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Posts Tagged ‘Bright ideas’

Dear Anti-maskers:

Congratulations! You and our inept president have helped the United States reach a milestone.

(Ironic how your battle cry is the co-opted “My body, my choice.”)

I understand your desire for personal freedom. But with personal freedom comes personal responsibility. But often, though, people do not do the right thing for themselves or others.

Let’s look at some past freedom vs. personal/public safety issues:

Those four legislative efforts save roughly 723,000 lives every year.* The first three save nearly 30,000. That’s a large enough number to warrant legislation, apparently.

You see where I’m going with this?

246,083 Americans have died of the Coronavirus.

246,083 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents.

It’s more deadly and prevalent than the flu.

Americans make up just 4.25 percent of the world population, but have contracted 20 percent of total Coronavirus cases. Americans deaths make up 18.6 percent of the 1.32 million deaths worldwide.

Clearly, we are not managing the spread effectively.

Clearly, lives are at stake.

Clearly, we need to do something.

I’m not a huge fan of personally intrusive legislation like a national mask mandate, but if y’all keep up your shenanigans, that is EXACTLY what we are going to need.

So wear a damn mask, and stay away from people not in your household.

Kthxbye,
Beth

*I’m happy to give you my sources for those stats, but I know you don’t trust scientific or news sources. (In case you do, and I’m being unfair, visit the links in the post plus this one and this one and this one.)

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Dear Mr. Trump,

Americans have been making their choices in droves via early voting and absentee ballots.

Tuesday is Election Day (even though we may not have an answer that day).

I won’t be voting that day. Eddie and I chose the absentee route for two reasons:

  1. I believe scientists that the Coronavirus is real and not a hoax perpetrated by the Democratic Party. (I mean, REALLY? A U.S. party is going to get the whole world in on a hoax? To what end?)
  2. Hence, I want to limit potential exposure by not putting myself in close contact with people I don’t know.

I’ve had in-depth conversations with two long-time friends who support you. One was a rational, calm conversation where we agreed more than we disagreed. One was … not like that at all.

I understand your allure even less than I did in 2016.

And I am regularly amused/outraged/appalled at the emails I get from your campaign. (I’m on your list thanks to an event I attended.)

This is the article that examines presidential laziness.

Here’s my response to some slogans you and your supporters use.

“Make America Great Again”
I thought America was pretty great pre-2016.

“Keep America Great”
Sorry, but America is not great at the moment. I am NOT better off than I was four years ago. I’m middle class and paying WAY more taxes. The industry in which I work has been negatively affected by your xenophobic policies. And as someone who travels, I can tell you that America is an international embarrassment.

“Life begins at conception”
Fantastic! So that means you’ll protect women endangered by a pregnancy, the children after they are born, old people who might get COVID-19, poor people, immigrants and people on death row. Right? Pro-life means that you support all lives.

“My body, my choice”
This one makes my head explode as it has been co-opted for the anti-mask movement. If you want personal autonomy, great. I’m all for that. But you can’t pick and choose. (See above.)

“Drain the Swamp”
Eeesh. Washington, D.C., is now the swampiest swamp ever.

It should come as no surprise that I will not be voting for you. This is not to say I haven’t voted Republican in the past, and wouldn’t do so again if he/she were the right person.

But you are not the right person.

And the Republican Party is not the Republican Party of old. You know, the one that wanted a smaller government, fiscal responsibility, personal autonomy, etc.

I care about LBGTQIA rights, universal healthcare, eradicating systemic racism, reducing the deficit, upholding personal choice, maintaining separation of church and state — all those things that you are against.

So I’m not wishing you luck on Tuesday.

And I hope you’ll take McConnell and Graham with you.

Frigid regards,
Beth

 

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Dear Helios,

Thanks for giving us one good day at the beach. We needed it after our annual trip turned into a nomadic search for reliable Wi-Fi in the age of ‘Rona ‘Rona.

(Thank you to Patrick/Petra, Tammy and Sharon for letting us park in your homes when the beach Wi-Fi would only allow us to connect my iPad and the Roku.)

Saturday became our hassle-free day. I only had to worry about keeping my foot elevated.

Dominic and Gideon only concerned themselves with how deep they wanted to dig a hole.

