Yesterday, the weather was predictably nasty. Bill decided to take the dogs for a quick walk before the rain started in earnest. As he was walking along the main drag, Arran decided to drop a load. Bill was stooped over picking up the mess when a “scraggly” looking guy passed. Just as Bill finished cleaning up the poop, Arran took a couple of steps and cocked his leg on a cement pillar that formed part of an archway.
The scraggly guy turned and said, in German, that letting the dogs pee on structures isn’t a good thing to do. Bill said, “Ja, ja.” and went on about his day. Then he came back home and stewed about the encounter for awhile. Bill is unusually conscientious and takes public rebukes to heart. I could tell he was upset about that confrontation. I can’t blame him for that. I hate it when random people speak to me, particularly when they really need to fuck off and mind their own business.
For some reason, it seems like Bill runs into people like this more than I do. So I told him I thought he should develop R.B.F.
You know what that is, right?
I posted about it on Facebook, and my friend Meryl wrote, “Huh?”
Resting Bitch Face. I think Bill should develop one.
One of my other longtime friends who, I guess, is often shocked by the things I say and write, commented that she was grateful that someone asked what R.B.F. is so she wouldn’t have to. I thought it was self-explanatory. I have a pretty good R.B.F. myself. I think a lot of women develop one so they won’t be harassed by men. Seriously, if you look unpleasant and unapproachable, most people will leave you alone. It’s a great defense mechanism. Today’s featured photo is an example of one of my MANY R.B.F.s. Actually, in that photo, I was pretty pissed off.
As Bill was telling this story, I was cracking up. I told him he should have pulled out his Schwanz and taken a piss, too. It’s not like we haven’t seen dozens of European men peeing in public, although they don’t typically do it on busy thoroughfares. But the weather is so chilly that it would have meant instant shrinkage. We’re talking a stack of dimes shrinkage. Bill isn’t that bold, anyway.
I usually try not to let Arran pee on buildings, though, mainly because I don’t enjoy being confronted by random people about my dog’s natural toileting habits. Arran peed on that pillar because many other dogs have peed there. That’s like the community bulletin board for dogs. They go by and leave their urinary calling cards for all of the other dogs in the neighborhood. It’s Arran’s way of saying “Arran wuz here.”
The one time anyone German (other than ex landlady) ever spoke to me about my dogs’ potty habits was pretty positive. I was walking Zane and Arran through the field near us and one of the dogs pooped near a wood pile. I was cleaning up the pile when a guy drove up in his truck. He had a look on his face that told me I was about to be confronted. I immediately got nervous, because I figured the guy was going to yell at me. Then I realized that the look on his face wasn’t one of annoyance. In fact, he looked amazed and appreciative.
The man explained in German that people were regularly letting their dogs go potty by his wood pile, but they usually just leave their dogs’ piles of crap there. So he was delighted to catch me cleaning up after my dogs and was offering thanks. That was a memorable experience and every time I pass that woodpile, I remember it with a smile.
Hearing Bill relate that story also reminded me of a funny memory from several years ago, when we visited Rome. We were wandering around the city and happened to pass a church, where a homeless looking guy was sitting on the steps, drinking a beer. Another man was passing and shamed the homeless looking dude for drinking on the church steps. The street person did not seem affected by the shaming. He casually raised his bottle as if to offer a sip to the guy who had just yelled at him. It was pretty funny.
As I sit here writing this, I’m reminded of how much I miss traveling and interacting with people. We have had so many funny things happen to us, especially in Europe. Like, for instance, the time we were in a Seville restaurant drinking wine. A bum came in begging for spare change. This guy was pretty ballsy and had a sense of humor. He was very persistent about begging for change, and I was a bit drunk. The bum and I ended up engaging in a really funny exchange, so at my prompting, Bill gave the guy a euro or two. Then I told him to beat it.
