musings, politics, silliness

Monday morning advice…

For those of you who don’t know me on Facebook, here’s a good tip for Monday.

And afterwards, please soap your hands.

As the weather gets cooler, I realize that there will soon be mornings when I couldn’t soap my arse if I wanted to. I suspect I have a touch of arthritis, and sometimes I wake up with decidedly less mobility than usual. It takes about an hour before my lower back stops seizing and I can soap my arse properly.

Incidentally, 23andMe recently updated my ancestry report. I went from being 70.8 percent British and Irish to 97.5 percent. My German heritage “disappeared”, as did my Swiss and Scandinavian heritage… and now I’m apparently a wee bit Finnish, Spanish, and/or Portuguese, with a trace of Native American (that bit didn’t change).

Actually, I can believe that I might have 97.5 percent British and Irish ancestry/DNA. I really look the part, even if I don’t have the accent. When I’ve been in the United Kingdom, people have stopped me and asked me for directions. And I always feel very much at home there. In fact, when we visited Mildenhall in 2016, I felt like I was at home in Gloucester, Virginia. It really looked like the town where I grew up– not exactly my birthplace, but close. Mildenhall happens to be the first place I ever lived during my lifetime that I remember well. Incidentally, Ancestry.com also recently updated its results and I came out as almost entirely Brit/Irish there, too. In fact, according to Ancestry.com, about half of my DNA is Scottish. I don’t know if I buy that, but again, I definitely fit the part.

I could spend all day listening to her. I see I’m not the only one. Supposedly, some of my people and Bill’s were from County Donegal. In fact, Bill and I ran into a “McCrossan” when we were last in that area. When I married Bill, I traded an English surname for an Irish one.

Lately, I’ve given some thought to going “home” again. It’s been six years… they have flown by, and I do kind of miss home to some extent. I don’t know that I care too much about seeing family. Maybe my mom…. she’s become a lot nicer to be around since my dad passed away. Taking care of Dad was stressful and my mom could become quite bitchy in the process. But now she’s funny and friendly, and we can speak freely about subjects like politics, mainly because we agree. Mom also swears. She doesn’t swear as much as I do, but she swears more than she did when my dad was around. My dad hated swearing. It was probably because his father used to swear and hearing coarse language reminded my dad of growing up being abused by his father.

She’s very clever.

But going home is not so easy right now, for many reasons. COVID-19 is the main one. So here I sit, listening to funny songs by an Irish woman and thinking about the old days, when I still felt at home in the United States. I do love Germany, though. I wish more Americans could see how things work in Europe.

My cousin shared some post about what would happen if Joe Biden is elected. Basically, he’s upset about the prospect of paying more taxes. I live in a country where people pay higher taxes. Some of the taxes are a bit ridiculous, I will admit. BUT– most people here live very well, despite paying higher taxes. They can afford to take vacations. They can afford to access higher education and go to the doctor when they are sick. Parents can take time off to take care of their babies for a year or more. Those who are ill can get affordable hospital care and take time off work to heal. In fact, employers expect it.

My German friend told me yesterday that five years ago, her health insurance paid for her to spend time in a rehab facility to help her learn how to cope with chronic pain. The only thing she had to pay for was materials for a handcrafting project. The rehab was intended to help those who couldn’t work due to a medical problem find ways to cope so that they can get back to being productive members of society. That, to me, seems a lot better than just telling people who fall on hard times to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, or worse, “tough luck”.

I understand that a lot of Americans don’t trust the government. They don’t like the idea of taking care of the whole community rather than just focusing on taking care of themselves and their families. And so, when someone dies, such as a different cousin’s husband did last week, we Americans often resort to measures like GoFundMe to pay for medical care and funerals.

Unfortunately, a lot of Americans are conditioned to pay obscene rates for medical care and funeral care. They don’t know anything different. They hate the idea of higher taxes that might go for paying for someone else’s well-being. They don’t understand that someday, they might need help themselves, and that money raised through taxes would theoretically be there for them, too.

