disasters

Onward to Switzerland… seven courses of weirdness

I think I’m at the point I always get to when I’m on a long break. It’s about time to go home. Today, we’re going to head to Switzerland for a couple of days, on our way back to Germany. I look forward to the next hotel. I think it’s going to be very different than the one we’ve been in all week. For one thing, kids under sixteen are not allowed to stay at the hotel from June to December. That’s because it’s affiliated with a clinic that provides healthcare, particularly to the elderly. So, I expect it will be quiet, which will be a nice change.

We are also not planning to do half board, which means no more menus from hell. Tuesday night’s menu of mushrooms was pretty horrifying for me, but at least it didn’t make me hurl. Unfortunately, last night’s seven course tasting menu did. Yes, I did drink alcohol last night, too. But that was not what made me puke. It was the earthy flavors. I have mentioned before how much I dislike mushrooms. Well, that includes flavors that are mushroom like… even if they aren’t actually caused by mushrooms. I don’t like earthy stuff at all.

So, after doing my best to try all of the courses last night, which ranged with items from cauliflower to the exotic Jerusalem artichoke with grapes, I was then confronted with veal, with asparagus and some kind of sauce. I don’t typically eat veal. I can eat it, but I don’t often choose to. I like asparagus. I think it was the sauce that did it. I tried to eat some asparagus and immediately started retching. The asparagus tasted a bit mushy, which reminded me of canned asparagus, and paired with the sauce, it made my stomach turn. I never even had a chance to try the veal. I had to spit out the asparagus, which was embarrassing, because people probably noticed.

Then I started getting the telltale stomach pains that come from feeling like puking. I got up to go to the ladies room. I had just come back from there, right before the veal course, only that time it was because I needed to pee. This time, it was because I was sure I was about to lose my dinner. I breathed a sigh of relief when I did manage to calm down my stomach, even as I was annoyed that the motion sensitive light in the restroom kept turning off on me before I was finished doing my business.

I went back to the table and tried the dessert, which was mostly raspberries, sorbet, and foamy cake, with some kind of green plant garnish that tasted weirdly like garlic to me. But I triumphantly powered through that last course… I thought I was going to be okay. And then we went back to the room, where I started doing my nightly routine. I brushed my teeth. Then I started to cough and immediately felt the familiar stomach pains. That was when everything came up. I had two relatively polite hurls, then one super powered deluge, which necessitated an extra shower and a quick wiping down of surfaces surrounding the toilet. Then it took about two hours for everyone drinking on the patio to finish up and go to bed.

I have enjoyed Italy. I always do. We’ve had a great time here. But it’s time to go home… and I look forward to beautiful but dull Switzerland in a quiet health spa hotel for two nights. Then, I look forward to seeing our sweet Arran again, washing my clothes, and doing lots of writing. This getaway has definitely been memorable, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that half board isn’t a great choice for me. Neither are tasting menus with exotic ingredients, or places that are super kid friendly.

I think I need to get back to good, old-fashioned, crappy American food.

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Trump

Cowering in the basement with the lights turned off…

That was our “president” yesterday. While the country falls apart with riots, protests, and looting, our moronic POTUS is still tweeting his nonsense and failing to do his job. Last night, former President Barack Obama stepped up to the plate with words of leadership and wisdom. I have noticed that both Mr. Obama and former President George W. Bush have both stepped up lately to offer words of comfort. Meanwhile, Trump threatened the masses with military action and staged a photo op in front of a boarded up church while holding up a Bible.

The church in question, St. John’s– the so-called church of the Presidents because every one since James Madison has gone to services there– had been briefly set on fire. Trump had nothing of substance, decency, or comfort to say to the many people who are hurting and scared right now. Instead, he told governors that they were “weak” and need to dominate and arrest the protesters, or else look like “jerks”. This is the same idiot who, a few weeks ago, encouraged citizens to rise up against their governors who ordered them to stay home due to the coronavirus. And he was tweeting about how “weak” the governors are from his fucking basement.

Yes. Yes he did. And yes, that came from the one and only Michael McDonald, former Doobie Brother and musician extraordinaire.

One of my witty friends quipped that the Bible Trump was holding was probably a fake one with a hollowed out center for a Big Mac. I suspect Trump hasn’t got the foggiest idea what is in the Bible or what it stands for, but it makes for a noteworthy prop, I guess. He didn’t pray or mention George Floyd. Instead, he went for his obvious base, evangelical Christians who accept him because he “claims” to be a Christian who is against abortion. He held up a Bible while peaceful protesters were dispersed with tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets. Meanwhile, a visiting priest who was trying to help frightened protesters leave the area was sprayed with tear gas.

Apropos…

The lights at the White House were turned off last night. I thought it was oddly appropriate. No one is home. No one is leading the country. Trump is acting like a dictator, yet he’s cowering in the nation’s most popular residence and threatening people with the military. Thank God Bill is retired. I would hate for him to have to deal with this shit.

I woke up at 3:30am this morning. I couldn’t sleep. I made the mistake of looking at Facebook and saw everything that happened last night after I went to bed. It’s absolute madness. I’m not much for prayer, but I might break down and offer one today for all of those who are on the front lines of this mess. Donald Trump has no empathy. He has no leadership ability. And he has NO BUSINESS leading the country. It’s time for him to leave office. He won’t, of course. He’s going to be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House, a place he once referred to as “a real dump“.

