Wednesday, October 17, 2018

There Are Geckos in Haiti #WEP #FlashFiction


My cousin keeps talking about this contest. So I figured what the heck, I'll give it a go. Hope you enjoy!

There Are Geckos in Haiti

Timmy’s hands hold his head up as his elbows dig into the table. “Why does it matter that you weren't the first to know? The test came back negative. Can't we just be happy that I don't have cancer?”

“Because I should have been the first to know! You told her instead. She's the one that made your appointment.” The tissue box creases in my hands. It's like deja vu; the same argument again and again.

“So?” Timmy slams his fist on the table. The envelope with the doctor's bill, for tests not covered by our insurance, bounces from the force.

“That's my job. I'm your wife. I'm the first one you should tell if you think you've got cancer. Especially there. I'm the one who should have made that appointment. I'm the one who should have taken you. And before that, I'm the one who should have looked, felt the lump for myself. I could have probably told you it was an ingrown hair. I've got twenty years of waxing on you. Not like I've never seen one.”

“Oh, you're a doctor now? You know the difference between an ingrown hair and testicular cancer by just looking? Henrietta didn't. She waxes too.”

Fire explodes through my body. “Excuse me?”

Timmy's eyes widen like a mouse as the trap snaps down. “Well, I just mean, it's not like … She was with me when I felt it, so naturally I had her look. That's when she made the appointment.”

“With. Her. Where?” I exhale white-hot rage between each word. The letter opener is only an inch from my hand, sitting under the pile of used tissues. Do I have any tears left for this man?

“At work. Of course at work. Where else would we be?”

Timmy's answer doesn't come out like a fluid fact of obviousness. Instead, it's blips and pauses, like a child creating a lie one word at a time, checking if they make sense.

“You just dropped-trou at work? Who else got a free show? Or are you also a stripper now? There a stack of ones in your wallet?”

“The ATM at the strip club gives two- dollar bills,” he says with a sneer. Then his eyes widen again before he looks away. “So I've been told. I got one as change for a coffee once. That's how it came up.”

He's not capable of the truth. But I ask one more question anyway. “Is this why we haven't been together in weeks?”

“We're together right now,” Timmy says. Sweat mixes with his alpine-scented cologne. Our dining room reeks of it. I'll eat in the den, once again.

“You know what I mean.”

“Intimately? I haven't felt well. My stomach. Another reason I suspected cancer!” He nods his head, as if he's convinced himself.

I shake mine and throw the balled up tissue from my hand at him. Of course, it barely crosses the polished oak surface. Still, that's further than the one still caught in the candelabra. “No. Intimate was showing your junk to Henrietta. Intimate was her calling a doctor instead of reporting you to human resources for exposing yourself at work to a coworker.”

He rolls his eyes, crosses his arms over his massive chest, and leans back until the chair creaks. “It's not like I lit candles and read her poetry while she looked. You're overreacting. I'm right, you're wrong.”

I shake my head. “Tell Henrietta you'll be staying with her. And that I'd like to swap copies; her next STD test for mine. May as well put our cards on the table. Anyone else that needs testing while we're at it? The two-dollar bill strippers you mentioned?”

“You're not going to throw me out. You need me. It's the same threat every time.”

I reach into the tissue box I've been crushing. Under the last tissue is the doll. I didn't plan to do this. Okay, maybe I did. The last time he made me cry a box of tears, I swore to myself that it'd never happen again. I grab the letter opener, the sharp little dagger we got in Haiti on our honeymoon. When the woman told me one day I'd be glad for these things, I thought it was a joke. A tourism rouse. I plunge the dagger into the tissue box, speaking the words and filled with belief. Across the table, Timmy grabs his chest.

I just saved a bunch of money on divorce lawyers by switching to voodoo.

By Jamie

758 words

There Are Geckos in Haiti #WEP #FlashFiction

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Why I Cheat When I Play The Sims

There are cheat codes for the computer versions of The Sims. Motherlode and familyfunds are the two money ones (simoleans). And I use them. EVERY TIME.

But why? Part of the game is getting the Sim a job and earning money and blah blah blah.

You know what? I have to deal with money problems in the real world. Hard ones. Impossible ones. Ones that aren't going to be solved by building up a certain skill and making a few more friends.

So I cheat. And then experience, in a game, a version of how a life might be if financial issues were off the table. Deal with other things.

And you know what? I can. My Sims are happy. They have good lives and fun adventures. Sure, things still break. Fires still start. Bees! But they have solutions. It's manageable. Life is still happy and fun.

Plus, it's a game. There are no real consequences for cheating. It isn't like in life where, if I rubbed a lamp and asked a genie for 10 billion dollars US, I'd accidentally screw up the global economy. I haven't robbed anyone. (Other than, perhaps, myself. Robbed of the experience of an avatar being as flat, stinkin' broke as I am.)

This is also the one advantage The Sims has over games like SecondLife. Sure, multiplayer means social interaction. But to get game money... there's no cheat. You need to have money, or make game items and sell them to get money as a job in the game. And, just like a job, you then have to get people to want your stuff. And soon you're almost never playing for fun and just working to get a few cyber dollars so your character isn't as poor as you.

I can't deal with it anymore. I can't enjoy a game where the goal is to get money. If I were good at that, maybe I wouldn't be playing a game to escape the world where I'm broke. Which, oh yeah, reminds me that I spent money I don't have on this game. Even if it's a gift, I could have traded it in for a tiny fraction of the value... oh look, it's the guilt train! Pulling into the station. Which makes me want to retreat into a game world so I can feel any other emotion even for an hour.

Which, again, is why I break out the cheat code and give my character an absurd amount of funds. Because I just can't deal with the problem of being broke.

