Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Friends don't let friends flame each other all night...

I have a very diverse group of friends on Facebook.  I have many conservative friends.  I also have many liberal friends.  Consequently, sometimes these folks clash, especially when I happen to post something that is political or religious.

Last night, just before I went to bed, I posted the following...

The term "snowflake" has sadly become a cliche.

I know that it's become de rigueur to call people snowflakes.  The term refers to entitled people who think they are special.  Lately, a lot of conservatives have been using it to describe liberals who expect special consideration for any number of things.  However, it doesn't have to refer to people with certain political leanings.

The first time I ever saw the term used was not even in a political sense.  I was reading an article by Dr. Tara Palmatier, otherwise known as the "Shrink4Men", and she used it to describe a guy's ex wife, who was also the mother of his kids.  The mother had insisted on some unreasonable conditions for the kids, so Dr. T referred to them as "special snowflakes".  I thought her use of the term was funny.  

Fast forward a few years and now people are hurling that term around willy nilly.  It's gotten tiresome and annoying.  So I decided to post my thoughts.  A few people commented.  I turned out the light and went to sleep.

Much to my surprise, this morning I woke to an all out flame war on my Facebook page.  Three guys got into and, I swear, must have been arguing all night (which would have been evening in the United States).  I woke up just as they were apparently going to bed.  I would love to post the whole thread here for your entertainment, but it would take too long to preserve everyone's privacy and, frankly, I'm just not in the mood to do it.

Instead, I think I will just describe the argument and the people involved.  One participant is a federal marshal who has very conservative views, but is basically a decent guy.  One is a liberal guy who sells seafood and is Judge Alex's brother in law.  One is a guy who is sensitive to terms like "snowflake" and "libtard" because he has a physical disability and used to be called names when he was growing up.  This guy does not have any intellectual disabilities whatsoever, but because of his physical problems, rode the "short bus" at school and was in special education classes.

Basically, after a few people made their thoughts known about snowflakes, the conservative guy piped up with "Like Faux News.  LOL."

For some reason, that comment was like waving a red cape in front of Judge Alex's brother-in-law.  He shot back a snarky response, which, in turn, pissed off my conservative cop friend.  They immediately commenced to arguing.  Then, my friend with the disability chimed in, as did another friend, who has the conservative guy blocked.  

What's really funny to me is that despite their differences in politics, these two men-- both of whom are named John-- are actually very similar to each other.  Neither is willing to back down.  They remind me of a couple of rams head butting each other.

Like this...
I was slightly annoyed that these fellows decided to have a pissing contest on my Facebook page, but I guess they wouldn't otherwise interact.  I know them from different places and happen to be the one friend they have in common.  It does surprise me, though, that people enjoy having arguments with other people who aren't even their friends.  And it always surprises me what people will argue over.  It's like they have no video games to play, books to read, or TV shows to watch.

Facebook is pretty annoying, anyway.  Until yesterday, I was a member and an admin of our local beer group.  I joined the group shortly after we arrived here in 2014 and used to be pretty active.  We used to have beer tastings and everything.  But then the guy who started it and made me an admin (without asking me, I might add) left the area.  Other people kind of took it over and the group became less interesting and a lot less active.  Yesterday, I made the mistake of letting someone in who wasn't local and I got a chastising private message from the guy who, I guess, has decided he's the boss.  He changed the name of the group and it seemed to become pretty lame.

This guy once invited Bill and me to his home for a beer tasting.  We had a pretty good time, although the host got really drunk and ended up passing out.  He continued to have tastings, but didn't invite us to any other gatherings.  I got kind of a strange vibe from him after that.  So when he sent his very impersonal PM to me, I was annoyed by it and told him maybe he should find someone else to be an admin.  He offered to "strip me of my powers", which he didn't need to do because I left the group.  Actually, if I were him, I wouldn't bother finding another admin.  That group isn't active enough to require more than one.  I have a wine group that has almost twice as many people.

In other news...  Zane finally got his stitches out.  Unfortunately, he developed a seroma at one incision site.  It looks ugly.  I hope the swelling goes down soon.

It also looks like it's time to start shopping for a new car.  Our eleven year old SUV is starting to have mechanical problems.  Bill has been eyeing luxury SUVs for some time now, but we both enjoy not having car payments.  However, eleven years is a long time to have a car, right?  Maybe not for some people.  I think it may be time for an upgrade.  The bonus is, here in Europe, you can go to the factory and pick up your vehicle, right?  I think Bill would love to have a Volvo or a BMW.  We could turn either purchasing experience into an exciting vacation.  Although if Bill wants a Volvo, it might be best to get it before winter hits Sweden.

