Monday, December 21, 2015

~ I Didn't Shit The Table & Other Real Tales Of Lupus

There are few things I loathe more than whining.  Other than weakness.  Correction:  Self weakness.  I blame it partially on my Dad who weaned me on The Guns of Navarone, The Big Red One, and Dirty Harry movies.  Between that and bein' raised by a couple of the strongest chicks I've ever met in my life (my Mom and Nana [the first female police officer in our city and the first woman and person o' color Asst. Finance Director of my hometown, respectively, in an era when either reality would squarely situate that happening between improbable and impossible.  #Word])  wasting time whining wasn't exactly a part of the daily protocol of my formative years.

Some folks pride themselves on the material things they possess or public achievements they can cite.  I pride that I know how to nut the fuck up.  I'm not makin' a moral judgment, just explaining what I value.  In my mind I believe I can outlast, out smart, out crafty, out tenacious, outfox or out ass kick most situations in life.   BBGConfession:  More frequently than I enjoy I am, in fact, proved wrong.  Fuck you fractions and baking.  But it's my natural approach to most shit in life.  (Here's a table I outfoxed decided I could make, based on my experience of having never built anything ever in my life.)   

For better, or worse, it is how I'm wired. 

On one hand, the following is something I'd almost never make a public peep about.  Under any circumstances.  (You'll know that because until now you've never heard a peep about this and this disclosure comes as a complete 'n utter surprise.)  On the other hand, I value keepin' it real, enough so that I feel like to continue to not mention it starts shifting into fib-dom.  Plus, keeping it as close to 100% as I can manage is not only beneficial to me, but also to those around me, albeit in ways I could never accurately predict. 

I remember a friend who had (at the time) recently had her first child.  She told me
this awful story about pooping on the delivery table.  In front of her hubby.  I had never heard any delivery tale as real as what she provided.  Being unfamiliar with the process in anything other than an awkward overview by the gym/health teacher kinda way, I found myself impressed by her honesty.  And that when she had to chance to avoid personal embarrassment at the cost of letting a friend stay ignorant of the realities of a situation she didn't.  I always admired her for that.  Lesson?  Only a true friend shares the real less than ideal details of life.  

...I also value bein' a true friend.   So here are the real details as I know 'em about things I'm finding out about: 

One day Mom mentions that it looks like I've lost weight.  This comes as a surprise to me, I hop on the measuring device (or, scale as I believe it's commonly called) and sure enough I'm down 40 or so.  Again, a complete surprise to me as I was vacillating between summer dresses and fall/winter leggings and yoga pants.  (aka:  The Official 3 items you can never gauge your weigh by.  Evidently.)  A couple of years ago when my Mom was pretty sick one of her doctors said he was giving me credit for two years of medical school based on my involvement in her care.  Naturally, I used my fake medical degree to self diagnose.  Initially I self diagnosed as kidney stones.  I was right.  That I'd regrown a benign tumor they'd sliced outta me a few years back.  I was right.  And that I had Lupus.  Guess who won one of the most shittastic trifectas you've heard about in a while? 

Arms: Bruises in the
front, bruises in the back.
Lupus.  Or, the Loop as I have christened it, is the most ridiculous sounding of the things going on, but as it has back burnered every other health condition poppin' off is the most serious.  And the least well known of 'em.  Well, for most folks, my friends included.  I've kinda always known about Lupus.  My Mom's only sister died from Lupus as a 13 year old just before I was born.  My Mom was diagnosed with Lupus several years ago.  (Actually, I diagnosed her before her doc at the time did.  ...My history of bein' right is strong, yo.)  Occasionally folks are aware that the Loop is an autoimmune disease, which to the best of my knowledge is Latin for--  your body is tryin' to kill ya.  That of course, is the H.S. health class overview of the situation.  The keepin' it real version?  The real friend version?  My experience, at least?

Yesterday I sat in the recliner chair for the first time in 6-8 weeks.  Until then the pain in my knees 'n hips was too great and my actual ability to get up from such a low starting point was too small.  Thanks, Loop.

To a couple of people I've referred to myself as 'Bruise-y McGee'. 

The other day I recognized I was 'doin' better' by the fact that I hadn't had to worry about whether my glass of water was too big/heavy to reasonably manage in the past several hours.  Fact:  When a beverages weight is a valid concern?  Things aren't goin' great.

I've become overly very concerned that if I pass out whilst gettin' my mail or sumthin' equally as random and the squad gets called they'll roll up my sleeves and give me Narcan as they will 100% for fuckin' sure assume I'm a heroin addict.  Frequent lab work is giving me tracks... 

