Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hello, 46... and inappropriate fat shaming comments from co-workers...

Today is my 46th birthday.  I am determined to enjoy it as much as possible.  For that reason, I'm going to try to keep today's post lighthearted.  I noticed that yesterday, I had plenty of piss and vinegar to spew, both on my blog and on my Facebook page...  Today, I want to be calm and collected.  It's not every day a person enters the second half of their 40s.  But I will probably fail at that, so fuck it.  Here's a story that got me going last night.


Last night, Bill told me about one of his co-workers, a guy I have met a couple of times and don't particularly like.  The guy has a very precocious son who is a Boy Scout.  Evidently, the boy's troop was doing a fundraiser involving the sale of burgers and brats.

Bill decided to have a salad instead of supporting the fundraiser.  His co-worker, a guy I'll call Fred (in honor of Fred on the televised version of The Handmaid's Tale), noticed that Bill didn't support his son's Boy Scout fundraiser.

Fred said, "What's this?  No love for the Boy Scouts, huh?"  Then he paused and said,  "Hey Bill, do you exercise a lot?"

Bill was a bit non-plussed by the question.

Fred continued, "I wish I could drink liters of beer all the time and not exercise.  I mean, you look like you drink beer and don't exercise.  Wish I could do that."

I swear, I think it would do "Fred" good to see Bill go ballistic just once...

As Bill was telling me this story of extraordinary rudeness from his co-worker, I immediately got really fired up.  Like I said, I really don't like Bill's co-worker.  I think he's a narcissistic prick.  Bill is much too pleasant to confront Fred in the way I would have.  I think he was also really shocked by how rude Fred's comments were.

I said, "You should have asked him if he wanted to fuck you."

"Huh?" Bill asked.

"Why else would he be concerned about your physique and feel the need to comment on it?  If you were a woman, that comment could be construed as sexual harassment.  It's inappropriate and unprofessional."  I explained.  "Or maybe you could have asked him how he fucks his wife... an equally inappropriate topic that is no one else's business."

Bill's eyes widened and he was probably sorry he told me about this, because I was coming up with all sorts of ways to return the shock factor to Fred.

"Maybe you should have asked him if it was time to get human resources involved..." I continued.  "I mean, comments about your exercise and drinking habits don't seem like they have anything whatsoever to do with your job.  How do you think Fred would like that?"

"Oh..." Bill said, "he'd probably back away quickly!"

"Yes... and I think that should be the ultimate goal, shouldn't it?  Fred has a habit of making nasty little digs, probably to people who are too nice and polite to tell him to fuck off.  Next time Fred says something shocking like that, I would encourage you to shock him back.  I mean... he assumes you don't exercise and drink too much beer?  Perhaps a counter comment about how sad it is that he looks the way he does without the pleasure of excessive beer drinking is in order.  Or maybe a comment that you can always quit drinking beer and start exercising, but he will continue to have the same, shitty, rude personality no matter how healthy his lifestyle is." I advised.

It must be mentioned by the time we were having this conversation, I'd probably had a liter of beer myself.  I was also remembering the last time I saw Fred, which was about a year ago.  He made fun of me for having a mushroom phobia, so I proceeded to cuss him out in front of his wife and son.  His wife looked utterly horrified...  I'm sure she was shocked by my comments, but really she should have been embarrassed by her husband's boorish behavior.  Clearly, not enough people have told him to STFU or returned the favor of his propensity toward being an asshole.  It also doesn't help that beneath my laughing exterior, I'm a bucket of seething peri-menopausal outrage.  ;-)

These days, I have a lot in common with Sharon Osbourne.  And nobody... nobody... disrespects my husband!

I don't know why Bill opted for a salad instead of a burger or a brat.  Seems to me that if Fred was trying to say Bill is a fatty, eating a salad would have been the wiser thing to do anyway.  Unfortunately, Fred is unable to be logical, hence his unfortunate digs at my husband, who just wanted to satisfy his hunger and get on with his day.

Yes, assholes, please stay away... especially on my birthday.  I suppose I should be glad that there is almost no chance someone will offer to sell me Herbalife weight loss products today.  That did actually happen to me on my 25th birthday in Armenia.  

Whew... I feel better now.  I got a nice email from one of my sisters this morning.  I responded to her and was surprised by how positive my email was.  I mean, it wasn't totally cheerful, but it was probably about 90% upbeat.  I realized that I have a lot to be grateful for, even if I'm getting old.  I also got a very nice card from my mom, who remembered that I was born on the 20th and not the 13th, as she and two of my three sisters were (different months for all of us).  My other sister was born on the 11th.  One sister also chatted with me yesterday, which was nice.

