Newsletter #5: It’s Halloween Season, Bitches

The pandemic is still raging, and so is my neighbor’s daughter’s nasty case of crotch rot (I wish I was kidding, but I’ve heard the stories told over… and over… and over again as she squawks about it loudly over the phone in the backyard…more on that in a bit…), but Halloween season is here.

You guys know I love fall. LOVE. Fucking love. I love it so much I blogged about it HERE, and HERE, and… HERE. The funny part about it is that in Southern California, fall is when it starts to get FUCKIN HOT. I mean like 100 degree heat waves, fires burning down half the town, and air quality that looks like the inside of a smoker’s lung. Nothing says “it’s autumn” like your kids going trick or treating in tank tops and booty shorts because it’s still 90 degrees out by the time it gets dark, and a random fire breaks out in the mountains so you have to cut trick or treating short to go home and pack *just in case* (this happened two years ago).

Anyway, I’m not being smarmy and sarcastic. I really do love fall. I’m not sure what about it – maybe the nostalgia of what fall represented when I was a kid; maybe it’s spending time with my own kids doing stuff with them; maybe all the delicious flavors… don’t know, but I love it.

Around the World

Nevertheless, the pandemic rages on, and while kids are now being promised a vaccine “sometime this fall,” (supposedly by Halloween) I remain skeptical. They just keep pushing the timeline back, and moreover, I just don’t know what to believe about any of it anymore. This is NOT to say that I’m a COVID skeptic. I am merely cynical of the prospect that this shit is going to end and get better some day.

There’s all this buzz about boosters too, and while I am usually critical of people saying that the messaging is “confusing” (it’s usually not, unless people are all just dumb…), this time, I have to agree. If you’ve ever seen Eric Topol on Twitter, he puts it perfectly here:

Of course none of this has stopped football stadiums from packing it in again, high schools from getting back to dances and rallies, and – you know – everyone sort of being out for themselves at this point. So I say we should all just do what we have to do to protect ourselves, plain and simple. As my grandma used to say: sometimes, it is what it is. For now, it seems to be a bit state of nature, figure it out on your own, let’s hope we all survive… in the end, though, what can any of us do about it? Shrug, and go on about our daily lives I suppose. Do what we can to protect ourselves and those we love.

It is what it is.

Around My World

Well back to fall and Halloween, my two oldest kids and I have been watching a lot of scary movies lately. I’m not sure what sparked it, but I have to say I’m happy we’ve taken this turn with our Netflix/Hulu/Disney+/Amazon viewing.

The best part, though, is that now… finally after all this time… I get the memes.

The Conjuring(s) and Annabelle

Admittedly, I really only liked-liked the first Conjuring. The second was still pretty good. But from there? I don’t know…

Still, what is particularly eery about these films, as well as Annabelle, is the devil-made-me-do-it, religious aspect of it all. Probably because I’m Catholic, and while I certainly don’t practice, I still bow my head and genuflect every time I go near a church… because habit.

Of them all, Annabelle had the most hair-standing-on-end moments, as well as me yelling “why would you do that?!” repeatedly at the main characters, because what is a good horror film if not for a main character that makes stupid choices?

Malignant

I let my teenagers watch Malignant, and I knew it was a gamble and probably – definitely – not recommended by Common Sense Media. But we watched after my four year old was fast asleep (so no chance he would come running into the room), and I just knew it would have a campy-Evil Dead-Army of Darkness vibe to it. In that department, it did not disappoint. (My kids also watch Supernatural, Vampire Diaries… all that crap, so blood and guts is pretty much streaming on their iPads on the reg).

What I certainly wasn’t expecting – campy expectations or not – was to laugh so hard. There were just some moments that were just so over the top (jail cell scene anyone?), who couldn’t help but laugh? I have no doubt in my mind that this will go down as one of the all-time great cult classics.

It

This is the one I am particularly happy about, because when the remake of it first came out there were Pennywise memes everywhere and I did not understand a damn one of them. Then, when the second film came out – just a few years ago, right before the pandemic – down the street from my husband’s office there was a pop up It experience. I remember scoffing at the enormous line of people down the block to get in, simply because I had no idea what the hubbub was about.

So we watched the first It last night, and are planning to watch the second tonight. I. Get. ALL. Of. The. Memes. Now. Wow. Just wow.

And, in the end, I thought it was a pretty good movie. I was particularly impressed – not to get all “Industry Wife” snooty with the discussion here – with the way the characters were fine tuned down to the T. Like when Beverly’s dad comes on screen for the first time, you look at him and you just know he’s a child molester.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the second movie and… for COVID to settle down and for that pop up It experience to come back to California.

STFU Fridays

So as I said in the beginning of this week’s newsletter, my neighbor’s daughter has – what they call – “crotch rot.”

A little backstory:

So my neighbor is a hard and fast believer in QAnon. I mean she is legitimately in the group. She talks about Q all the time. Not to me, I don’t talk to her – except for the one time she came over and banged on my door to let me know that a piece of paper had fallen out of our trash can on trash day. I mean that I hear her talking about this shit on the phone, which she spends probably 6 hours a day on while running an at home daycare, with absolutely no young children of her own. She is also hyper-Christian, though does not go to church… and by hyper-Christian, I mean it’s cult like. But I guess it’s a cult of one, because – as I said … no church.

So her oldest daughter is 20 and her youngest is 18, just graduated high school. The oldest now lives with her boyfriend at his parent’s house – he, a real winner by my estimation (imagine: my eyes roll into the back of my head until I seize) – and they went on some couples trip.

