terribleturnip: (Goat)
So, in the aftermath of the election, there are going to be a lot of really upset people; people who are concerned that they're embarking on four years of hell, in danger of losing everything that they consider the best of the United States.

And if you're on the winning side, you probably think they're idiots. If you're on the losing side, you probably think the people who voted for the winning candidate are idiots.

Here's the thing though: most of them really aren't.

The other day I was listening to the radio and one of the on-air personalities (I'm old enough to still think of them as DJ's, although that's something completely different...remember that, children, when I'm in the Home and trying to communicate through the curtains of dementia) was talking about how that morning, one of her dogs got loose while on her morning walk and ran out into traffic. And there she was, freaking out on the side of the road, trying to figure out how to get the dog back, how to get the traffic to stop, while still maintaining control of the other dog.

And a bunch of people, about ten, she said, on their way to work, stopped their cars, got out, stopped traffic, corralled her dog and got the animal safely back to her. By the time she'd fixed the dog's collar and gathered her wits about her, everyone had gotten back into their cars and driven off. You know, they had places to go and had done their Good Samaritan bit and were on their way.

Now, I can guarantee you that some of those people were Clinton supporters. Some of them were Trump supporters. (There's a possibility that there was a Johnson or Stein supporter as well, but let's not stretch statistics too far on this one.) And maybe they all had different motivations -- cared about the young woman freaking out on the side of the road, cared about the dog, were worried that the damn dog would cause an accident and foul up traffic -- but they were all motivated to help make the world just a little bit better.

I just did our big Halloween event, where the houses on our street decorate and host thousands of trick or treaters. Every house spends money, time and effort on decorations, spends about $150-$200 on candy to give away. And I can guarantee you that some of them are Clinton supporters, some Trump supporters, and yes, in this case, I'm not stretching statistics, there's at least one Stein supporter. But on the days leading up to Halloween, that night, the next day cleaning up...each of them pitched in to make the world just a little bit better for a bunch of kids and their parents.

Each of us fears that we'll lose something that we value in this election - rights, a way of life, freedoms, progress, whatever. And you think the other person is completely wrongheaded about it. I get that.

But let's remember to separate the IDEAS from the PERSON. Politics aside, you may well have a lot of things in common...your humanity and your desire to have a better world. Understand that fear does indeed make us stupid -- that it's easy for wrongheaded, stupid ideas to lodge in a brain. That social media, regular media are all doing their best to froth up that fear...make us more stupid...corral us into us and them, making each of us feel victimized...making us gullible and accepting of bullshit. And if you think only the OTHER side believes some bullshit...if you think only the other side is capable of believing some stupid shit...well, I hate to tell you this, but you're wrong. And you KNOW that, deep in the cockles of your wrinkled little brain.

Critical thinking is all well and good on a frictionless surface...sitting around the table, glass of bourbon in your hand, free of fear (wait, that might just be me, the bourbon, fine, imagine your own damn prop) with plenty of breathing room and headspace.

But it's a hell of a lot harder when you're scared and when people are pumping out all sorts of lies and fake news and you've now defriended or been defriended by people who believe differently from you, so you just hear the same bullshit over and over again, surrounded by people who agree with you, search engines now editing your information to help support your current beliefs even more, rarely showing you the opposite viewpoint, a whole goddamn cycle of supporting and perpetuating the ideas you already have.

::Deep breath::

Now, I get it -- you want to, and you have a certain right to, protect yourself from people who are dangerous to you, hurtful to you. I'm aware that in this case, I'm rocking some serious privilege -- white, middle-aged, tough and to a certain extent, a little bit inurement to misogyny. And there are indeed awful people on both sides of this particular fence...and over there, standing in the Johnson/Stein/Write-In/Whateveruselessprotestyou'remaking paddock. And yes, someone who's motivated by hate? Expletive them. Belligerent assholes? I'll do what I can, but you shouldn't feel badly about distancing yourself.

But remember that a lot of THEM are very, very much like you -- just wanting it all to be better. Heck, if it weren't for social media, you probably would have spent the rest of your life being friends with them and might not ever have noticed that they had some ideas diametrically opposed to your own. And you can be all "oh, man, I never knew that person was such a raging asshole" now that you've seen their twitter/facebook posts. Although you could be thinking "huh, we've been friends for years and worked on all sorts of stuff together but NOW I HATE THEM." Newsflash: That last one? You're thinking that? You might be a belligerent asshole yourself.

You want to get those wrong-headed ideas out of their head? Calling them an idiot is not going to do it. Separate ideas from the person; they're not necessarily the same thing. Recognize their humanity, figure out what you do have in common, try working side by side on less contentious things...you're far more likely to get them to move to your side of the fence than if you just build that fence higher and cover it with barbed wire.

Or you could shove them all away, let them be surrounded by people who think just like them, a social circle filled with people who hold the exact same stupid ideas/beliefs and they can spend the next four years reinforcing all of the bullshit and we can go through this again.
terribleturnip: (Goat)
Here, let me give you another way to be a happier person.

Be gracious.

Yep, that's it. I don't mean "practicing gratitude" as it's often referred to -- where you consciously think about the good things in your life, the things you're grateful for. I mean, okay, that's not at all a bad thing. But it's pretty expletive self-centered. I'd prefer you think about the good things that are in the WORLD, like just being glad that things like chimney swifts and olunguito and grimpteuthis exist. But, okay, baby steps, and if you're mired in all of the things in your life that are going to hell in a moldy handbasket, conscious recognition of what's NOT in that handbasket can be helpful. So, you go do that. And then come back, because I've got some wisdom to deliver.

Read on, my darlings )
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, last week I was talking to a friend about a writer and we’re talking about how this author writes a lot of stuff, but it’s sort of formulaic, same story, over and over again, just with different circumstances and locations. I allowed that I’m much more tolerant of that in a movie than I am in a book and that conversations been mulling around in my brain in case I want to develop a writing on what amuses me, where my standards for entertainment lie, etc.

And then on Friday, a colleague asked me what I was doing this weekend and I said “well, Friday night I’ll relax a bit and decorate the Christmas tree. Saturday is some last minute shopping, making cookie doughs, beginning to wrap presents and then a lovely date with the Consort. Sunday will be cookie baking and more present wrapping, packing suitcases, cleaning out the car and then packing it for the holiday trip. Then quiet sobbing on the couch as I realize that it’s 4pm on Sunday and haven’t gotten half of that done. Followed by saying “Expletive it” and cracking open a bottle of wine.”

That would be the moment when I realized: I am living a formulaic life.
terribleturnip: (percy)
There are definitely some things I regret. Like not putting down new carpeting and flooring before I moved into the house. Because now that seems like such a daunting task with all of the furniture and other crap that every time I think about it I panic and pull out paint chips because repainting seems more manageable.

I regret that every damn week, I fail to spray down my bodice with vodka at the beginning of the week because that means I had to do it this morning so that it would dry in time to be packed this afternoon. And while I’m fond of alcohol, aspirating vodka spray at 5am on a Friday morning is…intense.

