February 14, 2018

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 13

Filed under: Think About It!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 9:41 pm

“U R CUTE” Aww, thanks, candy heart.

“EMAIL ME” I have such a backlog already though.

“TRUE LOVE” Yeah, that’s a great way to get swindled by a Prince of the Southern Isles.

Happy Ash Valentines! Enjoying the candy hearts and still going meatless today despite having walked away from Christianity nearly a decade ago. In 47 days, we’ll be looking for colored eggs that might turn out to be an overshaken Duff beer can.

Anyway, here’s the thirteenth installment of this, the annual glance at love and relationships and how people seem to deal with them.

Let’s see…

Ever notice how basically everybody seems to think they are unlucky with relationships? I mean, that’s the trouble with love, in that we’re all built to some degree to crave the hell out of it, so of course it will more often than not feel lacking. And for very many people, well, this is absolutely true, that pairing up with someone for a while seems to happen almost as often as a transit of Venus.

But for others, they’re all like “no one wants me” and the proper response is “dude, you dated like three people this year and it’s only April”. Perhaps none of those dates progressed into anything else, and that’s certainly frustrating. But other times, you just wonder what they’re comparing themselves to.

It’s one of those times you must say… you know TV isn’t real, right?

I mean, if you’re comparing yourself to basically any sitcom character, where even the “losers” seem to not have any trouble getting dates and sex, yeah, of course you’re going to feel like a romantic failure. That TV show or movie is a fantasy, playing on a very universal insecurity where the only winners would be aromantic asexuals if this weren’t yet another occurrence of their existence being denied. Because of writers seeking widespread appeal and ability to identify with the characters in a given situation, they make characters whose lives revolve around their dating lives, with everything else secondary, whereas one’s entire worth has everything to do with how well they conform to an unrealistic standard of romantic or sexual frequency.

Maybe it’s kind of like how the fashion and other industries set unrealistic beauty standards, undermining the inherent worth of those whose appearance doesn’t conform. Where, like how they need to acknowledge more diverse body types to allow those with different bodies to feel beautiful, maybe we need characters with more diverse types of relationships, so that someone who spends six consecutive months single isn’t made to feel they shouldn’t exist. Or, hell, just more media without any romantic plotlines. Not that there’s anything wrong with romance, of course. Just that there’s more to life.

Then again, everyone knows TV shows aren’t real and neither are the relationships depicted. Perhaps the feelings of romantic inadequacy stem from real life or at least a perception thereof. And it’s understandable, because, for all its faults and all the bullshit, when there’s a connection there with someone, it’s no exaggeration that everything is amazing and beautiful and all is right with the world. For a little while anyway. Reality always forces its way back into the picture, whatever it may be. But when it’s good it’s so very good. So of course when media and culture and friends and family say this so very good thing will definitely come to you if you’re worthwhile, and when reality doesn’t sync up, you wonder that maybe you’re not worthwhile after all. Perhaps with the unfortunate side effect of casting ridiculous aspersions on desired objects of affection.

It’s all such a mess. But we still have these candy hearts and their messages.

“SOUL MATE” Wait, do candy hearts have souls? I have made a terrible terrible mistake…

February 5, 2018

This Is Actually a Tide Ad

Filed under: Idiot Box,Sports!,Teh Interwebs — Katrina @ 10:21 pm

So, as you can see on the sidebar, I’m on Twitter. Kind of on and off over the past nine years. But I always manage to tweet during the Superbowl, so here’s some of the crap I was saying and retweeting.

sciville As a Redskins fan, normally I want the Eagles to lose, but dear God, I’m so sick of the Patriots, so… *cringe* Go Eagles! *cringe* #atleastitsnotdallas #SuperbowlLII

sciville I saw the beginning of the #PuppyBowl. None of the puppies took a knee during the national anthem. Or at least Animal Planet didn’t want to show it.

sciville When my NFL team was last in the #SuperBowl, a Simpsons episode was made about it. A third season Simpsons episode.

sciville If you order delivery today (and have the option of not doing so I should specify), you suck. It’s a busy night for them already. Make your own stuff for the occasion or have something ahead of time.

sciville Oh, hey, something is coming on NBC right now.

(Retweet) ACLU Respect and love for America doesn’t require blindness to America’s failure to honor its promise of racial justice and equality. #TakeAKnee

sciville Well, with that “I’ll stand by you” ad, seems we’re getting started on the “feels” ads.

sciville Oh shit, the crowd is booing the Patriots! LOL #SuperBowl

sciville Everyone is sick of the Patriots, and the Eagles beat the Vikings to get there tonight. Minneapolis is just the wrong city for this today. #SuperBowl

sciville Take a knee. Take a knee! It’s anthem time.

sciville “I’m trying to watch the #Superbowl! If people don’t support this thing, it might not make it.” -Abe Simpson, Season 7, “Mother Simpson” #simpsonsquotesforalloccasions

sciville Three-pointer for Philadelphia! #wrongsport #Superbowl

sciville A trailer for a trailer. Trailerception. #solo #Superbowl

sciville “This is Bill Beeeeelichick.” -Eric Cartman #SouthPark #SuperBowl

sciville WOW!!! #touchdown #Superbowl

sciville “Can you survive the ground?” “Can any of us survive the ground?” #SuperBowl

sciville You have ONE JOB, kicker!

sciville And a few days after this, ‘lympics!

sciville Does either team have like any defense?

sciville It finally happened. Someone stole Morgan Freeman’s voice.

sciville This looks like a tweet, but it’s actually a Tide ad.

sciville o snap, no goal #youhadonejobkicker

sciville Wow, are three-and-outs still a thing? #Superbowl

(Retweet) sciam How much water weight can an NFL player lose during a game? A running back might drop four to five pounds, and a lineman might expend closer to nine pounds. http://bit.ly/2GNDgxK #SuperBowl

