Veni, Vidi, Vacacci

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Mornin’ all.

Welp, I made it to the other side of the country and back! The journey started out a bit rough. The flights were late and turbulent, we got into town amid the biggest police chase I’ve ever seen (don’t worry, the cops hit another innocent bystander, not us. True story.), found out the reservations for our hotel were for the wrong days at 1 am…

I was not expecting a smooth trip because those don’t really happen. There are always little blips and glitches. At least we got the majority of them out of the way the first day. The only other thing that went really poorly during the week was my mistake in ordering cole slaw at a restaurant.

Is it a whole west coast thing to not put sugar in your cole slaw or just the Oregon area? No sugar, and they added dill. I get wanting to make a slaw that’s your own and unique and original and all, but friggin’ DILL!?! I like a lot of things about Oregon. However, if that’s the cole slaw standard out there, it might just be one of those cultural chasms that is simply too wide to cross.

It was a fun trip, real time COPS episode and dill-infected cole slaw aside. I am very pleased to report that while our beloved family member still has a lot of recovery ahead, she is herself. Strong, sassy, funny. We didn’t pimp out her wheelchair, mostly because it seems like she’s not going to need to use it very much. She has a cane that’s already a majestic swirly metallic purple color and hopefully soon that’ll be her only walking aid. I didn’t even have to use my own glitter. She already had it covered.

There’s an indoor carousel the city of Albany, OR decided to build a couple years ago because…reasons? I’ll admit, my first thought was, “Why the hell would anyone build an indoor carousel in this day and age? I MUST KNOW.” After I went there, I now firmly believe that everyone should build an indoor carousel in this day and age. I mean, look at this:

Have you ever seen a more majestic carousel horse/mermaid/thing? No. No you have not.

We also went mini golfing. There were seven of us teeing off, as my man’s best friend since childhood joined us for putt putt shenanigans. We pushed our slightly incapacitated family member in her wheelchair around the course to watch us royally suck. It took us hours to get through 18 holes. The secret to stretching your vacation dollars is to pick an activity you’re really very bad at. Just do it with a group that can laugh at themselves and have a good time through the painful embarrassment of inadequacy.

There are a ton of little differences between NH and OR I noticed this time around that I didn’t really absorb the first time we went out, both natural and cultural. I think I mentioned last time that I love the trees out there. Hell, I love every tree. I think that’s a prerequisite for being a hippie, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure that if I became ambivalent about trees I’d find myself in the middle of a drum circle where people in dreads and tank tops rubbed their power crystals on me in a bid to bring back my connection with the universe.

There are just so many kinds of trees out there that we don’t have out here. It’s not just “green” in the summer in OR. It’s every shade of green. Every type of leaf. Fruit trees all over the place. I don’t know if the people who grow up there really appreciate it. I was small-talking to one of the family members out there during a picnic about the trees and they pointed out that they don’t have sugar maples. One for us, seven hundred forty three for them.

There are filbert farms around Albany. I’d never seen a tree nut farm before, but we passed many. And they were HUGE. All the farms are enormous compared to the ones we’ve got out this way. Row after row after row of filbert trees. We drove by a pumpkin farm that had to be half a mile long. Pumpkin after pumpkin after pumpkin…

I know those of you who grew up there and other areas of the country with wide, flat plains perfect for cultivation must be thinking, “Oh, Bethie, you simpleton. How little you know about life.” You have to keep in mind that I grew up in an area that’s full of farms…just very little ones in comparison. We have way too many hills and rocky outcroppings that we generously call mountains to make the same type of contribution to the nation’s bread basket.

It’s not just farm land that produces in enormous quantities for the good folks of the west. We were there in peak summer, which meant that blackberries were in season. I think I’ve mentioned before that we always had a “huge” blackberry picking harvest the first week of August when we were kids. My grandparents had a very large patch of them, and we’d spend a whole day alternating between picking berries and detangling ourselves from the thorns. We’d come out with buckets and buckets of berries, and my mum would spend days making and freezing pies and pie babies (which are little pies made in muffin tins and are the absolute best), and our fingers would be purple for days.

That patch had nothing on Oregon. There are blackberries EVERYWHERE. My man says they can’t control them. I always thought he was over-blowing the situation. Naw. They are all over the place. On the side of the road, up against buildings, along parking lot fencing. There are signs all over for blackberry removal services. Meanwhile, out here in the grocery stores they cost $3.99/half pint. I suppose if I lived in Oregon, I’d get sick of blackberries, too. But, being a visitor, I was just very jealous. I saw all those patches and had pie baby cravings like you wouldn’t believe.

Where are all your motorcycles, Oregonians?

Out here, summer means a couple things on the roads: road work and motorcycles. From April to October, the early morning birdies are interrupted in their sing song by the dulcet BWAAAMMMMTHUMTHUMTHUMBWAAAAAMMM tones of Hondas and Harleys. People drive them to work. People drive them to the store to buy one or two small items. People drive them just to get out and feel the breeze up their sleeves and get the rush only a bug ass splatting on their helmets can provide. Not-Teen-Anymore Prime pointed out that he hadn’t seen a single motorcycle while we were toolin’ around out there, and we kept count after that. One on the road, and one parked in a driveway. That was it. That was all we saw for the week.

I brought it up when I was in schmooze mode, and my brother in law rushed to say, “Of course we’ve got a lot of motorcycles…” before he stopped and frowned and said, “Hm. Hang on. Maybe we don’t. I guess I never really noticed.”

You don’t, man. Take my word for it. It’s 4:14 am and I’ve already heard one go by. If you think you have a motorcycle culture, Oregonians, I’m sorry to burst your bubble.

One thing they do have, though, is cars. Car after car after car. I always thought my man’s propensity to collect vehicles was a family thing. His father was big into cars, his oldest brother is as well. I thought it was a family hobby. No. It is an Oregonian hobby. Very few homes in the town of 50,000 we were staying in had only one car. Most had at least two. And I’d say a good half of them had three or more, even the economically depressed areas. The houses were tiny and run down, but boy was there some nice Detroit steel in the drive. This dude collects Volkswagons, that chick had a yard full of RVs. Many custom jobs, too.

In our little hamlet, we are the odd ones. We are a landmark for people giving directions. “If you pass the crazy Mercedes people, you’ve gone too far.” Out there we wouldn’t even be worth mentioning. EVERYONE is a crazy car person.

It gives me a deeper insight into my man’s need to have the driveway filled at all times. I don’t know how to use this knowledge, but at least I have it now.

