The Newsletter: Issue #14

This has been a weird week, for me personally and for the world. If you don’t think it’s weird, you are likely in the position of being both simultaneously privileged and unknowingly oppressed. Welcome to Capitalism.

Around the World

So how about that Trump raid?

I’m still weeding through all the details on why Mar-a-Lago was raided, and what the potential or definitive consequences of it will be. And I have a lot of mixed feelings about it myself. From an accountability-standpoint, anything that criminal has done should be held up against the law like any other citizen of the United States. But something I learned in my own personal experiences with family law, and our kids, is that oftentimes the law will not always err on what is morally right, but what is (a) prosecutable, and (b) not going to cause an undo burden on the public good. and there is something to be said for understanding the incredibly sensitive and delicate balance in this country right now. National security, and the possibility for an all out Civil War, is very likely a part of the conversation on this at some stage.

We should save this one for another conversation, perhaps a blog I’ll post next week on the topic, alone.

In the meantime, here are just a few of the thoughts circling around in my head, in no particular order:

  1. Andrew Yang is, yes, a piece of shit, but he is right in the sense that if nothing major comes as a result of all this news cycle, the FBI raid, and the investigation, then it will have been political and the consequences could be – not to be hyperbolic, but: catastrophic to the country. Is he trash for saying it when he did and the way he did? Sure. But he may not be wrong. We’ll see.
  2. Many high level Democrats, including Congressman Eric Swalwell (famous for telling Susan Surandon, a woman, to sit down and shut up about women’s rights…), were calling for Trump to release the warrant. When he leaked it to Brietbart, they began to complain because it was not redacted. Again, am I defending that the idiot didn’t think to redact names of agents on there before he leaked it? Maybe. But he did what they asked; that they expected the guy who suggested we inject bleach to cure COVID to know to redact names from a sensitive document before leaking it as they requested is… well…
  3. I honestly do not see this resulting in anything, and if it does I do believe the consequences will call into question if it was worth it. Back to point one, time will tell. To be clear: this is not a reason to withhold accountability. Trump, we all know, is a criminal, on many levels and for several reasons. But defining “accountability” in this case may require people to consider way more than just the people that did the crime, but the people who will suffer for the fall out. I don’t know, again maybe a conversation for another day (and again, to be clear, I am not defending Trump.
  4. Fundamentally, one of the main reasons I – like me personally – voted for Biden in 2020 was to not have to hear about Trump anymore. At this point, I don’t even care if he goes to prison, flees the country, runs for president again and loses, or simply bides his time quietly on his golf course. I just don’t want to hear about it. All the Jon Coopers of Twitter post daily, ad nauseam, about him. I think the Republicans are right: liberals are absolutely obsessed with him. Sometimes it feels like we are collectively checking our ex-boyfriend’s Facebook page to see what he’s up to; it’s exhausting and I voted to be rid of it.
  5. As is, there is already talk about Biden pardoning Trump in the name of unity. I wouldn’t be surprised at all, and in fact as I was talking to a friend about it, this popped up in my Instagram feed. So yeah…

Then, of course, there was the whole CDC COVID update, which made headlines even though it hardly changed much in the way of public health policy that was not already changed or observed, starting back in the beginning of the year in the middle of the Omicron wave. However, what distinctly sticks out to me is some of the language the CDC is using now. They’ve completely redefined not only disease, but everything, to being about personal responsibility; the individual’s obligation to themselves and themselves, alone. This is the antithesis of “public” health, but moreover I believe it sets the precedent to deny claims of public liability for injury caused. In other words: oh, you’re now permanently disabled by long COVID (as is happening to as many as 20% of people that catch it)? Well that was your fault for catching it, disability claim denied.

But it goes beyond that. Some of the language seems to cite numbers inconsistent with actual reality. Many many Americans continue to have avoided COVID infection, and both the vaccinations and previous infection are not useful against circulating variants, and yet the CDC claims that as many as 90% of Americans have “existing levels of immunity.” They also discuss avoiding punitive measures against students that choose to continue to mask, as if kids have been punished prior to now for wearing them. Something doesn’t seem right about anything that they cite, and to release the guidance in a time that 93% of the country is in areas of remarkably high transmission, and daily papers come out citing the profound and extensive damage reoccurring SARS infection is causing… well something just does not add up to me.

Again, maybe a conversation for another day.

Around My World

I’m trying not to get stressed out by the fact that our new property manager seems to be in it to get his money with as little work as possible Our move in walk through yielded several things that needed to be addressed. The excuses for none of them being done continue, a month and a half later.

The other day we woke up to a sprinkler that was broken, spraying everywhere. It took a while for the landscapers to show up and fix it (if you can call what they did “fix”), but in the course of all of this it has become all the more clear that gardening – included in the lease – is also not going to actually happen. Today we raked up probably years worth of begoniaville petals, many decomposed and putrid smelling. Tomorrow we’ll be cutting the grass and weeds out front as well.

How am I dealing with this stress?

Well, it’s past time for me to decorate so I started getting going with my fall decorations. Every year I have a system: August 1 – September 15 is for Fall decorating, with Halloween to follow. So – technically – I’m late. It’s already the middle of August, so finally yesterday and today I kicked it into gear. The great part about moving was that we had to get rid of so much, some needs replacing. So I guess that’s fun.

You Can’t Unsee This

In regards to that Trump raid, the memes have been on point, I will admit that.

STFU Fridays

Alright, this is a bit of an obscure one, but we need to talk about the bakery cookies at the grocery store.

You know those soft sugar cookies that start to pop up in the bakery section around this time of year. They usually vary the frosting and sprinkles for whatever holiday is coming up. Right now, because Labor Day is around the corner, they have blue with red, white, and blue sprinkles. In October it’ll be orange and the brown, yellow, and white sprinkles. Then it’ll be straight to Christmas, with Valentine’s Day colors in the new year, closing their annual stint at the grocery store off with Easter colors.

People are so divided on these cookies, but I have to say to both sides: shut up already. Honestly. The cookies are fucking good, and even if they’re not what is this thing people have where because they don’t like them, that means no one can have the pleasure of eating them? We live in a society that is so heavily controlled as is: we have to work where we’re told, live where we’re told, do what we’re told; stop trying to control what fucking sweets people have access to with your weird online petitions, and obsessive bitching at grocery employees. As if Bob who works in check out can fucking control the inventory, you pedantic, anti-cookie, fucks.

So have a good weekend, and leave people alone to their cookies. And by people, I mean me. I’m with Brian on this one.

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!

Newsletter #4: Recall, Do You Recall?

I saw a great meme this evening that encapsulates exactly the way I feel about life right now. What a goddamned shit show we are in, you know? I’m starting to really wonder how this is going to end for us. If you aren’t as well, you clearly aren’t paying attention.

