music, politicians, politics, social media, Texas, weather

“At least I’m not in Texas…” Did I actually have the cojones to say that out loud?

The featured photo comes from Wikipedia and references a popular slogan that tough talking Texans like to bandy around about their (or should I say *my* state)… but Bill tells me it was actually an 80s era slogan they used to discourage littering. This post is full of cussing, so if you don’t like that, you know what to do and where to go… preferably not to Texas.

Yesterday, there was an article in The New York Times about Europe’s current heat wave, which I’m sadly enduring here in Germany. A woman went to the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, and offered tips on how she stayed cool during her trip. I decided to leave a comment. I will admit, I knew on some level that my comment would probably attract trolls and other assholes, because most comments somehow do… but I decided to leave it anyway, because why not?

Thank God for that! I am a proud native Virginian… which is also where the most famous Texan, Sam Houston, was born. In fact, he was from Rockbridge County, which is where most of my people come from… once they left the British Isles and Ireland. I love Lyle Lovett, anyway… even if he IS from Texas.

My comment was that I live in Germany and I’m so tired of the heat and the drought conditions here. But, “at least I’m not in Texas.” That was ALL I posted. I made no mention of politics. I didn’t bring up the lack of abortion rights in Texas, or any of the other anti-woman or racist policies and attitudes that are so prevalent there. I didn’t post about the crappy power grid and how it failed many Texans during the winter of 2021, causing people to die earlier than they should have. I had no words about the religious fanatics who want to impose their ways of life on the whole population and control everybody. And I wrote nary a word about all the ammosexuals in Texas. All I wrote is “at least I’m not in Texas.”

At this writing, my comment has well over 125 likes, which is unusual for me. It’s also attracted comments from jerks. Or, so I assume, anyway. I only bothered to read one comment, from a guy calling himself “Jay Smith” and claiming to be living in Istanbul, Turkey. He basically made some crack about how Texas isn’t my problem, and I should just enjoy Germany. There was more to it than that, but I’m not going to quote it verbatim, because I don’t want to read it again or see anyone else’s rude responses. The main idea is that I should STFU.

I bet “Jay Smith” of Istanbul talks like this in Texas.

So I responded that while I live in Germany, I am, in fact, a Texas resident, and I still vote there. So Texas actually IS my problem… and I can comment on Texas if I want to (which I’d be allowed to do regardless, as a *still free* person). Then I advised him to fuck off, which I normally wouldn’t do on a Facebook page for a newspaper. What can I say? The heat is making me CRANKY. My house is warm all the time, even when I use the portable air conditioners– which are helpful, but only cool individual rooms. The grass in the backyard is brown and crispy. I sweat all the time. I know that very soon the weather will change, and it will be glorious… but for now, it’s pretty yucky here.

I wonder what made that guy decide to leave me that comment. It genuinely fascinates me. My guess is that he’s probably some right wing turd in a red state– perhaps Texas itself– and he can’t abide anyone making the slightest negative crack about the beloved Lone Star State. Especially when it’s an apparently “liberal” (horrors!) woman who lives in another country. But there’s actually a lot to dislike about Texas, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t necessarily hate Texas when I lived there for a year, but it’s gotten really weird and dystopian since I left. There were some things I didn’t like about it when I did live there, but I didn’t see it as weird-o-rama as I do now. Ever since Greg Abbott became governor, it’s gone down a very dark and climate challenged road. I sure as hell don’t want to move back, especially if Beto doesn’t win the governor’s seat from Greg Abbott.

But, like I said, I didn’t actually write anything bad about Texas. I just posted that at least I’m not in Texas. For all Jay Smith knows, I was simply posting about the weather there in August. And, in fact, that’s literally what I had in mind when I made my comment. I well remember what August is like in San Antonio. We had a pool in our backyard, but in August, the water was as warm as bathwater. Central air conditioning was an absolute must for a good portion of the year.

We had two air conditioners for the house we were renting, but they hadn’t been serviced in a long while, and the filters were absolutely DISGUSTING. I actually have pictures of how coated in gunk they were when we moved in and changed them. It had probably been years since anyone had done that. Energy prices were insane, too. Just to be comfortable, we had to pay out the ass. And, as my old friend Weird Wilbur sings in his song, “Down in Texas”, it’s always “summertime” down in Texas. I know that’s not actually true. I do remember some chilly days when we lived there. But it’s usually hot and uncomfortable, and not a place where I’d particularly want to endure the onset of menopause, especially when I start having hot flashes (which haven’t happened yet).