Currently I'm apt to let out a somewhat startling 'hoooooo' from time to time like I'm some sorta mother fuckin' owl.  ....Oh, that?  That's just me tryin' not to let my legs buckle from the breath I'm in the midst of taking.  Or what is also funnily called, pleurisy.  My last full, deep and pain free breathe was around Halloween.  I've notice it has changed my laugh to a shallow ha-ha.  So, at least Lupus has made me seem more ladylike from my usual full on guffaw and/or straight up cackle'n ass.  ...So, I guess there's that.  (eye roll) 

Actual Lupus Facts:
  • At least 15M Americans have Lupus.  (Q:  Why 'At Least'?  Often Lupus is misdiagnosed as other issues.)  16K new cases are diagnosed annually.
  • Lupus generally appears between 15-44, mostly in women and particularly in chicks o' color (who are 3x more likely to pop Lupus positive than caucasians)
(Source:  Lupus Foundation of America)

Lupus is actively tryin' to murder my spleen.  (BBGConfession:  I feel like between my tonsils and appendix I've given up as many organs as I'm comfortable with.  ...Seriously?  On who's scale is that not enough??   Apologies.  That almost sounded like whining.)  Apparently it's a medical rarity, as I picked up each time my Hematology Dr. turned the phrase 'unusual and rare' (which somehow each time in my mind was translated into [in Oprah's voice]...and you get a crown and shash!  FYI, my raging case of self amusement-itus pre-dates the Loop diagnosis.) when she mentioned my Splenic Infarction, which is like a MI (heart attack) for your spleen that in my instance has caused a good chunk of the spleen to die off.     

Excess fluid 'round the heart?  Check.  Again, merci, Loop.

Kidneys?  What about the kidneys?  Oh, don't worry, they've been invited to the Lupus luau too.

I am off the cane, but there was a period of time that I was incapable of walking any distance without it, both from a stability and sheer pain standpoint.  While it's embarrassingly ridiculous true that just the other day I tumbled head, clavicle and arm first into the corner of a wall, I'm blaming that on sticky footwear rather than the Loop.  (I try to be fair with it's on/off hookiness.)  ...In that vein I suppose I'm obliged to give Loop it's due as an effective diet aid.  As it keeps me queasy both before and after I eat, unless I pop eight pills of anti-hurl meds per day.  ...Which is exxxxxactly as much fun as it sounds.  Also, not very helpful on that front is that my jaw joints reacted by not opening very much. 

...Speaking of pills.  Two months ago my daily pill intake was zero.  Today it's 23.  My cell chimes 8 times each day to remind my ass to take sumthin' to prevent any Lupus-y aspect from worsening.  (Not a complaint.  A month ago I was in the hospital with people pokin' and a prodding me 67 times a day between being visited by teams of specialists as if I were an exhibit at ye' ol' medical zoo.  Again, just a keepin' it real...

Lupus by sight:
Top = not great, but not as
awful as the bottom pic.
Joints swell and get hot.
My joints are overall gettin' better.  I know because I can now turn my faucet on (of the pull up-y variety) using just one hand again.   My jaw joints are starting to loosen up so other than flat-ish foods and beverages are becoming options again.  Because my elbows are able to straighten yes, a few weeks ago I looked like a chicken with it's wings stuck out and bear any sorta weight I can pick up a glass using the one arm'd approach, as opposed to the two armed toddler method I had been relegated to employing.  Hell, I'm driving small distances, like a badass grownup. 

As mysteriously as Lupus flares come on  (mine was probably no Scooby-Doo worthy mystery, all seem pretty confident mine was spurred on from a kidney infection I brewed in October setting my body on a jihad against my own joints and organs)  they subside (to some greater or lesser degree, the bounds of which I really can't say as this is all new to me and I just don't have the cumulative experience with).  I can see it happening when I notice things once nearly imfuckingpossible excruciating--  I was forced to watch some bullshit one day because pushing the buttons on the TV remote was too painful vs. the pain of not bein' able to watch whatever the hell ya wanna, in 2015--  are now more easily do-able.  I can hear it happening when I realize I've just completed an action (sitting... standing...  doing anyfuckin'thing....) silently rather than realizing that seemingly no movement can happen without a guttural corresponding, and uncontrollable grunt like I'm a power lifter hoisting 1,200lbs, yeah pounds.  Not metrics.  ...USA!  USA!  USA!

So, there.  You know a bit about the real deal of Lupus.  My flavor, at least;  In addition to the Lupus in my family (which is disingenuous to say, Drs. tell us that Lupus is not hereditary.  Two sisters and a daughter is a fluke.  Uh-huh) there are three others in my circle of friends who have the Loop.  Every one of 'em is troubled in a different way and to various degrees of severity with vastly different cycles of ebbing and flowing (length of flares/time distances between them).  Sure there are some overlapping commonalities, but my Mom has aptly deemed it the Whack-A-Mole of Diseases (TM and Copyright pending).  One system goes crazy and when/if ya get it medically managed another organ pops up as a problem.  Whack it back down only to have the next Lupus driven issue to arise. 

Now.  Kindly indulge me a couple of well, shit, I can hardly say no now favors...

As a chick with the Loop, and this is just me, I'd ask ya not to get all, I'm sooo sorry.  I now realize that that sounds like a bitchy thing to say, but listen, I just read some story about a child with half a head, and I can name ya entirely too fuckin' many friends who are battling cancer for their actual lives-- to be alive next week, or next year.  This, while seriously shittastic isn't that.   I mean, don't be sorry 'cause life is happening, ya know?  The alternative sucks and is 6 feet sub terra firma.  Few, and extremely lucky are the peeps who get out of here without having to adjust to some health malady.  This is, afuckingparently, mine.  As I mentioned the other day to a friend, suckin' it up and dealing with it is the option.  There is no alternative magic Option B that is somehow better.  

If we all threw our problems in a pile
and saw everyone else's,
we'd grab ours back. 