Well… I don’t know how much longer we’ll be living the European dream. I do like it here a lot and have mostly assimilated, although my German definitely needs a lot of work. We don’t plan to stay here forever… but neither is a move back to the States in the cards at this point. I would like to wait until the virus settles down somewhat and Trump is no longer a threat to my blood pressure. I could write a lot about what I think of him… especially as the election looms and he does more drastic things to mess up democracy. But I don’t feel like ranting today. It’s rainy… dark and chilly outside. I’d rather focus on something cozier.

So, I hope you’ll all have a nice Monday and take Rosaleen’s advice to heart if you’re feeling a bit blue. Or, at least imagine yourself soaping your arse and slipping backwards over a rainbow. Maybe you’ll even crack a smile as wide as your asscrack.

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politicians, politics, Trump

“Twin bed Jed”… pro-life and pro-gun, and can’t hold a candle to his opponent, the queen…

I had a good laugh this morning as I read an admittedly fluffy news article about state politics in Arkansas. Jed Duggar, aged 21, is running for a Republican seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives. This young man with a cheesy grin and a soul patch, has taken on the Democrat incumbent, Dr. Megan Godfrey, who is 35 years old, a mom, and worked as a schoolteacher before she ran for office.

Jed, who sleeps in a twin bed in the same room as his twin, Jeremiah Duggar, is being slammed for calling Dr. Godfrey a “princess”. Godfrey’s young daughter, obviously astute like her mom, reportedly said “But Mama, you‘re the queen.” Indeed, Megan Godfrey is not only very smart and experienced, but she WAS also homecoming queen at the University of Arkansas. And she had a very witty retort for Twin Bed Jed.

You go, Megan Godfrey! I truly hope she kicks Jed’s ignorant ass.

Jed Duggar, on the other hand, is a graduate of the School of the Dining Room Table and says he wants to “grow jobs”, although he’s never had a job that didn’t involve working for his father. He’s been called out for accepting illegal campaign donations from a guy who lives in Louisiana, and his own dad, our very own Jim Boob, only donated $300 to his campaign, while some of his brothers and brothers in law each donated $500.

Jed never went to college and will never be pregnant, but he thinks he knows what’s best for women and wants to force pregnant women to give birth. He champions denying women the right to have abortions as he encourages people to buy weapons that may put already born people who have an actual concept of life and death at grave risk. Yep, he follows that well-known Republican mantra that the only lives that matter are those of the unborn. As Carlin said of Republicans, “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine. If you’re pre-school, you’re fucked.” Jed is following that observation to a tee. And as a Republican, Jed doesn’t support helping those pregnant women, especially once they’ve given birth.

“I grew up in Springdale all my life”… I don’t think the job is quite done yet, Jed. By the way, his channel has only 44 subscribers! That’s nineteen fewer than I have!

Sadly… the fact that Jed Duggar can’t hold a candle to his political opponent in terms of education, experience, and class is meaningless to a lot of people. He’ll get votes because he’s a young white man who is “pro-life” and “pro-gun”. He’s from a famous fundie family that is on reality TV. He’s somewhat good looking, I guess… the cheesy smile and relation to a notorious sex pest is somewhat of a turn off. But he’ll still get votes.

Many people don’t even care if a political candidate has any real experience. In fact, many people have no idea who or what they are voting for when they hit the booths. At least if you vote absentee, you can look up the candidates before you choose, right? Unless you’re fed up with Republicans and just vote straight blue, like I did. It isn’t the wisest strategy, since there are presumably decent people who are Republicans… but right now, I am super pissed off at the Republican Party for giving us Donald Trump and his ilk and voting blue is the only way I can make my point… besides writing another pointless blog post.

Moving on…

Something kind of funny happened yesterday. Thanks to the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases in Germany, Bill has decided to do his part to help stem the tide by working at home yesterday and today. At around lunchtime, I went down to the dining room and was looking at Facebook. A woman was asking about living in Stuttgart and taking care of the dog she was bringing. Since Bill and I spent six years living near Stuttgart, I responded to her.

I said, “I just advised a woman to…”

And Bill cut in with, “Fuck off?”

