Posted in Uncategorized

Personal Cost of a Rapist President

Trigger Warning/Length warning – Rape, Trump, Kavanaugh

Waking up the day after the election 2016 was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The heartbreak and disbelief were huge and real, but what was even worse was articulated by my best friend from a message late into the night of the election, “This is how much they hate us.” The us she was referring to was women.

My husband kissed me before he left for work that day and said, “I’m so sorry, baby.”

“Hey, you didn’t vote for him.”

“I know. It’s just this has to be so much worse for you.”

And it was.

Our nation had just shown it would elect a rapist over a woman, even if the woman had more votes. Even if she could speak in complete sentences while her opponent was barely cogent. To say it was soul-destroying is not hyperbole.

Not unlike many other women, a man raped me. It caused trauma that I worked through and yet still deal with. I worked as a sexual assault counselor and advocate for a while, too. To have a rapist as the president was horrifying – and then again to have that rapist put another on the Supreme Court made me physically ill.

There were a few times during Brett Kavanaugh’s rushed through weak-ass vetting process that I really thought about suicide. Or becoming an ex-pat. But men being rapists is a global problem and as much as we’d like to think differently, I doubt they were the first two rapists in those lauded offices.

Still, every single defense of Kavanaugh felt like waking up that morning in November to the realization that yes, they do indeed hate us. They hate us so much they are putting known rapists in positions of power and laughing about it.

When Dr. Blasey Ford gave her testimony there was no doubt in my mind or hers or any woman who had heard that kind of laughter before. They hate us so much I’m pretty sure Dr. Ford is still getting death threats.

When they confirmed Kavanaugh we heard it again. Lindsey Graham’s hate filled face mirrored that of the rest of those old, white, rapist-assisting men. They showed that it doesn’t matter how brave you are, how truthful you, they will still win. They will still laugh. And your life gets ruined again.

I’ve never been able to watch Trump speak. It makes me want to vomit. Not in an “Ew, he makes me sick” I mean literally it makes me physically ill. I stopped watching Colbert and Seth Myers, too. Colbert used his fake and frankly BAD Trump voice more often than his own and Myers played clip after clip of our rapist in chief.

It was soul destroying.

People who knew me voted for this rapist. People who knew my history and voted for Trump anyway said I needed to calm down. Chill out. He wasn’t that bad. Who cares that you were raped and he was accused? Why should anyone care about that? The accuser is probably lying, anyway.

Who cares that the accuser was 13 or that Trump bragged about walking in on girls that age in dressing rooms?

A whole four years of being gaslit. By more than just one person, by a loud vocal part of the nation as a whole, by the news, and by every single Republican in Congress and the White House. It felt like being silenced every single day and watching the same happen to others.

I didn’t really calculate the entire toll this had taken on my mental health until Biden’s swearing in ceremony. It might take me years to realize the complete mental toll.

The inauguration was like water after a drought.

Oh, the women!!

They were there in beautiful clothes with beautiful words with beautiful support for each other with beautiful confidence and attitude. It was like a balm to a soul that had been tortured for far too many years in a row. And every outfit had layers of meaning. It was awesome and while I’m not into fashion, women can say more with an outfit than any of the male politicians in attendance.

I wasn’t alone crying during the inauguration and the main feeling of relief was so intensely acute it was damn near painful.

Andrea Hall, Fire Captain, and her inclusion (oh, hooray for inclusion) of sign language.

Lady Gaga with her defiant performance and wonderful outfit. She sang the national anthem with the “we are patriots and we are still here” that the song inspires and she did it perfectly in the exact spot the insurrectionists failed to take our flag. She gave it the fuck you energy it required and did it with class.

Katy Perry with her white clothes and blue and red buttons.

J.Lo claiming this land is hers just as it is mine in a way that brooks no argument.

Amanda Gorman with her beautiful words and wonderful yellow sunshine presence – with a ring of a caged bird reminiscent of Maya Angelou that was gifted from Oprah conveying so many layers of pain and triumph. What a gift of hope she was to our nation.

And Kamala Harris. At last, Vice-President Kamala Harris. Finally, in my lifetime, MADAME Vice-President. Finally, finally, finally, finally…

Thank Goddess for these wonderful women who have shown a strength I myself do not possess but completely wish to emulate.

It is hard to explain how freeing it is to not have to look at the face of a rapist destroying my country everyday. I had no idea how much of a mental toll it was taking in the first place. Everyone I knew has been depressed the past four years.

I just never knew how heavy the trauma of having him in office had become until he left. And keep in mind I’m white and I’m straight, so I had it relatively easy in comparison. He erased everyone LGBTQIA+ on day one and waged war on every person of color for 4 years, destroying lives irreparably.

And you can bet I sat watching to make sure he got the fuck out of the White House.

Out of OUR House.

Good riddance.

Posted in Cats, Covid

Screens on Wednesday

Yesterday was our second no screens Wednesday and real talk, it didn’t go great.  Our upstairs apartment had the AC and furnace replaced.

“How will that work with no screens?” I asked.

“I imagine I’ll have to answer the phone a couple of times,” Will said, making God laugh.  Basically, they called Will a lot.  A lot.

Fine. On any other day.  However, it completely derailed the day’s plan.

Shadow & Mousie
Shadow sleeps while his tail makes sure the evil mousie on a string doesn’t escape his clutches. He slept this way for several hours.

So while I woke up at 3am and valiantly had no screens until around 7 or 8 am, Will had screens upon waking and thus so did I.  Granted I used mine to look up postal pricing for a package I was sending, but still, cheating is cheating.

We did try somewhat, but it just didn’t work.  For me, unless my phone is off completely, I’m working or on call.  I worked, which I don’t mind at all.  That said, if our mission was to have a relaxing day where we get kind of bored we missed the mark.

Worried Shadow

We had a hectic day, full of annoyances.  We ended up watching television by the evening because we were both so frazzled.

