July 8, 2018

Pruitt the Faithful

A few days ago, Scott Pruitt resigned as head of the EPA, the latest departure in this revolving-door-like administration. In doing so, he penned a letter to the Orange Thing. Let’s have a look…

Mr. President, it has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA.

And you use the term “honor” very loosely.

Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally

I wasn’t aware Orange Thing was capable of blessing people. Or of having confidence in them for that matter.

and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration.

Be it through catastrophic environmental damage or nuclear war, his agenda of turning our planet into a smoking husk will be realized much sooner than anyone would have thought, yes.

Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform, is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.

In other words, we’re way ahead of schedule on that 2°C rise.

That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6.

Now that wasn’t that hard, was it? Take note, Sessions! And Sanders. And Nielsen. And the rest.

It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity,

Someone has a cruuuuush…

but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.

Look at those ice caps melt!

However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.

Yeah, really, all the horrific accusations about you having a private e-mail server and running a child trafficking operation at a pizza restaurant- Oh, wait, that wasn’t you…

I believe these are yours.

My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people.

You talk to and about the Orange Thing as if his occupation of the White House is ordained by God or something-

I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence.

I believe that same providence brought me into your service.

Actually, Orange Thing appointed you- Oh, that’s what you mean. Weird.

I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people.

No entity real or imagined anywhere ever has enough power to make the Orange Thing an effective leader. All you’re doing is feeding his already dangerously high narcissism by speaking to and about him like some god-king, for reasons I’m not really sure I want to know.

Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.

Because when you’re famous they let you do it.

Your Faithful Friend, Scott Pruitt

This has been Day 46 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 18.

July 4, 2018

This Is Not Who We Are

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Assorted Politics,Think About It! — Katrina @ 10:03 pm

On July 22, 2016, around the time of the Republican National Convention, I posted this to Facebook:

I spent my 4th of July evening on a plane flying home from across the country. When the sun was out, I saw craggy desert that gave way to the Rocky Mountains that became flat farmlands. When it got dark, far below me, blinking on and off all over like lots of multicolored fireflies, were the fireworks shows. From above, on its special night, I watched my country sparkle. And under the sparkling were the people, in all the various terrains within our borders, from all walks of life, enjoying a cozy summer evening and watching bright flashy colors across the sky, saying “ooh” and “ahh” and “oh, look, a plane”. Diverse yet with a common bond. That’s who we are. That’s what it means to be American.

Yet, we have a presidential candidate and the major political party behind him peddling paranoia, xenophobia, bigotry, greed, and violence. Worse still, these things are being touted as “American”, that these things are not only desirable but are part of our national identity, that they are what makes us “great”. And the thing is, as the primaries have shown us, this is resonating. Maybe it’s because so many, of any political persuasion, whether in support or against, really are buying the idea that this is what it means to be American.

So let’s maybe drop that idea already. It is a dangerous lie. Don’t lend it any credence. We’re a diverse land and people who value freedom and human rights and other nice stuff like that. 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!

The Orange Thing’s campaign seemed like a bad parody of white conservative American intolerance, from the longing for some imagined “great” past to the hostility toward Hispanic and Muslim immigrants, with the explicit notion that those white conservatives who have these beliefs are the only “real” Americans, that the rest of us either don’t exist or aren’t important or don’t belong in our own country. The rest of us make up the vast majority of the country, and surely, I and so many others thought, what he’s saying is so blatantly toxic and against everything we’re about.

But then, on the night of November 8, 2016, I reshared that post with the added comment:

THIS IS NOT WHO WE ARE!

*looks at electoral map*

…right?

The following January, a few hours after Orange Thing made it official in front of probably anyone, at a resistance event at WES, I read the above post in the open mic portion. In person, through a microphone, with my actual voice, to a room full of people, I recited: “…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!” Followed by a round of applause.

It’s a year and a half later, and so so so much has happened, much of which I don’t even remember because it’s been one thing after another with this administration. There isn’t exactly anything great going on, that’s for sure.
(more…)

June 30, 2018

Immigrants Aren’t the Problem

Now for a migratory, border wall busting edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

This one is for just about anyone blaming immigrants for, well, anything.

We’ve all heard it. “They’re taking our jobs! They’re committing crimes! They’re costing tax money! They won’t even learn English or assimilate!” And so on.

