Unfriend THIS

So I have kittens right now, who are learning to be independent, and teaching them is a never-ending source of amusement, anxiety, the fear of getting way too attached, and precious moments. Many hours are whiled away with a tiny fuzzball cuddling against my chest, or giggling while another fuzzball chews on the hair on the back of my head.

Kiko
Sully

I should be up, doing stuff, or out and about, but how do you put a precious baby down when they sigh and relax against you? Don’t get me started on how addictive their baby smells are. Bury your nose in a six-week-old kitten’s warm, fuzzy, vaguely pink tummy and inhale: there’s a very faint, almost indiscernible scent of pee, but then the warm fur/skin scent takes over, with a faint blush of cinnamon.

Intoxicating.

At least, until he or she latches onto your face with baby claws that barely know what their use is for.

Anyway, while I allow Sully or Kiko to use my dirtypillows as a soft bed, I scroll through Facebook and check out pages, or research ideas for home renovations, or read good articles (and blogs). Facebook is usually an exercise in self-control, because, as an old friend once said, opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one.

This is unfortunate, because invariably, one encounters dissenting opinions from that which one holds personally. However, when one delves into the black abyss of uneducated opinions, one risks becoming caught up in a fecund quagmire.

It often mystifies me that there are so many grown-ass adults who believe blatant bullshittery and refuse to educate themselves. Here are some recent statements I’ve read, just today:

“The coronavirus is just political B.S. and NOBODY is gonna make me get a vaccine.”

“Flu shots are LIVE VIRUSES they inject into you!”

“There are pieces of fetuses in vaccines.”

Okay. Unpack those. Yes, grown-ass adults made those claims. My first reaction was to say, “The fuck outta here with that” and unfriend, because honestly, it’s a friendship that has been peripheral, at best. We met at a job, this person left said job, and moved in with the first (of my association with them) of at least a dozen individuals they have been “truly in love with” over the past couple of years. I used to feel sorry for them – everyone deserves to be loved, right? – and so I hung in there, offering support and encouragement. At about #6 of their choice in life partner, I began to lose faith in their ability to pick a decent human being. You don’t know what to say to a person who obviously neither loves themself, nor has the ability to discern good from bad. You begin to see, as a casual observer, that this person’s life has been one trainwreck after another, mostly of their own making. You quiet your urge to shout, “Are you fucking serious???” when they introduce Mr or Ms (inserted here-because-while-I’m-certainly-an-asshole-I-am-not-that-asshole-who’s-going-to-out this-person-on-the-chance-that-they-may-read-this) Right (now). You continue to reply to their self-defeating posts with inspirational memes.

Seriously, the world does not give up enough gratitude for memes. They replace the need to come up with real words and often summarize how we’re feeling perfectly. Instead of replying with some lame comment we don’t feel, we can meme a bitch with fake affection.

Anyway, I really ought to unfriend. I guess I was looking for the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I guess I’ve found it, because π—ͺ𝗛𝗔𝗧 π—œπ—‘ π—§π—›π—˜ π—”π—–π—§π—¨π—”π—Ÿ π—™π—¨π—–π—žπ—œπ—‘π—š π—™π—¨π—–π—ž is this shit about COVID-19 being “political bullshit?” Have I been wrong, all my life, in my voracious quest for knowledge about the history of the world and the scientific discoveries that have saved the human race from all things plague-like? I mean, is it all political bullshit: measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, whooping cough, chicken pox, et al?

Image courtesy of Never Stay Dead

I’m actually grinning as I write this because 𝗼𝗳 π—°π—Όπ˜‚π—Ώπ˜€π—² π—Άπ˜ π—³π˜‚π—°π—Έπ—Άπ—»π—΄ π—Άπ˜€π—»’𝘁.

I could have gone onto that post and replied, asking them where they went to school and if there was a history class or are they Scientologists who believe in the magic underpants, or if they were awake during a single history class throughout their education, or if they’ve ever fact-checked a single thing that, well, if it sounds like fuckery, it likely is, indeed, fuckery? I could have cited facts and articles from reputable sources, because SCIENCE.

I could have done any number of things that would have satisfied my desire to educate, to dispel rumors and blatant fallacies, to provide a moderate voice of reason. I didn’t, though; I didn’t use SCIENCE and try to educate. Know why?

