WTF Wednesday: WTF Happened To Your Blog?

I like to flatter myself by thinking upwards of a dozen people wait breathlessly for pearls of wisdom to fall from my keyboard. So I try to blog regularly. But guys, it’s summer. I had a beach week last week which was awesome. As in, I was experiencing this each evening:

This week I’m recovering. Next week I will be thinking about my recovery from this week. Or not. Either way, consistency is not a current strong point for me. Worry not, I will menace the blog-reading public again soon at a computer near you. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

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WTF Wednesday: Is Imitation The Sincerest Form Of Flattery?

There’s a fine line between imitation, inspiration, impression and plagiarism, right? Nah, I’m kidding, there really isn’t. Plagiarism is straight up stealing someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. If, for example, I am preparing to do my world famous, hilarious Mike Tyson impression, I will say “Hey look at me I’m about to do my world famous, hilarious Mike Tyson impression!” If I didn’t say that, and just started doing the impression, it would seem very weird. Truth be told, it’s very weird either way, but if I say I’m doing the impression everyone will pretend it’s funny so I will maybe stop doing it for the moment and they can go on with their lives. The point is, I will not try to play it off as if I’ve said all the dumb sh*t Mike Tyson says. Because that would not only be plagiarism it would be absolutely confounding.

Yikes, another tangent. What else is new? What I’m trying to say is that Melania Trump and/or her little speech writing elves clearly plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech from 2008.

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So as a public service, I am offering, free of charge, a new speech for Melania. One composed from what I imagine might be her heart and soul, if in fact she possesses either or both of those things. So Melania, this is for you:

My Donald once said to me: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” He was so smart to think of such a great quote, yes?* And then some more scores ago he began to talk about how to get back to this concept and make America great again: a great white, Christian, heterosexual patriarchy. Just the way we liked it.

When I married my husband, I was mostly in it for the money and also to produce a child who would inherit a fortune. And my husband was in it so he could have a young, beautiful wife and pretend he is also young and beautiful. And so for many years now I have let this man sleep in my bed. And do stuff other than sleeping. Things I only want to do with my boyfriend, not with Captain Cheeto (that is my pet name for My Donald).

So I can tell you many things about this man. First, he wants everyone to know that he most definitely does not have small hands or a small anything. No. Everything is huuuuuuge (wink wink). You can’t imagine how wide my eyes got the first time I saw all of My Donald in his natural glory. I was shocked, to say the least. Second, he is very flexible. He is absolutely sincere about everything he says at the exact moment he says it. And if he contradicts himself in the next breath, he is absolutely sincere in his new statement.

My Donald will win this election because he is so much better than all those establishment Washington people. He has all the makings of someone who should lead our country. He doesn’t know anything at all about the Constitution or three branches of government. Is completely ignorant of both domestic and foreign policies. He couldn’t find China on a map. And he surrounds himself with beautiful, subservient women and a bunch of white men in suits who tell him he is wonderful. He is good with the money though. As soon as he is in the White House he will call his lawyer and file bankruptcy on behalf of the country, and poof! All debt will be forgiven. My Donald tells me this is how to succeed in business.

I love my adopted country, America. A land of opportunity for beautiful foreign models who marry rich older men. And I am talking about the True America that My Donald has pandered to. The America that is proudly uneducated. Staunchly science-denying. Frightened and threatened by people who do not look like us, talk like us, or have the exact same beliefs as we do. Also the America who thinks it would be very nice to have a First Lady who is simple arm candy and doesn’t worry her pretty little head with politics and men’s business. [Bat eyelashes and smile directly to camera].

Please please put My Donald in the White House. It is possible that he will be very good for this country! More importantly, My Donald will be busy so I will have more time to run around with my young handsome boyfriend. In conclusion, please rest assured that I wrote this entire speech all on my own, and did not show it to anyone before presenting it to you tonight.

*Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address. Duuuuh.

