You call it “procrastination,” I prefer the term “creative time management…”

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Mornin’ all.

When we last spoke, I was about to embark on a mission to clean my house. I got garbage bags, extra coffee, queued up a good podcast, and dug in.

Now, I’m not so sure how it happened, exactly, but I started the day cleaning and ended up welding together a new lamp.

Company will be here tomorrow. TOMORROW. They’ve got nowhere to sit. But at least there will be plenty of light…?

…I don’t know why I’m like this.

While I was cleaning, I found my stash of transmission gears and sprockets, and uncovered the MIG welder. It was nice weather, I hadn’t been able to weld yet this spring, and the urge to smell hot metal was too strong to ignore. I suppose I understand what led me down the path, I just wish I had a bit more fortitude against my own impulsiveness sometimes.

*sigh* I guess anyone coming to my house should know me, right? I mean, there are some things I’m very good at. I’m a good cook, I’ve got a decent brain, even if it’s as little scattered sometimes, I try my damnedest to be kind to other people… And there are a few things I don’t do well at all. I’d say the three things in life I really suck at are being skinny, respecting myself, and keeping the house in shape. In the grand scheme, that’s not so bad…right?

So I have to mad-dash clean today and tomorrow between work shifts. It’s not the first time. Won’t be the last.

I should be doing it right now, in fact. And I’ll get there, but first, let’s get distracted by something else. You know what we haven’t done in awhile?

*cue the go-go dancers* *strike up the band* Let’s have ourselves a good, old fashioned…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP ! ! ! * * *

You know the deal. I peruse the news for headlines that jump out at me. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re poorly worded, and sometimes they just beg for commentary. I gather them up and present them to you as nature intended. I just add the snark.

Let’s begin.

– African American pastor warns, “Black folks need to stay out of white churches” ahead of megachurch opening

Hoo boy. So much to unpack, so little desire to leave indelible footprints through this internet minefield. Imma step away from this one slowly…

– People have tried to stop lava from flowing. This is why they failed.

Oh, honey, no. If an entire MOUNTAIN isn’t strong enough to stop magma from bursting forth, what in the holy hell do you think YOU can do? Hm?

– Residents voice frustrations at meeting as Hawaii volcano continues to wreak havoc

“I don’t know whose idea it was to allow the magma to flow down my street, but this is a clear violation of my rights as a homeowner.” “Um, ma’am? We can’t control the lava. You do know that, right?” “But I pay taxes!”

– Idaho State University loses weapons-grade plutonium

Some people misplace their keys, some people misplace their elements of mass destruction. Don’t judge.

– Tourists unknowingly toss dinosaur footprints into lake

HOW!?!?

– Man mauled to death while trying to take selfie with bear

Sounds about right.

– Scientists excited by huge New Zealand sinkhole

In other news, a recent survey shows nine out of ten New Zealanders think scientists are dicks.

– Jennifer Lopez shows the world how to rock an exposed leg

I sure hope it was hers.

-McCain’s critiques of Trump anger president’s supporters

*crash* Oof! *scramble* *uprights chair* *mops up spilled coffee* Oh my god, that’s never happened before. I was literally bowled over by that shocking news. Wow. I always thought it was just a figure of speech.

– Jessica Simpson back in her Daisy Dukes

Okay. Thanks for the update? I guess?

– First Lady launches initiative to stop cyber bullying, is immediately criticized for husband’s social media history

I believe Melania is a fairly smart woman who put herself in a stupid situation in life. I think she’s trying to make the best of it, and she’s trying to do something that will make her feel good about this time her husband is spending in office. But I just think the reality of her situation is going to belie anything she could promote for the happiness and well being of the children she’s trying to reach. I actually legitimately feel bad for her in this endeavor. Her critics aren’t wrong here, and that’s sad. #FreeMelania

– Israel offended Japan’s prime minister by serving him dessert out of a shoe

Sometimes it’s difficult to navigate the challenges that arise when two different cultures are trying to come together. It’s often hard to know what’s going to cause offense. But sometimes, some asshole blatantly serves dessert in a fucking shoe. You don’t need cultural context to get that message loud and clear.

– Israel offended Japan’s prime minister by serving him dessert out of a shoe

Sidenote…Who even thinks of that, anyway? Who sits there and has a “eureka” moment that leads them to filling a loafer with tiramisu?? You’re a weird dude, whoever you are.

