memories, mental health, psychology, stupid people

Spanking is for losers, leches, and lazy people…

This morning over breakfast, I saw today’s featured photo on Facebook, shared by the Retro Wifey page. I don’t often think of that page as controversial, as the woman who runs it usually shares nostalgic pictures of old toys, retro clothes, ads for discontinued restaurants and businesses, and the odd meme. In fact, I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to what she posts, and I almost never comment. I wasn’t going to comment on the photo about spanking. Instead, my first reaction was to X out the picture and snooze the page for thirty days. I often do that with Father Nathan Monk’s page.

I decided to leave a comment when I noticed the dozens of people who were championing the physical punishment of children. You see, I have noticed that when it comes to spankings and similar punishments, results tend to vary. My southern, conservative, alcoholic, Air Force officer dad raised me like he was raised by his own alcoholic father. When my dad decided I had misbehaved in some way, he would often employ spanking as his “go to” discipline.

Because I was a bright, high-mettled child who could be sassy, I got a lot of spankings. They didn’t happen daily or weekly, but they happened often enough that I couldn’t count how many times they happened in my childhood. I don’t remember my father ever being calm when he delivered them. He never had a talk with me about why what I did was wrong. My dad never offered me a hug or encouragement to “do better”. Instead, when he felt correction was necessary, he would fly into a rage, grab me, and spank (or slap) me with his hand as hard as he could. I would scream and cry, and he would just keep hitting and yelling at me.

My father’s spankings were terrifying experiences for me every time they happened, from the time I was a toddler, until I was an adult. Yes, that’s right. The last time my dad raised a hand to me, I was almost 21 years old. That was when I told my father that if he ever laid another finger on me in anger, I would call the police. Although my dad was outraged by the threat (which was actually a promise), he must have known I was serious. The next time he tried to hit me (when I was 26 years old), I reminded him about my promise, and he wisely backed off. That was the last time he ever tried to use physical “punishment” on me. I decided that from now on, anyone who hits me had better kill me.

I’ve written a number of times about why I don’t think spanking is an effective disciplinary method. I’ve thought a lot about why I feel the way I do. I’ll tell you one thing. When my grown man father unleashed his frustrations on me, a little girl, I didn’t feel respect for him when he finished. Instead, I felt a mixture of rage, sorrow, pain, fear, and hatred for him. To me, it doesn’t make any sense to demand “respect” from someone by hitting them. Physical punishments may inspire immediate compliance, but the violent imprint is hard to erase.

Decades after my last “spanking”, I still have a lot of unresolved anger toward my dad. I still deeply resent him for the traumatic memories I have of those discipline sessions, and the way they made me feel. If my father had done to my mother what he did to me, people would call him a wife beater. And yet, people on Facebook still champion spankings as good parenting, claiming that their parents were “right” to hit them. They claim that spanking is what taught them “respect for others”. I’m sure it hasn’t occurred to them that hitting another person isn’t a respectful thing to do. Especially when the person is as powerless on every level as most children are.

My dad died in 2014. I didn’t cry much, which surprised me. I think I had a lot of mixed feelings about his death. Yes, it was hard to lose my dad on the most basic of levels. Over six years, I watched him go from an independent man, to someone completely dependent on my mother. He had lost his ability to think clearly and move freely. So, in a sense, I was relieved that he died, just to free him of the terrible reality of living with Lewy Body Dementia. There were also some good times, when he was thoughtful, funny, and kind. I remember he could be fun, especially when I was little. Sometimes, we had some interesting discussions.

But, I was also legitimately glad I didn’t have to see him again. Never again would I have to hear him complain about my laugh, or make comments about my body or hair. I would never have to see his reddened face again when he was angry. He would never again try to compete with me or resent my successes and failures. I wouldn’t get another unsolicited phone call from him, criticizing my life choices or demanding an accounting of how I spend my time.

I’m sure if I had asked my dad if he loved me, he would have said yes. In fact, he did tell me he loved me somewhat frequently. So that’s why it’s confusing to me that a man who supposedly “loved” me was okay with hitting me. Would he have encouraged my husband, Bill, to hit me whenever I made him angry? What would happen if that was Bill’s way of dealing with everyone who annoyed or angered him? He’d probably be unemployed, and possibly incarcerated.

