Irony, Musing

Work it out

exercise female fitness foot

My exercise of choice is walking.  I can walk 50 miles just don’t ask me to run one mile. And, don’t ask me to go over a 15 minute mile unless wild animals are after me.  When I walk I usually listen to a podcast or an audiobook but occasionally it’s just me and a playlist. I honestly don’t know why I bother with a playlist. My mind always wanders to the most random and absurd things and I end up not listening to my playlist, only my inner voice.  I do all my deep, philosophical thinking whilst walking, showering or driving long distances.  Today, as I enjoyed the lovely, warm spring day I was reminded of a scene in Back to the Future 3.  See what I mean about random and absurd?

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  It’s highly unlikely that Back to the Future 3 would feature anything relevant but stick with me while I set it up.  If you don’t remember or never saw the movie, Back to the Future 3 takes place during the old west.  The scene I’m talking about features several people sitting around in a saloon and someone says something about running and how one day people will run for fun. Everyone laughs at the idea and proceeds to ask why anyone would want to run for fun – like this is the most absurd thing in the universe. And quite frankly for the time, it is the most absurd thing in the universe.  Day to day life was exercise. From hauling water to chopping wood to wrangling animals, every facet of daily life involved physical labor. No one exercised for health. They exercised because they had to do it to get the job done.

So, as I speed walked down the tree lined trails in my town, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the absurdity of it all.  Here I was wearing clothing and shoes especially purchased for exercising, listening to a tiny box which doubles as a phone walking down a paved path almost big enough for a car all in the name of health.  I was struck by how much life has changed in a mere 100 years.  I’m always astounded how technology, better health care, and basic personal rights have completely changed our lives.  It always leads me to wonder what’s next.  I can’t even fathom what our future holds.  Truth be told, as a child, I totally believed we’d be using flying cars by now.  Boy, do I feel cheated.  Actually, with the way most people drive, I’m glad we aren’t using flying cars.  But seriously, I can’t even begin to imagine what’s next. The only thing that even remotely comes to mind is VR and 3-D printing but those are already in use. I wonder how these technologies will affect us in 20 years?  Dear reader, do you have any ideas? Thrill me with your creativity.

P.S. If we don’t have Jetson’s flying cars or Rosie robots by the time I’m 80 I’m going to riot.

P.P.S. This is a free, stock photo, not me. My thighs have never been that skinny.

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Irony, Uncategorized

Roots

For years I’ve wanted to do one of those DNA tests that tell you where you’re from. Like most people, I had a vague idea of my heritage but when it all came down to it I had no real idea.  My recent ancestors were poor and didn’t keep good records.  All I truly had was a handful of dates, larger than life stories and my mother’s eyes.  This past Christmas I received a 23 and Me kit.  I recently got back the results and these results have created more questions than answers. It confirmed there was a good deal of Irish and English blood flowing through my veins. It didn’t confirm the American Indian, which had always been part of the family lore.  But, it showed Scandinavian, German and Ashkenazi Jewish, which was a surprise but not the biggest.

The biggest surprise was my DNA relatives. Most of these DNA tests link you up with people who have similar DNA as yourself. These people range from parents, siblings and first cousins all the way to very distant cousins. None of the surnames of my supposed relatives matched the surnames I knew. I immediately began to panic and started calling all of my living relatives to get to the bottom of this matter. My maternal aunt and uncle assured me they didn’t know anything.  I just knew I was dealing with mixed up DNA or an outside kid. What if I was the outside kid? My mother was pretty and she loved men.  It could be possible.  Human interest stories are cropping up almost weekly about some guy that met his long lost twin through one of these DNA tests.  Hell, the DNA companies are starting to hire counselors for the express purpose of talking people down when they find out their Uncle is really their Daddy.

Just when I was starting to entertain all the possibilities an email showed up from one of my DNA matches.  Apparently, her dad was adopted sometime in the 1930s. Her father’s birth surname was the same as my paternal grandmother’s surname, meaning he was the child of my grandmother (unlikely since she would have been exceptionally young at that time) or one of her six brothers and sisters. The phone call to my father regarding this revelation was like something out of Abbot and Costell’s Who’s on First skit.

