And here’s a repost that was originally posted on May 24, 2018… Just a few memories of growing up near Virginia Beach, Virginia, and some other stuff. I miss the beach so much. I also miss really good seafood. And I especially miss Zane, the ray of sunshine wonder beagle, who has been gone for a couple of years now…
I grew up about an hour from Virginia Beach, Virginia. The county I lived in was also richly blessed with brackish rivers that were full of jellyfish. I’m surprised I never learned how to waterski, since I definitely lived in an area where it would have been easy to do.
When I was very young, I used to love it when my parents or my sisters would take me to Virginia Beach. Because I was so young, I didn’t understand why the waves were so much bigger there than they were at Yorktown or Gloucester Point beaches, both of which were on the York River. Although the water was salty, it was full of jellyfish and I’d always get stung. I never had to worry about that in the Atlantic Ocean. There, the water was too rough for the jellyfish… It wasn’t too rough for the sharks, of course, but I never worried about that. I never worried about sunburns back then, either, though I definitely got my fair share.
Yesterday, I was hanging out in the Tidewater Flashback Facebook group and it occurred to me to ask the people in that group if they could refresh my memory. You see, because we lived about an hour or so from Virginia Beach, we’d always go there just for the day. Mom and Dad would very occasionally book cottages near Nags Head, North Carolina if they wanted to stay longer than a day. Virginia Beach has public beaches, but my parents always went to a beach that was intended for military patrons.
I remembered we paid to park in the lot after showing our I.D.s, then had access to the clubhouse, which had cabanas and rafts to rent, showers, and a nice snack bar. I couldn’t remember the name of the property, but did remember it was near a tower and it had a lifeguard on duty. I asked the people in the Flashback group and they said I was thinking of the Naval Officers Beach, which was affiliated with Fort Story.
I think there are still beaches for military folks near Virginia Beach, but that particular property closed some time ago. I was fondly remembering my time visiting that beach. I think the last time I went was sometime in the early 1990s. I think now, they have cottages for rent there. They look pretty nice. Maybe someday, we’ll get back to Virginia and rent one. Or maybe not.
I also remember going to the Fort Eustis sand pools when I was a kid. They had two of them for years, but then closed one. In 2007, they closed the other one because a child drowned. Someone in the Flashback group said they were working EMS that day and remembered the tragedy. It’s a pity, because that was a fun place to visit. They were basically freezing cold manmade lakes with floating docks you could dive off of. There was sand on the “beaches” and the shower houses were kind of gross. I still remember a lot of fun picnics there with friends. Germany actually has some lakes like that, too. Maybe sometime, I’ll convince Bill to visit. He doesn’t like to swim as much as I do.
I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts lately. Zane’s right front paw, which he had surgery on last year, has been giving him trouble. It looks like the scar tissue is irritated. He has another lump on his side, which could be a lymph node or another tumor. He’s acting fine, though. In fact, he’s as chipper as ever. I still worry about him because he’s my baby. I woke up before 4:00am and immediately started feeling anxious. I know I should relax and enjoy him. There will come a day when he truly will be in trouble and my concerns will be legitimate. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t become a nurse. ETA 2022: Zane died of lymphoma on August 31, 2019. I miss him.
We’re going to France again tomorrow… back to Ribeauville. We’re staying in a studio sized apartment because the big one we usually take is spoken for. It was a last minute decision for us to go. I just wanted to get out of town again. I find it’s good for my sanity. Hopefully, the dogs won’t bother anyone this time like they did last time. I have some ideas of new things to do and places to see. Even though we’ve been to this part of Alsace several times, we still haven’t seen and done it all. Ribeauville is close enough to Stuttgart that it almost feels like it’s part of the area, even though it takes a couple of hours to get there.
Of course… it would be nice if we were near a beach. I mean a real beach, not a river or a lake. I would love to take a trip to Croatia and hang out for a week, eating good seafood, lying in the sun with 80 SPF sunscreen, and just chilling out. But this is the year of the concerts, so I guess I’ll just have to be contented with lots of shows.
Maybe later, I will think of something to rant about… or maybe I’ll finish my latest book. For now, here’s a boring post, except for those who remember the Tidewater area the way I do.
