Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Update: It's Not COVID.

COVID test was negative the doc's office. They don't have tests for HMPV (human metapneumovirus) or RSV yet, but it doesn't matter, because what I do have is a secondary bacterial infection bronchitis, which is explains why I was getting better, until I suddenly wasn't lol. 

Antibiotics, steroids, inhaler, and nighttime cough syrup and we're good to go!  

But hey, at least I can still brag I've never had COVID? lol

Dang, I knew I should be better by now, but had no idea I was that sick, just low-grade fever, but I'm pretty good with pain or being sick.  

Plus in healthcare, when it's you, you're either a hypochondriac or you're like "Nah, I don't have THAT."  I tend to be the latter, when it's me.  When it's a loved one, I'm like "Get thee to the doctor immeeediately, stat." lol

Ode to Tori Amos: Silent All These Years ...

I wandered over to my dear friend Cherie's Place in the UK, this morning, and one of her posts reminded of a song by Tori Amos, in a round about sort of way, with the way my weird brain works lol.

Her posts were actually about her recent travels to Gloucester - which I asked and learned is pronounced "GLOSSter" in the UK, by the way.

As her thought for the week, though, she had posted a picture of a plaque she saw there about things not to flush down the toilet, which including your hopes and dreams. Then somebody commented and asked where we should put them then? lol.

I was reminded of this old Tori Amos song, "Silent All These Years," which I'd completely forgotten about.  And Tori just sort of disappeared, where did she go? 

Classically-trained pianist, controversial lyrics at times.

For example, her song, "Me and a Gun" was her true story about being raped and wishing she'd had a gun, at the time. 

Men went nuts over it, so did anti-gun advocates -  but let me tell you something - if you're ever raped, at least in that moment, you'll wish you had a gun, too -  even liberals like us ;)

But it was "Silent All These Years" in particular that struck a chord with me, at that time - because it's about being a young adult, but still having to live with a dysfunctional family because of finances, feeling stuck, unheard. Troubled relationships with mothers, overly religious and not, and screaming back only makes it worse.  Wondering if you'll ever escape the dysfunction, and find your own voice.

I'm this she's referring to herself on the "so you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts" - either that or her ex's new girlfriend - but clearly, but they still remain each other's best friends and confidantes, having bonded over their mothers lol  :)

So I misremembered the lyrics as:   

"My DREAM got lost in a paper cup
You think there's a heaven where some DREAMS have gone?
I got twenty-five bucks an' a cracker
Do you think it's enough to get us there"

But the lyrics are actually:

"My SCREAM got lost in a paper cup
You think there's a heaven where some SCREAMS have gone?
I got twenty-five bucks an' a cracker
Do you think it's enough to get us there"

Here are the full lyrics: 

Excuse me, but can I be you for a while?
My dog won't bite if you sit real still
I got the Anti-Christ in the kitchen, yellin' at me again
Yeah, I can hear that 
Been saved again by the garbage truck
I got something to say, you know, but nothing comes
Yes, I know what you think of me, you never shut up
Yeah, I can hear that 
But what if I'm a mermaid
In these jeans of his with her name still on it
Hey, but I don't care
'Cause sometimes, I said sometimes, I hear my voice
And it's been here silent all these years 
So you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts? 
Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon
How's THAT thought for you? (LOL)
My scream got lost in a paper cup
You think there's a heaven where some screams have gone
I got twenty-five bucks an' a cracker
Do you think it's enough to get us there 
'Cause what if I'm a mermaid,
In these jeans of his with her name still on it
Hey, but I don't care
'Cause sometimes, I said sometimes, I hear my voice
And it's been here silent all these 
Years go by, will I still be waiting
For somebody else to understand?
Years go by, if I'm stripped of my beauty
And the orange clouds raining in my head
Years go by, will I choke on my tears
'Til, finally there is nothing left?
One more casualty, you know we're too easy, easy, easy
Well, I love the way we communicate
Your eyes focus on my funny lip shape
Let's hear what you think of me now
But, baby, don't look up, the sky is falling 
Your mother shows up in a nasty dress
Hmm, it's YOUR turn now to stand where I stand 
Everybody lookin' at you ... here, take hold of my hand ...
Yeah, I can hear them 
But what if I'm a mermaid
In these jeans of yours with her name still on it
Hey, but I don't care
'Cause sometimes, I said sometimes I hear my voice
I hear my voice, I hear my voice, and it's been here
Silent all these years
I've been here
Silent all these years
Silent all these
Silent all these years

 Oh, well, either way, perhaps dreams and screams do go to heaven?

And the happy ending to my story, at least, is - I did finally escape the dysfunction and find my voice, in the end :)

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

So It's Not the Flu After All - COVID? Metapneumovirus? (Updated).


... that I've had for the past week.  Not only because COVID is going around the schools like crazy again (where my husband works) - but I just now realized the home test kits that I had expired in June! 

Whups! I thought this was different, it didn't follow the normal rules of the flu, it was weird.  Not worse, just different. 

I could get tested tomorrow, but it's awfully late in the game, and what could they do at this point?  Nothing, and it's not that bad, just annoying, having gone on for so long, plus today I had a coughing fit that lasted like three hours, never had that in my life, despite being a smoker.  

I mean, I've felt worse than this before, when I had just the regular flu, plus I'm vaccinated, but this was just different, it didn't follow the normal flu or cold pattern.  And this sounds gross, but the mucus is especially "sticky" if that makes sense, it doesn't want to clear, and once you think you're better, the symptoms suddenly come back.