Me: Dad, do you know if anyone on Grandmother’s side ever gave a kid up for adoption?
Dad: No, no one in our family is adopted.
Me: No Dad, not was adopted ever gave a child up for adoption.
Dad: Nope, no one was ever adopted.  Well, there was that one uncle on Papa’s side.  He was adopted.
Me: No Dad this isn’t on that side of the family. It’s on your Mom’s side.
Dad: Oh, okay. Well, no one was adopted on that side.
Me: (Sighing and trying to retain my calm) No Dad, like given up. I mean it was the Depression. People were poor. They sometimes gave their kids away because they couldn’t afford to feed them.  And, there is always the out of wedlock thing. I mean it was the 1930s.
Dad: Well, our family didn’t do that.
Me: How do you know?! This was at least 10 years before you were born, probably more like 12.
Dad: No one ever mentioned it.
Me: (Filled with incredulity) Dad, it’s not exactly something people generally talk about. I just thought you might have overheard the adults talking.
Dad: Nope, no one in our family was ever adopted.

That is where I gave up. God bless him it was like talking to a brick wall.  And, God bless this long lost cousin’s family because I have nothing but a few random dates and names to help them in their search. I have to admit I have zero desire to be friends with these people. I have enough family scattered around the country as it is. I don’t need a new set of relatives to have to visit at least once a year. But, it’s sort of interesting to think what a vial of spit can tell about a person.  FYI if you ever do these tests it takes 85,000 years to collect all that spit. You may think you have a lot of spit but you don’t.  And, your mouth will feel so dry after coughing up all that spit you’ll think your throat is the Sahara.  You’ve been warned.

 

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Irony, Musing

January Sucks

appointment black calendar countdownSo, this article about why next Monday, January 21st will be the worst, popped up in my news feed today.  Hand to heaven, I rolled my eyes and screamed at my screen, “I talked about this last year people!” The proof is here.  I’m over here like ‘where were you last year and why did you pay this clown to write this article when I practically said the same thing for free. You coulda paid me instead, idiots.

But seriously, isn’t January the worst? Ugh.  And, is it just me or does this whole government shut down and recent mega snowstorm that did not come near me only make it all worse? Forget free government provided birth control pills can we all just get some mood enhancement pills and maybe something that will help us shed that holiday 15?  Am I truly asking for too much?  I don’t think so. Remember back in the 80s, Equal sent those little gumballs made out of Equal to every address in America?  The feds could do the same thing. Just send a few happy pills to every address and boom maybe people wouldn’t be a bunch of miserable cows.

P.S.  If you’re thinking ‘damn, she phoned this post in’ you aren’t wrong.  January sucks and I’m trying really hard but damn if it doesn’t still suck. This opportunity sort of presented itself and I latched on.

 

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Irony, Rants

Staw Poll

drink colorful color tube

I have to laugh at the various media outlets these days.  It seems like every couple of weeks there is a new contrived emergency that all of us need to drop everything and be outraged about.  This month’s emergency happens to be straws, more specifically, how plastic straws are ruining our environment.  This emergency de jour recently came at me not only through news outlets and social media but also live and in person.

Last weekend, I was at Lowes getting a part for my sprinkler system.  I put the muddy broken piece in a plastic grocery bag, a bag that I had already used at least twice I might add.  While looking for the part I needed, a clerk came up to offer help. After locating the replacement part, the clerk asked if I’d like to throw away the old part and pulled out a trash can from under a computer terminal. I said sure. The part was plastic, just like the bag it was in. I was going take it home and chuck it in my recycling cart but he was offering so why not. As soon as I threw the whole thing in the trash the man said, “You know that’s killing the earth, those bags and plastic straws  They wind up in a huge plastic ball island of trash floating in the ocean.”  I just rolled my eyes and walked away without a thank you for his help. I know that was bad manners but I was really just biting my tongue.  I really wanted to fire back at him.  I wanted to ask him to tell how are all these bags and straws ending up in the ocean. Are there people separating the straws and plastic bags from the various trash and recycling places, loading them up onto barges and hauling them off to the ocean? Do these straws and bags leap out of our trash cans and swim to the ocean much like turtles hatching from eggs on the shore? Has he personally seen this plastic floating island in the sea?  Furthermore, what about other plastic items? Are they part of this giant floating plastic bag and drinking straw island?

