Sunday, July 31, 2016

Drunken political screeds from family members...

I was going to write about an entirely different topic today.  I had it in my mind that I would get home from France and start writing about something I read the other day that has been on the brain for a few days now.  But then, on my way to our lovely French destination yesterday, I got a scathing email from my uncle.  This uncle has a habit of sending mass emails about politics to everyone in the family, whether or not the family member's political beliefs align with his.  He's in his 70s, so I never say anything to him about the stuff he sends.  However, after yesterday's outburst, I'm thinking maybe I should start responding.  Much of what he writes is utter bullshit and very offensive to boot.

If anyone in my family reads this and is offended, I will simply say "too bad".  If my uncle reads this and is upset, I will simply say, "if you don't want me to share it, don't send it to me."  In fact, I'd be delighted if you took me off your email list because I don't read most of the shit you send and the stuff you do send is not useful.

I had nothing to do with this rant.  I wasn't involved in the discussion.  I didn't even see the original posting that prompted my uncle's response.  My guess is that he wrote this while very drunk.  It's like his brain threw up and poured verbal spew from his fingers.

I'm really glad this was not sent to me personally.  If it had been, I would have responded with a verbal asswhooping, despite the fact that he's my uncle and in his 70s.  Unbelievable.  My cousin, B, is this uncle's son, a former Marine, and gay.  He responded.  I posted his comments below my uncle's rant.

Again... maybe I shouldn't share this, but it was shared with me.  I can't wait until this fucking election is over, though this kind of crap will continue for as long as there are elections.

Damitall, its 2:03 AM and I must reply to B (if you have fallen off the wagon that "education is a high priority in my family at one time" well its time you got back on board!) and AT, but so I make sure they know that they are not as smart as they will be some day, I intend to clear up some of their "stupid".

When I forward emails my intents are to amuse you, inform you, or create a thinking or reflection on your part.  I know all of you, where you came from, and what you have been taught through our family, but I surely don't know where you've been, what you've experienced, nor what mush has been crammed into your skulls. That's unfortunate!  Mainly because the airwaves are alive with disinformation, bias, propaganda, bigotry, racism, and, you place your own adjective.  The subject "Gotta Love the First Lady" was sent to generate a thought process and maybe a reason to learn a little more about "The First Lady".  The First Lady, a "highly educated", lucky as hell, black lady, who, after her husband was nominated to run for president of the Greatest Country, the United States of America, finally admitted that she was finally "proud of her country".  Finally proud of her country.....she did not acknowledge that in her lifetime, and for many lifetimes before her time, American men and women braved difficulties she has never experienced to provide a safe nation where freedom and liberty are the precious attributes known to precious few other location on earth.  But she is a "highly educated" woman, and our "First Lady".  But, not being a black man who suffered the inhumane treatment that many of our black citizens did and still do experience, I'll give her a semi-pass here.  But she, a "highly educated" woman, wife of the President of the United States, should be well aware of reasons for which she was, or could be proud of the USA, but no, not until her husband was the nominee for the highest post in the world.

Now, relative to the article, B, the article, shows quotes, states that none of the Declaration of Independence signatories "were  born American, they became American".  What is her reason for that statement and because we don't know if there was anything else she did or did not say, what would an immigrant take away from that statement?  Knowing how BHO has been apologizing to every two-bit dictatorship around the world for the fact that the USA has continually prevented total chaos among nations...and limited the spread of the German and Japanese languages...,.that anyone from anywhere should have a right to live in the USA simply being a breathing human.  She was, in effect, apologizing to them for the messy paperwork and having to raise their right hand and swear allegiance to the United States they had to endure "just to become a USA citizen".  

    And for you, AT, I applaud your decision to be a teacher.  It is a noble profession.  To be successful you must know the subject to the nth degree, work extra hours to prepare, know your students, demand respect, maintain discipline, always be true, and limit your own bias relative to the subject.  Now, I know that you are smart and know everything and all the mistakes adults have made and where they are "just wrong".  Sweetheart, I love you and always have.  Now listen, your paragraph sounds like a revamp of the old Dr. Spock (google it) book about raising children.  I'm sure that is what the "new" books and ex-60's-counter-culture professors peddle as "the way".  Not to be rude but honey, you're not smart.  In thirty or so years you 2will be because you'll have learned through the school of hard knocks that the touchy-feely niceties don't work.  Sorry 'bout that.  My advice to you would be to listen to all the adults you can, take notes, observe, remember, and use the techniques they offer.

    Don't you love America?  Where else can youngsters go off, get educated, come home and immediately tell the parents where they have been so wrong for so long?  But the young educated listen to kooks who have never had a job where they were required to perform, only to spew platitudes that have no factual basis.  Yeah, but guess who signs the will.

    Here is my take in this exciting campaign season,.....the United States of America is in deep trouble.  The two party system has been exposed for all the cronyism, graft, pay-to play, and total disregard of all us underlings who "don't know better".  Guess what, we learned after getting it jammed down our throats and taken out of our checks while the politicians were dining in luxury with each other, year after year.  Crooked Hillary is such a perfect nickname.  Anyone of us who had been involved in just one of her many scandals would be behind bars beyond child bearing years.  Eh, AT?  And Trump is a shot in the dark, but he, at least, knows how to run a business.  God please help us.  
    My five fears: 1. Crooked Hillary 2. EMP 3. Political Scientists (really an oxymoron) 4. Yellowstone eruption 5. Halley's Comet. 

Why political scientists?  Tell me where politics has any relevance to science.  Can you imagine a curriculum that includes 1. the art of promising 2. Lying with a straight face. 3. How to raise your salary 4. Agencies and how to chum them for money. 5. Uses of the IRS.  6. Benefits that never end  7. How to get the dead vote.  Hey, it is late.  Bye


Continue to prove my point.  I've only heard one other dumber, rambling drunk statement from you and will not elaborate.  

Donald Trump IS NOT A GOOD NOR AN ETHICAL BUSINESSMAN!  He inherited his position and wealth.  His "morality" is non-existent.  4 FOREIGN WIVES, REALLY!  Using our bankruptcy laws to maintain wealth at the expense of the contractors hired but not paid, sending jobs overseas, paying "politicians" for his own gain, promoting torture, saying that he will repeal gay equal rights legislation, etc., etc., etc. Please don't be a hypocrite!  Intelligent debate is one thing, attacking AT  for standing up for her opinion soley because it's not yours is below you.  You are being an ASS!  Stop.

You favorite GAY son,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I actually have something on my mind today...

But we're getting ready to go away for the night, so I think I'll write about it tomorrow.  I'm definitely ready for our little jaunt to the next country.  It's been way too long since we last went to France.  We live so close to it and there's no excuse for not visiting more often.  I'm hoping to rectify that in the coming year.

Anyway... I don't think I'll bother bringing my laptop on this trip.  Just gonna take the dogs, Bill, and a change of clothes and see what happens.

Hasta la vista...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Politics give me a pain in the head...

For the last few days, I've been struggling with a problem that I've dealt with on and off over the years.  I get tension headaches from exercise or sex or anything that makes the blood pressure shoot up.  This issue isn't something that goes on every day.  I have a few attacks within a week or so, then it goes away for a couple of months.  Dr. Google says that exercise induced headaches aren't all that uncommon.  They are pretty painful, though.  I have noticed that I get similar physical responses from reading about politics.

I think the Internet has, in many ways, brought people closer together.  It's also made people less civil, especially when it comes to politics and religion.  Many people tend to be braver behind a screen than they are face to face with someone.  So if you dare to write or say something about politics or religion, you can expect to be taken to task by someone.  It happens to me all the time, though I try not to post too much mean spirited vitriol.

Because politics discussions give me a pain in the head, I decided to look for things to distract me yesterday.  I watched all the Little Britain episodes over the past couple of days.  They made me laugh, which didn't lead to a headache.