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's fun using the f word with friends and relatives...

I know I have mentioned it before, but I was raised not to swear.  For some reason, my father, despite being a career Air Force officer, was very much against cussing.  He rarely used profanity and he didn't like it when my mother would swear.  I can remember more than once getting smacked upside the head for using blue language in my dad's presence.  My dad didn't like to hear curse words, but never learned appropriate physical self-control.  Consequently, I can remember getting immediate physical negative reinforcement when I would let a so-called "bad word" slip from my lips.

All of the spankings, slapping, verbal chastisement, and corrections I used to get from my dad never amounted to a hill of shit.  I am now 45 years old and I cuss like a sailor.  I always have.  I don't know why I do it. Maybe it's a form of rebellion for me.  My dad passed away three years ago.  We were not on the best terms during his lifetime.  Although I remember adoring him as a little girl, as I grew up, there was a lot of friction.  He didn't like the way I looked.  He hated my laugh.  He thought I was rude, arrogant, and obnoxious.  He thought nothing of belittling me in front of other people, including Bill.  He once told me I would never make more than minimum wage.

More than once, my dad said I reminded him of Joan Rivers, a comedienne he never could stand.  He hated that I cursed.  I think it embarrassed him, but then, there were a lot of things about me that he seemed to find embarrassing.  My dad seemed to think I should turn into a genteel, obedient, soft spoken Southern lady.  He hated that I was so outspoken and loud.  I think he also hated that I didn't take his abuse without complaint, although a part of him probably felt some pride that I fought back.  He did tell me on more than one occasion that I'm a survivor.  He was right about that.

Yesterday, I wrote about how Bill and I were "triggered" by each other.  After Saturday night's mini drama, I was determined that yesterday would be better.  For the most part, it was.  We had a good talk, went out to lunch, and visited a spa, where we enjoyed a swim, sat in a couple of saunas, and hung out with a lot of naked Germans.  Although it's strange to be naked in front of strangers, once the initial weirdness wears off,  it's surprisingly liberating.  In all seriousness, I probably could get used to living in a nudist colony, even though I've never had the best body image.  As Bill and I were soaking in the nude among a bunch of German strangers, I asked him if he would ever wear a Speedo.  He said he wouldn't.  That's funny, isn't it?  Bill would willingly get naked in front of strangers, but he wouldn't wear a Speedo.  

We came home, both feeling great, and I posted "Bill and I should get naked with Germans more often."  Not surprisingly, a few people made comments, including the same guy who instigated the triggering incident Bill and I experienced Saturday night.  He has since deleted his comment, but he wrote "I'm glad I ate an hour ago."

I'm sure he was kidding, but lately those kinds of mean spirited insults are becoming a regular thing from him.  Since we're online, and I don't actually know the guy offline, I never know how seriously to take them.  Moreover, while I can take that kind of kidding in small doses, I don't find it funny and I don't actually enjoy engaging in cut down fights with other people.  Despite my salty tongue, I'm not a mean person and I don't enjoy insults.  So, instead of responding in kind, I wrote "What the hell is wrong with you?  Why are you picking on me?  Kindly fuck the hell off if you can't be nice."

A few minutes later, I got a comment from my aunt's brother, Ralph, who has known me most of my life and is partly responsible for helping to facilitate my first offline meeting with Bill.  I rarely hear from Ralph.  When he does comment, it's usually to express disapproval over my political leanings or use of swear words.  Last night, he chastised me for cursing.

Again, it's impossible to know if he was kidding or serious, since we were online.  Ralph was raised by a minister and grew up in rural Virginia.  His sister, my aunt Gayle, is probably one of my favorite people in the world, even if I haven't felt much a part of my family lately.  Ralph is also basically a great guy.  However, on Facebook, he doesn't act like a friend.  I'm really getting tired of men, especially conservative leaning ones, telling me what to do.  So I wrote this.

If it bothers you, you can always hit the fucking unfriend button. Spare yourself and me a lot of fucking grief. I am 45 years old and I will cuss if I fucking want to. Got it?

