Musing

Y2K

010101I had a stunning revelation the other day.  In a meer 49 days, it will have been 20 years since Y2K?  Do you remember how crazy everyone got for that? People were quitting jobs, divorcing spouses, stockpiling food and supplies and million other crazy things because they all thought the world was going to end.  At a minimum, most people thought everything electronic was going to spontaneously fall apart the minute the clock struck midnight.  I remember my boss at the time wanted everyone at work that New Year’s Eve night in case all hell broke loose with the computers. I thought this was a crazy idea because I didn’t work at a tech firm. I worked at a small lobbying organization in a small college and tourist town. I distinctly remember telling my boss only our computer guy will know what to do and she needed to fire me now because I wouldn’t be there. I’d be in another state with my family that night. She got mad but then the rest of the organization agreed with me and she didn’t have a leg to stand on.  Of course, everyone else was yes ma’aming all the way until I stood up to her foolishness. Some people (Insert eye roll here).

Now, look at us. Twenty years later and nothing has happened.  No computers spontaneously combusted. Everything trucked along just like it had and time has marched on.  And, in those 20 years, I’d say we are more tethered to technology than ever before.  Wouldn’t it be hilarious (and I mean that in the ironic sense) if all hell broke loose on at midnight on this New Year’s Eve?  What if everyone got it wrong and it wasn’t Y2K we needed to worry about but 2020.  Can you imagine the reactions?  We didn’t have smartphones back then only regular cell phones. I can’t remember if we had text messaging.  We didn’t use a GPS in our car to find our way.  We printed out maps and directions from Mapquest or used a good old fashioned paper map.  In 2000, people still carried a checkbook and cash as well as credit cards – forget about Apple pay.  And, smart houses and devices like Nest and Ring – they were just a dream.

A few months ago Facebook and Instagram shut down for the afternoon and everyone lost their minds. Can you imagine if everything, all technology, the whole network went down just for an afternoon?  Holy Moses, there would be riots in the streets. I’m not a person who likes to watch the world burn but I have to admit the whole idea of everything shutting down for a day interests me from a sociological observational standpoint.

So, what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Any plans?  Me, I’ll be with my family. I won’t be doing the same things I was doing 20 years ago as our family has changed but I’ll still be with them. It will be a night well spent.

Photo Credit: I lifted this off the internet. I searched free computer code image. This is what I got. If it belongs to you let me know, I will credit you or take it down. I’m using it under fair use. No copyright infringement intended. I’m broke so don’t sue me. I write this for free.

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Recommendations

Boredom and New Recs

black headphones with mobile smartphoneIf you’ve ever had surgery, been badly injured, or delivered a child, you know there is a certain amount of time you have to take to heal. There is no fast track or quickie workaround. You just have to take it day by day.  And, in that day by day living, your body may be weak but your head is just fine. That is when the boredom sets in and that’s where I’m at right now.  In fact, it’s been exactly one week since my surgery. I cannot drive. I can’t do housework. Mainly, all I can do is sit and it’s already starting to drive my hyper AF self crazy. I knew this would happen. I tried to prepare for it by saving episodes of shows and movies to watch, by saving episodes of podcasts, and saving projects I could work on from my recliner chair. Yet, alas here I am googling funny dog videos. Since I’m a shut in, finding cool and relevant topics for blog conservation is a little bit nonexistent.  I refuse to talk about politics; half of America is doing that right now. As I see it, everyone sucks and we’re all doomed.  The only thing I can speak to right now is tv shows, podcasts, and funny dog videos. So, let’s do this.

Funny Dog Videos:  Y’all thought I was joking didn’t you? Nope. Go to YouTube right now and join me down the rabbit hole.  Search for ‘husky dog in a bathtub’ and that will get you started. Then you can just search Husky dog videos.  That has got to be the mouthiest breed in the world. Those dogs just talk up a storm. After that has wasted your whole day, you can move on to Tucker Budzyn.  He’s a Golden Retriever and is so funny.  I legit think his owner can read his mind because the subtitles look exactly like what he’s thinking.

TV Shows: Mixed-ish on ABC.  It’s another spinoff of Black-ish.  Since I hated Grown-ish and Rainbow isn’t my favorite character on Black-ish I really didn’t think I would like this show but it’s hilarious.  Much like Stranger Things, it feels very nostalgic since it’s set in the 80s.  It’s like re-watching my childhood with the clothes, behaviors, and outlook of the time and of course, there’s always a moral to the story – usually something about trying to fit in or finding one’s way.  It’s worth a watch and it’s crazy that Rainbow’s hippie dad is played by none other Mark-Paul Gosselaar.  That’s right, Zack from Saved by The Bell. You feel old yet?

