Their Home

Oh shit. I’m over 40. This is absolutely relevant to me. Let’s check it out.

1. A dust ruffle

…aaaaand I was totally wrong. This is in no way relevant to me.

– Hospital Issues Warning After Five Cases of Children Falling From Windows

Holy shit. I can’t believe they even have to! If you have a child, close the windows on any level above the first floor, bring them in from the car every single time, don’t leave bare light sockets open, don’t put your baby in the oven to dry them off real quick after a bath, don’t pack Tide pods in their lunch bags, take off the necklace made of scissors when they go to run around with their friends..and above all else, if you’re out of Kool-Aid, never forget that bleach is NOT a good thirst-quencher. That’s Bethie’s Handbook For New Parents, available wherever common sense is found.

– Sarah Ferguson Shows Off Curtsy As She Reunites With Prince Andrew

Ooooo look at her showing off a curtsy. All I’ll ever be able to afford is a handshake, or maybe an air kiss if I’m lucky, and she’s out there genuflecting like it ain’t no thing. These rich folks are so out of touch.

– 15 High-waist Bikinis You’ll Want To Wear All Summer

Boy, does your ad-targetting software need some upgrading, Google.

– Wild Crocodile Bares Menacing Teeth At Scuba Diver Who Gets Too Close

Um, it’s called smiling. Diver comes up with a camera, so the croc tried to seize his moment to become Instagram famous. Shit. Why you always gotta paint crocodiles in such a negative light? Pathetic.

– Pompeo Confirms Trump Sent Kim Jong Un Letter

You will never get me to believe that Trump can write. FAKE NEWS.

– Pompeo Confirms Trump Sent Kim Jong Un Letter

…unless…Do you…do you think maybe it was like a big letter “z” written in crayon on a piece of that learning-to-write paper they use in kindergarten? OMG I want to believe that’s what they meant so bad. The alternative is that someone pulling Trump’s strings conned Don into agreeing to butter up Kim more so that we can get some help bombing Iran because they are convinced the best way for the orange Cheeto to stay in office is to kill thousands of people for no reason whatsoever. I never thought I’d say this, but: Here’s hoping the figurehead of our country actually sent the leader of another country a purple crayon scribbled “Z”.

– How A Trump Tax Cut Helped A Billionaire Win Big

yay. lucky him. finally caught a break in life. good job. so glad things turned around for him.

– Florida Police Detained A Tortoise For Blocking The Road. He Got Away With A Warning And A Selfie

WOW. So this jaywalking road-blocking scofflaw gets off with a warning and a fun selfie with the cops, while the croc who was minding his own business in his own neighborhood gets blasted across social media for being “menacing” when all he did was smile into a camera?? This right here is the definition of media bias!!

– Pence: US ‘Not Convinced’ Downing Of Drone Authorized At ‘Highest Levels’

We sent a drone over there to spy on another country in their own air space. Frankly, them shooting it down seems fair, even if the “highest levels” DID authorize it. WE were spying on THEM. We got caught. They broke our camera and wagged their finger at us for trying to get one over on ’em. I’ve seen enough Spy Vs. Spy to know that’s just how the game works.

– How Prince Philip’s Pranks On Queen Elizabeth Made Her Laugh, But Also Backfired

If one of the pranks was not a whoopie cushion on the seat of the throne then Philip has forfeited his right to be king. FACT.

– This New Poll Finds Widespread Islamphobia Among Conservatives

You ever been digitally slow-blinked, Business Insider? Because that was legitimately my reaction when I read this headline.

– Hang Gliding From Texas To Canada For Breast Cancer Research

He’s not raising money. His goal is to “make people aware of breast cancer.” He’s got a bunch of volunteers to bring him supplies and donate hotel rooms along the way, but, once again- and I can’t stress this enough- he’s not personally raising any money at all for cancer research. He just wants people to know that THEY can raise money. And not just that, he’s convinced a whole lot of well-intentioned folks to give him free shit, to give HIM their money instead of donating that amount to cancer fucking research…I can’t even with this shit today.

– 7 Purchases You Should Never Make

I was nervous about being judged by another smug click baiter, but was pleasantly surprised to find the list filled with things like jet skis and hot cars. Apparently I can still make it rain for strippers and pick up some blow on payday without shame. What a relief!

– How The Cost Of College Has Changed Over The Years

It used to be nearly free, and now we expect 18 year olds to slap down the cost of a house before we’ll deign to let them learn at a higher level. No big mystery.

– Owner Of ‘Attack Squirrel’ Arrested After Chase

Oh no, guys. It’s even better than you think. The dude didn’t just train a squirrel to attack, he fed it methamphetamines to unleash the beast within, maximizing the force of the attack. A worthy contender for Florida Man’s crown approaches…

– Trump Declares Himself Winner In Democratic Debates

I mean of course he does. Did anyone expect anything else?

– Campbell: I Go Days Without Food, But I Don’t Starve Myself

Dictionary.com. It’s a wonderful tool, Naomi.

– This is THE Best Cherry Margarita

NO. Stop it right now! Cherries do NOT belong in margaritas. Margaritas are perfect and wholesome and everything good in this world. Keep your filthy tree balls out of my margaritas! #FuckCherries

– How To Prevent Sunburned Eyes

Blink.

– Stowaway Falls Into A Garden From An Airliner

And that, children, is how garden gnomes are born.

– Analysis: Joe Biden’s Soft Polling Underbelly Just Got Exposed

Why does this headline feel so uncomfortable? *shudder*

– Administration Forecasts 25% Decrease In Migrant Apprehensions At US-Mexico Border in June

…but…it’s July. We already had June. You can’t forecast something that’s already happened. Just when you think you’re at the bottom rung of the ladder of expectations, you discover there are still new depths yet to be explored.

– England Takes On USWNT

Putting aside the fact that England might not want to take on anything with the US this week given the history of early July, I love word games. Let’s try and figure out what USWNT stands for, shall we? United States Women’s Nut Tossers. Untidy Shellfish With Nasty Tentacles. Unruly Students Who kNow Things. Upstanding Sword Wielding Ninja Turtles. Unusually Smelly Wool Napkin Tuckers. …I could do this all day. Should I do this all day?

“NO!”

…Unwanted Silly Word Nerd Tomfoolery. *sniff*

– I’m Betting $523,111 On This 1 Stock

You fool. Everyone knows that $523,110.67 is the limit. Get packing for the poor house.

