December 25, 2015

Hyvää joulua!

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell? — Katrina @ 12:49 pm

Here it is. Another Christmas Day. The preceding weeks consisted of Winter Festival rehearsals, cookie baking, and shoving chocolate down people’s throats because it’s Christmas, damn it!

I’ve never had to travel for Christmas before. Always sort of pitied those who do. I guess I’m lucky. Or just stationary. Why leave your home for Christmas? Stay and relax. Eat yummy treats. Bake more yummy treats. Watch specials. Play music. That’s a nice Christmas. Why hoist yourself off to some airport and fight crowds just to spend some awkward time with relatives for whatever reason like some kind of chump?

Well, for some reason, I’m a chump this year. I’m off to the airport. Sigh.

Merry Christmas!!!!

December 24, 2015

If Only in My Dreams

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Musical Musing — Katrina @ 9:51 pm

Candles in the window
Shadows painting the ceiling
Gazing at the fire glow
Feeling that gingerbread feeling

Precious moments
Special people
Happy faces
I can see

Somewhere in my memory
Christmas joys all around me
Living in my memory
All of the music
All of the magic
All of the family
Home here with me.

December 23, 2015

Presence of Presents

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:57 pm

I’ve mentioned a number of times that I’m sick of people complaining about Christmas being “materialistic” or some crap. That we focus too much on presents and not enough on Jesus or family or something like that. As if these things are mutually exclusive or something.

But presents are not only, you know, gifts. They’re wrapped and under the tree and not to be opened until Christmas morning. They’re a mystery!

And isn’t that just like the coming year? The future? That the future is just there all mysterious and just waiting to be revealed. Could be everything you wanted. Could be disappointing. Could actually be a live cobra for some reason. Could be nothing you expected but everything you needed.

Okay, I’m making this up, but it sounds cool.

December 22, 2015

That Was Quick

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Random Crap — Katrina @ 11:45 pm

It’s the Winter Solstice.

It’s the day of darkness and cold. When the daylight little by little gets longer, until spring comes, and warm weather comes.

Warmer days will come again but they are a long way off, and-

Wait a minute.

Weather forecast over next few days:
Dec 23, 65 degrees.
Dec 24, 74 degrees.
Dec 25, 66 degrees.

Or really soon. Whatever.

December 21, 2015

Sitters Are Now the Sittees

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:34 pm

You know what’s depressing? Twelve-year-olds in day care. Twelve!

As in, they’re in middle school, and parents need to arrange for some kind of after school care for them until they get off work.

Did I mention… twelve!

I mean, in many places, the parents don’t have much choice, as twelve or thirteen is about the minimum age a kid can be left alone at home.

Ugh. Rules like this are not only a huge insult to these kids, but they’re a boon for the care providers. I mean, if parents are required by law to use their services, they’re raking in the cash. I wonder if they’re behind the age of being left alone at home being so high, since they sure do profit from it.

And this just makes things harder on lower income families. Child care is expensive, and it doesn’t help to make parents and kids have to wait longer before the kids can just go straight home after school and take care of themselves for a few hours. They either have to shell out the money or quit their jobs. Or break the law.

And, obviously, of course kids twelve and under can go straight home and take care of themselves for a few hours before their parents get home. It’s what my sister and I did. I was home alone as young as eight. Last time I was in day care, I was the oldest kid there… at age seven.

In fact, when I was thirteen, I was the one looking after a four-year-old neighbor every week or so while his parents were out. I was the one doing the sitting at an age that kids now are the ones being sat.

Nothing biological has changed. Just fears of lawsuits and -gasp!- unattended children! Children who aren’t busy with some activity, who, if without an activity, will get into -gasp!- trouble!

December 20, 2015

21 to Drink… Anything

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:04 pm

So I was at Target earlier and there were some sets of novelty drinking glasses on one shelf. One set’s theme was of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, with glasses showing the squirrel and Clark entangled in lights and other stuff. Oh, and this set identified these as “pint glasses” and had “Age 21+” printed on the corner of the box.

