Monthly Archives: December 2012
Things We Learned in 2012
Last year around this time, I published a post detailing all of the things I wished would stop in the year 2012. The fact that none of these things stopped happening kind of hurts my feelings. The Kardashians are still famous and somehow the celebrity gods found something even more annoying than them in Honey Boo Boo and her rotten cow family. We’ve added even more reality TV shows and now watch with baited breath to find out what the hillbilly duck callers will do next and which poor sap will get humiliated the most at a pawn shop. Since no one of any authority will listen to me regarding things we didn’t need more of, here’s some things we learned in 2012 that will hopefully make us better in 2013.
Never has the above been so true as it was during the presidential elections this past year. Social media has given every American with access to WiFi and a modicum of “knowledge” to blast their opinion all over the internet, and wow, did this election make us ugly. On one hand, in my mind it’s a good thing that so many were talking about the issues, interested in the outcome, and genuinely vested in the election of our President. On the other, I am absolutely gobsmacked horrified that so many of the public have the mental capacity to cast a vote for the leader of the free world without having a damn concept of the English language. And from everything I saw, the more vitriolic the hate, the more atrocious the spelling. Facebook and Twitter gives everyone a platform, and I’m pretty sure this election proved that NOT EVERYONE DESERVES ONE. “obamas sucks!” “Hey Mitt Rouamney, no one wants a mormom president,” “baracks an idiot, i didn’t get no free phone,” and “romneys totes winning this debacle,” are some things I saw in Facebook posts and Twitter feeds. The tweets from this election alone should convince all leaders — fuck everything else, we really, really need better education. Because I am seeing the future, it does not contain apostrophes and I. Am. Frightened.
My new favorite person in the world may be Jon Hendren. He took some time this Christmas to retweet some extremely ungrateful (what I have to assume is) teenagers’ horrified responses to their Christmas presents. What I took from it is that teenagers? Pretty much suck. We are apparently raising the most entitled, poor-me generation to ever walk the Earth and the proof? Is in Twitter. From the above picture to the lovely Beliebers venting their extreme frustration at the Newtown shooting interrupting the Ellen show with their idol, Twitter is proof that if you are under 18, you really shouldn’t have a platform. Granted, plenty of folks over 18 (and 21, and 31, and 40,) probably shouldn’t either, but at least they are old enough to be accountable. I have to hope that those of you sending this crap across the internet will be embarrassed at yourselves later in life and wish that perhaps you hadn’t published such a self-centered thought. ( I hope. Please, please, be better.)
There’s an ecard for everything. EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been known to post them occasionally on my own facebook as they do make me laugh. But we have gotten to the point that every. single. fucking. situation. IN THE WORLD can now be pared down to a cartoon and a clever saying. Drink too much? There’s an ecard for that. Kids driving you crazy? There’s an ecard for that. Husband’s a stereotypical male? Ecard. Stepmother’s pet monkey keeps borrowing your rainbow sweater? Ecard. Bipolar neighbor’s pet ferret keeping you up at night? Ecard. Have to flip your pillow over in the middle of the night? Ecard. Tired of the rodeo clown riding a unicycle down your street with a lasso? Ecard. It’s out of hand, folks. Out. Of. Hand.
The above? Are the top Google searches, by category, in 2012. I’m skipping over the fact that when it comes to the TV show category I don’t even know the first two and the third makes me want to stab my eyes with hot forks because, well, if I think about it too long I want to stab everyone in the eyes with hot forks. But the rest – seriously? Is there one thing on this list – ONE THING – that has made an actual difference in anyone’s lives? Of course, to any of those close with the celebrities who have passed, and those affected by the storms, these were life-changing events. But the rest of us? The general public? How stupid and superficial are we?? Is anyone else concerned that there is not one political figure, not one search on gay marriage laws, not one argument about health care, nor one search on education?
We need to smarten up, folks. Let’s make 2013 the year that we stop glorifying hot messes and start jumping into actual reality, not TV reality. Reality is not pawn shops making millions on a television show. Reality is not neatly explained in a cartoon. Reality is not supported by twitter feeds of our favorite celebrities. The line between reality and social media is markedly different and we need to realize that before Honey Boo Boo is the goddamn president by fucking default.