Bill and I are going to France tomorrow, just for an overnight jaunt.  We're taking the dogs with us.  We planned this trip on the spur of the moment, because I need to get out of here for a day or two.  Just want a change of scenery and maybe a chance to buy some good French products.  We live close to France and Switzerland, yet we never go there.  I want to change that.

When we planned our journey to eastern France, we didn't know that our landlords had arranged for part of the fence around our yard to be replaced.  We won't be here while that's being done.  I'm hoping it's not a sign that they want to sell the property, though they did tell us when we moved in two years ago that they were planning to replace the fence.  They also replaced the windows around the time we moved in.  But, you know me.  I tend to borrow trouble sometimes.  A lot of the things that worry me never actually come to pass.

What they really need to do is replace the toilet in the upstairs bathroom.  It's an annoying old fashioned model that, if you don't stand there and hold the lever down for thirty seconds or so, will not send enough water down to push debris into the sewer system.  Eventually, it clogs the pipes and backs up into the washing machine.  We solved that problem by changing toilet paper and flushing the toilet more thoroughly, but it's still a pain in the ass.

Aside from politics giving me a headache, there's also some change afoot for Bill's job.  He's being promoted to assistant manager.  He will get a raise and a lot more responsibility.  I don't know how much of a raise he's getting.  Bill, being the sweet, humble guy he is, says he doesn't need a lot more money.  All I hope for is that we still get to travel and we don't have to move again anytime soon.

Despite my tendency to borrow trouble, I have to admit that Bill and I have come a really long way.  There was a time when we really struggled with money.  I remember about ten years ago, telling Bill that the money problems were temporary and that eventually, we'd have a really good lifestyle.  I was right.  But, you know, as Don Henley sings "In a New York Minute, everything can change."

I need to relax.  At least my tooth is fixed and paid for, right?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

The princess and the fairy cop...

When last we left Princess Knotolia, she was learning about the local drama erupting over the paper peddler, Herr Verkauf.  The crowd was becoming more and more animated as they talked among themselves about Herr Verkauf's infamous threatening scroll.

Among the members of the crowd was a low ranking drunken constable.  He stumbled to the front of the crowd to speak.  "Heeeey..." he slurred, slurping from a pewter goblet full of bourbon, "I'd like you all to meet my brother, Christmas.  I know he's a fairy, but he's as tough as nails and a better cop than I am.  I called him and he's now on the case!"

The crowd mumbled incoherently as a fairy riding a unicorn with wings appeared.  The unicorn reared up on its hind legs and let out a triumphant neigh as Christmas the fairy cop hung on for dear life.

"Greetings, folks!"  the fairy cop said as he nimbly dismounted the winged unicorn.  "I am here to save the day!"

The mumblings among the crowd grew louder as the fairy cop smiled, showing off his teeth.  He looked adorable, dressed in a little police uniform, complete with a service revolver and baton.

Princess Knotolia looked carefully at the little fellow.  He was very muscular and his uniform fit perfectly, as if he'd had them tailored by the same person who tailored Frank Poncherello's uniforms on CHiPs.  Knotolia couldn't help but gaze at the fairy cop's ass, which was perfectly shaped and proportioned.  She imagined all the unicorn riding gave him a butt that could crack walnuts.

"Pass me that bourbon, would you bro?" Christmas said.  "I'm parched after a long ride over here."

The drunken low ranking constable poured his brother a healthy measure of bourbon in a pewter goblet.  Christmas accepted the beverage with a hearty thanks.  Then he tipped the goblet and guzzled the strong brown booze down in one swallow.

"Ahh!" Christmas said with a belch.  "Don't worry, folks.  I don't drink and ride.  My trusty winged unicorn here, Rick, has an excellent sense of direction anyway.  So if I tie one on, he'll get me home safe and sound."

Rick, the winged unicorn, let out a hearty neigh as if in agreement.  Then, much to Princess Knotolia's surprise, the creature made a sound that was remarkably like snarky laughter.  She wondered what Rick the winged unicorn would say if he could speak.  Then she smiled and shook her head, imagining that the creature probably had lots to say.  In fact, if she spent enough time listening, Knotolia felt certain that she could decipher the magical creature's accent into something intelligible.

Christmas set the pewter goblet down so his brother could refill it.  Then he addressed the crowd.  "Now, this fellow, Herr Verkauf, is simply an asshole.  I notice he's been on the rampage, kicking people out of his Friend Zone and building a wall.  Next thing you know, he's going to be demanding that the people on the outside of his wall pay for the damn thing!  That's not right!  If I didn't know better, I'd say he was a little xenophobic.  But I don't know better and I don't want to be sued, so bear in mind that what I'm saying here isn't being represented as fact.  I think it's important to make these points clear because I let my legal insurance lapse and wouldn't want anyone to catch me with my pants down..." Christmas said, his blue eyes twinkling.

"What is the point of all this yammering?" Sable asked.

"Oh, I don't know, dearie." Christmas responded, again flashing a grin.  "I enjoy hearing myself talk.  Rick does, too."

"Well shut the fuck up unless you have something truly useful to say." Sable snapped.  "I'm in a bad fucking mood.  I don't like bourbon and I don't like bullshit.  There's too much of both at this party."

Christmas gave the redhead a look of sheer horror and said, "You don't play, do you?  Calm your tits, will ya?"

"I've been arrested before.  You don't scare me, fairy cop." Sable said, her eyes narrowed into slits.  "Now cut out the bullshit and let's get down to business.  That Herr Verkauf dude is a dick who needs dealing with."

"Really?" Christmas asked.  "Because he's built that wall around himself and so we'll not be harassed by him anymore.  Besides, this'll all blow over with the next drama in our land.  Why bother?"

The low ranking drunken constable poured Christmas another goblet full of bourbon and handed it to his brother.  "Thanks, bro.  Don't mind if I do."

Sable stopped for a moment and said, "Well...  I guess you're right.  Besides, I'd rather be partying.  Someone pass me the pulled pork barbecue and enchiladas."

"Why don't we play a nice rousing game of Cards Against Humanity or something?" Christmas suggested.  "Forget about insurance and focus on having fun.  But be careful, because you don't want to get sued.  You're already taking a chance inviting me here, since Herr Verkauf explicitly asked you not to go to the police."

"You know what I want to do?" Sable asked.  Without waiting for an answer, she said "I want to do naked limbo in the forest.  And I want someone to put pieces of fruit on my chest as I pass under the stick.  And I want Rick the winged unicorn to provide the entertainment.  I hear he does some mean karaoke."

"Yeah, that's what he says." Christmas agreed, casting a doubtful eye on the creature, who had just started eating a lily.

"Hey Christmas!" the feisty blonde shouted, "Does Rick have a siren?  You know, for emergencies?"

"Oh yes, he does..." Christmas said, giving his buddy a sidelong glance.  "That's the only time I can really understand his accent.  When I am in hot pursuit, Rick makes a siren sound and yells out, 'Pull ovah!  Pull ovah!'  It's pretty fucking cool."

"I wanna hear it!" the blonde shouted.

"Now, let's not have any of that.  If Rick turns on his siren, the whole forest will hear it." Christmas warned.  "He also gets really excited and pees on himself.  You don't want to have to clean up that mess, do you?"

"Well shit... I guess not.  But it sounds so cool." the woman said.

"We have to conserve Rick's energy.  He's not so young." Christmas said as he drank more bourbon.

Suddenly, Rick's face was distinctly registering annoyance as he threw his head back and let out a deafening siren sound.  The creature's white mane and tail blew in the breeze as he said "Pull ovah!  Pull ovah!"  For a moment, the winged unicorn was alive with mischief.

"You still got it, dude." Christmas said, patting his friend on the shoulder.  "I'm so proud."  Then, with a drunken lunge, Christmas vaulted himself onto Rick's bare back and the two took to the sky.  "Calm your tits.  I'll be back later," Christmas promised.  "I need a bourbon run.  Giddyap, Rick!"  

