Can’t we all just get along?

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Mornin’ all.

I’m in a weird mood this week.

Maybe it’s the weather. We finally got a couple autumny days, real pot roast and crochet-project stuff. I was just getting to enjoy fall when it done went an turned hot again. I’m sure I’ll look back on this in a few months when I’m shivering under four sweaters and two pairs of socks while the winter wind howls against my uninsulated walls and think myself foolish for actually wanting cooler weather. But right now, it’s very weird to be looking at the pretty foliage in a t-shirt and shorts.

Maybe it’s the week I just had at work that’s got me in a bizarre frame of mind. It wasn’t particularly trying or hard, but there was definitely an insidious vibe that has carried over. Yesterday I had to write “Jazzy-Wazzy” on a cake.

*decorator’s note: If you happen to be the person that ordered that particular cake, thanks for the business and I hope you liked it! *insert required corporate thumbs up and shiny toothed smile*

I just don’t know what caused the funky mood. But, I’mma run with it. Something happened this week that I hope flew under the radar. Now that it’s passed, I don’t risk accidentally making it a bigger thing by discussing it.

Did you know that on October 5, the “activist” group Focus on the Family promoted a national event? “Bring Your Bible To School Day.”

What an infuriating idea on every conceivable level.

Now, as you all know, I am not religious. I was as a child, then took a long journey of investigation and discovery as an adult until I felt comfortable admitting that I’m not religious. I’ll go one step further and say it so there’s zero ambiguity: I’m an atheist. I love studying religions, and have not found a single one that’s shown me evidence that it is correct and that any particular god exists.

That doesn’t mean I’m angry at any concept of god. That doesn’t mean I secretly work for satan…I don’t hold any belief that he’s real, either. I have read the Bible and Quran, looked at Greek and Roman mythologies, and am currently admittedly struggling to get a real understanding of the Bhagavad Gita (so far, this one’s the most difficult for me to understand…not the translation, but the actual MEANING. I think it’s either because it’s so old, or simply that it’s based in such a different culture and I’m just not picking up the proper context…still a neat read, though, even if I feel like I’m pinballing my way through it. Its garden of Eden story is so much more badass than the Christian version I’ve known since early childhood.). I’ve looked at the core tenets of the LDS, Watchtower, scientology, and many fascinating cults.

I mean it when I say I love studying religions.

I love the tales, but I don’t believe them. I haven’t found anything that provides actual provable facts. A book cannot prove itself. The words inside are not true simply because the book tells you they are. And real truth is evident and demonstrable regardless of feelings.

Does that mean I think there absolutely is no god?

No. Of course not. There very well could be a god. Or gods. Or a collective consciousness. Or a prime mover from another universe who sneezed and kicked off the big bang. Or any number of possibilities.

“Then you’re an agnostic, Bethie, not an atheist.”

All agnostics ARE atheists. The waters get muddied when you try and differentiate to save hurt feelings. An agnostic does not hold a belief in a god or gods. An atheist does not hold a belief in a god or gods. All “agnostics” are atheists.

“No, and atheist is against god.”

No. You’re wrong. An ANTItheist is against the concept of a god or gods. They assert that not only is there absolutely no god or gods, but the very idea that there could be is harmful and should be abolished.

IMO, it’s an equally wrong position to hold. An antitheist is also claiming to know something for certain that they cannot demonstrate or prove.

How did we get here? I don’t know. And I’m okay admitting that.

What I’m not comfortable saying is that because I don’t know, because I lack the knowledge and ability to sort through the evidence and come up with the right answer, it must have been a god. It would be dishonest of me to say, “I can’t think of the solution personally, so it MUST be something or someone supernatural.”

I don’t know. Not knowing leads to a desire TO know, a drive to continue to gather evidence and sort it out in the hopes that maybe one day, there will be a concrete answer. To investigate all possibilities instead of shutting the door before you even start. If that leads to a god in any sense of the word, awesome! We’ve got our answer and can proceed to figure out the next great question. If that leads to more natural origins, awesome! We’ve got our answer and can proceed to figure out the next great question.

Here’s the thing, guys: It’s okay to not know something.

I know it goes against our nature. We’re curious critters. It’s why we’re so advanced on the evolutionary path. The discomfort we feel at not knowing something is what drives us as a species to make ourselves better.

But it really is okay to admit when you don’t know something. I promise. In fact, that’s often the only honest answer. I don’t know. Feels icky at first, but not as icky as pretending to know and not actually working towards finding the real answer to the question.

Now that the scene has been set for ya, back to Bring Your Bible to School Day.

I heard about it in a YouTube ad, and was like, “No way that’s real.” I clicked the link knowing full well I’d be bombarded by targeted religious ads. I took the hit, folks. I did it for you.

The link brought me to a very professional website explaining all the ins and outs of the event. To be clear, Focus on the Family was not promoting kids who attend religious schools or private schools to bring their bibles into school. They were saying that ALL kids should bring their bibles to ALL schools, religious and secular alike. They encouraged the children to share their bibles during recess and before and after school. They had downloadable signs the kids could put up, promotional flyers they could fill in with details on where to meet that the children were encouraged to hang around the school. There were ideas for conversation starters that kids of all ages could use for their age group, all the way down to kindergarten. And since they know the line of legality in this situation is very thin, they also included the limit for children, teachers, and parents…what they can and cannot do by law.

I’m less concerned with “can and can’t” than I am with “should and shouldn’t.”

Look. I get that if you’re religious, if you truly hold your beliefs dear, you have a desire to share those beliefs with everyone. I get that you feel like you’ve got the answers, and you want everyone else to have the same answer. But public schools have been set up as secular institutions for a reason.

I flirted with the idea of changing the story slightly to highlight my point. I was going to say that Family First promoted a Bring Your Quran to School Day. But, I really do think more of you all than that. If you haven’t already drawn the lines between the two concepts, then this is probably not the blog for you.

I don’t want ANYONE pushing their religion on my child when I send him off to school. I want him to learn math and reading. I want him to learn about science, and the scientific method. I want him to learn to play his saxophone and have fun on the playground at recess.