The flights home were poorly planned. I naively believed I could sleep on the plane. It took off at around 11 pm Oregon time and landed in Atlanta at 5ish am normal time. As it turns out, I cannot sleep on a plane. Maybe it was the turbulence from the multiple thunderstorms we passed through. Maybe it was the cramped space. Maybe it was the worry of snoring in a plane full of people. I didn’t sleep a wink. I didn’t sleep from 5 am Thursday to 6 pm FRIDAY. I haven’t pulled a stint like that since college.

I got home to find that my pile of shit’s all still here, which vexes me slightly. I thought we had a deal? I even left the back door unlocked. Guys. Really?

Since I’ve been back, I keep having bad dreams about traveling home. Not nightmares, because they aren’t about plane crashes or anything like that. As I said before, I never worry about the plane crashing. I trust the science. Just bad dreams about travel woes. Every night this past week, I’ve had at least one bad dream that the plane was delayed or rerouted or we had the wrong tickets or we were just stuck going plane to plane to plane in an endless loop. What the ever lovin’ hell, brain? I’m here, dumbass self. We made it back just fine. I had a good night of sleep the first night home, because how could I not after being up a day and a half? But every single night since has been tossing and turning from mental turbulence.

I’ve got no idea how to make it stop. Logic isn’t doing jack shit. Maybe I need to proclaim my ambivalence for trees and let the circle of hippies my words summon use their power crystals to reach out to the universe to help me figure it out.

That kind of seems like a worst case scenario, though, doesn’t it? I’ll give it a few more days before pulling that particular trigger. Power crystals are fairly extreme.

Thus concludes a Muse for Sunday, August 18, 2019. I’ve got a day of car repairs ahead of me. Maybe that’ll tucker me out enough not to have travel dreams.

You don’t get out much, do you, JanSport?

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Mornin’ all.

Want some coffee? The youngest pup has begun to take over coffee making duties as the elder brothers are preparing to spread their wings in their own place.

“What!? The boys are moving ou…”

WE’RE NOT READY TO TALK ABOUT THAT.

“…*blink**blink*…”

…sorry. *achem*

Anyway, the resident coffee apprentice has made this morning’s pot of Joe. Feel free to grab a cup. Er, you might want a spoon to stir in the copious amounts of creamer and sugar it takes to choke it down. Also helps you scoop out the grounds at the bottom of the cup when you’re done.

*sip**spasm**twitch* Hey, he’s not doing too bad!

I need the jolt today as I have a lot to do. We will be traveling soon and I have a ton of prep to do.

“Uh, Bethie? You’re not supposed to tell the internet you won’t be home.”

I didn’t say when. I didn’t say where we live, exactly. And everyone that reads this knows I’m a hoarder. All my shit would be a bitter disappointment to anyone who went through the hassle of breaking in. I clearly can’t get rich off this heap of crap. In fact, if someone came and stole some shit while I’m gone, it would probably actually help me more than it would help them.

Hit me up if you are desperate enough for the $34.73 you’d get outta this junk to slog through greasy car parts and broken appliances and I’ll leave a door unlocked for ya. Just watch out for the guard kitty. She may glare at you with her judgy eyes.

I don’t travel well. I get so nervous and worked up, especially since this is an airplane situation, not a road trip. I have to get 6 people packed, make sure they all leave the house with at least their IDs, clean underwear, and tablets (we can take care of anything else that gets lost), get them to the airport, make sure the IDs, clean underwear, and tablets get out of the rental, turn in the rental, get to the gate, get all 6 people on the plane with IDs, clean underwear, and tablets, make sure they get OFF the plane together at the layover, get on the new plane with IDs, clean underwear, and tablets, get off the next plane and load into the next rental to drive to the hotel, then keep track of at least the IDs and tablets through the week, before we reverse the process.

I will be utterly amazed if we make it back home with all the IDs and tablets. At that point, I won’t even care about the underwear.

Then there’s the issue of checked luggage. Four planes, four chances to lose luggage. I was thinking we’d each just carry a backpack with our own stuff and skip the checked luggage all together. It’s not a long trip, and we’re simple people. It’s not like we need tuxes and ballgowns or anything like that.

I wasn’t sure if a standard backpack would fit the dimensions of the carry on bag limits for the airline. There was a sponsored link on the airline site for JanSport, a big maker of backpacks. I clicked it to see product dimensions so I could get an idea of what kind I should look for at Walmart.

Have you ever been to the JanSport website?

I can’t imagine many have, but you sure wouldn’t know that if you went to their site. They really think you have been dying to go there, and that you’ll be eager to go back often. As soon as you start to scroll on their page, a pop up appears asking you to sign up for their newsletter.

To keep up with the latest news.

About backpacks.

Are…are there rabid fans of backpacks? Are there honestly people who read that and say to themselves, “I don’t want to miss a single news story about backpacks. Sign me up!” Do these people JanSport is convinced exist REALLY exist?

And what kind of news would it be?

“Hold on to your straps, folks, because Gene down in engineering has just come up with a new type of over-stitching that will revolutionize the zipper installation process.”

“THIS JUST IN: Phyllis Cordly, a long time JanSport enthusiast, has reported from the field that the water bottle pocket on our TS3000 Trekker also perfectly fits the 14 oz. size bottle of Deep Woods Off. We’re always looking for your JanSport innovation stories, so be like Phyllis and send in your backpack discoveries! #backpackdiscoveries #teamPhyllis”

“They said it couldn’t be done, but after 25 years of research and laboratory testing, JanSport is proud to announce our 47 pocket all purpose backpack. That’s right, 47 pockets. For those counting, that’s 5 more than the previous record of 42 held by North Face for over 8 years.”

…I must admit, I’m oddly curious. Not curious enough to actually sign up for it, mind you. Sorry, JanSport.

We’re traveling to Oregon to visit my man’s family. Last time we went, it was to visit his father after his cancer diagnosis. It was a heavy trip. His father was severely ill by the time of the diagnosis, and we all knew why we dropped everything to get there in time. The kids had already lost two grandfathers, an uncle, and a close family friend by that point, and they knew first hand what cancer meant because of our own experiences with my son’s successful, yet brutal, battle. All of that loss and stress and pain was still fairly fresh for them. We all knew what was coming, we all knew that it would be our last visit with someone we loved. It was a good trip, and we had fun during it, but it was definitely a trip we didn’t want to have to take.

And now we’re going back out to see another family member who had a huge medical incident. She’s fighting through it, and I, for one, am convinced this will NOT be a “last visit” scenario. I am determined to view this trip differently than the last, and I get the feeling that everyone else is doing the same.

At least, we’re trying to. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t that niggling of fear. I think the niggle is inescapable. We just have to get there and see for ourselves that the woman we know and love is still there, fun and sassy and with a stylin’ new set of wheels. Maybe she’ll want us to pimp out her new wheelchair. Should I pack glitter just in case?