I'm not legally allowed to return to work without a medically release. I can't get a medical release without a diagnosis. I can't get disability without a diagnosis. I can't get a diagnosis because the doctors can't figure it out (but all agree it's something and it's BAD), or won't risk giving it a name and being wrong because of insurance, or are unable to nail it down because it's so bad that even the tests nearly kill me. (Seriously, the code team was called last time.)

And so I feel helpless, hopeless, and worth  _  less. (Those spaces are intentional because I feel my worth has decreased as I am not an earner. Which holds a different connotation than the word worthless.)

Why would I want to PLAY anything where I feel more of that? It crushes my soul. I barely remember why I fight to stay alive most days just because of the pain. Add in all the feelings from money? If psychiatry were free, I'd go. Okay, that's not totally true. If it were free AND I could do it from home, thus not landing in more pain or risking my life if the office isn't suitable for my respiratory needs, then I'd go.

But that's a pipe dream. So I occasionally game. A world where I can escape from all the problems I don't know how to solve. A place where I can actually deal with what is thrown my way. Where I still manage to succeed. Achievement unlocked! So desperate to feel like I can do something well that I'll settle for an arbitrary win in a game world.

I use to be so good at life. What the hell happened to that girl?

She went to work one day and, unknowingly, inhaled chemicals. And while it IS killing her, and has ruined her, she hasn't actually died yet. Somedays, it's really difficult to be grateful for that. Which is horrible to admit. Choo choooo! πŸš‚There's the guilt train again. Guilt for not being grateful for this prolonged suffering and poverty. "Think of all you've missed!" Yeah. I know. Rainbows and kittens and all that.

It isn't fame and fortune that I'm aiming for anymore. Just for life to be a tiny bit easier. To just not feel so horrible all the time. To feel like I could do one thing right, one thing well enough to be worth something.

The real world Sim version of me doesn't need millionaire estates. Just needs to not be curled in a ball unwilling to do ANYTHING because it's all so terrible. In fact, the game won't even allow me to create a Sim like me, because they are all healthy. Sure, they can get sick, but they heal.

Hope. I cheat at the Sims so I can escape to a world of hope.

Friday, October 12, 2018

#StopTheHate #ThirdShiftMakesAmericaGreat Grocery Store Hours

Yet another store is ignoring the needs of second and third shift employees. So I filled out the little survey. You can see what I wrote.

Address: 7801 Glenlivet Dr W, Fogelsville, PA 18051 Hours:
Open 24 hours

As of November, they will be closed from 1 am to 6 am.

"The night manager guy (tall, slender, glasses) is SUPER nice and helpful. The cashier, Stacy, is great. They are NOT the problem.

My husband and I are HEARTBROKEN to find out the store, as of next month, is no longer going to be open during regular shopping hours. It's in the warehouse district, where people work 24 hours. But all the third shift workers are "second-class citizens" who pay astronomically higher prices to see doctors (only the ER in the middle of the night), have significantly fewer choices in gas stations, fast food, and pharmacies, and now YET ANOTHER grocery store that isn't open during regular shopping hours. And no, I'm not going to start referring to daytime as regular because that just reinforces the stereotype that third shift employees are less deserving of healthcare and food.

Look, we already don't have access to a deli counter, meat counter, pharmacy, gas, or most of the other stuff at your store. But to now lock people out for five hours? Like customers SUCH A HUGE INCONVENIENCE.

So sorry to have burdened your company with our food shopping. Looks like, just like Giant, Whole Foods, Aldi, and several other stores around here, we just won't be able to shop at your business regularly anymore.

Thank God for Wegmans!!!

I do wish you'd reconsider. We really loved the deals at your store. A shame you don't like customers who aren't on YOUR schedule.

Please, NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER get anything shipped or delivered overnight. Stop using electricity and other utility services at night, no more nights of Netflix, and don't call emergency services from 1am to 6am. You (the person who made this choice, not the poor soul reading this normally) do not deserve all the wonderful things people in this country enjoy THANKS TO SECOND AND THIRD SHIFT WORKERS.

#StopTheHate #ThirdShiftMakesAmericaGreat "

Weis Feedback image

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Surname Change Game

Pin about surname change

Do you know what's really interesting about this? It IS NOT universal.
That's right. There are religions and countries where a person does not change any part of their name when they get married.
It didn't even come up until the ninth century, according to this article:
("The 9th century was a period from 801 to 900 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Common Era.")

So you can't say that women have never had their own name and be accurate. You could, however, state that a recognized percent of women have not had the right to select their own name, keep their own name, or give their children their own surname without repercussions for the last one-thousand-two-hundred some years. Especially women in countries conquered, controlled, or heavily influenced by the English. Which, honestly, is a pretty high number.

I just wanted to share that fun factoid. It wasn't something I ever considered until I had a penpal in Egypt (about twenty years ago). She was getting married and I asked what her new name would be. She was baffled by the question. It took five months of letter swaps before we understood the cultural divide.

She wasn't allowed to listen to music or be seen without a headscarf- hajib, but keeping her own name after marriage was normal.

I hyphenated my name in most places. There are a few places, like my health insurance, where my name isn't hyphenated. (I honestly don't know why. But it is his insurance.) And places that never updated my name (been ten years since I sent the paperwork to have my stocks updated, hasn't happened yet). I made the choice because I like my husband's surname.

One of my best friends has a really cool last name. Her husband changed his to match hers. I think that's awesome.

My godmother kept her last name because her husband is "Smith," whereas her last name comes from a prominent family.

Another friend of mine has renamed himself as part of his new identity. It's a pagan thing, or a Scandinavian thing, I'm not sure. But that's pretty cool, too.