Because my efforts would not have come from a sincere desire to persuade, or teach. They would have come from my desire to be right. Don’t get me wrong – I am right – but why do I need to attempt to prove that to people I really don’t know intimately and who I would definitely avoid, were they to approach me? Because even if they are the sweetest person in the world at work, they are, in fact, a Trump-loving, Confederate flag waving, ignorant, narcissistic, middle-aged dirtbag who has fucked more people in two years than possibly the entire population of some blink-and-you-missed-it town in Texas. I no longer feel compassion, or a sort of camaraderie (we self-loathers recognize our kind) with this person.

No, with that statement: “Flu shots are LIVE VIRUSES they inject into you,” my brain just shrugged in defeat. I didn’t even post “Read a book, you dim-watt doofus” or react with an angry emoji. I came here, instead, to write, while Sully snoozed on my dirtypillows and Goose looked on in disgust.

Next, I need to go find my Unfriend button, now that I’ve exorcised this particular demon. It’s almost time to feed the kittens, anyway.

Where there is negative energy, you must include positive.

Since I promised that I’d be more upbeat the next time I blogged, I figured I’d show you what I was up to during my little hiatus from this place.

I have a very large family, and Christmas can be a disaster, both logistically and financially. We are inundated with the most ridiculous amounts of commercialism and insistent prodding from before Halloween to charge ourselves into tremendous debt or put a second mortgage on our homes to afford the gifts of iPhones, iPads, gaming systems, and cars (who the fuck can actually afford to buy a new car for their loved one for fucking Christmas?!? The alleged-Lord traveled by donkey, muh’effers.)

I wasn’t having it.

Well, I couldn’t do it, so that’s why I wasn’t having it. I have been experiencing a sort of renaissance of artistic endeavors for the last year, and so I decided to put that creativity to work. I’m still from that school of thought who truly believes a handmade gift is much more dear than any store-bought item. Yes, I buy gifts, but I would rather receive heartfelt, from one’s own hands gifts than some impersonal gift we’ve become conditioned to buy – because stores package them in festive but cheap holiday wrapping – and we have so little time and money with which to work with.

I had none of the money, but loads of the time. I warned everyone ahead of time, too. “Homespun Christmas, y’all,” I said, and hoped they would understand.

We had recently cut down some small trees on our property line. I could see the raw material for my art taking shape, and so the husband got out the table saw and cut me hundreds upon hundreds of soft maple, wooden discs. I had so many ideas!

And I got to work. Here are some of my creations: handpainted ornaments, crocheted gift sets, and cookies. Also, my new interest, amigurimi, will prove to be a great idea for next year. I hope you enjoy.

Snowflakes and trees!
Family sets of ornaments
More family ornaments
Both wooden and clay-sculpted ornaments
My Ghost-inspired Year Zero snowmen wooden paintings, as well as on small canvas
Crocheted gift sets, homemade Baby Yoda cutouts, Slovakian MaknovΓ­k, and kolachy
Wooden disc wreath

As you can see, I was busy. Now, check out these Amigurumi I have been making! I’m not a crochet expert, but I have discovered that I can learn much easier with a calmer life and heart. Every, single one is without a pattern; I thank Satan for Pinterest, which gives me visual ideas. I then modify what catches my interest and make it uniquely my own creation. I am eternally grateful for my artist’s “eye”, because if my brain can conjure it, and I can see it, I can do it. With each one I make, I get better, and with each creation, I fall more in love with the art.

Clockwise: donkey, Rodrigo and Rosita llamas, Baby Yoda, and Dash the cat

I also made a Baby Yoda set for my new grandson, who’s basically due any day now. His mama wants to do a photo shoot:

Finally, there’s Goose, my soul kitty. I have many kitties, each deserving of their own blog, but Goose is special. We’ve been in love with each other since he was about 3 weeks old and we locked eyes when I picked him up out of the nursery where his mama, Quinnie, was caring for him and his sister one day. We’ve been inseparable since. I think we function as service creatures to each other; I am his human, and he is my furbaby. He’s very small for his age, and has always been petite. His mother was the same, not reaching her full, average size until she was 2, and never coming into heat until she was 5 (hence Goose and Azriel).

He used to follow me around constantly, bawling his head off. I would hold him and he’d be fine, and sometimes, his anxiety would be so extreme that I would swaddle him just like a human baby. It calmed him, but I simply couldn’t walk around, holding him all day. One afternoon, the husband was observing me try to placate Goose, crooning and cuddling him, and suggested, “Maybe we need to buy him a sweater.” Hmmmm? I thought about how thundershirts calm skittish dogs when there are storms or fireworks. It was still very warm – balmy, actually – and the A/C was still on! Still, a lightbulb went off over my head. “Maybe,” I allowed, “he’s cold.”

