Please don’t read this


I can’t sleep.  I’m angry.  About politics.  And when I’m angry about politics and can’t sleep and decide to write about it, I really don’t want you to read it.  Because you will learn things about me that I don’t want you to know.  So please don’t read this.  I just need to rant for a bit and I’m going to say some blatantly rude things, probably swear a lot, and definitely disappoint some of you.

Are you gone?  Good.

Before I say anything, let me illuminate you to an aspect of my character that you may not know.  I am a pessimist and, in general, a misanthrope.  I really and truly hate people.  A person is great.  A person I can talk to, discuss things logically, agree to disagree, or even agree to agree.  A person I can tailor my subject to or adjust my language for.  A person is a human being I can connect with and recognize as a fellow person.

People are noise and madness and stupidity.  They are simple ideas shouted out until nothing else can be heard.  People are inane catchphrases used to infantilize complex social problems.  People are Us and Them, not Me and You.  People are faggots and bitches and niggers and crackers and wetbacks and wops and micks and pinkos and ragheads and retards and squaws and rednecks and kikes.  Did I forget anyone?

But we don’t use those words anymore.  It’s not politically correct.

Let’s dissect that phrase.  Correct means right, yes?  And Political comes from the Latin politicus, which means “civil, of the state, relating to civil polity” according to wiktionary.org.  It just means being polite to everyone.

NO IT MEANS YOU ARE MUZZLING ME AND INFRINGING ON MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

The connotation of political correctness has come to mean not saying anything that might offend people who might be important enough that their vote makes a difference to you.  It means that politicians don’t say anything without talking to a board of advisors first.  They don’t make any statements or take any stances on anything without first doing half a dozen polls and town hall meetings and waiting until essentially everyone else on the planet has already said it first.

This muzzling of politicians is not political correctness.  This is actually a phenomenon called sucking up to the people who might get you your six figure paycheck for the rest of your life.  Politicians can’t say anything because whatever they say, however obscure or offhand or even in jest, will be scrutinized ten ways to Sunday by the media, social and otherwise.  There will be video sound bytes of that person contradicting themselves twenty years ago.  There will be mountains of proof that they are actually untrustworthy hypocrites.  The Obamas were criticized for having fried chicken on vacation because the First Lady had been the champion for healthier lifestyles for American children for the past eight years.  And having fried chicken on vacation made her FULL OF SHIT.  This level of scrutiny is NON-STOP.  All day, everyday, there are cameras and microphones in their faces.  There are people who spend their entire day following the social media accounts of people they despise in the hopes of finding ANYTHING to call them out on.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert made highly successful careers out of mocking the people who spend their entire days scrutinizing the tiniest actions of politicians by doing the exact same thing but as a joke.

It is kind of funny how people are so tired of “political correctness” when we are the ones who propagate it.  The politicians only do it because it works.

Surprisingly, though, people are sick of being lied to.  Which, in case you were wondering, is NOT polite and therefore not correct.  This attitude is so obvious among the common man that even politicians picked up on it, which is frankly a miracle.

The answer is (apparently) OUTSIDERS who aren’t politically correct.  (A political outsider is someone who hasn’t been corrupted by the system and yet still knows how government works.  An outsider in this reference is merely someone without any experience in the job field they are seeking to find employment.)  And strangely, the so-called “outsiders” aren’t outside anything except their depth.  They are still independently wealthy elites who have no actual concept of what life for a normal person entails.  On the plus side, being independently wealthy means that they aren’t beholden to shareholders, so to speak.  They don’t have to make deals with corporations and lobbyists to raise the monumental funds required to apply for a job that should be the one career option available to anyone in this country, according to our kindergarten teachers.  Funny thing is, that amount of wealth is also referred to as “fuck you” money, because it means you are beholden to no one.  Yes, even the voters.  What I’m trying to say is TRUMP DOESN’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT YOU.  None of them do.  You are a means to an end and not even that.  At the end of the day, your vote doesn’t count for shit.  If you’re lucky, the people who make the vote for you in the Electoral College will pick the same person you did.  Or we’ll have another miraculous incident where the popular vote doesn’t match the vote that counts and oh well, isn’t that weird?

Every fucking election cycle it’s like this.  People get really fucking hyped about their candidate.  They post memes on social media that glorify their guy or demonize the other guy.  They cover their cars with bumper stickers to show their support.  They argue about how their guy is going to save this country and the other guy is the Antichrist.  And they wear their “I voted” stickers with pride as if it makes a difference.  It’s depressing.  The worst part is, this is the biggest scam in the entire political system.  They convince us that our voice matters.

I’d like to point out that the “most powerful man in the world job” that all these suits are trying for is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Congratulations, you’re the president of the richest nation in the world.  You made a lot of promises to get here and you’re going to spend the next two years arguing fruitlessly with the House and the Senate for all those changes you wanted to happen before giving that up because it is already time for you to start campaigning for reelection.  Oh, you’ve been reelected!  Congratulations!  You still can’t do shit because a few hundred people who have been running this government for most of your life don’t like you.  That’s the real joke.  It doesn’t matter who sits in that chair.  Our forefathers didn’t want dictators so they balanced one person against 535 people on one side and 9 judges on the other.  Sanders wants to give us free college and healthcare.  Yeah, not gonna happen.  Trump wants to bomb the Middle East to embers.  Good luck.  I don’t know what the other candidates want or say they want.  But I’ll say it again, just for clarity.  IT DOESN’T MATTER.  Hillary probably just wants us to like her.  And we won’t because she stayed with her philandering husband and she reminds us of our nagging wives and there’s something wrong with her emails.  And Ted Cruz is Canadian.  CANADIAN.

Sorry, I got off topic.  We were talking about political correctness.  The highest praise for Trump appears to be that he isn’t politically correct, which is absolutely true.  It is also why this aspect of his personality is the most highly maligned by his critics.  You see, when you make bigoted remarks, which are any phrases that insult an entire section of the human race based solely on one factor, such as your race, gender, cultural background, or nation of origin, you are not being politically correct.  You are being a bigot.  And what is scary as that the praise for such statements, for his honesty, is based on the phrase “he’s saying what I’ve been thinking but have been too oppressed to say.”  His supporters aren’t blind to his bigotry.  They share it on some level or another.  And I don’t mean to say that they are all evil or anything.  They see a complex problem and give it a simple solution.  Illegal immigration?  Build a wall.  Terrorist attacks.  Ban Muslims.  It’s all so simple, but no one wants to say it for fear of offending people.

Remember that phenomenon where politicians say what the voters want to hear in order to get elected?  And how that has come to mean being politically correct?  Trump is actually more politically correct than every other politician in the race, by that definition.  He’s saying exactly what the people want to hear.  Just watch him pander to the Evangelists by misreading the Bible.  It’s embarrassing, but he need their votes.  And yes, half the nation is appalled by what he says.  But those aren’t the people at his rallies.  And when you’re in a crowd of 10,000 people then you are no longer a person.  You are People.  The answers are simple.  The enemy is clear.  The heroes wear capes.  And you don’t have to see the PERSON anymore.  And it can’t be wrong if all these people are with you.