(Retweet) BoJackHorseman if they start performing their own halftime show im out [Pic of BoJack sitting in a living room with Hollyhock and her 8 dads having a Superbowl party]

sciville “It’s a burrito full of plants pretending to be meat.”

sciville Go home, Tide. You’re drunk.

sciville That is one #SuperbOwl. [NatGeo tweet about a Superb Owl.]

sciville GOOOOAAAAAAAL! #wrongsport #Superbowl

sciville The fuck was that, Febreze?

sciville Okay, who dropped $5 million on 30 seconds of blank quiet time?

sciville Keanu Reeves is surfing on a motorcycle through a desert. Your argument is invalid. #Superbowl

sciville Truly that is a #SuperbOwl [NatGeo tweet about another Superb Owl]

sciville Another GOOOOOAAAAAAL! For the other ones now.

sciville LOL kicking just isn’t there tonight. #Superbowl

sciville Australia. #thankgodthatsnotarealmovie

sciville I just assume every ad is a Tide ad until I see evidence to the contrary. #Superbowl

sciville What a #SuperbOwl! [Still another NatGeo tweet about a Superb Owl]

sciville Wow. The ball went through the uprights. Didn’t know that was possible. #Superbowl

sciville Time to turn the football game into a concert real quick and then turn it back into a football game real quick. #halftime #Superbowl

sciville *watches Pepsi Half-Time Show* *drinks Coke* I’m a badass. #Superbowl

sciville Minneapolis is turning purple!

sciville FYI, last time #Superbowl was on February 4 was in 2007. The halftime show act in that one was… Prince.

sciville Awww, what a #SuperbOwl! [Yup, it’s another NatGeo tweet with a Superb Owl]

sciville Oh, right, the game.

sciville The plot thickens. #touchdown #Superbowl

sciville Ah, company that profits from alcoholism is at least keeping people hydrated. *shrug*

sciville This isn’t actually the #Superbowl. It’s all a Tide ad.

sciville Announcers don’t like call stands ruling. LOL #Superbowl

sciville The Bud Knight is in the audience.

sciville Another Guardians of the Galaxy? Wait, there’s the Hulk. Some Marvel mashup? Er, no, it’s a Tide ad. #Superbowl

sciville Uh oh. Game could go any which way. Suspense! #Superbowl

sciville LOL Peyton Manning at Universal Studios.

sciville Agholor sounds like a villain in a 1960’s Hanna Barbera cartoon.

sciville HOLY SHIT! #turnover #Superbowl

sciville “Fuck you, waterfall!” -Jeep #Superbowl

sciville Patriots fans, switch to Animal Planet and watch the #PuppyBowl. You’ll feel better. Everyone else, also watch the Puppy Bowl. To celebrate. To just be cute attacked. It’s all good.

sciville They’re smudging that shiny trophy. #Superbowl

sciville There is a word called “everything”. It’s… the word “everything”. #Superbowl

sciville Okay, football is done. Is it baseball season yet? #imissmynats

Well, that was fun.

January 31, 2018

False Alarm

Filed under: Assorted Politics,WTF Did I Just Write? — Katrina @ 5:58 pm

Hawaii: Everybody okay? No threat. Let’s just breathe. It’s okay. It’s okay-

FCC: WTF Hawaii? You really fucked this up big time. Fix your shit.

Hawaii: …

Hawaii: …..

Hawaii: ALRIGHT, THAT DOES IT! I have put up with this bullshit for too fucking long!

Other 49 states: !!!!!

Hawaii: You know what? I was happy as an independent country. Fuck you guys. I’m seceding.

South Carolina: Been there. Done it.

Hawaii: And what has being a part of the United States gotten us? Our native people and culture attacked and nearly decimated.

Oklahoma: Actually that makes you very much part of us.

Hawaii: And, you know, forgive me for thinking an Asian country that doesn’t like the US very much might be wanting to bomb me because it’s not like it’s happened- Oh wait, it’s happened before, December 7, 19-fucking-41, the day that lives in infamy! You all got through World War II mostly unscathed, but look at the bullshit I went through.

California: Oh, I had some bad things going on over here I’d like to forget.
(more…)

January 9, 2018

And Greenbelt Makes Three

Filed under: Check It Out,In the News,NYRA Happenings,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:15 pm

Usually when there’s a map of my region with triangles on it, it’s the Pepco Outage Map.

But here’s an awesome triangle for the region.

At one point farthest to the west, we have Takoma Park, the first of them, which did it May 13, 2013. The southernmost point is Hyattsville, the second, which did it January 20, 2015. And to the northeast, the third point, which did it January 8, 2018, is Greenbelt.

These three towns at these three points have all have lowered their municipal voting ages to 16! A move with lots of good reasons and lots to think about and lots of tweets back in the day.

I was there when Takoma Park and Hyattsville each sealed the deal. Sadly, I was unable to attend Greenbelt’s due to freezing rain encasing everything in ice. But at least the people who mattered were there.

The three towns are all right by each other, too. The idea is spreading throughout the region. College Park is inside the triangle, almost totally surrounded and must surely join in at some point! The geographical proximity commands it. You, too, Berwyn Heights, especially if College Park does get in on this. And you, New Carrollton, just outside the triangle to the southeast. Why should the Green Line terminus in Greenbelt have all the fun of being in a #16tovote town when you and your Orange Line terminus could as well? Also, perhaps you’d then provide a little encouragement to a certain town just a bit south of you, just off the above map…

Yes, I’m talking about you, Glenarden! Get it together!

January 2, 2018

Stalker App

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Idiot Box,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 9:42 pm

I began my 2018 waking up to the New Year’s Day marathon of The Simpsons on FXX I’d turned on the night before and had fallen asleep watching. I stayed in bed for a while and watched some more, not wanting to get out of bed because, don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s a bit extremely cold here in the mid-Atlantic states this week.