Around the World

If you didn’t know: California had an astoundingly stupid 9 months that has finally concluded, and that is the special recall election of our governor, Gavin Newsom. I say 9 months, because before the election was put on the calendar, we had months of these bat shit ass crazy GQP fucks gathering signatures. For some reason I am still unclear on, they were allowed extra time by a judge to gather signatures… I guess the judge was pissed about the whole French Laundry dining experience back in early 2020 too… in any event, for 9 months, we were held hostage by these right wing nut jobs.

Yesterday, the recall was resoundingly shot down.

It wasn’t just resoundingly shot down – making Newsom the first governor in California history to beat back a recall, though. He actually outperformed his landslide election in 2018. He outperformed Biden’s 2020 election, making the path for 2022 and beyond a lot -the-fuck- brighter.

There were so many crazy things about this recall election though.

  1. Caitlyn Jenner – formerly Bruce Jenner, who also killed someone with her car on PCH several years ago – was originally the GOP frontrunner. This was a colossal joke, Caitlyn having absolutely no platform, and not doing much actual statewide campaigning (preferring national media like Fox And Friends, instead).
  2. Angelyne – single name – from my own county ran. Again. She ran in the recall against Gray Davis (and lost then too); the one where we got Schwarzenegger. The crazy part about Angelyne is that her day job is “Adult Entertainer.”
  3. A YouTuber from my county ran also. This guy who campaigned with a literal bear, and later an 8 ton ball of trash, made the news quite a bit. And from all over the state, we had an alarming number of Kevins on the ballot.
  4. The real threat was radio personality Larry Elder. This guy is described by Conservatives as “to the right of Trump.” We are talking GQP insanity in this guy. He believes the minimum wage should be $0. Not $5. Not fixed. NOTHING. He’s black and he doesn’t believe in institutional racism. His solution for homelessness is that the homeless pull themselves up by the bootstrap. His plan was to overturn all COVID measures, including masks and vaccines (the very things keeping California as the only state in the country currently seeing a decline in cases from High to Substantial transmission). Most alarming: last week, he said he hoped Roe would be overturned. The night before the election, it was leaked that he had already started developing a website to claim voter fraud… straight from the Trump playbook. You just cannot imagine how bad things would have been if he were elected governor, but he wasn’t so *phew.*

Well anyway, the recall was overwhelmingly defeated. In 41 minutes, making it a $276 million side show that didn’t even last an hour’s worth of election night coverage.

Fundamentally, I think the solution to this is to reform California’s election laws. California could be much further on COVID, the climate, and a lot of other problems that the governor could have been focusing on, had he not needed to be out on the unexpected campaign trail for the last several months.

And anyway, on the end of the day, it’s unconstitutional. Think about it: a minority of the voters for California – a nation-state comprised of 40 million people, 1 in 8 Americans – can gather their signatures to force a recall vote. It doesn’t matter how stupid their cause is, if they get enough signatures the vote goes forward. The options are then No, or Yes… and if Yes, then who? As many people that want to throw their hats in the ring can, and do, so you could have more than 50% vote to recall, but a candidate slides in with in some cases an alarmingly low percentage of the vote. But because they won by ranked choice… they become governor. You could have a candidate win only 10% of the popular vote, and that person still becomes governor.

How. The fuck. Is that right? It ain’t.

Around My World

Remember when I said my new hobby is bullying the mayor? Well…

First of all, it’s not “bullying.” It’s calling out, or arguing with. There’s a difference.

Second of all, it’s well beyond just the mayor. Turns out it’s mayors of neighboring towns, school principals, and local journalists.

The Mayor Next Door

Another thing that happened in California in the last several weeks was a couple of housing bills were passed in the state legislature that would expand- like immensely – affordable housing. If you didn’t know, housing in general and affordable housing at that is at an inflection point in California. These two bills came with hard work and dedication by state legislatures reflecting the will of their constituents. Hands. Down.

But local cities are not so happy about it, the leaders that is, because they in effect lose local control as a result of the language of these bills.

To be fair: the city leaders are the ones that created this crisis, so they don’t very well deserve local control anyway… but that’s a conversation for another day.

What is astounding to me is that they send these letters on behalf of the cities to the governor asking him to just abuse his gubernatorial powers and veto those bills. No plan to fix affordable housing – really – in any sort of substantive or authentic way. Just veto them: WE WANT CONTROL!

The mayor of my neighboring city – who also happens to be running for county supervisor next year, and may end up asking for my vote when post-census redistricting is done – posted her letter on Twitter asking for this gubernatorial veto (as if it was something everyone should be proud of). What was so glaring about it was that she claimed that the “majority of Californians oppose this bill.” That was, at the end of the day, a lie which she could not prove with any sort of factual studies or unbiased polling, as well as without any kind of logical reasoning or explanation behind her claim.

The real egregious part, though, was when she replied to me and said “I don’t usually engage in these things on social media…” Um. Really? You want people to vote for you but you won’t answer their very calm and reasonable questions? You just always think you are right and everyone else is wrong? You seriously just make shit up, can’t back it up with legitimacy, and just expect people to accept it?

Definitely lost my vote with that one.

The High School Principal

As most of you know, my kids homeschool. But I am watching all of the area high schools as my 8th grader decides on what she wants to do for high school… public, charter, private, at home still? Decisions, decisions.

At one of our local high schools last Friday, I happened to see a post on social media about a section of the football stadium by the principal of the high school, himself. Initially what I was actually taken aback by was the unmasked crowd of kids, tightly packed together, standing and screaming. I mean… we are still in the middle of a pandemic, right?

But then I read the caption, and that was when my head really exploded: “Check out these kids in their 9/11 pride!”

Excuse me? What exactly is 9/11 pride?

What exactly about the hijacking of planes and reigning terror on the country, and the world, was there to exhibit pride over? What exactly about September 11th as an anniversary of the day America changed forever are we proud about? How exactly are we to interpret this, on this day that we mourn the loss of thousands of innocent human beings?

September 11th is a day for remembrance and mourning. It’s a day to recommit to democracy, and denounce the terrorism and religious fundamentalism that threatened to destroy our country.

It is not a fucking day for American flag t-shirts, beer cozies, and red-white-and-blue face paint!

Local Journos

I had a little tiff with a local editor of a local paper last week, which turned into a shocking public display of his lack of journalistic integrity, respect for community members, and concern about the misinformation that permeates our society.

Long story short: the paper published a letter to the editor that made several unproven, false, baseless, and dangerous claims about masks. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you are all like “not the fuck this again!” People are still complaining and arguing about masks though, and this particular letter was filled with misinformation.

Now I have had times where the editor of a local paper I wrote a letter to contacted me and asked me to back up a claim, or to warn me they would be putting a disclaimer at the bottom. My daughter had this happen to her just last year too, and most glaring is that it was from the same parent organization this local paper is a part of (same publication, different city).