There’s a line from the movie “Trust”, a Will favorite, where the main character who normally hates TV comes home from work and turns it on.  He says, “I had a bad day at work. I had to subvert my principles and kow-tow to an idiot. Television makes these daily sacrifices possible. Deadens the inner core of my being.”  Yesterday, after running our very minimal errands, we were exhausted and both decided that we need to numb our inner core.  We didn’t have to kow-tow to idiots luckily, and we tend not to do that anyway, hence us both working from home!  😉

It’s difficult sometimes to translate the language of marriage.  Half of the time, we will say, “deaden our inner core?” and then watch some television, and that is inexplicable unless you’ve seen and remember that line from “Trust” which came out in 1990.  “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King is not a great book as the main character is truly and deeply TSTL, BUT it is an excellent book on marriage language and shorthand that develops between people over the course of time.  You might want to strangle the main character a lot in the story, but like many Stephen King novels, the interesting part is the more mundane life stuff instead of the supernatural stuff.

I digress.

As Will says, we are the only people we need to please with this, so if we need to call a mulligan and do another day, we can.  I suggested this Saturday, but Will muttered something about that being days away, so who knows?

I enjoyed the first Wednesday quite a bit.  It was boring but it wasn’t overwhelming.  There wasn’t the constant barrage things causing over stimulation.  Yesterday was another day of not one thing after another but every damn thing all at once.  That sort of thing happens a little less when you aren’t online or smartphoning.

We hit our sophomore slump, but either Saturday or Wednesday, we’ll try again.  Just keeping the television off in the mornings allowed me to write letters to friends and family, as well as entertain the cats.  These days I’m trying to focus more on the day to day pleasures and this helped.

While yesterday was not a win, it wasn’t a complete failure.  Will didn’t wake up and immediately get on the computer.  We didn’t get sucked into some stupid debate on Facebook or Twitter.  We actually used our time to get some things done, even if it took 5 tries to do anything yesterday for some reason.

Joey and Cecil
Joey and Cecil, enjoying some sun in the outdoor enclosure. They are never left outside alone, so don’t worry. This just keeps them safe from the bald eagle that circles the neighborhood. 😉

I give us a D+/C- on our second attempt.  Better than we normally do but not great.  Hopefully next time we will get an A.  It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve realized that beating yourself up over a missed goal – especially when circumstances were beyond your control – harms more than it helps, at least for me personally.

Instead, count the wins, figure out how to turn the losses into wins, and learn how to do better next time.  Next time: don’t have anything scheduled where communication is necessary!

I hope everyone is surviving Covid and everything that entails!

Posted in Uncategorized

No Screen Wednesday

Last week Will suggested we have a day without electronics.  Since that is very broad and includes things I really like such as lights, stoves, etc we narrowed down what he meant.

No screens is the basic idea and no internet.  A regular Kindle on airplane mode for reading is fine.  I hate wearing cheaters and can make the font bigger in Kindle and have tons of books only accessible via Kindle.  Cellphones, due to the barrage of messages is not ok and must be turned off.

Deciding which day proved more difficult as I work from home and need both computer and internet to be able to work.  I get a lot of clients from Facebook and Facebook Messenger, so I try to always keep a window to messenger open if possible.  My trade-off for being able to work from home without co-worker interruptions and the ever present evil of fluorescent lights is that I am mostly on call all the time.  But I get to wear pj’s at work, so I’m ok with it.

Even when I’m not signed in at Psychic Center, clients I have that are local or who know me personally tend to reach out at random times throughout the week.  I tend to try to drop what I’m doing to do a reading or whatever the client/friend is wanting.  Lately though, I haven’t really been much good past 4 or 5 in the afternoon.  I’m tired, my brain is mush – I’ve said Will more than a few times that I’d answer or try to help the person but at a certain point you have to recognize when you aren’t going to be helping.

I reach a point of brain-tired where I can listen, and I can take in what is being said, but that’s about it.  If someone wants a tarot reading when my brain is mush I feel like they aren’t getting what they are paying for.  To paraphrase Miracle Max, you have a tired tarot reader, you get shitty tarot readings.  Shitty as in inaccurate, not helpful, repetitious.

With the whole Covid thing, I have the same brain fog everyone else does.  I’m lucky enough to work from home, so I haven’t had to worry about being out of work, but I’m still suffering through the Covid-fog that a lot of us are dealing with.  Talking to a friend online about how we are “getting nothing done” and I realized, she and I are getting nothing done OUTSIDE of work.

We are still actually working.  Which is doing something.  But we are so ingrained to think that we have to work every single day until we die that we don’t even count it as productivity.  It’s a given.

Picking a day to be completely out of reach was difficult.  I finally came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a single day that I could be out of touch.  I have a book video chat on Sunday afternoons, which is my usual day off.  Since this chat is with people I am not quarantined with it’s pretty important to me because I need some fun.

“I don’t think we can do this right now.  I talk to clients every day,” I said to Will.

“I know,” he said grumpily, giving me that pointed look of his.  Ah, so we are doing this in part because Will – have I mentioned he has been home all of the time since mid-February? – thinks I am working too much.  Which basically means telling him that this won’t work due to work is going to be a failing argument.

I picked my slowest day, at least lately, Wednesday.  And we turned off everything but Will’s phone.  My mother took exception to this, but Will doesn’t get as many phones calls/messages as I do and we both feel like we should have one line open for emergencies.

Wednesday was interesting.  First of all, doing this type of thing while actively grieving a loss (we miss you, Ray, like you wouldn’t believe) is pretty painful.

There’s nothing to really distract you from it so you have to just deal with the fact that reality sucks a bit more, and that someone that should be there isn’t.  The first part of the day we cried a lot.

Second part of the day, Will got a lot of stuff done.  Cleared out his office looking for the players handbook for the first D&D module.  He wants to have me play it in the same order they came out to see the progression.  He cleaned and organized for hours and it never appeared.  However, he got a lot done and that was nice.