Podcasts: Last time I did podcast recs, I mentioned The Worst Year Ever. Well, the premise was good but I never got into it. All it did was remind me that politics sucks – hard. It’s so much happier to stick with true crime and murder. HA! To that end, I give you Hit Man and Today in True Crime.  The first four episodes of Hit Man are strong. I mean really riveting but then the story meanders but it does eventually come back so stick with it. So far, there are 8 episodes. Today in True Crime is a daily podcast that never lasts more than about 15 minutes.  It currently has 73 episodes and deals with anything from the day of Jack the Ripper’s first crime to the day Charlie Manson died. Most days it’s really interesting.  There have been a couple of duds or just plain horrific things but most days it’s fascinating.  If you’re looking for something a bit more cheery, I give you The History Chicks.  The History Chicks has been around for a few years and updates at least once a month but more like every few weeks.  Each episode deals with a different woman in history. I really enjoyed the episodes on Lucille Ball, Mary Todd Lincoln, Mary Pickford, and Abigail Adams. This podcast does a deep dive into the lives of these famous ladies. It’s the history lesson you wish you had in school.  Let’s face it, way more people would be more into history if every class were this interesting. As always, you can find these podcasts in the usual places. I get mine from Apple but they are also available at iheartradio and a few other places. The links I provide for each podcast can tell you where each one is available. I say get it whichever way is easiest for you.

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Musing

The Curse

I got my first bra when I was 10 years old and in the 5th grade.  My mother and I bought it in the children’s section of a now defunct department store called Castner Knott. It was white, no underwire, very basic and was a 36AA.  At first, I thought it was cool but then I started getting teased about my chest size – by both boys and girls. I now realize the girls were jealous that I was developing so fast and the boys well you know they never lose their fascination for breasts.  It wasn’t long after the bra purchase that I heard the term “the curse”.  The phrase, the curse, was generally said in hushed tones and whispered to my mother. Has she gotten the curse yet?  Alternately, I also heard has she gotten the gift yet? And, has she become a woman?  I had no idea what was going on. A curse sounded horrible. A gift sounded pretty awesome. Becoming a woman? Are you kidding me, I mean I’m female and pretty self-sufficient but I can’t get a job yet.

Then it happened. One hot and sweaty day after gym class in 7th grade I started to change out of my gym clothes in the locker and noticed a red stain. Even though my mom had never really told me a damn thing about getting a period I knew exactly what was going on.  I packed my underwear full of toilet paper and hoped it would be enough until school was over.  It was the first thing I told my mom when she picked me up. Of course, we had to go to Walmart to get pads and sometime during that trip she muttered the phrase “the curse”. I was like so this is what all those women meant by has she gotten the curse.  It all made sense now. But, a curse, was it really that bad?

If I could have had a crystal ball I would know for sure that “the curse” was a pretty accurate description. My girl parts have pretty much given me nothing but trouble since that hot day in late spring when I was 12.  Now, 33 years later, they are no longer going to cause me trouble.  As you are reading this, I’m still in the hospital for a hysterectomy. I am ecstatic.  Good riddance.  The factory has been closed for years and now my parts want to give me cancer.  Well, fuck that.  The medical waste incinerator is your new home uterus.  Enjoy that.  I know some women have a really hard time after a hysterectomy or “the change”.  I have heard of women feeling like they aren’t really women anymore because they can’t reproduce or that they are less than because they no longer menstruate.  I could be 1000% wrong but I don’t think I’m going to be one of those women.  In my not so humble opinion, having horrible periods and constant trouble with your parts is by far the worst part of being female. I am so excited about this surgery that I bragged the other day to a friend that I didn’t have to buy pads or tampons for myself ever again and since my daughter hasn’t gotten her period maybe I’m in the clear for a while. Then the Universe pointed and laughed.

Guess who got their period? That’s right, my 13 year old daughter.  I barely had anything at home she could use because I had been actively using up all of my stuff and not buying anything new.  See what a catty bitch the universe can be?  We have talked a little bit about it. I have not used the phrase “the curse” or “the gift” or “becoming a woman”.  I’ve just called it what it is.  I hope she doesn’t have the same issues I did. If she does, I might call it the curse but mainly I don’t want to freak her out or fill her head with preconceived notions.  I’ve parented her this way her whole life. I’ve tried not to give her my perspective until she asks or she at least has a solid feeling of what something is like from her own perspective. I feel like my perspective is a little jaded and super weird because of my upbringing.  It’s best not to hand her that big bag of crazy to go along with her own major life event.  And, thank God we don’t all have to trudge off the Red Tent anymore.

So, Universe, I see you there. I see the irony of this whole situation. One reproductive life ending when another begins. Don’t worry, I totally hear “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King blaring in my internal monolog.  I get it.  I may not be able to make babies anymore but I have a daughter that still needs Mom. And, I’m going to help her navigate this stage in life the best I can. I’m just glad I won’t be having PMS together and our cycles won’t sync up.

