Ponderings and Musings

Snow.

When we first moved to Chicago, we were repeatedly warned about the winters here. They’re cold. There’s snow. They’re long.

Score one for Global Warming.

We are in the midst of our second winter in the Windy City and it’s not nearly as bad as what we experienced back in the Lake Ontario Snowbelt of Upstate New York. And honestly, I’m grateful.

It’s snowing today. It’s probably the first “substantial” snowfall we’ve had this season, but it’s really not a big deal. One of the things that I love about Chicago is that things haven’t really slowed down during the few snowfalls we’ve had. The CTA is still moving, traffic is still moving on the streets, folks are shoveling sidewalks, and no one is raiding Jewels (grocery store) for bread and milk.

I’m finding that folks are sensible about snow here, and that’s a great thing. Earl and I used the weather as an excuse not to eat at home tonight. We met up with Jamie and Chris and ate at a place called Wabi Sabi.

It was wonderful.

Fork.

Earl and I went out for dinner this evening. We went to a nearby Lou Malnati’s. This fork sitting on the window sill caught my attention. I got to wondering as to how long it had been sitting there. Minutes? Hours? Days? Why would someone put this fork on the window sill? Why did the folks cleaning up the dining room not notice it? Is it a symbol to a pedestrian hanging out on the street? Is it a secret phone? Should I speak to it?

So many things to ponder.

Cat.

This is one of my two niece cats. My mother calls her “Sissy”, according to my sister and my nephew, her official name is “Skippy June Jones”. She’s a bit of a hellraiser. I met her for the first time last month and quite honestly, some days we just need a cute cat photo, right?

I mean, I could write about the state of the country but I think I’m better off with a cat photo tonight. So please, enjoy this photo of Sissy with me.

Connecting.

So I had a thought regarding today’s technology and what “real” communication is. I was thinking, when the telephone and telegraph were coming to fruition back in the 1800-whatever, did a segment of society have some sort of hissy fit about it? Were there people saying, “If Mrs. Alabaster was really my friend, she’d taken the time to come out here and drop a card instead of calling me on this new doo-dad.”

Perhaps this is the way I should be looking at our new communication tools like Facebook and Twitter today.

Now, I know that Facebook and Twitter and every other communication network we have today monitors what’s said, who we’re saying it to, when we’re saying it, and where it’s being said. Technology has advanced in, my opinion, an unfortunate direction in this area, however, how different is this than the operators listening in on every long-distance phone call back in the day? Of course, the operators weren’t making money but I’m sure they were sharing your data in the form of gossip, especially if you lived in a small town.

Let’s face it, the majority of people you want to communicate with are probably on Facebook, Twitter, and/or one of the other popular social media platforms. Instead of burning down the house, maybe we should fight to make these platforms as safe and productive as possible.

By striving to make these platforms a more secure, friendly, and truthful experience for all, perhaps we can all really make the world a better connected place.

Mantelligence.

I Googled the various ways one can order a martini and I was led to a website called “Mantelligence”. The title of the article in question was, “How to order a martini like a man”.

I found the article very helpful. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I’m suppose to appreciate the information that was shared or horrified because of the gender bias in the name of the website and subsequent article.

The Age of Outrage is so very confusing.

Honestly, I’m happy I found the article and I look forward to reading more of this website at my next opportunity.

I guess I left my clutching pearls at home.

Seriously.

When did I become so serious? I read my blog entries from 10 years ago and back then I wrote like the gay, male Erma Bombeck. Hell, if I thought it would get a laugh I’d throw on a wig and a dress and start in with a Dayton, Ohio accent. I’d sound like Emma Thompson on “Ellen”.

But Earl and I are sitting here watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (we’re still on season one, so no spoilers) and the fact of the matter is, I’ve become dreadfully serious. And in becoming dreadfully serious I’ve become withdrawn. Granted, I was rated an INFJ not too long ago, I do like my time alone to recharge, but I’ve always been able to fake something beginning with an “E”, at least for a little while. I go out, chat up a storm like I’m some sort of comedian, and then I get home and spend some time alone looking at porn on the computer in the middle of the night, because after all, that’s why the smart ones made the Internet, for porn.

Looking through my old blog entries I realize that my hilarity (that’s quite an air of grandiosity I have there) stated to fade a bit when George W. Bush was President. After 9/11, I felt like I should be more invested in the state of the country, hell the whole world, so I started paying attention to what was going on in the news and I got all serious about it. Then someone told me I wasn’t militant enough as a gay man. I should stop eating Chick-Fil-A and I should become indignant when someone does something I probably haven’t even noticed, but everyone else in “the community” clutches their pearls and makes a gasping noise. I know, we’re suppose to do things for each other as members of the LGBTQQI (did I get it all?) community, but the fact of the matter is, I’m a really bad gay man. Getting back to the porn thing, I don’t like things in my pooper, I don’t really like playing with other poopers, and I don’t really feel any sort of thrill watching two guys play with poopers. I think Barbra Streisand seems talented but her songs don’t really take my breath away, the only thing I feel is a sinus headache when Mariah Carey makes that whistling sound, and I sure as shit can’t stand it when Christina Aguilera is trilling and yodeling the word “yeah” all over a simple melody that my 8th grade chorus could sing back in 1982.

I like the cows and I like waffle fries and I like Polynesian sauce and I’m seriously not going to feel guilty if I indulge in these things once in a while.

Things really changed when my Dad died. This is the part of the blog entry where it gets heavy. After that happened I felt like it was time for me to grow up and be more responsible, invest in the world in around me, and do what I can to take care of my family. And that’s what I’ve been doing since 2011, doing my best to be serious about taking care of my family. I take care of my husband, and I take care of our “Cub”, and now I do my best to take care of our Cub’s fiancé. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, but I don’t know that I have to lose my sense of humor to do this.