– CDC Warns Of Pool Parasites Ahead of 4th of July Weekend

They’re called “children,” and apparently they are everywhere.

– See How Bra Clasps Can Save A Turtle’s Life

It’s simple, really. Turtles don’t have thumbs. A young and irresponsible turtle couple that can’t get the bra off and gets frustrated and gives up after the mood is spoiled can’t spread life threatening STDs, now can they?

– Stores Encourage Shoppers To Bring Their Own Bags

Okay, Rip van Winkle. Thanks for keeping up with the grocery trend that began 20 years ago.

– Why Are Norwegians So Happy? In A Word: ‘Koselig’

Oh duh! Of course it’s koselig! Why didn’t I think of that?

– Could The Poo Of Elite Athletes Provide An Ingredient To Improve Physical Performance?

I am very disturbed that someone would even ask that question, and even more alarmed at the idea of someone actually using the knowledge to create a supplement. But…now that we’re here…I guess it would really depend on how much of the steroids permeate the digestive system, and if they would still be concentrated enough to provide effective performance enhancement, wouldn’t it?

– Trump’s Immigration Proposal Could Cause Millions Of Children To Opt Out Of Heath Benefits, Study Says

No no no no no no. Children do not “opt” in OR out of health benefits. Children do not choose anything. Stop trying to make it sound worse than it is. It’s already bad enough. You don’t need to shove the slant down our throats, CNN. That’s just as disrespectful to readers as when Fox does it. Shame.

– The Risks Of Crowdsourcing Kids’ Screen Decisions

I had absolutely no idea what was going on here. Turns out it was a bloviated opinion piece about a dad saying “no” to his kid downloading an app. I didn’t think it was such a slow news day. Guess I was wrong.

– Adoption Tax Credit: What The GOP Tax Credit Cut Means To Parents And Kids

It means that the unwanted children they claimed to be so hellbent on protecting pre-formation mean absolutely NOTHING to them once they pop out. It means they want to punish women for getting pregnant in the first place by making it harder for them to give up that unwanted child. It means they are intentionally standing in the way of those “little bastards” ever finding a loving, caring home because they’re spawn of sin. It means I fucking hate these blowhards in office and want some real change even more!!! GAH!! I still love you, America. But COME. ON.

*deep breath* We need a palate cleanser.

– Serial Toilet Clogger Sentenced to 150 Days in Jail, 3 Years Probation

Before today I didn’t know that fish eggs are still viable after traversing the digestive expanse of a swan, or that one could be jailed for out of control levels of fiber. We learn here, folks. It’s what we do.

“…that’s your palate cleanser?”

I mean, given the subject matter of the GOP post…uh…yeah. I think it’s a step up.

– Woman Barred From Texas Walmart After Eating Half A Cake, Refusing To Pay Full Price

Now, I didn’t bring this up because of the headline. Anyone who works for a bakery that’s also part of a grocery or retail store knows things like this 100% happen. The stories I could tell… No, I bring this up because in the article, they take the time to say, “The woman is not the first this year to be banned from a Walmart in Wichita Falls, a city not far from the Oklahoma border.” That is some next level padding for word count right there.

– Killing Wolves Was Supposed to Solve A Problem But Created Issue With Coyotes

Then they killed the coyotes, and the badgers got out of hand. They took out the badgers, and the possums carpe’d the diem. Their stint at the top was short lived due to the measured deployment of eagles, but the eagles soon fell to the drone army controlled by the bobcat cabal. The bobcat cabal got a little too chummy with the back stabbing raccoons, who eroded their ranks from within but left their own flanks vulnerable to cougars, who had been carefully plotting their coup from the deep, dark caves of the mountains. The cougars had a decent run, but were no match for the venom of rattlesnakes, and the snakes took the iron throne for a hot minute before they were George R.R. Martined by mongooses. And so it went until the only animals left were bunnies, who climbed over the bloodstained battlefield and screamed triumphantly into the first rays of a new dawn, “OUR TIME IS NOW!!”

Thus concludes an explosively good Roundup for Tuesday, July 2, 2019. I’d make it longer, but I’m really just stalling before digging in to tackle some real life challenges, and those are really niggling, sooo… Everyone have a safe and happy holiday weekend! Remember, any is too many. Grab a couch. Crash on the lawn under the fireworks. Sleep with your head in your friends’ toilet. Just please don’t become a drunk driving statistic!!

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I think I’m morally obligated to fill the plastic eggs with actual raw eggs…

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Mornin’ all.

Did I tell you about the cheese under the cake case?

The other day at work, my boss was stocking the tables with muffins and crème cakes and all sorts of unhealthy deliciousness, when something under my cake case caught her eye. It was a Longhorn gift card, one that had been taken off the large round display of gift cards for sale in the bakery.

My boss picked it up, then recoiled. It seems that the card was placed under the case to hide…cheese. Two slices, with bites taken around the edges. Looked like provolone. Cheese slice middles, sitting there, under a gift card under a cake case.

The deli is our store neighbor. The rounder of gift cards sits slightly toward the deli, right on our departmental border.

This is a thing that actually happened. Someone got a sample of cheese from the deli, wandered over and grabbed a gift card, then placed the cheese on the floor and covered it up with the gift card. And then they simply walked away.

Why.

WHY!?

Why would anyone do this? HOW could they even think it up in the first place? We have trash cans. We have napkins. Shit, even if they didn’t realize that and were just looking to ditch the unwanted cheese, why go the extra step of hiding it under a gift card?

I have never in my life taken a sample of something and hated it so much that I needed to hide all evidence of it ever having been a part of my life. Who does that? WHO IS THIS PERSON?? Who could even have this thought process in the first place? What else have they done in life?!??!

We’ve got some maniacs in this world, people. Stay vigilant.

So today is both Easter and April Fool’s Day!

Now, I could very easily make a joke here. Too easily, actually. I mean, it writes itself, when you think about it. Instead, I think I’ll make jokes about other things. Cue the music, because we need a…

*** EASTER/FOOL’S ROUNDUPSTRAVAGANZA!!!! ***

I have been gathering headlines for a month now, hoarding them as only a truly mentally unstable individual can. Some of them are dated, most of them are actually old news by now, but I’ve got to clean out the mental shelves and make room for more. It’s spring, after all, even if the weather’s not that keen on cooperating.

