I’ve been hit by the pumpkin train…


Mornin’ all.

Today is a day off. I had the opportunity to waste away in my bed until a gluttonous time of morning.

Unfortunately, Fuzzy McButtface didn’t get the “do not disturb” memo and jumped on my head at 4:53. Now, we have a tiny cat. Not viral-internet-meme small, but definitely petite. She never grew bigger than a teenage cat, and probably weighs around the 4 lb mark. Yet somehow, when waking me up is involved, she gains a good 20 lbs. I think she harnesses the power of her ancestors. Maybe she uses the Force?

I’m not going to lie…that would be pretty sweet if we had a cat that could use the Force. If only she’d turn away from the dark side…

I suppose it doesn’t matter how she does it. When she wants our attention, she becomes a Super Mario Thwomp. She’s a dick. And now I am awake on my supposed-to-be-lazy day.

It’s my first day off with my man in weeks. I’ve been off, and he’s been off, but we haven’t been off together. We were supposed to on this past Wednesday, but our boss decided to be a royal…




OH, riiiiight. Almost forgot there. Thanks for looking out for me!

Guess we’ll just make this internet friendly. Our boss decided to be a super silly billy and told my guy on Tuesday that he had to work Wednesday. I heard the news and said, “FUDGESICLES. She’s just telling you this NOW?? She a real kooky rapscallion!”

Speaking of work, we’re getting some new product recipes in for the season, and I just have to say to the world at large:

Stop putting pumpkin in everything.

Now, hold up a sec, because I am actually very pro-pumpkin. It’s a nutritious food that gets wasted in obscene quantities for the sake of decor while there are millions and millions of starving people. I’m glad folks are embracing it as a food.



Lettuce is a well liked food. You don’t see lettuce shortcakes. There are no asparagus donuts. I don’t have to make tuna-spiced taffy apples.

People, you can like a thing without putting that thing into literally all of the other things. True story.

I’m not going to lie, some of the new stuff is good. The pumpkin donuts are actually the shit. The muffins…eh. They smell better than they taste, which is odd because you’d think a muffin would be a perfect pumpkin vessel. They just taste slightly cinnamony. Pumpkin pies, of course. Cookies.

Some things are good. And then, there’s a pumpkin shortcake. This is where things go awry in the bakery.

Yellow cake is split, and then pumpkin cream is piped on the bottom layer. Pumpkin cream seems to be mashed pumpkin mixed with pudding. It’s…odd. That’s the only word I can use to describe it. Odd. On top of the oddity of pumpkin cream is, essentially, pumpkin flavored Cool Whip. It’s not actually Cool Whip. Looks like Cool Whip, walks like Cool Whip, quacks like Cool Whip…isn’t actually Cool Whip.

…but it is.

After the not-Cool-Whip Cool Whip, the second cake layer is placed, with one more fancy swirly daub of whipped cool on top to jazz up the whole shebang.

Now, I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking, “Yum-o, Bethie. Sounds baller. What’s the prob?”

First off, you’re not young and hip. Stop trying to use the teen lingo. You’re doing it wrong and it hurts.

Second, none of those ingredients really add moisture. The reason a strawberry shortcake works is because the strawberries are in a sauce. That sauce keeps the cake from turning into sawdust in your mouth. The Pumpkin Abomination has no sauce. It’s pasty pumpkin mixed with gummy pudding on top of airy whipped topping.

I don’t know. I’ll have to see if they sell.

Scratch that…I’ll have to see if there are any repeat customers. That’ll tell me if they are a hit or just an orange pile of shit.

You know what I miss? Apples. Remember when apples were the bomb?

“Bethie, if I can’t use teen lingo, you can’t either.”

Fair enough.

Remember when apples were THE flavor of autumn? I miss apples. Can we bring them back?

…oooh, wait a sec. Can we bring them back next year? It’s a miserable year for apple growing up in my neck of the woods. In fact, my three big apple trees grew between them…two apples. No, not two bushels. Just two. Two apples. Reminds me of that old poem…

Way up high in the apple tree,

Two little apples, smiling at me.

I shook the tree as hard as I could…

And then a squirrel ate the apples because squirrels are assholes.

As you can see, I’ve updated the poem to reflect my own experiences.

It was a horrible year for growing any of my backyard treats. My rhubarb did squat, I got one sad little cup full of blackberries. Only one of the raspberry bushes yielded fruit, and the berries that did grow were small and hard even when ripe. But the apple trees, those were the biggest disappointment. Not even the crab apples grew.

In an ordinary year, I can get piles of rhubarb, gallons of berries, and at least two or three bushels of apples. It’s sad. My freezer will have no fresh applesauce and my jars will gather dust instead of jam. That’s going to be some interesting morning toast.

Mother Nature, get your shit together.

I read a study the other day that’s depressing if it’s true. You all know how I feel about bullshit science. The majority of these “studies” are just scientific click bait in order to get more funding while containing no real scientific merit. However, I’d be lying if I pretended that some of them weren’t interesting.

The study in question set out to discover why old people are lame and simultaneously unaware of their own lameness. This particular study focused on the arts.

Remember when you were a kid who just heard THE. BEST. NEW. SONG. EVER, a mind blowing experience that left your soul both shattered and whole all at once, and you HAD to share it with your Mum, because something so utterly profound could not be kept to just one teenager? You played it for her, hovering excitedly on the edge of your seat, feeling- no, LIVING– every single word, your heart beating with the chords, until you finally made it through the life-altering experience and waited with bated breath for Mum’s response to the majesty you just shared.

And what did Mum say? What did Mum say about the work of a singer who somehow looked into your depths and encapsulated all the beauty and nastiness you tried to bury in your hidden psyche? What did Mum say after you bore your very soul to her through art your own mortal mind couldn’t create?

“Eh. It’s okay.”



Was there ever a more crushing moment in your young life? How could Mum not be totally blown away by the Most Powerful Experience Ever? Was she really that out of touch? I mean, sure, she wore those awful cinched-waist jeans and socks with sandals, but there HAD to be SOME modicum of coolness somewhere in her. Was she really just too old to appreciate a new song?

Science says, “Yep.”

A recent study has shown that as people age, their acceptance of new works of art (in all forms, but specifically music) tends to drop off. We kind of knew that already. The reason behind it is what has me in the dumps. Research is strongly indicating that as the brain ages, it gets full, for lack of a better term. It reaches a point where it decides it has gathered enough new concepts and just wants to mull over its vast collection instead of acquire more.

And the very first section that closes itself off to the public? You guessed it. The centers for art appreciation.

What’s worse is that participants in the study overwhelmingly didn’t seem to be conscious of this happening. It wasn’t something in their control, nor was it something they even realized was going on. “Oh, sure, I LOVE new music!” they resoundingly said. However, when asked what the latest “new” song they enjoyed was, they listed music that was released up to thirty years before.

In their minds, that WAS new.

“But Bethie, people seek out new music all the time. Why, just the other day I caught myself singing along to the pop song my daughter likes.”

Ah, there ya go. You’re not gathering newness. Your environment is thrusting it upon you. You didn’t go seek out that new song. You didn’t search for something different. Your daughter played it in the periphery and it seeped into your consciousness.

What’s going to happen when your daughter gets old enough to move out? What’s going to happen to ME when my boys are all trying to pay their own mortgages and I’m kicking around the house with another old fogey? Will either of us even think to turn the radio to a station that plays new music? Or will my mind just gravitate toward the familiar??

Mental complacency. Has there ever been a more terrifying concept?

I don’t want my brain to be too full to appreciate new art. New music. New writing. I don’t want to just live with what I already know.

My dad never did. He was always into new music, even after we grew up and moved out. Maybe there’s hope for me. Maybe just knowing it’s a terrifying possibility will keep me from falling into mental solitary confinement.

And hey, if not, I suppose if the study is right, I won’t really be aware it’s happening. I won’t have any conscious appreciation of my mental depreciation. I won’t even get that I’ve shuttered the blinds and rejected the beauty of newness.

Somehow, that’s not really all that comforting.

I am making a vow right here, right now. When my grand kid comes to me with that excited look in his eye, when he says, “Grammie, you HAVE to hear this song. It’ll change your life,” I will force my old, wrinkled brain to perk up and pay attention. If I have to, I’ll intentionally forget something else to make room. I don’t need to know how heavy I’d be on Mars. That knowledge has been kicking around in my brain for no legitimate reason for far too long. I’m never going to use that info. I’ll forget that to make room for the beauty of a piece of new music that’s powerful enough to speak to the very soul of my grandson.

