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Strong Women

One Hundred years ago last month, women won the right to vote. Not much was said about it, despite it being an election year. I guess we’ve had too much on our plate what with Covid and all. The 19th Amendment was floated in 1919 and ratified in August 1920.  Since that time, as the old ad campaign goes, we’ve come a long way, baby.

Women been Mayors, Governors, Generals and Admirals. We’re run for Vice President and President. We’ve been Secretary of State and members of the Supreme Court. Women have lead Fortune 500 businesses.  We really have come long way yet we still have so much more to do. 

Yesterday, we lost icon, Notorious R.B.G aka Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She was a champion for women’s rights. I didn’t always agree with her but I’m glad she was in my corner willing to fight. 

If you are a woman and you’re not registered to vote, get your ass out and register. We owe it not only to ourselves and our future but also to honor  the strong, stubborn, fearless ladies who came before us paving the way. We still have a lot to do.  

Photo Credit: I took this a couple of years ago when my family and I vacationed in Washington, D.C. It filled me with immense pride to see those ladies in those robes knowing they were fighting for me equality for me and my daughter.  

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19 years

On this day, we say we’ll never forget but when will it end? Every year I feel antsy. I feel like I can’t breathe and I’m going to throw up. I’m sad and upset and filled with irrational worry.  It didn’t even live in New York or Pennsylvania.  I didn’t know any of those who died. Yet, I can’t get past it.  I can’t look at this day now as just another day. Is that what “Never Forget” means?

It’s been 19 years. We say we stand united yet it feels like we are more separated than ever. Between politics, the pandemic, and life, we look at each other like they are the enemy.  You’re a Republican, you’re an asshole. You’re a Democrat, you’re an asshole. You’re a police officer, you’re an asshole. You’re black, you’re an asshole.  You’re white, you’re an asshole. Everyone hates everyone else. We are all so quick to point the finger and proclaim the other guy the problem. 

America, we need to get our shit together. Those crazy bastards that attacked us 19 years ago, they have nothing on the destruction we are currently waging on ourselves. 

It’s not hard, y’all.  You, reading this, you are not any more special than the next person. Start treating everyone with respect – like you would like to be treated. It doesn’t matter if they didn’t “earn” your respect. Be nice. If you can’t be nice then shut the hell up and walk away. Stop blaming others for your screwups or how life is so unfair. Find some bootstraps and lift your own self up. No one is responsible for your happiness/well being/success but you.  Work every day to make everything you touch to be a little bit better than the way you found it. If you’re having a hard time, ask for help. 

We can do this. We are Americans. 

 

 

 

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Tales from the Road – Part 2

Last week I promised y’all a story of why my backside is probably floating around the dark web. So, without further ado, on with the story. 

The place where I had to go to get my fingerprints done was a law office on the town square of Podunk, TX.  Incidentally, the square was adorable. The courthouse was just like you’d picture in your head. The outside of the law office was equally picturesque.  I open the door and it looked exactly like a law office in a small town should – old tin tiled ceiling, rich paint job on the walls and lovely decor. The waiting room was separated by a door so you really couldn’t see what was in the back of the office but suffice it to say the place looked nice. Yeah, it looked really nice until I was called back.

I was welcomed back (20 minutes after my appointment) and was met with cheap 1970s fake wood paneling and forest green shag carpet.  The furniture looked like it had been picked up at The Goodwill Store and the most high tech thing I saw was the fingerprinting rig.  After the fingerprinting was over, I asked if I could use the bathroom. The lady said, “Sure, it’s the first door on the left.”

I walked down the hall and the first door on my left looked like an abandoned, very dirty break room/kitchen. The lights were off and I couldn’t see much but I did notice litter on the countertops. I thought maybe the lady had her left from her right mixed up so I went to the first door on my right. That was a boardroom with more shoddy furniture and clearly not a bathroom.  So, I went back to the weird kitchen area.  It had two doors inside that room. The first door was a janitorial closet with a water heater and such.  Again, clearly not a bathroom.  The other door had reflective mailbox stickers – you know the black and gold kind that come on a big sheet in the automotive section at Walmart – that spelled out the word “Private”.  I tried that door expecting to find God only knows what behind the door but instead found a toilet.  