My decision to write about spanking again today came about because, when I saw that photo on Facebook, it triggered me. Before I knew it, I was once again spilling my guts to Bill about old, traumatic memories. It can’t be a good thing to still be angry about things that happened 40 years ago. When I’ve talked to spanking proponents about this, they’ve implied that I should just “let it go.” As easy as that suggestion is to make, it’s not always an easy thing to do. If it were easy to just “let it go”, I would have done that years ago.

Other people have excused spanking, claiming that what my dad did wasn’t actually spanking. They tell me it was abuse. A couple of people have even gone as far as calling my dad’s spankings “beatings”. But who decides what constitutes a spanking, and what constitutes a beating? My dad called what he did “spanking”. I don’t think he ever learned about spanking from someone knowledgeable about the subject. I think he did to me what his father did to him. And, I distinctly remember that my father had very negative opinions of his father. He very rarely spoke of him. When he did, it was usually when he was drinking. I don’t remember him having good things to say about my grandfather (whom I never knew). In fact, at Thanksgiving, when family members would speak of Pappy, my dad would usually leave the room.

At 50 years of age, I still have a lot of issues with my self-esteem. I don’t feel lovable to most people, and expect most people to dislike me, so I don’t make an effort to make friends. In my experience, making friends with people usually ends in disappointment. While I didn’t have the worst childhood, and many have had it worse, I still feel quite angry about the way I was treated. That man was half responsible for my being here. The least he could have done was treat me with basic respect. Especially if respect was what he expected from me.

I know it’s water under the bridge. I will never get an apology for the way I was raised. There is comfort in knowing that at least I won’t pass this crap to a new generation. I’m also grateful that I married a very gentle, disciplined, and kind man, in spite of his career choice. I don’t have to worry about physical abuse anymore. But dammit, it still hurts when I see people praising corporal punishment, claiming it’s the way to save humanity by instilling “respect” in children.

Children don’t learn respect from being hit. They learn fear. There is a HUGE difference between fear and respect. I just wish more people would stop and think about how they’d like to be remembered by their children before they raise hands to them. I doubt my dad would like knowing that I still resent him for treating me the way he did.

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law, safety, true crime

But we don’t really need gun control, do we?

This morning, as I was taking down all the Christmas shit in my living room, Bill read me a very tragic news story coming out of Newport News, Virginia. I am very familiar with Newport News, as I grew up in Gloucester, Virginia, which isn’t that far away from there. I used to think of Newport News as kind of an exciting place, as it was a lot more populated than Gloucester was, and it had shopping malls. Now, I kind of think of it in less glowing terms, as there’s a lot of crime and random violence there, not to mention too much traffic. That’s been the case for a pretty long time.

The shocking story Bill told me about today involves a six year old boy. The first grader somehow got his hands on a firearm and took it to Richneck Elementary School. Yesterday, at about 2:00 PM, the boy shot his teacher, a woman in her 30s. Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew says they don’t know how the child got the handgun, but the shooting was not accidental. It happened in a classroom, after the child had an altercation with the teacher. She’s now at Riverside Regional Medical Center, being closely monitored by doctors, as she recovers from the wounds delivered by a six year old child. I am familiar with Riverside, having been there as a patient a couple of times myself.

ETA: Last night, I read that the teacher was identified as 25 year old Abby Zwerner. She is a fairly recent graduate of James Madison University and current resident of Williamsburg, Virginia, a town I know well. We even have a mutual Facebook friend.

ETA 2: It turns out our “mutual Facebook friend” is Abby’s aunt, whom I was friends with in high school. Six degrees of separation, I tell you. My friend shared a GoFundMe for Abby.

A news story about the shooting at Richneck Elementary School.

Richneck Elementary School serves about 550 students. There are metal detectors at the school, but up until now, students were checked randomly. I’m sure that policy will change, thanks to this incident. That will mean more hassles for the students, and another reminder that schools are not as safe as they once were. It’s also one more example as to why many talented adults might not want to go into education. Imagine this teacher, whose charges are among the youngest in school, being shot by a six year old! She probably thought she was working with a relatively safe population of children. Obviously, she can’t think that anymore.

