Thursday, December 19, 2013

~ Gift Ideas (aka: These Exist III)

My last position when I worked at a hotel (a million years ago) was as concierge.  It was a perfect fit for someone who knows shit.  Notice that I didn't say I know useful shit.  In fact, it's fair to say that most of the details being housed in my gray matter fall into the realm of random.  Perfectly useless.  ...Ya know, until some situation pops up that makes a weird lil' (useless) tidbit I've had tucked away something that could help you out.   And lets face it, who couldn't use a some gift help this time of year?  (No tip necessary) 

I'm a big fan of a multi-taskin' tool which is exxxxactly what caught my fancy with this man gift.  A collar stay that allows a guy to fix a lil' sumthin'-sumthin', open my beer perhaps pop a adversary's eye out if necessary and keeps him lookin' classy.  Seriously?  What's not to like?  Titanium Collar Stays

If you're searching for the perfect gift that says, 'I'm a narcissistic asshole', then kidz, I gotcha alllll taken care of.  I'm not sure a present to another person is supposed to imply that you think somehow their life can be improved by having a you doll?  With that said?  And in, what may indicate I'm a bad person I am fucking obsessed with having a lil' BBG doll.  A tiara?  A dumbass smile?  Big hooters?  ...Oh, hellz yes.  I feel like Uncle John (my cute ass dog) would immediately plunder for stuffing and gnaw off my appendages like to be in charge of me for a change.  Build Your Own Doll

In celebration of several states going all weed legal 'n all, and for those of you still scratchin' your head for a gift for your favorite pothead I'm pleased to present Cannabis Scented Incense 

I'm hopeful that next year the inventors of that ubiquitous (if you've been on YouTube recently) poo spray (in case you haven't seen it) will be marketing poo spray that smells like a roadside portapotty! 

In other, I'm-amused-by-things-that-are-what-they-are-items news.  Or as I like to think of 'em as-- fantastic clusterfucks of irony, is a gift that is mind-blowingly spectacular.  Nay.  Boobtacular.  While I've never owned a pastie, I can't conceive of a better pasties than an actual nip pastie.   And I can't imagine what girl wouldn't love the ability to hide her nipples by displaying anatomically correct fake felt nips?   Nipple Nipple Pasties 

For the glug-glug-ers on your list I like a gift that monitors and alerts the recipient that they are taking too long to get tipsy.  A great gift for anyone on your list that makes you think, 'ya know, I like (insert name here) better when s/he's got a lil' booze on board'.  Problem solved.  You're welcome.  Wine Glasses w/ 10 Minute Stem Timer  

Another alcoholcentric gift that caught my attention is a new incarnation of something I highlighted way back in the 2011 Gif Ideas (aka: These Exist II) when I included the big ass flask.  At the time it was the most fantastic flask I'd ever laid eyes on, with it's 64 oz. holdin' stainless steel confines.  But this year I discovered a bigger ass'd flask.  This 128 oz. giant ass flask is an item any drinker and ol' school Honey I Shrunk the Kids-er would certainly love to glug.  Giant Ass Flask 

It used to be there were boat people and non-boat people.  But now there's a third option.  A killer option.  Behold the Killer Wale Submarine for only $90,000 you could give someone the gift of free range poseidon-ing. 

Check again.  That's a submarine.
If your sense of adventure runs a lil' more land based, or your bank account isn't gonna cover a $90k nut gotcha covered on that one too.  Next time you tell someone you 'love them to the moon and back', you could literally show them the exact spot.  For under $30 you can get in on a piece of moon, baby.  (Please note;  'Getting' in on a piece of moon' is not a euphemism, nor is it the same as mooning, which we all know is a gift you can give for free.).   Lunar Land

While I can't fathom when a bubble wrap suit would actually be necessary?  I can't exactly say I think it's a bad idea either.  Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, POP, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, POP, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop...  Bubble Wrap Suit
Wanna bring a lil' culture to the person on your list who has the crafting skills of a 7 year old?   The Latch Hook Rug Mona Lisa Kit is your gift-y problem solver.  In fact, I just solved the what is the BBG winter project is gonna be, problem.
Yarn Mona Lisa?  Hellz yeah!
I feel like when the apes take over it will be with the help of man's best friend.  (It's entirely possible I dug the Planet of the Apes a lil' too much as a kid.)  Why will our closest animal friends turn on us?  Two words:  Dog Bikini  I know this will not keep some people from thinking aaaaafuckingdorable and making a purchase, so thank you in advance for letting me know that you are that crazy dog person, and that you are in collusion with the apes. 
I hope your gift giving just got a lil' weirder easier.
Related Odd Gift-y Posts:


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

~ What You Might Not Know About Driving Behind An SUV

Dear People Who Drive Cars,

Some of you apparently do not realize how you appear to us high riders (SUV's/pickup trucks/vans).  In a car you know someone is tailgating you if, lets say, you can't see the bumper of the car behind you in your rearview mirror.  Unless you are driving a sponsored and logo'd car in a left-er-ly fashion, whilst wearin' a flame retardant suit,  a la NASCAR, drafting tailgating is generally considered a universal no - no, I think we can all agree, no?

And I think everyone is aware of the accommodations they should make around semi's:

Stay out of the shaded areas or things could get shady for you real quick.

