Rants

Late to the Party

kids are alrightIt’s no secret I’m a late adopter.  Anyone that has known me more than 5 minutes knows this about me.  And, I’ve written about it several times in various blog posts.  This late adopter thing spans the gamut of technology, to fads, to television shows.  It’s not that I’m incapable of jumping on the bandwagon early.  It’s just that I usually have other priorities and better things to do with my time.

It took me years to jump on the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead bandwagons. I have gotten super invested in tv shows only to have them canceled after two seasons.  In fact, it bit me in the ass recently with the ABC show, The Kids Are Alright.  I found out this week via Twitter that it would not be renewed for a second season.  I was so mad.  If you haven’t watched it go back and watch this season. It’s a great show about a very large, very Catholic family set in the early 1970s southern California. It feels a lot like Wonder Years only really funny and irreverent.  It reminded me a lot of my very early childhood. I think that’s why I like it so much.  Plus, my kids liked it. It was a show we could sit down and watch together. My kids would ask me did y’all really dress like that and was that really how it was. What I can’t understand is networks keep shows like American Housewife and The Good Place around but don’t keep this show? I don’t know a soul that watches either of those shows. What the hell?  I don’t understand.

And, don’t get me started on technology.  I hate having to learn something new especially when it comes to phones. It took me three years to figure out what everything did on my old phone. Why do I have to learn a new phone?  It’s a pain in my ass and I have bigger fish to fry like folding laundry or getting a root canal.  I have not once in all my years of cell phones ownership given people different ring tones or changed my background picture and other cutesy things others do with their phones.  This may make me sound like a luddite but I prefer to think of it as time management.

You know, I should have known better when I got hooked on that show.  I should have waited a year or two to make sure it would stick. I should have known it was doomed to fail.  Ughh, that’s what I get for jumping on a bandwagon. The next time I see a bandwagon I think I’m just gonna let it roll on by.

Photo Credit: This picture probably belongs to ABC. I’m using it under fair use for the purpose of showing people what this show looks like even those the suits at ABC have decided to cancel the show.  No copyright infringement intended.  I found it while googling. Don’t sue me. I don’t make money on this blog and I’m broke.   

 

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Musing, Uncategorized

Them vs Us

generation x red grunge stampThe other day my hubs and I were talking about how the Us vs Them fight between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials and how our generation, Generation X, is still the forgotten and ignored generation.  My hubs said something along the lines of only a few more years and the Boomers will finally all be retired and the world will finally have to pay attention to us. I can’t remember if I said it out loud or only to myself but I do remember thinking, ‘no way, we’ll always be ignored’.  Much like the often ignored middle child, we (Generation X) have always just sucked it up and quietly did our thing knowing the only way any of us would get any attention is if something bad happened – think Kurt Cobain’s suicide or more recently Luke Perry’s stroke.

I’ve often wondered how it is that these two generations got pitted against one another. The lions share of the Boomers, those born right after WWII, are not the parents of millennials so why the animosity?  I think I’ve finally figured it out.  They are too much alike. They had the American dream handed to them since birth.  They’ve been told time after time how wonderful and special they are and they’ve bought their own hype.  Additionally, any time they are asked to pay the piper or got called out for their bad behavior they throw a temper tantrum.

Born into a thriving economy when our country was at it’s most prosperous, Boomers were the first generation who got to truly enjoy childhood without being expected to get a job to help the family.  Boomers were encouraged to follow their hearts and live their dreams. The opportunities this generation received for doing nothing but being born at the right time is astounding not to mention they bore witness to things like a national interstate system and the space program.  And, I haven’t even brought up the pop culture contributions of their age. I’m not ashamed to say I’m jealous as hell. Sure, there were some tough times, the Vietnam War was awful and shouldn’t have happened. The civil rights movement and the women’s movement were hard but in the end, doors were opened and minds were changed.  By the time the Boomers were considered adults, they were doing better than any other generation before them. These cats got to enjoy the excess of the late 1970s and 1980s with full gusto.  Between free love, widespread venereal disease, and loads of drugs and alcohol, it’s honestly a wonder any of them are still alive. Now that they are all hitting their golden years, they are changing the face of elder care.  Millennials have enjoyed many of the same advantages – beloved by their parents, given immense opportunities, told they could do anything and be anything, born into a time with huge technological and cultural advances.  The similarities between the two groups are astounding. The size of their generation is also something of note as they are almost equal.