It hit Mark harder, but mine lasted longer (probably because I'm a smoker).

Dangit, I thought I'd made it through this whole thing without getting it, argggh! 

Well, at least the vaccinations made it more mild than it could've been, whew!


PS - So I just called the pharmacist at CVS to schedule a COVID test for tomorrow.  

He said that they stopped doing them in May, but are about to start up again with the uptick, but they're not equipped yet. 

He also said there's another weird, COVID-like virus going around called the Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV).  It's a completely different virus from COVID, but the symptoms are  just as weird as -  and nearly indistinguishable from - beginning COVID, but  less hospitalizations/not as deadly.  

He said he had it in July and was down for two weeks, though he never misses work.  Presently, tests for it are hard to find anywhere.


PS Again So I just found out that my insurance will no longer cover healthcare-professional administered COVID testing (by local pharmacy, etc.) unless it's ordered by a doctor, ever since the public health emergency officially ended last May. 

Which means I have to find a way to be worked in to my doctor's office for an actual appointment and get the test, paying a regular office visit fee PLUS the copay for testing, taking the chance that I do not have COVID and thus paid the money for nothing - OR - I can pay $129 out of pocket for the test. 

Do I want to pay at least $100,  just to find out I don't have it  - or that I do, but there's no treatment for it a week into it other than letting it run its course? 

No, I do not - BUT - I will, so as to let other people I've been around know. 

The home tests are cheaper, but not very reliable.  Well, I should say positive results are reliable, but negative results aren't, so sayeth the CDC (look under the tap "Should I trust a self-test?" near the bottom of the page, click to expand). 

That makes sense, because almost everyone I know that has ever used a home test had a false negative result three or four times, only to have a healthcare-professional-administered one later that was positive. 

So that is either user error or home tests aren't sensitive enough - either way, Houston, we have a problem then lol. 

So if that is the case,  I doubt most people will now go get tested, then, if you have to pay completely out of pocket for it or need to see a doctor first before your insurance will cover it.

So how in the heck is the CDC supposed to track it then, and how do we find out if we have it so as not to infect others?

And what about the annual booster?  Because I'm pretty sure we're not vaccinated for life.

Way to go, CDC, healthcare systems, pharmacies, and insurance companies - for acting like everybody was vaccinated and apparently pretending like COVID doesn't even exist anymore :/

Ain't that a kick in the head?

Such is life in the KY in the good 'ole US of A lol

Mark Meadows: Can I Just Say ...

 ... that Mark Meadows saying his efforts to overturn the election were just "part of his job by serving and protecting the American people" is exactly like the American Mafia saying they were "just trying to protect the neighborhood from crime."  

Yep, RICO charges?  Definitely relevant here lol

HHS Announces The First 10 Drugs to be Price-Renegotiated by Medicare Under the Inflation Reduction Act ...

 I suspect this is one of the reasons why my work was so slow this summer - at least partly because they were waiting on the first round of drugs to be renegotiated in price by Medicare (to limit out-of-pocket costs to patients).  

Because what would be the sense of wildly speculating on price, and insurance-company responses to price, in marketing interviews,only to have to reverse it all when this list came out, right?

Well, the first round is here, just announced today - and all 10 drugs have been out on the market for 10 to 20 years, but never came down in price, despite competition. 

Why doesn't price erosion happen in pharmaceuticals with more competition, just like in other business?

Because of varying  and increasingly steep rebates (essentially kickbacks) offered to  PBMs and insurance companies offered in their contracts ;)

Regardless, here are the 10 drugs in the first round of the IRA negotiations.

They are mostly the "novel" type of blood thinners and anti-diabetes meds - literally, lifesaving drugs (with just a few autoimmune disorder drugs sprinkled in).

So what does this mean?

It means that Medicare will renegotiate the price of these drugs to a point that patients will no longer pay more than around $50 per month for these lifesaving drugs.

As a result, commercial insurance will follow suit - not only do they have to already in some ways due to federal mandates, but because why should they now pay literally thousands more for prescription drugs than Medicare for drugs, right?

This is NOT government price control - this is the fact that  government insurance is running out of funding and simply cannot afford astronomically high prices anymore  - especially compared to what Big Pharma charges other countries - PLUS -  senior patients on fixed incomes cannot afford the out-of-pocket copay for these lifesaving meds.

Basically, the government is now saying to Big Pharma and Private Insurance, "Look, we gave you ample time for market competition to work this out, but it didn't because of your large rebates to PBMs and insurance companies that never "trickled down" on the members.  Now, we're literally running out of money, going to go bankrupt by 2030, at this rate, and seniors cannot afford the copay for these life-saving meds. You charge other countries a fraction of what you charge us and you know it. So so we don't care how you do it, but American citizens will no longer be paying more than X dollars out of pocket for their meds."

As an aside, after Mark's stroke in 2017, he was initially put on Eliquis.  It was $300 a month out of pocket for us, AFTER commercial insurance.  They gave us a coupon for $100 off, big whoop.

However, I noted that the cardiologist that "plugged the hole" (his stroke was caused by a PFO or "hole" in his heart, causing blood to not be filtered properly through the lungs, and thus onto the brain)  was apparently unaware that Mark had an active bleed from a kidney stone going on at the exact same time, which is the reason he wasn't put on tPA when first arriving to the hospital, by the neurologist.

(Go me, that was a pretty good catch, if I do say so myself - not gonna have my husband now bleed out after all that, right?)