Oh, but at least he’s honest, right?  He doesn’t hide who he really is.

And that’s it, is it?  That’s all we need from a man that’s going to represent our country to the world?  And if who he really was turned out to be a transvestite, would you still praise him?  He’s not, but what exactly are you praising here?  That he doesn’t feel any shame over racist or sexist remarks?  No shame.  No remorse.  Nothing.  That’s just who he is.  Oh, so he’s that embarrassing uncle who’s always telling the lynching jokes and thinks women are asking for it.  Or that buddy who thinks that since you deployed to Iraq, that you might like his latest towelhead conspiracy.

And doesn’t honest mean more than just blurting out the first thing that pops into your head?  Doesn’t it include admitting your mistakes?

Do you understand that there’s a difference between refraining from saying things because their unpopular and refraining from saying things because their FUCKING OFFENSIVE?  Why is it offensive?  Usually because it is a gross generalization that isn’t true.

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.  For instance.

My rebuttal: EVERY MASS SHOOTING IN THIS COUNTRY FOR THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, with maybe two or three exceptions.  The IRA.  Neo-Nazis.  And, if you ask any devout Muslim, anyone who uses the Quran to justify terrorism.  (I do not want to hear about the violence inherent in the Quran unless you want to hear about the entirety of Leviticus.)

Mexicans are rapists and thieves.  White people are entitled and racist.  Women are too emotional to be in positions of authority.  Gays are going to hell.  Hipsters are just yuppies with beards.  Southerners are all Bible-thumping lunatics.  People on welfare are lazy.  People with mental illnesses are weak.  Politicians lie.  Bikers are thugs.  Foreigners hate us because they’re jealous.

Not all men are rapists, but all rapists are men.  FALSE.

Not all bigots are Trump supporters, but all Trump supporters are bigots.  FALSE.

Not all dogs are pets, but all pets are dogs.  FALSE.

See?  I can do false equivalencies, too.

I’ve also heard it said that Trump has strong leadership characteristics.  He could be a benevolent dictator.

From what I’ve seen, leadership is not a skill required of any candidates.  And what people call leadership, the brash, forceful attitude that says, “I’m in charge, do what I say,” is exactly the kind of behavior that abusive relationships are built upon.

Why do women date assholes?  Well, they confuse the blustering behavior with self-confidence.  And the problem with blustering is that it is covering a fragile ego that needs to abuse others to maintain its superiority.

We have a man who debases instead of debates.  He insults rather than answering criticism.  He calls people names and refuses to play by the rules and complains that it’s not fair because they cheated.  He blames others for his failings.  Someone else wrote that tweet.  They stole the vote from me.  The moderator was mean to me.  The critics are all stupid.  They’re all liars and just jealous.  This is not leadership.  This is the guy you date because he tells you no one else will have you.  And when your friends say to leave him, he says they’re all whores and cows and fat pigs.  And when he beats you, he says it’s your fault because you made him angry.

Army Analogy:  I was taught many acronyms, but this one is true.  LDRSHIP.

  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Respect
  • Selfless Service
  • Honor
  • Integrity
  • Personal Courage
When you talk about leadership qualities, that is what you should mean.  Leadership isn’t yelling the loudest.  It isn’t belittling those beneath you.  It isn’t making promises you know you can’t keep.  It isn’t sitting there in your thousand dollar suit and telling me I was lucky I wasn’t raped in the military because that’s simply what happens when men and women work together.  It isn’t being my friend until I turn my back.  It isn’t talking about strong Christian values right before you tell the poor and hungry to look somewhere else for handouts.
There is no fixing this mess, the broken system, the corrupt politics, the infighting and bickering and complete inability to work.  No amount of money or bombs or glossy photographs will fix this.  Your reality TV circus, with the debates and the mudslinging and all the bullshit, won’t mean anything this time next year.
What do I want?  I want corporations to be corporations, not people.  I want the billions wasted in campaigning every year to go toward bettering our school systems and health systems.  I want people with mental illnesses to be treated, not marginalized.  I want a system that works instead of a mill for bureaucracy and greed.  I want power without corruption.  I want political correctness to mean being respectful instead of being muzzled.  I want people to be treated like PERSONS.
It bothers me a great deal that there are people out there who can look a person in the eye and decide they aren’t a person.  That they are a monster or an animal or an object.
I want the anger and the helplessness to go away.  I want to be rich like they are so I can stop worrying everyday.  That’s what they don’t have.  Nagging anxiety and self doubt.  At the end of the day, a pricey car repair or an ER visit won’t deplete their savings.  A surprise pregnancy won’t derail plans for higher education or a nicer house or a better job.  Despite all the money that goes into campaigning, none of them are going bankrupt because it’s not like they’re spending their own money.  If they fail to get the nomination, they’ll still be rich.  In fact, for some of them, all the attention they get now will only make them richer.  How exactly do they understand about making a living out of $7.50/hr when they can waste billions to not get a job?
All this is why I don’t vote.  So, by someone’s logic, I shouldn’t complain since I don’t do anything to change the system.  By participating in the system.  Which is rigged so that nothing I do can change the system unless it is a change the system already wants to make.
The problem with this subject for me is that there is no catharsis in discussing it.  Sometimes, writing it out makes me feel better.  But politics, the whole messy subject, just makes me feel defeated and angry.  It’s an awful cycle.  And I can’t seem to claw my way out of it.  It’s 4:30, I’ve written 2600 words, and I’m still not sleepy.

 

 

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15AM00000052011 · 05:06

Humorous Tidbits


You’ve seen that meme with Boromir.

Boromeme

From now on, this is called a Boromeme.

Also, any time I see Potters Rd, I’ll say it like Draco Malfoy.

I’ve been considering getting a tattoo recently.  Nothing big or anything.  Just a little something on my back that I won’t have to look at when it stops being pretty.  The downside of this plan is that I know how addicting tattoos can be.  I have many friends and family members who got one little tat and ended up going back for more repeatedly.  I started joking about going so far as to get sleeves and Samoan trousers and all other sorts of nonsense.  When you live on a Pacific island like Hawaii for a while, you’ll get introduced to the rich and beautiful Polynesian culture, which includes the intricate tattoos worn by the different tribes.  Go to a luau and many of the male dancers will be covered head to foot in traditional tats.  I decided to call the leg tats Samoan trousers the other day, because I usually saw them on the Samoans at church and I had just been talking about tattoo “sleeves.”

Important note:  If you call them Samoan trousers, you are an ignorant white devil and should not be getting them permanently inked into your pasty, soulless skin.

I think that’s all I have for humor right now.  I didn’t do anything today except sleep in, have coffee with a friend, begin another purse, and take a nap.  Also, I shared a Chocolate Chocolate Chip mini Bundt cake with Buddy after dinner.  Kind of makes me wish I had an excuse for wasting this day, especially after having such a long talk with everyone about healthy eating and exercise yesterday.  Starting again tomorrow.