Eddie only bothered with taking photos of said hole.

Back story: For whatever reason, the boys love to dig a hole in the sand every time we go to the beach. I don’t know why.

But people act like they’ve never seen a hole. Not a single person passed without commenting.

Granted, it was quite an impressive dig.

Meanwhile, I was desperately trying to blend the tan stripes on my stomach that I got from tubing. (You know: When I got stuck outside of the tube and wiped off all the sunscreen trying to wriggle back into it.)

I was taking a nap when the family started badgering me to get under the umbrella. They started calling me names (“Whitey”) and reminding me of that one time.

It was hurtful.

Me to Eddie: Why can’t I be a bronzed goddess?

Eddie: You can be a vanilla goddess.

So I did retreat to shade, but not before checking the hole.

During the GREAT DIG, Eddie and I savored some adult beverages.

Me to Eddie: What are we doing about dinner?

Eddie: I don’t know. What do you want to do?

Me: I want to go to Crab Shack.

Eddie: But we’ll have to drive.

Me: We can take Lyft.

Eddie: No, wait: WE HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER!

(We both look at Dominic in the hole.)

There was much rejoicing.

Anyway, thanks for giving us a sunny, mild day.

Hope you’ll be around the next time we plan a family trip.

With appreciation,

Beth

*I got into the Disney vault for that.

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Dear Trina,

Thanks for coming by to chat Monday. You brought your drum and rattle for your morning meditation. Cool, cool, cool.

Anyone else, I’d probably roll my eyes.

But not you.

You said you took your recent trip to South Dakota because Crazy Horse called you there.

Yep, sounds about right.

And now you are moving there to be a healer.

Of course.

Goat-yoga Lisa and I had a short convo about you yesterday. We said the same thing: If it were anyone else, it would be complete bullshit.

But anyone who knows you knows this makes perfect sense. It just does.

I can’t explain it, but I support you, believe in you, and love you.

Good luck on your journey, have a safe trip, and I hope to see you soon.

Love,
Beth

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Here’s Mary, all fancy feasting on cat treats.

Dear TLC:

Thanks for running a marathon of “My Strange Addiction” last night. My strange addiction is “My Strange Addiction” (among other shows of its ilk). And it hasn’t been on in ages.

I thought it was a new season, but apparently I just stumbled across episodes I hadn’t seen. (Not sure how that is possible, but yay for me.)

On days when that hypocrite Mitch McConnell is rushing through a SCOTUS pick in an election year, the United States is leading in world COVID-19 cases, and the U.S. president is actually tweeting that certain states are “going to hell” and thus he should be re-elected (odd logic here, no?), there’s something satisfying about the simplicity of a weird habit.

Granted, certain habits can have consequences.

Mary’s cat food addiction has led to anemia and high blood pressure. The doctor’s suggestion (I’m paraphrasing): Start eating people food. (Duh.)

Alicia has been smelling mothballs for 15 years. (Yuck.) Her conversation with a friend (I’m paraphrasing again):

Him: Have you read the warnings on this box?

Her: No, I can’t see that fine print. (Um, yeah, because the mothball sniffing is damaging her vision.)

Him: It says that you shouldn’t inhale them.

Her: I’m not inhaling. I’m just smelling.

Him: (Head explodes)

Riley lives life as an adult baby. She wears diapers 24 hours a day, yet wonders why she isn’t in a relationship.

By watching someone else’s bizarre reality, it somehow makes my (fairly normal) reality easier to bear.

The country is a dumpster fire. People are dying. Certain leaders refuse to see how they are complicit in that or change their behavior.

All I can do is vote and champion my candidates. (And you can bet I will.)

In the meantime, thank you for providing what I consider to be escapist content.

Keep up the good work!

Beth

 

 

 

 

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Dear Eddie,

Today we have been married longer than many of my students have been alive.

Yikes.

One of your friends wrote on Facebook about her parents being married 58 years. She said, “It has never been perfect, but it has always been interesting.”

Yeah. What she said.

The last couple of years have been TOUGH for us. Hormonal teenagers, a big move, new jobs, a PANDEMIC — many factors have made it difficult.

I try to remember why we’ve lasted this long.