That's my share for today!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

ML stuff

Please ignore this post.

KICK OFF PARTY 2018 pictures:

You can be up to EIGHT achievement beads by now! #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO 

Prison for Inner Editors and Saboteurs #LVPA #NANOWRIMO
Prison for Inner Editors and Saboteurs #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO

Kick Off Party food #LVPANaNo #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party Food #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO 

Kick Off Party Drinks and Roxi's Dad's birthday cake #LVPANaNo #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party Drinks and Roxi's Dad's birthday cake #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO 

Kick Off Party Game Playing #LVPANaNo #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party Game Playing #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO 

2 Truths 1 Lie Game #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO
Two Truths One Lie Game #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO

Kick Off Party Games #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party Games #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO

Kick Off Party~ Nicki and Katie~ #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party~ Nicki and Katie~ #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO

Kick Off Party~ Olivia and Mike ~ #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party~ Olivia and Mike ~ #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO

Kick Off Party Roxi and family  #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO

Kick Off Party 2018~ MLs Jamie and Roxi ~ #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO
Kick Off Party 2018~ MLs Jamie and Roxi ~ #LVPANaNo region of #NANOWRIMO

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Yarr! Here be a riddle on #TalkLikeAPirateDay


Why be it, scurvy dogs, that when a lass goes without make-up, she be taken less seriously; yet when a man goes out with make-up, he is taken less seriously-- unless a pirate he be?

Thar be no need to answer. Do'na take a treasure map to find this. Just a crab in your bandana.

Pirates Booty image. Riddle on blog for #TalkLikeAPirateDay


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Screwing with Hate

Burqa -
Some believe the full body covering to be a form of oppression, perhaps even a way to cover abuse. Others believe it to be a freedom from sexual advances and judgement based on appearance, thus an encouragement of equality. Nearly all believe it to be tied to Islam.

Which is why I find it especially disturbing when certain Christian-based hate groups, or men who claim to be Christian while disregarding 98% of the teachings of Jesus, do or say things to indicate they want all females to dress either in a burqa or be naked sex workers. Girls being sent home from school for a bra strap showing. Women being shamed for feeding a baby.

Guys,  when you support that and then blame "terrorists" (who you think are all Muslim because you don't have the brain power to separate a hate group from a religion, maybe because your own hate group has a base in your religion so you incorrectly assume all Christians think like your dumbass), the ACTUAL terrorists win. Seriously, the point was to get you to be more like those extremists. So, if you are,  they win.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

My Left Left Brain

It's always good to know more about oneself.

"You are a left brain dominant. You strive for perfection and it is your nature to be careless, logical, reliable and truthful. You think critically before arriving at a first impression, and think critically when confronting problems or drawing deeper conclusions. But sometimes you insist upon your opinion just because you feel that you’re the only one who is right. People avoid standing against you, because they think you’re a formidable opponent. "


Friday, September 7, 2018

Advertising Aquaman for the OTHER Audience

Aquaman fanart ad image from Internet

My friend sent me this. She got it from a friend who found it on the Internet.

At first I thought it was a real ad.
"OMG! The DC studio hired an ad agency who is willing to market a superhero movie to WOMEN? Is it due to the success of Wonder Woman?"

Then our other friend pointed out that it's fan art.

"Whew! For a second I thought they were gonna have to start marketing other things to everyone, even women. One minute it's superhero movies, then they'll be trying to sell us lawnmowers, stereo equipment, steaks, snowblowers, hammers, sporting goods, and motorcycles! Ad executives would toss themselves out the windows. And we'd have Mad Men 2020 coming soon. Wow, dodged that bullet."


Friday, August 17, 2018

When a Pin Makes You Think #Trans #Feminism

I came across this Pin and had mixed feelings of agreement and anger, simultaneously. So I'm adding my own viewpoint here.

Transgender or Feminism pin image

If you're trans F to M because you feel you're a dude, cool, rock on, I support you. #Allies

If you're trans F to M because you need to be afforded the same life rights as a dude, then we've got a society problem and I'm sorry you had to tackle it that way, but I'll still support you, but also be super mad at the world that made you feel this way. #Feminism #Allies

No one should have to feel that they have to hide who they are or change themselves just to be treated as an equal or human (unless you've made terrible life choices, like being a child molester or other non-consensual acts, in which case you deserve to be hunted down).

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Guest Post on the Smell of Patriotism #KeepFamiliesTogether

Please welcome my guest, friend, occasional boss, and cousin-in-law:

J Lenni Dorner

Thanks, Jamie!

I didn't know where best to share my feelings on this subject. But, since Jamie is my NaNoWriMo ML and her blog gets political sometimes, this seemed to be the best place.

On Tuesday night, the local writing group got together in a public place. They do that weekly. Picture, if you will, a handful of writers sitting around a table with their laptops, pens, books, snacks, and whatnot. I wasn't there, but Jamie was, and she's told me about it.

A man came up to the group and asked about the gathering. He was told it was a group of writers. The man said he would soon turn 91. The writers congratulated him on staying alive so long.

Then the man spouts off about the greatness of the current President, says something about social security, and states his joy that immigrants are being tossed out.

Again, I wasn't there.