So the cardiologist switched him to Pradaxa, which is less potent than either Eliquis or Xarelto, easier to reverse, and cheaper.

I think we paid about $100 a month for six months (after which he was put on regular aspirin).

So this is a GOOD thing for patients - but a nightmare for insurance companies and Big Pharma.

I can tell you for certain, as a result of transcribing these interviews, the first thing that will happen is Big Pharma is not going to drop the price as much as insurance companies are just going to tighten the belt on restrictions on other drug classes, so as to offset the rebate dollars they're losing from Big Pharma for the drugs on the list ;)

For example, let's just say you want Humira for rheumatoid arthritis?  

(***I'm just using Humira as a made-up example, I'm NOT saying this IS going to happen with that particular drug, you understand***.)

Well, you may have to step through more meds for longer first - steroids, immunosuppressants, and any number of other things before you can have it now.

Because Humira is not a lifesaving drug, it's pretty expensive still, even though generics just hit the market, so if you want it now, you're going to have to jump through several more hoops to get it.

Again, just using Humira as example, that is not necessarily going to happen with that particular drug, but it WILL happen in other classes as a way to tighten the belt, rest assured.

However, Humira is expensive and many speculated it would be on this first round - but I think the reason it isn't is because generic adalimumabs just came out and they wanted to see if competition took care of price erosion or not first?

(I doubt it - the generics aren't much cheaper, so we may see Humira  and its generics in one of the later rounds ;)

Regardless, more are coming, this is just the first list/round :)

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Netflix's "You are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah" - Starring the Sandler Family :)


So I was pleasantly surprised by  this show, last night, while still recuperating. Netflix has gone downhill, there's been very little on Netflix that's been interesting since Ozark, I was about to cancel it.  And unfortunately, Adam Sandler movies have mostly been a disappointment since his glory days in the 90s.

But this one was a surprise - and showcased the talent of his entire family, particularly daughter, Sunny, who blew me away with her acting skills, so young - after a little more refinement as she gets older, we may be seeing a budding superstar, here, in Sunny Sandler.

Also talented was Sunny Sandler's real-life older sister, Sadie, who rolled off deadpan funny lines like a pro, and dispensed much needed experienced advice to both little sister and parents along the way, after her own bout with 7th-graditis.

But I think my favorite characters may have been the Bubbes (Jewish grandmothers) - whom I can't find a picture of yet - but always listen to the Bubbes, young ones -  they may be blunt and hilarious, but they're actually dispensing sage advice to you at the same time.

Not the best thing I've ever seen, by any means, but after a few detours, this is the sort of movie you'd think a grown-up Adam Sandler with kids would now make - a family comedy, but still with the Sandler-esque quirky characters and WTF moments in it that we know and love.

Because the best part of Adam Sandler movies are usually the random quirky characters in the background, who suddenly walk up and say like one line and steal the show, either so random you can't help but laugh (which is actually Adam Sandler's nod to Mel Brooks, but with a Sandler twist), or so simply profound that it shuts everyone up lol.

It's a coming of age story, with a clear nod to Judy Blume's "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret" - only it also educates you on Jewish traditions, if you're not familiar with them, but in modern day.  

So men/boys, this one's NOT just for girls because it is still Adam Sandler of course :)

But it's nice to see Adam Sandler actually wearing his yarmulke, embracing his being Jewish as a central part of the story, now, too.  

I mean, he already did somewhat, with "The Chanukah Song" and "Eight Crazy Nights," but in this one, he's showcasing what else is great in Jewish culture, besides just Hanukkah and weddings! lol

So the movie has a 95% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, 72% audience score, and it's interesting, reading the audience score.  I found that the self-proclaimed Jewish girls seemed to split on it - IMO, more conservative Jewish girls took offense, while liberal Jewish girls could relate more and found it hilarious - because the one thing you've got to remember is it IS Adam Sandler, former SNL alum, after all - it's a parody of real life, not real life. 

Now, of course, I'm not Jewish, but being that I grew up in suburban Cincinnati in a high school that was 20% Jewish, I was able to relate to some degree, but I learned so much more, too.  

And that's the great thing about it, you don't have to be Jewish to get it, but they do educate you on some great things about Jewish culture and the celebrations on becoming a man or a women at age 12 or 13 known as "Bar Mitzvahs" for boys and "Bat Mitzvahs" for girls.

For instance, as a result of my school friends, I already knew that these Jewish rites of passage are not JUST about changing bodies and reproductivity - they're about taking responsibility as an adult and choosing what type of Judaism you want to follow for yourself.

And I knew about the prayer recitations and canting that are done at them, but I didn't know about the "mitzvah" projects that are required to be completed and pass before the rabbit gives the green light for you to have a bar/bat mitzvah.

Because in fact,"Mitzvah" means "an act of empathy or kindness (in God's service)." in Hebrew.

So in other words, you must choose a community service to engage in and complete, as well as memorizing the Hebrew prayers and canting you will perform at your Bar/Bat Mitzvah at the temple or synagogue, before you "pass" and are allowed to have an official, temple-recognized bar/baht mitzvah :)

So the bar/baht mitzvah is really in two parts - the first part of reciting prayers and singing cantations are done in Hebrew are done at the temple/synagogue in front of friends and family, as well as attestation by the rabbi that you are ready and recognized officially as a man or a woman in the Jewish faith.

(The rabbi is standing right next to them as they read the haftarah from the Torah, ready to rescue if they struggle.)

The second part is the afterparty - food, music, games, dancing - and everyone attends, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, young and old.