The next time we went to Walmart, I looked at the dog sweaters. The smallest size – XXS – seemed about right. There were only 2 in this size. I picked out a maroon, argyle print, choosing it over one with a teddy bear on it – because Goosie might have been tiny, but he was all man – and we put it on him when we got home. He looked so funny, walking around in a sweater when it was still 85Β° outside, but it worked. He didn’t fight or try to take them off; he would very dociley lift his paws for me to guide into the leg holes. He’s turned into a more independent young man, and he knows they go on at dinnertime and come off at breakfast when it’s very cold. Winter has been uncharacteristically mild this year, so often, he sleeps in front of the wall heater, but on those single-digit nights, a sweater goes on. He’s still my constant companion, but a much happier one. He’s become very popular on social media, and has his own Instagram. You can find him at @goosejoseph!

Anyway, buying sweaters was fun, but costly. I began making him some. He now has 10 sweaters and even “modeled” the parts of Baby Yoda because friends begged me to do it. Here’s my guy, being fabulous:

Rrrrriiiccccoooo. Suave.

I adore his face. He has more followers than me!

I promise that I am working on this terribly bad attitude I’ve had lately. Until then, I’ll crochet, and hold my Goose, and let my mind wander into avenues of artistic ideas. It’s my therapy, and it works. We all have it within us to fight the demons. And if you’re feeling weak, reach out. I’m here.

Drowning, drowning.

I can’t. I just can’t.

Most of my cats are becoming Senior cats. It happens fast. You have a 3 year old youngster and suddenly she’s 8 and-a-half and because she came from a litter where her siblings both passed young due to issues (George at 3 with renal failure, Bailey at 4 with brain lesions), you watch her like a hawk. She has been slowing down a bit and was always very, very skittish, but she is a sweet girl and I adore her.

Isabella Dumpling Flower Sugar Honey Muffin Cake

But it has begun. She had begun hanging out with us more in the last few months, seeking out affection. Odd for her but always welcome. The “old-age circling” began, though…..and it has become bad. This is a sign that there may have been a “senior neurological event”. Brain lesion, stroke, etc. Brain lesion, I understand all-too-well, because her sister had one that caused MS-like symptoms and then a very sudden but peaceful passing. She was happy to the end despite her difficulties.

Izzy, though, is different. While the symptoms are similar, there is an overall weariness to it that tells me I may need to decide and make a vet call in the next day or so. She eats, she drinks. She purrs, she is alert, she gives me her love eyes and chirps every so often. But she is tired. And has trouble walking to her litter. I hold her, croon to her, clean her, feed her. My heart aches. I love her so. I helped to guide her out of her mother (my daughter’s cat, Chicken) and saw her little spots and knew she was unique. After losing Roo so suddenly on March 1st to an asthma-induced seizure, I don’t know how my heart can survive this when it happens, because I know it’s going to. And if I have to hold her in an impersonal vet room like I did her brother while the shot was administered and he looked up at me, believing that I was making him better, it may break me in two.

Roo Joseph, rest in peace.

I hesitate to express these feelings here. They are animals, pets. The world is a cruel, vicious, angry place. Hate flows freely everywhere. People are dying, dealing with traumas and catastrophic events and illness, and here I am, with a blessed life, losing my shit because I am more than likely going to lose her now after losing my Roo so quickly. But they – my animals – are my family every bit as much as my human family is. I laugh at their antics, beam and crow with pride when we reach milestones, babble on to the husband about “What your daughter/son did” when he gets home at night. We integrated my mom’s two into our family when she passed and I worried over them, feeling their grief and knowing that while we shared that in common, they felt it on a much more confused level. I reveled in their eventual acceptance of us as their humans. I have stared into luminous, green eyes and felt love so all-encompassing that it takes my breath away. I have felt little paws wrap around me and grip tightly in relief when I have rescued them from the streets and provided a safe, warm place. I have birthed their babies, held them when they were sick, and delighted in their play. I have loved. I love.

I am their mother. I am her mother. And a mother should not have to lose her children. This is the thought that comes, unbidden. And yet, I will lose my children, because cats don’t live forever. My heart is torn to pieces now, raggedly sewn back together, and it is simply too soon. I don’t know if it will survive this before those wounds are at least freshly healed and scarring over.

How do I say goodbye to this face? How do I?

My existential crisis (or why I think humans = Twatwaffles.)