 

 

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Tuesday


Today was a better day.

My brother-in-law recovered his missing cat, which was quite a birthday present.  It was a beautiful day.  I did a Body Combat workout this afternoon.  I taught three people how to crochet.  I talked to my mom for a looooong time.  Lots of good things.

Mom and I talked about the whole “getting in shape” thing.  And I told her probably the same things I’ve told her a million times before, some of the same things I mentioned yesterday.  When you have a lifetime of bad habits to correct, you have to make an entire life change.  I also got some clarification on her “numbers don’t matter” post.  She wasn’t just talking about the numbers on the scale.  She was talking about all the numbers.  The calorie counts and the minutes on the elliptical and the reps on the weight machines.  She wanted to do the things that felt right to her.

I say AMEN to that.  Sort of.

The numbers still don’t matter.  There are two general types of people in the “getting healthier” arena.  There are the numbers people and the freelance people.  Numbers people love to focus on the numbers.  They are highly analytical and keep notes on everything they eat and every exercise they do.  That is one way to do it.  Freelancers hate numbers.  They only seem to discourage because they never seem to equal the amount of work being done.  Counting calories makes them feel dumb.

The method that works with freelancers is more artistic than analytical.  It’s about perception.  They do what they do because it feels right.  It makes them feel better, accomplished, energized, etc.  The numbers don’t come into it because there is almost no direct correlation between numbers and results for them.  The numbers are arbitrary, but the boost in stamina and the excuse to shop for smaller clothes shows them all the progress they need.

And this is where the “sort of” comes in.  A person spends their entire life doing what feels right to them.  They eat food that they think is healthy.  They aren’t glued to the couch all the time.  They don’t think of themselves as having an unhealthy lifestyle.  But at after a while, they cannot deny that they are unhealthy.  Either a doctor or a friend or family or their own reflection says this isn’t working.  What feels right isn’t good for them.  The trick then isn’t to point to a bunch of arbitrary numbers and say BECOME NUMBER SLAVE.  The trick is to change the perception of “right.”

I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating.  The brain is a powerful tool and you can use it to trick your body into being healthier.  Forget everything you know about eating healthy because the healthy you grew up with simply isn’t.  See a nutritionist and learn what foods are good for you and why.  The benefits of foods vary based on lifestyle.  If everyone ate like Olympic athletes without the benefit of Olympic athlete workouts, everyone would be morbidly obese.  Yet no one can call them unhealthy.  If you are on the low end for physical activity, then your body isn’t using the carbs you’re eating and simply turns them into fat to be used later.  Your body doesn’t know that you aren’t going to be starving over winter due to lack of game and grain.  All it knows is that it’s getting stuff it isn’t using now but could use in an emergency.  Fat is the lifeboat of the body.  The body saw Titanic and clings to the lifeboats just in case of icebergs.

So perception.  Freelancers want to do stuff because it feels right.  When Freelancers want to get healthy, they have to change what right means.  Right means craving almonds instead of potato chips, putting spinach in everything, and finding new ways to make chicken breast taste like anything else.  Right means being about to brag about your workout instead of feeling guilty that you skipped it.

F*ck counting calories.  I am aware that some things are bad for me because they have a lot of calories.  So instead of calculating how many lattes I can have before I need to add a mile onto my walk, I rarely drink them.  Same thing with donuts and chocolate and popcorn and potatoes and pasta and all the other foods that through research I have found to be bad for my lifestyle.  I don’t care how many calories I burned on my workout or what the scale says.  No machine can accurately calculate the former and the latter has more to do with where I am in the month than anything else.

Army Analogy:  When I joined the Army, I weighed in at 108 lbs.  Was I healthy?  NO.  I was underweight and fat, and no that isn’t a contradiction.  When I left Basic Training, I weighed 120 lbs.  Was I fat?  NO.  I was fit for the first time in my life.  Throughout my 20s, the less I weighed, the less healthy I was because I was losing muscle and gaining fat (the latter weighs less than the former).  Entering my 30s, my body is starting to change gears, because that’s what bodies do.  It makes me glad that I started eating healthier five years ago.  I don’t have as much adjusting to do in that department.  Exercise is a whole other problem, but I’m working through it.  That bragging thing is paramount to my success, actually.

So Freelancers, use you’re artistic side to make your lifestyle change.  Leave the numbers to other people.  Just keep these things in mind:

  • Portion control: Small plates help you control how much you’re eating.  Healthy food is only healthy in the correct quantities.  Don’t go back for seconds.  EVER.
  • Ignoring numbers isn’t the same as being unaware of them.  Know what things to avoid entirely, like high sugar/salt content, complex carbs, starches, and animal fats.  It’s often a lot easier to avoid bad foods altogether than try to figure out how much is allowable in your diet.
  • Just because we aren’t counting doesn’t mean we don’t keep track.  You don’t have to detail every ounce of peas or every sit up, but making a note of what you ate (and how you felt afterwards) and when you worked out can be helpful and encouraging.
  • Keep things interesting.  Yes, chicken breast is a permanent fixture on your menu, but it doesn’t have to be boring.  Get NO SODIUM spice mixes, like Italian herbs, Chinese 5-spice, Cajun spice, and curry powder.  Explore the wide range of microwave steamed veggies (just avoid anything with sauces).  Buddy and I hit the broccoli section pretty hard.  Veggies are GOOD for you.  And no, potatoes are not veggies.
  • Have a Buddy.  This person is not your babysitter.  This person is also working toward health goals.  This person will share with you all the failings of her week and then listen to yours without judgment.  This person will cajole and complain during the Zumba class that neither of you really wanted to go to, but thought might be fun to give a chance.  This person will be accountable to you and you to her.  This person may have to be imaginary.

Freelancers, you will do the right thing not because the numbers say it is right, but because you have decided that it is right.

 

There, I think I’m done soapboxing for tonight.  I’d like to thank my Mom for listening to my BS tonight since talking to her helped me clarify some thoughts I’ve been having on this subject.  For those of you who think you have it bad, I want you to know that my Mom is doing everything you are on an artificial hip.  That’s struggle.  As always, Mom, you are my inspiration in so much of my life.

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Oops


We had our 4.1 Anniversary this weekend (anniversary of our court wedding).  And thanks to the 2 $25 Olive Garden gift cards we got from our parents for Christmas, we only shelled out $15 for a full lunch at Yardhouse.  You should have seen the happy dance we did when we saw Yardhouse on the list of restaurants those cards work for.  It was pretty epic.  Nothing against Olive Garden, which is a fine place to get reliable Italian food.  It’s just some places are expensive enough that gift cards are much appreciated.