I really hope that’s a promise I keep.

Thus concludes a rambling Musing for Sunday, September 18, 2016. I’m going to cram some new music in my brain while I do housework this morning. I’m currently hooked on Ruth B, but am starting to feel a tad twenty one pilots. If you don’t know either, YouTube them. Stat. Let’s prove these “science” muthas wrong. Ruth B: Lost Boy twenty one pilots: Heathens

Do it.


If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably just the illuminati screwing with you.


Mornin’ all.

Holy mamajama am I awake. Maxwell House was on sale. I hate Maxwell House, but it was on sale. Sale trumps taste buds every time. We decided to give it another chance, so we picked up a blend called “Smooth Bold.” It was half right. Hooo baby is this shit strong. You ever feel your heartbeat in your eyeballs?

Go ahead and grab a cup, but please use the spare high test ceramic crucible today. I don’t think the titanium one I normally provide will withstand this kind of abuse.

You know, now that I’m used to it, the twitchy beat in my vision is kind of soothing. *siiiip* *spasm* *slight frying sound* Yeah. I can dig it.

Hey, guess what I got?

No, really. Guess.

Come on. It’s no fun if you don’t play along. I’ll help you out with a hint: It doesn’t rhyme with “turtle shell.”

…nothing? *sigh* Fine. I’ll just tell you, killjoy.

I got my new computer parts! They’re right over that way *nods right* and if you could see them, you’d be oohing and ahhing. We started light and just replaced the most likely culprits. So far so good, though, and I’m hoping we eenie meenie-d correctly. I haven’t crashed once this morning, knock wood. The old beast has life in her once again!

So what’s new? I feel like I haven’t done this in ages. It’s been kind of a clusterfuck around here. I had a mad dash to get two cars stripped of parts so we could get them to the scrap yard. Did you know that mixed scrap is going for less than $50/ton right now?? Oy. I wish I had pulled MORE parts off since the weight didn’t matter all that much.

Anyway, after they were pulled, I spent a few days getting all the tidbits cleaned and ready to photograph for the eBay spread. It’s hard to make a CCU box look sexy and alluring, but I’mma do my best.

Hmmm…..I wonder if draping a feather boa over it would sell it faster? I said I want the parts to look sexy and alluring to be cheeky, but now I am legitimately curious. Think I’m on to something?

The hardest thing about selling used car parts on eBay is taking pictures that make them stand out in the crowd. Think anyone has ever tried the sexy angle? Lusty feather boa for the CCU. Flirty Mardi Gras mask for the uncracked and unfaded OEM MBZ-tex visor set (buy it now for only $75! Wow what a steal!) to give them that “come hither” look. I could stick fake lashes on the tail lights…but come on. They’re TAIL LIGHTS. Nothing more needed to make those babies break the internet. Hubba hubba.

*strokes beard in contemplation* I bet they would sell better. Hm…Sounds crazy.

“IS crazy, Bethie.”

Potato, potahto.

Anyway, if I decide to stage a glamour shoot for sexy car parts, I’ll be sure to let you know, perv.

Aside from car stuff, there’s been kid stuff, life stuff, and house stuff. Kid stuff can be nutshelled: pup won an M&M guessing contest, and teens are growing up WAY too fast. Life stuff…nah. We’ll ignore it and hope it goes away. That’s my go-to plan, and it’s been working for 37 years, albeit with varying levels of success. I see no reason to mix it up now. The house stuff is a same-story-different-broken-oven-handle kind of deal.

So, what do we do when we want to gab but don’t really want to get into anything real, serious, or really, seriously boring? Why, we search the internet news sites to see if anything fun, stupid, or silly pops out at us, of course!

Ladies, if you would take the stage. Michaneaux, you ready? (He’s our guest conductor. Doesn’t speak much English, but he can count the band into a catchy theme song like a mofo.) Then drop the balloons and shoot off the confetti cannon, because it’s time for a…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP !!! * * *

*wild applause* See? See what I mean about Michaneaux? Not a single trumpet player lagged on the crescendo, and you know how much skill THAT takes! It’s like trying to wrangle cats! Well done! Bravo!

Wow. With a start like that, how can this be anything but amazingly fun? Regulars know the routine. For any newbs, a Roundup happens when I want to gab, quip, or be snarky. I scour the internet news sites for headlines that jump out at me. Some are bad. Some are stupid. Some are just plain funny. I round them up and present them here for your amusement. These headlines are 100% real. I just add the commentary.

Shall we begin?

– GoFundMe Campaign to Help Kanye Out Of His Debt

If you donate, I will never speak to you again. I mean it. That’s my no give.

– Hockey Player Penalized for Ridiculous Flop

As well he should be! There was no style, no flair, no pizzazz. If you’re going to fake an injury, at least put some heart into it.

– North Korea’s Girl Band is Back, Celebrating Rocket Launch

I wonder if they all tripped and fell in a pile of failure when they tried to begin their routine. You know, keeping with the theme and all.

– Conspiracy Theories Swirl Around Justice Scalia’s Death

Say, remember when conspiracy theories were fun? Or at least a little plausible?? Gawd I miss the 90s.

– Val Kilmer Spotted Without Breathing Aid Amid Health Rumors

Watch it, Val. They’re gunna git you next! #fuckinilluminati,man

– Which Candidates Scare Americans the Most?

At this point, I’d say damn near all of them.

– “Monkey” Spotted Sitting Atop Rocks on Mars

90s flashback!! Yay!! Okay, let’s play along. Was it a macaque? No! I got it. Spider monkey. Right? #we’reontoyouNASA

– Obama: “I Intend to Do My Job. I Expect [Senators] To Do Theirs As Well.”

BOOM. Argue it, GOP.

– Teen Accused of Running Fake Medical Practice

I’m torn. I know it’s bad. Bad, Doogie. Bad. But, admit it. You sort of think anyone who fell for it kind of deserved what they got, too, don’t you?

– 100-million Year Old Ant Fight Preserved in Amber

If you didn’t instantly picture these ants in full armor with the score from 300 playing in the background, then I don’t know if our friendship can last.

– Police: Japanese Mom Made Teen Eat 30 Pet Goldfish

Forget “helicopter parenting” or being a “tiger mom.” The parenting style for the new age is Spetsnazing. Make sure you force your kids to name their pets before eating them, or else you’re totally disrespecting the spirit of the movement.

– FBI Finds Trench of Human Feces at Cultural Site of Oregon Standoff

In fairness, where did you want them to shit? Of all the available choices, in a trench away from the artifacts was probably more than you should have expected.

– Americans Divided on Military, New Poll Shows

Old poll shows, ALL polls have EVER shown. Why is this news?

– The Parmesan You Sprinkle on Your Penne Could Be Wood

The first line of the article is, “The cheese police are on the case.” I didn’t read any further. It was perfect with that one sentence.

– The Army’s Runaway Blimp Escaped Due to…Dead Batteries

I clicked on the link only to get bummed out when I saw no one had photoshopped an Energizer Bunny onto the pic yet. I’m disappointed in you, internet. I expected more.

– German Shorthaired Pointer Wins 140th Westminster

I’m sure that trophy will be a comfort to the dog when he’s suffering and bedridden at a young age due to the chronic health conditions from inbreeding. His hips might already be giving out, but hey…didn’t his nose look perfect.

– Trump Is A ——-: Candidate Plays Fill-in-the-blanks With Voters

Too easy. Writes itself. Pass.

– An Underground Fire Burns Next To Toxic Waste…Don’t Worry, Says EPA

Conspiracy friends, HOW can you possibly have time to make shit up about Scalia when THIS IS ACUTALLY HAPPENING?? Why, with just a little effort, this can be Obama’s fault, too! Do you even want to be credible anymore? It’s like you’re not even trying.

– Eagles of Deathmetal Performs in Paris for Attack Survivors

Seriously? Haven’t those poor folks been through enough already?

– Jesus Does Not Want You To Be Hit Men, Pope Tells Mexican Youth

This pontiff sure doesn’t shy away from setting new Vatican policy, does he?

– Inmates Develop Passion Through Photo Class

Uh, what kind of photos you takin’ over there?