That comment spiraled into a surprisingly entertaining thread about cursing and how I think the concept of "bad words" is ridiculous.  Words are not good or bad.  They're neutral.  They only have as much meaning or impact as a person is willing to give them.  I have written about this many times on my blog, so I'm not going to rehash my theories.  If you're interested, you can search for my posts on swearing and/or bad words.  Today's post is less about that and more about how, for some reason, people in my family don't seem to know me very well... or care too much about me.

My friends know me and a lot of them even love me for the language I use.  I doubt any of them would ever say my vocabulary is limited.  A lot of them know me as someone who speaks the truth most of the time.  What you see is pretty much what you'll get.  It's funny, too, because I have heard that from a lot of people my whole life.  People have told me they like me because I'm "real" or "genuine".  Of course, a lot of people don't like me for the same reason.  They'd rather I be less forward about some things.

Anyway, Ralph did kind of back off a bit after making a cryptic comment that makes me wonder if he or his wife are having some health problems.  He even said that the thread was full of "deep thoughts all generated by bad words."  Maybe, if I were a more caring person, I might have asked him if he was doing alright...  Instead, I wrote this.

I don't know what the hell you're trying to say here, but I would appreciate it if you would let me be me. I'm not a bad person, nor am I stupid or in need of special guidance from my elders. I promise you that when I need to be articulate, I can be articulate. I don't even have to use what you refer to as "bad words". But I choose to swear sometimes and that is my right as a grown ass American. If it offends you, there are steps you can take to spare yourself the injury. I, for one, will fucking cuss as much and whenever I want to... especially on Facebook. Good night.

This morning, Bill and I were talking more about the exchange we had last night.  Bill said something along the lines of, "People in your family either don't care or don't seem to understand how you are 'triggered' by being chastised.  They don't understand your past and how it's turned you into who you are today."  Actually, I have a feeling most of my family members would roll their eyes at Bill's use of the word "triggered".  They have little use for it.  They're "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" types of people.

Bill is probably right about my family.  Most people in my family don't seem to know or understand why I haven't grown up to be more like them.  I think on some levels, I am definitely one of the family.  I share a lot of traits with people who are my kin.  For example, on my dad's side of the family, people tend to be kind of loud and funny.  Most everyone loves music and quite a few have a gift for making it.  I share those traits with my dad's people.

But... unlike a lot of my dad's people, I don't feel close to my immediate family.  I don't mind living thousands of miles away from my kinfolk.  I am not particularly religious, nor am I politically conservative.  I don't have kids to raise or a typical job.  I don't think America is the greatest country on Earth.  Although I married an Army man, we are not a stereotypical Army couple.  I don't fit in with a lot of the military spouses, either.

It's been a long time since I last felt "at home" when I was at home.  Sometimes I feel like I've evolved into someone foreign.  When I go to the old homestead, where Ralph's sister lives with my Uncle Brownlee, I don't feel like I belong there the way I used to.  The last time I visited, I walked into the house and, no lie, there were people there who seemed to be looking at me like I was a stranger to them.  To some of them, I probably am a stranger, since I live thousands of miles away and don't attend family reunions as often as I once did.   But even some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles didn't seem to know me very well.  It made me uncomfortable and now I'm not so inclined to go "home" anymore.  I feel like my home is wherever Bill is.

In 45 years on Earth, I have learned that I am who I am and it's a lot easier to be that person than to try to be someone I'm not.  I will never be the genteel, sweet, refined Southern lady my dad apparently hoped I would be.  I will never be tiny, demure, super feminine or ladylike.  There was a time when I really suffered because I wanted to be those things... I was pressured to be those things by my father and, to a lesser extent, my mother.  To her credit, my mom has mellowed out a lot.  I think it helps that she's seen that Bill and I are happy and being who I am hasn't hurt me.  In fact, a lot of people seem to enjoy who I am.  The ones who don't probably aren't worth the effort anyway.

Trying to be someone I'm not eventually led to depression and anxiety, along with years of flirtation with eating disorders.  It took years for me to move beyond those crippling and very damaging feelings of low self-worth.  I don't want to go back to those days.  In fact, I refuse to do it.

I'm 45 years old and and I am who I am.  Who I am is not a bad person.  Take it or leave it.  And if you don't like my use of the occasional four letter word, kindly fuck the hell off and leave me alone.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

An unexpected flashback...