Anyway, here is my honest review of Yardhouse.  I do not like eating there.  It is noisy and dark and they seem to be understaffed because the service is always slow.  The staff is incredibly friendly, though.  They always get gold stars for enthusiasm and flirty attitudes.  And it is pricey.  We gave a generous tip, but even so it was a $50 meal for two people and Buddy didn’t even get a beer, which is kind of a big deal there because it is a microbrewery named after their signature “Yard of Beer.”  So why were we so excited to eat here?  This is why:

That’s crab, lobster, artichoke dip, three different kinds of tacos, and a lamb burger.  The food is AMAZING.  I forgive many things for good food.  This is why I have a love/hate relationship with this restaurant.  Hate eating there, love the eating.  But, if you have a group of people who love trying good beer and don’t really want to yell at each other over the TVs and the raucous sports fans, it’s the place to be.  Also, if you just love food and don’t like talking to people.

Now normally if we get an appetizer we split an entrée.  This is common sense for a couple of reasons.  Portion sizes for normal meals are huge in this country, far bigger than healthy portions.  While I love eating until I throw up as much as the next American, it’s just not a good idea.  It’s also a good way to feel like we’re getting a full meal without breaking the bank.  Appetizer to snack on and then managing to eat the entire dinner instead of leaving half of it on the plate.  That was not our strategy Saturday because we had gift cards and we went on a walk that morning, which was great for building an appetite.  We managed to clean our plates quite well.

After lunch, we walked around a mall to aid in digestion before making the drive home.  There was a brief stop for Anniversary cupcakes:

Ethereal Cupcakes

We didn’t eat those until dinner time, when we were finally hungry again.  For the rest of our special day, we watched TV and I made a purse.  Then before we went to bed Buddy did his usual tally of receipts to make sure they matched up with what the online accounts said.  Which is when the evening turned.

Someone had withdrawn $483 from our checking account from an ATM just over a block from where we got cupcakes.  So we called the bank.  We thought maybe someone had swiped Buddy’s number when we got cupcakes, but it turned out someone had a copy of my card and had walked right up to the machine and used my PIN (first try) to access our accounts.  I’m hoping that someone just used a skimmer to get my info because the only other explanation is that someone I know has the tech to copy my card and found out my PIN somehow.  The bank actually asked if we shared that info with anyone.  Um.  No.  Not ever.  That’s my Personal Identification Number.  As in mine, no one else’s and an actual secret to everyone else, including my husband.

That really soured the evening.  I slept badly, too, because I was incensed.  Sunday, Buddy went to a beer tasting and I stayed home because I was cut off from my funds (unless I wanted to use the checkbook, yuck).  I (mostly) finished the purse I was working on.  And I broke my chocolate ration.  By a lot.  I ate 6 squares of a Ghirardelli salted caramel dark chocolate bar.  Which is 6 times my limit.  That’s the Oops.  That and the fact that I didn’t do a workout today.  My excuse is that I didn’t want to wake up this morning and I didn’t feel like it when I got home from work (feet sore and laziness).

The other day, my mom posted an Oops as well.  Previously, she had had a revelation about fitness.  It isn’t about numbers at all.  It’s about improving how you feel.  I was incredibly pleased about this.  Losing weight for her has been a long struggle and that kind of mindset can really help.  Then she posted an Oops where she gained 4 lbs and felt awful physically and it sounded like she was giving up on her revelation.  This is a bummer, but mostly because she’s still associating numbers with failure again.  The numbers don’t matter.  There are so many other factors to take into account.  The numbers are just another factor.  The goal should never be numbers because they aren’t enough.  If they were, then bulimia and anorexia would be medically sound ways to lose weight.  The goal is being able to keep up with the grandkids and feeling energized and living a long life.  And to get there, you have to change.  Not just your activity level but your diet and your mind.  You have to make these changes, not because you hate your reflection but because you love yourself.  Because you are a temple for God.

You also have to accept that mistakes happen.  Every day, every hour, all the time.  We are incredibly flawed and making big changes is incredibly difficult, especially if we are changing habits that have been in place for decades.  Those are habits of thinking as well as acting.  If you spent your whole life telling yourself that you’re fat and useless, you’re not just going to turn around and be all “positive affirmations” all the time.  So instead of focusing on the mistakes and the guilt, find a way to drop them completely.

Here’s my Army analogy.  When we were learning to shoot at the range, we were taught the “Sh*t, F*ck, D*mn” strategy.  You have two minutes to shoot 20 pop-up targets and the ONLY way you’re going to get a good score is if you remain calm and focus on the fundamentals they taught you.  When you miss a target, you go “oh, darn” and move to the next one.  Otherwise, you’ll get frustrated and miss more targets.  And you treat every target the same way, whether it is an easy 50m or the dreaded 300m.  It pops up, breath in, breath out, squeeze (the trigger).  Doesn’t matter if you hit it because there’s the next one.  Breath in, breath out, squeeze.  Did you miss the “Fast Freddie” (50m target that pops up for a second)?  Oh, well.  Don’t miss the next target because you’re too busy beating yourself up.

Yes, I binged a bit on chocolate and I missed a workout.  Oh, darn.  That was yesterday.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Breath in, breath out, squeeze.

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Is it Wednesday? Already?


Busy week, I guess.  I’m sure you all want to know how the resolutions are going.  The easy ones are fine.  Still sticking to 1 ounce of chocolate a day and we haven’t had donuts since last payday.  I did go out for coffee with a friend last week, but I had just been paid for babysitting so technically that was a payday.

The coffee resolution may not make sense to you in the way it was presented.  Most people give up or cut back on things because they have too much of them.  When I was drinking soda, I’d give it up for Lent to break a 4-can-a-day habit.  But coffee and I have a pretty good relationship.  I rarely have more than 1 cup a day, mostly because cream and sugar in high quantities tend not to settle well in my stomach (I have a very slight lactose intolerance).  And coffee shop coffee makes me jittery more than anything I drink at home.  My guilty pleasure of getting a Dunkin Donuts coffee never got out of hand, but I got into the habit of picking up a coffee and donut before work two or three times a week, depending on how the week was going.

And giving up donuts in that frequency is a good idea.  Donuts are bad for you.  Carbs and sugar, that’s it.  Plus more sugar.  And hopefully caramel syrup and caramel-filled chocolate bits on top.  And a cream cheese filling.  Soooo bad for you, but soooo good for the soul.

The real reason I cut back on coffee outside of my home is because I was raised to be practical.  I don’t like to waste money.  And to be clear, I mean the little money.  Those are the tiny purchases everyday that only make a difference when you add up the savings over months or years.  So when I was drinking soda, I bought 12-packs and brought a stash to work rather than spending a few cents more on a bottle of soda.  In a way, that helped me cut back when I did start weaning off soda.  There’s a mentality where you convince yourself not to buy it because you have some at home.  And by the time you get home, the craving has passed.  Or you forgot what book you wanted to buy (and didn’t because you can totally get it for cheaper on the internet).  The fact is, I was wasting money buying coffee when I have a perfectly good Keurig at home.  Plus my choice of coffee beans, ground in the coffee grinder Buddy got me for our summer anniversary.  And my Truvia packets, which I love because Truvia tastes sweeter than sugar so I don’t use as much.  And my favorite creamer which I mix with half-n-half to cut down on the sugar content there as well.  And most importantly, I have a dash of salt to add in case my coffee tastes bitter (this is not weird, salt blocks the bitter receptors on your taste buds).