– Cops: Wife Beat Man With Bat Over Lack of Valentine’s Present

With such a kind and loving disposition as she clearly has, I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t get her a gift.

– American Army Develops Pizza That Can Last Over 3 Years

And folks say American ingenuity is dead. Pfft.

– Where Does Clicking On TedCruzForAmerica.com Take You?


– Where Does Clicking On TedCruzForAmerica.com Take You?

AW SNAP! I said that for a joke, but…it does! It takes you to a pro-Canadian Immigration page! Faith in the internet RESTORED!

– Clinton’s Candidacy Reveals Generational Schism Among Women

Actually a really good article with surprisingly astute analysis. However, this is the internet, so I think I have to throw out a passive aggressive sarcastic “schism? Uh, next time a TRIGGER WARNING would be nice!” quip. You understand.

– Rapper Killer Mike Faces Flak for Comment At Sanders Rally

He said that “a uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president,” and a few Twitholes flipped their shit. He’s right, though. No one should be elected because of the type of reproductive organs they’ve got. Period. …or no period.

– Cruz: No Gluten-free MREs For the Troops

That’s what you’re going with, Ted? That’s the straw you’re grasping to try and save your campaign?

– The Best AI Still Flunks 8th Grade Science

Dude, do you have any idea how long it took to invent pizza that will last three years?! Some projects are simply more important than others, and when dealing with a tight budget, sacrifices have to be made. In the future when you don’t yet have a functional AI life assistant, BUT can still eat that leftover pizza you forgot about in the back of the fridge for a year and a half, you’ll see it was money well spent.

– DICE Summit a Chance For Game Creators to Refresh, Reflect

Gaming now has corporate team building conferences. *heavy sigh of defeat* Let the sadness sink in.

– Now Children Can Print Their Own Toys Thanks to Mattel ThingMaker 3D Printer

My birthday is in April. If you order now, there’s plenty of time for shipping. Just sayin’.

– The First TEDx Talk Is Happening On A Plane, But You Weren’t Invited

Wow, it’s like prom all over again.

– Three Reasons Why Your Cybersecurity Plan Needs Revised

What cycbersecurity plan?… But that’s not my real problem with this headline. Is this a British thing? Ignoring “to be”? “Your cybersecurity plan needs revised.” It reads like a robot, which we know is silly because they’re not even as advanced as 8th graders yet and wouldn’t care a whit about something as adult and boring as cybersecurity. The trend seems to be popping up all over the news sites. What’s the matter with “to be?” Why leave it out? What did “to be” ever do to you!?

– The Men Who Stare At Laundry

Men? What men? Who are these men? Why are they staring at laundry? Whose laundry is it? Is it mine? It’s mine, right? Are they going to steal my panties out of the dryer again!? GODDAMN IT FRED.

– Just 2 Protesters Show Up for Anti-Beyonce Rally

I know it’s not nice, but I love a failed protest. Can’t help it. Imagine those sad social justice warriors waving their floppy little banners while literally everyone else did not give a damn. Heh heh. Warms the cockles.

– Service Puppy Meets Pluto and Can’t Believe It

“Are you shitting me with this crap? It’s a man in a fucking suit. I’m a dog, not a moron.”

– Woman Did the Most Bizarre Thing With Her Passport

Aaaannnnd we’re done. That’s it. Pack up. Go home.

“Aw, but Bethie…”

NO. This is the internet. You know where this is going. I know where this is going. And once it’s taken that turn, there’s no coming back to decency and honor. I’m sorry, but instead of wallowing in the gutter, I’m just going to have to call this one.

Don’t blame me. Blame Obama.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Wednesday, February 17, 2016. I’m off to go take pictures of the car parts like one of my French girls. Should I go modern, with 3D, or keep it classic with the hazy filter? You know what? I’mma just be in the moment and see what happens. That’s art, baby.

Can we actually get through this without a crash?!


Mornin’ all.

My computer is still screwed.

Every time I think I’ve got it, it’s another trip to Crash City for me. I don’t know how long we have this morning before everything locks in a frozen, bitter wasteland, but it’s been awhile since we’ve chatted, and I just HAVE to write something.

I’ve got to be quick, though. I can’t let myself get sucked into a long-winded diatribe, because even if I save at the end of every sentence, the interruption in flow will just seriously piss me off and kick me out of the groove.

Knowing my limitations, I met with my writing pit crew. After a furious session of scribbling Xs and Os on a white board for no discernible reason, we came up with a plan of attack for this Muse. I’m typing as fast as I can. To the left is the coffee, to the right, my forehead mopper. I’ve been doing finger push ups for days and I think I can work through any cramping to bring you a….


*pop of confetti cannon*

Sorry we don’t have the band or dancers today. The pit boss felt that we needed to trim every tenth of a second off this production that we possibly could. I don’t necessarily agree, but he was the one with the clipboard, so….

*achem* *tap of pen on clipboard* *lift of one bushy eyebrow*

Right. I need to stay on track. He suggested instead of a rambling intro I just do my bit in bullet points. We’ll give it a try.

– The internet news sites are full of headlines.

– Some of them are good.

– Some of them are stupid.

– We round up the ones that jump out at us and present them to you.

– With jokes.

Wow. He was right. That was pretty straightforward, huh? I was a little worried about how he’d fit on the team in the beginning after he suggested I only type with my left hand, but I have to say, I’m warming up to…


Oh. Right. Headlines. Wave the flag and we’re off!

– Oprah Stuns with New Weight Loss

It’s GOT to be hard being a public figure in today’s internet trolling society. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Oprah for this one. Good job!

– Oprah Celebrates Turning 62 with Her “Favorite Birthday Gift”: Bread!

A case of bread, actually. Nine loaves. Oprah loses a ton of weight, then one of her “friends” sent her a CASE of bread. Oprah, get better friends.

– Best SAG Awards Moments That You Probably, Definitely Missed

Boy, is that going to be a long article.

– The Final Days of an Occupier

…of what? “An occupier” of…WHAT? Come on. Don’t leave me hanging. I MUST know! An occupier of a house? A car? Time and space? The rotting corpse it has invaded in an attempt to take over the world?

– Stricken Ship Heading for the French Coast

*sniff**sniff* Fine. If you don’t like me, I’ll…I’ll…I’ll run away! *sniff* I don’t need your stupid port anyway!

– Trump Spent Nearly $11 Million on Himself

Someone’s slumming it this year.

– Cyclist Exits Race After Officials Find Hidden Motor

BAHAHAHA!!! I’m sorry. I know cheating is bad, but…BAHAHAHAHA!!!

– Queensland Woman’s Disappearance at Sea Still Troubles Friends

“You know, we thought we’d be okay with it by now, but nope. Still bothered.”

– Curiosity Takes Selfie on Mars

…Still Hasn’t Killed the Cat

– Little Tricks to Feel Happier Immediately

Drugs. It’s drugs, right?

– 8 Bizarre Ways Your Spouse Can Affect Your Health

I can’t be the only one that thinks arsenic better be number one on the list.

This article…

– Reasons It’s So Hard to Lose Weight

…being displayed side by side with this article…

– Reasons It’s Easier to Lose Weight Than You Think

…proves that mainstream news is just saying whatever you want to hear. #conspirizewithme

– Confident Carson Predicts “Shock and Awe” in Iowa

There’s a fine line between confident and delusional. I’m pretty sure Carson has crossed it.

– GOP’s Condemnation of “Sanctuary Cities” Awkward in Iowa

I bet a lot of the GOP’s condemnations are awkward in Iowa.

– “I’m Gay and I’m a Priest. Period.”

Wow, Fr. Ted. I mean, good for you and all, but we just asked if you wanted a piece of gum. “…oh. Uh. *achem* Sorry. Uhhh…is it spearmint?”

– Why Elephants in American Zoos Might Be the New Orcas in “Blackfish”

Whoa whoa WHOA. Hold up. Because I am an American, and this is the internet, I feel compelled to assure the world that we are NOT, in any way, actually replacing orcas with elephants in the unoccupied Sea World tanks. We don’t even give them guns, smokes, and bitches, so no ‘Murica hate, k? I can assure you that the zoo keeps in this country are only abusing the elephants with whips, cattle prods, and spike boards, just like everyone else.

