Rants

Brain Dump

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit I have vacillated between so much rolling around in my head I can’t settle on anything and not enough complete thoughts to bind together something coherent.  Today is no exception but for a different reason.

I’m sad. I’m angry.  I feel despair. I feel helpless. I’m scared about health issues. I’m concerned about the world my kids continue to grow up in. I’m concerned about our immediate future and the years down the road future.  The one thought that keeps coming back to me is these cries for equality started going down over 50 years ago in the 1960s, why isn’t this shit fixed yet.  And, don’t even get me started on the various pundits and politicians.  Don’t give me your pretty words.  If you really cared you would have done something about it already or when you were in office. Stop worrying about your position or if you will be reelected or if you are snitching on a fellow officer and do the right thing.  Why is it so damn hard for some to just treat others as you would treat yourself or your own loved one.

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Rants

Censorship

man in black crew neck t shirt covering his mouth with masking tape

I don’t often get political as I truly believe that’s one of those subjects where you can’t really sway people – either a person is going to agree with you or they don’t. Having said that, something came up last week that just chapped me, and yeah it’s kinda political.

Towards the end of last week, my social media and text messages started blowing up with two video links.  The first video link contained two guys in scrubs calling for an end to the quarantine. Supposedly, they were doctors The other and most controversial link was a documentary style video call Plandemic.  Almost before I could watch either video I noticed something weird. The links/videos kept disappearing. I’d watch half of the video, stop to do something, try to go back to it and the link wouldn’t exist anymore.  Then, I found out why.  All of the social media sites were taking it down. The sites said the videos violated their community guidelines and were fear mongering.  Do you mean to tell me you’ll allow a video of Steve-O from Jackass stapling his scrotum to his leg but you won’t allow a supposed scientist or medical personnel to spout controversial content about infectious disease? What happened to free will and due diligence?  Do the Youtube gods believe I can’t research a topic on my own? Why are these videos being censored? Well, most of what Judy Mikovits said was debunked as exaggeration or outright lies. Again, I can’t research this stuff on my own? I can’t watch some other scientist debunk claims and make up my own mind? If we the public accept the censorship of people saying stupid things and/or things we don’t agree with what is to stop social media platforms from censoring things like religion, sexual orientation, or specific groups. What’s to stop any media organization from censoring anything that doesn’t fit their narrative or agenda? It sets a bad precedent to take down these videos no matter how misguided they may be.

I admit I eventually half-assed watched both videos. No, I have not gone off to the dark side nor am currently wearing a tinfoil hat. I like to keep an open mind and see things from multiple points of view.  I will say Judy Mikovits makes some fair points but then again even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes. The government and big pharma don’t give a damn about the public they say they are trying to help. What is the old saying – power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It looks like we can lump social media platforms into the absolute power corruption heap along with government and big pharma.

Photo Credit: Photo by Wallace Chuck on Pixels

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Rants

Service

img_1018Did you just hear a screech?  Yep, it’s the sound of me dragging my soapbox out of the closet.  Today’s topic is near and dear to my heart.  We are talking about service animals. It was recently announced the Department of Transportation is thinking of banning emotional support animals on airlines.  This rule has a lot of people breaking out their opinions and I’m about to take mine out for a rant.

For the record, I don’t require a service animal.  However, I have a very dear forever friend whose husband requires a medical alert dog.  In fact, he’s on his second dog. The first dog, Katie, spent 9 of her 11 years taking care of my friend’s husband.  After Katie died my friend’s husband really struggled healthwise. Now, they have Stuart and though he’s only been with the family about a year he’s come to the rescue in some very close calls. If it had not been for these highly trained dogs my friend’s husband would probably be dead.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a family member who has the funniest dog in the world.  This dog has her own Instagram page.  She is friendly, engaging, and has met more minor celebrities than most humans will ever meet in their lifetime.  It’s not a stretch to say this dog is practically this family member’s furry child. I would say this dog is better behaved than 90% of all under 5 year olds I have ever met. However, this dog is not a service animal. This dog has had basic obedience training but has not had the costly and extensive training to be a service animal.  Yet, this dog boards a plane regularly proudly wearing her orange service dog vest purchased from Amazon (as seen in the picture for this blog). My family member laughs and says the dog is an emotional support dog. Yet, the human has flown without a dog many times before and has done just fine.  The fact of the matter is this family member doesn’t want to put the dog in the cargo with the luggage and because of the dog’s size can’t bring it on board in a carrier.

This entitled, blatant disregard for the rules just burns my ass. I understand why it happens. Air travel is so much cheaper than car travel when it’s only one ticket. And, air travel is so much more efficient if the drive is over four hours.  So, to make it more convenient for the humans involved, so many owners are completely bypassing the rules. Many people don’t understand what the big deal is about.  So what if someone breaks the rules. But, if you’ve flown in the last five years chances are you’ve seen a fake service dog in action. They bark, whine, snap and growl at any little thing, unlike real service dogs.  And, these fake service animals are making it hard on the real ones.  People have encounters with fake ones acting up and they assume every service dog will act up thus creating more prejudice and strife. Plus, all of this federal legislation will only make it harder for those that medically need their service animal. Every time the government gets involved in something they find a new way to tax and otherwise screw up the system.  Is it so hard to do the right thing, folks?  This is why we can’t have nice things – entitled folks who feel they are above the rules.