Speaking of dumps…

This is being offered for sale by the German super store, Real. We used to shop there all the time when we lived in Jettingen. How sad is it that our leader is so disgraceful that I can buy toilet paper with his visage on it from a German retailer? I wouldn’t want Trump’s likeness near my genitals, nor do I want to spend 2,95 euros on this… but still, it’s pretty sad that he’s so shitty that the Germans let you wipe your shit with a likeness of his face.

Anyway… I don’t know what today will bring. Probably more shock and dismay. I’m going to go practice my guitar now. At least I’m making progress with that.

Too bad John McCain wasn’t elected president before he died. He would have been so much better than Trump is…

I really hope more people wake the fuck up and join our demands that we get rid of this orange asshole stinking up the country. He’s a disgrace.

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disasters, Trump

The country is disintegrating…

It’s hard for me to fathom what is happening in the United States right now. I’m watching The New York Times updating at intervals as people violently react to George Floyd’s murder by cop. After I wrote yesterday’s post, I read about what happened in Floyd’s case. Prior to that, I had only seen the horrifying pictures of him slammed to the ground, hands cuffed behind him, begging for his life as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck.

Chauvin’s knee remained on the helpless man’s neck for about eight minutes, causing him to die at age 46. Three other officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, were also at the scene. All four have been fired, and prosecutors are trying to determine whether or not to prosecute them.

I read that Mr. Floyd was arrested for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. He lost his life over an allegedly fake $20 bill. Guys like Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who shot up Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015 and killed nine innocent black people who simply wanted to worship, sit in prison awaiting death sentences that will take years to come. Meanwhile, George Floyd, who was never even convicted of the crime for which he was being arrested, dies at the scene of his arrest. George Floyd, who was known as a talented athlete and a “gentle giant”, was treated worse than an animal in the last minutes of his life.

People are understandably outraged. A police precinct in Minneapolis has been set on fire. Stores are being looted by angry people. Politicians struggle to do damage control. I’m sure some of them are as outraged as the public is, but the cynical side of me believes that they also want to be on the right side of history… and by right, I mean correct. Because right now, the “right” side of American politics is pretty ghastly. As the United States falls further and further into disrepute, Trump stokes the fires by saying things like “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” and calling the protesters “thugs”.

I read this morning that Trump also retweeted a reprehensible comment by a group called “Cowboys for Trump”, who said that “a good Democrat is a dead one.” Trump thanked this group, as its leader, Couy Griffin clarified that he meant Democrats should only die in a “political sense”. But then, in an interview, Griffin basically accused Democratic governors Ralph Northam of Virginia and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan of treason and said they should suffer the punishment that comes with treason. The punishment for treason is historically death, either by firing squad or hanging.

Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protesters in Kentucky hung an effigy of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear from a tree. The effigy bore a likeness to Beshear, as well as the slogan “Sic Semper Tyrannis”, which means “Thus always to tyrants”. That slogan is well known in history, as it was shouted by John Wilkes Booth in Ford Theater as he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

Sitting here in Germany, I feel pretty insulated from all that is happening. The coronavirus, while still a threat here, has been fairly well contained. People are cooperating with social distancing and mask wearing and any protests have been peaceful and relatively quiet. I don’t have to watch the news, since I don’t have local TV. I see what’s happening on social media and read about it in the news… I see photos and read comments from my friends who live in the United States. But from here, it just looks like a horror show from which I’m far removed, even though that’s my country that’s falling apart, and Donald Trump seems ever more hellbent on destroying it by signing new rules attempting to control social media from fact checking his continually ridiculous comments.

As awful as I thought it was when Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, I never had a clue that it could get so bad so fast. I never thought I’d see the country go down in flames the way it has been, especially this year. And yet, people still champion him. I just don’t know what will happen if he wins in November. I genuinely fear that he will destroy the country. In fact, maybe he already has destroyed it. Do people not see that Trump is trying to act very much like a dictator? Emboldened by the fact that he survived impeachment, Trump is becoming more and more unhinged… and nothing is being done about it.

It really makes me scared and depressed. I worry about the future. Trump has made America hate again. He encourages people to protest against their state governments. He cheers on racism and white supremacy. He excuses his abuse of woman as “locker room talk” as he brags about sexually harassing them. And people still think he’s just awesome. What does he have to do before people open their eyes and see him for the vile person he is?

It’s just so incredibly sad…

Meanwhile, yesterday I decided to prune my social media list. Most of the people I deleted were people I either don’t talk to or have already deactivated their accounts. However, I did decide to unfriend one guy who posts almost nothing but political screeds against Trump or angry posts about an ex who left him in 1985. I’ve never met the guy, nor does he ever post on my stuff. I do have a friend, though, who decided to unfriend him because he had been inappropriate. She wrote that after she unfriended him he sent her a message basically chastising her for “kicking him in the teeth.”

Minutes after I did my pruning, he sent me a private message apologizing if it was “something he said.” I explained that I needed to avoid negative political posts for my mental health. His response was “I won’t bother you anymore. Goodbye.” Then, he blocked me. I guess he wasn’t really a friend, after all. A real friend would want me to preserve my mental health, right? Well… he’s still got over 1200 people who haven’t unfriended him yet. I’m sure he’ll still get his supply from them. What a nut!

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