Thursday, November 30, 2017

Every day, a new man is identified as a perv...

Yesterday, I went to bed with the knowledge that two more men were fired due to being "sexually inappropriate" on the job.  The first one I heard about was Matt Lauer, former host of NBC's Today Show.  To be honest, while I was surprised Lauer was fired, I wasn't surprised that he was outed as a jerk.  I remember all too well when former Today host Ann Curry was ousted from the show.  She was in tears as she said goodbye.  Lauer tried to give her a hug and a kiss and she kind of gave him the cold shoulder.

Yeah... they say 80% of communication is non-verbal.  I'd say there was some of that going on here.

I have never been a fan of morning shows.  I would rather watch shitty sitcoms from the 70s and 80s. Since I can't do that here, I mostly spend my mornings writing or doing mundane household chores.  But back in the summer of 2012, when Curry left Today, there was no escaping the news about her exit.  Rumor had it that Lauer had driven Curry out of the job because he simply didn't like her.

Then I remembered seeing him playing himself on an episode of Royal Pains and thinking he came off like an ass in that cameo.  He was always supposed to be this "nice guy" next door type, but little hints about his true character would sneak out at inopportune times.

This video featuring Lauer's interview with Anne Hathaway was from 2012... and even then, the uploader called Lauer "creepy".

Evidently, Lauer was fired because someone complained about sexual harassment.  It was the first time in his twenty years at NBC that anyone had complained about his conduct, but NBC apparently determined that the complaint was legitimate and the behaviors had been going on for some time.  In the wake of all of the news about sexual harassment lately, NBC clearly decided to take the complaint seriously and gave Lauer the ax.

Savannah Guthrie reads the news to viewers.  I'm sure she was heartbroken that Lauer was fired, since it was she who took Ann Curry's place in 2012.

Many people are now saying that Mr. Lauer is experiencing karma.  Plenty of folks remember when Ann Curry left the show.  Supposedly, Lauer was behind her firing.  It was said that he had threatened to leave the show if Curry wasn't ousted.  So the powers that be listened to Matt.  Now what's gone around has come around and it's Lauer who is out of a job.

The next person who was accused as "inappropriate" is Garrison Keillor, yet another personality I've never really followed.  The first time I ever heard of him was maybe fifteen years ago or so, when my mom asked me to buy her tickets to his show when he came to Virginia.  My mom is not computer literate and refuses to learn how to use the Internet.  So, when she needs something online, the chore often falls to one of her daughters.  That time, it happened to be me.  For years after I bought her the tickets, I'd get emails from Ticketmaster that were intended for her.

Minnesota Public Radio has severed all business ties with 75 year old Keillor because there are allegations of "inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him."  Below is a screenshot of Keillor's explanation about what happened.

I don't know...  this case sounds more like someone trying to cash in.  But again, there are three sides to every story...

I guess it just goes to show you that when you're working, it's probably best to keep your hands to yourself and your comments strictly vanilla.  This fall has seen a dizzying array of sexual abuse allegations coming from many different men in politics and entertainment.  Just off the top of my head: George Takei, Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Roy Moore, Donald Trump (of course)... etc.  Who's next?

I have no doubt that most of the allegations could be true.  In some cases, there's no doubt in my mind.  In other cases, I'm more doubtful.  While I do think it's prudent to report perverts, I also think that sometimes a flood of complaints can turn into "zero tolerance" policies.  And zero tolerance policies can turn into "zero sense" policies.  And then we end up with scenarios like kids getting suspended from school for having Pop-Tarts shaped like guns.  Sadly, suspending that child from school for his Pop-Tart gun hasn't done much to quell gun violence in the United States.

Last night, Bill said that this run on sexual abuse allegations could backfire, as they prompt closet Trump loving types to keep voting him and his ilk into office.  A certain segment of the population hates it when people speak up about being "victimized".  And so they come out in droves to elect people who will tell them to shut up and color.

Right now, we have someone in the White House who is a well-known bigot and a documented abuser.  Many people are disgusted by him.  I think his presence in the White House is partly what's fueling this sudden uptick in sexual abuse allegations against other powerful, high profile men.  We can't get rid of Trump very easily, so we'll get rid of other men who are somewhat like him.  In response, those who hate political correctness and liberal policies will double down their efforts to bring guys like Trump into office.  It's like two extremes from the left and the right are cresting and those of us in the middle are left to look on in shock and awe.

Anyway... sexual harassment should certainly not be tolerated, especially in the workplace.  But I also think that's the kind of thing that ought to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible.  If Lauer is really that much of a skank, that information should have come out a long time ago.  As for Keillor, I'm not so sure what happened with him is on par... but then, I don't know the victim's story yet.  I'm sure it will come out soon enough.   


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Snoopin' and poopin'...

I learned a new military catchphrase this morning.  Actually, it's not a "new" phrase; Bill said he learned it when he was in ROTC.  It made me laugh, though, so I decided today's post would be named "snoopin' and poopin'".  Gotta love military guys for coming up with clever euphemisms.

This topic came up today as I was checking out my Statcounter hits.  I have never made it a secret that I pay attention to who visits this blog.  It's partly because I am curious about who reads my shit and partly in an attempt to stay safe.  I've always paid attention to my stats, but I really started paying closer attention last year, when I got a visit from a few disgruntled commenters who knew the perpetrators of a violent crime I wrote about.  They were upset about my opinions, which were based only on what I'd read about the incident.  

Although I didn't seriously believe that those people were going to come all the way from California to Germany to rip me a new asshole, it did make me more vigilant about self-preservation.  For that reason, I moderate comments on old posts and I watch closely who visits.  I watch Snapped, dammit, and I know there are some unhinged folks out there in Internet land.  And, let's be honest, I also watch my visitors because I'm bored and don't have anything better to do.

Today, I noticed that I got a hit from someone I didn't recognize.  However, although the hit came from Colorado and I'd never seen it before, I noticed that the visitor had 136 prior visits.  I can't be sure, but that leads me to believe that one of my regular visitors is either using a proxy server or has a new ISP.  I'm not geeky enough to go searching for the answer, but it did make me chuckle, since I do have a few people who lurk on my blog and never comment.

I mentioned the new hit to Bill, along with my idea of who the person might be.  As I have mentioned before, there are a couple of specific folks out there who like to run surveillance on my blogs.  I believe they either do it because they want to snark on it elsewhere or because they have an "obsession", for lack of a better word.  One gentleman who was stalking my posts a few months ago seemed to be extremely vigilant in his multiple daily checkups of my blog, just waiting to see if I had written something about him.  I think he finally gave up after several weeks of boring posts that had absolutely nothing to do with him.