Yes, I'm upset and distressed about the current state of things in the United States and the world at large, but I have a good life right now.  And tonight, Bill and I will enjoy a lovely dinner at Gino's in Nagold and maybe do something fun this weekend.

I changed my Facebook profile pic, too, because my former English professor apparently thought it was ugly.  Maybe it's ugly, but it's kind of a good representation of my actual personality.

Yes... this is me most of the time.  That's why no one should ever call me "Sweetie".

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Banging leads to breastfeeding...", bad medicine, and unabashed admirers on SingSnap...

There are several pressing issues I could write about today, on this, the day before I turn 46.  I'm going to start with a little item I read about on "God's" Facebook page.  A woman named Kiley Tully tweeted a video sent to her by her parents, who happened to be on an airplane sitting a few rows ahead of a couple who had decided to fuck mid flight.  This couple, who evidently lost all sense of decorum as the atmosphere thinned, couldn't wait to land before engaging in the nasty.  Kiley's parents decided to share their neighbors' joy with the Internet.

The comments on God's post were pretty funny.  Some people wrote that they'd rather see this on their Facebook feed than than pictures of migrant children in cages.  More than a few people thought it was a bad thing that Tully's parents videoed the couple and shared what should have been a private moment.  The common rebuttal to that was that when the couple decided to have sex in a public space, their moment ceased to be private.  Others pointed out that some people have no problem with this couple having sex on a plane, but they complain about a woman breastfeeding in public.  And one lady came up with the gem of a comment that serves as today's blog post title.

It's true.  Banging does lead to breastfeeding.  Banging also leads to messes, which unsuspecting, paying customers on airplanes should not have to encounter.  As gross as airplane seats already are, imagine having to sit in one with fresh jism all over it.  It's beyond inconsiderate, not to mention unhygienic.  I normally try to have a "live and let live" attitude about some things, but this is pretty nasty.  Too bad the flight attendants didn't turn a hose on them.

Next... George Takei shared a post about a horrible ER doctor who was abusive to a patient having an anxiety attack.  20 year old Samuel Bardwell presented himself at the emergency department at El Camino Hospital in the Silicon Valley.  His doctor that day, one Beth Keegstra, failed to deliver compassionate care to the young man, who was there with his father.  She berated him for taking a bed when people in the hospital were dying and claiming that he was simply drug seeking.

I was pretty triggered listening to the video, taken by Bardwell's father.  I have written plenty about my own traumatic experience visiting a gynecologist for the first time.  Thanks to that awfulness, I don't go to doctors unless I am about to die.  I haven't seen a doctor since 2010, even though I'm getting old.  I can't bring myself to do it, mainly because I was treated similarly by the doctor who examined me.  She wasn't quite as horrible as Keegstra is, but the fact that I was naked and she had invasive instruments in me makes the doctor who examined me all the more of an asshole for not being kind and caring.

While many people think Bardwell was wrong for going to the ER, I think Keegstra's behavior is outrageous.  If Bardwell had been my son, I'd be going on the fucking warpath.  As it stands now, if I'm ever treated the way I was in 1995, when I was a little older than Bardwell is, I will complain loudly and publicly.  There is no way a healthcare professional should ever behave like this... especially given how much it costs to see a doctor these days.  Shame on Keegstra for being such a massive bitch.

Bad doctors must be outed.

And finally, yesterday I got private messages from some guy on SingSnap who thinks I'm pretty and sing well...  He says he wants to get to know me better.  I'm flattered, but there ain't no Tide in my window.  And while we're currently far away from each other, my mom still lives in the area where he is... so there actually could be a remote chance that I'd run into him.  :D

Maybe I shouldn't post this, but it does give me food for thought.  The very fact that he tries so hard to reassure me it will be alright tells me that his intentions may not be pure.

The above scenario doesn't happen to me that often.  It never has... not even when I was younger.  On the few times it has happened, I have felt an unpleasant mixture of unease, flattery, and embarrassment.  I actually felt uncomfortable telling this guy that I felt getting too personal would be inappropriate.  It's awkward to have to do that when you're not the type of person who likes to be "bitchy".    