But, what about Generation X?  Where do we stand?  What are we doing? We’re doing what we’ve always done.  We’re making do with the crumbs.  Just like in our latch key days, we’re plodding along, working steady and grumbling about how no one notices we’re here.  Our needs are being met on a basic level but no one is bending over backward to appeal to us.  We’re raising kids and taking care of older parents.  We’re still sullen and angsty even if we don’t wear our skater grunge punk clothes and a million black jelly bracelets on our arms.  Most of all, we wonder how either of the Us vs Them groups is going to screw us over next.  Although I have to admit if I had to pick a side I would most like to emulate, I’d pick the Boomers in a hot minute. They had the best music.

P.S. For the record, Generation X is classified as people born between 1965 and 1979.  

Photo Credit: I did a search for Gen X images and I saw this like 8 times. I have no idea who it belongs to but thanks.  No copyright infringement indented. I’m broke and I do this for free so don’t sue me. 

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Rants

Looking Good

adult attractive beautiful beauty

So I’m listening to a podcast. Imagine that, since that’s all I seem to talk about here lately, am I right?  Anyway, listening to a podcast, and the guy talking is saying something about how even the ugliest men can get a hot girl if he’s got a modicum of success and money.  It doesn’t matter what he looks like. He can be bald, fat, and hit every branch when he fell out of the ugly tree and still snag a reasonably decent looking lady.  If you’re anything like me the minute you read that last sentence you pull a face and start vehemently opposing that opinion either in your head or just shouting at your screen – which incidentally is what would I do.  But then, as I was denying his theory, I started to listen to the rest of what he had to say.  The cliffs notes version was a woman will do anything to make themselves attractive and desirable to the opposite sex but men don’t. We lose weight, get plastic surgery, dye our hair, do our makeup, buy new clothes, spend our last cent and last ounce of energy to make ourselves over and yet men won’t do the same. And, the worst part of all is, women don’t seem to want to hold men to that same standard.  We just sort of shrug and accept them warts and all.  The guy just kinda laughed and said, “men have it good”.

At that moment I started to get mad.  Why is this all on us?  Why don’t men feel like they have to do all the things?  Now, before I get the ‘men are entitled’ comment, I’m going to shut that down.  I don’t accept that – not for one second.  I think this is something way more fundamental and hardwired.  Since the dawn of time women have been preening, plucking and adorning themselves to attract attention and look good.  And, that desire to look better starts young.  I remember as early as elementary school feeling somehow less than when I started noticing the tall girls with long legs and blond hair got more attention than girls like me who happen be short, stumpy and have dark hair.  The worst part of it all is it never stops.  I’m not out to snag a man anymore. Even if I was single I would no longer give a shit because that is just me but I hate looking my age.  It’s sort of a matter of pride.  And, maybe that’s the root of this whole thing – pride.  I’ve always looked younger than my years but here lately not so much.  I’m over 40 and I totally look my age.  I’d say in the last 10 years time has caught up with me and it’s all around my eyes.  I look tired all the time. The dermatologist assures me it’s normal even with the preventative measures I’ve taken. Time marches on – usually straight across our faces. So, the dermatologist is suggesting fillers and that’s all fine and dandy but damn there are about 500 things I’d rather spend $500 on than a syringe of filler.  Why do we care so much?  And, to what point and purpose?  When do you throw our hands up and say, ‘well I’m old and there’s not much more I can do about it”?  I mean, we get old and eventually look old.  Don’t believe me?  Go to a nursing home. Yeah, there are some well preserved old bitties up in there but no one looks 25 unless they happen to be a 25 year old staff person.

I wish we didn’t put so much emphasis on looks. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all said no more makeup, fillers, filters, just we are what we are take it or leave it?  I wonder what our world would look like?  What would be the draw if looks were no longer a factor?  Would it be our winning personalities?  Our intelligence?  We would have to find a way to segregate ourselves and elevate certain groups over others.  We, as humans, can’t help ourselves. But, isn’t it ironic in the animal kingdom it’s the men doing all the things instead of the women.  Male birds have the prettiest feathers. Bugs, lizards and frogs make noise to attract the women.  Many male animals show feats of strength and fight to win over females.  But, since breaking out into song and fighting are sort of socially unacceptable, we have to rely on other things.  Well doesn’t that suck?  I guess I better go look for deals on false eyelashes and fillers on Groupon.