Either he wouldn't have addressed the group if I was, or he'd have implied that I (a Native American) should be deported back to "my native country." I assume this because of how often that's happened to me since the last presidential election. #ThanksForTheHate

As a mute, I wouldn't have been able to respond fast enough anyway. (Though I'm told there's a hero in this story, another writer who gave a verbal smackdown and ended with, "Bye! Don't come again!" in an ironic customer service voice.) But here's what I'd have liked to have thrown out there:

There's a relative of my spouse, let's call him John Doe. He was visiting his parents who live down south. Or LIVED. They retired there. John Doe's father served in the military. The Doe family owned a small shop in Minnesota, where John Doe was born. The raiders came to call on the town in the south, taking John Doe and his parents and deporting all of them. Never mind that his parents had both been legal citizens since the sixties. Never mind that John Doe was born here, served this country in the Army and was decorated for doing so, and has a wife and child here. The three of them are gone.

I'm using an alias because his Army buddies are using back channels to try to get him back. They're trying to smuggle a United States citizen back into his own country, assuming they can figure out where he and his parents were shipped off to, and assuming they're alive.

Meanwhile, his six-year-old daughter, Pennsylvania born and raised, has cancer. The worry is that they'll come for this child. Throw her in a detention center where she will most certainly die because the treatments are the only reason she's alive right now.

So someone, and I'm not saying who, has to sneak the poor girl in under a costume to get her treatments. You know what her vomit smells like?


That's what it smells like inside the costume. And the wetness of her tears feels like morality. Mind you, it sounds like the opposite of patriotism, considering the current political field. But I don't believe the current rule will last. Not as long as people are willing to fight for love.

Congratulations to the man who lived for so many years and yet would deny this child her father, and her own life. I regret not having the authority to throw you off the land of my people. #KeepFamiliesTogether

Monday, August 13, 2018

IntenseDebate Comment Problems

For whatever reason, IntenseDebate no longer works on this blog.

Perhaps there was an update I missed. Maybe there was a problem with the HTML I couldn't find. The only instructions on the site were how to reinstall it (and none of those are relevant or understandable without a working knowledge of the last dozen updates) or how to remove it (and even that took an hour to figure out because they're for an old version). The Twitter feed hasn't been updated for years, so I'm guessing this is something that was abandoned and no one told me.

The comments are still available for me to see if I log into the Intense Debate website. However, after removing it from my blog, they are no longer visible here.

IntenseDebate comment count as of 2018

I doubt my comment counter will continue to work now that I've uninstalled Intense Debate. It was the only way to get comments to turn back on, unfortunately.

Sorry if something you once said has now vanished. Please know that I'm grateful for the words and read all of them. I even managed an occasional reply! They still exist, but I have no idea how to move them to this blog from the IntenseDebate site that has them held hostage.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

WTF last 48 hours Hate to Say It

Why so angry?

The last 24 hours have been nuts. But this is MY BLOG. So I'm gonna go ahead and rant and you can't stop me.

I had to do laundry. But one of the two dryers has been out of service for two months now. I put my wash and the last of my detergent into one of the washers, added my quarters... IT DID NOT TURN ON. It'll be three weeks until I get a refund. Which will be a check. That I need to take to the bank and then need to get turned back into quarters. And it's summer, so I can't go out during the hot hours, which is when banks are open, so I have to go to the seedy carwash (because the nice one is gone) to buy quarters in the middle of the night like a freakin thief, while one of the local drug dealers offers to sell me things. That's... thanks. 

Someone I know, and I'm not saying who, but the person had to call out of work today because they do security and right now that post is in a freaking parking lot outside. The person took one look at the magenta spot heading toward work and was all aboard the NOPE train! *cough cough* Called out sick. The person is currently hoping not to experience the near-opening of Wizard of Oz... 

I had a typo in my Facebook post. The app crashed 10 times rather than let me fix it. Look, the fundraiser, they donated $5 just for my making it. I don't give one good damn if anyone else gives through me. I raised $5 by making a damn post. It took less than 5 minutes of my time. Feel me?

This is gonna be all "first world problem" sounding, but whatever. I hate that I put my mug in the dishwasher and it came out DIRTIER than when it went in! What the damn hell? Also, I hate that my dishwasher doesn't drain properly. Yeah, just run the last cycle again. But that uses enough electric to momentarily dim the lights. And I sometimes have to do it twice. It's annoying. And it's because the drains have to be snaked again. Why?


There's a water thing outside my window. And this kid was playing with again today. Just a young kid. But an adult was with him and HANDING HIM ROCKS to put into the water drain thing.

Why didn't I say anything?

This is gonna sound horrible. There's no way it won't. 

I don't want to seem racist. Which has maybe made me racist, or reverse racist, I don't know. Because if the two humans outside throwing rocks into the water drain system, causing it to back up the drains for my apartment and others, if those people had a similar skin coloring to my own, I'd have said something. No, I don't think skin color has anything to do with why they were doing this. 

But there have been lots of reports lately about dumb white people calling the cops on not-white people for doing innocuous things. And I REFUSE to be one of them. Even though it's not the cops I'd have called. But I won't be that person. So I'm now letting vandalism, that directly impacts my day, slide. And that's probably not the solution either. But I don't have one. And I'm not going to have one. And I'm angry about a lot of things right now, and yes, I'm freaking hormonal, and it's not helping!

Anyway, those are my rants right now. And it's all horrible. 

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Uncovered Book Genre Reader Truth

Hello. I'm a ghost. πŸ‘»
Not that kind!

I'm a ghost writer. That means I sometimes "write the words" for other people. There are a variety of reasons people use ghost writers (the author is dead, the author is stuck, the brand is worth more than the writer, etc).

There's a peculiar-funny "fact" floating around the book publishing world.
"Men don't read books written by women. That's why genres with primarily male audiences, such as sci-fi, are more suited for male writers."

It's not true. Do you know why it's not true? Here, let me fix it:

"Men don't know how often they read books written by women. That's why genres with primarily male audiences, such as sci-fi, are more suited for writers publishing under the identity of male writers."

