Archive for September, 2013|Monthly archive page

By The Way….

In Should I Even Be Talking About This? on September 28, 2013 at 7:15 am
Ozzy and Sharon

Ozzy and Sharon

Why is Sharon Osbourne doing commercials for the Atkins Diet?  Didn’t she get her stomach banded? (I swear, celebrities must think America is full of long-term-memory-loss idiots!) Okay- so Sharon will say she had her band removed – (as to why, I don’t know-Ill admit I’m curious) but that doesn’t change the fact that she had  an operation that got her thin in the first place, which is how she lost weight! How could that ever help a regular person (Perhaps these programs can change lives– but for cryin’ out loud- who would buy into the advice of a person who had a well publicized weight loss operation? It worries me to think people could be that gullible!) Sharon has said- time and time again that NO DIET EVER WORKED, and now she’s taking money from people by selling them the same crock of sh** she resented being sold.

Now, to completely change gears:

'You can't sit with us!!'

‘You can’t sit with us!!’

What is the freakin’ deal with Pluto? I don’t exactly ship Astrology anymore -but when I was a teen, I recall perusing astrology books with friends (remember Linda Goodman’s Love Signs?) until I realized every sign’s qualities could be applied to me (or anyone else) If someone didn’t know  their birthday, would they know their own sign through their supposedly obvious traits?  Of course not! Anyway, in those days I vaguely recall it said that being a Pisces had a lot to do with the planets Neptune and  Pluto. There was lots of babbling about ‘Pluto’s position at birth’ Pluto in retrograde, all kinds of Pluto action that I don’t remember- but I know it was important in the ‘Let’s Try And Sell Astrology’ world. So- now- what’s the deal? How do Astrologists bullshit their way around this? Do they act like it never mattered? Wouldn’t the loss of a planet shake up all of their so-called analysis and predictions? Wouldn’t all of those Astrology books be considered moot now? Don’t’ astrologists have to answer to that? Just sayin! ‘ It’s like if all math books suddenly didn’t have sevens!

I miss you, too...(tear falls...)

I miss you, too…(tear falls…)

And while we’re at it:

I see the ads for a show called ‘What Would You Do?’ where they set up a hidden camera, and watch as people ignore someone in peril.  An actor, who they’ve paid to do something vile- like steal a bike, or a man violently arguing with his ‘girlfriend’ etc. sets the bait, then the camera rolls to capture humans being despicable.  The message: You won’t believe how heartless people can be! And there is a news show affiliation to this program, which strikes me as odd. Aren’t these the same news casts that report every catastrophe known to man, including ‘Good Samaritan Gets Sued For Resuscitating Victim’ or ‘Man Shot While Trying To Help Abused Woman!’ or ‘Good Samaritan Killed While Helping Change Stranger’s Tire!” The message is (according to the newscaster with the glint in her eye) ‘Watch Out! Don’t take any chances being sued or maimed by crazy strangers!’ So, why are you surprised when people shy away from doing the right thing? They’re only minding their own business like you taught them to. For fear of the repercussions of empathy you love to report on. We’re a litigious bunch, us Americans. And doing the ‘right’ thing can sometimes be very, very wrong – or at least that’s what you keep telling us! 

And, finally…..

How annoying is it when a television show posts Tweets across the bottom of the screen? Nine out of ten times they do nothing but gush about the show, or make idiotic, personal statements, like ‘Turtleman: Poop Professor! @duhman’ It’s so distracting and nearly impossible to ignore! I feel like (unimaginative, moronic) strangers are in my living room, uninvited! Unless you can supply a feature that allows me to disable these comments- I implore you, Television Show- to STOP WITH THE ANNOYING TWEETS. (The only way these tweets would be interesting was if they posted the critical ones- then we might have a game- but that’ll be the day!! I’d love to Tweet in:’ This show is obviously scripted.  Why do you assume I’m too stupid to notice it?’ Hashtag #Come at me, bro)

Smoke Signals

In The 70's on September 25, 2013 at 4:29 pm

   There was a snack bar in a small white shack that sold fifty-cent hot dogs, hamburgers for a dollar, and french fries in red-and-white checked cardboard sleeves. Glass bottles of soda were hauled up, glistening wet and freezing, from an ice-filled fishing cooler on the floor. Behind the counter, propped up on a shelf was a display of sweet fare: Hostess cupcakes with their signature white swirl, pink, coconut flecked Sno-Balls, Cracker Jacks and Slim Jims. There were scooter Pies, Devil Dogs, and big, mushy oatmeal cookies that no one ever bought unless  under the thumb of a parent who thought because they LOOKED like oatmeal cookies, they were healthy. The candy section was a sweet-tooth lover’s dream: Candy Necklaces, Pixie Stix, Razzles, Bubblegum Cigars, Sweet Tarts and Necco Wafers. If that wasn’t enough to cause the Surgeon General to catch  a heart attack, there were cartons of cigarettes piled high, ripped open hastily, their jagged cardboard edges hanging forward like tongues, the Marlboros, Newports and Virginia Slims sold at a hefty mark-up. (One dollar, as opposed to fifty-five cents. Scandalous!)

