healthcare, money, music, narcissists, politics, social media, Twitter, YouTube

“My husband has to work two full time jobs…”

It’s Thursday, which used to mean it was party night, when I was in college. But now every night is party night. 😉 I’m kidding, actually. Bill and I don’t party every night. We sit at our table and listen to selections from my huge music library, eat dinner, and drink wine and/or beer. We do a lot of talking, too. I’m grateful we have time for talking and listening to music as we quaff wine and beer. Maybe we should drink water instead of alcoholic beverages. It would be healthier and less expensive on many levels. But the fact is, we don’t do the “right” thing by avoiding booze.

Bill will be gone for about ten days starting Sunday. I will spend the time anticipating our trip to Armenia, and trying to teetotal. 😉 I usually do a pretty good job of teetotaling when Bill is gone. My main thing is that I have a tendency to get bored when he’s gone. Drinking beer helps pass the time. But I have downloaded some movies and a box set or two. I can use my empty evenings entertaining myself by catching up on movies and TV, and perhaps I’ll sing a couple of songs. I did a couple yesterday. I think they turned out quite well.

I finally learned “Jesse” yesterday afternoon. I’d been wanting to try it for a long time, but held off. I seem to have a knack for Roberta Flack tunes (although this was written by the great Janis Ian).
I’ve known this song for awhile, but finally decided to sing it when I noticed the rainy fall weather…

Someday maybe I’ll do something original. I’m getting noticeably better at playing guitar, although I have a long way to go before I’m fit for a public performance on YouTube. I have actually done a couple of songs with my mediocre playing, but not while I’m on camera. I think I need one of those mics that hang overhead, and that would require another VESA arm, which isn’t so easy to arrange when you have sloping ceilings. But anyway, maybe the day will come when I can arrange a live performance with singing and guitar… and maybe I will even write a song someday. That’s a not so secret goal of mine. I often say that something positive can come out of almost any situation, if you think long enough about it. COVID gave me the gift of guitar, as in, I finally got more serious about learning how to play. I know I would be a better guitarist if I had a real teacher, though. 😉

Anyway… about today’s title…

Today’s topic comes courtesy of Ex, who has been surprisingly civic minded lately in between her comments about Outlander. Before I get too deep into my commentary today, I will state that, on the surface, I actually agree with a lot of the stuff she posts. Somehow, she’s evolved from a conservative to a liberal… kind of like I have. I’m not sure how much of her political commentary is based on her true thoughts and feelings about things.

I’ve long suspected that Ex is a true narcissist, which means she tends to say whatever is going to get her the most fuel. And she tends to support whatever politics are going to benefit her personally. She seems to have become more liberal since she had her last child, a young man who will likely need help for the rest of his life. I can’t blame her for that, by the way. If you, or your family members need assistance, it makes sense to vote for people who might vote to provide that assistance. I’ve just noticed that her political views have dramatically changed in the years I’ve known of her. I can remember a time when Ex was a lot more conservative than she apparently is now.

Today, Ex seems to be all about voting blue, backing social justice warriors, and “wokeism”. In the past few days, she has let her liberal feelings be known to everyone on Twitter. She also has a history of repeatedly expressing a desire to move out of the United States. Most of the time, she’s posted that she wants to move to Scotland, although I don’t think she’s ever been there. But she also recently posted that she once had a desire to move to New Zealand. Alas, the New Zealand dream can never be realized. When the singer, P!nk, posted about people mistaking her Māori Poi flags for Israeli flags at her shows and getting threats, Ex chimed in with a comment about herself, revealing her former wish to move to the land of Kiwis and why that can never be…

This may be read by many Māori, so I’ll tell. I dreamed of living in NZ, only to learn autistic people are not welcome. My family can’t come, even to visit. I don’t think the Māori would approve of this discrimination. Seeking NZ & UK opinions only. As for war? I pray for PEACE.

Notice this comment has nothing to do with P!nk getting death threats over flags at her shows. It’s simply Ex’s complaints about perceived discrimination toward the people in her family who are on the autism spectrum. Once again, she’s making someone else’s post about herself.

Even though I rolled my eyes as I read it, I actually learned something new from Ex’s post. I didn’t know that New Zealand and some other countries won’t grant residency permits or citizenship to people with autism. I researched the issue, and learned that, at least in New Zealand, this rule is in place because of fears that people with autism would strain the healthcare system too much. I’m not sure Ex is correct about people with autism not being able to visit, as if you have a US passport, you can travel to countries that allow US citizens to visit. But it does appear that New Zealand and other countries will not grant permission for people to live there if there’s a chance they will strain the public health system. From the article (dated April 25, 2022):

“The current settings are not specifically discriminatory against disabled people, but instead focus on assessing the public health impact an individual will have,” said a government statement.

“The government values the contribution that disabled people bring to society and is always willing to take steps towards making New Zealand a non-disabling society. However, as this goal pertains to the current Acceptable Standard of Health (ASH) immigration settings, the government considers these settings appropriate.”

I can’t blame Ex for being attracted to New Zealand. It’s a beautiful country, based on what I’ve seen in photos and videos. I’d love to visit there myself someday. Unlike Ex, I will probably have the ability to do it. Besides having family members with autism who “can’t even visit”, Ex is perpetually strapped for cash. This isn’t a new phenomenon. It was also a problem when she and Bill were married, before autism was part of her life (our understanding is that older daughter didn’t have an official diagnosis until she was about 20 years old– long after she and Bill divorced).

