Yesterday I was asked what I thought about our "libturd" president going to war.
I don't think I know all I need to know about that. I figure there is a lot about the situation that us lay people don't know. That's why relying on doublespeak and platitudes about Syria is so attractive to our drive-thru window culture. What we don't know we make up so we can become properly outraged..
Not to mention that I was asked this because I tend to lean a wee bit left and I voted for the "libturd". It doesn't matter if I can think or reason when it comes to my vote. It only matters what some folks think that Democrat™ means. Tree hugging, gay love making not war making, handout loving, anti-gun, pro-fetus killing, socialist fascist pacifist. Do I follow the party blindly? Nope. But I do vote more than my conscience. Both sides of the aisle do. Though I'm lacking in using the term "conservatard" or pointing the spastic foam finger of racism when it comes to my conscience. I used to be a Republican. Hell, I voted for Bob Dole, but I cannot in good conscience vote for what the party represents today. There is no place for me there.
In answer, I could have written an entire essay about Syria, comparing and contrasting between what's going on according to even handed news sources with the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Vietnam. I could have delved into the legalities of the president preparing for a military strike along with stating the obvious, that we've not bombed yet. The decision is yet to be made.
It inspired no emotion in me whatsoever! Why would I care about the Video Music Awards? Why would I care about Miley Cyrus? Robin Thicke can suggest all he wants that he knows I want it, but he's an old married fart just like me, and at our ages getting a little quiet IS what we want.
So I turned Miley and her foam pointer finger right off.
If you ask my husband about The Great Purse Search of 2005-2012, he'd get red in the face, start to tremble and then suddenly fall to the floor in a fetal position.
What can I say? I've been looking for the perfect purse for a hell of a long time. I've drug my husband into many stores to see if, just if, maybe, there might be a purse I could take home to pet and love.
When it comes to my purse, I'm picky. I don't give a crap about brand name, price, or if it's in style. I have specific traits I want in a purse because I believe in it's practical function. I don't need my accessories to give me identity but I expect my accessories to serve me.
My purse must be black to match everything because I don't need a closet full of purses to match every pair of my shoes or tubes of my lipstick. I need small purse because it hurts to dislocate a shoulder. I need my purse to have structure so it will sit upright on the floor and a top zip so my stuff doesn't fall out if it ever ends up not upright. I need my purse to have short handles so I don't have to fuss with untangling myself, my kids or my stuff from a long strap. I need my purse to have some sort of outside pocket to store chapstick in. I need my purse to be able to double as a puke receptacle if the emergency arises.
I found the purse last winter. THE purse. The cashier asked me if I was OK because I was in such shock at the find. Seven years man...seven long torturous years.
It's okay, you don't have to like my practical purse. But in case you do, you can find it at Sears. The one downside is that it's vinyl. A good quality matte vinyl, but still vinyl. I can live with that. Just in case the purse gets puked in, I've bought another for the future. It sits shiny in my closet, my husband's reprieve from The Great Purse Search of 2013-2016.
Now that you know how I feel about purses, have a YouTube commentary about the NFL's new bag policy for their stadiums.
The NFL has just said no to purses any bigger than the length of your hand. According to their website: Prohibited items include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, seat cushions, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
What you are allowed to carry your stuff in is a clear vinyl or PVC bag no larger than 12"x12"x6" or a gallon sized ziplock bag. You can buy the vinyl bags at the stadium for $8 or get yourself a complimentary ziplock at the gate. Bags carrying medical items are exempt but you have to have them inspected at a separate gate.
Surprisingly, women type folks are not big fans of this policy.
Not that this rule has any effect on me. The only reason I'd be in an NFL football stadium would be because I'd been possessed by demons, but I know that plenty of you purse carrying ladies enjoy football and would like to carry the same stuff you carry everywhere else into the stadium with you.
Like tampons. Sure, some of those guys like to get naked from the waistband up so they can paint their chests and grunt without any self consciousness, but as a woman, you really don't want to display your preferred brand or size of feminine hygiene product for all to see.
Or your cheap liquor.
Or lap dogs.
Or full changes of underwear and shoes.
A gal really doesn't know what she might need and it sometimes pays to be prepared for any occasion. My choice of small purse leaves me woefully unprepared for many situations but that is the chance I take. Other ladies should be able to carry their purse as is their choice?