A large gray box- fan oscillated from its precarious perch on a bar stool off to the right, as a matching one blew from the opposite direction. This caused the teenagers on duty to look like were diving for dollars in a wind machine (which they often were, as the wind ripped unsecured dollar bills around like kites) There was no cash register, so the line would be longer or shorter depending on the math skills of said teens handling the money. A long line screamed ‘Fundamental Math’ at best, while a short one bode well for future accountants. I could never figure out why the shack didn’t spring for a ribbon calculator (I’d seen some on sale for under a hundred bucks in the Sears catalog), something I thought passionately about while my feet burned in the scorching sand, standing in a line twelve deep.

The cheap food was a myriad of bad nutritional decisions trumped by good advertising and pretty colors, having all the depth and seriousness of a day at the beach. Treats that were an elbow to the ribs of  common sense were somehow acceptable when imbibed on a stretch of sand by a body of water. (This rule was also in effect at Carnivals, Fairs, Car Races and Amusement Parks) Many of the sun worshiping small children were charged up, running in circles like tops, screeching at the top of their lungs, chasing the tail  of a sugar rush comet, burning through mood swings like fresh kindle as their guardians wished to be anywhere but here.

A cigarette was redundant to most in this kind of heat, it’s orange ember an added burning hotspot, but  it didn’t stop us in the least from smoking them, as they were a very important prop in our quest for cool.. And so we stood there like fools, taking long, bored drags off our illegally procured Newports or Salems, the smoke burning the back of our throats, the taste a leaden, musty mix of arsenic and damp ash. Inhaling was a most unpleasant sensation, like  breathing underwater, our lungs under a heavy, wet blanket after each draw.  

We were fourteen, and out from under the watchful eyes of adults, standing in the concession stand line, wearing day-glow bathing suit tops, faded and ripped denim cutoffs, pukka shell necklaces and brown suede ropes, wrapped twice around our ankles like the girls in low budget Surfer movies. We were desperately trying to conjure up a natural ease we did not possess by mimicking the older teens (as we perceived them, not as they actually were)–lots of exposed, sun-drenched chestnut brown skin and disheveled sun-streaked hair. But we were posers still, counterfeits, three-dollar bills- smoking our brains out-and making a big show of it, in hopes of attracting adventure, something risky but not too- a story we could tell that someone might actually want to hear. Sending out literal smoke signals to the boys with long hair who wore black leather jackets in the Fall, and girls with fake id’s and Tango in their fringed purses- an elusive but often represented group in public, often found in parking lots, the back of the bus, behind buildings. We longed for vague, outlaw places and people who were wide awake and rife with exciting possibilities-an escape from the yawn-inducing, linear patterns of suburbia. 

And so we stood, stiffly, the uncoordinated, jerky motions of newbie smokers giving us away, happy to have something to do with our hands, rather than just stand there as another wave of awkwardness washed over us like the waves on the beach. Secretly abhorring the bitter taste of nicotine, pretending to be something we were not. ‘Look at us’ our shaky smoke rings said, as the foul smoke rushed out of our mouths and nostrils, lungs burning on the inside. ‘ Let us in’ we begged the cool kids, hoping to smoke them out.

Things I’ve Learned- And Want To Learn- About Blogging!

In Should I Even Be Talking About This?, Writing on September 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

September 22, 2013 marks my two year anniversary on ‘Kick In The Cornflakes’ at WordPress. I decided to make a list of what I’ve learned since being here, because I appreciate reading this kind of thing from  blog veterans (that translates into anyone who has been here longer than me) Some of these things may seem at odds with each other, but from where I sit, this is how I see it.

Always. Always.

Always. Always.