It can be summed up in two photos:

This is actually when my obsession with bad taxidermy began: Eddie and I were replicating specimens while waiting for a kids field trip to begin.

Clearly the same sense of humor.

In fact, this time five years ago, we were in Italy. One of the highlights of the trip was taking photos with a man sleeping next to us at a restaurant.

We ended up seeing our new friend the next day. He was looking a bit worse for wear.

Interestingly, later in the trip we became somewhat of a zoo exhibit ourselves.

Yes, those are the fish that eat dead skin.

In addition to the funny factor, you also are willing to go along with my crazy plans.

Halloween 2012: I handled the costumes and makeup. I’m crafty once a year.

We also find the same things horrifying. Like a house full of dolls and tchotchkes. Shudder.

Your face says it all.

Thank you for two great kids and many years of good memories. Hope we can keep on laughing!

Happy anniversary!

Love,
Beth

*Thanks, Paul Simon.

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Dear Parents of Teenaged Boys:

How did you live through the learning-to-drive phase?

Dominic now has his learner’s permit.

This was not an easy process, but I bet it pales in comparison to actually teaching him to drive.

He was supposed to go get his learner’s permit weeks ago. We made an appointment. He filled out the application. We got the appropriate letter from his school. I sent him the link to the manual and the sample tests.

We got in the car to go to the DMV.

Him (looking at his phone): What is this sign? (Shows me the following image on his phone)

Me: It’s a warning sign. Why?
Him (still looking at his phone): The line down the middle of the road is black, red, yellow or white?
Me: Look, you have to answer these questions yourself. First, I’m driving right now. Second, you should have studied the manual!
Him: Where did you say that manual was?
Me (head exploding): You are kidding, right?
Him: I didn’t think it would be hard.
Me: It’s going to be hard if you didn’t look at the manual.
Him: I think we are going to have to cancel the appointment.
Me (steam escaping my ears): Yeah, I guess so.

So we made a new appointment. He promised to study the manual this time.

On the way to the new appointment, we had the following conversation.

Him: I’ve been doing well on the practice tests. This guy said he failed the test 17 times. He finally passed after taking the test three times in one day. His advice is to read the manual.
Me: Well, duh.
Him: (Silence)
Me: You did read the manual, right?
Him: I’m reading it now.
Me: (Nearly crashes the car from shock and blind rage)

Y’all, I’ll be honest: I did not have high hopes for a successful outcome.

We got there, showed proof that he filled out the application and got our temperatures taken.

After loads of paperwork, he was off to take the test.

While I was waiting, I realized my license expires at the end of this year. So I renewed it while I was there. Bonus!

As I was doing that, Dominic ambled over.

Him: I passed!
Me: Really?! That’s GREAT!
Him: It was really easy. In fact, some of the stuff I studied in the car was on the test.
Me (rolling my eyes): You got so lucky.

On the way home, he called his father to tell him the news. No answer. He called his brother.

Him: I passed
Gideon: You passed?
Him: I passed my learner’s permit test.
Gideon: Oh. Nice.

They hang up.

Me: He was so … what’s the word I’m looking for?
Him: Unenthusiastic.
Me: Yes.

We had a good laugh.

I pulled over when I was nearly home and let him drive the rest of the way. He did a good job. He even praised me for my patience (!).

Today, we had to pick up his yearbook from the high school. I let him drive. On Peachtree. Anyone who knows Atlanta knows that’s like letting him drive on a NASCAR track. (Not as bad as I-285, but bad.)

I’ll be drinking loads tonight. And I’ll be thankful to be alive.

I swear he took a turn on two wheels.

He didn’t change lanes quickly and drove in the middle of the road for a bit.

He couldn’t figure out how to work the turn signal. (I mean, he’s not alone. Veteran drivers can’t seem to figure that one out.)

So how did you do it?

Any tricks or tips you want to share?

I’m all ears. (And white knuckles.)

Thanks,
Beth

*Thanks, John, Paul, George and Ringo. This tune is now stuck in my head.

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Dear Gideon:

It’s true that Dominic is more like me when it comes to wit and personality, but you and I are more alike in terms of things we like to do.

For example, we share a love of the outdoors and a certain level of redneckery.

