Kentucky, politicians, politics, rants, slut shamers, Texas, true crime

Grateful to be a Texas voter who doesn’t have to live in Texas (or Kentucky)…

This is a pretty angry rant, so if you don’t like coarse language or rage, you might want to keep scrolling.

This week, I’ve been following the tragic story of 31 year old married mother of two, Kate Cox, and her request to be allowed to have an abortion. Cox, who lives near Dallas, Texas, and is currently about 20 weeks pregnant, learned that her unborn daughter has Trisomy 18, otherwise known as Edwards Syndrome. Cox’s doctors have told her that her pregnancy is non-viable, and that she is likely to either miscarry, or the baby will die during, or soon after, her birth. Additionally, Cox’s fertility may also be at risk if she continues her pregnancy.

A couple of years ago, Cox likely could have terminated her pregnancy without any interference from politicians, lawyers, or judges. It would not have been anyone’s business but hers, her doctor’s, and her family’s, if she chose to include them. But now, thanks to the cruel and misogynistic turn taken by Republican assholes in power, Kate Cox has not been allowed to make this very private and personal decision. This week, she went to court to request permission to have an abortion. On Thursday, she was given that permission by a compassionate judge who has common sense and decency. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, an elected Democrat, granted a temporary restraining order that would allow Cox to safely terminate her pregnancy without fear of legal repercussions.

Immediately after Judge Maya Guerra Gamble’s favorable decision was handed down, Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, leapt into action. He sent letters to the Houston area hospitals where Cox could have had the abortion procedure done, threatening doctors with legal consequences if they carried out the treatment Cox seeks. Then he petitioned the Texas Supreme Court for a stay, which halted Judge Guerra Gamble’s order, and forces Kate Cox to endure her doomed pregnancy even longer.


I’ve been reading the reactions to this case. Most people seem to think Ken Paxton is absolutely wrong in his decision to interfere in this case. However, I’ve seen a lot of comments from MEN who think it’s right to force Kate Cox to deliver this baby and watch her die. I am convinced that these men– most of whom truly don’t give a shit about the welfare of already born people– just want to control women. And every time I read their feeble minded diatribes about the so-called “sanctity of life”, I become enraged anew. How dare they?!

I have never met Ken Paxton, but I hate his guts. He needs to go straight to Hell.

Anyway… I am a Texas voter, even though I live in Germany. I maintain the right and responsibility to vote in Texas, although it feels a bit like pissing in the wind. I will continue to do my part in trying to oust extremist Republican misogynistic thugs like Paxton out of office. And while I won’t write or say out loud what I hope happens to him, you can bet I’m calling on my higher power, too. I am infuriated and disgusted by this case, as I know a lot of other sensible, decent, kind people with functioning brains are, too. Abortion is necessary healthcare for some pregnant people, and I know this is an issue that people will fight over for the rest of my life. I no longer have skin in the game, since I’m pretty sure I’m menopausal now, but on behalf of all women, I am outraged by Ken Paxton and his anti-woman ilk. I hope Ken Paxton goes straight to Hell, and I pray the women of Texas wise up and get the hell out of that godforsaken state, and take all of the OB-GYNs with them.

Last night, I also read about an outrageous case out of Kentucky. I actually found out about it because I saw a headline about a woman who is eight weeks pregnant and wants to have an abortion. Kentucky, like Texas, has banned most abortions, so this Jane Doe has filed a lawsuit. Good for her for doing that. But, as I was looking for news on that case, I ran across another story about a young woman in Kentucky who was instrumental in getting Democratic Governor Andy Beshear re-elected (link is temporarily unlocked).

Hadley Duvall, age 21, got pregnant by her stepfather when she was 12 years old. Duvall’s stepfather, Jeremy Whitledge, had started sexually abusing her when she was five years old. At first, he made it seem like what he was doing was a normal thing. When she got older, and realized her stepfather was hurting her, he started to hold her down. Later, it became a punishment when she was “bad”. Her brother got spankings. Hadley got sexually molested by a man she’d considered her dad. Her mother and stepfather presented the image of a “perfect family”, even if Whitledge was treating his stepdaughter with the lowest form of contempt.

When Hadley Duvall was 8 years old, she learned about sexual abuse in school. She’d even learned a special song. She asked Whitledge about it, realizing that he was doing things to her that she’d learned were abusive and wrong. Whitledge, by then had been abusing his stepdaughter for years; first with anal penetration, then later vaginal and oral, according to police reports. Her abuser’s outrageously disgusting response was:

“Those rules are for strangers,” Duvall remembers him saying. “Not for your family.”

