Fine.

I’m told by Democrat friends that “everything will be fine”, even though Amy Coney Barrett is now on the Supreme Court and probably has the deciding vote as to whether our marriage will continue to be legally recognized or not. Barrett was a member of the school board of a private school that not only rejected gay teachers, but also rejected any potential students from gay parents, so I’m pretty sure we know in which direction she would base her decision should and when this type of case comes up for a ruling.

This is the thing I can’t get beyond. Republican family members profess how supportive they are of our legal marriage and then they support the folks in Washington, D.C. that want to make sure that, among other things, the gays don’t get married. I have a hard time reconciling this fact and as I have said before, I won’t be going to some family gatherings any time soon.

But, the Democrats say everything will be “fine”. Our rights will continue to get stripped away. Healthcare? No more pre-existing conditions. I’ll be surprised if the ACA makes it into November. Roe v Wade? I’m sorry ladies, Amy Coney Barrett can’t trust herself to make decisions about her own body and neither should you. She wants old white men to make those decision for her and therefore, you will abide by their rulings as well. Women will no longer have the right to choose what to do with their own body.

But don’t worry, everything will be “fine”.

I’m writing this blog entry at 3 in the morning because I can’t sleep. I’m still so angry I can’t get my brain to settle down. I have to be up for work in a few hours. Thank god that will distract me enough from enjoying all of this frivolity everyone says is “fine”.

If someone asks me how I feel about something and I say it’s “fine”, one should never take that as a sign of happiness or contentment. To me, “fine” is a word of resignation and surrender.

It’s one of the worst four letter words in the English language.

The Politician.

The Politician.

Earl and I finally finished season one of “The Politician”. We started it way back in October and kind of lost interest, but with this whole pandemic thing going on, and the two of us really trying not to mingle with the masses to avoid contracting COVID-19, we’re cleaning out the streaming lists on our streaming services.

By the way, can I just say right here and now we have too many streaming services to choose from. We have the standard fare: Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, and Disney+, but now there’s CBS All Access, Peacock! (I don’t know if it’s suppose to have an exclamation point or not but it seems appropriate), a Comcast exclusive channel that we can’t get, something called Bufu, and probably a whole bunch of others I know nothing about. Oh! And Amazon Prime. Without Amazon Prime we wouldn’t be able to watch “The Mothers-In-Law”. Who would be left to chew the scenery? Anyway, too many streaming services; it turns out cable will probably be cheaper.

So we finished season one of “The Politician”. It was quirky. There were a couple of twists and turns that I did not anticipate but overall it wasn’t a waste of time. Speaking of Kaye Ballard chewing scenery, I see Bette Midler is coming along for season two of “The Politician”. Apparently the leader character is now going to run for something bigger than student body president.

Did I give something away? I hope not. After all, it is called “The Politician”.

The thing about programs that Ryan Murphy creates or co-creates or whatever is that he starts to get weird with them. And this feels like it’s getting weird. Will we enjoy Season Two? Only time will tell and for some reason there’s only seven episodes instead of eight.

But Ryan Murphy’s story direction always seems to go in wild directions and there will undoubtedly be a variety of sexual orientations and couplings because that’s what Ryan Murphy does. There’s nothing wrong with it; it makes me wonder if there are more people out there enjoying something other than the standard flavors of coupling and sexuality than what we see portrayed in real life.

With Earl and I watching more television these days, we’ll probably finish up season two of “The Politician” within a week. I don’t think it’ll be a waste of time.

Sabbatical.

The timing of our “big” vacation in 2020 was perfect. We were able to scoot over to O’ahu and back before the COVID-19 hit the United States in full force. I haven’t taken time off since.

I’ve decided to take the rest of this week off from work as a mini-sabbatical. I have a few plans; I’ll probably do some flying, I’m going on a long road trip, I’m going to relax. Tomorrow I shall drive through the Prairie State alone with my husband’s blessing. He knows I occasionally like exploring on these long drives alone and we have no qualms in giving each other the space we need once in a while. We’re not getting away from one another, I am simply recharging. Mrs. Mosher wrote in my first kindergarten report card that I was a loner, opting to amuse myself instead of playing with the other kids during “play time”. A young girl by the name of Michelle wanted to ride the see saw with me; I recall jumping on it until she was flung off. I wasn’t allowed near the see saw for a while after that and Mrs. Mosher told my mother I was developmentally disabled.

I believe her philosophy was, “no child is really any different from any other child”. She didn’t know what to make of me. Not only did I not think inside the box, I had a different box, it was oblong, and it was probably glitzed out with glitter.

If I was in kindergarten today, Mrs. Mosher would probably recommend me for some pharmaceutical assistance.