I wish I could say I was rendered speechless by the news Bill delivered about this latest shooting. Sadly, having watched the violence unfolding in US schools over the past twenty plus years, I can’t say that this development is super surprising anymore. I don’t know what the hell has gotten into people in the United States, but it’s definitely a much more violent place than it was when I was coming of age. When I was in school, we didn’t need cops to be permanently stationed there to keep the peace. Sometimes my classmates would bring their guns to school, but only because they were going hunting, not because they wanted to shoot people.

Now, the boy has been arrested, and his future is in serious jeopardy. Fortunately, only the teacher was injured; no students or other staff members were hurt in the attack. The teacher’s condition is said to have improved somewhat over the course of the afternoon. I’m not sure what that means, as the teacher’s actual injuries haven’t been disclosed, other than to report that they were initially believed to be “life threatening”. One news report included the 911 call, which mentioned that the teacher was shot in the abdomen.

An update by Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew…

The superintendent of Newport News Public Schools, Dr. George Parker, said at the news conference that “we need to keep guns out of the hands of our young people.” Yeah, no shit. There are too many guns in our communities, and too many children are being exposed to gun violence. I don’t know a thing about this little boy, except that his life has now been forever altered. Does he even realize the seriousness of what he’s done?

I also wonder about his parents. Were they responsible for the fact that their child got ahold of a weapon and took it to school? Or was it a friend or a relative? Somehow, an adult let this child down, and now he’s going to have to pay for this action for the rest of his life, even if he doesn’t spend the rest of his childhood incarcerated. How did he learn how to use a gun?

According to the New York Times:

“I cannot control access to weapons,” Dr. Parker said. “My teachers cannot control access to weapons.” He added, “Today our students got a lesson in gun violence and what guns can do to disrupt not only an educational environment, but also a family, a community.”

Dr. Parker said school would be closed on Monday “as we work on the mental health of our staff and our students.”

It’s going to take a lot more than a day off school for the children to heal from this scary situation. Schools should be safe places for children. But then, homes should also be safe, and it doesn’t sound like the boy in this story has a safe home. I hope there will be criminal consequences for the person responsible for allowing this child to get his hands on a gun. This is a situation in which I do think prison time is entirely justified. Not only did this person put everyone at that school in danger by allowing a six year old access to a weapon, but he or she also ruined this child’s life before it’s even really begun. And that is tragic and, indeed, criminal!

If there is a bright side to this story, it’s that even though school shootings are very much on the rise, shootings perpetrated by very young children are still very rare. According to the New York Times, at this writing, there have only been 16 incidents since 1970 involving a child under age 10. This is based on research done by David Riedman, who founded the K-12 School Shooting Database after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in 2018. According to Riedman, there has only been one school shooting incident that involved someone younger than six years old. That incident happened in Memphis, Tennessee in 2013, when a 5 year old kindergartner discharged a firearm in his school’s cafeteria. No one was injured in that incident.

Anyway… I still don’t like Newport News, because it’s always been kind of crime ridden and congested. Now it has the distinction of being a place where a six year old can bring a gun on school grounds and open fire on his teacher. That is extremely and profoundly heartbreaking on so many levels. I pray the teacher is able to recover, and this child gets the intense help and intervention he obviously so desperately needs. I also wish the staff, students, and faculty at Richneck Elementary School all the best as they process what has happened. No wonder so many parents would rather homeschool these days!

I don’t want to just offer thoughts and prayers, because that seems to be a very trite thing to do… but I don’t know what else to do, other than shake my head and feel completely shocked and dismayed at the state of the world these days. It’s just terrifying, and so very sad.

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politicians, politics, true crime, Trump

Today’s politics are scarier and more violent than ever…

Yesterday, I heard about how yesterday, Paul Pelosi, the 82 year old husband of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was attacked by an unhinged intruder in their San Francisco home. The intruder, allegedly 42 year old David DePape, reportedly screamed “Where is Nancy?” repeatedly before he struck a man almost twice his age in the head with a hammer.