Just stop. It’s been the same complaints over and over, ever since those horrible immigrants were Irish and even in other places. And it’s not clear why some of these complaints are specific to immigrants, as native born citizens are guilty of whatever the complaints are as well.

Oh, “they took our jerbs?” So are you saying that if you lost your job to a non-immigrant citizen it’d be fine? Wouldn’t you be just as without a job?

“They’re bringing drugs and gangs!” Right, because there aren’t any homegrown gangs? Trust me, even if all traffic in and out the country stopped, these things would continue.

“But it’s illegal immigrants that are the problem! They’re illegal!” So let’s make the path to legal citizenship easier then- Oh, you’re grumbling at that now? Okay, so somehow I don’t think the legality is what you’re so worried about. But I already knew that given all the jaywalking and neglecting to use turn signals that you do.

“But they don’t understand or care about American values!” Do you?

There’s no real backing to any of these usual anti-immigrant complaints, yet people are screaming bloody murder about them coming here as if this is life or death. No, you imbecile, it’s life or death for those who are coming here. They’re not leaving their home countries for shits and giggles. They are leaving because the situation at home has gotten extremely dangerous, such that their lives are on the line if they stick around.

So they come here to the US. And we should be PROUD of this! That when other countries unfortunately have problems and their people need someplace to go for safety, they see us and think “hey, that place looks great!” And they come here and become part of us and flourish. Isn’t that what we’re all about?

At least they would, except right now we’ve got dickheads in charge who recently decided it’d be a good idea to break up the families of those trying to seek asylum here. As in snatching small children from their parents and locking them away in their own camp, without any real means of being able to reunite them, all because these people had the gall to -gasp!- try to come into this country and HOLY SHIT this is a real thing that is happening in my country and how the fuck is anybody okay with this?!

Except for Jeff Sessions, who gleefully declares it a means of deterring these desperate people from trying to come here, because, well, it’s already obvious he has no soul, but I think his presence also saps the life force of anyone in his general vicinity. This is just plain raw evil right before our eyes, as this country’s Attorney General, and he does this believing there is a base to appeal to with this behavior. That the people who share in this evil, who are all for it and genuinely believe it’s good for the country, are the only people in this big diverse country worth appealing to.

And, you know, even if all the above paranoia about immigrants were true, and even exclusively so for immigrants, how is this sadistic backlash justified? How is ripping a terrified toddler from his mother’s arms and locking him up hundreds of miles away without any means in place of returning him no matter what happens with the rest of the family even remotely an appropriate response? Or, since that practice was finally ordered to halt a few days ago, locking them all up indefinitely? Why is there such a deep-seated fear of immigrants, be they Latin Americans or Syrians or whoever else, that anyone could believe them so deserving of the most horrific treatment for simply trying to come here? That this attempt to migrate here is deserving of swift and terrible retribution? What the fuck kind of country are we to behave this way, and what the fuck kind of people do we have here who look unflinchingly at this and think “this is fine”?

I don’t have an answer for that. Other than that it may be apathy or simply not knowing what to do or what can be done. Or in the case that they do truly believe all this is fine and good, and there is a fair share of them, they’ve been lied to for a long time. Because it’s not like such people feel this way due to specific incidents with immigrants. Even if they lost their jobs or were victims of some crimes due to illegal immigrants, somehow they had to be convinced it was the illegal immigration aspect to blame rather than anything else. Somehow they’ve been convinced not to look at the hiring practices and motivations behind those who might take an illegal immigrant employee over a citizen, that they might perhaps see an excuse to pay this person less and threaten them with deportation if they complain about treatment. It’s like, why blame those in power who create the problem when you can blame the powerless desperate migrant who has so much more to lose?

And that’s the core of it all here. Those screaming against immigrants are doing it because someone wants them to and is happily stoking the paranoia. Someone pointed to the immigrants, said they were the reason for the economic hardships of much of our population, and that population swallowed this right up and watches the indefinite migrant detentions with glee. Without a care for the long-term effects, be they personal for those migrants or for all of us for being citizens of the country responsible for it.

Immigrants aren’t the problem. Whoever is trying so hard to make you believe they are is the actual problem.

This has been Day 38 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 18.

June 14, 2018

Internal Threats

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Decrees!,Sports! — Katrina @ 1:54 pm

I hereby decree…

Colin Kaepernick is an American hero.