– In Japan, remarks by finance minister spark #MeToo outrage

The guy was caught on camera asking a female reporter if he could hug her and touch her breasts. I’d like to apologize, Israel. I get it now. #LoafersOfTiramisuToo

– “Heroes” rescue special-needs teen dodging rush-hour traffic

Uh, not so sure why heroes is in kind of sarcastic quotes up there…

– Heroes stop rush-hour traffic to help ducklings cross road

OHHHH, okay. The full stop heroes title is reserved for those who save cute animals, not human beings. Got it.

– Daughter of NYPD hero who died on 9/11 follows in dad’s footsteps

*DANGER* *DANGER* *DANGER* …sorry. That was the new warning app I installed. It’s supposed to help stop me from making completely tasteless jokes on the internet that could have lasting consequences. Seems to be working as advertised. Four and a half stars.

– Teen accepted to 113 colleges, awarded $4.5M in scholarships

Her name is Jasmine Harrison. Just wanted to give a shout out to a young woman who is absolutely rocking life.

– Trump considers benching Guiliani from doing TV interviews

Oooh, Trump’s jelly. Since Guiliani’s been on the team, the press is all, “Rudy said WHAT?” and “You won’t believe what Guiliani’s doing now”. Trump hasn’t been clickbait all week! That’s GOT to be killing him.

– Rubin: What exactly are Republicans running on?

Tears of migrant children. Stronger than coffee.

– Trump: “Every…AHAHAHAA!!!

Sorry. *snicker* Sorry, guys. It’s just, this one is so hilarious that I’m having a difficult time spitting it out. Let’s reset and I’ll try again.

– Trump: “Everyone thinks”…GA HA HA HAHAHAHAAA!!!

DAMNIT! I’m GOING to get through this with a straight face! *deep breath* Okay. *lips twitch* *calming mantra* Okay, I got it this time:

– Trump: “Everyone thinks” I deserve a Nobel Prize

SEE?? *groan* *wipes tear* Now my sides hurt.

– What’s killing the west coast’s young great white sharks?

Ennui. Lack of leadership. Parents who didn’t instill the value of hard work and the importance of goals. It’s a complicated issue, really.

– How salad became a major source of food poisoning in the US

The vegan movement is just a ploy by the Illuminati to dumb down the masses and make us subservient. They’re poisoning you, sheeple. The truth is out there.

– Canadian zoo faces charges after taking bear out for ice cream

I don’t know if anyone has ever Canadian-ed so hard before.

– Massive chocolate spill shuts highway after tanker truck crash

Oompa loompa doopahdedoo, I’ve got another riddle for you…What do you get when your truck has a…FLAT…Tipping and slipping with a chocolatey…SPLAT…

– White House says Iran nuclear inspections must continue

Oh my god I can’t even take how stupid he is. Yes, you gangrenous knob, we DO need to keep monitoring Iran’s nuclear program. THAT’S WHY WE HAD A DEAL WITH THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. *thumps head on the desk* Someone fix this.

– France condemns US over Iran sanctions

*heavy sigh* That’s fair.

– Students use history books that claim not all slaves were unhappy for ten years

Yes. Yes they fucking were. It makes me sick to think that children are being encouraged in any way to think that ANY person likes being owned as another person’s property.

– Oregon school forced LGBTQ students to read bible verses as punishment

Slavery being touted as “not really so bad”, forcing kids to read the bible, punishing anyone at all for their sexual orientation…what year is this? Did we go back in time???!!!

– Oregon school forced LGBTQ students to read bible verses as punishment

To be clear, the facts as we know them are that these are allegations that are still being investigated. However, an unnamed administrator of the school admitted it to police, which is why the investigation is continuing and will go deeper. I could get on a rant here, you KNOW I could, but that won’t reach the people I want to reach. So, I’m just going to ask this question: How would you feel if your child came home and told you they were forced to read the surahs of the Quran as punishment for having blond hair?

– Dragon float in Disney parade catches fire

…they say, as if realism is a bad thing. Pfft. Some people just don’t appreciate art.

– Scientist: Hawaii lava flow has similar chemical structure to 1955 eruption

It’s the same magma source. Same location. In geological epoch terms, it’s essentially the same eruption. I’m not so sure these science writers know how to science…

– US fighter jets intercept Russian bombers in international air space near Alaska

They were flying planes legally in a zone that’s designated free range…air space they use for military practice, just like us. It’s like kicking the kids from the other neighborhood out of the town park because they brought bats. Doesn’t matter that they are planning on playing baseball. They have BATS. And it’s sorta close to our house. Can’t you see that means they’re going to smash our car windows!? It’s ridiculous. WE were the aggressors in this situation. I will not go back to McCarthy era paranoia. I never thought I’d say this, but I am rejecting the trip in the time machine.