But I'm not sure as several times weekly I'm forced to break check some of you bastards that some of you are aware that at a similar distance behind those of us in high riding vehicles that you look even closer because we sit so high that we are looking down at ya from our mirror vantage point.  How close?  I generally don't think twice about you if I can see the tip to the middle of your hood.  Unfortunately, I find all too often that I glance back and find that maaaaaybe I can see where your hood and windshield meet.  That my friends is too damn close.  If all I can see is your steering wheel?  You'd better hope three things:

1)  That you have good breaks on your car.
B)  That you have the reaction time of Flash Gordon.
III)  That your insurance is up to date (and that you aren't getting too close to your point allotment on your drivers license because anytime you hit someone from the rear you are at fault for not keeping a lil' thing called assured clear distance [Ohio Revised Code: Assured Clear Distance]). 

What you look like in the rearview of a car

What you look like in the rearview of an SUV/pickup truck

Tip:   The higher the back window of the vehicle in front of you the farther you need to hang back to avoid making an abrupt acquaintance with my back bumper, higher insurance rates, points deducted from your license, and those pesky, 'it's gonna cost how much to fix my front end?!?' conversations.  True story.
Listen, I completely understand that it's not your fault that my tailgate height, and trajectory of sight means you need to adjust your driving style behind me.  But in fairness, it's not my fault that you can't see around my ride from your 5" off the pavement view, but I consciously make accommodations to be thoughtful of your perception each time I drift a lil' right in my lane in traffic so that you can have an opportunity to see what's going on in front of me.  See.  It's called bein' courteous.  Which is all I'm askin' from ya.  Be courteous and get the fuck off my ass. 


Related Posts:

It's Official Dumbass Season Is Upon Us

Dear Dumbass Driver

Driving: My Pet Peeves


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

~Brown Thursday, My Ass. It's Thanksgiving. (If We Can't Stick WIth That We Should Start Calling It Greedy Thursday)

From the time I still qualified as a Little Brown Girl holidays were often a lil' sketchier than those of most of my friends.  Because my parents were Police Officers (Mom later became an RN) holidays tended to happen when they did.  Dinners were held early, or late to accommodate someone's work schedule.  Presents were opened on Christmas morning some years and Christmas Eve on others depending on the presiding shift rotation in our house.  I was always flexible to the somewhat helter skelter nature of our holiday celebrations because I knew my parents had important jobs.  Literal life and death jobs that required staff to man the posts for the greater good of our community 24/7/365.

One of my first 'grown up' jobs was working the desk at a downtown hotel.  Those years frequently found yours truly working holidays.  Not because I was low (wo)man on the totem pole, but because I'd had a long ass history of fluid holiday celebrations and family gatherings so I would volunteer to work 'em.  While hotel work is not life and death (99.44% of the time, although I have stories that would prove that wrong) it does require being staffed every day. 

I'm certainly no martyr by anyone's measure.  Seriously.  No one's.  I say, 'no' and manage to do exactly what I fuckin' want more than any 5 people you know combined.  ...But I'm also not a complete dick so if I could very easily work so that some co-worker had the opportunity to drive across the state to their familial homestead to gather with their loved ones with again, no skin off my nose?  Of course I'm gonna volunteer to do just that.  My family and I can have a holiday like any other--  maybe on the day, maybe not on the exact holiday being celebrated.

So, I don't come to my views on holidays as someone workin' a cush job that always has such days off.  Nor are they based on some long history of bein' bitter for havin' to work them.  My views are rooted on the simple premise of; is it necessary for certain people to be ripped away, or prevented from participating in holidays due to their job?

Obviously, there are a ton of yes's.  (City snowplow drivers, flight attendants, soldiers, firefighters, people who answer Poison Control, NFL refs, etc.)  But ya know what else there are?  A shit load of no's.  One of the easiest no's is retail workers.  I mean, honestly?  I don't know about you but I've never heard tell of some retail emergency.  "...Ya know, cousin Cooter was so spry.  (shakes head)  Until he couldn't go to Macy's back for a flat screen on Thanksgiving '13, that really took a toll on him.  He was dead by 9 Thanksgiving night (single Native American by a littered road tear drops)..."  Why?  Because there are no retail emergencies.  ...There's retail poor planning.  (I forgot to buy potatoes for mashin'.)  ...There can be lack of retail access discomfort.  (My TV broke before Santa finished the parade.)  But there is no necessity for immediate, unfettered ability to purchase a waffle iron at 4pm on Thanksgiving.

Given that we've established there isn't a necessity for retailers like Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Best Buy et al to be open on Thanksgiving, ya gotta ask yourself, 'how fuckin' greedy are these places that 4am on Black Friday isn't enough?'  A:  Greedy enough to take millions of Americans away from their families on one of the few pretty much everybody-gets-off holidays left. 

It's funny that you don't have talk with anyone very long, about any subject, that something along the lines of, 'breakdown of the family' isn't offered up as an excuse or reason to explain something away.  Yet, those same people will have no compunction about not only leaving their family Thursday, but about contributing to having some other person/worker leave his/her family. 

Personally, I don't want to play any role in  people not being able to have their holiday. 

So you won't find me at any of the plethora of places opening Thanksgiving Day.  I will however make a concerted effort to girlcott (wouldn't that be the opposite of boycott?  [...Yep.  *You* just witnessed a word being born.  Congratulations!]) retailers who opt to keep their doors closed and their workers with their family and friends on Thursday.  I'm not suggesting what you should do.  The Golden Rule really covers it, so why should I? 