Bill laughed as I asked him, "What the hell is the point of stalking someone's blog posts?  Especially if you don't even like the person or enjoy what they write?  It seems to me that behavior will lead to nothing but extra angst."

And Bill said, "Yeah, at that point you're just 'snoopin' and poopin'."

I burst into giggles as I visualized what 'snoopin' and poopin'' must look like.  I imagined someone reading an iPad while sitting on a toilet, literally taking a crap as they read.  Then I remembered there are slang expressions involving the term "shit" that actually mean getting upset.

So I asked, "Does that mean the person reads something, gets upset, and then 'shits a brick'?"

"No," Bill replied, "it means the person does surveillance or reconnaissance and then delivers the 'poop' to others."  I had forgotten that in military parlance, the term "poop" can refer to information.

This is just one definition of the word "poop", according to

Of course, in military parlance, the word "poop" can also refer to the most common definition of the word.

Bill spotted this graffiti in a latrine when he was deployed to Iraq...  He sent me a couple of other pictures that were similarly funny, but they don't really fit in with today's post.  I probably enjoy hanging around military guys because I really enjoy scatological humor.  On the other hand, I don't enjoy misogyny or misandry, both attitudes of which can be rife in a military environment.

Anyway, my suspicions about who's reading could very well be wrong on all accounts.  It's fun to speculate, though, and like I said, I have little else to do, other than re-rig the fucking lights on my Christmas tree, which I did first thing this morning.  The one crappy 220 volt strand we had went completely dark yesterday, so I removed it and added a new strand.  It's a real pain to remove lights from a decorated tree.  I finally ended up using scissors to cut the lights down.

In other news and observations...

Like the rest of the world, I was pleased to hear about Prince Harry's decision to propose to actress, Meghan Markle.  I hope they will be very happy together and I'll get to see snippets of their wedding in May.  However, I have to confess that every time I see Meghan Markle, I am reminded of Punky Brewster-- actress Soleil Moon Frye, who also famously starred on an episode of Saved By The Bell.

Some have observed that Meghan resembles Pippa Middleton, too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Was Elvis Presley a pervert?

A man I know from our years in Virginia posted this as his Facebook status last night.  I saw it this morning, just as I was drinking my first cup of coffee.

My first reaction was "Oh my God."

Now... I'm not going to name names, but I will provide a little background about this person.  I met him in the Officer's Club at Fort Belvoir, where we both used to hang out on Friday nights and sing karaoke.  He's a talented singer from Alabama who dresses well and once took Bill's mom on a date.  He'e very conservative and, of course, a veteran.  We've always gotten along well in person.  However, he's an unapologetic Trump fan and, apparently, he's okay with the fact that Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Moore all seemed to like very young women.

Let's think about this question for a moment, though.  Was Elvis Presley a pervert?  

I recently read and reviewed a book written by one of Elvis's longtime lovers, Linda Thompson.  In her book, Thompson, who was also once married to both Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner and David Foster, wrote about meeting Elvis when she was a very young, but legal, woman.  Elvis was about twenty years older than Linda was; he was in his 40s and she was in her 20s when they were together.  Thompson wrote about what it was like to live with Presley.  Evidently, she often worried about him overdosing on drugs and, more often than not, played nursemaid and companion to him while he was unconscious.  She spent many years of her youth taking care of Presley and his daughter, Lisa Marie, although at least she was of a legal age when she did it.  He repaid her by screwing around on her.

Prior to his relationship with Linda Thompson, Elvis had married and later divorced Priscilla Presley, who was 14 when they met for the first time.  By today's standards, he probably would be considered a pervert for hitting on a young teenager, although he reportedly didn't realize how young Priscilla was when they first met.  Moreover, Priscilla's parents reportedly weren't all that thrilled about Elvis's attentions at the time, either.  

Many people have positive regard for Presley, given that he was the "King of Rock n' Roll", but the truth is, he had some very serious shortcomings.  He abused drugs to the point of killing himself.  He was often unfaithful to the women with whom he was involved.  And... let's remember that while he did meet Priscilla when she was fourteen and later married her, their marriage didn't last.  So I'm not sure why my friend from Alabama is holding him up as a role model and facetiously asking his Facebook friends if he was a pervert.  

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about Elizabeth Smart's new movie on Lifetime, I Am Elizabeth Smart.  Elizabeth Smart, as most of us know, was only fourteen when she was abducted from her bedroom in her parents' house.  Many people considered Elizabeth Smart a child when she was kidnapped and repeatedly raped by her captor.  They were horrified and saddened by what she survived when she was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.    

Of course, we don't often think of fourteen and fifteen year old males in the same way.  When people talk about Josh Duggar, who was fourteen and fifteen when he molested his sisters and another girl, they think of him as a "man".  I think it's interesting that many people think teenaged males should be held more accountable than teenaged females.  Females are usually more mature than males are at fourteen, both physically and emotionally.  Most guys don't finish growing until they are about eighteen or nineteen, while girls pretty much stop when they are a year or two younger.  And yet we still hold them to different standards when it comes to certain things.

I'm sure that my friend from Alabama would consider Elizabeth Smart a victim.  He'd probably also be upset if a female in his family was getting attention from a man two or three times her age.  But he still brings up Elvis and wonders if we think of the "King" as a pervert, suggesting that we probably don't and maybe shouldn't.  Could it be that my male friend doesn't think of fourteen year old girls as children if they aren't someone near and dear to him?

My friend's friends added some comments to his status update.  They are obviously people he knows from his hometown, since most of them went straight to posting about Roy Moore, the Alabama legislator who has recently come under fire for having inappropriate relationships with girls as young as fourteen when he was in his 30s.  

Moore, who is 70 years old, is married and has been with his wife, Kayla Moore, since 1985.  At the time of the alleged incidents, Moore was a prosecutor.  Let that sink in for a moment.  Here was a very powerful man on a rise to political power who was reportedly harassing women, some of whom were legally children.

I have to wonder what my friend's thoughts would be if one of his female loved ones, aged fourteen or fifteen, was hit on by and/or "giving favors" to an older man.  Would he really be okay with it?  My friend did add this thought, having served for years in the Army and traveled around the world.

It disturbs me when people vote for political parties over people...

He's right.  In many parts of the world, teenaged girls are submitting to the attentions of older men.  Many of them are sold into marriages or trafficked into prostitution.  He says "that's life".  And maybe for a few of those girls, it IS life and they're fine with it... although I have also been to a few countries and my guess is that it's pretty horrifying for most of them.  I'm sure the vast majority of them don't actually enjoy unwanted sexual advances from older men.  Those who do come to "enjoy" it often turn into sociopathic types who use sex as a weapon.  Bill's ex wife comes to mind.  