Hillary Clinton defended a child rapist and laughed about it?

Yesterday, my former English professor from Longwood University posted the following picture, along with a comment that she wished this particular lie would go away.

I probably heard about this at some time, but it slipped my mind.

I don't want to write too much about the specifics in this case because the case is not really why I am inspired to write this morning.  The meme my prof shared was linked from, and there you can read an extensive account of what actually transpired.  What I want to write about is the part of the meme where it says "Hillary got my rapist freed."  

Bill and I were talking about this last night.  I said, while admittedly under the influence of a very nice red wine, that even if what's written on this meme is completely true-- and it's not--, as a lawyer, it was Hillary Clinton's job to vigorously defend her client.  If her client got off or got a reduced sentence, then Mrs. Clinton presumably did her job well.   Even if the guy she was defending was guilty, it wouldn't have been Mrs. Clinton's job to bring him to justice.  It was her job to protect her client's rights.  That's what good lawyers are supposed to do.

In 1975, Mrs. Clinton, then known as Hillary Rodham, was a young lawyer who took on this case involving Tom Taylor, a then 42 year old indigent man who was accused of raping a twelve year old girl.  She did not "volunteer" to represent Mr. Taylor.  A judge assigned her to the case because Taylor wanted a female attorney and there were only a few of them available in the area at the time.   She took the case because she had to and she worked hard for her client, even though he was indigent and couldn't pay her handsomely for her efforts.  

Anyone who has been accused of a crime, whether or not they are guilty, is entitled to competent legal representation.  Anyone in that situation with a functioning brain would want a decent attorney to represent them.  My opinion is that even if I might personally find it distasteful that an attorney would defend someone reprehensible, I would also expect a good lawyer to be professional and advocate for their client.   It sounds to me like that's what Hillary Clinton did.

As to the part about the victim "making up the rape story", what actually happened is that Mrs. Clinton requested that the girl undergo a psychiatric evaluation.  She did so because she had been informed that the accuser was emotionally unstable and had a history of seeking out older men and fantasizing about them, then claiming that they had attacked her.  Mrs. Clinton was also informed by a child psychologist that adolescents sometimes exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences.  Under those circumstances, wouldn't it have been prudent for Mrs. Clinton to have the girl checked out by a mental health professional?   

Let me ask my readers this question.  If you or a loved one were accused of a crime, wouldn't you want your attorney to do everything in their power to keep you or your loved one out of prison?  Wouldn't you want to be considered innocent until proven guilty?  Because what we're talking about, here, is someone going to prison.  A prison sentence, in and of itself, is horrible enough.  But it doesn't just affect the person being sent away.  It also affects their families and society at large.  And being convicted of a felony can have a seriously bad effect on the rest of a person's life.  

Unfortunately, the court system doesn't always get it right.  Innocent people have been incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit.  A few have even ended up on death row.  There have been recent cases of people on death row being exonerated.  Some of them spent decades anticipating their deaths at the hands of the government.  Can you imagine what it would be like to spend years in prison under extremely tight security for a crime you didn't commit, especially if your punishment was execution?  If you were lucky enough to be exonerated, how would you feel as you were set free?  What kinds of challenges would you face in society?  Think about it.

Personally, I think it's better to err on the side of letting guilty people go free than locking up innocent people.  Moreover, Mr. Taylor did not go free.  Mrs. Clinton arranged for a plea deal to a lesser charge that carried a maximum sentence of five years.  The judge gave Mr. Taylor four years probation and a year, with credit for time served.  That may seem like a very light sentence, but it was the judge who handed down the punishment, not Mrs. Clinton.  

The girl in this case had advocates.  There were people on her side.  It was not Mrs. Clinton's job to work for the victim.  Mrs. Clinton was working for the accused.  It was her job to advocate for him, even if he was a terrible person.  She did her job well.  It's too bad that people react so emotionally to cases like these.   

Now, I am not necessarily a fan of Hillary Clinton's politics and I don't have plans to cast my vote for her.  I do recognize her as a very ambitious, hardworking, shrewd, and accomplished woman.  She's also an excellent lawyer.  She is probably perfectly suited for her career in politics.  She cut her teeth in law, which is not a career for people who aren't prepared to set aside their own personal principles for the good of their clients.  Of course many people hope for politicians who are humane and compassionate, but the truth is, the most successful politicians have to be aggressive and shrewd.  Otherwise, they'll get steamrolled.        

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A review of Shannon Miller's It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life

Hi everybody.  I know I could be writing about politics or that poor French priest who was murdered near Normandy yesterday, but I think enough people are writing about those topics.  Besides, it's high time for another book review.  I used to crank them out weekly and now it takes me a lot longer to plow through my reading.  Today's review is about America's most decorated female gymnast and ovarian cancer survivor, Shannon Miller, and her book It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life.  

With help from ghost writer, Danny Peary, Miller published her book in the spring of 2015.  Although I kind of quit watching gymnastics years ago, Shannon Miller comes from an era when I did used to tune in.  I remember seeing her when she was just 11 years old, competing in a meet that was aired on the now defunct cable channel, Home Team Sports.  Even back then, she was very impressive.  Years later, when she and her teammates won gold in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, I remembered her performance as a child and marveled at how far she'd come.

Shannon Miller at age 11.

Today, Shannon Miller has a degree in law and is the mother of a son and a daughter.  Her daughter, Sterling Diane, was born against the odds after Miller had her left ovary and fallopian tube removed and endured nine weeks of chemotherapy.  Miller has her own foundation, Shannon Miller Lifestyle, which is devoted to encouraging health and fitness for women.

Miller reminds readers that her potentially deadly cancer was discovered when she was feeling just fine.  It was a routine visit to her gynecologist that uncovered a cancer that often kills women because by the time it's discovered, it's too far advanced to treat effectively.  I agree with her on an intellectual level that people should pay attention to their health.  However, as a healthcare consumer, I think it's very difficult for many folks to be attentive to their health.  For one thing, it's takes time and money that many people don't have.  For another thing, seeing doctors is potentially very demoralizing.  Most of us would rather be doing something else.

In her book, Miller doesn't focus too much on cancer or even married life.  It's Not About Perfect is about eighty percent about Miller's gymnastics career.  I'm okay with that, because I was interested in reading about gymnastics.  Let's face it.  Shannon Miller is where she is, for the most part, because she is such a talented athlete.  It makes sense that such a large portion of her life story would be devoted to life in the gym.  I appreciated her comments about the historic 1996 Summer Games, too.  I was in Armenia at the time and didn't get to watch them live.  Readers who would rather read about Miller's struggle with cancer may be disappointed that there's not more included about that battle.  In a way, the book's title is a bit misleading.

I thought Miller's book was mostly well written.  She comes across as a pleasant person, albeit more religious than I expected.  She mentions her faith more than a few times in her story.  I have nothing against people who have faith in God.  Some people may feel like this book is a bit whitewashed in that Miller mostly keeps her comments about her coaches and gymnastics very positive.  She writes about working out with serious injuries, enduring surgeries, competing when she was tired or sick, and glosses over the politics involved with assembling an Olympic team.  But I got the sense she didn't want to alienate anyone and, perhaps, was not quite as candid as she could have been.

Interestingly enough, I read in a review on that Shannon Miller was raised Christian Scientist, which means that early in her career, she didn't necessarily go to doctors.  But she and her mother, Claudia, are both cancer survivors and were saved by the powers of modern medicine.  It would have been a great asset to Miller's book had she written more about that aspect of her faith.  Apparently, in Shannon Miller: My Child, My Hero, her mother's book, the Christian Science part of her upbringing is discussed.  Now, even though that book was published in 1999, I'm thinking I might have to read it.  Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows how much I like to learn about fringe religions.  Edited to add: I read a large excerpt of Claudia Miller's book on Google and it looks like a lot of the information is pretty much the same as what's in Miller's most recent book.

