blog news, condescending twatbags, dogs, rants, travel

Home again, and glad of it!

Here’s a quick post before I delve into blogging about our most recent trip to the Schwarzwald. Bill and I got home about 45 minutes ago, after a relatively peaceful drive back to Wiesbaden. Today is German Reunification Day, so almost everything is closed. The posts are open, though, so Bill has gone to the commissary to buy some food for tonight. The weather cleared up just as we were leaving Baiersbronn. What a shame we’re missing it, because there were some things I would have liked to have done, had there not been rain.

We still managed to have a good time. It was restful in the Black Forest, and it’s always a pleasure to visit. I often feel twinges of regret and bittersweetness when we’re down there, since we lived in that area for about four years. It’s too bad we left living in that area with a rather bad taste in our mouths, thanks to our lawsuit against our former landlady. But at least we can visit, and enjoy how pretty it is. Living there introduced us to some nice areas that we can now justify booking stays in when we go see our dentist in Stuttgart.

As for the Bareiss Hotel… it really is a lovely place and we had a good time. We spent a good chunk of change, but it was significantly less than what we would have spent on a cruise. And since we were there with our car, we could easily get around and not be a captive audience. Not that we really took advantage of that. Thanks to the rain, we stayed pretty close to the hotel grounds.

Bill and I both had a lot of weird dreams while we were at the hotel. I think it’s because we were both worried about Arran. I really hope he’s okay. We’ll find out tonight.

I woke up at about 3am this morning, needing to go to the bathroom. When it was over, I was wide awake, so I went on Facebook… That was a mistake. On Saturday, we had a really nice lunch at the hotel. I had fresh trout, which was absolutely delicious. However, because it’s Europe, the whole fish is served. Several people left disgusted comments on the photo I shared. I let the first couple roll off my back somewhat, but then someone said it looked like someone had thrown up on the plate.

I guess the heart means we’re going home… because that’s where the heart is.

My response was an angry reaction, and the comment “That is not nice.”

The person doubled down with more “‘yucking’ on my ‘yum'”, so I posted “Can y’all who don’t like this picture of my delicious, fresh, trout lunch just keep scrolling or X out the photo, rather than leaving negative comments? Some you are being quite rude.”

To their credit, the person did apologize and delete the comment. Of course, by then I’d already seen it and felt irritated about it. And then I just deleted the photo, because I didn’t want to read and feel the need to respond to any more inappropriate comments about it.

I hated to have to make that statement, and I’m sure some people would call me “overly sensitive” for being annoyed about that, but I was already irritated because I couldn’t sleep. I just don’t see the need to leave those kinds of negative comments. Some people were enjoying seeing what we were eating at the hotel, and obviously, I like fresh trout. I don’t necessarily like looking at the eyes and the tail either, but the alternative is a decapitated fish. In any case, a fresh trout decoratively covered in almonds, tomatoes, and lemon is in no way reminiscent of vomit. And even if it was, there’s really no need to say so. I was delighted by the fresh trout, so posting that it looked like puke is basically insulting my taste. I don’t like looking at mushrooms on Facebook, but other people do. I simply X out the photo and move on. It’s not hard to do… moreover, the person who made that comment has put up photos that I have not commented on, but surely could say plenty of rude things about if I were a less considerate person.

Maybe it’s my fault, though. I can be inappropriate sometimes. Some people probably think it’s okay to say whatever they want to me. Anyway… I’ll probably bitch more about this in the travel blog, so I’ll stop now.

For now, I’ll just say it’s good to be home… and it’ll be so good to see the dogs again. I hope Arran will set our minds at ease, but if he doesn’t, at least we can take care of him and make him more comfortable.

I’m grateful that we got a few days away, though. We needed them. And there are plenty of world events I’m ready to opine about in the coming days. So now, if you want to read about our trip, come over to the travel blog. That’s where the story will be, starting today. I hope you’re there for it.

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blog news, travel

Today was a day of rest…

Yesterday, Bill and I had some grand plans to drive out and maybe do some hiking to waterfalls. I have been missing them, since we moved to Hesse a few years ago. But we woke up to steady rain, and it continued for most of the day. We might have gone back to the pool, but I figured there would be a lot of kids there. So we left the room long enough to give housekeeping a chance to tidy up, then we had lunch. After lunch, we came back to the room and I took a long nap.

Tonight, there was a gala dinner that consisted of many courses. All of the ladies were presented with roses, hence the vase of water that was mysteriously placed in our room. The men all got chocolates. Dinner is over now, so we’ll probably go to bed early. We were up late last night after many cocktails.