While it’s not lucky that Mr. Pelosi was attacked by a psychopath in his own home, it is fortunate that he was able to call for help before the violent attack began. Police arrived at the Pelosi home at about 2:30am and witnessed Paul Pelosi and DePape both holding a hammer. The attacker was able to get the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and began savagely hitting him with it. The police immediately tackled the barbarian home intruder, disarmed him, and arrested his ass. While the police have not said what the motive for the attack was, I think it’s pretty clear that it was an intentional attack, rather than random. That guy meant to murder Nancy Pelosi, who was in Washington, DC. Instead, he beat her husband– an 82 year old man– with a hammer.

The suspect had entered the house and attempted to tie up Mr. Pelosi until Nancy Pelosi got home. Mr. Pelosi told the intruder that he needed to use the restroom. That was when he called 911 and left the line open so the dispatcher could hear what was happening. The dispatcher was able to think quickly enough to figure out what was happening and sent the police.

This story is chilling. Donald Trump has blood on his hands.

It’s hard to imagine any decent person responding to this story with anything but disgust and outrage. Unfortunately, the Republican Governor of my home state of Virginia, the disgraceful Glenn Youngkin, had this to say about the attack on Paul Pelosi:

“Speaker Pelosi’s husband had a break-in last night in their house, and he was assaulted. There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re gonna send her back to be with him in California. That’s what we’re going to go do.”

I wonder what Youngkin would say if someone broke into his house and beat the hell out of his wife with a hammer, looking for him. His response should have been one of empathy and disgust, and nothing else. What’s very sad about Youngkin’s inappropriate comment is that some people are no doubt cheering him on. He won’t pay a price for making such a tasteless, unkind remark. The Republican Party, egged on by the vile Donald Trump, who literally ordered his followers to “fight like hell” on January 6, 2021, has become a gross distortion of what it once was.

While it’s true that many people on either side of the political spectrum believe that the other side is going to destroy the country, there are quite a few of us who are moderates that would like to see things get back to normalcy. I hate to read about crazy, politically motivated criminals plotting to kidnap governors who are just trying to do their jobs. I hate reading about police officers abusing their power because of politics. I hate reading about family members of political leaders being viciously attacked in their own homes. That’s the kind of thing that happens in what Trump would call “shithole countries”.

As for Paul Pelosi, he is now recovering from a fractured skull. He also has injuries to his right arm and both hands. He is, fortunately, expected to make a full recovery in spite of the scary, violent attack… physically, anyway. I’m sure psychologically getting over this attack is going to take more time. Maybe more time than he has left in his lifetime. Mr. DePape, who is also currently hospitalized, is now facing charges of attempted murder of Mr. Pelosi, as well as charges of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and several other felonies, according to San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. I hope they throw the fucking book at that guy. He doesn’t belong in a free society.

Naturally, in the wake of the attack, the press has been looking into DePape’s online activities. Sure enough, they’ve found lots of evidence that Mr. DePape is a right wing, QAnon nut, with plenty of anti-semitic posts on social media in which he denies the Holocaust and makes false allegations of election fraud. He refers to far-right Web sites, conspiracy theories, and right wing blogs. He’s well known to the police, as he was also a nudist activist who promoted quartz crystals and hemp, and once declared himself a member of the Green Party.

The funny thing is, DePape is a Canadian who grew up in British Columbia before invading the United States. He’s estranged from his family. I suspect he probably has a mental illness, which means maybe I should show compassion. But his crime makes me very angry. I think of my own father, who died at age 81, and was very frail and suffered from dementia. I didn’t always get along with my dad. In fact, I had a disturbing dream about him this morning in which he had morphed into a young Chinese man and was berating me for writing a blog. Still, senseless violence, particularly when it’s directed at children, pets, or the elderly, really pisses me off.