From some of the opinions I've read, this policy is another Lego block in the colorful plastic wall that is the war on women.
I dunno. Is my purse inherent to my gender?
I think I'd have a bigger fit that they've stopped allowing my seat cushion in.
This isn't an assignment worth credit, but what did you guys do over your summer vacation?
Did you click a graphic that looks much like this one in June, hoping that you might fill your summer months with educational and fun activities for your offspring which would provide memories or respite from them biting or hitting one another?
That's a graphic full of promise, isn't it? I made it just for you.
However, I didn't make a list of summer activities for kids. Not for my kids. Not for your kids. Nobody's children are getting a list out of me.
That's because these super crafty uber helicopter lists are so full of crap. Hope and crap and letdown. Bait and switch.
Make homemade popsicles they say! That's easy enough. Healthy too. Are they frozen yet?
Every list includes a recipe for gallons of bubble solution and instructions on how to make wands out of pipe cleaners. This is a fun activity. For five minutes. After that, someone is going to go wading in the vat of bubble solution, it will get in their eyes or they will slip in a puddle of it and split their lip, the pipe cleaners will get shoved into your air conditioner's fan, and your entire lawn will die of soap poisoning.
Are your popsicles frozen yet?
Then there are the recipes for homemade play dough. Heh...yeah. Have you ever dug a plug of dried salt dough out of your kid's ear canals? I have. Ever pulled plugs of wet play dough out your bathroom sink drain? I have. Ever washed smooshed play dough out of your cat's fur? I have.
Say...you think those popsicles are frozen yet?
Make a portable sand box out of plastic sweater box! Portable is the key word. That sand gets everywhere. In shoes and underwear and in bedding. It's amazing there was still enough left in the box for the cat to poop in.
Check the popsicles Mom!
Start a garden and let the kids do the watering and weeding! They can paint rocks with the names of your plants! They can also preside over the plant funerals when they discover it's work.
Gee Mom, freezers take forever!
Build a lemonade stand. BUILD A LEMONADE STAND. Bwahahahahaha! Oh...that's a good one! You'll happily drink one glass of their lemonade but I dare you to drink two and I might offer to pay you money to drink a third.
Are they frozen yet? I'm starving!
Build couch forts and spend the day in your pajamas reading books! Now, I know every single one of you has asked your kid to make a decision about staying inside or outside when that back door has slammed for the thirtieth time before noon...expect to ask the exact same thing about time in your couch fort. Reading? Right.
NO, THEY ARE NOT FROZEN YET!
Don't paint me as some sort of summer Scrooge. I love summer. I love fun. I do not love putting a lot of effort into entertaining my children when they are exponentially capable of entertaining themselves. This is the expectation I have of them because children have always had this ability. My children are not so special that they require activities handed to them. Turn off the TV and eventually their little brains figure it out.
They can think up the architecture of their own couch forts. They can go to the library or the computer and look up their own lists. They can drink their own sour lemonade and they certainly can learn how to remove the S trap under the sink or how to bathe a cat without bloodshed.
Many of you know that I'm originally from the Utahiest location in Utah. Did you also know that Utah is predominantly a red state? As in, the preferred flavored of Kool-Aid is juicy red Republican?
Most of my friends and some of my family and a hell of a lot of my acquaintances hail from Utah which means that at some point the interactions turn to politics. More so because people know that I tend to lean Democrat. Gasp. Yeah, I know. I voted for Harry Reid but only because his last opponent was so crazypants. Her party affiliation is not what made her terrifying. They say a defensive vote never wins the election but this time it sure did.
Face to face it's easy to "bean dip" political conversation. As in, "Mitt Romney wouldn't have stood for this NSA spying stuff!" and the response would be, "That's certainly something to think about...wow, have you tried this bean dip? It's really spicy!"
Or this: "Are you going to attend Glenn Beck's stage show? I hear it's educational!" and the response would be, "I don't think I can make it...Do you know who made that pasta salad. It's fabulous!"
Acknowledge, dodge the bullet, redirect. Most of the time it works pretty well.
Face to face interaction never includes a hyperlink.