I hope tomorrow, the weather is nicer, so we can enjoy the area before we leave on Monday. I have really missed our dogs, especially since this is a very dog friendly hotel. Ours would probably make too much noise, though. I am ready to see them. I’ve been worried about Arran, but we haven’t gotten any alarming emails from the Hundepension.

Bill has to go away a couple of times in October for work, which distresses me, since Arran has lymphoma. Other than the James Taylor concert in November, we have nothing else planned. Not even for our 20th wedding anniversary.

It has been nice to get away… but it’ll be good to be home. Every day, we run up more of a bill. 😉

I look forward to writing the story of this trip on my much neglected travel blog.

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blog news, condescending twatbags, politics, stupid people

Been reading some stuff that makes me want to blog, but…

I’m trying to relax, now that the dentist visit is over. In six months, we’ll go back, and the dentist will refill my baby tooth, which is probably going to disintegrate very soon. Then I’ll get an implant.

I read some news about Putin, and about the MAGA assholes in the USA who want to destroy the country and turn it into Gilead Jr. If I were at home, I’d be writing about that. But I am still in the beautiful Schwarzwald, and I need to relax and enjoy it. This winter could be tough, and this may be the last time we can do something like this for awhile…

I gotta say, it really pisses me off that the world went through COVID shit for two years, and now we have a bunch of autocratic idiots running amok, wanting to take over the planet. It’s infuriating. Putin is illegally trying to annex parts of Ukraine, and fuckheads like Matt Gaetz are openly talking about overthrowing the government. It’s absolutely insane!

I am starting to really despise this version of the Republican Party.

If you’re not on vacation and trying to relax, I strongly recommend watching this video and listening to Matt Gaetz. He’s a madman, and needs to be stopped. I wish people would wake up and do their part. This is what being obsessed with $1.89 gas and forced birthing gets us.

Anyway… that about does it for today’s check in. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll write a real post. Or maybe we’ll do something fun.

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blog news, dogs

My Sunday “mental health” day with Bill and the dogs…

I decided to take yesterday off from writing, mainly because last week was pretty emotional. A week ago, we learned that our beloved Arran has lymphoma, and will likely be leaving us soon. The fact that Arran has cancer isn’t necessarily a shock, nor is it a shock that he will eventually leave us, especially since he’s between 13 and 14 years old. This is something that happens to every living thing at some point. But the timing of this is tough, since we’re going out of town on Wednesday and returning next Monday, and then Bill has to go on a couple of business trips. Arran saw the vet Friday, and they did more blood work. Some of his values actually improved since last month’s tests. But I can feel his lymph nodes getting larger, and he just wants to rest all the time. Except, of course, when it’s walk time. He does still enjoy his walks, and he will still eat, as long as we offer something tastier than plain kibble.

We also had rainy weather yesterday, which made going out kind of unappealing. Bill ended up making brownies and I downloaded some new software, which I was trying out yesterday. I also couldn’t think of anything to write about. Or, maybe there were things to write about, but I couldn’t be arsed to write about them yesterday. Instead, I just wanted to hang out with Bill and my dogs. Arran is such a unique character– complex on so many levels. He is selfish, cranky, and possessive, yet so loving, loyal, and sweet. So yes, it’s been hard to realize that our time with him is going to be ending in the near future.

We did go out on Saturday. Finally saw the optometrist, and updated our prescriptions, which we really needed to do. Wiesbaden had two fests going on, so we walked around those, and had some lunch. The featured photo is from the Fall Fest, which is always fun, especially since, for the past two years, we haven’t had it due to COVID-19.

I wish we could postpone our trip out of town, but to do so would mean losing a large bundle of cash and having to fight an insurance company to get reimbursed. Plus, we are engaging in some necessary business by visiting our dentist, and both Bill and I are in need of a change of scenery/break. I need one more than he does, since I don’t take business trips. Or… maybe I don’t need a break, in terms of life or death, but I really want one. This trip will be to a beautiful hotel with great food… I just hope we can enjoy it. We will be two hours from home, so if anything happens with the dogs while we’re out of town, it won’t be too hard to get back to them and take care of things.