So a few weeks ago, NFL owners banned players from kneeling or otherwise not overtly respecting the flag during the national anthem. Or they could just stay in the locker room during it. That way they are out of sight and their lack of participation in athletic patriotic theater doesn’t have to offend anyone. Any non-compliant players and their teams would be fined.

Now there’s a ton to unpack here. For one, how many of these players do we keep finding out have been beating women and children? Yet they just get to keep on playing as long as they stand for the flag.

Why do sporting events have these patriotic and military displays to begin with? What do they even have to do with each other? Well, it seems the Pentagon has been paying teams for these displays for a long time, although apparently they’ve finally stopped. It explains why the games have them, but there’s the other troubling question of why the Pentagon has been doing this in the first place. Perhaps the pageantry is supposed to inspire a feeling of blind loyalty?

That may be the case. After all, Kaepernick and all the others who have taken a knee are doing it because things within the country we love aren’t that great, namely, as these guys are about, police brutality and the racism that perpetuates it. They don’t hate the country itself. They hate something seriously wrong that is happening in it and are using their public platform to call attention to it.

But calling this attention to something wrong in the country ruffles a lot of feathers. For one, so many miss the important distinction between calling attention to a serious wrong in an otherwise loved country and hating the country. The message is supposed to be “please stop killing black people!” but some keep reading it as (or claiming to read it as) “I don’t support the troops!”

It’s a weird stretch to see a perceived lack of reverence for the flag and the national anthem as a slight against the military. Perhaps it’s mostly a guilt trip, that these soldiers went out and died for this country and that flag while not showing proper reverence for that flag somehow diminishes their sacrifice. It’s a bullshit guilt trip, of course. I mean, the Star Spangled Banner is literally about the flag surviving a war, but apparently it can’t survive a football player kneeling?

It’s also bullshit because the point is to silence the kneelers’ message. I mean, I get being indignant when it seems like someone is raining on your celebration, where you want to enjoy the bit of tacky showy patriotism, only for someone to be like “okay, but a lot of bad shit is happening”. We’re all permitted our escapism, and watching football is most definitely that. But the military promotion is kind of in and of itself flying in the face of that, because it’s like we all just want to chill and watch a game, and there they are being like “but don’t forget, war is a thing!”

You know, they go on about the sacrifices these soldiers have made and celebrate them and the country, but gloss over any justification for why those soldiers were wherever they were in the first place, why they had to die, or, which would drive their point home more but they nonetheless avoid it, how mind-blowingly horrifying war is. But of course that’s how they sell it. They want more people to sign up and keep promoting doing so as something heroic and glorious, and a lot of us eat it up. I mean, if it were always just causes, sure, but the reality has a lot more shades of grey.

Maybe this is why it ruffles so many feathers to see a black man kneeling instead of saluting, calling attention to the senseless murders of other black people in a society that sees only white people as important or worthwhile. They don’t want their attention called to serious problems within the country these soldiers are making the ultimate sacrifice for (and they certainly don’t like a black person calling attention to a failing of white society). They don’t like this perceived slight against heroes.

But then again, Colin Kaepernick is himself heroic. I mean, he’s not at a literal war, true, but he’s speaking out about an important issue at great personal risk.

I’ve mentioned before about the difference in perception of members of the military and social activists, where the former are considered heroic and deserving of unquestionable praise while the latter are troublemakers who should sit down and shut up, something that is clearly playing out here. But the social activists need to be recognized as the heroes they are, because what they work on are internal threats, which are often even more dangerous than anything from the outside.

For example, September 11th was touted by some as an attack on our freedom. But what ended up happening was we curtailed our own freedom in response. The horrific attacks happened but alone did nothing to change how free we were or weren’t. Everything from reduced civil liberties to Islamophobia we did on our own. None of that could be fixed by sending troops to Afghanistan. These were at home internal threats that domestic activists had to rectify, knowing it would destroy us to let them go unabated, all the while being called unAmerican.

Let me say this again. These internal threats would destroy us. Racism is destroying this country, as are sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and the rest. These are not mere inconveniences for certain affected populations, but a serious problem that can and will destroy us. After all, those affected populations are just as American, and more importantly just as human. This country belongs to them at least as much as to any privileged white people who get to debate this as a distant rhetorical game rather than live it on a daily basis. When you truly understand that, then you’ll understand how urgent the problem is, and how much deep shit we’re in as a nation when we not only don’t effectively address it but mock and vilify those who do. And you’ll understand it’s nothing you can point the military at. It’s all within.