To a motel down the street.

When I heard the daughter, over visiting several weeks ago describing it, she called it romantic. I called it the Motel 6.

Now I’m not naive about these things, and I don’t think my neighbor is either, but long story short the girl now has some sort of smell coming from her vagina. It has persisted over several weeks, and apparently nothing is helping.

I learned this when QAnon lady squawked about it over the phone to her sister in New Mexico, on several occasions. They discussed possible causes. They discussed holistic treatments. And then – today – the daughter came over, and I heard the mother say the following:

“Look… I’ve been thinking about your crotch rot – hahaha – okay okay, your vag-i-nal o-dor, and I think it’s time you stop letting doctors and such force things on you, and you let the power of Jesus flow through you to fix this.”

What. The Fuck.

Jesus is not a solution for an infection of the vagina, Q. The power of God flowing through your vagina is a recipe for immaculate conception, not a resolution of bacterial vaginosis. For fuck’s sake, a tampon soaked in Greek yogurt would probably be more effective than calling on the Holy Spirit to fix this problem.

Where is this shit coming from?! This is the same reasoning these religious nuts are ignoring signs of cancer, refusing measles vaccines, and who fall for that *cut open purple onion and put it in your bedroom to prevent the flu* meme that goes around every year. The power of Christ compels you to ignore all common sense and modern scientific medicine; but if that doesn’t work, here’s an anti-parasitic for farm animals you can try!

This has certainly gone off the rails, and while it’s none of my business in the end, they make it my business by screaming about it into their cellphones – on speaker – for hours on end every day. I live in California. We are stacked on top of each other like sardines to the point that I could vomit – not even the projectile kind – and some would splatter on their deck chairs. Certainly, I sympathize with her daughter’s vaginal issues. Really… I do. But it’s about time they shut the fuck up, and if any of you are this open and talky about your medical problems, you need to shut the fuck up too!

Anywho, happy weekend!

Cloudy With a Change of Imminent Rapture

Well it is now well into Sunday, May 22nd in some parts of the world and Harold Camping is sitting at his abacus, desperately trying to figure out just where he went wrong.  In the words of one of my near-and-dear Facebook friends:  Cheer up, Harry!  It’s not the end of the world!

Oh wait, that was a little awkward wasn’t it?

If you are anything like me, you are sick of hearing about this whole rapture business.  From the Judgement Day billboards to the fanatics that quit their jobs to pass out fliers; from the Tweets giving shouts out to Kiritimati for first-hand accounts of people floating in the air to the endless postings of worldwide earthquake hotspots – now that the hour has passed, it’s time to let it die (no pun intended).

But before we do just that, I think it’s time to sit back and question just why Rapture Fail 2011 captured the hearts and minds of so many people, and on a global scale at that.  While only an approximate 2 or 3% of the world’s population actually believes in the The Rapture Doctrine of Camping’s radical Evangelical sect (with even fewer having subscribed to his actual prophecy this time around), it seems that everyone and their mother has jumped on the rapture bandwagon to capitalize, poke fun at, and gossip.  Predictions about the end of the world are nothing new.  We all remember the grocery lines right before Y2K, and the 90s were not exactly free of believers in the imminent apocalypse, either.  In fact, as far back as the 1800s (just shortly after the origins of the birth of belief in The Rapture Doctrine) doomsday predictions based on subjective interpretations of the Bible were being talked about.  Something tells me, though, that even if the Internet and Twitter were around for the failed predictions of William Miller, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the other pre-Facebook civilizations, they wouldn’t have been standing around Tweeting, gossiping, and throwing parties.  So why now?

There are a number of possibilities over just why now, more than ever, the buzz of Harold Camping has had such a phenomenal impact on what we talk about, the three most probable being: (1)  subconscious fear, (2) subconscious atheism, and, (3) a disdain for cult mentality.  What I think really has happened here, though, is the same thing in the viral nature of Rebecca Black parodies, Bin Laden death photoshops, and the ongoing controversy over just why Obama’s long form birth certificate was submitted in PDF.  In these trying economic times, when unemployment is at an all-time high, gas prices continue to soar, and families finding themselves struggling just to put food on the table, people are just as succeptible to parodies as they are to belief in such nonsense in the first place.

Okay that was awkward too.  While economic hardships are just as probable as fear, atheism, and a disdain for cult mentality, what I really think this whole rapture business is all about is this:  people just don’t take anything seriously anymore.  With all the viral puke that flows through the Internet; the virtual (read: fake) lives we are able to compose for ourselves ala Facebook, Twitter, and the like, and the massive mindset of failure that the above economic state has put our contemporary culture in, who would?

The good news is that the world – even some that believe in The Rapture Doctrine (but probably not Harold’s) – were able to get a chuckle out of the events that unfolded as May 21st came, and went.  The world needs a little levity once in a while, and I’m sure Mr. Camping is considering using that as an excuse come Monday morning when he’s expected to be on air at his usual time.  While there may been some earthquakes in various places of the world (earthquakes which happen hundreds of times a day), Camping’s predictions most certainly did not come to fruition.

In the words of one late-night Tweeter, after New Zealand was either spared from the rapture, or proven to be entirely full of sinners: “Yeah, there were some earthquakes no one felt, and the world is still crazy, but it ‘aint like people were flying into the air and shit.”  That’s right, Twitter user.  People weren’t flying into the air.