I refer to editing, and I will be the first to admit that self-editing is almost as bad as no editing- but what choice do you have? I cannot think of a single blog post that wasn’t filled with errors when I published it. (This, after checking it over and over!) When I first started, I would be mortified….I’d get up in the middle of the night if I realized I spelled a word wrong (I use spell-check, but there can  be mistakes regardless) I still get embarrassed about it, but now I know that I only have two choices: blog and make mistakes- or don’t blog at all. Some of my posts have been edited so thoroughly they are now completely different animals! (hopefully in a good way) On more than one occasion, I’ve edited an opinion post so much the opinion changed! 🙂  So I try to think of my stories and posts as works in progress.  I  also try to make a habit of going into my archives and fixing stuff, but without a professional editor, trying to stay ahead of the mistakes is like trying to hold the the tide back with a sandcastle.  To make matters worse, when I read other bLogs they seem free of mistakes! 

A Master

A Master


I defy anyone out there to keep a blog going without spending at least two hours a day on it (if not way more!) It is like an endless conversation, and oftentimes it is only with yourself. But if you want to have any reader interest at all, you have to ‘keep it coming’. Just like ACTUAL WRITING (as in ‘I’d like to be a writer’ and thinking it’s just a matter of setting aside some time) everyone thinks they can do it until they actually try. There are still days when I want to delete the whole thing, but I know I would write anyway, so I might as well do it at my spot. (I also have a private ‘spot’ where I can write about more difficult things without fear of hurting any feelings – I think it’s important to go deeper if you can)


Unless you blog within a network of friends, you probably won’t make many by blogging. This is because most bloggers are busy doing the ‘hard work’ of writing, and when they are not, they are living their ‘real’ lives. Also, lots of blog-writers (or maybe I should say writers in general!) are shy, or introverts, and wouldn’t know how to ‘put themselves out there’ (Where is ‘out there’ anyhow?) The guts to write and maintain a blog is pretty awesome. Most people can start one, but can’t keep it going (turns out that it takes work) But keep going! There seem to be a lot of ‘blogger conventions’ out there, but if you (like me) are an introvert, the thought of going to one can be intimidating.

Said no one ever

Said no one ever

A Very Important thing to remember is that nobody is required to ‘care’ about your blog- it’s not the center of their lives or thoughts. I used to get so (secretly) mad at good friends who had every excuse in the book about why they couldn’t read my latest post- or why they couldn’t push the like button (though I will say: try not say that to a blogger. If you read and like a post, but don’t push the like button, you’re literally saying: ‘You won’t lift a finger’)  People have all kinds of reasons- it might be passive aggressive for reasons too deep to worry about. Or they might not like your writing or subject matter and don’t know how to tell you. Or they have better things to do. The important thing is this: DO NOT LET THAT STOP YOU! KEEP GOING. HOPE THAT ‘CREAM RISES’ and have faith that your blog is CREAMY! 

stories can come from anywhere

stories can come from anywhere

There ARE some really nice bloggers out there, and every bit of help should be appreciated- they don’t have to help you. Thank them with all you’ve got!  Finding real-life writers or bloggers on a common wavelength seems really hard, but don’t stop trying. Take a writing class if you can. (Though the merits of these classes can be debated. My feeling is that it’s nice to meet other people who are also writing- just to know you’re not alone. The technical side-whether or not it improves your writing-eh, not really) The encouragement has to come from within, but that is easier said than done. Sometimes a single ‘like’ can make your day. Again -Just keep going….


The WordPress Dashboard confuses me. For instance, sometimes when I publish a post, it gets an immediate ‘like’ or two in less  than a  second! A person could not possibly have read what you’ve written. I also get followed by questionable blogs- maybe they are promoting or selling something- it’s often hard to tell. What is a Ping-back? (Yes-I’ve read the description, and no-still don’t ‘get-it’) Maybe the question is: What do I DO with a ping-back? And sometimes I’ll have a gigantic (to me) surge in visitors to my blog. The numbers  triple,  even quadruple on random days! I’m not doing anything different, so it’s puzzling. There isn’t any feedback either-( I assume that’s not good)  Admitting I’m not sure how the dashboard works might make other people who are as confused as I am feel less alone.


I have lots of ‘stage-fright’ before I publish something. Mostly due to #1 (Mistakes and Editing) but also because I write about subjects some or most people aren’t interested in: Teenage angst, Disliking something the majority of the public likes and ranting about it, NFL Football and The 60’s, 70s and 80s. These subjects flows from my heart to the tips of my fingers and onto the page. If I changed my ‘style’ then I wouldn’t be me. And in order to maintain a labor of love- you have to be real. Or what’s the point?