My spelling challenged pal, Weird Wilbur’s funny song about Texas… or one of them, anyway. I don’t talk to Wilbur much anymore, because as funny as he is, he’s also a right wing crackpot. I used to have much more tolerance for them, before the days of Trump. Wilbur’s song “Fuck You, Texas”, is the very best, and my absolute favorite Texas song…

All day, I kept getting tagged in more responses. Some of them might have been kind responses, but my guess is that most were probably more like Jay Smith’s, the obvious troll. So I haven’t read any of them. I keep asking Facebook to turn off notifications, but as usual, Facebook doesn’t care about my preferences. So here I sit, deleting notifications, and fruitlessly asking Facebook to stop sending me comments from right wing Trump supporting jerks.

I’m probably a little crankier about this than I ought to be. I guess it’s because sitting over here in Europe, watching how oppressive and dystopian the United States is right now, gives me a weird sense of survivor’s guilt. It’s so much more NORMAL in Europe, all things considered– even with this relatively oppressive heat and lack of cooling systems due to the fact that Germany doesn’t often get this hot. I don’t routinely see people walking around downtown with huge firearms slung over their shoulders, like I often did in San Antonio. I don’t hear or read about people being shot up, or trying to attack the police for doing their jobs. Leaders here actually seem to care about people, and their jobs… or, at least they put on a convincing show of it.

There’s a much better video of this song, but I can’t share it here. If you search for it by using the properly spelled word, “fuck”, you can find it.

But… for all of my grousing about the Lone Star State, I can see why some people like it. It’s huge, and its populace has a certain bravado. My husband went to high school in Texas… but then that’s also where he met his ex wife, and we know how that turned out. Bill’s mom still lives there, as do some of my relatives. I guess it’s a good place if you like BBQ beef brisket, rodeos, margaritas, and Tex Mex. We have a bunch of friends who live in Texas, and none of them are batshit crazy. There’s even some pretty good wine in Texas Hill Country. But… unlike Tanya Tucker, I hope I won’t be in Texas when I die…

Nein, danke… Germany would suit me. So would Virginia. I’m loving Virginia more these days, although I’m not quite ready to move back there. It is a truly beautiful state, though… and decidedly purple, which I never thought I’d see.

Even if Texas was the most progressive, “woke”, politically correct place on earth, I’d still rather be here than there. For one thing, I’m not that excited about woke or politically correct places. I just want to live in a “NORMAL” place, where all people get basic human rights and I don’t have to worry about being shot. But for the main thing– and the most obvious reason– Texas in August is FUCKING HOT AS FOUR HELLS… and I don’t like that kind of heat, or paying for the energy required to have basic comfort in it. So, for that reason, I am glad that “at least I’m not in Texas.” And I should be able to write that in a comment section without having to deal with stupid trolls who try to tell me to shut up. I’ll thank you to fuck off, because I will never be your ass monkey, mmm’kay? Texas is uniformly HOT and unpleasant in August. For that reason alone, Germany is naturally a preferable location for me, especially at this time of year. It’s perfectly logical and acceptable to state that, and I should be able to do it without crap from Jay Smith and his right wing buddies.

In other news…

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a fucking moron. Sorry, it’s not a nice thing to state, nor is it particularly constructive, but she is embarrassingly stupid. And way too many similarly stupid people follow her. There, I said it. Blame it on the heat and my aging reproductive system, which thankfully will NEVER be forced to birth. Yesterday, I became aware of her recent diatribe about the evils of solar panels, wind turbines, and other “green” energy solutions that might help stave off climate change. She made some outright wrong statements, confidently speaking as if she was a comedian delivering an hilarious routine. And it WAS hilarious, but not for the right reasons. Sadly, her audience was into it, and laughed with her, while the more informed of us were laughing AT her.

I’m not going to go too far into this, because a lot of people are already posting about it… but, I live in a place where lots of people have and use solar panels. And there are wind turbines aplenty. We can’t take a trip on the Autobahn and not eventually pass a wind farm. You know what? We very rarely have power outages in Germany. When we do have them, they are usually fixed within an hour. I did not have that experience in several areas of the United States. Moreover, Marjorie’s district actually hosts the largest fucking solar panel plant in the United States! So… she’s out of touch with her community and reality, and she’s leading more people down the dark rabbit hole of ignorance and stupidity. As her hero Trump would say, “Sad…” But at least she’s not in Texas. They’ve got enough problems.

Standard
travel

Now in Slovenia…

We have moved on from Croatia and into Slovenia, where it’s very rainy and grey. We are staying in a large house affiliated with a small hotel near Lake Bohinj. It’s totally deserted here…. We seem to have the whole lake to ourselves.