If I wanted my child to learn about religion, I’d send him to a religious school. That’s my choice as his parent. Just as it may be your choice as a parent to teach Christianity to your child instead of the tenants of Islam. Or Buddhism. Or Hinduism. Or any of the other hundreds of religions that are currently practiced.

Or atheism.

I pay taxes. My neighbor pays taxes. We send our kids to the same public school. I know for a fact our religious beliefs are incredibly different. Do you think she wants my kid to say to hers that there is no proof for god?

We have a great public school system. Yes, it’s flawed. But it’s still great. And the thing that makes it great is that it’s a melting pot that is set up to respect a differentiation between secular learning and personal beliefs. It’s designed to allow everyone to have the opportunity to the same basic education regardless of their religion. Even in this tiny town of mine, children from at least four major religions attend the same elementary school; more if you actually break down the general label of Christianity to all the different sects represented by the student body. Why should the tax dollars of a Christian mean more than the tax dollars of a Jew?

I’m not even talking about the horror I personally feel at the thought of having a five year old child proselytize to other five year old children, as if any of them can actually know what they’re saying and the meaning behind the words they’ve been taught at that age. For me, on a personal level, that idea is repugnant. That’s the very foundation of indoctrination.

But even if you’re okay with talking your child into trying to convince other children your religion is correct, I know for a fact you’re NOT okay with the other children doing the same to yours. And that’s the line, folks. That line should be clear to everyone.

We send our kids to public school to learn secular subjects. We send our kids to the church of our choice, or, in my case, no church at all, to learn any spiritual subjects. And the moment you confuse the two, you’re in the wrong. If you don’t want a child trying to indoctrinate your kid into their “wrong” religion, then you can’t be okay with your child doing the same, no matter how right you feel your answers are.

Thus concludes a Musing for what was supposed to be a lovely day but has turned into a humid, cloudy, windstorm, October 8, 2017. I think I’ll take this odd mood around town and try to get pics of foliage before it all blows away.

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

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Mornin’ all.

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

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

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

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

Here’s your uncomfortable thought for the day:

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

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

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

Mull THAT one over.

*sips coffee*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just.

Shut.

Up.

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

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

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

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

Like this:

zelda

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

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

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

*eyes can opener* *eyes can of worms*

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Mornin’ all.

It’s been awhile. What can I say? It’s summer, and the brain’s been on cruise control.

…actually, that’s not really true. While it is summer, and my mind has been on a sort of break, it’s less like easing down the open road on a lazy sunshiny afternoon and more like a perpetual day at an amusement park. I’m stuck on The Whiz Bang, the world’s most insane internal roller coaster that zips and zings, full of twists and turns and untamable racing thoughts.

I’d like to coast right now. Truly I would.

So I turned to the internet to zone out and relax.

“Oh Bethie you fool.”

You’re not wrong.

I know everybody is weighing in on the latest Twittery from the Oval Office, and I generally do a pretty good job of keeping my 2 cents about the dude to myself. I overall think he’s an ass. I hate that he’s in that office. But I really thought he was simply a Donaldist…just in it for himself, damn the consequences. Until now.

I’m talking, of course, about the horrible incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Donald Trump’s reaction. To recap for the couple of people who live in a deep dark cave and haven’t heard about any of this, modern Nazis held a rally over the weekend to protest the removal of statues honoring famous Confederate figureheads.

That was the claim. That was the very loose reasoning for a Nazi rally.

“Alt-right, Bethie.”

Nazis. That’s what they are. They proudly wear the swastikas. They quote Hitler. They throw sieg heils around like parade candy. They openly and unabashedly hate: black people, Hispanic people, Asian people, native peoples, Muslims, Jews, and anyone who has anything at all to do with the LGBT community. The signs they were waving during their Nazi hate rally targeted all of these groups and more. The ONE thing they said that was correct was that Hitler would be proud.

THEY. ARE. NAZIS. And when you try to politically correct the hell out of their group, it weakens the sentiment and the meaning behind their actions and makes it palatable for the average Joe.

It should not be softened. It should not be palatable. If you throw a sieg heil, you’re a NAZI. If you wave a banner with a swastika on it, you’re a NAZI. If you feel a swelling in your breast when you think of Hitler, YOU. ARE. A. NAZI.

I hold this truth to be self-evident. I honestly do not understand anyone who doesn’t.

*deep breath*

Okay. I didn’t want to come on here just to call a racist spade a racist spade. There is a whole lot of confusion stemming from this event and around the issue in general. Trump did say that some people were there not to hate, but to legally protest the removal of Confederate shrines. While the organizers of the event were not at all there for that purpose, I actually think there were some regular folks caught up in the “let’s preserve our history” rhetoric who meant no harm.

Because that’s what happens, folks. That’s how these horrible organizations grow. Not with the hate and signs and anti-human chants…that only works on a few. It’s the reasonable sounding propaganda that actually gets people to stop and listen. It’s carefully spun words that open the door for the evangelists of evil. That’s the truly dangerous thing about hate groups. They know what to say to get you to listen and join.

The rally itself was billed as a protest over the “loss of history” in removing Confederate monuments, so let’s investigate that first.

This issue has been at the forefront for a couple years now. Do we remove the Confederate flag? Do we take down statues of Robert E. Lee? Do we eradicate these symbols of the past? Or will that erasure of a part of history damage the true narrative of our nation?

These aren’t light questions, and I can see why on the surface it could seem to some that by taking down these objects, it feels like we’re sugar coating a significant part of the Story of U.S. If you’re on the fence, I get it. I do. If we don’t acknowledge the past, we’re doomed to repeat it.

But the most important part of acknowledgment is “knowledge,” and that’s seriously lacking in propaganda. Let’s inject a bit of knowledge into this old debate by looking at the most common reasons for leaving up these symbols of the Confederacy.

1) The Civil War wasn’t about slavery, it was about States Rights.

…yes, their right to keep slaves. What launched the war was a series of documents from the states who were seceding called Declaration of Causes of Seceding States (referred to by a number of titles depending on the issuing state), based off our own Declaration of Independence. The state representatives got together and drafted documents clearly stating their grievances and reasons for secession for five states: Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. All of the states listed issues surrounding slavery as the crux of the problem, whether it was the idea of the abolishment of slavery, the refusal of the federal government to apprehend people who harbored and assisted escaped slaves, or the impact any restrictions on the slave trade would have to local commerce.