There are so many things I still don’t know how to do. I have trouble with links and pictures and the etiquette of blogging itself. For instance, I once re-blogged someone’s terrific post and then riffed on it. I added my own opinion to the piece. Luckily- the person liked it, but I thought ‘what if I am stepping on toes here?’ You have to trust that if you are doing something that is inherently wrong in the blogging world, that someone will tell you. You also have to do things you may not like to in order to promote yourself. I recently left Facebook and would love to keep it that way, but according to the WordPress bloggers I have contact with, it is necessary to connect to not just Facebook, but Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest- as many as you can. And for some reason (?) not having a Facebook (especially) is seen as suspect. (I would love for someone to tell me this is false, by the way!) But adding my Tumblr followers, for example, exposes me to lots more people. And maybe a few more likes or comments.




If you truly love to write- and think that posting some of your stories online, rather than keeping all of it stashed away somewhere- then a blog can be a way of slowly getting your writing feet wet. Maybe getting used to putting your writing in public- even if it’s not exactly catching the world on fire- is just the thing a shy person needs to build up some confidence. Maybe it helps you to find others who do the same thing or to submit your work somewhere. Maybe it gets you used to criticism.This may not sound like much, but I know I’m  more confident about writing in general than I was before my blog. Nothing is going to stop me from writing, so why not throw a hat into the ring?! Even if you throw it really, really quietly!

just keep going!

just keep going!

And that’s about it for my Two Year Evaluation. I expect to be much further along by the Third!

Brave New World?

In Should I Even Be Talking About This? on September 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

When It Comes To Online Privacy, A Disconnect For The Young .


Among other important basics I was taught in elementary school, was the value of privacy. By the second grade, it was clear that privacy was an important and integral part of a good life.  Even as a young teen, my heart went out to the friends of mine whose parents did not respect their privacy- who read their diaries and listened in on their ‘private’ phone calls. It was a blatant sign of disrespect, and many of those particular teenagers spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out ways around their parent’s prying. Code-words, secret notes and blatant lies- there was always a way around it. But the anger these kids felt about the invasion of their privacy was long lasting. Most of the time they weren’t even trying to hide anything dangerous or worrisome, but just wanted to riff on crushes or pop-culture minutia without their parent breathing down their neck. It was a basic human right, and we all deserved to have our privacy respected.  (At least we found out: Overprotective parents raise the best liars)

There were important books written about privacy- ‘1984’ being the obvious choice, but bands also wrote lyrics about the government and ‘Big Brother’, shows like the ‘Twilight Zone’ took on the scary things that could happen should privacy cease to be. Other countries suffered  a complete lack of privacy, which went hand and hand with their lack of freedom. In this country, there were a myriad of protests and outrages over real or imagined breaches of our information. We were, as Americans, Pit Bulls when it came to preserving this important fundamental.


Flash forward to today. That Pit Bull has turned into a docile little mutt who couldn’t be bothered with guarding the door. In fact, this puppy welcomes just about anyone through the door, in hopes of being petted and fed. There is a glaring disconnect when it comes to privacy, and we can thank the computer for that. With the advent of Facebook and social media, many Americans have traded their precious privacy for a chance to be ‘petted’. The kids of today have had their pictures plastered all over Facebook since birth, (by the same parents who -laughingly- ‘rail’ against internet safety for them!) We post pictures of spouses and homes, cars, vacations,  and voice our political leanings, opinions and tastes for all the world to see. Remember that glass house we weren’t supposed to throw rocks at? We all live inside it now. And it will only get more transparent as time goes on.

But the computer has made life so much better and easier! Paying bills, doing research, staying in touch- it’s all there. Some people are even declaring they are addicted to the internet! There are clinics treating Facebook addiction (which is essentially being ‘addicted to yourself’) We can’t and won’t go back to a pre-wired world. But we should still be paying attention to who is paying attention to us. (Imagine if the infrastructure was damaged. How would we fare without electricity, our phones, our laptops? If I know this, as an ordinary citizen, then certainly people wanting to harm us know it as well!) I think we would be ridiculously incapacitated without our connections, and maybe we need a plan?


I left Facebook recently, after having to change the privacy settings yet again! I think we all must realize by now that Facebook’s strategy is to keep shaking up the privacy settings and confusing us, so that for the few hours or days our pages are ‘open’ the advertisers can swarm in like ants on a dropped jelly sandwich and bombard us with advertising, while coveting our ‘private’ information.  This makes both them and Facebook very, very rich. Facebook is that parent, listening in on the other extension! And most of us could care less! Can you even imagine if this went on in the 60’s or 70’s? There would be protests on every corner! And Facebook is only the beginning. We shop, bank and work online now, our private  information is out there- and that’s that. I can’t help but think there will be big repercussions from this loss of privacy, but how do you unring a bell?!