I had a good laugh. Obviously, it’s time I cleaned up my language! We’ve been married awhile, too, so he knows me well. But no, this time I didn’t use the f-word. I told the woman she should join Stuttgart Friends, which is a local Facebook group that has a lot of information for newcomers. It didn’t exist when we lived down there the first time (I actually joined Facebook when we lived in Germany the first time), and was the source of much irritation for me when we were in Stuttgart the second time. But it is a good place to learn about moving to Germany, and it’s also a good group to leave once you get the hang of things.

I do enjoy having Bill at home during the day. I’m glad we still get along so well, especially since our anniversary is coming up.

And… in fairness to Bill, I DID just tell one of his ex friends to go fuck himself. So I guess it makes sense that he thought I’d tell some random lady on social media to fuck off. But this time, I swear, I’m innocent!

As for Trump and the presidential debate… I missed it. I wouldn’t have watched it even if I had been in America and not sleeping while it was going on. It doesn’t matter what either of them say because I’ve already voted. If it weren’t so glaringly obvious to me that Trump needs to be ousted, I might have tuned in. But, in my mind, Trump’s time in the White House has been about four years of sheer embarrassment and foolishness, and I truly fear for the future if he wins again. The man is becoming more and more unhinged as the days pass and his followers are becoming more emboldened and entrenched in fascism.

I know not everyone agrees with me, but I think anyone who still supports Trump is some combination of crazy, stupid, and selfish. Sadly… there are many people like that in America who will keep voting for him and his ilk, so I’m steeling myself for what happens in November. But, at least Bill and I will celebrate another anniversary! Hopefully, I won’t tell anyone else to go fuck themselves.

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politicians, politics, true crime

Terrorism isn’t the answer.

This morning over breakfast, I read yet another news story about someone who is in trouble with the law for cyberstalking a public official. A 40 year old man from Virginia took it upon himself to threaten Tulsa, Oklahoma Mayor George T. Bynum. The Virginia man, name of Adam Maxwell Donn, sent dozens of menacing emails and made as many abusive phone calls to the mayor, warning him to cancel Donald Trump’s rally last June.

Donn implied to Mayor Bynum that harm would come to him and his family if he didn’t put a stop to the event. He also threatened to publish the official’s home address, cellphone numbers, and computer passwords. According to The New York Times:

“You are putting everyone in Tulsa at risk so Im gonna put your family at risk,” Mr. Donn wrote in one email, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tulsa. “Maybe show up to meet at your next bible study??”

The threats began on June 11th and police were summoned June 18th. In most of the emails Donn sent, there were vulgarities and insults. Donn wrote that he hoped Bynum and his family were infected with the coronavirus. The family eventually moved to a different location because they were so rattled by Donn’s continued harassment.

Trump’s planned rally event, held on June 20th, went on as scheduled. Most of the attendees dispensed with wearing face masks. We all know how that turned out for the unlucky among them who got COVID-19.

By now, a lot of people have already read about how six men in Michigan and Wisconsin, angry with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to shut down businesses due to COVID-19, plotted to kidnap her, try her, and leave her alone in a both in the middle of Lake Michigan. There was also discussion about kidnapping Virginia’s Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, who has similarly pissed off people over COVID-19 restrictions.

Just yesterday, a man in Maryland was arrested for plotting to kidnap and kill Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris. 42 year old James Dale Reed decided to leave a threatening note at a home in Frederick, Maryland which had many Biden signs in the front yard. Fortunately, the homeowners had a doorbell camera and managed to get a picture of the unhinged man, who now faces up to five years in prison for threatening a major political candidate. Reed’s note read, in part:

“We are the ones with these scary guns, we are the ones your children have nightmares about,”

And finally, a woman in Wichita, Kansas was arrested for threatening Wichita’s Democratic Mayor Brandon Whipple with kidnapping and murder. Meredith Dowty, aged 59, sent the mayor a descriptive and detailed note vowing to locate him, slit his throat, hang him and turn him into fertilizer.

Although I’m sure that threats against politicians aren’t anything new, especially during election years that involve changing the presidency, they seem to be a lot more widespread this year. People are decidedly unhinged. There are a lot of reasons for people to be on edge. We have a global pandemic that has been poorly handled, resulting in many thousands of deaths and even more people who are sick and may stay sick for a long time. We have a lot of people who are hungry and unemployed, and a president who doesn’t seem too concerned about them. At the same time, a group of people are fretting about the idea of a new president, who will roll do his best to roll back the changes brought forth by Trump.