Yesterday, Bill and I had a really nice lunch at a Russian restaurant in a nearby town.  Afterwards, we came home and I noticed our next door neighbor was blasting Queen.  I thought it was funny, so I shared it with Facebook friends.  Most people thought it was funny and said so.

A couple of hours later, I was watching ER on iTunes and a local friend started picking on me.  I am not sure why, but lately he's been lobbing insults.  Have a look...

I don't know what got into the guy...  I think he's actually older than I am.

Bill was sitting right there, so I asked him why he didn't defend my honor.  I was totally kidding, of course.  I don't need him to fight my battles, especially with an obnoxious Facebook friend.  But I was in a silly mood, so I started singing "The Glory of Love" by Peter Cetera.  This song is best remembered as part of the soundtrack for The Karate Kid Part II.  To tell you the truth, the reason I thought of it is because Bill does have sort of a "white knight" thing going on.  He does kind of treat me in a gallant manner... like a lady, even though I don't always act like a lady.

Yucky song from 1986.

For a split second, after I sang a line from that song, my usually mild mannered husband looked absolutely enraged.  He actually looked like he could have hit me, although he didn't do that.  I won't lie.  I was totally taken aback, shocked, and upset by his reaction, since I'd been joking.  I asked him what his problem was.  He said something about how he thought I was implying that he wasn't doing enough for me.  I immediately got it.  He was having a flashback to his first marriage.

"I am not your ex wife, Bill." I said.

"I know." he responded.

It then dawned on me that Bill's former wife had once memorably taunted him with cheesy pop songs...

She claimed this song's lyrics were how Bill should be loving her... and she totally meant it.  She implied that he was falling short.

She also used to play this song and use it as a way to tell Bill how he should love her.

Now... I was a little upset about all of this, because I certainly hadn't been thinking of the ex when I made my joke.  In fact, I haven't been thinking of her at all lately.  Finally, after almost fifteen years of marriage, I've mostly stopped caring about what she does and rarely give her a fleeting thought.  I had completely forgotten about the incidents with the songs and the ex.  I'm just a musical person who happens to like stuff from the 80s.  I guess I should be grateful that at least I didn't sing either of the two songs she used.  She used others, of course, but those two are connected with the most memorable incidents.

I told Bill that I don't want to live with someone who rages.  I spent my whole childhood with people who yell, scream, and get enraged.  Bill almost never does and, really, last night was very minor in the grand scheme of things.  That look of fury only lasted a second or two, but it was long enough to upset me.  He was triggered by my joke and I was triggered by the murderous look on his face.

Bill was instantly contrite, which kind of made me feel like shit.  But we apologized and made up, then watched another episode of ER.  I guess I won't ask him to be my knight in shining armor again.  

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Annoying people for 45 years and counting...

That's me... I've been annoying people for 45 years and counting.  Fortunately, some people think I'm cute and cuddly and they don't mind keeping me around for kicks (occasionally in the butt).

Excuse the strange title of this post.  It was just something that popped into my head this morning as soon as I opened my eyes.  It seemed a shame to waste it and I didn't want to forget it, so I decided to title today's blog post with that random thought.  Now, on with my topic.

I run a Facebook page for this blog.  I know I have mentioned this a couple of times.  I'm mentioning it again, due to something that came up yesterday afternoon.

I got a comment from someone I blogged about four years ago.  This person is not someone I have ever met.  I was initially introduced to her presence on the planet courtesy of the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard.  I quickly became intrigued by a blog she was writing at the time-- it's probably now defunct and, even if it isn't, I'm not going to go looking for it right now because I don't need to fall into yet another black hole on the Internet.

Anyway, this lady was the subject of several of my blog posts, mainly because the first post I ever read by her was about her job working for child protective services.  At the time, she was 26 years old and apparently rather clueless about Internet safety.  I remember she wrote a lengthy screed about her work rescuing children from abuse.  She referred to their mothers as "idiot druggies" and wrote of wanting to chop the penises off of sex offenders.

While I completely understood her sentiment about sex offenders, it did not seem very wise to me that she was identifying herself as a social worker, yet writing about wanting to commit a violent crime.  Yes, I know the chances that she would actually chop off anyone's penis are next to nil, but it still seemed wrong that she was posting that kind of stuff.  It's the kind of thing that can come back and bite you in the ass later.  Moreover, as someone who has a master's degree in social work, it didn't seem to me the best way to promote a profession that already gets a bad rep from a mostly clueless public.