So I really shouldn’t be wasting my money on coffee at Dunkin when I have optimal coffee conditions at home.  And furthermore, if I’m going to pay for coffee, it had better be fancy.  It’s going to be from an actual coffee shop, not a national chain masquerading as such.  And since that coffee tends to be pricey, loaded in calories and teeth-rotting sugar, I better make it a rare treat rather than a daily ritual.  Thus the resolution.

If I’m running late and don’t think I have time to make coffee before work, then I’m not getting coffee and I’ll just have to muddle through.  And if I get to that intersection where going straight takes me to work and going right takes me to Dunkin, I’m going straight to work.  Even if it turns out I do have time for a quick trip to the drive thru.

And I admit that this is a very boring post.  Unless you are dealing with little addiction problems and are looking for ways to ease up.  This is a pretty solid method.  It works for me with chocolate, too.  I get cravings so I always have some kind of safe (as in dark) chocolate at home.  I don’t impulse buy candy bars at the gas station.  I get expensive candy bars at fancy stores and then I hoard them for emergencies.  The only reason I had to instigate a ration this year is because I got a MOUNTAIN of fancy chocolate for Christmas and I am a weak, weak woman.

This method does not work for everyone or for every minor vice.  Chips, for instance, will disappear in one sitting.  And Buddy does not have the same hesitation to buy stuff that we have at home.  He loves lemonade ice tea (a very specific brand, which I love as well).  It’s a good substitute for soda on car trips.  On long road trips, we couldn’t always find it so when we did, I would grab a few extra bottles to last us for the rest of the day if need be.  I would drink one.  Buddy would drink the rest before the next gas stop.  Sometimes, having it on hand is worse because it takes away the inconvenience of having to go get it (an excellent deterrent).  This means that we don’t keep chips in the house and I’ve resisted buying the pitchers of lemonade ice tea I’ve seen at the grocery store.

My advice, figure out which applies to you.  If you impulse buy, keep a safe supply at home.  Safe means either a healthy alternative or small portions.  If you impulse snack, keep nothing in the house and allow cheat days.  Very rare cheat days.  No more than once a week and keep the parameters specific.  A friend of mine went on a strict diet which involved counting every calorie, but she had a cheat day once a week.  But she didn’t binge on chocolate cake and double bacon cheeseburgers.  She had rules that prevented her cheat day from becoming the day her diet was completely negated.  Make rules, write them down, and don’t feel guilty if you break them.  Say oops and move on.

The rest of my resolutions have been a bit spotty.  I did Body Combat Saturday and Monday, which was great.  I mean Saturday sucked, but Monday I not only wasn’t painfully sore like I was after my first session, I managed to tough out most of the workout.  I’m still not at full intensity, but I have another couple weeks with this version before I should need to switch to another video.  I didn’t workout yesterday because I had work and a pretty horrendous migraine, but today Buddy and I went for a 4-mile walk in our neighborhood.  It was cold, but the roads were clear.  And I didn’t hear my watch go off when we hit 30 min, so we had to up the pace on the way back.  We actually managed to beat our pace by a whole minute.  Just so we’re clear, we walk for thirty minutes and then turn around.  I mapped out the route I take and if we get to the end, it’s just over 4 miles.  Pretty simple.

I got to judge a craft competition for the local Women’s Club today.  Which involved looking at the amateur works of a bunch of nice ladies.  Most of the categories only had one entry, but I did feel a bit like a sham.  I had to choose the best among several very fine nature photographs, which was really tough.  The knitting was easier because, while every entry was very nice, one was a spectacular original design.  Over all, I got to look a bit like a professional crafter and be aware that most of those ladies could sew circles around me.  I got to call upon some of the stuff I learned in Art classes and found myself very grateful that my Mom taught me a little of everything.  At least I knew enough about everything to see fine work when it was in front of me.  And no one threw tomatoes at me for not picking their entry for a blue ribbon.  Also, free lunch.

I hope this satisfies everyone’s need to know the intricate details of my oh so exciting life.

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Update on a Saturday


Slow start today.  Buddy had a difficult time getting me up.  He woke me because he wanted to know who was chasing me.  I was having a bad dream and it was the sort I needed to finish, if that makes any sense.  By the time I did get up, it was snowing again.

I used to love snow.  When I was a kid, it meant sledding and snowmen and building slides and fortresses out of the 10-ft tall piles of snow the plows left in the City Hall parking lot.  If we were lucky, it meant a day off of school.

I didn’t live in snow for 3 1/2 years when I was stationed in Hawaii.  I usually missed the snow when I visited home, but I can’t say I ever actually missed it.  I missed the season changes.  Constant green gets monotonous after a while.  Then I got stationed in Alabama.  It got colder than I was expecting for the South and we did have a big snow once (about 3-4 inches that stuck around for a whole week).  But that was it.  I drove home through snow a couple of times.  It was a bit annoying but not a big deal.  Then we got stationed in Virginia.  Now I hate snow.

EVERY FREAKING YEAR it snows here.  Every year.  It isn’t a bad snow.  No blizzards or white outs or anything.  Maybe two or three serious snowfalls, no more than 6 inches.  And I don’t know if you’ve noticed on social media but we’re in the middle of SNOWMAGGEDON, apparently.  Now, further north in DC (a scant 3 hrs away), they’re getting 27 inches.  Here?  Same as usual.  4 inches, maybe 6 after today.  So I’m experiencing my annual “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU JUST PLOW THE FREAKING ROADS AND LEARN TO DRIVE AND YOU WON’T NEED TO STOCK UP ON MILK AND BREAD AND PEOPLE CAN KEEP GOING TO WORK SO THE GROCERY STORES AREN’T CLOSED SO PEOPLE CAN’T GET MILK AND BREAD” episode.

The roads are a mess.  Why?  Because there are snowplows sitting on the side of the road because…well I don’t actually know why.  But we did pass three or four on our way to the grocery store this afternoon.  We drove on unplowed roads.  They didn’t put down sand, let alone salt.  And since no one is driving because “Virginia drivers are crazy in normal conditions, I don’t want to risk it in the snow,” the natural melt that happens when there are lots of cars on the road on a day we get above freezing (like today), simply doesn’t happen.  Less traffic just means the snow gets packed down so that no ruts form.  Without ruts, it is really difficult to tell where you are on the road.  So the roads aren’t safe for a dozen reasons, mostly incompetence and media-fueled panic, so businesses are closing early so their employees can get home safe.  Those businesses aren’t exactly posting online that they are closing early for the day, so we made our cautious way 45 min to our local store only to see a paper sign on the door stating that they had closed an hour ago.

Well, good.  Take care of your people.  Good thinking on your part and God bless you for your consideration to your employees.

