Friday, May 31, 2024

Don't Forget, Trumpers ....

 


This was a grand-jury trial - more importantly, the jurors were preapproved by Trump's lawyers


I'm not saying that juries never get it wrong - I'm just saying that the narrative being spun that all 12 jurors were all Democrats and/or the trial was "rigged" by Democrats doesn't hold, nor does blaming the judge - the jury decides guilt or innocence, not the judge - the judge only does the sentencing.


So if you believe Trump is innocent and you want to blame  someone for the verdict, blame his lawyers - they prepapproved the jury. 

They also did a terrible job defending him.  All they had were character assassinations, which may work on social media to sway public opinion, but not in a courtroom. 

And of course, Trump's inability to stop publicly attacking the judge, the witnesses, the jurors, didn't help his case. 


Otherwise, that's all I have to say about that, because this will probably fall on deaf ears.

Because after watching a Netflix show on  the Shekinah/7M cult called "Dancing For the Devil," I realized it's not just a joke anymore - Trump supporters really do have a cult mentality, they check every box.

Thus, they will continue to believe in Trump and give him money and support, despite evidence, despite proof, despite everyone else being able to see the problem, and we know that pushing people in denial only makes them angry.

With cult mentality, nothing you say makes any difference - they won't see it until they're ready to see it. 

Former actual cult members will tell you it's usually just one thing that finally does it, one line crossed that they saw for themselves and can't make excuses for anymore, and that 'one thing' is dependent upon each individual's values. Thus, some will never see it. 


Otherwise, for the sake of transparency, I had a post I had written about a week ago, but parked it in draft for the sake of a family member. 

_______________________________


PS - No, it was not me that left an anonymous comment elsewhere.  I haven't commented anywhere lately, but especially not that site, not in years, and I don't leave anonymous comments.

Though I do love that verse, and have quoted it before -  "For what doth is profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul" (Mark 8:36) - that was NOT me, though I'm glad to hear that someone else gets it.




Thursday, May 23, 2024

Trump's "Unified Reich" Video Pulled from Truth Social

 Of course Fox News and other right-wing press didn't mention this, but everyone else is - and by "everyone else," I don't mean just liberal press and late-night talk show hosts -  I mean publications that don't typically make politics their focus, like Rolling Stone, all Jewish-organization press, and even some local news outlets, who normally restrict their political news to election results or campaign visits. 

So Trump's Truth Social account posted a video that said that Trump's victory would bring a "unified Reich." 




The video was pulled after public backlash and Trump's campaign  camp later said that a staffer posted it while he was in court and didn't see the "Reich" language.

Mmm hmm.

I believe that it was a staff member on this one, that's true - because he really was in court. 

However, everyone who has ever testified about anything with Trump says that he is a micromanager - nothing is said, posted, done, or paid, without his approval and consent.

And even if that were 100% true, that tells you how lacking in detail-orientation, fact-checking, and critical-thinking skills his camp actually is before they push stuff. 


On the other hand, I have always thought if we ever did have another Hitler on our hands, they would be sneakier with the white supremacist language, dancing around the same language that Hitler used so as to not draw comparisons. 


So did they really make a mistake or just get caught?


There has been no president during my lifetime that people revere like a deity as much as Trump - as they did with Hitler.

MAGATs - at what point of dastardliness are you finally going to  wake up and realize that Trump is not your Messiah?

Hopefully soon, before it's too late. 


(Though I know some that wouldn't care about this, either, they'd cheer this on, too.)





Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Giant Inflatable Rubber Duckie Rolls Across the Road ...

 ... during a storm in Frankenmuth, Michigan (Mark says it's also known as Christmas Town).



@accuweather Duck on the loose in Michigan πŸ₯⁣ πŸŽ₯: @Gresties ⁣ #wind #michigan #windy #storm #duck #funny #unusual #weather #accuweather ♬ original sound - AccuWeatherπŸ˜‚

 

Like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, only a giant inflatable Rubber Duckie.


 

PS - What It's Like to Have a Colonoscopy with Polyps Removed

So over the past couple of days, I've talked to quite a few people  over 45 who are afraid of getting a colonoscopy, and who have asked me what it's like to have a colonoscopy, as well as polyps removed. 

Honestly, it's not as bad as you think.

The worst part is the prep, but even that is 10x better than it was than when I had one 25 years ago.  

You used to have to drink like a 2-gallon jug of Colyte and the cleansing was all day, and it was brutal.