I suppose it would have been better to just block the guy, but that seems hostile.  So instead, I wrote the above response and changed my profile picture to one prominently including my husband.  Hopefully, the message will come across loud and clear.  If it doesn't, then I'll be hostile.  With any luck, I won't have to do that on my birthday tomorrow.

I guess if there's a common theme to these three subjects, it's that people are always recording.  Act like a fool, and you will be outed, one way or another.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Father knows best...

It's been very surreal watching my husband's younger daughter reconnect with him.  For most of our marriage, my husband's children have been kind of like feral cats, lurking in the distance.  They would stay in enough contact that we knew they were there, but they couldn't be touched.  For years, he got nothing but very negative, "hissing" feedback from them.  They wouldn't speak to him directly or even speak of him to Bill's dad, the one person on Bill's side of the family they would contact.  It was heartbreaking to watch and very stupid, since no one knows when a person's time on Earth will be up.

It took the death of Bill's dad's dog, Ginger, for younger daughter to start talking to Bill again.  Bill saw his daughter post condolences to his dad and stepmother on Facebook and commented.  Soon, they started trading Facebook messages.  Once they started an exchange, the relationship sort of bloomed.

Over the past year, my husband's younger daughter has been in touch with Bill, exchanging emails and occasionally talking on Skype.  I know it's been healing for Bill to be able to talk to his daughter, and it's also been healing for me, although I still don't know Bill's daughters very well.  For so many years, I've been so angry at Bill's kids, including his former stepson.  I'm surprised by how little it's taken for me to start forgiving them.

This morning, Bill told me that he got a long email from his younger daughter.  It included pictures of his older daughter, who remains estranged.  It seems Bill's ex stepson, whom Bill used to regard as his own, convinced older daughter to come to Arizona and spend the summer.  Apparently, ex stepson has matured and is trying to be a better person than he was.  He's trying to help his sister break away from their mother.  I'm glad to hear that.

Younger daughter shared a memory she had of being a very young child in Arkansas.  There was snow outside, a rare thing in Arkansas, and she wanted to play in it.  Ex stepson told her she was in trouble and wasn't allowed to go outside.  She was sitting in her room, all forlorn about not being allowed to play outside in the rare snow.  But then, Bill came into her room and invited her to play in outside.  She said she felt so loved.  Evidently, the first time they Skyped and Bill said it was so good to see her again, she had the same feeling of being loved.  It must have been amazing for her.  I don't think her stepfather has given her the kind of love Bill has.  I don't think he's capable.

She also thanked Bill for all he did for her when she was young and for what he's done now.  After so many years of Father's Days that went completely unacknowledged, it's really nice to see him getting some recognition.

I have little idea of what all has transpired over the past fifteen years or so.  Ex would not allow Bill to have any contact whatsoever with his children when they were growing up.  There is no telling what kinds of lies she told them about him or how many times she "stretched" the truth to make him look like a bad person.  It must be very strange for younger daughter to talk to Bill, hear his side of the story, reconcile it with what she was told about him, and then compare that to her own memories.

When she was a child, younger daughter supposedly said she didn't remember Bill ever being a part of her life.  Now that she's an adult, she admits that she remembers how kind and loving he was (and still is).  I knew this would be the case.  In fact, I remember during their one visit with us, Bill's daughters said a few things that indicated that they knew their mother was different.  I remember hearing them say they weren't allowed to separate.  I guess Ex was afraid Bill would work on them individually and, if they stayed together, they would maintain solidarity and police each other... much like Mormon missionaries do as they travel in pairs.

I also remember them saying about a request that they spend the night, "She'll say no.  She always says no."  To our surprise, Ex did allow them to spend the night, and they had a great time.  But that was the only visitation we ever managed.  After that one night in our apartment in 2003, Ex refused to allow Bill contact unless she was there to stand over him and supervise.  After he saw them at Christmas in 2004, with Ex and her husband there, she cut off almost all communication, except to send Bill adoption papers and demand that Bill talk his ex stepson out of moving out of her house when he turned 18.

I don't know how younger daughter feels about her mother now.  She has said that she knows Ex is "mentally ill".  However, if it were me, I think I would be very angry about being misled for so long.  Frankly, while I have no doubt that Ex has suffered from mental illness, I think her main problem is that she's an extremely angry, vengeful person with at least one personality disorder.  A personality disorder is less a "mental illness" than it is a quirk of the psyche.  In short, Ex is a narcissist, and that makes her a toxic person.  She's basically an asshole.