As I was writing this, Arran came into the room. He used to get up when we did, but now he sleeps later. Generally, when the sun comes up, he saunters in and asks to go outside. He does his business and has his breakfast. Now he’s come back up here and parked himself behind my chair, where he’ll stay until he decides he wants a walk. It occurs to me this morning that nothing has really changed, other than knowing that his time is limited now. But actually, that would be true in all cases, since we never know when we’ll die. According to Embark, Arran canine age is the equivalent of a person in their mid 90s. But, for someone in their 90s, he still gets around pretty well, in spite of the lymphoma. He’s still gorgeous, too.

I think Noyzi can tell Arran is ailing. For one thing, dogs have a fantastic sense of smell, and we give off different scents when we’re sick. I’m sure that’s true for animals, too. And there’s a different energy, too. Arran isn’t as cranky when Noyzi is around, although he hasn’t completely stopped barking at him when he gets too annoying. Noyzi also did something very interesting the other night. We had a rare thunderstorm, and Noyzi was obviously scared. He came down to the dining room, where Bill and I were, and sought comfort. At first he came to me, because he prefers women to men. But then, he crawled under the table, which is usually Arran’s domain. Then he stuck his head on Bill’s lap, looking up at him hopefully, as if to ask him for reassurance. That was the first time he’s ever done that, and it’s a big sign that he trusts Bill. Given that he used to pee submissively when Bill would take off his belt, this is a HUGE deal.

Noyzi needs comforting.

The vet thinks Arran will be fine while we’re gone, if not a bit less energetic and hungry than usual. When we get back, he’ll have another appointment, and she’ll decide whether or not to give him prednisone. Having seen what prednisone did for both Zane and MacGregor, two of our dogs who have since gone to the Rainbow Bridge, I think it would be helpful for Arran. I don’t think we’ll do chemo for him… but that decision will be final when we learn what type of lymphoma he has. I hate this, though. I feel like we should be doing more, even though Arran doesn’t seem to be in any serious distress right now.

I also spent yesterday plowing through my latest book. I will probably be ready to review it tomorrow, as it’s not a long book, and I’ve managed to get a lot of it read in a couple of sittings. I’ve even been reading it aloud to Bill, since it’s about Donald Trump, and Trump intrigues and disgusts him as much as he does me. Maybe I’ll even review it today, since I don’t have any pressing chores to do. We’ll see…

I did have a chance to record a new song yesterday. It will eventually be used in a new video that will be posted at a later date. And here is a video I made today, but this one is not the one I did yesterday.

A deep cut Carpenters tune from 1971.

Sometimes, one just needs a day to do nothing that requires a lot of brain power. I can’t say that I didn’t do anything yesterday, since I did buy new software and try it out, and I did so some recording. But it was good to take a day off of blogging. I don’t think anyone minds… or even really noticed. This is especially true since I disabled the Facebook page. I obviously had people who were following the page without officially following it, looking for new posts. While it would be nice to have more readers, I’m pretty happy with having some high quality folks reading and commenting, and not looking for a reason to be negative. There’s a definite downside to popularity.

Anyway… I don’t have anything else to add to this post. Maybe I will later. Like I said, I don’t have pressing chores to do today.

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blog news, book reviews, celebrities, LDS, mental health

Then again, maybe I won’t… at least not today.

At the end of yesterday’s post, I shared two videos by Mr. Atheist. On those videos, Jimmy Snow, aka Mr. Atheist, reacted to videos put out by anti-abortion activist, Kristan Hawkins. I watched the videos and cringed pretty hard. I thought maybe I would offer my own thoughts on them today, but I think that maybe I’ll postpone that plan. I had written I would comment on them if people were interested. It seems that no one was… or, at least no one is at this point in time. And frankly, I just don’t feel like writing about Kristan Hawkins today. I don’t think I can stomach listening to her talk about why abortions should be outlawed in all cases. Besides, Jimmy already does a pretty good job of explaining why Kristan’s opinions are wrong.

Nope. Today, I think I’d rather write about the book I’m reading right now. I’m finding it much more compelling than I did my previous book, The Case for Heaven, which really didn’t interest me much at all. I was glad to finish Lee Strobel’s book about what comes after death. I moved on to my favorite type of book– a celebrity memoir. I’m currently reading Jennette McCurdy’s new book, I’m Glad My Mom Died. The title alone is very compelling, isn’t it? You just KNOW there’s gonna be a trainwreck.

Meet Jennette McCurdy… she is fascinating.