I think I know how this happened, or at least I have a theory. When we were growing up, we were taught that the people who would try and take away our privacy (our  government, other governments, big business, criminals) would be recognized immediately as true evil! They would, perhaps be dressed all in black, sneaking around, scheming against us like villains in a movie. One of us would inevitably discover the culprit, sound the alarm, and we would all fight tooth and nail to maintain our precious privacy and freedom. But the ‘culprit’ didn’t come in dressed as ‘evil’. It walked in like our best friend, high- fiving, smiling and gaining our trust (with a dagger behind its back!) With a saber-toothed smile it offered us a chance to be our own publicists and invent flattering online personas on Facebook, where we could showcase our cherry-picked photos and quips, and edit our lives into something we hoped would inspire envy.  A place that makes us feel look popular and ‘loved’ by raking up into a pile, not just our current-and very real friends- but the people we merely passed along life’s road,  along with celebs and even inanimate products that claim to ‘like’ us! (Before I left Facebook I was actually ‘liked’ by a container of yogurt and a set of tires)


Someone simply figured out that we would never be able to resist the lure of ourselves! The lure of being able to create (Sims like) a person who says all of the right things online, and edits everything just so if they don’t. There is no diet plan to trim our oversized egos. Unfortunately. So someone figured out that our narcissism and need to ‘impress’ was the price we’d pay in exchange for our privacy- and they ran with it. It turned out to be as easy as stroking our massive egos and saving us from mundane errands- like having to drive to the bank, store or work.  Who would have ever thought we’d come so cheap?

NFL 2013: Week 1:Watchin’ Football Like A Girl…

In Game Day Sweet 2013 on September 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm

So glad football is back! It was a good Sunday, too- lots of early games, a couple in the afternoon and one night game. Quick round-up and meaningless (almost stat-free) ‘view from the cheap seats’ follows: 


I thought the Buffalo Bills looked real good, and the Patriots not- but, you can never count Brady out, even when this thought runs through your mind, after a sack:  ‘Phew! he is getting knocked down and roughed up today!’ and even if you can’t stop picturing all of the smiles and high-fives in sports bars across America because of it. But Brady rallies- and he can (and often will) fight his way methodically down that field and steal a game back from right under your nose. It’s what he does. And what he did. But the Bills looked real good, and one of these years it’s got to pan out, right?

By the way- love Brandon Spike’s shirt:



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers handed a win to the New York Jets, wrapped up like a gift with a bow on top, thanks to LaVonte Davis’s late hit on Gino Smith in the game’s final moments. Everyone makes mistakes, but this was an especially tough one to swallow because it led to a Jet’s victory, via field goal, with the Jets winning by one point. You know I’m a girl because I feel so bad when these guys make glaring mistakes, while none of the guys around me have any sympathy at all! Sometimes they even point and laugh. Guys!


The Lions won this one (good game!) 34- to the Vikings 24, but of course, the talk is all about Ndamukong Suh, the low hit, and the $100,000 fine. Does anyone remember when he was on Sports Science, and they did all of these tests on him- and long story short, his hit had the impact of a small car driving at 35 miles an hour? Which was amazing, because to find a guy as big and fast as he was is almost an anomaly. The whole reason he was such a catch in the NFL was because if this. Now- I’m not making up any excuses- he’s been in trouble before- but wasn’t he drafted because of his size and strength, and sometimes doesn’t it? seem like the NFL acts like they didn’t invent this game, and they’re shocked it’s violent? I KNOW there are rules and they have to be followed, but it drives me nuts when the NFL distances themselves and hand out fines, and they act all ‘surprised’ and ‘disappointed’ that guys that play in ‘beast mode’ get- ‘beastly?’ For millions and millions of life-changing dollars? Like they think that we think they’re such squares, with their wholesome country music and apple pie?  That they’re all about patriotism and American pride- not ‘we’re shrewd business men who know exactly what we’re doing and we’re RAKING it in!’which is what I REALLY think! My personal rule of thumb is: if you see a hit and everyone in the room gasps, or yells ‘holy sh**!’ that’s a play that will a) be fined and b) played over and over in slow-mo and real time while we all pretend not to enjoy it. Hypocrites. The lot of us.


The story of the game was the blown call: offsetting penalties that should have set up a fourth down (and probable field goal attempt) but instead the call was to repeat third down, which resulted in a 49er’s touchdown. Big blown calls seem to go famously against the Pack – remember the Fail Mary last season during the ref’s strike? Luckily, yesterday’s flub it was in the second quarter, and theoretically Green Bay had time to rectify the situation,  but the final score was San Francisco 34, Green Bay, 28

I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I do respect Colin Kaepernick’s stance on Clay Mathews pre-game smack talk. “If intimidation is your game plan- I hope you have a better one” said Kap. Sometimes it’s nice to see a guy stand up to a veteran, who sometimes yap with an annoying sense of entitlement. Not that they haven’t earned it, but still….