I used to know one guy who was about twenty years older than his wife.  He basically told me that she used to work as a hooker in her native country.  He posted this on Facebook to me, as if it was no big deal.  He said "she did what she had to do to survive."  Having met this woman in person, I'm sure he's right.  This guy's wife later met him online, married him, became a US citizen and got US citizenship for her family members, and then bore him two daughters (after he had his vasectomy reversed).  

This man now has two adorable little girls, both of whom are American citizens.  I have to wonder if, when they're teenagers, he'll be okay with them giving "favors" to older men.  Would he want for them the life that his wife had before he met her?  Granted, his wife is beautiful and has proven herself to be a survivor, but she clearly paid a price to get what she has.  

The guy I just wrote about and his wife both deleted me from Facebook a few months ago.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it's because I am staunchly in favor of safe, legalized, and attainable abortions and posted my thoughts about it on Facebook.  And the reason I am in favor of legal abortion is because there are so many young girls out there who are coerced into submitting to the attentions of disgusting perverts who simply want some "young stuff".  Too many of these girls end up pregnant and discarded by these jerks.  Their lives are made much harder, or even ruined, due to rape, incest, or molestation.  So while I am personally opposed to abortion, I think these women should have the right to reclaim their bodies if the need arises.

"Fuck a lot of women, Dwayne."

I was pretty disgusted at this man's hypocrisy, since I know how much he adores his daughters.  I'm sure he sees them as special and sacred.  I can't imagine what he'd want to do to any male trying to take advantage of them or demanding "favors" of them.  I know for a fact that this man owns many weapons and probably would not hesitate to use them on anyone who threatened his daughters' safety.  And yet he seems to forget that other females were once little girls themselves.  Some of them may even be loved and cherished by men who don't see them as simple sex objects.  

As for Elvis Presley...  he may have been a very gifted performer who gave the world rock n' roll, but he was also a very troubled individual who died many years before his time.  His sexual proclivities toward very young women and/or girls are certainly not anything to emulate or admire.  Yes, he liked younger women and was probably inspired by them, but if he hadn't been the "King", it's likely that many people would consider him a "pervert" or a "stalker".  Just because a person is tremendously talented, that doesn't mean that we have to accept or admire everything they do or consider it "okay".  

Let's also remember that people like Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Bill Clinton, Josh Duggar, Elvis Presley, Bill Cosby, Stephen Collins, Jerry Lee Lewis (who once married his 13 year old first cousin once removed and married six more times after that) and on and on are (or were) all powerful men due to their celebrity status.  It can be hard to resist a powerful, charismatic man, especially if you're a young, impressionable girl.  So yes, while it may be common and even accepted in some places for teenaged girls to be "granting favors" to old farts, I wouldn't say it's right.  And I think if my friend had more empathy and thought more deeply, he'd have a better understanding of that.


Repost of my review of The Gloves Come Off---and the Secrets Come Out! Tales from the Man Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls, and Madmen

Here's another rescued book review from six years ago...  Just saving it from oblivion!  On another note, now that we're not so broke, this is a good reminder of what a concierge can do for you.

Pros: Quick, entertaining read.  Amazing stories about concierge services.
Cons: None... except I tried to read it on a cruise ship.
As an average American of average means, I have never really considered how a hotel concierge's services might benefit me.  The most I've ever asked of any hotel concierge is directions, or perhaps to order me a taxi.  But hotel concierges do a lot more than give directions or make reservations.  The best ones can pull off logistical feats that would dazzle the average person.  And if you're in a place like New York City, a good concierge can mean the difference between eating in a hot restaurant at 8:00pm or eating at Sbarro's.  I never considered any of these things until I read Concierge Confidential: The Gloves Come Off---and the Secrets Come Out! Tales from the Man Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls, and Madmen (2011), a book written by concierge extraordinaire Michael Fazio and co-author, Michael Malice.

The book's premise
Michael Fazio is the co-founder of Abigail Michaels, Manhattan's premiere concierge service.  But before he helped found Abigail Michaels, Fazio worked in Hollywood for famous actors and as a concierge at New York City's InterContinental Hotel.  He admits to having the "service bug", which I would think one would have to have in his job.  After all, he was routinely asked to do things like get tickets to sold out Broadway shows and score tables at hot restaurants for people who were "nobodies".

But aside from helping unknowns who were staying at the hotel, Fazio also had to arrange for some exotic requests from people with more money than they could possibly spend.  Fazio arranged for a bathtub full of chocolate for one client, who was hoping to impress a ladyfriend.  He arranged for a last minute helicopter ride to Atlantic City for a mysterious Russian with a suitcase full of cash.  And when the same people kept coming back to him for help, Fazio and his former co-worker, Abbie, started their own concierge business catering to the rich and famous.

My thoughts 

I really enjoyed this book and probably would have gotten through it in a matter of hours had I not been trying to read it on a very small cruise ship.  I have a tendency to get motion sickness, so every time I tried to make progress in this book, I started to feel sick!  Once I was off the boat, I whizzed through it in record time.  I really enjoyed Fazio's anecdotes and the enthusiastic tone of his writing.  I felt excited as I read about some of his more dramatic exploits in the concierge business.  Aside from telling stories, Fazio also includes some handy tips on how to get what you want from a concierge, book the best restaurants and hotels, and even how (and how much) to tip.

I definitely have a new perspective on the value of a good concierge.  Now that I've read Fazio's book, I might even venture to the concierge desk during my next hotel stay!  Who knows?  I might end up with a completely different experience than I might have otherwise had!

If you've ever wondered what your concierge can do for you, you should definitely read Fazio's book Concierge Confidential.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Leptoprin Tony...

For some reason, last night I experienced a flash of nostalgia.  It wasn't really the "fun" nostalgia you get from seeing an old TV show or hearing music from your childhood.  In fact, this nostalgia came from an ad that used to air repeatedly on TV about fifteen years ago.  It was for a diet aid called "Leptoprin".

This woman looks like she's on speed or something...
I remember at the beginning of 2004, this ad was airing all the time.  I was writing product reviews on Epinions a lot, having discovered the site in 2003.  One day, I watched that ad for the umpteenth time and decided to write a piece for the "Writer's Corner".  Basically, that was a place on Epinions for those who just wanted to write an editorial or something.  It wasn't necessarily for reviews.

Epinions had a very simple set up that didn't allow for any frills.  It also had a very annoying word filter that would disallow certain words and/or combinations of letters without context.  Still, I was a prolific writer on that site.  And it was in January 2004 that I got really sick of diet ads, especially the one I posted above.