Like having fallen down on my box elder bug massacre maintenance this spring, because now the little bastards are EVERYWHERE. In EVERYTHING. And they’re all going to come inside with the Halloween props.

And speaking of Halloween props, I regret, once again, not having carved more tombstones in June when I had time and could do it outside on the deck. Because now I don’t…and the neighborhood needs more. Which means a living room filled with Styrofoam dust.
And I definitely regret letting my clear nail polish dry up. Because yesterday while getting dressed, I got a run in the foot of my stockings and had to use red polish to stop the run. Which meant later that afternoon, laying on the table at the gynecologist, feet up in stirrups, I had to explain why there was red all over my foot. Like it’s not ALREADY an uncomfortable situation.

But that’s about it, I think.

Because I tend not to have regrets. I suppose I’ve got some oh, I wish that’s – although those are usually just wishing that I’d been better at something, or made a better decision. But that’s pretty fleeting. After all, all of the things that I’ve done, all of the things that have happened to me, have made me, ME. Every hurt, every scar, every tear, every sleepless night… every laugh, every hug, every tear of joy, every moment of beauty has built the woman I am.

This morning I was thinking, ah, if only, when I was teaching myself to jump off a running horse and land running next to them, if only someone had said to me then “Hey, you’re a sturdy girl, landing that hard and fast on your right knee that many times, you’re going to feel that every damn morning once you get to be fifty years old” maybe I would have given that up. Because they’d have been right, I hammered that cartilage into oblivion. On the other hand, I could jump off of a horse in motion and most of the time, land running right beside them, or worst case, land and let a forward roll take my momentum and then come up. Which saved, if not my life, at least my spine, because I had to do a controlled bail-out on several occasions. So, yeah, I gimp around now – but seriously, I made some jaws drop leaping off crazy two year old thoroughbreds having temper tantrums and landing on my feel holding the reins still. Saved my neck when the stirrup leather broke on a cross country course.

If only…would I be richer, would I be less achey, would I be living near the ocean, would I have a horse still, would I…maybe. But I probably wouldn’t be any happier. It would just be different stuff I’d be worrying about. You can second guess yourself to death. Ugh. Who’s to say that thing you should’ve done would have made your life any better. Who’s to say it wouldn’t have brought you just as much misery, just dressed in different clothes?

Happy and no regrets? I’ll take that.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, yes, the physical bullshit of becoming more than middle aged is a huge pain in the keister. But I sort of expected it...albeit in a neater, tidier, shorter duration kind of way. And because I'm me, it fits in with the whole modern day Job without the God kind of theme that is my life.
What I did not expect was this whole "ceasing to exist as a woman" thing. Seriously. I mean, I'm the last person to suggest that you should judge your self worth by how men (or whomever you're attracted to) pay attention to you. And right, all expletive the patriarchy and goddamn men who size up any available women as a potential conquest. Rawr! Except that I do believe that it's completely normal to appreciate anyone's attractiveness and who cares if you've reduced a total stranger to nothing more than an object for your fantasies? Assuming that you're capable of tossing that objectification aside once you actually talk to, or work with, or otherwise interact with that person, I personally think that's harmless and normal.
So, yeah, I take pleasure in knowing that someone else finds me sexually attractive. I know, not everyone does. But I do. And if the only interaction we have is sitting at the same bar, or walking by each other in the street, then whatever, objectify away. I do the same to men, so I can't very well get my girlbits in a wad over them doing the same in return. Until we start talking...well, then. Admittedly, I don't have a lot of fear of continued objectification at that point, mostly because I'm pretty good at conversationally grabbing someone by the septum and laying their head down on the bar if on the off chance they still think I'm nothing but a walking vagina just waiting for a man's attention.
Read more... )
Used to be, I'd go into a bar and men in my age range would give me the up and down. There'd be some appreciative glances, some smiles. Some days I couldn't care less; I've got other stuff on my mind. But when it's respectful, I enjoyed the compliment.
Just a couple of years ago, we'd hit the bar next door after work and I could be assured of getting some glances. Hey, all of my workfriends are younger than I am, so I'm totally used to them getting more attention. But I'd get my little share...and plenty of guys who were interested in my friends, but would at least include me in the conversation, whether it was the hey, be nice to the friend or the back-up plan in case I can't get the young, hot one strategy. Traveling alone, when I was on business travel, I couldn't sit at the bar and get through a drink without someone hitting on me.
But lately? It's as if I don't even exist. Same bar, same friends, same businessmen-on-travel crowd. The only guy that's checked me out in the last year in a bar was in his early seventies. And now, when guys are hitting on my friends, they'll actually shoulder in between me and my friends, cutting me right out of the conversation. If I try to participate, they'll look at me like "oh, did you say something?" and then turn right back to my friends.
Sort of makes me want to turn Full Imperial Dragon on them, grab them by the septum and make them hear me. Remind them that the closest way to a woman's...ahem, heart...is to be nice to her friends. But then I'd just fit the stereotype of that mouthy older woman at the bar.
Although now I'm beginning to see why that stereotype exists. Mother of Pearl! Sometimes I feel as if I could have a heart attack and I'm not sure anyone would notice. It makes me sort of want to be completely outrageous. Which I often am, admittedly but I want to be doing that because it's fun and feels good, or maybe it just leaked out, not because I had an attack of self-esteem and am looking to salve that with some shallow meaningless attention.
Scientists continue to maintain that there is absolutely no evidence to support the idea that humans have kept their ability to smell pheremones...but I dunno, I'm pretty sure that at least subconsciously, men can smell menopause. I have no other explanation. I don't look that different than I did two years ago. Just with less estrogen stank, apparently.
Note to friends who actually know me -- this isn't a plaintive "why does no one find me attractive" cry for assurance. I can still own a room, especially if it's filled with people who find confident, smart women attractive. Trust me, you guys do a fabulous job of making me feel desirable. And right now I'm debating the merits of dating a 30 year old who's flirting with me, so I'm not exactly bereft. It's just that conceptually it pisses me off.
Data backs me up -- you want to know what's disheartening, as a woman? Reading the data collected on by a data site, Dataclysm by Christian Rudder (fascinating book) that clearly plots out both men and women's (hetero, at least) attraction to the opposite sex as they age. For women, on average when we're younger, we prefer men our age and older...and then at some point in middle age, we gradually swith over to prefer men our age and younger.
On the other hand, men, on average, when they're younger, prefer women who are 29. And when they're older, yep, 29. As a matter of fact, at all ages, that's what men prefer. 29 year olds. So, those of you women who are approaching 29, live it up! Because it's all downhill from there.
Not really, of course. There's way more to life, and certainly relationships, than shallow first glance attraction. But still, for a single woman in her fifties, trying to date men...well, it's understandable why so many women say "Expletive it, I'm done!" And either just stop trying to date or turn to female companionship.

