National Wine Day

So, I noticed on Twitter today that it is National Wine Day (or National Wine Drinking Day). I stopped drinking on October 23, 2018 for no other reason that alcohol is dehydrating and I was coming off the med I took for atrial fibrillation. The way my morning happened (so far – it’s only 10:35 am!), I would not say no if the wine fairy dropped a bottle of red at my door.

We all woke up around 8 am since Baby Bull doesn’t have school today. I sprained my ankle on Friday (and how I did it is as equally ridiculous as my morning). It’s been swollen and I’ve not been able to really walk on it. This morning, the swelling is down and there’s less pain. I can kinda walk. I thought MAN THIS IS GONNA BE SUCH A FUCKING AWESOME DAY!

Then the shit hit the fan.

Bull went outside to check the tires on the van. Yesterday, before we drove to Broken Arrow to get his pictures done for Fight 2 Win, three out of four tires were flat (or almost flat). Coming home, the indicator for the back driver-side tire kept coming on. We stopped before we hit the turnpike to air it up as well as after we exited the turnpike (because there’s literally ONE place on the turnpike where we could have stopped for air). So, we knew that tire, for sure, has a problem. Since he is a mason, it could very well be a nail in the tire.

Anyway, so he goes outside this morning and sure enough…that same tire is totally flat. It’s cold here…not as cold as some places, but it’s cold for Oklahoma. He’s outside looking for the four way to change the flat. I am inside with Baby Bull, the dogs, and the cat putting together my list for the day and prepping for a 10 am call with a prospective client.

I remembered I soaked chickpeas overnight. I hobble into the kitchen (we have a galley kitchen and it starts maybe three feet from where I sit to work during the day (because my actual office space, which is part of the garage we converted, doesn’t have heat or air…and with a sprained ankle, I can’t go that far). I go into the kitchen with my wrist braces on to get the Knorr chicken bouillon granules so I can put the chickpeas on to cook. I take the lid off. I turn around to take the two steps to the stove…and I drop the fucking container. It went EVERYWHERE. A large portion rehomed itself on top of my six pack of Blue Sky soda. So then I have to wash the soda cans…and sweep up the mess.

I warn Bull that if he decides to drink a Blue Sky to rinse the lid again just in case…because cherry vanilla chicken cane soda sounds like some awful shit. I sat down and not two minutes later, Pandora is vomiting in the living room. (She’s fine, by the way. We sort of expected this anyway because she broke off a significant portion of a dog treat and tends to swallow and not bother to chew. She wasn’t choking or in any distress.)

I hobble into the living room to let her out back (yes, our back door is actually in our living room. Don’t ask me. I didn’t design the house!). I let her out. I walk to the back of the house to get a towel because all of the clean laundry is all over Private Christian’s bed right now. I limp back into the living room and clean it up. I let Pandora back in.

I check the clock and it is 9:45 am. MY CALL IS IN 15 MINUTES!! I plug my headset into Skype. I sit down with my notebook. I review the email sent to me. I call at 10. It is a seven minute phone call. During that seven minutes, Pandora, again vomits. I kept waiting for the prospective client to ask me what that noise was…thankfully, he didn’t. Maybe he couldn’t hear it. That’s my hope.

So, I clean that up and I get the dogs fed. Crom won’t eat in the early mornings any more. Athena is hit or miss. Pandora will eat anything at any time. I’m sitting on the couch with Athena after the other two are done eating. I’m pouring her dry food onto the cushion because right now she won’t eat unless I do that. I live stream what I’m telling you now on IG to highlight that working from home is often NOT glamour. It is often a train wreck. I’m blessed it wasn’t a literal shit show.

I will take vomit over that ANY DAY.

And right after I cleaned THAT up, Bull called. The price on the tire went up…so we have to pay the difference I guess between what we paid (still under warranty) and the replacement tire.

I don’t know what else this day has in store for us. I’m almost afraid to find out. This isn’t the post I planned for today. So with that:

New Moon Fasting

So, it’s the February new moon…and so I’m fasting…well, juice fasting.

And yes, I realize that our bodies can detox on their own. So, no, this isn’t some weird fad I’ve adopted. I’ve fasted for various spiritual and personal reasons over the years.