Now, if you don't do the pills, its two vials of Suprep (which tastes like cough syrup) and water.

So you do clear liquids only the day before and one vial a few hours before bed the night before your procedure, and then you do  second vial on the morning of.

(I would recommend with clear liquids doing a half-a-cup of soup  broth every hour to keep you satiated.  Don't wait until you get hungry to do it, go ahead keep the soup flowing to prevent hunger.)


As for the procedure itself, you're asleep, which is also better than 25 years ago.  Back then, I woke up several times, but they now use propofol (injected into your IV) and you won't wake until in recovery.  

And let me tell you something - that will the best nap of your life!  

Seriously, you'll be a bit groggy for an hour or so, but will awake more refreshed than you have maybe even in years. 

Although my mom has had a colonoscopy previously, she didn't have polyps removed, so she asked me how I felt now, and I said, "Like someone went up my bum and clipped stuff out." πŸ˜‚

Actually, that's not bad either - and especially if you have more than one polyp removed and depending on where they are, you may have a bit of cramping, bloating, and slight bleeding.

(I had 3 - two in the transverse colon, one in the sigmoid colon.  They were 2-3 mm in size.  I originally wrote "cm" in the post below, but meant "mm," and I've edited it.)


Men,  if you've ever wondered what a period feels like to have, this is similar - although I've had worse menstrual cramps, believe me!

The polyp-removal sites can take up to a week to fully heal, but usually within 24-48 hours, you're fine.  In fact, though it hasn't been 24 hours, I'm going back to work in about 10 minutes, because like I said, I've had worse menstrual cramps!

It's not a super fun party, but if you have a family history of colon cancer and/or experience a change in bowel habits, such that a FIT test (Cologuard) won't suffice, then DO IT!!!

In some cases, this could save your life - polyps after a certain size can be precancerous or cancerous, and removing these solves the problem.


Even if a cancerous polyp or actual tumor was detected (as was the unfortunate gentleman in recovery next to me), if cancerous and caught early enough, colon cancer is one of the few cancers we can actually cure at a 91% rate, typically with tumor removal surgery alone and no chemo/immunotherapy (if stage I)!


So think of it this way - a little discomfort now can save you a world of pain later, and could even save your life!





Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Colonoscopy Results

 Had the colonoscopy today, and the results were:


1)  3 sessile polyps, 2-3 mm (likely benign, removed).  

 

2)  2 areas of diverticulosis (considered "mild.")

 

3)  The doc said my colon was "tortuous" (yes, it is πŸ˜‚) 
No, "tortuous" not "torturous." In medical terminology,  "tortuous" means "(full of) bends/twists/turns."  Doc said it was likely due to chronic IBS-D (diarrhea).   

 

4)  Though one polyp was in the sigmoid colon, and diverticulosis can cause pelvic pain and constipation, neither can explain prior level of constipation - however - he did say that Sjogren's syndrome can play a role as it affects bowel motility, and another possibility is the IBS-D that I had previously could have switched to IBS-C (constipation), post menopause.


I just have to come back in 5 years for maintenance/removal.

But at least it's not colon cancer - whew! 


FYI, Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks its own mucosa, and it is closely associated with joint  inflammation/swelling as well. 

It typically and mostly affects the eyes and mouth (or at least initial presentation), and often remains there, but it can also affect other mucosa such the GI system, lungs, and kidneys, and in very rare cases, the heart. 

Often initial immunology/rheumatology labs are negative; in fact, people diagnosed with Sjogren's only have positive labs 25% of the time upon initial presentation (but may be positive later, as the disease progresses).  The most definitive test for Sjogren's is a salivary-gland biopsy, but even this is positive only 50% of the time with early Sjogren's.  

Thus, the diagnosis is usually made by a rheumatologist, essentially after a constellation of positive objective signs and symptoms (swollen neck glands, dry eyes, dry mouth, visible joint swelling.)


As for Sjogren's syndrome and me, we're not sure yet, currently being worked up. 

I had extremely dry eyes for 5 years and had been taking eyedrops, as well as Raynaud's phenomenon for 10 years, as well as sudden joint pain flares. 

But it wasn't until last year, after tongue soreness, a chronic sore throat, and a swollen neck gland for 3 months, that an ENT did a nasolaryngoscopy and a CT scan.  