Or cats.
terribleturnip: (percy)
How's my day going? Well, to give you an idea, I just looked down at the time on my computer monitor and thought "ooh, I only have to hold on for another 37 minutes!" as there's a happy hour for a departing co-worker tonight. And I may work late from time to time, but not when sunshine and alcohol abound.

How sad was I, when I came back from asking a colleague a question, to find that it was still 37 minutes from quitting time? Or, in other words, to find out that I'm such a moron...or SOOOOO looking forward to the end of this day, that I hopefully mistook the date for the time.

More proof that the only reason they haven't taken away my Girl Card is because they just haven't gotten to me yet:

Shopping recently in Chico's, my Garanimals for adult women store, I picked up a couple of pieces in a new material, black of course, and the sales manager said "oh, and we have it in navy as well." I failed to edit, and said "oh, no, then I'd have to start up with navy shoes." He looked at me quizzically, and then with slight horror as I explained that I only buy work clothes that go with black shoes so that I can just always buy black shoes because that's easier. I tried to save with "oh, but I do have like ten pairs of black shoes" but pretty much rolled a 1 on a d20 on that.

(That, children, is a reference to Dungeons and Dragons, where rolling that 1 is a critical fail at whatever you were trying to do. I was legendary at my ability to roll ones. Thus the whole werewolf thing. But that's another story.)

I'm trying harder to do real grown up make-up. I mean, MistressFetch looks at me putting on my make-up and I can see the reflectionin her eyes of a monkey with fingerpaints, and I feel so sad to let her down, but my life just doesn't have room for more than a couple of products and about 2 minutes worth of effort, and my fingers don't have the coordination to do paint by numbers or anything at all artistic. But I'm trying to address the Danish pores and grease slick that is my T-zone (that's your chin, nose and forehead, for those of you still following along with the make up talk, where teenagers and young women, and middle aged Danes, apparently) that cause me to go through packs of blotting paper, dabbing up the oil that accumulates across my nose, chin and forehead. So, I got this stuff that's supposed to "prime" those areas and shrink pores, which is fine and easy. And then, also, a "finishing/setting" spray, which I started using for stage/halloween make up and realized that it really does help with the XL pipeline that is my face. Why now I can wait until 10:30 before I have to pull out the blotting paper, instead of as soon as I get to work!

But it's a spray. I have to put on the make-up and then spritz this stuff over my face.

My, my, I have awesome reflexes! It took two weeks before I settled down and stopped jerking away from the spray. Then another two weeks until I mastered the art of pointing it at me, closing my eyes, and then still have it point at my face. That was four weeks of a lot of finishing spray in my ears, let me tell you.

Finally, I'm all attuned. Although I may have gone too far, because now sometimes I forget to close my eyes, which means the sound of me putting on make-up ends with "spritz, ow, expletive, god damn it, spritz, augh, christ!" with a little bit of staggering around the bathroom. I'm pretty sure it's a great imitation of Ozzy Osbourne.

In other news, I jotted down this phrase from Sirbombalot's tumblr: Fill your heart with bees. If someone breaks your heart, then they have to deal with the bees. Some jackexpletive commented "No, fill it with wasps, because they're meaner and then the bitch will have to deal with angry wasps." And this angry WASP wanted to hunt that guy down and plunge his head into a wasp nest because, well, okay, I was having a bad day, so maybe I was overreacting. But seriously, dude, chill. And you're missing the damn point. Heart filled with bees. Who wouldn't want a heart filled with bees? All working together, industriously, in harmony, all downy and polleny, doing their happy bee work, building wax, making honey...

And if no one breaks your heart, you've spent your whole life with a heart full of happy bees! I aspire to have a heart full of bees. That's a great metaphor! Don't expletive it up just because you're still bitter about being dumped.

(Admittedly, I probably DO have a heart full of wasps, but seriously, they also create crazy things from mundane materials, and are very keen on taking care of their kith and kin. And yeah, okay, if you really provoke them, they will sting the daylights out of you. And unlike a bee that stings and dies, I will keep coming at you until the problem is solved. But really, we'd rather just buzz and scare you off.)

Finally, In honor of Shakespeare's birthday, here's a guy who does Duke of Clarence's speech as spoken by different celebrities. I don't normally like impressions, but this guy's ability to transition is amazing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk

Now I want to spritz makeup finisher in my eyes and see if I can extend my range beyond Ozzy.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Here, I’ll confess something. There is something wrong with my brain. Or brains. I use the plural, because there appears to be several different people in charge throughout the day. As if my brain read the book Sibyl and decided to adopt a more functional version of multiple personality disorder. Although let's do a total mash-up of psychological theory, drag Freud in, completely obsolete, except that it uncannily fits here. Except of course, my Id, Ego and Superego are perfectly amicable and have simply split the day up between them.

Please note, this is not, in any way shape or form, serious thinking about psychology, cognitive thinking, or any other kind of science. )
terribleturnip: (chef)
War on Christmas. Bah, humbug! Seriously, we need a cure for the thing that makes people feel better about themselves if they feel under attack. Why do do people keep falling for that carp? I know, I know, it’s all self-reinforcing, your beliefs about whatever are made more valid if you find a person or group that gives you constant feedback about how right you are. And an enemy outside the door makes that camaraderie powerful and strong.

Look, I’m an atheist who spent the first weekend training a Pandora station to play my favorite Christmas music. It’s pretty much all God, all the time, since I abhor darn near any Christmas song written after 1900. I celebrate the solstice – hey, tree, lights and other pagan traditions! Most of my Christmas cards say “Merry Christmas!”…mostly because I’m sending them out because I’m celebrating Christmas and that’s why I’m sending an expletive card. I’m not above “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” if I happen to otherwise like the card, but I honestly don’t delineate between holidays here. Honestly I hope you have a great expletive YEAR. I hope it’s all unicorns and rainbows all the time for you. That’s what I would really wish. But I’m going to go with small, attainable goals, and just hope you make it through Christmas, New Year’s and whatever else you’ll be celebrating. Come Epiphany, you’re on your own – I don’t have enough mojo to make things good all year for you. I mean, clearly I can’t even do that for myself.

So, you can put as much Christ in your Christmas as you want. I don’t care. I don’t care if you wish me Merry Christmas. I don’t care if you ask God to bless me. I don’t care if you say you’ll pray for me. And by the way, do you know what the correct responses to those platitudes are, even if you don’t believe or agree with them? In order: Merry Christmas to you, too; Oh, thank you; Oh, thank you. That’s expletive it. If you can’t bring yourself to say Merry Christmas back, then you can substitute “Oh, thank you.” And make response genuine, because Santa, Krampus, Shelf Elf, Pennywise, whatever keeps you on your toes, is keeping a list.

I got forwarded an e-mail from a relative, asking for support in the War on Christmas, and to only shop in stores that use the word “Christmas” instead of “Holidays”. With a big giant exhortation to join "us" in being proud to say "Merry Christmas!" Because you know, the secularists are trying to make that illegal. (Wait, WHAT?)