Mostly it was kind of boring.  I read a book on how to play Mah-Jongg and wrote some letters, but just didn’t do a whole lot.  I enjoyed not having the constant anxiety of “am I supposed to be doing something?” that I usually have.  It was nice and we are going to try to do this on Wednesdays for a while.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Politics

Viruses Suck For Everyone

Social media is beset with whiners and crazy people.  I live in Illinois, where Gov. Pritzker has done an excellent job of keeping Illinoisans alive, in spite of their objections and stupidity.  Now that he has unveiled the stages of opening up the state, people are acting like he has murdered their children.

Ya’ll know he didn’t make the virus, right?  He’s just listening to the experts and following the model of damn near every other country trying to fight the virus.

None of this should need to be said, but as the stupidity of the general populace continues to surprise and overwhelm me, I’ll say it anyway:

  • Pritzker isn’t in charge of the virus.  He didn’t make it.  He isn’t “keeping you home” he is asking you to stay home.  He isn’t “forcing you to wear a face mask” he is asking you to wear one.  When someone asks you to do something while saying repeatedly that they are not going to mandate police crack down on it, then where is the force?  Ya’ll aren’t listening and why do you have to act like you are oppressed here?  Literally, he is asking you to try to not fucking murder your friends and neighbors.  And you hate him for making a request?  A REQUEST?!? You aren’t showing your patriotism here by refusing, you are showing your complete disregard for others and your inability to listen and understand words.
  • This all sucks for everyone for the most part.  It sucks for everyone in different ways, but it still sucks for everyone.  You aren’t special or alone in this sucking.
  • None of this is about you.  Other than having to be a considerate member of society, none of these guidelines target anyone specifically.  They target the virus.  The virus that is killing people, including health care workers.
  • Your religious freedom isn’t being infringed upon because you aren’t allowed to go into a packed church and breathe in and out all of the germs therein.  You know they are doing online services now?  You can attend church online and not MURDER the other people there.  While there is a lot of misinformation out there, like some places say that social distancing should be 20 feet not 6, almost all of the information supports large groups equal large amount of people infected.  I’m honestly surprised at how many people hate their church families so much they want them all to die this way.  Even Southern Illinois’ very own Teri Bryant thinks that this infringes on her freedom.  I had no idea she was so stupid and so partisan or that she wanted her constituents dead, but here we are in the worst timeline where everyone is relentlessly evil for no fucking reason.
  • Making this political is getting people killed.  Every person that whines about masks or not being able to be a barfly or social distancing or what the fuck ever seem to be doing so from a weirdly political stance.  Covid kills Democrats, Republicans, non voters, and everyone else in the same way.  Did you know that it is even killing people who aren’t Americans and have NOTHING to do with our politics?  This is beyond stupidity.  At this point, all of these fools are making the stay at home order longer, so I completely blame them.
  • Compliance in public health isn’t an issue of freedom it is an issue of a functioning society.  Your individual needs are not more important than someone’s life, even if that person has different politics from you.  That’s why murder is illegal.  The people making this political are literally getting people killed.  Yeah, Teri Bryant, that includes you, you stupid little fool.
  • You hate Pritkzer and how he wants to keep his constituents alive so you are going to move.  FUCKING MOVE ALREADY.  I hear you all talking about moving, but instead you sit here and bitch and do nothing productive.  Either move already or shut the fuck up.  The more of you people that move the better.  Missouri is open, go there.  I hear Iowa is open, too.  Bye.
  • Lots of other countries wear face masks during outbreaks of various things.  It isn’t a big deal.  I’m asthmatic, I get anxiety attacks, and I hate confined spaces, but I figure drowning in my own lungs is worse, so I’ll just suck it up and wear one.  Also, if I am some asymptomatic carrier, I would be completely and totally devastated if I unwittingly gave this to someone else, especially if that resulted in their death and wearing a mask helps prevent this.  Also, there are actually a lot of really cute masks out there.  This doesn’t have to be awful – you are just making it that way.  You are supposed to make lemonade with lemons, not squirt them into your own eyes.
  • Normal doesn’t exist anymore so stop talking about “getting back” to normal.  Any semblance of “normal” is going to be 2021 or later, if then.  We have discovered through this that companies can work remotely, children can learn remotely, and that our supply chain is more vulnerable than previously imagined.  Remember all of the rules, regulations, and crap that went into effect after 9/11?  Patriot act, anyone?  Only 3000 people died in the attacks on the twin towers.  We are losing that number of people EVERY DAY.  And rising. If you don’t think that alone will prompt some new legislation, new normals,  and new ways of looking at and doing things, you are not paying attention.
  • Fuck the economy.  If we are to believe that capitalism works, then LET THE BIG CORPORATIONS FAIL.  If we lose some big corporations that might suck for a while, but people will fill that void.  That is how capitalism is supposed to work.  The CDC mentioned masks one day, and my entire FB feed was full of different ones to buy or order that same week.  If we’d just stop pouring all of this money into businesses that clearly can’t sustain a workable model. then we’d see a lot more individuals and small businesses coming up in the wreckage.  Instead, due to Trump and the GOP we have corporate welfare, where companies take millions/billions/trillions from taxpayers without giving anything back in return.  For all of you people out there so upset about “the economy” try to realize that for some of us, losing a family member or friend to a virus is going to have a higher priority than some corporate behemoth tanking because they don’t know how to run a business.  When you talk about the economy while 3k Americans die every day, you don’t just sound evil, you sound completely morally unhinged and beyond sociopathic.  And not to keep beating the 9/11 horse, but we were in a recession after that for YEARS.  We are having 9/11 deaths daily – do you really think that we will have a better economy than post 9/11 if people keep dying in record numbers?  We won’t.  I mean, beyond the undertakers.
  • The GOP and these big corporations have proven beyond a shadow of doubt that they don’t care about you.  They are willing to kill you, your family, your friends, your neighbors, and anyone else that gets in the way of their profit margin.  They aren’t the ones who will be working when the economy opens back up, you will be, and if you die they won’t be sad, they will just replace you.  Because they don’t care if you live or die.  You are a cog in their machine, nothing more.

There is no way around this sucking.  It sucks.  People are dying, losing jobs, losing businesses, losing their minds, etc.  It is going to be a while before you can do whatever you want to do, and I feel you, it sucks.  But it is a far sight better than the alternatives.