Miller also is mum about her first marriage to ophthalmologist, Chris Phillips.  That marriage did not last long and Shannon mostly says it's because they didn't know each other very well.  Of course, perhaps it was best that she not write too much about that marriage since her ex husband basically accused her of infidelity.  From what I gathered, the split was nasty and it was probably best not to rehash the relationship in the book.  I remember photos of them in People magazine when the wedding happened and other readers probably do, too.  

I thought it was pretty cool that Shannon included photos, including one of her smiling radiantly while holding her son, Rocco, and sporting a totally bald head.  Her trademark frizzy hair has since grown back after it fell out during chemotherapy.  It looks like it's no longer frizzy.  Shannon's looking sleek and professional these days.

Anyway... It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life is probably not a bad read for most gymnastics fans.  It's not really juicy or scandalous, but it's not terrible.  Those who want to read more about Shannon's personal life or struggle with ovarian cancer may be left wanting.  I think I'd give it three and a half stars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Newsflash... Twiggy can sing!

British model Twiggy's heyday was long before I had any sense.  I know her best from QVC and America's Next Top Model, where she was a judge for a few cycles.  Today, while searching for a long lost tampon ad from 1990, I ran across Twiggy performing an interesting ditty with The Muppets.  Have a gander at this!

Well damn... I guess she's not just a pretty face!

As a kid, I was a big fan of The Muppet Show, but I don't remember seeing Twiggy's episode.  Even if I had, I probably wouldn't have remembered it because I truly didn't know who she was until she was teamed up with Tyra Banks.  But I must admit, she's cute in these performances.

Here she is covering "In My Life" by The Beatles. 

And doing a little acting, too...

It occurs to me that I probably should have put this on my music blog, but I was just a bit intrigued by this bit of nostalgia.  I see according to Wikipedia, she's done a lot of singing over the years.  Why didn't I know about this?  On another note, I really miss the Muppets.  I'm glad I got to grow up during their heyday.  


The princess and the paper peddler...

This is another non-sensical fairy tale post that will only make total sense to certain people.  I hope others will simply enjoy the story.  Maybe later, I'll write about something everyone will get.

When last we left her, Princess Knotolia was on the brink of blasting one of her so-called "friends" out of the Friend Zone Forest.  The Minister of Masturdebaiting was quivering there on the brink of a disgustingly messy explosion as Knotolia's finger was poised over the button that would catapult him out of her land for good.  But then, just as she was about to make the big commitment to act, Knotolia heard a male voice in the distance.

"Before you press that button, fair princess, I have to ask you...  Are you properly insured?"

"What?" Princess Knotolia queried, suddenly confused.

There was a rustling in the bushes and out popped a mild mannered looking guy with glasses.  He gave the princess a friendly smile and said, "I sell insurance.  I can find you the best rate for any of your insurance needs.  Just give me a few minutes."

"Who are you?" Princess Knotolia asked.

"My name is Herr Verkauf." the man said.  "You know, you are venturing very close to the border of your land and if you cross over, the laws will change drastically.  You should take care to be properly insured.  If not, you may find yourself in a world of financial hurt.  Your wimpy insurance coverage isn't nearly enough."

Princess Knotolia stopped to think about that possibility for a moment.  It was true that she liked to vacation in the adjoining land and sometimes stayed there for long periods of time.  She knew the people in that place were generally friendly and helpful, but would not hesitate to sue.  Though she was a princess, Knotolia didn't have a lot of money because she'd just lowered taxes for her subjects.  And the man seemed so friendly and helpful and his product seemed useful and reasonably priced.

"It will only cost you a small sum...  Just a few pieces of gold and you will be all set." Herr Verkauf continued.

"I'll think about it." Knotolia said.  Herr Verkauf had effectively distracted Knotolia from dispatching the Minister of Masturdebaiting.  The creature calmed down, got ahold of himself, and scurried off into the forest.  Knotolia sighed as she realized that they would meet again and she'd probably have to dispatch him at that time.  But for now, masturdebaitors would have their hero and Knotolia was temporarily glad she hadn't had to push the button after all.

That evening, Princess Knotolia sat down in her ivory tower and looked over the paperwork Herr Verkauf had given her.  He'd made a good case for buying insurance.  But Knotolia knew that not everyone in the kingdom felt the way she did about what Herr Verkauf was selling.  Word out on the foothpaths was that Herr Verkauf was an aggressive peddler who pushed his product on everyone.  The princess mostly tried to stay out of the disputes, realizing that people had the right to their opinions.  But it was true that she had heard a lot of scuttlebutt about the paper peddler.

Princess Knotolia decided to purchase a policy after the royal dog handler told her it would be a good idea.  Since she took so many trips to other lands, it made sense that she would be covered in case one of her little fur babies did something that damaged someone else's property.  Because it was easy, she bought the policy from Herr Verkauf and all was fine for awhile.

One day, Princess Knotolia went to the town square to purchase some kumquats and garbanzo beans. While she was there, she noticed a rowdy, but friendly group sitting in one of the private cafes.  Several in the group waved to the princess and motioned her to come over.

Unable to resist a giggle session, the princess approached the group and was soon mingling with everyone.  She set down her kumquats and garbanzo beans and laughed at the lighthearted merriment as someone passed around glasses of ale.  Suddenly, a low ranking, alcoholic constable said, "I see Herr Verkauf is at it again, selling his insurance policies."

The princess's ears perked up as another in the group said, "That motherfucker is relentless!  Every single time someone mentions buying a pet or taking a trip, he's got to open his big trap!  It's annoying as fuck!"

"I heard he's not even licensed to sell the insurance in the Land of Ass Clown.  I looked him up and he's not listed!" one woman said.

"You think maybe he's a fraud?" a young man asked, stifling a giggle as he stroked his pet monkey.

"I don't know, but he's always trying to peddle his papers to the people of this land.  He never stops!" the woman answered.

"He seemed pretty nice to me." Princess Knotolia said quietly.

"You just wait, princess.  You'll see the real Herr Verkauf." an outspoken blonde woman sneered.  "He's all about making gold and protecting his reputation."

"Well shit." Princess Knotolia said with a shrug.  "I'd better go now.  I have to go brush my hair and sleep for a hundred years."

The merry group members bid the princess farewell as she walked back to the ivory tower with her produce.

Weeks later, Princess Knotolia went back to the town square to purchase feminine hygiene supplies, big girl panties, and a box of Chiclets.  Once again, she ran into the boisterous group who were making merry with ale.  The mood was slightly more somber this time, as the leader of the group, a fiery redheaded woman named Sable, read a long scroll sent to them by Herr Verkauf.  Basically, the mild mannered salesman had threatened to sue everyone in the group for making merry at his expense.  He was pissed off and ready to make them PAY!

"He's lost his fuckin' mind!" the low ranking alcoholic constable shouted.

"He wants US to apologize?" bleated a young woman with comely cleavage.

"Fuck him!" shouted a stouthearted warrior dressed in rusty armor.

"What's going on?" Princess Knotolia asked, stifling a yawn.  She'd missed her afternoon nap and was feeling weary after the long walk into town.

"Herr Verkauf sent some flying monkeys to our little group here and they tattled on us.  Now he's threatening us with LEGAL action!" Sable explained.  "But I think the joke is on him; because if what he claims is right, it is he who has broken the law!"

Princess Knotolia reached into her sack and pulled out her big girl panties and feminine hygiene products.  She could see they were about to become necessary.

"Imagine the nerve of him!  Does he think we're stupid?  Fuck him!" the rusty armored man shouted. "I'm going to the police!"

"Wow..." Princess Knotolia said.  "It seems like an awful lot of drama has erupted over some harmless fun."

