Ex, narcissists, Twitter

Now she wants a “Funko”… I’m almost afraid to ask.

This is another inappropriate post. You probably won’t be interested.

Okay, if I’m honest, I couldn’t resist finding out what a Funko is. I will reveal it further downpost. First, I want to issue a report.

I need to write something kind of funny today, because I had a pretty rough night last night. Arran had his latest chemo treatment and seemed to suffer from side effects. I wrote about it here, for those who are interested. Now I’m suffering a bit. I’d make a terrible nurse. I’m glad Bill is coming home tomorrow.

I’m almost ready to write a new book review. I might even get to it today. First, I want to write about Funkos and other fuckery found on Ex’s Twitter. When last I posted about her, I wrote about how she’s convinced she’s a Scot by blood. Now, she’s back to hinting for stuff. One of Ex’s Twitter buddies posted a GIF from Outlander. Ex added her giddy response beneath it.

This isn’t too cringey, I guess. I mean, it’s definitely icky, but it’s not too bad, as Ex goes. What gives me a fright is the suggested post beneath it. This isn’t one that Ex posted on, but it is related to Outlander. I’m surprised Ex didn’t respond to this, to be honest. She’s into this kind of stuff, according to Bill.

Yikes! I know… some people enjoy this kind of attention. I think I’d probably reflexively kick the guy in the face. I’m very relieved that Ex didn’t reply to this post. I’ve already had one dry heaving session this morning.

The next post is a familiar one. Ex reveals a little about herself, and says she’d “kill” for a pool. Actually, she’d kill for a lot less than a pool. I know this for a fact.

I’d kill for a pool. I love to swim and can go for hours!! Alas, it is not anywhere in my near future!! Sigh but then, neither is a new Peaker subscription. Which is killing me!!

I already knew about Ex’s love of swimming. Bill told me all about it. Ex is also a Pisces, which is the sign of the fish. Hmm… that seems to go hand in hand with the above pic, doesn’t it? I know… that was mean. I’m usually only mean to people who ask for it. As far as I’m concerned, Ex’s conduct over the past 33 years or so have made her someone toward whom I don’t feel guilty about being mean. Anyway, she makes my head swim, so why wouldn’t she be a fan of swimming?

Bill and I had a pool at our last US based rental house. It was nice. I think if I ever have to live in Texas again, I will insist on having another pool. However, I know there is a drawback to that. In our last US neighborhood, one of the neighbors wanted us to let his kids use the pool That was a big, fat, awkward NO, for so many reasons, starting with liability and ending with the fact that I don’t like sharing and feel no obligation to, especially with a total stranger who has the nerve to ask for access to our backyard. The pool was kind of a pain, too, because a pipe broke, and it took the landlord forever to get it fixed.

The next part of her Tweet is a lament that she can’t afford a “Peaker” subscription. This is a reference to Sam Heughan’s “My Peak Challenge”, which I looked up because of Ex. Apparently, it’s a wellness thing. For $149 a year, you get videos, recipes, and a t-shirt. I can’t help but think about how I just ordered a new computer for a couple thousand euros, which I have the money to pay in full for, when the charge posts on my credit card. It wasn’t always like that. For a good portion of our marriage, Bill and I were strapped for money, too. We worked hard to get to where we are now, and we also know that but by the grace of God, we could easily wind up broke again.

For over ten years, Bill sent Ex $2550 a month for three kids, one of which wasn’t even his child. He also spent a long time climbing out of the financial hellhole Ex left him in, due to her outrageous spending habits. For that, she denied him any access whatsoever to his kids, and she tried to ruin his relationship with his own parents. And, she also had the nerve to shame Bill for buying a cheap palm pilot type device, back when they first split up, and she was still trying so hard to control him. Of course, now that the child support gravy train is long ended, Ex can’t satisfy her desires so easily. I’m sure she’ll find a way to buy her subscription for Sam Heughan’s “Peaker” club, though. She always does.

In fact, in the very next post, Ex posts this:

So… she doesn’t have money for a My Peak Challenge subscription, but she DOES have money for TWO signed copies of Waypoints, a book by her beloved ideal man, Sam Heughan. That’s not such a big deal, as I see that the books retail for less than $20. But two of those cost between $30 and $40, which is a significant chunk of the $149 she would need for her subscription. And a Jamie Fraser Funko Pop, which she says she wants for her birthday next month, is not so cheap, depending on who’s selling it.

What can a Funko Pop do, anyway? At least a subscription to the My Peak Challenge might contribute to Ex’s health and well being. This is just a fucking toy… and not even the FUN kind she can use between her legs. I’ve got nothing against buying “toys” to make one feel better about life. But we have it on good authority that Ex doesn’t cover her own needs before she buys this kind of stuff.