I know a lot of people like Trump, for whatever reason. I’ve found that a lot of the people who like Trump the most are folks who can’t stand the idea of more taxation and what they see as “government overreach”. A lot of them are people who don’t travel. They don’t see a need to visit other places and see how other countries work. They believe the United States is as good as it gets. To them, that is reality, and Joe Biden represents changing something they think is the best. They ignore Donald Trump’s obvious shortcomings because they see him as the best way to change the country to what they think it should be, even if cheating, threatening, and outright sabotage is unfair and unAmerican.

While I personally believe that travel is the best way to erase prejudice and expand one’s perspective, I get that not everyone likes traveling. That’s fine. What isn’t fine is threatening to harm or kill people who are running for office because you think they’re a threat to your way of life. I understand the frustration that comes with the power public officials have. But is the satisfaction of threatening them really worth going to prison? Because those threats are going to be very difficult to carry out, especially when they are made against people like Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

2020 has definitely been a strange and somewhat horrible year. It hasn’t been entirely horrible for me, personally– but a lot of it has really sucked for many people. People are pissed off, fed up, and some are just plain mentally ill and have no way of getting any help or finding hope. So they lash out in extreme ways. I’m sure some of the people who have been arrested are not entirely bad people. They probably think, on some level, that making these threats are reasonable and even heroic. They might believe that stopping “evil” leaders from ruining the country is worth the risk of losing their freedom.

While I’m not at the point of desperation myself, I can empathize somewhat with how some people might be feeling right now. There have been times in my life when I’ve been broke and scared. I’ve been frustrated and felt like I’ve had no options. I’ve never gotten to the point of sending threatening letters to anyone, but I’ve definitely had fantasies. I think a lot of people have. But ultimately, I’ve always concluded that no person was worth going to prison. Besides, I am not a violent person. I’m just cranky.

I’ve heard from my friends and a few family members in the United States who tell me I’m lucky to be in Germany. I have to agree with that. It’s been great to be spared the political shitstorm that always spins this time of year and hits a fever pitch when the race includes new candidates for president. I’m sure it’s way worse this year than it’s ever been. I just think it’s a shame that people are sinking to threats, intimidation (vote for a certain candidate or you might lose your job), and outright efforts to cheat (burning collection boxes for votes). Those measures will not amount to anything good.

I think we should try to have more faith… I know it’s hard, given what happened the last time America voted for a new president. But taking matters into your own hands won’t work and may even land you behind bars. Take a deep breath and go do something that isn’t illegal. If you have to write a note, write one you’ll never send. Then burn it or delete it or otherwise destroy it. Terrorizing people isn’t the answer.

Unfortunately, I think that no matter who wins in November, things will probably get worse before they’re better. I have to admit, sometimes I think my cousin’s spouse, Dustin, was the lucky one getting to “peace out” a few days ago rather than continue to endure the weird dystopian times we’re in right now.

On the bright side, thanks to The New York Times, I just discovered jazz pianist, Keith Jarrett… but sadly, I discovered him because of an article about how he can’t play piano anymore due to recently suffering two strokes that have left him partially paralyzed on his left side. He can now only play piano with his right hand. His left hand can barely hold a cup of water. Sigh… well, at least I can listen to his older recordings, even if his days of making new music are probably over. That brings me a little bit of joy.

If you like jazz and don’t know Keith Jarrett, I recommend checking him out. He’s inspired me on many levels this morning… and in ways that are more positive and hopeful than sending threats to public figures. Lots of videos are on YouTube.

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condescending twatbags, politics, social media

Good riddance and GFY, “buddy”…

Today’s featured photo is a screenshot of signs seen posted in the United States. People are so delusional about Trump and his ilk. I don’t get it.

It always amazes me how quickly and easily people will sacrifice real life friendships and family relations over politics and religion. I’ve seen it happen repeatedly over the years, but ESPECIALLY since Donald Trump became our dear leader. In my 48 years on this planet, I have never seen a world leader as polarizing as he is. I have quit speaking to a lot of my family members over Trump (and they have quit speaking to me), and Bill has lost so-called “friends” because he isn’t a Trump supporter.