If you’re looking for references, just Google it. And if you want a killer quote to throw at people who insist the “states rights” issue was NOT about slavery, here’s a gem from the reps of Mississippi. This is directly out of the document. This is what the Confederacy went to war over:

“In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery- the greatest material interest of the world.”

I am not taking that out of context to make it sound worse than it is. That is how the document opens, and it gets worse once they line out specific examples of how the abolitionists had worked against the “institution of slavery”. These individual “offenses” include the government barring the import of slaves, refusing to uphold the Fugitive Slave Law which “has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain,” and probably the most egregious in their eyes, the government “advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.”

Guys. Come on. There is absolutely no ambiguity whatsoever. They went to war to keep their slaves. Period.

2) So? Lincoln himself was on the fence about slavery.

No. Lincoln personally was not. He argued that owning slaves was immoral long before he was president. Once in office, politically he believed the Constitution gave the states the right to own slaves, and supported the House and Senate in their bid to change that part of the Constitution. You know, how things are actually SUPPOSED to happen. A president is not a king, and Lincoln tried to work within that system.

3) But it’s history. I’m a proud American, and honest enough to admit where we screwed up.

This. This is where I have a serious problem with the people pushing to keep Confederate shrines.

Let’s ignore all of the factors that led to secession. The Civil War happened, and we can all agree there were two parties: the Union and the Confederacy, right? The Union wanted to keep the United States whole, and the Confederacy wanted to leave.

How can you pretend to be a patriot while you support the public reverence of people who wanted to leave our nation??

It utterly baffles me. On that point alone, you’ve got no legitimate argument whatsoever. You need to take a step back and look at it in these bare bones terms. They didn’t want to be patriots. The majority was making laws of the land that they did not like, and they decided to leave. THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BE PART OF THIS COUNTRY ANYMORE! So you calling yourself a proud patriot for preserving statues honoring them doesn’t really make any damn sense, does it?

Now, add all the shit back into the pot. I’m not talking about erasing history. I think erasing the past is very dangerous. But, there’s a difference between including the information in museums and education, and naming a school after a racist. One teaches about the history so we don’t lose perspective, and the other glorifies people who hated the idea of giving up their “right” to own as property so much that they wanted to leave the country.

One educates, one exalts. I don’t want a statue of Stalin on my town’s square. I don’t want to send my kid to Hitler Memorial High School. I would definitely have a problem with the North Korean flag being flown above the entrance to my town hall. Know thy enemy. Do not glorify him.

We’ve allowed the exaltation of these bigoted twats for far too long.

So that brings us to Trump.

He went on a ten minute tirade doubling down on support for the KKK and Nazis by equivocating the anti-Nazi protesters with the Nazis themselves. He said the Nazis have some “very good people” among their ranks. And somewhere in there, he said that Washington and Jefferson owned slaves, so does that mean we should take down their statues?

This is how people still support Donald Trump. Because on the surface, that false equivocation sounds almost reasonable. And that’s what makes him dangerous.

Washington and Jefferson may have been shit people at heart (no idea, really…seems George may not have been too bad, but Jeffy was probably a schmuck on a personal level. Neither here nor there, and impossible to judge when modern thoughts and feelings are applied…), but that isn’t why they are given places of honor in history. They built something. THAT’S why they deserve monuments. They built the nation whose flag you proudly wave. Personal shit aside, they accomplished great things and they did it with the sole purpose of making a nation.

Robert E. Lee and the other reality stars of the Confederacy are ONLY glorified for their desire to keep owning slaves, a desire to see human beings as property so strong that it impelled them to drag people to war for it. They built nothing, they only worked to destroy. They were absolutely anti-American and do not, in any way, deserve monuments and reverence.

Take away the propaganda, and the issues become pretty damn clear.

Is a group telling you to hate people because of who they are? If the answer is yes, then they are Nazis and you need to distance yourself from them.

Did Confederate generals want to leave the United States? Yes, so you are being the exact OPPOSITE of a patriot if you want to honor them.

It’s not hard, and it seems to me if Trump would stop flapping his mayonnaise hole for a second, even he could reason this one out.

Thus concludes a pot-stirring Muse for Wednesday, August 16, 2017. Hey, at least the Nazi ass kissing takes so much time that Donny put a hold on his pissing contest with Kim Jong. That’s…something?

All that said, I bet I could still rock the hell out of turquoise studded fashion boots…

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Mornin’ all.

The other day after I got home from work and shed the constraints of corporate clothing to don my comfy around-the-house duds, I swore loudly when I went to pull out a new trash bag from the EMPTY BOX. *sigh* So, I got myself into public-appropriate uncomfy attire and crammed my tired, achy feet back into shoes so I could drive down to the store to pick up stuff I forgot to get before I left the store I worked at allllll day.

I hate that shit.

Anyway, I went, got the stupid trash bags and a couple other things my stupid ass forgot to pick up at the stupid store I worked at allllll stupid day. I was standing in line when a kid I knew from school walked in.

Now, we weren’t pals or anything, but I’ve mentioned before that my town is small. I had a graduating class of less than 30. The entire population of school children from kindergarten through seniors in high school was only around 400. I didn’t have to be friends with everyone to know who everyone was.

In school, the kid was one of the…hm. I don’t want to say “cool kids”, because that wasn’t it. He wasn’t the classic popular sportsy type. He was more “small town cool.” Into cars. Liked edgy music. Had a switchblade comb. Wore old heavy metal band t-shirts with the arms cut off to school picture day. You know, a real hometown rebel.

I can’t really tell this story without giving you an idea of my age. I graduated high school in 1996. It wasn’t exactly a few years ago. I think I can safely call those times “back in the day” now.

The dude walked in. He was still wearing an old heavy metal band t-shirt with the arms cut off. He still had the slicked back hair he no doubt styled with his switchblade comb. He had an earring, a dangly cross, and a chain necklace that was actual chain. He looked like he could have stepped right out of his yearbook photo.

…for the briefest of moments before my mind and eyes reconciled what I remembered with what was actually real, and I looked at him as he is now, not as he was 20 years ago.