Retailers Not Bein' Scrooge-y Assholes Closed Thanksgiving Day Include:
JoAnn Stores
Marshalls/TJ Maxx
Radio Shack
Stein Mart

I have to admire the companies above who have made the decision to put workers (and their families) above grabbing for profits, if only for a few hours on the fourth Thursday of November.  Although I also must admit that I think, 'we didn't shackle our staff to their work stations on Thanksfuckin'giving' is a pretty shitty standard to have to serve as a litmus.  But here's where we are...   

If anyone understands that any day can be a holiday, it's me.  I'm just never going to be the excuse of why someone else is required to spend Thanksgiving away from their important people when it's completely unnecessary--  when the only life and deathy-ness is self made consumer mobs trampling each other for a this year's Monchichi.   I'm not inclined to reward a company with my benjamins when the real cost isn't a cheaper item, but the separation of families on a day set aside to be THANKFUL for the things we have... Things like families and people who love us.  No deal.  No sale.  No thanks. 

Since obviously I can't volunteer to work in place of every retail worker in America in order to allow them to be at home tomorrow, the next best thing I can do is share the sage and reasonable thoughts of an Iron Chef, and fellow Ohioian: 

"My restaurants are never open on Thanksgiving;  I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can.  My feeling is, if I can't figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don't deserve to be an owner." 
                                                                               - Michael Symon. 
My restaurants are never opened on Thanksgiving; I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can. My feeling is, if I can't figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don't deserve to be an owner.
My restaurants are never opened on Thanksgiving; I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can. My feeling is, if I can't figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don't deserve to be an owner.
And have an extra helping...
My restaurants are never opened on Thanksgiving; I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can. My feeling is, if I can't figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don't deserve to be an owner.

My restaurants are never opened on Thanksgiving; I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can. My feeling is, if I can't figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don't deserve to be an owner.
My restaurants are never opened on Thanksgiving; I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can. My feeling is, if I can't figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don't deserve to be an owner.


Monday, November 25, 2013

~A Small Ripple Can Make A Big Wave. I Wacthed It Happen.

A million years ago I came up with a movie idea, 'cause ya know, why wouldn't some chunky chick in middle America with no ties to the film industry, or the skill set to write a screenplay not be comin' up with movie ideas in her spare time?

The esteemed Grady Wilson from Sandford & Son
My idea was to was to bring back the faded glory of Grady's favorite drink of choice name it 'Ripple' and have it chronicle in whimsical and tragic ways how our most innocuous decisions ripple out and create ramifications and rewards we could never fully imagine or anticipate in the moments we make them.  (aka:  BBG lives too fucking much in her head)

Without a doubt it would have been a Oscar winning success ushering in the new era of com-dramaties.  Alas, before I could fulfill this destiny I saw sumthin' shiny, heard someone say the word tiara or started flirtin' with some cute boy...  But I digress.  Surfuckingprise.

I was reminded of the impact of the unwritten ripple-ing this weekend when a friend (who doesn't have a BBG Official code name, but for the purpose of story time will be called 'The Beagle') Facebook-y alerted me to the existence of National Adoption Day.  It was a brief post on The Beagle's page, an acknowledgement to his parents who had adopted him as a baby.  Yep.  A small cyber ripple put out into the universe.

Normally this would seem like the kind of thing a girl like me, who wasn't adopted and hasn't adopted would gloss over.  I've been called a lot of things, but normal isn't frequently one of 'em.  But with all of the shitty stuff in the world I like to take make the opportunity to acknowledge and participate in all kinds of good that on the surface doesn't seem to have squat to do with me.  

What The Beagle had no way of knowing when he made that post is that I have a cousin who was adopted.  

(Weird BBG family news side note;  I look very much like my mother.  There's hardly a time when Mom and I are together that some stranger doesn't comment on the fact that there's no denying that we are mother/daughter or inquires if we are siblings [which is a far sweeter deal for her than it is me].  My adopted cousin looks more like my Mom than I do.  In fact, if my cousin didn't know her birth parents, and I wasn't older than her [meaning I would have remembered my mom gettin' chunky for nine months], I would drag them off to Maury for a DNA test so fast their heads would spin.)

He doesn't know how often I think good thoughts for my friends who went though literal hell to be parents, including losing an infant child to cancer, prolonged patches of infertility and multiple miscarriages, who after a decade + were recently blessed with not one, but 2 babies they adopted in the course of 6 months. 

The Beagle didn't know that making me aware that National Adoption Day was an actual thing would cause me to stop and whip this up meme and post it on the BBGW page:

What I didn't know was that anyone would see it would be responsible for helping to generate good in the universe. 

I assumed per usual, nine people would see the post and 2 would like it/comment on it and that would be fuckin' that.  However, 24 hours later discovered that it has actually been seen by more than 145,000+ people and more significantly that it's been shared closing in on 2k times.  ...Which in and of itself isn't the good.  The real good, the demonstrative good it created were the sentiments it elicited from the share-ers.  Adoptive parents telling their children how much they loved them and what blessings they are to their families.  Adopted children thanking their parents and sending love.  People in the process of adopting expressing the hope that soon they could make/add to their family.  A few birth parents who wrote in such loving tones of the decision they made to provide a different life than they could provide to their children.   It was, even by a non-mushy girls standards, a beautiful and touching thing to witness. 