This was another ad that inspired me to write... Yuck.

And this one, too...  Trimspa, baby!  This was aired in years immediately preceding Anna Nicole Smith's untimely death.

Anna Nicole was totally fucked up in this...  

I remember referencing all of the videos posted above, but I was especially critical of the Leptoprin ad, since they were on all the time.  I did some research and learned that Leptoprin/Leptopril is also marketed as Anorex, which seemed a really distasteful name for a drug.  I see someone even started a petition to get the name changed, although he was under the impression that the name was changed after the drug was called Leptoprin.  It was my understanding that Anorex was the name before Leptoprin and the drug itself has been around for years.    

Well... as it so happened, some time after I posted my rant about diet ads, I got a comment from someone calling himself "Leptoprin Tony".  I think he might have even been the Tony featured in the ad.  He was not pleased that I was complaining about the product he was endorsing and tried to set me straight.  I remember responding to him a couple of times, commenting that I thought anyone who needed to lose as much weight as he did should probably be doing it with the help of a doctor.

At some point, I stopped seeing the Leptoprin ads.  They were replaced by ads for Leptopril, which were essentially the same thing, only priced less.  They were still overpriced for what they were, though.  

"Leptopril" ad.

I wonder how Leptoprin Tony is today.  Did he ever frame those big pants from the ad?  Is he still relatively svelte?  Does he still use Leptoprin and swear by its efficacy?

We know what happened to Anna Nicole Smith.  Just a couple of years after her "like my body" press, she died of a drug overdose.  Her death was full of scandal, since she gave birth to daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead just months before and her son, Daniel, died just a few days after his half sister's birth.  And then there was a big controversy over who fathered Dannielynn.

Yeah... I probably should watch less TV.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Just watched I Am Elizabeth Smart...

We got snow this morning and it's been flurrying all day, so we decided to stay in and watch TV.  I recently read Elizabeth Smart's comments about the Lifetime movie that was made about her experiences in captivity after she was kidnapped from her bed on June 5, 2002.  I still remember Bill telling me about the kidnapping.  We were engaged at the time, living in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  His daughters are a few years younger than Smart and Mormon.  They were in Arizona.  I remember Bill was concerned.

Well, we all know what happened to Elizabeth.  She was eventually found and reunited with her family.  She went to college, went on a mission, and got married to a returned missionary from Scotland.  They have two beautiful children and Elizabeth's work is about helping victims.  While I would never wish what happened to her on anyone, I think it's laudable that she's been able to turn her ordeal into something good.

As for the movie... I have to admit, it made me a bit emotional.  I read Elizabeth's book a few years ago, so I knew she was raped repeatedly, starved, forced to eat garbage and drink alcohol, and kept shackled to a tree out in the wilderness.  The movie featured Smart narrating while an actress portrayed her.

I saw the first TV movie about Smart's case; it aired in 2003, just nine months after she was rescued.  I remember it was on TV the same night a movie about Jessica Lynch aired.  I was interested in both movies, so I flipped back and forth.  The first Smart movie was more from her parents' perspective; it was based on the book Bringing Elizabeth Home.

In I Am Elizabeth Smart, there seemed to be much less emphasis on Smart's family and the LDS church.  In fact, I noticed when the actors portraying Barzee, Mitchell, and Smart didn't even pray the way Mormons do, with their arms crossed.  The church wasn't even really mentioned, which is kind of a pity, since I think Mormon teachings are, in part, to blame for Smart's trauma.  The film is instead kept sort of blandly religious.  Smart speaks of her faith in God and in how she saw God in everyday miracles, like when it would rain.  Smart explains that she was always thirsty, because they never had enough water.  It was very hard to get water.  When they did get it, Mitchell would make her work for it.  Basically, that meant submitting to his repeated sexual assaults.

Smart says in the film that when Mitchell raped her, she felt shattered into a million pieces.  In speeches she's given, she's mentioned that she learned object lessons in the church about the importance of being "pure".  She learned that having sex before marriage made her akin to a chewed up piece of gum, worthy of being thrown away.  Although she did mention feeling "shattered" in the film, she did not provide the context that made rape even more horrific for her.

The actors in the film were very good, although the part of the movie that I found most compelling was when Elizabeth spoke.  It seemed almost like she wanted to set things straight with the public.  She addressed the many cynical comments she must have read or heard from people over the years, including the claim that she had Stockholm Syndrome.  Toward the end of the film, she has a glint in her eye and a victorious edge to her voice when she tells viewers that Mitchell had raped her for the last time.  I also noticed that Elizabeth looked really pretty.  I have seen her wear very heavy makeup, but whomever did her makeup for the film did a really good job.  She looked natural and beautiful, not garish.

By the time the movie ended, I was feeling pretty verklempt.  She was so incredibly lucky to survive and not endure years with those people.  And, honest to God, while I'm not generally someone who enjoys violence, I do hope Mitchell gets the shit beaten out of him regularly for what he did to Elizabeth... and frankly, Wanda Barzee, who is also horrible, but was his victim for over fifteen years.

I think I Am Elizabeth Smart is pretty decent, especially for a Lifetime film.  It is ultimately a triumphant film.  I'm not sorry I watched it.  I'm sure they deliberately downplayed Smart's LDS beliefs for many reasons.  Maybe it was to make it appeal to a larger audience or give more time to the story of Smart's captivity.  But personally, I think the church helped traumatize Smart when it taught her that sex outside of marriage makes someone worthless.  As horrifying as rape is, it's got to be much worse when the cornerstone of one's spiritual beliefs teaches that a woman who has sex before marriage is akin to a licked cupcake or chewed up piece of gum.

Looks like the "Licked Cupcake" is about to become theater.

Shit I avoided in Virginia...

I have written many times about family drama during the holidays.  I pretty much swore off gatherings with my immediate family because it got to be too stressful and it never failed that there would be fighting.  I've lost count of how many dramatic Christmases we've endured.

I used to love going to Virginia for Thanksgiving, though.  My whole family gathers for a three day party.  I almost always have fun at that gathering... or, at least I used to.  Bill and I didn't really do anything for Thanksgiving this year other than order new glasses, which we both really needed to do.  It was a pretty boring holiday for us.

One of my cousins posted pictures from Friday night's party.  My eldest sister is in one of them, dancing with my niece, who has a Budweiser in her hand.  They look like they're having fun.  Another cousin went to Virginia... flew all the way from Vegas to get there.  I heard he didn't have such a good time.

One thing I've learned about my family is that appearances are sometimes deceiving.  Most of them behave in a friendly way and are funny and fun loving.  They are politically conservative and religious, but otherwise seem cool enough to most people.  And then you get to know them, especially after they've been drinking and you start to see things that aren't so good.