– Nearly two years later, “world’s saddest polar bear” no longer sad?

I didn’t click. I was afraid they’d interview an “animal psychologist” and I’d have no choice but to quit the internet. You understand.

– Family chased by cheetahs highlights the dangers of wildlife parks

No, it highlights the stupidity of humans. #TeamCheetah

– An emergency call center operator tells dying woman that “everyone dies”

It’s graduation season. Some of you reading this may be wondering what you want to do in life, where you’re heading, what will bring you happiness. Here’s a tip for ya…if you hate people, and have zero compassion, maybe don’t be a 911 operator, k?

– Opioid crisis makes more organs available

“Mr. Smithers, I see you’re awake. The operation was a success. You no longer have cirrhosis! But your insurance restricted us to a level 2 organ donation. Got it from the free clinic down the street. You might feel a bit jumpy and edgy. Fortunately, your insurance covers methadone, so I’ll just write you out the scrip…”

– People “outraged” to discover cemetery threw away flowers day after Mother’s Day

Oh grow up. You left flowers on a rock. You already flushed that money down the toilet. Close the Twitter app and put that energy into something meaningful.

– Ukraine: Army dolphins starved after Russian annexation

Russia, heart to heart: Wtf.

– A Vietnam veteran was going to be buried alone. Then a stranger helped find his family.

…and now they’re being buried with him?!?

– Avalanche survivor’s final thoughts: “This could be it”

Final thoughts? She survived. Is she just not planning on thinking anything else ever?

– Astronauts give commencement speeches from space station

If they didn’t tell the students to reach for the stars, I’m going to be very disappointed. I don’t pay taxes to have astronauts drop the ball when it comes to bad jokes.

– You’re reheating your cold pizza wrong

You don’t know me. You don’t know my struggles. GTFO with your pizza shaming.

– Scientist trains spider to jump on command

“Bethie?”

Yes?

“I can’t help but notice that you are now scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

…your point?

“Stop procrastinating and go clean your house.”

But…

“Bethie. *stern look*”

*sigh* Fine.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Thursday, May 17, 2018. I guess I hafta go clean my house now ‘cuz you’re gonna be all mean about it and stuff.

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I’ll take a mentally challenged duck over that old confused rooster any day of the week…

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Mornin’ all.

Yesterday when I got home from work, the weather was perfect. It was about 70 degrees, sunny but not aggressively so as the high, fluffy clouds casually meandered across the sky. Birds were chirping, the kids at the daycare next door were laughing as they played outside, the very confused duck who’s been living in what is essentially a puddle in the back yard was yammering in response to the distant sound of a chainsaw.

As the afternoon rolled along and people started arriving home from work, the distinct sound of lawnmowers echoed through the valley.

Those who don’t live in a climate that gets a deep winter might not understand the psychological yuckiness (official term) of being surrounded by dead things for months on end. Everything is brown or gray. The naked trees, the half melted snow banks, the hills…even the evergreens lose their luster and take on a dark, brownish existence.

We had a long and particularly assholish winter this year. The past few weeks were spent searching the crusty piles of dead leaves for tips of green poking through. It wasn’t really until last week that spring began to arrive with gusto. While the trees are still pretty stark, with only a few species popping their buds enough to provide shade, the lawns are really beginning to change the cold, unwelcoming earthen blanket from drab to fab.

We survived the winter, and now we’re rewarded with a green lawn.

Better hurry up and cut that shit down!

We humans are very silly. I LONGED to look out my window and see verdant signs of life, and now that I have the view I craved, I’m thinking about what I need to do for spring time mower maintenance before I can hack it to smithereens.

If there is a Mother Nature, she’s probably very confused. “Hold on a sec. You people asked for grass. You begged me to end the long winter. BEGGED!! And now that I gave you everything you wanted, you’re cutting it down?”

Well, yes. I mean, look at it. It’s…long. And just…so…grassy. Besides, it’s full of dandelions.

“You don’t like the flowers? I grew them just for you. I think they add a little pop of color.”

Dandelions aren’t flowers. They’re weeds. Ew.

“And what the HELL are those big scissors for?”

You can’t expect me to leave the bushes as you grew them. Honestly, what would the neighbors think?

“I worked all winter long to come up with the perfect décor. You think this is easy? You think all I do is wave a magic wand and *poof* it’s spring? It takes time, planning, dedication…are you even listening?”

Hm? What? Sorry, didn’t hear you. I was looking up the cost of spark plugs for mowers. Think I could get away with just cleaning the old ones?