War on Christmas, my big atheist butt. As an atheist, (currently ranked as the nation’s least trustworthy and likeable group of people, even below Congress. The latest poll has, I think, a Satanist having a better chance of being elected president than an atheist, because at least they believe in SOME kind of religion, thanks a lot, America, that warms the very cockles of my possibly soulless self. Sigh.) I have only one issue. One. Religious displays belong on private property. Your yard, your church, your private hunting grounds, your car, your person, wherever.

(Oh, now I’ve thought of the best worst Christmas sweater ever. It’s a nativity scene. Only the wisemen are separate and Velcro backed, so that each day you can move them closer to the manger. Which should totally be on a breast. Of course that means you have to put it on when Advent starts and wear it until Christmas, inching the wisemen ever closer. I suppose you could just wear it on Advent Sundays, but then you run the risk of not creeping out your colleagues.)

Anyway. Honestly, I don’t really care. They’re just statues to me, unless it’s a live nativity and there’s animals and then I’m all “DONKEY, I love donkeys…..yes, baaaaaa to you too, sweetheart, what no camels?” But, here’s the thing: I AM all about inclusiveness. If there’s only ONE, then yeah, you’re sort of promoting Christianity, or whichever religion made it onto the green, above other religions and implying that the state supports THIS religion. And the pesky Constitution sort of says “NO” to that. Plus, it’s not fair to only allow one. So, if you allow one, then you have to allow ALL of them. And then the town green looks like an expletive yard sale. Just light the damn tree and let’s move on, okay? (An ancient symbol that no longer carries any religious connotation – oh, someone out there’s offended, but seriously start at the beginning of this post again – and is just freaking pretty during this cold, dark season.) Anyway, I fully support your right to have a giant blow up nativity scene all over your front yard. (Although I may plant fast growing shrubbery come springtime.)

Besides, the “soul soldiers” defending Christmas against secularism (for the record, you Christians started that present giving/consumerist debauchery. We atheists probably would have just done with the tree, a firkin of good beer, and annual debate over the origin of lighting the tree) should be looking behind you. Because there’s the REAL war on Christmas. Your even more conservative brethren? They think that YOU are going to hell because you celebrate Christmas. That’s right. They think this whole gift giving and dressing up for a nice Christmas dinner and Christmas Carols, even the Baby Jesus ones, Christmas mass, all that is sinful. They want to blot Christmas out of existence. They succeeded for a while, in the early days of this country, but eventually got overruled. Well, guess what my friends, the uber-Fundies, the Neo-Puritans, have discovered Facebook and Twitter. And they’re getting themselves all worked up to bring you back to the true path…

(I’m now switching gears and talking to all of YOU now, the actual readers. The ScoldFinger ™ might be deployed.) In any case, for crying out loud, hold yourselves together for a couple of weeks and practice goodwill toward men (and women). Stop assuming that people are out to offend you, trample your rights, ruin your Christmas or attempt to ignore Christmas. You are responsible for your own joy. If you’re all busy being offended and pissed off, your joy will be tiny and stunted. And that’s just a stupid waste. (You’re making the Baby Jesus/Buddha/Hanuman/reindeer cry.)

You know what the biggest miracle of this season is, and the biggest truth? Your joy grows the more you share it, like some crazy holiday cornucopia of Happy.

So get out there, and get on with spreading the Happy.

Even to that expletive that just stole the parking space you were waiting for. I didn’t say it would be easy. Just do it anyway. You’ll feel better. If nothing else, because that jerk will now be worried that you’re planning some Dexter-esque revenge later on in the mall.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So this morning I was running a load of laundry upstairs and managed to run the corner of the laundry basket into the door frame, which shot the opposite corner straight into my gut, which knocked me off balance to such as extent that I slammed the opposite shoulder into the other side of the door frame. Note to self: set up nannycams all over your house, because if expletive like this is going to happen…and hurt so much…you should at least be capturing footage so you can bring joy to the rest of the world.

Yesterday, I went over to my admin’s cube to see if she had a spare binder and while I was talking to her about the relative merits of the various binders…blame my job, things aren’t just THINGS anymore to me; it’s all PRODUCT…she got a quizzical look on her face and said “Umm.” And I was till rattling about binders and she pointed to my arm and said “UMMM.” So, I looked and there’s blood running down my arm, dripping onto the floor. I guess I got a little aggressive with that mosquito bite. Now I’m going to have to write two reviews for her. The real one and one where I “coach” her on the proper way to handle someone who’s bleeding all over your cube…like maybe “hey, stop bleeding on my floor!”

So the shoulder bruise, gut bruise and now bandaid on my arm go nicely with the forehead bruise, which is thankfully right above my hairline. You know, right about where a station wagon rear hatch clocks you when its hydraulics start to go and the door now doesn’t fully open unless you push it all the way up. It happens to all my cars. I’m kryptonite to those damn lift support things. And I can’t seem to remember to push it open all the way until I smack my head into it. Although to be fair, the repeated head injuries are probably not helping with the memory thing.

This afternoon is our community service day – where our department goes someplace to help out a charitable organization. And instead of doing fun outdoor activities like raking, weeding, cleaning out old barns/sheds, minor carpentry, which is what we used to do for a historical site, now we go to a place where we fill bags with an assortment of food/snacks so that underprivileged kids have food on weekends. Which is worthy…and appeals to my colleagues who used to complain about the other work being “too hard, too hot, too dirty.” If you know me at all, you can just imagine what I think about those complaints. Ahem. Although it did help me to sort out which of my colleagues will become jerky right away if the zombies come while I’m at work and we have to be holed up here for a while. Yep, I’ve already sorted out who’s NOT going to be wasting the limited food and water supplies. Although some of the slightly more energetic ones I may hang on to for a while just in case I need chain them to something as bait to distract the zombies while I escape.

Anyway, instead we’ll go to this place and fill plastic sacks with food…and I’ll have to bite my tongue because I’ll immediately spot how it could be made much more efficient. And then get frustrated with colleagues who can’t even handle THIS simple task without whining. And then sit through the prayer at the end where the very nice woman who runs the group thanks God for sending us to help the kids. And I will bite my tongue, because again, it’s a great cause and I’m so glad this woman is devoting her life to making sure these kids have a fighting chance, but seriously, lady, you can thank my company for choosing to value this sort of experience, you can thank me for showing up and working, and you can thank our suppliers who are donating some of the food, but seriously, if God took the time to make us show up or want to do this? Maybe he should use that time to fix these poor kids’ lives in the first place. Fix what’s broken so they don’t wind up hungry in the first place.

Anyway, off that soapbox that I clamber onto. I probably wouldn’t care, but that damn prayer is twenty minutes long, and I’ve heard it three times already. I usually throw in a non-work supported day to help them do food pickups and thankfully I just get a quick hug and a “praise the Lord for sending you to us” which is more manageable.

Work has been less than fun lately, but I did get charged with sourcing some products for a large customer, which led me to watertight, disposable, eco-friendly ice buckets and coolers, many of them made of cardboard. And you know if you can make a quick assembly cardboard waterproof cooler, you know what else you can make that needs to be very, very, securely waterproof?