Bill worked constantly to bring in money, taking jobs in factories, because that was what was available where they were living. Ex spent all their money on a wide variety of things– cars, landscaping, furniture, Disney plates, snacks from Swiss Colony, depression glass, and whatever else struck her fancy and temporarily bolstered her empty soul…

When I met Bill, he was broke, and his credit rating was in the toilet. Today, he has an excellent credit rating and little debt. He works at a job that pays well and is suitable for his talents, interests, and skills. Although he has dental insurance that will pay half, Bill can afford to pay out of pocket for the dental implant he’s about to get next month. He’s learned from past financial mistakes and repaired his credit. But Ex, apparently, is still broke. Last night, she posted this in response to someone’s comment about Mary Lou Retton crowdfunding her recent stay in the ICU.

And what are YOU doing to help make ends meet, Ex?

Here’s what I have to say about Ex’s comment. First of all, healthcare is NOT a basic human right in all places. It ought to be a human right, but the fact is, it’s not– especially in the US.

Unfortunately, in the United States, healthcare is a business, just like pretty much everything else is. Although changes are necessary, they will likely be very slow in coming. This is on account of our fucked up government, where people argue for weeks over who’s going to be Speaker of the House, rather than choosing someone expeditiously. I’d love to see politicians getting to work making policies that are good for the American PEOPLE, instead of making more money for the already rich. But that isn’t reality today.

In the United States, we have many non-profit healthcare organizations, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t businesses. It just means that their profits must be reinvested into the organization. I think Ex would like to see healthcare delivery services become a “not-for-profit” entity, which would mean that they are charitable organizations that don’t exist to make money, and the people working in them care only about the joy of healing and nurturing their fellow man.

But that concept also has its issues, as healthcare workers work very hard to get qualified to earn their credentials, have to pay high premiums for malpractice insurance, usually have lots of student loans, and demand to be paid well for what they do. To generate enough money and benefits to attract good people, healthcare systems have to make money. Otherwise, we’d have a whole lot more mediocre people going to medical school (which isn’t to say there aren’t some mediocre people in medical school now).

Many Americans are completely ignorant about how hospitals function, and they have fallacious ideas about how any changes to our system would affect them. Add in the fact that a large number of Americans never travel abroad and don’t experience healthcare outside of the United States. They think national healthcare will mean they won’t have any choices, and that our system will turn into a dystopian nightmare. So they keep voting for people who are focused on keeping things the way they are, which isn’t very sustainable for most people.

It’s kind of like how Americans resist moving away from the tipping model in restaurants. In other countries, restaurant workers are paid by the people who hired them. Yes, they get tips, but they don’t depend on them for their livelihood. Try to explain this to Americans, though, and they just don’t have a concept. I think it’s kind of the same for the prospect of changing healthcare. A lot of us would rather just stick with what we know, even though it sucks. So even when progress is made, it gets rolled back by the opposing parties, who want things to stay the way they are. 😉

Secondly, I am not surprised to read that #3 is working two full-time jobs (or perhaps just two jobs– she does embellish sometimes). He probably does work that much so they can “live”. But it’s not just because healthcare is so expensive that he does that. Based on Bill’s experiences being Ex’s #2 husband, I think there are several reasons why #3 has to work so hard.

  • Ex spends her money on all kinds of worthless crap. You only have to look at her Instagram to see this, but I also know from Bill’s and younger daughter’s stories.
  • She doesn’t save money or pay off debts in a timely manner, which means she winds up with emergencies she’s not prepared for, and gets socked with service charges and higher interest rates.
  • She has an extreme “live life in the present” mindset when it comes to money, and assumes things will somehow “work out” in the long run, which they never do. She easily justifies spending money she doesn’t have. Usually, that means her husband has to bust his ass at work, and it still won’t be enough. She will also berate him for not meeting her endless needs, so he’ll try to work harder to avoid that.
  • Ex doesn’t have a job, and though she gets lots of help with housework and taking care of her son from older daughter, she has legitimate expenses, like her recent ankle surgery and, perhaps, college tuition for their daughter.
  • Working two jobs gives #3 a refuge from Ex’s batshit craziness. I’m serious. It was true in Bill’s case. He lived for going on National Guard drill duty, because it meant getting the hell away from her for awhile.

What is especially telling about this situation is seeing how Bill was once in #3’s shoes, and now he’s doing quite well, financially speaking. When I met Bill, he lived on $600 a month, and whatever he could scrounge from per diem payments when he went on TDYs. It took us a few years to recover from the financial nightmare of his marriage to Ex. But now, he has plenty of money to meet our needs. If he’d stayed with Ex, he certainly wouldn’t have what he has now. She would have squandered the money in an attempt to impress other people or satisfy her bottomless pit of needs for shiny things. She also wouldn’t have let him succeed in the Army. She resented the Army for dictating where they would live and when Bill would be working. I don’t interfere with Bill’s work, so he’s been able to achieve and succeed, and he gets paid accordingly.

So… while I agree with Ex that our healthcare system is fucked, and needs to be reformed, I don’t believe her husband works so hard simply because of soaring healthcare costs. There are plenty of reasons why he’d even CHOOSE to work so much. Some of them have to do with escaping having to be around her. I just hope he doesn’t work himself into an early grave for her sake. I don’t like #3, but I dislike Ex even more. She’s not worth dying for.