Happy New Year Everyone!!!
As my many posts detailing psychotic bus drivers, cats with bladder problems, and folks without a concept of how a line works demonstrate, I clearly don’t generally comment on many serious subjects. There’s a few reasons for this: one, that’s not what this site is about, for either those faithful few who read it or for myself, rather it’s a place to vent frustrations and bemoan the absurdities of everyday reality and two, because I’m a firm believer that unless you have a productive solution, you don’t get to complain about the status quo, no matter how horrific it is. However, the tragedy of last week has struck a chord so deeply in so many, myself included, and I find it impossible to go back to bitching about my grocery store without acknowledging the nightmare that so many residents of Newtown will never be able to wake up from.
An Open Letter:
To those of you who lost a child, family member, friend, loved one, or colleague on Friday – my heart breaks for you. I can’t help but think of how many parents rushed through their morning routine on Friday, gave their babies a quick goodbye, and headed off to their day, completely oblivious that time was going to stop for them in just a few hours. I can’t help but think of the teachers, who dedicated their lives to educating our future, who walked into school that morning worrying about their agenda for the day or their plans for the evening with no possible inclination of how they would be put to the test, no inclination that they weren’t going to survive the day. I think about the teachers who, even when they had to know they were going to die, spent their last moments trying to comfort and protect their children. I hope that they know, somehow and somewhere, that those of us left behind to mourn realize their heroism. I can’t help think of those poor, innocent children who went from dreaming of Santa Claus to having the monsters everyone promised them weren’t real come to life before their eyes.
For those parents whose baby will never open the gifts that are already wrapped and under the tree, my heart breaks for you. For the dads who will never walk their daughter down the aisle, for the moms who will never take a picture of their son dressed up for prom, for the sisters who will never have their big brother there to protect them, and for the brothers who will never steal their sister’s Barbies – my heart breaks for you. For the nurses that will never heal, for the teachers that will never teach, for the artists who will never create, and for the scientists that will never discover – my heart breaks for you. For the little ones who will never walk into school without fear, who will never again have a favorite teacher, who will never be completely innocent again, will never feel completely safe – my heart breaks for you. For the parents and teachers who are still trying to explain the unexplainable to children who shouldn’t have to understand – my heart breaks for you.
As a nation, we are all breaking. We’re breaking because our safety has been shattered – if this madness could happen to children, in such an innocent place – it could happen anywhere. We’re breaking because we can’t understand and we’re breaking because we feel helpless. This has to be the catalyst, in some way or another. I have to believe that our leaders, no matter how divided, can be united against this terror unfolding again in another town, on another day, to another child. To another community, to another mother, to another teacher, to another son. We have a problem with guns and we have a problem with lack of mental health options and there needs to be some serious discussions on what changes can actually be made; what changes may actually be efficient and help prevent such tragedy and loss in the future.
The problem is, we’re all wringing our hands in grief and outrage and terror, but what are we actually doing? There’s thousands of people like me saying the same thing, “We want change! Do something!” But we don’t know what to do, so we stay paralyzed, and then our hearts break all over again when something else happens, when someone else who never got the help they needed takes it out on the innocent. My hope is that this is the breaking point. We cannot let these children’s lives go unnoticed. We cannot let twenty futures go untold. Twenty. Twenty children who won’t get a visit from Santa, or the Tooth Fairy. Twenty children who will never take their worn teddy bears to college. Twenty babies who will never meet their soul mate, who will never play an instrument, who will never read the classics. Twenty kids who will never go to the zoo again, who will never ride a roller coaster, who will never get their drivers license. Twenty lives that will never happen. Nor can we let their teachers and educators who died trying to protect them, who spent their time and energy and love on these children, go unnoticed. These people cannot be forgotten.
How do we not forget them? We take a damn good look around. We take a nice, deep breath and stare at the stars. We call our brothers. We go meet our friends. We hug our parents. We laugh with our coworkers. We kiss our kids . We don’t take one more second for granted. And we never, ever stop short of saying “I love you,” to those that matter. We don’t hold back. We love hard. We laugh until we cry. And every time we do, we take one extra second and remember those who won’t ever get the chance, and we thank every star in the sky that we can.
Our hearts are with you, Newtown. This time, we won’t forget. May you all rest in peace.