It's 2018, and we're evolving to accept multiple genders. Will the publishing industry catch up? Will readers be able to disprove these antiquated notions?

Hopefully I've done my part today by pointing out those who think an author's gender is relevant when deciding what book to read. The wool has now been uncovered from your eyes.

For more ghost writer entertainment:

Bones -- The Perfect Pieces in the Purple Pond tv episode
Secret Window movie
A popular example of a male writer ghosting as a female - VC Andrews


Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Boycott Falls Short #news

This is not the first time that Amazon's unsafe working conditions have been brought up. It's nice that those workers have people standing up for them. My issue here is that it is falling short.

Here in PA, the Amazon warehouse has gotten plenty of bad press because of how hot it gets all summer. (Ambulances taking workers away.) That building, that warehouse from that passed-around story,  is rented by Amazon. Do you care that Pillsbury rented the building first? (Worker conditions have nothing to do with why they switched to a third location in this instance.) You would have to dig to figure this out, since they use one of the big five logistics and supply chain management companies and rent it under that name. I assure you that it is the same building. And yeah, it is without ventilation. The buildings out there are designed to store products as cheaply and safely as possible. SAFE for the PRODUCT, not any people.

Buildings. Not a typo. Because there are dozens of them out there. Some are bigger. But they're all big slabs of concrete with metal roofs and no cooling. ( * Attached offices,  and sometimes break rooms,  have cooling. The areas where the bulk of workers are do not.) There's also no cooling in the trailors that are hauled in and out. Yes, you can easily roast a human to death in a shipping container.

It's not just Amazon.

All those brands and sub brands and more. They use the SAME warehouses. And so does Knoll. Never heard of them? If you've watched television or seen a movie from the last two decades or so,  you've probably seen their furniture. It's "upper class" office stuff. They moved their warehousing out to those facilities a few years ago. They know how bad it is. They don't care.

My point is that skipping Prime Day on Monday might, maybe, get help for workers in one place, but that's like your house being on fire and you managed to keep one kitchen chair from turning to ashes.

Perhaps Toyota and other forklift making companies need to be part of this. Why aren't they built with air conditioning and a cup holder for a bottle of water? (It doesn't solve the lack of a bathroom break issue, but it'll maybe help with the rules against heat and water breaks. YES, THOSE RULES EXIST.) And before any of you tell me that letting someone use a sports bottle could lead to product damage because they could spill... Cardboard boxes wrapped in plastic. High humidity. Plastic sweats. The cardboard gets wet. The towers fall. Thousands of dollars in damage. That happens right now. So don't pretend you really care about the precious product when you've got buildings without a dehumidifier, much less cooling.

I went on Twitter hoping to get the media to write about this. Don't think it's happening because investigative journalism is apparently fictional.

So if you really want to have an impact, we'd need 24 hours where no one shopped  watched any recorded entertainment, and most people didn't go to work. It would have to be global. And notices would need to be in as many languages as possible. World Boycott Everything day. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Just call her Joanne

I came across an online discussion about how the Harry Potter books can't count as representation (for the LGBTQ+ community) because things were only implied not flat out stated.

My problem, where I take issue, is that everyone in the thread called her JK, JKR, or or Rowling.

If this is going to be a fair debate, EVERYONE needs to call her Joanne (maybe Jo). Because she wasn't allowed to publish under her name. "Boys don't read books by women."

This matters because the argument is that she could have gotten away with being more blatant about the characters she,  AFTER THE BOOKS WERE OUT AND HER CONTACT WAS FULFILLED, now says were gay. Joanne told people that the subtle hints were real. Joanne did that publicly.

The argument is that Joanne had the ability to make that distinction clear in the books, but that she, JOANNE, made the choice not to do so. No one in the debate stated if they had read her contract. No one in the debate claimed to be on the editing team or working as someone in that publishing house who was in charge of approving the words JOANNE submitted.

All I'm saying is that we should use her name,  Joanne, because she wasn't allowed to. But yeah, she probably could have been plain as day clear about gay characters and had zero repercussions... as long as she didn't write the name JOANNE on the cover,  because that was a power she didn't have at that publishing house.

Just call her by her real name when you're criticizing her for not wielding power that you've proven she must have had.

And maybe drop a statistic about how many books that do have representation have come since she made her announcement, forcing the publishing company to no longer say they don't publish that sort of thing. Just throw out a stat.

Because when book one came out,  Joanne was a zero-power no -influnce author and she signed whatever just to get the book out there.

You can say a lot of things about her,  but at least call her by her real name when you do so. Why? Because boys read her books, and kept doing so even after she CAME OUT as being a woman. (Feel free to also drop a stat about how many books the first one had to sell before she was allowed to reveal that.)

Friday, June 22, 2018

Another Letter to Officials

A copy of the letter I sent to my Congress people  (Congressmen, since they're all male right now). The ridiculous things Americans like myself have to beg for:

Please do not support putting innocent children in detention centers. Please support reuniting the taken ones with their families. And if tax dollars have to go toward building a wall, build it out of Lego bricks so there's something fun to give away on the glorious day when that wall gets torn down. Please let us stand with our allied nations, such as Canada and those in Europe, etc.

Please do not bring back pre-existing conditions. Please don't let our fellow Americans die from treatable health concerns. And please don't take what little health insurance people have away.

Please protect Net Neutrality.

Please give Americans better options for recycling.

Please make America a better place,  or at least don't make it worse.