Instead, I love my life and have a husband who supports my day long road trips across the Prairie State. It’s all good.

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All Of The World Shut Down.

Back in 1986, when I was a college freshman at SUNY Fredonia, studying Music Education, a bunch of us in the music school on a Friday night and just started playing around with our instruments and voices. I will never forget the utter joy I felt as we figured out “Life In A Northern Town” by Dream Academy. Even though I had been told my voice would never be worthy of public performance (and was subsequently an ‘instrument’ student after a second audition), I still can not express the emotion I felt harmonizing with my classmates as I sang backups on this track, in a practice room in the Music School building.

Pretty.

Last night I posted a picture of myself standing on our balcony, basking in the light of an impending thunderstorm and the ambient lighting of the area, shirtless. I am reminded of a conversation with my Big Brother Season 4 handler, Katie, before I told her I was dropping out of the Top 32 running for the casting of that season. I had to check in with Katie every 12 hours and talk about the most intimate of details of my thought processes. Katie didn’t know what to think, perhaps she reverted to a script when this happened.

Katie: “Can you please send me a photo of you shirtless? A webcam photo will do.”

J.P., within an hour, sends a photo to the designated email address. This involved connecting to an Internet Service Provider via dialup.

Katie: “Well, do you mind always wearing a shirt while you’re on camera?”

It was ultimately my choice to drop out of Big Brother 4’s casting call because my husband said he wasn’t going to be waiting for me if I got kicked out of the house early because he thought the whole thing was ridiculous. But he was very supportive of me for getting to the top 32 of the casting call, despite the 75 page contract that had been faxed over in the middle of the night. So, while wearing a shirt at home, I left a message on handler Katie’s voicemail that I was dropping out of the running.

It’s a good thing I dropped out because I could have ended up with the guy who went crazy during the first week. He started throwing chairs and got kicked out because he was screaming about having anal warts.

Good times.

Insight.

The tendency for family and friends to share their political beliefs on social media, especially leading up to and since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has been very eye opening for me. A little bit of background; my father never discussed politics. Actually, it was pretty rare for anyone in our family to have a political discussion. Either that or I was shielded from any discussions of this sort. Of course times were different back then and people weren’t as whipped up about these things, though now that I think about it I remember a couple of off-handed comments about “All In The Family” or “Maude”. But seeing what family and friends write on social media today, me included, is rather eye-opening.

I understand that not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye on these things. I get that. To be honest, my “world view” has expanded considerably since moving to The Windy City nearly three years ago. Before leaving Upstate New York I used to enjoy spending Thursday evenings at the airport having a couple of beers with close friends and solving the political problems of the world. The three of us that tended to do this were a good blend: one on the right but not too far right, one on the left but not too far left, and one in the middle leaning socially in one direction and fiscally in another. We kept the conversation civil, even leading up to and after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. It’s certainly possible to do this. However, there’s a reason those two aren’t active on social media. They’re sane.

On social media right now I have family by relation and by marriage that are saying the wildest things. Disappointing things. Some things that leave me speechless. Dumbfounded. These particular folk feel that Trump is doing a great job in the White House. Today. Right now.

The only thing that goes through my head is this: da fuq?

Now, I’ll admit I can’t bring myself to watch Fox News for more than 30 seconds without wanting to kick the television across the room. When my husband is watching some sort of news broadcast and Trump comes on with that horrible sing-songy preacher-for-a-penny-wannabe voice he has I become enraged. The man is a moron. Anyone who has to tell you constantly share his superior level of intelligence is actually an insecure idiot. Back in my commuting days I’d listen to right leaning talk radio just to see what others were thinking on various subjects, but even the most pearl-clutching, shat-bit crazy rhetoric at the time had nothing on some of the twisting and turning the folks on Fox News do to plump up Trump today.

And I can’t believe I’m associated, either by relation or by choice, with people that believe that crap.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been drawing a line at maintaining amy relationships. If anything racist is shared I end the online relationship immediately and honestly I question assembly with these folks in real life. And yes, that includes memes where “#BlackLivesMatter” is crossed out and replaced with “AllLivesMatter”. No explanation, no dialog, you’ve made up your mind, I’m outta here, and no need to pass me the cole slaw at the next gathering, we probably won’t be in the same room.

I tried. I attempted to understand. I tried explaining the importance of like this: imagine going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and telling the kids living through their childhood cancer that “Hey, All Children Matter!”. Any compassionate human being wouldn’t ever say that. Just because we’re saying “Black LivesMatter” right now, because it’s been much too long since society has realized this, doesn’t mean other lives don’t have value. It’s just that we’re not going to tolerate this racial injustice, we need to fix it, and something has to be done.