Those in the know are familiar with the schtick, but for any newbs, here’s how it works: I find headlines that speak to me. Maybe they say, “Hm, here’s something interesting.” Perhaps they call, “…wtf?” Sometimes they just say, “Durrrhurrrrrr.” I scour, I search, I listen for these tag lines to call my attention, then present the choice ones to you…with jokes. Or commentary. Or, in some cases, a good ol’ soap box observation. As always, the headlines are completely real. I just make up the bs after.

Got it? Good. Let’s do this.

– Fourth Nor’easter in a Month Takes Aim At New England

Because apparently Nature lost her calendar.

– What Is A Shamrock Shake? What to Know About McDonald’s Iconic Dessert

People say real journalism is dead, but then a hard and gritty look at real life such as this piece comes along and renews our faith in the profession.

– Woman Restrained After Trying to Open Cabin Door During Flight

While that is definitely a fair response to such an action, I give it less than a month before we see a follow up headline announcing her lawsuit against the airline.

Oooh! New game idea, folks! Let’s make a lawsuit office pool. Here are the rules: Everyone pitches in $2. We’re going to bet on two different aspects: when the lawsuit is announced, and what exactly the woman is claiming. I’m going to say that her lawyers will announce a suit on April 3rd, and they’ll be requesting damages for excessive force. *ching-clang of quarters and nickles hitting the pot* Who’s next?

– Woman Falls From Plane Door

Different woman, different plane. I think my new game has already gone viral, but I’m not sure people are actually understanding the rules…

– Your Location Data is Being Sold- Often Without Your Knowledge

Wow holy shit! This is totally the fast breaking news story of 2002!

– Kim Jong Un Calls For a ‘New History’

…ummm…I don’t think that’s how it works…

– Fights Erupt, 12 Arrested Ahead of White Nationalist’s Speech

Huh. These are generally very calm events lacking emotions or heated convictions. In fact, it’s widely known that folks who attend these rallies do so in order to get away from the hustle and chaos of everyday life. I’ve often heard them compared to accounting symposiums. Weird that they’d do such a drastic 180.

– 36 Exotic Animals Disappear From Florida Wildlife Sanctuary After Fake ‘Help Yourself’ Ad

Don’t send me hate mail or anything, PETA, but I would watch the hell out of this movie.

– Washington Becomes First State to Pass Law Protecting Net Neutrality

Let us pause for a moment to give Washington a standing ovation. Join me now. *WILD CLAPPING* *WHISTLES* *HOOTS* *HOLLERS* *flings bra up on stage* Bravo, Washington. Now, everyone else…ditto that shit STAT.

– California Hospital on Quake Fault Set to Close

I once set an entire tray of cupcakes down on the counter at work and promptly knocked it to the floor with my elbow. Bad days on the job happen. However, I never built a hospital on an earthquake fault line. I don’t know, but that might just be a world record for incompetence. Someone check with Guinness.

– University Sends Acceptance Emails to Wrong Students

I hope you didn’t hang up on Guinness just yet…

– Teen’s Tears of Joy Go Viral After He’s Accepted to Dream School

Ohhh boy…ummmm…this is awkward…

– University Sends Acceptance Emails to Wrong Students

I’ve given this some thought, and I believe you really dodged a bullet here, kiddo. Yes, you will now spend the rest of your life trying to live down the viral fame of what was ultimately failure. BUT, if the university can’t even figure out how to email, do you really want to pay them $30K/year? Silver lining, bud. #IGYB

– Alligator in Florida Caught ‘Window Shopping’ at Store Called Junque In The Trunk

WOW. FYI, he wasn’t shopping, he was mourning the handbag that used to be his best friend. Maybe try to understand alligator culture a little before you try and make jokes. #GatorFeelings

– Army Admits Mishandling War Dogs, Will Comply With Call for Reform

Exactly how does one “properly” handle an innocent animal that’s forced against its will to participate in a life threatening war it had absolutely nothing to do with starting?? No jokes here, folks. This legitimately pisses me off. One species should not be able to rope another one into their personal war. At all, ever, no matter how they treat the animal in the not-getting-them-killed down times between missions. We have the ability to think and reason and agree on morality. We should be better than this.

– Panama Hotel Ditches Trump Branding

I would totally sit through the three hour presentation on the wonders of time-sharing at this hotel if it meant we could learn the secret of how to ditch Trump.

– White House Clarifies Trump-N.Korea ‘call’, says He Meant South Korea

*adds extra notebook to the suitcase while talking to Panama hotel rep about time-share presentation openings*

– Amid Leader’s Power Grab, China Bans These Three Phrases From the Internet

I couldn’t leave you hanging on this one. The phrases are “personality cult”, “my emperor,” and “Winnie the Pooh.” Winnie. The. Pooh. You don’t even need any details to enjoy it, do you?

– Analysis: Trump may have ‘done something…with Russians’, Says Former Aide

*spews coffee all over the place* *chair legs slam to the floor* *grips hair with unabashed shock* WHAAAA????

– The Clowns Are In Charge

No truer words have ever been spoken.

– Daycare Workers Gave Melatonin To Children At Naptime, Cops Say

At one point in life, I had four kids ranging in age from newborn to five. I never drugged them, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t empathize just a wee bit with this story.

– Attorney: Relatives Still Have ‘Great Love’ For Student Charged With Killing Parents

No they do not. They might be trying to hold on to the love, or trying to convince themselves that their love for the kid is actually infinite. But, it’s not, and that’s okay. The little shit straight up murdered people. It’s okay not to love him.

– Cops Train to Spot Drug Trafficking. Why Not Train to Spot Child Trafficking?

Because in this country, drugs and guns are more important than children. #FACT

– Grandma Brings Doritos Bag Full of Drugs to Prison, Cops Say

Oh, Granny. Your big mistake was bringing top shelf treats the corrections officers wanted to “confiscate” for their afternoon snack. If you had just put the drugs in a box of saltines, you wouldn’t have been caught.

– Microsoft is Optimizing Skype for Low-end Android Phones

“The peasants are demanding services, master.” “*scoff* I allowed them access to solitaire. What more could they possibly want?” “Perhaps if we were to deign to let them use a fifteen year old free app they’d be appeased?” “UGH. *rolly eyes* Fine. *wave hand* Throw them a bone.”

– The Moon Formed Inside a Hot Cosmic Doughnut, Scientists Say

Hot Cosmic Doughnut is an amazing name for an indie band. I’d buy that t-shirt.

– Any Life on Proxima B May Have Been Wiped Out Last Year

You have no idea how legitimately disappointed I am. The search continues.