Despite first-line lab tests for Sjogren's, she said that she still strongly suspected Sjogren's.  I was advised that the next steps would be a rheumatologist and a salivary-gland biopsy.

However, after antihistamines, the gland swelling went away, and I figured I'd wait until a major flare to get the biopsy, because it's not fun, they're not cheap, and are only definitive 50% of the time in early Sjogren's anyway.  


Thus, I may go ahead and get that referral to a rheumatologist, if the  problem persists, but for right now, I'm just celebrating that it's not colon cancer! 


Sunday, May 19, 2024

WaPo Article: "Children Who Remember Past Lives?" ...

 

*PS added with Mark's input.


Sometimes, when there's nothing on TV and we're bored, my husband and I will watch like ... crazy doorbell cam videos, or listen to to spooky "creepy pasta" stories on YouTube.  I don't know, we just like to scare the crap out of ourselves for fun, I guess? πŸ˜‚

Anyway, after watching one tonight, I saw a "suggested" video about children who remember their past lives.  

I didn't watch it, because I generally don't believe in this sort of thing, but this reminded me of an article I read in the Washington Post a week or so ago.

I couldn't believe this subject was being taken so seriously by the WP!


Now, let me first start by saying that although I love the idea of souls getting recycled in second chances - and I respect that many religions believe in reincarnation - I think that when adults especially talk this way, about past-life regression and remembering their past lives, they're full of caca!  πŸ˜‚


Because no one is ever just like Joe Schmo the vacuum cleaner salesman or Jane Doe the milkmaid, in their past lives, no - they're always some famous historical figure like Cleopatra or Genghis Khan or something! πŸ˜‚


Of course, I can't say this is BS with 100% certainty, because I can't prove it.  But I think even if that were true, you likely wouldn't remember it -  would you?  

I mean, that would defeat the whole point of being given a clean slate to try again, right? 


Plus, most people that believe this stuff also believe that you actually chose your new parents/new life.

Although I love the idea of children dying in childhood getting a new life, I also think - if that's true, then WTF was I thinking, willfully choosing the family I was born into?  πŸ˜‚


So nope - not a believer - although I can't rule anything out because I don't know and who says I'm right?


However, when it comes to children, I admit, I have seen a couple of those videos in times past, with very young children giving detailed information they shouldn't know at such young ages and they are intriguing  - one was actually featured on the respected news program, 60 Minutes, a few years ago.


Though spooky, I still wasn't convinced - I thought the child probably once said something odd or spooky while using their imagination, as young children often do, and the parents - who were already likely inclined to believe in this sort of thing - filled in the gaps.


However, in the article in the Washington Post,  I learned that the University of Virginia has a whole department to investigate this in children called "DOPS" or "Department of Perceptual Studies -  can you believe it? 

In fact, here is the head of DOPS at UVA, Child Psychiatrist, Dr. Jim Tucker, giving a presentation on "confirmed" cases.



Apparently, children between the ages of 2 and 5 are the most legit, and it mostly fades with time.

Well, children at this age do say some spooky-ass stuff, sometimes - but like I said, I think that mostly the parents try to make it make sense, make it fit, i.e., the child says they see someone you can't and the mom likes to believe it's her dead mother or something, right?

Other times, it's imaginary friends.  Or weird pictures they drew.

Even babies do some weird stuff sometimes.

For example, when my daughter was an infant, just like other babies, she used to look up at nothing on the ceiling and smile and babble to it, as if there was someone or something there.  In fact, most babies tend to do this.

I would say "What you smiling it, Bubby? You see something up there?"

My grandmother would say "She's talking to the angels!"

I'd say "You talking to little baby angels, up there, some baby cherubs?  Hi, baby angels, thank you!"

It's a lovely thought, but I didn't believe it. I just thought I should cover my bases πŸ˜‚


Now, the little boy in the video who believed he had been a pilot in WWII in a Corsair, flying in the South Pacific was intriguing.  

The details he gave, such as it being a Corsair, were impossible for a child under 5 to know - and they did indeed match up with a real person, after Dr. Tucker investigated it. 

This specific person had not been discussed in any news story or documentary, just generally as far as war events.

Weird, right? 

And here's another one, with British actor-comedian, John Cleese, interviewing Dr. Tucker.  (Yes, that John Cleese, from Monty Python fame.  I'm not sure why he's interviewing Dr. Tucker, but he is nonetheless. )



Apparently, while many cases have been attributed to exactly what I said - parents beliefs influencing the child - there supposedly are cases that are both uncanny with details about a non-famous deceased person that the child believes is themselves in a former life, which are unexplained. 