Tonight, we watched The Birth of a Nation. It’s a 2016 film about a slave uprising in 1831 Virginia, and based on a true story. Β I had tears in my eyes throughout the whole thing and had to stop and ask the husband how it is that one human can look at another human and think them less, somehow. Obviously, slavery was a big stain on the fabric of what makes this nation, but it was, and is, in many others as well. It set in motion thoughts that have swirled around in my head for months now.

We’re seeing a big push – especially in the US – toward the normalization of meanness. You can’t call it anything else. I don’t think there is a sufficient word to encompass what I’m trying to articulate. Malice? That’s close, but not exactly on the money. Some forms of “mean” sit perched atop ignorant foundations going back generations, and you can’t accuse someone of malice if they have no idea of how to behave any other way. Maybe calling it a contagious malignancy is better, because it certainly can be deadly, and it definitely is spreading. For instance, today, I read some comments in an announcement on a local online news site. It was about a political group, which I am a member of, and those who were “on the other side of the aisle” were hatefully maligning the group and, it would be understood, its members. Β A friend (going back decades, no less) shared the announcement on their social media account and proceeded to declare that the members of the group were hateful, evil, should be shot, and at the very least, be thrown out of the country. Our crime?Β Not worshipping at the current president’s feet.

In other words, my friend thinks that of me. Is it time to end that friendship? Most would answer with a resounding “YES.” But, in doing so, would I be contributing to the ignorance overtaking this nation by not at least trying to hear?

I don’t understand it. What is it about humans that make them so horrifically, hideously cruel to those who don’t look/act/sound/think the way they expect them to? This is inclusive of ANYTHING within a culture that excludes others because they’re different. Individually or as a group; it’s all the same. Β Racism. Bullying. Misogyny. Ignorance. Intolerance. It’s all one, big, hateful, ugly mess, isn’t it?

We have always been this way. Regardless of laws, religion, societal mores, and the evolution of humans as a species, we haven’t been able to to snuff it out. That one element or quality in our personalities that we all have the capacity for displaying; some much, much more than others. It’s almost as if it’s in our DNA. Maybe it is, actually, and in another 100 years, if we haven’t managed to blow ourselves up or eradicate the species from the planet, some remarkable scientist will find some strand in our fabric and figure out how to engineer it out.

Because humans are mean.

And that’s all I’ve got on that subject right now. I’m going to go cuddle Roowp-1498622411789

and eat something that will likely go straight to my ass, thereby making it easier to see in order to shoot, but alternately making it harder to plant it into a seat in a plane when I am deported to wherever it is (please let it be Hawaii or Sweden, because the Swedes are quite lovely) that Trump dissenters are being sent.

That was a long sentence, wasn’t it? That was pretty mean of me, actually.

Trying to get a life.

The title says it all. I have Β SO MUCH TO SAY.

But alas….I’m too tired to form a coherant sentence. Wait,Β thatΒ was coherant, wasn’t it? See? I’m so tired that I can’t tell whether or not I’m telling you the truth.

The last few weeks have ramped up and I have (ahem)Β stories to tell. Stories that might shock and amaze, make you fear for humanity, or just laugh at how stupid our daily realities are. I promise you that I will bequeath upon you the wisdom I have acquired as a faithful Death Eater. If you’re following this blog, you understand that carefully masked sentence.

For now, there is only this:

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All you need is just a little patience. Or is it dirty deeds?

 

Oh, the butthurts.

I’m wondering, is “butthurt” an approved word in the dictionary? If it isn’t,  it should be. Is there any other word that describes more completely the social outrages we see these days?  I must admit, this blog is coming from a place of butthurt. My butthurt. About – you guessed it – all of the other butthurts. It’s infernally irritating to see that just about EVERYTHING is a bone of contention to someone. And if one someone makes their butthurt public, chances are that there are hundreds and even thousands of others clamoring on to agree that yes, this butthurt really does hurt. Them. Personally.

You don’t  need to look too deeply into social networks to find various and sundry butthurts. You can stand in a line at any store, sporting event, or public gathering and listen firsthand to examples of butthurts. People are vocal about their butthurts. They want you to know, in as plainspeak as possible, that XYZ fucking pisses them off!

Stand around with other mothers at a school just before dismissal. Listen to the butthurts flow freely:

“So I told Mrs. Franklin that it was not appropriate for her to ask Blossom why her bangs are crooked in front of the rest of the class! She came home in tears! I mean, geez, she feels bad enough about trying to cut her own hair, and I don’t see how it is going to help her through this if the other kids know all about it. I was SO pissed off.”