I have always liked Anquan Boldin- remember when he played on the Arizona Cardinals- him, Fitzgerald and Hightower? Then the Ravens? He’s one of those guys you can’t believe teams let  go- but he was rockin’ yesterday, in his 49ers debut. 13 catches, 208 yards and a TD! Nice!


I actually thought the Raiders looked decent- almost good yesterday. Granted, they didn’t win, (Colts 21, Raiders 17) but they looked pretty ‘together’, and made some plays. I’d say the Colts ‘held them off’ if anything.


The Giants had 6 turnovers in last night’s game. Starting with Eli Manning’s very first playBut it’s not like the Cowboy’s beat them down right away. When these two teams play each other, you can never relax.(Especially if your favorite team is one of the two!) The Cowboy’s won it, 36 to the Giants 31- but until that last seconds ticks off, you just never know. Romo went down-and then seemed to be in pain for most of the game. I thought both teams made good plays. But man- that was a lot of Giant interceptions!

Again, I thought it was real cool how Romo and Manning connected after the game. It is what it is. And this is just Week One in a long season!


Love it or Hate it

Love it or Hate it

Something about Monday Night seems to really agree with Michael Vick! Remember that amazing night he had a season or two ago? Well- he had a pretty good one last night, and the Eagles were goin’ off! on the Redskins in the first half! Despite the fact that all anyone could talk about was the second coming of Christ RG3, it was  like the Eagles just startled the crap out of everyone .Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy were gunning it to the floor! too. Whoah! (Who saw that coming?)

oh no...not again!

oh no…not again!

But the Redskins made some moves during the second half and the final score was a respectable Eagles 33 and Redskins 27. Vick, by the way had 2 TD’s and 203 yards, and LeSean McCoy (who I thought was in beast mode) had 184 and 1 TD. There’s something crazy about that, right?

I like this Chip Kelly guy. From the Oregon Ducks to the Philadelphia Eagles- he’s obviously a Bird Man. I always respected Andy Reid, so this Kelly guy seems like a decent replacement. Judging by the first game, anyway. He seems likable.


First off: Start the game at 10:15? Come on, son! 


I tried- I really tried to make it. I could sense a freakin’ comeback when the Texans came back in the second and were suddenly only trailing by only one touchdown. And that’s the last thing I remember. The first half- it was all Chargers. And then- I guess that ‘thing’ happened….that momentum thing. With a 21 point deficit- they came back!  Final Score: Texans 31-Chargers 28. I’ve liked the Texans from the start (swear!) and thought them quite underrated,(until last year, actually)- so I’m not surprised they came back. Now I have to try and catch the second half replay. Wish I could have made it!…

‘Dissin’ Topia

In Should I Even Be Talking About This? on September 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm

The end of the world is near! Global warming. Overpopulation!Look Who’s President!Religious Zealots! Super-strange doomsday prepper shows on Nat-Geo! (Are they just extreme pessimists?)

True-the Rapture didn’t pan out – nor did all of those other ‘save-the-date’ dooms-dates  (did we really believe it could be penciled in like a manicure or an oil change?) But have no fear- the next end-of-the-world date is no doubt being written into a slot on the calendar as we speak, and will go viral as soon as the ‘facts’ can be synchronized. (This is done much in the manner of Monday morning quarterbacking and 20/20 hindsight. Work with what you have, then go back and make it fit!)

It’s amazing how many people believe they are special enough to be anointed with keeping the human race going. Have you seen these people, listened to them? What a bunch of Negative Nellies! (I highly suggest that their first order of business be raiding pharmacies for all of the anti-depressants before they expire, then taking double doses)  

Pure, undiluted paranoia is a great base on which to build a new civilization- just think of all the depressing songs! Future teenagers (if there are any) will be set for life. Kurt Cobains and Sylvia Plaths, all of them.  They could play to the seven other survivors living in the caves down the street trail, (who, by the way, are planning to execute you for the three cans of Chef-Boy-R-D  and powdered milk packets you have stashed) We’re talking quality of life!