I doubt that even now The Beagle has any inkling of the scope of the wave of gratitude and love he created in the world from the personal pebble he dropped yesterday.   But it's a valuable lesson to the rest of us to be mindful that our words and actions, even innocuous and seemingly unnoticed ones have ramifications.  That even when unbeknownst to us, our daily ripples are more powerful than they on initial inspection may appear.   

If having thousands of people sharing a lil' love can be the result of one single and small action and :30 seconds of effort from two folks, imagine the power you have to impact something or someone with your next decision or act.  It might make more of an impact than you know.  Choose wisely.

...Now excuse me, I have a manuscript to write.
(No, you're right that's never gonna happen.  But I am going to Google to see if Grady's Ripple is something I can get my hands on.  And keep my eyes open for opportunities to help create some ripples of good out there.  Hope you will too.  The world could use more good waves.)


Thursday, November 21, 2013

~Something(s) You Don't Know About Me?

 In no particular order, some random ass shit you may not know about the ol' BBG:
  • I once *had* to punch a Chicago Police Officer in the face.  ...What I didn't have to do but did fuckin' anyway was to look down on him in my tres ladylike pink and white skirt/jacket combo and heels as he laid sprawled out in the bushes while I super assily told him, "and don't get up" as I sauntered away. 
* He was warned that if he did X, Y ( Y = I will be forced to kick your ass) would happen. 
He dumbassidly decided to do X.  And what am I, if not a girl of her word?

  • I have never had Peptol Bismol.
  • When Uncle John (my dog [for Uncle John involved posts click here]) winks at me I always wink back.  Just in case this is the time he's trying to initiate meaningful communication.
  • I do not read fiction. 
  • Thousands of travelers have been woken up by moi.  A hotel I worked at used me as the voice of the wake up call greeting.
  • For some reason I think seeing a cab over is a lucky sign.  A good harbinger for the day. 
(A cab over engine rig, or as I always call 'em, a 'flatface')
  • Two of my friends since childhood, LEM and GinCat married guys who they met through me. 
  • My college roommate was killed in a car crash.  (No, one does not get automatic A's.)
  • I have never seen:    It's A Wonderful Life, Titanic, Gone With The Wind, the Sound of Music, or any movie containing Elvis, Steven Seagal or Wesley Pipes Wesley Snipes. 
  • I once asked George Clooney if he "wanted to take a picture with me"--  as if I was the prize in the impromptu photo op.  Things I still have?...


  • Like Magnum P.I., I have been up in a helicopter.
  • I am kind of a slow burn when it comes to people screwing around with me.  It takes a minute before I'm going to strike out over what someone is doing to me.  Fuck with someone who I love and/or is important to me?  Well, by the time the offending party can blink I'm already designing a plan to dispose of their body.
  • I was once named in an ad published in USA Today by my (at-the-time) company for displaying superior customer service.  And all of this time you thought I was nuthin' but a stone cold bitch.
  • As a kid I advanced to the State Science Fair.  Twice.  And all of this time you thought it was just looks.
  • Unless it's to see the worlds biggest ball of rubber bands or sumthin' equally as cracked out 'n crazy and amazeballs I do not believe in stopping during a road trip.  Except in dire emergencies all eating and peeing should be sync'd to gas tank fill-ups.
  • I have been a bridesmaid in 11 weddings. 
  • I sucked my thumb until I was?  10?  Maaaaybe older?  I had a spot on my thumb from where it rested on my bottom teeth that took years to fade.
  • The only reason BBG HQ has any level of neatness and order to it is because I am simply too lazy to let shit get so out of control that I'd have to spend hours to get things up to visitor worthy levels.   Based on my desk and/or car people usually seem surprised that it doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders over here.
  • I outside of straight up survival could never kill an animal.  But at least once a week some asshole makes me contemplate sitting down and makin' a list of some people.
  • An organization published the first ad/graphic/logo/whatever ya wanna call it I designed, when I was 16.
  • I don't like rice, or fish, really, but I love sushi.
  • When I see a man parked in an isolated parking spot I always assume he's wackin' off.
  • I still have my baby fork.  Much to my Mother's chagrin I still insist on using it two times a year.
  • Unlike Katy Perry, I have never kissed a girl.
  • I have a printed funeral plan that several key people know where to find.  I have already named pallbearers, who's reading what and who is in charge of various aspects of gettin' me in the ground.  (Spoiler:  There will be bubbles and beer.)
  • For some reason when I'm driving the words 'left' and 'right' mean nothing to me.  (Please point to indicate direction.)
  • I can still do the splits.
  • This is one of my all time favorite pictures of me.  I spied some horses walkin' down the road whilst hanging out in Megis Co. one weekend.  I don't know who took this picture.  Or more specifically why they fuck they decided to take it from this angle, but I love it.  I've since titled it, 'Asses'.
  • I can whistle a (any) song like nobody's damn business.
  • I can drive a forklift.  In a skirt and heels.
  • I would/could never drink Bailey's Irish Cream.  Not to be gross ( --the sure fuckin' sign I'm about to be gross:  You have been warned!) but it looks like a shot of jizz.  No.  Thanks.  It think it's probably what bukkake porn stars drink at happy hour.  