And lastly, part of the truth and reality about #LupusLife that I've learned, that I want you to know is that a Looper knows how they feel right now.  Tomorrow could be 180 degrees different.  If one can't accurately anticipate how they'll be doing 24 hours from now it's impossible to say with any degree of certainty 'yes' to a commitment next month.  It's why I'm now qualifying that my making a plan with ya is predicated on if on that day I'm able.  Before I wrote that I knew it was shitty...  But it is the reality.  The irritating to you and me reality.  I'm not tryin' to be cagy or dodgy it's simply that I want to set the proper and realistic expectation, for both of our sakes.   

I'll keep you up on the new things I discover as I experience them from time to time.  Not for whining purposes, but because all it takes to prompt others into getting alright with their bag of crap is for one friend to be ok with theirs, and speak up about it instead of worrying about what someone else will think of 'em. 

Until next time, keep it real, my friend.  



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

~ The Importance of 'Being Who You Is' (aka: The John Daly Theory)

My friend (& mother of my godkidz) and her sister have a sayin';  "Be who you is".  Grammatically sketchy, yet supremely sage advice.   

Be who you is, is not to be confused with the more English teacher approved commonplace trope of 'be yourself'.  Be yourself almost comes with a wink intonating that said sentiment only applies to the good parts of yourself-ness.  While be who you is demands that you own your badness too.

The difference between the two is both as narrow and as wide as the chasm betwixt mother fuckin' cocksucker and cocksuckin' mother fucker.  Upon first inspection negligible, upon second enormous.

Between being yourself and being who you is, bein' who you is infinitely the better option. 

How do I know?

Answer:  The John Daly Theory

I have a theory.  Fine I have many of them.  (None of the conspiratorial variety)  This one I call the John Daly Theory (JDT).   JDT is applicable to all of our everyday lives, but numerous public scandals bear out its veracity in more splashy ways.  The scandal du jour is a perfect example--  coinkidinkily matching monogrammed Josh Duggar. 

The admitted child diddler and famous infamous evangelical Christian big ass family scion finds himself publicly exposed as bein' a pumpkin' eater (aka: a cheater-cheater), among apparently (ahem) other things after being caught up in the Ashley Madison hack/details dump.

He's the latest in the long ass list of people who would benefit from understanding the JDT.

Now I'm a golf watching enthusiast from way back.  (It's not important that you be a fan of the sticks to grasp the theory.  Trust me.  You already know enough to keep up.)  Contrary to popular belief My favorite golfer is NOT Tiger Woods* Peter Jacobsen.  And Jim Furyk.  And the aforementioned, John Daly.   Yes.  I have three favorite golfers.  I'm a girl.  It has it's privileges.  (Not many, but at least this.)  Suck it.     

* Oh?  A brown girl likes golf?  She must follow Tiger. 
...That's how the train of thought goes before I hear
something along the lines of, 'is Tiger your guy?' 
And that is what's called a microaggression.  
Seriously, y'all; STOP THAT SHIT.

If you're unfamiliar here's a wee primer on John Daly.  This is John Daly:
Circa: A long ass time ago.

These are things John Daly has said:

"My wife tried to stab me."
"I believe nicotine plus caffeine equals protein."

“I tried but every time I worked out I threw up, and I thought to myself that you can get drunk and throw up, so it's just not for me."

The two time major winner makes some badass golf pants

(...Now that everyone's up to speed on John Daly...) 

I discovered the JDT when Tiger Woods was in the midst of his skanky sex scandal several years ago.  As the list of floozy's lined up for a whirl at their fifteen minutes grew longer so did Tiger's fall from grace.  Prior to his proclivities bein' public fodder he'd been (to most) considered a consummate golden boy.   (Sidebar:  Once upon a time I knew someone on the periphery of Tiger's sphere, subsequently I never thought he was as squeaky clean cut as his image was being crafted.  To say I had specific knowledge of cheater would be a lie, but as the gilding fell the fuck off the lily story unfolded I didn't think it much of a surprise.  It seemed in line with the impression of him that I'd gathered via hearsay.) 

The backbone of the JDT is that when one cultivates an image of being X, people fuckin' expect ya to be, in fact, X.  Not to besmirch the esteemed Mr. Daly, but had the headlines instead screamed; 'Daly's Decadent Dalliances' the public reaction would have been less severe.  Why?  Well.  Even if you didn't have a clue that a John Daly existed until now, based on the 3 things you've just found out about him--  would doin' every Waffle House waitress on the eastern seaboard come as an astounding surprise?  Nope.  You'd shrug such a finding off with something along the lines of, yeah that seems right.  (Seriously, John Daly I mean no offense.  Sincerely.)  When the golden boy showed his ass it was mayhem because it was in such opposition to what he (Tiger) had portrayed himself to be.  John Daly who practically leads with the more sketchy aspects of his nature, effectively renders himself immune to misunderstandings, or disappointments of his character.  Simply put?  John Daly, due to his choice to live a life of bein' who he is would have to be pulled over while high on khat drivin' nakid with a whores body in his trunk before he'd experience the scope of public wrath that Tiger did over infidelity.  He's found the catbird seat y'all. 

Had Josh Duggar possessed the inner fortitude to be forthright with the world about who he is, as opposed to polishing up his image as an example of the modern day Christian soldier  standard bearer he wouldn't have to be apologizing for (in his words) being the "biggest hypocrite ever".  