– Wave of Cubans Finally Reach US After Grueling Land Journey

*unrolls map* *looks at Cuba* *looks at US* *looks at Cuba* ….uh…

– “Eyewash”: How the CIA Deceives Its Own Workforce About Operations

I once cleaned a festering wound on my uncle’s ankle that was as wide as a golf ball and all the way to the bone, and if you could just give me some of that eye bleach so I could erase that memory, CIA, I’d greatly appreciate it.

…come on, CIA. Don’t act like you’re not reading this.

– Does Iowa Really Matter? And Should it?

Dayum, Washington Post. Harsh.

– I’m From New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Primary Has to Go

*gasp of indignation* Back off, poser. If you were really from NH, you’d realize that’s all we’ve got!

– Her Pink Taser, Poisoned Hamburger Patties, And an iPhone: The Story of a Wife Who Lured an Orange County Fugitive Out of Iran

I hate a short, vague headlines like this. If they want me to read it, they could at least drop a clue as to what the article is about.

– Man Sentenced As Habitual Felon

Once you’ve been convicted of a felony in this country, you are forever a felon. So by this logic, EVERY felon can be sentenced for being a habitual felon. You know how I said “no ‘Murica hate” before? I think I have to lift the moratorium.

– Fugitive Found in “Elaborate Tunnel System” Under Trailer Park

DUDE. A trailer park with an elaborate tunnel system?! Sign me up!

– High School Student with Toy Gun Suspended

Good! The ONLY reason to bring a fake gun to school is to cause trouble and make yourself seem like a badass. Period.

– Body Part Dealer Rented Infected Cadavers to Students

wut. Every single part of this headline is just wrong.

– Social Robots May One Day Help Your Doctor

Antisocial Robots May One Day Help Your Lawyer

– This is Why No One Can Own The Moon

Because it’s the FUCKING MOON. Why does it even need to be explained?!

– Scientists Predict Human Thought in Real Time, Nearly Every Time

If this doesn’t raise the hair on the back of your neck, you haven’t read enough sci fi. Knock it off, scientists, before I’ve got to make a time traveling robot to fix this mess you’re trying to create.

– Europe Launches Space Laser Data Satellite

I stopped reading after “Space Laser.” SPACE LASER!!! Pewpewpew!!!

– Norwegian Woman Says She is a Cat Trapped in Human’s Body

I call BS. If she really was a cat trapped in a human’s body, the only thing she would say is “Meow.” Check and mate.

– A 99-year-old Woman Wakes to Exotic Animal on Her Chest; She Screams, It Screams

…we all scream for ice cream! Yay!

– Lucky Thai Dolls “non-human”, says Aviation Authority

Did that actually need to be declared?!

– 2016 Campaign A Season of Discomfort for US Muslims

I don’t think the Muslim population is alone in discomfort this election cycle.

– Two Escaped California Inmates Believed In San Jose

Those poor fools. Everyone knows San Jose is only a myth.

– NASA Would Take C3PO to Space, but Not R2D2 or BB8

WHAT. That’s BULLSHIT! Let’s start a petition RIGHT NOW. #fairnessforALLdroids

– Your Laminate Floor May Be Toxic

So, you know, stop licking it.

– Answers to 7 Burning Tax Questions

1. Actually, it’s a common misconception that petroleum is the best accelerant for burning paper. You want to start with bees wax…

– Earn $90,000 a Year Working for the Government…At Burning Man

Kevin does this. Kevin is a fahkin’ narc. Don’t be like Kevin.

– The Inside Story of How Ted Cruz Won Iowa

He was a douche, but not a total douche. That’s some hard core poli-sci.

– The US Army Wants to 3D Print Customized Food for Soldiers

Two words: soylent green.

– Va. Tech Students Held in “Awesome” Girl’s Death

Totally upstaging the “rad” 7-11 burglary, the “bitchin'” car heist, and the “cool” vandalism.

– NYC Homeless Shelters Rack Up 21,400 Code Violations

I can’t believe that a city in the US has so very little consideration for the safety and well being of its homeless population. They’re usually so warm and welcoming.

– World’s First Robot Run Farm to Open in Japan

This better mean that it’s a farm where old robots go to run around in the field happy and carefree before they die, because if it’s actually a story about robots being in charge of growing our food, then I’m out. I’m done. No more science.

– DNA Got Kid Kicked Out of School- And It’ll Happen Again

Ivy league? Because that seems about right. DNA gets those floofy poodles kicked out of Westminster every year. It was just a matter of time before the owners of the allegedly purebred students took a page from their recreational book and applied it to maintain the integrity of those hallowed halls.

– Dadaab: The City You Cannot Leave

And with a name like that, who’d want to?!

– Judge Gives Man 5 Days For Child Porn, Rails Against Harsh Sentences

Anyone else thinking the judge’s hard drive needs confiscating? NSA, get on that.

Don’t act like you’re not reading this, NSA.

– Orange County Jailbreak was “An Embarrassment”, Says Sheriff

Top story in today’s No Shit Gazette.

– 5 Things You Need to Know this Tuesday

I didn’t read it. Cuz I’m a rebel.

– Carson to Take Break from Campaigning After Iowa Caucus Loss

Yep. Pretty much the same results as the last “shock and awe” plan we witnessed.

– Could These Shapes on Mars Have Been Sculpted By Microbes?

Don’t be ridiculous! They were sculpted by Martians before their environment became toxic and they were forced to settle on a neighboring planet.

– Britain Approves Controversial Gene-editing Experiments

NO. Stop it. Stop it right now! Do NOT edit genes! Stop predicting our thoughts. Don’t make 3D food. Absolutely NO robot farms. Go back to curing diseases and creating plans to re-colonize Mars. Leave the humanity-ending ideas alone. We’re doing just fine on that end without your help.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Tuesday, February 2, 2016. Now, I’m not making any threats, so get off my back, FBI (pfft, don’t act like you’re not reading this), but that furry little rat better not see his shadow. We’re getting an easy winter this year, because even Mother Nature herself realizes just how bitchy she was last year and cut us some slack. I’mma be super pissed if a rat in a hat changes that.

Oh, the electronics I’ve fried…


Mornin’ all.

Boy, has it been awhile or what? We had happenings, folks. HAPPENINGS. And they have royally messed with my Joyous January plans. I’m hoping to get through this without smashing the computer, but after the hell this beast has put me through…

Hang on. I think I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

It was a dark and drizzly morning in early April, one of those days that carries on the winds a feeling of importance, as if the very air itself knew that a pivotal moment of beginning was about to occur. A twinge, a spasm, a gripping pain seared through a woman’s belly, the lone harbinger of…

“Oh dear lord, Bethie. Are you talking about the day you were born?”

…too far back? Hm. Yeah…I can see it now. You’re right. That’s probably a little too far back for this story. Fastforward almost 37 years…

THIS story began on a cold day in January, just a few weeks ago. The breeze carried with it not a sense of importance so much as a tangible fear of frostbite…or, at the least, the slight worry of chilly tootsies.

It was a busy day mostly spent on the go, but I had a half hour before I had to leave to get the youngest pup from school, and a granny square was just itchin’ to be finished. I popped a butterscotch into my mouth, turned on The People’s Court, sat on the couch, grabbed up my crochet, and got to work. I was only a few stitches in when I shivered. Fortunately, we have a cute little faux fireplace heater we got at a great bargain (no, really, half price! Can you believe it? I told Mabel she really MUST get one herself, but you know Mabel. Course, she got that oil radiator ten years ago and is still going on and on about how great the heat distribution is. I suppose I can’t blame her. Look at her husband. I’m not one for gossip, but if I had to choose between the oil radiator and Hank to keep me warm at night, it’s the radiator. How they ever managed to have children is beyond me. The man is an utter pill, not that Mabel ever turned heads on the dance floor herself…)

*Author’s note: I felt that since I was already sucking a hard candy, sitting down to watch The damn People’s fuckin’ Court, and crocheting a granny square, I should just give up and BE an old lady for awhile. Just seeing what’s coming down the pike for me in a couple decades. I can live with it. Back to current events…*

I reached over to turn on the heater and unwittingly set off the Electric Apocalypse of ’16. As soon as my finger hit the “on” switch, everything stopped.

Long and short, our ancient circuit box quit, melting the main circuit breaker switch. If the burnt, melted, and RUSTED wires are any indication, it had been going for awhile.

Because the thing is old enough to have a calligraphied paper label hand-pasted inside, we could not find a new part to fit. The unHandyman that Landlord uses (longtime readers remember both Landlord and unHandy-handyman) got a part from a “guy” in a parking lot.