Yeah… Okay. A lot of things about this.

1. These are drinking glasses and contain no alcohol. Drinking glasses are not age restricted. They can be used for any drink.
2. There were identical drinking glass sets on the shelf of Wonder Woman, Minions, Peanuts, and Avengers and such, none of which said “Age 21+” nor identified them as “pint glasses”.
3. Pint is a unit of volume, equal to two cups or half a quart or 16 fluid ounces. This measurement refers to this volume of any substance, not just beer.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is not an “adult” movie. In fact, it’s been on constantly all month on ABC Family.

December 19, 2015

LOL He’s Doomed

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Musical Musing,The Occasional Godliness — Katrina @ 11:07 pm

In another fun edition of “weird shit in Christmas songs” let’s have a look at the old carol Personent Hodie, also known as “On This Day, Earth Shall Ring”.

Second verse starts off like this: “His the doom, ours the mirth, when he came down to earth.”

Mirth! We’re supposed to be mirthful that Jesus showed up as all human and stuff and bled out on the cross? I get that the idea was that he did all that for our sake for some convoluted reason, but it seems to be more than a little dickish to be mirthful about it.

I mean, I can see it being “how wonderful, he saved us!” But this makes it sound more like “Hahaha, he’s going to get crucified!”

Which, if anything, seems to render the crucifixion pointless.

December 18, 2015

Roasting

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Musical Musing — Katrina @ 9:16 pm

Gather around. Gather around. Let’s sing!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire

Sounds hazardous.

Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Pervert.

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir

That’s nice.

And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

That’s racist.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright.

Being sleepy and kissing?

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

Didn’t they get any turkey?

They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh

Yay!

And every mother’s child is going to spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly.

These kids want proof of these supernatural claims. I like that.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two

What about 11-month-olds? What about 93-year-olds? Hmph!

Although it’s been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you!

And no one is arresting you for saying it. Take note, Christian conservatives!

December 17, 2015

Meaning of Christmas

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:33 pm

Yeah, we’ve all heard the “Jesus is the reason for the season” types. What this holiday and season is about is awfully contentious for something that we can at least agree is supposed to be about peace and love.

But I’m not disagreeing with that statement.

Yes, Christmas is about Jesus. There’s no question about that.

It’s just that it’s ALSO about Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, trees, presents, cookies, cards, lights, holly, the Grinch, mistletoe, carols, candles, cookies, garland, tinsel, Charlie Brown’s sad little tree, gingerbread houses, snow, light, dark, stars, cookies, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, candy canes, leg lamps in the living room bay window, elves, the Griswolds, Rudolph, cookies, Ebenezer Scrooge, feasting on roast beast, the Polar Express, ribbons, wrapping paper, George Bailey, cookies, trains, stockings, sleigh bells, Yule logs, Nutcrackers, poles, Saturnalia, Solstice, cookies, those weird wreath hats with the candles they wear in Sweden, that cake they eat in Japan, Grandfather Frost, Jack Frost, chestnuts, and, of course, peace, love, joy, hope, and giving. And cookies.

And what the hell is wrong with that? 😛

December 16, 2015

Your Choice, Huh?

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:21 pm

Some time ago, I saw a picture of a protest in California about some new vaccination requirements. Yeah, the protesters were anti-vax idiots (redundant, I know) who were none too pleased about this. One woman’s sign even clearly said “My Child, My Choice”.

:dubious:

There’s yet another sign of the mind-blogging extent of parental entitlement. When forbidding you from letting your child catch serious illness and die is suddenly some egregious violation of parental rights.

What’s next?

“How dare you force me to actually FEED my child? Food contains sugar and pesticides and scary sounding ingredients I can’t pronounce and know nothing about but am sure they cause cancer. I have a right not to give that to my child!”

“How dare you force me to actually give my child WATER? It’s also called dihydrogen monoxide and it’s the main component of urine! It’s also full of fluoride which will make my child stupid! Also chem trails.”

Sigh.