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Uncategorized

Closed

Hi readers – I’m typing this on a phone because my laptop has died on me. I’m super mad but there’s nothing I can do about it at this time.  Since I have way too many words to express my thoughts than my thumbs and this touchpad can convey this blog is on hiatus until I an come up with something a little more user friendly. Apologies.  In the meantime, follow me on Twitter and Facebook for some quick snark and hot takes. XO

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Rants

Bullying

bullyfree zoneOctober is National Anti Bullying Month. But, I think a more appropriate title should be National Bullshit at School Month. Yeah, I know I sound super jaded and I am because I believe – no scratch that – I know not nearly enough is being done about bullying.  But, what about all the programs? Indeed, there are many and what of them. Those programs preach bully free zones, kindness, and character. Kindness is important to be sure. Everyone should (and the operative word here is should) treat others the same way they want to be treated. Old timers call this the Golden Rule. However, very few are doing that. And, even fewer care about doing what’s right because there are very few consequences to bad behavior and bullying.  It is the lack of consequences that is perpetuating bullying and other behavioral issues in our society.

Bullying has always been around. This is not a new concept. Almost everyone encounters bullying at some juncture. For most of us, it usually happens in elementary school.  The bully is usually some jackass that loves to pick on people different from them.  That difference can be anything from socioeconomic status to physical appearances to just good old fashioned jealousy.  The bully is also usually someone that hasn’t been raised right, not taught kindness and character at home, and someone who believes for some weird reason the rules don’t apply to them.  Everyone is usually afraid of the bully until someone stands up to them.  Sometimes this can be done with some well placed put-downs in the right environment – i.e. on the playground where everyone including the teacher can hear it.  But, more often than not, the bully gets physical and the bullied has to put the bully in their place – meaning on their ass.  When the bully is shown they no longer have a victim either the bully will stop or move on to another victim.

Unfortunately, in schools today we have taken away our victim’s rights. We have given even more power to the bully. You see, when a bully calls a child names the victim is no longer allowed to call the bully a name least they both get a talking to.  In today’s school, if the bully physically touches their victim the victim is no longer allowed to fight back. If the victim fights back they get the same punishment as the bully which again is not much more than a stern talking to.  And, not only does the bully get with little more than “that’s not nice, Timmy” the bully knows nothing more will come of it, which gives the bully carte blanche to continue his or her predatory ways.

If you haven’t already figured it out this subject is a little near and dear. Both of my kids and I have had to endure bullies at various times.  One child recently had to deal with a verbal bully.  I’ve spoken with the district and voiced my displeasure but I know nothing will come from it because it falls on deaf ears. It did in the past in other districts and will at this district too.  Now I’m wracking my brain on how to do something.  The more I wrack my brain the more convinced I am that it all goes back to lack of consequences.  I’m convinced this lack of consequences is helping to perpetuate entitlement and the feeling that one can just do anything they want to do.  Technology and modern living have removed many natural consequences.  Other consequences are being removed by redirection parenting techniques.  We’ve talked about that one before – the never tell your child no only redirect thing.  Spankings, time outs and even yelling are looked down upon, lest it damages the child’s psyche. We don’t want them to fear even though a little bit of fear can be a good thing. Schools have stopped giving out real consequences. Gone are the paddles hanging in the principal’s office. Gone are write offs or extra work. Gone is the threat of your parents will be called and they will deal with you.  Teachers and administrators aren’t allowed to touch children. Bad behaving children are told that behavior is not acceptable and that is that.

And, what happens to the victims in all this? They are gaslighted into accepting their fate. They learn that nothing will be done.  It’s better not to tell.  And, the bully learns they can get away with whatever they want because the adults are too scared of an angry parent or a lawsuit to really give any appropriate punishment.  So, this bad behaving child grows up continuing to think rules don’t apply to them.

I don’t accept that and our children shouldn’t accept that but how do we fix it?  That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?  How do we protect our children and take back the power from the bullies?  Do we write letters to our school districts? Do we yank our kids out en mass and homeschool? Do we lawyer up and sue our school districts for not providing a safe environment for children? Can we pretend it’s 1989 and give power back to victims and let them stand up bullies? I’m open to ideas, especially from my teacher friends. I know we are all inundated with issues of the day – politics, climate, job security, healthcare and just getting through the day. We all have to pick and choose what’s important to us.  This latest foray into dealing with bullies has lit a fire and I’m ready to tackle it. I welcome help.

