Thoughts From My (Mostly) Crappy Day

Today is a bad day
That was a weird dream. I miss my computer.

(Pause for a moment: last night my computer died. One second it was alive and healthy and my constant companion (I know it’s weird—don’t judge) and the next second, nothing. It makes me VERY sad. And we are absolutely in no position to be paying to fix anything or buy anything new, so that kinda makes it worse. Double bad with a dash of awful. Frowney face.)

Must go on. Let’s see if the computer works now. Maybe magic elves fixed it during the night. No? Stupid lazy elves.

Must eat breakfast. Crap. We’re out of coffee. Today sucks already. It’s only 7:41. I hate 7:41. It’s the worst time ever. But I will breathe and do all my zen-like let’s-not-be-a-crazy-person exercises. I’m the master of my thoughts. Ha. Take that, crappy day.

Ugh. I’m sleepy. Want to sleep so bad. And I’m sad about my computer. I wonder what they’ll say when I take it into the Apple store later. You know what is almost as great as sleeping? Taking care of a toddler. Wait…no.

I’ll be helpful for Stephen since I can’t check my RSS feeds and putter around my own computer. I’ll set up his back-up drive. Yay for me!

Why the F isn’t this stupid drive working?!

Read some of “A Room of One’s Own” and get mad that it used to be socially acceptable for men to beat their wives. Wonder what good it does to get mad about it now.

Make a snack for me and the kiddo. Toasted flat bread with cinnamon and sugar. Go to the bathroom. Oh, perfect…the kitchen is full of smoke. That’s exactly what I need. Love it. Hope that none of the neighbors see the smoke and panic.

Watch a little “Shaun the Sheep” because I’m too depressed to be a good parent. Get upset about not being a good parent. Read more “A Room of One’s Own.” Get mad some more. Sheesh.

What’s that on your belly, kid?

Gosh dangit my freaking kid is breaking out in hives. She has a decently severe egg allergy (but did NOT eat any egg, so wtf?) so the idea of potentially needing to stab her in the leg with an Epi pen is constantly looming. This is great. Perfect. PERFECT. Give her some allergy meds. Cross fingers.

Hives subsided. Dinner eaten. Off to the executioner Genius bar appointment.

It smells like perfume at the mall. In the big, open concrete hallway. There’s only three other people here. Is that her perfume? Or does it just smell like that? It doesn’t smell bad, but if that’s her—dang. That’s a lot of perfume.

Check into “triage” at the Apple store. That was the word she used. I lug my necrotic laptop onto the counter.

That girl has one of those tattoos of just words in a script font on her bicep. That seems like a very uncomfortable place to get a tattoo. Not that there’s a comfortable place to jam a needle repeatedly.

It might be the logic board. She tries to start it up. Her hair looks better than mine. It doesn’t start up. She says if it fails a certain test, the repair is covered. (!!) I can breathe a little.

Yep, they check it in for the $500+ repair, that is being done at no cost. This is much better than a lack of coffee, a kitchen in flames and unexplained hives. Her hair looks great. I like her tattoo. Things are gonna be okay. Well, this one thing is gonna be okay. Might be okay. Possibly. Fingers crossed.

All Hail Old Lady Crutchfield

I'll be like this fine looking woman, but older, and possibly meaner, and likely a little tipsy.

I was sifting through my blog feed when I came across this article from the LA Times on Bloody Marys, which reminded me that Bloody Marys are one of my favorite drinks. They’re so delicious and strange. Refreshing but fiery (if they’re made right). Bloody Marys are the perfect blend of getting schnookered and pretending that you’re eating vegetables. They are also a key element in the role I plan to play  later in life—Old Lady Crutchfield.

Bloody Mary

Image by holisticmonkey @ Flickr

For your amusement (and since this is the best idea rattling around in my attic-like mind) I shall now detail the fabulous life I intend to live in my winter years. Those years are going to be splendid for me, but mostly questionable or possibly unenjoyable for those around me. I think this is fine, because it is my firmly held belief that old people earn the right to kinda do whatever the crap they want to. So, my plan is to take the fullest advantage of this belief when the time comes.

The first element in the grand scheme that is Old Lady Crutchfield, is a porch. Preferably with a rocking chair. Like this one here, but with less of a “someone gone get keeled in the woods” feel.

Doesn't that look nice?

Next, we need Bloody Marys. Duh. And lots of them. I plan on drinking them kinda all the time. I mean…what? Is some youngster really going to try to pry a Bloody Mary from my wrinkly, determined claw? I think not. So I’ll be drinking them a lot.

So, a rocker and some drinks…not a rough start. But here’s where I might lose you—I also want to spread rumors around the neighborhood that it’s not tomato juice in my drink, but ground up little kids! Bwua-ha-ha-ha-ha! Too add to the effect, I’ll keep some little smokies in a bowl of tomato juice to fling at kids when they come a-knockin’. They’ll be too focused on not peeing their pants to inspect the thing thoroughly, thus ensuring a furthering of the neighborhood lore.