December 15, 2015

Environmental Progress

Filed under: Assorted Politics,Christmas Time!,Science,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:42 pm

Where does anyone get this ridiculous idea that being more environmentally friendly means impeding human progress? As if it’s one or the other. As if wanting to reduce pollution is against technology or something.

I’ve seen some of my friends make this sort of claim, particularly libertarians. And it’s pure political posturing, and as with most or all political posturing, it makes no sense.

Here’s a thought. Maybe a new technology that is more environmentally friendly than its predecessor is in itself a form of human progress. What an idea!

Instead of this whole “you want to reverse climate change? how dare you disparage the invention of the telephone!”, or, more to the point of what people who say this are really thinking, “how dare you impede a business’s right to destroy the planet!”, how about “hey, climate change is a problem, we need renewable energy, let’s embark on finding ways to solve these problems via, you guessed it, new science and technology!”?

This is obvious if you think about it for five seconds. Though if you’re just trying to make some political point, thought has nothing to do with anything.

December 14, 2015

Unchecked Power

Ever notice how our world seems to give unchecked power so much benefit of the doubt? Or, well, I suppose that’s true by definition as, if it weren’t given benefit of the doubt, then it wouldn’t be unchecked.

Look at some of the reactions in cases of police brutality. “Oh, well, he must have done something wrong for the police to have gone after him in the first place. They wouldn’t beat him up or shoot him for no reason.” You know, because apparently if a police officer so much as looks at you, it just makes sense to these people that you might as well kiss your ass goodbye, rather than, you know, saying “hey, this is wrong!” like any decent person would.

There’s also child abuse. Parents have near limitless power over their children, which very much allows for abuse, and abuse is very much rampant, but when it happens, you get reactions like “oh, well, the kids are probably exaggerating or outright lying, just ungrateful brats who probably deserved it, all parents love their children!” Ignoring that, for one, no they fucking don’t, and that they have no actual reason to believe the kids are lying, or to know for sure either way for that matter. But what is known is that parents who want to commit unspeakable crimes against their children could do so very easily, and pretending they just don’t or wouldn’t is very dangerous.

Then there’s war crimes. A hospital or school or the like gets bombed, killing a bunch of innocent civilians. And what’s the response? “Oh, well, that’s war for you. Sometimes civilians get killed. In fact, they probably weren’t so innocent and were likely hiding the bad guys so they probably deserved it.” Based on absolutely nothing. Just more of avoiding the necessary task of calling out what’s horribly wrong and instead trying to justify it.

Know what else? God! If an omnipotent God allows all of the above and more and worse to happen, who’s telling him to knock that shit off? It’s always “God works in mysterious ways! Everything happens for a reason! God loves us!” Yeah, meanwhile, somewhere in the world, a four-year-old girl just died of an infection caused by a ritual genital mutilation, but sure, yeah, loving omnipotent God we should continue worshiping.

True, a lot of this comes from feeling helpless, seeing many of these forces not as always right but as all-powerful and therefore there’s no choice but to assume rightness. And just plain not knowing how to change anything and finding it easier to tell the victims that they were the ones who were wrong, to give the illusion that we have more control over our fates than we actually do. But we can understand that tendency and still acknowledge it’s wrong. I mean, you don’t need to know exactly how to make a certain change in order to speak up about what’s wrong. Shit, if you had to, about 90% of those protesting or raising awareness about just about anything would be out of work! But there’s bad things happening. Acknowledge that they are bad and quit making excuses for them.

December 13, 2015

Games and Other Games

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:05 pm

I’m completely sick to death of the idea that watching sports and playing video games are male-only activities.

Me, I do watch sports, being a fan of the various Washington teams, and while I don’t play as much as I wish I did, I do enjoy video games as well. Oh, and I’m female!

I even see this idea coming from progressive sources that should know better. Too busy criticizing traditional cis-het masculinity and all that’s stereotypically associated with it that they end up reinforcing it by erasing those who aren’t cis-het males who enjoy such activities.