“You know what? You people deserve a long, cold winter!”

…soooo…is that a no on the cleaning?

Hey! Where are you going? Mother Nature? *door slam*

Sheesh. Some people are so touchy.

Thus concludes a quick Musing for Tuesday, May 8, 2018. I am off to not mow my lawn. I have other priorities today. I’ve got company coming in a week and a half and nowhere for them to sit. I’m going to get a shovel and a box of trash bags and start in on the dining room. Yep. I’m tackling the hoard. If you don’t hear from me, that means I lost. Tell my family I love them.

I’m back, and boy do I have a great idea…

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Mornin’ all.

Why don’t people tailgate at craft fairs?

“Uh, Bethie? You okay over there?”

I was driving home from dropping Teen Prime off at work, and an ad came on the radio for tickets to minor league ball games. They were advertising a partnership with stores that sell the tickets, and mentioned that folks should stop in and get tailgating supplies while they were at it. They said something about also not forgetting poster board and body paint to show their spirit.

In New England, we have a series of yearly craft fairs that fill the calendar. There’s a circuit of them, on a fairly standard schedule. During spring and summer, they take place at different outdoor venues, often as part of farmers or flea markets. In the colder months, they’re most often held in the basements of whichever local church draws the short straw.

Except for the Catholics. They don’t do “craft fairs”. Craft fairs are banal events attended by uncouth swine. *sniff* Catholics hold Christmas bazaars.

The people who attend these crafting events are the same people year in and year out. Once in awhile, they’ll drag along new blood, and of course they raise their children in the die hard craft culture. The point is, the craft world has a very dedicated core group of fans who seasonally plan their weekends around attending these fairs. They are just as ravenous as sports fans.

Why doesn’t society allow us to pregame a craft show with the same fervor and dedication as sports fans?

“Bethie, I highly doubt the people who go to these craft shows would be the tailgating type.”

Are you smoking crack? We’re talking about a group of people that gets giddy at the mere mention of naturally dyed wool. Their panties don’t just get wet at the thought of hand pressed card stock, they get BEDAZZLED. Do you think that level of fandom happens without wine? Granny would pregame the shit out of a craft fair if it was accepted by society.

Think about it.

We have grown ass men and women who cover their bodies in paint and glitter while holding up a hand painted neon sign to support their sports team. Paint and glitter? They stole that shit from us! Aren’t those supplies the very BACKBONE of the crafting world? And who do you think makes the snacks for the sporting tailgaters? I bet behind every family’s tailgate tradition was a mum who loved the hell out of her family, her team, and her secret Lil’ Smokies sauce recipe. It’s a no brainer, folks. It’s like this shit was made for the crafting world.

Why isn’t this already a thing??

I don’t often take a stance on an important issue. But, I am going to right here, right now. I am officially throwing my support and the support of this entire blog behind this movement. Let’s take back the glitter and paint. Let’s reclaim our secret kielbasa sauce recipe. Let’s pop open those bottles of Merlot while eagerly betting on who’s going to have a Pinterest worthy table and who’s going to end up on a bad craft sub-Reddit. Let’s cut the bullshit machismo and let the crafters party.

Who’s with me?

Thus concludes a new format Musing that I’m going to try out for Tuesday, May 1, 2018. I’m going to try shorter formats. Life has shifted, and my mornings have become busy. I’m going to see if just a quick blog allows me to pipe up with these million dollar ideas more often.

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

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Mornin’ all.

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

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

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

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

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

Why.

WHY!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got it? Good. Let’s do this.

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

Because apparently Nature lost her calendar.

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

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

– Woman Restrained After Trying to Open Cabin Door During Flight

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

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

– Woman Falls From Plane Door

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

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

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

– Kim Jong Un Calls For a ‘New History’

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

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

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

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

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

– Washington Becomes First State to Pass Law Protecting Net Neutrality

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

– California Hospital on Quake Fault Set to Close

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

– University Sends Acceptance Emails to Wrong Students

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

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

Ohhh boy…ummmm…this is awkward…

– University Sends Acceptance Emails to Wrong Students

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

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

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

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

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

– Panama Hotel Ditches Trump Branding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The Clowns Are In Charge

No truer words have ever been spoken.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Microsoft is Optimizing Skype for Low-end Android Phones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Everything Americans Know About Science in Seven Graphs

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

– Tangled ‘Particle’ Helps Scientists Model Rare Ball Lightning

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

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

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

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

*quirked eyebrow*

“OHHHhhhh. I see.”