If you feel as passionately about this subject as I do, I invite you to comment here on the Department of Transportation website. This is not a vote. It is merely a way for your voice to be heard while the Department of Transportation debates this topic.  If you’d like more information, this article by the Washington Post is very informative.

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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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Rants

Words on the Nerves

black and white picture of a crying child

PROLOGUE: I’ve had this blog written for about a week. As of this morning, I decided to put it off and write something about 9/11. But, then I read something this – Terrorists hate it when you’re happy.  As does Satan and any other bad person. So to that end, I scrapped my sad, emotional remembrance of 9/11 and give you my silly, crazy, off the wall take on something mundane.  I hope it brings a smile to your face. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

Do you have a pet peeve word or phrase?  I would be willing to bet my last dollar most of you do.  A lot of people I know hate the word ‘moist’. Supposably for supposedly has irked me for years.  I could care less makes me care a lot.  Lately, my end all be all, tap dance on my very last nerve word is ‘crafted’. Let me use it in a couple of sentences for you.  She crafted her response. Lexus crafts its vehicles with care.  Let’s just get one thing straight about the word crafted. The only time anything is crafted is when glue, glitter, scissors, and crayons are involved and maybe some yarn.  Or, if you make something like soap or jewelry then you can say your product is truly handcrafted. But, just crafted as a stand alone, no way.  No one has ever crafted a response. One writes a response; one does not craft a response.  Again, there was no glue stick involved.  No one is crafting a car. Engineers, designers, welders, mechanics, assembly line workers all work together to make a car.  The designers design. The welders weld.  The assembly line workers assemble but no crafting was involved.  ‘Craft’ is a bullshit bingo word some marketing guru came up with much like the word ‘synergy’.  It sounds good and gives us all warm fuzzies but it means nothing.

The next word in line for the tap dance on my nerves award is ‘self-care’. Hand to heaven it sounds like a nicey-nice, in polite company way of saying masturbation. Let’s use ‘self-care’ in a sentence.  After a particularly stressful day, I went home and practiced some self-care.  Honestly, what does that even mean?!  Does it not sound like you had some special alone time or maybe you just went home, took your bra off and drank a bottle of wine while watching Netflix.  Or, it could mean you took a bubble bath for so long you’re still pruney three days later.  I mean so much can be construed from that tiny phrase.  It’s truly perplexing. And, riddle me this, when did we need a self-care routine?  I keep seeing headlines like “Top 10 things you should be adding to your self-care routine”.  My self-care routine? Oh, did you mean grooming? Are you freaking kidding me, I’m happy if I remember both my AM and PM moisturizers.  Oh, you didn’t mean grooming.  Well, what the hell do you mean?  Oh, you know self-care, well being, blah, blah, blah.  No, I don’t know what you mean.  Most days I’m living life hanging on by my fingernails and hoping my hands don’t get sweaty.  I’ve got lists for my lists so I can keep my highly distracted brain in check.  Hell, I even have a reminder to write this blog. My idea of a quiet moment is scrolling through Facebook or Instagram while on the toilet or listening to a podcast while on the elliptical machine.

In the past, I have been chastised for being too literal and direct.  Personally, I see nothing wrong with it.  Can we just say what we mean and mean what we say?  It’s not hard, y’all.

Photo Credit: Something free I found on the internet. I swear that is the face I make when I hear those two words.

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Rants

Crazy Old Lady

Old people crack me up, especially the ballsy, crazy old lady types. My Stepmother is one of these old ladies. She’ll be 81 in December and lives alone on the Florida coast. She drives a giant car and until recently smoked the stinkiest cigarettes she could find.  Her diet consists of at least one White Russian a day and whatever else she can scrounge up. One look in her pantry reveals various crackers, Coffeemate and Splenda packets but no real food. She doesn’t cook. She eats out for most meals. When Hurricane Dorian was announced last week, I asked if she had a plan and enough food and water.  She informed me she was fine.  When it appeared her area would receive a direct hit, I begged her to come to me in Texas. She refused to fly.  I offered to drive 20 hours to get her.  Again, she refused. As a native Floridian, she told me she had dealt with hurricanes all of her life. She claimed she’d never evacuated not even for Andrew in 1992 and she was not about to start. I just said, “Yes ma’am.” What else could I do?