Now, you might wonder why I would chose torture children in this way. And I’ll admit, it sounds mean at first. But I’m not just scaring the bejesus out of tomorrows youths (though this is a fun side effect), I’m giving them an enemy to rally against. I’m giving them an entity so great and terrifying that they will be forced to set aside their petty differences for the sake of the common good. Geeks, cool kids, saxophone players and D&D enthusiasts alike will forge alliances in a vain attempt to defeat me (of course this could never happen, because Old Lady Crutchfield is immune to death). And if the tiny tyrants decide to toss one of their own under the bus and send him up to my house to be eaten, I’ll bring him inside, give him some cookies, then send him out covered in tomato sauce so he can be donned “The One That Survived”. It’s for the common good. The common good.

What about you? What are your favorite drinks/plans for your wrinkly future?

Don’t Let Shame Tell You Who You Are

Don't Let Shame Tell You Who You Are

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I’m in love with Brené Brown. It’s true. She’s a vulnerability researcher stuffed to her eyeballs with grace and wisdom and I just want to hug her a whole lot (i.e., too much). I wrote about her first TED talk a while back, and she just did another one. After fighting back tears and hugging my computer screen I thought I should probably share it with you all, too. It’s only 20 minutes—and it’s amazing.

It’s raining today, and I love the rain. It makes me love the world we live in. But I’ve also been researching pimps and prostitution again, and it’s just so, so dark. It’s crushingly dark. I just needed some tiny amount of hope to keep me going. Just a teensy, weensy bit because, I tell you, it’s like every word I read steals a little light from my life. I needed something to say that there is still goodness in the hearts of humankind somewhere, somehow. This did it for me. This is enough for today. Thank you, Dr. Brown.

If you REALLY, really can’t spare 20 minutes, here are a couple of thoughts to take with you:

Vulnerability is not weakness. It’s courage. Vulnerability is what is going to save us from shame. Shame is the thing that lurks in the darkness and tells us not that we did something bad, or stupid or greedy or selfish; but that we are bad, stupid, selfish and greedy.

Shame tells men that they can’t ever be weak. Shame propagates the myth that being a man requires that you stay in control of your emotions, that you prioritize work over everything else, that higher status should be your life-long pursuit and that violence goes hand-in-hand with manliness. Shame tells women that we must be nice, thin, modest and look beautiful. It tells women that we have to be able to juggle every task that comes before us (home, work, cleaning, cooking, studies—all of it!) without breaking a sweat. And shame tells us all that falling short of these things is disgraceful.

But shame is a liar. So, I want to ask you a favor: don’t let your darkest day be your only day. Please don’t, darlings. You are beautiful. You are sacred. You are loved. Don’t let shame tell you who you are.

Five Rules for Debate in 2012

It’s 2012, you all. An election year. A year in which we will “take on the issues,” “get back to real American values,” and “make choices for our children and our children’s children!” Apparently, when elections come around we all get really smart and principled and become thoughtful guardians of the future. But if you were to listen to people converse about the issues, you certainly wouldn’t get that impression. You’d get the impression that a bunch of cranked out baboons had gotten loose and were attempting to write public policy.

We, as a society, have completely forgotten how to debate. The term “civil discourse” shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary. It’s not a thing that people do. It falls in the category of powdered wigs or leeches—things that used to be part of every day life, but now seem archaic, strange and otherworldly.

But, hey, it’s fine. Let’s not pretend to be something we’re not. If we’re gonna do this, let’s DO this, right? Embrace who we are! Talking is for dummies! And in that spirit, I present you with:

Five Rules for Debate in 2012

1. Name-calling is your first priority.

If someone disagrees with you, come out swinging. Don’t waste any time, and don’t take any names off the table. Keep your options open. Terms like jerk, asshole, douche bag, and bitch should roll off your tongue like slobber out of a dog’s mouth. Or slut. Slut is a good one. Don’t edit. Just spew. If you can add in something like racist, communist, sexist, fundamentalist or, really, nearly any -ist, you get extra points. Combining a truly un-nice name with an -ist classification is gold, you racist whore. See? See how effective that is? Bam!

2. Nuance is the enemy.

We know that life is complicated. We know that. We all live complicated lives full of grays, with so few blacks or whites. But you cannot recognize this fact. Like, ever. Never, ever, ever. So, when you present your argument, just find the most outrageous, damning, horrific point (or amazing, too-good-to-be-true point), stamp that thing on a flag and wave it until your arm falls off. Don’t worry about data, or objective studies or thoughts from experts. Besides, how can you fit all that information on a JPG to share on the interwebs?

3. USE CAPS!

A lot of our word bludgeon sessions—er, debates—happen on Facebook or blogs or other online forums. The problem with this, is that when everyone’s opinion is reduced to the same black characters on a white background, everyone’s voice has the same volume. Well, you’ve gotta fix that, and fast. SO TYPE IN CAPS! USE MANY, MANY, EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!! If you can BOLD your WORDS it’s EVEN! BETTER! BETTERRR!!!!!