I really hope this COVID-19 crisis eases up soon so we can have some fun again. It’s pretty sad when a random encounter with a German guy over dog whiz results in a blog post. I miss creating memories. Hell, it’s almost time for President’s Day, which is typically a long weekend we use for traveling to other places. Last year, we went to France. It’s also Fasching season, which usually means there will be festivals involving costumes, drinking, and partying in the streets. In 2019, we even got mooned while eating in a restaurant! But not this year. 🙁
We can’t go anywhere or celebrate Carnival, because everything is locked down. I guess the one consolation is that the weather is positively shitty right now and will be so for probably another week to ten days, at the very least. So another precious long weekend gets lost to the stupid virus. At least we have Noyzi here to provide some fun. And at least we live in a comfortable home, in a neighborhood where people are generally nice and leave us alone. I don’t have to employ my R.B.F. very often in these parts. I guess I have to take my victories wherever I can find them.
I’m reposting this article from my old blog. It originally appeared on August 10, 2018. I’ve decided to share it again as/is because it makes me laugh.I think we need a laugh, and I don’t feel like writing about the usual stuff today.I might do that anyway, because something is bound to irritate me… but here’s an alternative post for those who are sick of the usual 2020-21 topics. This was truly a WTF moment for me.
I had a “rude awakening” this morning. You know that expression, “rude awakening”? People often say it when someone is about to face reality in an unpleasant and unexpected way. Well, that’s not the type of rude awakening I had. I literally had a “rude awakening”… as in, someone rudely accused me of being rude and offensive!
Last night, just before I went to sleep, a Facebook friend who does stand up comedy posted this.
I don’t usually play along with these things, but decided to this time… perhaps it was my mistake.
So here was my response, which several people “liked”.
I didn’t think this was offensive. Given our president’s penchant for affairs and grabbing women by the pussy, I thought it was spot on.
Imagine my surprise this morning when someone called me out for being “rude and offensive”. Have a look.
Well, it’s not the first time someone has called me rude and offensive, but I was truly puzzled by this…
I gave some thought to going off on this guy, especially since it was about 5:00am and I hadn’t yet had my coffee. Fortunately for him, I was sitting on the toilet, which gave me a few minutes to compose my thoughts. Below was my response.
This was actually much nicer than the first response that came to mind.
Then, the guy came back with a response I never in my wildest dreams would have come up with, even on my most random thinking day. Behold…
Thanks for mansplaining this for me. I clearly never would have made the connection.
Honestly, I was baffled by this response. Yes, I am old enough to know who Ryan White was. He was my age and, when he died at 18 years old, was already 100 times the man Donald Trump is. Moreover, while he did have a infection that can be transmitted sexually, White did not himself contract AIDS sexually. He was a hemophiliac who received weekly blood transfusions to treat his condition. Unfortunately, he received blood that was tainted with the virus that causes AIDS, and that’s why he got sick.
Ryan White made headlines because he wanted to keep attending school. People in his community were ignorant about how AIDS is spread and fought to keep him out. White very bravely kept fighting and educating, and he eventually died a hero among my peers. I have tremendous respect for Ryan White. I have zero respect for Donald Trump. They are completely different people. In fact, Trump probably would have been squarely on the side of the people who wanted White banished from school. To bring Ryan White into a discussion about Donald Trump is, in my mind, the height of bad taste and offensiveness.
I never in a million years would have ever thought of Ryan White as being the reason I shouldn’t crack jokes about STIs. Even if Ryan White had contracted AIDS sexually, I just plain wouldn’t have made the connection. To be honest, I was initially very offended that this random stranger would make this kind of comment to me, a person he doesn’t know from Adam. But, once again, I fought the urge to write a nasty response. Instead, I posted this.
And he posted this…
Dude, I could have “thought” all day and never come up with the Ryan White/Donald Trump connection… That’s just a little “out there”, in my opinion. But thank you for the suggestion and the chastising.
I think it’s funny that as this conversation was occurring, I was actively thinking about what I was going to post. I really wanted to tell him off in an epically snarky way, but held off on doing that because I got the feeling he’s not your usual Internet troll.
And then I decided to add a suggestion of my own.
Wise counsel? I hope some people have learned from Trump’s White House fiasco.
I must admit that I was curious about this man. I wanted to know what made him call me out for insinuating that Donald Trump should have a sexually transmitted infection named after him. I went to his Facebook page and found it wide open, with a hodgepodge of odd public videos, YouTube videos of himself, and posts lamenting about cyberbullies and how miserable his life is.