When Hadley was twelve, she started having menstrual periods. She’d only had a few when she realized that she hadn’t had one in awhile. She told Whitledge, and he told her to “fake being sick”, so she could stay home and take a pregnancy test. I don’t know why she’d need to fake being sick for that, since pregnancy tests only take a few minutes. But she did as she was told, and the test was positive. She was pregnant with Whitledge’s baby, at just twelve years old.

While they were waiting for the test results, Whitledge told Hadley that she could “sneak” a boy from the neighborhood into the house and claim it was his baby (OMG), or they could go to Louisville and she could have an abortion. Hadley didn’t even know what an abortion was at that point in her life. Two weeks later, by the grace of God, she had a miscarriage. But she didn’t know what a miscarriage was, either. She assumed she was just having a very heavy period.

As I read this story, my blood was boiling. I am outraged by people who want to force women to give birth at all costs. I think their attitudes show that they HATE women, and they care more about the well being of a potential person than the welfare of the woman whose body is being used to generate that life. I see a lot of shaming, cruelty, and outright contempt for pregnant people who shouldn’t be pregnant for health or maturity reasons, or don’t want to be pregnant for other reasons. It makes me feel rage on their behalf.

But then I continued reading about Hadley Duvall and saw this comment from her abuser, that made me feel even more disgusted…

In September 2019, Whitledge sent a letter to [Hadley’s mother, Jennifer Adkins Miller] acknowledging the abuse, writing, “Because of my weakness I failed as her father. I failed as her protector.”


He is a vile, despicable, sadistic, disgusting, loathsome piece of shit! I hope he joins Ken Paxton in Hell!

I don’t know how Hadley’s mother didn’t know what was happening in her house. The article explains that her mother was addicted to drugs for years, but finally got sober after a year in rehab. Hadley was astute enough to see that her mother would struggle if Whitledge was out of their lives. She realized that if she told her mom what he was doing to her, Whitledge would go to prison. But finally, in the spring of 2017, Hadley decided she had to tell her mother about the abuse. She texted her mom from school and told her she had something important to tell her. While they were in the car, Jennifer Adkins Miller pressed her daughter for answers… and finally, she heard the truth about her worthless husband. She slammed on the brakes, vomited, and went to the police.

Jeremy Whitledge is now serving twenty years in prison. And Hadley Duvall made the very brave ad for Andy Beshear, to help girls and young women have the option of terminating their pregnancies. Duvall goes to a Christian university and says she thinks there should be limits on abortions. I wonder, though, if she really thinks women have later term abortions for fun, and it needs to be regulated by law. First of all, late term abortions are rarely performed in any case. It’s hard to find providers willing to do them; they are very expensive and painful; and they are typically not covered by health insurance. And secondly, those who want to have an abortion for convenience sake would almost certainly have them early, if they were left to their own devices. It’s much cheaper, less painful, and easier to do it that way.

I think it shows a profound distrust in women as a whole, to say that politicians need to pass laws that limit or restrict access to abortions– especially when they disingenuously claim to be doing it for the women’s health. I don’t know of anyone who is “pro-abortion”. It’s not something anyone does for a good time. It’s a healthcare procedure that some women need for their own well-being. And it’s no one else’s business if a woman wants or needs to have one. No one should ever be compelled to explain it to anyone else.

The fact that the United States has backslid in this way is just mortifying. Sadistic, perverted, misogynistic creeps like Ken Paxton and his ilk are determined to ruin or end many women’s lives with these extremist laws that force women to forgo crucial healthcare for the sake of a developing fetus. It makes me sick that people like Paxton are in power.

Folks, I’ll be honest. I struggle with depression and anxiety, and there are a lot of days when I just wish I could be beamed out of this world so I don’t have to think about this horror show we’re in now. Depression and anxiety are two reasons why I’m sitting here with vague pain and pressure in my stomach and doing nothing about it. The prospect of Trump in office again makes me even more depressed. And that feeling of despair is mixed with rage and despondency when I read stories like Kate Cox’s and Hadley Duvall’s… although at least they fought back. I have great respect for the women who are not accepting these bans without a huge fight, even as moronic, hateful, anti-women dipshits in red states keep voting in these fantastically misogynistic fuckwads, who make terrible, dangerous laws that affect us all and place the well-being of an embryo or a fetus over already born people. All I can do is continue to write about it… and rage as I read about it, as my gentle, sweet, loving husband sits by and listens. Thank God for Bill, at least.

complaints, money, true crime, Virginia, YouTube

Crooks on the loose again, and Miss Virginia 1994…

Last week, I was looking at my credit card statement and I noticed that I had a fraudulent charge that went to an old card that I no longer use. It was a very small charge for a surgical practice in Alabama. Apparently some scammers got ahold of a bunch of numbers on the dark web and were trying them out. My old credit card number was among those they got access to, but fortunately, the charge was declined. I didn’t call USAA, since no harm was done. However, the charge raised my awareness of fraudsters out there. That may be why I found myself on the phone with USAA this morning after checking my bank statement.