Society has been very slowly coming around about this, truth be told. Realizing that, yes, there are plenty of female gamers, and, yes, there are plenty of women watching NFL games who aren’t just putting up with it with a male (real) fan. Too slowly, though.

Not to mention that “nerdy” activities, like comic books and role-playing games and sci-fi and the like, are assumed to be just for guys. I don’t even get that stereotype. What, are girls supposed to be too pretty and not supposed to be thinking at all to be interested in that sort of thing, and that any girls who aren’t pretty are just, as always, assumed to not exist?

December 12, 2015

One More Ghost

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Dead Tree Sandwiches,WTF Did I Just Write? — Katrina @ 11:11 pm

After Ebenezer Scrooge had his fateful Christmas Eve encounter with the spirit of Jacob Marley and then the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, he vowed to change his ways and become the nicest guy in the world. He bought the Cratchits a Christmas feast and promoted his nephew. We all know that.

But that next night, suddenly another spirit visited him.

Scrooge: Another spirit! What is it now? Who are you?

Ghost: Oh, don’t worry. I’m just here to have you rate your experience with the Past, Present, and Future Ghosts. Would you say you were satisfied with their overall message? What parts of your experience stood out the most for you?

Scrooge: Hmm, hard to pick just one. But perhaps it was what the Ghost of Christmas Future showed me that was the most eye-opening.

Ghost: Yeah? Go on.

Scrooge: He showed me that little Tiny Tim would die, and then that I would die. If I did not change my ways.

Ghost: Alright. Is that all?

Scrooge: It was devastating to my very core.

Ghost: So you have made changes in your life that should prevent these things from happening?

Scrooge: I believe so.

Ghost: It’s just that, well, you’re still going to die eventually no matter what you do. People might actually be mourning you when it does happen if you’re kinder, but you’ll still be dead.

Scrooge: Oh. Well, what of Tiny Tim? At least he’ll have a full life if I pay to have him cured.

Ghost: I wouldn’t count on it. I mean, it’s like 1830, and while it’s not clear what exactly he even has, it seems like some degenerative disease that no one can really do anything about anyway.

Scrooge: So you’re saying what the third Ghost showed me was all going to happen for sure? I asked if these were the things that will be or what may be, and he did not answer. He did not say anything actually.

Ghost: Yeah, that one isn’t actually able to speak. But I’ll make a note of that you did not get your question answered.

Scrooge: This is unbelievable! I went through all that with the Ghosts only to find there’s nothing I can do.

Ghost: That’s not exactly true. You should still be a good person as you’ve vowed to do. You’ll have friends and all. You won’t be so alone. You’ll have fun. That’s what’s important, right?

Next day, Ebenezer Scrooge returns to being a miserly asshole, and dies the following year. No one comes to his funeral because they’re over at Tiny Tim’s funeral.

December 11, 2015

Home vs Roam

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Musical Musing — Katrina @ 11:30 pm

Now what? Ah, this song…

Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays
Yup. Home is good. Not hoisting yourself elsewhere to visit horrible relatives.

Cause no matter how far away you roam
Wait, what?

When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
Yeah, family is definitely not who I want to see for that.

For the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home.
Agreed!

I met a man who lives in Tennessee, and he was heading for Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie
I’m sure he can get pumpkin pie back in Tennessee.

And Pennsylvania folks are traveling down to Dixie’s sunny shores
Seriously, these people are not going home for the holidays. They are leaving their homes!

From Atlantic to Pacific, gee the traffic is terrific
Sarcasm?

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays
Exactly! What’s with all this talk of holiday travel?

Cause no matter how far away you roam
Which shouldn’t be far at all if you stay the fuck home.

If you want to be happy in a million ways
As opposed to unhappy in a million ways, as traveling to visit family would surely mean.

For the holidays, you can’t beat home sweet home!
As long as you’re alone. Don’t need horrible relatives traveling in to bother you either. You can make your own pumpkin pie.

December 10, 2015

Baking Cookies

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Decrees!,Foodz,Think About It! — Katrina @ 11:06 pm

I hereby decree…

Baking cookies is the happiest activity there is.