Again - though still not convinced, it's intriguing. 


However, I will say this, too - all of this reminded me of a dream I had in my early 20s that I hadn't thought about in a very long time - in fact, I'd never told my husband, Mark, about it because it's been so long. .

It was very vivid, very detailed - it seemed so real.

The weirdest part about it is I have never had a dream, before or since, where I was literally someone else entirely (at least not that I remember).  

Also, there was no one and nothing in the dream from my current life or whom I'd ever met.  

You know how usually, there's at least one person or one location in dreams that are familiar?

Not this time - there was literally nothing and no one familiar to me - completely different person, completely different life, in a time period before I was  born..


Now, before I tell the actual dream, I need to state that despite being a movie buff, for some reason, I've avoided Vietnam War movies at all costs.   

I've watched war movies about all other wars (especially since my husband was an Army ranger) - just not Vietnam movies. If he turns anything about Vietnam on, I leave the room.  I never thought there was anything to it other than the sheer lack of necessity for this war.

But there really wasn't any particular reason, at least that went through my head - I just didn't want to.

In fact, to this day, though a film buff and once dabbled with the idea of being a screenwriter - I have never seen Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill or even Born of the Fourth of July, any other Vietnam-War or post-Vietnam-War themed movies.  

Thus, the only Vietnam-War movies I have ever seen are "Good Morning, Vietnam" because Robin Williams was in it and brought humor, as well as Jacob's Ladder, which isn't so much about the Vietnam War, but the after effects of LSD testing on soldiers, which I didn't really want to see, but my boyfriend at the time did..

So all of those movies had come out in the 80s, and even GMV and JL were in the late 80s, and it was now the early 90s.


All of this to say, the dream wasn't because I had just watched a Vietnam War movie or news story, no one in my house had watched a Vietnam War movie, and no one had been discussing it.


Anyway, in the dream, I was a male journalist/clerk for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  I may have been a photojournalist, because I had a camera on my desk, too, I'm not sure. That may have just been a hobby.

I even knew my full name, for years after this dream, but I can't remember it now.  

I want to say something like "Jacob" and "Henry"  in some order, but I'm not sure -  because that doesn't sound right, though, I can't really remember.  I used to know it in full, for years after the dream, but it's been years since I even thought about it.

Also, I think I was Jewish?

And I also knew the date. I used to know the exact date and time, but all I remember now is that it was April 1968.


I remember that I was drafted, but I was very anti-war and somewhat pissed that I had to tell certain stories in certain ways to keep morale, rather than the truth of what was really going on there, and not being allowed to talk about that with anyone. 

Anyway, I was in a tent, talking to my CO, just shooting the shit - when wham, a blast went off when he was literally mid-sentence. 

When I regained consciousness, there was nothing left of what had been there before - no tent, no CO, no nothing - and I couldn't hear anything, just loud ringing in my ears and a throbbing headache.

  

I scanned around the camp, and there was nothing left.  I could see the hills, the trees, the smoke - and bodies and body parts everywhere.  

I recognized that there was blood all over me, but I couldn't feel anything except a throbbing headache, so I couldn't decide if it was mine or someone else's.


As my hearing came back, I could hear a cart coming over the hill and I noticed it was full of dead bodies.  

From the other direction, a group of men were shouting in Vietnamese and I realized that it was Viet Cong.  They were maybe half a mile away, but I could see them bayonetting the bodies, to make sure they were dead. 

So I made the split-second decision to run to the cart full of dead bodies.  I took out the cigarettes I somehow still had in my shirt pocket that somehow survived, pantomiming asking if I could get inside the cart, and he took the cigarettes and nodded.

Then I hopped on the cart and proceeded to bury myself beneath the dead bodies, pretending to be dead myself, to escape notice by the Viet Cong.


I laid in the cart, not making a sound, trying not to think about the dead men covering me.  

I could hear the cart wheels squeak.  I kept completely still, with my eyes shut as if I were dead, just in case - but I did open them a couple of times as we went along, and I could see with one eye, the trees and sky above me.

Finally, the cart stopped, and the Vietnamese man banged on the cart.  I sat up, and he pointed in a certain direction through the trees  and motioned for me to go that way.

I got up - and ran that direction, through the trees, as fast as I could.