For a long time, I've felt like an outsider to my family.  I'm not very religious and I'm not particularly conservative.  I don't fit in with the clique.  Last time I went home, I felt almost like a stranger to some people.  It was pretty bizarre.  

But at least no one has ever attacked me for whom I love.  That happened to one of my relatives over the holiday.  An uncle for whom I used to have a lot of respect got very drunk and got into a verbal altercation with his son, who happens to be gay.  He said a lot of bad things and evidently kicked his son out of the house in the middle of the night.  It was 30 degree weather.

What makes this worse is that this cousin has three brothers, two of whom were apparently there when this happened.  And they ganged up against him with their father.  One even reportedly said that he doesn't care what happens to his brother.

I don't know the other side of this.  I'm sure there is some blame to be shared by all involved parties, but knowing the people involved, my guess is that there was a lot of heavy drinking, talk of politics and religion, and some true ugliness came out.  

This is one reason why I think it's a good idea to get a hotel room and have a rental car available for when you need to escape a family gathering.  My cousin evidently didn't have either and he was put out in the night by his own father.  Sadly, it's hard to say how many years they have left to heal this rift or even if that will ever happen.

I am really disappointed to hear about this development.  It makes me see my relatives in a different way... although if I'm honest, I've been seeing them differently for years.

My own father and I had some epic fights.  There were a couple of times when he threatened to throw me out of the house.  He was always drunk when he did it.  Thankfully, he never did actually kick me out, though one time I left of my own accord.  As I was loading up my car, my dad asked me to give him a phone number where he could reach me.

David Cassidy's final words were reportedly, "So much wasted time."  There's so much truth to that statement.  Life is short.  It's very sad that politics, religion, and petty spats polarize so many people and ruin so many families.  

I don't know when I'll be going "home" again, but I will say I'm glad I missed this incident...  I doubt I would have been a part of it anyway, since it apparently happened at my uncle's house in the wee hours of the morning.  But it could have happened anywhere, I guess.  Who wants to spend thousands of dollars to go "home" for that?  I think it's better to spend your holidays with your true loved ones.  Sometimes, that doesn't include blood relatives.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Don't people have anything better to do?

Than send me this stupid crap?  This isn't the right email address to come from Apple.  Stupid phishing fucks.  May they all crash and burn.

Rigging up the &^%$&((*^ lights...

Every year, I encounter my least favorite part of putting up the Christmas tree.  That would be rigging up the lights.  I know I'm not alone in how much I dread putting up the lights on our trees.  It's even one of the twelve pains of Christmas.

Many people have uploaded this classic song, but this is by far my favorite interpretation of it...  This song is older than dirt, too.  I remember hearing it on morning radio shows when I was a teenager.

I'm not sure why, but last January, when we took down our tree, we forgot to retire one of the strands of lights.  The red lights on it are burned out, so we only get green, yellow, and blue.  Last year, Bill got some weird colored lights from the local Real (like Walmart-- in fact, they were Walmart before Walmart left Germany).  The lights Bill bought last year are nothing like the other strand we have, so they look kind of funky.  He's going to go to the store and pick up some new lights after he does his weekly chore of dumping out boxes and bottles.  We go through a lot of them here.

The weather is pretty dismal today, so I don't know how we'll spend our time.  I was thinking of going to a wine festival, but it's in Stuttgart and you have to buy tickets.  I'm nice and cozy in my nightgown and it's cold and wet outside.  Maybe I'll stay in and watch some bad TV or something.  Or maybe I'll get involved in another pointless Facebook discussion with someone.  I could also play the Sims or read a book.

We still have to finish putting up our big tree, though.  Sorry... this is a boring post.  I'll try to come up with something more interesting later.

Edited to add:  Here are our trees.  Bill could only find a weird red and white strand for the big one, so now we have four mismatched strings of lights.

We have this little tree because the first time we were in Germany together, we forgot to pack our Christmas stuff.  When we move again, we'll probably ditch it.  It used to be pre-lit, but I cut the lights off when we moved to the States because the they were 220 volts.  It would have been nice if I hadn't done that, since we use three strands on this tree.  Each string has about ten feet of lights and fifteen feet of plain cord.  It sucks.  I also remember that removing the lights was a real pain in the butt.

And this tree has four strands, one of which doesn't work properly.  It's a hodge podge of lighting.

And this is French wine marketed by the Chinese...  Bill found it in the store.  The Chinese are getting into everything!

I love my husband, but he has a peculiar habit of putting ornaments on the inside of branches so they can't be seen.  I had to kick him off decorating duty.  He's now making me lunch.  :-D

Friday, November 24, 2017

Annoying Thanksgiving posts...

Here I go again, being a crank.  I'm sitting here on a Friday night, listening to Snapped on iTunes and reading Facebook.  This time of year has a tendency to make me a little nutty sometimes.  I feel less crazy this year than I usually do, probably because I've kind of been letting go of my family and trying to fit in with them.  I guess I've come to the conclusion that I just don't fit in with the people from whom I originate.  I'm on the fringe.

Maybe I'm less nutty this year because I have to make a conscious choice to see pictures of our annual Thanksgiving shindig.  The family members who have gone this year are "friends" that I don't follow, mainly because we have religious and political differences.  Or... more likely, they don't follow me because I upset them with my raunchy vocabulary and liberal leanings.

One thing I've noticed, though, is this is the time of year when people have a tendency to get a bit self-righteous.  I've noticed a few people posting about how "blessed" they are, which truly, most people who live in western countries probably are...  Or are they?  Are those of us from the United States, Canada, Europe, or any of the other more "comfortable" places on Earth more "blessed" than other people?  I'm not so sure.

Are you more blessed because you have all of your material wants and needs met?  What if you have "stuff" but no one to love?  What if you have what other people want, but still feel shitty just because you do?  Is it helpful when someone tells you to buck up and be grateful?  If I'm honest, I'm guessing it's probably more annoying than helpful.

Really?  And how do you know that?

It's not that I don't appreciate the sentiment of gratitude.  I realize I have much to be grateful for.  But... I don't know... to me, it seems better to serve as an example rather than shame people into a more positive mindset.  Moreover, it would be hypocritical of me to share something like this on my Facebook timeline because I am pretty grumpy sometimes.  That's what happens when you're chronically or clinically depressed.  Not everyone enjoys life.  They're not wrong to have whatever feelings they have.  Feelings aren't wrong; they just are.  Telling someone to "get over it" isn't helpful.  I find that's a realization that works best when the person comes to it on their own.