JDT offers the perfect example of the benefits setting the expectation.  The importance of bein' who you is draws hefty dividends when one doesn't have to embark on an apology tour over livin' their authentic life.  It's a lesson most of us would be better for by embracing.   

cc:  America's favorite Puddin' Pop quaalude pushin' tv dad (Bill Cosby), Rachel Dolezal, Lance Armstrong...

A Guide To Being Who You Is:
  • Don't use bein' who you is as an excuse to be a dick.  Nobody likes a straight up jerk.  Nobody.
  • Do recognize the difference between who you'd like to be and who the fuck you are.
  • Act accordingly.  Don't lead people to believe you are significantly better than you are. 
  • You don't have to wear a sandwich board chronicling your top 10 shittiest traits but...
  • Ya do have to drop enough bread crumbs about the authentic you so that others aren't blindsided by the results of you being the authentic you.  

Related:  What Did You Expect? It Makes A Difference (New York Times) -- the science of setting expectations;  "The downside is that when our expectations are not met our negative feelings are much stronger"  ...A surprise to Josh Duggar.  Not a surprise to John Daly.  Or, now, you.  (Your welcome.)


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

~ We Need More Grief Words

The other night I was talking with a friend who is getting ready to lose a parent after a long battle against Alzheimer's.  She's been my friend since we were 6th graders so I desperately wanted to say the right thing.  But if, "you know this is your condolence card, right?" whilst hugging another long time friend at her mother's funeral has taught me anything, it's that doing so (saying the right thing) takes more than my internal desire. 

I scanned my mind for the word appropriate for the conditions. 

...And there was nothing. 

I wanted a word like schadenfreude or han, something that would encompass a concept, a word to convey the feeling of; I'm tremendously saddened and sorry this is getting ready to happen, and yet I'm also grateful.  Grateful that your loved one won't be having this awful reality, and neither will your family, that this has been so hard on for so long.  But less clunky such a phrase seems to be non-existent.  There's no corresponding cliché.  Nothing that expresses the combination of the hashtag-y equivalent of #Sorry #NotSorry sorrow and relief.  

That seems a shame for a feeling fairly often applicable when it comes to death.  We'd all like to (and have our loved ones) peacefully slip away in our (their) sleep, replete with cartoon birdies chirping and fluttering around as we make the transition but more often than not the end rarely wraps itself up in such a Very Special After School Special-y kinda way.  Nope.  Most of us will experience this aforementioned non-existent-word-y feeling.  

Mine came in the middle of the night five years ago.  Before that night I had never wanted anything more than for my Papa, who had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, to be with me as long as he could.  But then I heard Papa shriek in pain as the hospice nurse attempted a procedure.  I remember sitting at the dining room table as it rang out through the house (a sound I'll apparently never be able to unhear) and immediately changing my want to Papa going right that instant.  As much as I loved and wanted him with me always, I wanted him not to have this as his reality more.  I didn't wish for him to die, but I stopped wishing for him to stay.  My prayers were exclusively for comfort and an easy passing.  I held his hand as he took his last breath.  I was beyond heartbroken.  But I was also relieved. 

Unfortunately, long is the list of diseases and medical conditions that at the end devolve to a tipping point where death (Understatement Alert: as incredibly shitty as it is) is no longer the worst thing to happen.  To say it's a 'blessing' feels wrong (Universal Truth:  nobody thinks never being able to spend time with their loved one is a blessing...) and callous.  But more honest than pretending it's the same kinda (exclusively sad) passing, grief and sadness as losing someone suddenly, at the height of their health and quality of life where there isn't that sense of, again, for a complete lack of a better word, relief.  (I'm not implying one is better/worse than the other, [there is no grief award] only that depending on circumstances at hand there is an amount of suffering that changes the dynamic of the how one views a life ending.  ...See.  Wouldn't it be handy to have a phrase for that?

Grief is a topic that has popped up several times in my circle 'o friends lately.  (Mainly, folks bein' awful at it, if I'm bein' honest.  Not that I'm the Grief Whisper.)  I can't help but think perhaps people would do a lil' better with it if it was discussed a lil' more freely.  ...And perhaps we'd be better at doin' that if we had the actual fuckin' words to describe it.

We Need More Grief Words - Exhibit B: 

Later in the week I was hanging out with a few other friends when my friend (code name) Arrowsmith and I were discussing her late son.  Over an order of remembrance-y shots I asked how old her son would have been?  (Although he left as a toddler he would have been 15 now.)  As we talked about him she off-handedly mentioned how tricky it is now when strangers ask how many kids she has.  (She and her hubby are knee deep in raising two beautiful pre-schoolers [1 girl/1 boy].)   A perfectly normal question people ask other people, but when your answer is a story and not a concise number, and your story is every parent's nightmare scenario, it's a somewhat stressful query.   Not to mention, this is often some random ass stranger you'll never cross paths with again  --of course ya don't wanna lie, but who wants to detail your life story to a stranger?  I'd imagine most parents who have lost a child (of which when I look around at my circle of peeps, there are far too many) have found themselves struggling for the least explain-y explanation possible.  Arrowsmith then, super astutely, went on to say, "when you lose your husband or wife you're a widower/widow, but there isn't a word for when your child dies."  Slightly tipsy.  Mind.  Blown.

As I like to be 'part of the solution' I offer, Kidower.