Yes, I am being a little salty and snarky. I freely admit it. It burns me up that the mysterious ‘they’ who drums up these contrived emergencies love to pick and choose their target.  Why is the current target drinking straws?  Why not all plastic in general? Here’s a bigger ‘why’.  Why hasn’t this mythical ‘they’ started targeting Keurig K-cup pods? Think about it about it, since becoming the must have Christmas gift of 2012, almost everyone has a Keurig machine or at least has used one.  They are everywhere.  Almost every waiting room from the doctor’s office to the oil change place has a Keurig machine. Many office buildings have them on each floor.  Almost every hotel has a Keurig machine in every guestroom. Have you ever seen anything other than a trash (not recycling) can for these pods?  Go to the coffee aisle in any supermarket, Target or Walmart and try to find a bag of coffee.  The choices for bag coffee are minuscule compared to the selection of Keurig K-cups.  A metric ton of these things must be getting manufactured and used annually and they are all made of plastic. Yes, K-cups can be recycled but to do it correctly it’s kind of a pain in the ass. You ‘should’ tear off the foil, wash out the grounds, then put the plastic pod in the recycle bin. How many people actually do that? What happens to those pods that don’t get the prewash and are just chucked in the recycle bin?  Do they wind up on that giant island of floating plastic? I haven’t a clue.  My guess is the reason you haven’t heard about how awful these things are for the environment is that no one wants to screw with the convenience of their coffee service.

For the record, I don’t think it’s stupid to encourage more environmentally friendly options. By all means, encourage, but don’t mandate and hey, random store employee, don’t judge.  If there is this island of plastic floating around in the ocean you can be sure we (Americans) aren’t the only one who contributed to it.  And, while we’re at it, mysterious ‘they’ don’t create an emergency over one specific thing – educate. Lastly, let me state I don’t own a Keurig because all I see is waste and expense and I drink entirely too much coffee. I would go bankrupt buying those stupid plastic pods. But, hey if you own a Keurig, drink up. You do you.

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Irony, Musing

12:00

1_30x7H4l8REa9KXr2UEWyOwIf you are over the age of 30, you will remember walking into some adult’s house and seeing the picture on your left.  Yep, it’s a VCR.  Even though the picture is not a gif you can still see that 12:00 flashing in your minds-eye.  How many times as kids did we ask the adult, “Why don’t you program the VCR?” Or, maybe the adult asked you to program the VCR for them. Nevertheless, do you remember the answer we always received as to why it was flashing 12:00?  I do.  The answer was always, “I don’t know how.”  I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh come on it’s not that hard.’ There was always a manual and some machines were quite intuitive and yet most VCRs just sat there blinking 12:00 for no real reason.

Now, you may be thinking well this was a fun trip down memory lane but why is this lady talking about ancient technology? It’s simple. It reminds me of Snapchat. (Insert needle scratch sound effect here.) Yes, VCRs remind me of Snapchat.  Let me explain.  I love Snapchat.  It’s so fun –  all those stupid filters that make you look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings or give you cute bunny ears and dog tongues. Yet as fun as Snapchat is I don’t really know how to use it.  Yes, I have a rudimentary knowledge. I can open the program and take a stupid selfie but after that, I have no idea how to connect with friends and share it.  I usually just save the selfie of me with fur on my face and the best eye makeup ever and manually share it as a text.  Yet, I know this isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.  A younger family member recently called me out for my lack of knowledge. I didn’t mind. She’s right. I have no idea what I’m doing. I freely admit it. But, it was in that moment I realized Snapchat is to me as VCRs were to our parents and grandparents.  It’s a fun toy but not something that requires much thought.