Don’t mind me over here, screaming obscenities and chucking shopping carts into the stupid snow because I need to make soup because it is cold and I MUST.  I am out of patience over here.  This is DUMB.  No, we don’t get a lot of snow here.  But we DO get it, reliably, every year.  The entire state shouldn’t shut down because of a few inches (which is anything less than 6, in case you were wondering).  Especially if you know the storm is coming a week out.  You, whoever you are, should have the snowplows ready to go before it starts.  As soon as you see precipitation, there should be salt and sand on the pavement.  Don’t sit on your freaking thumbs and cry about how it never does this so you don’t know how to respond.  You do know how to respond because half of the country deals with this every year and you can ask them what they do when a storm is coming.  I guarantee they don’t sit there staring at the mystical white stuff coming from the sky.  They plow it and get on with their lives.

And here are some tips about driving in the snow, which I understand is a tricky skill that is difficult to develop when you only see the stuff once or twice a year.  I grew up driving in this crap.  Snow and ice has been the cause of several accidents in my family.  These tips are only for snow-packed or icy roads.  If there is pavement in direct contact with your tires, stay in the ruts, keep two hands on the wheel, and TRIPLE your following distance.

  1.  Go slow.  Starting and stopping.  In fact, on icy roads, don’t stop if you can help it.  My car is awful on slick roads, so I come to a rolling stop at stop signs (whenever it is safe) and at lights, I stop well back from the light so I can inch forward until it changes.  If you lose momentum, you might get stuck.  When the light turns green, however, let your wheels roll forward naturally before you hit the gas.  Basically, just hesitate an extra second between the brake and the gas.  If you just hit the gas, you’ll skid or dig in and get stuck.  Also, cars coming the other way are going to skid through the lights because they’re afraid to brake, so definitely hesitate before you go through lights.
  2. Don’t brake if you can help it.  Let friction slow you down whenever you can.  The light turned red way up there?  Foot off the gas and coast.  If you must brake, be gentle.  Tap the brakes and release.  DO NOT slam on your brakes.  If you have to brake fast, tap and release and look for an escape route.  Do not assume that you can stop.  Assume you can’t a be prepared to leave the road to avoid hitting someone else.  Slamming on the brakes means skidding into the car in front of you and all the cars in front of them.
  3. Don’t tailgate.  In icy conditions, you want lots of space between you and everyone else on the road.  Double or Triple your following distance.  That might sound extreme to you, but how many people actually keep to the 2-second rule?  Yeah, no one.  Lots of space means no sudden stops due to other drivers.  When they stop ahead of you, you have tons of time to slow down regardless of the road conditions.
  4. Stay in the ruts.  This is the opposite to safe driving in the rain.  The ruts act a lot like train tracks, forcing your tires to follow a route of least resistance.  It makes changing lanes tricky (expect skittering from your tires), but it makes for smoother driving.  The downside is that if the road hasn’t been paved or the ruts aren’t worn down to the road, you’re basically driving on snow that is getting packed down into a fun layer of ice.  So don’t drive too quickly and keep both hands on the wheel so you can feel instantly if your tires are losing friction.
  5. Are you starting to skid?  DON’T PANIC.  Also, don’t slam on the brakes or spin the steering wheel to compensate.  If you catch it early enough and aren’t driving too fast, all you have to do is take your foot off the gas.  Then gently apply gas until you get back in control (little pulses only).  If you are going fast, do the same thing.  Foot off the gas.  The best thing is to just let it go if you can.  Professional drivers usually just spin off the track rather than try to stop the skid, which is fine if they have an airfield of space to work with.  You probably won’t.  So don’t speed, stay off the interstate, and hope you don’t spin out.  I’ll be honest, high speed spin out scares the jeepers out of me.  Best to avoid it. (Buddy, who also grew up in Snow Country, says to steer into the skid, which is the opposite of what you think you should do.  This is sound advice, if you can remember that.)
  6. What else?  Hmmm.  Keep your lights on.  Use your turn signals.  Keep cat litter in your car to help you get unstuck if need be.  Be hyper aware of the road under your tires and the people sharing your road.
Well, perhaps if we stopped thinking of ourselves as the South, then maybe we’d be prepared for reality.  Attention Virginia!  You are not the South.  You don’t serve sweet tea everywhere.  There are no gangs of old ladies mobbing yard sales at 6 in the morning.  And you get winter every year.  I have lived in the South and this ain’t it.
After lunch, we watched Enter the Dragon, which was excellent as usual.  And it inspired me to do Body Combat again, since I was finally not sore from my bout Tuesday. On Wednesday, I did a 20 min session of Beginner’s Yoga to stretch out.  I hate yoga, so that goes to show you how sore I was.  I was still moving like an old woman Thursday.  Yesterday, I was scheduled to work 5:00-close, so after babysitting, I baked bread (that I couldn’t buy because of the panic lines at the store) and sat down to work on a crochet project, prepared to leave a half an hour early to get to work on time.  Then my boss called and said we were closing early because of the storm so I needn’t come in.  Yes, it was snowing pretty heavily, but it wasn’t that bad.  I finished my project (except for tucking in the ends) and ate an extra piece of chocolate because BOO SNOW DAY.  I didn’t do as well with BC today, but I did do it.
I think Buddy was bummed that we didn’t go for a walk in the snow, but I just can’t.  I don’t have snow boots, for one.  So I could wear tennis shoes and have my pants soak up to the knee.  Or I could wear my boots that have wedge heels and are not at all made for walking.  And I just don’t like snow any more.  So I did BC and he shoveled the driveway.  And after we showered, we made a shopping list, found out that the Commissary closed at 2 (it was nearly 5 at the time) but saw no notice that our secondary grocery store was closing.  So drove there, saw it was closed, were very irritated, came home, made really awesome penne with meatballs and roasted red pepper sauce, and then watched Birdman.  It was weird.
So eff you snow.  Best stop this nonsense before I head to work tomorrow.

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Valuable Lessons


Today was a good day.  I got up in time, got to work in time, didn’t stop for donuts, and in general was in a positive mood all day.

I taught a crochet class this morning, so that positive attitude came in handy.  I was continuing a pillow project with two nice ladies, who had been so enthusiastic about finishing their pillows with me last week that they signed up on the spot for another class.  The pillow is only supposed to take one session, which is BS since it takes three hours for me to make one side of it and I’m apparently very fast.  Beginners take much longer because they actually have to think about each stitch and they haven’t developed the muscle memory to do it automatically.

Both ladies brought in their completed panels ready for edging and finishing and bemoaned the fact that they weren’t very pretty and definitely not the neat rectangles they were supposed to be.  Both learned (I hope) 2 valuable lessons.  The first is ALWAYS COUNT YOUR STITCHES.  Especially if you are a beginner.  The pattern tells you how many stitches you should have for each row.  So if you get to the end of the row and you aren’t on the correct stitch, don’t just add one.  Count your stitches.  It’s better to do that every row than get to the end of a rectangle that looks like the bell of a trumpet.