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Musing, Uncategorized

Exaggeration

downloadHow many times have you exaggerated while telling a story?  Even if you personally haven’t we’ve all heard the old “the fish was this big” stories. Most of us smile and nod because we know that fish was not that big but it’s good for the story and to that end it’s fine and good. But, there is one thing I cannot stand, using exaggeration to guilt me or otherwise play on my sympathies. Twice in the past 7 or so days I have heard stories that made me want to give two people writeoffs with one of Delores Umbridge’s I must not tell lies quills. If you’re a Harry Potter fan you’ll know what I mean. If not, look it up.  It’s great punishment and frankly, these two liars need it.

The first offender is Greta Thunberg.  I have no real problem with her protests or her being a climate activist. If that is how she wants to spend her time, more power to her as long as she’s truly educating herself before she shoots off her mouth in protest.  In fact, I think more kids need to be aware of politics and social issues and less with selfies and Snapchat. Gone are the days of 6 p.m. national and world news on every tv, reading the newspaper, and expecting everyone to know current events but I digress.  The problem I have with Greta is a line from her September 23rd speech to the UN.  She said, “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”  Really?  I’m pretty sure the 5 year old bobbin winders and errand runners of the Industrial Revolution would disagree with her.  For that matter, my own Grandmother would disagree with her.  Born in rural Alabama in 1925, my Grandmother was the last of 8 children. She dropped out of school after the 5th grade to help work her parents’ sharecropper land. I’m pretty sure picking cotton from sun up to sun down is a childhood stolen not climate change.  Does Greta Thunberg have anything important to say? Possibly. Actually, probably but I would rather hear from a scientist instead of an overexaggerating child. I can’t take her seriously after that ridiculous line.

The next offender is Donald Trump. Yes, I know I can probably just stop right there. But, a few days ago I saw where he tweeted that this impeachment thing was “The greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.”  I was literally screaming at my phone. Hey dumbass, I’m pretty sure those so called witches they burned in Salem in the 1600s would have a little something to say about that. I mean they were actually burned at the stake while he is just enduring some inflammatory speech.  Boo Fucking Hoo!  They said mean words about me. Get over it.  Even if impeachment happens, so what?  He’s acting like this is the worst thing ever.  Pretty sure death is worse. Again, this sort of behavior makes it hard to take anything he says seriously. (Whispers – Not like I ever did in the first place.)

So, dear reader, if any of you know where I can get one of those I must not tell lies quills I would be most grateful.

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Recommendations

September Podcast Recs

black headphones with mobile smartphone

This week’s entry will mostly be podcast recs so if you’re not into that I hope to see you again soon.  If you are, please continue. As I’ve done in the past I will be adding links to the podcast’s website so that you can read more and find it where you get your podcasts.

For my True Crime fans, I give you Hell and Gone. It’s set in Arkansas and is narrated, written and researched by a local Arkansas woman.  Her educated but very Southern voice is music to my ears. It is on its second season so there’s plenty to binge on.  I personally liked season one better than two but two is still unfolding so we shall see.

Following the True Crime genre is Hit Man.  This one is absolutely fascinating as it includes a real hit on a person’s life as well as Mowtown legends.  Really interesting stuff.

For my friends who think history is boring, I suggest you try Noble Blood.  It’s a brand new podcast with only 6 episodes but there’s not a dud in the bunch.  Each episode tells the little known story of a historical figure – some you’ve heard of like Marie Antionette and others not so much. These stories range from scandalous to sad and will remind you you’d have to be crazy to want to be a royal.

I’ve also been listening to a podcast called Family Secrets and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  Some episodes are fantastic while others I’ve abandoned a few minutes in. At first, it felt like the author/narrator only knew how to tell stories of privileged, tristate Jewish families. I mean, they do say write what you know.  But, for me, that doesn’t resonate as I’m not privileged, Jewish or tristate area resident. Hell, I’ve never even been to the tristate area. However, she has started to branch out and those have been riveting. I guarantee if you listen you will hear a story that seems oddly familiar to stories you’ve heard within your own families or maybe a close friend.

Finally, I’m very happy to report that Mike Rowe’s The Way I Heard It podcast has returned with new episodes and that Disgracedland will be returning for its 4th season very soon.

In other news, I have been watching the Greta Thunberg bru-ha-ha unfold and I’m up to my eyeballs in kids school and extracurricular crapola. I keep wondering when Mother Nature will come back from her vacation and bring Fall with her. And, I finally found Coffeemate Pumpkin Spike sugar free creamer at the grocery store.  #Notsponsored but I’m open to sponsorship so hit me up, Nestle.

P.S. So, I wrote all this a few days ago but today I heard about a new podcast called Worst Year Ever. I have only listened to the intro but it sounded hilarious and sad all at the same time because it’s about the 2020 election.  Stay tuned to see if I actually rec it.

 

 

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