Hooray! Success, I found it. My back teeth were floating so you know whatever – any port in a storm. I felt around for the light, flicked the switch and shut the door all in one motion. The light started trying to come on overhead. It was buzzing and crackling like I was in some sort of creepy gas station in a bad slasher film.  There were actual flies buzzing around the toilet and half the ceiling was falling in.  I could see thick yellow insulation and what appeared to be broken duct work hanging out of the old sorta white-ish drop tile ceiling.  I say sorta of because some sections had ceiling tiles while other sections were completely missing. The wall opposite the toilet had a hole in it. Like I said, my back teeth were floating so I relieved myself. The whole time I was sitting there peeing all I could think of is this is the kind of place where they stash hidden cameras and you end up on the dark web, or worse some peeper creeper is sitting there looking at you pee from some glory hole cut into the wall or worst of all this is how my organs are going to be harvested and I will wake up in a bathtub full of ice.  Thank God, I peed quick.

I finished up and was happy to find very good toilet paper not the single ply wood chip variety – were talking Charmin. I stood up and attempted to flush and wouldn’t you know it the damn thing won’t flush.  I tried again, this time holding down the handle. I’ve had my fair share of experience with  cranky old toilets. The second time was a success but that too was a near miss.  Incredibly, the sink had soap but no paper towels.  I shook my hands like Dash in Incredibles 2 and used a big wad of toilet paper to complete the job.  But, wouldn’t you know it, the trash can situation was a train wreck as well. The trash can was a standard plastic kitchen garbage can with the top ripped off and no trash bag liner. There was several wadded up pieces of toilet paper or white substance in the bottom so I just added mine to the collection and super fast walked out of that place.  When I got to my car, I doused my hands in Purell.  

So, if you happen to be noodling around on the dark web and you find a picture of a woman in red Flora Bama bar tshirt on the toilet that’s me.  Sorry my ass is so white and not tanned. You’re welcome. 

And, as if all of this wasn’t enough, sometime while I was driving home I got an email stating they didn’t get a good enough print on a few of my fingers and they have to re-do it! To say I’m pissed is an understatement. All that driving and the creepy bathroom for nothing. There is no way I’m going back to that crazy place to get my prints done. Now, I get to go have my prints done at another place. Let’s all pray it’s not at some run down law office Podunk, TX. 

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A View from the Road

I had to go get fingerprinted for my new job. And since so many places to do this are closed or overrun with people I had to drive two hours away to a tiny East Texas town to accomplish this errand. I’m always amazed/intrigued/interested in the ordinary. The day to day life of others. Sometimes I think of blogging this stuff but it happens for few and far between I couldn’t replicated it on a consistent t basis but I digress. Without further ado here are the things that drew my attention today. 1. There is an inordinate amount of condom stores here on Texas. Any while we are on the topic why do we need condom stores. Those thing ra can be found literally everywhere. From gas stations to CVS to Walmart. There is no need for theses places other than to have an awkward conversation with your newly minted 7/8 year old reader when they ask you mommy what’s a condom. 2. Building on this I saw a billboard for a that stated don’t forget your protection. It showed a pair of rubber gloves, a mask and a condom. Seriously y’all? That just conjures images of nelkid people wearing all of these at the same time. That’s really not sexy. 3. And to build on this whole idea further i saw a place that sold all these items. They billed themselves as a place for all your PPE. I sure home they sell nomex fire retardant outfits and real respirators while they’re at it. 4. As I was in the wait room for my fingerprinting there was a small child. I’d say about 5 years old that was carrying on a very detailed conversation with her family. She was adorable and talked very adult like. Shortly after I arrived a police siren sounded and she said oh no the police are coming to get me and threw herself to the ground. Her mother told her the police were not coming to get her if she hadn’t done anything wrong. I found that so telling. That whole interaction. Where did she get that idea and why did she respond that way especially give. The fact that her mom seemed to be of the camp that the police are our friends. Very interesting.

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Life Update

I got a new job! And, I still have my old job. They are both similar. The official title for my new job is Twos class assistant teacher. It’s a great schedule with some great kids – a few I already know from my other job.  