Here’s another repost from May 23, 2018. I’m reposting it, because I think it’s funny. Keep in mind, this happened four years ago, before the world went to pandemic hell.
Last night, while quaffing too much wine and getting overly emotional about musical selections on iTunes, I ran across an article about a woman from Charleston, South Carolina who purchased a $70 cake from a Publix supermarket. Cara Koscinski’s son, Jacob, had just graduated from homeschool “Summa Cum Laude”. Just as an aside, I didn’t realize Latin superlatives were a thing for people finishing high school. But apparently, this young man graduated with highest honors, finishing with a GPA of 4.79.
Koscinski had used Publix’s online ordering system to acquire the cake. When she typed in “Summa Cum Laude”, the system automatically censored the word “cum”. So Ms. Koscinski, thinking that a human being would be looking at the comments section on the order form, explained that the word “cum” in this instance was referring to the Latin phrase, not the disgusting slang term for semen.
Unfortunately, the person who decorated the cake was lacking both critical thinking skills and the powers of observation. The person decorated the cake and wrote “Summa — Laude”, omitting the word “cum”. Koscinski’s husband, who picked up the cake at the store, did not look at it before it was presented to Koscinski’s son, who was reportedly “humiliated” when he saw it.
Few things here… First off, it was a very stupid mistake. I don’t blame Ms. Koscinski for publicizing this or even speaking to the manager about this oversight. The online ordering system obviously needs to be updated in some way and the bakery employees need training. Clearly, the person who decorated the cake was either working on autopilot or needs to be educated about Latin phrases that might be requested for decorated desserts. At the very least, the rest of the world deserves to have a good laugh at the stupidity of this error.
Secondly, I kind of think Ms. Koscinski’s anger is a little bit out of proportion. I mean, as sad as it is that apparently no one else at that particular Publix has ever ordered a cake with “Summa Cum Laude” on it, the error is kind of funny. And if Jacob was really “humiliated” by a mistake that wasn’t his fault, he’s probably going to have a tough time of it in the real world. When it comes down to it, it’s just a few dashes of icing that will be eaten, anyway. Evidently, the young man felt he had to explain the term “cum” to his grandmother and why it would be censored on the cake. Kind of makes me think he must come from a very sheltered family who doesn’t eat a lot of cum.
And finally… if there’s one thing to be learned about this story, it’s that whenever you purchase a decorated cake, it pays to look at the finished product before you leave the store. It might also be a good idea to order the cake in person or skip the grocery store bakeries and patronize a small business instead. Actually, just reading about this reminds me of our wedding reception and how I wish I’d used a small catering service in town instead of the one offered at Virginia Military Institute. I think I would have been much happier with the results.
Ms. Koscinski did get an apology, a gift card, and a refund from Publix. They also offered to remake the cake for her. She declined, stating “You only graduate once.” That may be true, but Koscinski’s son will probably be cumming for the rest of his life. At least he’ll have a funny story to share about it.
I’m having some trouble coming up with a fresh topic this morning. I’m not sure why that is… Maybe it’s because I don’t want to write about what’s really on my mind today. Let’s face it. Things are kind of dark these days. It’s especially depressing to read all of the embarrassingly unscientific whining I’ve seen from people I used to think were really smart. But anyway, today’s post is kind of on two themes that are sort of loosely connected. I am all for freedom of expression and airing of opinions. Sometimes they lead to deep thinking and good conversations. And sometimes, they lead to head shaking and scratching.
For instance, there’s a guy I knew in school who went to an excellent university and went on to become an architect. Obviously, science and math are strengths of his. But yesterday, he shared a post about how Southwest Airlines’ pilots deliberately called in sick as a protest to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
I did consult Snopes about this post. Snopes says this is bullshit. Stop and think about it for a moment. A whole lot of people in the airline industry were laid off in 2020. Now, things are opening up again, and airlines, like a lot of other would-be employers, are scrambling to hire people. Moreover, SWAPA, the union for Southwest Airlines’ pilots, had this to say…
I find it particularly interesting that the author of the first post I screenshot cites that “80% of Southwest’s pilots are ex-military” (in my experience, there’s no such thing– that indoctrination doesn’t wash out in most people). Anyone who has served in the military knows that when you join up, Uncle Sam owns your ass, and you WILL be taking any and all vaccines that are required, unless you have a damned good and mostly medically based reason not to. That’s just how it is. Those who refuse the vaccine will likely end up discharged or they’ll get a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand, or GOMOR, which is usually a career killer.