Even though it’s grey and wet, I think we’ll see some beautiful sights. Or, at least, some different ones. Today’s featured photo is of Lake Bled as we passed it. We were last here in May 2016, but that time, we stayed in Bled. Bohinj is definitely different… and less touristy.

Hopefully, we’ll have some dry time. But if we don’t, I’ll probably start writing blog posts… and rants again.

Standard
weather

It’s that time of the year again…

Actually, it’s not quite that time yet in Germany. Lately, the weather has been beautiful… lots of sun, cool breezes, and blooming lilacs scenting the air. Sure, I’ve been sneezing a lot because of spring allergies, but since we no longer live next to a big field, my allergies haven’t been as bad. I have yet to see a field of rapeseed up here. Apparently, I am very allergic to that, even though the bright yellow fields are enchanting to look at.

I’m referring to warm weather, of course. I know that in any of the southern states where I’ve lived, it’s already warm, verging on hot. I’m sure Texas is like summer now. The extreme heat and high energy bills are just a couple of things I don’t miss about living in that state. The endless blanketing of super nasty pollen is something I don’t miss about Virginia, Georgia, or the Carolinas. However, although we do currently have four seasons in Germany– mainly thanks to global warming– summer can be pretty uncomfortable here.

I remember when we lived in Germany the first time, it never really got hot until late July. We had a couple of weeks of unpleasantly hot temperatures, but then things quickly cooled off. By September, we needed jackets. There was a joke that Germany only has two seasons: winter and autumn. These days, there’s definitely a summer and spring.

The last four years we’ve been here, the summers have been much warmer. In our prior house, we eventually ended up buying two air conditioners. I hated to do it, but there was just no other way to make parts of the house bearable to be in during July and August. I remember July 4, 2015. Europe was in the middle of an extreme heat wave. We went to the hardware store to get an air conditioner to make my computer area temperate enough to work in. I would run the air conditioner long enough to cool the room down to a somewhat comfortable level. But it was a very large room, so I could only cool it down just so much.

Ordinarily, I might have used rolladens or a curtain to achieve cooler temperatures, but that room wasn’t equipped with them on the sunny side. A curtain would have had to be custom made. I’d have to drape towels over the top of the window to keep the sun out of my face during the morning hours. After I’d walk the dogs, I’d come back radiating heat, turn on the AC, and let the cold air blow under my boobs. Then, I’d get an herbal pack I bought from a masseur in Portland, Maine. I kept it in the freezer, so it was ice cold. On hot days, I’d put it on my shoulders. It was a very effective tool for cooling off quickly, although it could also be heated in the microwave for heat therapy. Now that I think about it, I probably should see if I can find that wrap and prepare it for the hot days that are surely on the way.

We almost managed to get by with just one air conditioner, but we broke down and bought another one last summer because of another intense heat wave that made our bedroom extremely uncomfortable, to the point at which we couldn’t sleep. That room did have shutters, but they didn’t stop the room from getting so hot at night that we’d wake up sweaty and feeling like we’d been lying in a hot frying pan.

The new house we’re in has rolladens for almost every window, as well as large doors that can be opened on either side that lead to generous balconies. We can get a nice cross breeze with them. I’m hoping we won’t need to use the air conditioners in this house, although I suspect we will. It’s a pain to install them, and an even bigger pain to remove the glue residue that comes from hot air stoppers that have to be used to keep the cool air from escaping.

I notice that more and more businesses in Germany are installing air conditioning. I suspect that pretty soon, more homes will have it. In fact, we looked at a house in Wiesbaden that the owner was renovating. He was installing air conditioning to go with a beautifully outfitted, modern kitchen and a bathroom with a “washlet” installed. I liked his house and we strongly considered renting it, but I wasn’t crazy about the very congested neighborhood it was in. I also had concerns about whether or not our furniture would fit. The one room I knew could accommodate our beds was on the top floor, which didn’t have a bathroom. I didn’t want to have to worry about going up and down stairs to get to the toilet in the middle of the night. Also, we’d have to go outside to access the laundry room, which I knew would get old in the winter. Still, I was sad to see that house go to someone else. I liked it a lot.

In any case, we’re very pleased with the house we ended up with. It has almost everything we need. The only thing it’s missing is a good walking trail for the dogs, although I’ve heard there is one. We just haven’t discovered it yet. We’ll see how it handles the heat of summertime… but I’m still hoping this year, it won’t be so freakin’ hot. I’ve already ordered some anti-chafing products in anticipation of the weather. I’ll share a link for the interested. Supposedly, the stuff is “the bomb” for us large breasted types. I haven’t yet tried it myself, though, so we’ll see if it lives up to the hype.

Standard