So WTF Melania? Sometimes we all forget the rest of that famous quote…

oscarwilde

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WTF Wednesday: So We Agree It’s A Bad Idea For These People To Own A Gun?

Believe it or not, it took a case escalating all the way to the Supreme Court to confirm that people convicted of domestic abuse can be prevented from owning a gun. Sure, those convicted of felony domestic violence lose their right to own guns, but this case tested whether the ban applies to those “only” convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse charges. Yep. It took the Supreme Court to figure that out.

It’s also an interesting case because Clarence Thomas spoke during oral arguments. Yes, he can talk! And now that Scalia is gone he apparently felt emboldened to ask questions and things. It had been ten years since he had opened his mouth, a reprieve for which I suppose we should all be grateful.

In his dissent, Thomas made the distinction between a person who intentionally throws a punch and someone who recklessly swings a baseball bat too close to another person. Now I don’t know about you, but when I wake up with a concussion my first thought is “Hey, I wonder if this is the result of something intentional, or just reckless.”

Look, I’m not an idiot–OK I am an idiot–but even I understand that this is about a bigger legal concept. An equally ridiculous, bigger legal concept.

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Yet to think that this is the case that ignited such passion in Thomas is, well, mind boggling. It is this complex, multi-faceted case that keeps him up at night: what will these convicted abusers do without a gun to protect themselves? I mean, a history of violence is no reason to tromp on their Second Amendment rights.

The fact that we are at a point where this is even a question, let alone a lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court, makes me say WTF is wrong with us?

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How To Lose A Rental Car Without Even Trying

A number of years ago I was honeymooning in Hawaii with my International Gay Husband (IGH). We had a beautiful vacation in Honolulu, especially because he had to work during the day while I did whatever the hell I wanted. Then at night there was dinner and dancing (OK, him dancing with someone else, but technically there was dancing). It was a fine 10 days or so.

One evening we came back to the hotel and needed to ask the front desk about something or other that I don’t remember, so it must not have been about me important. My IGH pulled our rental car up to the front of the hotel and got out just to run up to the front desk for a moment. We took care of whatever we were taking care of in less than 5 minutes but when we turned around, the car was gone. Hmmm.

Neither of us is terribly bright, but we noticed that the parking valet stand was nearby so we inquired about our car. Yes, the efficient parking valet had whisked it off. But all our stuff was in the car and we had obviously not intended to valet park, so we laughed it off and asked the valet to go back and get the car.

The super efficient valet zipped right back up in our car. We hopped in and drove over to park in the garage closest to our building. We went to grab our stuff out of the back seat when we realized…uh this was not our stuff. The valet had brought us someone else’s car. Ooops.

It seems that the onsite rental car company owned dozens of red Oldsmobile Aleros, and we were all driving the same car. Back to the front desk we went, and this time when the valet brought back A car, we made sure it was OUR car. And we took a picture of the license plate just in case, on the very off chance, this happened again.

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And as long as we had the camera out (Remember those? Pre smart phone days) I went ahead and took advantage of a photo op with the parking valet who at that point had become one of my bestest friends. Mahalo.

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WTF Wednesday: Bernie Who?

Competition is good. It’s important. The Democratic primaries this year were lively and covered a lot of important issues. The Republican primaries mimicked a playground in that pointless insults were hurled, people were bullied and given nasty nicknames, and no real issues were ever discussed. But eventually, both primaries came to an end, with a clear winner as presumptive nominee.

The Republicans are in hiding asking themselves WTF happened to our party? Publicly they are basically saying “Oh, Trump? We meant to do that. Yeah. That’s what we wanted.” OK, whatever.

