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

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Mornin’ all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– You’d Never Guess These Salads Are Vegan

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

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

Really dug deep on that one.

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

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

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

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

– Here’s What Melania Trump is Doing Today

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

– China Warns Citizens Against Travel To The US

Can you blame them? Really?

– Why Financial Literacy is Being Taught In Schools Across America

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

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

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

– Man Captivates Cows With Saxophone Serenade

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

– Woman Spreads ‘Hope’ To Tornado Damage Victims

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

– New Hampshire Installs First Historical Marker to Honor Computer Programming

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

– Facebook To Unveil New Cryptocurrency

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

– Palestinian Leaders Reject Kushner’s Economic Plan

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

– Great Jobs To Boost Your Income When Retired

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

– Underwood ‘Speechless’ Over Cheese Sculpture

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

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

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

– Police Arrest 70 Climate Change Protesters Outside New York Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah.”

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

“Hm. Are there kids involved?”

Yeah.

*WARNING* *WARNING* *WARNING*

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

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

But just the tip.

*WARNING* *WARNING* *WARNING*

…no sex abuse jokes either?

“NO!”

Hmph. Fun killer.

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

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

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

Only three?

– Fish Eggs Can Hatch After Being Pooped Out By Swans

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

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

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

– This Robot Fish Has Robot Blood

…soooo…oil?

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

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

1. A dust ruffle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Pompeo Confirms Trump Sent Kim Jong Un Letter

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

– Pompeo Confirms Trump Sent Kim Jong Un Letter

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

– How A Trump Tax Cut Helped A Billionaire Win Big

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– This New Poll Finds Widespread Islamphobia Among Conservatives

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

– Hang Gliding From Texas To Canada For Breast Cancer Research

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

– 7 Purchases You Should Never Make

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

– How The Cost Of College Has Changed Over The Years

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

– Owner Of ‘Attack Squirrel’ Arrested After Chase

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

– Trump Declares Himself Winner In Democratic Debates

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

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

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

– This is THE Best Cherry Margarita

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

– How To Prevent Sunburned Eyes

Blink.

– Stowaway Falls Into A Garden From An Airliner

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

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

Why does this headline feel so uncomfortable? *shudder*

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

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

– England Takes On USWNT

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

“NO!”

…Unwanted Silly Word Nerd Tomfoolery. *sniff*

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Stores Encourage Shoppers To Bring Their Own Bags

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– The Risks Of Crowdsourcing Kids’ Screen Decisions

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

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

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

*deep breath* We need a palate cleanser.

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

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

“…that’s your palate cleanser?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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?

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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…

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.

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

Standard

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.