Then during one commercial break I saw it. A rather extended ad for a product (not saying the name) for tracking someone, ostensibly a family member. This way, you’d know exactly where this person is at all times, whether they are driving too fast, etc. You know, perfect for the psycho stalker on your belated or Orthodox Christmas list.

Oh, did I mention this product was specifically geared toward parents to use on their teens? Yeah, that’s supposed to make this any better somehow. I mean, even if that did, it’s worth remembering any spying technology doesn’t actually know the relationship of the user to the person being tracked. A man could be using this on his wife rather than his teenage daughter. Think about that. What healthy reason could he possibly have for tracking his wife’s whereabouts, knowing how fast she drives, and who she sees? Doesn’t that seem gross as hell? Don’t you kind of wonder that this wife should probably get away from him?

So for that matter, what healthy reason could a parent possibly have for tracking a teen’s whereabouts, knowing how fast she drives, and who she sees? What, the parent cares and wants to make sure she’s safe? Okay, but maybe that husband just cares about his wife and wants to make sure his wife is safe. Oh, wait, that doesn’t fly.

I would go further with this analogy, perhaps going into how we don’t want the government or Google spying on us like this (even though they probably are, every time we say “okay Google…” perhaps) so that we shouldn’t be normalizing it for the next generation, but the sad thing is, youth rights aspect of this aside, you find people are often not all that bothered by it. Some people may look at the husband spying on his wife example and not find anything wrong with it. Perhaps calling up the property argument, where the car and house and phone and whatnot are property that one has every right to keep track of and otherwise do as they wish with. Of course, what they also aren’t shy about saying, they see the teen as property as well.

So what I must wonder is the mentality of the person who clings to this right and would actually seek out and actively use spying technology on a teen (or anyone else). I mean, this is rather obsessive and time-consuming behavior that, well, even someone so inclined might lose interest after a while. After all, they have something better or at least more interesting to be doing. A show or a game is coming on. Got to go make dinner. Got to go to bed and get up for work. I mean, being like “okay, she’s at school… okay, now she’s visiting a friend… still visiting the friend… on her way back here…” is boring as hell.

Unless, of course, you’re just that obsessive. Or you’re looking for something specific. Such that simply talking to the teen about any concerns is apparently out of the question.

The ad indicated the product would prevent kidnapping (they literally used staged footage of a girl being pulled into a windowless white van), so that this would keep kids safe. Well, I’ve gritted my teeth through enough conversations with coworkers and others over the years to gather that safety is barely on anyone’s radar with the idea of keeping track of kids. Some have said straight up they’d catch them lying about where they are and would punish them, with no effort to hide their glee. Safety is the stated concern, but, let’s be honest, the whole idea is, here, assert your dominance over someone in your household who drives you nuts because you can!

And even without anyone purchasing the product or any of the far too many like it that have been around for some time, the ad does its own damage. It tells the parents and teens and others watching alike that this is normal, that this is how it should be. It reinforces the already far too reinforced message that teens are property that can and will cause major trouble at any moment and that it’s the parent’s right and duty to keep them as watched and controlled as possible for the sake of themselves and others.

All of that said, it was still pretty hilarious that the episode playing when I saw this ad was Barting Over, when Bart gets emancipated from Homer and Marge after exploitation and abuse. Now the ad just needs to run during Lost Verizon.

December 31, 2017

Well, That Happened 2017

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places,NYRA Happenings — Katrina @ 11:22 pm

*inhale* Here goes…

January: This Is Not Who We Are

-I wonder if this is a good idea after all.
-Cash only!
-Hidden Figures
-It happened. That thing is… sworn in.
-So tonight… the un-ball!
-Me: “And when some ultra-narcissistic loudmouth seeks the highest office in the land by supposedly speaking for us all when he promotes fear and hate and the ugly manifestations thereof, we have to say NO! SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SIT DOWN! THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE!”
-Women’s March!
-Wow, two hours just to get on the Metro.

February: Overtime

-Falcons are kicking ass. Another year without a Superbowl going into overtime.
-Okay, the Falcons fell apart and the game is tied at the end of regulation.
-Python
-These people are driving me nuts.

March: Ten Hours Apart

-Python
-Finally, a weekend cold enough to go skiing.
-What do you mean you closed early for the season because it’s been too damn warm?!
-Well, I’ll just have to go to one further north.
-I still have a mouse in my house.
-I have a bad feeling about this event…
-Worse than I thought.
-And I just yelled at someone about it. Well, don’t put on an ageist event!
-Maybe I was harsh. Was I harsh?
-Hey, two NYRA babies born the same weekend!
-Got rid of the mouse, I think.
-So am I going to do this or what? And how?

April: Third Time’s the Charm

-Python
-Something about the zoo, old chemistry equipment, and a Canadian.
-March for Science in the rain.
-We are the cosmos made conscious.
-We are the means by which the universe understands itself.
-Act like it!

May: West Side

-What a nice birthday!
-COLD!
-Okay, I think we need a new water heater.
-Oh, that’s over now. Sigh.
-Awww, Chris Cornell.
Politics is getting violent!
-Something about fish, more fish, and a Canadian.

June: Radiculopathy

-I’m formulating a plan.
-Ouch!
-Oh, look who came back east.
-AwesomeCon! Something about a keyblade, a life-size dragon, and a Canadian.
-Ouch!
-I have a pinched nerve. Now for weeks of slowly subsiding arm and neck torture.
-Pier Six concert

July: Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus Would Freeze

-Chili and ‘splosions. After seeing ‘splosions from above last year.
-Something about an art museum and a Canadian.
-I think I somehow got lost hiking on Theodore Roosevelt Island. LOL
-A long coming event comes rather unceremoniously.