Monday, November 11, 2013

~Supporting Our Troops: Saying It vs. Doing It

As the granddaughter of World War II Navy man and the daughter of a Korean War Marine vet, Veteran's Day has always held a special spot in my heart.  While as everyone who has ever seen my path cross with a vet (or active MOS) knows I treat every day ( --other than Memorial Day!!)  as you may recall from the BBGW blog post *My Beef With Memorial Day* as Veteran's Day.  I've always treasured that we, as a country, recognize the importance of our military members by setting aside an actual, formal, everyone observes day to acknowledge their service and sacrifice for this nation and our citizens.  

Obviously, I think having a Veteran's Day is pretty fuckin' outstanding.

But honestly?  I don't think it's efuckingnough.

Again, I am 100% all about thanking a vet.  Every chance I get, which is to say, anytime, any place & always if you're a vet and I haven't shaken your hand looked ya in the peepers and said, "thank you for your service", it's only because of two things:

A) We've never been in the same room.
II)  I am utterly unaware of your service status.

I'm a ardent adhere-er to taking making the opportunity to express my gratitude to a citizen who has raised a right hand and oath'd up in service to our country.  It is after all they've put on the line the least I can do.

It just so happens I don't feel my least is what our military men and women deserve. 

If you do?  Lemme say, good day, sir (ma'am)!  In what may make me the worst blogger ever;  Yes.  I have just invited you to leave.  As a parting gift, please know I think you're pathetic.

If you're still here I'm assuming you are the kind of person who'd like to do better than the very least for those who've put the most they have on the line for us.  (Psst...Congratulations on already puttin' a check into the *decent person* column today!  [I, BBG, do hereby bestow upon you -One Gold Star-]) 

There are a ton of things you can do to improve the lot of our countries bravest sons and daughters.  Charities and foundations addressing the plight of military members abound all across the land.  However, I'd suggest that one of the best things you can do to make a difference in the life of a vet is to pay some fucking attention.

Attention to the fact that there are more than 67,000 homeless veterans in America.  (For context about 1 out of every 4 homeless is a veteran.)

(Source:  PBS)
Returning stateside should be a welcome home,
not a welcome to homelessness for thousands of veterans
(increasing consisting of more and more women vets,
who are estimated to be at 4x greater risk of becoming homeless).

Attention to the fact that 900,000 military veterans live in households that rely on SNAP (Supplimental Nutritional Assistance Program) to put food on their tables.  I mean reeeeally?  What the hell kind of people are we who would allow our most loyal citizens to be on food stamps in the first place?  Answer:  Those who should have left a few paragraphs ago and (sorry if your feelings are about to get hurt) Republicans.  I know, I know that seems like a biased statement.  However, the total number of Democrats who voted to cut the $5 billion dollar program/safety net that helps ensure those 900,000 veterans and their families eat tonight?  Zero.

Attention to the fact that a veteran commits suicide every sixty-five minutes.  (That's an average of 22 military suicides each day.)  A shameful reality exacerbated by the 2005 cuts to the Veterans Administration budget resulting in, "of the 84,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder by VA, only half, about 42,000, had their disability claim approved by VA. Instead of expediting PTSD claims, Bush's political appointees at VA actively fought against mental health claims." 

Attention to the fact that while unemployment among veterans is at a lower rate than it has been in years, that we haven't done enough to drop the figure more than it is.  Specifically, that in fall of 2012 forty Republicans prevented the passing of the Veterans Job Act which was written in large part by John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), and Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) ....who each in turn voted against it.  Yep.  That's right.  Against their own bill.  Meanwhile every Democrat and Independent voted for it.

In ideal circumstances (aka: how I'd like the world to be) Veterans Day wouldn't be politicized.  Ideally, there should never be a need for it to be.  (...Of all of the issues rife for true bi-partisan support you'd think veteran support would lead the pack, alas, thanks to one party, consistently the answer to that rhetorical question is, a big ass; nope.)  However,  just the few examples above prove that politics is germane to the oft recited 'support our troops' slogan and how it pragmatically plays out for our warriors.  The S.S. Ideally has already left the dock, kids.

Veterans should be treated well, and afforded a level of economic (as well as health services) security, comfort and assistance at home commensurate with their great sacrifice and service to our country.  But as it's all too obvious when one is paying attention, that's not the reality of our veterans' experience in far too fucking many cases.  Politics creates what our 'thank you' looks like, in practical terms, to our service men and women.  The "thanks of a grateful nation" should not look like 67,000 veterans living on the streets, half being denied treatment for PTSD, 900,000 military American Badasses having to need SNAP benefits and then having those cut, or losing 22 per day due to suicides.  But when we don't pay attention to politics it's all too easy to get mired down in complacency and apathy 'all politics(ians) are the same' and 'nuthin' can be done about it'-ness (a la ya can't fight city hall/my vote doesn't count mentality).  Which is the antithesis of what our service men and women deserve as our tangible display of (ahem) support.  

It's well pasted time we, as a nation start walking the walk of 'supporting our troops', instead of just talkin' the talk.  And the only way to do that is to be cognizant and diligent in holding the representatives we vote into office in to representing our views.  In short, (too late?) if your representatives are not helping achieve the support you'd like to see for veterans, it's up to you to let them know that they are not worthy of your support the next time you find yourself in a voting booth. 