If you’d like to make a monetary contribution to help pay for counseling, funeral expenses, and scholarships, please visit The Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund.
Oh, America, We Are Easily Fascinated
The great Barbara Walters “Ten Most Fascinating People,” special is airing tonight. Curious – and keep in mind as of this writing, only eight have been revealed – I googled said special to see if it was worth watching. I actually really like Barbara Walters and enjoy her interviews, but after seeing some of the people that she finds fascinating, I find myself questioning, well, everything. In short? I. Was. Horrified.
As someone who devoured “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games,” and “50 Shades of Grey,” with shameless abandon and listens to teenybopper music, (I love you, Justin Bieber,) with zero a trace of irony, it’s not as though I’m coming at this from some high and mighty, intellectual perspective. However, if some of these people are fascinating, I implore you to take a step into a local bar and interview someone there, because they probably have more to say than these folks. Out of the eight names released, here’s a few that I’m pretty convinced my mailman is more interesting than. And I’ve never even talked to him. Also – America? We’re fucked. Because we did this.
Argh. I hate to speak poorly of kids, but little miss Alana is by far the most irritating, disagreeable child I have ever seen, on television or otherwise. I worked at a daycare for two years and had children steal dollars out of my purse, hit me, poop in their pants ON PURPOSE while smiling at me, and give me lice, and I have never, ever been as disgusted with them as I am with this little girl. How about we stop rewarding horrible behavior? We have already made this disgusting family millions simply based on the fact that we apparently love trainwrecks and want to make them rich, but now we’re going to further their “career,” by calling them fascinating? They’re not fascinating; they’re ROTTEN. They are rotten, stupid people with a child who has no manners and they encourage her to be as nasty as possible because it makes them more money. Your cash cow has paid off – how about start saving some of that money and give this poor thing a chance at a real life? Because I’m sorry, when you’re six years old and already define “hot mess,” there’s not enough therapy in the world to keep you off the pole.
Right. Because “Gangnam Style” is clearly the epitome of a new era of music. I’m sure Bono, Springsteen, Coldplay and the like are all just kicking themselves for not incorporating more South Korean into their albums. Six albums and one Youtube sensation makes him fascinating? I mean, don’t get me wrong – it’s a damn catchy song. But the fact that A) So’s “My Bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R!” and no one’s vetting that poor sap out as amazing, and B) IT’S NOT IN ENGLISH, makes us kind of stupid. Psy could be spouting, “Keep watching my video, stupid bastards,” and we’d all still be bopping our heads like fucking idiots on the dance floor with our drinks, yelling, “I totally love this song!!!” You know who else was a Youtube sensation? That kid who bit his brother’s finger. Get some perspective, America.
Why? Why, Babs, Why???? Fascinating. Really. The most fascinating thing about this girl is that she has a damn career at all. Excuse me, Kristen? The fact that you somehow landed a role in one of the most watched movie sagas in history, despite being completely incapable of actually acting or being able to participate in an interview with more animation than Woody from “Toy Story,” should have you thanking your lucky goddamn stars enough to not rock the boat. (Plus, you get to hang out with Taylor Lautner with no shirt. Seriously. What else do you want??) But no, you have to go and cheat on your boyfriend? Who, while despite my personal opinion that he’s a completely unsexy creep, is one of the most loved movie characters ever? What in the actual fuck? How stupid are you?
We’re getting dumber, America. I’m not exempt from this, for sure, my sick obsession with “Duck Dynasty,” being my most recent example of ignorance. (Jase? You rule.) But the most fascinating people of the year should be people that made contributions to society, that made contributions to humanity, that did something worth talking about. Talk to a firefighter, or a nurse, or a police officer. Talk to a community activist, to a homeless person, to a cab driver. I’ll go ahead and guarantee a day in their life is more fascinating than a grown man who acquiesces to being called “Sugar Bear” in public dealing with a child hopped up on Red Bull and Mountain Dew.
Apparently My Cats are Anomalies.
In doing some research as to how to make my cats suck less and smell better, I came across this encouraging article, written by the managing editor of The Daily Cat, one Jennifer Viegas. In it, she describes how pets, and cats in particular, can have a positive impact on a person’s health and well-being. After snorting with laughter throughout most of it, trying to compare the sweet housepets she describes with the two rotten animals I live with and finding nothing in common, I decided to counterpoint her hypotheses with my own experience.
