Been some time…

(I know there needs to be a photo to suck you in, to make you scroll… preferably of a cat, right??)

It looks like democracy,Joe Biden and the lack of the former guy. combined with the resulting sanity must agree with me….I haven’t had a “ranty, get over yourself, grow up and think of others” post for a good long time. Rather than a new blog post a day till I catch up with all the crazy that is running through my head, here is a stream of consciousness stream of ranty thoughts wandering around…

We are now in the Groundhog Day portion of COVID-19…., we’ve had two St Patrick Days with no parades, everyone has had at least one birthday in lockdown, we did two Easters, we are heading close to our second anniversary of Memorial Day where we BBQ in our backyards with a few folks, weather permitting, sans chaos and crowds, masked even if you are amongst those who have been jabbed twice (last date for that second jab has to be around Mothers Day, to provide you the requisite antibodies, etc) You even may be able to visit your mother on Mother’s Day instead of like last year, when you attempted to teach her to Zoom….if you have followed the science.

As promised, a little bit of Alastair the Cat…(and friends Baby Beluga, Ducky and Baby Doll)

As to the doubters among us– you do realize that you are here, alive and hale and healthy in your 40’s? 50’s? 60’s? 70’s? BECAUSE your parents, back in the before times, in the ’50’s ’60’s, 70’s,’80’s–DIDN’T ask your 18 month old self if you WANTED to be saved from smallpox or polio or measles, or mumps, or, or, or…And yes. Some parents EVEN let them test those vaccines on young children, because otherwise children wouldn’t make it to adulthood to give consent. (IF your parents opted you OUT successfully from all vaccines, THANK the vaccinated “herd” around you for having survived without catching any of the above..) Anyway, be glad and thank your parents for giving you a chance to live long enough to complain about the simplest thing you could do for people and wear a mask, let alone thank them for the chance to live long enough to die from Covid 19…

Have been scouring the interwebs and have discovered exactly NO ONE who has turned down (returned to sender) their stimulus money, despite carrying on about whatever communist plot it is a part of –(and of course, the “communist plot/socialism” bits only pertain to the LAST $1400; the first two installments equaling $2600 having been issued under the directive of dear leader, that money and it’s reason for appearing in your bank account is as pure as the driven snow–proof in fact, that the gubbermint CARES for you. It’s the New, Democratic money that is suddenly suspect and a sneaky socialist/communist plot.

The socialist plot trope in these storylines has gotten so out of hand that some GOP reps seem to think Corporate Communism is actually a thing…further proof that our educational system has failed–1, that someone would say such a thing, and 2, that other people would believe it. (of course, option 3 is that person one, speaking, BELIEVES they can FOOL you into believing whatever claptrap comes out of their GOP mouth because Dems are the devil… and remember, if you can’t see the con, you are the mark…)

I mean, look. YOU know you are not as stupid as some of the people you have elected –by choice or by apathy– think you are, right? Their voting records are right out there in the open, but they hope that instead of listening to what reliable news reports tell you about how they voted, or researching it yourself, they instead think their fancy, high-production-value videos of them lying through their teeth will sway you.

But. If you are still only getting your “news” from the insane number of emails that “trmpAndCo* are sending you, and you are STILL sending out $$$ to support the whinging, crybaby, poor little “billionaires” in their attempt to destroy (or their favorite misused and bizarre word –CANCEL) democracy, well, I don’t know what to think.

There is a story in the NYT, early April 2021, which describes in heartrending detail how older, not so internet savvy trmp* supporters accidently approved REPEATED, WEEKLY withdrawals of cash (you offered him $50, or $500, ONCE? and yet, you accidentally approved $50 or $500 every WEEK??) from their accounts, to “support” the poor little rich billionaire baby boy in his fever dream of the big lie, till they couldn’t pay their bills. While most of the over 100 MILLION dollars was returned, it essentially ended up being a huge interest free loan to the poor billionaire who didn’t want to use his own $$ to fight for his seat.

WHAT is bi-partisianship? No, REALLY. What do YOU think it means? Because according to the recent retelling of the GOP, in order for something to be Bi-Partisan, THEY,– the LOSERS, the Minority party,– THEY should have as much if not more say over what happens in the government.

The way that appears to work in their mind is this— THEY could have won election/re-election by ONE vote in their congressional or senatorial seat. They PERSONALLY should be more paid attention to than the others; indeed, their “firmly held” belief is that ANY legislating/governing/lawmaking REQUIRES a 60% YES vote.