As touching as I imagine a heartfelt "thank you for your service" is to a vet, I would gander that having food on the family table, a post service job and a decent post service healthcare from the government you put your life at risk to serve is also a pretty meaningful way to demonstrate our collective gratitude. ...It's called walkin' the walk.  And you owe them that.

I will always tell a veteran THANK YOU.

But today I will tell you to PAY ATTENTION.

Other Military-centric BBGW Posts:
- Support Our Troops & Screw The Five-O: (It's The American Way, But It *Shouldn't* Be)

- Veterans Day ('10)



Thursday, October 10, 2013

~I'm NOT A Bitch. But I *Can* Be...

I try to be a nice person.  A decent human being. 

I don't wake up lookin' to start some shit or hurt someone's feelings be a bitch.  But sometimes it happens.  Yesterday was one of those times.

...There I am, just a girl in the world drivin' my big ass American made, gas guzzlin', four-wheel drive ride.  I had just dropped my Mom off at the door and was on a quest for a parking space.  Windows were down, sun was shining, I was duet-ing with the country song that I had cranked waaaay too high to be considered socially acceptable for a girl of my advanced years.  Short version: (too late?) All was good in my proverbial BBG 'hood.

Festive boot.  (Should I bedazzle it?)
As, A)  I'm lazy.  And 2) I'm currently hobblin' my ass around on a festive boot,  thanks, stress fracture I mentally called dibs on the closest spot I came across.  Now a few minutes earlier I'd made note of the fact that the lanes in the parking lot were, um, I think the technical classification is;  ridiculously fucking narrow.  Granted, my knowledge of, and expertise in parking lot lay out management is precisely zero.  But I do know that everyone doesn't drive a SmartCar.  Whateves.

BBG Confession:
I am a back-er in-er when I park.  While I can't put my hand on a bible and swear that I always back into a space and that I never front in in a court of law without causing my pants to spontaneously combust into flames, anyone who knows me would be pretty hard pressed to come up with a time that I pulled into a space.  I know.  I'm weird.  Is that reeeeeally a surprise?  I feel, when it's time to go?  It's.  Time.  To.  Go.   Boom!  Ass in seat, key in ignition, foot on go peddle.  I'm out.

...Soooooo.  I see that the car that is on the far side of the space I want has not pulled completely into its space and is hanging out by several feet.  Now, because I am such a frequent and well practiced back-er up-er I recognize that there is little chance I will be able to get into the space in one shot, and that backing into this space before another car comes down the fairly busy parking lot lane and then I'm the problem is unlikely.  But, again.  ..."As A) I'm lazy.  And 2) I'm currently hobblin' my ass around on a festive boot," (aka:  not lookin' to gimp any greater distance than necessary) I'm sure as shit gonna give it a whirl. 

Pretty shitty diagram of the parking sitch.

Of course, two things: 
- A ride my size cannot make the maneuver on the first attempt without clippin' either the car in the adjacent row or the vehicle that is thiiiiiis close to bein' in the middle of the lane (henceforth known as *That Ass*).

- The moment I try to back up a car falls in behind me in the lane.

Now, left to my own devices I'd have inch by fuckin' inch, D - R - D - R - D - R'd my whip into that space on general principal if it took me all damn day, I'm that girl.  However, I'm not the girl who would have someone else spending their time and daily allotment of patience waitin' on my ass tryin' to score a close spot.  Since I don't make it on the first go, and there was now a car behind me, I put my big girl panties on and move on to the next available space, hop out and start to head towards the building.

As I'm walking by That Ass behind the wheel just sittin' there doin' whatthefuckever dumbasses who can't park properly do when they've accomplished bein' inconsiderate, I glance glare over to her.

Honestly?  (BBGSoapbox Alert!)  Our society works best when we adhere to certain social constructs, mainly covered by The Golden Rule, and when we break the social contract there should be a bit of scorn sent our way as a reminder and/or indicator that that's (whatever the offense) not fuckin' acceptable.  So, yeah, I totally tossed the driver a (IMO, deserved) hard look.



This happens:

That Ass (aka: someone who shoulda kept their fuckin' mouth shut) Couldn't get it in? 

(Immediately and completely pissed the fuck off) BBG:  No.  ...Had your car been pulled fully into its space it wouldn't have been a problem.

That Ass:  You should have said something...

BBG:  I didn't know I was in charge of ensuring people knew how to park their cars correctly.  ([Incensed and indignantly] Hobbles Walks on.)

Not That Ass's vehicle, but another (red circle) fine example of inconsiderate and asshole-y parking.  The green circle is approximately where my side mirror is properly (read: fuckin' fully) positioned in space. 
Yep.  It's like this and like that, y'all.

While I had noooooo intention of bein' a bitch.  There.  I.  Was.  When people stop bein' asses I'll mostly stop bein' bitchy.  ...But I'm not exactly holdin' my breath.  You shouldn't either.

Hope you're having a bitch free day, Big Brown Girl World-ers!  And that you secure a close spot.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Emmy's 2013: Sooooo There's *That*.

Dear Emmy Choreographers,

Whilst flip floppin' and channel hoppin' last night I stumbled across your interpretive dance shindig-ery to honor the nominees.