Also, with the crazy amount of shit that most of us get through our store bought food…I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that I drink freshly squeezed juice for a few days each month. Extra vitamins, mineral, fiber, antioxidants.

But Fasting with No Sleep Is Crazy

Last night, I slept less than two total hours. The sleep I got was riddled with nightmares. Awful ones. Worse than usual ones. So I’m combining no sleep with juice fasting. And it may be the worst thing I’ve ever done. :p

Okay, so not the worst thing I’ve ever done…

The Bright Side

I’m a huge believer in mental sovereignty and self-control. So, the bright side of this situation is that I get some extra practice choosing my thoughts and my behavior until this evening.

Edited to Add:

11:12 am: By the way, I made apple, strawberry, pear juice. And I promptly spilled it down my shirt. Did I mention that I use Cherry Blossom soap and lotion? I smell like a goddamn fruit salad.

Have You Read ‘1984’ Lately?

Okay, so a little disclaimer. This really isn’t related to the administration currently in office. For future reference, this post was initially drafted in January 2019.

I’m only about 45% through the book. So, I won’t make observations past that point. And that’s all this post is…a list of observations and how they appear to correlate to our current time in life.

If you’ve never read the book, you should. It’s on Amazon Prime for free if you’re a Prime member. Libraries have it, too.

Big Brother Is Watching You

So, in the very beginning of the book, Winston is entering into the building where his apartment is located. There is a poster of “Big Brother.” The caption reads “Big Brother Is Watching You.”

My take here is all the damn technology we have (that I am also currently using to post this missive). All the stupid fucking disclaimers people slap up on their Facebook profiles thinking it means Facebook, the government, and our alien overlords can’t take their private info. News flash: when you accepted Facebook’s terms of use / terms of service, you sold your privacy. If you don’t like that, get off of Facebook.

Anyway, you know exactly what I’m talking about…how it seems like you even think that you need to buy something and the ad pops up. I understand how it happens from searching for something via a search engine and then seeing targeted ads on websites and social media. It’s the big, wide world of cookies.

Think about all of the private conversations leaked by Alexa. There’s technology out there that allows people, government or not, to see you through your web cam and you’d NEVER know it (I know – I was victimized by it by the ex). Apps (broad use – anything that allows the following actions to happen) can be used to see everything you type on your computer, your cell phone, your smart anything. Again, there’s a chance you may never know it’s there. Some of the choices are so sophisticated, you won’t find them unless you are very, very skilled or hire someone very, very skilled.

So, yes, we are being watched…all the time. And, yes, it’s okay if you’re okay with that. This isn’t some paranoid idea. It’s just a thought I had the minute I read that in the book.

Newspeak

When I first read this word, I did not read it as new + speak. I read it as news + speak. Immediately it conjured up in my mind the uptick of clickbait. Poorly worded and often intentionally misleading headlines. For example, I recently saw a local news channel’s tweet about a missing 11 year old boy who was found safe and….”no foul play suspected.” Well, I’d fucking hope not since you said he was found safe.

It used to be, not all that long ago, that clickbait type shit was primarily used by people who do what I do (content writing). I’m not a huge fan of it, but it can be used appropriately. I’ve used a few titles that are clickbait designed without being over the top:

Example 1

Example 2

My blog, as all of you know, isn’t monetized. But, I mean, if you’re going to write a blog and you want to be known for what you say, you’re going to create things that bring in clicks…but what I’ve offered via headline has always been supported by the content.

Now, it seems like major journalistic outlets (and even not so major ones) use a ridiculous amount of clickbait and flat out false information both in their title and within the article. There was a time when we ostracized “professionals for that.”

And for good reason. Journalism used to be about truth. Fiction was saved for…well, fiction writers (including novel authors, novella authors, and writers for rag magazines).

Yet, the idea of new + speak isn’t completely foreign to me. I know it isn’t for you, either. I don’t just mean common slang. In the book, the term essentially means that they take away all the options to say something except one or two ways. So that the populace only said what the government wanted. I mean, it is a book that also highlights the idea of a thought crime.

Thought crimes…I could devote an entire post to just that. Anyway…

I liken it to the continued reduction we see in reading comprehension. And, yes, I know there are several legitimate reasons why someone may struggle to comprehend what they read. For many people, though, they just don’t want to be bothered to pick up a dictionary and learn something.