It was true that the man who had seemed so mild mannered and helpful was showing a distinctly threatening side in the scroll he'd sent to the group.  In it, he had claimed that he had everyone's names and addresses and was prepared to use the full force of the law to get the group to stop picking on him.  And, as an ominous end to his screed, Herr Verkauf warned Sable and her low ranking constable friend not to share his missive with the others, yet he was also demanding an apology.  The princess had to admit that the note sounded almost like a ransom note--  "Don't go to the police or you'll be sorry!  But apologize publicly, dammit!"  Knotolia couldn't help but giggle at the mental image she had of Herr Verkauf furiously banging out his scroll full of demands and threats.

"I'm not going to apologize to that guy.  As Ferris Bueller famously said, 'If I'm going to get busted, it is not going to be by a guy like that.'" Sable snarked.  "I guess we'll see him in court."

"Seems to me that an apology is worthless if the person apologizing is insincere.  And I don't think anyone in this merrymaking group is feeling very sincere right now." Princess Knotolia said.  "Someone pass me a midol and a vodka tonic.  Shit's about to get real."

Tune in next time for the continuing story...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Docs who don't like patients who Google...


I really dislike visiting doctors.  There are a number of reasons why I hate seeing doctors so much.  I know I'll probably need to see one at some point, but for now, I do my best to avoid them.  And yes, when I'm feeling icky, I do Google.  I'm not ignorant when it comes to health matters and I firmly believe everyone should be educated when it comes to their bodies.  I guess I can understand why some doctors hate it when people Google too much.  On the other hand, some patients hate it when doctors, who are fallible human beings, assume they know more about what it's like to live in another person's body.  A physician may be an expert in medical care, but I am the expert on my body.  I have everyday experience with it. 

Maybe this phenomenon is really why I despise the medical experience so much.  Many doctors are overly authoritarian and talk to their patients like they are ignorant.  I'm not ignorant.  Moreover, because I am only focusing on myself, I have time to look for information that a physician with hundreds of patients doesn't have.  I also have more of an interest in doing that research because I'm the one directly involved and affected.  

I haven't seen a physician in six years.  The last time I went to the doctor, we were living in Georgia and I thought I was having gallbladder issues.  I still think I have those issues, but after an ultrasound, the doctor decided that they weren't enough to warrant surgery.  I wasn't actually hoping for surgery and was relieved when it wasn't recommended.  However, I am pretty sure I do have gallbladder issues because I have the classic symptoms and hit the four Fs... female, fertile, fat, and forty.  ;)  Many people have gallstones and never know it because they don't cause any problems.  I do get the occasional attack, though, and sometimes it hurts like the dickens.  I've had these issues for over ten years and know that the attacks are pretty much going to go away.  

The comments that came with this image were interesting.  A couple of people commenting claimed to be doctors and they hate having to waste time explaining to their patients why their Internet diagnoses are wrong.  They wrote that having to explain things to their patients often caused them to get behind in their work, which caused other patients to have to wait.  But I think any doctor who isn't interested in the patient's comments is probably not very good at what he or she does.  Sometimes, those patients who "self-diagnose" are onto something.  Aside from that, it's the patient whose best interest is served by a correct diagnosis.

So I guess I will keep Googling and avoiding doctors as much as possible...  Seems like the smart thing to do.


Wingnuts in my family...

Facebook is an interesting tool for keeping in touch with others.  Before it existed, most years I saw my extended family once at Thanksgiving.  I usually enjoyed visiting with them, but there wasn't much time to get to know them as well as I might have.  We'd do our annual Turkey Day shindig and everyone would go home until the next wedding, funeral, or Thanksgiving reunion.

Thanks to Facebook, I get to see a lot more of my relatives and... well, I have to admit that it's hard to believe we're related.  Many of my family members are quite politically conservative and religious.  Several of my cousins are outright gun nuts who are diehard Donald Trump fans.  Or, if they're not in favor of Donald Trump, they are extremely anti-Hillary Clinton.  This doesn't surprise me too much.  When my dad was alive, he hated Bill Clinton with a passion and was a big fan of Rush Limbaugh's show.

I see these posts by my relatives and realize that a lot of them don't approve of me for many reasons.  I cuss too much for their liking.  I tend to be somewhat liberal, especially when it comes to social issues.  I don't go to church.  I am not anti-gun, but I do think there should be more control over who gets to own weapons.  I try not to be sexist or racist and sometimes fail, as most people do.

Anyway, one of my cousins used to be fun and then found Jesus.  Every day, he's been posting vitriolic political stuff.  Some of what he's posted is flat out ridiculous.  Some is just really stupid and/or offensive.  I can't help but wonder how I ended up the way I am.  I probably spent too much time reading, sitting through college classes, and traveling.  Maybe that gives me what my cousin would deem an overly idealized view of the world.  What's sad is that my cousin's parents used to live in Indonesia.  My uncle worked in the oil industry for years.  He worked among Muslims.  Now he and his sons continually post racist comments about them on social media and through mass emails.

I would agree with many people that our choices for president this year are really terrible.  I'm not a fan of Hillary Clinton's, either.  But every day, there are posts about what a criminal she is and how she belongs in prison.  They are strangely quiet about Donald Trump and his embarrassingly xenophobic views.  I have a feeling that they dislike Hillary more because she's a woman and a Democrat than her so-called crimes.  I have the distinct impression that powerful women upset and terrify some people in my family.  Maybe that's why I feel like I'm a black sheep.  I'm not a quiet, demure, ladylike woman who knows her place.

This morning my cousin who found Jesus posted about how people need to be more respectful of police officers and stop referring to them as "cops".  He says the term "cop" is derogatory.  I decided to look up where the term cop comes from and found this explanation.  Incidentally, one of my friends is a federal marshall and he doesn't mind being called a cop.  And this guy has been posting all kinds of anti-Hillary stuff because he's so distressed over police officers being killed in the line of duty.  He thinks Hillary Clinton doesn't have the same respect for police that Donald Trump has.  Actually, I have my doubts that either candidate is particularly pro police, though Trump may try to use them for some of his planned anti-immigration policies.

I look at my cousin's comments and wonder again how we could possibly be related.  It's not that I don't love him or even that I don't like him.  I just wonder how we ended up so diametrically opposed when it comes to politics and religion.

Of course, there are also offensive comments on the other side of the political spectrum.  One Facebook friend just posted a meme that says "I don't give a fuck if you don't like Hillary Clinton.  Hold your nose and vote.  There's a Nazi at the gate."  While I might agree that Donald Trump is a bit like a Nazi, I have to wonder what makes people think it's okay to order people to vote for their candidate, especially when they use the F bomb.  Would they be amenable to a meme that said, "I don't give a fuck if you don't like Donald Trump.  Hold your nose and vote.  There's a criminal at the gate."?  My guess is that they wouldn't.  These kinds of "in your face" statements do nothing but either piss people off or rally the like minded.

Here's an article I found this morning that I actually found really offensive.  The article is eloquently entitled, "If You Don’t Vote Democrat This November, Then Fuck You".  It surprises me that Huffington Post would publish something like this.  For one thing, the title alone is potentially alienating.  Many people don't appreciate reading the words "fuck you" in a headline.  I get that this piece is an editorial for the site's blog, but I thought Huffington Post was kind of trying to be a news site, albeit one with strongly liberal tendencies.  And then I actually read the piece and realized it wasn't particularly well-written.  It's loaded with hyperbole and emotion and lots of four letter words that do little to inspire anything more than outrage.  I totally understand why so many people feel like they need to convince people to vote a certain way.  I just don't think it's particularly effective to insult people in the process.