It's true that dance is perhaps my least favorite form of self expression-y.

Rounding out my Official Talent That SUCKS List:
(In no particular order)

And while I am somewhat reticent to be critical of something I admittedly have a predisposition to hating, it seems someone should probably mention this to you for future consideration. Um... (deep BBG breath)  
Ok.  Clearly, I recognize, and am minimally familiar with the show (FX's American Horror Story) enough to know that those were dancin' nuns.
(See min. 3:21)

Rounding out my Official Favorite Types of Nuns List:
(In no particular order)
However, it should be noted that no matter what they're supposed to be, brown people viewers are not given a peaceful easy fiuckin' feelin' by lookin' up at the tv screen and seein' people donning white 800 thread count hood-y/mask-y attire.  Even when they're dancing and there's not an actual burning cross involved.  True story.  You're welcome.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's Sweet. And It's Salty. And It *Shouldn't* Be A Real Thing.

I've never been known for my sound nutritional decisions.  (Please note:  This isn't called 'Big' Brown Girl World just because I'm tall.)  Over the years much to my Mother's chagrin many sketchy things have constituted a 'meal' at BBG HQ.  I'm not proud of the fact that popcorn is somewhat routinely dinner, or that I've had pudding for breakfast.  It's a good source of calcium.  Suck it.  Or that even when I'm attempting to put decent fuel in I seem to only have the patience to make one item.  Beef, it's what's for dinner...  but it's all there is for dinner.  Another day may have cob as the mealtime choice.  Or tomatoes.  Or Chex Mix.  Or a big ass slice of ice cream cake...  

Admittedly, if given an opportunity the Surgeon General would punch me in the uterus over my inability to comply with the food pyramid so uber present in my youth:

(New Food Pyramid here)

In fairness, when someone else is involved I am happy not too put out to create an entire (read:  reasonable) meal for us.  Salad, protein, side(s).  ...I know how.  It's just work I'm not willing to do for one.   When left to my own devices it's all about ease and laziness convenience, and what sounds most appealing at the moment.

...Which is exxxxactly how a million years ago I ended up settling on chips and salsa and Oreo's as an evening meal. 

If I'm bein' truthy with ya, I'm pretty sure this my have been a sustenance selection motivated by a few cocktails.  I remember chatting on the phone later with my friend, Somp, and it going sumthin' like this:

     BBG:    I feel oogily and boogily.
    Somp:  Why?  Are you coming down with something?
     BBG:    No, but apparently, chips, salsa and Oreo's aren't a great combination.
    Somp:  Well, no.  I wouldn't think they would be.
     BBG:    ...Then I wish we'd had this fuckin' conversation before I ate 'em.

I still remember how queasy I felt.

Over the years, 'chips, salsa and Oreo's' have morphed into an a running joke with folks who were told this ridiculous ass tale back in the day.  Even these days It wouldn't be unusual to ask someone else at the table what they are lookin' at on the menu only to have them deadpan, 'I'm considering the chips, salsa and Oreo's", followed by cackling and mocking laughter.  Or having someone tell me that something they ate didn't agree with them only to have them qualify it with an assy, "but not as bad as eatin' chips, salsa and Oreo's." 

It seems everyone I've mentioned this to has found the concept of chips, salsa and Oreo's to be thoroughly a bat shit crazy one.   

So imagine my surprise when I received a text over the weekend from Somp with a photo she took whilst she was grocery shopping on the other side of the country:

Dear Lunchables,
I wished you had given me a jingle anytime since, oh, the mid-'90's.  Being from an area highly valued for our run-of-the-mill-ness and sight of many national chain food test market experiments, ( --Oh how I fought for you, McPizza!)  I gladly would have told you that your latest combo isn't going to be the rousing success you might be hoping for.  "Oogily and boogily" are generally not words associated with banner sales, but ya didn't so good luck with that.


Friday, July 19, 2013

~I May Have 99 Problems

But I'm pretty fuckin' grateful this isn't one... 

Now if you still don't know what the hell I'm talkin' about, no worries.  I confess;  I am an ol' advertising girl, so noticing oddities about ads is kinda second nerdy nature.  Obviously, the cracked out picture made me think what the fuck? drew me in, but it was the text that made me think whaaaaat the fucking fuck?? wanna scratch my head.

Ok, here's a hint:

I'm a lady chick and I don't even know what they're talkin' about.  (Which is not a great sign in an advertisement.  ...In fact, clarity is kinda an integral part of what makes an ad successful.  Unless, Squatty Potty is gauging success on the number of times "whaaaaaat the fuck" is the initial response to their ad, if that's the case;  Mission Accomplished.) 

Dear Lady Problems,
As the owner of boobs and a uterus, I'd like to express my sincere gratitude that you have selected some other skirt(s) to harass.  While it's true, your vaugeity and mystery does make me curious about you, (no offense) I hope we never cross paths.  Ever.

Other Odd Ad Posts:

- One Of These Things Is NOT Like The Other

- Built In Redundancy


Sunday, July 14, 2013

~A Nurse Like... Me?

So.  My Nana wants me to become a nurse.

Which, of course is reeeefuckingdiculous.  Likely, without hyperbole, Officially The Most Ridiculous Thing Spoken By A Human On This Day.  ...But then I remember there are politicians and I'm forced to resend my statement.