This isn’t the first time Nancy Pelosi has been targeted by criminal right wing zealots due to her work in politics. On January 6, 2021, her office was one that was ransacked by the lunatics who attacked the Capitol building. This isn’t to say that people on the left haven’t sometimes gone unhinged. On the other hand, I remember the actress and comedian Kathy Griffin got canceled simply for holding up a picture of Donald Trump’s bloody head. I don’t condone what Griffin did. Violence isn’t cool. But no one actually got hurt by that stunt. I see she was also condemned by Democrats for doing that. The same right wing idiots who sent Griffin, and her mother, death threats about a mere picture of Trump are now actually hurting real people. I find it depressing and scary… and it really makes me ashamed of my country.

What is especially gross are the people who are laughing about this. When I did a search for David DePape on Facebook, the first result that came up was from some shithead who was making a joke about this event. I honestly can’t understand the mindset of someone who would laugh about an 82 year old man being violently and viciously attacked in his own home, simply due to his wife’s politics. It’s disgusting and abhorrent. Do these people really think their actions make America better? Because as an American living abroad, watching this unfold makes me think I don’t ever want to go back there.

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dogs, healthcare, politics, Trump

Chemo, comedians, and crazy Trump supporters who need a clue…

As I write this, Arran is about 17 hours beyond his first chemo treatment. He is noticeably better than he was 24 hours ago. I was a bit worried about him last night. He took the actual chemo treatment well. It consisted of infusions of Vincristine at the vet’s office, then some Prednisolone, and another chemo drug delivered by tablet called Endoxan. In the United States, Endoxan is known as Cytoxan, or Cyclophosphamide. I’m supposed to wear gloves when I give him that drug, and when I pick up Arran’s poop or clean up any urine accidents in the house.

Prednisone and its various incarnations are pretty incredible. We’ve given it to three of our dogs when they’ve had cancer, and the short term results are kind of miraculous to watch. However, the drug has some pesky side effects. Arran got me up twice last night because he needed to pee. On the other hand, the drug also stimulates appetite, which Arran actually needs right now. He had gained an undesirable amount of weight over the past couple of years, but has now suddenly lost some. So, eating is good, because I have seen cachexia in dogs, and it’s not pretty. This morning, he eagerly ate a full ration of his usual kibble, which he hasn’t done in a week or so.

But what really impresses me is that I just felt his lymph nodes, which I haven’t been able to bring myself to do in several days. They are noticeably smaller, and probably hurt less. The vet is concerned because Arran’s a little anemic, which apparently isn’t uncommon with canine lymphoma. It may mean he’s further along in his illness than we’d hoped. On the other hand, everything I’ve read online has told me that he should have already died by now. I knew he had lymphoma when I spotted the enlarged lymph nodes, but it took the vets about two weeks to confirm the diagnosis, because the results of the fine needle aspirates each took a week. I suppose we could have taken him straight to Tierklinik Hofheim, which is an actual hospital, and that would have delivered faster results. But, again, we aren’t hoping for miraculous cures, because Arran is already elderly. We just want a little more time… or as long as he can enjoy himself before he inevitably starts to feel like crap again.

I think he’ll be around to greet Bill when he comes home tonight, and that was one of my personal goals. Next week, we’ll get him through another business trip. He’ll have another round of chemo on Thursday. I fully expect him to make it to the appointment, although I am still a realist. Just seeing him feeling better lifts my spirits, though. I truly hate seeing suffering. I would probably make a terrible nurse, because I would get depressed and burned out in a very short period of time.

But anyway, right now he’s parked behind my desk chair, farting away… He farted after his treatment, too. The tech opened a window, because it was pretty rancid.

Moving on… (and a warning that the next two parts are more profane…)

Yesterday, I watched the below video in absolute shock.

I hope the asshole who threw that can at the comedian got arrested!

Once again, I am absolutely flabbergasted by the sheer idiocy of Trump supporters. This comic was doing her routine when she got heckled by some Trump supporting moron. The comedian handled herself beautifully, as the Trumper kept running her mouth, fucking with the comedian’s act. Comedians have to deal with that stuff, of course. It comes with the job. What they should NOT have to deal with, though, is acts of violence against them. The heckler got verbally nastier with the comedian, who refused to be cowed by the Trumper’s unhinged comments and insults. I guess the comedian’s composure was too much for the heckler, because someone suddenly threw a full can of beer at the comedian, narrowly missing her!