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Recommendations

Rabbit Holes and Recs

rabbit holeIf there’s one thing all ADHD people share it’s the hyperfocus rabbit hole trait. I’ve seen this in every ADHD person I have ever known, myself included.  We get so fixated on something, and it can literally be anything, that we lose sight of everything. I’ve seen my kid go on a food bender to where he only wants to eat one thing for every meal for days at a time.  I’ve seen him be the same way about a video game, a band or a toy.  My hyperfocus usually revolves around information. I get so fixated on a topic that I become a sponge soaking up every available piece of information I can find about said topic.  I think that’s why I’m a wealth of useless trivial knowledge. Ask me some questions about a band, movie or random pop culture whatever and I’ve got all sorts of information no one needs.

This hyperfocus is why I have been M.I.A. from this blog since April 13. I ran down the rabbit hole of Podcasts and Music.  Y’all know I’ve been all about podcasts here lately.  I guess that was rabbit hole number one.  Sidenote, I have two new suggestions for you.  One is a couple years old but fascinating, especially as a Southerner. It’s called Sh*ttown (pronounced shit town).  “>Here’s a link.  The other recommendation I have is what started me on the latest rabbit hole.  Disgracedland – see link here – is about rock and roll giants and their debauchery.  As a person who grew up in Nashville and saw and heard about various incidents in the music industry, I thought I could not be shocked. I was wrong.  A few of these truly shocked me.  Disgracedland led me to the books The Heroin Diaries and The Dirt by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.  Then, because you know big brother is always watching, I somehow got turned onto the fact that Netflix adapted the book, The Dirt.  That morphed into me listening to pretty much nothing but hard rock/heavy metal for the last week. I’m in serious need of a pleather mini skirt and some wet n wild black eyeliner from my early 90s glory days.  It’s thank God they don’t tour anymore and Guns N Roses have already finished their comeback tour a couple years ago kinda bad.  If it weren’t for my family, I’d probably be ready to become the worlds oldest groupie right about now.  (Sigh)  I assure you my guardian angel has had it with me and my flights of fancy.

The funniest thing about these rabbit holes is you never know when these things will just fade away or a new rabbit hole will take its place.  I find this is a common trait among ADHD people as well.  We get so fixated on a thing it’s all we can think about for days and weeks and then, as if someone flipped a switch, it’s not on our radar anymore. It’s the damndest thing. I’m just glad mine have always been relatively harmless.


Photo Credit:
  I just searched the word rabbit hole and this came up three times. Not sure who owns it but if you do and you want it taken down, let me know. No copyright infringement intended. Trying to do the whole fair use thing. I’m broke. I do this blog for free. Don’t sue me.

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Rants

No

black and white picture of a crying child

No, it’s such a simple word. It’s often one of the first words a child learns after Mama and Dada. “No” was the second word my daughter ever spoke. Ironically, it’s something I fear more and more children aren’t hearing.  A few years ago I had a family member scold me for telling their child no. I’m paraphrasing here but essentially I was told, “We never tell our children no. We offer suggestions, we redirect, we say things like how about if or wouldn’t you rather but we never directly say the word no.”  I was floored. This family member must have sensed my bewilderment because before I could ask why in the hell don’t you set boundaries I was told that telling children no stifles their creativity, harms their psyche and invalidates their opinions.  It takes away their curiosity and bunch of other bullshit I started tuning out because it was and is bullshit. I chalked this encounter up to this part of the family living in an anything goes hippie centric town and said well rational people surely don’t believe this drivel.

Fast forward to last week when a child at my work was running around acting like a loon and the mother kept screaming, “make good choices!” Are you freaking kidding me? Make good choices? This kid is two, still shits in his diaper and can’t remember what he ate for breakfast. How the hell do you expect him to put thought and reason into the situation and decide to make a good choice? Yes, I am all for instilling rational thought but children at that age they are simply not capable of making good choices. And, what seems like a good choice for them (ice cream, running amock) is typically not what we the adults think of as a good choice (veggies, sitting quietly).