But keep in mind it is because of a virus, not because Pritzker is being mean to you.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cage the Cats

The road in front of our house has a 25 MPH posted speed limit, but few people go less than 45 MPH on the street.  This street has been awful to cats – we used to have a next door neighbor who had an outdoor cat.  This cat had kittens and the road ate them all.  My sister worked as a vet tech for years and said that the life expectancy for a cat is around 10-15 years, unless they are an outside cat, then it is 2 years.

When we first moved here, our cat Gremlin was allowed outside, but this was due to vocal torture.  We tried to keep that dude inside, but he really wanted to go outside and if he couldn’t go outside, he would just sit at the door and meow.

Gremlin, Meow King


For hours.

Never stopping.

Will once tried to outlast him, and Will is impressively stubborn about some things.  After about 6 hours of nonstop meowing from Gremlin Will realized that Gremlin had nothing on his schedule, nothing better to do all day than meow at the door.  Meanwhile, Will had school and work and sleep and couldn’t just listen to a very loud cat screaming all day.  So Gremlin was allowed outside and we just made peace with the fact that he might die sooner because of it.  When he passed at 9 due to kidney failure we decided that all future cats would be inside cats.

He would meow to be let in and out so often friends would open the door for him.  It took Will a while after Gremlin to not just open the door when he heard a meow.

Will created a cat balcony for the cats, so they can go outside without getting hit by a car or attacked by another animal.  They love the balcony, even in the rain and during winter.  Our thought is that they should have a secondary balcony that allows them to see the backyard.  Will got two very large animal cages from somewhere, and we are trying them out to see how they like them.


They love them.  Well, they love going outside, and if that means being inside a cage, then ok.  Well, Cecil and Joey Bear Scarface are pretty content with the cages.

Shadow is not a fan and is pretty sure that we are going to murder him.  He doesn’t like being in the pet carrier when going to the doctor, either.  I feel like this little dude has a fairly traumatic backstory of being put in a cage and dumped.  Will did find him at the side of the road.

Will & Shadow

The thing is even cats cats have FOMO (fear of missing out) and when two out of three cats get to go outside the third cat has strong feelings about it.  When we do let Shadow outside he goes to the side of the house, he keeps the door in sight, and he runs back inside if there are cars anywhere around.  Will put the cage by the back door, and sat next to it, with his hand inside the cage, so that Shadow knew we were not going to murder him.  The first few times, he just freaked out so we put him back inside.

Then waited a week.

Dramatic Joe

A week of all of the cats, both human and furred, going outside without him was too much.  He started following me everywhere (which he does anyway, there’s a reason for his name beyond him being a black-ish cat) and sitting on me.  He was very underfoot until we allowed him back outside.  This time, after a week of watching the other cats in the cages, he was more mellow.  Will put the smaller of the cages behind some tall grass, and he hunkered down, basically hiding in the grass.  With the grass as cover, he had a pretty good time – as long as someone pet him when he meowed.

JoeyBear in the Sun
Joey, enjoying the outside air

And I get it.  I wouldn’t want someone – even someone I liked and trusted – to put me in a cage unless I could get out on my own again.  And even then, probably not going to happen.

Several years, I had low vitamin D and so I was told to go outside and sit in sunlight a couple times a day.  I bought a cat harness to see if one of the cats would even wear it.  Out of 3 cats, only Cecil would wear it.  So Cecil got to go outside with me until it became apparent that no harness could hold him.


I don’t even know how he does it.  I’ve been staring right at him when he Houdinis out of the harness and I STILL don’t know what he does.  My leading theory is he phased out of it.

When it became apparent that he was going to jump out of the harness and hide under the front porch, I stopped letting him go outside with me.

It has been over 4 years, but the cats have not forgotten that they were once upon a time allowed outside and therefore should be again.  The quarantine has made this true.

There is a toy mousie RIGHT THERE but shredding paper towels is just more fun

We do not leave them outside alone.  A cat in a cage by itself seems very vulnerable in my mind, and people do talk about pets going missing from the backyard.  Growing up, someone poisoned our dogs more than once, so I pretty much never leave them outside alone out of deep paranoia.

Also, Joey Bear Scarface is already studying the cages, looking for weaknesses.  The entire reason he has a scar on his nose is from escaping one of the previous balconies.  Will secured it and Joey was so determined to escaped, he cut his nose on the chicken wire.  Balcony 2.0 doesn’t have chicken wire for Joey reasons.


ALL of this is to show some pictures of our cats enjoying the spring, eating grass they will later puke up on the carpet inside, and smelling the air while watching birds.

Oh, and Cecil will meow at us if it is too sunny until we either move the cage to some sun and some shade, or we put a board on top of the cage giving him the shade he needs.  I think I may have spoiled him.

Posted in Anxiety, Books, Depression, Politics

Covid and the Internet

One of the things I’ve noticed lately is an uptick of people being completely irrational online.  For example, a gif of a man walking into a cave that gets brighter was posted.  Before I google, I decide to see if a helpful soul has already explained this (light refraction) and then I thank the kind soul who already did this work for me and put a little smiley face.

She responds that I can take my sarcasm and shove it.

What?  I cannot tell you how unsnarky my comment was – I was genuinely trying to show appreciation.

People talking politics are always going to be hostile towards one another, but it has reached new levels of insanity.  I’ve tried to steer away from political discourse (not terribly successfully) and focus on the groups online that are more about cats, and funny pictures, and other things.  Because I need the distraction from worrying about if any of my family members are going to die from this.

I get that the world is basically going through the phases of grief.  I’ve tried to be respectful of it even, but I’m part of the world, too.  I get to have my own grief.

One of the things I envy about other countries is their sense of being in it together when it comes to this.  We’ve been told to wear masks to protect others, but every person in a mask gets harassed.  Why?  Other countries take public health much more seriously.  Some of them have to simply because of population density.  The US is so busy shouting FREEDOM and licking toilets that any concept of us all being in this together doesn’t exist.