Get on it, NASA.

-Years-long Storm on Neptune Winds Down

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

– Vaping Delivers Cancer Causing Chemicals

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

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

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

– California Teacher Accidentally Fires Gun in Class, Students Injured

…yep. *sigh* Yep.

– Tiger Uses Snowblower in Goffstown

No details. Mystery is the spice of life.

– Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking Has Died at 76

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

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

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

– President Envisions Space Force Someday in Military

Gotta fight dem moon Nazis. #THETRUTHISOUTTHERE

Elon Musk Poaching ‘The Onion’ Staffers For Secret Project

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

– Cops Lose Snowball Fight

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

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

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

– Self-taught Rocket Scientist Blasts Off Into California Sky

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

Dad’s hypothesis confirmed.

*ducks rotten tomato thrown by rocket scientist*

Fine. #NotAllRocketScientists …better?

– Is Your County Elections Clerk Ready for Russian Hackers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Destructive Beetle Found in Albany Pine Bush Preserve

Dammit Ringo not again. #GetBackInYourCage

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

…I am so confused right now…

– Trafficker Used Drug Money to Buy Cake Decorated With Gold

THAT. MONSTER.

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

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

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

– Martha Stewart Shares Va-va-voomy Pic

Ew what? No. NO. NOOOO!

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

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

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

– Understaffed Office That Vets Trump Employees Plagued By Inexperience

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

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

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

– Texas Bomb Squad Makes Egg Hunt For Visually Impaired Kids

“BETHIE NO! DO NOT SAY IT!”

…*presses lips together tightly*

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

Thanks for having my back.

“Anytime.”

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

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

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

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

I think we all deserve to know.

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

What an odd twist to an ordinary day…

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Mornin’ all.

Are you guys ready for a bit of intrigue?

Yesterday started as an ordinary day. I did my shift, made some sick ass Valentine’s Day cakes, contributed to the fond memories of three birthday parties in the greater metropolis area. You know. As ya do. Grabbed some groceries at the end of the work day, called salutations to a coworker who was sitting on a bench, then I made my way down to my car. As I approached, I noticed a bright Red Envelope tucked under my windshield wiper.

So it began.

At first, I wondered if my man placed it there, but almost immediately dismissed the idea. Not his style, folks. His MO of romantic surprise is to hand me a new power tool when I walk through the door, saying, “I got you something but I promise it was on sale!”

True story.

I put the groceries in the car and fired the beastie up. It’s winter still, and a 35 year old diesel can’t be expected to shift into high gear without a bit of a warm up. Hey, who can, amiright? I topped off the blue squirty juice in the windshield wiper fluid reservoir, all the while side eyeing the Red Envelope.

It has a heart on the front. Written in Sharpie, it’s not your standard heart. It’s got a straight line on the left, then the round heartiness of it at the top is sort of off centered, as if someone turned the letter “B” into a heart.

Slamming the hood with all the gusto a 35 year old hood latch requires, I grabbed the Red Envelope, got into the car, and then began an evening of intrigued wonder.

Inside there was a card. No cheap thing, either. A genuine Hallmark, with glitter flowers and cursive and hearts. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” it says on the front. I opened it up and a gift card and coupon booklet fell out. $25 to Chili’s and a coupon book from Friendly’s.

The mystery deepened. Actual money was invested.

“Who’s it from, Bethie?” you ask as you lean forward in your seat and munch your popcorn.

I don’t know. That’s why it’s a mystery. Aside from the “Hope good things bloom for you all day long,” stamped message from Hallmark, there’s a handwritten note.

“I hope you have a great day and enjoy a meal on me. -Cupid”

But wait, there’s more!

“P.S.- No strings just my good deed for the day.” With a smiley face.

Who is this Cupid?

Is it someone at work? I don’t recognize the handwriting, but I have not seen the handwriting of the majority of my coworkers. Is it a rando, someone spending their day imparting unexpected sunshine with an altruistic version of “Eenie Meenie Minie Mo?”

I have been driving myself nuts all night wondering. Analyzing. Guessing. Obsessing.

Someone put actual money into it. Whether a rando or a coworker, someone spent their own cash to brighten my day.

…or make me crazy.

Either way, well played, Cupid. I thank you, whoever you are.

I will say this…it took the edge off the winter blues for a bit. I’ve been going stir crazy the last week or so. I have a plasma cutter. A MUTHAFLIPPIN’ PLASMA CUTTER just sitting new in its box, waiting to be taken out to the back deck and used as a tool of simultaneous destruction and creation. And yet, the back deck is rudely covered in ice.