This morning, I noticed I had a mysterious charge for $8.44 on my debit card. It was made at a hardware store in Mexico, Missouri. I haven’t been in the United States for nine years, and I certainly wouldn’t be shopping at a hardware store there, so I didn’t recognize the charge. I called up USAA and spoke to a very nice operator, who put a block on my debit card as I disputed the charge. Now I have to wait a couple of weeks for a new card to get to me via the APO system. I guess it’s a sign I shouldn’t be buying more Christmas presents.

I don’t know if fraud is at an uptick right now, but I guess it’s the season for it. I wish these scammers would get jobs. Anyway, let this serve as a reminder to you readers to check your banking and credit card statements. There are a lot of dishonest scumbags out there who would love to victimize you, and the prey on people who aren’t paying close attention to their accounts. This time of year, people are doing a lot of shopping… so it would ordinarily be easy to dismiss a small charge at a hardware store in Missouri. But I live in fucking Germany, so I wasn’t out buying a wrench or a hammer in the USA. The person who just did this has now put a temporary wrench in my finances. How annoying! But it could be worse. At least I caught it before they had a chance to try again..

Yesterday, after I wrote my blog post, I wound up watching the 1994 Miss Virginia pageant on YouTube. I had forgotten how totally cheesy beauty pageants are. Miss Virginia was especially cheesy. I remember I used to watch it on TV when I was a kid, but I don’t think they even air them anymore. When that particular pageant aired, I was working at a summer camp in rural Virginia. That was the pageant Cullen Johnson Hill won, which put her on the road to her first runner up win in the 1995 Miss America pageant.

Yikes! The hair alone is pretty frightening…

We went to a Christmas party last night, so I was killing time by watching the pageant. It was very cringeworthy, although I was kind of impressed by the male dancers. Most of the singing was crappy, though, with the exception of when Julianne Smith-Kiedinger sang. She was Miss Virginia in the 80s and went on to be first runner up in the 1986 Miss America pageant, and she actually can sing really well. The rest of them varied from pretty decent to pretty bad. I was surprised to see there was a non-finalist talent winner who did a baton routine. How stereotypical! But at least she did a good job with her routine. I think she deserved to win her $300 prize, even though baton twirling is kind of a dying art.

One contestant sang a song with her backside waving at the audience for at least a minute or two. She wasn’t a very good singer, and her wagging ass didn’t really help her act much at all. I did like her dress, though.

I try not to knock pageants, since I know a lot of women have gotten valuable scholarship funds through them. On the other hand, you really kind of have to have a certain kind of look to be successful in a pageant. They really seem to reward conformity, and the types of people who succeed in pageants are often already kind of “blessed”. I used to like watching pageants when I was younger, but now I find them really boring. The talent portion usually makes me physically uncomfortable, while the interview questions are often a lot of bullshit. I mainly like to look at the gowns and hairstyles. But even that isn’t very satisfying for me anymore, since I can’t imagine myself in most of the gowns. And the ones from the 90s are pretty horrifying, anyway.

I had to fast forward through some of the “entertainment”. It was just too cringey for me. It would have been cringey in the 90s, too… Egad! It was a crime that I spent time watching that dross.

Well, at least it’s Friday. I don’t have any big plans this weekend, or for the rest of today. I may go back to bed and try to do more reading… and hope the person who tried to steal from me falls into a trench full of piranhas. I hope this process is as painless as possible, but one of the drawbacks to living in Germany is that it can take forever to get stuff in the APO mail system. Grrrr!!!

Bill, family, funny stories, LDS, memories, narcissists, nostalgia, Virginia

Spend some money on yourself… it’ll be good for you!

Yesterday was an interesting day. After I posted yesterday’s YouTube related blog rant, I dozed off for a short while. When I woke up, I suddenly thought about a woman I knew of when I was in college. She may or may not appreciate me using her real name in my blog post, but I’m going to do it, because she’s somewhat famous in certain circles and could be considered a public figure. And, as I found out yesterday, she’s currently trending.