The Democrats are gearing up for the convention and the general election. This is traditionally the time that the party divide from the primaries closes up as everyone lines up to support the nominee. Secretary Clinton did it oh so graciously in 2008. She jumped on the bandwagon and helped President Obama get elected. Cause that’s how it works. The system may be flawed, but everyone knows the rules from the beginning, and under those rules there is a winner and some also-rans. It’s like when your older brother won a game of Monopoly fair and square but you accused him of stealing from the bank. Well, except he did steal from the bank, but that’s a separate issue. The point is that while what’s-his-name probably doesn’t cheat at Monopoly (I mean, I’m not going to swear to it but neither will I cast aspersions), he lost the Democratic primary.

bernie

But shhhhh! No one seems to have told him that he lost; many of his followers appear to be equally clueless.

So it seems to me anyway that what’s-his-name had a very nice 15 minutes of fame and significant success at reaching voters, but it’s time to let it go. I know that you really, really wanted the cute shoes in the window. And you scraped and saved and tried but they are out of your reach. So now your friend bought the shoes for herself, and you have to pretend you don’t care at all and you’re happy for her that she got the shoes. Like that.

hillary

Of course, if you muster up some enthusiasm for your friend, she might just offer to loan you the shoes and the totally adorable outfit she bought to go with the shoes. She might. But if you just keep whining and nagging and complaining, well, probably not. And then, instead of a couple of pages in a history book, you become a footnote.

So WTF Bernie? Do you really want generations of kids to ask the question, Bernie who?

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The Ghost Of A July 4th Past Post

I am currently either too lazy, too bereft of ideas, or both (hint: it’s both) to come up with an original post today, and since it’s rerun season, I’ve decided an old post is worth revisiting. You’re welcome.

In A Land Faraway: A 4th Of July Celebration

In July 2005 Dan and I traveled all over Scandinavia and surrounds, including St. Petersburg and Tallinn, Estonia.  As luck would have it we were in Tallinn for that most American of all holidays, the 4th of July.  We were so far north that we had daylight around the clock and absolutely beautiful weather.

As we came off the ship, the delightful Estonian mascot, Creepy Thing, met us at the dock.  No, I have no idea who or what he was supposed to be.

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We had a great day in the picturesque city, including a lovely lunch where Dan almost learned how to use a fish knife.

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The downside of lunch was that I couldn’t do any good eavesdropping because the people at the other tables refused to speak English other than to wish us a happy Independence Day.  We were very touched by their good wishes as well as whatever the hell we ate for lunch.

When we returned to the ship that evening we were greeted with all kinds of festivities.  You may have already guessed that I loved the karaoke club on the ship.  Dan was just delighted when I dragged him down there yet again.  All of the Americans were getting extra toasted and waving around the little American flags the ship had given everyone, but only about 40% of the passengers were American.  Everyone else was quite content to have an excuse to drink (as if they needed one) and times were merry.

Sometime around 11:00 that evening, some slobbering drunk called all the Americans to the stage and put on the song American Pie.  Dan stayed at the table all the way in the back but of course I was the first to run out there.  There had to have been 30 of us on the stage, arm in arm, swaying and singing every word of the song at the top of our lungs.

I have to admit that I’m one of those people who gets all choked up when I hear the National Anthem, but that evening as we sang about good ole’ boys drinkin’ whiskey and rye, I had never felt so proud to be an American.  I’ve also never felt as suffocated by drunken smelly people as I was that night, but thanks to Don McLean all was forgiven.

When I got back to the table, flushed and breathless, it appeared that Dan had nodded off.  It must have been the fish at lunch.  So Don, thanks not only for the sad but amazing rock and roll anthem, but for a versatile lullaby as well.  Happy 4th of July to all, and to all a good night!

 

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WTF Wednesday: When Exactly Did I Become A Walking Health Hazard?

My life lately begs this question. Because BC (before cancer) I was a reasonably healthy person. Truly. I got the occasional sinus infection or whatever, had a bad case of the flu once, but that was the extent of it. To be perfectly candid, I was not always totally sympathetic to people who were sick all the time because I found it annoying. But AC (after cancer) I have been plagued with ailments both large and small.