I shit you not.

He couldn’t find the part, got talking to a guy in the aisle of a hardware store, and met up with him in a shady parking lot to buy a couple questionably legal parts. You have no idea how badly I want to believe they had code words for this illicit electrical transaction.

When he got back here with parts in hand, one was rusted, one was slightly less rusted. unHandyman honestly seemed confused as to why we selected the less rusted part. He said, “But this is probably an original.”

Now folks, you weren’t here, but I can assure you that when he said, “an original,” what he meant was THE original. As in, the very first circuit breaker ever. I was positive the Smithsonian would like to have it back, so we chose the seventy year old after-market part instead. I know that not having a parts-matching circuit panel probably devalues it for collectors, but I’m one of those crazy folks who believes in actually USING electricity in the house. I’m just zany like that.

Before he installed it, a couple things happened…

My bathroom is off my kitchen. It’s small, with no windows. As we had no power, I had a lantern in there so people could see when they needed to use the bathroom. We three, unHandyman, my man, and I were in the kitchen insisting the less cruddy part was our choice. unHandyman said he’d install it after he “takes a pee.” He then proceeded to walk into the bathroom and start peeing. Right there. Not five feet away. DOOR OPEN.

He’s a groaner when he pees.

There is no reason in the world I should know that.

I said, “Uh, there’s a lantern right there…” He says, “Nah, there’s plenty of light.”

With the door open. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

The other thing that happened was that my man actually had to convince unHandyman to shut off the main power into the house before he did the job.

The main power lines were hot. They were not the problem. It was the breaker the thrumming, humming electric wires screwed into that was bad. Think about that for a sec. Let the idiocy sink in. The dude was actually, legitimately, 100% planning on taking his metal screw driver and unscrewing the hot, fully functional power lines. He needed convincing NOT to do this.

His plan to keep safe? He was going to “not slip” with the screwdriver, and make sure to grab the part of the wire where the insulation hadn’t completely melted off to steady it all.

I…I just…*blink* I mean, there are no words, right?

We were without power for about 24 hours. Not too bad considering unHandyman had to slip seamlessly into the seedy underworld of black market circuit breakers to get the job done. The lights are on. The after effects, however, continue.

The Surge, as it will now be called for the rest of all time, fried our computer. Blitzed the power supply and fried the hard drive. And before you say anything snarky, we DID have a surge protector. A super fancy one, actually. It did nuthin’. NUTHIN’. So annoyed with CyberPower right now.

Yes, I specifically called out the brand. We paid a mint for that because my computer is so important to me. And YOUR product is SHIT, CyberPower.

“Uh, Bethie? Shouldn’t you be pissed at Landlords instead?”

Oh worry not, mon ami. There’s enough ire to go around! I just wanted to give my own product review of CyberPower’s fancy schmancy surge protectors. They’re utterly useless. Don’t buy one. Don’t let your friends accidentally buy one. A dollar store hunka would have done the exact same job.

Anyway, The Surge took down my beastie. It’s limping along now. At first, we thought it was just the power supply and hard drive that took the brunt of the meltdown. Now, though, it seems to be randomly having USB problems and freezing/crashing the computer. I keep tweaking things in the BIOS, and today is the very first day I’ve been able to use this writing program for more than five minutes straight. Some things work flawlessly, though, complex programs you’d think would crash. It’s making it very hard to determine which part is still flaking. It’s vexing.

I am vexed.

We’ll get it figured out. Worst case at this point already happened, right? I lost my hard drive.

Now, I’m not an idiot. I did a full backup on an external drive not that long ago of my documents, music, and pictures. I didn’t, however, save the marathon writing session I was in the middle of when The Surge happened. I had revised a book I was working on and added…god…I dunno, at least 60 pages, maybe more. I was in a writing frenzy and didn’t back that up.

I also lost old emails. I could never figure out how to save them.

…okay, in fairness, that’s on me. When the pc wouldn’t just let me copy them to the drive, I said, “Eh, I’ll figure it out later…” and didn’t. That’s on me. I get it.

But all my emails. *heavy sigh*

I’m a hoarder, right? I mean, I’ve touched on it before that I don’t just hoard things. I hoard songs. I obsessively listen to them over and over. I’ll “hoard” a painting or piece of art I like. I’ll look at it…not just look, but feel a compulsion to stop and seek it out throughout the day, no matter what else I’m doing. Maybe it’s all part of hoarding emotions. I dunno. I don’t get paid enough to be my own therapist. And I hoard emails. I keep every correspondence from a friend or family member.

I mean, ALL of them.

Even the stupid ones. Even the links to dumb shit I’ll never actually look at again. Even the ones that piss me off or hurt my feelings. Especially the ones that make me laugh, or give me a feeling of being around that person, no matter how many miles or metaphysical planes may separate us.

I can replace the other things. Hell, I even have a “it wasn’t meant to be” attitude about the writing I lost. Maybe the cosmos thought the book sucked. I’m actually not that bummed out about losing that. But my connection to folks that are now forever in my past…that has been very hard.

I’ve got the dead drive in my drawer. The thing won’t even spin. Utter destruction on the circuit board. Physically fried. I can’t get power to it. I can’t even trick it into working when hooked up to another system. I don’t have the skills to digitally ninja that shit. So it’s in my drawer. Maybe someday the technology will exist for me to breathe life back into those files. My junk drawer is the cryogenic chamber, my hard drive is Disney’s head.

*Author’s note: Yeah, yeah, I know. But it’s such a fun and horrifying urban legend, why not use it?

That’s the skinny on The Surge and all the frustration that has happened since. Putting in a new main breaker was just a stop-gap. The whole things needs to be readdressed when warmer weather hits. If the main was so bad, you know the rest can’t be faring much better.

What should happen come spring is the complete replacement of all the wiring in the house. What actually will happen is another trip down in our scary-beyond-all-reason cellar with electrical tape to wrap everything we can reach. I mean, rust can only hold wires together so long before it crumbles, right?

Hey, on the plus, I now have an “in” with the black market circuit panel parts dealers in the area. Didn’t have that before. I think I’ll start calling them the Voltaic Underground. When I need a part, I’ll shine a lightning bolt symbol into the clouds. Maybe they’ll let me make t-shirts.

“Slow down, Bethie. No one likes it when a newbie comes into the group and starts trying to run the show.”

…fair enough. I don’t wanna Yoko the Voltaic Underground. If I piss them off, what will I do for the next Surge?

Still, I now know they are there if I need them. It’s a small comfort, but it looks like that’s the only one I’m going to get out of this experience.

Eh. I’ll take it.

Thus concludes a Musing for Saturday, January 23, 2016. I got through this entire thing without crashing! I hung for a minute, swore, and scared it back into motion. Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong. I’m treating this beast with kid gloves when I should be yelling and threatening like I do with my cars. In that case, I better whip out my best old timey sailor impression while I try to upload…apologies if it gets a little salty in here…

Why all the anger, brah?


Mornin’ all.

My cat is running around the house carrying with her a “plastic bag of invisibility.”

Look, cats are weird. We all know that. Mine seems to believe that all plastic bags have mystical powers. She honestly seems to think we can’t see her when she sticks her head under one. If she’s playing the chase game with the kids, she’ll use a bag the same way we used the couch during a rainy day of indoor tag when we were young. Bag is safety. Can’t be tagged “it” when she’s touching the bag.

Sometimes when there’s no one to play with and she’s feeling kitten-y, she’ll take her bag with her from room to room and try and start shit.

I haven’t had enough coffee for shit to be started, and I am the only one awake. Sorry, kitty.

I went shopping yesterday. At a dollar store. The day before Christmas Eve. What an odd experience. I have been to dollar stores often enough that I don’t really know why I would have expected otherwise. A lady had a problem with my hair.


Yeah, that’s about the only acceptable reaction. She got mad when I didn’t respond how she wanted and went off to the cashier about my hair. *shrug* Dunno.

A dude was trying on socks.


Right in the aisle of the dollar store, he took off his own shoe and sock and tried on the dollar socks. I don’t have any idea why someone would do this. First, they’re socks. Who tries on socks? And then there’s the price point. It’s a buck. For a three pack. Was he testing quality? Because if that was his goal, then no matter how well they fit, he was going to be sorely disappointed.

My cashier was a very nice and polite woman with tragically unfortunate make up.