I was also a bit alarmed because she provided a link to her place of employment, which was a state run office.  Not only was that not a particularly safe thing to do, it was also unwise because someone could have forwarded her inflammatory posts to her bosses and gotten her into trouble.  I will admit that, at the time, I was fired up enough that I considered doing just that.  But then I thought better of it and decided to simply vent on my blog.

Yesterday, four years after my posts about this woman first appeared on the Internet, she left me a very polite comment asking me to delete her full name from one of the posts I had written.  She explained that she is now working with incarcerated men who are unstable and potentially violent.  She has been working to "scrub" herself from Google as much as possible for her safety and that of her family's.  I was happy to comply with her request, since she had asked very nicely, respected my right to post what I want, and, as someone who has done the kind of work she's doing, I understand that she wants to be safe.  However, while I think her request is reasonable and it was no trouble for me to grant it, I fear she's still a bit clueless about the Internet.

Last fall, I started moderating old posts on my blogs.  It was mainly because, at the time, I was getting irate comments from people who were involved with violent crimes I had written about.  Moderating comments also cuts down on spammers.  Because I moderate comments on posts over three weeks old, the blogger's comment was not immediately published, as it would have been a year ago.    

Had the blogger's comment been published, her first name (which is her handle) would have been visible to all who read it.  Anyone could have clicked on her name and it would have taken them to her profile, on which she shares her Instagram and Twitter accounts.  Her handles for those two accounts consist of her first name and most of her last name.  The profile also shows her city and state as well as her profession.  In other words, while I did remove her name from my blog post, the information I was removing is still readily available on her public Blogger profile.  Moreover, even after having removed her name, cached versions of my post will linger in Internetland for an undetermined amount of time.

Because she is concerned about safety and her presence online, I would advise the blogger to take a look at her profile and remove some of the information contained within it.  Also, I want to remind people that if they ever have a need to contact me, they can also do so via private message on the Overeducated Housewife Facebook page.  Depending on the situation, contacting me via Facebook may be a better solution.  It will probably at least be quicker.

I think in this particular situation, contacting me via PM on Facebook would have been better.  I already knew the woman's name and have seen her picture, so it's not like her privacy would have been further compromised.  A PM on Facebook would have allowed me to respond immediately.  I could have informed her I was going to comply and reminded her to look at her profile.  Then, maybe I might not have felt the need to write this post, which was inspired because I realized that publishing her comment and responding to it on my blog would still compromise her privacy.

Incidentally, the post the blogger found was fairly benign compared to the others.  It was about her work as a commercial pitchwoman for 5 Hour Energy Pink Lemonade.  I included her name in the blog post because I found several news articles about the ad and the product she was selling, which, in addition to bringing profits, was also supposedly raising money for breast cancer.  At the time of the ad, the blogger was apparently pleased to be a subject of newspaper articles, so I included her identity in my post about her ad.  In fact, she had herself blogged about the ad and how it was made.  It was through her own postings that I discovered her identity and shared it.

I am glad to see she is now taking steps to guard her privacy, but I would encourage her, and anyone else concerned about privacy, to take a look at their public profiles as well. And, as an aside, I want to commend that blogger for being so respectful about her request.  I am a firm believer that you get more flies with honey than vinegar, even if I don't always practice what I preach.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Good news from the vet!

Zane and I went in to get his bandage changed and we got the results of the pathology report.  The lump on the inside of his paw was chronic inflammation.  It was not a mast cell tumor, as I had feared.  I originally thought it was inflammation, but then it didn't go away and kept changing sizes.

I am so relieved... this gets the weekend off to a great start!

Monday afternoon, we get rid of the bandage and the stitches!


As is my habit, I started today by looking at Facebook's On This Day application.  I found some interesting goodies from the past, including a bunch of old photos.  Below is a picture of my grandparents.  They were my mom's parents.

I never knew Grandma Elliott.  She died when I was four years old.  We lived in England at the time, so I didn't attend her funeral.  I am her youngest grandchild of five.  I have three sisters and a female cousin from my mom's brother, who only had one child.  I haven't seen cousin Sue since my wedding day in 2002.

This is a very recent picture of  me.  I was trying on a gown I bought for our upcoming cruise.  The gown is pretty, but laden with beads and sequins that fall off every time it gets moved from its hanger.  I doubt I'll wear it more than a couple of times.