There are actually people living in Southern Illinois who feel that since Covid only gets the fat and unhealthy (someone actually sad this, as if thinness somehow prevents viral infections) so they can go out as much as they want.  The fact that they are carriers doesn’t matter to them because they themselves won’t die of it.  They just don’t care if they are killing you or your family members because if they can’t get sick, who cares if anyone dies?

Related, they are all either nonvoters or Trump supporters, go figure.  And if it weren’t for the fact that they are killing other people, I’d say more power to them.  Stick your head in the sand and hopefully the virus will weed out the problem.  Except viruses don’t work that way.  Viruses don’t care about your politics, at all.

There are people who poo-poo’ed me for canceling an event on March 28th who are now crying all over Facebook about how scary the whole pandemic is.  That only happened after they were designated an “essential worker” by their company but before that designation the virus was no big deal and we should just “keep an eye on it” as if you can watch a virus that is asymptomatic for up to 14 days.  As if you can keep watch on any kind of fucking virus.  Needless to say, my pity for this person who attacked the shit out of me and is now crying in fear is nonexistent.

If you only care about a problem when it affects you directly, then I have no sympathy for you.  You don’t have any for others so you don’t get any from me.

Most of this me just rambling my frustrations.  I’ve worked from home for over a decade, so the staying in thing isn’t as difficult for me as it is for others.  The internet is my way of trying to stay in touch with humanity, but over the past two weeks, the internet hasn’t been full of people acting like we are in this together, it has been more people just being pissed and therefore in attack mode.

It’s not helpful.

I think in times where we are stressed or hurting we seek an active connection to others, but right now, I think I will find that connection in books.  People are straight trash right now and I just need a break from the constant barrage of negativity.

Posted in Reviews

Flash Season 4 Review

As with all my reviews, there are spoilers aplenty, so feel free to skip this if you haven’t seen the season and don’t want to be spoiled.

I find season 4 to have some of the best and worst moments of the Flash.  What I like in this season, I truly and fully love in full fan-girl mode, but the bad is SO bad.  Just so SO so bad.

So, let’s start with the bad so we can end on an up note: DeVoe.  I really hate the entire “bad guy for the season” trope as it just makes the heroes look like incompetent fools most of the time.  What do the people of Central City think?  The Flash only gets rid of really bad metas in May?  Like, seriously, do a couple of a bad guys a season, this one evil villain for the whole season bullshit is old, played out, and just fucking BORING.

DeVoe kicks their asses all season long.  They have few, if any, wins against DeVoe.  The entire season is painful to watch because Team Flash fails over and over and over and over and over again, ad nauseum.  It’s difficult to watch, and not that enjoyable either.  I get that sometimes drama is mined from the angst of losing, but in every fucking episode with DeVoe?  Really?  This made me actively HATE the writers for forcing this storyline down my throat.

Also, I hate Marlize.  If you made a drinking game of how many times they say “my love” to each other you’d be hospitalized with alcohol poisoning.  Who the fuck talks that way?  Her reasons for taking part in the enlightenment aren’t really well fleshed out – she got injured because someone stole her tech so it makes sense to her to mind wipe the entire world?  On what planet is that sane?  Also, her weird competition with Iris over who was the more devout wife was bizarre and sexist as fuck.  I do like Iris asking Marlize what she’s willing to do the for the world whereas Marlize asked Iris what Iris was willing to do for her husband.  Marlize feels like some sort of weird 1950’s throwback and her turnaround at the end does not make me hate her any less.  I wish she’d died along with DeVoe.

Also, did they really need to pull a whole “Flowers for Algernon” plot for Harry?  Seriously, it did nothing but piss me off that they made him stupid.  And can we talk for a minute about how impatient and assholish Cisco is when someone doesn’t get what he is saying?  He was downright fucking abusive to HR and while he helps Harry the whole plotline seemed tired, stupid, and a waste of screen time.  You have these talented actors, can’t you give them something decent to do instead of stealing plots from every fucking sci-fi show in the history of the universe?  I don’t know why sci-fi writers have such a hard-on for “Flowers for Algernon” but just stop already.

Upon re-watching this season, it has the most episodes I just skip entirely and it has the most fast forwarding of any season to date because it is miserable to watch.  How many friendly bus metas did we have to see DeVoe brain suck right in front of our incapacitated heroes?  Why, all of them!  It’s a miserable season where they lose constantly.  Now, most of the bus metas are assholes, but the nice ones dying is more than a little demoralizing.

They could have left DeVoe powerful but still allowed Team Flash some wins, but I guess that isn’t enough angst-porn for these fuckers.  I know the hero can’t win all the time, but when he gets his ass kicked repeatedly and for stupid reasons it really does make for an annoying and unenjoyable watch.

While I like Caitlin and Killer Frost, Caitlin’s obsession with her alter ego to the point of selling out her team over and over and over and over and over again makes me really hate her at times.  The writers need to stop using Killer Frost as a reason for Caitlin to act like a selfish bitch to the whole team.  When it comes to her alter ego she’d sell out Team Flash in a second, and can we just have her get the fuck over it already?  “I hate Killer Frost!!”  “I love Killer Frost!!”  Just stop already.  You’ve played this one out, so just stop.  Find a new storyline instead of variations of this old and boring one, thanks.

That said adding Killer Frost to the hero line-up is very cool, pun intended.  I like that this season it really is Team Flash and not just the Flash running around with coms in his ear.  It makes the unbeatability of DeVoe even more unbelievable, but because this season weaves the good into the bad so tightly, they can’t be separated, but at least they decided to throw some good stuff at us, even if they mostly were just hacks throughout this season.

I’m sorry, but I will never believe anyone is smart enough – dark matter of no – to predict people’s behavior, how many people were on the bus, what types of powers they eventually would have, Team Flash’s reactions, the speed force, and on and on.  DeVoe just wasn’t believable in his brilliance at all.  There are too many variables that can be off-set by the unpredictability of human behavior.  Intelligence does not mean omniscience, but the writers don’t seem to notice or care.