I’d like to point out also that I do like our flag and our national anthem. I can feel that way while recognizing how dangerous it is to make them mandatory.

This has been Day 22 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 18.

June 8, 2018

All for This

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Sports! — Katrina @ 7:27 pm

Sometimes you find that time after time, year after year, you hit your head against the same wall. Or you put your hopes in something that continually disappoints and does so hard. Sometimes you find yourself hoping and yet knowing the result will be the same. Sometimes you go or end up into something where it’s pretty much guaranteed you’re staring down hurt and frustration and disappointment and the subsequent depression.

This can be said for a lot in life.

Here in DC, the hope gets shattered in October and in May and sometimes in January, if any of those gets that far. When they do, they are shut down and hard. Every time there seems to be hope, a possibility. Maybe this time, it is said time and again, followed by maybe next year. Maybe next year. Maybe next year.

And why? What is even the point? Why be set up just to be knocked down? Why endure the nervousness only to feel it replaced with the icy rush of defeat flowing through your blood vessels? Why keep coming back? Why?

Because…

That tiny little possibility that it really just might be different this time.

Because…

Somehow…

Sometimes it is.

6/7/18 – NEVER FORGET

This has been Day 16 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 18.

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, 🙁

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! 😀

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?”

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? 😆

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.

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. 😀

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. 🙂

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! 😀

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…)

August 27, 2016

Atlanta 2016, Part 1: Turner & Fish

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places — Katrina @ 9:01 pm

Part 1 – Part 2

Friday night I was supposed to be getting ready for the weekend but instead found myself eating ice cream and watching Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and telling myself I’d get right on it.

Unlike Chicago and New York, I didn’t have to get up before sunrise as I snagged a midday flight. The next morning I parked in the Green Lot at Dulles and got the shuttle and went on into the terminal. No suitcase to check. Just my little bag with me. I brace myself for the TSA line and head down the escalator to it… to find no line at all. I walked straight over to the guy who checked my ID and boarding pass and mentioned I’m not sure I’d ever seen the TSA line not completely packed. “You just missed it,” he replied.

Way early for my flight, I went to the long C&D concourse where my gate was, near the beginning of the C gates. And I got to do something I’d always wanted to do but have done before: Walk from one end to the other! Touched the wall by C1 at 10:40am and walked all the way to the other end, touching the wall there at 10:55am. As I approached the latter, by a gate that was not being used at the time, some guy who worked at the airport was sitting in one of the chairs, watching me. Once I touched the wall and started back, he said, “it’s a long way, isn’t it? how long did it take you?” I told him 15 minutes and continued. Okay, so I guess this is a common thing here.

On my way back, I noticed this giant anthropomorphic kinder egg outside a duty free shop declaring a love for DC. Aren’t kinder eggs illegal in the US? If this thing is here, I can only assume it stowed away on a flight from Europe but got caught at customs. Must be waiting for a flight back out of the country. The professed love for DC must be trying to make nice with the locals so maybe it can stay, or it’s gloating that it got this far. Not sure which.

(more…)

June 18, 2016

New York 2016

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places — Katrina @ 10:14 pm

So there I was at the Greenbelt Metro station at 6am waiting for a bus that was running late. It showed up finally with an apologetic driver, and we were heading north on I-95, stopping off in Baltimore to fill the bus the rest of the way. North we continued along this very familar megalopolitan expressway.

Why do New Jersey on-ramps have “No Turns” signs?

Eventually, the skyline came into view, and we were into the Lincoln Tunnel. I had purchased a ticket for 11:45am entry, and with the late departure, I was cutting it close. The bus stopped at its 33rd Street spot, and I zipped on out of it and over a few blocks to the subway station for the southbound C train. Which, seeing as I was in a rush, seemed to take forever. But it got there, all squeaky and smelly because New York subway, and many stops later I was out at Chambers Street.

Where to now? Well, my destination is rather conspicuous. I got in at 11:45am exactly and was admitted and led to security.

Which, holy crap, made us go through a backscatter machine. How… well, not ironic exactly, but something.

Now walking through what’s made to look like a cave for some reason, and there are the elevators. Short line for that, and up up up, through time, through 102 floors.

To some short film about the city. Then out to a hall to get a guide tablet if desired, and then forcible green screen picture so they can sell it back to you because every damn place seems to have these. Down to the floor below where the restaurant is, as well as a smaller cafe with quicker stuff.