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated case. I’ve seen this same scenario play out dozens of times over the last couple of years.  And, I’m not the only person observing this craziness. The same day my incident happened, a cousin, who lives in another state, posted about a similar incident on Facebook. It’s everywhere. It must be some sort of parenting trend. But, honestly, what dumbass thought up this everything but no trick? It was probably some idiot with a string of letters behind their name and no real world experience with children.  And, can someone please tell me how offering all these “well, wouldn’t you rather” is better than saying No and offering a reason why you said no?  Isn’t the “wouldn’t you rather” a bit like gaslighting your child and making the child second guess themselves.  I mean if the whole exercise is built upon instilling the ability to use reasoning skills how the hell are they suppose to reason if you totally invalidate their idea. Give them some damn boundaries. Tell them no. Tell them why you are saying no. No, you can’t run from me in the parking lot some idiot will run you over and kill you.  No, you may not have cake for lunch it’s unhealthy and you’ll be starving five minutes later. And, just because these parents don’t say no doesn’t mean the world won’t. How are these children going to react when the world tells them no.  I can tell you how. The same way the child of a family member reacted. It was like I was speaking a foreign language. They don’t understand and they don’t believe it. They act like you haven’t even spoken.  No, what is this word you speak? That word doesn’t apply to me. Oh, but it does sunshine.  It totally does.

Photo Credit: Free photo lifted from the internet of a kid “pitching a fit” as we say down here in the South.

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Important Stuff, Uncategorized

Death of a Friendship

Friendships are a funny thing. I have never gotten the hang of the idea that some people are around just for a season. I find it hurts when the season is over and I have a hard time letting go. Sometimes I can see the friendship fading. It usually starts with a spat or series of bitchy incidents. But, most of the time I’m completely blind sighted by it or worse, I wake up one day and realize I haven’t talked to a person in many years and that neither of us has bothered to make the effort.  I have become weirdly resigned to that last bit – the friendship that slowly fades away. Or, at least I thought I had until last week when I found out a once very good friend had died suddenly at the age of 43.

My friend and I met at a time when we both needed each other.  I was a stay at home mom to a sick toddler and an infant. I had just moved to a new town where I knew very few people so I joined a bunco club. The first night I met R (no names here folks) she came in late in a swirl of energy and perfume and we bonded right away.  We had so much in common. We both had a similar upbringing. We both loved music. Our birthdays were within days of each other. We both married men who were our polar opposites on the same day and we both refused to act our age.  She too had small children, although older than mine. And, she was so restless. She wanted more but really “allowed” to do much of anything about it. We both needed someone we could talk to and have bitch sessions with.  Unfortunately, she also needed alcohol. R had a real problem. It landed her in rehab and in jail with a DWI the short few years we lived in the same town.  As always happens, my husband’s job transferred us, this time to Texas. R and I vowed to stay in touch as friends always do. I truly believed we would as I knew her situation and I knew she needed a nonjudgemental ear. Then it happened, the phone calls and text messages dwindled. She was allowed to get a job, there was drama with her marriage and then she disappeared and stopped writing back. I became engrossed in my new life in my new town and rarely bothered.  Then, in 2015 the news came she and her family were in a horrible car accident. The doctors didn’t expect her to live. Her husband didn’t. It was really bad still we only chatted a few times after the incident. Again, she disappeared, until last week when I saw on Facebook she had passed away.  Her now high school senior son found her dead in the bed one morning.  An autopsy will be done to discover the reason. I’m pretty sure I can guess but at this juncture, it doesn’t really matter.  The end result is the same.

Now, I’m beating myself up for not staying in touch. Yes, rationally I know I did try and it’s not all my fault.  After all, if someone refuses to answer you what are you supposed to do? Yet, I can’t help but wonder if maybe I and a few others had kept trying to break through to her maybe the drinking would stop or slow down. But, again, I know the answer. Addiction and depression are a bitch. And, even if you do have a network of people who love and care for you ultimately the addict has to do the hard work and has to want to get sober and well.

I feel like when a friend or relative dies it’s supposed to teach you something. I can’t help but wonder what her unexpected death is supposed to teach me? Try harder at friendships? Addiction is insidious?  I’m not sure. A million of those little proverbs are rolling around in my head right now and none of them feel right.  What I do know for sure is even though I haven’t spoken to her in nearly four years, I will miss her. I will miss her smile, her laugh, and her devil may care attitude. I will miss the knowledge that somewhere out in this world is this beautiful but struggling person who just wanted unconditional love.

Finally, because she and I are both Southerners and because I believe the ones we love are never really gone as long as they are remembered by someone, I’m going to share a piece of her with you. Below is my friend’s signature dish recipe. I’m making it later this week in her honor.