I'm glad Bill and his younger daughter are speaking.  It's also good to hear that older stepson is doing a better job of being an adult and is trying to help older daughter, who desperately needs assistance getting away from their toxic mother.  However, I suspect that as they get older, Bill's daughters are going to mourn the time they lost with Bill.  Their childhoods could have been so much better than they were.  It's entirely their mother's fault that they couldn't have a relationship with Bill.  Some children truly do have fathers who are deadbeats or absent from their lives.  Bill's daughters didn't have a dad like that; their mother just made it seem that way simply to be spiteful.  And that, in my opinion, is something that they will eventually resent.

The one time I communicated with Ex, I wished her luck... because I had a feeling this day would come.  When I met those kids, I knew they weren't stupid.  I knew that there was a lot of cognitive dissonance going on and one day it would become crystal clear what their mother had done.  It may not pan out exactly the way I imagine it will, but I do have a feeling there is going to be a reckoning... for all of them, really.

Bill has said that being around his ex wife is like being exposed to poison.  Once you get away from her and have a few days of rest, the poison starts to dissipate and you can think clearly again.  It took Bill a long time before the aftereffects of his ex wife wore off.  I don't know if or when her children will fully recover from being raised by a toxic mother.  But I do think that as they get to know Bill again, there could be some very unpleasant side effects as they realize what and who they were cheated out of having in their lives.

As for me... I'm just glad to have him in my life.  And while we didn't get to have any children together, we do share a lot of love with each other and our five canine sons...

CC... (CuCullain-- RIP 2003)

MacGregor (RIP 2012) and Flea (RIP 2009)



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Naked misogyny...

Yesterday, I happened to read an article posted by the Navy Times about a toxic leader.  The Navy's inspector general is currently investigating its top enlisted sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Steve Giordano, because there are allegations that he had created a "toxic work environment" inside his small Pentagon based staff.

Apparently, some guys in the military know more about this stuff than I do...

I was interested in the article because my husband, Bill, went to Iraq with a toxic boss.  He spent six months in a war zone with a man who took great delight in micromanaging his staff.  The colonel who was Bill's boss would insist that Bill eat meals with him, learn the basics of playing golf, and put up with his constant insults and threats without saying a word.  The guy would refuse to give Bill any peace.  I knew things were bad when Bill called me from Iraq and told me he felt like he was back with his ex wife.  I was pretty livid, since being in a war zone is stressful enough without having an asshole boss who gets his thrills terrorizing his staff members.

A few years later, Bill was gratified to find out that his former boss had been very publicly fired.  Once again, he'd gone to Iraq, this time with a brigade.  He abused people within the brigade, particularly the women.  The whole thing was reported in the Army Times.  This guy, who had been slated to become a general, was basically kicked out of the Army six weeks before he would have come home to the States and pinned on his new rank.  I must admit, it felt good seeing him get his richly deserved just desserts.

It sounds like this guy, Giordano, is similarly abusive.  People who have worked with him claim that he's verbally abusive, has a "ferocious temper", and a bullying leadership style.  He is also accused of being "passive aggressive", which doesn't seem to jibe with also having a "ferocious temper".  Maybe he's passive aggressive until he finally loses his shit and explodes.

Giordano allegedly thinks of himself as akin to a three-star admiral and has reportedly tried to get the same privileges of someone at that rank.  For instance, he supposedly demanded that his staff ask the Navy to issue him his own fine china for when he hosts formal dinners in his home.  Many sailors have either voluntarily left or been fired by Giordano, simply because he allegedly makes the work environment so unpleasant.  Working for him has been compared to "working for a pop star or a Hollywood diva".

I have read a few stories about people in the military with this particular leadership style.  Recently, I read about a high ranking female officer at Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia who wanted to fudge the results of her "tape test".  A tape test, for those who don't know, is an alternative way, other than measuring BMI, to determine if a servicemember is too fat.  If a servicemember is, say, unusually short or stocky, the BMI might not be the best way to determine his or her fitness.  Colonel Glenda Lock, known for being an "abrasive" leader, supposedly demanded that she be held to different body composition standards and measurement procedures.  She was fired from her prestigious job as commander of McDonald Army Health Center (a place where I spent many hours as a kid, getting routine medical care-- it was still an inpatient hospital in those days).