I have been in state mandated training all week including Covid-19 training. Y’all these state mandates are no joke. Anyway, I have nothing interesting to say except my posting schedule will be a bit crazy for a few weeks.  I have more training, lesson planning and such. I hope to either keep my normal posting day of Wednesday or establish a new one in the coming weeks.  

Most school system I know are back to school. If you are, I wish you peace and a bottle of wine.  

For those that may be impacted by the hurricane in the Gulf, please know I’m thinking of you. It wasn’t so long ago that I lived in a hurricane zone. It’s usually not so bad but when you are trying to make the hard decision to stay or flee, it sucks.  

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Musing, Uncategorized

Cotton

cotton flower

Several years ago, I was in Nashville seeing family for the holidays. I can’t remember the ends and outs of the conversation but at some juncture, my youngest half brother said something that has stuck with me ever since. He said and yes, I’m quoting here, “We should have picked our own cotton.”

At the time I thought that was the most racist thing I’d ever heard in my entire life. I’m pretty sure I even said as much because I’ve never been one to mince words. He countered with it would have solved a lot of problems. Again, at the time, I couldn’t see his statement was a little bit brilliant. I was too busy being outraged and offended. Hindsight is an amazing teacher.

So, what if we had picked our own cotton? What would that have looked like for our country? Slavery would still have been an issue. It was legal and worldwide for centuries. Hell, it still exists in some fashion with sex trafficking. Although, I doubt it would have been as big of a problem for our country as it has been. The south probably wouldn’t have been quite so geared toward the planter class. Sure there would have still been plantations but they probably wouldn’t have been as big. It would have taken a lot of money to pay all those people a wage instead of buying folks for a flat price and making them work. All of that money shelled out for wages would have kept the plantations smaller. It would be interesting to know if it would have accelerated the industrial revolution. After all, the north had most of the manufacturing while the south was mostly agrarian.

But, what of the subjugation of a whole race? That’s hardly a new concept and the United States doesn’t hold the patent on that behavior. The caste system was around long before the United States was even a dream. Its effects can still be seen worldwide. Forms of the caste system are still alive and well. While not the same as slavery, some can see parallels in the treatment of Chinese and Irish immigrants during the turn of the last century as well as the undocumented and newly arrived Hispanic people of today. The undocumented are often forced to work ridiculously hard, for a pittance and no security. Living in Texas I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard peers say things like “Just go get you an illegal to do that yard work or I have a girl who does my house for dirt cheap and I pay her in cash.” I always shake my head when I hear this. I fear we are setting ourselves up for another group to rise up against “the man”. Just last week we had some concrete work done at our house.  The guy that came out to bid the work and schedule the job was a white guy. The crew that came to do the work was 100% Hispanic. The only person on the whole job that could communicate with us was the lead guy and even that was broken English at best.

What are we supposed to do in these situations? I don’t want to contribute to the subjugation of a particular group of people yet I don’t want to be the asshole that calls up the company and complains.  I don’t know if these workmen are here legally or illegally. It would be wrong for me to assume either way. At the end of the day, I want these guys to get paid fairly for the work they are doing. I want them to have options. I don’t want a particular job or occupation to automatically be for one race or group only. Yet, I feel our society is kinda set up that way. Don’t most of us try to steer our kids away from manual labor type jobs? Let someone else’s kid do that menial/manual labor job; you’re going to college and making something of yourself. Sound familiar?

How can we be part of the solution instead of the problem? I’m not sure. I do a lot of do it yourself but clearly, that’s not enough. I don’t have the skills to do that concrete work.  I did hire a reputable company to do the work but what if they hire people for a pittance.  What if they employ undocumented folks and don’t pay them anything? I’d like to think they don’t but again, I don’t know.  In the meantime, I will mow the grass and clean the house and the hubs and I will continue to DIY projects as much as possible. I will do what I can to pick my own (metaphorical) cotton.

Photo credit: Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

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Amusement Park Love

One of my most favorite things in the whole world is amusement rides. It doesn’t matter if they are at a fly by night carnival in the parking lot of a defunct mall or Disneyland, I love them all.  I think my love for these rides began when my mother took me to the now defunct Opryland in Nashville, TN.  That place seemed like a wonderland. I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a city with a major amusement park.  It’s a big and wondrous place as a child, a cool place to hang out when you’re a teen, and a place to relive memories of childhood when you’re an adult.  If you’re lucky you can pass on your own love to of these places with your children.