Thank you for your time and consideration of the values of your constituent.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Goals for Wealth


In the next 10 weeks

  • Figure out who is collecting which debts I owe
  • Figure out how much I can afford a month toward those debts

By January 2025

  • Have debts paid off
  • Be financially able to buy a different place to live
  • Replace my car, which will be fifteen years old by then

By January 2050

  • Husband retired
  • Place to live paid off
  • Get the last vehicle I'll ever own
  • Pay for final expenses (funeral, burial plot, tombstone, etc)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Goals for Relationships

First off, let me drop a definition from an online dictionary:


a connection, association, or involvement. connection between persons by blood or marriage. an emotional or other connection between people

There are too many people who think that word only refers to romantic love interests. But there are, or should be, more types than that in a person's life. Today I'm setting goals for the suggested categories, plus one that I added.



Short term:

  • Plan LVPANANO game night
  • Figure out when I'll be able to see my best friend (who lives 8 hours away)
  • Be there for my friends as we go through life
  • Jackman T πŸ“–πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’œ
  • Keep in touch via social media

Long term:

  • Manage to hang on to my best friends until our funerals


Short term:

  • Snuggle more
  • Get a medical birth control method back
  • Keep trying to help my husband to eat healthier
  • Be better at budgeting

Long term:

  • Live a good life together
  • Keep being thankful I have John


Short term:

  • Keep asking for an update on my grandfather
  • Keep in touch with certain/ most members via social media
  • Find out if I'll get to see my dad on Father's Day
  • Plan something for my birthday to hopefully see my family
  • Celebrate Billy & JJ graduating next year

Long term:

  • See my brother be happy and loved
  • Accept that I did what I could to make one of my parents' dreams come true


Short term:

  • Enjoy Katie's kitties
  • Write Congress again after the next election to ask for better laws to prevent people from buying horses here to ship abroad to meat factories 
  • Try lab-grown meat when it becomes available and competitively priced 

Long term:

  • Adopt a cat (after moving)

This post is part of a series.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Goals for Health

There are differences between goals and wishes. Goals should be something the setter can influence, cause, or do on ones own. Wishes are something that one hopes will be granted, but has little to no chance of causing it to happen.

When setting goals for my health, this distinction is especially important.



Short term:

  • Survive the summer by avoiding the heat as much as possible
  • Get in the pulmonary rehab when the heat ends
  • Stick to low sodium diet
  • Get new glasses
  • Get new birth control
  • Make more effort to drink 64 oz of water a day

Long term:

  • Create a survival plan for global warming
  • Stick to health courses of action to keep me alive to 70 or 75


Short term:

  • Journal (love to Jackman T)
  • Get a living will written
  • Update my emergency contact information
  • Don't let depression win this summer
  • Remind myself that winter will come, so don't let depression win
  • Keep telling myself that it will pass, and it will get better, because hot days will end
  • Allow myself to not cry for more than 15 minutes a day this summer when mourning my former self
  • Keep filling out my year color chart from Katie
  • Hang with writer friends weekly (as weather/ etc permits) 

Long term:

  • Have enough passive income to pay for regular psych therapy
  • Create a "Retirement"/ Older Living plan
  • Plan for after-death
  • Keep advocating for my elected representatives to give me better healthcare
  • Keep doing Luminosity game to retain mental acuteness  


  • Get my handicapped placard (applied with application from my doctor)
  • Not needing any new medications
    • Be able to afford any new medications I end up needing
  • Lungs all healed/ fixed
    • Get back to weighing 130 lbs
    • Be able to lift 50 lbs overhead again
    • Be able to bench/lift 250 lbs with my legs again
    • Be able to walk for six hours outside in a summer day again
    • Not be terrified of doing most things because it could be hard to breathe

This is one post in a series.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Goal Setting Template

First, a short personal recount:

I was just working on a character sheet for a fictional story character. I have a premade template. Just pop down the list, boom boom boom. Get the the short and long term goal section (of my character, not yet of the story or whatever). Twenty minutes later, she's got ten of each. No problem. Rolled right off my fingertips.

Mini rant:

Why was it so easy to give my fictional character a pile of goals but I currently have next to none for myself??? "Don't die yet." That's pretty much it, and some subset goals that directly relate to that goal or clarify it better.

I'm going to attempt to set some goals for myself. 

Step one is creating this template.
Step two is publishing this post, which will encourage me to come back to fill out the template (later post). 

types of goals image
Credit: James Doyle of Jamso



Short term:

Long term:


Short term:

Long term:



Short term:

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Short term:

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Short term:

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Long term:


In the next 10 weeks

By January 2025

By January 2050



Short term:

Long term:


Short term:

Long term:

Time Passing

Short term:

Long term:

Education -


Short term:

Long term:

Study/ Career- 


Short term:

Long term:


Short term:

Long term:



Short term:

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Short term:

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Short term:

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Short term:

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Short term:

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Short term:

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Short term:

Long term:


The HTML of the template I used:
Well, that's a start at least.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Economic Terrorism

For those of you who haven't seen the ink stamp going around certain circles of America, or more accurately- MERICA, you may want to look that up before reading onward.

If someone is using this stamp and stipulating that any bill they put it on (the suggested 20, or the hilarious 5 from the meme that mocks this hardest) is BURNED with them when they die, okay. Not buried, because a grave robber could dig it up. As long as the bill will never go back into circulation again, then it's fine. Break that little law.

HOWEVER, anyone who is going to put the bill into circulation, here's why that's not patriotic and IS ECONOMIC TERRORISM. Every bill printed by the US Treasury has a predicted lifespan. Bills in circulation eventually make it back to the bank. If it is defaced, such as with that stamp, the bank cannot recirculate it. They have to turn it over to the Treasury Department, who has to destroy it and then have another printed to replace it. The predicted lifespan of bills determines how much of our tax dollars are needed for the creation of new bills and destruction of old or defaced bills. Exponentially increasing the amount of bills that need to be destroyed will increase the cost in tax dollars to US taxpayers. Therefore, it becomes economic terrorism. And terrorism isn't patriotic.