Fun fact: You can’t use a plasma cutter when you’re standing in or on water. It’s generally viewed as a very bad plan.

*sigh*

There’s a bottling up that happens when I don’t get to make things. It’s like when you try to stifle a yawn. There’s a tingle of frustration, a physical feeling that something is trying to push its way out, a building explosion that makes my hands long for the grip of a screwdriver and the vibration of a side grinder.

Are you a creative type? Do you understand what I’m talking about?

Maybe non-creative types get the same twitch when they don’t get to balance a checkbook or make a spread sheet for a few months. Maybe their hands itch for the sleek smoothness of a TI-84, and the smell of pencil shavings and graph paper in the morning air.

I gotta make something, folks. The cake decorating really helps, especially in the winter, but it’s just not the same as fusing hot metal together in the sunshine. I want to MAKE something. Really make something, with hands and sweat and swearing and grease and flux and sparks…and satisfaction.

Damn winter. Pfft.

I need another pick me up. How about I do something I’ve been saying I’d do, hm? Wouldn’t that be a nice change? Cue the dancers, fire up the band, because it’s time for a…

*** HEADLINE ROUNDUP ***

I’ve been gathering these headlines for about a month now. Some are good, some are pretty shit. But you know what? I hit “save” after I added them to the list for a reason, and I’m running with it.

You all know how this works. I snag a headline that grabs my attention, then present them to you with my deep and thoughtful insight.

…or sarcasm. Sometimes might be just a bit of sarcasm.

As always, I give you the headlines as written, in all their, um…shining glory? Yeah, we’ll go with shining glory. That card has made me feel a bit generous myself today. Ready? Then let’s do this.

– Alaska Airlines Flight Collides With Truck In Boston Airport

THEY HAVE FLYING TRUCKS IN BOSTON!??! Way to bury the lead, IBT.

– Alaska Airlines Flight Collides With Truck In Boston Airport

I don’t know what anyone was expecting. If they can’t drive properly on the ground, what makes you think a Masshole can do better in air? *ducks wicked fast tomato thrown from across the border* *fistbump my NH natives*

– Missle-alert Error Reveals Uncertainty About How To React

Wait. You mean that in a terrifying emergency with absolutely zero follow up instruction, people weren’t sure what to do? Huh. Odd.

– Hawaii Worker Who Pushed Button Reassigned After Bungled Emergency Alert

Yeaaahhh. Imma say that’s fair.

– Relatives of Martin Luther King, Jr. Critique President Trump

*crash* *scramble* *shuffle* Sorry. I wasn’t prepared for that gobsmacking breaking news feed and fell clean outta my chair. Just stunned here, folks. Give me a second to mop up the spilled coffee and come to terms with this new reality we find ourselves experiencing.

*deep, calming breath*

Okay. It’s real. It happened. We can’t take it back, just have to move forward. We can continue.

– Lawsuit: Surgeon at VA Hospital Left Scalpel in Patient for 4 Years

Did he? Or did the patient abscond with then conceal government property for four years in what he considered to be the perfect crime? Discuss.

– Statue Honoring National Anthem Found Sprayed With Red Paint

…we have a statute…honoring…a fucking song? #’Merica

– New Mexico Gun Shop’s MLK Day Ad Stirs Controversy

Top tip: If you own a gun shop, there are a few national holidays and days of observation that you probably don’t want to “celebrate” with a sale. MLK Day, Lincoln’s birthday, 9/11… Just calm yer tits and let the day pass. #HowToSucceedInBusiness

– Trump Comments, Infuriating Africans, May Set Back US Interests

As the kiddies say, Africa…I know the feels.

– Japanese City On Alert for Deadly Blowfish

*** BLOWFISH THREAT INBOUND TO JAPAN. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. ***

– Crisis Continues for Rohingya Muslims Languishing At Refugee Camps

Okay, I’m torn here. On the one hand, the situation with the Rohingya is not at all something to take lightly. If you are uninformed, Google, then get outraged. However, I feel like I have to take a second to applaud the old school wording of this headline. When was the last time you read “languishing” outside of a romance novel? Good form, CBS.

– Palestinian Leaders Urge Abbas to Withdraw Recognition of Israel

Uh, guys? Pretending Israel isn’t a thing won’t really get you anywhere…

– North Korea Scoffs at Trump’s “Nuclear Button”

Guaranteed this headline sparked a next level Rule 34. Google at your own risk. Remember, kids…what has been seen cannot be unseen.