**Disclaimer – I love these stupid cats more than I like most people I know. They are treated extremely well and I would never actually do anything to harm them, no matter what I say.***
Cats as Pets Have Direct Health Benefits, such as Lower Blood Pressure.
Apparently Ms. Viega’s cats are well trained and have never used her clean laundry as a litterbox. My small cat, Potato, despite all working parts and no health issues other than being a complete and utter asshole, has a real affection for us. So much is his affection that he feels it necessary to mark his territory on our clothes, shoes, purses, coats, and occasionally bed. If you don’t have high blood pressure yet, I challenge you to get up for work in the morning, step out of a clean shower, and put on a shirt, happily going about your morning routine until you realize that the smell you’re noticing is actually you, and you now need another shower immediately. And now? You’re late. Imagine spending hours setting up a Christmas tree, lovingly putting up each ornament, only to wake up to a cat-sized hole in the middle of it, the tree on the ground, and your ornament from Disney World busted into gazillions of very sharp pieces. Or imagine exhaustedly climbing into bed late one night, sleepily pulling your blanket riiiiight up to your face only to shriek and throw it at the other cat – Ramon, who is helpfully standing on your head – in horror. Take said blanket down five flights of stairs and sleep with a nothing but a sheet in the dead of winter and then talk to me about lowered blood pressure. The above scenarios, no matter how calm you are, WILL make you want to set your cat free and get the blood pumping right to your head, I promise.
Cats Improve Psychological Health.
Bullshit. Have you ever wandered up and down a dark street, in the dead of night, shaking cat treats and yelling, “Potato!! POTATO!!!” while your neighbors look on with a mix of interest, pity, terror, and curiosity as to why a fat blond girl would need more carbohydrates? Have you ever had to apologize to two separate family members, trying to explain that their hospital-requiring bite marks are because Ramon “really doesn’t like to be touched?” Have you ever woken up to the sound of a cat joyfully rolling a golf ball around your house while you lie, terror-stricken, convinced that not only are you being robbed, but it’s by a completely crazy person who is trying to make as much noise as possible? Have you ever tried to reason with an eight-pound ball of fur, to the point of tears, when said ball of fur scratches your hands and hisses at you while you’re trying to work? Because nothing makes you question your own mental health more than when you actually say to an animal, WHILE CRYING, “Please, please, just leave me alone! I’ll do anything!”
Cats are Forever Friends.
My ass, Ms. Viega. MY ASS. Maybe your cats are forever friends. Mine? Are forever trying to escape and murder me. I bet your cat doesn’t curl up against you, purring, right before sinking her teeth into your arm. I bet your cats don’t knock open the bathroom door in the middle of the night just in time to trip you in the dark. I bet your cats never hid in a basement for four days, eating the food you hauled down five flights of stairs but staying hidden from view, forcing you to crawl around said creepy basement with a flashlight, looking inside old refrigerators and trying not to get tetanus from the rusty nails and lumber stored down there. I bet your cats haven’t hidden inside your boxspring so many times that it’s now ruined from all the time you’ve taken a knife to the fabric, trying to set it free. I bet your cat never hauled ass into the basement late one Friday night after you’d had too many beers, causing you to fall down the stairs and bruise your tailbone.
Cats Help When No One Else Can.
I’m starting to hate you, Ms. Viega. Where are these animals? Where are these happy cats that do things other than make you spew made-up profanity? Are they helping you have less houseguests? Because that’s what mine do. One time, Ramon helpfully ruined Valentine’s Day when she tried to eat some roses and then got her leg caught in the chair when I pushed her off the table. Another time, Potato ruined my entire day when I realized he’d peed in my purse far, far too late. Oh, and another time, Ramon ruined my tremulous hold at being a good pet owner when the vet said, “Oh, yes. She’s a difficult one, isn’t she?” after looking at her chart while she was trying to climb inside my shirt, claws first.
Then again, they’re not on Prozac like my sister’s cat, so maybe we’re doing okay? Probably not? All right. I give. The cats suck, Ms. Viega. There’s no getting around it. I’ll send you the medical bills to prove it.