  • kid·ow·er   /ˈkidō(ə)r/   (noun)  a parent who has lost a child to death

It's telling about our collective relationship with death that we have more words for cell phone picture takin' (selfie, delfie, ussie [yes.  I am embarrassed to know those words exist.] et al) than we have grief phrasing.   We're so uninterested in dealing with death we refuse to create the vernacular for it.  (Stomps stubborn foot)   It's no wonder so many get so mired down in its aftermath.  

Greif is dicey enough to navigate.  (Both on the first-hand-going-through-it and the trying-to-support-someone-going-through-it side.)   The lack of language we have for it doesn't lend itself to making it any easier.  Or saying the right thing.  

"Everybody knows how to talk ya through working a smartphone.  Nobody knows how to discuss death.  Oh.  Ok."


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

~ Things That Aren't For $800 (Accidental Shootings)

When two vehicles collide it's called a crash.  It used to be called an accident.  Obviously, 'accident' denotes something unexpected or unavoidable.  ...Which is exactly why law enforcement is now classifying automotive crash-boom-bangs as accurately crashes.  Most collisions are avoidable by, ya know, paying fucking attention and following rules of the road.  Hence, not accidents.

The usage of the word accident is disingenuous in a scenario where, for instance, if a driver had kept assured clear distance a crash could have been avoided.  Equally as disingenuous is when 'accident' is used to describe tragic child involved shootings...

I'm sure there are accidental shootings.

I can't recall the last time I heard of one. 

But people attributing accidental to situations that Stevie Wonder coulda seen comin'?  Well, that happens alllllllll the damn time... 

HAYDEN, Idaho—A toddler shot and killed a Walmart shopper Tuesday morning in what deputies described as an "accident."

3 year old accidently shoots, kills mother the headline reads.  Fact:  Just because ya say something doesn't make it so.

Cameron, WV  - A 19-year old is dead and a 14-year old is hospitalized after an accidental shooting in Marshall County.
Frankfort, KY -  Officials say an accidental shooting on Christmas night has killed a 16-year-old in Frankfort.  And most recently...
Cleveland, OH - Cleveland baby dies in accidental shooting.

We've managed to be truthful about crashes.  Callin' shit what it is, not what we want it to be.  It's time to be as earnest about shootings.  I don't know what the new term should be?  Gun-ragedy?  I'm open to what it could be.  But it can't continue to be accident.  In none of these instances is 'accident' the appropriate phrasing.  Every one of 'em when you read the  details they show a situation that one can very easily anticipate an outcome that would/could end in a horrific manner.  I don't mean to sound like I'm victim shaming, but kids + unsecured guns = terribleness.  Yes, not always.  But clearly often enough.  (For the Official Record, I'm not anti-gun.  With parents as Police Officers I grew up in a household with guns, and I am a gun owner.  [...Which honestly I'm not sure why I have to declare that?  'Reason' should be reasonable whether or not one owns a gun, but I can only take care of so much 'bidness in one day...])   

What is an 'accidental' shooting?
The usage of accident sets the false expectation that these are fluke-y events which could not have been foreseen, let alone avoided, which is predicated on a lie.  Most gun-ragedies (but especially those involving children) are avoidable.  Checking to see if a firearm is unloaded instead of assuming it's unloaded is, by everyone's estimation, pretty fuckin' avoidable.  Two steps:  1) Remember like your life depended on it to check.  B) Actually check.  Not giving a toddler an opportunity to actually kill someone with curiosity?  Avoidable.  These are tremendous tragedies.  But tragedies created by poor decision making skills.  But not accidents.  I'm not sayin' a person (or loved one) ought to die from a poor decision.  If that were the criteria for which side of the grass I'm on I'd have been 6' under a looooooong ass time ago.  However, all decisions have ramifications and consequences, and while this is a super shitty one that I would wish on no one, it's an outcome of a purposeful action (to not secure your weapon). 

If I cut my finger in the kitchen I don't tell people I 'accidently' cut my finger.  I tell 'em I wasn't holding the food-y item right, or wasn't paying attention and dumbassidly cut my finger.      ~ BBG 

...Keeping things real only requires keepin' it real.

Today a local 4 year old shot a 3 year old in the neck.  Which we all know wasn't an accident.  Ya know, if we're keepin' it real.

Related Posts:
I'll Take Things That Aren't For $1000 (Outdoor Cats)

Coming Soonish Sometime, Other Things That Aren't: 
  • Reverse Racism


Thursday, June 25, 2015

~ I'm A Loser, Baby: The True Heritage Of The Confederate Flag

Soon we'll celebrate 239 years as a republic with all of the cautionary mannequin burning, exploding watermelon, 'annnnnnnd that's how I lost my eye/hand' firework-y glory we can muster.  It's (July 4th) a celebration of winners.  Ask any American and they'll tell ya the story of plucky patriots who kicked Team King George's ass. 

They'll probably leave out that roughly 20% of the boots on the ground at the time were Loyalists.  For those historically challenged, Loyalists were colonists who took the side of the redcoats. 

Things you never hear: 
"...My 5x great grandfather was a loyalists."
Things you always hear: 
"...My 5x great grandfather was a patriot."
Mathematically this doesn't hold up.  ...Somebody's lyin'. 
Apparently, about one in 5 of everyone that tells ya of their looooong
line of American lineage has a pants on fire problem. 