After a running for what seemed like hours, I stumbled into a Med Unit camp and collapsed.  

The next thing I remember was that I awoke in a cot in a med tent.  I could hear the whir of a little fan they had in the room.  

And the doctor speaking to me, asking me if I could tell him my name and  the date. 

Then he told me that I had a head injury, that part of my brain was exposed from the blast, but I was really lucky to be alive.  He told me I had a brain infection that they were trying to get under control, but they weren't able to do surgery, they didn't have what they needed, right now.

I asked for a mirror to see my head, I don't know why.  I think because all I knew is that my head had been throbbing, but had no idea the injury was that bad and wanted to see it.  I asked for my glasses, which had been in my jacket pocket with the cigarettes, now on the tray beside me.

They were little round John Lennon glasses.  


Then I saw myself - also early 20s, very thin, with light blue-green eyes and dark hair, just like I have now - but my hair was short and naturally curly.  

I had a big gauze wrap around my head, so I couldn't see the head injury.

After that, I was in and out of consciousness, burning up with fever, then shaking with chills, nurses doing their best to help me.

Then, one morning, with the doctor talking to the nurses around me, everything suddenly went gray, and then black - and then bright white.

At that point, I realized - I died.

And then I woke up from the dream, in a cold sweat.


Now, I figured I must've heard something, somewhere, just before this dream.  Maybe a news story about Vietnam had been on in the other room that I didn't realize my subconscious heard?

Maybe something on the radio?

There had to be something that triggered this dream, right?  

Then again, like I said, I have never before or since, had a dream where I wasn't myself, and had no people or locations from my current life, so it makes you wonder. 


Oh, and by the way?

I was born in December of 1968 - eight months after the events in the dream happened.

Spooky, right? 


______________________________


PS - My husband's input to this, who was an Army Ranger (not in Vietnam)  ...


So Mark is Catholic and thus doesn't believe in reincarnation, but has a theory - he wonders if when I was a very young child, perhaps I heard the news stories and they were buried in my subconscious?

Ya know, he may be right -  that's a very real possibility. 

He also said the movie Full Metal Jacket - which again, I've never seen - is from the perspective of an Army journalist, so perhaps I heard about it?  However, he said, the story itself is completely different.

HOWEVER -  he said though that may explain it, he does find the level of accurate detail uncanny.

He was also struck that the dream played out like a memory, in order of events, rather than the way dreams often do, where you're dreaming about one thing and then switches to something else.  

It really did play out like a true memory, a full story with a beginning and an end, and nothing dream-weird, it all made sense (as much as you can of war).

And the fact that I was a completely different person - he said he's never in his life had a dream like that, where he was literally someone else.

Regardless, among the details he said were 100% accurate were:

1)  Though not in Vietnam, as an Army Ranger, he was in close proximity to several blasts - and your ears do indeed ring and you are essentially deaf for minutes to hours afterwards.  
2)  Viet Cong did indeed bayonet slain soldiers to make sure they were dead, using the Chinese-made SKS rifles. 
3)  Local villagers were indeed paid to collect the dead in the fields, carting them away, on both sides. 
4) Some soldiers did indeed hide among these body carts to avoid capture. 
5) These carts were often stopped and inspected by Viet Cong to ensure there were no live soldiers hiding. 
6)  Cigarettes were used as currency, both among soldiers and locals. 
7)  Medical staff in Vietnam did indeed chronically run short on medical supplies, even worse than in Korea. 

I swear to you, the only thing I knew of these things was that cigarettes and liquor were used as currency with other soldiers and locals, only because that's common during wartime.






Friday, May 17, 2024

Note To Self - 10 Things I DON'T Hate About Me


If I'm honest, I wrote so much here today, not just because of Louisville news garnering national attention, nor even the disheartening news of finding the body of Shani Louk, though those things are important - but it's because I'm trying to distract myself from drowning under the weight of self-damnation today.


I realized several mistakes I made, today, and then beyond my embarrassment (which is kind of a chronic state for me anyway), beyond my anxiety, I then began going down an old familiar path of telling myself of how much I suck at life in general, and going over the long laundry list of things at which I suck. 


However, because others depend on me, I realized long ago that I need to cut short this line of thinking, which only leads to a downward spiral into shame, depression and thus immobility, so that I can be present for the things I still need to do - so I developed a coping strategy that is simply distracting myself from these feelings, as well as channeling that anxiety into something else. 