I cringe for the kids born into their parents conspiracy theories. I hope one of these kids writes a book someday- if they’re astute enough to see through the facade of what they’ve been taught. Like the two-year-old kids who hold signs that read ‘God Hates Fags’ for the Westboro Baptist Church- you wonder why- if beating a child is rightly considered child abuse and punishable by law, then-why isn’t whipping and flogging their pliable brains at least a misdemeanor? (I know, I know…because it would cause an avalanche of adults who would then start criticizing your child rearing, because, honestly- we can’t be expected, as full-grown adults, to recognize grey areas, right? It’s the same concept as legalizing marijuana: if we do –god forbid!- we’ll all soon be brain addled, needles sticking out of our arms, unable to decipher between a joint and a meth lab. But I digress.)

As much as I’d like to re-enact ‘The Stand’ (one of my favorite Stephen King books) I have a feeling it wouldn’t be much fun. If there’s anyone out there who hasn’t read ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, I highly recommend it. This book, to me, more accurately paints a picture of what post-apocalyptic life would probably be like. And I was sobbing through most of it. 

Homelessness Squared

Homelessness Squared

 Prepper types must be influenced by comic books, super hero movies and video games (all things they won’t have access to once the infrastructure breaks down, by the way) They put a Hollywood spin on what the end would really be like. They possess a certain naivete that makes them think of it like an adventure. They see themselves as the hero of their deluded blockbuster. In life as it is now- they can’t make a go of it, but once the population diminishes, they transform into Superman. Shhyeah, right!

I imagine spending your days knowing there’s a bulls-eye on your head might lead to some stress. These people already (as of today) are extreme pessimists (not to mention complete narcissists) and they don’t trust anything or anybody. So if-let’s say (and this is a stretch of magnificent proportions)  it all went down as planned…wouldn’t the next logical step be to hunt and kill all of the other preppers? I mean-they’ve got all the stuff. So there’s no way anyone is going to trust anyone, right? And again- this sounds like such a wonderful way to live! Everything’s comin’ up roses cactus!

One summer we had three hurricanes in a row- all within a very short period of time. Saying I know anything about surviving an apocalypse, I’m not- it’s the difference between breaking your leg and losing a leg, but I did get a brief feel for what living without all of our conveniences is like. 

First, there’s the extreme heat (you can substitute extreme cold, depending where you live) The inside of our now completely powerless, blacked- out house was roasting at about 95 degrees, and on top of that, the hurricane shutters close off all daylight. We’re in an oven set to broil. We have a flashlight and some candles, but find that batteries run out of juice quickly, and candles melt at an alarming rate, not to mention you have to keep your eye on them like they’re unsupervised toddlers apt to off themselves lest your dwelling go up in a lick of flames. There’s no going outdoors because of gusting winds, daggers of lightning, and flying debris. You can’t drive anywhere because massive trees lay across the roadway. Not to mention we have to conserve gas in our vehicles, lest we be evacuated.

Time moved at such a slow pace, it felt like it was taunting us. (It was, I tell you!) The food we packed in coolers become soggy by day two, a congealed mess in melted ice. Everything in the fridge went bad. By day two, we’re so stir crazy (after the men gathered together to move much of the manageable debris) that we drive aimlessly around to assess the damage, though much time was spent backing out from impassable roads) We  swoon in the car air-conditioning. (We still have to consider conservation, so these rides and a/c blasts didn’t last long)

The local grocery store is packed. We walk into Publix, which has several generators running for emergency lighting, but is otherwise powerless (Cash only. Exact change. Registers down) The stench of rancid cheese, sour milk and meat is dry-heave inducing. The shelves are practically bare, and people fight over bags of Fiery-Blast Cheetos and the last dented can of No-Salt Added Green Beans like it’s gold. You can slice the tension with a knife. It’s everyone for themselves. It’s clear to see how exceedingly fast it would become a competition, not for prizes but for life! For breathing rights.

Oh- and if you sometimes wish you could bypass all of the traffic lights in your town or city? Don’t ever wish for that again! Driving down treacherous roads into four way intersections that now have to be negotiated over and over with angry drivers whose tempers  are moments away from exploding because they’re thirsty, hungry and hot is lots of fun. And those are the ones who actually stop in the first place.

A friend Kelly and I  shop at Target with the flashlights they’re issuing at the door, just because we see the doors are open. It’s creepy. Shadowy mannequins and the irony of the Coleman section. We talk about ‘Night Of The Comet’ and wonder when ‘Girls Just Want To Have Fun’ will start playing for our ‘ditsy-in-the-abandoned store’ montage. I tell Kelly her dermatologist is dead, let’s go hoard the Clearasil.   We can’t buy anything because we don’t have exact change. Afterwards my friend points out we could have pocketed a few things, what with security sensors down, but of course, we didn’t (and wouldn’t) I wonder how many people might have.