Abusive and/or toxic leadership is a topic that I find intriguing, so I usually read the articles about asshole bosses, especially when they are in a military uniform.  But what always bewilders me are the comments.  I almost don't dare to comment on any article by a military publication because I've found that a lot of people, particularly male servicemembers, can't stand it when a civilian, particularly a female civilian, voices an opinion.  However, I couldn't resist yesterday when I read the comments posted below.

The first guy basically insults anyone who has a complaint about abusive leaders by implying that they're weak and need "Vagisil dispensers".  I have to wonder what such a big strong man who doesn't cry knows about Vagisil.  That's like a guy knowing a lot about maxi pads or tampons.  On the other hand, Bill knows which brands I prefer and doesn't mind buying them for me.  That makes him a *real man* in my eyes.

I was bewildered by the guy's comment on so many levels.  First off, what the hell does he know about Vagisil?  It's not a product marketed to men, which leads me to believe this dude either watches a lot of commercials on television-- and Vagisil ads would typically air on a female centric channel like Lifetime, Oxygen, or We-- or he has a mother, wife, sister, or daughter who has used it.  If the latter is true, I wonder if he treats them with disdain for being female.  And if he has, has it ever occurred to him how much tougher a female's genitalia is than a male's?  Sheng Wang says it best...

People often attribute this to Betty White, but actually Sheng Wang said it...  I suppose it's funnier if it seems to have come from Betty White, but she has publicly said she didn't say this.

And Sheng Wang supposedly got his routine from one by Hal Sparks, who also notes that vaginas are much tougher than dicks and balls are...

Anyway, enough with the fact checking.  The point is, there are a lot of misogynistic creeps out there, especially in the military.  And I maintain that guys who make misogynistic remarks are pretty fucking stupid.  I want to ask that man if he has any women in his life that he cares about.  And if he does, would he like it if some random guy made nasty comments about them simply due to their gender?  Why is it okay for men to refer to "weak" males as "pussies", "bitches", or "girls", or sneeringly refer to feminine hygiene products being used by men as a statement of their strength, or lack thereof?  Seems to me, most straight men would love to have free access to the parts of a woman that make her female.  Maybe the fact that they don't is the reason why these frustrated male types feel the need to make such disgusting comments about all things feminine.

I mostly don't mind the military culture.  I've been around it my whole life.  However, I have to admit to getting tired of dumb comments made by guys who don't do a lot of thinking.  Especially when these same guys feel emboldened to continue spouting off their bullshit to women, most of whom would quickly bury them in a battle of wits.  I don't usually engage with those types of people because it's a waste of time.  But I did feel compelled to ask the guy what he knows about Vagisil.  If he's so "manly", why is such a female centric product even on his radar?  

I would also love to see how the guy would hold up if someone pitted him against a woman in a crotchkicking contest.  Hit a man and a woman in the same spot between the legs.  Which one do you think would be bent over, howling in agony?  Not the woman.  Think about it.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The clarinetist who dodged a bullet...

I just read an infuriating story on the New York Times.  Eric Ambramovitz, a gifted clarinet player from Canada, was just awarded $375,000 Canadian dollars from a lawsuit he filed against his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Lee.  Why?  Because she crushed his dream and cost him two years of a promising music career.

In 2013, Ambramovitz and Lee were dating.  Both were music students and Abramovitz had dreams of studying under Yehuda Gilad at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California.  But the manipulative and sneaky Ms. Lee did not want her beau of a few months to leave Canada.  So when Abramovitz received the rare, all expenses paid, highly prestigious acceptance to study under Gilad, who only takes on one or two new students per year, Lee intercepted the email, impersonated her ex boyfriend, and turned down the offer.  Then, she sent a fake email to Ambrovitz, indicating that he had not been accepted to study under Gilad at the conservatory.  Instead, he could attend the University of Southern California with a $5000 scholarship, which Lee knew would not be enough.  Abramovitz could not come up with the rest of the $50,000+ tuition charged at USC.

Lee and Ambramovitz eventually broke up and Ambramovitz finished his bachelor's degree in music at McGill University in Montreal.  Then in 2016, he traveled to Los Angeles to re-audition for Professor Gilad.  But Gilad was confused, because he remembered that Ambramovitz had already auditioned and turned down the chance to study with him.

It was at that point when Eric Ambramovitz came to the sickening realization that his ex girlfriend had committed some major league relationship fuckery.  He asked Mr. Gilad about the email he had received from “giladyehuda09”.  Gilad said that was not his email address.  At that point, Ambramovitz filed a police report.  Just an aside here, I'm not sure it would have occurred to me to file a police report if I had been victimized in this way, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense.  What Ms. Lee did was akin to identity theft.