Yes, disposable coffins! (You know, so that you actually return to the earth if they bury you, as opposed to slowly creepily mummifying and then maybe decay over decades, assuming the seals on the casket give way. Or, if you’re going to be cremated and you’re like hey, let’s not waste a lot of money on a wooden box we’re just going to set on fire. )

And there are all sorts of basic ones, and nice ones…and then I found a company that almost makes me regret my decision to not have any kind of service or viewing. Because I so want all you expletives to show up at a funeral parlor, walk into the somber viewing room and see THIS bad boy:
http://www.creativecoffins.com/coffins/peas/

I know, RIGHT? Be sure to check out the other ones…and yes, you can get them customized…so I dunno, maybe a female Viking…

Although I’m also thinking the popcorn box and have the coffin rigged with sound so that halfway through some damn weepy eulogy, you start hearing popping noises from inside the coffin.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Dear Monday,
A pimple inside my nostril? You suck.

(I’m well aware that it’s probably my body’s fault, but it was a rough weekend, albeit in a good way, and my body’s so pre-occupied with little aches and pains and exhaustion that it was probably just vulnerable to peer pressure and Monday led it astray. As Mondays are WONT TO DO.)

Dear Bed,
I do love you so. Especially on Monday nights when I can convince myself that going to bed at 9am is okay.

Dear Cats,
On Mondays, for the love of god, please throw up ANYWHERE but on the bed. In a shoe is even fine. But all I want to do is fall into bed on Monday night. NOT clean up cat puke, throw in a load of laundry because of course, it's Monday, so there are no clean sheets or blankets and then have to convince myself that I WANTED to stay up late waiting for things to wash and dry so I could make the bed up.

A colleague who came out over the weekend to visit the Faire asked me this morning “Oh, my god, how do you do that week after week! I was exhausted on Sunday and am still exhausted, but you do two full days of that, then work all week, and then do it again. I’d die!” And she’s probably never thought about the Faire related laundry, dishes, packing/unpacking, shopping, and household chores and obligations that need to all be taken care of during the week because really, there’s no weekend time to mow the lawn or vacuum, is there?

The short answer is “I have no idea how I do it. I just do.” And that’s probably 95% of it, right there. When you’re used to “going” all the time, day after day, with no breaks, no great periods of relaxation, lying around, doing nothing, it just feels kind of normal to stay in hyperdrive. Don’t get me wrong, Monday nights usually include a good hour to two hours of sitting on the couch, watching a show. At most, some laundry-folding will happen. And I’ll probably have at least started some laundry and done some chores beforehand…but then it is lying on the couch time, and I TREASURE it. It feels all indulgent and pampering. So, do I do that less often than most people? Probably. But I think I squeeze a lot more value out of it.

Yeah, yeah, it’s one thing after another. But a LOT of those things are sharing good times with friends and family. Sure, I could skip the shanty sing, (and I really do from time to time because even I have limitations and will shut some stuff down in order to breathe) but that’s always quality time with a certain group of friends, and singing sea songs loudly, vaguely off-key, is pretty fun. Going

Heh. I think I’ve found what’s probably my motto: Squeezing the snot out of Life.

Dear Congress, while I’m all about positive reinforcement, sometimes a behavior is dysfunctional or dangerous enough that it needs to be extinguished quickly, without the luxury of re-directing the impulses toward a positive behavior that can be rewarded. Seriously. The budget. Clearly you have learned and embraced the complete lack of consequences that comes from shutting down the government because you’re too busy playing “let’s make it look like the other guy is the bad guy”. And while I’d love to have the luxury of having the time to demonstrate that actually governing the country, that cooperating and negotiating with the other side, that doing what’s best for the COUNTRY, not your political PARTY, is what you should be doing…clearly, after several cycles of hurting others and getting away with it, holding the nation HOSTAGE for your own political gain, doesn’t have quite the negative consequences it should have. So. For every day you shut down the government, you lose a week’s pay. And when the government starts back up again, you don’t get it back. Plus, I’m locking you in the Senate/House and feeding you nothing but beans and rice. Pack away your posturing, pandering expletive self and GET ON WITH IT. Afraid your constituency won’t re-elect you if you “cave”…then try appealing to a constituency that understands that it’s actually called negotiation and that no one will get everything that they want because…that’s called FAIR.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, it’s not even noon and I’ve damn near lost the will to live. So, I’m taking a mental health break. Well, to narrow it down, today I’m really questioning a bunch of life choices.

Like, next time on the wheel, that’s it, I volunteered enough this time around. Screw it. For the record, I am not talking about the Pyrate camp here – the ratio of fun to work is definitely in balance there, and there’s plenty of appreciation. Which I do get in my other volunteer positions…just sometimes that can’t overcome the paucity of fun to hard work ratio and the feeling that I’ve just got a second job…one that actually costs me money. And I start to feel that somewhere along the line I got on the wrong path…

And then, I took a half day on Friday and I gave five people assignments, relatively small, that they needed to complete so that when I got in on Monday, I could just approve stuff and send it out. What are the odds that not a single person would have done what they needed to do?

Apparently 100%...so now I’ve lost another half day in following up on things that should have been done…and I’ve missed FIVE deadlines.

And I can’t even feel sorry for myself, because there’s a shooter loose in the Navy Yard, and I’m trying not to think about all the friends I have who work there…and then really, what does it matter whether they’re friends of mine or not…they’re friends of someone, and some nutbag with a crazy agenda is after them. Expletive.

Okay, shaking that off. Too.

When I came out of the house this morning, my neighbor was coming out with her adorable three year old son and packing him into the car. She looked at me and said “I’m so envious of you, after having spent the morning trying to wrestle this three year old into clothes and breakfast and then out of the house and you can just walk out and get into the car.” And I laughed and said “oh, well, you missed the part where I had to give a cat liquid antibiotics.” Although it is true, it’s nice being responsible for just getting me out of the house in the morning.

But the more I thought about it, the more it reminded me of all of those hoary old clichés and homilies: the grass is always greener, don’t judge by appearances. Because here’s what she missed – that I’d been up since 5am, while her house was completely dark. I’d done a load of laundry, unpacked from the weekend, emptied and filled the dishwasher, cleaned litterboxes, toilets and the upstairs bathroom counter. I’d actually visited with her husband while he was taking out the trash and I was taking out mine. She was probably getting her son dressed and fed while I was out watering the garden and picking up the trash that had blown into my yard over the weekend. And then yes, breakfast and antibiotics for Jasper the cat. Changing the pantyhose that had run when I failed to avoid the pile of yard debris that I still haven’t taken to the dump. And Neosporin on the scrape. It’s harder than it looks to be me – most of it I chose for myself (not the clumsy part, oh, golly, do I wish THAT away!) but still, yes, you have a lot more freedom living alone…but it’s a lot more work. And someday, someday soon, that son of hers may be taking out the trash, or even driving her to work.

My kids will still be pooping in a box and will probably eat me if I fall down the stairs and don’t regain consciousness fast enough.