Her name is Cullen Johnson Hill. I know of her because we both went to Longwood College (now Longwood University), and she won the Miss Longwood pageant when we were students there. I didn’t know her personally, but she knew some of my friends. After Cullen graduated from Longwood, she went on to win the 1994 Miss Virginia title. She competed in the 1995 Miss America pageant and was the first runner up. I distinctly remember watching Cullen on national television in September 1994. It was at a time when I still didn’t mind watching beauty pageants. I used to think they were kind of fascinating. I especially loved Miss Universe, since the contestants came from all over the world. I thought the international contestants were fascinating; especially the ones who needed interpreters.

The moment of truth…

I was sad that Cullen didn’t win the Miss America title, because naturally, I was rooting for Miss Virginia and a fellow Longwood alum. But I can also understand why Heather Whitestone won the title. Not only was Heather very beautiful, but she’s also deaf. Whitestone was the very first Miss America with a disability. She was also able to perform a beautiful dance solo, in spite of her disability. So, I do think Heather was the right choice for Miss America that year, but I also think Cullen would have been a wonderful Miss America. She really had the look for it, as well as grace and poise.

Time went on. The following year, I wasn’t able to watch the pageant, because I was living in Armenia, working with the Peace Corps. I never really forgot about Cullen, though, and every once in awhile I’d wonder how she was doing. I saw old newspaper articles about her pageant career, including one in which she mentioned a “halo effect” in which people who overcome the biggest obstacles win. It was not a very politically correct observation, although I personally believe there’s a lot of truth in it. This link doesn’t lead to the offending newspaper article, but Cullen’s comment rankled enough that she was mentioned in a SF Gate op-ed.

So anyway, for some strange reason yesterday afternoon, I randomly thought about Cullen. And because I have a lot of time on my hands, I Googled. And there it was… posted on EOnline, December 5, 2023. Cullen had uploaded a rather shocking TikTok video about her struggles with alcoholism. Fresh from a thirty day jail stint, sporting a black eye, and looking unrecognizable from the beautiful woman I remembered from my college days, Cullen was telling everyone like it is for her. She says she’s been an alcoholic since she was 24 years old, and is now on a journey back to sobriety. She says she’s been there before, and it’s “wonderful”. And she’s lucky enough to have a husband and a son who love her very much.

I see that some rather sketchy “media” outlets have picked up Cullen’s story. The TikTok video has been reposted on YouTube by fake news channels that use AI to generate ad revenue. I saw at least one TikTok user reacting to Cullen’s video. I shared the EOnline story on Facebook, because I know some of my friends know Cullen. One friend in particular is a true friend of hers, describing her as a very sweet person. She said she hoped Cullen can restore her health.

I’m not going to throw any shade at Cullen, because honestly, but by the grace of God, I could have easily gone the same way. Like me, Cullen grew up a military brat. Her father, Jay Johnson, was a very high ranking Naval officer, and after he retired, he continued his very successful career in the business world. Johnson had the distinction of taking over the Chief of Naval Operations job from Jeremy “Mike” Boorda, who had a memorable exit from the role when he committed suicide over being accused of “stolen valor”. I don’t know Cullen’s father, but I have been around military folks my entire life, including the high ranking. I imagine she was under tremendous pressure to look and behave in the “right” ways. Alcoholism is a family disease, and it thrives on secrecy and image protection.

I know I could be wrong… and God knows, it’s not easy to live with people who suffer from addiction. But I also know, having grown up with an alcoholic father, that the addiction usually comes from somewhere very painful. Substance abuse is often less about having a good time, and more about trying to dull significant pain through self-medication. My father was himself the son of an alcoholic. My grandfather was described as a great guy when he wasn’t drinking, but when he drank, he became violent and abusive. My dad was only occasionally violent; he was a high functioning alcoholic. But that didn’t make him easy to live with. He and I didn’t have a very good relationship, although I did love him.

On her TikTok video, Cullen wrote in the comments that she doesn’t speak to her father anymore. She also mentions finding her mother passed out once, when she was very young… Again, as a fellow child of an alcoholic, I can relate to that, too. I found my dad passed out more than once. There were a couple of times when he tried to work with fire while he was very drunk. Once, he tried to grill a steak and forgot about it on the grill… My mom, who didn’t know how to use the grill, had me bring the charred piece of meat into the house and leave it in the sink for him to find. Seeing the burned steak had no effect on his behavior. Another time, he tried to burn trash and brush in our backyard while he was drinking. He forgot about the fire and it almost torched his business.

Anyway, seeing Cullen’s TikTok video was a mindblower. I wish Cullen all the best as she recovers. I think she’s very brave to share her story, and I hope she doesn’t encounter too many trolls. My heart goes out to her… and I appreciate that she still has a sense of humor, which she showed in the TikTok video. She did make a less than politically correct comment in the video, and I know some people will drag her for that. I’m not going to, though, because as I mentioned yesterday, I’m not into cancel culture– especially over comments that are simply deemed not “PC”.