It appears that some people have had a go at this dude, sending him mean-spirited private messages. And even though I did not engage him first, I guess he equated me with the Internet meanies for making a joke about Trump and STIs. Obviously, I didn’t do enough thinking about how Ryan White and Donald Trump have things in common.
Of course, I have no way of knowing what will offend people, especially those I don’t know. He took offense at my generic comment about our current White House occupant, but failed to realize that his very personal comment accusing me of being rude and offensive was much worse. After all, we don’t even know each other.
I am glad I didn’t give in to my initial impulse to blast him. Even though I think his comment about Ryan White is completely ridiculous, it appears that he’s troubled. I don’t know what his issues are, and I wish we hadn’t crossed paths, but I don’t want to cause him pain. I am a bit surprised that he wasn’t upset about another suggestion that appeared in response to that meme…
I mean, this seems more offensive to me than suggesting an STI named after Trump… but, like I always say, you never know what will shake the nuts from the trees.
This is what inspired the comment about monuments to fucking daughters…
Edited to add: The above comment was posted by a different person who was responding to the original meme, not to me. No one is in any danger or being threatened– the “daughter” referred to in the comment is Ivanka Trump and the comment refers to Donald Trump’s statements about how he’d want to date her. The person who posted that is referring to a hypothetical monument named after Donald Trump. It’s just tasteless political humor. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer about that.
Anyway… I think he will go on my block list so I don’t offend him again. Who’s got the time for that shit?
I don’t have much to write about today. I wrote about how we spent yesterday on the travel blog, so if anyone is interested in that, click here. Other than that, I just have one more thing to write about, and that is the mighty Queen Elizabeth II and her annual Christmas speech.
I never used to consider myself an Anglophile, even though my earliest memories are of England. As I’ve gotten older and have had a chance to visit my ancestral homeland a couple of times, I find myself more appreciative of England and its immediate environs, to include Ireland, even though Ireland is definitely not England.
This morning, my ex shrink, who is now a friend, shared Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas message. I decided to watch it, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t moved to tears by it. Queen Elizabeth still looks fantastic, and I am awed by her fortitude and attitude of service. She’s 94 years old!
After I watched this video over breakfast, I sat at the table sniffing back tears. At the end of the Queen’s speech, there’s a lovely version of “Joy To The World” sung by NHS workers that made me all weepy. The older I get, the more scenes like this make my heart fill with emotion. It’s nice to be able to cry because I’m moved, instead of because of someone or something hurting me. I love the way the Brits celebrate tradition and pomp and circumstance, and I love the music and humor of Britain. It makes sense that I’d love the Brits, though, since I would have been a Brit if my people hadn’t moved to America. They’re kind of my people.
Then Bill showed me the very cool and pointed “deep fake” version done by Channel 4. Bill earned a master’s degree in cybersecurity a couple of years ago, so he’s particularly interested in this stuff… I thought it was brilliantly done, although I’ve heard that the folks who made it got some flak. It’s a good reminder, though, that things are not always as they seem, especially online.
It’s pretty scary how technology has made it possible to alter messages and create disinformation. I, for one, plan to keep this in mind in 2021. Well done, Channel 4! They managed to make this valuable and entertaining message without being mean spirited or preachy. And yes, I laughed after the Queen made me cry.
And if you’re interested in seeing how this was done, check out the video below!
Hopefully, in 2021, there will be some sense of normalcy restored. Until then, I’ll keep following Queen Elizabeth II. She’s a wonderful lady and I admire her very much.
The weirdness of the past nine months are starting to get to me somewhat. Last night, I was feeling “cheeky”, as the Brits would say. Although I haven’t personally suffered as much as a lot of people have, I have been feeling kind of “tense” lately. Little things bug me more than they might usually, not that I’m a particularly laid back person to start with.
I always get a bit nutty during the holidays. When I was growing up, the holidays were always fraught with expectations that were never quite met. As I became an adult, the holidays became downright unpleasant. For several years, my eldest sister hosted our family gatherings in her house. I can remember a lot of fights with my sisters and tense moments with my parents, especially my dad.