I don't usually write too much about politics.  To be honest, it's not a topic that really interests me a lot.  I am bringing it up today because every four years, we go through this polarizing shit that gets people up in arms.  It's worse than usual this year because of the main choices we have in November. Neither candidate is stellar and so people are even more obnoxious about sharing their views and trying to influence others to vote their way.  It's enough to drive you to drink.  But I did enough of that yesterday while watching the first season of Beverly Hills, 90210.  So I think I'll just go walk the dogs and ponder the meaning of life.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Government efficiency...

The other day, Bill got a nastygram from the Veteran's Administration.

Yep.  91 cents.  And they want their money NOW, dammit.

Last week, we also got a refund check from the IRS for overpayment of our 2014 taxes.  Wanna guess how much of a windfall that was?  $2.68.  Of course, there was neither interest nor late fees applied to that refund.  The government sure is a trip.  I wonder how many man hours it took to generate the above automated letter.  Reminds me of the time I got a phone bill from college that was less than the postage it took to send the bill in the mail.

I'm kind of tired today, so I don't have the desire to write a long blog post.  I don't have much to say today, anyway.  I'm just sitting here watching old episodes of Trapper John, MD on YouTube.  The 70s and 80s were full of corny TV shows.  The medical shows were especially funny, since they were almost always starring "brilliant" and handsome doctors who cared a lot about their patients.

Trapper John, MD always had kind of a kinky quality to it.  I can think of at least three or four episodes where patients were either tied to the beds or strongly persuaded to stay in the hospital.  I've never had to stay in a hospital before, at least not as an adult, but I doubt the experience bears any resemblance to what is depicted on TV.  Not that I ever plan on finding out for myself.  

I think I'm too tired to do much of anything but be a couch potato today.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Cheese eating bitches...

This morning, I was reminded of a horrible incident that occurred 18 years ago when I was waiting tables.  I was out on the terrace at dinnertime.  It was a hot, sunny late afternoon.  That meant the terrace was going to be hopping and I knew I would probably be running around like a chicken with my head cut off for many hours.

At the restaurant where I worked, there was no children's menu.  The chefs would make accommodations for kids, but only if they were asked ahead of time.  That meant that even though they would make a grilled cheese sandwich (which wasn't on the menu), we had to ask them before we put in the order.  If you didn't ask, you ran the risk of being chewed out by the kitchen staff or not getting your order.  For those working on the terrace, asking about special requests took extra time because the kitchen was literally the equivalent of a block away.

I was out there with two colleagues.  One colleague, who is probably now a physician somewhere because I remember he was planning to go to medical school, was an overly helpful type of person.  He was eager to please diners, sometimes to his own and other servers' detriment.  Now that I think about it, maybe he's yet another reason why I dislike doctors so much.  But, I digress...

A couple came up with their two small kids and asked if there was a children's menu.  The hostess politely told them we didn't have one.  They were about to walk away and find a more suitable restaurant.  But then, the overly helpful guy said, "We do have grilled cheese sandwiches."  Now, when he said this, I inwardly groaned to myself because I knew that if they came back and sat down, they would be requesting special items for their kids.  Looking at them, I could tell they were strongly considering returning.

It's not that I don't like kids, by the way.  Kids should go out to restaurants because that's the best way they can learn how to behave in one when they're older.  And I agree, it would have been a lot easier for us wait staff had the restaurant owners simply allowed a children's menu so people could more easily feed their special snowflakes.  One of the owners was a somewhat famous cookbook author and TV chef, and he wanted his place to be upscale and adult oriented.  The owners didn't want to encourage people to bring their children to the restaurant, even though it was located in the heart of Williamsburg, Virginia, where scores of kids come through needing to be fed.  The restaurant owners' rules made it difficult for wait staff to appeal to people with kids with simple palates or picky adults who weren't used to such high falutin' dishes.  Believe me, I sympathized with the picky folks.  I was/am one myself.  

It wasn't just catering to kids that was fraught with difficulty at this place.  Servers where I worked were frequently put in the position of not being helpful to guests.  We were forced to charge people for Parmesan cheese, for instance.  Many guests thought it was unreasonable to be charged for what seemed like a simple condiment.  They didn't realize that the cheese was actually off of a wheel from Parma, Italy and not coming from a green can made by Kraft.  They'd get pissed off at us, but we were just following the rules set by our employers.  There was really nothing we could do.  

Anyway, sure enough, the family came back and they were seated in my section.  The lady immediately ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, not realizing that I was going to have to ask the chef's permission.  She also asked for macaroni and cheese, which I had to tell her that we didn't have.  She then requested plain pasta for her daughter.  Now... I know many people think it's a simple thing to get plain pasta, but this particular restaurant made its own pasta fresh.  A lot of times, the pasta was pre-mixed with other ingredients ahead of time.  Because of that, I could not guarantee there would be plain pasta available on any given evening.  I told the mom I'd have to ask the chef if any plain pasta was available that night.  She said not to bother and her other kid could just eat the grilled cheese too.  So I went back and got permission to serve the grilled cheese sandwiches and all was well.

Things were going okay until the dude who had been so helpful passed us with a bowl of plain pasta.  The lady saw it and fixed a hateful gaze upon me.  On that particular night, there had been plain pasta available.  The mom went absolutely ballistic and screamed at me in the middle of the terrace.  I don't remember all that she said as much as I remember her unreasonable rage and the sheer hatred in her tone of voice as she screeched, "My daughter can't have plain pasta!", as if I had deliberately screwed her out of what her daughter had set her heart upon for dinner.  

Since I was a mere server, there was nothing I could do but simply take the abuse and get stiffed on the tip.  I suppose that when I asked about the grilled cheese, I could have asked if any plain pasta was available, even though the lady had said to forget about it.  But when you are fighting the weeds all evening, little details like that can get lost in the shuffle.  And besides, she had said her daughter could eat grilled cheese.  From what I could tell, the kid did enjoy the sandwich just fine and hadn't been complaining about it.

After she screamed at me and left me tipless, she, her husband, and the two kids mercifully exited my life.  I was left there feeling shellshocked and furious at the other waiter who had inadvertently put me in that position.  To make matters worse, the next table in my section was a group of folks who were really looking for a Cracker Barrel.  They, too, stiffed me, although I don't think it was because they were upset about the food or the service.   

At the next lineup, I made a point of bringing up how servers should not be advertising anything that isn't listed on the menu.  If we have to ask permission the sell something, no one should be offering it to the public beforehand, exactly because of the situation I found myself in on that night.  And I also told my colleague that the next time that happened, he was going to be dealing with it.  The chefs agreed.  

I am a person who holds grudges.  I still have murderous thoughts about that woman, even though I realize her once small cheese eating kids are now adults.  Fortunately, it's not often that I think about that particular incident anymore.  

It would never occur to me to explode on someone the way she did to me, even when I was half crazy with depression and anxiety.  As someone who has struggled with "issues", I can understand on an objective level that the woman was probably hot, tired, and "over it" that day.  I just happened to be the unlucky person caught in the crossfire of her wrath.  As someone with "issues", I confess that I still fervently wished a flat tire for her on her drive home.  

But yeah... eighteen years later, I still think of that raving bitch and have evil thoughts.  Please pass the voodoo doll.

Here's your fucking mac n' cheese, lady.  Go dine at a Denny's!

Gimme "dibs"!

Today's rant will be about entitled people who want "dibs".  You know what dibs are, right?  According to the dictionary, dibs is "the right to choose or share something."  Here in the Stuttgart military community, a lot of people want dibs, especially when it comes to housing.  Housing on the economy can be in short supply, though it's not quite as bad as it was when we moved here the first time in 2007.  For two reasons, back then there were a lot more people looking for places to live.  First off, the military was renovating many of the stairwell apartments on the installations.  Secondly, a lot more people were being posted in Stuttgart then than there are now.