While I certainly don’t condone drunk driving, or the fact that Cullen was in jail because she got caught doing that a second time, I also know that alcoholism and other addictions really are diseases. It’s not as simple as just quitting drinking or using drugs. Conquering addiction is a lifelong process that requires strength and diligence. And just like people who have cancer or heart disease sometimes relapse, so do people with addictions.

Which brings me to the title of today’s post…

I remembered mentioning Cullen on my old Blogspot version of The Overeducated Housewife. I went there this morning to see what I wrote. I found the post from September 16, 2013, in which I wrote about how I preferred to watch The Miss America Pageant instead of The Big Lebowski. Bill loves The Big Lebowski, but I am not a fan of that film. I’ve tried to watch it more than once, but I don’t like it. Believe it or not, I don’t like it because of all the swearing. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind curse words, but I don’t like listening to a two hour stream of them. I also mentioned that Donald Trump had made the pageants unwatchable. That was in 2013– before we knew how he’d make the office of POTUS an international joke. I only mentioned Cullen by name in passing on that post, and made an unnamed reference to her on an earlier post, and apparently never posted about her again.

I clicked on the previous day’s post, which was titled “Things Bill does now that he never did when he was LDS…” In that post, I wrote about all the fun stuff Bill does now that he didn’t do when he was a Mormon. I made an actual list, and some of the stuff was pretty epic. Then, at the end of the post, I wrote about how I once had to order Bill to buy himself some new undershorts. Thanks to life with Ex, he wasn’t in the habit of spending money on himself… even on true necessities like underwear. Below is the excerpt about when I made Bill buy new skivvies…

Now, for the underwear story… When we first got married, we were pretty broke.  Bill had purchased some cheap knit boxer shorts from KMart.  I was sitting on our bed when he walked into the room.  The boxers he was wearing were not quite large enough to cover him.  I turned around and was just about eye level with his penis, which was poking out of the hole in the front of the boxers.  I gasped and blushed in surprise and covered my eyes, then said “For God’s sake, cover yourself!”

He blushed.  I wasn’t used to seeing a naked man and wasn’t expecting to see that…  Oddly enough, his ex wife declared me “unsuitable” and a “bad influence” for not being Mormon.  Apparently, I’m not moral, even though the sight of my husband’s penis was a shock to me when we first got married.

I then declared that we were going underwear shopping.  The first thing he was going to do was purchase some decent boxer shorts that he liked and that fit him properly.  It was stark contrast to his ex wife’s style, which was to tell him he should be spending all his money on his family or the church instead of his own basic needs.  She would have begrudged him even purchasing decent underwear… because as a Mormon, he should be wearing church approved skivvies anyway.

I later told my Granny the underwear story.  She was in her late 90s at the time and thought it was hysterical.  She was the mother of nine, so I’m sure such a sight would not have made her blush.

…Some people might say that Bill gave up pleasures of the next life for pleasures in this one…  Somehow, I feel like if there is a next life, the same admonishment might come into play.  Some higher evolved being would tell Bill not to enjoy life now because it will ruin the “next life”.  Is there something beyond this life?  I don’t know.  Bill “knows” more than I do, since he has had a near death experience.  Was it just his brain protecting him?  I don’t know.  But it changed who he is and made him more spiritual, despite all he’s been through.  It has helped keep him from becoming bitter and angry. 

It sure has been fun watching him enjoy living and helping him discover new things.  

Well… yesterday was Bill’s younger daughter’s birthday. I sent her a Jacquie Lawson e-card and a $200 gift card that can be used at a variety of places. I told her I hoped she’d use the gift card on herself. But I also know, since she’s Bill’s daughter, that she might not do that. She’s a very kind and generous person, like Bill is. She’s about to be a mother of four, and she was raised by her mother not to be “selfish” and think of her own needs, even though her mother very selfishly refused to share younger daughter and her sister with their father.

I’m sure Ex would be very angry if she knew I had given her daughter such a generous gift. She’d probably accuse me of “horning in”, or whatever, or trying to “buy” younger daughter’s affections. I’ve only met younger daughter in person ONCE in my lifetime. But I’ve gotten to know her online, and I’m relieved that she’s like Bill. And since she’s like Bill, my guess is that her needs tend to come last. I truly do hope she will use that gift card to get herself something she really wants or needs. Self-care is good for the soul.