God, he can really play...  I listened to this and immediately got a lump in my throat.

Fortunately, Ambramovitz won acceptance to the University of Southern California, where Mr. Gilad also teaches.  He completed a two year certificate, not on scholarship, and studied under the professor part time.  Professor Gilad testified in court that Ambramovitz made excellent progress studying under him.  However, Ms. Lee's dishonest hijinks cost the gifted clarinetist two years of his career, as well as missed professional opportunities.  According to the article, 80 percent of clarinetists in North American orchestras consist of Gilad's former students.

Just breathtaking... 

Ms. Lee did not respond to the lawsuit and had no lawyer listed in the suit.  It's doubtful that Ambramovitz will ever see any of the money he was awarded.  He has, however, found success as a professional clarinetist.  He just got a job working for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra after having previously worked with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

A few things come to mind after having read about this case.  First off, I'm amazed that Ms. Lee had access to her ex boyfriend's email account.  I wonder why Ambramovitz wasn't able to log into some kind of school account to see what his admittance status was.  Seems like when I applied to graduate school at USC, I had an account that showed what documents I still needed to submit.  That was in 1999.  I guess that's not how they do things at all schools.  I see from another article (a much more complete one) that Ms. Lee also did the same thing with Mr. Abramovitz's successful application to Julliard.

I guess it just goes to show you that you can't trust anyone.  According to another article about this case, Ms. Lee moved fast.  Within a month of their first date, Ambramovitz was staying at her apartment almost full time.  He let her use his laptop and she obviously had access to his passwords.  Actually, if she's got cluster B tendencies, this makes perfect sense.  They tend to overwhelm their victims with whirlwind romances.  Then, once the poor victim is hooked, they turn into horrible people.  

I'm glad Ambramovitz broke up with that miserable bitch.  What an awful thing she did to him!  I hope karma kicks her ass.  But... at least he didn't marry her.  This kind of sabotaging behavior is what Bill experienced firsthand when he was married to his ex wife.  I liken being in a relationship with someone like that to being chained to a dead tree.  A dead tree might eventually rot enough so a victim can escape, but it could take years of soul crushing before that happens.

Bill suffered damage to his career, his relations with his family, and his finances before he was finally able to break away from his psycho cluster B ex.  While Ambramovitz's situation is heartbreaking on many levels, at least his story has a happy ending...  as does Bill's.  Not everyone is so lucky.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A very brazen spam approach...

Today's spam was even saltier than usual...

Well hello there, friends and neighbors in Internetland...  Here I sit on a cloudy Friday morning.  The sheets are in the washing machine and I am on my second cup of coffee, lovingly made for me by my husband, Bill, who has just left for work.  As I ponder what today's blog post will be about, I notice there's a pending comment.  I open it up to find this...


I gotta give credit to Mixtix.  This is a full on ad, complete with conversational language.  It's not the usual generic statement left by spammers who simply put a link in their comments.  This could be a late night TV commercial.

I have to wonder, though, how successful these spam ads are.  I suppose they must get some people taking the bait, since they continue to spam.  I can't imagine buying something like this from an obvious spam ad, though, particularly one that is in the comment section of a blog that has nothing to do with the ad.  Actually, I can't imagine buying something like this, period.  Not only do I not have a penis, but I am also quite satisfied with the one Bill has.  Another inch, let alone three or four inches, is liable to kill me.

I wonder, though... is this issue really as big of a problem as the person who wrote this post claims?  Are there really men out there who are agonizing about the size of their members?  Are they that concerned their manhood is so inadequate that they won't be able to satisfy a woman?  Is that really what having a big schlong is all about in the first place?  And are the men who are so angsty about their penises desperate enough to buy products from a spam comment?  It seems kind of strange to me, but there must be a market for it.

Maybe Carlin was onto something...  Perhaps "bigger dick fear" is behind these spammy ads for penis enlargement products...  Actually, this clip is pretty funny, given Trump's recent dick waving session with Kim Jong Un.

On the other hand, this fundie preacher apparently thinks girls have no minds of their own.  Maybe that's why this product is such a "hot commodity".