And oh,  how quickly your standards go down in a state of emergency. Any fast food joint that opens its doors two days in is overrun by crowds of hungry people swarming like locusts. No one questions the safety or freshness of the food, and people fight over 99 cent burgers like they’re crab legs and caviar. Because in a way they are.

Luckily, we still have running water in our home, but for those who don’t the FEMA lines are 12 miles long for a few gallons of water. Blue tarps sit atop every other roof in the neighborhood, in an attempt to protect worldly possessions from leaky roofs. Patio furniture sits bizarrely in the middle of intersections, awaiting its rightful (or new) owner. Do you know how wrong patio furniture looks in the middle of a four way? Trees have been blown down everywhere by the storm, and (though we don’t know it) it will take 5 years for the replanted trees and foliage to grow back. 

Needless to say, we learned a lot by the third hurricane in eight weeks, and are now much better prepared for such things. We have a wall air conditioner in our largest bedroom, a heavy duty generator that can run the a/c, the fridge and the television, and a light or two- but that all hinges on how the house itself fares. (Our hurricanes were nothing compared to massive Cat 4 storms like Hurricane Andrew, and Katrina) Still- generators are loud (announcing your location to marauders and generator thieves?) and food only lasts so long.

I ‘get’ that planning for disaster is smart, normal process that is for the short term. But here’s the thing: When crisis hits, more often than not, people get bitchy and petty and rude and mean. And dog-eat-dog selfish. And that’s for a situation as temporary as a week (for power to be restored, shelves to be stocked)

So, imagine the joyousness of surviving an apocalypse with a small group of paranoid, overly-suspicious, self appointed geniuses (and the mere fact they believe they are geniuses disproves their theory entirely), who have supplies, and now have to hoard them, and guard them, so that their families can sit in a stuffy bunker and twiddle their thumbs until what? Until all of the vegetation is eaten by the animals, and all of the animals are eaten by each other, and then- well, guess what happens then? Hello, Donner Party! This, to me, doesn’t qualify as a life that would be worth sacrificing for the one I have right now. I don’t want to obsess over and plan for something that can’t be planned for

If you have any ‘stuff’ after this imaginary disaster goes down in the way you predict (which it won’t)- then your life will become all about your stuff! Guarding  a can of beef ravioli like it’s the Hope Diamond, jumping at every snapped twig, sleeping with your eyes open.

And here’s another thing: All of these wackos who spend their life planning for this disaster- they are going to impose their insane ideas on you (that is, if they don’t  off you first) and there’s no one left to stop them! There’s no law, no court, no rules.  My luck, I’d be one bunker over from some religious fanatic wrapped in a rebel flag who makes love to his guns under a poster of Ted Nugent with Kid Rock on the tinny am radio hooked to the car battery. Again- what kind of life would this be? 

I have it on AUTHORITY that the end of the world is near!

I have it on GOOD AUTHORITY that the end of the world is near!

 The only thing I might be good for in such a situation, is for keeping records, the kind that are heavy on snarky comments in the margins, until I’m taken out for wondering out loud how Kid Rock went from rap/rock to redneck Republican. I’d take notes  just in case the planet ever gets rolling again (and assuming the English language is still spoken- like in ‘Lost In Space’ where every metal-colander wearing Space Mutant is a native English speaker, no matter who lands on what planet from wherever-Because: USA! USA!)

Which brings to mind an episode wherein Dr. Smith has his eye on a mirror made of pure platinum, which he plans to steal, then bring back to earth and sell, becoming a ‘billionaire’  Dooms-day preppers remind me a lot of Dr. Smith- in that they are incredibly self-involved at the expense of everyone else, and like Dr. Smith, they are rubbing their hands together over imaginary scenarios in which their own foresight will deem them the most  clever-and special- of all. Even when the odds of actually cashing in, is as unlikely as it is futile.

That Dr. Smith is still obsessed with earth money in deep space, makes as much sense to me as preppers do. The life you are actually given marches by, unappreciated. All of it squandered. (and may I add, completely off subject:- in shows like ‘Lost In Space’-why are they always trying to get back to earth? Can you imagine how boring our world would be to them after experiencing life on the Universe’s Route 66? What are they going to do, go back and work in an office? Idiots!)

'Night Of The Comet' puts a comedic spin on the Apocalypse

‘Night Of The Comet’ puts a comedic spin on the Apocalypse. A real apocalypse does not.

Everyone has the right to do as they see fit. But I can’t understand putting all of my eggs in a basket that is so iffy, unpredictable and bogged down with sour grapes.  And disasters always seems way, way cooler in  the movies, where they can edit out everything just so. And the good people-not the selfish and greedy, always prevail.


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