Unfortunately, as Ex’s third husband, he’s already seen what she does when she gets divorced. #3 does have an advantage that his daughter is an adult and won’t be as easily alienated and manipulated as ex stepson and Bill’s daughters were. But his son with Ex will probably always have to live in the home, and if they split up, she won’t let him be involved in his life unless he lawyers up and forces her to cooperate. That takes a lot of money in the US, and it might not even work. Family courts are a crapshoot. He probably thinks it’s cheaper to keep her.

But anyway… those are just my thoughts as a longtime observer. I realize I could be wrong. I do wonder, though, now that #3 has been with Ex for so long, if he understands now why Bill so readily agreed when she demanded a divorce. Maybe he does when he has a spare twenty seconds at the urinal when he’s working, but my guess is that he doesn’t have much time for thinking about his situation. He’s in too deep. Poor sucker. /sarcasm

Well… I’ve got laundry to fold, carpets to vacuum, a dog to walk, and a guitar to practice. So I am going to end this long ass post. If you managed to read it and not think I’m an asshole, I thank you. See you tomorrow… if I survive today.

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language, LDS, mental health, narcissists, Twitter

Learning “50 cent words” in the strangest of places…

Here’s another one of my far too personal posts. You might want to skip it if such topics bore or upset you.

It’s a gloomy Thursday morning and I’ve got a touch of medicine head. I washed the sheets yesterday and was looking forward to a good night’s sleep. But when I laid down and tried to drift off, I started coughing again. Yesterday, I coughed enough that I lost my breakfast. I didn’t want it to happen again at bedtime, so I took some cough syrup (which I hate doing). That quieted my cough for about two or three hours.

I woke up again at 1:30 AM with another coughing fit. I got up again to deal with that spasm, then took more cough syrup, finishing off the bottle, which had only had about two doses in it. I went back to sleep again and woke up at 5:30 AM, which is about my normal wake up time. But again, more coughing and hacking, and now I have “medicine head”, which makes thinking more challenging. I thought about going back to sleep, but realized there’s a lot of writing I want to get done, even if no one reads my stuff.

So here I am… and I’m about to be petty again. Because, why not?

Ex’s “friend” on X asked this of her followers…

Last week, while we were on the road, one of Ex’s “friends” on Twitter asked everyone to describe themselves in one word, using the first letter of their names. Ex, whose first name begins with an “S”, came up with the word “sagacious”. I have to admit, that’s not a word I use very often myself, in spite of my degree in English. I was curious, though, so I asked my friends on Facebook how many of them would use that word in an average conversation, without even thinking about it.

Several people commented that they “could” use it, which is not what I asked. I mean, we can all Google the word and find out what it means, then use it in a sentence. I wanted to know who would choose to use it as a matter of course. Of the people who responded, no one could say they’d use that word on a regular basis.

Ex must have realized that most people would be looking up the word “sagacious”, as she helpfully provided a definition for everyone. See below:

Um… this really doesn’t describe her at all…

We were on the road, so I started cracking myself up thinking of more appropriate “S” words that were more accurately descriptive of Ex. I came up with a few good ones, and none had anything to do with her having “good judgment” or “wisdom”. When I look at Ex’s life, I see a long string of stormy relationships, lots of outright lies and stretching of the truth, people who have sustained damages due to her conduct, and plenty of heartbreak. She’s made a lot of terrible decisions that have harmed many good people, including her own children. But, just to keep this post from getting too dark, I’ll just point out that this is a woman who has had multiple bankruptcies, at least one foreclosure, three husbands, and five children. Her eldest child has no full siblings and has been asked to think of three different men as his “dad”. Her youngest child will likely never be able to live on his own.

But to hear her tell it, she’s the wisest, most prescient, most compassionate, and most decent person in the room. And she’s smart, too! I mean, dumb people wouldn’t use a word like “sagacious” to describe themselves, right?

The weird thing is, if I didn’t know about her, I might not realize just how completely toxic she is. On the surface, she doesn’t seem quite that extreme. She may be mildly annoying to some people, and some of her Twitter posts are a bit affected. Take, for example, this comment she left regarding the electoral college:

While I abhor the electoral college NOW, getting rid of it will not insure equal representation in the House of Representatives. White privilege is real & voter discrimination occurs against ALL people of color, poor people & legal immigrants. Educate yourself.

It’s a little “high falutin'” to be using a word like “abhor” when you could use a word that is less fancy, like “dislike” or even “hate”. And the fact that she uses the word “insure“, when she likely means “ensure“, tells me that she uses language to try to show off. Sometimes, it has quite the opposite effect.

I see her posting seemingly empathic comments and platitudes to strangers on Twitter, knowing that she has said and done some really vile and hateful things to people she actually knows. And just yesterday, she threw some shade… I’m assuming it was at my husband, Bill, although maybe she means her first husband or someone else she once dated or fucked.

I considered leaving her a scathing comment, but in the end, decided not to. She’s not going to change, and ripping her a new asshole online for libeling Bill would only provide me with a few minutes of satisfaction before she blocked me. Besides, it doesn’t matter what strangers on Twitter think, because the people who matter– most of them, anyway– already know the truth.