The last time I spent Christmas with my family of origin was in 2003, just after my sister Sarah had her son, who turned out to be the last grandchild. Imagine that. My parents had four girls. You’d expect there would have been a lot of grandkids for them. But nope… My sister Betsy had two kids, a girl and a boy, Becky never married, Sarah had a son, and Bill and I couldn’t have kids thanks to his vasectomy. The older I get, the more I think that might have been a blessing. Family life has become surreal these days. I feel kind of divorced from mine.
Add in the shitshow that 2020 has been, and this year’s holiday season is even weirder than usual. So I had a good laugh when I ran across a funny video by Sandy and Richard Riccardi, a talented couple on YouTube and Facebook who make funny parodies of popular songs. A lot of their material is political, but sometimes they do songs about common situations that come up in everyday life. I think the first song I ever heard by this funny duo was a song called “Unfriend Me”…
Since Trump came on the scene, this couple has come out with some very amusing songs about him, as well as some of the current events that affect everyone. I like a lot of their stuff, but I don’t always love what they do. Like, for instance, I wasn’t a big fan of this song…
To be clear… I get that the masks are necessary for now. I’m just really fed up with some how people feel emboldened to constantly clobber people over the head about them. I hate the aggressive, belligerent, and obnoxious hashtags, and in your face slogans like, “Wear a damn mask!”. I don’t think those types of messages are helpful. They certainly don’t inspire respect or compliance.
Yesterday, I was reading a Facebook thread started by true crime author Kathryn Casey, who wrote that she had sent away a couple of maskless workers who had come over to do work on her house. The workers mocked Casey’s husband when he asked them to wear masks while they were working. A thread ensued, in which people were congratulating Casey for sending away the maskless workers and hiring a different company. Casey’s choice to fire the workers would have been alright with me, but accompanying those comments were others that were hostile and aggressive. One lady wrote about how she was tired of how non mask wearers were so “belligerent”. Then she wrote, “Wear a damn mask or stay home!”
Another lady wrote that she was tired of people telling her to “wear a damn mask or stay home.” She explained that she has an eating disorder, lives in a remote area where grocery delivery is unavailable, and has a medical problem that prevents her from wearing a mask. None of her friends or family have offered to help her, so she’s been having to deal with people getting up in her face about her lack of a mask for what, I assume, is a real medical problem.
A third woman came along and, in a rather haughty, holier than thou tone, asked what the woman’s medical problem was. She included a news article (which is what everybody seems to use to cite their points these days) and claimed, per the news article, that there are very few medical problems that actually prevent a person from wearing a mask. This woman added that maybe she could see it if the woman with the eating disorder had a burn on her face or something. But otherwise, she felt the lady with the eating disorder was full of shit– despite not knowing her or her personal situation.
I couldn’t restrain myself from commenting. I feel like a lot of people aren’t really giving this issue much consideration. If I sit here and think about it, I can think of several medical problems that might make wearing a mask difficult or impossible for some people. Just off the top of my head, I’m remembering the two men I’ve met at different times in my life who were literally missing parts of their ears and had trouble using their hands due to injuries they’d sustained in wars. Then there are people who don’t hear well, have speech impediments or breathing problems, deal with severe anxiety or PTSD issues, or have trouble with their vision.
But most people don’t stop and consider people who really do have legitimate problems with wearing the masks. They just say, “Wear a damn mask!” If someone doesn’t or can’t comply, they think they are entitled to an explanation regarding another person’s private medical situation. And they think their opinions about another person’s circumstances have merit, and they are entitled to weigh in, even though they don’t know the other person from Adam and aren’t any more knowledgeable about the pandemic, or public health issues in general, than the average person is.
The “Wear a damn mask” slogan, in my opinion, is too aggressive. Those who truly don’t care about others will simply ignore it. Those who can’t comply will just feel worse than they need to about something beyond their control. And that harsh directive just adds to the overall dehumanized, dystopian, and downright creepy vibe in the air this year. It’s very depressing to me. Although personally, I don’t have it bad at all, I often think of the relatives I’ve recently lost and think they’re lucky to have escaped this living hell. The future seems bleak, and the constant anger and polarization only makes it worse. It makes me want to check out.