TOMATO-CREAM SAUCE FOR PASTA
INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
¾ teaspoon white sugar
Directions:
In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Make sure it doesn’t
burn. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil and continue to
boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in heavy
cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes. Pour over favorite cooked
pasta and toss
SAUSAGE BREAD
INGREDIENTS:
1 loaf frozen yeast bread (thawed) – Rhodes bread found in frozen section of Walmart
1 package breakfast sausage
½ medium onion, chopped
shredded cheddar cheese (as much as you’d like)
shredded mozzarella cheese (as much as you’d like)
melted butter

Cook sausage with onions and drain. Roll out dough on a floured surface into a 15 x 8 inch triangle, then baste with melted butter.

Layer ingredients upon rolled dough, starting with cooked sausage, then cheeses. Bring both sides of bread together and pinch in middle to close.  Be sure ends of bread are tucked in as well. Turn bread over so that pinched side is the bottom and place on greased baking pan, then baste top with melted butter.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned.

Note:  Since the Rhodes frozen bread comes in a package of three, I usually double the recipe, thawing two loaves and cooking two packages of sausage together.  We eat one and I freeze the other (uncooked) for another time.

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Rants

Born Again Vegan

img_2431Not so long ago I found myself having a conversation with the token vegan at work.  We were having lunch. He had an apple and a popular brand of cookie that boasts being vegan, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, and non-GMO.  I was eating a salad topped with grilled chicken. He proceeded to lecture me about how I really need to go vegan, that it’s not just enough to be vegetarian. My attention span pretty much turned off when he started talking about how one growth cycle and done fruits and veggies are worse than those that have multiple growing cycles.  At that juncture, I decided it was time to fuck with this clown and proceeded to tell him I only ate ugly or stupid animals and that if the zombie apocalypse hit we’d eat him first.  But, as most conversations do, I actually started thinking about the whole organic, vegan, non GMO, no dairy, no gluten, only foods raised by Himalayan nuns movement.  It all boiled down to one answer – first world, usually bougie, white people problems.

Seriously, think about the last time you saw a Latina woman or Asian guy all up in someone’s face about “I can’t eat anything with dairy” or berate someone over a non- organic product. It is without fail almost 99.9% of the time some bougie white person bitching about these things.  The worst offenders are the born again Vegans. They are worse than ex smokers/drinkers. It’s worse than the most evangelical of all religions. They just want to covert you. My absolute favorite of all is the children that tell their parents I’m vegan. I just laugh.  If I had told my parents I was vegan at twelve years old they would have laughed at me and smacked me across the face like Cher did to Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck. Who are these parents feeding into this bullshit? Okay, so you’re vegan?  You better start mowing some grass or babysitting some kids to afford that fancy triple the price food you want. I’m convinced only kids in bougie families pull this shit because kids in non-bougie families know they have two options when it comes to food in the household – take it or leave it.

Of course, marketing people love this preoccupation with ingredients.  The picture attached to this post is of a can of sparkling water and coconut oil I happened to have in my pantry. Notice the labeling. Thank you, Captain Obvious, I’d never know sparkling water was a gluten-free food without your label or that pure coconut oil wasn’t vegan. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know a fruit wasn’t vegan. Honestly, if your dumb ass really needs that label to determine if something is part of your self imposed dietary restriction maybe you don’t need to eat it.  Speaking of dietary restrictions have you ever noticed most poor people don’t concern themselves with all these fake dietary restrictions. If you go to the food bank and you have a nut allergy you will not get peanut butter.  They will give you something else that is shelf stable and high in protein like canned meat. The same thing goes for gluten free products if you have celiac.  But, truly hungry people eat what they can get. They don’t worry about if the food is organic or vegan. They worry about filling the empty spot in their bellies.  Again, here we go with the bougie, first world people problems.

Don’t even try to tell me these dietary restrictions are anything but a choice. For most people, these choices are a want to do it choice, rather than a have to do it choice. I have a friend who has Lyme disease who’s body literally cannot process meat. She is devastated because she always liked a good steak.  I know people who have found out the hard way they have celiac and now are gluten free. These are real and valid reasons for a dietary change but you never hear those people beating their chest about their dietary choices. But, get a born again vegan in the house and they beat their chest so hard you’d swear you have a drum line hiding somewhere you need to start looking around for a step show.  It’s like they feel like they deserve some participation metal or pat on the back for helping Mother Earth.  Hell, I’m helping the earth by eating meat. I read the other day where cows produce more pollution than cars.  Let me just eat another ribeye and help the planet. I just hope that cow was fed organic, non GMO feed raised by Himalayan nuns.

 

 

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