But the truth is -  distraction doesn't work for too long, either - those old "you suck" thoughts tend to creep back in and get even louder until I deal with them. 


Now, cognitive behavioral therapy will tell you to argue with yourself on those self-damning thoughts, but I find it difficult to find a good argument against why I don't suck.

However, I spoke to my little sister a bit about this today, about how we both panic when we realize we effed up and become overwhelmed by it, and where this comes from in our family.

We didn't point fingers at a who, just a what - a family mentality that only some of us have become aware of (through therapy).


Although my little sister and I had different experiences, growing up, in both of our experiences, a common thread is there was at least one dysfunctional family member - or members, in my case, as the family scapegoat - who would not allow you to NOT feel like a total loser because you made a mistake or had a poor moment (despite  the fact they had a "poor moment" nearly every day and couldn't admit or apologize for a thing, if their life depended on it.)


In other words, it was never enough to say "You're right, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that" - they weren't satisfied until you were curled up in a fetal position on the floor, admitting what a horrible human being you were.

And God forbid you really didn't do whatever it was or there was a reason you took that path - or worse - that what you said/did was in self-defense from them.


So you realized, over time, it would go better for you, them, and the whole family if you just convinced yourself everything is all your fault and you're just crap.


This is despite the fact that rarely is anything ever just one person's fault in groups, it's usually a group dynamic or mentality - but dysfunctional families like to believe there is. 

And oddly enough, scapegoats of groups are actually usually the most powerless and most vulnerable of the group -  but try telling that to dysfunctional families/groups that need to believe otherwise.

Because if they didn't have a scapegoat, they'd have to take a look at themselves, which is way too scary for such personalities, right? 


So if I tried to do the healthy thing instead of graveling for their forgiveness on the floor for hours, and instead said something like ...  

"Okay, I did this, I apologized profusely, and yet that's not enough.  It's not even about this one issue anymore.  Now, you're just running down a laundry list of how much I suck in general."

 "Yes, I effed up - but I'm not always an eff-up. You forget, I did THIS well" -


... these certain members would not allow it.  

They'd find a way to tear that one thing down, too, why it wasn't really a positive, because again, these particular family members aren't satisfied until you admit you're a horrible, selfish loser overall - and, of course, that your behavior existed in a vacuum -  no one else did/said anything just before that, particularly not themselves. 


So we talked about that old family dynamic, and our old responses to it - how those MUST be removed from new non-familial situations first, before reacting -  lest we carry in things stuck to the bottom of our shoes, into situations where they don't belong, like dog poo (which I also did today). 


Now, sometimes, after coming from a family like ours, we genuinely do gravitate towards similar abusive personalities out of familiarity, or even just run into another personality like that in happenstance - BUT - we can't assume that everyone will be like that. Sometimes it takes time to find out.


Or as my little sister put it (paraphrasing):  

"Admit your mistake and apologize, yeah -  but this isn't brain surgery, it's not literally a matter of life and death, here, not the end of the world, so no need to fall upon your own sword like a sacrificial lamb in a situation that may not require it."

"I get it, you overreacted to a mistake and it's embarrassing, I've done it too, but that doesn't mean you suck overall. Not everyone is like our family. You don't know yet, wait and see, maybe it'll blow over.  Maybe they're like normal people who realize you had a poor moment, but that there's more to you than one mistake, one poor reaction moment. "


And then of course I argued with that, because it's more than one mistake I make, thus making my own tally of wrongs πŸ˜‚


Regardless, after this conversation with my little sister - thank you, R, love you - and after realizing that I was  trying to distract myself from self-damnation by channeling my anxiety into other things rather than deal with it - I decided I am going to write a list of some things that I think I can do well that I can refer to, regardless of what anyone else thinks, however short the list is 

Also, this list is not always/never, either/or - because no one is every always this or that, we all have poor moments and bad days. 

Regardless, I will refer to this list, going forward: 


1)  I am generally a naturally kind, thoughtful person, who gives others the same benefit of the doubt that I'd like  them to give me - even when others cannot, do not, and are not.  
(See, I want to argue with myself on this one already about times when I have let her rip on unkind people, but I'm resisting that urge!) 

 

2)  I am smart about certain things. 

 

3) I have a good sense of humor and can be funny. 

 

4)  On those rare times my anxiety doesn't overwhelm me, I can communicate well, particularly in writing.  