I don’t know why I bothered to ask. Of course I’ll pack glitter. It doesn’t take up much space in a backpack and you never know when you’re going to need it.

It’ll be fine.

Right?

It will. We’ll all make it to the airport. We’ll all get on the right planes. We’ll have at least the important stuff with us. And then we’ll have fun helping an amazing lady laugh and joke and get up to mischief and shenanigans. I’ll come back and tell you all the ways the trip did not go as expected and we’ll have a good laugh while we chew on our morning coffee.

Now that sounds like a good plan.

Thus concludes a quick Musing for Tuesday, July 30, 2019. I have to take one of the boys to the DMV for a second attempt at getting an ID. Last time it was two hours only to find out they needed a piece of paperwork we didn’t have. Ah. Such fun. *chugs coffee* Okay, DMV. BRING IT.

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

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Mornin’ all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– You’d Never Guess These Salads Are Vegan

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

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

Really dug deep on that one.

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

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

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

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

– Here’s What Melania Trump is Doing Today

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

– China Warns Citizens Against Travel To The US

Can you blame them? Really?

– Why Financial Literacy is Being Taught In Schools Across America

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

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

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

– Man Captivates Cows With Saxophone Serenade

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

– Woman Spreads ‘Hope’ To Tornado Damage Victims

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

– New Hampshire Installs First Historical Marker to Honor Computer Programming

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

– Facebook To Unveil New Cryptocurrency

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

– Palestinian Leaders Reject Kushner’s Economic Plan

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

– Great Jobs To Boost Your Income When Retired

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

– Underwood ‘Speechless’ Over Cheese Sculpture

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

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

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

– Police Arrest 70 Climate Change Protesters Outside New York Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah.”

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

“Hm. Are there kids involved?”

Yeah.

*WARNING* *WARNING* *WARNING*

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

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

But just the tip.

*WARNING* *WARNING* *WARNING*

…no sex abuse jokes either?

“NO!”

Hmph. Fun killer.

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

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

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

Only three?

– Fish Eggs Can Hatch After Being Pooped Out By Swans

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

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

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

– This Robot Fish Has Robot Blood

…soooo…oil?

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

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

1. A dust ruffle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Pompeo Confirms Trump Sent Kim Jong Un Letter

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

– Pompeo Confirms Trump Sent Kim Jong Un Letter

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

– How A Trump Tax Cut Helped A Billionaire Win Big

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– This New Poll Finds Widespread Islamphobia Among Conservatives

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

– Hang Gliding From Texas To Canada For Breast Cancer Research

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

– 7 Purchases You Should Never Make

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

– How The Cost Of College Has Changed Over The Years

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

– Owner Of ‘Attack Squirrel’ Arrested After Chase

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

– Trump Declares Himself Winner In Democratic Debates

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

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

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

– This is THE Best Cherry Margarita

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

– How To Prevent Sunburned Eyes

Blink.

– Stowaway Falls Into A Garden From An Airliner

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

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

Why does this headline feel so uncomfortable? *shudder*

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

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

– England Takes On USWNT

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

“NO!”

…Unwanted Silly Word Nerd Tomfoolery. *sniff*

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Stores Encourage Shoppers To Bring Their Own Bags

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The Risks Of Crowdsourcing Kids’ Screen Decisions

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

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

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

*deep breath* We need a palate cleanser.

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

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

“…that’s your palate cleanser?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fair warning, I’m a bit rusty…

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Mornin’ all.

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I had a rough winter, folks. Just one of those very difficult emotional times for me where I get stuck in my own head and hoard unhelpful thoughts. And then, even after the fog cleared, trepidation remained. There was a feeling of wanting to write, but being afraid that doing so would open Pandora’s box.

It’s like when you break a leg. Months of crutching around babying your injury teach you to continue babying it well after the x-rays prove you’re all patched up, just in case you push too hard too fast and end up right back on the crutch.

I fully believe all creative people have some kind of love/hate relationship with the overactive emotions which lead to creativity in the first place.

I’m good. I’ve been good for a little while. I was just afraid that putting things into writing and making them real might cause my mental sciatica to flare up again.

*cleansing sigh* There. That feels better!

Now that we’ve gotten that bullshit out of the way, I’m going to piss some of you off.

…I mean, I hope I don’t. I hope you’ll listen to what I’m actually saying instead of half-hearing a few of the particulars. I hope that even if you don’t agree with me, you come to an understanding of my point of view.

“Um, Bethie? This sounds like you’re about to talk about politics.”

WHAT? Politics as the topic of my first post in months?? That would be monumentally stupid. Sheesh. I’m rusty, but I’m not a newb.

“Phew. Because I was about to hit the warning button.”

No, I’m just going to talk about religion.

“…uh oh…”

You still have that button, though, huh? Sweet. Put it away for now. It’s completely unnecessary for the kind of mild, civil conversations people love to have about religions.

Say, do you still happen to have that sarcasm squeegie as well? Because it’s dripping off my screen pretty bad at the moment.

Something happened at work yesterday that really made me angry. And while I do not have a platform at work, with the customer, I do have a small platform here. I’ll get to why I’m actually writing this later. First, the story.

I made a cake for a customer.

“HOW DARE YOU!!??”

Whoa now, Trigger. We’re not at the controversial part yet. Calm down.

I made a cake for a customer, and when she came to pick it up, it cost less than she was quoted by one of my coworkers. She said, “That’s wonderful because my wallet loves to clamp down tight and keep money inside!”

I said, “Really? Because it seems like my wallet can’t wait to get rid of money as soon as it gets some in it!”

It was a joke, lighthearted banter between purveyor of cakes and willing consumer. Not my best, but in the moment it felt like a decent exchange. I expected maybe a titter, perhaps a forced chuckle before we wished each other a good day and moved on with our lives. That’s how customer interactions are supposed to work. That’s capitalism, guys. That’s what we’re promised under the waving banner of red, white, and blue. They want a thing, I give them the thing, we exchange hollow pleasantries, and it’s done. Badabing, on to the next.

Folks, she did not chuckle. Instead, she got very, very serious and intense. She said, “I’m going to share an experience with you that will change your life and get rid of your worries about money. You need to stop thinking you can control any of it and you need to put your finances in the hands of the lord.”

This is the point in a conversation where I scramble to come up with an exit strategy. In my personal life off the company’s dime I might engage a bit, ask a few questions. But I wasn’t in my personal life. I was standing there, purveyor and customer, working for a corporation that would absolutely 100% not tolerate me saying anything but, “Oh. I’m glad that worked for you.” So that’s what I said. I figured that combined with my clear discomfort would nicely close out the conversation.