When I was growing up, I used to hear all the time about how much I resembled Grandma Elliott.  My mom would go as far as saying that if I didn't look so much like her, she'd swear she picked up the wrong baby from the hospital.  I think that's because I mainly got my personality from my dad's side of the family.

I don't know a whole lot about Grandma Elliott, other than she had blue eyes, like me.  She also had dark hair, which I have never had.  That's partly because I colored my hair for years.  Right now, it's more or less natural because I quit coloring last fall.  I was born blonde and went darker and now I seem to be back to blonde, which suits me fine.  I must have gotten my hair from my maternal grandfather.  I inherited my grandmother's bone structure and her nose... and perhaps her penchant for being crabby.

Grandma Elliott's first name was Adice.  I've never known anyone else with that name.  Maybe if I'd had a daughter, I would have named her that.  I was given Grandma's middle name of Leighton.  I always hated that name when I was a child, but I've grown to appreciate it now.  It's unusual and kind of elegant.  My mom gave all four of her daughters traditional and formal names with a somewhat regal ring to them.  All of us, except for one, go by nicknames.

I was told Adice worked in a dress shop and had a wonderful flair for fashion.  She was noted for being really pretty and people even used to call her "Pretty" as a nickname.  She was great at crochet. I even have a blanket she made.  My mom is also really good at all things involving sewing, needlepoint, cross stitch, and knitting, although she never learned to crochet.  I suck at sewing and needle crafts.  However, I did inherit my mom's musical genes.

I did some basic genealogy last year and determined that my grandmother is related to a large family in Lynchburg, Virginia.  She grew up in Amherst, which isn't too far from Lynchburg.  When she married my grandfather, they moved to Buena Vista, Virginia, which is where my mom was born and grew up.  It's now become a Mormon mecca, thanks to LDS folks buying Southern Seminary and turning it into Southern Virginia University.  My mom graduated from Southern Seminary.

All of this comes up just after Bill and I submitted DNA samples to 23andme.  I told my mom about doing that and she was very interested.  I look forward to finding out what my heritage is based on the test results.  I'm guessing, based on what I've found so far, I'm mostly of British and German origins, although I won't be surprised if there's Native American in there too.  My dad's side of the family is rather dark...  dark hair, dark eyes, and some members have rather dark skin or a lot of freckles.  I definitely favor my mom's side of the family, which is decidedly Celtic looking.

The majority of people on both sides of my family seem to have been in Virginia for a very long time, so I don't have the connection to other parts of the world that some people do.  I will say, however, that I feel very much at home in Britain and Germany.  England is astonishingly familiar to me.  The part where my very first memories come from looks just like where I grew up in Virginia.

As I write this, it occurs to me how fast time flies and how it seems like just yesterday, I was a child.  Now I'm middle aged.  I guess, if I'm going to make a point to anyone, it's that you should try to enjoy your life as much as possible because time passes fleetingly.  Before you know it, you'll be solidly entrenched in the middle of your life.  I look at mine and wondered if it's going to mean anything to anyone, especially since I "broke the mold" and won't be passing on any descendants...  But then, given how very fucked up the world is today, maybe that's a blessing.     

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Confederate purge...

Last night, I came across an article shared by the Army Times about the ten Army posts named after Confederate generals.  The author, name of Meghann Myers, wanted to know if the Army should rename them.  So far, the people who have answered her poll overwhelmingly seem to think the names should stay the same because, like it or not, the Confederate generals are a part of military history.

Although the anti-Confederate movement has been going on for some time now, it's reached a fever pitch in the last week as people are still reeling from the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The city of Baltimore removed a bunch of Confederate monuments in the wee hours of the morning the other day.

In the past, I've had the opinion that people put way too much stock in symbols and words.  I still kind of feel that way.  I think it's much easier to ban symbols and words and stamp out things like statues and building names than it is to actually evolve.  It takes more time and effort to change people's hearts, attitudes, and minds than it does to rename buildings and tear down memorials.  But, like it or not, that's what a lot of people focus on.

A couple of friends decided to discuss this issue with me.  One friend determined that it was better for the Army to rename the ten posts named after Confederates.  My opinion is that the money spent on making new signs, changing stationery, and everything else that comes with renaming a venue would be better spent helping people get their basic needs met.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think someone who doesn't have food, shelter, or medical care would much rather have those immediate needs attended to than see money spent on long established Army posts getting new, politically correct names.