I’m glad she thinks her ex is a “total creeper”. He’s my “total creeper” now. 😉

Here’s some context, not that it matters to the vast majority of people. Ex was supposedly convinced that Bill had an addiction to porn. And the truth of the matter is, he did, and probably still does look at the adult version of porn on occasion, as do many millions of lonely, horny, or bored people. It’s actually not that easy to avoid it on the Internet, unless you use some kind of filter. He does not have an addiction, though, nor is he a “creeper” in the slightest sense of the word.

The reality of the situation is, when Ex (then a high school dropout with some college courses) “diagnosed” Bill with this addiction, he was working soulsucking second and third shift jobs in factories. He was a man in his 30s who had no intimacy whatsoever with his then wife. They were focused on raising three children with very little money. Their marriage was in a death spiral… and Ex also had a boyfriend, the man who is now her third husband, that she was talking to online. She would eventually move that man into the house her “creeper ex” was paying for, and fuck him in their marital bed. Then she’d marry #3 and have him replace Bill’s role as father to her then three children, in every way except financial.

She would eventually issue an ultimatum to Bill, demand that he seek “treatment” for his “addiction” from a layman bishop in the LDS church, or she’d divorce him. Keep in mind that while LDS bishops do get some training in how to deal with people and their problems, they aren’t necessarily licensed mental health professionals. And the LDS church makes a huge deal out of things having to do with anything sexual that doesn’t involve making babies. So anyone looking at legal porn, having sex for fun (especially if it’s not heterosexual sex), masturbating, or even fantasizing about something that isn’t vanilla is going to be labeled somehow and their actions will be considered “problematic”, even if whatever they’re doing is not an actual problem.

Word also tends to get around fast in the LDS church. That’s what happened in Bill’s case. Pretty soon, many people in the church were turning their backs on him without ever hearing his side of the story. I’m glad the church people showed him who they actually were, and what they really weren’t. It made it easier for him to leave their cult.

Ex issued her treatment from the bishop “edict” in my late father-in-law’s home over Easter 2000, while their children were out eating ice cream with FIL and Bill’s stepmother. The whole time this was going on, by the way, Ex was enjoying erotic fiction written by people like Anne Rice, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and losing herself in movies. Their last home together eventually went into foreclosure, which took years to live down in terms of Bill’s credit rating.

They did have financial issues, but it wasn’t because of a pornography addiction. It was because of Ex’s uncontrolled spending as she tried to look “successful” to people in the church, church tithing, her medical bills, and Bill’s reluctance to stop her from spending all of the money he’d earned. She bought things like Disney plates and depression glass, or expensive snack platters from Swiss Colony. Bill is a loving and sensitive guy, who was still very much interested in sex and having a marital relationship when they were together. She’d checked out, and was having an affair.

I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a good thing that porn was in the picture, but she makes it sound like Bill was a weak man who had single-handedly destroyed their relationship with it. That’s not at all what happened. And more importantly, as his wife for almost 21 years, I can assure Ex that this so called “addiction” she claims Bill had when they were married is not happening today. I’ve never seen any sign of Bill as a pervert or a “creeper”. To me, he’s a wonderful, caring, generous husband. I’m grateful to be with him.

There are people who do have legitimate addictions to pornography. It CAN and DOES ruin lives. But Bill doesn’t have a problem with addiction of any kind. As a matter of fact, when Bill travels, I can guarantee that I’ll hear from him in the evening. He’ll want to chat with me, even if I’d rather be watching a movie. The rest of the time he’s either at work, or physically with me. For proof of that, have a look at my travel blog. Please— it really needs some hits! 😉

Ex has told everyone in the family that Bill has this problem. Most of the observant types have realized it’s Ex’s typical made up bullshit. One person hasn’t written it off as bullshit, though. My husband’s stepmother still thinks Bill is an abusive pervert. She has even asked me about it. I told her that he’s not abusive to me, but I don’t think she believes me. Stepmother-in-law has her own issues. She doesn’t care for me, and I don’t think she cares much for Bill. She wanted access to Bill’s daughters because she wants to be a grandmother, and it’s unlikely her daughter will provide any children from her marriage. So, even though Ex is toxic to her, and she’s complained to us many times about Ex’s behavior and hurtful things she’s said, she continues to give her deference… even though the girls are now well into adulthood.

So, when I see Ex using Bill as another prop for her bullshit facade, I just kind of shake my head. I know the truth, as do all of the other people who matter. Why she feels the need to chat up strangers on social media instead of paying attention to the actual people in her life, I’ll never know. She has so many people offline who need her and would love it if she’d just be a normal person. But that’s impossible, and it will never happen. She’ll never change.

But… at least I’ve gained something from watching Ex’s shenanigans online. I honestly didn’t know the word “sagacious”. Now, I’ll never forget what it means, as I realize that Ex is a living, breathing antonym of the “S” word she uses to describe herself. I’m glad she was at least “sagacious” enough to let Bill go, so he could be with someone who loves him for exactly who he is.

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narcissists, Twitter

The old American double standard: say one thing, but do something different…

Today’s travel blog has some exciting news within it. Last night, I finally booked our long awaited visit to Yerevan, Armenia. I’m pretty psyched about it, although I expect there will be some sadness, too. Yerevan has changed a lot since I lived there in the 90s. Some of the changes are legitimately good ones, but some aren’t so much. But some familiar things can never change, and I do still have all my memories– good and bad. I look forward to making new memories soon.