I don’t wear make up. Every time I tried to use it, it stuck to my face, which was entirely unpleasant. I’m told that is the entire point of make up, so I guess we were never really destined to get along. Also, I hate that women are expected to dip themselves in lacquer every day while men get to actually use their own faces.

I’m just saying that I might not have the strongest grasp of beauty product application. However, my cashier used a foundation that was probably five shades too dark for her skin. It was a reverse Geisha look, and it was somehow far creepier. Her hair was on point, though. Wicked fancy style with curls in and updo that looked so out of place on a dollar store cashier that I kind of wanted to high five her for it.

The cashier in the register behind me told Crazy Hair Lady, “Happy Holidays.” That earned a death glare. The woman snatched her bags, threw them in the cart, and sniped, “It’s ‘Merry Christmas’!”

“Uh oh, Bethie. I know that tone of voice…”

That sentiment is also splashed across Ye Olde Booke of Faces today. I’ve got to be honest.

“No. No, you don’t.”

I have seen this over and over and over, and it really pisses me off when people…

“Bethie no! Not today of all days! Don’t try and stir the pot on Christmas Eve!”

…complain about the phrase, “Happy Holidays.”

“…shit. *sigh* I tried to warn you.”

You did, and I’m sure my detractors will take note and not hold you responsible. Now, sit back down. I’m just getting started.

“Happy Holidays.” Why does one little term get people so angry?

In this nation, we tend to have a really difficult time understanding that we are not the absolute. We’re really very bad at looking at our country as part of a bigger picture. I’m not knocking us. I’m actually pretty sure that the folks in every nation feel the same. Hell, we’re probably even hardwired to, when you get right down to it. On a purely scientific level, our ancestors would have had to believe that they were the most important in order to have the drive to keep their cave families alive.

I don’t fault us for it. But now that we have the internet with its instant access to the lives and living rooms of the rest of the world, we’ve got to start opening our eyes. We’re NOT the shit. No single group of people is. Everyone is different and that’s not only okay in societal terms, it’s necessary for the overall health of our species.

So for the good of humanity itself, let’s take a look at some Christmas facts.

The holiday we call “Christmas” here in the United States has, overall, very little to do with Christmas. The first Christmases were deeply religious. We’re not talking like a couple years for the holiday to catch on. We’re talking CENTURIES of strictly religious Christmases. There were no bells and whistles. No wreaths and happy carols. Unfortunately for the monks, no tasty cakes and cookies, and definitely, absolutely, positively no gifts.

From a theological standpoint, Christmas is supposed to be a “celebration”…of the soul. It’s supposed to be a time to reflect on God giving his child to the world for eternal spiritual salvation. In fact, the early centuries of Christmas observations were times for deep praying and fasting, not singing and feasting.

Over the years, the holiday slowly changed. As the Christian crusaders started to spread across the globe, they adapted and, in some cases, flat out adopted local customs into their own religion. Caroling, a tradition that dates back to the Romans who sang at every public event, not just religious ones, was started in the fourth century by monks. They sang dirges. In Latin. The point was to remind people of the somberness of the day.

How fun.

Actually, I bet locals felt about the same for those carolers as we do today. “Oh shit, Igor. It’s those monks singing in a language we don’t understand trying to make us feel guilty for eating our gruel.” “Blow out the candle, Olga, and maybe they’ll go away.”

Boughs of evergreens came into the scene when the Christians spread north. In all fairness, the early Christian crusaders probably realized hanging evergreen boughs in a closed up winter keep was a most excellent idea. They took the stank off the joint. I mean, back in those days, all food scraps were thrown on hay rushes on the floor to be either eaten or ignored by the dogs. And then left to rot. Until SPRING. I’m guessing the early Christian crusaders said, “I believe thy Lord has spoken unto me, and he hath conceded yon evil pagans mighteth be onto something,” as they pinched their noses in their own smelly homes.

The happiness and joy of the holiday didn’t come until people, most famously Saint Nicholas, began to give the child laborers a little extra pick-me-up in homage to the gift God gave to the world. He was actually a real person who stuffed things in stockings for local children to make their lives a little brighter. I mean, the kids still had to get back to scrubbing out chimneys and carrying coal and falling in wells and shit, but at least they got an orange first.

Oddly, ol’ St. Nicky there wasn’t the only one who decided to stuff gifts in footwear. I guess since they didn’t have cardboard or tupperware, options were limited. Still…foot fetish much? Anyway, Scandinavian children used to put offerings in their shoes and leave them outside for Odin’s horse, and Odin would be happy and leave them candy in trade.

Gift-giving itself wasn’t a Christmas tradition, either, until it was borrowed from other religions.

“Uh uh uh. Nope. Sorry, but I’ve got you there, Bethie. The Three Wise Men. BOOM.”

Hang on. Don’t drop that mic just yet.

The wise men gave the gifts TO Jesus, and Jesus only. Not to each other. Not to the animals laying around. They didn’t even bring Mary a little something for her effort of giving birth in a damn barn. Not even a sampler of chocolate or a “World’s Best Mom” balloon or anything. Bad form, Wise Men.

Exchanging gifts between human beings at Christmas is another borrowing from pagans, with strong historical evidence suggesting it’s directly from a tradition for the pagan celebration of Saturnalia. Again, the evergreen boughs totally made sense to the new religious pioneers trying to convert pagans to Christianity, and so did gift-giving when the crusaders thought about it.

Gift-giving between human beings on Earth was a far more demonstrative way of honoring the gift of the man they considered to be their savior. It was a physical way to show their understanding of the holiday, and one even those who had no fucking clue what they were talking about in Latin could understand. “I’m giving you a gift like God gave our people Jesus. I won’t take the gift away. It will always be yours no matter what. God and Jesus? Ditto.”

When you think about it, gift-giving on Christmas became a very effective way for crusaders to show the locals what the holiday was all about in a very succinct nutshell. It was pretty much the best way to explain everything they meant in terms everyone could understand. I mean, sure, they could have impregnated a virgin, but even in those times, that was considered tres declasse.


…hm…*strokes beard*…*nods slowly*…Yeah, now I see it. A step too far there. Sorry.

“*haughty sniff* So you’re just against Christmas.”

No! Not at all.

I might not be a religious sort, but I was raised in a Christian household. The holiday season was always filled with magic and happiness, and I love Christmas for those memories and my personal family traditions. I love the lessons taught through giving. I love the idea of salvation, personal or spiritual or other. I love the trees and the lights and the songs and the hope. All of these things are messages that I have decided to borrow from Christians, because I think they DO pertain to my life, and I believe my life is better when I stop and take a few moments in an otherwise dark and dreary season to enjoy and appreciate those messages.

The difference is, when I borrow, I’m not going to forget where those traditions started. I’m just not going to pretend that all the traditional “Christmas” stuff we do wasn’t taken from other religions, and then completely ignore that those other religions exist.

There are over a dozen major religious holidays that followers of other religions celebrate around this time of year.

“Yeah, but those are small religions. There are tons of Christians in the world.”

2.2 billion, actually. 2.2 billion people truly celebrate Christmas, not just posers like me who did it for the modern meaning more than the actual religious observance. That seems like a lot of friggin’ people!

…until you realize that nearly 5 billion people do NOT celebrate Christmas. And though I’ll be the first to admit my relationship with math is almost as non-existent as my relationship with make up, I get that 2.2 is less than half of 5.

If you are one of those people who gets angry at “Happy Holidays,” you’ve got some serious thinking to do now. I’ve told you the facts. You’ve read them. They cannot be unseen or unknown. At this point, it’s up to you. You can now go one of two ways.

You can realize and accept that not only are you a minority, but your Christmas is actually based on a wonderful amalgamation from many different religions, get okay with that, and start wishing them a happy season anyway…

Or you can ignore all the facts, and keep getting angry and “correcting” people who say “Happy Holidays.” The choice is yours, but I have to be honest. If you go with the latter, you’re going to sound like a dick.

Don’t be a dick. It’s almost Christmas.

Thus concludes a long-winded Holiday Musing for Christmas Eve, 2015. To everyone who celebrates Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful holiday tomorrow! For those who celebrate other holidays, I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well! For those who don’t celebrate anything, I hope you realize you’re alive and reading this and that alone is worthy of celebration. And to everyone, Happy Holidays, whatever those may be!

If you snooze, you Cruz…


Mornin’ all.