And yes, they dance the Horah and lift the just bar/bat mitzvahed boy or girl on the chair, just like at Jewish weddings :)

However, in the 80s, I remember mostly the boys having bar mitzvahs - but I don't remember a single girl having a bat mitzvahs - just a regular birthday party or sleepover, and nothing as lavish as today. 

I also remember that in my community, most Christians didn't attend the temple part and I'm not sure why, whether if it's because they chose not to or weren't invited.  

I get the sense now, though, looking back, that Christians etc. were actually invited, but they rarely came to that part, so maybe Jewish families just sort of started assuming non-Jewish folk wouldn't come anyway?

Nowadays, girls are celebrated just as much as boys and Christians show up to both temple and the afterparty, which is cool to see, because I remember my Jewish female friends lamenting that they didn't get a big party like the boys did.

In fact, Adam Sandler's line about his character's bar mitzvah - which is actually a joke, I'm sure it wasn't THAT bad - but it WAS actually true for the girls, not the boys, in my community:

“Listen, when I got bar mitzvah-ed, we had a party in Grandma’s basement. We all split like this giant matzo ball. That was the fun. You know what the theme was? Being Jewish. Just practice your prayers and write your speech already.”


This was in response to his daughter, Stacy (played by his real-life daughter, Sunny), asking for OTT things for her bat mitzvah party like on a yacht with Olivia Rodrigo and jet skis and a virgin mojito lol.  

He also says 

"That's why we fought the Nazis? So you could have a mojito bar?" 

LOL again!

This is said when Stacy reaches an all-time out-of-control moment where she is caught by her (female) rabbi, both kissing a boy at temple and is caught doing her mitzvah at a retirement center, just so she can be close to that same boy, who visits his grandmother there, selfishly negating the entire point of her mitzvah project.

Not that Rabbi Rebecca is uncool, she handled that very well - Rabbi Rebecca is one of the funniest and coolest characters on the show.

And she delivers the most profound, but likely true, piece of spiritual advice regarding why bad things happen to good people if there's a God?

And that is "God is random."


That was the hardest thing for me to learn, when I left the charismatic evangelical Christian faith I was raised in, helped along by a book by Rabbi Kushner that I read years ago, which clearly Rabbi Rebecca took a page from.  

Essentially, the book purports that God neither does nor doesn't cause these bad things to happen to you, and they don't even necessarily happen as consequence or punishment for misdeeds.

If not natural consequence, then bad things happening are often either due to choices other people make out of the free-will choice God gave us all or simply just ... random.

Randomness is a hard concept for us all to grasp.  We like cause and effect, we like someone to blame.

But sometimes, there really isn't anyone to blame, bad things happen, and the bible says the rain will fall on both the just and the unjust sometimes.

A less wise, but still quirky character is DJ Schmuley - mostly just because of his name - in a very Mel Brooks sort of way, a bit like Rabbi Schmultz? lol

Speaking of which, yes, girls - you will have to revisit your 7th grade trauma, I'm sorry - but it ends well? 

I'm sure all girls already know this, but boys may not know - while boys often have the worst time of bullying in high school, for girls - it's 7th grade.

That is because a little known fact to men is that all 7th grade girls are at least temporarily sociopaths. No, really ;) lol

Due to some combination of hormonal imbalances and becoming aware of social groups and where they fit in them, the social strata branching off into various levels of popularity,  girls in particular become extremely selfish drama queens, totally self-absorbed, whose favorite pastime appears to be mostly publicly humiliating other girls to make themselves feel less insecure.  

There's no limit what girls will do to themselves, and to their supposed best friends, just to fit in with the popular girls. 

This phase is like an arc that starts about age 12 to and levels off at around 17 - but from about 13 to 14 or 15, we're straight up impossible to be around, I freely admit lol.

Now, many of us girls later go on to have remorse and cringe over this behavior at some point in life later - and many girls don't.  

In fact, I know some girls that never did leave this phase! 

As for me, I was the sort that usually defended anyone bullied, the underdog, which of course often made me a target, and was sometimes bullied myself outright just for being a bit different/had less money/was why.

HOWEVER, I also went along with some shit the popular girls did, trying to fit in, or I should've spoke up/done more.  

I also became very smart-mouthed, disrespectful, and snappy as the girls in this movie do, along with testing my boundaries and independence, too, so don't imagine I was any sort of a saint.  I had to issue my share of apologies later, too, believe me.  I just never bullied anyone, usually stood up for them, but sometimes just stood there frozen, and sometimes snapped crappy things at even my best friends just because I felt badly (and vice versa).

Now, at my junior high, the popular girls at my very affluent junior high were next-level mean girl with the pranks and invites of less popular girls and poorer girls to torment them (I was middle class so kind of in between).  I remember they'd literally stand at the door and check your tags on your clothes when you walked in to make sure they were truly designer rather than knock-offs, no joke, they were merciless and I know some girls that to this day that never got over the bullying from junior high.  

At least in this film, during the floating maxi-pad part, the girls eventually got over their frozen moment (a common ailment with bullying) to somewhat defend her from the boys?

I wondered how realistic that was, though - most 12-year-old girls , when there's bullying going on, either jump on and help bully, laugh along to fit in, or just freeze - but they rarely defend.  

Like I said, I did a couple of times, but that now made me the target, so I stopped doing that.  