You have to be careful with those hyperlinks. Online, folks LOVE to post stuff that confirms their confirmation biases. You click on something that seems totally reasonable on it's face and when you get to the site, it's an editorial soup of run on sentences, inflammatory rhetoric and mental masturbation. It's not journalism. It's gossip.
Then you feel abused and mislead. You could go on and enter into the ever so popular Facebook debate full of red herrings and strawmen in trying to prove the article wrong...or you could write a kick-ass blog post and then clog their feeds with link backs here.
But Becky, you say, don't you libs love to watch MSNBC every single moment of the day? Have you heard what the liberal media has been saying? They can't be serious! They spew all kinds of stuff that I don't like and you can't like and no one should like it and I'm indignant and you should ponder all that in your heart! If they can say all that stuff, we can too, darn tootin!
No need to bean this dip question. I don't know about my juicy blue Democrat Kool-Aid drinking brothers and sisters, but I don't watch MSNBC. My husband doesn't spend any time watching MSNBC. Some of my liberal friends post baloney that confirms their confirmation biases but many of them don't. Those that do post baloney do it at the same rate as the conservative folks if you compared equal parts conservatives and liberals. My news feed is very much not equal parts, hence the awesome graphic I made above.
There are a lot of sources I get my news from and it's important to me that they espouse a standard in their journalism. If they post editorials and opinion pieces, they are clearly marked as such. They allow dissenting opinions in their editorials and opinion pieces. The language of their reporting is tempered and thorough. They openly post retractions when they are wrong. They consider themselves a news source and not entertainment, and are legally registered as such.
Most importantly, they go by the old standard of answering who, what, where, how, when and why, without appealing to more base emotions.
Let's compare. Last week, a makeshift 9/11 memorial on a New York City courthouse bulletin board was ordered removed by a judge because of a complaint of offensive material. The event was covered by several news sources.
It's the last link I saw first, which got me thinking about the topic. Why aren't these readers in the least bit interested in finding about this story in context? Read the story, fume, and then move on to the next consumable "news" tidbit. I read it and the first thing afterwards was Google it to see what really happened.
This sort of half-assed reporting was all over the Trayon Martin shooting and the Zimmerman trial. It was important to me when it came time to try Zimmerman that I didn't base my opinion on what's regurgitated through even the most "fair and balanced" news outlet. I watched or listened to the trial on YouTube, recorded streaming directly from the courthouse. No still photos of a funny expression on the defense or prosecution's face. No gotcha headlines. No commentary. No scrolling tickers. Just good old American trial by jury. Testimony directly from the lion's mouth.
I'm humbled to say that I found Zimmerman's interview tapes very compelling. I had doubts that I didn't have before. It didn't change my mind completely, but it didn't confirm my biases at all and I expected it to. This is exactly the experience I wanted...not to be told what to think but giving myself the opportunity to reason. To maybe be wrong.
This is also why I've read many laws and bills which I'm passionate about. The American Care Act isn't as long of a read as you'd think.
As for where I get my news and what standards I hold it to, this speech given by Rafael Olmeda at the 2007 World Journalism Institute conference covers it far better than I can. It's an excellent read.
That's Burt Munro racing his Indian at world famous Speed Week. You may have seen the movie, The World's Fastest Indian. If you haven't, I believe it's still streaming on Netflix and it's worth a watch. Speed Week is when sun and fume addled motorheads converge on the Bonneville Salt Flats to go really fast.
It's crazymaking for the town. Seriously. Speed Week drives me straight up a wall. Everyone that lives here finds that if they do not have to be out and about in the town this week, it's best to just hole up at home with TV dinners and a couple or three or five or nine bottles of hoarded liquor. The tourists and competitors are just so...here...leaving chunks of salt dropping off their chassis like a Hansel and Gretel trail back to the flats.
Speed Week makes me perturbed with people every year.
This year, however, I battled my introversion because God commanded me to. Behold!
What else could I do but take this commandment to heart? Last night I replied to most everyone in that thread that extended a greeting, offered or asked for love, or asked to have a friend. Around a couple hundred strangers out of 1700 comments.
It was wonderful.
...until I realized that I had been replying in my Absent Minded Housewife voice on FB and then I felt guilty for spamming that entire thread. I got carried away with all the joy in it!