Well, that about does it for today. We’re going to a Christmas party tonight… and taking a cab. 😉 I’ve got to get my dreaded Thursday chores done before that happens.

communication, condescending twatbags, controversies, true crime, YouTube

People and the glass houses they dwell in…

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself watching more cop videos on YouTube. I know this is a habit I should break, even though sometimes the videos are genuinely entertaining. I should probably curtail the urge to watch them, though, because I think making bodycam videos available to the general public is potentially very harmful.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time, you might already know that I’m not a big fan of “cancel culture”. I don’t think people’s lives should be ruined over being caught on camera on a bad day. I think justice and punishment should be, by and large, handled by the courts, rather than the public.

Some people are proponents of public shaming, claiming that it’s a good way to get people to behave better. Personally, I disagree with that, because the videos have been available for a long time now, and many people still act like jerks. When you’re having a really bad day, you may not be thinking about eventually being featured on someone’s YouTube channel. Moreover, sometimes people are dealing with mental health issues that they can’t control. Those episodes shouldn’t necessarily be made available for public consumption.

That being said, I do still watch the videos, in spite of my reservations about them… and sometimes I find them very disturbing. It’s very easy to get arrested in the United States. Sometimes police officers are extremely unprofessional, and it’s the luck of the draw as to which one people are going to have to deal with. By the same token, sometimes people act like complete maniacs. Take, for instance, the woman in the below video… This one is not for the faint of heart.

This was rather shocking to watch on many levels.
Adding a screenshot of the video, in case it disappears.

Police officers do have a difficult and dangerous job. There is no question in my mind about that. However, many of the police officers I see on American bodycam videos make me really appreciate German cops. They are less casual, generally more courteous, and resort to violent measures less often. But then, German cops don’t have to deal with as many weapons or unhinged people as American cops do. I suspect German cops are better trained and equipped, too, because Germans are generally more willing to pay taxes that will go towards training them properly.

Here in Germany, there’s also the right to be “forgotten”. That means people who are arrested get a modicum of privacy. Their faces aren’t shown in the media, and their full names generally aren’t publicized. If you see an accused person in a German newspaper, their faces will be covered, and they will be addressed by their first name and last initial. I think it’s a good policy for many people. It gives them a chance to start fresh, once they repay their civic debt. But again, society here is kind of different, and so is the overall mindset. People tend to be more community minded in Germany and other parts of Europe.

Which brings me to the video that prompted today’s post. Yesterday, I watched a DUI arrest video involving a young woman who said she was pregnant. The young woman immediately admitted to drinking and driving, then made the heartbreaking statement that she was “just like her dad.” I guess her dad is an alcoholic. As a daughter of an alcoholic, I sympathize.

This young woman is clearly very upset… She doesn’t come off as a “privileged princess” to me.

Reading some of the vile comments on this video, I get the sense that a lot of Americans are unaware that they’re veering pretty close to agreeing with the ideas and conditions set in The Handmaid’s Tale. Maybe they don’t want everyone wearing clothes in colors that identify their statuses to everyone else. Maybe they don’t think women deemed “loose” should be turned into broodmares for the powerful. But they do seem to think that pregnant folks should have different civil rights than other people should. Many of the commenters were making appalling speculations about this young woman, just because she got caught driving drunk while pregnant.

Now… I am NOT trying to say that this young woman wasn’t very irresponsible for doing what she did. Of course she shouldn’t have been drinking and driving, regardless of the status of her womb. I don’t know what her plans are/were regarding the alleged pregnancy, but I certainly wouldn’t condone drinking alcohol while pregnant. However, based on the comments, some people seem to think this poor woman’s life should be ruined for this incident. Many people speculated that perhaps she was planning to have an abortion, and that’s why she got drunk. It’s not too far of a leap to think that some of them think she’s a “slut” for getting pregnant, which, of course, is an insult to her overall character. I wonder how many of the people making such awful comments would like the same kinds of observations made about them when they make mistakes.

I am a product of a generation when plenty of pregnant women drank, including my own mom. I’m not saying that fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) aren’t a thing. They absolutely are. Since we don’t know how much alcohol is “safe” during pregnancy, and it’s not necessary to drink alcohol to be healthy, of course it’s wise to avoid it. However, it’s unlikely that this young woman, who clearly isn’t heavily pregnant, will condemn her embryo to FAS or FASD by getting drunk very early in her pregnancy. Moreover, the disgusting comments about her intentions regarding the pregnancy– potential plans to have an abortion, for instance– are completely inappropriate.