By all rights up to 20% of Americans capable of tracing their familial roots to Revolutionary times should shake out to be what we would call, losers.  We don't.  But only because A) as a whole we're pretty shitty at knowing/understanding history and 2) Loyalists got to the 'bidness of lickin' their wounds and assimilating, (or movin' to Canada/hoppin' the boat back to England) and not to the 'bidness of holding onto a symbol of their traitorous beliefs and behaviors.   In short they had the good fuckin' sense to stop drawing attention to their participation with the loser side of history. 

...And that's the part of the confederate flag debate I've never understood.

For the life of me I can't grasp the concept of highlighting loser endeavors and affiliations.  There's a reason Coke doesn't remind us about New Coke, Ford isn't pushin' hard to feature the Pinto as part of their corporate heritage and the Cubs don't have a big ass mural devoted to the '19 scandal team in the outfield.   It's the same reason I, as a staunch Buckeye fan, don't rock a commemorative t-shrit from the '08 BCS National Championship Game.  (Or listen to, with any measure of enjoyment The Eye Of The Tiger anymore) Thanks, LSU

Reminder:  #LoserStrong (Is not an actual thing.)

That anyone would choose to hitch their heritage to the most spectacular attempt of sedition in our nation's history is batshit crazy boggling.  ...For ya know, folks who ostensibly would like ya to believe they're grrrrreat 'n loyal Americans.  'Cause nuthin' says 'loyal citizen' like, yeah, I'm down to wage war to overthrow our government.

The fact that 150 years after the end of the Civil War the confederate flag, the official symbol of a failed insurrection, is still so widely and popularly displayed leaves me only to assume that somewhere there's a large contingent of those who do fly a confederate flag who are also probably involved in petitioning for a National Benedict Arnold Day and in the push for Aaron Burr to replace Hamilton on the $10.   


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

~ Lamenting Lotioning

BBGConfession:  I loathe lotioning.

Pretty much every time I have no choice but to lotion up I find myself thinking, 'it puts the lotion on its skin'.  ( -- James GumbOf course there is a choice.  It's called ashy

When I see advertisements put out by the big moisturizing complex the end user always looks ecstatic over the endeavor.  Meanwhile I just feel a bit bitter.  (Dear Epidermis,  I've already washed and shaved [most of] you.  What the fuck more do you want from me?!?) 

I've tried to make the task as palatable as I can create it.  I've
Sunday @ Nana & Papa's
purchased products that I think are funny.  ...Oh?  You're cocoa scent-y?  A brown girl smellin' like a chocolate bean? HA.  Sold.  Or sentimental.  (Chime-y flashback music)  When I was a Little Brown Girl (LBG) I lived one house away from my Nana and Papa.  I'm just realizing I'm probably the only person I know who grew up with two bedrooms spread over half a block.  I could be either place at any time.  But Sunday evenings I liked to take my bath at Nana and Papa's.  It was a whole thing y'all.  Looking back it was like being at a kid spa.  Nana would git me all squeaky and then like a miniature body builder getting tanned and/or oiled I'd get splashed with Nana's Jean Nate after bath splash, lotioned up with corresponding lotion and then reaching the the bath-y promised land, a coupla bops with the Jean Nate powder puff.  It was tres grown up.  Once pj'd up I'd retire to the tv room to watch the Wonderful World of Disney and Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom, whilst Nana clipped my toe nails.  ...So, yeah.  I thought when I randomly spied Jean Nate on the shelf for the first time since 1984 it was some sorta divine intervention leading me to the path of not being pissed off for havin' to do something I don't want to do., ya know?  As for how that's workin' out?

Bonus BBGConfession:  Occasionally on a Sunday evening I'll find myself wondering if I lived close to Nana if she'd be willing to bring back our Sunday ritual?  Don't judge me.

I adhere to a fairly strict If It's Seen Routine, eliminating any unnecessary lotioning efforts.  (Dear Skin, Sorry to be a pest, but seriously?  Everything swimsuit covered?  It's doin' fine on a live and let live basis.  Why are your limb-y areas so fucking needy?)  Unless money and/or cotton candy falling from the sky as a reward for lotioning is something I can arrange I don't know what more I can do to make it a better experience for me. 

...And yet the other day I caught myself bein' momentarily mad at my vagina for being self lubricating while this skin had the nerve to make me do all the work.  Ugh.  Once I took the step to imagine how that'd work (if flip flopped) I decided that all-in-all the current arrangement was probably for the best. 




Friday, March 13, 2015

~ The Power Of Booze, Magic & Racism

As is probably surmiseable from the title of this blog I am a chunky monkey girl.  A full-fledged, properly fat American.  It's obvious. 

(Halloween ghost of Blind Melon Past, Present & Ridiculous)
I say, 'obvious' because you have eyes and can see.  What advantage is it to me to try to perpetrate a lie about it?   A:  It's not.  That's why I don't.  I'm at peace with bein' a fat girl.  But what if I told you that despite what you are fully capable of seeing that you are wrong in your fat ass appraisal of me, Pop Quiz what would you think?