Today’s main blog post is about hypocrisy and double standards… you know, that old “say one thing, do something different” attitude some people have. My old hero, George Carlin, did a brilliant routine about it.

The old American double standard…

You might have noticed the featured photo today. It’s a screenshot of a post I found on X… thanks to Ex. Ex is the queen of double standards and hypocrisy. But she is not the originator of that post about Joel Osteen, the folksy televangelist whose Lakewood Church bought the former Compaq Center in Houston, Texas and made it into a giant “sanctuary” of sorts that seats over 16,000 souls. I haven’t watched Joel Osteen’s show recently, as I don’t live in the United States and never watch network television. I’m sure Joel broadcasts in Germany, but I don’t go looking for his program here.

But I do remember seeing Osteen’s show ten years ago or so, when I was still in my homeland. Osteen was at the top of his game then, giving Christian-ish motivational speeches every Sunday in his distinctive Texas drawl, advising people to find a good “Bible based” church. It was hard to miss his broadcasts on Sunday mornings, as they aired “religiously” (heh heh heh), seemingly on more than one channel.

I never paid a lot of attention to Mr. Osteen, but for awhile, it seemed like he was everywhere. He had books out, and they were best sellers. He lived in a huge mansion with his wife, Victoria, a woman that some might describe as a “trophy wife”. I won’t do that myself, as I don’t know the nature of their relationship, and I don’t believe that just because a woman is beautiful, that means she’s necessarily a “trophy wife”. Victoria Osteen is a very pretty woman. She reminds me of Brooke Shields. But that doesn’t necessarily make her a trophy wife.

On the other hand, I do remember the headlines about Victoria Osteen’s alleged behavior on a 2005 flight to Vail, Colorado. Osteen was apparently upset about a stain on the first class seat she was supposed to occupy. It was definitely NOT Christlike conduct, if the stories about it are in any way true. And while 2005 was a long time ago, that incident happened during the Osteens’ rise to fame. In the end, the flight attendant who sued Victoria Osteen lost her case. I suspect that there might have been some embellishment on the part of the flight attendant, although the altercation over the stain did happen and no one disputed it.

The Osteens are human, and I guess I can understand why Joel Osteen might feel compelled to block someone on X. Is it something Jesus would do? Maybe not. Joel Osteen is just a man who preaches, though. He’s not akin to Jesus Christ. Christ wouldn’t live in a house like this one. He’d use the money for the house to feed, educate, and house people. But people still listen to Joel Osteen and his wife, and a lot of them are happy to donate to the power couple. One woman on X wrote this:

My aunt is one of his most devoted cultists- I mean, uh, congregation. She makes awful money (3rd grade teacher, poor rural school) but like clockwork a good 1/2 – 2/3 of it sails into his pocket yearly. Definitely done her a world of good – she’s living in a studio now!

I’m sure Joel Osteen would say that is God’s will… for that woman to live in a studio, instead of in a humongous mansion. Osteen says it’s “God’s will” for people to live in prosperity instead of poverty. But it doesn’t sound like this woman has been rewarded for her generosity. What should she do to get on God’s good side, so she can live like Joel does? Will it take a miracle?

Then I noticed Ex’s response, which really made me puzzle. She wrote this:

That is so very sad.

Indeed it is. I felt the same way when I found out how much money Bill sent to Ex for years… and how much money she spent on stupid, worthless crap when they were married, completely exploiting a good man and sucking him dry. Some of the worst crap she spent money on was the LDS religion… which demanded thousands of dollars in tithing that did nothing but make them poorer and entrench Bill’s daughters in a cult. Granted, I was later grateful to the LDS church for giving younger daughter an escape. But I still think it does a lot of damage to people who don’t fit the mold. There’s a lot of evidence to support that opinion, too. All you need to do right now is to read up on Ruby Franke.

In any case, for all of Bill’s efforts, Ex alienated his daughters from him and abused him on all levels. She told vicious lies about him, and about me, and harassed his younger daughter for reconnecting with her REAL father (who is NOT her third husband). But there she is, all solemn and sad for a woman who tweets about how her aunt has been taken in by a manipulative religious “leader”. Hell, at least Osteen says and writes things that make people feel positive. Ex doesn’t even do that. She constantly criticizes the people who are closest to her, even as she claims to love them.

She’s not wrong to comment that it’s sad, though. It is always sad when people are taken in by snake oil salesmen, and they are everywhere, unfortunately. She communicates things that sound good, but the reality is, she doesn’t practice what she preaches. She has more heart for celebrities than her own family. See what she has to say about her favorite actor, who went on vacation and had his location leaked to the press…

I am glad you posted this, but we really should take it a step further. Sam’s life is utterly on display, privacy lost, but worse, he is CONSTANTLY objectified. He is apparently a stellar human being, but, objectification sullies accomplishments. He deserves more respect.

Wow… really? How many times have I seen Ex tweeting celebrities asking for money or connections? I have the proof in the form of screenshots. And my husband has literal scars that show the level of “respect” Ex had for him… /sarcasm.

I know it’s pointless to write about this stuff… but I really can only shake my head when I see Ex acting like a hypocrite. She says and writes things that sound good, but the reality is, she’s just another snake oil salesperson… and another hypocrite. And, to quote her, all I can say is…

That is so very sad.