It’s a wonder that any woman in the United States even wants to be pregnant right now, with so many people in our country judging them so harshly for just about EVERYTHING they do. This young woman made a huge mistake, but the good news is, no one was injured or killed. She can and should learn from the mistake, and then simply go on with her life. But based on some of the shocking comments on YouTube, some people seem to think she should be labeled with a scarlet letter, like Hester Prynne.

Not everyone on YouTube was nasty. Some people did have some empathy for the young woman, as they hoped this was a “wake up call”. There’s no telling why she decided to drink and drive. No one should be doing that. And naturally, it’s not advisable to drink alcohol while pregnant, although in some countries, it’s considered much less of an issue than it is in the United States. Here in Europe, for instance, some physicians even encourage very light drinking during pregnancy (maybe one small glass of wine or beer per week). They get more upset about pregnant women eating very rare meats, unpasteurized cheeses, or raw seafood. And yet, plenty of babies are born in Europe, safe and sound, even if their mothers had a glass of Syrah or a Guinness while they were pregnant.

American culture has some big issues with moderation. I think maybe it has to do with the fact that the US is a young country, and our people lack the wisdom that comes from thousands of years of civilization. Many United States citizens are not unlike new converts to a culty religion. We, as a whole, seem to think we know everything; our culture is the best; and we can do no wrong. The rest of the world laughs at us. You can see it when someone from the States comes to Europe, is super loud and obnoxious, and acts like people should be impressed by where they come from. Many American people lack self-awareness and like to hear themselves talk, rather than stopping to listen occasionally. I’m not saying ALL Americans are like this, but quite a lot of us are. That attitude comes from ignorance and a lack of perspective, as well as significant hubris.

And so, when we watch a video of a young person doing something clearly unwise and potentially very dangerous, we tend to be heavy handed with insults, inappropriate predictions of the future, judgment, and condemnation. It really sucks, because nobody is perfect.

This young woman did, at least, own up to what she did, and mostly cooperated, even if she did it while crying and shrieking in a “baby” voice. She should have the chance to redeem herself and thank God that this incident didn’t turn out much worse. But not only does she have to endure humiliation, pay fines, and probably get yelled at by people who actually know and care about her, she also has to put up with absolutely horrible, soul destroying comments from complete strangers, who evidently see her as nothing more than an embryo bearing vessel, and apparently think her whole life should be ruined over this mistake. That’s what I think is the real shame. Those kinds of words hurt, and they can cause some people to fall into true despair that can lead to more destructive behavior, or even suicide.

There were also a few “abortion is murder” comments thrown in for good measure, although there is no indication that this woman is/was planning a termination. But, if she was planning to terminate her pregnancy, and is actually as terrible, morally bankrupt, and irresponsible as some of the commenters seem to think she is, maybe having an abortion would ultimately be the most appropriate thing for her to do. Because obviously, someone that absolutely horrible can’t possibly take care of herself well enough to gestate a healthy baby… right?

In case some people are missing my sarcasm, I do NOT think this young woman deserves the extreme hate she got on this video. I think she needs someone kind and mature to talk to her and give her some much needed guidance. I really hope she has someone like that in her life… or finds someone who can fulfill that role. And if she chose to stay pregnant, I hope she had/has a healthy baby. She should learn from this mistake and go on with her life… and those who are condemning her character should stop and take a long look in the mirror at themselves and the glass houses they dwell in. I would like to hope that, in person, most people really aren’t as dreadful as they are in vicious comments they make online.

blog news, music, YouTube

Could I be a v-logger? Maybe. Do I want to be one? Not particularly…

Yesterday, we got more snow, and I expect that today, it will all melt. We’re expecting warmer temperatures that will dissolve the snow from yesterday, along with the snow that didn’t melt last week. This weather is more like what we had in Jettingen, circa 2014-15. I remember then, we had snow that hung around for weeks and looked horrible, because it was all dirty and covered in dog pee.

We moved up here in late 2018, but until this year, we’ve had little snow. I think there was a good storm last year, but I don’t remember it being even as much as what we had last week. I like snow fine, as long as I don’t have to go out in it. But sometimes, I get tired of it, too.

I mentioned yesterday that I was feeling a little worried, depressed, and nutty, which isn’t too abnormal at this time of year for me, or for a lot of other people. After I took a nap, I decided that maybe it would be good to record some music. When I saw that had just released a karaoke version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by James Taylor and Natalie Cole, I decided I had to try it.

I know not everyone likes the song, mainly because people today think it glorifies date rape. Well, I’m here to tell you that glorifying date rape and ignoring consent for sex is not what was intended when the song was written. It was meant to be a cute parlor song for ending the evening, not a song about sexual consent or lack thereof. But, leave it to today’s social justice warriors to cancel something they don’t really understand.