Maybe a lil':  'I'm not fat.  I know I look fat in that picture, I'm not really.'  Or some:  'Fat?  Nooooo.  ...Tipsy?  Randomly amused by 80's music video's with a stellar eye for detail and almost zero shame?  Yes, yes and yes.  B-b-but fat?  Nope.  Not one bit.'
(BBGNote:  I use fat as a declarative statement and not a pejorative one.)
I suspect most of you would think holy fuck, look at that complete break with reality she's having.  Clearly, what that photo shows is the truth about the matter.  There is no option B over whether that cool ass chick is fat or not.  (Ok.  Sure, there are other options; zaftig, voluptuous, plump, corpulent...)  You and I both know what we see is exactly what it is.  Period.  End of story. 

Unfortunately, this doesn't always translate into other scenarios.  

Fact:  The ability to discern from bullshit (that we tell ourselves, others, or have presented to us) is a craft that requires honing, ya know, as it is an integral part of not being a dumbass, I say one worth investing a few minutes on an obscure blog to sharpen.  And we're off...

By now you've probably seen the SAE version of a video diary of bus ride.  If you haven't, here.  Heavy sigh.  Serenity now.  It is obviously exactly what it appears to be.  There is no option B here either.  It looks racists because it is racists. 

And there is no excuse for that.  But in no way has that kept some pretty audacious assertions from bein' floated out there as excuses for what you've seen.  So far?  Booze and magic, mainly.  (Here is clip containing the actual statements, I'm paraphrasing.)  Both are poor defenses. 

A)  Booze.  Some people are mean ass drunks, some are love-y dove-y, some slutty.  There are Evil Knievel drunks, Alex Trebek/Cliff Clavin/Martha Stewart drunks, Casey Kasem drunks, and Sylvia Plath drunks.  I thought I knew my drunks.  I mean, I've been post-21 for some time now and have witnessed a good amount of in the cups behavior.  Hell, I've been the actual star of a few of those drunks. For legal reasons I can not be more specific.  But apparently now there are Jim Crow drunks.  (Save it, nitpickers of the interwebs.  I know Jim Crow isn't a real name.  Neither is Evil.  Suck it.) 

Why that's a shitastic defense?  Well, we all know booze can combine to concoct any number of drunk-y type behaviors, and we also know that booze has one universal constant and truth;  What ever comes out when it's mixed in?  That's what's in the person, that for whatever motivation is often without the benefit of booze held at some measure at bay.  It's not an aberration of character, it's an illumination of it.  Simply put, booze is truth juice.  So, pointing to something known to be second to sodium pentothal in it's The Truth Will Set You Free-ness as an excuse for why a bunch of racism fell out of your heart and mouth, hey, it's a free country, have the fuck at it, is, um, weird.

But honestly?  Not as weird as the other plot line aka: magic.  As near as I can piece together from comments along the lines of, 'ok, yeah, that's me on the video (being racist) but that's not an accurate representation of me', like if spoken three times into a mirror (Candyman shout out) regardless of the truth that we can see LOOK OVER THERE (misdirection)  Abracadabra!!  (Steve Miller shout out)  *waves wand with a grand flourish* makes it definitely, 100% for sure, unequivocally, absofuckinlootly, not in my character to engage in racists ass behavior.  Because these magic ass words say so.  The actual defense strategy seems to be;  Disregard the fact that you've already seen the truth.   
It puts me in mind of that Groucho quote...
...And guess what?  That's going to pass for perfectly acceptable for some folks.  (But not you, you well honed in bullshit detectin' magnificent bitches!)  I'm confident of that fact because there's a label on my hair dryer advising me not to use it in the shower. (Is there anything else ya need to know about how inept some folks are at understanding how the world works?...) 
Thanks to the people who are the reason a hair dryer has to explicitly say don't use in the shower, to a higher degree than I'm comfortable with, a certain percentage of people will accept the possibility that an option B (aka: the boozy magic loogie theory) alternative is a more reasonable conclusion than the obvious. 
My let's be super clear here point? 
I must admit, I kinda respect the amount of sheer balls it takes to attempt to explain away I would say the undeniable, but these cats) are actually denying it...  The struggle of Tooliteralism is real, yo. racist behavior with an offering of booze and magic.  I mean, that's amazing.   No less amazing than if I really would try to sell ya on the fact that that photo above is just 'big boned'.  ...I don't know if you know this or not, but I was drunk in that picture, which makes a person look fat.  And, also, that photo was taken while I was under a spell, and in a doll house of miniature-ness making me look fat. (POOF!!)  It's just not an accurate depiction of me.  Come the fuck on.  It's not smart on their part.  But then, I suppose smart is never a thing I associate with racists anyway. 
"When people show you who they are, believe them."       - Maya Angelou




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

~ I'll Take Things That Aren't For $1,000 (Outdoor Pets)

I have no patience for things that aren't being passed off as things that are.   Drives me bonkers.  Apparently this bothers others less.  And by 'less' I mean, not fuckin' at all.  

Today's Things That Aren't?

Outdoor Pets.

I'm sorry.  What are outdoor pets?  I don't care how many times you said or heard this, it is, in fact, not an actual thing.

Country caveat:  If you live in the country this is a thing.  Hi, barn cat.

Again, in the city?  Not.  An.  Actual.  Thing.  (Yes.  Geography sometimes matters in ruling out thing/non-thingness.) 

Take the Are You In The City Quiz?
  • If you had to run to your neighbors house is it such a distance that you would have an MI (heart attack) before you arrived? 
  • Is your only source of delivery pizza DiGiorno's?  
  • If you buy ice cream at the grocery has it turned into a cookie dough cosumee by the time you've arrived home?
(If you answered YES to 1-3 of these questions you do not live in the city.  [Enjoy your outdoor pets.]  If you answered NO to 1-3 of these questions you do not live in the country. [Try not to be a dickwad neighbor.])