When you hate someone or some group (Obama, anyone who isn't "white") that you're willing to tank your own economy, to cost yourself and others an increase in taxes, you have a problem.

Which could easily lead me to another rant about Net Neutrality. The only people in favor of killing it are the ones who will make a ton of money off the deal (a VERY tiny percent of the One-Percenters), and the people who think that paying more money for Internet services is worth it because it defeats something Obama did.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Do We Need Diverse Bakeries

Maybe someone will open a bakery with a, "no racists, Supremacists, Klan members, Nazi's, or their supporters served here." I mean, really, are we going to have to start booking wedding services with, "hello, do you support all people or only certain ones?" Do #WeNeedDiverseBakeries πŸ€” NBC news story

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

European Union disclaimer to the best of my ability

"European Union laws require you to give European Union visitors information about cookies used and data collected on your blog."

This blog uses Intense Debate to deliver comments to my email inbox. This is what the email looks like when I see it:

Intense Debate email image

It does NOT tell me what website you've come from (sadly, because that would make reply commenting SO MUCH EASIER). I'm fairly certain the email it shows me is whatever you personally write in there, but I honestly don't know.

I read the emails. Sometimes reply, as it turns it into a reply comment on my blog, and then I delete them. I don't keep your email address or any of that. I do use gmail, so however Google "deletes" deleted emails is how it gets deleted. (Please don't go all "Hillary Clinton debate" about this on me, because I'm not qualified to answer questions about what or how deletion works.)

I'm not personally keeping your information. I don't think anything on this blog does, but I have no idea how BlogLovin' or Intense Debate works. If you feel the services may be an issue, it's okay to not leave me comments, or even to not visit. I won't take it personally.


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Society is not ready to discuss the fate of the unborn or their parents

This is a political post.

I'm not really on either side of the "pro" argument. I don't think my country is ready to have such a discussion. Anywhere and anyone that is unable to address the majority of causes of a problem is NOT ready to discuss the only current make-shift bandage that exists. Also, medical decisions are between medical providers and their patients  (or authorized representative); not government officials and protestors.

Clean up the REASONS before discussing it. Yes, some women may still make the decision. Outlawing it won't change that. But solving the worries that often lead to such a choice will SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE the number of times a certain medical procedure is needed.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Reflection on #AtoZchallenge 2018

#AtoZchallenge 2018

View from my hospital room
Mirror selfie from hospital

This post might be a bit depressing. The challenge ended, and I managed all the posts. HOWEVER, I landed in the hospital by May 3, and was there for a few days. Yeah, I had a great view (once they found me a room... I spent the first night in the Emergency Room because there were no beds -- in a hospital with four wings and nine floors, there wasn't a telemetry bed). I am home now.

beta blockers and depression

After the hospital stay, I was put on meds with "beta blockers." I've looked this up on the Internet, as well as discussing it with one of my doctors, and apparently I'm not alone in feeling depressed when taking these. Like I can't ignite my fire, can't find my passion, feel dead inside.

Which is why I hadn't written my reflection post.

Or done more commenting, as I had intended to do. (I wasn't doing so well before I went to the hospital, so that also put a kink in things.)

I feel like I'm behind on my goals. But hey, I'm writing this post now. And I took the survey. So one day at a time, right? First step in a journey or some quote for motivation and inspiration. I also can't keep a damn thought in my freaking head.

#atozchallenge survivor 2018

Only A to Z could use this word for me. Okay, I guess technically the hospital could too, since my blood pressure might have been above a lethal number. (Might, because I recently learned that the automatic cuffs tend to be off by 60 to 90 points on my top number, and that's what they used.) But I managed all of my posts, so that's something.

reflections #atozchallenge

I spent the month of April writing about coffee, comparing different ones based on my flavor profile. The doctors now say I'm limited to ONE cup of caffeine a day. "It could be worse."

Yeah, it could. But add in the drugs that make me feel like a Dementor has moved into my body, plus less caffeine, and I'm not doing so great. Sorry. 

I can't think anymore thoughts, so I'm going to stop typing now. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Letter Z #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

Welcome to letter Z of my Coffee Themed blogging from A to Z challenge 2018 offering.


Yesterday I showed you a coffee drink only available in December. Today I'm bringing you one that's only available for Halloween. Zombie Frappuccino from Starbucks. 

What? Did you just point out that this doesn't come with actual coffee? But it's from a coffee house! I don't have a picture of it, but two days after I ordered this drink, I ordered it again, this time adding a shot of espresso. I liked the taste. You may or may not. 

But if a zombie is going to eat my brain, I'd like them to end up with a caffeine buzz afterwords. That, and a lot a philosophical questions. Or questions about how the world could be improved. These are things I blog about when it isn't April. If that's not your "jam," okay, I won't take it personal. If that stuff might interest you, give me a follow.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

All the same at the end

The attorney approached Jayne Ann Smith, who was fidgeting in the stand.

"Miss Smith, you claim my client robbed you, is that correct?"


"What were you wearing at the time you were robbed?"

Jayne Ann raised her eyebrow. She waited for her attorney to object and ask the relevance of the question. She waited for the judge to intervene. No one did. "A yellow sweater and black slacks."

"Yellow? That's a bit of an attention-getting color, isn't it?"

"I guess it could be." Again, Jayne Ann looked around, wondering why no one thought the line of questioning was irrelevant.

"So you were aware that, in wearing yellow, you were drawing attention to yourself?"