– The Moon is Getting 4G Cell Service and Live Video Feed

Greaaat. Give the Nazi base on the far side of the moon even MORE of an edge on us. #TheTruthIsOutThere

– Everything Americans Know About Science in Seven Graphs

That it’s possible to accurately represent everything Americans know about science in only seven graphs speaks volumes of sadness and pain.

– Tangled ‘Particle’ Helps Scientists Model Rare Ball Lightning

If ever there was a time to create a super weapon out of a scientific discovery, this is it. Ball lightning guns may be our only shot at defeating the robot uprising. Fix the problem you created, scientists.

– NASA Wants to Send Humans to Mars in the 2030s- Here’s the Timeline

Why wait? I’ve got a pretty good list of people we can send right now.

“But Bethie, it’s still not safe enough. Their odds of surviving are slim to none.”

*quirked eyebrow*

“OHHHhhhh. I see.”

Get on it, NASA.

-Years-long Storm on Neptune Winds Down

“Years-long” storms? Maybe I shouldn’t bitch about snow in March.

– Vaping Delivers Cancer Causing Chemicals

Inhaling chemicals delivers chemicals to your body? I never would have guessed.

– Republican Candidate for Maine House Calls Parkland Survivor Emma Gonzalez A ‘Skinhead Lesbian’ In Series of Vile Tweets

Maine, heart to heart time: You are the only other New England state I tolerate. You know what you gotta do here. Throw this asshole’s shit out in the dooryard, tell him to move on up the way, and don’t let yourself slip down to Connecticut status in the rankings. I’m countin’ on ya, Maine.

– California Teacher Accidentally Fires Gun in Class, Students Injured

…yep. *sigh* Yep.

– Tiger Uses Snowblower in Goffstown

No details. Mystery is the spice of life.

– Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking Has Died at 76

I didn’t agree with some of his theories, and he was often a bit of a twat, but his contributions to our understanding of the universe have opened doors to paths we didn’t even know existed. Respect.

– O.J. Simpson Described ‘Blood and Stuff’ in Hypothetical Murder Scenario

How can anyone still doubt his guilt when he gives such detailed descriptions that only someone who was actually there would be able to share?? “Blood and stuff”? Could YOU come up with such minutiae? I don’t think so. Wake up, sheeple.

– President Envisions Space Force Someday in Military

Gotta fight dem moon Nazis. #THETRUTHISOUTTHERE

Elon Musk Poaching ‘The Onion’ Staffers For Secret Project

Brilliant, slightly insane scientist amassing an army of professional satirists? If this is how the world ends, I’m oddly okay with it.

– Cops Lose Snowball Fight

It’s the end of March, and there is still enough snow for a snowball fight. In fairness to the cops, I think EVERYONE loses this one.

– In Gun Control Marches, Students Led, But Adults Provided Key Resources

WHAT? I thought the kids rented the buses and drove themselves to the marches after busting open their piggy banks and pooling their change to pay for the permits! You mean the WHOLE THING WAS A SHAM??

– Self-taught Rocket Scientist Blasts Off Into California Sky

He built a rocket in his garage and blasted off into the air in an effort to prove the earth is flat. My dad once went to an industry convention to look at a new line of equipment for his machining company. At the convention, he actually met and interacted with a group of rocket scientists. He was always a space buff, and when I asked how it went with them, he said, “It was a big let down. I thought they’d be smarter. I think the only thing they do know is how to make a rocket.”

Dad’s hypothesis confirmed.

*ducks rotten tomato thrown by rocket scientist*

Fine. #NotAllRocketScientists …better?

– Is Your County Elections Clerk Ready for Russian Hackers?

This is NH. Odds are very good that at least half of our elections clerks still have to have their grandkids program their tv remotes. I’m going out on a limb and saying they’re probably not up on the latest internet security measures. On the plus, I doubt anyone’s trying to hack Window 98, so we should be fine.

– Crazed Girls Flood Parkland Shooter Nicholas Cruz With Money, Suggestive Pictures

Aha! I found it! The elusive “starting point” we’ve been searching for in the gun control debate. Let’s start banning people who send love letters to mass murders from ever owning a firearm. See how easy it is when you break it down to basics?

– Malala Yousafzai Returns To Pakistan for the First Time Since Shooting

This is the young woman who was shot in the head for going against sharia custom and promoting education for woman and girls. And then KEPT FIGHTING FOR IT. Just a little perspective for those who feel “persecuted” just because someone disagrees with them. An argument isn’t persecution. Getting shot in the fucking head for your belief is. There’s a difference, folks, and it matters.

– The Military Can’t Build Trump’s Wall. Here’s Why He Keeps Saying They Will.

Whaaa?? Why would he think they would? They aren’t contractors. Doesn’t Trump know what the military is supposed to do?

…oh. My. God. I don’t think he does. Holy shit. Guys, we’re in a lot deeper than I thought.

– Analysis: Trump’s Cabinet Ranked By How Likely They Are To Get Fired

I want to get pissed, but really, this is probably the best way to assess Trump’s cabinet.

– Trump Says Work On Border Wall Starts Monday. It Doesn’t.

I’m ready to disconnect from society and be the local legend recluse who comes down from the hills once a month to pick up my mail and buy an abnormally large quantity of sunflower seeds and orange soda. Who’s with me?

– Destructive Beetle Found in Albany Pine Bush Preserve

Dammit Ringo not again. #GetBackInYourCage

– Cabbies Lay Down Caskets In Protest of City’s Taxi Rules

…I am so confused right now…

– Trafficker Used Drug Money to Buy Cake Decorated With Gold

THAT. MONSTER.

– Clinton: No One Told A Man Who Lost To Shut Up

The hell they didn’t. ANYONE who bitches and moans about a loss this far out gets criticized, and it has absolutely nothing to do with genitalia. SHUT. UP.

…full disclosure, I was bummed Hillary didn’t win…not because I wanted her in office, but because I am vehemently opposed to Trump. She didn’t lose because she’s a woman. She lost because she’s tone deaf to what the country wants, has a history of contradictions between what she says on the podium and what she allows and ignores in her everyday life, and failed to address the electoral college during her campaign. Did Trump have help from Russia? Oh yeah, I’m positive he did. But that’s not what Hillary’s saying, is it? She’s not calling out any bad acts…she’s saying she lost because she is a woman. If she was a better candidate, I think she would have won, no matter how much help Russia threw Trump. So, once again, Hillary, shut up. You’re making women look bad. #TrueStory

– Martha Stewart Shares Va-va-voomy Pic

Ew what? No. NO. NOOOO!