Thank you for going with me on one last state park trip before “school” (such as it is during COVID times) begins Monday.

The trip had everything we needed:

  • An adorable cabin
  • An adorable cabin that had a kitchen (Mama doesn’t play with cook stoves.)
  • An adorable cabin that had a kitchen and a proper bed (Mama is too old to be in a sleeping bag with tree roots digging into her spine.)
  • Fred’s “Famous” Boiled Peanuts just down the road apiece
  • River tubing
  • Hiking trails
  • A waterfall
  • A lake on which we could kayak
  • A town that tries its best to be the Bavaria of the South
  • Moon pies in a medley of flavors
  • Outdoor dining where we could load up on loaded tater tots (and feel our arteries leaden)

The trip also had things we didn’t need:

  • People without masks
  • Pickled pigs’ feet
  • A ridiculously tight valve on the kayak that made it nearly impossible to deflate (Luckily, Mama can charm passing fellow rednecks.)
  • The loaded tots (Seriously.)

It’s funny to me your brother was bent out of shape and jealous when we got back. I invited him. He didn’t want to go. As usual.

Dominic: I thought you were just going for a day. I didn’t know it was an overnight trip.
Me: You didn’t listen. I tried to tell you about the cool cabin, but you weren’t having it.

Anyway, I enjoyed spitting cherry pits off the balcony with you while we listened to Alan Jackson (in true redneck fashion).

I hope you’ll do things like this with your kids if you ever have them. Or at least remember these times when I’m old(er) and (more) decrepit and unable to haul a deflated kayak up and down a hill.

Love,
Mama

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Dear Kalen,

Thanks for taking me to “shoot the hooch.” I cannot believe I grew up in Atlanta and never did this before.**

I almost feel like I need to turn in my Southern girl card.

But not quite, as I adapted like a champ.

Ratty visor? Check.
Brewery coozies? Check.
Cooler filled with beer? Check.
Bungee cords to tie our tubes together? Check.
Bikini to get some sun (even though I know better)? Check.

The sun was hot. The beer and the water were cold.

It was a perfect day.

Perfect until I fell in, that is. (No, apparently I CAN’T reach your speaker carabiner.)

So there I was, dangling in the water, contemplating how best to get back in the tube when something touched my leg.

SOMETHING TOUCHED MY LEG.

My human brain knew it was just river weed.

My lizard brain lost it.

I started scream laughing. You started scream laughing. At me.

Here’s a dramatic re-enactment of me, slippery from sunscreen and still screeching, trying to get back into the innertube.

In addition to making sure to stay in the tube next time, we also will have to do a better job of tying you to the cooler float so you don’t end up in someone else’s pod, flouting social distancing expectations.

Thanks for the adventure. Let’s do it again soon!

Love and ‘hoochee kisses,
Beth

* Thank you, Alan Jackson.

** Edit: A friend reminded me I DID shoot the hooch. In college. While completely trashed. So that doesn’t count, as I don’t remember.

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Dear Evangelicals for Trump:

I infiltrated your ranks Thursday night, against my own best interests and Eddie’s wishes.

We were both afraid it would be shoulder to shoulder with no masks in sight.

We were wrong.

The hotel employed social distancing efforts, and nearly everyone was wearing a mask. At first.

I didn’t take any chances. I double masked — with a twist.

My mask says “But her emails.” Heh heh.

To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t burst into flames upon arrival.

Let’s just say you’re not my usual crowd.

And I did find it very funny that I followed a car with the custom license plate “SAVED” into the parking garage.

So why did I go?

Because I genuinely wanted to know how people who follow the Bible can also follow Trump.

I was raised Presbyterian. I know scripture. And nowhere does it say:

And if thou wanteth the p—-, thou shalt grabbeth the p—-. And thy womenfolk will submit, for it is good.

Anyway, the crowd warmer was a gospel couple. Lovely, but not exactly sing-along style. Not for me, anyway, because, you know, HEATHEN.

The emcee for the night welcomed the crowd, then introduced Jonathan Cain.

The Jonathan Cain from Journey.

And my inner voice (in the voice of Daveed Diggs) said, “Whaaaaat?!”