So my cat decided I was a pin cushion in the night. I honestly don’t know what the hell. My first thought was, “Did Timmy fall down that goddamn well again? Because I swear, if that little asshole didn’t learn to stay away from abandoned wells by now…”

But then I woke up enough to realize that the world around me was in color, I don’t even have a Timmy, and cats are just dicks.

She looked at me with big owl eyes. I looked at her with eyes that could not have been so cute and inviting. She blinked. I refused to blink back, the ultimate snub in the world of cats. She slowly withdrew her paw and tiptoed out of my room.

There was nothing amiss when I got up. She didn’t even have a toilet paper shredding party she wanted to show me. I think she was just bored and wanted to wake someone up. There are four children in this house…why you gotta pick ME?

Speaking of children…

My heart is in a state of melancholy today. I had the Santa talk with the Little Pup last night.

Oh shit. Hang on. Uh…spoiler alert. If you still hold on to the magical belief in a gift-bearing chimney sweep and his mystical flying cervine, then perhaps you should skip the next few paragraphs. I’m not judging you at all and there will be no weirdness between us when you return. Just look for the * and you’ll know to pick up where this leaves off…

For everyone else: We were sitting on the couch trying to fold construction paper circles into sixths to make snowflakes (top tip: dollar store construction paper folds like shit. I mean, in hindsight, that should probably go without saying, huh?) and he said, “Hey, do you believe in Santa, Mum?”

Every parent who’s perpetuated a nine year con knows the icy panic of this moment. The instant sweat on their brow, their minds making the cartoon “hummina hummina hummina,” the struggle to think of what to say. When Teen Prime was not so teen-like and approached me with the same general idea, I had days of anxiety after wondering if I handled things properly.

However, Little Pup is the fourth kid I’ve crushed with the truth, so I’ve got it down pat. I said, “Do YOU believe in Santa?” Because if your child still believes, and you’re like, “Shit no! Santa? Why the hell would I believe in THAT?” well, then, you are an asshole and you better start a collection jar for your child’s future therapy. No, you have to feel the kid out. Each kid is different. Some kids need to hold on to Santa just one more year, ya know? And some kids are ready, and need to know that you’re not going to lie when they point-blank you a question.

Little Pup clearly didn’t believe. He had that look in his eye when he said, “Well, I want to believe in Santa. Some of my friends don’t. And you did have all those fuzzy dice on your Amazon watch list.”

…yeah, okay. My bad. A couple years back he asked Santa for fuzzy dice. You know, the kind that dangle from rear view mirrors in bad 70s movies. Why? Who knows? He’s a little boy. You can’t try to apply logic or reason. Anyway, Santa found an incredible deal on a CASE of fuzzy dice. Apparently, Santa forgot that little snoops look over shoulders, and that Amazon does a real shitty job of helping you hide secrets. THANKS Amazon.

I gave him my practiced spiel, how parents perpetuate the Santa legend to teach kids the spirit of giving and to help the holiday feel magic yada yada. He took it very well. I mean, guys, he’s 9. And he’s got older brothers. I made sure to tell him that he now knows a big secret, and to never tell any little kids that Santa isn’t real. He seemed to like that part of it, that he’s now “in on it”.

I’m not so sure I took it so well. Maybe I’m the one who wanted him to have just one more year. Gah. Best get this back on solid footing. Things are starting to feel sad. Let’s get the believers back in here and change the subject.

*Spoliers over* *c’mon back*

Say, how about this zany election cycle, huh?

“*turns back around to walk off*”

Oh, now wait a second! Don’t leave again. I won’t dwell on it, I just have a theory.

I think Donald Trump is actually working for the Ted Cruz campaign.

NO! Listen. Who the hell is Ted friggin’ Cruz? Aside from a muppet with perpetual RSF (Resting Sad Face), I mean. No one knows. Here’s this guy who’s not a genius, but he’s not a total moron, either. He’s as middle of the road as the Republican party can seem to get these days. He doesn’t have great policy ideas, but he certainly seems fairly malleable. He’s not a good choice to the public, but he’s not the worst. He’s a former Canadian citizen, for god’s sake! Talk about friendly, eh?

“Uh, Bethie? The birthers are okay with this?”

YES BECAUSE HE’S REPUBLICAN. And it’s Canada, not Hawaii, so. You know.

Besides, who else have they got?

Bush can’t win. He can’t. His last name is Bush. Fiorina won’t win because she has ABF (active bitch face) and the stick is up her ass, not jutting out front, erect for freedom. Christie? Pfft. Nope. Huckabee? Are you friggin’ kidding me with that shit?

The Republicans needed a candidate, one that could actually win.

“But Trump can win, Bethie.”

No. No he can’t. He has high poll numbers, because the pollsters in his pockets are careful about who they poll. If you take a poll of 1,000 known Trump supporters, then you can accurately say that 1,000 of the people polled support Trump. Numbers are very easy. You show ’em a good time, and they’ll put out. Anyone can work numbers.

Working numbers does not equate to reality, though. Trump will not win. He just won’t. People like watching because he’s a one man show. He’s entertainment. Orange, ignorant entertainment. He makes awesome sound bytes and gives plenty of water cooler fodder. That’s being popular, sure, but in the same way that your drunk uncle who stuck his head up the turkey’s ass at Thanksgiving is popular. Everyone talks about him, but no one’s writing him into their will anytime soon.

Trump is America’s drunk uncle. If he is on a ticket next year squaring off against Bernie or Hillary, the democrats WILL win. He’s fun to watch, he makes good tv, but when you’re looking at the ballot and imagining him in the oval office, your hand will honestly slap the shit out of your own face before it’ll let you check mark Trump’s name.

The Republicans don’t want another Democrat in office, no matter who that Democrat might be. They want to take back the white house, and they can’t do that with Trump.

Which they know. Which they’ve ALWAYS known.

Ah, but they CAN use Trump to get a different Republican in that coveted seat. They can use him to make a malleable candidate look enticing to the American public. Let’s conspirize for a few minutes, shall we?

What if Trump has been a patsy all along?

What if the Republicans were like, “Look, Donny Baby. You like money. You like the Republicans. You have no concept of personal shame and we at the Republican party respect that. We’ve got a proposition for you, a way you can help us all. We NEED a Republican in office next term, but so far, the pool of hopefuls looks pathetic. We need you to pretend to run. Get out there. Ham it up. We’ve been laying the groundwork for years, telling people how much better life in this great nation will be if we get a Republican in office. They’re whipped up and scared. The hard part’s already done. What we need from YOU is to go out there and play on it. Throw around a few catch phrases. Dig into those raw and terrified emotions. Keep them hungry for a Republican while we weed out the field. Then, when we’ve got the candidate we think can actually win, we’ll give you the signal to kick it up. Start going off. Say things, outrageous things, mind-blowingly racist things that’ll make our guy look like a fucking beacon of hope in this god forsaken race. We’ll make it worth your while. You want bigger tax breaks? Done. You want permission to build your next casino on protected marsh lands? Fuck the marshes! No one likes herons anyway! Child labor laws getting in your way? Schmild shmlabor shmlaws is what I say!”

I think we have to believe this theory. I think this must be the truth. How else would Ted Whatshisname be skyrocketing in the polls? A no name. A sad no name. A guy who looks like he’d be far more comfortable with a binkie and a blankie than a microphone and a podium. THAT is the man who is leading the Republican race.

Guys, I’m not big on conspiracy theories. It’s not that I don’t believe them, it’s that honestly, I generally just don’t care. We live in a world filled with nosy, sneaky, devious humans. Duh. Plots and ploys and control and subterfuge have been happening since the dawn of time. If you don’t accept that about our species, then you’ve got some serious self-denial going on. At the end of the day, if I’ve had some food, had some fun, and had some snuggles with the ones I love, I’m good. If I had all that and was still sitting here with a tin foil hat on and my guts in a jiggle about the thought of conspiracies happening all around me, then I’M the one with the problem, right?

But sometimes, you take a little step back and look at the big picture and can’t help but see the truth. And the truth here is…


Clearly that’s the only explanation for Donald Friggin’ Trump and Ted Sad-Canadian Cruz being the two biggest names in our current election cycle. That is some next level crazy and only people with endless money and boredom can make that happen.