Trump has a lot of obnoxious cronies, too. One such man is Rush Limbaugh, who announced in February that he has lung cancer. I remember when the news came out, a lot of people were laughing and rejoicing about it. I wasn’t laughing or rejoicing, but I can’t say that I have a lot of sympathy for the man. I’ve been aware of him since the 1980s. My late father was a big fan of Rush’s radio show. I think Rush is an asshole, but that doesn’t mean I wish him ill. I just want him to go away.

Rush Limbaugh has made his name by being hateful and insulting. And yet our feckless leader has awarded him the Medal of Freedom and Trump supporters are shaming people for thinking Limbaugh kind of deserves what he’s getting… not just being sick, but being derided for being sick. As the “good book” says, “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

Anyway, ol’ Rush was in the news yesterday, saying that his lung cancer is “terminal”. A recent picture of him was included with the CNN article. Rush is looking pretty gaunt. I wouldn’t have recognized him.

My husband, who is a lot less temperamental and outspoken than I am and almost never posts on Facebook, shared this comment in response to the news:

I know what I’m about to say is the result of unskilled thinking, but this appears to be an example of Karmic Justice. The organ used to spew years of hate, vitriol, and self-centeredness will be his undoing.

I see nothing in this comment that rejoices in Rush’s ill health or impending death. I see no derision or mean-spiritedness. It’s just a simple and truthful observation. It seems almost fitting that Rush would get lung cancer, since his lungs have made it possible for him to spread his negativity for decades over the airwaves. But… as to the actual cause of Rush Limbaugh’s illness, I don’t know. It probably has nothing to do with karma and more to do with bad luck and bad habits.

A few minutes after Bill posted this comment, he got this response from a man he knew thirty years ago. This guy was a non-commissioned officer in the Army and someone Bill had always liked and respected.

Bill when did you become such a bad person? I really do not want to see your filth end up on my screen so I guess it’s adios buddy.

And then he unfriended Bill.

Well… I must admit that comment flipped my bitch switch. I don’t usually feel the need to take action on Bill’s behalf, but it was getting close to bedtime and I am really fed up with hypocritical people who follow people like Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh and then have the nerve to call my husband a “bad person” for making a valid observation on HIS own space. So I sent Bill’s ex friend a private message:

“Nice that you unfriended my husband for speaking his mind on his page. I am glad you unfriended him. Go fuck yourself.”

He did respond to me, but I didn’t bother to read what he had to say. I’m sure it was the usual tripe spewed by these types of mouth breathing fuckwits… a sarcastic remark like “Wow, classy!” He probably followed it with some mansplaining comment that I’ve read and heard a hundred times before from people like him, including my own father. Instead of reading more of that shit, I blocked him, because I have enough people like him in my life. I don’t know him at all, but I do know Bill, and I KNOW he is one of the most decent, kind-hearted, loving men ever. And he’s brave, too, because for thirty years, he put on a uniform and put up with self-righteous dickheads like his ex “friend”, running their mouths about the virtues of capitalistic Republican politics while they worked in what is actually a very socialist “government run” career.

Another one of Bill’s Trump/Limbaugh supporting friends shared this… You have the nerve to lecture people about not being hateful when you publicly support two men who regularly insult and abuse anyone who doesn’t kiss their enormous Big Mac built fat asses? Get the fuck out of here with that.

Seriously… if you’ve served in the military and get free health care for yourself and your family, live in government owned quarters (which not everyone does, but enough do), buy food at the commissary (again, not everyone does), and accept educational benefits paid for by taxes, then you are not so much against socialism, are you? Because when you’re in the military, the government pretty much owns your ass… and potentially your family’s asses, too, depending on whether or not your spouse chooses to live with you as you are moved from place to place for years on end.