Ok, for the good – Barry and Iris start seeing a couple’s therapist and it is awesome!  This therapist provides for some emotional scenes but is mainly played for humor.

The above video moves away from their therapy season for a minute or two, but then gets right back to it after that, and it is pretty funny.

One of my disappointments with season 5 was the lack of the therapist.  She would have been an awesome addition – especially with the changing family dynamic that season.

The relationship between Barry and Iris has been the central one to the show, so watching them work through things – of course Iris would be upset that Barry left her without discussion or consideration to save the city from the speed force.

One of the best moments of the season comes out this conflict – when they do finally discuss it, Barry, per his usual, wants to say that when he is the Flash he has to put those considerations first.  Iris tells him that when they got engaged, he was no longer the Flash, THEY were.

Boy did the misogynistic fanboys HATE that one!  It’s pretty funny how pissed off they got over this, but it does illustrate why they have trouble getting relationships of their own – they don’t understand the dynamic.

Specifically with Barry, if Iris were to let him carry the hero mantel on his own without her, he would make decisions without her by using the “I must save everyone” logic that is such a part of him.  I will say that at the time of the incident, there wasn’t really opportunity for a discussion as the city was being ravaged with earthquakes and lightning, but as a general rule, I liked it.

Everything Barry does as the Flash has a direct impact on Iris because they are married – what happens to one happens to both so those actions need to be discussed by both.  Barry has told Iris repeatedly that there would be no Flash without Iris West, and he isn’t lying.  Barry is one of the more emotional heroes we have seen, and sometimes the sweetness of the series can be a little bit much, but it is exactly why Barry needs his team either around him or in his ear – if Barry’s emotions are out of whack, he tends to fail.  Iris has brought him back from the brink of failing over and over and over again.

While season 4 has a lot of things I hate (I hate prison stories, just fucking hate them) it does have my all-time favorite (so far) Flash episode, “Flashtime” where a nuke goes off and Barry enters Flashtime, where he’s basically moving so fast time has seemingly stopped.  He has to figure out a way to stop the nuke before it destroys the city.  This episode has spurious science and a few plot holes a truck could go through, but mostly it is just really great story telling.  It also has one of my favorite moments between Barry and Iris.

In the above clip, Barry has been working the problem for a long time and despair has set in so he finally goes to Iris, not for help, but just to be with her for a moment more.  Iris even comes up with a working solution that saves the day, something Barry couldn’t think of.  In my own marriage, the number of times I’ve been hip deep in a problem I’ve overanalyzed from every side and my husband pops in with a solution because he has a different skill set, different knowledge, a different way of looking at things, and new eyes.  Watching that played out on television with unarguably bigger stakes was pretty fun.

This doesn’t mean Barry’s an idiot or weak or whatever the fanboys who hate this scene think, it just means that sometimes you get so involved in a problem that you can’t see the forest for the trees.  Iris brings fresh eyes to the problem, and the look Barry gives her, like she is some sort of miracle he is lucky to be around, is just awesome.  I love everything about this scene because it shows that the two of them have a great partnership and Iris saying, “every moment with you, Barry, has always been nice” even as a nuke is basically going off is serious spouse goals.

One of the things I like about this show is that it does a good job of showing healthy relationships like Barry and Iris.  Joe and Cecile also work as a team, as partners, and I think that so many people view their romantic interests as someone to compete against or who is against you in mentality, where good relationships are about making things better for each other because you are a team.  The Flash does a good job of showing this with these two couples.

Can we also talk for a minute about Cecile?  She is one of my favorite characters and she is so much fun.  Her mind reading powers make for a lot of fun moments, and I love her zeal in wanting Joe to go after a woman in the crowd who was stealing staplers from her employer.  There are many moments with her that are delightful and fun, and her relationship with Harry makes both of these already delightful characters even more likable.  Her addition to Team Flash is a welcome one.  Also, can we stop for a moment and just marvel at how gorgeous this entire cast is?  Holy cow are they a good looking group!

Ralph Dibney was added to the hero roster this year, and he is a great character.  I freaking love Ralph for so many reasons, but one is his dynamic with Barry.  Barry starts off not liking Ralph due to past actions on Ralph’s part, but throughout the season the two go from hating each other to being incredibly close friends.  Ralph working his way into Team Flash is a fun journey, because he is a character unlike the rest of them as he starts off really shady.

What is interesting to me is how Barry treats Ralph.  Barry is kind and careful with pretty much everyone but with Ralph he’s impatient, almost pitiless, and when Ralph complains because the Flash knocks him out Barry replies, “You can take it,” without a flicker of remorse.  Captain Cold once told Barry that he had the same ability to be ruthless, and we see a glimpse of the ruthlessness here in his interactions with Ralph.  Ralph is the only person Barry has casually threatened with violence and seeing Barry dislike someone who isn’t a bad guy is pretty fun.

So, again it is hard to rate this season because I both loved and hated it.  I’m giving it a C because there was enough good to offset the bad, but barely.  Can we have more than one big bad a season now, please?


Posted in Uncategorized


In 1985, Matthew Broderick, Michele Pfieffer, and Rutger Hauer starred in a wonderful movie called Ladyhawke.  Matthew Broderick plays a thief who escapes his medieval prison and teams up with Navarre, a warrior with a hawk.  Adventure ensues.

*******SPOILER ALERT*******




Ladyhawk 3


As a kid, I watched the movie with my dad because I loved Matthew Broderick, but I came out of this movie with a deep affection for Rutger Hauer as well.  Navarre and Isabeau were cursed – he to become a wolf and she, she to become a hawk during the day so that they may never be in human form together, because someone else basically wanted Isabeau and couldn’t have her.

Anyway, the movie plot is about the quest to kill the bishop who cursed them.


Now, as a term, “Ladyhawking” is basically when scheduling means you don’t see each other.  Will and I have worked and gone to school at the same time throughout our marriage and we’ve both worked a variety of jobs.  Sometimes these jobs create a Ladyhawk situation where one of us is awake during the day the other is awake during the night, and we don’t see each other except in passing.