My problem with nurses?  Nothin'.  Don't have one.  Think they're awesome and frequently credit them as bein' the folks who keep doctors from killin' ya.  Much respect, taps chest with peace sign and sends it up.  My mother is a R.N.  Yes.  My used to be a police officer Mom morphed into a nurse.  It was an interesting raising.  I'm not sayin' to a Dansko, scrub wearin' one, they're all saints.  As in all professions there are some bad ass apples.  I recently had the occasion to encounter several.  ...A story for another day.  But I take no issue with nursing, or nurses.


Note my hand awkwardly hiding my sandwich.
Even tipsy I knew it was wrong to still be able to
enjoy my post glug-glug/soak up the suds nosh.
But as you can see this self realization did not
keep me from giggilin' about it.
In some ways I'd be well suited to nursing.   My squeamish sensitivity is practically zero.  I once held a bucket for my friend as she threw up the evidence of that nights alcohol consumption.  ...As I continued to eat my chicken sammie.  I have a vial containing a few of my kidney stones in the pen holder on the BBG HQ kitchen island.  And I can recall being the catalyst for an enormous argument between my Mom and Dad when as a 8-ish year old LBG (Lil' Brown Girl) and my Mom discovered me perusing one of Dad's text books for his Sargent's exam, as I was wont to do.  As I understand it, it wasn't my quest for knowledge that was the issue.  It was the subject matter.  Ya see this particular study guide was chocked full 'o identifying gunshot wounds.  The difference between entry and exit wounds, stippling, powder burns, residue.  How to visually gauge the distance of the shooter based on caliber.  A .22 leaves this size hole at 3', and this size at 6', etc.  Here's what a .45 looks like at a short and long distance, shotgun vs. rifle, type stuff.  And in what may have made Mom flip her fuckin' wig disturbed Mom the most, the section on head wounds.  All up close and in full color was the chapter on head shots she found me reading up on.  I remember being so intrigued, but never icked out.  Explains a lot, doesn't it?  (Please Note:  Intrigued in the, 'wow, that's how our bodies are workin' on the inside' and 'ahhh, I see the difference between the smaller entry point and the skull flap inducin', gray matter scattering blow out point/I know sumthin' ya'll don't know', kinda way.  Not intrigued in the homicidal triad way.)  I never had a bad dream, and at the time didn't really see why leavin' the instructional manual where a kid might find it was a problem.

I'm physically strong.  I'm usually easily able to explain, and have conversations about tough things to/with people.  I have the temperament to care about people, yet not get invested and attached.  And I'm usually trying to assess situations down range while managing the right in front of your faceness.  It might be surprising to some, but for as flaky, spontaneous, and fly by the seat of my pants-y as I tend to run, I'm generally pretty pragmatic, calm and all about TCB in emergency situations.  Hell, I even keep latex gloves, a tourniquet, some chucks (absorbent pads) and a couple of masks in the BBGmobile.  But really, that's just about being situationally prepared.  (In fairness, I also carry, flares, a flashlight and zip ties in case I have to cuff someone up and there's currently a .223 round in my SUV-y catch all tray.)

It's nice to know that Nana recognizes those traits in me.


What Nana fails to acknowledge are a few of my other traits, like;

  • I cannot fathom a scenario where at some point I wouldn't find myself in a hospital hallway having just smacked a family member.  And that I'm not the sort likely to do well in jail, where after such a smack down I would surely land.
  • Nurses don't wear skirts and dresses anymore.  It's all scrub/uniform pants.  And you know who looks good in scrub pants?  Men and small framed chicks who can still manage to look good in a potato sack.  Alas, I am neither.  I would be miserable sportin' pants on a daily basis.
  • I'm a terrible test taker/studier.  I have a great memory for things I never really had any intention of remembering, trivia, factoids, random minutiae, but things I'm told to remember?  Well, somehow I'm wired so that those go to some other brain-y place where it's super pressure-y to access.  Made all the more helpful by the fact that where scholarly details need to be able to stick is seemingly as slippery as a surface sprayed liberally with Pam.  None of which bodes well for someone required to pass State Boards 'n such.
  • At a certain point, I would consider, 'you need to get the fuck up' a reasonable request of a patient who won't get out of bed to start walking and moving around.  A lil' sumthin'-sumthin' I wondered why no one said to a one time hospital roommate who refused to get up post surgery, as for days they [doctors, nurses, family] ]kept tryin', "now, sweetie, you know it's best if you to sit up on the bed and start to take some walks..."
  • My low threshold for when not my own stupidity.
  • I am severely mathematically challenged.  Is it in any ones best interest to have a nurse who's using her fingers to determine your dosage, or pulse?  (Correct answer:  No.  [with extra credit given for:  Oh, hell fucking no.])
...And those are just a quick few off the top of my head.  I'm confident that with a minimum of consideration I could concoct a list as long as my arm.  ...Sooooo, I suppose we can also go ahead and add lazy to the list of non-nurse-y traits too.   While I feel like that's good enough to take the topic off the table, after Nana mentioned this to me she went on to tell me that she was the person who sold Mom on becoming a R.N.  I gingerly poo-poo'd the notion and swear I could hear a silent, 'challenge accepted' from the other end of the line.

All of the sudden it feels like it's gonna be a long ass summer...

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