Of course, it’s none of my business or concern… except for the fact that all of this stuff is publicly posted. I am reminded of certain other women I’ve known who had serious problems with shopping addictions. They are people who must have what they want when they want it, no matter what. And a lot of them wind up with pretty dreadful credit ratings. Sadly, they often brazenly financially abuse their loved ones, too.

And finally, the last of her latest tweets are about Alexa “wake up” calls by Sam Heughan. I guess #3 isn’t doing it for her anymore… and obviously, based on her newfound interest in Scotch whisky, neither is Mormonism…

Well… that about does it for my latest Ex inspired snarkfest. I feel slightly cheerier now. It’s a dreaded Thursday, which means I get to vacuum. And then I expect I’ll finish my latest book, so I can write something more people will want to read. Have a happy Thursday.

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Ex, narcissists, Twitter

Scottish by blood, Ex? Really?

More ragging on Ex. You’ve been warned.

I had kind of a crappy weekend. We had bad weather. Bill had to leave for another weeklong business trip yesterday. Saturday night, I found an enlarged lymph node on Arran, which indicates that the chemo is starting to fail. Arran is still acting like himself. In fact, he let me stay in bed until about 4:15am, when I finally got up by my own choice and asked him if he wanted to eat. He practically leapt out of the bed and danced all the way downstairs. I think we were all hungry, because I didn’t make dinner last night. I was too busy watching Body Cam cop videos on YouTube and drinking beer. I only had two, though, so that wasn’t bad.

I started reading a compelling new book last night. I’m already well into it, because I didn’t sleep well. I woke up at about 2:00am, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I finally dozed off for about an hour, and Bill sent me a private message, which made my watch vibrate. I do love that man… but now I’m feeling kind of cranky and snarky. I see the weather is still kind of yucky, too. So, I might as well rag on Ex again. Why not?

Last week, I mentioned that I found out that I have ties to the Fraser clan in Scotland. Ex also proudly claims to have ties to the Fraser clan. We seem to have ties to different branches of that clan, which fills me with relief. I’m not particularly proud to have ties to the Fraser clan. I don’t know much about them. But, if I have to have ties to them, I’d prefer them to be distant from Ex’s professed ties. She’s not someone I want to share DNA with at all.

Truth be told, according to Ancestry.com, I have ties to quite a few different clans. Make no mistake, though… I am an American. I was born there, and have spent most of my life living there– in Virginia, mostly. Germany is catching up in terms of the number of years where I’ve lived. It’s now in second place. I’ve spent about ten years in Germany– a total of six living in Baden-Württemberg, and so far, four in Hessen.

I’m still an American, though… even though 23andMe has only found a slight trace of Native American DNA. If I were to go only by my DNA, I’d definitely be a Brit… and most likely, a Scot. However, it’s been a few hundred years since my ancestors last lived in Scotland and other parts of the British Isles. Most of them moved to the United States in the 1600s and 1700s. So, I think calling myself Scottish would be impractical, disingenuous, and kind of pretentious.

Sure, I definitely look the part, and I definitely enjoy Scottish humor and libations, and sometimes I wish I could be anything other than a US citizen, especially given the dark road our country has been on of late. But Donald Trump is half Scottish, so that’s reason enough for me to embrace some of my other heritage. 😉

Ex, on the other hand, is convinced that she’s a Scot. And not only is she a Scot, but she’s downright aristocratic. She never misses a chance to brag about it on Twitter, either. She’s a super fan of Outlander, which I just realized is on Netflix. I’ve never seen the show, and before I started watching Ex’s Twitter feed, had never heard of the author of the books or the actors who portray the characters. Ex is apparently obsessed with them, and has now adopted Scotland as her “home”. To my knowledge, she’s never even been there to visit, but she does have an active fantasy life.

A few days ago, she was all excited about Robert Burns…

Thanks for this lovely tribute to Robert Burns!! Sam is a great example of how much we Scots love him and all he does for the heart and soul of Scotland. I for one long to go home to Scotland and just breath… Slàinte Mhath, Tash!! Happy Burns night!!

Um… I’d love to know if Ex even knows the most basic of poetry written by Robert Burns. Oh, maybe she knows “Auld Lang Syne”. I remember the first poem I knew was written by him, but I learned it due to being in a choir. It had been set to music, just as “Auld Lang Syne” is. Below is the version we did in 1991, done by a different university’s choir.

Aw….how pretty. Makes me want to join another choir. I still remember the soprano part and the words. Music is a good partner to the English major.
This version is beautifully done. Better than the one above, in my opinion. The first version is probably more like what my choir sounded like. We didn’t have enough really good male singers.