At least for part of any servicemember’s time in the military, there will be indoctrination and a temporary loss of freedom. It’s hard for me to understand how so many people in the military are so politically conservative, when their jobs basically require them to submit to the government and all of its requirements for service– everything from staying at the right weight and health standards, to not mouthing off at your boss, to going wherever in the world Uncle Sam sends you (and sometimes your family).
Aside from that, the military offers quite a few programs that, if you think about it, are pretty socialist… especially if you happen to live on a military installation. Maybe a few pilots or staff members are striking over vaccine mandates, but I don’t think this is a widespread thing… and even if it is, the writing is pretty much on the wall worldwide. The vast majority of people are most likely going to have to be vaccinated if they want to be employed.
My husband has had to prove he’s gotten the vaccine, as have all of his co-workers. His company even stated that anyone who doesn’t want to get vaccinated will have a tough time moving to another company, because all of the contractors are requiring that employees get the vaccine. Why? Because the government is also requiring it. The U.S. government is my husband’s company’s client, and they want everyone to get the shot(s). So everyone is either getting vaccinated, or looking for new work.
I know that’s not what some people want to hear, but it’s the way of the world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I suspect that if COVID-19 isn’t under control soon, people who refuse to cooperate may find themselves in the same situation that many people who don’t cooperate with tuberculosis vaccines and treatments are in… basically detained, so they can’t spread their sickness to everyone else.
Someone else I know shared this post…
My friend had COVID-19, and posted that it was horrible for her. She writes that she had to go to the ER more than once. And yet she evidently thinks that the vaccines are solely about making money. I am as skeptical about the motives of Big Pharma as a lot of people are, but so far, the vaccines have been offered to the general public (at least in the USA) for free. Yes, the pharmaceutical companies are charging governments for the vaccines. Someone has to pay the cost of employing scientists and the materials that go into making the vaccines. And I also agree that natural immunity certainly has its place… although when it comes to COVID, people didn’t have natural immunity, which is why so many have gotten very sick and/or died.
I might have been alright with taking my chances with COVID-19 before the Delta variant came along. At this point, count me among those who are glad there’s a vaccine.
Anyway… on with the title of this post. I promise, the first paragraphs relate to it.
Three years ago, before all of this COVID crap started, people were mostly talking about Brett Kavanaugh, who is now a Supreme Court Justice. I was one who was against his confirmation, mainly because I didn’t think he was worthy of the job. Donald Trump was talking about how “scary” it was to be a man in 2018. In response, a singer-songwriter named Lynzy Lab wrote a cute song called “A Scary Time”.
Somehow, I found a woman named Britt’s response to Lynzy Lab’s ditty. Britt was young and pretty, and she made a video on YouTube about how Lynzy Lab’s song was mostly fallacious. Her overall point was that all of the things Lynzy claimed she can’t do because she’s a woman were, in fact, things she could do if she wanted to. Britt did allow that some of the things Lynzy sang about were things that might be riskier for a woman to do, like walk alone at night. But yes, if Lyzny really wanted to, she could walk alone and likely wouldn’t be accosted.
Of course, we all know that when it comes to doing things like walking alone at night or leaving a drink unattended or getting a little drunk, women are statistically at a higher risk of being victimized. Lynzy was simply pointing out that Donald Trump and his ilk had no business complaining about being “scared” to be men, when guys like Brock Turner can rape an unconscious woman behind a Dumpster, get sentenced to just six months in jail, and then be released before the six months had passed!
I noted in my post about this subject that Judge Kavanaugh was outed for being a drunken boor in high school and college, but he still gets to be a Supreme Court Justice. He has a sweet gig for the rest of his life, even though there’s compelling evidence that he has hurt women in the past. It’s not such a scary time for Kavanaugh…
And Donald Trump, who is a well-known and admitted abuser of women, got to be the President of the United States for four regrettable years! People STILL want him to be president, even though he has publicly stated that he admires dictators and would happily kiss, caress, and grab beautiful women by the pussy, because he’s entitled as a “star”. Not such a scary time for him, either, is it?