– Hero Dog That Served in WWII Gets Posthumous Medal

Why. No, I really mean it. WHY? Who is this medal for, exactly? What purpose does this expenditure serve? Will it inspire puppies around the nation to sign up for service?

“Bethie, it’ll tell people in the future that we cared about the animals that served.”

We care about the animals we force to participate in wars they didn’t start, have zero control over, and will not benefit from the outcome in any way? Really?

“…*crickets*…”

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

– NH Mom Delivers Her Own Baby in Target Parking Lot

603 HARDCORE. #NHTough

– Syrian Boy Was Seen Gazing Into A Gym, Now He’s A Lifetime Member

This was in the “Good News” section. I guess it’s good news? I mean, it *is* uplifting.

No. I will not apologize for puns. It’s 2018. Welcome to the new world order.

– Man Resolves to Play Catch With Someone New Every Day in 2018

Um. You doin’ okay over there, Good News? Because you seem to really be stretching for these articles…

– 2017 Was A Record Year For Organ Donations

…yes, but let’s consider the flip side of this headline for a sec.

– Single Dad Who Looked For Kidney At Disney World Finds Match

I’m done. I’m done with Good News. They done lost their friggin’ minds.

– DIY Network Apologizes for Series After Star’s On-Air Anti-Semetic Slur

They filmed her asking if someone was going to “bicker” with her a bit and “Jew” her down. First, it’s dicker, you dumbass. Dicker, not bicker. Second, how sincere could this apology possibly be when the show filmed it, edited it, and approved it for air? They’re not sorry. They’re just sorry people were pissed. I know in this crazy world of social media, facts get jumbled. But, being sorry for the action and being sorry about the reaction are two totally different things.

– Crowd Mocks Grunting Tennis Player at Australian Open

*snort* I mean, boo. Not nice. Don’t do that ‘n shit. *snicker*

– Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Won’t Be Inviting This Person to Wedding

Me. It’s me. I won’t be invited. *sniff* It’s fine, really. I’ll probably be invited to something even better that night anyway.

– Proposal Would Widen Permissible Use of Nuclear Arms

WHOA now WHAT? Can I get a “HELL NO?”

– Americans Should Be “Sober” About Chance of Conflict With N. Korea: Tillerson

Hang on now. You’re talking about “widening permissible use of nuclear arms.” Our overall state of mind created utter panic when an accidental warning message was broadcast. People are literally begging the Poopypants In Chief to sit down, shut up, and let the grown ups run the country again because he won’t stop taunting a psycho. If we were any more sober, we’d be a walking Folger’s ad!

– Dems Flip Wisconsin State Senate Seat

You know what? With the state of politics right now, I can’t really pick on them for trying a bit of feng shui. Top tip: move the Rep. seats into the hallway for even better zen.

– The Latest: Ice Keeps Some Texas Schools Closed

You know the pisser about this headline? I can’t tell if they’re talking about actual weather or immigration enforcement squads. It’s Texas. Which is more likely?

– Japan Government Tells Broadcaster Not To Repeat False Missile Alert

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BLOWFISH??!! Are they covering that up, too?!?

– Man Tries To Board Flight Wearing Everything He Packed, Gets The Boot

In hindsight, he probably shouldn’t have worn the fleshlight as a necklace. Think it pushed things over the edge.

– Camel Beauty Pageant Kicks Out 12 Animals for Botox

If you ever feel like your life isn’t going so hot, just remember that somewhere in the world, 12 camel owners wanted their camels to win a fucking beauty pageant so badly that they injected beasts of burden with botox. Puts forgetting to buy milk after work into perspective, eh?

– How A Dunkin’ Donuts Bag of Cash Led to Mayor’s Downfall

A bag of cash?? I’ve never once gotten anything but heartburn from DD! (I’d just like to point out that I avoided an “America runs on Dunkin’” politics pun. It might be 2018’s new world order, but I do still have a heart. You’re welcome.)

– Allen’s Next Movie May Never See the Light of Day

GOOD. Here’s a dude who MARRIED HIS OWN DAUGHTER. Is it really a stretch to think he may have done something with his other daughter? REALLY??

– Can’t Stand the Sound of Someone Chewing? Here’s Why.
Because it’s gross to hear the slurping and snarfling of you inhaling potato salad, Tina. Shit. Chew with your mouth shut already. #FuckingTina

– Newborn Baby Bear Cubs Found In Dumpster

I don’t know why you conservatives are surprised. That’s what’s going to happen when you cut funding for contraceptives while simultaneously promoting an abstinence only policy in schools. What do you expect these young mothers to do? #PillForBears

– Wade Admits Lebron Caught Him Watching Heat

I don’t blame him for being embarrassed. That movie sucked.