You'll be disappointed to learn that it wasn't until 2019 that I learned the best way to deal with being a bystander to a workplace bullying situation - and that is always approach the victim, not the bully - lest you become the bully's new target ;)

I'm a slow social learner, I guess, and I can't tell you the amount of times, either online or in real life, I intervened with bullies and took them on because I knew I could make them look stupid, and thus, became the target.

I always knew this would happen, but I felt compelled to help, and stupidly thought I could handle the backlash every time, but after it went on too long and didn't blow over, not so much - - and worse, almost invariably, the original bullying victim will almost always jump on the side of the ir bully, now coming after you, just happy the heat was off them now lol.

This happened for the last time in 2019 - and though I've only run across a bullying situation once since (online), I approached the victim, not the bully, and it worked out just fine. (I know, duh, right?)

Back to teenage years, high school was much better, and though it was still a rigid, money-focused group, there was less public bullying and less general meanness.   There weren't apologies issued yet by most, but they were less mean.  The popular group changed hands, too - though still wealthy, the smart, funny kids became popular instead of the plastic, pretty girls lol.

I understand, though, for boys, the arc is different - the bullying starts around 12 and just keeps going until college?  Can't even imagine, poor boys.  

The upswing for the boys, though, is tt tends to be physical bullying, which is not okay, but something can be done about it by staff.  Girls, on the other hand, are much more passive aggressive in their bullying so as to do things the staff doesn't see or can't do anything about. 

But it's not the bullies that usually got in trouble anyway, it was their victims, when they decided to punch back or get back, right?

Now in this film, there are no victims when all is said and done - revenge for slights blows up into a war until everybody looks like a shit lol.

It shows very clearly how there's popular, there's the wannabe populars and what they're willing to do (to themselves or others) to get it, and the various levels of social strata that form, rightly or wrongly and the hurts along the way - so I think most of us cringe when looking back on those days, except maybe the most popular bullies who never knew it was like to ever be on the receiving end of that?  

But at the same time, I feel sorry for them now because they had to always fit the mold, never leave it, never try anything new or different because they knew it'd set them apart and they'd lose popular points :(

But everything turns out all right in the end - BFFs apologize and make up, they actually talk - well, argue at first, but talk it out as is the mature, new millenium way to do things.

Back in my day, before there was Oprah, before therapy and learning better communication was encouraged, you never said things like "I miss you" or sometimes even "I'm sorry" when you fell out with friends.

You just looked at each other in class, after the teacher or someone did something ridiculous, because you knew the other person would get it, and at most, we might say "We good now?" after a good laugh.

It worked, at the time, but this way is way better :)

Because even though there is something to be said for letting bygones be bygones, you don't just smooth it over with still sore spots and pretending either - you actually resolve the issues by talking through them.

AND Sunny finally chooses the obvious choice, Mateo, which I pegged right from the beginning, though Mateo is literally a foot shorter than most of the girls, as boys often are at that age.

Let that be a lesson to you, girls - stabbing a friend or family member in the back, either over a boy or popularity - or conversely, exacting revenge on that friend or family who stabbed  you?

It never ends well for either one of you, it belittles you both and thus you will feel even worse.

And the kind of boy, or the kind of "cool" kids, who would ever encourage you to do so?

 They are never worth it.

All you can do is walk away and hope everyone comes to their senses and grows up someday. 

True, as mentioned above, some never do, justify it, blame you for what they did - but at least you didn't demean yourself in the process, right?

The power of remorse, forgiveness, and the social responsibilities/awareness  and better communication that come with being an adult, or at least should come with being an adult -  worth a watch :)

Friday, August 25, 2023

PS - Secret Service and Jail?


Not sure how many have thought of this, but Trump still has Secret Service protection for life, regardless.  

So if he does go to jail - which Teflon Don likely won't, even if he shot someone, on video - does the Secret Service go with him to protect him or-?

Sigh, this is the world we live in now lol

And the Mug Shot We Were All Waiting For ...


Hahahaha!  No, wait ... hahaha!

Now, you know the toxic textbook narcissist probably practiced that face in the mirror like 1,000 times, over the past few days.

I think he's trying for tough-scary, but instead, he just looks unhinged-psychopath-scary - like a demented Oompa Loompa who suddenly went rogue from an already loopy Willy Wonka. 

In fact, I imagine that's what a snarling Satan would've looked like on the day he was cast out of heaven, after trying unsuccessfully to overthrow it LOL

"God treated me very badly, very badly.  His rules are stupid, they aren't fair, the whole thing is rigged against me.  God's system is rigged and I'm innocent!  God cheats. so I'm just staying a step ahead of the cheater!" 
 "Who cares if God can create, big deal - have you seen my growing crowd size? I'm smarter and more charming and persuasive, everybody knows it.  I can make anyone believe any lie I tell -  can God do that?"

Yeah, no - because presumably God would have no need to lie in the first place? lol

And Trump's speech later that he's innocent - dohkay, sure. 

Erm, dude - at the very least, you aided and abetted/were complicit with a plot to overturn the election results - devised weeks before the election, mind you - by recruiting fake electoral college members in 7 states to try to fool state officials into thinking they were the real authorized/official electoral college members!

So ... turns out trying to rig the election in your favor in advance of the election because you fear the other side will cheat - is still just cheating - sorry.

And it's especially unjustified if the other side didn't cheat!

Like many others, I've lost faith that this will go anywhere - again - such is the way of rich white men in power, particularly those that have reached cult leader status - and yet this mug shot still makes me very happy, for some reason lol.

And as IF we needed any more proof that Trump has reached cult leader status, a CBS/YouGov poll showed that Trump supporters trust Trump more than they do their family, friends, and faith leaders.