Yes, he had all the trappings of teen rebellion still…with a pot belly. And a whole lot less hair to slick back. Half of what was left was graying. There were bags under his eyes that spoke of unpaid bills and kids who didn’t get home before curfew and the damn hot water heater that broke again.

He smiled and gave a nod. He was always friendly enough even if we weren’t friends. He stood in the line behind me to buy the same cigarettes he used to smoke, and then climbed into the same car he fixed up for himself in high school, an 80s Camaro-type rig that has now seen better days.

I sat there at the lights on the way back home and watched him peel out as soon as it turned green, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” blaring from his stereo.

When I was in high school, there were a couple of guys in town who used to hang out at the now-defunct convenience store. Not the new fangled gas station that was brightly lit on the corner, but the one in the older, run down part of town. You know…about 100 feet away from the “good” part of town.

No, seriously. The section of main street we were not allowed to hang out in was honestly less than a block from the section we were allowed to hang around. Small town, remember? We have two traffic lights, folks. Two. That’s it. On one side of the street, you’ve got Town Hall, the library, and the police/fire station. On the other side of that very street, when I was a kid, you had the seedy part of town, where the people your folks did not want you to grow up and become liked to chill.

They were ON THE SAME STREET. Directly across from each other. One side good, one side bad. Left side for preppies and prudes, right side for scrubs and skanks.

I can’t stress enough how small my town is.

Anyway, there were a couple of guys well into their 30s who used to hang out in front of the wrong convenience store. They drove a late 70s Ford, a huge boat of a vehicle. They would stand up against their car in their 80s cut off sweatshirts and board shorts. You remember the cut off sweatshirts. They’d stand there and listen to their old music and flick their long, thinning, bleached hair back and nod at people who passed by like they still owned the world, never realizing that the world had moved on without them.

As I watched my former schoolmate peel out, I it hit me. I realized that he’s become one of Those Guys. One who never realized that they got older. Or that there’s a time and place for Def Leppard, and that time has passed. That dangly cross earrings and a switchblade comb sticking out of the back pocket of stone washed jeans is probably not the look that’s going to get you that promotion you want. That no muscle shirt in the world can make a pot belly look cool.

I’m old enough to be in the same boat as our town’s new That Guy.

Am I “that guy”, too?

I’d like to say no, but at the very moment he was blaring Def Leppard, I was playing The Little Mermaid soundtrack in my car. Soooo….

When the hell did this happen? When exactly was the torch passed? Why didn’t I get the memo?!

*sigh*

Of course, I suppose instead of being That Guy, folks my age could be saying “fam” and “bae” unironically. I know people who do that, too; embrace the new as if they’re young enough to actually get it and be part of the fresh and young generation. I suppose a man bun in thinning hair looks just as dumb as a pot belly in a muscle shirt.

Poll time: Which is sadder? Someone who can’t move on from the past, or someone who pretends to be from a younger generation?

Thus concludes a quick and slightly depressing Musing for Saturday, July 8, 2017. I’m going to try very hard not to blare “Under the Sea” on my way to work. What are people my age supposed to listen to? Sports radio? Country? NPR?

One thing I’ll say about summer, it’s never boring…

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Mornin’ all.

Summer is in full swing. Teen Beta and Teen 2.0 graduated. It was a nice ceremony, even though it was hot and cramped in the surprisingly small school gym due to rain at the usual outdoor site. They had Senator Jeanne Shaheen speak, a pretty big get for this neck of the woods. The teens crossed the stage, shifted their tassels from right to left, and are now men.

…sort of. I mean, I can’t really call Teen 2.0 a “man” yet. He’s only 16. He is just an academically decorated tall child.

The Youngest Pup argued vehemently on behalf of Teen 2.0’s man status. At one point, I said, “So what’s the angle here? What do you think you’re going to gain by getting me to say that Teen 2.0 is an adult?” He said, “Mother. Don’t change the subject.” Every mum knows that if you’re discussing something with a child and they tell you not to change the subject, you hit some nail on the head. I still haven’t figured out exactly what nail that would be. In his mind, there is a beneficial reason for me to call his older bro an adult.

And now I’ve got to finish college stuff. It’s happening. Even if one of them is not, in fact, and adult, they’re both acting like they are. Life is happening as if they are. Time has marched unfairly faster for one and scooped him up to drag into the next chapter before I wanted him to be done with childhood. My stomach has been a churning vortex for days.

At least I still have the Pup, though he’s going into middle school already. Muh baby, in MIDDLE SCHOOL!!! *sniff* I asked him if he could just go ahead and be a little kid for awhile longer, please, and he said, “Don’t worry, Ma. I might be growing up, but I’ll still live here forever.” He paused, then said, “Well, until I move to Japan and raise Kobe beef.”

…*blink**blink*…

#LifeGoals?

Gah. I can’t talk about them growing up. I thought I could. I thought, “Okay, Bethie, you’ve been avoiding this for a couple weeks now and it’s time for some cathartic writing.” I was wrong. This is just making the vortex in my stomach whirl faster.

“You sure it’s not the coffee doing it?”

Admittedly, the coffee/paint thinner isn’t doing me any favors, either. I made this pot since Teen 2.0 is sick with a summer cold and Teen Beta has no interest in coffee or coffee making. I’m trying to teach the Youngest Pup, but so far, every pot of his has grounds in it. I just didn’t want to be chewing my coffee today.

Let’s talk about Other Things.

I had a most peculiar customer interaction at work yesterday. A man came over to scope out the bread cases at the bakery, and I asked if he needed some help. He said, “Not yet, I’m waiting for the womb.” Thinking I heard him wrong, I just gave a, “Oh, okay, well just let me know if you need something.” He said, “The one that grows the babies picks the bread.”

I did not hear him wrong.

I’m waiting. For the womb.

The Womb.

You gotta wonder if the other half of that relationship tells people, “Not yet, I’m waiting for the dick.” Odds are pretty good she does.

The woman in question never came over. She was shopping for other things so he called her on his cell. He turned and looked across center store while talking. I think he was looking at her. He ended up getting a four cheese loaf (highly recommended for either wombs or dicks). He was pleasant enough in every other respect. Smiled. Thanked me. Joked a bit while I was getting the bread. He just calls his other half “the womb.”