Remember, THEY could win their election 10,000 to 9,999 votes… but to actually legislate, the vote total in Congress/The Senate would need to be equivalent to 11,999 to 7999–60/40!–THAT is what a filibuster-proof majority (which, any member can simply EMAIL a message saying they plan to do so… nothing more taxing than 30 seconds during a commercial break of a TV show’s worth of effort..)

Also, did YOU elect Mitch McConnell? If you didn’t vote for him (say, because you DON’T live in Kentucky) does it not piss you off even the smallest amount that HE is telling YOUR representative that THEY may not, WILL NOT vote FOR something that President Biden proposes? (one can only assume the reason is that YOU and YOUR state may actually BENEFIT from said bill, and that would just not do.

Do you like the idea that your representative will simply REFUSE to vote yes on something as basically positive as repairing that bridge into your state– you know the one– only one lane of traffic at a time because it’s gotten so unsafe that the weight restrictions cause back ups all the time??–Your rep MUST vote NOPE, no thanks, don’t need your money, JUST SO BIDEN FAILS.– And NOT because they were elected to say No, or because they truly BELIEVE that is the right answer,but JUST because Mitch TELLS them them must say no. (and equal opportunity complaint– Manchin has outsized influence right now) Democracy is a very fragile experiment, and we need to be as careful with it as possible–and we need to UNDERSTAND and participate.

Where that is taking us is to the unbelievable place where a GOP senator is sending out scary ads talking of THE HORROR of President Biden wanting to dedicate $400 billion to CARING FOR YOUR ELDERY MOM… Yup, the one you FINALLY get to see on Mother’s Day, assuming you’ve both gotten your jab.

Can you even imagine? Remember, early in the pandemic, which political party felt that your elder family members would be willing to DIE to keep the economy open.

It MATTERS who you hire– from local dog catcher on up the ladder of public service. IT MATTERS.

WHO you vote into office matters so damn much that those in power will do almost anything to keep that power-do the people you are voting to put in charge BELIIEVE in SCIENCE?

Do they BELIEVE IN GOVERNMENT?? Do NOT elect anyone who does NOT believe in the power of government, ok? IF they say that private enterprise is the way to go, tell them to go be a CEO, and leave the welfare of your state in the hands of someone who believes in government, and what it can do for people.

I can’t tell you the number of posts I see on Twitter and Facebook, of people I actually know, all around this country, basically crowd-sourcing COVID vaccine appointments–it hurts my heart. But, then, I read the thread, and my heart grows two sizes when I see EVERY RESPONSE is one more idea about where and how in that state that you can maybe find a shot. And there are such things as Covid Angels, who have put their skillsets and time together, who are matching shots on the ground and turning them into shots in arms.

I get my second shot on my daughter’s birthday, and while I will not be seeing her on Mother’s Day, I am SO VERY glad that hugging my granddaughter can be a real thing again…

99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall

...99 bottles of beer, you take one down, you pass it around…98 bottles of beer on the wall. (there really is no substitute for the version sung with your cousins LOUDLY from the back seat and the way back seat on a long road trip in a station wagon, windows down, in the 1970’s)

Party like it’s 1999. I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray
But when I woke up this mornin’
Could’ve sworn it was judgment day The sky was all purple
There were people runnin’ everywhere
Tryin’ to run from the destruction
You know I didn’t even care Say say
Two-thousand-zero-zero party over
Oops out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999

99 Luftballoons. You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we’ve got
Set them free at the break of dawn
‘Til one by one they were gone
Back at base bugs in the software
Flash the message “something’s out there!”
Floating in the summer sky
Ninety-nine red balloons go by

This Is Not A Drill I Repeat This Is Not A Drill: Funny Handyman ...

What’s going on here? Oh, right. Yes, we’re down to double digits now!

You are running out of time to REGISTER to vote. To VERIFY you are REGISTERED to vote. To VERIFY your POLLING LOCATION HASN’T CHANGED since the last time you voted (It happens. A lot. Especially if you haven’t voted recently! If you didn’t vote since the last time you could vote for Obama in 2012, for example, your polling place may have moved from a tiny elementary school, to a lovely and airy new college campus building. AND during the pandemic, the powers that be have used COVID-19 as an excuse to close many locations)

MAKE sure you have as much valid identification as you can possibly scrounge up. THIS Election Day is NOT the time to argue that you should or shouldn’t have to show X, or Y, or Z form of ID.