Think about that fellow "Christians" who support Trump - you trust a politician/publican, whom Christ warned against repeatedly, before you trust your church leaders or even your friends and family.

But no, it's not a cult! LOL.

And this one ...

What the ???  is with the percentages that add up way past 100%? lol

I get that what's important here is the general gist, the top reasons why people support Trump -  and yet I don't understand the percentages. 

Now, I'm already no math genius, tack on I have a min-flu, so I probably just need to read more about what those percentages mean/how they were derived. 

All I can figure is maybe they asked them to percentage out their answers according to each of the choices, like "I'd give 60 points out of a 100 to Reason #1, 30 points to Reason #2, etc."   and then averaged everybody's answers into percentages or something? 

No, that still doesn't make sense, it wouldn't be expressed as percentages that way, would it?  

Whatever, I'll look into it later, when I don't have a small fever lol.

ANYWAY and regardless, point being, the top two reasons Trump supporters still like Trump ... Lord, love a duck!

So if the biggest reason people would consider Trump again  is because they feel that things were better under Trump, it must be nice living under that rock or in your own little fantasy world  - because even if you support Trump's policies, a lot of people didn't, and thus, there was a lot of chaos over it.

So were you drunk and drugged, or just forgot to take your meds, during his entire presidency or-?

As for the 95% who chose "fights for people like me?"

Well, all I can say is, if you feel that a selfish, entitled millionaire douchebag best represents you, then you must be doing some pretty power-abusing, unscrupulous, criminal sh*t, too, also stamping God's name on it lol.

Hilary pegged it right when she said most were a basket full of deplorables.  I might tack on that IMO, about 70% are either mentally not well and/or are or were addicts of some kind -  to either drugs or alcohol, or even religion - with the other 30% percent being  mostly greedy a-holes who know very well he's a criminal, but don't care as long as they get what they personally want/make money from it.

So ... you honestly believe a clearly selfish, egotistical multimillionaire fights for you - even though half of you don't have a pot to piss in, never did, and likely never will - before, during, or after his presidency?

Or do you mean he represents your:

Xenophobic views of anyone not just like you?

Propagating fear, distrust, and even hatred of other races, faiths, and other political views than yours?  

Demanding that your faith be the national faith, calling yourselves "persecuted" if you don't get that? 

Demanding just YOUR personal freedoms not be infringed upon (like mask wearing) and YOUR candidates be in charge, protesting/rioting state and federal capitol buildings if you don't get what you want -  but when it's someone from some group NOT just like you, doing the exact same thing, when they feel THEIR personal rights have been infringed upon, you have no patience or empathy for them?

Well, I hate to tell you this, fellow "Christians" - but none of that is supported by scripture.  

In fact, it's- diametrically opposed to, and completely incompatible with, Christ's message in the gospels!

Ah, humans - we can always count on us to do the exact opposite of what our own appointed messiahs, religious leaders, and prophets actually said, out of our own selfish needs and fears, and then try to justify our doing so by stamping their names on it, to give ourselves authority;)

For example, let's take it off Christianity for a second and talk about Buddha. 

 He never intended his philosophy to be a religion.

In fact, Buddha specifically and literally said "When I'm dead, don't pray to me, I won't hear you, I'm dead.  Work out your own salvation with diligence, that's not what I'm here for.  I'm here to teach you a better way to live."

And then what did his followers promptly do after his death?

Incorporated their prior religion of ancestor worship into the philosophy, praying now to Buddha himself, too, thereby now making it a religion, despite Buddha himself specifically saying NOT to! LOL

(So it IS possible to be both a Christian and a Buddhist, mind you - if you go by what Buddha actually said.  I consider it adjunctive philosophy.)

In fact, Buddha and Christ were actually very similar - it's just Christ claimed to be dying to pay the price for forgiveness by God, whereas Buddha didn't.

Also, Buddha straight-up said the goal of Buddhism is to "End all suffering"- Christ strove to do the same, evidenced by his deeds.

However, both also realized that evil would always be with us and we should do our best to end suffering anyway.

And I hate to break this to most Christians, but despite popular belief, we actually don't get any special superpowers by being Christians.

In fact, Christ himself said that evil - headed by "Satan" in Christianity - would still have dominion over the earth after his death, and would continue to have dominion over the earth, until such time that God ends "Satan's little experiment" (to try and prove humans would choose to be belong with him, rather than God ), but no one will know the time and day.

In other words, the authority that Christ took back from hell, in those three days after his death, was NOT about giving us authority over evil as is popularly believed - it was simply to take back only "Satan's" authority to hold us back from being in the presence of God because of our sin,  by paying the ultimate price for our freedom in the afterlife, Christ's death.

Case in point, Christ does say to his disciples that he gives them the authority to: "Trample on serpents and scorpions, over all the power of the enemy; nothing can by any means hurt you"  - AND - "In my name, you shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, cast our demons," etc.

HOWEVER - there must be stipulations to that which have gone missing. or something got lost in translation somewhere, or it was meant metaphorically rather than literally -  because most of the disciples and apostles actually died in horrible ways, didn't they?

Because if they had any such "superpowers" because of being Christians, wouldn't they have used them to prevent their own deaths?

It's not like they had to die to fulfil a prophecy and redeem us from sin, like Christ - so they would've been free to do use that authority over evil/those "super powers," but they didn't - why?