Obviously, a pet is a thing.  As is the outdoors.  Both certifiable things.  Check.  But there is no (I-live-in-the-city) outdoor pet.  Nope.  Pets are animals that have people in charge of them.  A pet has someone with opposable thumbs who tends to their needs who they rely on for food, housing, health and shit picking upping.  (In the case of talking birds, a human to teach them to say ironic, ridiculous and/or curse-y phrases.)  A pet lives in conjunction with their human(s) under some level of restraint.  (Yes, sometimes a pet lives outside of the house in its own house generally hemmed in by either a fence or chain or barn scenario.  [read: not free range])   Essentially a pet is a furry, wet nosed hostage.  This is mine:

Inside?  Check.  On a human bed?  Check.
Safe 'n warm?  Check.  ...Ladies & gentlemen we have a pet.

Things that live outdoors are not pets.  Don't be mad at me.  I don't make the rules, I'm just reporting them.  They are free range animals.  Newsflash:  Feeding doesn't make it a pet.  I can't feed a local coyote and then contend it's my pet.  Why? 'Cause that sounds, and would be fuckin' crazy.  ...Oh, that?  That's my pet deer.  I leave food out for it.  It comes around...    

How long would it take for someone to ask how exactly bat shit crazy you were once ya started talkin' 'bout your pet deer or opossum?  Not long, right?  2.6 seconds, maybe?  (Hello?  Yes, I need to know the procedure for getting someone signed up for a lil' 5150?  Oh?  She's babblin' some bullshit about the existence of outdoor pets, like, she says she has a pet crocodile so send someone immediately.)  ...But say cat and six people will trip over themselves to tell ya about a pack of feral cats they're sustaining, because, ya know;  outdoor pets. 

One of my neighbor's *outdoor pets* gawking at me from my hot tub.

BBGSideBar:  Ugh.  So now I'm gonna have to fight felines this summer to enjoy my deck.  Now you know that's some bullshit.  I'm allergic to cats.  I have to be careful in other peoples homes because they have cats.  That's cool.  We're in charge of what we're in charge of and I'm not in charge of how my body receives and deals with cat-y proximity.  Accepted.  Someone having a cat has never stopped me from hanging out with them.  But I sure as shit shouldn't have to be careful in my own damn (cat free) home.  I've been thinking of ways to deal with the situation.  As I believe that what we put out there reverberates.  Bad begets bad (good, good), call it karma if you will, and I'm not tryin' to invite any extra drama trauma across my path.  Or as I told another neighbor whilst discussing our mutual free range cat overrunning situation, "I did the math.  She (cat feeding neighbor, Kooky McBean [not actual name]) is lucky I'm a 3% better person than I want to be.  'Cause if I were the 3% worse person I wanna be?  There'd already be a bowl of anti-freeze out there.  Problem solved.  Evidently, 3% is where a good amount of--   ...You are not a dick.  ...Now you know you could kill a person if ya had to but there's no way you could kill an animal [like on purpose, not euthanasia].  ...You'd 100% be haunted by some freaky deak-y gaggle of cat ghosts all the rest of your days.  --I can't have that on my head stuff/I'm not that person, lives.  The extra 3% that is who I am (not what I want) is saving those kitty lives."  ...So, non-leathal solutions.  I've heard setting up mouse traps along where they travel?  And putting moth balls out along their trails (which apparently, is conveniently, everywhere [see below].)  Any ideas, my Big Brown Girl World-ers?  Seriously.  Help!

I say sustaining, but honestly I think it's, at least in these parts, kinda cruel.  Let's face it, in large part free range dogs get picked up by the authorities.  But cats?  It's not uncommon to see them pouncing about, well, really, anywhere.  It gets cold here.  (Not a complaint)  It's no surprise when the temp dips into the minuses.  For weeks.  Feeding feral cats doesn't save a cat.  It creates 8 new lil' kitties freezing in sub-zero temps, attempting to dodge the coyotes foraging for food of their own.  Ya know, warm fuzzy, four legged food.  (Meow)   That doesn't make any cat-y situation better, in fact it's worse eight-fold.  So, congratulations?

Last week the weatherman told me that we had been above freezing (32 degrees) for a grand total of two hours total over the past 2 wks.  Schools were closed several times over that period because it was deemed too cold for children (human, dressed in layers, waiting for a bus amount of time outside-- and these are 'Merican kids, so they were probably well insulated to begin with) to be out and about.   But tell me more about how it's humane to be cultivating extra cats to endure such conditions?

I always say when I run the world things are gonna be a lot different.  (#BBG2016)  For starters?  Things that (actually and straight up legit) aren't will no longer be given equal time, benefit of the doubt or agree to disagree designation.  For the same reason we wouldn't put stock into someone contending that cigarettes are healthy or that the earth is flat just because people say/believe it.  They will just be wrong.  There will be no back and forth-ing, (arguing/debating) only an immediate indication of dumbassery followed by subsequent pointing and mockery

                                                                       -  President Josiah Bartlett

Other Cat-y Posts:

Coming Soon-ish Sometime, Other Things That Aren't:
  • Accidental (child) shootings
  • Reverse racism

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