I’m not quite ready to review this book yet, as I’m only about halfway through it. What I will say for now is that Jennette McCurdy’s story reminds me a little of Melissa Francis’s book, Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir. Melissa Francis is, of course, much older than Jennette McCurdy is, but the two have a lot in common. They both suffered stage mothers from hell. Both were actresses, not necessarily because they wanted to be, but because their mothers wanted them to be. Both suffered extreme abuse on all levels. I think Melissa’s mom was more sadistic, while Jennette’s mom was more manipulative and emotionally abusive. Also, to my knowledge, Melissa’s mom is still living, while Jennette’s mom succumbed to breast cancer in 2013.

Before I bought her book, I didn’t even know who Jennette McCurdy is. I’m well beyond the years of watching new Nickelodeon shows– not that the show she was famous for is all that new anymore. Jennette was on iCarly, but she also did guest roles on other shows, commercials, and other stuff. McCurdy’s story is also interesting to me because, besides being raised LDS, she also had problems with eating disorders (which her mother enthusiastically encouraged), anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The chapters are very short, so even though I’m only halfway through the book, I’ve already gotten to chapter 44 or so. And each chapter is more shocking than the last, as McCurdy shares the sheer nuttiness of her mother, the craziness of being a child actress, her mental health issues, and the religion aspect that complicates everything. The crazy thing is, she NEVER even wanted to be an actress. She just happens to have a talent for acting, and her narcissistic mother exploited it to the hilt.

I have never been LDS myself, but Bill was LDS for awhile. His daughter is still a very active church member, and the LDS church– which was Ex’s idea– has had an impact on my life. I know a lot about the church, its practices, and what its members believe. However, I have never been a member, nor would I ever be one. McCurdy seems to have gotten a lot of comfort from church when she was growing up. I relate to that, because I know Bill’s daughter has also gotten comfort from the church when things were especially crazy as she was growing up. In some ways, I also see a lot of similarities between the way Ex behaves, and the way Jennette’s mother did. She is extremely manipulative, possessive, controlling, and just plain weird. But I’ll get more into that when I review the book, which at the rate I’m going, should be within the next few days. I’m finding the book a real page turner, but in kind of a trainwreck sort of way. I’m simultaneously fascinated by the story and horrified by what this poor young woman had to cope with when she was a child.

I know some people will take issue with the title… It sounds horrible. However, I can totally understand why she used that title. Her mother sounds like she was true nightmare to have to deal with. For just an example– imagine your mother sending you dozens of emails, text messages, and voice messages after she’s seen pictures of you on TMZ, taken by a paparazzo. You are an adult, in Hawaii with your boyfriend, but you feel you have to lie to your mother about where you are. You come up with a ruse to trick her, only to have it foiled by a photographer, hungry for a sale. Your mom sends you all manner of abuse, accusing you of giving her cancer, bringing her shame, and calling you things like “filthy whore” and “all used up”. Then, as she signs off with “love”, she adds a P.S.– “Please send money for a fridge. Ours broke, and the yogurt is going sour.”

Imagine your mother explaining how to engage in eating disordered behaviors when you’re still a child, in the midst of becoming a woman. Imagine being fourteen years old and still sitting in a booster seat in the car. Imagine your mother insisting on showering you when you’re sixteen, sometimes also with your brother; her excuse is that she’s a former beautician and wants to make sure you wash your hair “correctly”, so it will impress a casting director. Imagine your mom using your money to pay the mortgage, and being forced to sleep on a mat in the dining room, because the bed you purchased for yourself is covered in your mother’s miscellaneous crap.

I know that Melissa Francis and Jennette McCurdy aren’t the only ones with stage mothers from hell. Wil Wheaton has also spoken openly about his own abusive, money hungry, fame whoring parents, who forced him to act when he didn’t want to do it. I’ll probably read his book next, since it’s been in the queue for awhile, and it will probably dovetail nicely with I’m Glad My Mom Died. I love a good tell all memoir, especially when it involves questionable parenting. Shirley MacLaine’s daughter, Sachi Parker, wrote a pretty good one some years ago. It seems the kids who grew up in show business had it the worst, especially in the days before child welfare advocacy was less of a thing than it is today. If a parent was also a celebrity, then the chances for massive dysfunction go up exponentially. Christina Crawford started it when she wrote Mommie Dearest, but there have been some real whoppers since her book was published in 1978. Gary Crosby wrote a pretty shocking book, too.

Anyway… I am looking forward to finishing the book and writing a review of it. I think it will be interesting on many levels to several of my regular readers, as well as new ones who haven’t found my blog yet. So stay tuned. I’ll sign off now and get back to reading.

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