"It's a sweater. I have the same one also in blue. There was a sale."

"You weren't wearing blue; you made a choice to wear yellow. That's correct, isn't it?"

Jayne Ann rubbed her elbow. "Yes."

"Now then, were you wearing anything else?"


"Was the sweater and slacks all that you were wearing when you entered the grocery store that day?"

"Well, no. I had on shoes."

The attorney nodded. "Any other information you're leaving out in regards to what you were wearing?"

Jayne Ann no longer knew what was relevant. "I had on silver earrings shaped like triangles. And underclothing, of course."

"What sort of underclothing?"

"A bra, panties, and stockings." She crossed her arms over her chest.

"What color were they?"

"Seriously?" Jayne Ann looked around the courtroom. No one cared why someone would ask such a question.

"Yes. Answer the question."

She had to think about it. "I believe my bra was white with a pattern of silver swirls. And I think my panties were beige. The stockings were nude."

"A bra with a pattern, certainly something meant to be seen. And beige panties and nude stockings. Almost as if you weren't wearing the coverings at all. You might well have been luring my client into robbing you. "

"What? No. My underclothing was all under my clothing. I did not intend for anyone else to see it."

"So you claim. Now, Miss Smith, had you ever gone to that grocery store before?"

"Yes. I shop there regularly."

"How often is that?"

"About once a week, I suppose. Sometimes twice, if I've forgotten something."

"Grocery shopping every week! That's quite frequent. It sounds to me like you were asking to be robbed, being a regular shopper. Miss Smith, were you, in fact, hoping to be robbed?"

"No one hopes to be robbed."

"I didn't ask about other people. There are, in fact, certain groups who enjoy playing out robbery scenarios. Perhaps you're one of the members of such a group? Have you ever played such a scenario?"

Jayne Ann felt her face turn bright red. "What one does consensually in the privacy and safety of one's own home should not matter. It is not the same as being robbed by a stranger."

"So you have thought about being robbed. Perhaps you were sending signals to my client. The yellow the sweater, the frequent trips to the store. Is it possible he could have interpreted your actions as an invitation to rob you?"

"How would I know his state of mind?" Jayne Ann seriously wondered how this line of questioning was allowed to continue.

"Is it possible that you hoped your signals would result in my client approaching you for money?"

"No. I did not want to be robbed." The statement felt so obvious to her that she felt her stomach churn as she said it. How was it even a question?

The next person took the stand. Karl Darling, who also alleged that he was robbed. Karl's experience had been caught by a security camera.

"Are you gay, Mister Darling?"

"Excuse me?"

"It's a simple question. Are you gay?"

"I've been married to my wife of thirteen years. We have five children. No, I'm not gay."

"But have you ever been gay? Ever dabbled in the same sex?"

Karl looked around the room. The question had no relevance to his being robbed. But he was required to answer it.

"I was in the theater in college. I played a gay character in one play. My co-star and I rehearsed our kiss scene. He confessed to having feelings for me. I thanked him politely, but declined an off-stage romance, as I did not share the feelings."

"But, perhaps, you did have those feelings for my client? Perhaps you've been wondering all these years what it would be like if another man, a different man who wasn't an actor, were to kiss you. Maybe more. Did you initiate contact with my client at the store?"


"Did you initiate contact with my client at the store that day?"

"Oh. Well, yeah, I guess. I probably said hello or asked him how it was going when we stood in line together."

"So it's possible you were giving my client a signal that you wanted to be robbed?"


"Have you ever  been robbed before?"


"Are you certain? Isn't it true, Mister Darling, that in the seventh grade, you accused William 'Bobby' Miller of stealing your baseball cards from your back pocket?"

"What?" Karl scratched the back of his neck while he thought back. "Oh, yeah. That was school thing. Bobby didn't hold me up in store. He took baseball cards from the back pocket of many of the guys."

"But perhaps you missed that thrill."

"It wasn't a thrill. That was why I reported it and asked the principal to make Bobby stop reaching into my back pocket."

"In the video, where you're allegedly being robbed, you turn around. Were you showing my client your back pocket."

"He told me to turn around. It was turn or be harmed."

"It had been so long since another man reached into your back pocket. And years since one kissed you. Perhaps you were sending signals to my client, hoping he would rob you."

A third person took the stand. Then another. And another. Each time, they were asked what they wore, how often they went to the grocery store, if they'd be robbed before, if they'd ever thought about being robbed, and other such questions that seemed irrelevant.

In the end, the jury asked how to define robbery. The twelve people were no longer sure, as perhaps people were asking to be robbed.

Oh, and then someone pointed out that the crime wasn't robbery, it was rape. But that doesn't matter, because alleged victims of either crime are always asked the exact same questions anyway. It is a justice system, after all, and crime is crime, no matter the name. That's why courtrooms hold seances to ask the dead what they were wearing when they were murdered and to double check if the person wanted to be murdered. It's just something an attorney has to know.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Letter Y #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

Welcome to letter Y of my Coffee Themed blogging from A to Z challenge 2018 offering. You might expect me to have a coffee from Yemen to share today. Alas, I do not. I'm making do for today. Please enjoy my Yule time coffee post.

yule time coffee

Hmm, it looks like a fair amount of that coffee vanished faster than the phone could take a picture. No idea how that could have happened. This coffee came from the coffee area at Wegman's grocery store. It was called Xmas Cookie Coffee. (Yes, I could have used this yesterday, but here we are.) It was covered with whipped cream and sprinkles. There was a thin, crispy cookie on top. Sugar high? Probably. Okay, definitely. This is a "cheat day" kind of beverage.

Wegman's coffee shop

#AtoZchallenge Y

See you tomorrow.