The other, more difficult lesson is KEEP YOUR STITCHES EVEN.  Every pattern has a gauge measurement, so use it.  How else will you know that what you’re making will fit?  If your stitches are too small, use a bigger hook.  If they’re too big, tighten your stitches or use a smaller hook.  And try to be consistent.  This is very difficult when you’re starting out, but it is important.

When I was learning to knit in 6th grade, I decided to make a sweater for a friend.  I made the front just fine.  The back went even better because I was getting better.  Then I tried to match the front to the back and there was about a 4 inch difference between them.  Increase in skill meant neater stitches, but it also meant I tightened up too much.  I had to start completely over on the back.  But that’s how it goes.

Oh yeah, they were bummed because they had to keep starting over or undoing rows upon rows of work.  But repetition is desperately needed to get comfy withthis type of skill.  And while it is discouraging and frustrating to keep backing up, the results are worth it.

While both of them had completed panels, only one of them had them similar enough to piece together with a little corrective sewing.  The whole time she grumbled about how awful it looked and how she was never going to get this.  But when she put the pillow in and it fit perfectly and it looked really, really good, the pride was beaming out of her like the Eye of Sauron.

I found a new tea shop today.  The proprietor was most pleased with my Tardis gloves.  I’ll be back there.

When I got home, I decided to do Body Combat in my living room (hooray Youtube).  Which taught me the valuable lesson that I am frightfully out of shape.  If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, it’s because I couldn’t get out of bed.

Hope you learned something today.

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Weekend Shenanigans


Saturday, I made Cincinnati Chili and cinnamon rolls.

If you aren’t from the Midwest, this might make no sense to you.  But it is such a normal flavor combination that it is a standard on school lunch menus.  The cinnamon rolls were excellent (I used Alton Brown’s overnight cinnamon roll recipe), but the chili was a bit soupy for my tastes.  When I perfect the recipe, it will show up on my other blog.

Making the rolls was an adventure of itself.  Since we went out for dinner Friday night, I didn’t start the rolls until almost 8 and they have a 3 hr rise before they get rolled and put in the fridge for the night.  So I made the dough and fiddled around for the interim, doing dishes and cleaning up.  Normally, I would use that time to make the filling but since it was a new recipe and I have a notoriously bad time with yeast doughs not rising like they’re supposed to, I thought I would wait until the 3 hrs were up and if the dough hadn’t risen I could just scrap the rolls entirely without wasting more ingredients.  This I did and the dough rose beautifully into a puffy pillow of aromatic happiness.  So I went to make the filling and discovered that I only had 2 of the 8 ounces of brown sugar I needed.  Because I forgot to check before we went grocery shopping, even though I did look in my baking cabinet to make sure I had all my usual ingredients.  Thus, I had to go in and tell Buddy at 12:30 am that I was going to the store for brown sugar and he should not be alarmed by the garage door opening while he slept.

But the rolls were sooooo worth the trip.  Tender almost to the point of gooey, but not undercooked.  And the cream cheese frosting was so delicious that my guests took home extra.  Actually, my guests took home extra of everything.  Buddy was at a beer tasting, so I had some school buddies come over to watch the last Star Trek movie (TOS VI: Undiscovered Country).  We ate chili and laughed raucously at bad acting, ridiculous special effects, and hokey plot twists.  We also felt really uncomfortable during the Vulcan mind rape.  Very awkward.

Side note:  I have seen two posts online, lists of “things you didn’t know about famous characters,” concerning Spock’s ancestry.  In one episode and in Star Trek VI, he claims an ancestor of his said once you eliminate the impossible solutions, the one that is left, however improbable, is correct (I can’t recall the exact quote, but that’s pretty much it).  This is seen as evidence that Spock is a descendent of Sherlock Holmes.  Now, this is just silly.  Even though they are both fictional characters, Holmes is a fictional character within the Star Trek universe, if we assume that Star Trek is the future based on early 1960s present.  This quote actually means that Spock is descended from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes and therefore the originator of the quote.  Come on, people.  Stop being Watson.

That was Saturday and it was awesome.  (We had a wonderful walk by the river in the morning.  It was nice and sunny, if a little windy, and there were some steep up-hills to get our heartrates up.)

Sunday was not so much.  Since he had Monday off for MLK Day, Buddy decided to drive up to PA to visit his brother.  I couldn’t go because I had work.  Which was a bummer because I really like his brother.  Still, sometimes it’s nice to visit family without outsiders, you know?  Anyway, Buddy left in the morning and I slept until it was time for me to get ready for work.  Which turned out to be about 15 min later than I should have because when I looked out the back door, it was snowing.  Now, I’m from the Midwest, where it’s more unusual for it NOT to snow in January, but Southerners (as they think they are here) cannot countenance snow.  They can’t drive in it, they don’t prep for it, and a single flake equals Armageddon.  We were just lucky it was the weekend.  It was that awful slushy snow that makes your tires slip all over the place if you aren’t in the ruts, too.  Bloody awful to drive in, but if you stay in the ruts and pay attention to how the road feels, it’s no big deal.  Well, people were feeling extra cautious, driving 10 miles under the speed limit the whole way to work.  And, hey, caution is absolutely fine with me.  Be careful.  Like I said, slushy roads are dangerous.  But it’s also dangerous to be driving way under the speed limit with your lights off in the passing lane.  Next time, kids, MOVE OVER AND LET THE ADULTS DRIVE.

And we were busy at work.  Not sure why, except it being a holiday weekend and perhaps some people thought they might get snowed in and run out of fabric or yarn or something.  Most everyone was nice, though, as usual.  And we did get done with all our clean up on time, though I would have loved to do a more thorough job in the fabrics (because I have issues).

Today was a lazy day.  No walk, because it’s a holiday and not because I just didn’t feel like it.  I finished a sweater I’ve been working on since the beginning of our holiday trip (27 Dec).  It was a series of 60 interlocking square motifs and several half/quarter motifs.  It took about 30 hrs (non-consecutively) to make the full motifs.  I used a light-weight yarn which actually wore the skin off the back of my finger because I was going so fast for so long (I didn’t want to fall asleep on the plane).  I actually crocheted a guard for my forefinger to protect it.  I think I finished the last motif our last day in NE, so 6 Jan.  I don’t remember when I got the finishing done.  Then I just had a MILLION threads to tuck in.  All this is why I won’t be selling apparel in my Etsy store.  It is far too time consuming and complicated.  Besides which, without someone to try it on, I can’t know if it is coming together properly (do I have to adjust for body length, are the armholes too small, does the collar lie flat…).

But I finished that and put some turkey leftovers in the crockpot for stock.  And then I decided to sit down and get my Etsy store up and running.  This meant registering my business with the Virginia tax people.  It was…not as hard as I thought it would be.  Very user friendly and informative.  I printed off lots of fun documents and I’m about 90% confident that I understand it all.

And now I own a business.  I have one product to sell so far and a lot of work to do making my site welcoming and all.  Most of me is pretty sure I’m not going to sell anything, but there is also a voice that is concerned I might pull a Penny and have 1000 requests for mason jar cozies by tomorrow.  The worst part is figuring out how much to charge for things.  Buddy asks me how much yarn I use for a project and I just don’t know.  There isn’t a way for me to measure as I go.  I need to make some charts and spreadsheets and do other adult-type things.  Tomorrow.  Right now, I need to put up stock and get to bed.