On this letter full of dangerous and deadly misinformation about masks and kids, though… nothing.

A former elected official posted something out there on social media about how disappointed she was that there was no fact check note on the bottom, as is customary; and I backed her up: the letter, itself, was not only shockingly wrong, but dangerous.

Instead of admit a wrongdoing though, this guy from the newspaper fires back and tells me, in a nut shell: tough shit. There are two sides to every story, you all have different beliefs. Shocked, and bewildered, I simply said: but these are facts we are talking about, to which he said there was evidence “on both sides” we have available to us.

No. We do not. Sometimes we do, but in this and many other instances, facts are facts. Alternative facts do not exist. They just don’t.

There is a fine line between allowing for free speech, and amplifying misinformation. I believe journalists can allow the one, while making sure that reality is still reflected in the subtitles. Now almost a week later, I am still shaken to think that in my own community, even journalism operates under the guise that we can live in alternative universes where in one up is up, and in the other up is down.

STFU Fridays

Today, I commented on a post by our county about business grants, and someone replied to me the following:

“You are a vile and disgusting human being. We dodged a bullet when you lost the election last year.”

Ah, the joys of having run for city council and not either immediately moving away, or dying, upon defeat.

I wish I could say that this is abnormal and – dare I say – a little strange for the people that live around here. But no. Since I even announced my run for city council over a year ago, now, I have heard just about everything that could be said to, at, or about me. I’ve also had people throw McDonald’s cups at my front door, had people follow my children to the local public tennis courts and then post about it on their public Facebook pages, and right after the election was told that if I thought the harassment before November was bad, “just wait.”

(And to be fair, I was warned by several former city council candidates that this would happen. It’s just… how things are here…)

Here are just a few of my favorites that I’ve received over comment, email, and text since losing the election:

“You lazy slut you don’t belong in this city.”

“My pet hamster is more qualified to be on the city council than you are, and he’s been dead for 12 years.”

“Die and get fucked, in that order.”

“By saying a white woman was unqualified to be mayor, you showed yourself to be a racist and I want you to know I have let everyone know so that you never hold a position in this town ever again.”

“Kamala is a cunt and you sound about as cunty as her.”

“You don’t belong here you commie, leave while you know what’s good for you.”

To these people, who cannot seem to get over the election even though it was almost a year ago and – again – I LOST… shut the fuck up. Honestly. I am getting so tired of this. Beyond feeling threatened, and not really welcome in my own home community anymore; now I am constantly being forced to relive that failed experience by way of these mean comments that, well… what is the point of them? Why email me out of no where to tell me your dead hamster is more qualified than I am? Probably right, I don’t know. Why text me after months of not communicating with me, after no campaigning has been done, and I’ve moved on and just gone about my life, to call me a racist?

Something about this ain’t right, and frankly I don’t give a fuck what it is. Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up with the nastiness and the meanness and the rudeness. Shut the fuck up talking about my kids! They’re CHILDREN! And anyway… I. Lost. I fucking lost! Handily, too! You all got what you wanted! I don’t really go anywhere, don’t spend money in the city, don’t go out to eat around here anymore… we live our lives largely elsewhere. I don’t attend city council meetings. I’m certainly never running for office again (at least not around here)…

What more can I do to get ya’ll to shut the fuck up?!

I know. Nothing. Because that’s the thing: I violated the code of this community, which is that I asked questions, I talked about change, and I dared to suggest that everything is not perfect. And even though I don’t go to events and keep my finger on the pulse of local politics much anymore, I still do those things. Why? Because my kids have lives here, believe it or not, and I want them to grow up to a place they are happy and proud to continue to live in. And no matter how many threats or mean words are hurled my way, I won’t stop standing up for those people that did vote for me, and those that couldn’t, which means I’ll have to continue to thicken my skin until these worthless, local-yocal inbreeds finally shut the fuck up.

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For more election and recall talk, from last night’s recall… check out this podcast I was on as the results came in astoundingly fast:

Newsletter #3: We Need To Talk About Accountability

Another week, another shit show.

Around the World

Well, this isn’t exactly around the world, but it’s certainly national news: Texas effectively overturned Roe versus Wade. I feel as though we live in this fucked up, dystopian reality, only there are only some of us that get it.

Between climate change and the disasters literally flowing (or, in some cases, burning) from that; COVID and its ever-evolving descent into state of nature society, and now these bat shit ass crazy laws that keep getting passed around the United States, I can’t help but feel as though we’re on the brink. Of what? I’m not sure. I just know that this feels eerily familiar to Handmaid’s Tale, and moreover my worst nightmares.

As for myself, here in California, I’m relatively safe – for a variety of reasons. One is that I’m married and already have three kids, so ain’t nobody gettin’ pregnant around here (if you know what I’m saying). But also… I’m in California. Not Texas.

The only thing itching at the back of my neck, though, is the possibility that on September 14th, the governor will be recalled and replaced by Larry Elder. Larry Elder is like if Greg Abbott and Donald Trump had a baby – which of course would be stoned to death, because the Republicans hate gay butt stuff. Larry Elder is so bad, though, he wants the minimum wage to be $0. Can you imagine that? He’d also make damn sure to use every legal tool in his box to bring on exactly the same thing here as has just happened in Texas.

So I don’t know. Scary times I guess around the world. I’m just ready for the day when the news is boring again.

Around My World

Welp, I told you guys that I was going to talk shit about the locals, so don’t say I haven’t warned you.

For those of you unfamiliar: I live just North of Los Angeles, in a coastal, suburban community full of right wing nut bags, and Democrats who would be Republican if it were more socially acceptable to do so in California. They get away with it by registering as “No Party Preference,” or some other obscure political party no one knows about, but is an option as an official ballot designation. Or, they register as Democrats, then support all these crazy, local, right wing cronies, because they’re good friends, and they vote “because he seems like a nice man.” (Side note: cronyism is so endemic in this community, we have a local chain of bars named after it.) As issues voters, they typically blast hard line Democrats for being too much. They ALL hate AOC (not saying I particularly like her either). Their brand is Conservative with just the slightest hint of a purplish-blue streak, once in a while. My county went around 60% to Biden, which many of them say is evidence that we are irrefutably a blue county… yeah, sure. A county that votes 40% for Trump, and for whom 5% of all registered voters signed on to the recall petition for the Democratic governor is not, and will never be, Blue anything. In the Presidential elections we vote for the lesser of two evils, who happens to typically be a Democrat. But overwhelming in down ballot elections, state and local initiatives, and in public policy running the gamut of issues, we are as deep red as a bad period.

I find that the people that tout voter registration statistics and trends on the national level have only a thin grasp of reality as to what really goes in to making a particular geographic area tick. To really understand whether it’s Conservative or Liberal, you have to look at who is running the local appointments, elected seats, and what kind of public policy you have. Our county is – overwhelmingly – Conservative on this level. When I ran for city council last year, my opponent was described by many as “the local version of Donald Trump.” One of my biggest supporters once told me: “he is the most manipulative, psychopathic, and right-wing people I have ever met.” And it was true.