My friend was surprisingly tenacious about sharing his opinion with me, which is fine.  But even if we did change the names of those posts, I wonder how many regular Americans even know who General Bragg was?  And how many of them, in their heart of hearts, actually care?  Many people are just trying to survive.  If you're trying to survive, do you really give a shit if Fort Bragg is named after a Confederate general?

It would be nice if we could just wave a wand and everyone would stop instantly being racist.  It takes time for attitudes and opinions to evolve.  In the grand scheme of things, I think the names of Army posts are kind of low on the totem pole.  Also, people who are actually in the military tend to think these name changing measures are silly.  Folks in the military tend to be a pragmatic lot.  They see civilians as "snowflakes".  I'm not saying that's right; I'm saying that's kind of the way things are.  I can't get onboard with killing a bunch of trees to make new stationery when we have so many veterans who can't even get decent medical care from the Veteran's Administration.

Maybe I'm naive... and maybe because I'm a white woman, I have no right to express this opinion...  I just think we have much bigger fish to fry than changing the names of Army posts.  At least that's how I feel today.  Maybe my mind will change later.  That is, if we don't end up being nuked by the North Koreans.

I like what Weird Al sings about the North Koreans...
On another note, people in the tiny hamlet of Fucking, Austria wanted to change the name of where they live because so many cheeky English speakers were stealing their road signs and having sex in public. Austrian officials refused to allow the name change.  Even if they had changed it, it would have taken time before the fucking would stop.  I imagine the same would be the case for Army posts.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

After yesterday's cheery post...

Today I'm feeling a bit less positive.  Here's how my day went before 7:00am.  I think today may be one of those days when I start drinking at lunchtime...

I woke up at midnight, needing to pee. Came back to the bed, found a couple of Arran's turds that came out while he was sleeping next to Bill.  Cleaned that up.  Couldn't get back to sleep because Aunt Flow is in full force.  Had to keep getting up to go to the bathroom.

A couple of hours later, I heard Zane whining.  He's started limping on the leg that he had surgery on last week.  Just 24 hours ago, he was moving almost fine.  At that point, Arran decided to go sleep on the futon and Zane jumped up on the bed and curls up at my feet. I spent the rest of the night sleeping fitfully.

I got up at 5:00am to go to the bathroom again. I noticed my breath could knock a buzzard off a shitwagon, so I brushed my teeth while Bill was shaving.  We only have one sink, so we have to share.  The toothpaste was on my tongue a little too long, which made me feel like puking.  It ends up being a false alarm.

I went downstairs.  Arran came down behind me and threw up bile.  I managed to get him off my rug before he puked on it.  I cleaned it up.  Then I felt the need to puke, which I did violently for several minutes, even though I had nothing in my stomach. Now I have petechiae around my eyes.

Zane came downstairs, still limping. I have to take him to the vet at 9:00 for a bandage change. I hope his pathology report isn't ready yet because I don't even want to know today. The way things are going, it'll probably be horrible news.

Then I noticed the corner of the indoor welcome mat is wet. Apparently, Arran peed on it during the night. So I cleaned that up... and then opened Facebook to read a bunch of self-righteous rants that run the gamut from everything to redneck chastising about not supporting Cheeto to all the reasons why white people suck.  It's not even 7:00am yet.

Edited to add... It's now almost 9:50.  I took Zane in and got his bandage changed.  The surgical wound is kind of gross looking.  The hair around it is all grimy.  The vet soaked Zane's foot in Betadine solution and wrapped it up again.  She gave me more Rimadyl.  I have a feeling the bandage has made Zane have to walk funny, which may be causing tendonitis.  The vet didn't seem to understand my theory.  I explained that Zane has done this limping thing before.  We took him to an emergency vet and she diagnosed tendonitis.  My guess is that the padding on his foot is making him hold it in an awkward way which is causing soreness.  He seems to walk normally after a few minutes of limping.

I'm really hoping I don't end up regretting the surgery on his paw.  You never know with mast cell tumors.  I have a feeling that's what that bump was.  But on Monday next week, he gets his stitches out.  At least the wound on his hind leg is healing well.

On the positive side, vet care in Germany is cheap.  For both dentals, an extraction, two tumor removals, medications, lab work, and a few dressing changes, we owe about 825 euros.  That's a lot less than we'd pay for the same thing in the U.S.A.