I posted the above comment, by the way, simply so I could get a screenshot.  Then, I deleted it.  I do not allow spam comments on my blogs.  In fact, spam comments are one reason why I now moderate comments on older posts.  The other reason is because sometimes people get pissed off about things I write and leave me nasty or threatening comments.  I don't want to allow people to do that, so I moderate comments on all posts of a certain age.  I have noticed that since I started moderating, I get a lot fewer spam comments and nastygrams.  That makes everything nicer.

I'm glad it's Friday.  The week has flown by.  I'm not sure what we'll be doing over the weekend.  I think Bill has homebrew to bottle, plus I have a feeling we'll be calling Ticketmaster in Ireland about our missing Paul Simon tickets.  Other than that, who knows?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Don't want no short people...

Back in the 70s, Randy Newman came up with a hilariously witty song called "Short People".  I remember it used to play on the radio all the time.  I even remember one time, the Harlem Globetrotters did a number featuring Goldie Hawn... someone who is literally short, especially when compared to professional basketball players.

I'm sad to say that I'm old enough to remember when this originally aired on TV.  I'd post Randy Newman's version, but the publishing companies are anal retentive and force you to watch it on YouTube.  I figure if you really want to hear the original song that badly, you can navigate there yourself.

The song, of course, is not literally about "short people".  It's about people who are small-minded and short-sighted.  I see a lot of those people, especially on the Internet.  Hell, there are times when I'm a "short person" in the metaphorical sense.  I think everyone is like that from time to time, although some people are "shorter" than others.  At 5'2", I'm also literally a short person.  I'm finding that I also have a short temper, which makes me a little mean sometimes.

Nah... actually, I'm really not that mean.  I just don't have a lot of patience for bullshit.

Speaking of feeling "mean", Bill and I are planning to go to a bunch of concerts this summer.  So far, I have tickets for four shows from June 30th until October 31st.  Well... actually, I have tickets for three shows.  I had tickets for Paul Simon in Dublin, but I can't find them at the moment.  So last night, I sent an email to Ticketmaster in the hopes that duplicates can be made.  I doubt it'll be a problem, since they weren't general admission tickets.  In fact, they were rather expensive good seats.  The show is just under a month from now.  

I know I got the tickets, because I ordered them right after I bought tickets to see Elton John in May of 2019.  Those tickets haven't arrived yet, because I got special ones that won't be dispatched until two weeks before the event.  Ticketmaster likewise claimed that they wouldn't be sending out Paul Simon tickets until later, so I was surprised when they showed up in the mail three days after I ordered them.  I distinctly remember putting them on Bill's desk, because Bill is not as big of a slob as I am.  However, I can't find them, now... and neither could he.  

Bill apologized and said he feels responsible.  To be honest, I was kind of irritated as I searched through the piles of papers on his desk, some of which were things that should have been tossed out a long time ago.  I even found a shitty letter and a bill from our blessedly former property managers in Texas because we couldn't get hot water in our kitchen without letting the faucet run for several minutes (during a drought, no less-- and the "hot" water wasn't all that hot).  I remember the day I got that bill.  I got so mad that I called up the property managers and yelled at them, which I very rarely do unless I'm super pissed... and I definitely was.  Just seeing that bill and the attached letter again raised my hackles.  It should have been shredded at least four years ago. 

We still have all that crap from Texas, yet, somehow Bill has misplaced concert tickets worth a grand total of about $400.  I'm sure it'll be alright, although that show is sold out and it's the one I'm looking forward to the most.  So this shit better get sorted... although we will be going to Dublin regardless.  Next time I buy concert tickets, I'm going to put them in a drawer and make an alert on my phone to remind me where they are.  Meh... I'll probably forget to do that, too.

I'm feeling slightly less moody and anxious today, despite our ticket mishap.  I like it when my mood lifts a bit.  Strangely enough, I think I'm feeling less anxious because it's cloudy outside.  When it's rainy and cloudy, I feel less apprehensive about making music.  People are less likely to be milling around outside my house if it's raining.  Making music is a natural stress reliever for me and it lifts my mood.  Hopefully, it doesn't annoy our neighbors when I go into music mode.  On the other hand, I'm not the only musician in this neighborhood, so it's probably all good.  

Another reason why I like it when it's cloudy is that at this time of year, my "office" gets unbearably hot.  When the clouds are out, I'm not sweating like a whore in church.  And during the morning, which is when I like to write, the sun shines directly into my face.  This is the only room in my house not equipped with Rolladens.  So, when the sun is out, I have to fold a blanket over the window to block it.  Then the wind invariably blows the blanket off the window.  When there are clouds outside, I don't need shade.  This is only a problem during the warmer months.  During the fall, winter, and early spring, I don't have to worry about it.  I know... first world problems!