August: 80 Percent

-Ah, white supremacist assholes in Charlottesville. Lovely.
-Eating bacon s’mores and weird Colombian hot dogs and Krispy Kreme burger at the Montgomery County AgFair. The fair fare, if you will… I’ll just show myself out.
ECLIPSE!
-One of those times you get bad news that actually wasn’t all that surprising and it has the side effect of increased confidence in your intuition.
-And now I’ve got a cold for the first time in almost four years.
-I think it’s time for Kingdom Hearts again.
Pizza pile!

September: Tabouleh

-New season of BoJack Horseman!
-Welp, now I’m traumatized.
-Middle Eastern Bazaar.
-I’m dabkeh dancing and eating tabouleh and the same time because why not?
-The words we’ve feared every day are said.
-Lots of bad hurricanes.

October: Rainout

-Nats game! I finally go on the last game of the regular season. They lost.
-Taste of Bethesda!
-Alright, finally calling them on their ageist bullshit, particularly what happened in March.
-Something about a rain delay, robots, and a Canadian.
-And… the Nats lost another NLDS Game 5 because of course they did.
-Dinner with three NYRAnians!
-Going to the auction with a keyblade.
-Finally booked the damn thing.

November: Kaleo and Po’okela

-Hey, Astros got their first World Series win.
-I think I overdid it on the hot chocolate.
-Time to go…
-Holy crap, I’m finally in Hawaii!
-Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor and some marine mammal friends!
-Black sand beach and Kilauea Iki and Chain of Craters and Mauna Kea!
-And back home.
-To Stone Soup.
-And Thanksgiving weekend to sleep off the trip.
-#27: Southern Cross

December: An Existential Question

-Again, not doing the entry a day thing anymore. Screw it.
-Meh, not sure I want to do Christmas alone again. I guess I’ll go to Las Vegas again.
-Winter Festival!
-Off to stop Glenarden, who lowered their voting age apparently without anyone knowing, from raising it again.
-Okay, Glenarden has issues and we want none of it. Let’s just go encourage Greenbelt to lower theirs as is planned.
-Cookies!
-Lights!
-Why in the name of hell did I decide to go to Las Vegas on Christmas Day again?
-I got stuck in hourly parking at the airport because everything else was full. It’s going to cost me a fortune!
-And enduring those few days.
-And back home to the very cold.
-And here’s this recap.

While 2016 was a lot of “because fuck you, that’s why”, 2017 was the unraveling of the very fabric of space-time, with event after event, be it personally or the world at large, being of the “is this actually happening?” variety. Cool stuff like some stuff that went on around Easter as well as going to Hawaii. And politics continues to boggle us all and lose all of any sanity it may have had, what with, oh, every time Orange Thing says or does just about anything.

So, 2018, what’s next? With 2017 and all its surprises drawing to a close, what are we left with? How much further can anything spiral, any which way?

I suppose we’ll just have to strap ourselves in and find out.

December 22, 2017

Christmas Toys

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,Musical Musing — Katrina @ 5:33 pm

Many Christmas songs are about or at least mention gift-giving, particularly to children. Some are even specific about it. Let’s see…

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas”

The lyrics:
“A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben
Dolls that can talk and can go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen”

So then…
Gift for boys: Cowboy boots and a gun
Gift for girls: Doll

What else?

“Up on the Housetop”

The lyrics:
“First comes the stocking of little Nell
Oh dear Santa fill it well
Give her a dolly that laughs and cries
One that can open and shut her eyes.

Next comes the stocking of little Will
Oh just see what a glorious fill
Give him a hammer with lots of tacks
A whistle and a ball and a whip that cracks.”

So then…
Gift for boy: Hammer, tacks, whistle, ball, whip.
Gift for girl: Doll

Moving on…

“Run Rudolph Run”

The lyrics:
“Said Santa to a boy child
What is it you’re longing for?
All I want for Christmas is
A rock n roll electric guitar.

Said Santa to a girl child
What would please you most to get?
A little baby doll
That can cry, sleep, drink, and wet.”

So then…
Gift for boy: Guitar
Gift for girl: Doll

Okay, seeing a pattern here.

“Jolly Old St Nicholas”

The lyrics:
“Johnny wants a pair of skates
Suzy wants a dolly
Nellie wants a story book
She thinks dolls are folly.”

So then…
Gift for boy: Skates
Gift for girls: Doll… and a book!

Alright, so Nellie wants a story book, with the need to explain why she did not choose a doll. Whereas there was nothing saying that Suzy, or Johnny for that matter, considers books folly.

Although, this song does have alternate lyrics to this verse:
“Johnny wants a pair of skates
Suzy wants a sled
Nellie wants a picture book
Yellow, blue, and red.”

So then…
Gift for boy: Skates
Gift for girls: Sled and picture book.

Hey, no doll! Suzy has decided sleds are more fun. Nellie, however, seems to have been downgraded to a picture book, one with specified colors for some reason. Perhaps this was a trade off. That, okay, no doll for either girl, and we’ll give Suzy an item for an actual winter activity much like Johnny’s skates, but in exchange, Nellie’s is a picture book now, because we can’t have a girl being too smart.

December 14, 2017

The Actual Innocence

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Think About It!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 7:01 pm

Five years ago today, Sandy Hook happened.

Several children who should be navigating middle school right now instead had their short lives come to an abrupt and tragic end because some shithead came into their classroom and opened fire on them for some reason.

In the above post on the day it happened, I lamented this loss of life, wondering, as I said, what they could have ever done to anybody. After all, at their age, one is new to the world and still figuring things out and likely hasn’t gotten to the point of causing any deep and deliberate harm to others like those older have. Not that it’s ever okay to kill anyone, of course, but with kids, it’s hard to see any rationale for it. An adult might have deliberately ruined your career or betrayed you in some severe way or what have you. Again, not that the killing is okay, but you can see how one so distraught might decide it’s the thing to do. With kids, they aren’t capable of doing anywhere near the damage to others that adults are.