Now having said that, the NT also does say there are spiritual "gifts" given as a result of being a Christian, but there's nothing especially "supernatural" about them - they mostly come as a byproduct after serving Christ, especially by serving others as Christ would, in some way, or just gaining better insight into who is suffering and might need assistance.

Speaking of doing the right thing despite what other Christians say and do that isn't scriptural,  then there was THIS debacle from the Republican debate the other night ...

All of the candidates were asked whether they would support Donald Trump if he won the Republican candidacy.

With the exception of Asa Hutchinson, all of them eventually raised their hands, after looking around LOL! 

Have you ever seen a bigger group of populist cowards?

I have no idea who Asa Hutchinson is, but he gets points in my book for withstanding the peer pressure and sticking to his principles, for sure.

Chris Christie later explains his wishy-washy hand, but still ... sigh.

But I digress, mostly because I've caught Mark's "epizootic," as my grandfather used to all it.

However, so as not to end this post on a negative note, a quick, funny story ...

This morning, Mark was leaving for work and Ziggy and I were on the balcony watering my flowers.  

So I waved and said "Goodbye, I love you, have a good day." 

At the exact same time, Sarah, my neighbor who is a teacher, came out and was leaving for work and also said "Have a good day!" 

So ... Mark didn't see me up there on the balcony -  he only saw Sarah!

So he just looked at her weird and  said "Uh ... thanks, you too," and hurriedly got in his car! LOLOLOL

Sarah looked up and me with a questioning face and we laughed for like 5 minutes because we realized he thought SHE said "I love you" because we spoke at the same time and he didn't see me up there on the balcony! 


I called him to tell him that part was me and he laughed and said he was like "Oh, thank God! I was like 'That was weird. LOL" 

HEE hee, too funny :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A Cure for Taking The Earth's Beauty for Granted ...


Watch this video :)

This channel, the Common Man Show, is all about getting reactions from tribal villagers about people,  food, music, events and modern inventions that we see every day :)

In this clip, after flying a small group of villagers from India to Thailand, 65-year-old Babu is taken to an aquarium with three undersea tunnels.  

You might even want to skip ahead to the tunnels section at 3:40 - he's so excited, he's like a child, to see something he has never seen before, nor ever thought he would see :)

He is so amazed, both mouth and hands open, gesturing to the fish, stingray, and sharks, blowing them kisses, wishing them "Nemaste" and thanking them, and God, for their beauty :)

Remember that in Hindu and Sikh, they believe in reincarnation - so even fish have souls, as they could've once been, or they will someday be, human :)

Also, "Nemaste" is one of the few Sanskrit words that remain from that dead language, and it roughly means "The light of God in me recognizes and genuflects to the light of God in you."  

Though it has become a common greeting in India (and yoga classes lol), it's not to be taken lightly.  

In fact, the phrase is best used as in this clip, more sincerely, when you come across someone or something that you feel was meant to be in your life, even if a brief encounter :)

Beautiful, right? :)

In case you let the drama of everyday life get you down, come and rewatch this video, or any on this channel - things we see every day that we take for granted are single-occurrence blessing to these folks :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

My Little Nursing Assistant ...


So last week was the first week of school, and everyone from Central Office always goes out to the schools to help open the car doors for the kids and parents or welcome them off the buses and directs them where to go.

Of course, now without a mask - and to my dismay, no hand sanitizer - my husband is now home sick :/

No worries - it is NOT COVID - just a cold, very low-grade fever, a cough, and a complete lack of energy.

This is the first time he's been sick before COVID - and neither of us ever got COVID (plus we're vaccinated). 

Don't tell ME masks don't prevent illness - first time no one has worn a mask for this annual event. It's common sense, folks - any physical, chemical, or biological barrier you can put between you and communicable disease is a good thing.

But hey, since some of you all were so angry about having to wear a mask for a while, let's have doctors and nurses to perform surgery without them and watch them hospital-acquired infections go up, shall we?  

(No, let's NOT do that, and I doubt any of you who refused to wear a mask would like it if they did.)

But I digress - luckily, I have a little nursing assistant to "help "me care for him - his name is Ziggy :)

Sunday, August 20, 2023

RV Shopping ...


So as we advance in age, it's becoming quite a chore (and costly) for Mark to get up a 4 a.m. scrape off the ice from the car, drive 7 miles to the stables (where he boards his horse), chop through the ice so they can get water, muck the stalls, feed them, etc. before work starts at 7:30 a.m., as well as go back after work to feed them.

So being that we're not able to buy our own property, especially with interest rates as high as they are, right now, we're semi-seriously considering another option - an RV, right on the property where he boards his horse, with the farm-owner's permission of course, who is mulling it over.

It would have to be a 4-season 5-wheeler or trailer, solar-powered with backup generator, full oven, 4-burden stove, and two bathrooms (because my husband loves his bathroom reading time) lol.

I know they depreciate quickly, but hopefully by the time he retires, interest rates will be better and we can buy a home and property and have the RV for travel :)

So I've been doing a bit of research, watching videos on the do's and don'ts with RVs, and I think we may have a winner with this one, IF we go this route ...

The Grand Design "Solitude."

The exterior, with all the pullouts pulled out ...

Master bath ...

Floor plan 

(The sofas also pull out into extra beds for guests, btw)

Or if you prefer, a 360-degree walkthrough ... 

And here's the exterior, with all the pullouts out ...

Grand Design is a leader in quality, always in the top 5, and less expensive than others also in the top 5.