I’d be surprised if Ex even knows the poem, “A Red, Red Rose.” But maybe she’s gotten into Scottish poetry and reads it in bed, after an Outlander watch party. Bill says when they were married, she was obsessed with Ireland. They even had claddagh rings. Older daughter has an Irish first name, too. It was chosen by Bill, but Ex downplays that fact. Now, she’s obsessed with Scotland…

Funny thing about Ireland. Bill’s surname is Irish, and to me, he really looks Irish. But, according to our DNA tests, I’m more Irish than he is. 😀 My maiden name originated in England, and I’d always assumed we were mostly English by ancestry. Apparently not.

I’d barely recovered from Ex’s crowfest about Robert Burns, complete with fake “Scottishisms”, when someone posted another photo of her dream man, Sam Heughan (who looks a lot like Ron Howard, to me). Ex wrote:

I love this pic on the right. He was out and about when he saw a fan trying to snap a picture… so he flashed them his sweetest smile. He loves the fans and respects them… let’s make sure we ALL reciprocate!

But then she is gently corrected…

It wasn’t a fan, it was paparazzi.

So then she writes:

Ohhh that actually makes me sad, then. I’d heard it was a random fan. I wish the press would leave celebrities alone and concentrate on matters that need our attention, dire or uplifting. Extra pics of our favorites can’t make us love them more after all!!!

Um… she wants the press to leave celebrities alone, yet she’s constantly tweeting at them and asking them to give her daughter an internship. See Mark Hamill, Sam Heughan, Chris Evans, and Diana Galbadon… I guess she doesn’t see herself at the same level of peskiness as a paparazzo. Based on what happened to Bill during his relationship with her, I would say she is every bit as damaging, if not more so.

Next, there’s a gushy post about how handsome Sam Heughan is, and another poster writes:

Today, I told my long time husband, “I apologize for never being slender.” It’s not in my DNA. I said it because I see him perk up at women, who I don’t think are attractive, but they’re slender. Then I said, “You can apologize for not being a 6’3″ buff ‘red’ haired young man.”

Ex responds thusly:

Och aye!

It’d be hypocrisy to objectify @SamHeughan (&@ChrisEvans) best looking men I’ve seen, but I don’t think it’s just looks that make me feel that way. I think it’s his heartfelt philanthropy, genuine desire to help others be healthy, the way he lives his best life.

It seems to me that Ex would be best off not ever meeting her heroes. I doubt they would live up to her impressions of them. I also know that her ideas of the perfect man are constantly evolving. She demands that her men play a role, rather than be who they are. What I think is sad is that she had a truly wonderful, caring, willing partner in Bill, but he wasn’t good enough for her. So now, she’s with #3, who apparently never even bothered to give her a wedding ring. See below:

Yeni… I have been married nearly 21 years and do not have a wedding band.

…I’m totally there with you! The teacher should have returned this and apologized. IMHO!

The above comment was in response to a post someone made about a teacher who had confiscated a love note from a 7th grader who had given it to a classmate. The note quoted When Harry Met Sally. “Yeni” had said she never got something so romantic from her husband, and Ex decided to throw shade at #3, I guess.

She did have a ring with Bill, but they were cheap, gold plated affairs. When Bill and I got married, we bought platinum rings from Mervis Jewelers in the Washington, DC area. That was important to him. He wanted good wedding rings for our marriage, so our marriage wouldn’t resemble a country song…

I don’t think Bill knew this song in 2002, but I think he and Ex actually got rings from a pawn shop.

Next, she crows about a new season of the show, complete with a clear indication of her priorities.. Ex isn’t “from New England”, either. She just lives there right now…

I’m from New England, US. I put it on my family calendar so I would NOT forget to watch & share. I labeled it “Mom Unavailable”. When that popped up on my phone I didn’t know what it was for!

Spent all day trying to remember, how could I forget this:

That actually makes me laugh, because it’s as if she ever is available to her kids. I happen to know that her kids were generally expected to take care of themselves, often to criminal levels. They were also expected to take care of her, too… as in doing all of the cooking and housework. Woe be unto anyone who made a dish Ex doesn’t want to eat, either, even if there’s no food in the house.

Of course, now four of the five of the kids are adults, but they mostly raised themselves. It’s a shame, too, because Bill had really wanted to raise his kids. She wouldn’t allow it. And now older daughter is taking care of her youngest… whom Ex describes, after a tweet about Tyre Nichols:

This terrifies me. I’m mother to a large, strong non-compliant autistic boy. If they told my baby to sit down, he would; but he would run away home the second he could. This beating could have happened to my son, anyone’s son. There is no service or protection here just murder.