Conservative isn’t just how they vote, it’s how they live. There’s a reason a lot of people call us the Florida of California, and the problem is that now – because of COVID – it’s killing people. And the most glaring part about it, is that in the most conservative of places… there is zero accountability for it.

A few weeks ago, one of the local high schools caught a football player coming to school and practice with a known COVID positive case. The kid was unvaccinated, and had tested positive; the parents knew, and they sent him to school. That week, the team was grounded from playing (obviously), but by the next Saturday they had all gotten back on the field to win the game for the week. Here’s the crazy part about it: the day before the winning game – exactly one week after the team was placed on quarantine because of the kid that had come to school knowing he was positive – the same high school’s softball coach DIED OF COVID 19.

They dedicated their win – their win that was just a week after they found out a player had been coming to school knowingly carrying and possibly spreading COVID 19 – to the man.

I have yet to hear about any accountability, or even what local public health citations or consequences there are for doing something like knowingly breaking one’s COVID isolation. The spoiler, I’m sure, is that there are none.

A week later, another local high school was featured in the local paper for the acts of their heroic football coach. You’re probably all saying to yourselves: well surely this can’t be about COVID too, can it? It can, and it is. The paper did a feature article about how the coach was quarantining for a COVID contact… but was still coming to the team practices, parking just down the street, and coaching via drone. He could have been carrying COVID 19. His car could have broken down on the way home or whatever, and he could have spread to an unsuspecting, vulnerable tow truck driver. Talk about what’s wrong with this? Nope. We venerated him in the paper.

This is the problem with hyper-local communities with conservative values, and conflicting ideologies. They live under this veil of not really taking a side on things, and then do nothing when it comes to actually addressing issues that are at hand. Rather than hold people accountable, they look at the positives: oh sure, the kid maybe killed people by coming to school knowing he had COVID, but isn’t it nice that the team won and dedicated the game to the dead softball coach? Very special.

STFU Fridays

Well anyway, on a lighter note: today I started decorating for Halloween. I know what you’re all thinking: it’s only the beginning of September! Well my response to you is: shut the fuck up.

Who gives a fuck what other people do when it bears absolutely no impact on you or your life in any way? Why are we in this weird place where everyone seems to think they can send their kids to school with a deadly virus and possibly kill people, but that others are not within their rights to put an artificial pumpkin in their rose garden before October? If you don’t like the spider webs on my front porch, and the Halloween tree in my bay window, shut your trap, and move along.

Shut the fuck up with your kill joy negativity that is only there if it suits your suburban narrative. I don’t need your approval to put up my “the witch is in” sign, and I don’t give a fuck if you are judging me for already putting a candy bowl out with an animatronic zombie hand on my kitchen counter.

I’ve got news for you motherfuckers: I’ve had my “oh my gourd” sign on my front porch since August.

I don’t give a shit if it’s 89 degrees and sunny out this weekend, I am going to start using my skull mugs and skeleton bone silverware.

Here’s the thing: life fucking sucks right now. For everybody. If your life doesn’t suck, you live in some fantasy land where nothing is wrong and the shittyness of the world doesn’t bother you one bit until it affects you personally, and for that I feel sorry for you. You must be quite lonely in your glass house that will surely shatter to pieces one day, and likely soon.

If putting up Halloween decorations in September, or – fuck it – Christmas decorations back in July, makes you feel better about the shittyness that is the world and humanity right now, well cheers-the-fuck to you.

I am tired of the pandemic. I am tired of shitty people making it worse. I am exhausted beyond belief with the political news cycle, the chaotic state of our world, and the fact that every single fucking thing is a million times more difficult to do now because we live in this dystopian hellscape.

This is why I am just done. I’m done giving a single shit what people think of me. What people think of my plans. What people think of my parenting, and what people think of my potty mouth. Done.

To the people judging me for putting up my Halloween decorations early, or to the people judging you if you’ve done the same: judge me when you are perfect. And until then, shut the fuck up.

See ya’ll next week!

Newsletter #2: In Which I Bailed For a Few Weeks

Well, you can all imagine the horror when, immediately upon starting a newsletter that was going to go out weekly, I immediately bailed for a whopping two weeks.

Allow me to explain.

I had a cup-floweth-over allergy situation, where I ingested, applied, and sprayed too many allergens around myself at one time… I’m not even kidding, it was like I was very itchy, and sort of sneezy, then I accidentally took a generic Benadryl that had an ingredient in it I am deathly allergic to and well, let’s just say… thank goodness for Epi-pens and steroids. Recovery from that hellscape of an event has been long, hivey, and a bit… hazy.

So I do apologize for the delay in our newsletter. Today, let’s make up for lost time… this Friday, we’ll get right back on track.

If you’re reading this because you clicked a link somewhere, let’s start by getting these bad boys straight to your inbox:

Now, without further ado…

Around the World

So as I’ve said, I’ve been in a bit of a fugue lately, but from what I can gather:

The war in Afghanistan is over. Cool cool. Too bad thousands of service members had to die because of it over the last twenty years, but at least it’s finally over. I have to say that the outrage of those towards Biden right now seems a bit displaced. Didn’t his son serve in the military? It seems like of any of the dipshits running things over the last twenty years over there, he of all people would understand what was lost and what is at stake. What I’d like to focus on with this one though is the fact that now there’s this meme going around of the faces of those that were lost in that surprise bombing attack a few days ago. And to those sharing it, I have to say: well congratulations for caring now all of a sudden after two decades of not uttering a fucking word. You all deserve your own medal of a sort.

Seriously though: where was your care with the literal thousands over the past 20 years? Or, for the innocent men, women, and children that have fallen victim as innocent, civilian bystanders? Oh that’s right… there was none.

Wars are tricky, messy, and ultimately horrific. There is no real war that is necessary, and the question of “how many lives are worth sacrificing for our cause” – is, at the end of the day, none. When a life is extinguished, it is forever and no freedoms or revenges are worth that.

We can argue all day about Afghanistan and who is responsible, but at the end of the day: there’s really no place to judge, no place to criticize, and only a place to talk about how we can not have these types of things happen again. One thing, I would suggest, is to perhaps elect competent leaders…

Around My World

Well, as I mentioned in the beginning, I haven’t been feeling so hot; and also the Delta variant has downright fucked up all my fall plans. From what I saw today in the news, another not-yet-named variant is barreling towards us, so we’re pretty much doing our usual thing minus the indoor activities, plus the masks.

One thing I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for among this increased time at home over the last year is movies. I liked watching movies, and especially documentaries, before, but have I ever developed a love of these new age, existential documentaries I’m finding on Netflix, Hulu, and the like.