I…just…*???*

There were several odd customers yesterday, actually. Odd customers seem to descend in waves. One lady was dressed in old sweat pants, a mini skirt, and a bra. She had purple lipstick tattooed on her face. I didn’t say “lips,” because the tattoo had clearly gone awry and blown out over the years. It was a good half inch wider than her actual lips. And lumpy.

Yes. Lumpy.

She had frazzled hair and her eye makeup rivaled Cleopatra’s.

OH MY GOD! I just now realized who she reminded me of!

Okay, so did you ever see that 90s Johnny Depp movie, “Crybaby?” It was an odd flick, but enjoyable. Well, in the movie, there was a character named Hatchet Face. Take Hatchet Face, dye her hair that odd reddish color one can only get from too much of the wrong kind of peroxide, and give her a vacant, stoned expression. THAT was this customer.

And yes, she actually wore sweat pants under a mini skirt. Not leggings. Actual sweatpants. I’d say she was modest but for the choice of top. Only a bra. Honestly? I think she was just stoned out of her gourd and looking for snacks.

It’s summer, so we’re seeing a lot of questionable outfit choices, as one will when it’s hot.

Look, I don’t care a bit if people want to wear mini skirts or barely-there shorts. I just don’t personally understand the super tiny super tight clothing trend. How can lycra sausage casing possibly be comfortable? Don’t get me wrong. If I had a decent body, I’d give it a go and find out for myself what the attraction is. But, I do not have a body that should ever wear lycra, so I’m honestly curious about the draw.

I watched a woman walk/wiggle yesterday through the whole bakery. Every woman knows the walk/wiggle. It’s a way you walk when you know two things: You have a wedgie, and you’re not in a position to pick it. It’s a step, shimmy, slide kind of movement. And she did it through the whole bakery and beyond.

I just don’t understand these clothes. They’re clearly not comfortable. Any sex appeal you were going for is lost with your wedgie releasing spasmatic lurching. Why wear clothes that are guaranteed to make you an honorary member of the Ministry of Silly Walks?

*Monty Python fist bump*

Then there are the cutoff shorts that are so short their pockets hang out from the bottom…well, it’s not really a “hem”. The frayed cutoff line. You’ve seen these. They are all the rage at the moment. People want to cut their pants shorter and shorter, so what they end up with is essentially a pair of denim panties with pockets that flap in the breeze over their thighs.

Ladies, real talk. It’s not sexy. No guy has ever said, “Holy shit! She’s got pockets? Well sign ME up!”

It looks dumb. Stop it.

“Bethie. Are you…pocket shaming?”

No, of course not. The pockets did nothing but exist. I’m shaming the idiots who think flapping them in the breeze is somehow attractive.

“You’re being very sexist here. I don’t see you going off about men’s summer fashions.”

What’s there to say? Stop wearing socks with flip flops. If you wear shorts, it’s best not to emulate a 1970s basketball team. Knee high socks are great for winter, not great for summer beach wear. And for the love of anything you deem holy, put a damn shirt on under the overalls. No one wants to see your sweaty pit hair.

All of this has been said. Men have been making the same summer fashion mistakes for generations.

I tell you what, though. I promise that if I see a man actually wearing one of those new male rompers, I’ll go all in on that shit, okay?

Male rompers are not okay and they need to stop. #Stop.It.

Got sidetracked there. I was talking about the batch of odd folks yesterday. Ya know, I said it was an odd customer day, but it extended outside of work. Was there a full moon?

I think the most unusual person I saw yesterday had to be the lady at the town beach. I took the Youngest Pup for a promised dip in the lake after work. He swam, I sat under a tree. It was pleasant and he had fun. As we were leaving, we were climbing up the concrete steps when we noticed a woman juggling.

I’ve described out town beach before, but since I don’t expect you to scrape through the annals of this blog, I’ll recap. The lake sits at the bottom of a hill. The town decided to wall off the hill with concrete. It’s like a prison yard, with tall concrete walls surrounding the small, sandy beach. At the very top next to the parking lot and overlooking the lake is a small playground that’s fenced in with chain link fence to keep eager kiddies from plummeting to the first concrete landing below if they get too feisty on the swingset. I support the chain link fence. It does its job.

The woman in question was standing in the playground area right next to the fence. She was clearly performing, as she had put herself on display where the greatest number of people could see her. She was probably in her late forties, early fifties. She wore a sparkly bathing suit and flip flops.

And she was juggling.

Not balls. She had the juggling pins. Hers were two tone, metallic reddish pink and chrome. They really caught the sunlight and were fairly dazzling. Combine that with the sparkly bathing suit and she made quite a side show number.

She looked at us and smiled as we passed. I didn’t see a collection hat, but the smile was the kind that asked for donations. Perhaps it was just practiced, something she did so often in her juggling career that she couldn’t help but ask for payment with her eyes. Perhaps she really did want to try and make a few extra bucks. Who knows? If she really was busking, I can think of 746 better places to do so right off the top of my head. She was in a playground at a lake in a town with a population of maybe 4,200 people on a Thursday afternoon. Literally anywhere else would have been a more lucrative option.

Maybe she misses the circus lights and cheering crowds.

Or maybe she always wanted to taste the circus life, but never got there.

All I know is that yesterday was filled with wonderful oddballs. Here’s hoping we get more today.

Thus concludes a Musing for Friday, June 23, 2017. I have so much cake to make this weekend. So. Much. It’s not even a holiday, either. People, take a break from weekend bashes, okay? You’re killin’ me, here.

If you had Travolta money, would you really waste it on ham salad?

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Mornin’ all.

You will not believe who I saw at work yesterday.

John Travolta.

But it wasn’t the current Travolta people hate because of the freaky scientology and probable rapey-ness. It wasn’t really young Travolta folks hated because of his annoying laugh and unjustified swagger, either. It was like mid-career Travolta, the one everyone was starting to forget about right before he thought, “I think I’ll go cash in my thetans and buy myself a new face.”

That’s what scientologists do with thetans, right?

Anyway, he was walking through the store and stopped to look at the muffin table, so I got a good, long look at him. I swear it was pre-Xenufied Travolta.

You know what this means, right? It means those scientology buggers figured out how to build a god damn time machine.