– Passengers Freak Out Due To An Ant Infestation On Their Plane

I’m sick of these muthafuckin’ ants on this muthafuckin’ plane!

…what did you expect? The sequel is never as good as the original.

– Understaffed Office That Vets Trump Employees Plagued By Inexperience

I don’t have enough sarcasm to tackle this one adequately.

– Priest Accused of Embezzling $5M From Church For Lavish Estate

The pope literally sits on a gold-covered toilet. I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard feeling bad for the church here.

– Texas Bomb Squad Makes Egg Hunt For Visually Impaired Kids

“BETHIE NO! DO NOT SAY IT!”

…*presses lips together tightly*

…*repeats calming mantra until urge to blurt out bad joke passes*

Thanks for having my back.

“Anytime.”

You know it would have been hilarious, though, right?

– Art Dealer Accused of Drug-fueled Acts With Lobsters At Parties

Periodically through this day of festivities and/or trickery, I want you to stop and just think about this one question:

How did he get a lobster to do a line of coke in the first place?

I think we all deserve to know.

Thus concludes a Headlinestravaganza for Easter/Fool’s 2018. I’m off to chart out the logistics of crustacean drug habits to try and make sense of this crazy mixed up world. May your hams and lambs be juicy, and your donuts be filled with actual Bavarian cream and not mayonnaise. Everyone have a safe and happy day!

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!

Need to diet? Pop into your friendly neighborhood bakery today!

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Mornin’ all.

I opened my email this morning and found an ad from Aldi with the subject line, “Save for Celiac Awareness Month.”

Celiac. Awareness. Month.

Now, I’m not saying celiac disease shouldn’t be researched, and certainly the folks who suffer should have hope for a cure. But that’s not what this is about, is it? Aldi is not, in any way, being altruistic. Aldi isn’t donating for a cure. They aren’t trying to legitimately raise awareness. They are a grocery store with an abundance of gluten free products they need to unload. This isn’t about helping folks with legit gluten issues. It’s about selling gluten free products to the 99% of the population who does not have celiac disease.

I hate this kind of bullshit. Corporate “let’s pretend we care so you’ll keep forking over the cash” mentality.

There’s a new law on the books with which we need to comply at the bakery. In an effort to pretend we care, we now need to display the calorie count for all single serve items. Instead of posting an ugly, tacky menu, our company has chosen to print new display tags to put next to each item.

Now, I’m not saying it’s bad to inform your customers. I just don’t think my customers want to know.

Real talk. No one’s buying things from the bakery because they’re on a health kick. No one sees a cupcake and thinks it’s an acceptable stand in for a stick of celery in their diet plan. People know the shit I sell is unhealthy. They know. And when they are looking for a treat, they do not care.

I’m not opposed to having the information available if people ask. I just don’t see why the government has made it our job to prominently shame people who want a confectionery pick me up.

The one plus is the new fun game I can play now. “Guess How Bad It Really Is.” I don’t have a game show theme song for it yet, but it really has provided me a bit of fun to ask fellow employees, “Wanna guess how many calories this puppy has?”

We sell a type of fancy chocolate cupcake that has raspberry filling and chocolate everything else. It’s very pretty, a real eye catcher, and even though I’ve never had one, raspberries and chocolate?? How could it NOT be utterly delicious?

980.

980 calories for ONE cupcake.

In fairness, it would be difficult to get a whole cupcake down in one sitting. They’re not your average cupcake. They’re huge. Still, I’ve had sad days where I could, in theory, polish the whole thing off if I were so inclined.

We can also play the game in reverse. I tell the calorie count and give three options and folks need to try and guess which one fits. Let’s do one, shall we?

480 calories, and your choices are: single serve cheesecake with raspberries, small rosette cupcake with buttercream, or large stuffed cannoli.

Come on. Timer’s almost up.

If you said, “Cannoli,” no way, sucker! That puppy’s about two hundred calories more! It’s the raspberry cheesecake.

Isn’t this fun?

Guess what’s the worst thing we sell? I’ll give you the total: 1920. One THOUSAND, nine hundred twenty calories for ONE single serve item. That’s an entire day’s worth of calories in one treat.

So what do you think it could possibly be?

Keep in mind, we are a full service bakery. We sell everything from rolls to chocolate dipped strawberries. *tick**tock**tick**tock*

Time’s up! The worst item we sell is…

…you know what? I’m not going to tell you. A guessing game is only fun if you actually guess.

Aside from the new labels of shame, we also offer pamphlets about healthy eating. This one really gets me. I understand offering the nutrition facts about the food we sell. I think they are being very heavy handed and Big Brother-y in the way they’re going about it, but I get it. I do. I think the information about the food we put in our bodies should be available if we care to read it.

The pamphlets, though…Come on. I’m seriously expected to hand someone a cake with one hand and a pamphlet on what they SHOULD be eating with the other? Are you kidding me with this pandering bullshit? Who are you trying to fool? I do not give a rat’s ass about the diets of my customers. Not a whit. If they want to eat a 1920 calorie *redacted for purposes of a game show*, why should I be the one to stop them?

News flash: I’m not their mother. And I shouldn’t be expected to act like one. I make cakes. I make them for people to buy. I’m certainly not going to turn around and say, “Oh, you fell for my trap, you fool! Let me take a minute to educate you on how much of a stupid fucking lard ass you really are…”

I have a couple customers who will ask, “What’s the healthiest thing you sell here?” I always point to the produce section right behind them and say, “We’ve got some great apples and celery on sale this week.” When people ask for the “diabetic friendly” or “healthier” type of icing instead of buttercream (it’s a non-dairy whipped topping), I always point out that NO icing is diabetic friendly and that it is in no way healthier than buttercream.

So I do care if they’re coming at me with misinformation. But, in the end, if they get the unhealthy shit, *shrug*. It’s not my body. I honestly don’t care if they get five *1920 calorie items* and down them in a sad afternoon binge watching The Office for the fiftieth time. I don’t give a rat’s ass. Eat what you want. You’re an adult!

Look, I get that people should be able to be aware of the bad shit they’re putting in their bodies. I guess I just have a problem with a company who SELLS THOSE VERY ITEMS pretending to care. The ONLY reason we’re posting the facts is because the state says we have to. We’re a fucking bakery. The foundation of everything we make is a combination of fat, sugar, and carbs. Of COURSE our shit is unhealthy, and it’s pretty damn hypocritical to be the ones making the unhealthy shit only to turn around and shame the customers who buy it.