That IS THE GOAL. To DENY you the opportunity to cast your vote. DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR SHOT. Bring more than you need. Read up on what might be acceptable, and gather it.

You are running out of time TO REQUEST an ABSENTEE BALLOT. To MAKE A VOTING PLAN. Childcare, transportation, the expectation that IF you are planning to vote IN PERSON, that you could be there a LONG TIME. You can NOT plan to squeeze voting in between a meeting and a hair appointment.

(also, here… do you know WHAT signature they “compare” to verify your ABSENTEE ballot is acceptable?? Here in VA, it’s the one on your Drivers License…. and I am here to tell you, I don’t really write my signature exactly that way anymore. So, I WILL be looking carefully at my drivers license to make sure I am ok)

My voting location is in a HBCU (Historically Black College or University). I have registered for ABSENTEE, but if for some reason, I have to vote in person, BECAUSE I vote in a MINORITY DISTRICT I EXPECT there to be lines and confusion and other forms of voter suppression. I HAVE REQUESTED TUESDAY NOVEMBER 3, 2020 as a DAY OFF. If my ballot arrives as I hope, I will be able to just have a day off.

If not, well, you know where you will find me.

If you don’t feel that the USPS is a safe way to MAIL your vote, because maybe the Post Office will bag it up and leave it in a janitors closet until after the postmark is too late??— You can drop it off in PERSON… I can’t tell you WHERE. Come on. You are an adult reading this on the internet. Do some research. Contact YOUR Election commision.

One other really important bit. You ARE part of the problem if you vote THIRD PARTY this time. You dilute the actual vote totals when you protest vote. Vote for your uncle’s poodle in the primary, but in THIS election, the General Election of 2020, it’s not hyperbole to say the future of the COUNTRY as a DEMOCRACY is at stake.

Not having voted for either Trump or Biden will be small solace to you when you find your freedoms disappearing.

THIS ARTICLE ON VOTING is very detailed, long and important. Voting is NOT something you should think about Monday night, November 2nd.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/07/24/2020-election-disaster-perfect-storm-372778

(You are welcome for the earworms. Which one stuck with you all day??)

#BLM

Yesterday, we visited the Lee Statue which has, for the past three weeks, been the site of protest, and yes, graffiti.   It was quite moving. As I walked around it, with the memory of all the news reports over these last weeks and months and years, I realized that this was a symbol of grief unspoken (or at least, unheard) for too long.

The black community has tried to tell us there is something wrong with our world. Colin Kaepernick tried to do it quietly, respectfully. (I’m Catholic, you spend a good bit of time in church, on your knees. Kneeling is respectful. You kneel to propose, you kneel before a king or queen). But, we told him, NO! You can protest, but not THAT way, either.

So, spray paint it is. Loud, boisterous and sometimes vulgar. There was, first, the anger. Those first few days of protest got the raw emotions out around the country. What are the five stages of grief? It has morphed, now, here, into a place of memorial, and peace, fellowship — free water for anyone who needs it, under a tent, People to discuss issues with at hand, available informally like docents in museums– JUST START TALKING to someone you see, and you can’t help but learn something–and activism (Register to VOTE at one tent while you are here).

Surrounding the statue, every 10 feet or so encircling the base are laminated sheets of paper, with the stories of loss.  There are the names we all know– Trayvon, Amadalu, and so many other voices that were silenced.   We went on a Thursday afternoon. I was thrilled to see such a variety of ages and colors and physical wellness in those who were visiting. There were so many young people, using this as a backdrop for casual portraits, there was a young black man standing halfway up the pedestal, reading poetry he wrote while a friend recorded him.

It was supposed to feel so very sad; to be forced to see all the evidence of death, of police brutality. But it really felt so very positive to have the mom with her two little blond girls, going quietly from photo to photo, reading and learning — saying their names. We have a long way to go, but removing statues of people who fought against this country and lost would be a great first start.  (I am editing this on 4/2/21 to NOTE— I read through this blog today and was struck by—-There was FREE WATER BEING OFFERED TO THOSE WHO CAME TO VISIT, yet, GEORGIA has said NO WATER TO THOSE STANDING ON LINE FOR HOURS TO VOTE)

https://www.rteest42.com/StatebyStateTravelog/Virginia-is-for-Lovers/Lee-Statue-BLM-/ See my entire gallery.