After all, children are innocent.

And that is what the innocence of children actually is. Innocence is the opposite of guilt. It refers to what the children themselves have or have not done, and how good or evil their intentions. This varies by child, as children are individuals, and there’s no specific point where one goes from “childhood innocence” to “adult asshole” as it’s a gradual progression depending on one’s specific life and circumstances and experiences. But any innocence refers to the individual’s intentions and actions.

As such, it has nothing to do with something being done to said innocent child, nor does it have anything to do with said innocent child’s knowledge of the world.
(more…)

November 30, 2017

The First Thanksgiving

Isn’t there anyone who knows what Thanksgiving is all about?!

Sure, I can tell you what Thanksgiving is all about. Lights, please?

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

This is Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863, officially declaring Thanksgiving a holiday, continuing to this day, changed only when FDR made it the fourth November Thursday rather than last, so we celebrated a week ago rather than today.

There were earlier proclamations of specific thanksgiving days with very similar text by earlier presidents here and there, but Lincoln’s is about where it was mostly set as an annual thing where it still is now.

What I don’t see is anything about the pilgrims at Plymouth. About two and a half centuries earlier. It’s mentioned at the above link, but also mentioned is there were numerous such feasts through the then colonies around the time.
(more…)

October 31, 2017

It’s Not Your Candy

Filed under: Foodz,Think About It!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:33 pm

Happy Halloween!

Anyway…

No.

Stop. Don’t touch it. It’s not yours.

Earlier tonight, the kids traversed their neighborhoods in their awesome costumes and visited their neighbors with a familiar chant in hopes of a yummy treat (specifically Nerds, Starbursts, and Skittles if they came to my door!). Afterward, they went on home, checked everything for tampering for fear of the urban myth about poison or razor blades in candy suddenly actually happening, and at long last chowed down. Yay!

All this candy in the hands of kids? What are parents to do?

Nothing. It’s not theirs.
(more…)

September 30, 2017

All Politicians Are Adults

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Decrees!,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:50 pm

I hereby decree…

Stop saying badly behaving politicians are “acting like children”.

Or any derivative thereof. Including referring to a lone sensible one as the “adult in the room”. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but all politicians are adults. All mayors. All governors. All of the House. All of the Senate. All White House staff. Even the President.

Yes, even that Orange Thing currently occupying the White House.

Think of all the horrible shit Orange Thing has done. Or, no, don’t do that. It’s depressing. Think then that it’s too depressing to think about all the horrible shit Orange Thing has done and continues to do. In any case, there are a number of words to throw at him. Racist. White supremacist. Sexist. Bigot. Loudmouth. Xenophobe. Narcissist. Sociopath. Evil. And countless others.

So why then, given all that, would you pick “child”? What about calling NFL player protesters “sons of bitches” while saying neo-Nazis are “fine people” makes you think “innocent little kid new to the world and figuring things out”? What about trashing the mayor of a hurricane-ravaged city asking for help makes you think “likes to drink from juice boxes while learning about shapes and watching Doc McStuffins”?

Yet, whether the images around inauguration time showing a leather desk chair being wheeled out of the Oval Office and a high chair being carried in, whether the sign I saw at the Women’s March that said “Maybe he’s teething”, whether countless others calling him a toddler throwing a tantrum, “child” seems to be a popular go-to “insult” to hurl at him.

In response to this, a week before the inauguration, I posted this to I Support Youth Rights:

Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist bully who supports torture, advocates war crimes, mocks the disabled, threatens those who oppose him, and brags about sexual harassment, among many many many other things that add up to him being absolutely abhorrent.

But you know what he isn’t? A child. He is in fact doing all of the above as an adult. Everyone who voted for him is also an adult. His various questionable appointees are all adults. Children are completely innocent here.

So those of you who think you’re insulting Trump by calling him a child, really? All of the above and more said, and what offends you about him is that he reminds you of someone who was born only a few years ago? Do you actually think all of the above is typical childhood behavior? In any case, when in light of all this behavior you call him a child, the only ones you’re insulting are children, who are, again, completely innocent in all this and yet still are in danger of the damage the incoming administration is poised to do to healthcare, the environment, civil rights, and so much more.

So cut it the hell out.

This was posted in January, before so many things happened. Sigh.

But of course it stands. If the Orange Thing actually were a child, that would be an immense improvement. But he’s a 71-year-old man. A vile 71-year-old man. I mean, any damage a small child might do would be by accident. The Orange Thing knows exactly what he’s doing. Or he at least decidedly doesn’t care.

August 31, 2017

That’s 17 of These Now

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places — Katrina @ 10:58 pm

Oh, look what day it is…


DAY
100

What is the 100 Days of Summer? I think I last explained like a decade ago so maybe I should again. Every year starting in 2001, I have counted the days from May 24 through August 31. It was back then counting the days to when I’d return to college, being the summer between my sophomore and junior years, as I very much did not want to go home. Eventually that original Day 100 arrived and I was back at school and happy. Same the following year, so I repeated the event with the exact same days even though they didn’t quite correspond. I graduated the following May, so ever since it has been counting down to nothing, but I still do it for some reason. Anyway, here’s what happened.

Day 1, *looks at Round 16 recap which ended with referring to May 24, 2017, and “whatever shape the world is in then”*, *simultaneously bursts out laughing and in tears*

Day 2, finally, reading Game of Thrones!

Day 3, oh, Montana…

Day 4, where has Cards Against Humanity been all my life?!

Day 6, something about a fish store and a Canadian.

Day 7, covfefe.

Day 9, new season of House of Cards, you’ve got nothing on reality!

Day 16, lots going on!

Day 17, ow!

Day 20, why are we being bug bombed?