Think about it. They’ve clearly been up to something for a long time. They’re super secretive. They’ve got so much money they blow it on things like completely new faces and the same scientology books over and over and over. They’ve got that Sea Org thing. Actual Org or merely a branch of the Illuminati? Hm??

Yep. Those little bastards got themselves a time machine. It’s the only thing that makes sense when you follow the bread crumbs.

Do you even know how galling it is that they got one before me???

Interesting choice on Travolta’s part to pick a spot in the middle of his fame polynomial. At first I thought it was weird. If you had a time machine, wouldn’t you want to go back to when you were at your peak in terms of looks, popularity, and ability to score mad amounts of ass? He didn’t, though. He chose the slightly plump version of himself, the one that floundered for awhile after “Face Off” failed to match “Pulp Fiction” status.

(Side thought: If John Travolta had passed on the script for “Face Off,” would it have ever occurred to him to get a new face in real life?)

I think he picked a spot in his career where he could go out for a walk without being hounded or heckled. He never really went into obscurity, but for a good chunk of time, people generally stopped caring. Maybe when he cut the million dollar check to Miscavige for the right to hop in the time machine, he thought, “I just want to be able to go to the store without either panties or rotting fruit being thrown at me.”

It was a bold, yet oddly reasonable choice for someone so thoroughly MEST up.

“Bethie, I think you might want to stop with the scientology puns. Those people don’t like jokes at their expense.”

Good point. I wouldn’t want them running a smear campaign on me. Folks might find out that I’m a fat, aging hoarder. I don’t know if I could live through a dox like that.

Pot Belly Travolta didn’t get any muffins, by the way. Looked at them, put them back, then went and bought ham salad. Ham. Salad. What a freak.

If you had a time machine, to when would you go?

Let’s put some restrictions on the question because it’s way too broad as it stands. You can only go to your own personal timeline. No hopping ahead 500 years to see how WWIII impacted the long term survival of humankind. In fact, lets make it a backwards only machine. Backwards in time to any point in your own life. And when you get there, you’re not like Marty McFly who has to duck and hide from himself. You Quantum Leap that shit and completely take over your own body.

When? What point do you want to live over? Redo? Stop and hold and savor?

I can’t answer that, personally. I’m trying, but every time I think of one, I think, “Oh no, wait! It’s…” They’re moments, too, not a general period in life of contentment or easy cruisin’. I would relive particular moments. Fleeting moments. Moments it would be impossible to recreate after the fact, or by going into them with the knowledge that I am going to relive an old favorite. I think if I actually tried, I’d screw it up.

My head is filled with happy vignettes, ones that have already been written. What if by going back and trying to relive them, I ruined the experience forever? What if I got there and was so excited that I turned it awkward and weird? The most happy memories I have are of moments that were natural and organic, not forced or carried out with an omniscience that would doubtlessly negate the exuberance of the very spontaneity that made the moment so special in the first place.

I’d never forgive myself for rewriting and ruining a treasured memory, especially since I most definitely would have the knowledge of both timelines and happenings. It would be a loss I couldn’t live with.

“What about going back and changing something you regret?”

I don’t think I’d do that, either. I don’t want to use my hop in the time machine to change anything. For good or bad, my decisions in life not only taught me valuable lessons, but they got me here, to this moment. And while my feet hurt like a summbitch this morning, I generally like being “here”. Things *could* change for the better. Or, they could change for the worse. That’s a gamble I don’t want to take. I’ve got way too much value right here and now to risk any of it by trying to go back in time to erase the fact that I’m human.

“You’re getting awful deep about a make believe time machine.”

Make believe, huh? So mid-career Travolta wasn’t in my store yesterday? Where’s your proof?

*crickets**crickets*

Pfft. That’s what I thought.

Thus concludes a very brief Musing for Sunday, June 4, 2017. I have a laundry list of things to do today, including laundry. Mowing. Room cleaning. Kicking my kids’ asses at Halo pvp. And now I’ve got to try and cover my tracks with the scientologists so they don’t start showing up at work threatening to expose me. Should be a busy day…

It is never a good sign when your fingers sweat from typing…

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Mornin’ all.

Sorry it’s been awhile. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks here filled with…well, life. Stuff. Cleaning, which I mostly got around to, btw. Visitors. Car repairs. Work. Kitties.

Yes, that’s plural on the cats.

No, we did not get another.

We decided to let a buddy bring a guest kitty with him to stay the week. We’ve been sort of thinking of getting our little fur devil a companion, or, if not a companion, maybe her own minion. The teens are growing and spreading their wings more and more away from the house, and we aren’t the only ones to notice. I don’t want my fluffy little buddy to be lonely.

Before we got another four legged tornado, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce her to a guest and see how things go. She’s been flying solo most of her life. We got her as a stray teenage cat, and she’s been the sole recipient of the pettin’ and snugglin’ and furball lovin’ since. We figured having our pal bring his cat along when he visited was a good way to test the waters.

“*snicker*”

Stop it. You stop laughing at me right now! Okay, in hindsight, that does seem a little naive. But cut me some slack. This is my first cat. Well, almost my first. When we were kids, we had a cat for a hot minute before Tommy decided to pack his shit and live a hobo’s life. I have only two memories of him. That’s it. That’s how little he was actually in my life. For all intents and purposes, Zelda is my first cat.

How was I supposed to know that the internet videos of two kitties peacefully basking in the morning sun in a fluffy heap together are staged lies by the Illuminati designed to con people into getting a second cat, thus ensuring that they never get a full night’s sleep as part of a devious plot to turn the populace into mind-numbed zombies ripe for advantage-taking when they’re too bone-weary to notice the androids taking control of the government and funneling taxes to a secret project that will cripple the global economy and enslave us to the New World Order??

Follow the bread crumbs, sheeple.

ANYWAY, I went into the endeavor with rose colored glasses that quickly cracked. In short, it was not smooth sailing and sunshine cuddling, and now I’m dubious about getting a second kitty.

It wasn’t horrid. No one got hurt. Mine hissed and growled, but never even took a swipe or nip at the other. It seemed to almost be just a show. By the end of the week, they were sitting near each other…unless a human walked into the room. It might have been a game to them at that point. We caught them several times just being chill near each other, until they noticed that they were being watched. My new theory is that watching two cats peacefully co-exist is their “go” button. It’s the Wile E. Coyote syndrome. As soon as a situation is observed, things must go awry.