I guess I don't think Facebook is the place for this kind of self-righteous preaching.  I'd rather do it in my blog, which usually only gets read by people who are interested enough to seek it out.  Although there is ample evidence that many people who find this blog don't actually read it, the ones that care about my opinions will read.  It just seems like this would be the better place to voice my thoughts and opinions about concepts like gratitude.

I will say one thing, though... I kind of missed not having a real Thanksgiving dinner.  Last night, we had pork... just like we'd have on any other night.  Granted, the night before last, we had a five star dinner in Stuttgart.  It was great, but it wasn't comfort food.  I love comfort food... give me roasted turkey or chicken, fresh rolls, butter, mashed potatoes, gravy, and even cranberry sauce...  and I do like desserts, too, though not necessarily classic Thanksgiving desserts.  

It would have been nice to hang out with the few of my relatives who still like me even though I didn't vote for Trump and don't go around praising Jesus all the time.  I enjoy my family because a lot of them, even the rabid Trumpsters, are genuinely good people.  And if they aren't good, at least they're funny.  But it takes too long to fly to the States and, frankly, the potential for drama isn't necessarily worth it.  So we stayed here and ate pork.  Maybe we'll make up for it sometime this weekend after we put up the fucking Christmas trees.

I did manage to do some holiday shopping, at least.  I spent a lot of money on practical things.  I'd rather have spent it on a cruise or a vacation somewhere.  I'm definitely ready for a trip.  That's what makes living here the most worthwhile.  I do love Germany, but I kind of long for roots... and the ability to cook a turkey.  Our kitchen and our oven are tiny.


I suppose it's time to put up the tree(s)...

Wow... it's hard to believe yet another year has passed.  I used to really enjoy decorating the house for Christmas, but now I find it to be a bit of a pain.  I suppose I could forego putting up the trees, since it's just Bill and me.  I'm afraid I'd miss the tradition of it, though.  I like to look at the lights.  I guess I'll either put our two trees up today or tomorrow... or maybe Sunday.

I got new contact lenses yesterday for my right eye.  It's amazing how much easier it is to see when you have the right prescription.  I went from -2 diopters to -3.  We also visited an optical shop yesterday and ordered new glasses.  I got very different frames that, I hope, will be more comfortable than the ones I have now.

I was just looking at a wine festival that is going on tomorrow.  Next weekend, there's another festival dedicated to Christmas shopping.  It's called "Holy Shit".  I suppose one could take that in a number of ways.  Holy-- because it's Christmas-- and Shit-- because we buy a lot of it and put up with a lot of it at Christmas time.

Or "Holy Shit!" because it's profanity usually reserved for when someone is surprised.  "Holy shit!  It's Christmas!"  There's even a song about it.

"Holy Shit!  It's Christmas!" by Red Peters... remains a perennial favorite in our house.

We will miss the annual company Christmas party, which is probably a good thing.  There's no risk of me making an ass of myself in front of Bill's co-workers.  His mom will be here and we'll be somewhere enjoying a short trip somewhere.  I'm not sure where we'll go.  We were thinking maybe we'd go to Paris, since we haven't been there since 2009 and Bill's mom has never been.  We can take the train there, too.  But then I started thinking maybe we should take a blind booking flight somewhere.  That's where you pay for your flights before you know where you're going.  We've done it three times.  Last time was in 2012.  We'll have to decide this weekend.

I just found this funny Robin Williams clip that seems appropriate under the circumstances...

"Did you ever think maybe you killed all the funny people?" 

Actually, many Germans do have a sense of humor.  They seem to like silly humor especially.  But they do seem to be a bit uptight sometimes... especially if you're renting their house and the awning falls apart.  

Thursday, November 23, 2017

I got accused of posting "faux" news this morning...

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.  It's currently 9:45am in Germany.  I've been up for about three hours.  We got home from our latest restaurant adventure after midnight and it was after 1:00am when I drifted off to a dream filled sleep.  Then, when I woke up, I brushed my teeth and went too far back, causing me to dry heave.  You might say the holiday has gotten off to a shaky start.

Anyway, yesterday George Takei posted this article about overweight people being charged extra at nail salons.  I shared it, even though it came from a site called "Pizza Bottle".  Honestly, I do try to share articles from credible news sources like well-known papers.  But, for some reason, I didn't do that yesterday.  For some other reason, this dude I don't know in Washington State, who is also on my friends list, wrote this...

classy joint with hand written signs who could resist going there... oh more faux news maybe?

I responded.

I don’t think it’s “faux” news because I have heard of this policy before in other salons.

And I have.  I recall quite clearly having a lengthy discussion about this on a messageboard I used to frequent.  I remembered that the all women's board had a lot to say about this practice of overweight people being charged more at nail salons.  I also knew that the reason behind this policy is usually due to the fact that heavy people take more of a toll on the chairs used in salons.  I don't necessarily agree with this policy, but it is what it is.

For some reason, my man friend couldn't move on.  He posted this.

i am sure he is a very respected news source in many locations throughout our universe, just none i have ever heard of.  (I'm leaving his response exactly the way he posted it...)

I must admit.  His comment pissed me off a bit.  First off, why is this issue a concern to some guy in Washington State?  Does he get pedicures?  Why does he feel the need to pick a fight with me on Thanksgiving over this?  He doesn't often respond to anything I post, so why choose this post to get his panties in a wad?  And why give me a ration of shit over a site called Pizza Bottle?  So I wrote this:


Then I got curious and did a quick check on Google.  I found at least ten articles from other reputable news sources about this trendy and potentially offensive policy that some nail salons have for overweight people.  Although according to the comments on Takei's post, many assume the charge is because sometimes heavy people have hygiene challenges, it really does mainly seem to be because the chairs take a beating when very heavy people sit in them.  They break, and are expensive to repair or replace, hence some salon owners decide to charge extra for heavy people to sit in them.

To be honest, that policy may be fiscally sound, but for many people, it does sort of defeat the purpose of getting a pedicure.  Many Americans consider being labeled "fat" an insult, even if it's the truth.  If your purpose of getting a pedicure is to be pampered and relaxed, I wouldn't think being charged extra for being a fattie would help facilitate that goal; though I will admit some patrons won't care.  On the other hand, maybe that's the salon's ultimate goal... to ward off fat people and not only avoid having their chairs take a beating, but also the other presumed and potentially distasteful aspects of serving an overweight person mentioned in the comments on Takei's page.  It's pretty sad, if you ask me.

I was on my iPad, though, so I couldn't easily share all of what I found.  I wrote this instead.

And... if you are looking for more “respectable” news sources on this particular trend, all you need to do is Google.


This is just page one of at least ten results on this issue.  