Without missing a beat, the comedian completely p’owned the heckler. Watch the video to see what she did. It was pretty epic.

If I were that comedian, I would definitely be pressing charges against that crazy person who doesn’t support free speech or expression and throws things at people who say things they don’t want to hear. But then, I’m not as funny as the comedian is… 😉 I’m also not as young, or as patient. I don’t suffer bullies. Edited to add: CNN reports that it was a man who threw the beer can, as the heckler had already been kicked out of the venue.

I have really had it with Trump supporters, and it’s not because I’m a “leftist”. I just want life to go back to some semblance of normalcy, when there was an expected level of decorum in our country’s leadership. In what world is it okay for someone to attend a comedy show and throw a full can of beer at an entertainer who is performing on stage? On a smaller scale, it’s the same kind of shit that Will Smith did to Chris Rock, and it’s completely UNACCEPTABLE. What that person did is against the law, and he should be punished. And it really upsets me that people have lost so much respect for each other, and for elected officials that they think it’s okay to act like that.

You don’t like someone’s comedy routine? Just get up and leave. You don’t get to be violent because a comedian says things you don’t want to hear. If that beer had hit the comedian, she could have been injured. Fortunately, the Trumper missed, and the comedian had the chance to turn that foolishness around on the stupid bitch. I don’t usually like to namecall, but in this case, I think the situation calls for it. That person obviously doesn’t know how to behave in public and shouldn’t be on the loose. In that way, she’s not unlike her hero, Donald Trump, and his fucking stooge minions, Marjorie Taylor, Lauren Boebert, Greg Abbott, and all the rest of the extremist MAGA fuckwits who want to turn the United States into Gilead.

Edited to add: The comedian’s name is Aerial Elias. CNN also covered this incident, and evidently, the woman who heckled her was escorted out before the beer was hurled by a MAN. Aerial declined to press charges against the guy, but the club is pursuing legal action. I hope he gets NAILED. I am going to do what I can to support her work. She’s got a new fan!

Edited to add again… No charges for the beer thrower. Shameful!

Moving on…

Once again, some Trumper on Amy Klobuchar’s page decided to leave me a comment when I posted that I voted all blue. The guy was more concerned about cheap gas and inflation than human rights, women’s rights to privacy, and basic decency. He claimed that Americans think Biden has turned the USA into a dystopia. I told him to speak for himself. He came back with some tripe about money, and how rising prices was making his life terrible. I was going to respond to him, but I decided that dealing with Arran is stressful enough. If he doesn’t see why having MAGA extremists in power is bad for America, and the world at large, nothing I can say will convince him. So I used my block button again.

I know that very few people care about opinions that don’t match theirs, and I don’t want to deal with strangers who think I need to hear from them, when all they care about is $1.89 gas and $20 extra in their paychecks. As a conservative white male, he doesn’t understand why taking away women’s rights to make private medical choices was a bridge too far for a lot of people, myself included. That’s why I am DONE with Republicans, because how dare they?

I just watched the latest installment of The Handmaid’s Tale. I wasn’t too surprised by what happened at the end, but I did have a flash of recognition as I listened to June talk to Serena Joy about hate and violence in the world, and the wish that their kids would do better. We used to be better than this. The Handmaid’s Tale is scary viewing, not just because it’s so violent and depressing, but because a lot of what’s in that show is frighteningly close to real life… and not just in the United States, either. I hope some people wake the fuck up and vote accordingly.

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Germany, music, News, social media, YouTube

Time to change the subject…

Yesterday was quite a day. It wasn’t a bad day, per se. We had beautiful weather, and I was productive, with new posts on this blog and the travel blog. I also made a new music video, which was very suddenly inspired after lunch, as I was listening to my HomePod. The Cox Family’s beautiful version of “I Am Weary, (Let Me Rest)” came on. I like to sing that song and realized that I hadn’t recorded it yet. I also realized that there were three chords in the song and I could play it on my guitar. So that’s what I did…

I think it turned out nicely, even with my amateur guitar work.