And down one more floor to the observation deck…
(more…)

August 31, 2015

Equines, Vines, and Mines

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places — Katrina @ 10:57 pm

Hey, look what day it is. Come around for the fifteenth time and once again it is…


DAY

100

Alright, let’s see, what went on that’s remotely interesting and I feel like sharing…

Okay, none of it is all that interesting, but here it is anyway.

Day 4, late birthday cake gathering for me at work, later Trapped Forever by Metro because I didn’t have the exit fare

Day 6, aaaand trying to drive down a very narrow DC street resulted in me destroying someone’s side mirror, clearly going into DC is a bad idea in general.

Day 7, Rush concert! Three hours of music… but they didn’t play Freewill. Sigh. Afterward, Virginia said “oh, going into DC has been nightmarish? challenge accepted!” So in the middle of the night I was stuck in construction traffic on the beltway for THREE HOURS!

Day 8, a bunch of weird backyard games, but stayed in Maryland, so no driving issues this time!

Day 9, gahhh, jury duty! County is making me miss work… for like two hours. They let us out at like 11am and I was still able to go to work. Cool.

Day 13, mmmm, free donut!

Day 14, AMERICAN PHAROAH [sic] WINS THE TRIPLE CROWN!!!!!

Day 21, took little brother to Sugarloaf to climb rocks to his heart’s content.

Day 22, yay, rained out barbecue!

Day 25, parents clearing out stuff from old storage trailer, better not throw away stuff I want to keep!

Day 26, work picnic! Oh, and my headlight’s out.

Day 27, trying to get a blood test and get my headlight bulb replaced on the same day was a bad idea.

Day 29, Nationals game!

Day 35, Inside Out!

Day 39, family left town on a train and left the Wii with me, woohoo!

Day 42, ‘splosions and chili!

Day 43, Team USA wins World Cup!

Day 45, wow, there’s this overgrown vine slowly conquering my backyard… Better start yanking it out… Hey, we have an air conditioner! I remember that thing.

Day 47, Donkey Kong Country! Fuck yeah!

Day 50, cleaning up a lot of crap, finding a lot of old crap I kept for some reason.

Day 54, crap, I think my laptop is having issues.

Day 55, loud tapas are loud!

Day 56, Minions!

Day 57, family left again… but took the Wii with them this time. D’oh!

Day 61, power outage at work! LOL

Day 64, so hard to pick out a new laptop.

Day 68, LOL another power outage at work

Day 69, hey, my car hit 69,000 miles today! What timing!

Day 70, Crash Bandicoot!

Day 75, oh, wait, my laptop does still work, Chrome was just eating its RAM for breakfast.

Day 77, hey, it’s 8/8 and I opened an 8 in Minesweeper! Think I’ll bingewatch Sense8.

Day 80, making travel plans.

Day 84, zoo!

Day 86, eep, I’m in trouble… I can fix this.

Day 87, yay, I fixed this!

Day 91, all the numbers!

Day 94, time for car maintenance… going to take a while, I’ll need to take a *shudder* loaner car! I hate the loaner car! I want MY car!

Day 95, a bunch of very expensive car work later, finally rid of loaner car and got my own car back!

Day 97, shit, my other headlight is out now.

Day 98, stuff that should have happened a long time ago.

Day 99, mmmm, yummy Greek salad.

And finally…

Day 100. Crazy work day and a mysterious intermittent rumbling sound at home. And chicken wings.

Alright.

As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close, I see that so far 2015 has had a lot going on, which will be gone over on New Year’s Eve. But it’s got four more months to work with. And I’ve got to post on here again because this thing has been kind of neglected.

Goodbye to another 100 Days of Summer. It all starts up again on Day 1 of Round 16 on May 24, 2016, in whatever form the world will be in then. Who knows!

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

August 23, 2015

New Hat!

Hey, check it out. I was playing Minesweeper because, well, I’m me, and look what happened. I won. Well, of course I won. I’m awesome. But I won a field that had every number on it. 😀

Okay, it was on the third try, but still counts.

You may also notice something different around here. Sure, Why Not? is totally new and improved! The color scheme and whatnot are… ugly as all hell like usual.

But it’s got a new hat!

And by that I mean new header. The winning Minesweeper field with every number because why not? I was tired of the old one.

Enjoy the brand new Sure, Why Not?. 😛

This has been Day 92 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

June 6, 2015

Who Comes After Affirmed?