I don't know why my "friend" had a bee in his bonnet over this so-called "faux" news that wasn't so faux.  And now that I've had my breakfast and some coffee, it's no longer a big deal.  What is a big deal is this...

Please don't use fifty cent words for which you don't know the definition.

I ran across the above video because the other day, someone shared this video on my Facebook timeline.

Cute little Michael Jackson and his brothers on Ed Sullivan... 

I noticed Jackie Jackson was wearing an outfit that reminded me a lot of the Brownie uniform I wore in 1978.  Check it out.

I was in Troop 819, but this was the outfit I wore.  I hated it because it was itchy.

Did the Brownies rip off Jackie's style or did he rip them off?

After the video played, another video of Jackson's very first Moonwalk played.  I was a kid in 1983, which was when Micheal Jackson shocked the world with his revolutionary dance step.  I never did learn to Moonwalk, though, so when the Moonwalking instruction video came on, I decided to watch it.  A mere eight seconds in, I lost interest when the video's star used the word "jettisoned" improperly.  I think he intended to say "rocketed" or something similar.  He was trying to tell us that Jackson's dance move exploded into public consciousness.  But he used the word "jettison", which is defined thusly:

Yes, I know I'm anal retentive.  It bugs me when people use words they don't know in an attempt to sound smarter.

I can understand how the guy made this mistake.  The word "jettison" does sound like it should mean something other than what it means.  This is why it's good to use your dictionary sometimes, so you don't get tripped up by words that don't mean what you think they do.  A prime example is the word "niggardly", which I have ranted about plenty on this blog.  If you're interested in that discussion, just do a quick search.  You'll find several posts.  

If you're short on time or energy, I'll just tell you that although it sounds nefarious, the definition of "niggardly" has absolutely nothing to do with nasty racist epithets.  It's a word meaning "stingy" or "miserly", particularly with money.  But many people can't be bothered to look up words they don't know, so they sometimes get upset or confused when someone correctly uses them.  Or they try to use a word that means something other than what they think it means.  

I suppose today's post is really about plain old laziness.  In the first case, the dude wanted to accuse me of posting "faux" news because he thought the source from which it came sounded dubious.  He was too lazy to take a minute to find out if that was true.  

In the second case, I became annoyed by someone's improper use of a word he clearly doesn't use regularly and can't correctly define.  He couldn't be bothered to know what he was saying before he said it.  

In both situations, all it took was a quick Google to get the answer and avoid irritating other people... namely, me.  On the other hand, writing this post is helping me be lazy about vacuuming, which I really hate to do.

I'm sorry.  I know I sound like a terrible curmudgeon.  Germany is probably rubbing off on me.  I'm going to get to work on the vacuuming.  If you're American and celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Death of a celebrity...

This morning, I woke to the news that David Cassidy had died after lingering at the brink of death for the past few days.  Celebrity "death watches" have become kind of commonplace since social media became popular.  Cassidy's death was falsely reported on November 19th.  I noticed that one site on Google actually reported that he'd died on the 19th.  I guess that was based on the false reporting from one or two sources that turned out to be wrong.  No one bothered to change the date, though, until he actually did die on the 21st.

Though Cassidy didn't die on November 19th, many news sources were reporting that it was just a matter of time before he met his maker.  Apparently, he needed a liver transplant, but even if he'd gotten one, it's unlikely he would have lived for long.  His body was reportedly in very bad condition after years of hard living and his unfortunate affliction with non-Alizheimer's dementia.  I read that people with dementia are more likely to suffer from organ failure, which is evidently what took Cassidy at age 67.

I was never a big fan of David Cassidy's music.  I didn't mind watching him on The Partridge Family with his former stepmom, Shirley Jones.  His music wasn't horrible, but it wasn't something I'd choose to listen to on a regular basis.  A few years ago, I even read his book, C'mon, Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus, which was first published in 1994.  I have a paperback copy of it sitting on my nightstand.  Now that I think about it, I think I might have read his book, Could It Be Forever: My Story, which turned out to be the same book as C'mon Get Happy.  I hate it when publishers do that, by the way... retitle books that end up being repackaged versions of earlier books.  I probably liked Cassidy better as a writer than a musician.

David Cassidy as a "heartthrob" was a bit before my time.  He was a teen idol in the 70s, when I was a small child.  By the time I was a teenager, he was too old to be teen idol material.  And while I was quite the Bradyphile, I never liked The Partridge Family that much.  It's probably because their "band" was a bunch of augmented session singers and kid actors pretending to play instruments.  Cassidy had genuine musical talent, as did stepmom Shirley Jones, so they let him sing and he hit the big time.

Unfortunately, a combination of big stardom and genetics played a part in his great fall from grace.  Cassidy had a serious problem with drug and alcohol abuse and was arrested several times for driving under the influence.  People love to watch "big" people fall, so Cassidy was in the news when he stumbled.  He was in a good company, though.  Nick Nolte, Glen Campbell, James Brown, and Wynonna Judd have all had unflattering mug shots published in the media.

When the news came out that Cassidy was very sick, posts showed up all over Facebook.  I have to admit I even shared one of my own.  People are fascinated by celebrities.  Maybe when they get sick, it becomes interesting to the public because they are reminded that when it comes down to it, celebrities are people, too.  People are mortal.

Two nights ago, when a couple of news outlets had falsely reported Cassidy's death, I was reminded of last month, when the same thing happened to Tom Petty.  I guess when it comes to reporting the news, every news outlet wants to be the first to get the scoop.  Still, there's something really distasteful about breathlessly reporting another person's death, even if it is the death of a celebrity.  It's especially distasteful if the news turns out to be premature.

Anyway, although I wasn't one of Cassidy's biggest fans and won't be buying memorabilia or even lighting a candle for him, I do think his passing is kind of sad.  It could be because it reminds me of how quickly time passes.  On the other hand, I guess since he did have dementia, maybe it was a kindness for him to pass on before his mind totally went.  As bad as that would have been for him, it would have been even worse for his loved ones.  I'm sure they will miss him, but it least it sounds like he still knew them as they were saying their goodbyes. 


Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Last night, Bill finally brought me the anniversary card he bought for me.  I opened it up and squealed because the first word on it was "sweetie."  Many people know how I feel about cutesy pet names, especially "sweetie" and "hon".  However, I will give Bill a pass because he's my husband and I call him sweetie all the time!  He usually calls me "darling", which I prefer to "sweetie" and definitely to "hon".

This is the card he got me, by the way...

He said he was tempted to draw seatbelts on the little bears in the picture because he's just that big of a geek.

In case anyone is wondering, yes I thought it was "sweet" that he got me that card.  He's good at picking them out and writing lovely messages.  And there isn't a day I'm not grateful that we found each other.