I'm glad it's Thursday, even though Thursday is when I do my most hated chore of the week... vacuuming.  But I'm very slack about vacuuming, so that will be done in about a half an hour, tops.  I can say I did it, even if the house is still dusty... which is the main reason why I hate to vacuum.  It feels so futile, especially when you have dogs that shed non-stop.

Hopefully, I won't have to call Ticketmaster in Ireland.  I'm not a fan of calling customer service lines... and I'm sure they're not fans of taking my calls.  Actually, I'm not really that mean, though... I just have an aversion to bullshit and incompetence.  It's a wonder Bill can stand to be around me.

By the way... today's post is #3001.  I've been writing this crap for a really long time now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tennessee woman arrested for putting kids in dog crates...

I read an article in The New York Times about Leimome Cheeks, a 62 year old grandmother who put her 8 and 7 year old grandchildren in dog carriers in the back of her Ford Explorer and drove with them around Memphis.  A bystander took video of the children getting out of the carriers last Saturday and posted it online, where it went viral.  Ms. Cheeks was later arrested for child endangerment.  She was released on bond Sunday and arraigned Monday in Memphis.

I kind of wonder about the backstory on this...

Evidently, there was no room in Ms. Cheeks' SUV, so she told the children to get in the kennels.  It appears that the doors to the kennels were closed as the children were riding in them, which would mean they would have been trapped in them if there had been an emergency.  Moreover, it was 95 degrees in Memphis on Saturday and there were no air vents in the back of the SUV.  Bystanders called the police, who investigated the reports of the children in the carriers.  Ms. Cheeks drove to her home as police were at a nearby house.  By that point, the kids were riding in the backseat of the Explorer.

The comments about this case were pretty interesting.  On the Washington Post's article, plenty of people noted that back in the good ol' days, lots of kids rode in the backs of pickup trucks completely unrestrained.  During my childhood, it wasn't unusual for children to ride in the backs of station wagons, camped out luxuriously.  I even remember my hardcore redneck neighbors letting their kids ride on the hood of their car as they drove home from the bus stop on our dirt lane.  The ride was maybe a mile and the kids thought it was fun, even though it was also extremely dangerous.    

Today, things are a lot stricter and children are expected to be properly restrained in the backseat.  At least, that's how it is in the United States, anyway.  In Europe, it's not unusual to see children in carseats riding in the front.  In fact, I saw one last weekend.

I also noticed a lot of comments comparing the kids in the dog carriers to the children of undocumented immigrants who are being separated from their parents and allegedly locked up in cages... or so the media has reported.  I'm not exactly sure where the truth lies.  There's one picture that has been circulating around the Internet showing a sobbing toddler who appears to be in a cage.  But then I looked up the photo on Snopes and see that the photo is actually misleading.  The child is at a protest and the "cage" is actually a mock up.  He's crying because he can't figure out how to get to his mother.

This picture has been circulating lately.  It appears that the boy is locked in a cage, but he was actually at a protest about the children of illegal immigrants being separated from their parents.  Just as this picture is kind of misleading, so might be the video of the children in the dog carriers.  Either way, I will agree that seeing children in cages or dog carriers is disturbing and needs to be investigated.

I've mentioned before on this blog how difficult it must be to raise children in America nowadays.  I certainly don't condone what this grandmother did, but I do kind of wonder what exactly happened.  What were the circumstances that led up to her decision to have the kids ride in the dog carriers instead of in the backseat?  A lot of people were wondering if Grandma shouldn't try to get a job working for ICE.

Everybody's got a cellphone these days and there's always a chance that someone is filming.  I've read about plenty of cases of people turning in videos to child welfare agencies and families being haunted for years by CPS.  Sometimes, it's good that CPS is involved.  Other times, it's a nightmare.

Regardless... I think especially nowadays, it's really a stupid idea to do anything like this that might be misconstrued by people passing by.  Grandma probably should have figured out some other way to make room in the car.  Perhaps whatever was on the backseat should have been put in the carriers instead.  Or maybe Grandma could have collapsed the carriers to make more room.  Unfortunately, this is another case of really bad judgment that could lead to serious legal consequences.  On the other hand, maybe the kids are in an abusive situation.  Perhaps more information will come out about this case.  I'll be watching.