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celebrities, controversies, music, rock stars, social media, Trump, Twitter

The controversy over Jason Aldean’s new right wing anthem…

Today’s featured photo is a screenshot from Jason Aldean’s video for the song, “Try That in a Small Town”.

Folks, I’m going to be honest. I don’t follow Jason Aldean’s career. I see that I did mention him in my blog a couple of times. I believe it was during the pandemic, when he was getting some crap from people for daring to take photos with his family while unmasked. I didn’t agree with him being harassed for that and I said so. That situation provided an example of my conservative leanings. I totally understand why some people get irritated with more liberal folks. Sometimes, people on the left legitimately can be insufferable.

BUT…

I fully support Sheryl Crow’s comments to Jason Aldean regarding his latest “hit” song, “Try That in a Small Town”. The song, which Aldean says is an “ode” to the “feeling of a community” he had while he was growing up, is coming under fire for its video and its lyrics. And Sheryl Crow, who likewise grew up in a small town, posted this on Twitter:

Like Sheryl Crow, I grew up in a small town. I knew, and still know, lots of people who love their guns. I have quite a few relatives who own weapons, and having been an Army wife for years, I know lots of people who carry guns as part of their work. And lots of those folks, like me, were raised in small towns. I know there are some wonderful people in small towns, and there’s a lot to love and respect about most of America’s small communities.

However, I also know that people who live in small towns can be notoriously small minded about a lot of things. Positive changes can come very slowly, even in 2023, when everyone has access to the Internet and 24 hour news. There’s a lot of hatred and gun violence in the world today, and many small towns have made the news because of mass shootings or so-called “good old boys” taking the law into their own hands and killing people.

Jason Aldean has, himself, been involved in a mass shooting. In 2017, Aldean was performing at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas when a man on the 32nd floor of a building opened fire. Sixty people died, and about 400 were wounded. You’d think after a terrifying experience like that, Mr. Aldean would understand the gravity of promoting violence, even in a song he claims is about “small communities” and how residents look after their own.

I know firsthand that sometimes small communities are hotbeds of dysfunction, and while people can legitimately be kind and supportive toward the people they know, they can also be hateful and closed-minded toward those who are considered different. And sometimes, those who are different somehow end up dead… and those “good old boys” wind up spending the rest of their lives rotting in prison. Or the different person can’t take the harassment anymore and commits suicide.

Last night, I shared an article by People Magazine about Sheryl Crow’s comments. One of my conservative leaning friends took me to task over doing that, claiming that Aldean’s song doesn’t promote violence. This was my response:

Americans are obsessed with guns, and the idea that owning them will protect them from violence. The tone of that song is belligerent. I grew up in a small town myself and never had issues with people owning guns. Hell, my entire class got hunter safety training in the 5th grade, because guns were so prevalent in the 80s. But this attitude that people will protect their mores with gun violence is pretty tone deaf in 2023. Way too many children have died because of gun violence.

I don’t support censorship, so I don’t think his video needs to be censored or yanked. But I don’t think Sheryl Crow is wrong, either.

And I don’t support censorship, especially of artists. There are some messages that should be squelched for being “fighting words” that have no positive effects on society. But I truly believe those messages should be few and far between. I will admit, I haven’t seen Mr. Aldean’s video, mainly because the lyrics of the song have already turned me off. Maybe I’ll try to view it when I finish writing this piece. Edited to add: Watching it now…

Musically, it’s kind of catchy. I’ve heard worse… but I still think it’s a bit aggressive and threatening, and more of that is NOT what America needs. Just my opinion.

My friend continued to be an apologist for Mr. Aldean, complete with laughing smilies…

…agree to disagree. I’m not sure why people feel it’s necessary to try and cancel him 🤣 it’s ridiculous. People have their whittle feelings hurt over a song 🤣I’ve been seeing the lyrics to WAP being compared 😳 and for the record, that song doesn’t offend me either. The attempt to cancel Jason is backfiring in them though. We do do things different I suppose. The rioters who were out to cause violence and crime (not protesters) wouldn’t come to these small towns; because they would get their asses handed to them but it’s not promoting violence. I just find it ridiculously sad that people have to attempt to cancel anything that doesn’t agree with them. His video is powerful actually. At any rate, we’re all entitled to our own opinions because we live in the USA ❤️ i know you don’t right now)

Okay… but saying that rioters would “have their asses handed to them” is kind of a violent thought, isn’t it? And who gets to decide what constitutes peaceful protesting and what constitutes “rioting”? What defines that behavior? Why are people more concerned about protecting property than preserving life– of the already born, that is?

I dare say that most people who would “riot” for Black Lives Matter would rather do so in larger cities, anyway. Why would a bunch of rioters and looters come to a small town, where there’s not much to steal or damage, except for maybe at Walmart?

Anyway, this was my response:

I grew up in southern Virginia among lots of country folks. I do understand the mindset and the issues. I don’t actually care about Jason Aldean one way or the other, nor do I support “cancel culture”. I am just tired of gun violence and macho bravado. It’s never been so bad as it is today.

Like I said, I grew up in a rural southern town. Never had problems with guns when I was growing up. In those days, we didn’t have violent maniacs killing kids by the dozens because they’re mad at the world.I don’t support censorship at all. People should be allowed to make up their own minds about almost all issues. As far as I’m concerned, Sheryl Crow was expressing an opinion, which we should all be allowed to do. You don’t have to agree, and I would never demand that of you.