Yes… and she uses that “boy” every opportunity she can, to prop up her “caring supermom” facade. Meanwhile, instead of looking after her son, she tweets at more strangers with creepy preludes like this:

I’m only 45 minutes from Boston! We’re neighbors! When the cast comes again, let’s go together!

And…

Och aye!!! I want to come and make your acquaintance!! I’ve been doing my genealogy and have traced my mother’s line to the Frasers du Lovat up in the Highlands!! We’d have so much fun!

And…

Oh Cat, we love you so… love your hat #samwho too btw!! Without Claire, there would be no Jamie to swoon over. I’d say, just as many swoon over Claire and the way in which you play her, as swoon over Jaime and the way @SamHeughan plays him.

I wonder if the actors and authors Ex tweets are weirded out by these breathless, gushing, adoring posts?

I was going to ignore all of this stuff, though. I really was. I keep telling myself that I need to find a new topic to write about. Maybe do something more serious and useful to the general public or something… but let’s not kid ourselves. This is just a blog, right? And I’m just the interloper who married her divorced ex husband, whom she totally screwed over on every level. I decided not to ignore it when I saw this. Yet another declaration of her being Scottish by blood…

She can’t just say she’s disgusted. She has to bring up her alleged fancy Scottish heritage again… to a perfect stranger. LOL… Then she moves on to Lynda Carter’s page, where she swoons and sucks up some more. It’s enough to make me want to hurl. 😉

I’m beginning to feel like H.G. Tudor on YouTube, who has made so many videos about Meghan Markle. I think Ex and Meghan have a few things in common, although Meghan is younger, prettier, skinnier, more famous, and much wealthier. H.G. Tudor would tell me to stop paying attention to what Ex does… but he doesn’t really follow his own advice, because he makes so many videos about people he claims are narcissists. But then, H.G. claims that he’s a narcissist, too.

I don’t claim to be a narcissist. It’s possible that I have narcissistic traits, as most people do. But I don’t have that particular personality disorder. If I did, Bill would be long gone by now. I think I’m just a garden variety eccentric, made dysfunctional by alcoholism and neglect on the part of my parents. I have empathy, especially for Bill. I appreciate him for all he does. I don’t even get crushes anymore. He’s absolutely the right man for me, and boy do I miss him when he has to go away for the week. I will always be grateful to Ex for dumping him.

Actually, as Bill and I were talking about Arran and how he will probably be leaving us, soon, we both expressed appreciation for his original adopters. They kept him for nine months, calling him Marley. Then they brought him back to the rescue. He’s turned out to be a wonderful dog for us. We’re grateful they brought him back to the rescue, even though I know it really hurt Arran to be “dumped”.

Likewise, as disgusted as I am by Ex’s spectacles on social media, and the way she gushes at celebrities and strangers, as she abuses people she supposedly loves, when it comes down to it, I feel gratitude, too. Because when she divorced Bill, she gave me a tremendous gift. He’s the right man for me. I’m genuinely glad he wasn’t “good enough” for her.

Still… I totally cringe when she claims to be a Scot… and I kind of wish many more of my people had hooked up with some French and German people, instead. 😀 Then I remind myself that, yes… I am an American, as Ex also is, and as an American, I should try to be a good example of our people to the Germans I live among today. So I think I’ll end this post and do something constructive… play some guitar and maybe cook a roast, or something. That will make Arran happy, and maybe I’ll be less hangry tomorrow. Ciao.

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first world problems, movies, technology, true crime

The big meltdown…

I thought we were going to get more snow yesterday. A few days ago, the weather gurus were calling for it. I keep the shutters pulled down in my office, so I didn’t pay attention to the weather. It obviously warmed up a lot during the afternoon, because by the early evening, a lot of the snow had melted. That means that when the sun is up, and I go dog poop hunting, there will be a lot to collect.

I kind of hate this part of a snow event. When it all melts, everything becomes really sloppy and wet. But, the alternative is that it stays really cold, and the snow sticks around for ages. It gets all dirty and dog piss stained. I like to watch snow fall, and I enjoy seeing it on the trees and covering the ground, but it can be messy when it melts. It’s doubly bad when it melts and freezes, causing sheets of ice. I’m getting too old to fall on my ass and not worry about injuries!

I hadn’t meant to repost two blog entries yesterday. In fact, I’d had every intention of writing something fresh. Somehow, I just never managed to get around to it. I couldn’t think of a good topic, and then Bill and I watched several movies on our “good” TV. Usually, I watch the TV in our bedroom, which is fine. We also have a really nice television in our “entertainment/Noyzi’s room”. Until Christmas 2022, we only had one chair in there, plus the rugs were full of Noyzi’s hair. But then I got a new office chair (which I put back in the entertainment room) and a new vacuum, so I could clean up the tons of dog hair in there. The room is more comfortable now.