In the last week, we’ve watched a ton of Attenborough, a New Years Eve-style special with the lady from Glee called Earth: Live, a documentary about fungi (which BLEW. MY. MIND.), and today we watched a stunning film on Netflix: My Octopus Teacher.

Those of you that have been around a while know that I have a Bachelors in Political Science, a second Bachelors in Philosophy, and a recently acquired Postbaccauleureat Certification in Philosophy and Ethics. Something has been on my mind as a result of all this philosophy and watching these nature documentaries:

It is wholly unethical to interrupt the cycle of life for your feelings. Nature is, in a word, brutal. To paraphrase my dear friend Thomas Hobbes: in the state of nature, life is nasty, brutish, and short. But that’s reality, so when I watch some of these Nature documentaries and see the filmmakers interfering in the natural course of things, I curl up in abject horror. It doesn’t happen often, and it hasn’t detracted from my overall appreciation of the films; but one in particular stuck out to me, which was in My Octopus Teacher, when he (the guy) feeds her (the octopus) as she is knocking on death’s door after a Pajama Shark attack. It’s just… not the way things are supposed to be.

The guy is narrating and explaining how his feelings just got in the way, and to that I have to say – to all filmmakers, and all of us really: especially when it comes to the natural order of things, fuck your feelings.

STFU …Mondays?

Well it’s usually STFU Fridays, but since today is Monday – and every day is a good day to tell people to shut the fuck up – let’s conclude with another round of STFUs. Today’s victims?

The morons calling COVID restrictions “lockdown.”

Few places in the world have had any actual lockdowns through out this entire pandemic, and absolutely no where in the United States has. The one exception, I suppose, we could concede is that the Navajo Nation had something of a lockdown in 2020 for a bit… but it was nothing like you saw say in China, where people’s front doors to their homes were being welded shut; or in India, where people were walking on the street and if caught were beaten with bamboo rods. In New Zealand, they’ve gone in and out of some pretty minor lockdowns, but my understanding from those I know living there, they are short, and – well – enjoyable.

Even in California, where a lot of businesses were closed down, or reduced in capacity, we did not have lockdowns. We still got to hike on the trails, go to the beach, take car rides… as 2020 wore on, people could eat in restaurants, everyone was still able to go Christmas shopping…

And still, people called it “lockdown.” Today, everything is wide open, only with some testing requirements, and masking requirements as well… and still, the nut jobs are calling that a lockdown. To them, I have to say: shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up with your loose grasp of reality, your thin skin, your fragility that exposes more than I think you intend it to. If you think that wearing a piece of fucking cloth over your face is a “lockdown,” boy do you have a very limited world view. Shut. The. Fuck. Up!

I know people that call what my household is doing “a lockdown” too. Those people, again in one word, would simply be: wrong. We aren’t locked down. We still go to the store. We still go on field trips with my kids, we still get take out. My kids still play sports. They still walk the dogs, we still go to the beach.

What we don’t do is take off our masks outside the house. We don’t go to high risk settings, like indoor movie theaters or packed bars. We aren’t commingling with large groups of people with whom we don’t know what unvaccinated people they’ve spent time with. When I see on social media that someone has spent Monday with one group, had company for dinner on Tuesday, went to a movie on Wednesday, then had an out of town guest that is unvaccinated for a long weekend, no… no I do not then spend time with that person myself, or take my kids around them. That is not a lockdown, that is being smart and making wise choices in the middle of a global pandemic that continues to kill people.

But no, we are in no lockdown. We never really have been. California isn’t. People having to wear masks is not locked down. The United States at no point was in a hard lockdown. Anyone that tells you any of those things is a liar, and they should shut the fuck up. Because words matter, and maybe this pandemic would seem less awful to approach like adults if we started taking responsibility and using words that actually have meaning appropriately applied to describe the situations we are encountering. Maybe then things would get better, but what do I know?

Anywho, until Friday, when I’ve got some real juice to spill… I leave you with:

Newsletter #1: In Which We Establish Things

I’ve decided to jump on the weekly newsletter bandwagon. Everyone seems to be doing it, so why not follow the cool kids? Moreover, for myself, it’s an easy way to ensure I’m posting on my blog in a timely manner – at least once a week. Plus… we have so much catching up to do every week.

Those of you that have been around for a while know that I used to do a weekly segment I called STFU Fridays, in which I weekly took on someone or something I felt needed a good talking to laden with swear words and firm STFUs. So that will be returning along with this weekly newsletter, to conclude each issue.

If you aren’t yet registered to receive these and other blog updates via email please do so here. And now, let’s get to it.

Around the World

The world has become an overwhelming and crazy place. Every time I log onto the Internet – be it social media, the news, or just my email – I feel inundated with bad news.

But it isn’t just bad news, it’s weird news. Dare I say… bat shit crazy news?

Last year during the election, I learned about the QAnon phenomenon, now lovingly coined the GQP. They’ve hijacked the Republican party as far as I can tell, and while hard and fast Democrats are probably sitting back in their seats, rubbing their bellies and chuckling, the rest of us are just sitting here in abject horror wondering just what in the fuck is going on.

This week in QAnon quackery, the conspiracies are running wild over masks, school openings, and vaccine requirements. But what I want to focus on is this guy from Santa Barbara, California (just a bit north from where I live) who murdered his two children because QAnon conspiracy told him that his wife had serpent DNA, which was then passed on to the children. His name is Matthew Taylor Coleman, and reportedly he is a surf instructor which just highlights the most terrifying point of QAnon and cults like it: literally anyone can be in them. Even my neighbor is in QAnon, which I hear her talk about practically every day as she squawks on the phone about Trump and Q so loudly the entire street can hear it. Back to this murder, he had apparently taken the kids from their home in Santa Barbara, drove to Mexico, murdered them with a fishing spear (horrific), and then confessed when the FBI caught up to him on a hot tip from the wife back home.

Tragic and insane.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the crazies screamed and ranted over mask mandates outside a school board meeting, at one point screaming “we will find you” while surrounding the healthcare workers there to speak in support of the face coverings. What is it about a piece of cloth that has made people go so crazy? You can enjoy the threats here (just look at that guy’s face!):

And then, if you can stomach it, this sermon that went viral this week from a preacher that claims y’all don’t need masks and vaccines if you have Jesus. If you look closely enough, you can see the Crisco glistening down his forehead:

This last year and a half sure has had its fair share of Karens and Kens screaming at the proverbial managers about stupid shit, but this newest rendition of the mask thing really takes the cake. The only real parallel I can think of was when Deb – our local Trump supporter and anti-masker – was dragged out of one of our local Trader Joe’s for throwing vegetables and refusing to don a mask. But even that pales in comparison to the angry mobs now descending with threats and violence that we are seeing today.

(Boy have these people not grown through this pandemic.)