If that’s what happened, I wouldn’t be writing this. If the lady realized I was at work, on the clock, not free to discuss my thoughts on religion or specific tenets, said something like, “Me too! You have a good day now!” and left, we would not be sitting here together with at least one of us getting angry again just thinking about the interaction.

Instead of taking the social cue, she kept talking. “My husband had a kidney transplant. It left us with medical bills you cannot imagine. You have no idea what that type of medical procedure can cost. None at all.”

I’m trying to think of how I can adequately explain the way this woman was just preaching her script. It was as if she was reading the testimonies off one of those recruitment pamphlets. As soon as she said her husband had a kidney transplant, I said, “I’m so sorry. Is he better now?” Instead of answering or even acknowledging that the other person involved in this “conversation” spoke, she just plowed ahead.

I couldn’t help myself from interrupting again when she asserted that I couldn’t possibly understand a very expensive medical situation. I said, “Oh, I get it. My son had cancer and a stem cell transplant. I understand high medical bills.”

That stopped her…but not in the way one might expect. She said, “But we had to pay for the donor’s medical, too. Did you have to do that? I don’t think so, so you can’t understand.”

Right there, she proved this was not about me. It was about her. It was not about helping me, it was about her saying her peace.

And then she went right back into the script. She started talking about how broke they were, how there was no way out, how they were scraping by and yada yada. Then she says, “So I got down on my knees and opened my book and asked the lord to take care of my financial problems. And from that moment on, it was like a whole new world opened up to me.”

I said, “I’m very glad that worked for you. I’m not really in a financial pit. I was just joking about the wallet. Really, I’m not stressed or worried. Can I help you get your cake in the cart?”

She said, “But you are worried and you should be worried with those bills hanging over you! Don’t you see that you’re in a cycle that will never change until you open yourself up to god and let him guide you?”

I said, “Thanks, but honestly, I’m good.”

Once again, she just reverted to script. “I got down on my knees and I put my money in god’s hands and you can’t believe what a relief it was. With his guidance I was able to start setting aside a day’s pay. One day’s pay from every check, no matter what other bills needed to be paid. And you know what happened?”

Guys, if you think she paused for me to respond in any way, you haven’t been following along.

“I started a savings account with that money. It didn’t matter how broke we were, by doing that, god provided.”

She went on. At this point, I had realized it was a script and that I wasn’t going to get her out of it and only responded with “Mm,” and, “uh huh” until she wound down. It lasted about five minutes. No joke. And at the end, she gets this look on her face and says, “Oh! I don’t know what compelled me to tell you about all that!”

Bull. Fucking. Shit.

Let’s be absolutely clear about the point of anger and frustration for me. I don’t give a rat’s ass what she believes. She’s completely entitled to her beliefs. I have never and will never say anything to the contrary. If she wants to think that her god made her grow up a little and stop blowing her money, then have at it, lady. If that’s what she wants to credit with her savings account, okay.

I was at work, though. I was on the clock. I was doing my job in customer service, and as such, I was an unwilling captive audience. It was not only beyond inappropriate in terms of standard socially acceptable situations to preach to me in that moment, it was frankly rude and selfish.

“But Bethie, she felt compelled by her god to have a conversation.”

No. She felt entitled to completely disregard me at every turn in what was supposed to be a human interaction. That means two people contributing to a conversation. She was not letting me contribute. She did not WANT me to contribute. She wasn’t having a conversation with me at all. She was doing what her religion has told her she has the right to do and just pushing her beliefs at me in my place of business where she knew full well I couldn’t really say anything to shut her down.

Every time I tried to politely stop the conversation, she utterly ignored me and kept right on pushing what she wanted to sell.

That’s not a way to deal with people, folks. That’s not a way to convert people. That’s not a way to get someone to listen to a new point of view. That’s just being an asshole.

I guarantee she went home and told her family that her god guided her to tell me how to fix financial woes that- once again, let me be abundantly clear- I specifically stated I did not have. I don’t have outstanding medical bills from that time. They’re all done and gone. I’m not one to be worried about money beyond being able to pay the bills and feed my kids. That’s never been a big thing to me. I am not the person she convinced herself I am, and she would have known that if she just stopped and listened.

But she didn’t.

I guarantee that she is telling everyone who’ll listen that she “preached her truth” to me and showed me the light and that her god worked through her and isn’t she just the BEST in the flock for being “brave” enough to just let the words and works flow through her and…

It vexes me, guys. It really, really does. I’m sorry, lady, but no, you did not “reach” me in any way. THAT’S why I’m saying something right now. I couldn’t speak up and say it yesterday, and there is zero chance that that particular lady will ever read this. But I can say it here, to all of you, just in case your religions have told you this is a good method of recruitment and a good way to get on in society. It’s beyond rude to preach to someone while they are working. It just is. And if you don’t think so, I’ll send a Muslim on over to your office to give you tips from allah on how you can save TWO day’s worth of pay. I’m sure you’ll have no problem with that.

Get my point?

I understand that people want to share what they feel worked for them. But there’s an appropriate time and place for preaching. That was neither. I didn’t ask for financial advice. I didn’t ask for religious advice. I made it as clear as I could while I was stuck in the confines of corporate shillery that I did not want to be preached to, and my wishes were summarily ignored.

I’m writing this because so many religions have told their adherents that this behavior is okay. It’s not. It’s just not, guys. This is not how to make friends and influence people in a mixed society. I would never, ever go to someone’s place of business and try to get them to question their beliefs. Never. If you have done this to other people, here is an inside look at how you’re coming off to the people you convinced yourself you’re reaching. It’s a dick move. Don’t do it.

…see? No need to be angry. I wasn’t blasting the ideas. I could counter them, and this particular forum WOULD be an appropriate place. But that’s not what this is about. That’s not what made me angry. It’s not about the ideas. It’s about personal behavior and crossing the boundaries of civil interaction. I don’t care if it’s a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Hini, or a Jew, or a Jainism monk. I don’t care if they’re telling me that God, or Allah, or Yahweh, or Vishnu will help my financial future. This is offensive as a situation, independent of the ideas the person is conveying.

If you feel angry or defensive right now, just think about it. That’s all I’m asking. Think about how you’re being seen from the other side of the coin. Think about how you’d feel in the other person’s shoes. That “doing unto others” bit is a very good piece of advice, no matter who said it.

Thus concludes a not at all controversial, extremely boring and mundane Musing for Sunday, June 2, 2019. I have so many cars to fix and a house to paint and a lawn to mow and a hoard to unload and… Mental ennui takes a toll across the board. At least I’ve got some terrible coffee to kick me in gear…

Hookers and blow are just not my style…

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Mornin’ all.