“Allison Johnson needs to stop parking like that. Her car is crooked! I have to watch really closely when I pass by, and I shouldn’t have to, you know? They ought to have aides out here to manage traffic.”

“That bus driver is really asking for it. Yelling at the kids to sit in their seats or he’s gonna suspend them ? What gives him the right to yell at my kid? Doesn’t  he get paid to do his job? I mean, they’re cooped up in school all day long and of course they need to blow off some steam! It’s his job to get them home safely, not to discipline them. I’m calling the superintendent and complaining. No one yells at my kid but me.”

Yeah. I could list so many more, but my eyes rolled back into my head at the first one. Butthurts galore. They are permeating society. Here are two examples that defy even my skewered sensibilities :

1. Weight butthurts. You know, “It’s not my fault that I’m thin/fat. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. So quit telling me to go eat a steak/salad.”

Okay, so maybe it isn’t your fault. Maybe you have a disease or a metabolism issue. I  understand the frustration. I’m a size 14 only on a really good day, so I tend to commiserate with the heavier population and envy the thin people. But Jesus, people, it’s everywhere now! We’re “giving kids bad self-images” with our focus on weight issues. Lots of things cause obesity in kids; bad things, like the amounts of additives in food, all the chemical engineering and manipulation. It’s a serious problem. But you know what? So is XBox. And a television in every room. And fast food in the place of a home-cooked meal because you couldn’t find time to go to the grocery store. And the fact that the streets, and yards, and parks are devoid of the laughter and play of children. Because they’re all inside. Sitting on their butts. Because parents either “don’t have time” to supervise them or just want them pliant and sedentary so they don’t have to do anything. As for the thin people? Seriously…your “thing” is not a thing. We’re envious. So we kid. Unless you look like an emaciated, starving person, we’re truly kidding.  STFU and go have a meal. And if you do look like an emaciated, starving person, then take our words as they are intended: we’re concerned!  Sincerely.

2. It is the most insensitive thing in the world to post that you are pregnant when you really aren’t on April Fools Day. There are countless women out there who can’t  have babies and who do you think you are, making a joke at their expense?

Three words: April. Fools. Day. You know, the stupidest day on the planet. The day when the most assinine, outrageous things are claimed. Gone are the days of “Your shoe is untied” and “Your fly is down”. People have evolved and gone on to concoct elaborate schemes to fool others. Look at any website or newspaper on this vile day and read that one unbelievable article about something that would never, ever happen. Tell me, if saying you’re  pregnant when you aren’t is so bad, where are all the angry unmarried people who find it traumatic to read a false “marriage announcement” on April Fools Day? Where are the people who are “recovering” from the traumatic experience of (insert ANY joke that has been played on you)? Are there legions of people who are waiting to rise up because they were convinced that there was something in their teeth and (GASP) they went to a mirror and looked? The shame. The horror. Here’s a bit of a news flash: women who can’t  have babies on April Fools Day also can’t have babies on Christmas. Should we downplay the birth of Jesus in order to spare their feelings? If you answered yes to that, then I have to suggest that you might possibly be reading the wrong blog. Women who can’t have babies live that reality every single day, and they are reminded of it every single day, and somehow, life goes on. Their friends, family, coworkers have babies. Are we suggesting that a joke played on a stupid day is going to be their emotional and mental undoing? I really hope not. But as with butthurts, someone thinks, and hopes, that it will. 

There are, in my opinion,  genuinely valid butthurts. I am painfully butthurt about all the photos of abused animals and children on social media. I am butthurt about the memes with awful grammatical errors, the actual posts by people who didn’t pay a single moment’s worth of attention in English class, and the general under-education in the subject of spelling.

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I am butthurt about how we, as a nation, can’t  reach across the aisle and solve the country’s problems without fighting about our political affiliations. I am butthurt about the fact that we can’t come to an agreement that the minimum wage should better reflect the cost of living today. I am butthurt that Marijuana is not legal in all 50 states so that science can really start discovering the amazing medical uses for it. Oh, and tax it to pay for infrastructure. I am butthurt that the Kardashians still make the news for every single thing they say or do.

Oh yeah, and there’s this: Clancy, my beautiful rescue baby, is butthurt that Mama starts her new job tomorrow and won’t be available to love on him and his brothers and sisters as much anymore. Okay, maybe his butthurt doesn’t extend to mutual outrage on behalf of his brothers and sisters, but THIS FACE.

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