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Sports! — Katrina @ 9:36 pm

He won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Nothing new. They do that all the time.

And they’re off in the Belmont Stakes.

Crap. He got off to an early lead. That’s certain doom.

Around the far turn. He’s still in the lead, but there’s still a ways to go.

There’s one of the horses coming up on him now. Sigh. Oh, well. Another let down.

Wait a minute…

That horse is quitting.

There’s no one gaining on him now.

Oh, my God…

OH, MY GOD!

HE DID IT!!!!

American Pharoah [sic] won the Triple Crown! It finally happened!!!! 😀

I’ve been waiting my whole life to see this!!!

Good job, American Pharoah! Who’s a good horsey with a misspelled name? Who’s a good fast horsey? That’s right. You are! 😀

This has been Day 14 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 15.

August 31, 2014

Cent Jours Quatorze

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Going Places — Katrina @ 10:59 pm

On “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” earlier this year, a show that reaches unheard of heights of what one can ever imagine awesomeness can be (appropriately enough), Neil deGrasse Tyson condensed the life of the universe into a single year. In this cosmic calendar, the sun was created on August 31. That’s today! You know what else today is? That’s right…

DAY
100


It’s the last day of Round 14. So let’s recap.

Day 1, I’m off to New York City. Sound familiar? Well, this time I got dragged along with my family. Got a cool hotel next to the new WTC, though. Amazing views!

Day 2, still in NYC, terrible service at restaurant and mad dash to Penn Station to catch train home.

Day 15, Triple Crown Winner? Come on, California Chrome…. Nope. -_-

Day 21, sweet! World Cup games on big screen at work!

Day 23, Kingdom Hearts!!! Expert mode this time. 😀

Day 32, my voter registration wasn’t updated when I changed my address six months ago! I need to vote in the primary but don’t know where! Grrr.

Day 37, Frozen sing-a-long at WES… I WANT TO SEE FROZEN AGAIN!!!! So picked up a copy of it right afterward. Got How to Train Your Dragon, too, because why not?

Day 42, ‘splosions!

Day 48, me: “Wow. This fruit salad is spicy.”

Day 49, How to Train Your Dragon 2 in movie theater! Toothless is adorable!!! 😀

Day 50, think I’ll spend the midpoint at a state park on the Chesapeake… or not, it’s too damn hot outside and the beltway is backed up because of course it is. Back home. Try again some other time. And start replaying Kingdom Hearts 2.

Day 57, Planes 2 with little brother.

Day 64, very old grand-aunt’s memorial service and distant cousins.

Day 78, National Air and Space Museum with little brother! And flight simulator.

Day 90, EVERY SIMPSONS EVER!!!!

Day 93, Nationals game!

And finally…

Day 100. A WES platform with lots of pets! And afterward, some unfinished Day 50 business, even though the day was even hotter but at least no beltway traffic. Calvert Cliffs! After a two hour drive and then a two mile walk. Very nice. 🙂

I think my memory is getting bad since I’m just not remembering much for these recaps. Or less of interest is happening. Or I’m getting more sensible about what I share publicly. Or I’m realizing this is a whole lot of Shit Nobody Cares About. There was also a conspicuous lack of any NYRA activities, namely an Annual Meeting. I need to do some interesting stuff.

Oh, well. As these 100 Days of Summer draw to a close, well, I guess I need to do more interesting stuff. See you for the fifteenth round beginning May 24, 2015, in whatever form the world will be in then. Probably about the same.

This has been Day 100 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 14.

July 28, 2014

Offend the Offensive

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Think About It! — Katrina @ 7:31 pm

Quick! Define “offensive”.

Okay, okay, okay, shut up…

Whatever it is you just said, my answer would be different. So would everyone else’s. What is offensive is subjective. And, whether some want to admit it or not, absolutely everyone is offended by something.

There are a number of things that tout themselves as being proudly “offensive”. South Park was once a prime example. These days, there are a number of Facebook pages with taglines saying something like “If something on this page offends you, ha ha, too bad! Go punch your parents for having raised a pussy.”

Such messages tell me nothing about what is on that page. Why do they think one might find their content offensive? They say “fuck” sometimes? They mention sex? Irreverent humor? I’m not offended by any of that. Hell, the things that offend me are often found in places that deem themselves inoffensive. The radio station I wake up to is the local generic Clear Channel light pop station (97.1 WASH here in DC), and it offends me quite a bit. This is a station that cuts the word “screwed” out of Gotye’s “Somebody that I Used to Know”, and yet, I still find some of the DJs’ commentary offensive. Almost entirely, what’s offensive is their remarks are grossly anti-youth.