The last bit of insane news on my own feed this last week was that NASA has officially identified an asteroid – entitled Bennu – that has a 1 in 1750 chance of slamming right into good, ol’ Mother Earth. The kicker is that it isn’t for another 300 or so years, to which I say: I, for one, am disappointed.

Around My World

Well my life hasn’t been exactly excitement and fan fair since the pandemic began. My husband is still working at home, and most of you probably already know that he works overnight and long hours, plus it’s noisy film editing work. So the majority of our days are fueled with caffeine, toddler meltdowns, teens who really need more consistency and quiet, and a desperate return to some normalcy with sports.

Of course along came the Delta variant, and a lot of our “back to normal” plans went poof. So around my world, I’ve been spending the last week canceling plans. Travel, get togethers… all just gone, thanks to that pesky pandemic that I of all people should have known wasn’t going to just go away with the snap of a finger.

My other new hobby, though, is roasting our local city and county leadership. I like to think of my community as the Florida of Southern California. While we aren’t quite as bad as Orange County, our Business Lives Matter most mentality is pervasive through out every sector of our local government. This is only accentuated by the fact that we have people elected and appointed to these positions who fall into two categories:

  1. Those thoroughly unqualified to lead a community through a pandemic of a deadly disease; and,
  2. Those qualified but choosing not to do a damn thing anyway (including – most glaringly – a nurse on my city council).

So I sit, along with many others, from behind my computer screen, vaccine wall, and KN95 masks, and question the dereliction of duty at this stage on the most local of levels. In particular, as it applies to kids. With this new variant, they are seeing more and more kids get sick and hospitalized. Our county’s advice to combat this? “We encourage hand washing;” while they wind down vaccination efforts, host super spreading events on a weekly basis with no pandemic safety measures in place… but I digress…

Ultimately, while I don’t think my incessant complaining in the comments, in letters to the editor, and on Twitter threads are stopping the widespread spikes in disease and death we are seeing in our county, most of them outright ignored by elected officials at all levels (the commentary from me, as well as the disease and death), what I do know is that I’m moving the needle even if just a bit on what information they give us. In a community where burying our heads in the sand until it all goes away on its own may as well be engraved in the county logo as our live-and-die by motto, I consider this at least a marginal win.

STFU Fridays

Keeping in line with this, and other themes, as of late: the pandemic has brought to us a big group constituting roughly 90+ million Americans that need to just shut the fuck up already: anti-vaxxers.

Have any of you encountered a more idiotic bat-shit-ass crazy group of people before? These people will believe anything they read from the friend of a friend’s cousin who posted a YouTube video of some crackpot in suspenders yelling before a school board.

It’s so cult-like too. They haven’t all simply formed their own beliefs and arguments that are sound in thinking about vaccines, and to a lesser-extent masks. They all parrot the same lines, in cycles. Either it’s what they’ve seen more recently on Newsmax, or what is running in their QAnon phone tree. It’s exhausting, repetitive, and wrong.

To these weak-willed people, I just have to say: if you’re scared, stay home! If you’re afraid of a little needle, stay home! If you really believe a sheep dewormer is the cure for COVID, perhaps you are the true sheeple of the bunch!

Lumped into this group of weak-willed ninnies afraid of modern medicine, though, are the local politicians and public health officers who need to shut the fuck up with their Twitter statements and public sentiments about people’s right to “have a discussion with their doctor about whether or not the shot is right for them.” Newsflash: with a very limited exception of people for whom have serious medical issues (like an allergy to an ingredient), the shot is for everybody. Shut the fuck up with this mamby-pamby policymaking that has allowed people cowering in their uneducated boots to hold all of us hostage.

To the people unwilling to create more assertive public health policies, like mandating vaccines for city and county employees, and creating vaccine passport systems for high risk areas like restaurants and gyms: if you aren’t going to start doing your job, shut the fuck up and step aside to let someone else willing to do it take your place.

To the anti-vaxxers citing Tucker Carlson and Bob the QAnon Shaman with every conspiracy theory or crackpot confirmed bias as a reason to not get a vaccine: SHUT THE FUCK UP AND STAY HOME.

Or, at the very least, if you’re going to insist on living among the population as a willfully unvaccinated individual – as the mouth breathing, plague rats of society that you all are – wear a mask when you go places. That’s the real problem in the end anyway. The antivaxxers also don’t believe in masks or COVID or – apparently – their ultimate fate like the rest of ours (death).

Newsflash to those of you in this germ-infested underbelly of society: you aren’t the only people on this planet that exist. You don’t have a right to infect other people because you think it’s no big deal to you. Your freedoms are not more valuable than those of anyone else. You are not the center of the universe. Your narcissism, your psychopathy… all of that may tell you otherwise, but you need to tell that side of you to shut the fuck up too.

We are all tired of this; exhausted really. At the end of the day, everyone makes their own choices for themselves, right? Fine. Just shut the fuck up about it and put a mask over your face that nobody really wants to look at anyway.

STFU Fridays: “Who Cares” About Kimye

There are two camps of people in this world: those that shout “who cares?” to all-things Kardashian, and those that stand in line for a couple of hours to ask acne-ridden Khloe for her autograph at a Laker game.

I’ve blogged about these people before, and I’m fairly certain that I said a number of times in there that I don’t care. The truth is, as far as my personal life and day-to-day interactions go, the Kardashians don’t even exist in my mind. I don’t wake up in the morning and check up on the buzz over what Scott and Kourtney have been up to. I don’t try to dress like Kim, or do keg stands like Kris. And I certainly do not – never ever EVER – watch their show(s).

Whenever I see articles about the Kardashians, though, I always notice something in the comments. There is always an unprecedented number of people shouting through the Internet – screaming from behind their computers – the same line over and over again: who cares? Who cares about these media whores? Ignore them and they’ll go away, they say. I have more important things to worry about, they argue.

Who cares?

Well today, in spite of the fact that the Kardashians and all of their sordid affairs have no bearing on my life whatsoever; today, in spite of the fact that I too don’t care – I am here to tell all of those people that said “who cares” to the news and the updates of the Kimye wedding to shut the fuck up. You guys have ignored them and “who cares”ed them long enough and it’s not made them go away. In fact, it looks like it’s just made them worse.

Many Things About Kim and Kanye’s Wedding Last Weekend Were – Arguably – Beyond Wasteful. Who Cares? Shut the Fuck Up.

When I read an article this morning with some of the sordid details of the Kimye wedding last weekend, I felt like my brain had been run through a cheese grater repeatedly over some of the stupidity and rampant wastefulness the event represented.

Reportedly, before the ceremony, Kanye didn’t like the most expensive sound system available, which was the sound system they had ordered. He didn’t like the speakers, I guess. He said they were too big. So he demanded that the entire thing be removed and used an iPod until a replacement sound system was brought in.