Grass is always greener….

Thankfully I found this gem last week and just didn’t have time to post it. Because if I ran across it today, I might just explode.

In case you thought just extremist Christians, Muslims and other hard right of whatever religious fanatics had a corner on the market of subjugating women…especially FOR THEIR OWN GOOD:

http://www.fixthefamily.com/blog/6-reasons-to-not-send-your-daughter-to-college

Trigger Warning: if you haven’t taken your blood pressure medication today, reading this might kill you. Keep reading though, because just when you think it’s batexpletive crazier than possible, the writer pulls out another gem. Okay, that sounds like I’m trying to kill you. Save it for another day, then, as I have few enough readers as it is.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Oh, Matthew Inman, I love you more than cheese and even bacon. I may even love you as much as I love cultured butter with sea salt crystals.

And I love that so much that I pay just as much for shipping as I do for the damn butter. It’s THAT good. Vermont Creamery, you can order from Murray's Cheese. You want the kind with sea salt crystals in the little basket. You’re welcome. It's awesome.

And so is Mr. Inman’s latest…and it perfectly sums up my thank you note to the internet for reminding me on a daily basis that most of humanity is a moron and if it weren’t for opposable thumbs, ThudChinchillaSpawnofSatanCat Pushkin would give most of them a run for their money.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/ohmygosh_link

And yes, I’m tired of people telling me (via the internet, again…and let’s all take an irony-break while we think about what we’re both doing right now, in the separate nows we’ve had on this post) how this THING – Crossfit, giving up dairy, burning sage and spinning widdershins daily, wearing some damn armband that reports not only the number of steps you take everyday but also how many times during the night you woke up, drinking a cup of vinegar a day, daily meditaion, what the hell EVER.

Happy and Healthy is a multidimensional, multidisciplinary endeavor. And if you changed one aspect of your being and everything is different? You’re not paying enough attention to your life. Or maybe you’re a simple idiot. Or maybe your life is so small…no. NO. You’re just wrong. It wasn’t that ONE thing. You just think it is. We’re not discussing this anymore. I’m giving you this link because this woman gets it:

http://iambeggingmymothernottoreadthisblog.com/2013/06/24/twelve-habits-of-happy-healthy-people-who-dont-give-a-shit-about-your-inner-peace/

I did not watch the VMA’s. I have no desire to see Miley Cyrus’s performance. I can’t even BELIEVE I just typed her name. I would have sworn that would never happen. But okay. I’ll own it. It does rather perfectly exemplify what’s been pissing me off about the internet and humanity’s access to being able to opinionate repeatedly about something that someone else did. Holy bedbugs, when did we all become qualified critics?

(Irony break.)

Gah. It’s bad enough that people make the mistake of thinking that just because they have mouths and voices, everyone wants to hear what they have to say. Now every moron with a keyboard and an opinion is spouting off on a daily….nay, hourly basis. But this is nuts. It’s like this chick is the veal on which we get to ladle whatever sauce we think is best.

So, here we go: thanks for aiding/abetting the patriarchal notion that women are just sex objects and the only way they can own a stage is through overt sexuality; you go, girl, men have been doing that sort of thing for decades, you be your own woman and do what you want; thanks for highlighting the awful way that black women are treated as back-up objects and only as sex objects; screw you, racist bitch for continuing to treat black woman as back-up/sexual objects and appropriating our culture.

(That last one, I had to look into a bit, read farther. I’m thinking…foam finger thingy?...ah, no, twerking. Okay. Newsflash. Women have been doing that for centuries. Women of all colors. Not on the dance floor, mind you. In private. Or on a certain kind of stage with other like-minded individuals. But yeah, I’m now officially old enough that I’d like to sort of see people DANCE, instead of mock-expletive each other. No, wait. I think I thought that in high school as well. )

What else? Oh, yeah, there was the mocking because the whatever she was wearing didn’t fit right and may not have been complimentary. The mocking because frankly, it sort of sucked. The mocking because….

Oh, god, I can’t even THINK about it anymore. A whole expletive nation of hand-twisting, judgmental, neighborhood tongue-waggers.

Seriously. Get outside. Read a book. Watch television worth watching. Write a book. Learn to cook something. Go cut the branches that are hanging over that stop sign that the county can’t seem to get to and somebody’s going to get t-boned when someone breezes right through it.

Okay. Well, that’s what *I* was doing. Instead of writing a blog post about….

Whoops.
terribleturnip: (percy)
So, when I post to facebook that I'm struggling to decide which Connecticut stuffed cabbage dish I was going to bring to Moth Night....

I figured there were several launch points:

Wait, Connecticut & stuffed cabbage? How would Connecticut be a hotbed of stuffed cabbage? Because while there's a whole lot of WASP going on, there's also a whole lot of ethnic, in large variety, and always has been, and most people from outside of New England don't realize that. And, damn near every culture that has cabbage or cabbage like greens, has rolled some meat and stuff up in them.

And then Moth Night, what's moth night? Hey, it's actually moth WEEK. So, you should spend some time between now and Sunday appreciating moths. (Mostly nocturnal; have antennae that taper to a point or stay the same thickness, as opposed to butterfly antenna that are clubbed or tipped; wings are flat when at rest; underwings are actually hooked to the upperwings, as opposed to butterflies that fold under, well, under the uppers. Because you should know that difference.)

And then, wait what does stuffed cabbage have to do with moths? Duh. Moth Week. Food that looks like chrysalises. And mothball candies, which are way harder to find than they used to be.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about heritage -- when I decided on Lebanese styled stuffed cabbage and referenced my childhood roots, confusing a friend who had no idea I was Lebanese. Which I'm not. Half a mix of majority English, with a healthy dose of Scot and French (my people sleep with the enemy; it's in our GENES) and the other half is 50/50 German and Danish. I grew up in a Syrian and Lebanese neighborhood. It was easy for my parents to pick the little towhead out of that crowd of kids when we were roaming the neighborhood. (Yes, children, in the olden days, we didn't necessarily have playgrounds, we just roamed from yard to yard, wreaking havoc, er, playing. Mostly with sticks. And rocks. Sometimes we'd have chalk.)

And then we moved to an Italian neighborhood, where I still stuck out like a sore thumb, visually. Until finally landing in a more "classic" New England WASP-y dairy town. Although surrounded by towns with strong Polish, Italian and Lithuanian communities. And Portugese. So, my food tastes are more global than you'd think, growing up where I did, and working class, peasant-type food is where my food-psyche is happy.

And traditions/culture, I accumulated them like a hermit crab gluing bits of anemomes and sea life to its shell. But my own cultural heritage was pretty much limited to English and German. The Scots and French had dropped off surnames on my family tree, but were otherwise subsumed by English culture. And while there was a lot of German going on (including the gift of the Scold Finger and an unnatural fondness for potatoes and butter. And Christmas trees. And beer) Not so much with the Danish. We had some Christmas tree ornaments, butter cookies...and foods that I would not eat -- pickled herring and beef tartare, mostly. Raw eggs, capers. ::Shudder::

So, really, the only thing that ever felt strongly Danish about me was my last name. My mother says "the charm. The charm, that "up to something" grin that you and your father, and his father and everyone in that damn family had", and a particularly, pigheaded, mule-ish stubbornness."