I dunno. My guy has owned cats all his life, and he thinks things went fairly well. A second fluff might not be totally off the table. Maybe a little kitten? Maybe she’d adopt it. She is very motherly to our youngest pup. And Zelda is a very little cat, while the cat who visited was not. Friendly and playful and cute as hell, but not at all little. Perhaps that was a factor in play?

I think I have to do something. In a month, two more teens will graduate high school. Then we’ve got one more brief summer and they’ll be gone, too.

Sidenote: Have any of you finished that time machine I asked you to make? Anyone?? Because I’m about a month away from REALLY needing it. It doesn’t have to jump me back very far. A year or so should do. Just make sure that I can set it to repeat the jump multiple times so my boyos won’t all leave me. Blip me an email when it’s ready and we’ll work out shipping. K, thnx.

Four days ago, it was 40 degrees here. Wet and drizzly all day, with a heavy snow in the hills and slightly north. I couldn’t believe it when I saw snow on the small hill I pass on the way into The Big City to run errands on Sunday. It was bad enough that we had a seasoned vet of NH roads call out of work at the bakery because she kept going off the road. We were a bit dubious until we saw the pictures. It was a real snowstorm.

Yesterday, it topped out at 89 degrees here. Today is supposed to be well into the 90s and humid as hell.

Mother Nature. Real talk now. Girl, what the fuck?

It’s got that heavy, languid feeling to the air this morning, too, so I know the local weather man wasn’t just blowing smoke up our asses again. It’s odd having this type of weather this early. Usually these morbidly oppressive days hit when the heat of summer has wrought its peril on everything green and vibrant. This year, it’s come when the leaves have freshly burst open, when the blossoms are still fragrantly stretching for the early season skies. Instead of trapping in the smell of hot tar and baked dirt and overheating cars, the blanket of humidity is allowing the scents of lilacs and apple blossoms and wet earth and sweet greens to linger heavily in the morning fog. It’s not at all unpleasant.

…yet.

I mean, come on. Today’s supposed to be in the 90s? Are you kidding me!? I wasn’t planning to sweat my balls off for at least another month. UGH. But, at least it smells nice.

Say, you know what this morning needs?

“More coffee?”

Well, yes. That’s always a given. But aside from copious amounts of caffeine, I think we’re missing something to put a little pep in our sweaty ass step. I think we should cue up the band and call the go go dancers, because we’re going to have ourselves a….

“WAIT!”

…what?

“Don’t make the poor dancers perform in this heat.”

Dude, they’re pros. They can handle it. They’ve been training in Florida in the off season.

“But…”

Trust me. They’ve got this. Ladies, to the stage please? Okay, let’s try this again. And a one, and a two…

It’s time for our…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP ! ! ! * * *

See? They handled it beautifully. Thank you, dancers. Now everyone go sit in the air conditioned green room and drink plenty of water.

It may be hot as hell, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find things to laugh at, right? For any newbs in the audience, we do a Roundup when I see enough headlines that make me chuckle, rage click, or roll my eyes. Sometimes they’re poorly worded, sometimes they’re just plain idiotic. Mostly, though, I choose ones that bring out a gut reaction my narcissism urges me to share. As always, the headlines are 100% real from actual online news sites. I just make up the snide comments after. Everyone on the same page? Then let’s get to it.

– He Said Making A Man Get Maternity Insurance Was Crazy. Her Response Went Viral

No One Needs To Know Names. We’re Just Making Shit Up Anyway

– Cromartie’s Wife Pregnant With His 14th Child

He’s an NFL player, not a religious nutbag with a hit TLC show or anything. He’s not building an army for his god, he’s just horny, so it’s okay to scorn him. Let’s do it together on the count of three. One. Two… Boo. Boo. Hiss. #DoubleStandardsCanBeFun

– Osama bin Laden’s Son Calls For Revenge, Attacks On US

Boy, did NOT see this one coming. The bin Laden’s seem like such a peaceable family.

– School District Pulls Suicide Book ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

…thus missing the ENTIRE FUCKING POINT of the book. A problem can’t get better unless we address it, folks. Just sayin’.

– Health Insurers Bilked Medicare, A Whistle-Blower Says

Was a whistle-blower really necessary in this scenario?

– Leading Neo-Nazi Website Courts new Readers…In Spanish

Phew, what a relief it must be to…

“BETHIE STOP! I think you need an internet guideline refresher before you say something that’ll haunt you forever.”

But it’s just a joke.

“This is the internet. There is no such thing as a joke anymore.”

No, that doesn’t sound right. I’m sure I’ve read funny…

“Just look in the book.”

*sigh* Fine. Hang on a second, everyone. *scrambles through the public blogging handbook* *nods sagely before slamming book shut* Sorry, folks. We seem to be having some technical difficulties with this punchline. Unfortunately we must cancel this bit. Please move on to the next entry and pretend this never happened.

– ‘Shoot Me,’ Armed Man Told Cop. He Didn’t, And was Fired, Suit Says

Now THAT is how you write clickbait! Take notes, Huff Po.

– Trump’s Travel Bans Spook Some Students, Fan Fears of Broader Chill

…huh? Are you stroking out over there, Reuters? Should we call someone?

– ACLU Calls For End of Neck Holds After Vegas Man’s Death

Neck holds? They’re legal!? *madly googles* OH. It’s just a choke hold with a nicer name. Damn. I was seriously hoping that Vulcan death grips were actually legal somewhere. Just another boring story of police tactics. Bleh. Move on.

– Man Carrying Mother’s Severed Head Stabs Store Worker

I feel like the real story here isn’t so much the stabbing. Perhaps a better way to write the headline would have been, “Store Worker Lucky He was Only Stabbed and Not FUCKING BEHEADED Like Assailant’s Poor Mother”. Gives a bit more punch. You can have that tip for free, USA Today.

– NASA Solves Flash Light Mystery

Turns out they put the batteries in the wrong direction. $4.8 million well spent!