Apparently, he’s got a new single to promote.

 

I don’t know what you thought of “More Like Jesus.” In my humble opinion, it’s no “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and he’s no Steve Perry, vocally.

(In other words, it’s not a banger.)

Next up was Jentezen Franklin, a “trusted voice for our president.”

And it was then, 30 minutes in, that someone finally explained why religious folks would support Trump:

It’s not about four more years. It’s about 37 more years. It’s about two more Supreme Court justices who are pro-life, pro-Israel, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Without that, according to him, “We won’t have the freedoms we grew up with.”

“What freedoms are those?” I was wondering when the dude brought out his saxophone.

I’m not kidding.

Jentezen Franklin plays “America the Beautiful.” He didn’t follow with “Baker Street,” sadly.

I guess he didn’t want Cain to upstage him.

This was getting a talent show kind of vibe, so I was excited to see what Bishop Harry Jackson would do.

But he just promoted his new book and explained racism to a room of mostly white people. Y’all were polite, but unenthusiastic.

Bishop Harry Jackson didn’t show off his musical talents.

Interestingly, he was the first person to mention the president by name: 45 minutes into the event.

Ralph Reed, the next speaker, alluded to why.

Donald Trump with his imperfect past and with his personality … God chooses to use whoever he chooses to use.

Ah. Gotcha.

God and Jesus are the headliners; Trump is support.

Y’all seemed to love Ralph, even though he didn’t do anything music-related either.

He emphasized that you need to support Trump because he is:

Pro-life
Pro-marriage
Pro-freedom
Pro-constitution

Reed claimed Trump is “the most pro-life president in American History.”

Imma let you finish but first, let me remind you of his response to the ongoing pandemic.

In fact, let’s back up. I can’t help it.

Pro-life: Just unborn babies, apparently
Pro-marriage: Only between a man and a woman
Pro-freedom: Religious freedom to discriminate
Pro-constitution: A Tea Party battle cry regarding the expansion of the federal government (maybe)

OK. I’m done for the moment. Go on.

Next up: Alveda King, niece of MLK Jr.

She talked about squash plants and chipmunks. I was a little confused. But then she said:

Some things never change. Some things do change. There was a change of the guard in 2016.

And then she said something about Planned Parenthood “ripping little babies up.”

I see. Abortion. That’s the main driver.

OK, then. Let me say this about that:

No one is hyped to get an abortion. It’s a last resort. Also, no one is “pro abortion.” So let’s agree on one thing: The goal is to reduce abortions. How do we do that?

As we’ve seen with prohibition and the “war on drugs,” making them illegal won’t work. People will find a way, but it makes it very dangerous for women. So to me, the solution is to put more money into sex education, healthcare and contraception.

If you are pro-life (and really, aren’t we all?) then you should be supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood that actively help women with the above needs.

Alright.

Moving on to the next speaker, Richard Lee, who is as orange as the evening’s celebrant: the Cheeto in Chief.

He didn’t address abortion like everyone else. His main beef seemed to be with what is being taught in school: “garbage.”

Oh, and the Antichrist in the form of Democrats.

The Democratic Party has been taken over by the Antichrist. It’s an evil party.

I thank God that he sent Donald J. Trump to us. He is a gift to the church of Jesus Christ.

As much as you seemed to like this statement, I could tell you were restless. He willfully went over his allotted time and joked about it.

You were ready for the final act: Pastor Paula White. I found out later she is married to Jonathan Cain. Ah. He’s her third husband. With overlaps in relationships. So she’s truly taking those commandments seriously.

(🙄)

I mean, good for her for breaking into a man’s world in all respects.

In 2017, she became the first woman to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration.

She spent her time this night trying to convince everyone that Trump really is “godly” and “knows his scripture.”

Sure.

All I know is that I was hot in my two masks (and perhaps because of the fire and brimstone), so I slunk out a side door.

Y’all weren’t hot because all but about 12 of you shed your masks mere moments into the event.

(And that made me feel like I was marinating in the ‘Rona.)

Anyway, thanks for letting me bear witness. And now I’m on the Trump Train mailing list! This should be fun.

Your obedient servant friend,
Beth

Yeah. You know how I feel about bashing the news media.

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