It wasn’t that those adults were dumb. It wasn’t that they truly didn’t know how to program the machine. They were perfectly capable.  They just didn’t care. They had bigger fish to fry than to learn about some new piece of technology that would disappear in a couple of years.  And, God bless ’em they were right.  The VCR gave way to the DVD player which gave way to the Bluray which is now being overpowered by digital libraries and streaming services.  At some juncture, and I think it’s probably about the time we start hitting middle age, we just don’t give a shit anymore.  All of our fucks are gone and the newest, latest toy just isn’t a priority.  I know that’s exactly how I feel about Snapchat, the latest iPhone and pretty much every other new fabulous thing that everyone is doing.  Do the new things have something to offer? Of course, they do and I plan to pick and choose and utilize those things as I see fit. But, much like the generation before me, I’m letting some things go because they just aren’t important.  Who knows, maybe in 10 to 15 years those younger friends and family and I will be discussing how we just don’t care about X.  The hell of it is we’ll probably still be discussing all of this on Facebook. After all, it’s nothing but a place for middle-aged folks anyway or so I’m told.

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Irony

Going mainstream

 

IMG_0268.jpgHere we go with irony again. Prepper, survivalist, extremist, are just a couple of names I’ve heard for people interested in getting back to basics and out of the rat race.  I’m not sure when this movement started or how it gained traction.  All I know is that down here in the South, almost everyone I know is a prepper to a certain extent or knows someone who is. The funniest part is that no one talks about it.  It’s like Fight Club – the first rule of fight club is fight club doesn’t exist.  The first rule of prepping is never to admit you do it.  There are tons of “underground” blogs and newsletters out there written under false names so that no one can trace the writer to their secret bunker in Montana and yet here in my grocery store check out is a magazine devoted to prepping.  This whole movement sort of reminds me of home schooling about 30 years ago.  If you think back to the 1980s and 1990s the only people who home schooled where hippies, religious cult members and those with incredibly sick kids that couldn’t attend school.  There was this whole stereotype – waist length hair, homemade clothes – heavy on the denim, an epic amount of children – they were homeschooled.  Now, anyone and everyone home schools.  It’s no big deal.  I wonder if prepping is evolving into the no big deal phase.

I wish I knew one of those extreme Montana bunker living people.  I would send them a copy of this magazine and ask their opinion.

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Irony

Am I the Only One Seeing This?

I see strange and ironic things everywhere – like every day.  Seriously, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t stop and ask myself am I the only one seeing this or am I the only person who finds this weird.  For example, shortly after I moved to Texas I was driving to work and there was a real old west wagon train rolling down the far right lane of the interstate during morning rush hour.  This wagon train slowed traffic but not so much as to cause a traffic jam.  It was like everyone else on the road saw this every day and it was no big deal.  I found out later it happens every year in preparation for month-long event called the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  So, I guess for the locals, it really wasn’t a big deal but I was dumbstruck. It is not every day you see a horse drawn covered wagon. It didn’t even feel real.  I call the more bizare moments like the wagon train incident Truman Show moments.  Remember that movie?  a guy spends his whole life as part of a giant reality show.  The whole world is watching him trip through life and he has no idea.  Yeah, the especially weird occurrences truly feel like that.  So, if this is really just some giant TV show, then you idiots know I’m standing here typing this in my Wal-Mart nightgown and bed head.  If in fact life is just that strange and I’m just that strange for noticing the weirdness (like I’m assuming is the case) then buckle up buttercup I will be highlighting these strange and ironic things in posts to come.

IMG_0266I’m sorry today’s example of irony is not as exciting as a wagon train rolling down the interstate. It nostalgic and comes to you from my local Kroger grocery store check out line. Yes friends pictured here is the Life Saver Storybook that we all used to get in our stockings but with one change.  Check it out – it only has one side?!  What in the fresh hell is that?  Life Saver Storybook had two sides when I was growing up.  Each side was a mirror image starting and ending with the classic variety pack and there was (I think) three other tubes one was all cherry or as we called it in my white trash (err blue colar) neighborhood “Red”. One was butterscotch and it always went straight to the trash with the wrapping paper. The last one escapes IMG_0267me – maybe it was peppermint.  Anyway, the main thing is there were TWO sides.  Now, there is only one.  How ironic.  Americans are getting fatter and trying to be healthier but the candy companies know we aren’t going to give up nostalgia so they will just shrink the candy to one side instead of two. I see what you did there Life Saver and I am not amused. [Gives the stink eye to Life Saver]

P.S. I promise there will be stranger and more ironic things in the future this one just happened to occur today.

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