…is what I would say if I didn’t care about losing my job. So, uh, you know, great job, Corporate Higher Ups who might be reading this. I love working for a company that cares so much about its customers.

“Nice save, Bethie.”

I thought so.

Thus concludes a quick Musing for Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Holy FUCK it’s MAY. Aw hell. Remember all that cleaning I had to do? I STILL HAVE TO DO IT. Off I go…I’ve got a mop bucket calling my name…

*growl**grumble**curmudgeonish snarl*

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Mornin’ all.

Winter is over and the bears have come out. And not “internet” bears…

*If you don’t already know what the internet calls a “bear”, then you don’t live a life where the info would be very pertinent. I’m just sayin’, Google at your own risk if you must, but don’t get offended if you don’t like what you see.*

…I’m talking teeth gnashing, ornery summbitches that’ll mess your shit up for a pile of trash. They’re out and they’re fierce.

At least one of them is. I’m in a terrible mood. Not even this coffee is helping.

To be fair, it’s shit coffee because I had to make it. Teen 2.0 forgot to set a pot up for us. It’s okay. Since he is the coffee connoisseur in the house, he’ll be suffering for his forgetfulness. Instant karma.

The cat woke me up early by licking my nose, then screaming in my face. I didn’t actually mind because I was having terrible dreams. I got downstairs to find a pile of rubber-band-induced vomit.

Bad dreams. Shit sleep. Horrible coffee. And cat vomit. Helluva great way to start the day.

“Bethie, where did the ‘glass is half full’ attitude we constantly get annoyed by go?”

Sorry. I warned you I was feeling snarly. I’ve got a lot of clutter at the moment, both physical and mental.

See, I’ve been trying to clear out the dining room, AKA:Oscar’s Trash Can. I’ve got guests coming all through May, and I must must MUST get that room in order. Or, in as much order as I can get it. I’m going to do my best, but I’m still a hoarder. There will be a lot of shit left in there even when I’m done.

“Just grab a box of trash bags and go to town.”

If it were that easy, don’t you think I already would have done it? HM? I’d LOVE to be able to let go of shiny things and greasy things and squiggly bits and knobby doodads and twisty thingamabobs… I look at other peoples’ houses and honestly wonder how in the hell they live with nothing in their rooms. It’s legitimately a mystery to me.

I actually have let go of a lot, you know. I have one room that’s crammed full, not an entire house anymore. The Big Clean a couple years back has stuck for every other room.

And I will throw out a fair amount from the dining room, too.

It’s just going to take me awhile. I can’t just grab shit randomly and shove it into a trash bag. I can’t do it. I will sit there side eyeing the stack of bags and get so anxious that I have to- HAVE TO- know what’s inside. It’s a compulsion, not a desire. Not a want. Not a “quirk”.

And, to be clear, it’s not “garbage”. None of it is rotting or discarded wrappings or a collection of every rind from every piece of watermelon I’ve ever eaten. There aren’t stacks of junk crushing mummified animal bodies flat or piles of rat shit heaped up on anything. It’s mostly metal bits I’ve stripped from cars and electronics, all sorted according to the CCFS.

“CCFS?”

You aren’t familiar with the Coffee Can Filing System? It’s similar to the tried and true Dewey Decimal, except for in almost every single way. The CCFS goes like this:

Greasy things go in large plastic Maxwell House containers. Once they get de-greased, they are broken up into large utilitarian bits, like brackets and push rods and structural pieces, and small shiny bits. The utilitarian pieces go into large cardboard cans, like from cheap ass coffee we drink on our broke weeks, and the regular shiny bits get placed in small metal cans, like from Hills Bros., or Chase and Sanborn, because they are special.

Springs have their own cans, because springs are awesome and deserve their own cans.

Nuts and washers go into old film cans, the metal ones 35mm film used to come in before they started putting it in little plastic cylinders. I know they’re not technically coffee cans, but come on. They’re just nuts and washers. Duh.

…unless they are brass. Those are special and, as such, also get their own can.

Bolts or screws go into a huge Folger’s can, because why wouldn’t they?! Unless they are automotive interior bolts, which go into a separate can, or tiny electronic screws, which go into several small Altoids tins.

Now, electronic bits are harder, because they are small, fragile, and somewhat toxic. I have a bead sorter for the most delicate parts, which also holds transistors and resistors. Those go in there because they are small and round. Like beads.

Then we get to my super special cans. They’re not actually coffee cans. They are aluminum food cans, the kind that have the lining on the inside for acidic foods like tomatoes. Those are where the prime bits go, and I have made a special little stand for those out of an old film projector case.

“What would be a ‘prime bit’ Bethie?”

I’m glad you asked!

A prime bit would be something either very shiny, like a computer hard drive internal disc, or something that’s uniquely shaped, like the impeller from inside a diesel injection pump that looks just like the inside of the Hadron super collider if you hold it out away from you and squint. Basically, if I’ve never seen it before, or it’s super shiny, it goes in a special can in the special drawer in the special stand where I can easily access it.

So that is the CCFS in a nutshell. Of course there are tons of variations of the system, depending on the finds, the season, my ever changing whims… It’s kind of a subjective filing system.

But it’s mine. Every hoarder has one.

We have this customer at work that the night crew calls The Magazine Lady. She comes in and sits in a mart kart in front of the magazine rack for hours early in the morning. She does buy some things, and when she does, those things need to be placed in bags. She’ll pull her money from her purse, which is also in little bags, and then sort her change and her receipt into bags when she’s done. Everything she buys goes in its own bag, even if it’s a bagged product, then they get put together in a larger bag inside ANOTHER bag.

I know what her house looks like, folks. I know what her car looks like. I know what life looks like for her day to day. She follows the PBFS, and she is bound to it by much stronger ties than those I deal with. I feel bad for her.

Mostly.

She’s not just a hoarder, she’s also a real asshole, so my sympathy only goes so far. You can be a kind hoarder. And let’s face it, if you’ve got such a strong difficulty for people to look past to begin with, you SHOULD strive to at least be kind. I’m grouchy today, but I’m not an asshole. Usually.

Hell, could you imagine? A fat, broke, inept, compulsive hoarder…I really can’t afford to be an asshole on top of it. I have to have at least one redeeming quality. If you can’t achieve any other standard in life, kindness is the one quality you should always prioritize.