Yesterday, we watched Airplane!, Arthur (1981 version), and International Falls. Of course, we’ve both seen the first two films many times, but neither of us had seen International Falls. I downloaded it some time ago and completely forgot about it, never having watched it. It’s an interesting, quirky, and slightly depressing film. Bill liked it a lot. I didn’t mind it. Watching the 80s era movies in high definition was a weird experience. I was inspired to buy more tech gadgets so we can have better sound in that room. I’d like to get a couch for in there, but I’m put off by the prospect of getting it up the stairs to the room.

I’m also thinking about getting a new TV for the bedroom, now that I’m reminded of how nice our “good TV” is. I’d move it to the bedroom, but it’s too big to fit on my dresser, and we have sloped walls. We have an old TV in our guest room that we bought in 2007, when flatscreen TVs were new. I remember we spent $900 on it. Now, you can get a really nice TV for a third of that price. I think I’d like to buy a new TV; then I realize that buying one will mean more electronic waste. We already need to dispose of several old computers and a broken freezer. And… it’s also about time to get a new desktop, since the one I currently use is starting to have problems.

Sigh… such boring first world problems. I could be writing about the depressing news of the world today. Maybe that would be the more socially responsible thing to do. I didn’t sleep well last night, though. I woke up at 2:00 am to pee, and Arran got up. He wanted food. Then I couldn’t fall back to sleep, so I started reading more of my latest book. Reading the book ultimately lead to seeing the news, which led to reading the moronic comments.

Seriously… it’s so frustrating to see how people always have complaints about everything, especially regarding politics. Nothing ever gets done, especially when it comes to gun violence. The end result is that more people died, thanks to some unhinged idiot with a weapon. 72 year old Huu Can Tran got a bee in his bonnet, for some reason, and took it out on people at a dance hall he used to frequent. Now, ten more innocent people have died, and more are in the hospital. At least Huu Can Tran is also dead. He took a coward’s way out, but at least he won’t be killing anyone else. Sadder still is that, once again, I find myself more apathetic than shocked. Shootings in the USA are much too common these days.

I also found out from my friend, aunt of Abby Zwerner, that some jerk made a Facebook page pretending to be her. The person was probably hoping to scam money from well wishers. It’s too bad that people can’t get fucking jobs, so they might earn money the honest way, rather than trying to steal it.

These things, along with being tired, make me cranky on a Monday morning. But things can always be worse. We have much to be grateful for, in spite of the bad news. Younger daughter sent me a nice email this morning, which was really great. I love getting emails that have nothing to do with business or spending money. 😉 Plus, it’s just nice to get to know her, at long last. She’s a lovely person, in spite of everything. She wanted to know more about my days riding horses, of all things.

Anyway… I think I’ll sign off and play my guitar. Then, I think I’ll go back to bed and see if I can catch an hour or two of sleep… or maybe read more of my latest book.

Toodles.

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blog news, language, musings, true crime

I need to work on my titles, don’t I?

I’ve never been very good at coming up with good titles for my posts. Sometimes, that means I get fewer readers than I might. Other times, my posts end up being more “click baity” than I would prefer. I think my posts on my travel blog have better titles, mainly because they are usually about something specific. I get tons of hits on my posts about attending nude spas, for instance.

I’ll also admit that sometimes, I deliberately title something a certain way to yank people’s chains. There’s a post on my travel blog titled “Enjoying some extra dick tonight”. I know what it sounds like… but it’s actually about extra thick pommes. In German, “dick” means thick. So, when I buy extra thick frozen fries at the store, it literally says “extra dick” on the packaging! I’m sure more than one person has been disappointed that the post isn’t pornographic, but it IS a travel blog. The blog’s title itself mentions “travel”, so they probably shouldn’t be expecting anything sexy.

I did something similar a few years ago, when I saw a stray cat walking through our rural yard in North Carolina. I titled the post, “Looking for pussy…” or something like that. Sure enough, people clicked. There are a lot of pervs out there. 😉 And I’m sure they were sad that I wrote about actual cats instead of what they were obviously looking for. It was a very short post, and my good friend, Alex, even left me a comment congratulating me on the “clever word play”. Mwahahaahaha! Because it’s such a short post, I’ll even repost it here, for the curious…

Looking for pussy…

No, not THAT kind of pussy.  I was just sitting at my desk and noticed a black cat cutting through the yard.  I decided to go outside to see where it was headed, but by the time I got out the front door, the kitty was gone.  It’s just as well, I guess.  My hounds would love to go out there and chase that cat and Bill is allergic to them anyway.