Thanks to Facebook's "On this day" feature, I've been reminded of the hell that was two years ago when we were leaving San Antonio and had people coming over all the time to look at the house we were vacating.  That was probably the worst experience I've ever had with dealing with people needing a place to live.  It drove me crazy because we had showings all the time and it was an invasion of privacy, especially while our house looked like a tornado hit it.  The real estate agents and prospective tenants were not very considerate.  Two years ago today, one real estate agent tried to block off our house for five hours of showings!  And they called after 9:00pm, so we didn't get the message until early the next morning, minutes before the first prospective renter was to show up.

Leaving Stuttgart last time was probably the second worst experience I had trying to leave.  In 2009, housing was still in short supply and Facebook was not the "thing" it is now.  We'd have people prowling our street looking at the house or real estate agents wanting to drop over unannounced.  And they'd come over and I'd give them the tour.  No one wanted the house, so this would continue over and over again.  It was a real pain in the ass.

Nowadays, we get people on Facebook who post messages looking for houses in certain neighborhoods.  They have a long list of things they're looking for.  A lot of the things they want are not commonly found in Germany.  For instance, many people are hoping for a free standing house with a big fenced yard.  You will find a lot more duplexes in Germany than free standing houses, though they do exist.  Our first home in the Stuttgart area was a free standing house, but it had a mother in law apartment that was rented out.  When the renter moved out, we rented the empty space so we could have the house to ourselves.  This time, we live in a duplex, which thankfully hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be.

Anyway, the point is, a lot of people want features in their rental homes that are not necessarily easy to find.  And some of them have the gall to ask people who are getting ready to vacate to give them "dibs" on their unlisted homes.  Here's an example.

Basically, this person is asking strangers in the local group to offer her first dibs on their house.  You may be a nice person, but so are most of the others who might want dibs.

I totally get why people do this.  When you move to Stuttgart with the military, you often end up spending weeks in a hotel.  The first time Bill and I lived here, we lived in a truly shitty hotel for six weeks.  It pretty much sucked, although we did at least get to meet a few nice people in the same situation.  The second time we were here, we spent a week in a hotel and about three weeks in a temporary apartment.  If you have kids and pets, it's a real pain in the ass to live in temporary digs, though the situation is not nearly as horrible as it used to be.  At least now, it's easier to find space where there are basic kitchen facilities.  The first time we were here, that wasn't as easy to find.

While you are stuck in a hotel for weeks looking for housing, you are competing with others in that situation.  Some people try to get a jump on the competition by asking folks who are leaving to let them know ahead of the others that their house will be available.  But, here's the thing.  Why should anyone do that for someone else except out of the goodness of their heart?  And why should they do it for a perfect stranger, especially when chances are the stranger won't even like the house?  And do these househunters understand that the tenants who are leaving will soon be inundated with successors wanting the grand tour?  Meanwhile, they are themselves in the process of moving and stressing over their next home.  And finally, even if they let you come and look at the house, the landlord(s) may not approve of you.  Housing laws are different here and homeowners have more rights to discriminate than they do in the United States.  For example, I have heard of some landlords specifying that they only want to rent to people who have children.  

Before anyone calls me out about being a renter myself, let me just say that every place I have lived, with the exception of the house we're in right now, was vacant when I viewed it.  But I do remember how patient and slightly put upon the previous tenants in this house were when we were viewing the property.  I felt kind of bad for them because I knew that there had been a fucking parade of people coming through looking for a place to live.  It's a real hassle and one that I don't think a lot of househunters understand or appreciate.  It's like some of them forget what it's like to have their privacy invaded, even though a lot of them just went through the rental exit process themselves.

So yeah, you can count me among the people who get annoyed when someone asks for "dibs".  I am not amused when someone writes "If your house hasn't been listed yet, please let me know!"  I mean, who do you think you are?  And what have you done for me lately?  And why should I do a good deed for you when it will likely not go unpunished?  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mormon commenter on YouTube thinks he knows about alcohol...

This morning, I found myself on YouTube.  The video below was "suggested" to me.

This lady talks about why she's divorced in a two year old video that has gotten many hits...

Against my better judgment, I read a few of the many comments posted on this video.  One that immediately stuck out to me was this one.

Sorry this is so small, but I did size it to XL...  Incidentally, my father was an alcoholic and he and my mother were married for 56 years.  I will agree, though, that there is fault on both sides.  There almost always is when there's a divorce.

Naturally, this comment set off my Modar, so I went to check out the commenter's YouTube page.  Turns out he's hardcore LDS.  I probably shouldn't have done this, because I know it will invite attention from an obvious troll, but I couldn't resist.

I won't be surprised if I get an indignant response to this.  I don't care, though.  It needed to be said.

Actually, looking at this guy's comments, my guess is that he just enjoys trolling.  He advises to everyone commenting to "Wise up!"  If he tells me to wise up, I'll leave him a link to Recovery From Mormonism, where every day I see new people discovering the truth about the church.  Case in point...  And this one...   And this one...

Now, I happen to be one who thinks people should do what makes them happy.  If being LDS makes you happy and works for your life, more power to you.  But someone who is Mormon most likely knows zilch about alcoholism, unless that person was a drinker or has been around drinkers.  Many Mormons have never touched alcohol and are surrounded by people who don't drink.  They are told by their church leaders that alcohol is forbidden, so a lot of them never touch it.  They have no actual experience with alcohol, but think it's appropriate to go around telling others about how evil it is.  

I realize that in saying this, maybe some will think I'm a hypocrite because I have never been Mormon.  On the other hand, I am married to a man who was LDS and I've seen what he's been through.  I wonder if Mr. Mormon troll can say the same about booze. 

While I would never say drinking alcohol to excess can't be harmful on many levels, I will say that plenty of people are able to drink socially and it's no problem whatsoever.  For some people, alcohol is even medicinal.  For others, it can become addictive.  It really just depends.  People who do become alcoholics aren't necessarily bad people with weak characters, either.  I have learned that it really is a disease caused by a sensitive person's exposure to a chemical that is toxic for them.

As for the lady in the video, I'm not sure what to think.  When marriages break up, there are always three sides to a story.  Anyone giving their version of events is bound to be subjective and they will likely present themselves in the best light possible.  I will say that divorce is very painful.  Again, I haven't experienced it myself, but I did watch Bill go through it.  It hurt him a lot, even though it was absolutely the best thing to do.  I see by a video posted a week ago, she's moved on and is dating.

Sounds like maybe her ex is better, too...

My guess is the Mormon troll on YouTube knows little about life beyond the LDS bubble.  If he's actually serious about what he writes, that is...  I realize he could just be trying to get his jollies.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016


There's a guy I occasionally run into on social media who prefaces a lot of his posts with non verbal communication in parenthesis.  I find that a very annoying thing to do.  Since I have nothing more substantial to bitch about right now, I'm going to complain about it.  I know it's petty and stupid to write about something like this, but it's either that or more whining about my anxiety.  I think my anxiety is a topic that's just about played itself out for now.

This guy I run into usually tries to come off as a "voice of reason", which is probably more the reason why I find him so irritating.  If you've read this blog for any length of time, you may already know how I feel about voices of reason and their need to appear to be above it all.  I'm not sure what childhood trauma has made me dislike it so much when people are like this.  But I'm willing to own my weakness and admit that all knowers and holier than thou types really get under my skin and cause a reaction not unlike embarrassing feminine itching.

Anyway, I notice that before he posts his long winded soliloquies full of sage wisdom, he will put something in parenthesis.  Here's a for instance that I'm making up for illustrative purposes...

"(Laughs) well, I think everyone knows that if anyone behaves on my watch, they'll get a "talking to" or outright banned from the group."

Or how about something like this?

"(Grins) I think it's time that people "let go" of the anger stemming from Facebook groups imploding."

First off, why the fuck would anyone care if you preface your comment with a laugh or a grin?  What is the purpose of that?  Is this guy so self important that he thinks we need an explicit accounting of his non verbal communication offline?  I think what makes this especially irritating to me is that the (laugh) usually comes off to me as belittling and condescending... like we all need additional information to understand his meaning other than just reading his words.