This is my store.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JosYarnings

If you want to know what I make, I’ll be putting up more items over the next few days and you can always check my albums on Facebook.  Here’s hoping I sell enough stuff to get a tattoo.

In case you were wondering, I did get my Upwork (freelancing website) set up.  I just have to apply for stuff, get some proposals worked up, figure my rates and such.

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Catchphrase


I want to talk to you about catch phrases.  You see, we all have them.  Often they are uniquely tailored to the people we are around.

For instance, my husband and I have an Army buddy we’ve known for years.  Buddy met him at Ft Leonardwood, MO at the beginning of his career in the late nineties while I met him my first weekend at my first duty station in Hawaii (which coincidentally was the first time I ever saw drunk people).  He and Buddy have long maintained a dream of becoming a stand-up comedy duo and spent much of their early friendship riffing until people stopped breathing to make room for more laughing.  Whenever a truly hilarious exchange happens one of them says, “That’s going in the Bit.”  The Bit is, of course, their comedy bit that would make them rich and famous.  Sadly, they never wrote any of it down.  So while the Bit has reached monumental proportions in length and humor, recalling any of it for later use will never happen.  The few attempts made at recording the Bit have turned out to be nonsensical phrases that lack entirely in gut-busting hilarity.

As the wife of one and the friend of the other, I was inducted into this catch phrase, especially because I can be funny, too.  Plus, I’m a writer so they kind of have a chance of saving some of the Bit for posterity.  I’m the Bit-Scribe and a contributor.

While Buddy was gone, we had a conversation that had to go in the Bit and I actually managed to write it down:

“Ice cream or beer that makes you ripped.  Microscopic dinosaurs in ice cream.  Expand when they hit stomach.  Person ripped open.  Success.”

See?  I’m funny.  With Buddy back, hopefully I’ll be able to record more of these moments, if only to confuse us later because that couldn’t be what caused all the rolling on the floor the night before.

Other phrases belong to specific groups of people and I see lists of them on the Facebook all the time.  Top 10 Things You Never Thought You’d Say Until You Had Children.  12 Phrases Only People with Seven Siblings can Understand.  9 Sentences That Civilians Will Reasonably Misunderstand, Making Military Personnel Lose Bladder Control from Laughing Too Hard.

I saw one that was supposed to be the standard questions posed between spouses.  None of them applied to us.  Because of the way we have structured our relationship, our most common question is, “Who’s Turn is It?”  Your turn to pick/make dinner.  My turn to pick the movie.  Your turn to drive.  My turn to run the dishwasher.  And we are very mature about it.  I never groan loudly and mope on the couch when it is my turn to take out the litter.  And Buddy never points and laughs singing neener neener neener until I smash him in the face with a pillow.  This question is the reason I have a whiteboard on the fridge dedicated to mapping the unwanted chores in our lives.  You think you can keep track of when you did litter last (how can I possibly forget doing something that icky only last night?),  but then you recall that remembering the good parts of the day (i.e. what you had to eat) is almost impossible even after a strong cup of coffee.

This is a wonderful routine.  Why?  Well, because it was easy to pick up again when he got back.  I don’t mind that it is my turn half the time because it isn’t my turn the rest of the time.  I was a little nervous about him coming home because, being a military spouse, I had heard all kinds of horror stories about the “transition time,” where everyone is getting used to each other again.  I’m not saying we aren’t transitioning.  I’m trying to dial back the OCD habits I allowed to flourish while he was gone (does the silverware really have to go in the dishwasher that specific way to improve the process or does it just make my brain happy to see things in neat lines?).  But that little catchphrase has been a nice touchstone to life before SKorea.  So I’ll take it.

We went for a walk this morning and it was so much warmer than Tuesday that I’m suspicious that it must have been below freezing that day.  Which really ruins my cold weather excuse.  I guess if it is above 20 degrees, I’ll risk it as long as the sun is out.  Tonight we went to dinner with the Army buddy mentioned above and his wife and toddler.  It was a lot of fun, and not only because the Bit came up and the part I wrote down got a lot of laughs.  Also, the restaurant (Food for Thought in Williamsburg) was absolutely amazing, as usual.

Now I must adjourn to my kitchen to finish prepping the overnight cinnamon rolls.  Adieu!

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Thursday


Yup.  It’s Thursday.  I started with some procrastination.  Which is my way of saying I opted to sleep in an extra hour rather than go on my walk.  My knee actually woke me up sometime well before my alarm went off.  I can’t think what I did to aggravate it.  Tuesday’s walk was not that strenuous and I wore my knee braces.  Besides, that kind of irritation would have shown up yesterday.  So I probably slept on it wrong or something.

Anyway, then I got on Facebook (because what’s life without a little more procrastination) and found out that Alan Rickman had died.  Bowie’s death was a bummer, but I’ve never been a fan.  He was just a pop culture icon that I liked.  Rickman, on the other hand, was a crushing blow.  He was my favorite character in Robin Hood.  Every time I saw him in a movie, he was the Sheriff of Nottingham who would CUT YOUR HEART OUT WITH A SPOON.  Well, until I saw him in Dogma.  Here was this serious British actor showing off his Ken doll bits in a Kevin Smith movie.  I mean, he was the best part of that truly wonderful movie, which is saying something.  Then he was in Galaxy Quest.  He was the FUNNIEST character and didn’t tell a single joke or mug for the camera.  He had such amazing range, playing heroes and villains, lovers, fighters, actors, angels. When I found out he was playing Snape, it felt just perfect.  Yeah, he was about thirty years too old but you wouldn’t know from watching him.  I will repeat what has been said countless times.  For the fans, even the ones who don’t like the movies, even for ones who don’t like the character, Alan Rickman  is Professor Snape and always will be.

And after spending a day reading the touching tributes from his fellow actors and friends, I am that much more pleased that he was a genuinely good guy.  Loyal, kind, dedicated, and genuine.

In honor of his passing, Buddy and I made pork chops.  This doesn’t make sense unless you watch Family Guy and saw this episode:

For whatever reason, this was the most hilarious thing to us and since then, it has been revived any time we hear Alan Rickman’s name.  So we made pork chops (that didn’t have to be defrosted for the party) and risotto and that was our tribute.  I hope he and Lemmy and Bowie appreciated that.

Hopefully, this will be the end of the celebrity deaths for a bit.  Though I suppose any British celebrity around age 69 and currently fighting cancer is sweating a bit.

I had two pieces of chocolate today, for my grief.

In other news, Buddy tweaked his back somehow, poor guy.  If it feels better, we’re going for a walk tomorrow morning.  If not, well, I have the dentist to go to.  That seems to be bad enough without adding exercising in the cold.  I might try walking in the afternoon when it’s warmer, though.

By Grapthar’s Hammer, I will get into a routine!

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