This morning, we went to the optometry clinic on post.  I had originally thought maybe they wouldn't be able to help me, but I was mistaken.  We both got exams done by a super cute young man named Evan who is interning at the clinic.  Afterwards, a major came in and checked our eyes.  I left with a slightly stronger prescription.

We may go to the optometrist on Panzer so I can be fitted for daily lenses... at least until we find a surgeon to do LASIK or something on my eyes.  The eye clinic doesn't do new fittings.  I think that may be what I need to do rather than keep dealing with pink eye every three days.

However... I must say I was pretty impressed by what they had at the eye clinic.  It was the first time I ever used a military eye clinic since I was about sixteen because, when I was growing up, they wouldn't do contact lens exams at all.  Check out the photo below.

Look below the chair and you'll see plugs and a USB port.  Need to charge your phone?  Never fear!  Of course, I think they still lack WiFi, as most places in Germany still do.

Anyway, at least I was able to get a stronger lens for my right eye, which has been noticeably weaker lately.  I don't need reading glasses or multi-focal lenses yet.  And Thursday, since Germans don't do Thanksgiving, we will go to an optical shop and order new glasses that are more comfortable than the ones I have.  That way, if I have to wear glasses, they won't be nearly as annoying.

Someone recommended an eye surgeon in Prague.  I can't say I would mind visiting there for medical tourism.  It would make for interesting blogging, too.  We'll see.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sexless marriage? You might not want to join a dating site...

Early this morning, I read an article in the ethics column of the New York Times.  The first topic in today's column is from a man in his mid-60s who still loves and cherishes his wife.  The letter writer explains that he's always been very sexual and enjoys good health.  But his wife has had health problems for the past few years and she's no longer interested in sex.  The writer claims that it's been very difficult for him to be in a sexless marriage and he wants to know if it's ethical to "turn elsewhere" to take care of his physical needs.

The letter writer further states that he went as far as asking his wife's permission to seek sexual intimacy outside of their marriage.  He explains that he won't be leaving his wife; he just wants to have sex again.  He also posted an ad on a dating site and found that the response to his proposal was not at all positive.  

I have to admit, I am rather impressed that this man was concerned enough about ethics to bother to write to the New York Times.  A lot of people would not have cared whether or not cheating under his circumstances is ethical.  Aside from that, quite a few people won't bother to read the article and will simply dump their opinions in the comments section.  Sometimes, the comments can be brutally judgmental and colored by projection.

I guess I can understand why people reacted negatively to the writer's ad on the dating site.  People on dating sites are usually looking for actual relationships, and he's made it clear that he's already in a committed relationship.  He just wants to have sex again.  To many people, that probably sounds very selfish.  It may sound like he just wants a warm body.

The ethicist offered some very logical insights to the man's situation.  He states that sex requires the consent of all parties.  If the wife no longer wants to have sex and the husband feels like he needs it, what do you do?  The ethicist points out that the writer asked for, and presumably got, his wife's permission to "cheat".  I liked that he also pointed out that the wife might have felt obligated to give her husband permission to have sex with someone else.  Not having been there when the discussion took place, it's hard to tell whether or not the wife really meant it when she gave her blessing.  

After I read the article, I went to the comments.  Generally, I've found that reading the comments can be both entertaining and infuriating.  It's also very clear that many people feel entitled to chime in on a subject they know nothing about or, at least, make a comment before they've bothered to read.  One woman boldly put it out there with this beaut...

No need to read this article/blog/post

When one partner in the marriage repeatedly rejects their spouse for any reason other than justifiable medical reasons, it’s time to move on..... in whatever form.

Naturally, many people pointed out to the commenter that the wife did reject her husband for justifiable medical reasons and, had she read the article, she would have known that before posting her comment.  I don't know about you, but when people catch me not reading before opining, I usually feel embarrassed.  But this lady stuck to her guns...

As I stated, I did not read this so-called article. I have no intention to and am not going to. Here’s my take: UNLESS there’s a justifiable medical reason, move on. Or come to an agreement that one or both partners can “play” on the side; ie, “Open Relationship.” Why the f^ck (pun intended) are people actually wasting their time reading fluff like this.? It’s common sense.

Yeah, lady, your "pun" is very clever... and you've still made an uninformed comment.  The letter writer wrote that his wife has "justifiable medical reasons".  He still loves her and is committed to the relationship.  That's why he hasn't "moved on".  

Then, further down the thread, after more people have berated her for not taking a minute to read, she posts this...

I love the judgments. It’s cool. I have early stage Esophageal cancer. I’ve already told my partner that if things get worse he’s free to seek “physical comfort” elsewhere. Everyone has different standards & no one gets to judge. Period. That’s MY point.

Okay, then... why not just say that in the first place?  And why not take a minute to read before you plunk out a response and get everybody riled up?  I liked this man's response.

If you have esophageal cancer, I highly recommend you delete face book and not waste your time reading and writing on a forum about things that you haven't read.

I honestly don't know what it feels like to be a man with a strong sex drive, so I'm trying hard not to be too judgmental in reading about this man's problem.  People are different, and some people have more of a need for sexual contact than other people do.  Personally, I think Bill and I are pretty compatible, but I don't know that for sure.  He doesn't complain about our sex life.  I have thought about it, though, and realize that I could have easily married a man who wanted sex all the time.  I'm not sure I would enjoy that very much.  I also realize that I could have been someone who always wants sex, even if my partner doesn't.  I think it's important to be sexually compatible and it sounds like the letter writer and his wife were at one time.  Life took a turn for them, as it does for most people at some point.

I think, in a situation like this one, it makes sense for prostitution to be legal.  It's very nice to be faithful to one person.  However, sometimes that's a romantic notion that doesn't turn out to be realistic.  Maybe it's not a bad idea for men and women to be able to legally have sex with someone they don't necessarily care about.  Sex, after all, is good for one's health, as long as it's done safely.  Personally, I don't want to be sexual with someone I don't love, but I'm not everybody.  

Perhaps this is even a situation in which the services of a sexual surrogate could be useful.  There is such a thing, and people have been known to visit them for therapeutic purposes.  To me, it sounds a bit like prostitution with a more clinical name, but supposedly they can be very helpful.   

This is the trailer for a 1985 documentary about sex surrogate, Maureen Sullivan.  I watched this film a few years ago.  It was available from Netflix.

Anyway, count me among those who feel empathy for this man and his big problem.  I applaud him for being honest about his situation, including on his dating site ad.  I hope he finds relief soon.  

In other news... Glory be, Charles Manson is finally dead.  Hope he's enjoying Hell.