Hang on a sec. I need to put on some music today. I’m thinking we go retro. A bit of rainy winter morning Depeche Mode to go with the coffee.

“Are we emo today, Bethie?”

Nah, I just got up in a funky mood. I had weird dreams last night and the vibe lingers. There are two types of weird dreams:

1. run-of-the-mill slightly odd dreams, where you wake up and say, “….huh. Okay, then.”

2. mental trip so far out there that you wake up in a cold sweat and google the symptoms of psychopathy just to make sure you’re not in the grips of a serious meltdown

Fortunately, mine were just the odd ball type. Don’t worry, guys. I haven’t cracked up entirely.

Yet.

You know what? I got through one and a half Depeche Modes, and I’m good. Depeche Mode is great in short bursts, but I don’t think I want to hang out with them all morning. I don’t have enough Aqua net and purple eye shadow to pull it off. Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole. That’s what today needs. Ukes over synthesizers to perk this morning up.

Can I have a midlife crisis?

I’ve been thinking about this recently because I read an article title that at first pissed me off but then became a reality check.

45 Year Old Out To Prove Middle Aged Women Can Still Be Desirable

My gut reaction was to let my inner sassy biotch out for a second to have her say. Oh *clap* no *clap* they *clap* did *clap* NOT. Of COURSE a woman can be desirable at ANY age you absolute condescending knob. And…middle aged? MIDDLE AGED? Ec-SCUSE me?! Since when is 45 “middle aged?” 45 is still young and vibrant and…

…and…

…half of 90…which would…be…

…oh.

While my sassy inner self is still riled up about the antiquated idea that women have a shelf life, she was put in her place a bit when it sank in that 45 is, indeed, middle aged. 45, which seemed so old to me only a handful of years ago. I’m not at the 45 mark, but I’m not that far off. Factor in the other things that go into determining longevity (or lack thereof) and I’m probably a good bit PAST the middle of my life.

I am quite thoroughly ensconced in my middle age.

“Uh oh. Are you listening to Depeche Mode still, Bethie? Because it sounds like we might be going from a funk to a depression.”

No, actually I’m bebopping to Modern English. Back to 80s, just peppy 80s.

I’m not depressed about it. I just guess I never thought of my age in terms of the overall lifespan. You don’t when you’re young, do you? When you’re 18, 20, 25, you never usually stop and work out the fractions. Life is life, and my life at those years was filled with many babies and the constant scramble to figure out how to feed them all with no money. There’s not much time for existential pondering.

I hit the milestone birthdays, and of course I took a second to consider a bit what they meant. Maybe I had a halfhearted day of realization here and there, but never a deep and actual understanding of the passage of time. It never really occurred to me that I was creeping up on the halfway mark.

I’m here. I’m probably past the halfway mark. And yet, I have not had a single midlife crisis. I’m really dropping the ball.

What kind of midlife crisis should I have?

Slick cars and loose women are too cliché. Besides, I don’t roll in either of those directions. I like my cars the way I like my men…old and loud.

Let’s see. What are some other classic midlife crises? Pierced ear and wardrobe change. Bleh. I have always hated the idea of repeatedly sticking a metal object into my body, and a wardrobe change sounds like a lot of work. I’d have to do research. And go to…malls *shudder*. I could get a new hair style I guess. What’s a hip hair style the kids sport these days? Whiffle cut?

I could start going to clubs.

“OMG, Bethie, if you do that you MUST Snapchat the entire experience.”

It was a joke. Calm down. I’m not going clubbing.

You look disappointed. Hm. Okay, here and now, I make you a promise. You’ve been a good friend to me. You deserve to be there for my life’s most awkward moments. I make you a solemn and sincere vow that if I ever go to a club, I will most definitely film the experience for your enjoyment, k?

None of the classic midlife breaks from the norm feel right. Most midlife crises happen because people are actually in crisis mode when they realize youth is slipping away. I’m not. I don’t want to recapture my youth. I HATED my youth. I didn’t like who I was as a youth, either. I MUCH prefer myself now at 40. Yes, aching knees and stiff hip and pressing-desire-to-get-a-glass-display-cabinet-like-all-grandmas-have and all. The whole package now is far more appealing to me than the hurting, lost, stressed, miserable 20 year old I was. Her knees were better, but that was about it. I even prefer my hair streaked with gray. I earned these grays. I faced shit and LIVED. Each gray hair that waves in the breeze is a flag of victory.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to take advantage of societal expectations to get away with something that would otherwise be considered unseemly. Why can’t I have a midlife crisis just because I’m not pining for the me of yesterday? Like the gray hair, I think I’ve earned it.

REO Speedwagon just came on!!! I haven’t dusted off this playlist in awhile and I forgot what was on here. “I believe it’s time for me to flyyyyyyyyy-aye-aye-eee-aye…” Fitting.

I don’t know, guys. I suppose I’ll just have to think about it some more. I have to decide soon, though, or else I’ll miss my midlife entirely and slip right into the “is it dementia or is she just eccentric” years, and I already have firm plans for those. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but there may or may not be a suped up power scooter, feather boa, and bedazzled ten gallon hat on tap for my 57th birthday.

Guess you’ll have to wait and see.

Thus concludes a bit of a ramble for Sunday, December 2, 2018. Maybe I’ll come up with a midlife crisis action plan while I’m doing housework. Anything to take my mind off the drudgery of *shudder* organizing The Pile.

All too quiet on the Eastern front…

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Mornin’ all.

As it turns out, this week had a couple life lessons in store for me.

First, never buy McCafe coffee, no matter how good the sale or how big the coupon. I’m not talking about the cups of it you get at McDonald’s. That’s fine. Rather bland, but overall fine. I’m talking about the cans of grounds you bring home and brew yourself. Those are not fine. They not bland, either. The grounds have a distinctive tinny taste with light notes of rotting tree bark and a bouquet of dirt. Avoid it. Learn from my mistakes.

The other big thing I learned this week is that “empty nest” is going to royally suck when it happens. The littlest pup is on a school trip until Friday afternoon and I am finding myself adrift. It’s been compounded by the offspring formerly known as Teen Prime (still working on a new nickname) and my man having closing shifts all week. That leaves just me and Teen 2.0. And the cat. And maybe a mouse, but I don’t hear him this morning so the cat may have erased him from the equation as well.

RIP Stuart. *pours a bit of peanut butter out for the homie*

It’s a quiet week in my natural habitat and I do not like quiet weeks.

Ah well. The littlest pup is only 12. I figure I still have at least six years of the older kids slowly moving away to get acclimatized to the Impending Quiet Years. I’m just not a fan of the preview.