Put me right in the mood and I gave my husband a hello too, if you don't mind me saying.
Gladly, God forgives my lack of internet manners and has allowed me to continue giving hellos to strangers this morning. I've received messages of gratitude and thanks. Played six degrees to Kevin Bacon by finding neighbors I didn't know I had. Found one distant relative. Made new acquaintances that may become new friends, who knows?
You just don't know when a single greeting may make all the difference.
Which begs the question...will I be going out and about in my town to greet Speed Week strangers? It might be a joyful experience as well!
As I was scrolling down my Pinterest feed earlier today, I found whole groups of pins suggesting writing topics for the blocked blogger.
You could say this post was prompted by the quality of the prompts. I wasn't actively looking for prompts per say. Cut in with the prompts were recipes for microwave mug cakes and everyone can use these. Why bake a whole damned cake that you'll only eat in one sitting, still warm, with a half gallon of milk when you could bake a single serving in a mug and pour the milk right over that? Milk, spoonful of Nutella, canned whipped cream, a sprinkling of M&Ms and marshmallows.
Anyhow, I ran into a lot of "deep" writing prompts on Pinterest. Prompts every freshman state college English major would be biting at the bit to write about. This nag threw her saddle and spit out the bit long ago. Certainly I'm entertained by writing about certain smells I don't know how enthralled you'd be if I went ahead and tried to write about the first smell I could remember.
So many directions to take first smells. Obstetrician breath. Hospital antiseptic. Boobs. A little brandy in your bottle.
Perhaps I should supply writing prompts of my own to all the aspiring housewife bloggers across the land. Follow my lead girls! Get your write on!
- Public diaper blowouts - which location deserves the mess and which location doesn't.
- Kitchen implement or adult toy - compare and contrast.
- When I finally get around to shaving my legs, I'll feel like a _______!
- Why eating boxed macaroni and cheese is good for a mother's soul.
- The life of a toilet seat in the kid's bathroom.
- Pinterest makes me feel guilty, therefore I _________.
- This housewife has a secret...but who cares about that...why is her pie crust soggy?
Blogging gold, I'm telling you!
Oh, you read this far to get to a mug cake recipe?
Fine. Buy one angelfood box cake mix. Buy one devilfood box cake mix. Open and mix the contents together. Store in a container. To prepare, mix 3 tablespoons of combined mixes and 2 tablespoons water in mug, microwave for 1 minute.
I'm going to go search Pinterest for patterns for reusable and washable menstrual pads now.
Yesterday my family took off to the big city to enjoy a visit with my urologist and finish up school shopping.
My urologist, a man I've fallen in much love with, sat with me in his new office, cross-legged, and we discussed my bladder in depth. It was nice to report that the proper course of medications and drinking much water has allowed me to feel like myself again. That is, fabulous!
With that done, it was off to shopping for school clothes and supplies for my children, so they might also feel like themselves this year.
Lucky us, we don't live in a location that puts any emphasis on what you wear to school. My kids don't risk feeling bad about themselves because they aren't wearing the right sneakers or a certain label on the butt of their pants. There is competition for sure, and the usual ranking that kids will engage in, but it's got very little to do with what your parents can afford to buy for you.
Back to school commercials have always driven me up a wall in that regard. I'm so so so not interested in buying my children their identities through costume.
I know about costumes. I sew them. We don't need to wear one every single day of our lives to proclaim who we are and why we matter. I thought we stopped wearing corsets a hundred years ago but the ads just plant their foots in the middle of our backs and tighten up them laces.
Walmart tells consumers that they have "All you need to succeed!" and that you'll be "Cool for School!"
Old Navy says we can "Go back to school in style."
Kmart tells us that we can "rule the school."
The Target ad shows children piling clothes and supplies into a shopping cart willy nilly. The only time a parent says no is when a child attempts to put a big toy in the cart.
Kohl's apparently has a "double major in style and savings."
These are all stores I've shopped at for back to school. These are also stores that have allowed me to dress my children in hand me downs when the clothes have lasted. These stores have not supplied my children with one iota of their identities, no matter how much we've saved by shopping there.
OK, that's a half truth. Walmart supplied my 14 year old son with this shirt for $7.50.
Shuddup. We were all nerds before we bought the shirt.