I came back inside and Bill asked me if I went looking for the cat and I said I was looking for pussy.  That made him laugh.  The dogs were whining up a storm and Arran brought me a toy when I came back inside.  That’s one of his more adorable doggy behaviors.  Whenever anyone comes home, even if it’s just after a few minutes or so, he responds by giving them one of his chewed up toys.  In this case, he brought me a stuffed duck that makes a quacking sound when you squeeze it.  All of my dogs have loved the stuffed duck toys… probably even more than they love the toy squirrels I’ve brought them.

The packers are coming to pack up our house on July 23rd and will load the truck on the 25th.  I guess we’ll leave on the 26th or 27th and start our long ass drive to San Antonio. 

I bet this blog post will get a lot of hits because I used the word pussy…  People have such dirty minds. 

In other news, this post is my 700th.  I’ve been a busy little beaver.  😉

This was very interesting, since I had never seen an armadillo before… not even in a zoo! And it was in Georgia, not Texas. Our dogs went NUTS.

I included the above video of an armadillo I filmed when we lived in Georgia, then added to the end of the above post, “Or, since we’re moving to Texas, I should say I’ve been a busy armadillo.

Arran doesn’t bring us toys anymore, mainly because we no longer give him free access to them. That’s mostly Noyzi’s fault, because Noyzi has been known to eat toys, and we don’t want to have to have them surgically extracted. But, when we give Arran a toy, he will still play with it for a minute or two. Then he demands a treat.

This post seems really random, but I do have a point to make…

I need to get better at coming up with post titles, because sometimes the titles I come up with encourage people to comment before they read. And, as some of my regulars know, that’s one of my pet peeves. It happened the other day, actually. I wrote a post called “But we really don’t need gun control, do we?” I included a screenshot of the sign for Richneck Elementary School, where a six year old child deliberately shot his 25 year old teacher last Friday. At this writing, that post has just nine hits.

I have a whole lot of friends who are teachers. One of them commented on my Facebook link for that post. Below was our exchange:

I think I gleaned more than my friend bargained for when I read her comments.

My friend must have thought my post was a liberal and impersonal rant about gun control, based only on the post’s title. For the record, I do think we need more gun control in the United States. I don’t see how we can continue to go on the way we have, where people don’t feel safe carrying out their usual tasks of the day, because they don’t know who is packing heat.

When I titled that post, I was thinking about how absolutely terrifying it is that a six year old CHILD got his hands on a firearm and KNEW HOW TO USE IT! He was skilled enough that he could aim that gun at a teacher and seriously injure her. And he carried the weapon into the school and pointed it at a beautiful 25 year old woman who was just doing her job. By so many accounts, Abby Zwerner is a much beloved and respected teacher. She could have been killed by a six year old. How scary is that? And then I found out that I’m actually kind of connected to Abby, simply because I lived and worked for so many years in the area where she lives.

In my original post about that incident, I mentioned that Abby and I have a mutual Facebook friend. She teaches in a city near where I grew up, and where I still have a lot of friends. I was born in Hampton, Virginia, which is adjacent to Newport News, where Abby teaches.

It turns out our mutual Facebook friend is a woman I knew in high school. We were in a lot of classes together. I used to sit with her at lunch, when we were ourselves students in public high school, back in the 80s. I remember her stepmother was a substitute teacher, getting her own teaching credentials. Abby’s aunt, my high school friend, is also a teacher with a doctoral degree who teaches in the same geographical area. One of her best friends is an Air Force colonel, who also went to school with us. I just got a Christmas card from her the other day.

So now, I feel even more connected to that incident, even though I moved out of the Tidewater area of Virginia about 23 years ago. It’s still “home”, even though I don’t really have a home to go to down there anymore. Not only do I still know a lot of people from that area, but I also have connections because of so many of my friends– people who have never lived in the Hampton Roads area– who are teachers. And what happened to Abby, could have happened to any one of them. I’m sure all of my teaching friends are feeling a special kind of terror about this case.

My dear friend who wrote the above comments is very special to me. I would be absolutely DEVASTATED if she got seriously hurt while on the job, never mind if she was killed. She doesn’t teach in Newport News, but she is a Virginia teacher. I can’t even fathom how scared she must be to read about gun violence in schools. Because of where I went to college, I know a lot of teachers. I remember watching them prepare for their careers in our dormitories at Longwood University. Their coursework often involved a lot of reading, papers, and tests, as well as complicated art projects. I never even knew what contact paper was until I went to Longwood and made friends with budding teachers. They were constantly using it to make learning aids for their students.