Shit coffee, quiet house, another round of “where did the cat stash the body” on the horizon. *sigh* You know what we need? A pick me up. Cue the go-go dancers. Strike up the band. I think we need a…

* * * HEADLINE ROUNDUP * * *

Let’s give it up for our new dancer, Chaz! He auditioned over the summer and has been training his ass off. Judging by that split, I’d say the hard work has paid off! Bravo Chaz! Welcome aboard!

You all know how this works, but let me fill in any newbs. I scour the internet for news headlines that pop out at me. I feel like I have to start mentioning that I try my best to stick to actual news outlets. Fake news breeds funny- but also fake- headlines, and that’s not what I want. I pull from sources like MSN news, Yahoo News, CNN, local channels, Fox, BBC… Big and classically “respectable” news outlets. I’m not looking for intentionally bad headlines. I’m looking for mistakes, poorly worded snippets, or just a regular old headline that conjures a scene in my head I want to share. All of the headlines are real. I just supply the commentary/snark/screen play.

*glances at Chaz, still bowing on stage* Um, can someone come get Chaz so I can get right into it?

*quick little flurry of activity* *Chaz takes final bow while being pulled off stage with a giant hook*

Sorry about that. He’s new. Shall we begin?

– Omarosa Releases Tape of Sanders Agreeing With Trump’s ‘Lies’
Is it really “earth-shattering” if the secret recording contains the same things Sanders publicly tells the press every single day? I guess the take away is that Sanders is as dumb in private as she is in public.

– Trebek Has Beard and We Have All Sorts of Questions
What questions could you POSSIBLY have? It’s a fucking beard. It’s self-explanatory.

– Doctors Reattach Girl’s Leg Backwards So She Can Dance
Moonwalk level: MASTER

– Georgia School Reinstates Paddling As Punishment
Calm down, guys. They’re *only* allowed to administer “three licks on the bottom with a wooden paddle not to exceed 24 inches in length.” It’s not abuse if it’s state sanctioned, right?

– Principal Paddled Elementary Students So Hard They Bruised, Parents Say
WHAT *clap* THE *clap* FUCK *clap* DID *clap* YOU *clap* EXPECT!?! You gave the school permission to beat your child. News flash, genius: If you hit a six year old with a wooden paddle, it’s going to hurt them, you ignorant, abusive son of a bitch. MAYBE DON’T LET ANYONE BEAT YOUR CHILD WITH A STICK, M’KAY??!!!

– Yellowstone Hit By Global Warming
Would be weird if it wasn’t. That’s pretty much how the “global” part works.

– This is Why You Shouldn’t Pop Advil Like Candy
Oh holy shit. Have we really reached a point in society where the news needs to tell people the difference between medicine and candy??

– Trump Admin Wants to Make It Easier To Release Methane Into the Air
Look, I hate the guy, but when someone’s as full of hot gas as Trump, you kind of have to let him vent it.

– 1 in 5 Floridians Say They Won’t Evacuate for a Category 4 Storm
Oh, Florida.

– Candidate After Siblings Endorse His Foe: ‘Stalin Would Be Proud’
I’MMA TELL MOM!

– Woman Stole Ambulance, Led Cops on Chase for 39th Arrest
It was the big 3-9, folks. She had to do something special.

– Rainbow Flag-burning Priest Removed from Church By Cardinal
You burn a flag, you get kicked out. You rape some kids, you get promoted. Hard to figure out your line, Catholics…

– No Whispering, Just Horses and City Kids, Learning On A Farm
“Now listen up, you lilly livered city slickers. I don’t care what you’re used to in the ‘hood. Out in these parts, we don’t tolerate any of that namby pamby sneak talky *air quotes* whisperin’ *air quotes*. Do I make myself clear?”

– After ‘Sexual Racism’ Accusations, Gay Dating App Grindr Gets ‘Kindr’
In a nutshell, folks are gobsmacked that a hook up site where people browse for booty calls based on nothing but superficial three second views of a selfie might breed an unhealthy environment of snap judgments and biases. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying sites like Grindr shouldn’t exist. Get your freak on. My problem is with the people pretending to be surprised and offended that the whole thing is biased and judgy.

– Purdue Holds Gender-neutral Homecoming, Honoring ‘Royalty’ Rather Than King, Queen
Or maybe just have a fun party where the point is a good time for everyone and not a popularity contest? Could do that, too, ya know. #WokeFAIL

– Greek Beach Completely Covered in Giant Spider Webs
Aaaaaand Greece is over. It was a good run, guys. We’ll remember you fondly.

– Annual Oktoberfest Kicks Off in Munich With Beer
WHAT? BEER at Oktoberfest!? How in the hell did Reuters score such a scoop?

– Young Catholics Shun Modern Life, Embrace Religion in U.K.
“Should we cloister ourselves and shun modern life, Pip?” “I don’t know. I’ve heard about the baby raping, but did you see how woke the church is when it comes to burning pieces of cloth?” “Indeed, my good man, that shit is dope.”

– Man Accused of Kidnapping A Woman And Masturbating On her After He ‘Choked Her Out’ Is Given ‘One Pass’, Won’t Serve Jail Time
Accused? He pleaded guilty. He admitted to offering a woman a ride, then taking her to a secluded area so he could choke her unconscious and jack off on her incapacitated body. He admitted this. And the judge believed that in the year since he had turned his life around and said this is his “one pass.” He got time served and probation. And this woman gets a lifetime of terrified flashbacks and legitimate anguish. WHY DON’T VICTIMS REPORT? Maybe because the system and even the fucking media STILL slants these things against those victim. Sometimes people take shit too far in their outrage. I get that. But when the guy pleads guilty, only gets probation, and the leading headline from a supposedly liberal news organization like The Washington Post still classifies it as only an accusation, HOW am I wrong to be angry on behalf of the victim??

– Critics Say Race and Privilege Helped A Wealthy Teen Beat A Murder Charge
I’ve already got a headache from rolling my eyes this morning. I can’t even anymore.

– Teacher Uses Toddler to Steal Prizes from Game Machine
The dude shoved his little kid inside the prize drop area of a claw machine and had him climb into the part that holds all the loot to grab as much as he could. What concerns me is not that a man who can think a scheme like that up in the first place is a teacher. I mean, come on, that’s fairly clever. What worries me for the youth he taught is his complete and utter lack of understanding of life in the modern world. Cameras, cell phones, Instagram, Facebook, Google Overlords…there is no way to commit this type of crime in a department store and NOT get caught. What an idiot.

– 7 Year-Old With Terminal Cancer Crowned Homecoming Queen
“BETHIE NO! *slams warning button* IT’S A CHILD WITH CANCER!”

Calm down. I wasn’t going in on the kid with cancer. I was just bringing you today’s top headline in MSN’s “Good News” section. This is the “good news” for today.

