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Posts Tagged ‘Disorders’

Dear Dominic,

You’re killing me.

I get it: You aren’t a fan of online learning. As I told one of your teachers this week: You are not thriving in the remote environment (to put it mildly).

But you do actually have to do the work until there is an alternative.

Part of your problem is your lack of time-management skills and your habit of prioritizing things like watching “The Mandalorian” over getting your work done.

Do you really want to repeat 10th grade? You’d end up going to school with your brother.

I KNOW you don’t want that. So pull yourself together.

Love,
Your long-suffering mother

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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 People Talking About Election Fraud:

Look. Listen. I get it. I’m still not over the 2016 election.

I couldn’t believe that people would vote for Trump the first time. But they did, and he won. And we all got on with it.

We’ve had four years of (fill in your preferred adjective).

Why is it so hard to believe that the same sentiment that drove the “silent majority” to the polls against Clinton in 2016 could be the same thing driving folks against Trump in 2020?

His presser last night was … unhinged. It was made up of lies. It was embarrassing.

The election was not rigged. There hasn’t been widespread voter fraud.

Let’s look at the ways Americans had to vote:

  1. Early voting. This does not seem to be in dispute.
  2. In-person voting Nov. 3. This does not seem to be in dispute.
  3. Absentee voting. This is apparently what’s in dispute. By Trump.

With absentee voting, people could mail them in or drop them in a ballot box. State laws vary, but the mailed-in ballots usually are counted as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. The deadline to drop in the ballot box in Georgia was 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. Again, states vary.

OK, stay with me here: Early voting and in-person voting are tabulated easily. Absentee voting takes longer because poll workers have to open and carefully check the ballots in a guard against — wait for it — fraud. Some states can open and count early. Some can’t.

I am a Georgia voter. I did not want to wait in line and be around people in a PANDEMIC. I requested, filled out and returned an absentee ballot via drop box by the Nov. 3 deadline.

Georgia had better DAMN WELL count my vote. (And I did NOT vote for Trump.)

As there were historic numbers of absentee voting, the processing will take longer. DUH.

Absentee voting has a long, strong history in America. It’s the way those in the military vote, for crying out loud.

Also, Trump himself has used absentee voting (as recently as August) and encouraged people to vote by mail. In Arizona. Where he thought he had plenty of support.

But you know what? Spitting on Arizona favorite John McCain’s grave has a cost.

You know what else has a cost? Calling war dead “suckers and losers.” Georgia has 13 military bases. Georgia also has Stacey Abrams, who has worked tirelessly to increase voter registration and voter turnout.

There are many reasons why people would want Trump to be a one-term president, just as there were many reasons why people didn’t vote for Clinton

Just as the Democrats have not engineered a worldwide Coronavirus hoax, they have not perpetrated voter fraud. Please note that Georgia and Arizona (two states you are wound up about) both have Republican governors. And Georgia’s Secretary of State is a Republican too. One Trump supported.

Nevada’s is too. Are you alleging that they are in on this plot? Please.

And if Democrats were going to rig an election, wouldn’t they flip the Senate too? Come ON.

So stand down, outraged Trump fans. This is our democracy — the one you profess to love.

This is our process and it works, whether you like it or not.

Your fellow American,

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 Rod,

Thank you for your life’s work: raising awareness of colon cancer. Because of you, I listened when my doctor said it was time for a colonoscopy.

No one ever has good things to say about them. Certainly not Eddie, who complained his way through the fluid you have to drink before the procedure.

But it had to be done.

Add flavor packet. Fill with water. Drink all of it. Stay close to the bathroom.

But you know me: I like to enjoy myself.

I’m bougie.

It did not taste bad at all. It was like a weak lemon-lime Gatorade.

Anyway, it had the required result.

I went to see the doctor clean as a whistle. The nurse got me ready, said one thing to me, I felt tingly, then woke up back where I started.

Easy peasy.

I’m completely healthy and won’t have to go through the procedure for 10 more years.

But thanks to you, I know I’m good.

Miss you,
Beth

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There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.
Edward Tufte

Dear Jeff Orlowski,

Thanks for directing “The Social Dilemma” for Netflix. A number of friends told me to watch, so I did.

It’s a fascinating and thought-provoking look at how tech companies manipulate people for profit. Also, we are conditioned by society (i.e., watching others) to want to be part of these platforms (hey, Social Learning Theory!).

DUH.

We live in a capitalist society. We are all potential consumers. Social media algorithms are no different (to me) than companies choosing which radio, television and newspaper ads to place based on user data gleaned from Nielsen/Arbitron ratings and subscriber information.