4. Question your opponent’s character.

We’ve already called people names and accused them of being racists. That’s good. That’s a start. But what we really need to do, is erase any shred of dignity there might be assigned to their person. We need to hold court on their humanity. A good place to start, for us here in the states, is to question their loyalty to their country. Make sure everyone knows that the only way to be a Real American is to think how you think.

Again, reality will try to sneak in here and tell you that your neighbors, family and co-workers probably also enjoy living in this fine country, but squash that thought like a cockroach! I mean, if people don’t agree with you on how to handle gigantic, complicated, economic and political issues, maybe they were never true Americans/Christians/Muslims/Conservatives/Librals/Humans to begin with! Extra credit is earned on this point if you find some commonality between the person who disagrees with you and say…Hitler. Or a serial killer. Or a rapist. Don’t be shy…find someone terrible, and find a way to equate your mailman, or barber, or whomever you are arguing with, to that terrible person. You can do it. Don’t be a baby.

5. Don’t be afraid to throw a punch.

Really, Melanie? Violence?

Sure! Why not? I mean, let’s be real. Civility flew out the window a LONG time ago. With all the name calling, fact twisting, CAPS TYPING and integrity shredding, NOT hitting someone is almost a charade, right? I mean, come on, what are you, better than fighting? You’re above all that now? Let’s just call a pig a pig (or a racist, ugly, selfish, asshole pig) and get down to brass tacks.

In fact, maybe we don’t even need the first four rules. Maybe our policy changes and political offices should be determined by a good ol’ fist fight. Or maybe actual, literal mudslinging. Whoever slings enough mud to knock their opponents unconscious becomes president. This may be the horizon of our future, people. This may be our bright, swollen future.

If you’re not already following my blog by RSS, email or WordPress, you should. It’s more fun than a cranked out baboon.

Seek and Ye Shall Find…Things That Aren’t Actually Helpful

Google search diagram

Image via Niall Kennedy @ Flickr

I think that we can all agree that the internet is really fun. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes a little gross, but mostly, it’s pretty fun. As evidenced by this little lady.

There are many, many fun things to do on the internet. Like blogging. Like this. This is an example of fun on the internet. But what is extra fun about blogging and websites and the internet is being able to see search terms. Looking at search terms that lead to my blog is super fun. Fun with a capital “F”. Maybe even Ffun with two fs, like Jasper Fforde (the Ffordeiest of them all!).

Where was I? Oh, yes…search terms. So, by the power of Grayskull, I mean, WordPress, I can see all the things people search for that eventually lead them to my blog. And boy, oh, boy is it entertaining.

For example, last week I added a category to my blog called “Womanly Virtues” because I was talking about women and body issues and whatever and it made me laugh (I write primarily to entertain myself. Because then I know at least one person is happy.). Then the next day someone searched for “womanly virtues” and clicked through to my blog! Who is searching for “womanly virtues”? Do they want to know what they are? Or how to abide by them? And what makes a virtue “womanly”? You got me stumped. Sorry, person, I know you were looking for answers and I just don’t have them.

I also got “can people who wear glasses go snorgle” after last week’s post, wherein I use a made-up term for cuddling. I think this particular fellow was actually trying to figure out if he can go snorkeling whilst wearing his glasses, but instead he got a post about a lady wanting to snorgle other women. Ha.

But that’s only two search terms. And a LOT of things lead to my blog, apparently. Including these gems:

  • Pooping nativity
  • Duke spirit
  • Don’t mess with fluffy people
  • Super angels collection and…
  • Yes

I don’t know what those people were looking for exactly, but I hope they found it here. Especially Duke spirit. I think the spirit of Duke is infused in all of my words, yes?

However, I do feel that I need to apologize to all of those who type in the #1 search term that leads to my blog: “stages of a cold”. I know you’re all sitting there on your couches and beds, in really ugly sweaters with red, crusty noses just looking for Google to tell you when, for the love of NyQuil!, the pain is going to end. So you type in “stages of a cold” hoping to get sound medical advice that will help you through your long, disgusting days. But then you just get a whole, long, detailed rant delivered from my cold-crazy mind. I’m really, truly sorry. I hope you didn’t murder your cat or teacup poodle out of sickness rage.

To cover my bases, I’ll also apologize to people who searched for: “how do you know if your hamster is about to die,” “killer whale cross stitch,” and, similarly, “how to crochet an orca”. I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet any of your needs, either.

Finally, to whoever searched for “makes me want to murder children”—I can’t help you! I’m pretty staunchly anti-kid murder. Maybe you should see someone? Not for help with the murder but, possibly, anger management? Sounds like you have quite the bug in your bum. Maybe you can go with “sometimes i fantasize about beating the shit out of someone + pinterest” guy—he doesn’t seem to be doing so hot either.

How about you, dear readers? Have you ever searched for something really weird? Anyone going to take credit for the “Duke Spirit” or “Pooping nativity” searches?

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