Well, it is. Just say the words. Baking cookies. See, there’s a smile!

Saying “let’s bake cookies!” conveys joy and excitement. It’s not like anyone ever says “ah damn it, I’m stuck baking some fucking cookies!” Just plain doesn’t happen.

There’s all kinds of ways to make cookies. Lots of room for experimenting! And what’s more fun than experimenting with different ways to create a tasty treat? Nothing, that’s what!

And after all that fun with trying different ingredients and methods, you end up with cookies! Yay! 😀

December 9, 2015

So Many Lies

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Teh Interwebs,What the hell? — Katrina @ 11:57 pm

Every now and then I go through a few days or weeks that I read Snopes regularly. After some time of it, I just have enough. There’s just so much bullshit floating out there that people are for some reason believing and spreading around more, all of which could be avoided if they gave it five seconds of thought. The idea that Snopes even has to debunk some of this stuff is just exhausting to think about.

A fair share of new posts to Snopes are debunking bullshit floating around about Muslims. The assertion is like “help, a Muslim forced some event to stop serving pork products!” and they’re like “no, some satire site made that up”. Or “help, Christian imagery was removed or banned because Muslims complained!” and they’re like “no, some right wingers made that up”. Or, as one recent one, “help, look at this image of a pro-ISIL rally in the US!” and they’re like “no, that’s actually an anti-ISIL rally”.

This shit spreads around, for one, because bigoted assholes. But also because people seem to really want to be offended or outraged or indulge some sort of persecution complex. I guess screw facts if it gets in the way of running around like a panicky idiot. And not in a delightful Wade Duck sort of way.

December 8, 2015

Trans, Homeless, Preteen

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Estrogen,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 11:38 pm

According to a trans* activist friend of mine, apparently, in New York City, the average age at which homeless trans youth become homeless is 13.5 years.

Average!

I mean, I’ve written before about how parental love isn’t exactly as unconditional as conventional belief would have you think. But even knowing that, it’s so pathetic that parents would kick out kids who are in middle school or younger for any reason really, but still so much more mindblowing that it’s about something so ridiculous as the kids not acting the part of the gender their genitals tell them to be. How fucking petty and heartless can you goddamn get?!

I’ll bet these parents think they love these kids, too. I’ll bet lots of people think that. I guess the mere idea that they might not despite some clear evidence to the contrary here is just too much. 🙄

December 7, 2015

Too Often

Filed under: Christmas Time!,Sports! — Katrina @ 11:57 pm

At the start of tonight’s Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys game:
“Alright, the great rivalry! Let’s rock! Go Redskins!”

Halftime:
“Okay so far. What a weird game!”

4th Quarter:
*bites nails*

Midway through 4th Quarter:
“YES!”

Tail end of 4th Quarter:
“NO!”

End of game:

:irked:

December 6, 2015

Coloring Age

Filed under: Christmas Time!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 10:35 pm

So there’s a hot new trend these days of coloring books “for adults”. These things are everywhere!

Except coloring books for adults have already existed. They’re just called “coloring books”.

That’s adult society’s insecurities for you. There’s nothing explicitly “for children” about the coloring books that have already existed. Unless what you’re coloring being animated characters of some sort has some hard and fast upper age limit. Which it doesn’t. It’s just adults balking at the idea of doing anything associated with children. So label some coloring books as being “for adults” and they’ll clamor for them and you’ll make a mint!

Not only that. It’s not like adults are supposed to be having fun with these “adult” coloring books. No, they’re therapeutic somehow. Stress relief! You know, the only thing adults’ leisure time is supposed to be about. Fun and imagination is just for children, after all. 🙄

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with these more various types of coloring books being out there, not at all. But by branding it as “adult coloring books”, therefore something typically associated with children being presented with the children somehow removed from the equation, it’s adults invading children’s space for their own benefit and shoving the real children out. Makes me start to understand what the hell people mean when they talk about “cultural appropriation”. *shrug*

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