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:


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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:

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Short term:

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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.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Letter X #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

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

Tully's French Roast Dark EXtra Bold

Again with using a letter from somewhere in the name... Sorry, I know it's a bit of a stretch.

And, once again, I'm sharing a flavor that my pallet didn't like. It, to me, tasted like horribly burnt toast which soaked up some day old coffee, and then was put in a Kcup to be brewed. Adding creamer did not solve the issues.

How about if I talk about some other coffees? Okay.

#atozchallenge x Nitro brew coffee

Nitro cold brew coffee from Wegman's looks like a cup of Guinness. It's creamy and delicious, which I didn't expect since I'm normally not a fan of cold brew. I added a shot of Irish cream syrup to mine.

#atozchallenge x Cracker Barrel Goo Goo Cluster image

I went to the Cracker Barrel coffee tasting. I did not care for the Goo Goo Cluster. It had no sweetness. And I know what you're probably thinking, "Uhhh... it looks like sugar on sugar with some added sugar on a cloud of sugar with drizzled sugar...?" Yeah. It LOOKS like that. But, like unsweetened chocolate, it is deceptive. I'd forgive that if at least the coffee had a strong flavor, but no, it tasted like room temperature cream with a splash of coffee. 

#atozchallenge x Cracker Barrel Goo Goo Cluster drink

Looks pretty though, doesn't it?

#atozchallenge x Cracker Barrel caramel latte

So I told my server. I wasn't the first person on tasting day to experience this issue. She brought me a FREE caramel one instead. Ooohhh yes, this was the good stuff. My flavor profile was pleased. It would be better if the coffee was hotter, but that might just be me. 

#atozchallenge x mms

In another post earlier this month (Letter M #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme #MadeWithM), I mentioned that I hadn't found the current coffee flavor to try. I've since resolved that issue. Crunchy Espresso M&M's taste, well, exactly like the peanut coffee ones, but without the peanut. It's not as strong as chocolate covered coffee beans (which I'm a big fan of), but it's a fun candy. I'd rather drink a cup of coffee, but that's me.

#atozchallenge x Coffee

My flavor profile is E or F. If I'm at D, it's because I don't like the coffee. If I'm all the way at C, I don't like the coffee at all and am only drinking it out of desperation for caffeine. If I'm at B, all the whipped cream has melted into my latte or something. As far as A, that means I've time traveled back to when I was seven years old and my Aunt Fluffy would allow me milk with a taste of coffee. 

#atozchallenge x

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Letter W #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

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

Newman's Own Special Blend (Extra Bold)

Yes, it's a bit of a stretch. But I don't know any countries that start with the letter W. Washington state has Seattle, which is a city with a lot of coffee shop culture. Anyway, this is as close as I'm getting right now.

By itself, this seemed too bitter for my flavor pallet. I added cream, and it improved the situation. However, I wouldn't get this one again.

#atozchallenge W

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Letter V #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

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

Folgers Vanilla Biscotti.

For my flavor profile, this was a fail. Normally I'm a big fan of Folgers. But not this time. It was far to weak, and creamer made it worse. It was more like a coffee flavored beverage than coffee.

#atozchallenge V

Monday, April 23, 2018

Letter U #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

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

You'd think I'd have found coffee from:
  • Uganda. (They grow coffee.)
  • Ukraine. (Kiev loves coffee.)
  • United Arab Emirates. (Dubai could have had some "qahwah", the ancient Arabic word for coffee.)
  • United Kingdom. (Read A History of the World in 6 Glasses before you judge.)
  • Uruguay. (Maybe it would have been from Argentina.)
  • Uzbekistan. (They have some shops.)

But no. So I'm stretching it today.

Caribou Blend, Medium Roast

My flavor profile found this to just be okay. Not bad, not great. Average.

#atozchallenge U

Letter T #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

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

Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee Flavored Coffee. Here's the thing...

I love toffee. I am all about toffee candies and treats. And Gloria Jean's was my favorite coffee shop when I lived in Philadelphia. So putting these two favorites together perhaps gave me high expectations.

I was met with disappointment. The coffee proved too weak for my flavor profile. I tried adding creamer. Normally adding creamer to a weak coffee makes it worse. In this case, it improved the situation. Still, this isn't a flavor I'd buy again.

#atozchallenge T

Friday, April 20, 2018

Letter S #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

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

Green Mountain Southern Pecan.

For my flavor profile, this was decent. It tasted nothing like a pecan pie, which perhaps explains my disappointment. Closer to a pecan that has been slightly burnt, that's how I'd describe this taste. Creamer helps.

#atozchallenge S

Letter R #AtoZchallenge Coffee Theme

#AtoZchallenge 2018

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

Psst... you know what's kind of special? I'm the guest blogger on the A to Z page today.
R is for Ripples #AtoZChallenge

Van Houtte Cafe Raspberry Chocolate Truffle. For my taste profile, this is a fantastic choice. There's a hint of acidic taste, but it's mostly smooth. Creamer takes it over the top. Smells like dessert.

#atozchallenge r