It’s not easy to work through the stuff in the dining room. It brings up other things for me, memories and emotional baggage I wish would just get out of my psyche forever. I wish you could tip your head to the side and whack the top and let the mental clutter fall out of your ear like in the cartoons. Wouldn’t that be great?

Ah, but then you’d risk throwing the baby out with the bath water, eh?

I just have to keep at it I suppose. I completely cleared a walkway on my first day. I broke down a holding box of parts I grabbed and hadn’t yet processed on the second. I’ll get there. I know I will. My guests will still think it’s a horrible mess, because let’s face it, the CCFS isn’t for everyone. But I’ll know how far I’ve come.

I just have to keep plugging away.

Thus concludes a bit of a Musing for Friday, April 28, 2017. It’s already the 28th? Where did April go??? Shit. Now I have to register my car before work today or risk getting a ticket Monday morning on my way in. We’ve got some really sneaky cops that have gotten very good at hiding along the route to work. It’s kind of impressive, really. This one hides his rig so well you absolutely cannot see it at all until it’s too late. I have to tip my hat…and hurry to get my car registered before the shark gets me…

I can declare part of a store a sovereign nation if I just plant a flag, right?

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Mornin’ all, and a Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

…and a Happy Regular-But-Still-Beautiful Sunday to those who don’t!

It was a long week at work, filled with creepy bunny cakes and even creepier bunny cake buying customers. I’ve said before that holidays have customer themes, a collective mood shared by the holiday shoppers. Thanksgiving is friendly. Christmas is rushed. Easter? Turns out Easter’s mood is “douchey.”

I was not expecting that.

I had more flat out rude customers this week alone than I’ve had since I started there. Everyone wanted what they wanted, no matter if it was something we sold or not. They wanted it, and not only did they want it NOW NOW NOW, they were totally willing to make a scene if we couldn’t get it.

It was like a week long temper tantrum.

Ah, but peppered throughout there were just enough happy old ladies trying to give out unwrapped hard candies in gratitude for help (true story!), lost husbands who almost cried with relief when you found them the item their wife sent them to get, and people who wished a heartfelt “blessed Easter”, to make me not quit and keep me from shoving a creepy bunny cake up someone’s nose.

Customer service…it’s never boring.

Yesterday my store manager totally ruined my plans for a coup.

It’s spring, so our general merchandise department sells lawn furniture. In a grocery store. Because…? And I’m not talking just a couple folding chairs. I mean, everything you need to have a bangin’ backyard BBQ. From the chairs to the grill, patio sets, umbrellas, tiki torches to keep away the mosquitoes, huge wicker couches, and even pop up screen houses.

They set up a huge display of these items right in front of my department. And they went all out, too. They totally staged it on top of a stack of pallets to look like someone’s back yard. They put up one of the screen houses, set up a wicker furniture ensemble, a table, a grill, some tiki torches…

Now, I said it was a rough week. As I stood there icing the creepy ass bunnies, a plan of escape formed. I was going to rally my fellow bakery employees and claim the display as our back yard. I had it all worked out. I’d bribe the managers with margaritas, and anyone who objected would get a good stainless steel BBQ tong-ing (also on sale this week for only $3.99! Wow what a price! Hurry, supplies won’t last!).

I think we have a mole in the bakery, because yesterday, the planned day of attack, my store manager decided to make my dreams of an indoor backyard BBQ much more difficult. He went and put huge stacks of plastic lawn chairs around the display, blocking my entrance up the pallets to my work haven. He kept looking at me while he did it, too. Giving me the eyeball, as if he knew my plans and felt triumphant for thwarting them.

He thinks he won? Bitch, please. After some consideration, I think he accidentally played right into my hand.

First, we have to root out the mole. Someone squealed, I just know it. I’ll find out who and ice them.

…and I mean literally ice them…with icing. I’ll just fill that yap trap with delicious buttercream and they’ll be too busy enjoying a tasty treat to blab.

Then, we attack in the early hours. We move before the other departments are set up and watching, when it’s just night crew filling frozen all the way at the other end of the store. We stealthily gather supplies, then move the stacks out lawn chairs of the way long enough to take over the screen house, before pulling them in tighter and using them to our advantage. What at first seemed to be an obstacle will end up being our fortification.

It’s brilliant. We’ll already have the advantage of higher ground because the thing’s set up really high on pallets. The stacks of chairs will be our ramparts, and we can just pelt anyone who’s stupid enough to try and breach our defenses with flaming marshmallows.

It’s a rock solid plan. I see no way for it to fail. And then when we’ve gained control, I’ll invite you over for a fancy umbrella drink and some burgers.

Doesn’t that sound a lot better than work?

Thus concludes a very quick Musing for Easter Sunday if you’re inclined, or Regular Sunday if you’re not, April 16, 2017. I’m thinking this might be a record short one. I just have a ton of things to do this morning, but wanted to say hey. Everyone have a great day, no matter what your plans are or are not! And if you do end up in a legit back yard BBQ and the good times are topped off with a few drinks, don’t be an ass. Let someone else drive.

One brave little peeper fighting the good fight…

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Mornin’ all.

Guess what we have?

PEEPERS!!!

…actually, let me clarify. We have a peeper. One singular, lonely little peeper outside going, “Guys? Guys? Hello? Anyone? Guys? Guys? No one? Shit.”

Hang in there, little peeper dude. By tonight you’ll have friends.

SO warm out yesterday! Today is supposed to be the same. Then…well, then we aren’t going to talk about the weekend forecast. We’re just going to enjoy the warm couple days and hope little peeper dude has a sweater. He’s gonna need it.

We grilled last night. Ribs. And in spite of it being a Monday, many of our neighbors did the same. It was almost like a summer night.

Almost.

In the summer, we’ve got enough warm nights for the local folks to wait for a weekend when they can turn their backyard BBQ into one long Friday and Saturday hootenanny. We didn’t get the drunken shouting or fireworks. The “classic rock” end of the street did not try to drown out the “country” side, which is good because our house is smack dab in the DMZ (de-musicized zone) (stop groaning. You know what you signed up for when you opened this blog. Take your lumps.). It was a warm Monday night, and everyone was just happy to char their meat while their kiddies played tag. It was almost peaceful.

Almost.