Until I read this in an article: A love of or need for hygge is an important part of the Danish psyche. Hygge is usually inadequately translated as "coziness." This is too simplistic: coziness relates to physical surroundings — a jersey can be cozy, or a warm bed — whereas hygge has more to do with people's behavior towards each other. It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one.

Oh.

Psyche-wise? Damn near totally Danish.
terribleturnip: (percy)
My inner twelve year old still thinks of camels or moles when I hear that. A local radio station makes that a juvenile joke every Wednesday, using the other meaning. I'm wondering how many more Wednesdays will I waste seconds wondering why they're sniggering at camels. Or moles -- before we played croquet, we always had to even out the mole humps in the yard. There are mole crickets, which don't have or make humps, which remind me of camel crickets which don't make humps but do have them.

Speaking of bugs, this story made me cry a little:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/02/24/147367644/six-legged-giant-finds-secret-hideaway-hides-for-80-years
the perserverance of life, the cuddling of the pair bonded insects, watching the new born hatch out of that tiny egg, like a clown car but with a single GINORMOUS clown. You think your day is hard? Watch the video.

Plus all these people working so hard to rescue this giant insect and now they have to rely on an island community to make up their minds whether or not to let them back to their original home. I dunno, New Zealanders, for some reason I feel as if it might be possible - yeah, mate, exterminate the rats, bring the giant bugs back.

As opposed to say, Anacapa Island in California where it's a huge firestorm of opposing forces. And a perfect example, really, of ANY environmental issue: people who say screw it, don't care, don't spend ANY of my tax dollars on saving some damn animal; people who say save this animal at any cost; people who say OMG, you can't poison rats, they deserve to live too, don't kill anything, ever, even if we lose a species or eco-system; and people who say hmm, this is a complex issue and maybe we need to study it a bit because history gives us many examples of unintended consequences. Although those people tend to get drowned out in all of the rhetoric from the louder, more fanatical, more black and white, simplistic solution people.

Case in point -- The Don't poison the rats to save the murrelets, or whatever bird it is, Faction claims that it's actually boaters and tourists that disturb the birds and keep them from nesting/breeding successfully. (Could be true, could be exaggerated. Certainly it's not HELPING, so maybe we should restrict that.) That there's no proof that the rats are eating the bird eggs/nestlings. (This also could be technically true...but only on the lack of proof part...we know rats, and we know that they will eat ANYTHING. And if they are not kept in check by predators, of course they will eat the eggs and nestlings. Hellooooo, they're rats! It's why they're so successful and like us, as a group, they will eat anything that tastes good and a lot that won't. And in a closed loop eco-system, island, has the potential to eat everything unchecked until the whole system's crashed.) You're accidentally poisoning other things on the island's eco-system they also claim. (This is probably true. Poison, while the easiest and most effective, most cost efficient, doesn't really discriminate. And I think they're air-dropping pellets, which is just dumb, albeit cheap. Bait boxes, if you must. But if the other populations aren't endangered...you can lose of lot of them, and then without the pressures of rats, they'll probably bounce back quickly.) But the dead animals!

Pick any environmental issue you want that involves something endangered and the only thing I can guarantee you is: the whole situation is way more complex than ANYONE who's grabbing media attention will reveal; none of the decisions are easy; and of course there will be unintended consquences, so you have to do the best risk assessment you can, and be prepared to be wrong...but it's probably better than doing nothing, and even if you fail, you take away learnings.

So, my children, beware of anyone who proposes a simple solution, because the simpler it is, the more facts they're burying/ignoring. You know who you want fixing things? The person who reluctantly agrees that something has to be done, they're not sure if this is the right thing, but it seems to be the best possible solution, and then they sort of look like they're going to throw up just thinking about it, will definitely loose sleep during the project. Give him or her a package of Zantac and Sominex, because that's the person who will make the best decisions, even if they're not right.

Not it! Not on this one. Because I'm already thinking about building a vivarium and seeing if I can lay my hands on those insects, just in case Lord Howe Island doesn't come through.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Even after my last post, some of you may doubt the utter adorability of a sloth in a bowl. I give you this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/sloth-pictures-images_n_3368628.html

Dear Gateway: Did you seriously design a tower with a top that is perfectly cat-sized…and put the on/off button right where the cat’s paws rest? Turnip, why is there concertina wire and broken glass on top of your hard drive thingy? Oh, to keep cats and pigeons from shutting off my computer about A DOZEN TIMES A DAY.

(For the record, I don't actually have pigeons in the house. You're thinking of my grandmother. I only have fifty pigeon EGGS in the house. But that's a story for another time.)

Dear Clydes of Tower Oak: Okay, I get the whole hunting lodge vibe you’re going for. And the dozens of saddles used as décor…the smell of leather and colors/patterns of saddles certainly make me feel right at home, although they don’t lead me to think “oh, let’s eat” but more like ah, I need to get back in shape and get out more, and maybe if I was riding again I wouldn't be so fat. Or maybe if I ate LESS. But that’s probably just me and a small handful of people. And again, hanging saddles on the dividers between booths…makes me sort of feel like my booth is a stall, and maybe I should be ordering a bucket of grain, instead of a ribeye. But, looking around at the clientele, again, it’s probably just me, AGAIN. I do want to thank you, though, for hanging those saddles so that they sit pretty much at temple height for men, and because you don’t have the stirrups run up properly, the stirrups are hanging dangerously at temple height for women. Because I’ve had a blast all night long, watching people duck suddenly, or take a hit right in the head. Seriously, finally I understandsome people’s inability to look away from a television screen in a bar. My date probably thinks I’m incapable of maintaining eye contact. Hopefully he thinks the occasional giggles are because he's so amusing.
Back in the saddle, writing-wise, at least in terms of length )
terribleturnip: (percy)
Okay, this will no doubt be disjointed, but it’s like your first day at the gym after not going for a while. I mean, you probably had a good reason to stop going in the first place, like oh, you’ve got this renaissance faire thing that’s going to eat up 11 weeks of your life, turning each week into a seven day workweek and each day into a 12-20 hour workday. And then for giggles, you throw in throwing a big surprise party for your parents, done from a distance. And three business trips. And other stuff that may pale in importance, but manages to infiltrate whatever interstices of free time you had left. And then you haven’t gone to the gym in so long that GOING seems like such a chore. The guilt from NOT going becomes a ball and chain that would now have to be dragged along with you and well, it seems far easier to NOT go, even when some of those interstices open up a little.

Because you know how hard that first time will be. You’ve lost the routine, and you’re not sure what’s worse – no one recognizing you anymore or having to address the questions or ribbing about being gone so long. You’re going to be all out of shape. Again. And dragging your kit bag of guilt and self-disappointment around the room, machine to machine, where it’s pointless to try and remember the settings on everything because now you’ve been gone so long that you’re going to have to start from scratch.