When “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was written by Frank Loesser, no one was thinking about spiking beverages with roofies. People were worried about their reputations among friends and family members. Those who had the hots for each other had to think of respectable ways to get around the rules regarding the mores of the time. Hence the excuse that it’s “too cold” for the lady to go home… It has nothing at all to do with being “rapey”.

In any case, I didn’t even think James and Natalie had that much chemistry in their version of the duet. However, I am very familiar with their version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, and Karaoke-Version had a good rendition of it with a competent male singer doing James’s part. So I gave it a whirl. Below is the end result.

I think it turned out okay, if I do say so myself…

This morning, I woke up to the below comment…

“Great cover. I especially liked the facial expressions. Can you tell us what life is like in Germany? Maybe just little slice of life moments that intro us to your next song?”

I had to laugh at this comment, because obviously this guy doesn’t know about my blogs. If he really wants to know about my life in Germany, he can hit the motherlode on WordPress. He’d probably learn a lot more than he even wants to know. I even put the address of my blog on the channel. And while I appreciate both the compliment, and the time he took to comment on my cover, I really just go to YouTube to sing. I’m not there to talk much… although I suppose I could. I just don’t see the point, because most of my videos aren’t monetized. I do occasionally put up non musical videos, but most of the stuff I do for YouTube is copyrighted by someone else. And I sing on YouTube because I enjoy making music. I write here because I enjoy writing.

I also wonder why people feel like they need to offer unsolicited advice to other people on how they do things. I don’t mind when people make song suggestions, although I can’t promise I can always deliver. Sometimes the song doesn’t work for my voice. Sometimes I don’t like the lyrics. That happened to me once on SingSnap. Some guy wanted me to sing lyrics on a song he’d written, but it was a song about a woman who was addressing a homewrecking hussy. Since I am a second wife who has been falsely accused of being a homewrecker, that song didn’t sit right with me.

La Twat told her kids that Bill cheated on her with me. That’s NOT the truth. In fact, the opposite is true. She cheated on Bill… and she cheated with Bill on her first ex husband. So, generally speaking, I don’t want to do songs about homewrecking hussies. There are other topics that are off limits, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head right now.

But anyway, although I can think of other songs James Taylor has done that I’ve liked better, I decided to do his version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, because that song has become a Christmas staple, even though it’s not really a Christmas song. And yesterday, we had snow, which is not so normal in Germany anymore. After I uploaded that song, I decided to do another… Below is my take on Ella Fitzgerald’s version of “I Get a Kick Out of You.” I think it turned out okay, although I’d rather do Dinah Washington’s version, which is a little more upbeat and has a great horn solo. But there are no backing tracks available for Dinah’s version yet, so I was stuck with Ella’s.

I had to learn the first part of this, since I’d never heard it before…

I physically felt a lot better after I did these songs, by the way… even though it took forever to get them uploaded. Our Internet has been very slow lately.

I was doing well until this morning, when I woke up to answer the call of nature, and checked the Internet. There, I was confronted with a scary YouTube video about pancreatic cancer. I do have some of the symptoms, but my guess is that I have gallstones. I think that because if I had cancer, I’d probably be dead by now. Or, at least I’d be a lot sicker than I am. Anyway… sooner or later, I’m probably going to have to deal with this problem. Or, it will deal with me… 😀

I don’t want to be a v-logger. I don’t want to ruin the vibe of my YouTube channel by speaking. Because when I talk, I tend to say way too much. My “slice of life” in Germany quips would probably not be lighthearted and jolly anecdotes that make people feel good. I really think I’m better off just singing. And if you want to know more about me than that, you can always read my blog… and get a lot more than you ever bargained for.

I’ll tell you something else… when I make recordings, I tend to focus a lot on making the recording and not messing up. If I have to talk, too, then the song part will be less “perfect”. I know perfection generally isn’t possible, but I like to get as close to it as I can.

This all being said, I won’t necessarily rule out the guy’s suggestion. I never thought I’d actually appear in my videos, and yet, here I am. It took awhile before I felt confident enough to be on camera, but now it’s no big deal. And I mainly go on camera now, because it’s easier than making videos with photos, and people tend to watch the videos I’m actually in. So, I guess I’m not ugly to look at… in spite of drive-by assholes who occasionally drop by with mean spirited comments.

Well, yesterday, we put a new feather topper on our bed, so I may need to adjourn so I can enjoy it some more, having risen at 4:00 AM. Gonna practice my guitar and get on with the day. Perhaps I’ll be back tomorrow.