– Doc Suspended For Doing Liposuction In Barn

With a glob glob here and a slurp slurp there…here a nip….there a tuck….everywhere a liposuck…Old McDonald had a farm, eeigh eeigh ohhhh…

– Hackers Linked to Ransomware Threaten ‘Wine of the Month’ Style Attack

We’ll do it. We’ll send you a 2013 Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc and there’s nothing you can do to stop us. We are united. We are strong. #EndingThisJokeBeforeIPissOffAnnonymous

– ‘White Identity Politics’ is Keeping Trump’s Downfall At Bay, Academic Says

OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE. It’s extraordinarily difficult to impeach a president. We can’t just say “oops, we goofed, our bad” and kick him out. There are certain lines he must cross, and we need rock solid evidence that he has done so. After that, there’s an arduous process of hearings and senatorial votes and recounts and rebuttals… It is totally unreasonable to expect that he would have been impeached already. There are myriad reasons why Trump is still in office, and the very least of them has anything to do with ethnicity, you race baiting ass!

– 7 Creepy McDonald’s Figures You Forgot Existed

I buried those memories for a reason. Leave me in my happy place and stop trying to trigger me.

– ‘People Got To Eat’- Heroic Pizza Guy Delivers to Stalled Train

Heroic. HEROIC. He delivered pizza. That’s literally the very thing he’s paid to do. How in the holy hell is that HEROIC!? GAH

– ‘Cat Man of Aleppo’ Forced To Start Again- From Scratch

This was in the “Good News- News To Brighten Your Day” section. I’m beginning to think the media might be a bit jaded…

– Alex Jones Says He Mischaracterized Chobani Yogurt Factory

In hindsight, he probably shouldn’t have called it “the place where they make that nasty white shit.” His bad.

– Adults Brawl At High School Graduation Ceremony

The ceremony was being held in a church, too. Keepin’ it classy, Tennessee.

– Nearly 400 Birds Fly Into Texas Skyscraper and Die

Boy, the Taliban sure is…

“BETHIE.”

Oh. Right. Handbook. Uh, poor birdies, am I right? Golly gee that’s too bad.

– Emergency Landing for JetBlue Flight That Hit Bird

Way to go JetBlue! That’s one more terrorist out of commission!

…what? Don’t look at me like that. I can take scorn. I can take disgust. But when you turn the disappointed eyes my way, it cuts, man. It cuts deep.

– Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago

OMG. Did…did the press just taunt hackers into trying to break into the stupidly named vacation spot of the pres??

– New Baylor Lawsuit Alleges Rape Video, Dog Fighting

WHAT? Dog fighting?? I mean, yeah, there was the rape, blah blah…but dog fighting!? Now it’s gotten serious. That, sir, is beyond the pale! Someone must stop these universities from abusing dogs!

“Uh…what about the raping?”

Didn’t you get the memo that folks don’t care so much about that part? Let’s fight the battles we can win. #OfCOURSEI’mBeingSarcastic.Shit.

– Dutch King’s Secret Flights As Co-pilot

I think someone has an unhealthy obsession with Disney’s Aladdin…

– Talks On Airplane Laptop Ban End With No Ban, More Talks

Anyone who’s ever sat in on a planning session at work could tell you how this was going to turn out. Bet they were only there for the free bagels anyway.

– Putin Says He Can Prove Trump Did Not Share Secrets

“Look at this email Don gave me. It says nothing about secrets.” “Uh, Vlad? That’s dated this morning.” “Da.” “And it’s from your other email account.” “Da.” “…but…” *Putin slowly lifts syringe into view* “Proof, da?” *special agent gulps* “Oh. Uh, right. Heh. Heh. Boy, look at that. Good enough for me, boys. Rock solid.”

– Report: Trump Aides Had At Least 18 Exchanges With Russians

You’d think that…

*Vlad slowly raises syringe into view*

…Look at this fake news. Isn’t it fake.

*Vlad wiggles syringe*

Fake fake fakeity fake. Sure is fake.

*Vlad nods, starts to walk away*

Just kidding it’s totally real and there’s nothing they can do to shut me up!

*Vlad stops, slowly turns* “Vat?”

Nothing. Oh, hey, look. A headline about Austria!

*Vlad stares for a minute before shrugging and walking away*

Oy vey. That was close.

– Austrian Parliament Passes Burqa Ban

I’m not going to pretend to understand the complexities of the recent influx of refugees to Europe and what it is doing to their society. I will say, though, that the way to incorporate a different people into your society isn’t by banning the things that are important to them which in no way harm other people. If the burqa is banned, the nun’s coif should be as well. Or the mandatory dresses the women of certain Christian sects must wear. Or a priest’s collar. I feel that they’re going down a slippery slope here, I really do. No jokes. Just food for thought.

– Lucky Charms Giving Away Marshmallow-Only Boxes

After years of claiming to be any sort of healthy breakfast, I’m actually okay with them saying “FUCK IT let’s not even pretend anymore.” It’s refreshing.

– Perfect Strangers Swap Kindness…and A Kidney

The DIY channel is really reaching with their new fixer upper line up.

– Youngest-ever Texas Christian Grad Says He Has No Regrets

Well why would you think he did?? “I’m super smart and setting records and got a free ride doing it. Boy, if I could go back in time, I’d fail a few tests here or there, make life more of a struggle for myself.” Is that what you were expecting, Fox News? What a stupid waste of bytes.

– Republicans Worry Trump Scandals May Doom Legislative Agenda

That is some deep poli-sci shit right there.

– Federal Investigators Head to Deadly Jet Crash Site

“Field trip!” “Damnit, Jeffrey! Calm down! You are a federal investigator on a very serious and important case.” “Ooh! Can we stop at McDonald’s?” “No, Geena, we cannot stop at McDonald’s. We will go straight to the crash site and…” “I want a Frosty!” “CARL!” “That’s Wendy’s, you idiot.” “WILL YOU ALL SIT DOWN AND ACT LIKE PROFESSIONALS?” *crickets**crickets* “Um, Mr. Special Agent in charge? I think I’m gonna be car sick…”

I guess a field trip will always be a field trip, no matter how old you are.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Thursday, May 18, 2017. Good luck to everyone battling the early season heat wave. I didn’t dare put away my heater for the summer, but I’ve also installed the a/c. Ah, life in NH…