The money that was wasted on that set up, that Kanye argued went against his “minimalist style,” could have rather been – oh I don’t know – donated to a good cause. As an example, that money could have fed roughly 1500 children currently starving in Sudan, three meals a day, for the next full year.

Now I’m sure that all of the Kardashians and their offshoots, the Kanyes and all the other celebutants of the world give to charity. In some way. But just think about the wastefulness; how much the wastefulness could be that much more.

Honestly, I don’t even know where to go on; in fact, there was so much excess and wasting at the Kimye wedding that I don’t have the word count space to continue. I will say, though, that the golden toilet tower, the disposable marble dining tables with guest names etched into them, and the use of cranes to go to a higher area of the hill the chateau sits upon could have easily fed another couple thousand children – almost anywhere in the world.

And the headless marble statues. Oh, the headless marble statues. Four days before the wedding, Kimye reportedly ordered 30 nude marble statues to be put around the reception area. Somehow, though, only 10 of them made it up the hill, all of whom lost their heads in transit. Headless nude statues to adorn the reception area, and by the way the average cost of that failed endeavor could have clothed between 60 and 70 homeless families of four in the United States, for an entire year.

Spoiled Children and Total Direspect. Shut the Fuck Up.

Reportedly, Andrea Bocelli – arguably the world’s most famous and respected opera singer – sang during Kim’s processional. Afterwards, they had no seat for him to stay.

The Smith family was there too, with none other than little Jaden. I recently saw a meme that suggested a comeback/spin off of Fresh Prince, where Will Smith sends his spoiled kid to Phillie to learn to be less of a douche. I thought ‘little Jaden? Oh come now…”

Little Jaden wore a white Batman costume to Kimye’s wedding. For a couple hours, he even ran around the place knocking over and smashing glasses to the ground, and throwing his cape over people’s heads.

Who cares? If these people don’t have respect, no one will ever be able to change that? Shut the fuck up.

Kim Had a Crotch Dot, Went On A Rampage, and Turned Off the Power Leaving Everyone Inside the Golden Toilet Tower To Poop In the Dark. Who Cares? Shut the Fuck Up.

I guess at the reception a light beam was shining on Kim’s crotch. She went nuts and unplugged all the lights on the dance floor, which the golden toilet tower was positioned to the side of. So it went black inside the golden toilet tower, and rather than tell Kim that she was going a little overboard over a crotch dot, everyone cowered in fear and just peed in the dark.

Sound absurd? It sounds like a massive cluster fuck of diva mixed with narcissism mixed with – who cares!

Well I care, quite frankly because so many people followed the Kimye wedding on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media news outlets this past weekend and following week that they broke records. Are you people with me? They broke social media records. THAT means that enough people – in spite of all the who cares, and what does this have to do with mes, that show up in the comments – a lot of people are paying attention.

More than anyone in that Kardashian-loving demographic are: kids. Teenagers. College kids. In other words, by not caring and choosing to be better than paying attention to any of these whorish, diva antics of the family that loves to drink and drama, we are letting the people who care learn from them. Next thing you know you’re daughter is getting married and a light beam shines on her crotch, so she takes the example her fave celebrities did and throws a narcissistic temper tantrum, only rather than cower in fear your guests flip the fuck out. Your boss is there, you get fired from you job. Friends never return your calls. Family disowns you.

That may be a little bit of an over exaggeration, but what I’m trying to say seems pretty clear. By choosing to ignore these antics, and by not speaking up, we are allowing these shitty people to dictate how our kids are going to act. Who cares? Why aren’t people caring enough to stand up and say that these people have a serious problem?  This sounds like the old story of Polly, who got raped and stabbed in a New York alley whilst apartment dwellers looked on and just didn’t want to get involved to speak up and speak out.

Why aren’t people standing up and saying why they don’t care?

I think maybe instead of telling people to shut the fuck up, what I’m really doing is telling them to speak the fuck out. Speak out against this Kardashian bullshit. Between their over the top antics, their wasteful spending, and their negative contribution to the world as narcissistic divas who have brains in their assholes – it’s time for people to stop talking shit and start doing something.

Like try to find out how many children in Sudan the Kardashians fed last year with their gobs of money that they have no problem throwing around and wasting.

STFU Fridays: The Letter Of The Day Is F

I have had a really horrible week. Really awful. Everyone around me seems to be acting like an ungrateful asshole. My spaghetti sauce in the crockpot yesterday got ruined because it was sitting by the sink cooling and someone – somehow – splashed rotten milk into it. And our city is burning to the ground in this massive California fire. So for this STFU Fridays, the letter of the day truly is F.

But is it the F you’re all expecting?

Fires

So we’ve been staying with my dad after his hip replacement, about 12 miles away from where our apartment is. Just about every day we run home to check on our guinea pig and fish; get the mail; make sure the neighbors have not vandalized our front patio. The usual. Yesterday we had to go out that way for the twice a year dentist visit. As we drove into the city, a huge plum of smoke was seen rising above the west end of town. Yet again, our city was on fire.

For those of you unfamiliar with California’s climate, it’s warm and dry. When the wind picks up, particularly the winds from the East (called the Santa Anas) it isn’t just warm – it’s fucking hot. Yesterday it was 98 degrees with wind gusts up to 60 mph. When those winds blow, all the crazy little fuckers with their pyromaniac tendencies come out with their Zippos and some area of California gets torched. Our community has a lot of small fires every year. This one was not small.

So far over 10,000 acres have burned. That’s getting close to about 15 square miles of forest, homes, a farm, and part of the highway that runs along the ocean. We’ve made national news – woopty doo – and there’s smoke fucking everywhere.

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And as with all things, everywhere you turn someone is taking advantage of the situation. After the dentist’s appointment, and before my dad’s doctor’s appointment, we went to The Burger Barn for lunch. While there, person after person could be heard calling into work on their cellphones, claiming they couldn’t get back to work because of the fires. Bullshit. One guy got up and ordered another Animal Style burger, yelling “yeah, I don’t have to go back to work – I can eat all day!!!” Shut the fuck up, you fucking pig. Have some fucking self-respect, and stop being such a lazy shit.

Worse than that, right before we left, this group of guys from the local college came in. The school had been shut down earlier in the day and evacuated because of its proximity to the fire. They were meeting some other guys that were already there, and one of them shouted from across the restaurant to this skinny little shit, standing in a loose tank top and his disturbingly long mullet. He was being asked if he had finished his poli sci paper, or if the fire had given him an extra day. The kid yelled in response:

“Naw, man … I’m bummed because I finished it last night while I was doing a number two.”

Fucking gross!! Who says something like that?! Shut the fuck up, you mullet-headed punk. People are trying to eat and not get burned alive here.

Family Meeting

And then I hosted a family meeting last night. I really have started to feel like everyone in our family is disrespecting each other (me), being ungrateful for what we (I) do for each other (I do for them), and causing problems that do not need to be caused (I don’t want to deal with). I even printed out an agenda for everyone, and for the most part it was well-received.