And here’s the other thing. It’s worth looking into WHY something is offensive. Sometimes it in fact is someone being oversensitive, as there are some pretty damn stupid things people find offensive. My being offended at ageism is unusual, in that not too many other people find it offensive, and they might consider me oversensitive. Well, there’s a reason I take offense at ageism, and that is not only that ageism is wrong, but not enough people know that, and hearing ageism promoted so much just encourages and perpetuates it. Of course, the real harm and wrongness of ageism is what a complaint about such commentary would be based on, not simply the fact that I find it offensive.

If someone says something is offensive, the correct response is to ask why, not to simply say “shut up, you’re oversensitive”. That’s the difference between communicating and being an asshole.

Some that say they’re proudly offensive turn out to mean they’re proudly bigoted. Or maybe not necessarily bigoted, but they might frequently use racial or other slurs jokingly in their posts and images. They might take shots at women or the disabled. Basically, anyone who isn’t an able-bodied white straight cis male. Funny how that works out. They think they’re so badass espousing prejudices that most people already have.

In fact, if you were to point this out to these people, you know how they’d react? That’s right. They’d be offended. They’d pretend they aren’t. They say the idiotic well-worn “I’m offended by those who get offended”. But the idea is they would object, so they would be offended. And for less reason, since saying “your group of people is inferior” is a more reasonable thing to be offended by than “I didn’t laugh at your joke”. So, yeah, who’s the oversensitive one again?

Finding something offensive is not in and of itself a reason for something being wrong. There’s a difference between offensive and wrong, of course. If something is wrong, explain why and how it is wrong. But just because something that is wrong is also offensive doesn’t mean that the person pointing it out is simply being “easily offended”. After all, complaining about someone being offended is not a defense of the possibly-offensive thing in question. 😉

This has been Day 66 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 14.

July 4, 2014

7 Incredibly Stupid Criticisms of the United States

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Assorted Politics,What the hell? — Katrina @ 2:13 pm

The USA has a lot of problems. Dear sweet God, are there a lot of problems! And that’s just what we know about. There’s also problems and major flaws we don’t even know about, and others we just don’t know the extent. So many many flaws this country of ours has!

These are not among them…

“When are you going to switch to the metric system like the rest of the world?”

We’ll switch to the metric system (which we learned in school alongside imperial measurements, by the way) when the UK, Ireland, Japan, India, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand start driving on the correct side of the road “like the rest of the world”.

“The national anthem mentions war and bombs! It’s the only one in the world that does!”

First of all, do you think Canada is the only other country in the world with a national anthem? Because it’s not, and plenty of national anthems are pretty bloody and belligerent. Also, have you actually listened to the Star Spangled Banner? It’s about our flag not getting torn to shreds in a battle. It’s about surviving being attacked, not us doing the attacking.
(more…)

June 30, 2014

Best and Worst

Filed under: 100 Days of Summer,Estrogen,Think About It! — Katrina @ 10:18 pm

There’s a popular quote attributed to Marilyn Monroe that goes something like: “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.”

And seeing as it has comes off in even the slightest as empowering for women (even though no gender is stated), there’s no shortage of anti-feminist jerks (the so-called “men’s rights activists” but I don’t like to call them that because men’s rights isn’t something they actually care about) whining about it and calling Monroe a drug-addicted slut who therefore had no business wanting respect. Because a woman wanting respect is oppressive to men somehow.

But I digress. There’s that and there’s an actually reasonable criticism of the statement, which involves responding with “Define ‘worst.'”

If “worst” means “abusive”, then surely one shouldn’t be expected to handle that. Or even if “worst” isn’t necessarily abusive but is still extremely draining and leaving very little of any “best” to speak of, yeah, that’s not a great situation.

Or just take it at face value, in which case “worst” might simply mean sad or sick or stressed or scared. Rather normal human lows, that if you’re going to cast off someone for experiencing, you’re kind of an asshole. Or at least it’s not much of a relationship or friendship or whatever.

Humans are imperfect. It’s not a bad thing to remember. But, hey, why get in the way of some accusatory overthinking? 😛

This has been Day 38 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 14.

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