The other thing that’s really taken the wind out of my funny bone is the election of this stupid, ignorant, piece of trash of a human being currently in the Oval Office. Seeing who supports such a horrible person, regardless of what he does, has quite frankly scared me. I’ve always known that there are stupid people in the world, it’s just that I didn’t know there were so many of them and that so many of them were so close to my inner circle. Trumpians like to say that we’re angry that “we lost”. First of all, I’m not as leftist on some things as one would think. Second of all, I don’t believe the country should be made up of teams. Thirdly, the last I knew we were calling ourselves “The United States of America” but there’s hardly anything ‘united’ about us anymore. And it’s these realizations that make me feel very serious. But how am I changing the world by losing my sense of humor?

The truth is, I’m not.

This afternoon when Flaming Cheeto appeared at a Press Briefing, surrounded by bald men, proclaiming the grave situation about the southern border, I couldn’t help but laugh.

I made several snarky comments on Twitter about how I wasn’t going to shave my head anymore because I didn’t want to be perceived as one of “those guys”. I also commented how the one on Trump’s right looked quite sad because he was upset that the others had shaved his head right before he went out into the Press Room. I mocked Lord Orange Whippy Whip over his unbelievably shitty tan and honestly, I screeched at CNN for giving this guy even two minutes of air time so he could broadcast another publicity stunt obviously designed to steal thunder from Nancy Pelosi returning to House Majority Speaker and the swearing in of an incredibly diverse House of Representatives.

You know what’s funny? That people actually take this Day-Glo Flea Dipped Asshole seriously. You know what’s not funny, and quite frankly, incredibly horrifying?

That people still take this Day-Glo Flea Dipped Asshole seriously.

I’m sad that I can’t ask my Dad what he thinks about today’s Republican Party. My dad and I talked about politics once, and that’s when he told me I should register as a Republican so I could get somewhere in business in Upstate New York. (I was planning to register as an Independent). He ran his hand across the “R” levers in the voting booth without hesitation. But in my heart of hearts I can’t believe that my father support would support what the GOP has become today. Maybe it’s wishful thinking of a 50-year old kid at heart reminiscing about his dead dad.

Wow, so somber again.

I guess I find it hard to laugh when I’m worried about the state of the country. There’s a funny grandma in Alamance County in North Carolina who doesn’t cuss in public like I do. Her name is Jeanne Robertson and she tells everyone at every one of her speeches, “find the humor in every situation”.

I need to do more of that again. Long live the name Day-Glo, Flea Dipped Asshole.

Determination.

Over the past two weeks I have replaced 82 lights on the strings tied and/or fastened to our Mickey Christmas Tree. A few moments ago everything lit back up like it was suppose to and it is wonderful.

This was our Christmas Tree in 2015 when we spent the holiday at Walt Disney World. I loved that version of our holiday and I love this tree.

I’m happy a little determination resulted in a fully lit up tree again.

Chaos.

It’s New Year’s Eve Eve and honestly, I’m looking forward to what 2019 brings. My biggest wish is the New Year will bring some sanity back to our country because honestly, this constant chaos coming out of Washington, D.C. is exhausting. Kids are dying in detention centers along the border, Flint, Mich. still doesn’t have drinkable water, the stock market has turned into some demented yo-yo (watching one’s retirement fall apart is particularly fun), and loon’s are still running around trying to rationalize and explain the babbling of a man who’s unfit to be labeled a human being let alone in charge of something like the United States. This chaos is exhausting, but if you’re not paying attention to the chaos then it feels like you’re being immoral or something.

Something has got to give.

A while back I watched some episodes of the old television series “Maude” on YouTube. The episodes have since been removed because someone’s pocket wasn’t making enough spare change, but one episode in particular sticks out. It was a New Year’s Eve party episode and no one wants to celebrate because the country was in such a turmoil and the following year wasn’t looking any brighter. I want to say it was the 1973-1974 New Year highlighted in this episode. Nixon was a crook, gas was scarce, the economy was going down the toilet, and everyone had to drive 55. People were cranky then just like people are cranky now.

I want to be an optimist and think that 2019 is going to bring much better things to our country, but part of me fears it will be same-old, same-old. I keep thinking this can’t go on forever, but it feels like every week is another year gone by and there’s another round of idiocy and associated outrage.

Write something good in the comments to this post and let’s celebrate New Year’s together. I’ll start.

Happy.

So on Christmas Day we maintained a tradition we started a couple of years ago; we played the “Happy Yule log” non-stop, all day long, on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. The music, coupled with the images of the fire and a very content dog and cat made our holiday just a little bit more special. This year the dog and cat, whom are both named “Happy”, were joined by puppies, kittens, ducklings, and a pig.

The holidays are always better when friends are invited over.

I got to wondering about the two stars of this video so I did some Internet research. Happy the Dog was rescued from the streets of Los Angeles a few years ago. Happy the Cat came from a shelter in Ohio; he’d lived at the shelter for two years. I believe both live with the CEO of the Hallmark channels.

As I was doing some research on these two happy furry friends, I was surprised by the small number of comments folks made, basically complaining about the Yule log video that played all day long. They paid their cable bill for movies and they wanted their money’s worth!

Wow, people are selfish.

I’m happy that both Happy the Cat and Happy the Dog are around to share some festive love with their audience. I look forward to seeing them next year.

22.

Earl and I have been married 22 years. That’s like Allen Ludden and Betty White years. When asked why she didn’t marry again, Betty White responded “when you’ve had the best why settle for anything else?”

I totally get that.

22 years ago tonight I married my best friend. That’s the way to do it, folks.