My agenda items were:

1. Mom’s purse (not rifling through it without asking, or digging everything out of it and leaving it all over the floor

2. Being grateful for what people do for us (and expressing that)

3. Listening to mom when she talks and not lying

4. Reiterating that homeschooling, not Barbie dolls, is the #1 priority

5. The new TV rule (no TV before 6 pm, even on weekends)

6. Technology free hour.

Lastly, I raised the complaint jar to 50 cents a complaint, and I added a dollar penalty for every time someone violates the family guidelines. We hung them on the fridge and my dad accrued a 50 cent fine, and my husband a dollar one, before the night was even over. But then after a week of no one getting anything put in the jar, the reward is the jar gets emptied and we use it together as a family – to go out for ice cream, mini golf, whatever.

All seemed reasonable, right? At the end of the family meeting, we went around and everyone got to share their thoughts. My dad expressed full support for me and my feelings. We all seemed pretty excited that this would facilitate more time as a family. My husband’s only comment, though, was “fine.”

When I went to sleep last night, and when I woke up this morning, the weight of that “fine” was hanging over my head. Fuck that. Shut the fuck up with that “fine” bullshit. When we talked about the technology free hour every night (from 8 to 9), Pookie piped up and said that it was really important to her. Lately she has been complaining that my husband spends next to zero time with her. He shows no interest in the things that are important to her. And he spends all the time with her just telling her to do chores or go to bed. God forbid Nick have to put his phone down for an hour, or actually make it home by 8:00 pm to spend time with his family. God forbid we actually have to make commitments to each other. I cannot remember the last time we spent time together as a family. Not running errands. Not dicking around on the phone or computer. But actually spent time together.

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Our family has become like the fire in our city. It’s out of control. Everything is being threatened and destroyed because of the gross neglect that has been going on for some time now. It’s true that we’ve been trying to juggle from one tragedy to the next these last six months or so, but that is no excuse for our family to have fallen apart. When a person says that his hobbies are work, your family is in danger. When a family spends all its time apart and doing their own things, your family is at risk of destruction. When everyone’s treating each other like shit, lying to each other, ignoring everyone, and taking everything anyone does for each other for granted, your family is about as fucked as the trees in the path of the fire that continues to burn west of our home.

Well I, for one, am not going to tolerate it anymore. Like all those people at The Burger Barn, I’m taking advantage of the situation this fire has created. Maybe after having to pay for a shitty attitude enough times into the complaint jar, we will all be forced to do something like go to a movie together, or go out for pizza as a family (instead of what we currently do, which is all eat at separate times). Maybe then the fire will be quelled.

So the letter of the day is F. F is for fuck. As in shut the fuck up, motherfucker. F is also for fire, fire fighter, and fire eater. But most importantly, F is for family. That’s pretty much the only important F there is.

STFU Fridays: Inside Jokes

Seriously. Who over the age of five calls something an ‘inside joke?’ I’ll tell you who:

Motherfucking douches

Motherfucking morons

Motherfucking elitists

Motherfucking hipsters

I am sure there are more, and if you refer to things as an ‘inside joke,’ please excuse my bluntness when I say: it’s about time you shut the fuck up.

When my husband and I first started dating, we went on this double-date kind of night with the friend that set us up and another one of my friends, who happens to be gay. Well the friend that set us up is gay now too, so I guess it worked out for the both of them; but at the time it was really just “going out with friends.” Tangent aside, we were in Nick’s car and he saw a bunch of people walking across the cross walk and said “wow, there’s more Crocs in that group than at a Vampire Weekend concert.” When we all turned to him and said “huh?!” he said “oh … inside joke.”

Stick your motherfucking inside joke up your ass, future husband. That’s what I should have said; instead I went on along this eloquent diatribe about how ridiculous it is to reference in inside joke when no one else on the inside is around to get it.

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And here we see the first reason why inside jokers need to shut the fuck up, on this fine STFU Friday:

#1 Inside jokes are for motherfucking elitists

This is something that just irks me to no end: that I may or may not be “cool” enough to be included in your stupid bullshit inside joke. This then leads to the possibility that said inside joke involves something I may or may not be involved in, which means that I may be excluded for an intentional reason. So that means that it may actually be making fun of me, which is the fundamental reason why inside jokes are elitist and bullshit and should be nuked off the planet by that North Korean crazy guy.

Are you with me?

So the point is that an inside joke implies that it’s on a need-to-know basis, and if you don’t get it, you don’t need to know. When my future husband made that comment about Crocs at a Vampire Weekend concert, I promptly slipped the mix cd I had made for him with Vampire Weekend on it back into my purse. How did I know he wasn’t making fun of me? I wasn’t inside the joke.

#2 Hipsters are elitists, and inside jokes are elitist; therefore, inside jokes are for hipsters

And hipsters need to shut the fuck up. Seriously. Take your new age, tofu-grilling, tight green pant-wearing, Back to the Future sunglasses-donning, Pitchfork-listening, inside joke-making asses and shut the fuck up.

#3 Inside jokes are for douches

There have been a few times in recent memory when someone said it was an “inside joke” and when everyone acted like they didn’t get it, the person said something really douchie like “oh, you wouldn’t get it anyway.”

Really. I wouldn’t get it anyway, you say. It’s funny that you say I wouldn’t “get it” when I went to graduate school, and you were educated by an orange peel and a mismatched pair of socks.

This is a classic douche move – to put others down and keep them in a position of not knowing what the shit is going on, just to make themselves feel superior. And the inside joke is the perfect way to do it. If others don’t get it, but you clearly realize the sheer hilarity of your stupid shit joke; well then don’t you feel like the epitome of humor, while everyone else is just too daft and stupid to understand the nuances of being a humorist (in your mind).

Chances are if it’s too cool to share, it’s too stupid to be funny. Shut the fuck up, douchecake.

 #4 Motherfucking morons

And this leads to the last group of people that I generally consider to be those stupid fuckers (no pun intended) that make inside jokes. Dumb morons. People that make inside jokes because were they to make actual real, “external” jokes, no one would laugh. Or get it, but not in a “we’re all too stupid to get it” way. In a “this makes no sense, shut the fuck up” way. Motherfucking morons with your stupid motherfucking jokes, that are made simply in an effort to protect your sheer stupidity: shut the fuck up.

As you can see, I have strong feelings about inside jokes. I just think they’re another way for people to make themselves feel above others. I’m not even sure how I got onto this little tangent this evening, actually. It just popped into my head like a pair of Crocs at a Vampire Weekend concert. Or like the many times In A Gadda Da Vida pops into my head for no reason at all, other than to annoy me.

Oh, I’m sorry to bring up that In A Gadda Da Vida thing. That was an inside joke. Now I’m the one who needs to shut the fuck up for this most glorious of Shut the Fuck Up Fridays.