We currently live within a short drive to a Six Flags park. It’s sort of dirty, several of the rides break down a lot and the people who attend are sometimes pretty sketchy but its better than nothing.

I’ve had the good fortune to have visited many parks over the years.  Opryland, Kings Island, Carowinds, Seaworld, Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags over Georgia, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure, Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure all of them wonderful in their own way. But, I have to admit my heart belongs to Disney Parks. I’d be hard pressed to pick my favorite.

It has pained my soul to go all spring and now into summer without riding at least one roller coaster. Amusement parks are just now starting to open nationwide. All of them with a myriad of rules to enter.  It’s not just enough to have a ticket or season pass. And, don’t even get me started on the mask situation. There’s no way in hell I’m going to wear a mask in 90% humidity outside. I am fine with wearing them inside in the air conditioning but I draw the line outside when I am at least 6 feet away from someone. All that said, I doubt I will go to an amusement park this year. That makes me incredibly sad. I know it’s a petty problem. I can only imagine how some people would scoff at that. I don’t really care.  Some people are sad about sports, I’m not. Some people are sad about other closures. But, to me, the amusement parks are what’s hitting me the hardest. What little luxury are you missing?

Photo Credit: Me.  Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.  I wish I could time travel and stand in that line again. 

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Uncle

apps blur button close upI have always possessed a very take me as I am or walk away attitude. For a hot minute in 7th grade, I wanted to be a popular kid but I quickly realized all those kids were only popular because their parents had enough money to outfit them in Benetton and Guess clothing.  Between being too broke for Benetton and not much of an ass kisser those dreams of popularity went up in smoke.  Other than that brief, ridiculous departure, I have never been intimidated, swayed or really cared what other people think of me.  And, while I value many people’s opinions and would hate to disappoint them it’s more a matter of personal reverence than it is me trying to impress them.  This general belief holds true for everyone but one person, my husband’s uncle.  You thought I was going to say a parent or hero or someone of note, didn’t you?  Nope, let me paint a picture.

My husband comes from a better background than I do and this particular uncle has gone above and beyond.  He has done VERY well for himself.  He is the very essence of the Preppy Handbook come to life. His level of propriety, diction, manners, dress – it’s all perfect.  And, since my husband’s father passed away when my husband was a young man, this uncle has taken on a sort of a father figure role. The first time I met this guy I was petrified.  Mind you, I’ve hosted dinners for heads of state and music industry royalty and this guy had me shaking in my shoes. I remember a party at this uncle’s house that was particularly painful. I had more in common with the family dog than the rest of the high falutin folks in attendance.  So, for the last 23 or so years, I’ve avoided the man like the plague. When I have had to interact with this uncle I  pretty much just try to smile, nod and not cuss. That is until recently.

A few months ago, uncle joined Facebook. And, thanks to Facebook’s nosey ass algorithms, uncle discovered I was on Facebook too and sent me a friend request.  I couldn’t tell him no.  I mean, he’s not the Godfather but come on, he’s my husband’s most revered family member, how could I say no? So, I added him and for some weird reason, I didn’t give him my usual ‘hey I cuss and I rant on here so you may not want to be friends with me’ warning.  I just let it fly as usual. And then a funny thing happened, he began to interact. He started liking and commenting on almost every post. He has a particular affinity for pictures of the kids and anything slightly controversial or political.  I started noticing how funny he can be with his proper dry wit. A couple of days ago it hit me that I’m not nearly as intimidated by him as I used to be.  I see him more as an equal now. I’m not really sure what prompted the shift – maybe it’s because I’ve been married to his nephew for over 20 years or maybe it’s because I feel more confident or sure of myself, or maybe it’s because I’ve seen behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz.  Or, maybe it’s a combination of all those things. I can’t say for sure.  While I don’t think I’ll be dropping the F word in his presence any time soon. I don’t think I’ll just be smiling and nodding anymore either.

Photo Credit: Pixabay on Pexels.com.  Since this post is about getting to know an Uncle through social media, I thought this was a good choice and I love royalty free pictures.

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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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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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