One of the underpinning theories for my journalism and mass communications dissertation was Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model (1988). Media manipulation is a peaceful way for those in power to maintain the status quo.

Their recommendation for scooting out from under control? Get your information from many sources.

DUH. AGAIN.

It’s personal responsibility. Critical thinking.

You don’t want to be addicted or manipulated? Then employ your critical-thinking skills. Put your phone away one in a while. And beware the filter bubble.

Maybe I’m just super cynical. Critical. Suspicious. Typical Gen X.

I’m also someone who has been trained to look at all sides of an issue, thanks to my reporter background.

In the documentary, Sandy Parakilas, senior product marketing manager at (formerly with Uber and Facebook), said:

“(There are) biases toward false information … the truth is boring.“

One more time: DUH.

In news, we have a phrase for that: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

That’s because — by its very nature — news is an anomaly. You don’t cover the planes that land.

And the more unbelievable, horrible and salacious something is, the more interesting it is. It’s human nature to swivel your head when you pass a car crash.

 

So, to me, there’s nothing new here.

Plus, your documentary is as manipulative as the social media it criticizes.

The irony is not lost on me that it was created for a streaming service that tracks user engagement and supplies content based on history.

The doom-and-gloom soundtrack helps instill that sense of dread.

And I love how the tech folks interviewed have all made their money and now suddenly have developed a conscience.

One of the main interviewees, Tristan Harris, might be worth up to $5 million.

Huh.

Interesting.

That doesn’t make your documentary any less compelling. It just means I had a chance to practice what I preach.

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 Dominic,

Sometimes I forget how great you are and how well we get along. (Having to bark at remind you to take out the trash and recycling takes its toll on both of us.)

But as we were leaving our place this morning to head to Savannah, I saw you at your best.

Wee morning hours are not great for me. It’s my own fault: We needed to get to the McKinnons’ house before all my Zoom meetings began.

As I was trying to get my watch charger in the dark, I whacked my forehead on the nightstand.

I was still rubbing my head when I told you it was time to go.

You saw the lump that had formed immediately.

You: What happened to you?
Me: I banged my head on the nightstand.
You: Come here. (Gave me a hug and a kiss on the forehead.)
Me: Did you just kiss my boo-boo?
You: That’s the treatment!

That was very sweet.

But then later when I took the ice pack off, you went back to normal.

Me: How do I look?
You: Like Voorhees.

Thanks so much.

Sigh.

Love you anyway,
Mama

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Dear Jeff Foxworthy:

Congrats on your new show. It sounds like a lowbrow “Antiques Roadshow.”

Dare I say it’s the redneck version.

That tracks. You made your money by calling out the kind.

I have a terminal degree in my field, work in higher education and wear suits/dresses to work (even in the age of COVID-19).

You’d trust me to teach and mentor your college-aged children, right?

But under the collar of my professional lady clothes, my neck is red.

Proof:

  • I’m barefoot even as I write this. When we lived on a lake in Savannah, I could go days without wearing shoes. I never let myself get Jiffy Feet, though. That’s gross.
  • I sincerely miss the annual Dublin Redneck Games.
  • I like taxidermy. Specifically bad taxidermy. Preferably things I stuff myself.
  • I used to drive a crappy Ford pickup truck. Stick shift. So old the shine was gone from the paint. I recarpeted it myself. Sometimes when Eddie drove it, I’d roll down the window and stick those bare feet out of it.
  • Give me a beer over a cocktail any day.
  • I don’t have anything against boxed wine.
  • My favorite summer outfit features a concert T-shirt and cutoff jeans. (Not Daisy Dukes, though. I have kids.)
  • My idea of fun is tubing down a river.
  • I carry hot sauce in my bag.
  • There’s local moonshine on the liquor shelf.
  • I own overalls.
  • I used to have chickens, all named like pets. (Trish still appears as the header on this blog.)

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Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

I’d like to nominate my son Gideon for Best Actor in a Leading Role. As Prisoner No. 4 in “Quarantine 2020,” he was as good, if not better, than last year’s winner Joaquin Phoenix.

The humanity — the pathos — he brought to his role really is unparalleled.

Just look at his commitment to character in this scene with his father:

And his performance during last night’s climax when all our test results came back negative?

It featured effusive kissing, hugging, brother-wrestling: All you would expect from an Oscar-winning performance. The display featured the emotional depth of Sally Field in “Norma Rae.” (And watching it was akin to watching her acceptance speech for “Places in the Heart.”)

So I present Gideon for your consideration.

I’ve blocked my calendar for the nominations announcement March 15, 2021.

Warm regards,
Beth

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