A few hours ago she called to tell me the storm had passed and that she and her elderly neighbors were working together to get each other’s hurricane shutters down off the windows.  She said they were all tired of not being able to see outside and they refused to wait for the lawn crew to do it. Again, all I could say was “Yes ma’am” and thank her for letting me know. I know it’s futile to try to get in touch with the lawn crew. She thinks she’s 10 feet tall and bulletproof. This behavior is not new to me.  This is the same woman who flirts with waitstaff young enough to be her grandkids.  A woman who wears plunging necklines even though she shouldn’t.  Last year, while riding the Disneyworld Monorail with me and my daughter, she loudly lamented how horrible it would be to be so big you had to use one of those electric scooters to get around while a man fitting that description was in earshot. My daughter and I were mortified and I repeatedly told her to hush.  She has zero shits left to give so she just kept talking.  Deep down she knows she can pretty much pull anything she wants and can get away with it because of her age. It’s that no fear of consequences that makes me can’t wait to get old.  I mean yeah I can wait. I don’t want to be frail or wrinkly even though I know it’s coming. I just can’t wait to pull crazy in public.

I had one of those moments where I really wanted to pull crazy the other night. I was eating dinner alone at an In and Out Burger after my son’s football game. I was shocked to find only myself and one other guy eating inside the restaurant as it’s usually packed. About halfway through my meal, a young couple came in. They were between 17 and 25.  I know this is a giant age difference but I’m horrible at guestimating ages.  Anyway, they walked all hand in hand up to the counter and proceed not to order but to loudly and passionately kiss.  I’m not a prude.  I don’t mind a little PDA but these two looked like they were going to rip off all their clothes and do it on the white tile floor at any moment.  The poor kid behind the counter waiting for them to order looked like he wanted the floor to open up and grab him.  They were about three feet from my table and I, quite frankly, just wanted the free show to move along.  They finally broke apart long enough to order and found a table ridiculously close to mine.  Remember the whole restaurant is empty save me and another guy. They could have picked any other place.  So, they sit down right across from me and make out some more.  Apparently, they needed air or maybe their lips hurt because they stopped kissing long enough for the girl to whip out her phone and Facetime someone.  You would think this girl was making an international call on the 1960s transatlantic communications cable.  She was being so loud and animated. We are talking enunciating every word loudly and with jazz hands.  If I had not been more than halfway through my meal I would have left. I was SO done. She finally ended the call when the poor kid behind the counter called a number.  This is where I nearly lost it.  The kid called not one but two different numbers. You mean to tell me y’all waltzed in glued at the hip and dry humping each other in the middle of In and Out Burger and y’all are going Dutch?  Never in my life have I wanted to be a crazy old lady so bad. Yet, at my current age, I know its socially unacceptable to ball out a complete stranger. However, I already know what I would say. It goes a little something like this.

Death stare while first looking at the girl.  Honey, you’ve been trying to climb on this boy’s head for the last 15 minutes. I know we are in a fast food restaurant where everything is cheap, however, you are not so don’t act like it. Furthermore, if you’re going to act like that in public at least make him buy you dinner, don’t go Dutch, you deserve some payment for that play.  Boy, you’re obviously swimming in pussy and good for you but treat her with respect even though she clearly has none for herself. Then pivot and slowly walk away like a boss. Old people rule.

 

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Rants

Crypt Keeper

img_0436-1Y’all remember last week how I said I shoulda known better about those self-help podcasts and books? Yeah, well I shoulda known better with the FaceApp.  If you don’t know what the FaceApp is it’s the thing everyone on your Facebook and Instagram feed is using to make themselves look old.  So, like everyone else on my Facebook feed, I had to try it out.

I shoulda known better. I’m not a joiner. I’m not a lemming.  I don’t jump off the cliff with the rest of the idiots. Yet there I was looking like the crypt keeper.  That damn app gave me jowls. I looked like a hound dog. And, the lines, seriously it looked like my face was the beginnings of the Grand Canyon or that I was a 3 pack a day smoker that never kicked the habit. How many years is this damn thing adding? 20? 30? 40?  Y’all it was SOO bad.  If I had been PMSing I would have seriously cried my eyes out.  As it is I can’t stop thinking about how bad I looked. I mean I feel like I’ve been taking pretty good care of my skin.  I wear sunscreen and moisturizer. I wear hats and sunglasses.  That filter made me want to start researching plastic surgeons and get a little preemptive strike work done.  I now know why 20 year olds are out there getting Botox and Restylane. The idea of looking that bad in a few years is awful.  I mean I fully expect to get old but I was hoping to be a cute old lady, not one that can only go out at night and then only wearing a ski mask.

Incidentally, I noticed the FaceApp also has a button that takes a few years off so I tried that one out too. And, to be honest, it didn’t do very much and what it did do doesn’t really look like I did 10 or 15 years ago. That fact right there gives me hope. I mean maybe it’s just a load of shit and I won’t really look like the crypt keeper in 25 years.  But, I will tell you one thing. The picture above was done with a Snapchat filter and this is the closest I will ever show anyone of what I looked like on that damn FaceApp. Furthermore, even though this Snapchat filter makes me look like Roz from Monster’s Inc., I still look better than I did with the old person filter on FaceApp.

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