Day 23, oh, look who came back east.

Day 25, AwesomeCon! Something about a keyblade, a life-size dragon, and a Canadian.

Day 27, ow.

Day 28, ow!

Day 29, owww, what the hell?!

Day 30, ah, I’ve got a pinched nerve, making my arm hurt like hell. :irked:

Day 42, chili and ‘splosions!

Day 49, ice cream!

Day 50, sushi!

Day 53, something about an art museum and a Canadian.

Day 54, I would find a way to get lost on Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Day 66, well, it finally happened.

Day 80, DOGS!

Day 85, the fair! And bacon s’mores on a stick.

Day 88, the fair again! And a Krispy Kreme burger. And another bacon s’mores on a stick.

Day 90, eclipse!

Day 91, oh…

Day 92, πŸ™

Day 93, am I getting a cold?

Day 94, yes, this is a cold.

Day 95, I think it’s time to replay Kingdom Hearts! πŸ˜€

Day 96, it’s a

Day 97, much needed

Day 98, escape

Day 99, from reality.

And now…

Day 100, still playing the game, about done and onto replaying the second one soon, and I picked up some pizza on the way home from work! I didn’t have any space in my room for the pizza box, so I just stacked the pizza slices onto a plate, so really it’s a pile of pizza. Yummy!

So there’s another vague and cryptic (because none of your damn business) recap of these now rather arbitrary days onto which I still assign a very outdated importance because I’m a little too attached to my annual traditions. But, hey, we all have our coping mechanisms. Sometimes everything is going to hell, but you can still think, hey, it’s not so bad, I’m still observing some annual tradition like normal. Speaking of which, we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year on the horizon, as we stare down these final four months of 2017.

As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close, in a year that is just one glitch in the fabric of space-time (shut up, that makes sense) after another, as the personal and the political alike fly off the rails over and over, where next does this ride take us? What a frightening thought.

So ends this round, to return of course for Round 18 on May 24, 2018, whatever form the world and universe is in then. If still remotely recognizable. Probably not. :scared:

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 17.

August 21, 2017

Eclipse 2017

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Science — Katrina @ 8:23 pm

So like everyone else in the country, I spent a good part of my afternoon looking at the sky. The DC area is north of the path of totality, so we didn’t get the full coverage and had to settle for a maximum of 80% moon blockage scheduled at 2:40pm. I procured a proper viewer and started to watch.

1:17pm: Moon begins to cross the sun. (Right on time!)

1:45pm: Sun resembles cookie with bite taken out of it.

2:15pm: Crescent sun!

2:35pm: Skinnier crescent sun, almost time for peak…

2:38pm: Almost…

2:39pm: Oh crap…

Big Clouds: “HEY, YOU GUYS! Can we join the party?”

:irked:

This has been Day 90 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 17.

August 15, 2017

A Gross Misuse of Tiki Torches

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Assorted Politics,In the News — Katrina @ 10:49 pm

So… stuff happened in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend.

A bunch of white supremacists heard the town was moving a Robert E Lee statue, so they flipped out and marched on the park, with their torches… Wait a minute!

Are those… those backyard barbecue mosquito repellent torches you can get at Target? What’s wrong, guys, not ruggedly manly enough to get a big stick out of the woods and ignite it? Seriously, look at these stupid assholes. I feel like this isn’t so much a mob of white supremacists as a boggart that initially appeared as a mob of white supremacists but you’ve already said “Riddikulus!” Are we supposed to be afraid of these fuckbags? πŸ˜†

Well, not afraid, but definitely not unconcerned. One of them did run his car over a crowd of the counterprotesters, killing one and injuring a whole lot of others. These public manifestations of theirs do embolden their supporters, validating their spurious white superiority beliefs and putting others in danger. Doesn’t help (if not the least bit surprising) that the Orange Thing currently occupying the White House took two whole days to even kind of sort of say anything close to “racism is bad, mmmkay” in response to this. And today pretty much walked it back and blamed leftists because of course he did.

And we of course have not seen the last of this. Not at all.
(more…)

May 26, 2017

WTF Montana?

So you may have noticed there seems to be more bad behavior than usual in US politics. I mean, this was painfully realized last November, confirmed in January, and has been a not-sure-whether-to-laugh-or-cry spectacle ever since. The Orange Thing that’s been occupying the White House the past few months has bragged about sexual assault, mocked a disabled person, advocated war crimes, and, dear God, I’d be here for the rest of the decade if I were to even attempt a comprehensive list. But his party and supporters still stick by him. They still excuse this behavior.

But I didn’t mean to talk so much about him. Montana just elected a congressman who literally physically attacked a reporter who was merely asking him questions.

That’s right, elected. This incident happened on Wednesday night, the night before Special Election Day. In any decent or just universe, this would have been the end of him. But sure enough, despite there being some question as the race has been kind of close, Montana voted him right in.

While some have chalked it up to early voting, that many or most Montana voters had already cast their ballots before this happened, surveys taken at polling places yesterday are less than encouraging. People who knew full well that this man, Greg Gianforte, physically assaulted an innocent journalist, Ben Jacobs, still happily voted for him.

Because they believed the liberal journalist deserved it.

You know, yeah, we all know politicians have always been kind of terrible, to varying degrees anyway. You sort of have to be kind of terrible to succeed in it, sadly. But for the most part, they tend to at least pretend they are not terrible. They at least acknowledge there are certain behaviors that are unacceptable, even if so many get caught in their share of scandals. Even when caught, they and those around them might not try to act like it was all cool. They might still support them otherwise, but they acknowledge some wrong was done. That’s how it’s supposed to work anyway.

But whether the Orange Thing or Gianforte or whoever else (including those who aren’t Republicans, not pretending Democrats or others are at all innocent), it’s like some sort of party unity comes before everything else.