There is so much preparation and dedication involved with becoming a teacher. It’s a lot of work for not that much money… but at least in the early 90s, there weren’t constant gun related events in schools. In those days, my friends were blissfully unaware of the bloodshed that was coming to America’s schools from 1999 onward. My friends who became teachers all have one thing in common. They are kind, caring, creative people who love working with young people. But now, they have to fear for their lives as they do their jobs. My friend wasn’t the only teacher who wrote about how teachers get blamed when kids do crazy things. Another former high school classmate– not someone I was friends with– wrote something similar about the crisis in public schools.

Maybe I don’t really want people to read what I write…

There is a certain freedom in writing things that people don’t think they want to read. I do use a headline analyzer, which gives me a “score” that shows how “good” my titles are. I aim for the green score, which I usually manage to attain, even though my post titles are often kind of cryptic.

After years of writing blog posts, I’ve come to realize that there’s a certain freedom in not giving too much away in a post title. I’ve frequently mentioned that I don’t write this stuff for money, so I don’t necessarily want to upset people. Sometimes I do make people angry, and they have a right to their feelings. I don’t want to deal with hate mail, though, nor do I want to be targeted by criminals. True crime posts often invite lurkers, which is unnerving. I’d rather my readers be people who know and like me, than the random person who jumps to conclusions.

So… maybe, for my mental and physical health, my post titles should stay the way they are… But then, that might lead to people continuing to assume things before they’ve read. I don’t think my friend has yet read the post she referenced. If she had read it, she’d know that I don’t blame teachers for what that little boy did. I don’t even necessarily blame the kid. The adults in his life have failed him. At least we know that he won’t be going to juvenile hall… at least not for this crime. He’s too young. But he probably will end up in foster care, which may or may not be a good thing. Foster care is a mixed bag. If that boy doesn’t get some serious help, he may very well go to juvie soon… and that will probably lead to prison.

Anyway… I’ve found that I often have connections to the things I write about, and that’s what compels me to blog. I want to put my thoughts down somewhere. I don’t mind when people read, especially if they get something good from my insights. However, I also don’t want to be a target. So… maybe these crappy blog post titles are really just a form of cowardice. Maybe it’s time I stopped blogging for the public. Or maybe I should just write book reviews, although even those can be controversial. I wouldn’t be able to post every day, either.

Today’s post probably won’t necessarily attract a lot of readers. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. But I do feel better for having written today. I hope one or two people enjoyed my insights, such as they are. Or… at least had occasion to think about them a little bit…

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blog news, musings, nostalgia, YouTube

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I don’t have much to write…

I just wrote a post for the travel blog that I was going to put on this blog… but then I realized that the content fits better with that blog than this one. The travel blog needs a little love, because most weeks I only update it a couple of times, rather than every day, like I do this blog. So I moved the original post that I was working on for this blog to that blog, and now I’m sitting here wondering what interesting things I might write today.

I see this New Year’s Eve writer’s block thing is kind of a chronic problem, as last year I did a “cross post”. That means I put the same content on both blogs, which I do on occasion. Not everyone who reads this blog reads that one, and vice versa. I’m hoping that in 2023, I can get the travel blog up a bit in hits, so I don’t reach cash out status for my ad revenue after I’m dead. As I pointed out in yesterday’s post, I don’t make big bucks writing these things. 😉

I could probably do a cross post this year, too, and this year’s post is more interesting than last year’s was. Or, at least I think it is. But I’ve got nothing better to do than write this stuff today… Otherwise, maybe I’d play Sims 4, which I don’t do very often anymore, even though I keep buying all the content. Or I’d read more of Jamie Lynn Spears’ book and cringe. She’s definitely no Paulina Porizkova, or even Matthew Perry, in the memoir writing department.

I see that last year, like this year, I’ve been doing chores today. I don’t know what it is about New Year’s Eve that makes me want to do household chores. Last year, I finally managed to get rid of the horrible chalky limescale in our bathrooms. Citric acid works wonders, not just for descaling the taps and the backs of the toilets, but it’s also great for cleaning the coffee maker. I notice that last year, I also hauled my ass up on the stepladder and knocked the scales off the shower head. I think I’ll do that today, too, as it needs to be done. Getting rid of the chalky limescale makes for a nicer showering experience, as there’s nothing to block the jets or cause the water to spray awkwardly.

I guess I do this cleaning because it feels like I should do it for a fresh start. Tomorrow is the beginning of a brand new year. It will bring with it the usual challenges, victories, and disappointments. I usually start the new year with some optimism, even though January and February are, weather wise, the most depressing times of the year, in my opinion. Up here in Hessen, it stays pretty wet and cloudy, and sometimes it gets cold. I would mind it less if we got more snow here, although even snow can get tiresome after it hangs around for weeks and gets all saturated with dog pee and frozen poop. I try to keep the poop cleaned up, but it gets buried, and then it gets all mashed up with the soil.