The person I shared this with said everything was fine since Obama was president, and actually President Obama was racist against whites because of Affirmative Action. I didn’t go any further in their diatribe before hitting “Unfriend”.

As I type this I can’t help but think that perhaps not talking about politics may have not been the best approach. I feel less educated on matters than I should be and I’m not good debater on these subjects. I’m not looking to live in a bubble of my personal belief, but I’m looking to have discussions with people that have open minds. I like to think I’m open minded.

But the idea that based on skin color some folks have more value than others? Yeah, I’m not discussing that. It’s just wrong.

Plandemic.

I am so confused. I thought the pandemic was planned so we’d all be with our families when NASA got the maths wrong and the asteroid slammed into the planet, reigniting fossil fuels into living dinosaurs, which would then cause Shell Oil to appear on all calculators held upside down before women went boobless.

Simplicity.

This is my alarm clock.

After spending time on and off my nightstand for the past weeks and months I’ve decided that it belongs on my nightstand.

This alarm clock, purchased during my senior year of high school, has worked reliably since 1986. It keeps time as well as the power grid will allow it, it can tune in both AM and FM radio stations using the antenna built into the power cable and it’s simple to set and easy to synchronize to an atomic clock.

My mid-1980s vintage General Electric alarm clock doesn’t require updates, doesn’t need to reboot, and uses LED digits that do not blind me in the middle of the night. I can’t talk to it and it doesn’t talk to me, but it does wake me up every morning with the sounds of NewsRadio WBBM.

I have flirted with other alarm clocks, especially over the past year or two. An Alexa Dot that featured a round face, the eerie laugh of Alexa in the middle of the night, and a camera pointed at my slumbering visage. I most recently tried a Lenovo Smart Clock, powered by Google Assistant. Using a miniaturized version of the Google Assistant software found on the Google Nest Home Hub, it likes to update in the middle of the night and shine LED backlighting on my eyes. Sometimes I wake up with a sunburn.

Luckily, I bought it during the holidays for over 50% off. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

After swapping between my old reliable GE and the Lenovo for the past week I’ve settled with sticking with the tried and true. The red digits make no impression in the darkened room when we’re sleeping and the alarm is always on time.

Sometimes you just have to keep it simple.

Sweat Assistant.

Truman was absolutely mystified by my Resistance Band Workout this morning. For the first 20 minutes he simply sat in the doorway, head cocked, watching me strike various poses as I worked my way through a free video on YouTube.

When I decided to do some planks is when he became a comedian. As I struggled to maintain a plank he walked under me, rubbed his butt on my arms, and waved his tail in my face. On the bright side, he didn’t jump up on my back.

I’m not sure my plank could have handled an additional 15 pound cat coming along for the ride.

The Horror’s.

Screen cap taken Mon 02 Dec 19 2125 CT.

You don’t know how much it pained me to abuse the apostrophe in the title of this blog post. If you’re unaware of what I’m talking about, this blog post is for you.

First of all, in common parlance the title should read “the horror”. Because I was trying to make a point, I pluralized “horror” to “horror’s” which should have been “horrors”. The horror doesn’t own anything. In this instance the apostrophe is trying to show possession. The horror doesn’t possess anything.

Apostrophes are used to show what the word has (possessive use) or what the word is missing (a contraction). Apostrophes are _never_ used to denote plural. Ever.

I recently read something at work where a distant co-worker basically referred to “The Jone’s”. Luckily, I work remotely, hundreds of miles from my closest co-worker, but there’s a chance they could still hear my screams.

First of all, we never use an apostrophe for the plural. Secondly, the last name in question was not “Jone”, it was “Jones”. If a house belonged to the Jones, it would be “the Jones’ house”, or possibly, “the Jones’s house” (though that makes me cringe a bit). If we are talking about the folks in the family, we’d be talking about the Joneses. Because when we want to use the plural form of a word ending in “s”, we add an “es”. Not an apostrophe, and we certainly don’t change the spelling of a name to something it’s not just to wedge an apostrophe into inappropriate places.

While I’m on a rant, use the loops of your pants to keep your trousers up because you’re losing weight and subsequently your pants have a looser fit. That’s because you didn’t eat two desserts in the desert after you deserted the rest of the group. And honestly, I couldN’T care less how much weight you’ve gained or lost. If I could care less I probably would.

Please take notes.

I mention all of this because today I read a story about “The Apostrophe Protection Society” closing up shop, basically because the efforts of the society have become a lost cause. The founder of “The Apostrophe Protection Society”, John Richards, age 96, has decided to abandon the effort, citing society has become too stupid and lazy to use apostrophes properly.

I feel his pain.