Now - if you travel around full-time, like traveling nurses do, RV is NOT cheaper - it's actually more expensive than a house - BUT - if you have it permanently fixed on a property (NOT an RV lot, which are no longer cheap), you can save anywhere from $200 to $1,000 a month.  Not to mention, it's better equipped, and often more comfortable, than a hotel for traveling.

I originally thought this was a janky and Kentucky thing to do - and then I saw the RVs.  They've come a long way, baby, in a short amount of time, especially since COVID, right?

Like I said, just semi-seriously considering this option, and we'd need 6 months to a year to be sure, but not a bad option, right?  

There are other runners-up options, but this floor plan works the best for me, separated kitchen and LR, two bathrooms, full oven and burners, solar package, the works, so it would really take something like this for me to move from where I'm at ;)

I also understand that even though certain companies are in the top 5 of every list for quality, just like cars, they can come out with a lemon, so if we do this, wish us luck!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Make No Mistake, the Montgomery Brawl IS About Race ...

Sigh, white boat captain and others trynna say "it's not about race" - then how do you explain it falling along racial lines, then? 

Because it goes deeper than it appears, of course - and I'm sorry if you can't see the inherent racism from the get-go of the incident - and this is what we mean by the need for privileged white people to become aware of their own privilege and inherent racial bias and to become "woke." 

I'm sure I have more waking to do myself, but I began to wake as a social worker in college over 30 years ago -  so please -  allow me to interpret and HELP you wake up, other white people  :)


However, this is still just my perception - but first off, I would encourage you to watch all of the videos, from all angles - FULL videos, including how it started -  before making a decision, as I have, from what I could find thus far.   

Because the first and main video doesn't show the aftermath of the original altercation, including people punching each other into the water, chairs being whacked over people's heads - it was some crazy sh*t!

Okay, I admit, parts of it are kind of hilarious, (and at one point, I felt like I was watching that famous spillover scene in Blazing Saddles), but also super sad if you see it on a deeper societal level, right?

So after watching upwards of 8 or 9 videos from different angles,  I clearly see racism at play - not enough evidence for a hate crime, but it is -  and if you can't see that, too, consider the following: 

1) The Harrington II, a Montgomery, Alabama Riverboat was trying to dock in their legally designated spot - and it was clearly filled predominantly with people of color. 


2)  A group of white individuals had parked their private, especially fancy and expensive pontoon boat in that legally designated spot for the city's riverboat. 


3)  The boat owners were asked by the white captain on the PA system - as well as the black dock worker (who was later attacked), Damien - to please move their boat so that the riverboat could dock - but they were all met with nothing but obscene gestures or ignored.


4)  The people of color on the boat begin chanting "Get Out the Way.  Get Out the Way." 


5)  After 30 to 45 minutes of being unable to dock, the dockworker, Damien, untied and lightly pushed their boat out of the way, just enough for the riverboat to dock.  


6) After some discussion afterwards between the apparent white boatowners and the dockworker, Damien, one of men punches Damien - then another - then several other white men  (and a couple of women) suddenly come in from other boats to try to beat Damien down until he's on the ground - for what reason we don't know - still pummelling Damien despite being on the ground.


7)  Aaren, a 17-year-old white teenage dockworker - seen in a red life vest - comes in to try to intervene  and pull the men off Damien, and is punched in the stomach.  


8)  In contrast, the people of color on the boat landing above the dock simply observed the fight and did not get involved until those several more white people rushed in to jump on Damien (to include one staff member even jumping off the riverboat to swim to help him). 


9)  When the boat finally DID dock - shockingly - though blacks outnumbered whites on the boat, few white people on the riverboat appeared to mostly take the white side -  despite knowing who was at fault and that their docking was being blocked by the white-owned boat - and the people of color (and just a few stray white people) on the boat appeared to take the black side.   

And if you still can't see the racial element in all of this - NOW IMAGINE IT'S A BUS OR A DELI COUNTER - in Montgomery, Alabama, shortly after the Civil Rights Act was passed into law in 1964 and desegregated the South.

When people of color tried to enjoy the same rights of sitting in whatever seats they wanted to on public a bus or at a deli counter, violence ensued, including on any white people trying to help.

Today, it's the same thing, only updated - the same sense of false entitlement that the private white boat owners parked their private boat in a space reserved for a public city riverboat, filled with mostly people of color, blocking it from docking. 

(Mind you, most of those people are riding the riverboat because they can't afford fancy private boats, but they still pay for the ride.) 

So in case you're still not convinced, how do you explain the white people coming in from other boats to help the original two men beat the black dock worker down?

It is highly likely didn't even know what was going on and just saw two white men punching a black man, presumed his guilt, and jumped on.

What I think is also interesting (and kind of hilarious) is when the fight was broken up, the people of color simply walked away to the right - but the white men are sitting down and being comforted by the women and each other, as if THEY are the victims.

And there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen - proof positive that racism - and/or and inherent racial bias, which can be just as harmful -  is alive and well even today. (Note the white people automatically taking the white side, without even knowing what was going on.)

It's also a good example of "white fragility" - the white men begin the fight, but roll on the ground afterwards, being comforted by the women,  playing the (false) victim later, as opposed to the people of color, who just walk away,

But at least this time, justice may be served - because although the chair-whacking person of color  is being questioned by police (whacking the white people attacking Damien - and I do understand why he maybe get got a charge, no one else was using a weapon) -  the very clear instigators of both the trouble and the violence were white - and they are the ones with the most charges/arrests. 

And if you think it's just in Alabama, think again - it's just more blatant there.