“…oh. THAT’S what they consider good news? That’s pretty messed up.”

And now you see why I had to share. I appreciate that you’re quick on the “don’t let Bethie tank herself on the internet with one bad joke” button, but have a little confidence in me.

– This Photo Has Not Been Edited, Look Closer At The Hole
Oh ho ho. Nice try, internet, but I’m not falling for THAT trap again.

– Alabama Revisits Ten Commandments, Hoping For Help From Kavanaugh
This isn’t hard, people: Keep your churchy shit outta my kids’ schooly shit. It’s honestly that simple.

– New Kavanaugh Accuser Emerges
Let’s get real for a second. Why is anyone pretending to be surprised by this rich kid preppy asswad entitled culture that we ALL know exists? YES he was a fucko. YES he was a shithead. YES he could get away with it because his parents’ dollars were big enough to hide behind. Gah. I wish people would drop the “WHAAAA? I never HEARD of this type of culture in OUR America!” act.

– Mattis: ‘The Jury Is Out’ On Women Serving In Combat Roles
No it’s not. Around the world, and throughout human history, women have served ably in combat. Let’s correct this headline to say what Mattis actually means. American Men Continue To Be Butthurt About Women Kicking Ass On The Front Lines

– Bill Cosby Sentenced To 3 to 10 Years In State Prison
Finally!

– Pussy Riot Member Was In ‘Black Hole’ Following Possible Poisoning
Maybe don’t use “pussy” and “black hole” in the same headline. It’s the internet. Just sayin’.

– Iran’s Rouhani Says Trump Has ‘A Nazi Disposition’
Don. DON. Listen. If even I-frickin’-RAN thinks you’re too much with the racism, then it might just be time to step back and reassess.

– This ‘Robotic Skin’ Can Bring Your Stuffed Toys To Life
Aw HELL no.

– Kanye West Says He Changed His Name To Ye
sure. why not. k.

– Ricin Sent to Trump: A THIRD Envelope Containing White Powder Intercepted
Wow. Okay, kids, here’s a quick little School House Rock teaching moment about political basics. If the president dies, the vice president takes control. Stop sending the pompous buffoon poison before we end up with the man who not only wants rich white dudes in power while their women stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but has a big enough brain to figure out how to start making that happen if he gets into a position of real power and control. #Ican’tBelieveI’mSayingThis,ButDon’tPoisonTrump

– Ricin Sent to Trump: A THIRD Envelope Containing White Powder Intercepted
Now that I’m mulling it over, this might not actually be as nefarious as it seems. I think his constituents might be trying to send him a gift, not trying to harm him. If you’re one of the people just trying to send Donny a present, let me help you out. It’s not white powDer that he wants, guys. You’ve added a letter there, see? Easy mistake.

– Trump’s NATO Ambassador Sets Off Diplomatic Incident
Is anyone surprised? *crickets**crickets* Yeah, didn’t think so. Please don’t nuke us, Russia.

– Facebook Inc.’s Instagram App Down In Many Cities
But…but…how will we keep track what people ate for dinner???

– She Had No Sanitary Pads. No One Knew And No One Helped
Hang on. Is someone SUPPOSED to help when you don’t have a pad? Are we supposed to have some menstruary fairy I don’t know about?? I’mma hafta check my woman handbook and get back to you…

– Why Elephants Have Cracks In Their Skin
Because their moisturizing routine is basic af.

– Outside Counsel in Kavanaugh Hearing Told GOP She Would Not Have Been Able To Prosecute With Evidence Available To Her
I love how the GOP is trying to spin this as a win for them. Of course she wouldn’t have been able to prosecute. She didn’t HAVE evidence. At that point, there was no investigation yet. Why would anyone think she could prosecute without being given the opportunity to actually investigate? Just bizarre.

– Enfield’s ‘Dollar Store Grandpa Bandit’ Sentenced to 8 Years In Prison
“Hey, new blood. They call me the Red River Assassin. That’s the Montana Menace, and this here’s the Charleston Cannibal. Whaddo they call you?”

…gramps is in for a rough 8 years.

Thus concludes a Roundup for Wednesday, October 3, 2018. I got to the point in the news where it was talking about the president mocking Ford’s testimony to a crowd that was CHEERING for him while he did so, and I decided I’m done for the day before I make a bad ricin joke. See? I told you I could monitor myself.

Hey! Remember me?

Standard

Mornin’ all.

Summer has been jam packed with…well, lots of work, many gaming hours with the Littlest Pup, a too-brief vacation to the mountains, and then LOTS of work. I promise to do a big catch up session soon, but my computer has decided to punk me out again. It’s playing the “Crashy Crashy Piss off Bethie” game it loves. But, I wanted to pop in, say hey, and let you know I didn’t forget about your.

Also, to leave some of these….

* * * HEADLINES! * * *

…no catchy theme music or dance routine, though. The go-go dancers are on an Alaskan cruise ship enjoying their summer and the band director is taking a sabbatical to study migratory patterns of the eastern hook nosed vole. Hum your own theme music if you’d like.

You know the deal with the headlines. They’re real. They caught my attention. I feel compelled to share them…with commentary.

– Joy Behar Spends Night in Hospital After Avocado Accident

Handling an avocado is a lot trickier than it might seem. They tend to be top heavy and corner like shit.

– FBI Agent Whose Gun Went Off While Dancing Taken Into Custody

In fairness, nowhere in the rules of an impromptu dance off does it state that you can’t shoot your opponent to win. In fact, many former contestants have used finger pistols in their push for the crown, and I haven’t heard so much as a peep of complaint. I think the dude has a real shot at acquittal.

“Bethie, apologize for that pun.”

NEVER.

– Little Boy Starts Dance Off With Airport Employee

Uh oh. Hope this one’s not packing, too.

– Recovered Tapes Solve a Moon Mystery

I accuse Astronaut Armstrong in the Sea of Tranquility with the core tube.

– Ray Liotta Doesn’t Believe the Woody Allen Assault Accusations

OHHHHH. See, all this time I was basing my opinion of the situation on the statements of the people involved. But, if THE Ray Liotta says Allen didn’t do it, guess I’m gonna hafta have myself a rethink on the subject.

– Ivanka Trump Quotes ‘Chinese Proverb’, but China is Baffled

“Those who rely on Google for ancient wisdom will be called out on their bullshit.” – Confucius

– Tom Brady Pulls a Tom Hiddleston with His T-Shirt

Guys, they both wore t-shirts!!!!! Can you believe it? They so crazy.

– Nobel for Trump? Odds Improved, But Awards Committee May Be Wary

Every atom in my body just threw up a little. I can’t even take this shit anymore. Do not give Donald Drumph a Nobel.