I guess the one thing these guys all have in common is that they’re all privileged white men with access to money and political connections. And at no time in U.S. history has it been “scary” for privileged white people (especially the ones with penises). That includes people like the ones I posted about above, who feel quite free to lament the COVID-19 vaccines because they think the pandemic is a bunch of hooey. These are people who, statistically speaking, will probably fare better if they’re wrong about COVID. They’re more likely to be able to access medical treatment and have adequate support as they recover. Although sadly, even some of those who are privileged are still dying of the virus.
So anyway, about the YouTuber named Britt. I initially didn’t want to listen to her video in October 2018, because I disagreed with her, and found her singularly unlikable. But back then, I was glad I heard her out, because some of her comments, at least on the surface, made some sense. I used to be more like her when I was much younger. Or, at least I had similar political views, even if I wasn’t as camera ready. What can I say? I grew up in a small, southern town in Virginia, and the vast majority of people there are southern conservatives. Most of them are basically good people, but they have deeply ingrained views about politics and religion, and they don’t trust alternative perspectives. They see no reason to change their views, which to me, now seem pretty limited. I will admit, though, that there was a time when I was with my southern conservative friends and neighbors. It took getting out of that environment to change my perspectives.
This morning, I noticed that Britt’s rebuttal to Lynzy’s song was no longer available, so I visited Britt’s channel. I see that even though she still has over 83,000 subscribers, she currently only has three videos available to the public, with about 16 more that are now private. All three public videos are basically about how women have unrealistic expectations about dating. She also doesn’t like fat acceptance, and she evidently thinks women in America need to stop embracing body positivity when they’re “fat”.
I disagree with Britt’s take on overweight women, and how she apparently conflates body positivity/fat acceptance with feminism and being “unattractive” (see today’s featured photo, which appears on Britt’s channel). But I will agree that obesity can exacerbate health problems and can cause or worsen a lot of mental health issues. People should try to be as healthy as possible, and for a lot of people, that means that weight loss is a very desirable thing (as is vaccination). I just don’t like the way Britt presents her message, which is just offensive, snarky, and shitty. I can see that Britt is very young and pretty, at least circa 2016, and I remember she was still young and pretty when she made her video about Lynzy Lab, back in 2018. I seem to recall she was in college at that point. I wonder how Britt will feel when she’s a bit older and life kicks her in the ass a few times.
I also wonder where the rest of her videos went. Obviously, she was once a very popular v-logger. She has a link to Instagram, too. But I see that her Instagram is now completely defunct. What happened? Maybe she migrated to Parler? Maybe she got sick or fat? Maybe she ended up with COVID? Hard to tell… but I do remember that back in 2018, she stated that Democrats need to be “voted out” of office. Why? So we can have more misogynistic, power hungry creeps like Donald Trump running things?
I don’t disagree that sometimes feminists and, in fact, people on the left, go a little too far. Personally, I’m much more of a political moderate than a liberal. I don’t embrace all liberal concepts. I do, however, believe that compassion is severely lacking in today’s society. I think Britt’s content lacks compassion and understanding, and while I can see that she was popular before her channel’s content got so severely reduced, I notice that many of her followers are spewing the same mean spirited and unkind things she says.
I remember being young and cocky. I agree that a lot of young people, at least until today’s current weirdness, were probably a bit “soft”. On the other hand, I think we should try to be kinder and more understanding to each other, whenever possible. A lot of people are hurting… even, and maybe even especially, young people like Britt, who appear to have everything to live for. Just this morning, I read about how the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has canceled classes today, because one person on campus committed suicide and another attempted it. Things are looking bleak for many people.
Britt probably ought to thank a feminist for the fact that she was able to go to college, and can now publicly present her conservative, feminist shaming, and fat shaming opinions on social media. If Trump and his ilk had their ways, women would be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, listening to Trump supporting guys like Reid Baer singing songs like this to them…
I will close this post the same way I closed the last one I wrote about this particular YouTuber…
I hope Britt wakes up and smells the “covfefe” soon… (but maybe she has, since most of her videos are either private or gone…)
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?
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