In short, Ladyhawking sucks and as soon as we realize we’re stuck in a Ladyhawke scheduling situation we try to alter things so that we can see each other more.  Lots of couples deal with this kind of work scheduling and it really puts a strain on a relationship when you don’t have the opportunity to see each other.

Anyway, go see Ladyhawke.  It’s a fun movie and Rutger Hauer is a badass, per usual.  😉

Posted in Uncategorized

HVAC and Cats

This summer our air conditioner bit the dust, we we ended up having to get a whole new shebang, included duct work.

As soon as we lost the air and it became hot inside, the cats would walk into the room and melodramatically drop to the floor to show us they were hot. You can tell temperature by looking at a cat and the longer and more spread out they are, the hotter they are. Cecil, my oldest orange cat, started walking on us at night, which is not unusual, and would meow a lot and paw my face, which is unusual. I figure he’s just hot and he will be ok when we install a window unit.

This is Cecil.  He’s the orange cat we have with a long nose.

We install window units in a few rooms to combat the heat. One of the rooms is the bedroom and we had a window unit blowing constantly along with the fan blowing, too.

This does not diminish Cecil’s night time meowing. I start to worry something is wrong with him, but outside of being loud and annoying, nothing else looks wrong with him. I figure the week after they install the new furnace and AC I will take him to the vet.

Cecil, Joey (Scarface Joe,) and Shadow watching the new window unit being installed.

The very first night with the new AC he did not meow at me and paw my face until I woke up.  He walked on us and then slept on us, like normal.  It’s been a week or two and he hasn’t done it since.

He was waking us up because he didn’t like how windy it was. I mean, first world problems, dude, but at least he isn’t sick.

Scarface Joe – he’s not too hot in this pic, he just likes sprawling in the middle of all pathways.


Posted in Reviews

Wine Country? More like whine country

This past weekend, on a whim, my husband and I watched “Wine Country” mainly because we both love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  We thought it would probably be a dramedy, and while it did have drama, it had very little in the way of humor.  Considering that most of the Fey/Poehler SNL favorites were there, the lack of humor was a surprise.

“Wine Country” is directed by and stars Amy Poehler, with Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey and Tina Fey.  The premise is a group of women who became friends in the ’90’s as waitresses at a Chicago pizza place get together in Napa Valley to celebrate Rachel Dratch’s character’s 50th birthday.

This is the type of premise I simply love – the big party or weekend getaway with friends.  The classic of this genre (or would it  be subgenre?) is of course, “The Big Chill” but many other movies with that premise have happened since then and I tend to watch them all.  There’s something fun about watching a bunch of friends get together and love, laugh, and more often than not fight and resolve conflicts.  Another great one of this type is “Peter’s Friends” with the always wonderful Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry as the titular Peter.  I recommend it heartily.

Sadly, I cannot really recommend “Wine Country” with the same gusto.  If I were to recommend it, I would be doing so in the “smell this, I think it’s rotten” kind of way because this movie was weird.  And not great.

First of all, Maya Rudolph is one of those actresses who is always in everything – especially anything Amy Poehler or Tina Fey have a hand in – and I simply don’t find her funny.  Her characters on SNL were annoying at best, and as someone who doesn’t care for improv, I have no idea why people keep casting her.  When she’s in something I want to watch, I often simply change my mind and don’t bother.  Her brand of funny is simply obnoxious or rambling.

Of course, her character is the most annoying one.  She spends the entire movie avoiding getting her medical test results and then being maudlin and morbid about her theoretical illness.  This behavior is believable but maddening.  This is the type of thing that drove me crazy in my 20’s when a friend would be hysterical because of a missed period but hadn’t bothered to take a pregnancy test because they were scared.  Hysteria with no supporting facts is just stupid drama for drama’s sake.

Yeah, let’s freak out about our imagination without any facts to support it.  Let’s mire ourselves in uncertainty instead of simply finding out out if there is even a legitimate problem.  So the ever annoying Maya Rudolph is made more annoying by her being one of those people who would rather ruin a weekend with friends than simply find out if there is any reason to actually be upset in the first place.  And spoiler alert, this bitch is fine when her friends finally call her doc.  Ugh.  Just an entirely annoying subplot that was solved with a fucking phone call.  Bleh.  Meanwhile, her character mopes around and then talks for a long time to bore the crap out of anyone of watching.  Why do people find this funny?  I don’t get it.

Sadly, Maya Rudolph – usually the worst part of any ensemble – isn’t even the worst part of this weird ass movie.  There are so many other things to hate here.  Sadly, Tina Fey was not impressive either.  She plays the owner of the airBNB where this friend group decides to stay.  And honestly, I have no idea what she was going for with her character choices.

My husband and I debated this:  Was she trying for a butch kind of character?  Or was this her way of trying to play country/blue collar?  Was she trying to be a male character?  Other than being negative and warning the friend group not to listen to anything that starts off with “Can I just say something?”  If this were a horror movie, she’d be the old man warning the kids that cabin was haunted.  Only she was not believable as anything other than Tina Fey trying to do some character that wasn’t a good fit for her and that was actively uncomfortable to watch.  When watching a movie, I don’t want to sit and think about what the actress was trying to achieve, I just want to watch her do it.  So Tina Fey, usually a favorite, sucked mightily in this role.

That said, her telling the friends to eschew anything starting with “Can I just say something?” was prescient, because any time two friends are alone, they say this sentence and then trash another friend that is on the trip.

The next part of the movie I disliked was the tarot reader they hired to come and read for the group.  First of all, as a professional tarot reader myself, I’m always interested in Hollywood depictions of this activity, mainly because I can critique the ways they get it wrong and occasionally say, hooray, they got it right.

Right off the bat, this tarot reader was just an unfriendly bitch.  Her goal seemed to be to destroy the friend group or at least sow strife.  Her readings consisted of her turning over a card for each person – and the way this was done was shoddy, too.  Instead of re-shuffling the deck for every person, she merely laid one card for each person leaving the old card on the table to be covered up by the next card.  You know, sometimes more than one person is a group is dealing with the issues of the same card.  Ugh, bad tarot reader.