While the military lifestyle is not for everyone, and not everyone who’s served makes it a career, enough people are fine with the conditions. The benefits and perks, especially for retirees, and all paid for by taxes, are pretty damned sweet. And I have yet to meet anyone in the military or a military retiree who would willingly give them up, although I am sure there are people out there who would. I do remember reading, several years ago, an op-ed written by a retired officer named Tom Slear who felt his military benefits were too generous. I also remember the outraged comments left for him by his “brothers-in-arms” who basically had the same sentiment for him that I did for Bill’s former “friend”. To be clear, I don’t fault veterans for having these generous government provided benefits and enjoying them. They have certainly EARNED them. But those taxpayer sponsored benefits aren’t exactly stellar examples of the Republican ideal, are they?

Bill was very dismayed that he lost a “friend” over his comment about Limbaugh. Like I said, this was a guy Bill knew early in his military career and for whom he’d had much regard and respect. The guy who posted the comment wasn’t really a friend, though. They were connected on Facebook, sure, but it’s not like they interacted a lot. And by doing what he did, he revealed his true lowlife character. Seems to me he could have just quietly unfriended or unfollowed, rather than resorting to publicly insulting my husband. That would have been the decent thing to do. Instead, he calls my husband a “bad person” and accuses him of spreading “filth”. Well, it may be unbecoming and unladylike of me to tell him to go fuck himself, but that is precisely what I think he should do. Clearly, he’s not grown up enough to hang out with adults on social media.

This was Bill’s very gentlemanly response to his friends… he only has 77 of them at this writing. He really doesn’t post on Facebook much, and when he does, he’s a lot more respectful than I am:

So I was just unfriended for being “such a bad person” for expressing myself on my own space. Any other takers? You might as well get it over with. Honestly though, I try really hard to respect your space. Why is it so hard to respect mine?

Ironically, earlier tonight I was reflecting on Dr. Manhattan’s words in “Watchmen”. “I’m tired of this earth, these people.”

Are these the words of a “bad person”? I think not. And if you’re a military veteran who truly supports freedom, then it’s beyond hypocritical to shame people for speaking their minds. I may not wish ill on Rush Limbaugh, although he probably deserves the derision he’s getting, but I kind of hope Bill’s ex “friend” falls into an open manhole. I don’t want him to get sick or die, I just want someone or something to knock some sense into him.

And RUSH got the Medal of Freedom? I think Michael J. Fox should get it.

I don’t like hypocrites, and I’m really tired of Trump and his cronies, to include self-absorbed loudmouths like Limbaugh who egg on divisiveness and spew hatred. I don’t wish for death and illness for most people because that’s not the decent thing to do, but if someone is nasty and hateful and becomes terminally ill, they probably shouldn’t expect a lot of sympathy. Pointing that out does not make someone “bad”; it makes them astute. And if you’re too dumb to see that, and want to publicly unfriend your old friends, then good fucking riddance. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

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bad TV, complaints, politics

I fell down a rabbit hole yesterday…

After a short training session with Noizy the wonder dog, I decided I wanted to relax with a little TV. I pay for Netflix every month, but I don’t watch it very often. I decided to see if there was anything on there I wanted to see. I think I did see a show about a month ago– it was British and kind of contrived, but entertaining in a pseudo American kind of way (however, I no longer remember the name of said show)…

I decided to try again with another show, called Doctor Foster (2015 and 2017). This show, which so far has had two series, is kind of loosely based on the Greek myth, Medea. It’s about a female doctor named Gemma Foster who suspects that her husband, Simon, is having an affair. What aroused her suspicions? A blonde hair on his scarf. Next thing you know, Gemma is losing her shit.

A patient comes to her complaining of not being able to sleep. Gemma doesn’t want to give her sleeping pills. But she soon realizes that she can trade the pills for a spy. She recruits the patient to spy on her husband. Sure enough, he’s fucking someone else… his business partner’s daughter, who is about 22 years old to Gemma’s 37.

I guess I’m an old fart according to the people who wrote this show… and Bill is regularly fucking other people.

I should mention that Gemma (played by Suranne Jones) is smoking hot. She’s tall, well-built, and dark, with brooding eyes and a willowy, fit figure. More than once, the men on the show mention how “hot” she is, “for her age”… Wow. But still, despite being a well-paid doctor who is smoking hot and the mother of Simon’s son, Tom, Gemma isn’t enough for her randy husband. Apparently, men are completely incapable of being faithful. Seriously, they literally say this in the show.