And boy, do I have issues about condescension.  I know I do.  It's another problem I'm willing to try to own, but the first step to solving a problem is admitting it exists.  When someone starts their comments off with a non verbal cue in parenthesis, all it makes me think is that they think they're above it all somehow and we need to understand exactly how he's communicating.  The rest of us should take notes on how mature and sage this guy it is.  He's like Dorothy Zbornak without the wicked sense of humor.  Stop it, dammit!

Secondly, what makes you think other people care that you think it's time they "got over it".  Who appointed you the fucking leader?  Aren't we all grownups?  You aren't my babysitter, buddy.  And when you tell people to "get over it", chances are good that all you'll do is fan the flames and make them even more pissed.  Of course, it's entirely likely that fanning the flames is what this dude wanted to do all along.  All the while, he can appear calm, composed, and mature while other people go bananas.

I'll go on record to say that when someone communicates in this fashion, I just want to plant a solid kick right in their family jewels.  But I don't do that anymore because I've had therapy, evolved, and don't think it's something worth going to jail over.  Instead, I just think of things exploding in my head.

Seriously, though... what is the purpose of putting non verbal cues in parenthesis?  Why do it?  Why not use the ever popular LOL?  Or even an emoticon?  What a self righteous shithead.

Here's a song for all voices of reason out there who think I need to know about their non-verbal communication on social media.  Not work or kid safe.

From me to you, voice of reason...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The minister of masturdebaiting...

Here's another fairy tale dedicated to my friend, Lucinda, who inspired me this morning.

When we last saw her, Princess Knotalia was looking for kitten and puppy scrolls so she could stop baiting her loyal subjects into pointless debates.  But as she was searching all the land for cute, entertaining, and non controversial scrolls, she got lost in the forest.  As the fair princess searched for signs of the path leading back to the ivory tower, she ran into a strange looking green creature with no pants on.  It was sitting on a rock with a sickening smile on its sneering face.

Knotalia thought she could just walk past the little creature, but it had something else in mind.  She bid the little green thing a greeting as she started to pass.

The creature simply smirked at Knotalia as it held up big flashing scrolls, one after another.  One scroll read "Vaccinations cause autism, erectile dysfunction, and babies with nine heads!"

"What the fuck?!" Knotalia exclaimed as she stopped and read the scroll.  "This just begs for a response!"

The creature giggled and held up another scroll.  It read "Hillary Clinton is a criminal who belongs in prison for the rest of her life with no access to sex toys or conjugal visits!"

"Huh?  I don't agree with that at all."  Princess Knotalia mused, suddenly noticed a strange twitching in her fingers.  She had suddenly forgotten that she was on a mission and was compelled to pay attention to the little green creature and its controversial scrolls.  She was unaware that she'd been hooked.

With a toss of its head and a fluttering of its eyelashes, the creature held up another scroll.  "The American military is full of blood thirsty criminals who want to destroy the world with drones!  Ramstein Air Force Base is nothing but a place where Americans train people to kill non-whites who cover their heads with cloth."

"Now that's just fucking ridiculous." Knotalia said aloud, her heart filling with indignation.  "That's not true.  The person who wrote that scroll doesn't know what the hell they're talking about!"

The tingling and twitching in Knotalia's fingers was matched with a buzzing in her brain and an insatiable need to start furiously penning a response to the offensive scrolls.  Without thinking, she reached into her trusty satchel and pulled out a quill, some ink, and her fancy stationery.  She began writing her rebuttals with gusto.  She spent a lot of time coming up with the perfect responses, revising, clarifying, and thinking of every angle so the green creature wouldn't trip her up with something that would make her look uninformed, irresponsible, or insensitive.

While Knotalia wrote down her thoughts in a very long and eloquent entry, the creature leaned back  with a massive sigh and began massaging itself in an unmentionable part of its body.  It groaned and sighed with obvious glee as Knotalia expounded upon her salient points refuting each of the creature's scrolls.

At first, the fair princess did not notice how vigorously the creature stroked itself.  She was simply too focused on educating the little monster.  But then, out of the corner of her eye, Princess Knotalia saw the creature's hips start to gyrate wildly.  With every pen stroke, the creature seemed more and more turned on...  and then the princess saw that the masturdebaiting creature had joined in with its own vigorous verbal assaults rather than just holding up offensive scrolls.

Perplexed and shocked, Princess Knotalia stopped writing for a moment and watched in amazement.  The little green creature's beady little head was fully erect and ready to spew its load of political bullshit all over Knotalia's clean white dress.

"Wait!" she screamed.  "What the hell are you doing?  You held up those scrolls just to bait me into an argument, didn't you?"

"Ahhh...." the creature moaned, its slender appendages rubbing its many erogenous zones with zeal and ecstasy.  "Don't fight it.  I know you wanted this.  That's why I posted it.  I posted it because I am a masturdebaiter and I wanted to have my fun with you.   Everyone does it.  Those who don't do it are lying.  Anyone who doesn't want to be tempted should find cute puppy and kitten scrolls.  Don't read anything that might lead you to temptation and turn you into a masturdebaiting fiend like me."

"I don't have a problem with masturdebaiting." Knotalia said flatly.  "I mean, sometimes I do it a little... you know, at certain times of the month when I have really bad mental cramps or something.  Or when I'm just bored and need a little lift in my day.  But it's not a problem for me or anything.  I don't need to be sent to rehab."

"Oh sure you don't have a problem with masturdebaiting..." the creature snarked.  "You really do just share things on your scrolls only because you think they're interesting.  Come off it.  You like to stroke yourself all over the place until you make a big, sticky, pearlescent mental mess for other people to clean up.  It's all over your hands and mouth and between your legs... mmmm..."

"That's disgusting!" Knotalia snarled.  "How dare you accuse me of such a thing?!"

The creature gave Knotalia a grin that made her skin crawl and held up another scroll that read "The TSA is an honorable organization that only cares about the safety of airplane passengers."

"Oh my GOD..." Knotalia moaned as she felt herself drawn into another long masturdebaiting session.  But that one was quickly beginning to feel less like masturdebaiting and more like mental abuse.  When it began to get too painful, Knotalia said "You know, I think I'm done masturdebaiting for now.  My fingers are sore; I'm totally spent; and I'm completely dry.  This is not doing it for me anymore."

"What?" the minister of masturdebating hissed, "You can't do that!  Our masturdebaiting session hasn't finished yet.  I haven't gotten off yet."

"No, really, I've had enough.  This is starting to hurt and I need to take some time to rest, recover, regroup, and recharge..." Knotalia said, trying her best to sound sensible but apparently sounding holier than thou instead.

"You can't do this to me." the creature growled, "I haven't finished yet.  I bought you mental dinner, dammit. You were dressed in a short mental skirt...  I must get what I came for."

"Please... I've had enough." Knotalia pleaded.

Suddenly, the green creature who had been masturdebaiting cooperatively with Princess Knotalia turned into a huge monster who refused to be slain.  Right before the princess's eyes, the harmless little masturdebaitor turned into something that needed to be dispatched post haste.

With deep sadness in her heart, Princess Knotalia drew her weapon.  Her finger was poised over the trigger as she warned, "Stop, or I'll shoot you clean out of the Friend Zone Forest, never to return again."

"Must... keep... masturdebaiting..." the creature choked as it stroked itself to the edge of climax.  It looked like it was about to die in a most embarrassing and public way that would make a huge mental mess for Knotalia to clean up.

Our fair princess stood in the forest and wondered what to do as she witnessed the creature about to explode into masturdebaiting oblivion...  She was so tempted to fire away, but thanks to the scrolls she'd read every day, she felt conflicted... because #AllMasturdebaitorsmatter, right?

Tune in next time, same channel!

I picture the minister of masturdebaiting looking something like a conglomeration of these three creatures...