Victory Gin and Cigarettes

I will keep this quite short.

People are a lot easier to control when you keep them eyeball deep in various addictions. When that’s all someone cares about, it’s harder to see the big picture and what’s happening in their lives and in the world.

The Proles

The proles were those looked down upon by most of the working class. This part of society was fairly self contained. They technically had the same laws, but the police never went to enforce them. They could pretty much do what they wanted….and they never realized the power they had if they would only stand up.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

Mandatory Jobs as a Federal Worker

So, I sat down to write this today instead of first finishing the book because some friends of mine who have an afternoon talk show here in my city mentioned AOC and some of the things she’d like to do while in office. One of those things is to make everyone a federal employee. You know, just like in 1984. First, let me state that I have no idea if she actually said or alluded to that.

Can you imagine what would happen to everyone right now during the government shutdown? And there would likely still be a shutdown because we have too many cooks trying to lead the kitchen. The book mentions rationed food, no razors, fake coffee, televisions that watch you and that you must interact with to show your support, and persecution (including death) for thought crimes.

Sounds dreamy. And by dreamy I mean some fucking nightmare.

Screens That Constantly Watch You

The book discusses the placement of screens that constantly watch what’s happening…where they can talk directly to you. You can’t have private conversations. You can’t just associate with anyone you want. If you even LOOK like you don’t support the government, they come and get you.

Pretty easy for me to relate that to our constant use of technology. You can revisit my yammering toward the top to refresh yourself.

Finding a Hide Away

Like I said, I’m only about half through the book…but several times Winston and someone (I won’t try to spoil it for you, but it’s not his wife). sneak off to find hide aways to spend time together.

Remember when we used to be told what a wonderful tool technology would be and how it would make our lives easier? Now we have zombies who constantly look at their screens and probably have legitimate withdrawals without their phone or laptop or tablet or video game. Now, it’s considered progress to “unplug” and not feel like we are constantly tethered to devices. Look at that…what was once the master became the slave.

So, if you get the chance, read 1984 by George Orwell. There are so many points I could make that I haven’t just with the first half of the book…

Crazy What Can Trigger a Memory

I turned on Spotify while working. In all its robotic “wisdom”via the shuffle feature, it decided to play what felt like every single depressing 90s alternative ballad in existence. Eventually, it played Mr.Brownstone (from 1987 – Guns N Roses, Appetite for Destruction).

In 1987, I was nine. It was right before my 10th birthday because I didn’t yet have an Undertaker poster on my wall. My cousin gave that to me for my birthday. My brother was 14. And he brought the Appetite for Destruction album home. To this day, it’s still the only Guns N Roses album I like.

I can tell you the location of the trailer park we lived in with our parents and where in the park the trailer was located. Shortly after marrying Bull five years ago, I drove through that area…and the sad thing is that the place looked the exact same. Still drug infested. Trailers falling to pieces.

I had one friend, Erica. She was the younger sister of one of my brother’s friends. I was also bullied by a girl named Misty and her little brother who went by Bubba. I’ve always been extremely introverted and even then I pretty much just wanted to be left alone. This girl? She wasn’t having it. She was a few years older than me…she was about 12 years old. Her brother was my age. And they loved to try to physically hurt me.

That summer, the pool was open (the pool is no longer there;it’s now a courtyard) and my brother went with me to the pool. I wasn’t much of a swimmer. (I’m still not – I know how to swim. I swim well. Just not something I really enjoy.) Andddd the bully girl tried to drown me. I don’t remember exactly what happened. I remember her holding me underwater. And I remember my brother pulling me out. I can’t tell you how much time had gone by. Enough that I thought I would die.

Not long after that, I learned how to fight. And one day,she pushed my buttons and I beat the brakes off of her and her brother at the same time. From that point, I never really went looking for a fight (unless I saw someone being bullied)…but I also wouldn’t back down if someone hit me first.

I’m 40…and that’s the memory that’s associated with Appetite for Destruction.

Fat Axl

Also, I kinda feel like the fat Axl Rose pictures could easily be Rosie O’Donnell dressed up as fat Axl. I laugh so hard every time I see them.