As for my being out of the USA… I have to say, it’s been very enlightening. I am glad I have had the experience. It’s changed my life, and my perspective on a lot of things. I think more Americans should live abroad for awhile. It’s educational on many levels, and in many cases, doesn’t necessarily end with more liberalism. However, I used to be very conservative, so that doesn’t apply in my case.

One of the many reasons Bill and I have continued to live in Germany is because of the violence in the United States right now. I didn’t really see it when I was living there, even though mass shootings were a problem then. I remember feeling horrified when a Greek woman we met in our last town said that the United States is “too dangerous” for her to consider moving there. But now that I’ve been away for awhile, I can totally see why people in Europe think the United States is full of gun toting lunatics. I think when we do go back, it will be very difficult for me to adjust.

I don’t think a song that promotes the message that someone who misbehaves or does something “disrespectful” in the eyes of the locals will “get their asses handed to them” is sending a peaceful, non-violent message. Even if you argue the song is about being “respectful” of small town values and obeying law enforcement (who sometimes don’t behave lawfully themselves), the message is sent across with a belligerent, threatening, violent tone. That kind of message riles up people on the right wing, who are so scared of “liberals” who aren’t like them, demanding equality for everyone.

So many of these conservative folks are, quite simply, ignorant. They listen to songs like “Try That in a Small Town” and watch Fox News instead of reading books, exposing themselves to other cultures, or educating themselves on topics as basic as the difference between communism and capitalism.

Then, as they listen to Trump’s sensationalist dog whistling, they miss things like the plans by conservative groups to expand presidential power– if Trump wins, that is– and make states’ rights obsolete. They miss the reporting on ideas like overhauling the Constitution so that the country is more fascist, and run by one leader, instead of having checks and balances. They don’t consider the fact that some states’ attorneys general are wanting to track women who leave their states for abortion care. And it doesn’t dawn on them that some of these policies are awfully similar to what used to happen in the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries, back in the not so distant past. They are the antithesis of promoting freedom.

It doesn’t occur to some of these small minded folks from small towns that promoting people like Donald Trump and his champions will eventually mean less freedom for EVERYONE… including them. Because Trump just wants money and power, and to stay in office until he dies. When that happens, his cronies will take over, only some of them will be younger, smarter, and even more charismatic than Trump is.

Come on! Trump incited riots on January 6, 2021. Where were the “good old boys” who were “raised up right” then? Oh yeah… a lot of them took up arms, came to Washington, DC, and screamed about wanting to hang Mike Pence for not doing Trump’s bidding and overturning the 2020 Presidential election! Some of them stormed into our Capitol building and smeared actual human shit on the walls, took selfies in people’s offices, beat up police officers, and– stole stuff! Did Mr. Aldean include January 6th footage in his anthem about respecting small town communities? I didn’t notice it, if he did. Frankly, the violence on January 6 and the prospect of it happening again worries me a lot more than some businesses being burned down or looted over Black Lives Matter… although I don’t support destroying other people’s property, either.

I currently live in what could be considered a suburb of a major German city. Here, we have a good community, too. But our community involves drinking wine, having weekly markets, encouraging our neighbors to buy and plant “bee bomb wildflowers” to help feed bees, concerts, and art shows. I don’t know anyone here who needs a gun to show support for this community. We have a local official who is transgender and cares very much about the history and preservation of our town. While there might be people here with private prejudices, I haven’t noticed a lot of openly hateful behaviors toward the Muslims who live in this town. We’ve got a very nice community here– but it doesn’t involve violence or “tough talk” toward outsiders. Even as an American who speaks little German, I have felt very welcome. 😉

No, it’s not perfect… and I know there are issues with racism and other social ills in Germany. But it’s so different than life in the United States. Frankly, I think it’s MUCH better. I don’t miss much about living in my homeland, although I do miss some of my friends and family members. I really do wish some of the good people I know who think the American way is the best way could come over here and experience things for awhile. I think some of them might change their minds… or at least have more of a perspective as to why so many people find Americans totally insufferable.

Anyway… I can see why Jason Aldean’s song resonates with many people. A lot of people enjoy testosterone fueled power anthems, especially when they are considered “patriotic”. And no, I wouldn’t go so far as to say he should be “canceled” or censored. Music is a form of expression, and I think people should be allowed to use it for that purpose, even if I don’t agree with the sentiments expressed.

But… I gotta say, Janis Ian was right to share this 1968 era gem from Mad Magazine:

I’d be more impressed with a song about non-threatening and non-aggressive reactions to people who have differences. Violence begets violence.

I just want to live in a place where we don’t have to threaten to kill or kick the shit out of people who offend us, even if the impulse is sometimes understandable. Also… sometimes cops do get it wrong. Case in point, Jason…

I’d say these cops deserve to be cussed out, wouldn’t you? Yes, there was a lawsuit, and yes, the guy got $250,000.

So… those are my thoughts on Jason Aldean’s song, and the controversy that is surrounding it. Honestly, I just long for a much more moderate America, where people are free to be themselves without fear of violence or oppression. And I don’t think writing threatening, belligerent songs that glorify guns and fighting is the way to achieve that end. Just my opinion, of course.

Incidentally, I just learned that Aldean didn’t even write this song… and apparently, songwriting isn’t one of his skills or talents.