Originally, I tried to make a live video to go with this. I even put on makeup! But after four takes, I just couldn’t get the video to look right. I get pained looks on my face when I sing, and I just felt too unattractive and self-conscious. So I used photos of the Rhein River and my dogs who were… resting.

I didn’t share this video far and wide, nor did I really promote it. I did share it on the Recovery from Mormonism board, because there are people there who seem to enjoy my videos. It was kind of disheartening that the first comment was from someone who wasn’t logged in, and they decided to provide links to the original song. I thought about asking the person what they thought of the video I made, since that was the topic I started. Then I realized asking what they thought of the topic at hand would make me sound egotistical and entitled, so I ignored the person’s comment. There was one other comment. It was from the resident legal all knower, who enjoys arguing with people and telling them they’re “wrong”, even on matters of opinion. Her comment was about the Cox Family, too. I kind of wish I could just delete the thread, now. I guess I won’t share links on RfM anymore.

Well, at least Bill liked the video. He was visibly excited when I was done recording. No, he wasn’t “excited” in that way. 😉 The below post from Facebook gave me a good chuckle. I don’t think Planet Earth is where this fellow lives. Why is he so obsessed with looking at other men’s junk?

Religious people are fucked.

A couple of days ago, Bill and I attended a little fest in Hofheim, which I included in my post about it on the travel blog. As I heard about the shootings at the Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, it occurred to me how fortunate we’ve been, living in a country where most people aren’t armed. At that little fest we attended, people were singing and dancing to live music, arm in arm. They weren’t hurling insults at each other, based on their religion or political beliefs. And I never once worried that someone might get shot. In fact, I felt very safe, as the fire brigade was there, showing off their fire engines. We also ran into a very charming gentleman with an organ grinder, playing and singing music to kids and making balloon animals. It used to be that way in the United States. Unfortunately, it’s not like that now.

As the day wore on, I found myself drawn into Twitter again, reading irrational comments from abusive people who compared anyone pro-choice to people like Jeffrey Dahmer and Adolf Hitler. I don’t understand why these folks don’t have an issue with gun toting nuts roaming the streets who open fire on innocent bystanders at parades, but they can’t abide a woman having an early abortion of an embryo, which isn’t yet sentient and has no concept of life, death, pain, or terror. But these folks aren’t known for their brain power or reasoning skills, are they?

I ended up waking up at 3:15 am to go to the bathroom, and when I noticed I had a shit ton of notifications from strangers on Twitter, I decided to delete the app. I’m going to have to make a conscious decision not to visit Twitter often, because it’s far too toxic and abusive, and I have to safeguard my mental health. That’s also where Ex lurks, and while her tweets are good fodder for my blog, they aren’t very good for my mental health, either.

Speaking of Ex… or not really speaking of her, but her granddaughter… The little girl turned 3 yesterday. Younger daughter sent us a video, showing off one of the gifts Bill sent. It was a little pink princess tent, which they had already put up for her. I was the one who suggested the tent. I figured she’s the only girl now, and she might like to have a little tent as she gets a bit older. It will make a place for her to play with her toys, take naps, and read books, if she likes reading. Apparently, the tent was a big hit with big brother, too. He got on the camera and showed off a new toy he got. Bill also bought his granddaughter a little STEM garden toy, that teaches kids about how to garden. It might be a little advanced for her now, but she’ll probably love it when she’s a bit older.

Bill’s birthday is also coming up. I bought him a pair of Keen sandals. He’d asked for them, having worn Keen shoes for years. The Keen shoes are very comfortable, but they don’t breathe. The sandals don’t have that problem. I have worn Keens for over ten years now. They are my favorite summer shoes. I can’t wear their other shoes, though. In the winter, I wear Danskos. So much for stylin’, although neither of these shoes are inexpensive brands. They just aren’t particularly sexy. I dress for comfort.

Anyway… I don’t have it in me to write a screed today. I need a break from the usual topics. I found myself, once again, getting very angry about the lunacy coming from the United States. Sometimes, living over here makes me feel a strange sort of “survivor’s guilt”. I’m really feeling a lot of disdain for the United States now. It’s gotten absolutely crazy.

Another July 4th is down the tubes. July historically sucks for us, so hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come in 2022.

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