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  • Lost a sinus and nose cartilage during chemo; neither ever showed up in the lost and found
  • Was diagnosed with a rare lung disease that is unquestionably of academic interest; but not if you’re the one who has it
  • Had a serious reaction to pneumonia vaccine and had to go to ER
  • Managed to go into both heart failure and kidney failure in the span of a week, although in fairness, they were linked
  • Developed an exotic staph infection that required visits to two different ENTs
  • Had female type problems no one wants to hear about except to say that when I finally went to the doctor she scolded me and told me I was headed toward bleeding out. I mean, I get it now OK? Profuse bleeding = consult doctor
  • Found out I’m a MRSA carrier; which would make me Typhoid Mary if I spread typhoid and if my name was Mary, but you get the idea
New York American, June 20, 1909

New York American, June 20, 1909

And now my latest endeavor. My arm had been really hurting lately. I simultaneously developed a nasty rash on that same arm. Now, some people may have just gone running willy nilly to the doctor; I simply put cortisone cream on the rash and bitched incessantly about the pain in my arm. But as it happened I had a check-up with my oncologist scheduled last week, and she took one look at my arm and said I had shingles.

Well of course I have shingles. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Not a big deal other than the pain and itching and Dan having to listen to me whine some more. I finished a course of anti-viral stuff and my arm is all cleared up.

I want to put this message out to the universe: WTF? Yes, I need interesting blog material but it most certainly does not need to be medical in nature. There are plenty of other things out there; let’s give this one a rest.

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Brexit: Buyer’s Remorse

Remember when you were a teenager, and thought the world would be perfect if you had your own place, made your own rules? You would skip school, hang out with your friends, stay up late, sleep until noon. No one would tell you what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. A dream come true.

But when you actually became an adult you were in for a rude awakening because there are things like rent and electric bills and car notes and you were just squeaking by but then there were these really cute shoes you absolutely had to have or you would die and now you can’t pay your credit card bill. Just as an example. And you can’t skip work and sleep until noon because you have a job to pay for all those aforementioned amenities. And the only friends who hang out all the time are the ones who don’t have jobs and want to mooch off of you and sleep on your couch. Everyone else is at work and scraping by just like you.

Brexit. Independence. Finally, we do what we want when we want. We don’t have to follow any damn rules. It’s going to be totally awesome. Right? But then you wake up to find out that your rent just went up 30% and you’ve wiped out your savings account. And it turns out you didn’t factor in all that birthday money you used to get from your grandparents that allowed you to actually pay your shoe bill. You totally forgot about that. Also, if you’re going to sleep at night you need a mattress or something, so you might need to beg your folks to let you take your old bed from home. Maybe a card table and some chairs.

So now what? You finally got what you wanted. Aren’t you enjoying all that freedom? Or, are the economic implications dismal? Do you want to move back home now? Well you can’t. Because your parents sold the house and didn’t leave a forwarding address. They took all the furniture with them. You start to wonder if you did the right thing.

Maybe in your excitement to move out, you didn’t stop and think all these things through. Maybe your friend was so jazzed about moving out and getting an apartment together, you let her convince you that life would be perfect if you only had your own place. So you glossed over a few details.

This is where many Brits apparently find themselves. Bluff called. Consequences cemented. Story after story of working class Brits who were so pissed off about their circumstances that they just wanted change, big change, any kind of change. They didn’t really understand the implications. And now, anecdotally anyway, many of them want to move back home. Bloody hell. It’s too late.

A very small benefit actually came out of this whole fiasco. Trump was in Scotland promoting another fantastic, terrific, amazing golf resort, and decided to comment on Brexit by inserting his smaller-than-average size foot in his duck mouth on Twitter; as a result the Scots unleashed some of the most epic insults ever. It doesn’t make the whole Brexit disaster worth it, not by a long shot. Those adorable shoes are still sitting in the window rather than on your feet, and you’re sleeping on the floor cause it turns out beds are expensive. But there is this small comfort.

scotinsults

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WTF Wednesday: Why Did Kate Hijack My Life?