That first time you go to do an arm curl and damn near rip your bones out of their sockets because you really can’t lift that much anymore. So you move the pin down one and try….expletive…and move it down another notch…and the whole time, you’re certain everyone in the room is snickering at your clearly delusional idea of how strong you are. Each snick downwards of that pin another tick mark on the checklist of what a loser you are.

And you just can’t FACE that, so you flop on the couch and pick up the remote. Tomorrow, you think, I can handle it tomorrow.

That’s been me and writing lately. (Okay, I’ve also lived that scenario at the gym, the pool, the barn, the refrigerator.) Much easier to kill those infrequent moments of spare time cruising lame-ass facebook updates, or watching videos of baby sloths. (Seriously, I have four cats in my house, on me, around me at all times. The LAST thing I need is to watch them on the screen. Instead I watch sloths and fantasize about pets that would just hang from a pole somewhere, could be easily outrun and if you turn them upside down in a bowl, they just lay there looking adorable and goofy. For hours.)

And part of what’s kept me away has been feeling the need to not let you down. Not phone it in. I have dozens of semi-launched posts that have just demanded more brain and time than I had to spare, so there they sit, gathering electronic dust. I didn’t want to just spit out some disconnected flotsam and jetsam, plumped up with links to things I found interesting because I couldn't manage to stich a decent analogy together. After being away so long, I didn’t want to disappoint, first time out…move that pin down the stack of weights.

But seriously, at some point you’ve got to grab yourself by the shorthairs and just expletive start. Or you'll die.

So.

Here’s a random link to a post I found interesting and attitudinal: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/24/these-31-charts-will-destroy-your-faith-in-humanity/

Because even if this post sucks…

I’ve been on Facebook an awful lot lately, people and your brains are being worn away, passing along meaningless crap that someone else only slightly more creative produced, drifting about in the wallows of self-pity and cries for attention from people who forgotten how to self-soothe and now rely on the “likes” of others to prop up their self-esteem and substitute for real affirmation. Seriously. It’s like junkfood or bad television – a little is a great treat and fun. But if you wouldn’t let your kid eat junk food for days on end, or watch 8 hours of television a day? You’d tell them that first they need to eat dinner and not ruin their appetite with Doritos. You’d tell them that 2 hours of cartoons was enough, now get the hell outside and to play. Right?

If not, then well, it's your life. But I still think you probably should find something better to throw your brain against. I’m not saying THIS is it. (There ARE actually limits to my hubris.) But I got you to look away, didn’t I?
terribleturnip: (percy)
Here’s a lesson I’ve circled around to several times in my life, but have now wholeheartedly embraced…and like all converts, I feel that your life too, would be much better, if only YOU would embrace it!

Luckily for you, I have only so much time to worry about your life. And Yankees in general make crummy proselytizers. We’ll tell you once. And then laconically raise an eyebrow and sigh when you continue to get it wrong. And wait for you to come to your senses. That’s about all we’ve got.

So, here’s your once. )
terribleturnip: (percy)
Okay if you haven’t seen the “goats screaming like humans” video, you should, it’s hysterical, although not as funny as “How to Piss off a Frog” which is short and bellylaugh inducing. Admittedly, experiencing schaudenfreude from watching animals get revenge on humans is perhaps my second most favorite pleasure in the world.

Although I need to make a point. Actually, some of them are sheep. There, I said it. I feel much better. It would be the highest form of geek douchebaggery to post that whenever anyone posts the video, but it’s been hard to resist. But here’s the thing: you really HAVE to resist. Because, for starters, that’s not the point. Let’s face it “Sheep and Goats screaming like Humans” is unwieldy. And “Caprinae screaming like humans” is the best possible title from an accuracy standpoint, and extremely appealing to geeks like me, but let’s face it, you didn’t spend hours gathering and editing goat and sheep videos so that it could be appreciated by the 125 geeks in the world who’d run across it, know you were talking sheep and goats, had the time to click on it and weren’t at work or someplace that bans YouTube or headphones. You did it for the adoration of the masses, and I applaud you for it.

But there’s something in a geek’s brain that won’t let inaccuracy rest, even in the face of seeming like an expletive jerk. Which is why we get beat up all the time in middle school and high school…at least until we develop an internal editor or are so ostracized that our only company is other people who start a lot of their sentences with “Well, ACTUALLY…”

And that’s your cue right there. When you realize that the sentence you’re about to utter begins with the word “Actually”? Think long and hard on your audience, Bucky. Because the frequency of sentences you utter that start with the word “Actually” will be in inverse proportion to the number of friends you have. And if you’re not careful…you will die alone. Smart, but alone, and nibbled on by cats, or your whateverdoodle, or ferret or hermit crab.

Personally, I recommend you start a semi-hidden blog like this one, hidden amongst the reeds of friends who get you and complete strangers who don’t even know you or really care, so you can get it out of your head before it births a tumor or something.
terribleturnip: (percy)
Oh, that feeling you get, after you press “send” and you realize that while it was a great idea to send a note to your supplier, giving him feedback on his team and the stellar presentation they delivered to your client, it might have been a better had you not misspelled Bobby’s name and called him Booby.

Also, while I’m having name issues, please, no more naming your children Michael or Jacquelyn. I cannot spell either name correctly without backspacing, re-typing, SEVERAL times. I’m going to go to my grave without ever mastering either name, so you’re going to have to be Mike or Jackie and just deal with it.

How many glasses, out of a 750 ml bottle of cherry cider, will it take before I accept that it’s really foamy and I’ll have to pour very slowly and carefully or wind up with cherry cider all over the counter? The answer is: ALL OF THEM.

Oh, hey, colleagues, when I said feel free to forward the happy hour invitation to other associates, I didn’t really mean upper management. Especially since I used this phrase “But seriously, if you don’t come to happy hour, you’ll probably be confused by the unseasonably warm temperatures, put on shorts, go outside…catch pneumonia and die. And no one wants that.” Because then you get an IM from a senior exec that reads “Wait, did you just set up a “come to happy hour or die” scenario?”

I love this, love this, love this: http://skepticalmothering.com/2013/01/16/do-you-have-forers-disease/

And now I get all opinionated and bossy. Shocker. )
terribleturnip: (percy)
That's pretty much my philosophy on everything. Although I will allow that there's a second clause to that, which is: "but every once in a while, it's okay to phone it in."

Just when I thought I couldn’t love Edward Gorey any more than I already do, I open my new calendar and there’s one of his pieces: Frivolity, at the edge of a Moral Swamp, hears Hymn-Singing in the Distance and dons the Galoshes of Remorse.

Which just delights me. It creates a fabulous picture and just delights me (since I own several pairs of Remorse Galoshes), the pacing, the wordchoice. And then he drew a fabulous picture to accompany it. Talented Bastard.

I promised myself I would write more often. I made no commitment to segues or coherent themes. So, this is what happens. )

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