– Trump Accuses Democrats of Playing Politics With Memo

…but…I mean…that’s their job. Politics. That’s why they’re called politicians. IT’S RIGHT IN THEIR TITLE. My god he’s so damn stupid.

– Never Make These Mistakes When Frying An Egg

You don’t know me. You don’t know my struggles. #MyBreakfastMyLife

– High School Science Fair Project Questioning the IQ of African Americans Sparks Outrage

Honestly, exactly what the headline said. A kid did an entire science project based on his assertion that Africans, African Americans, Southeast Asians, and South Americans have a lower IQ, which is why they are not well represented in elite academic programs around the US. I just have to bring something up that wasn’t addressed in the articles I read covering the story. I did my fair share of science projects. Normally, the idea is passed by a teacher, and the project has teacher oversight through the course of preparation. Are they really expecting us to believe that no one on a supervisory level had any idea this kid was going to publicly present this project? Seriously? My eyebrow will remain dubiously quirked until the blame is shared by ALL involved.

– Olympics Unite Koreas for First Time In 65 Years, But Will It Spark Real Change?

Hm, good question…

– Seoul Protesters Burn North Korea Flag Before Concert

…aaand we can put that question to rest.

– Man Brings Wife’s Ashes to Eagles Parade: “She Was A Diehard Fan”

Oh boy. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. You know what? This will be our DIY headline. Insert your own joke.

– Oklahoma Woman Gets Reduced Sentence After Getting Sterilized, Per Judge’s Request

No. No no no no no. NO. This on infuriates me. It’s wrong on every single level. A judge has no right to dangle a lighter sentence over someone’s head if they get sterilized. It’s barbaric. It goes against everything we should be standing for as a nation: freedom and justice. This one move eradicates both. He used his power of authority to pressure someone in a tenuous position into following his personal beliefs. At the same time, this woman didn’t end up paying for the crimes she committed. There is no freedom in this act. There is no justice. This better not become the norm. I don’t want to live in North Korea.

– Trump Still Pushing For Tank Parade In Spite of Lack of Support

What part of “I don’t want to live in North Korea” are these asshats not understanding?!

– Hammer-wielding Man Attempts To Rob Intrepid Museum Gift Shop

The thought process that must have transpired before this crime is staggeringly entertaining to imagine.

– “Moody” Female Show Dogs Don’t Get Same Opportunities As Males

Did…did they just…but…they’re…DOGS…

I’m trying, but it’s physically impossible to sigh hard enough to express the proper level of exasperation. It’s making me light headed.

– OxyContin Maker Will Stop Promoting Opiods To Doctors

So now I’m not only lightheaded from the exasperated sighing, but I’ve developed a spasm from rolling my eyes too hard. I can’t quit on this note. I came here to find distracting chuckles, not knuckleheads furthering the annoyance. Come on, news. You gotta give me SOMETHING…

– Charities Warned After Oxfam Haiti Prostitute Charges

I can think of a missionary position joke…but should I? I need something better…

– Scientists Put 3D Glasses on Praying Mantises

Admittedly amusing, but not meaty enough…

– How Speed Skaters Go So Dang Fast

Gee willikers it’s getting better in a hip hurry…

– Observatory Spots Elon Musk’s Roadster Zooming Through Space

And here it is! We have a winner!

A guy put a test dummy in a muthaflippin’ convertible so it could blissfully zoom through space. One day, an alien may just find that car with that dummy. Can you imagine the absolute confusion if THAT is our first contact???

I found my happy thought for the day.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Sunday, February 11, 2018. Seriously, if anyone reading this knows who Cupid is, lemme know. I keep eyeballing the Red Envelope and wondering….

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

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Mornin’ all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right.

“And I’m here, too, right?”

Welllll….technically…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Google

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

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

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

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

“Do you miss that stuff?”

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

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

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

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

“UGH.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we need here is a plan…

Standard

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

*picks cobwebs off monitor*

*blows dust out of keyboard*

Mornin’ all.

My day started with a dead body.

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

Mice. Not the brightest animals in the natural world.

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

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

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

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

No more trick-or-treaters. *sniff*

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

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

“Bethie, you sound excited.”

I am!

“But…it’s…jury duty.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Nope” was the correct answer.

I prodded. “Are you sure?”

“Yep.”

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

“Yes.”

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

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

I. Hate. That.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guess we’ll find out.

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