Thus concludes your conspiracy for the day for Tuesday, December 15, 2015. You know what I would love to have happen? I would love it if I got one of those polling calls from the Republican party today. That would prove my theory quite nicely. Ah, but now I’ve put them in a bind, haven’t I? What are you going to do, Republican Illuminati? The ball’s in your court.

I’mma get right to the point today:


Mornin’ all.

Usually when I see headlines that crack me up or make me roll my eyes, I hop on here and have some sort of friendly – some may say rambling- intro. I’ll tell you about my cat, or my car, or my cat driving my car (boy, do I WISH I could say that!). I’ll give you a not-always-quick glance into my world as we work through the first sips of my horrendous coffee together.

Not today.

Today, we’re shaking things up. I’ve got no funny anecdotes. The silliest thing my cat did was puke all over the dining room THREE times, and I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that. Cars suck, but only slightly less than horses, and none of the kids has done anything we need to applaud or bitch about this week.

So let’s cut to the chase. I’ve already got the go-go dancers ready, the band had a last minute jam warm-up to drown out the radios NON-FRIGGIN-STOP Christmas music, and the coffee just finished growling. Should be safe to drink once the growling stops.

Grab a cup and a chair and buckle in for a…


*catchy theme music* *furious up-tempo jazz steps*

Aaaaaand…cut! Everyone give a quick round of applause for the ladies and the band. There you go. Off the stage. Go. NOW.

Yes, we’re doing a Roundup today. For those not in-the-know, the internet news sites are full of poorly worded or misleading headlines. Sometimes they make light of a serious situation. Sometimes, it’s as if the editor fell asleep on the keyboard they’re so confusing. And sometimes they just give this weirdo an unusual mental picture that my inner narcissist must share. As always, the headlines themselves are too legit. The commentary is what might make you want to quit.

Shall we begin?

“Do we have a choice?”

Absolutely not!

-Trump Adds New Target: Ted Cruz

So his hate list is now Mexicans, Muslims, and muppets. “M”ommy issues, Trump?

– Calif. Attacks Raise Fear of Jihadi Wife

Are…are they implying that your wife will secretly go behind your back and join ISIS? Because it really seems like they’re implying that people are legitimately concerned about this…

– Models Devour Buffalo Wings

NAW BITCH. You get pretty bras, cameras flashing on your perfect dimples, and your bunions treated on Prada’s dime after the photo shoot. I get chicken wings. I don’t venture into your world, you don’t cross the line into mine.

– Ultra Modern Homes Fit For the “Hunger Games”

In what way, exactly? They’re half-crumbling? The tax burden imposed by a tyrannical government means the residents will be in constant poverty? Terrified children hide in them??

– Foolproof Secrets to a Blissful Marriage

1. Don’t secretly join a radical terrorist group behind your husband’s back.

– 9 Reasons to Eat Walnuts Right Now

This article is unfairly biased against people who don’t have walnuts. I’m offended. Let’s launch a Twitter attack. #impossiblewalnutdreams

– Rude Behaviors You Can Get Away With in Other Countries

What?! NO!! And we wonder why the rest of the world thinks we’re buffoons!

– Springsteen Fans Upset Over “River Tour” Ticket Prices

Brucey babe. Heart to heart…I know your dream is to have a Scrooge McDuck silo of gold you can swim in, but you’re missing the big picture here. Somehow, against all odds and every sense of reason in this universe, you STILL HAVE FANS. Cool it on the pool of gold and throw those poor saps a bone.

– Funerals for 14 Killed in California Massacre Begin Somberly

Uh…were we expecting something different?

– Syrian Refugees Greeted Warmly in Canada

Yay Canada! It’s got to be awful hard to be so chill in the face of such a global hot button issue. I wonder what their secret is?

– Going to Pot? Canada Leads the Way in Legalizing Marijuana

…oh. Well. That clears things up.

– Diplomatic Pressures Force Syria Opposition to Table

“That’s it! I’ve held my tongue long enough. I can no longer pretend to support this office’s choice of marble top in the conference room. We should have gone with mahogany and if I were a stronger man, I would have said so at the time. There. *sigh* I feel so free.”

– Tokyo Deploys Drones that Use Nets to Capture Drones

We’ve done it. We’ve trained our AI to truly act like humans and defeat their own race. We can pat ourselves on the back as we bow before our new robot overlords.

– Trump a “Disgrace” Saudi Billionaire Says


– Donald Trump’s Name Torn off Dubai Golf Course

Yeah, I’d say that’s on par.

NO I WON’T TAKE IT BACK. You knew this was a pun-friendly environment when you signed up. Don’t act all butt-hurt about it now.

– Syria’s Assad Buying “A Great Deal” of ISIS Oil, US Official Says

“And I’m like, what gives, Assa-hat? We called dibs on that oil…”

– Angola’s Global Host of World Environment Day 2016 and its Elephant Population

This is the discussion in the meeting before the publication of this article: “They’re hosting the environmental thing, but that’s not enough to get people to click. We need a human interest side to this story. Bill, if I say “Angola”, what pops in your head?” “Uh…sweaters?” And after much grumbling because Bill is utterly USELESS and would have gotten the ax a long time ago if he weren’t the EIC’s nephew, someone came up with the elephant idea. People like elephants. And they probably live in Angola, right? “Are the elephants wearing sweaters? Cus that’d be sick, brah.” *sigh* Sure Bill. The elephants can be wearing the sweaters. *rolly eyes*

– Farm Worker Accused of “Maliciously” Killing 4 Chickens

Unless you plan on lopping the head off, dipping the thing in boiling water while it’s still thrashing, violently pulling out all the feathers, then spilling its guts on the ground before feasting on its meaty flesh the humane way, leave those chickens alone.

*editor’s note: We here at the Muse are very pro-flesh dining. I wasn’t banging the vegetarian drum. I was merely pointing out the rank hypocrisy of a chicken farmer getting offended at the killing of his chickens. Put down the PETA t-shirt. I don’t want one.

– From A Risky Space Walk to the Top of Mt. Everest

That seems to be the wrong order to me. I know people lose their shit over Everest, but c’mon. Sherpas have been climbing it for ages. There are permanent camps set up for people to take a month long climbing break. It’s got LADDERS chained to the rock walls! Ladder-laden mountain vs. muthafreakin’ SPACE. Priorities, folks.

– How Technology is Redefining the Afterlife

Spoiler: it isn’t.

– Moscow’s Cemeteries to Get Wi Fi

Oh. Well then. I stand corrected.

– Moscow’s Cemeteries to Get Wi Fi

I can just imagine how many dead zones there will be.

…face it, you would have been disappointed in me if I didn’t.

– Twitter Expands Ads to Reach Users Who Didn’t Log In

Twitter, you’re getting creepy. #stopstalkingme,twitthole

– Bright Spots on Ceres Aren’t Aliens Afterall

Fuckin’ duh. We never said they were. Clearly lights aren’t aliens. What we SAID was that the lights were CREATED by aliens, and frankly, your evasion of the facts just bolsters my opinion. LIFE ON CERES!!

“Twitter: @BethReason Didn’t you mean #lifeonCeres? :P”

Ew Twitter stop. I’ve got mace.

– See Saturn’s Funky “Potato” Moon

Yes please!

– How Fallout 4 Took Over My Life– And Gave Me A New One


– Squishing Baby’s Faces is Japan’s Latest Social Media Trend

Why can’t I muster up either confused outrage at the antics, or sympathy for the mush-faced babies? Curse you, internet. You have jaded me.

– British Cops Search for Hoverboard Riding Robber

Shouldn’t take long. They just have to look for the pile of ash. OH YEAH hoverboard makers! Need a little aloe for that sick burn?!

No, seriously. Take the aloe. We heard about your inability to stop your products from exploding and are legitimately worried for you.

– Wild Boar in Germany Adopted By Herd of Cattle

Oh, stop. Who are you to judge what makes a family a family? It’s not just “Adam and Eve” anymore. Sometimes it’s “Hoven and Cleaved”.

*Drops mic*

*dons sunglasses*

*moonwalks off stage*

Thus concludes a brief Roundup for Saturday, December 12, 2015. I need to work on car wiring today. I feel I should have e.e.cummings-ed that statement, and said it with all the apathy I could be bothered to muster. Let’s try that again.

the car wires  rip at my soul with their uselessness

                                            and yet i find myself

                                             loath to fix them

perhaps a fairy will enter the engine compartment

                                          and make the effort to sort

                                          the frayed ends of my life

or maybe

it won’t