See, while the people behaved themselves, there was an animal war going on, one that I don’t think many city dwellers would understand. Peepers and BBQing locals aren’t the only sounds of warm weather. Around here, you’ve also got the pets that have spent the winter cooped up inside.

“Bethie, we’ve all heard dogs barking at each other.”

Yes. But have you ever heard how a dog’s barking sets off a rooster, who then irritates a duck?

We’ve got many families around us that keep chickens. In the winter, small chickens wouldn’t do so well under two feet of snow, so they’re either kept inside or folks use them and wait to buy more chickens until it’s warm enough to put them outdoors.

“What do they do with last year’s chickens?”

…really? I mean, I know you’re a city slicker and all, but even city slickers have KFC.

But, like I said, not all. Some folks do bring their chickens in for the winter, though those are more like pets and show chickens.

“….show chickens? Now I know you’re screwing with me.”

Google it. You’ll find yourself looking at some fancy ass chickens.

…did you Google? Apology accepted.

Now, there’s a neighbor who keeps chickens and ducks. They live up on the hill behind our house, so we’re in an audio bowl, if you will. We can hear everything coming off that hill as if it’s happening right next to us.

Their neighbor has a dog. It’s a big dog with a deep voice. The baritone doggie does not like the off-key rooster. The off-key rooster doesn’t give a shit. And the duck? Hell, I think he was just like, “Oooh! We’re shouting now? I’M IN.”

It went something like this:

Cockadoodle doo!”

BARK BARK WOOF.”

Quack?”

COCKADOODLE DOOOOO!!!”

BARKWOOFBARKBARKWOOF.”

Quack! Quack quack?!

*moment of silence*

…peep…”

Ah, the sounds of almost summer in my little hamlet. They never seem to change. I was raised here, not half a mile from where I live now. My grandparents lived up on that street on the hill behind my current house. These sounds are familiar, comforting…nostalgic.

Hey, remember ambrosia salad?

Warm nights around the grill always remind me of my Grammie R’s house when I was a child, when we’d have family cookouts, though we never called them cookouts when they happened at Grammie’s. I have no idea why. Maybe because they were more than that.

When you picture a cookout, you picture a come-as-you-are, relaxed hang out. My grammie wasn’t formal, she was just very “50’s housewife.” She’d have these great parties, and food would be cooked out on the grill. But she was always dressed, her hair done up, the house immaculate. It was structured chaos, where a cookout is just whatever happens.

I’m not saying the structure in any way diminished the good time. Boy, were those nights fun! They’d get louder and louder as the beers and cocktails flowed, and we’d dart in and out of the happy adults, even happier to be able to have fun with the other kids while the grown ups were distracted. And yes, these parties would have us running in the yard catching fireflies at some point like a goddamn Norman Rockwell painting. I said they were very classic American cookouts, and I wasn’t kidding.

And the food. THE FOOD. My gram was an amazing cook. She always put on a spread that was over the top, and yet, just right. And all of it was 50’s and 60’s party foods. Little meatballs on toothpicks, cream cheese stuffed celery, chips and dips, crackers and a cheese ball, the kind that’s covered in chopped nuts and is an unnatural red and orange belly bomb. Mmm. Salads. The salads! Regular tossed salad, of course, but also potato salad, jello-salad, pistachio salad, ambrosia…

The main course would be meat, chicken or steaks, that Grandpa would fuss over at the grill pit he built into their stone wall while the rest of the guys would mosey on over and give their unwanted input. I don’t remember ever eating a hot dog or a hamburger at one of their parties. If it was chicken, it got a good soak in Italian dressing before it hit the heat. If it was steak, it got a luxurious teriyaki marinade that was so good it is one of our Family Recipes.

Potatoes with sour cream. All the accouterments any classic housewife would have on the table, too. Pickles, in several varieties. Olives, green, of course, since they have the cute little pimento stuffing… There was no half-assing it with Grammie. When it came to food, it had to be done right. And in her mind, every party would be a raging success if the food was on point.

She wasn’t wrong.

Good food = good times.

“Uh, Bethie? You do realize that’s not the healthiest attitude about food.”

No. Don’t do that. Don’t you psychoanalyze my nostalgic trip brought on by warm weather, the sounds of the neighborhood I grew up in, and the fighting spirit of the lone peeper. Don’t you dare.

EVERY CULTURE EVER has epic food tied to their major celebrations. You want a good time? Feed people, throw on some music, and let the booze flow. While maybe it’s not the absolute healthiest attitude about food, it’s not the worst, is it? The worst has to be the comfort a quart of ice cream brings you when you eat it alone in a dark room while watching tv because you feel like a fat piece of shit so fuck it why not.

Gah. We got off track.

There is a trend right now to bring back those classic foods, and I’m all for it.

I want ambrosia salad.

All those foods, actually. Wouldn’t it be fun? I want to have fruit magically suspended in Jello. I want my kids to know the simple beauty of stuffed celery, and I even want them to experience the disappointingly fake taste of those cheese balls. I want them to romp around the back yard while steaks and chicken are tended by folks arguing about “one flip or two”, while a couple old ladies sit in lawn chairs drinking cocktails and being sassy.

And I want to do it right along with them.

The classic 50’s housewife trope sucks in almost every way. But they nailed the food. You gotta give ’em that. They nailed a summer evening with the ones they loved. I want to do that this summer.

I think I’ll skip the curlers and the shell of Aqua Net, though. Wouldn’t want to put on airs.

Thus concludes a Nostalgic Musing for Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

Grammie’s teriyaki Marinade:

½ cup veg oil (original recipe is corn oil, I believe, but I use canola. Don’t use olive, as it’ll impart a flavor you don’t want)

½ cup soy sauce

1/3 cup packed DARK brown sugar

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp powdered ginger

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp ground mustard

½ tsp secret ingredient

Pour over steaks that have been beaten or poked. (Yes, I know that it’s not food safety standards to poke the steaks. But I always poke ’em. What can I say. I live life on the edge. It’s up to you whether or not you want to walk the tightrope without a net like me.) Marinate in the fridge all day, flipping them around every couple hours. Cook steak on grill, pour marinade into small saucepan. Boil the marinade for 2 minutes to kill any bacteria and thicken, then pour over your baked potato. Trust me. Your mouth will be happy. But, once again, cook that shit. DO NOT use the marinade raw after meat has been soaking in it all day!

…and if you think I’m sharing the secret ingredient, you’re dreaming! It’s a family recipe. Duh. But, this will be a good base. Try different things and make it your own.