Look, I understand about coincidences. Common interests. I’ve even accused someone of stealing my life before. But that was the life I was going to live, if all had gone well. Not the one I’m actually living.

But Kate over at Views and Mews by Coffee Kat has seriously hijacked my real life. And frankly, I don’t know why she would want it. But OK. Let’s just review all we allegedly have in common, or at least what she claims:

  • Irreverent, funny blogs. Annoying as hell because hers is frequently funnier than mine. Annoying. As. Hell.
  • Youngest of three children, only girl
  • Breast cancer survivor
  • Childfree
  • Lost our dads when we were little
  • Husbands are named Dan
  • More than mildly obsessed with cats (I mean, her blog is edited by her opinionated cats)
  • Her cats are having dental problems suspiciously close to when my cat had dental problems
  • Kate claims she once had red hair (but guys, I have always had red hair)
  • Kate is addicted to Starbucks mocha lattes; I too have indulged in Starbucks mocha lattes
  • Eerily similar careers where we were one of a few intelligent life forms asked to manage a sea of incompetence and bad attitudes

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That’s a lot, right? Now Kate would also have you believe we have lots of differences too. She would point out her love of summer, including gardening, and fish and frog mating rituals, which are seriously not my thing. Honestly she seems just a tad too interested in the mating rituals of aquatic life, but I don’t like to judge.

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She goes to a gym or something. Like every day. She is not helplessly addicted to sweets (but seriously, don’t mess with her mocha lattes).

Still. I think that’s all just a ruse. I think she rustled up a few obvious contrasts just to make it seem like she didn’t hijack my life. But this isn’t my first rodeo people. OK, actually, I’ve never been to a rodeo because, hello, I’m me, but what do you want to bet Kate either has or hasn’t been to a rodeo? If she has, it’s because she’s trying to make herself seem different. If she hasn’t, it’s because she hijacked my life. Either way, it’s very telling indeed.

So WTF Kate?

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WWJGD: What Would Jane Goodall Do?

I know, everyone has an opinion on the child-falling-into-gorilla-pen drama, but of course mine is the most important, and hopefully, the most entertaining.

First of all, gorillas on display in a pen at a zoo. Not good. Not good for 1000 reasons, including preventing the scenario that just happened. Also, gorillas eat too much of that zoo junk food and their waistline goes all to hell. So let’s protect gorillas but not put them on display like some kind of animal. I have former bosses and distant relatives who would be more deserving of that treatment, and certainly more entertaining. Throw a conference table and white board in there, and trust me, antics will ensue.

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Second, all we’ve really heard is the kid’s side of the story. From the gorilla perspective, totally different angle. Say you’re sitting in your living room, minding your own business, and suddenly a baby gorilla falls down next to you from nowhere.

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Reaction? Probably not, “hey, let me get you a beer.” But you probably wouldn’t intentionally hurt it either, unless there were a whole bunch of people screaming and freaking you out and making you feel like you should do something drastic. Like give it a lite beer. Not cool dude.

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Third, we know lots about the gorilla, but little about the child other than it is a small human we feel biologically compelled to protect. But I’ve met lots of toddlers who frankly, didn’t measure up compared to a gorilla. Maybe this kid is one of those screaming, bratty, nuisance children. It would be good to take time to assess that before choosing sides. Can we really weigh the value of a human toddler against the value of another primate? I, for one, am not comfortable that the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

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Finally, my most obvious point. Gorilla day care. A pen inside a pen, wherein small humans could do whatever the hell they do all day, gorillas could get acclimated to loud, smelly little humans, and working parents could leave for the day knowing their child would be well cared for, and possibly fed whatever gorillas and/or small humans eat. Something tells me we’re going to need lots of those little boxes of animal crackers.

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