– Trump Says In TV Interview He Trusts Kim Jong Un

He trusts the man who is still, at this moment, committing massive human rights atrocities against his own people. DO NOT GIVE THIS IDIOT A NOBEL!!! #I’mSerious,DoNotGiveThisIdiotANobel

– Defining Historical Moment From Year You Were Born

Of course I looked. The defining historical moment from the year I was born was the release of Space Invaders. Explains a lot about me, really.

– Man on a Mission to Mow Lawns In All 50 States

Holy shit. Has he hit NH yet? Because I’d be willing to help him out and donate my lawn to the cause…

– Nevada’s Most Famous Pimp Wins GOP Primary

Imagine the small talk as he hob-knobbed during his fundraisers. “So I says, Don, I know you like to grab ’em by the pussy and all, but you can’t do that shit for free. Not on my watch. Gotta pay to drain your ‘swamp’, amiright?” #We’reSoScrewedIt’sNotEvenFunny

– Little Green Gems Are Spewing Out Of Kilauea

They are olivine crystals and I WANT THEM.

– Mom Issues Warning About Caterpillars After Baby is Injured

I’ve been saying it for years: caterpillars are thugs. I’m glad people are starting to listen. Spread the word. Those little bastards will fuck you up.

– Tourists Shocked by What They See on San Francisco Streets

Buskers and mimes will leave ANYONE a little shaken. It’s okay, tourists. Just take a minute and breathe. You’ll get through it.

…what? Were you expecting a gay joke? I think that says more about you than it says about me.

– Jerry Lewis’s Massive Gun Arsenal Auctioned

He was gearing up for the next salvo in his life-long war on comedy.

– Trump Vows to Create New Military Branch: Space Force

I can’t help thinking we should probably just let him go ahead with this one. Might just keep us out of WWIII if his attention is focused elsewhere. If you can’t beat ’em, distract ’em. SPACE FORCE!

– Trump Vows to Crate New Military Branch: Space Force

Also, anyone else want to reboot “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” to cover all the relevant Space Force news? …no? Come on. It can’t be just me.

– S. Korea, US to Announce Cancellation of Drills

…but we clearly already know about it. What do you think you need to announce at this point?

– Boat Migrants Rocked by EU Political Storm Start to Arrive in Spain

That’s some old school reporter word play going on right there.

– Musk’s Plans for Tesla Keep Getting Weirder, Putting the Firm’s Future at Risk

Elon. Listen to me. Do not go full super villain yet. We planned on getting cheap space travel and a moon base out of you first. Someone hand him a puppy and an ice cream so he can remember the good in the world that’s worth fighting for.

– Mueller Asks Judge for September Sentencing for Papadopoulos

The orange prison jumpsuit will complement the autumn leaves nicely.

– Everybody Crashes on First Lap at Sports Car Race

I was thinking it had to suck for the racing fans that spent time and money to watch folks duke it out on the speedway, but in a way, it’s almost more impressive than a race when you stop and think about it.

– Michelle Obama Describes Upcoming Memoir

“Uhhh…it’s about my life, guys. Duh.”

– China’s Media Calls Trump Delusional

I don’t know that I’ve ever agreed with Chinese media before. Guess common ground can be found when the right crisis presents itself.

– What’s Behind Tom Arnold’s Bizarre Anti Trump Media Blitz

My guess would be his deep hatred for Trump, but I’m just spit ballin’ here.

– Plymouth Toddler Recovering After Getting Stuck In Rock

How exactly does one get stuck in a rock?

– Alaska Ferry Hit By Breaching Whale, Prompting Federal Investigation

Whales are crashing into our ferries now? Looks like we need another branch of the military! WATER FORCE

“Bethie, we have the navy.”

Yeah. And we have the air force, too. But the air force only deals with, like, planes and shit, not aliens. The navy only deals with boats. The whales, man. WHAT ABOUT THE WHALES??

“…but…”

WATER FORCE ASSEMBLE!

– Plane Takes Off, Falls Into Ditch At Florida Airport

Hang on a sec. The plane got stuck in a ditch AFTER take off? Only in Florida, man.

– Study Warns Fashion Industry Is Normalizing Obesity With ‘Plus Size’ Lines

How DARE those clothing companies make garments that fit us fatties?! What message is it sending when they pretend we’re human beings with feelings and don’t just make fat ass chub monkeys wear burlap sacks? What the hell are they thinking enabling slovenly pieces of subhuman shit to hate themselves just a little less by offering them clothing that actually looks good? OH the HUMANITY!!! THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!

– Study Warns Fashion Industry Is Normalizing Obesity With ‘Plus Size’ Lines

And why is my fat ass your concern? Really? Why do people get SO angry when fat people are at all happy? You know what you have to do to get healthy? You have to care about yourself. You have to care what happens to your body. You have to feel like you’re worth something. And ya know what? MY study shows that piling on the shame and hate will never, ever, EVER help. Ladies and gents of size, ignore these bullshit articles written by people who are skinny and STILL bitter and miserable. Gear the fuck up in whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

– Hawaii Explosion Had Force of 5.3 Magnitude Earthquake

Oh. Snap. You know what this means. LAVA FORCE

– A Swimming Teacher Fed Up With Seeing ‘Sad’ Kids Has A Message for Parents

“These little dudes are, like, bumming me out, man. Can’t you take them for a happy meal or something before you bring them here?”

– Eric Trump’s Family Received White Powder, Security Added

Wait. Wasn’t that exactly what they wanted?

“PowDer, Bethie. With a ‘d’.”

OHHHHH.

– Clever Uses for Your Unwanted Pennies

I hear that if you save enough of them, you can take them to the bank and cash them in for dollars. Read it on the internet somewhere, so take it with a grain of salt. #LifeHack

– Nobel of Mathematics Stolen Minutes After Being Awarded

I had no idea there was a thriving black market for Nobel prize medals. That’s some high brow thievery right there.

– Nobel of Mathematics Stolen Minutes After Being Awarded

…hang on a sec. That IS some pretty high brow thievery. Like a plot out of a movie. Uh oh. Has anyone seen Elon?

– Gold Lunar Module Replica Stolen From Museum Still Missing

Yep. That’s it. Elon’s snapped. He’s gone full on super villain. Hug your kids, take that last vacation.

The end is clearly nigh.

Thus concludes a quick check in for Friday, August 3, 2018. I guess it might be a bit pointless to make cakes when the end is so close, but maybe the best thing to do is pretend it’s all normal until Elon’s robot army marches in and takes control. Hey, wait. Do robots like cake? Because I may be able to bribe our new digital overlords. Hm…