One thing I do look forward to this year is the prospect of more travel. Hopefully, we’ll go to more interesting places. Fingers are crossed, anyway. Maybe I’ll even take a trip “home” to the United States and see my mom, who hasn’t seen me since 2015. There are some places I haven’t yet been to that I would like to visit… and of course, I would love to go back to Armenia, just so I can show Bill where I used to live, half a lifetime ago.

I see from last year’s post that I hoped for a better year in 2022. Personally, I think I got that, but that’s just me. We did find out that our beloved Arran has lymphoma, but this year, for the FIRST time ever, we were able to do something about it. I know we will lose Arran eventually, but man, it’s such a good feeling to be able to do something, for once, when one of our boys gets cancer. It’s been a learning experience for us, and those of my friends who have been following our experiences.

I have no doubt whatsoever that if we hadn’t done chemo, Arran would be long gone by now. But right now, he’s downstairs snuggling with his favorite person, Mr. Bill. I know that some critics would say that chemo only delays the inevitable, and that the cancer will probably come back with a vengeance… but the alternative would have been that we would have lost him weeks ago. What’s the difference between treating cancer and treating a disease like diabetes? If it can be treated, isn’t too expensive, and isn’t too traumatic, why not? But, I also know that in the United States, this would have been a harder decision to make, because healthcare for people and pets is so goddamned expensive! And it really shouldn’t be. Affordable healthcare should be a right, at least for human beings. Living in Germany has taught me that Americans have gotten this policy so wrong. I hope the onerous high cost of healthcare for Americans can be rectified someday before I’m dead.

I also see that last year, I mentioned my guitar skills. Well, this year, they are better than they were a year ago. I still don’t play super well, but I did manage to post a few songs on YouTube with me on guitar. I’m still a much better singer than guitar player, but in 2019, I couldn’t play guitar at all. So that’s a good thing… I try to practice most days every week, although I do usually take off the weekends, unless I get inspired.

This year, I finally got brave and sang on camera on my YouTube videos, which I never did before. I get very camera shy, and I don’t like putting on makeup or getting dressed. I also don’t want to read rude comments from haters. I have to admit, though, people have been very kind. I get more engagement when I sing on camera, even though I’m not as beautiful as some of the places we’ve visited. And I’ve tried some songs I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, too. I’m hoping for more of that in the new year. Even if no one pays attention to my channel, I do enjoy the process of making the videos. Or, at least making the musical part. I often find myself wishing I’d started when I was much younger than I was. Ah well. Maybe someday, I’ll be reincarnated and get the chance for a do over… except maybe the new me won’t have a knack for music. Maybe I’ll be a soccer player, instead. 😉

My latest… it’s a good song for the New Year. Cheers!

I finally got multifocal contact lenses, too… which I had been needing for ages. I still don’t have bifocal glasses, but I think those are coming, if I don’t have surgery. Next year might be the year I’ll finally visit a doctor… German or otherwise. I haven’t seen one for medical reasons since 2010. That could change in 2023. We’ll see. I am getting old, after all. My body doesn’t seem to recover as quickly as it used to. German healthcare isn’t expensive, so I don’t even have that as an excuse. It’s just that– well– thanks to a terrible Air Force doctor from my younger days, I am a bit phobic of doctors. The older I get, the less I think it matters… except I know Bill would miss me if I weren’t around to make him laugh.

Maybe in 2023, I’ll try something else on YouTube. Maybe I’ll v-log. But again, I hate being on camera, and I like to write more than I like to speak. I also like to watch other v-loggers. If I become one myself, I’ll have less time to watch people like Beau of the Fifth Column, Farron Balanced, or even Trevor Coult, with whom I often disagree politically, but I find hilarious, thanks to his thick Northern Irish accent. I also think I’d go a bit nuts trying to make videos where I speak, because I would invariably mess up, which would mean do-overs, which take a lot of time. I’m kind of a perfectionist, too, so that would be a problem. I suspect my channel will mostly stick to music. At least I don’t attract as many rude comments when I make music. 😉 Perhaps this year, I’ll finally write an original song and sing it on YouTube. That would be something different. A year from now, maybe I’ll be writing about that. Who knows?

Well, it’s time to wrap this up… It’s about 1:45 PM and time for lunch… the very last one of 2022. So, I will now close, and wish you all a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year. Let’s cut this cake and take this year home… so I can take down the fucking Christmas decorations. 😉

See you tomorrow!

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