It’s like…
“Did you know Candidate hasn’t paid taxes in two decades, is cheating on his wife, and likes to kick puppies?”
“Yeah, but Other Candidate is Other Party and therefore evil. Also, her e-mails.”

Again, this is nothing new. It just seems to be getting a lot more blatant. A lot more shameless.

That there is the problem. Where is the line? The Orange Thing seems to be going out of his way to cross it, and why the hell hasn’t he yet for so many? And Gianforte and who knows how many others seeking elected office are getting the clear message that they can behave badly all they want, that being violent and out of control is the path to success.

We need to hold our leaders and ourselves a LOT more accountable than this. We need to fully understand that, no, the journalist did not deserve to be straight up body slammed just because of his political affiliation and because he was asking a tough question which, you know, any elected official had damn well better have thick enough skin to handle if they expect to get anywhere. We can’t have so many people in this country not understanding that.

The survival of our country depends on us all getting this. Violence like this out of someone wanting to be a congressman, and violence against a member of the press no less, which undermines the First Amendment, is the kind of thing that, if it becomes more commonplace, we can say goodbye to considering ourselves anything close to a free society. As it is, we have a police brutality problem, and there are too many people defending that for sure. How much worse can we let this get? How much more is going to be excused because of authoritarian beliefs or partisan rage?

Because this shit is not even close to okay!

This has been Day 3 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 17.

February 14, 2017

Mmmm, Candy Hearts 12

Filed under: Think About It! — Katrina @ 9:33 pm

“IM YOURS” Yes, candy heart, I suppose you are. Lucky you.

“YES” What are you replying to? Or is this open-ended?

“KISS ME” Well, you’ll pass between my lips in the course of being devoured, so close enough.

Ah, it’s Valentine’s Day again. How nice. Last year, by which I mean like four posts ago since I’ve been neglecting this thing, I finally said screw it and tore love itself apart. And it deserved it, that bastard. Masquerading so long as being pure and good and something that will trump hate, someone had to say it.

I believe I’ll take a different tack today, however.

When in love, there’s this urge to place object of said love on a pedestal, to see everything this person says or does as brilliant or amazing. Something that you just sort of come to expect and work to see through it. It makes no sense. This person isn’t brilliant. They’re totally full of shit and they know it and really you know it.

And then you know you know it. Then what?

You find you still love that pile of shit anyway, that’s what. Whether it’s in the form of wanting to kiss them or being deliriously happy when around them or wanting to fight over money and dinner plates for life, you still feel it nonetheless despite them being very clearly full of shit.

Not that this is really a beautiful thing. I mean, this is also how abusive relationships continue. But let’s say there’s no abuse here. It’s just seeing human imperfections for what they are. This pile of shit that has won your affections for some reason is, after all, human. Just like you. Such an important common ground!

So you two piles of shit, enjoy your evening!

I’ll sit here with my candy hearts.

“U R SWEET” I think you’re the sweet one, being made of sugar. I’m made of other stuff.

“MARRY ME” Eh, why not? Could be the start of a long relationship- Or not, I just ate you. I must be part spider.

“TRUE LOVE” Ah, but we just met. You have yet to see through my nonsense. Give it time- Or not, I just ate you.

December 31, 2016

NOPE 2016

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Going Places — Katrina @ 11:59 pm

It’s over. It’s finally over. Well, let’s take a last look…

January: Science Is Everywhere
-New TV
-Zoo Lights
-Something isn’t right.
-Spice cookies
-David Bowie?! Awww.
-Oh, dear, that house had an electrical fire.
-Alan Rickman?! Awww.
-Something still isn’t right.
-Wow, big snow storm.
-Got to watch as much Doctor Who as I can before Netflix pulls it.

February: Wagner
-Muse concert!
-Something very much isn’t right.
-Superbowl! Chili and cookies as usual.
-Something is most definitely not right…
-Oh. Oh no.
-I… I waited too long.
-Unless I’m mistaken? Am I mistaken?
-What is going on?
-I’m… not mistaken. πŸ™
-Soul searching late night drive. What do I do now?
-Wait. Is that a $72 roundtrip airfare to Chicago? Hell yeah, I’ll go to Chicago!
-Okay, I’ll go on a bunch of trips this year.
-Starting with a ski day at Seven Springs!

March: Kommissar
-What a bizarre board game.
-Goodbye, Downton Abbey.
-Zootopia!
-Lots of stories for Lent this year.
-Marzipan eggs!
-Brookside as usual.
-Solo Easter!

April: An Even Wackier One
-Now to the Outer Banks!
-But I won’t spend any money because I don’t want to reward North Carolina for their anti-trans bathroom asshattery.
-Up at 4am to go to the damn airport.
-Good morning, Chicago!
-The ledge at the Tower Formerly Known as Sears.
-Wow, that’s a weird pizza.
-It’s that painting you’re supposed to stare at, according to Ferris Bueller.
-Mmmm, Italian beef.
-Back to Midway. Back home. This was just a day trip after all. πŸ˜›
-My state’s turn for the presidential primary.
-Well, that was pointless.
-Now visiting the alma mater on the way to another day trip destination.
-Ah, the Ocean City boardwalk. Lots of kites!
-And a disturbing number of Trump shirts in the gift shops. -_-
-Mini-golf!

May: Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime
-Damn. The orange swamp monster secured the nomination.
-Birthday!
-Now to Baltimore to go to the aquarium.
-What a bizarre book title.
-Ugh, damn it, Capitals.
-Ugh, everything else.
-Nationals game. They lost.
-Another Nationals game. They lost.

June: 11:45 Entry
-More meh.
-But I’m going to New York next!
-Catching a bus at 6am.
-Bus is late. Must rush.
-Got there just in time. Up the escalator.
-I’m here.
-At last, after 19 years, I’m atop the World Trade Center! πŸ˜€
-Brexit vote: UK, WTF are you doing?