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love, marriage, relationships, Twitter

I sure do appreciate my man’s “feminine side”…

A little mood music for this post… Some might say I married a SNAG (sensitive new age guy).

God bless my sensitive new age guy… who does like to talk about his feelings, but doesn’t dress like Richard Simmons. He also cares about my orgasms.

It’s a blissfully quiet and peaceful Saturday morning. All of the home improvement work has been done, and the home invaders are wherever it is they’re living on the wrong side of the tracks. I base that, of course, only on their boorish behavior when they were in my home. For all I know, they are perfect gentlemen when they aren’t working. 😀

The carpenter came here yesterday, behaved in a respectable and courteous way, and quietly did his work for a few hours. His job was all done outside, and he even climbed up to the balconies using a ladder. Using a ladder certainly wasn’t my specific requirement; it was apparently what worked best for him. So that process went just fine. Now the job is done, and I can relax.

After yesterday’s blog ranting was over, I felt somewhat better. I did some chores, like washing ALL of the bed linens on my bed, which got polluted with dust. I walked Noyzi and watched a movie. I was calmly sitting in the bedroom, trying to stay cool, when Bill came home. He had a lovely bouquet of flowers in his hand and a very sweet expression on his face. “For you.” he said, handing the bright bouquet to me.

This man is such a thoughtful, considerate, sweetheart. How did I get so lucky?

“Awwww… that is so nice! Thank you!” I replied.

“I just wanted to brighten up your day. I know you’ve had a really hard week.” Bill added.

“Thanks! I really appreciate it!” I said with a big smile.

I couldn’t help but laugh, though, because of a tweet I saw by Ex. As usual, it was part funny, and part ludicrous. She used to be married to this kind, pleasant, gentle man, the kind of man who brings flowers to his wife when she’s stressed out, and will come home with red wine, steaks, and chocolate when Aunt Flow is visiting (which hasn’t happened in a few months).

Bill is a man who doesn’t get pissy when a guilty pleasure song by Air Supply comes on my HomePod, and will happily listen to me talk about funny scenes from The Golden Girls. This is a dude that knows what kind of face cream I use and will happily fetch some for me when he goes to the post exchange during the work week. He’s bought me the right feminine hygiene supplies, too… again, when it was necessary. Bill also sometimes cries when he visits churches and art museums. He loves to read literature and study psychology, and he’s very perceptive and compassionate.

I once watched him comfort my father when my dad had severe dementia. My dad was very agitated, because he was upset about being in a rehab facility. He had always been a man who was in charge of his own realities. But there my father was, disoriented and angry, sick in every sense of the word, with several days of beard growth and clothes that hung from his newly thin body. He was wearing inflatable compression socks that he hated, and was trying to remove them as he was muttering to us, asking for our “input”. Bill recognized that my dad was talking like the seasoned Air Force officer he’d once been before he retired in 1978.

I watched my husband gently push on the inflatable compression sock my dad had been trying to remove as he said, “Sir, don’t worry, we’ve got the mission covered. You need to rest and recover so you can get back into the fight.”

My dad immediately calmed down, and we were able to leave. Bill took us out to dinner at a tavern called Park Lane. My dad had stayed quiet for a short time before a nurse called my mom and asked her to return to the facility and help calm down my dad again. Mom blew a gasket and yelled at the nurse. She was exhausted and fed up with paying people to do a job that they seemingly weren’t able to do. Bill calmly took us back to my mom’s apartment and made my mom a Manhattan (her favorite cocktail).

This is a really good guy, folks. He’s the opposite of a “prick”. And yet, this is what Ex tweeted yesterday…

“Most men, indeed. I asked my brother what happens to little boys to turn them into PR1CKS, when they grow up. He said they are forced to ignore their feminine side. Thoughts?”

There are so many thoughts that come to my head as I read that. I’m in a unique position to know some things about Ex. I know that she spent almost ten years married to a man who never fails to think of other people. In spite of his 30 years in the Army, my husband is a man who is very much in touch with his feminine side. He’s also one of the most non-dickish men I have ever known. I’m grateful she divorced him so it was possible for him to marry me. I am enjoying his company immensely.

I don’t know what it takes to please Ex, apart from sending her a man made out of her wildest fantasies, capable of instantly changing himself to suit her every whim before she has the chance to dream up whatever will satisfy her on any given day. All I know is that my husband thought enough of me this week to remember me with some flowers. Then, he cooked me dinner… and breakfast, come to think of it. Right now, he’s walking the dog.

I told Bill what Ex tweeted, and he seemed surprised. He knew her brother, and let’s just say he’s not the most introspective person. When Ex’s adoptive father died (whom she met for the first time when she was 7 years old), there was a 21 gun salute, because he’d been a veteran. The shells were supposed to be divided among his grandchildren. Ex’s brother gathered them up and kept them for himself. Ex’s father also left her three eldest children a total of $15,000 in his will. Ex used it on a down payment for a house, which later went into foreclosure. Seems to me that she’s not one who can really talk about what constitutes “prick” behavior in other people. She’s continually proven that she’s the female version of that, herself. 😉

Anyway… it’s not my circus and not my monkeys… but I did find that an interesting comment from Ex. I KNOW she was married to a man who is in touch with his feminine side, but is still all MAN. That wasn’t enough for her. Fortunately, it is more than enough for me.

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