I can’t be the only one who feels like this, so I decided to respond to the woman with the eating disorder. I wrote that I was sorry she was having a hard time and I hoped it would get better for her. And I find it rich that people are complaining about belligerent “anti maskers” while they make aggressive demands like “Wear a damn mask!”, and aren’t willing to consider why people legitimately can’t or won’t wear a mask. I added that I won’t ask her what her health problems are, because they are none of my business.
Frankly, if I see someone who isn’t following the rules, I just stay away from them, if I can. I don’t automatically assume they’re selfish assholes. While I’m well aware that there are selfish assholes out there who simply don’t want to comply with the rules, it’s less depressing to me to assume the best about people whenever possible. Or, at least I like to tell myself that.
After that little exchange, I was feeling tense. But I ran across another funny, snarky song by the Riccardis. This one was called “Braggy Christmas Letter”. It had nothing to do with any of today’s most annoying and pervasive topics. I just thought it was funny, so I shared it.
I had a good laugh as I listened to this song. It reminded me of how, about fifteen years ago, I ran across a family Web site created by a Mormon doctor in Wyoming who, by all images, seemed to be living the perfect life. I remember this guy had every single braggy Christmas letter he’d ever written posted on his site. He’d been divorced, but he even included the letters he’d written while he was with his first wife. I remember sharing that site with people on RfM, who are very familiar with “braggy Christmas letters”. While I don’t think the Mormons have cornered the market on this particular habit, I do think churches that promote a “prosperity gospel” message– ie; if you’re doing really well financially, that means God is smiling on you– prompt certain religious people to send these types of Christmas messages, even if they’re stretching the truth. It’s the whole, smug “seriously, so blessed” vibe that, on the surface, may seem harmless, but can make other people feel really small and devalued.
I didn’t think the above video would be controversial, but somehow even the most innocuous things can become that way. Why? Because everyone is different and sees things differently. Apparently, some people like getting “braggy Christmas letters”. I’m sure they have their reasons for feeling that way. Maybe they genuinely like reading that others are “seriously, so blessed”, with expensive houses, fancy cars, perfect figures, and fat bank accounts. I guess they’re above the petty, snarky people who poke fun. Or they like to appear that way.
I don’t mind getting newsy letters that contain positive news, especially when they aren’t mass produced. But there’s a big difference between a friendly letter with happy news in it and a letter that seems meant to make other people feel insignificant and second rate. The letter Sandy Riccardi is singing is the latter type, and I can’t imagine being happy to receive one of those, especially if they come every year like clockwork. I wonder if the people who were being contrary on that thread actually listened to the song before they commented. Or maybe they just wanted to feed their own egos by being contrary and “above” the snark.
So I got even more tense and grouchy… and Bill, who is always game to make me laugh (and it’s not hard to do), said “You know, Oscar the Grouch never invites anyone to his trash can.”
To which I responded, “But I invited you, Bill. How do you like the smell?”
And then we both laughed.
There was a time when most people had real conversations with people face to face or, at least, on the phone. Nowadays, a lot of us connect via social media. That can lead to a host of communication problems that range from everything from misunderstandings to people feeling emboldened to be mean or smarmy because they’re behind a screen. Some folks also feel that social media is the best place for them to preach or “set a good example” for others to follow. I will admit that it’s annoying to me when people feel the need to check their neighbors and give them unsolicited “special help”. It makes me grouchy.
I don’t even wear a bra anymore. I figure people can deal with my sagging boobs as well as my wrinkles and jowls. It’s been a rough year.
A lot of people thought it was funny. But then I got this response, which sounded like something my mother might say…
I choose to care about my appearance because if I look good, I feel equally good!
(My mom did actually say that shit to me when I was a teenager, dirty and stinky from hanging out at the barn all day, or simply not wanting to dress up and put on my face. Mom likes wearing her makeup. I don’t. What can I say? People are different.)
So my response was…
Most of us are legitimately guilty of being smug sometimes, and inflicting our self-righteous, superior bullshit on others. Sometimes I do it myself, although I try to be conscious of it. I mean, you might say I did the same thing to the woman who was harassing the lady with the eating disorder about her reluctance to “wear a damn mask”. But I doubt the lady with the eating disorder will offer me a cookie, especially as I dwell in my trash can of grouchiness.