The only thing interesting about her way of reading tarot was the cards themselves, which looked like the regular Rider-Waite-Smith, but with shiny gold looking parts on the cards themselves.  If this deck exists in the real world and wasn’t just created for the movie, I really want it.

Anyway, at the end of what was basically a total of a 5 minutes reading for the entire group, she charges them $475.  Other than giving the characters a common enemy and foretelling fights between them yet to come, which was already done by the awful farmer character of Tina Fey’s, this scene just served to outrage.

No matter how they are portrayed in the media, tarot readers always come off as shitty stereotypes.  It’s annoying.

This movie was just bizarre in so many ways.  After they fight with each other they roll down a very large hill and that is supposed to be cathartic, although god knows why.  It made little to no sense.  I’m not saying that I’ve never been drunk with my girlfriends and gone along with stupid shit that was nonsensical, but there is at least somewhat of a rationale in our minds.  This was just “we need to end the movie so let’s roll down a hill.”

The group is in wine country but doesn’t want to learn anything about wines, so they actually come off as pretty rude to those working in the wineries.  I live very close to dozens of wineries and have been to many of them.  They aren’t trying to make you learn about wines, they are telling what the wines are like while you taste them so you can decide what you like best.  Maybe the Napa Valley is different, but once you buy the bottle, they tend to wait on the next person as even on slow days, there is usually somebody waiting.

That said, even if someone is trying to teach you about wine, being rude bitches isn’t really a good way to go.  The characters – who will piss you off in their actions, pretty much all of them – go to an organic winery, and the woman there is very pretentious about her wine, which basically has a ton of sediment in it “because it’s organic” and instead of storing the wine with ice or fridges, they keep in cool by keeping it in the dirt.  Ok, annoying, yes, but then you just leave the dirt wine place.  The one rule of this winery was not to walk in the vines, a rule they all broke pretty much immediately.

I get it, the lady was pretentious and annoyingly happy with her wine and herself (for shame!  how horrible that she likes her own winery!) but to break the rules of a place you are visiting isn’t just shitty behavior, it’s tacky as hell, too.  They of course cop an attitude with the woman – who nicely but passive aggressively tells them to get out of the vineyard itself – and are pretty rude about leaving and have no remorse for breaking the one rule given to them.

They were all just so crappy as humans.

There were things the movie got right about female friendships – when women hang out together and drink wine, yes, we will break into song at any opportunity.  We will play music and dance and sing along to it and laugh our asses off doing so.  They did this portion of things really well, even having a very intense conversation about what music to put on their playlist.

Much of the interactions and hanging out was very well done in that it did resonate for me as I’ve seen that and done that.  Even the weird resentments and infighting were accurate to the experience, in my opinion.  The other part that was mostly well done, was Rachel Dratch’s character is married to Brian, an asshole every single woman hates.  The movie has a lot of fun with them bashing him but not in front of Dratch’s character until the very end when she realizes she is in a crappy marriage.

This bashing of the asshole male screwing up a friend’s life is something I think is universal to most if not all women.  We have all had that friend who is with a worthless scumbag and we have all puzzled over it, I’m sure.  This echoes that perfectly.

The other thing this movie does well is the way arguments and tensions are diffused in a friend group – sometimes you are shitty to each other, there is silence, and then someone breaks the silence with a song, joke, laughter, or a non-sequitur and everyone latches on to it for tension breaking purposes.

My favorite character of the movie was Val, played by Paula Pell.  Val flirts with a really cute waitress at dinner and thinks of having a fling with the girl.  They go to see this girl’s art show because of Val’s crush.  The entire art show was simply – to me – let’s bash millennials and what they like and make them out to be douche bags.

The art show itself was merely different depictions of Fran Drescher from “The Nanny”  and was more than a little eye rolling.  Meanwhile, Val’s crush acts as if her “art” is the most deep and resonant thing she’s ever seen.  The girl comes off as pretentious and full of herself in the extreme, and of course, the friend group we’ve come to know and loathe go off on their millennial rant.

Dear movie makers, you come off as assholes when you portray millennials this way.  Maybe stop it, because they are the ones who will be taking care of you in the nursing home.  Yes, “we just don’t understand the uppity kids today” can be played for fun, but mostly it just comes off as older people being assholes about the younger generation.  As Gen X, I’m really tired of the whole Baby Boomers versus Millennials thing and seeing Gen X’ers play into that trope is just gross, in poor taste, and more than that, BORING.

Normally, I would have shut off a movie like this after the first 10 minutes, but I hung in there for Poehler and because I wanted to see how they would depict female friendships.  For my husband, he continued watching it because he felt the characters were so weirdly alien, that he kept watching, much like an anthropologist trying to make sense of their universe.  When someone says, “I only finished it because…” you are not dealing with a great movie.

The one character I did identify with was Emily Spivey’s Jenny (no, not because I’m Jennifer) because she didn’t want to be there and when she called her husband she told him she wished the trip was 3 days shorter.  “But it’s only for three days,” he replies, and yeah, exactly.  Jenny normally is the one who is a no-show, and after seeing the weekend they all spent together I can totally see why.  Spending a drunk weekend with back biting friends isn’t how most people want their time spent.

So all in all this was a weird movie, not really funny so much as dramatic-ish, and much in the way of making mountains out of molehills for all of the women in this group.  So while it did have parts that anyone who has spent time with a group female friends will identify with and like, it was not a good movie.  I’ve given it about a D+ and my husband gave it a thumbs down on Netflix.

I want you to watch it, so we can both agree that this movie does indeed smell bad.

P.S. For all female comedians – simply talking about you vagina in disgusting ways is no longer considered funny.  You have to actually be making a joke, not just merely referencing your lady bits.  There was a lot of humorous attempts at vagina jokes, but all of them were just boring and wtf inducing.  Fart and poop humor isn’t funny, and putting a vagina into that type of joke is just annoying, gross, and not even remotely humorous.