Anyway, Simon’s lover, name of Kate, is pregnant. Guess who breaks the news to her? Gemma… who has somehow managed to finagle a doctor switch, quickly figuring out that the guilty blonde is the pretty girl sitting in the waiting room. She has Kate take off her trousers and top, remarks on how “fit” Kate is, and draws blood and urine.

Now… all of this is a bit contrived for my liking, but I have to admit, it’s kind of addictive viewing. I like British TV because it’s about as trashy as a lot of American TV; I can understand what is being said; and the humor is often witty. But this series, which won awards, is pretty far-fetched and ridiculous. I still binge watched the whole first season yesterday and have seen a couple of the episodes of season 2 today. It beats reading the news and the comments, which apparently I “kill” myself over, according to a regular reader.

The other alternative, besides playing Sims 4, practicing guitar, working on my latest jigsaw puzzle, or writing fiction, is trying to read my latest book. For some reason, I usually fall asleep when I read, even when the subject matter is interesting. I didn’t used to do this. I think it’s partly because I don’t sleep through the night thanks to Bill’s early wake ups and because Germany is entering the cold, dark time of year that makes me want to hibernate. The book I’m reading is about hellish doctors during the Nazi era. It’s very interesting, well-written, and personal, since it comes from a woman who was a court reporter during the Nuremberg Trials. But I get through a few pages and drift off.

I am glad we have the new dog, though. He gives me a reason to go outside and work with him. He’s making strides. A few days ago, he was absolutely terrified of the leash, to the point of submissive peeing on himself just by seeing it. Today, I put it on him and brushed him thoroughly. I could tell he enjoyed the brushing, even if he didn’t like the leash. I think he likes the attention, and the brushing probably feels good to him. I’m sure it scratches the itches, so to speak. He needs to be brushed, though, because he’s shedding a lot and we’re not quite ready to try a bath.

I also got him to take some roast beef from my hand. This dog isn’t very food oriented at all, but he has learned that beef and pork are tasty. He wouldn’t take the treats on the leash, but happily enjoyed them after we were finished with our session. And he also sit twice on command, without my having to touch him. After two times, he was too overwhelmed to continue. But… this was another big leap. I put the leash on the outside table with the brush and shedding blade and I saw him sniff it. I hope that means he’s realizing the leash isn’t to punish him. Maybe soon, he will see the leash as a great thing, as Arran does. I look forward to taking them both on a walk.

And finally, this morning, I watched this video about Kanye West’s ridiculous presidential campaign. The man has clearly lost his marbles and needs to get back on his meds.

Hard to believe, the election is so soon… any way it goes, it’s going to be a weird aftermath.

The mask crusaders continue on, trying to shame people into wearing masks. I really think it was a mistake to promote the idea that masks only protect other people. Even if that’s technically true, I think they should have been promoted more as a self-protective measure. I think people are more likely to cooperate if they think they’re doing something that is in their own self-interest.

Americans, by and large, are pretty selfish people. We’re big on individualism, personal freedoms, and pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We don’t want to be told what to do or lectured, even if mask wearing makes sense. I see so many people fighting with others about the stupid masks. Frankly, I think that’s a waste of time. Getting on a moral high horse doesn’t inspire cooperation, even if what you’re saying is “right”. Unfortunately, it’s going to take people getting very sick and scared before everyone is on the bandwagon.

As for me, I continue to stay home most of the time. I’m sure I’m not alone. When you stay home and watch bad TV, you don’t need a mask, nor do you hear a bunch of carping from other people. I’m sure that staying home isn’t what is best for the economy, but it is what is best for one’s health. Because even if you wear a mask, you can still get sick. Mask wearing just helps slow down the spread of the virus and keeps the hospitals from getting overwhelmed. On the other hand, I might wind up with other health problems from staying home.

This has definitely been a very ODD year. It’s going to be one of those years that changes everything, kind of like 9/11 did. I hope 2021 isn’t worse. I definitely relate to today’s featured photo. According to Ancestry.com, I come by that relation honestly.

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