One last note: I think my landlord’s grandsons think I’m grouchy. They rang my doorbell yesterday while I was binge watching The Crown. I thought they were delivery people. I opened the door; the dog was barking; I wasn’t dressed; and they were speaking very quietly in German. I didn’t understand or even hear them very well, so I said I didn’t understand and closed the door.
In my defense, in Jettingen, I used to get visits all the time from all manner of people wanting to sell everything from many kilos of apples and potatoes to religion or charities. The visitors came in all shapes, sizes, and ages. I had not met my landlord’s grandchildren, so I didn’t know who they were.
They rang the bell again, and my landlord asked me if I wouldn’t mind fetching their ball, which had gone over the fence. I felt pretty bad, and I noticed that one of the boys was cowering under our front stoop. I got the ball and tossed it to my landlord. Then I noticed he’d left us a wheelbarrow full of firewood. Later, I spotted their ball in the backyard again and felt another pang of guilt. I guess the kids were too afraid to tell me the ball was back in my yard. I tossed it over the fence for them. Hope they find it.
I’m really not a bitch most of the time… I’m just on edge, as we all are. Hopefully, next year will be better.
I had quite a laugh the other day when I noticed a Facebook ad for Cameo. Have you heard of it? It’s a service where you can pay for a personalized video message from a celebrity. I first heard about it in the Duggar Family News Group because Jinger Duggar Vuolo had signed up for it. It looks like Jinger is not doing messages now, so I don’t know what her rate is. However, the Hoff’s messages are apparently quite pricey… For a message, one must pay 276 euros (about $300).
I never watched the Hoff on Knight Rider, although that was a very popular show when I was growing up. I do remember seeing him on Baywatch, although I wasn’t a regular viewer of that show. I most fondly remember seeing him on America’s Got Talent. He struck me as a major asshole on that show, but in an entertaining way. It was fun watching him go head to head with Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne, as well as certain contestants.
The Hoff was kind of handsome when he was young. I can’t deny that. But he kind of acts like Larry the Lobster, too. In fact, I bet Larry the Lobster on Spongebob Squarepants was fashioned after David Hasselhoff’s character, Mitch Buchanan, on Baywatch.
I have to admit that he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously in his Cameo ad, either. He’s standing there, holding one of those orange buoy thingies he always had on Baywatch. He’s seems friendly and laid back, and for $300 a pop, he’d damned well better be!
If I had $300 to throw away, maybe I’d be interested in talking to David Hasselhoff. But I think I’d rather watch videos of him on YouTube. He was a good sport on AGT last year, too.
Seriously, though… I guess he needs money and making videos on Cameo is a way to get some money. If you go on his Cameo page, you can see some samples of his “work”. I wonder if he’s ad libbing or someone has made a script. It looks a little like he’s reading. I played one for Bill and he said it sounded like maybe the Hoff was drunk. I don’t know that he was drunk, but he did sound a little bit stilted, like maybe he wasn’t his natural self. But then, who is among people from Hollywood?
Frankly, as a child of the 70s and 80s, I might get more excited about a Cameo from Larry Wilcox of CHiPs. I used to love that show. Also, Larry Wilcox reminds me of Bill. Erik Estrada is not on Cameo. Neither is Sharon Osbourne, although Jack Osbourne has a profile. I guess everybody has to eat. John Kassir of Tales From the Crypt is also on Cameo. I would be into getting a video from him, too! I loved that show, too! Shit– all of the best TV shows were on thirty years or more ago.
Barry Williams, of The Brady Bunch, is also on Cameo. I am a true Brady fan, but I actually met Barry once in the 1990s. He came to Longwood to talk about his book, Growing Up Brady. I remember thinking he was kind of phony, although I did enjoy his talk. I wonder if Vanilla Ice is on Cameo… (he’s not)… but Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall is! I love that show! Dave Foley is on Cameo, too!
Oh gawd, I’m going to be looking at this all day… which beats the hell out of looking at Facebook, doesn’t it? I guess, if anything, the Cameo videos show us that celebrities are people too… and a lot of them are weirder than you think they are.
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