July: Metro Center
-Next up: Flying out to Las Vegas for July 4th weekend.
-Then flying back over July 4th fireworks!
-Then landed to find TSA opened my suitcase. :irked:
-Meh.
-Something about the Newseum and a Canadian.

August: Inkers
-Rio Olympics!
-Road trip to Connecticut!
-Weekend in Atlanta!

September: Arnos Grove
-Nationals game. Hey, they won this time!
-The Bazaar is in October?!
-Here we go again, seven years to the day after I left last time…
-London!
-No sleep on the flight over, though. :\

October: Six Pitchers
-Mmmm, Bazaar.
-Damn it, Nats. -_-

November: For Some Reason
-Election Day, at long last…
-No.
-No, no, no, no, no.
-ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE BETTER THAN THIS!
-Just… how? why?
-To airport super early…
-Hello, Magic Kingdom.
-What the shit? It’s November. Why is it so crowded? There’s never anyone here in November! :irked:
-Landed back at BWI. Why is my car not unlocking?
-Oh. I left a light on in my rush to make the flight. For five days. *grimace*
-I haven’t seen her in many many years.
-To Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Something about an aquarium and a Canadian.

December: Foamed Milk on a Pumpkin Spice Latte
-Christmas.

Alright, 2017 ball up there in Times Square…

Get us the fuck out of here! :scared:

December 24, 2016

Sweetly Singing Through the Night

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Musical Musing — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

It came upon the midnight clear
That glorious song of old
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold
“Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven’s all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long
Beneath the heavenly hymn have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong
And warring humankind hears not
The tidings which they bring
O hush the noise and cease your strife
And hear the angels sing!

For lo! The days are hastening on
By prophets seen of old
When with the ever circling years
Shall come the time foretold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing!

August 31, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places — Katrina @ 11:01 pm

I’m still here! Just hit a wall. Got a lot of stuff to backdate. Meh.

Anyway, hey, look what day it is…

DAY
100


Round 15 ended with a lot of things looking hopeful, and the final four months of 2015 continued this trend. Then this asshole of a year began and things looked bleak, personally and for the world at large. But things are kind of swinging better again.

Day 5: Nationals game! After walking all the way there from Gallery Place because screw the crowded Green Line platform. Just to see them lose to the Cardinals.

Day 11: Well, that was an annoying day that rendered a lot of the previous days’ hassle pointless. -_-

Day 12: No more delays. Just book them.

Day 13: I wonder if the complication has passed. Still can’t tell.

Day 23: When people send you something liquid in a container that very clearly is not meant to hold liquid. :irked:

Day 26: Top of the World Trade Center, at long last. πŸ˜€

Day 31: UK voters, WTF are you doing?!

Day 33: Pizza!

Day 36: I feel so invaded.

Day 39: Well, the switch seems to have taken effect. Anyway, off to BWI to fly to Las Vegas for some reason.

Day 40: M&Ms Star Wars glasses. Your argument is invalid.

Day 42: Flying home across the country on its special night, it sparkled below me. πŸ™‚

Day 43: TSA opened my suitcase and didn’t close the damn outer pocket when they were done.

Day 48: I just booked another one! Also, chili.

Day 49: Dairy Queen and Imagine.

Day 50: Meh.

Day 51: I think I just set something in motion.

Day 58: Republican Party, WTF are you doing?

Day 61: Rewatching Big Hero 6!

Day 69: Something about the Newseum, yucca fries, and a Canadian.

Day 73: Book the damn thing already.

Day 74: Booked! Also, Olympics! πŸ˜€

Day 75: Reading “Albus and Scorpius’s Excellent Adventure”.

Day 81: I do not have enough middle fingers for I-95 traffic in the sweltering heat.

Day 82: Connecticut!

Day 83: Yale Peabody Museum!

Day 88: What is this? Is this an Olympic event? Oh, it’s rhythmic gymnastics. I guess.

Day 89: Mmmm, Indian food.

Day 90: Aww, Olympics are over. But Japanese PM traveled from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro via Mario pipe. Your argument is invalid.

Day 96: Atlanta! Theme is Turner and aquatic life and lovely Olympic park at night. And way overpriced revolving restaurant in hotel I laughed nervously at and backed away slowly.

Day 97: Atlanta still! This time the theme is civil rights, Southern cuisine, and Coke. And back to the gigantic airport to return home.

Day 99: New roof, I guess.

And…

Day 100: Went to dinner with some people but otherwise unremarkable. But a quiet ending to a truly remarkable run.

As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close in a turbulent year, though leap years have a way of being turbulent as 2008 and 2012 certainly were, I wonder what is in store for the final four months. I have at least two more trips ahead, as well as a couple other tasks. I wonder what will become of some of what complicated the earlier part of the year. I wonder and hope that this year that began so rough can turn around and be pretty great in the end. Sour and then sweet, like that candy.

Well, I close the book on this round of the 100 Days of Summer, to do it once again for some reason on May 24, 2017, in whatever form the world will be in then. And given how things look, “whatever form” is right!

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 16.

August 28, 2016

Atlanta 2016, Part 2: Civil Rights & Coke

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Assorted Politics,Foodz,Going Places — Katrina @ 5:53 pm

Part 1 – Part 2

I got up a little after 8am, packed my little bag, and headed on down to check out of the hotel, as I wouldn’t be able to come by again later.

I wandered down Peachtree Street some ways to the stop, and soon enough here came the Atlanta streetcar. I had my MARTA card ready to pay, but there did not seem to be anything to tap nor did anyone ask. I got to my destination, for which I decided against walking as even at now around 9am it was already like 95 degrees, after what ended up being a free ride. Hmm.

Anyway…

Respect. *salute*

In front of which is some kind of sacred gas leak.

(more…)

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