 

5)   I'm fair-minded and open-minded - I can usually see  where others are coming from/see many perspectives on issues, even if I don't agree  - so similarly to #4, when my anxiety doesn't short-circuit me, I can be very diplomatic, a good mediator, and actually diffuse angry people.

 

6)  Conversely, one of the benefits of having PTSD is that when there is an actual emergency, we can shut our anxieties and feelings off completely, go into autopilot - think faster and get shit done, when everyone else is panicking.  (Our brains learned to do this during original trauma).  
So though everyday life problems can make me shake, during an actual emergency, you'd want me, or somebody else with PTSD, on your side, because this is the only time we kick ass. 

 

7)  I can be good at comforting people when sad, hurting, sick, or embarrassed (just not myself).  

 

8)  I'm resourceful, I had to be - so I can quickly and logically solve problems (again, when my anxiety isn't in overdrive).

 

9)  Despite everything I've been through in life, I am not bitter - I still believe in kind people, as well as that kindness is the best response to cruelty - I refuse to catch their angry, bitter disease. 

 

10) If nothing else, I'm not fake - I'm pretty genuine. I will sing your praises all day, but if you do something I don't care for, you're probably going to hear about that, too, as gently as I can (usually). 

 

What you see is what you get, with me - for better or for worse  πŸ˜‚


So that's it.  

Yes, my list of flaws and mistakes is literally 5x as long, but I'm not going there right now, so can I just focus for two seconds on this list  of 10 things I DON'T hate about me?  

(And no - that question is NOT meant for certain abusive family members, former exes and/or former bosses.  In fact, y'all can STFU, still living rent free in my head  πŸ˜‚)







Now THIS Is Becoming Interesting: Louisville Metro PD Just Arrested the World's Top Men's Golfer, Scottie Scheffler


*PS added - yes, this has, in fact, turned into the socioeconomic/political nightmare that I knew it would, at least here in Kentucky.  

Trumpers are actually trying to blame Governor Beshear now!  πŸ˜‚

Well, that's the name of this Trump game:  When something bad happens - even if it's the consequences from your own actions -  blame a Democrat πŸ˜‚



ORIGINAL POST
___________________________


Speaking of "tribal mentality" in the post below ... 

I actually started this post early this morning, but then had to work for a bit, then got the news we all were hoping wasn't the case about Shani (below post).

It's interesting because of the different ways people are responding to this news about Scottie - and thus, it is somewhat similar in subject matter to my post below about the assumptions we humans tend to make, based on our wrongful tribalism bias. 

Regardless, what we know thus far is that the world's top-ranked men's golfer, Scottie Scheffler, was arrested by Louisville Metro PD,  early this morning, after he attempted to drive around halted traffic - which was caused by a crash that killed a pedestrian - in order to get to Louisville's "Valhalla" Golf Club to play in the Men's PGA tournament.






We also know that he is charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals (from a cop directing traffic).







What I find interesting is the different ways this is being reported from different press, as well as social media

Some are being sympathetic to Scottie, calling it a "misunderstanding" on Scottie's part, implying that LMPD assaulted him, not the other way around.  (The Athletic and ESPN  - commentators and correspondents, I'm talking to you - not the articles themselves.)

In fact, Scottie himself is now saying it was a "huge misunderstanding" and he "didn't mean" to ignore the police.

So he didn't see the police standing in the middle of the middle of the road in reflective, bright yellow jackets, nor their police car lights on, at 6:30 a.m. ???

All righty. 

If that's the case, he was that focused on the tournament, then maybe he shouldn't have been driving himself there at all?


Others are making Scottie sound entitled (social media).


Still others - like our local newspaper, the Lexington Herald Leader, and the NYT - are just reporting the facts so far (despite crediting The Athletic for first reporting the story):  Scottie drove around stopped traffic and police cars in order to get to the tournament, was arrested for it, and thus the formal charges - period.


Now - what we DO have to keep in mind here is history - remember that LMPD got international attention for police brutality and attempted coverup over the Breonna Taylor shooting.



However, I must admit that I also have a bias that I need to remove first - perhaps even an irrational disdain - for the wolf packs that come in the form of overprivileged white male American golfers. πŸ˜‚


There are reasons for that which I won't go into now, but for now, but let's start with the fact that this Louisville golf club is called "Valhalla."

For those who aren't aware of Viking mythology, "Valhalla" is Viking heaven - and you can only get there after dying honorably in battle, with your sword still in your hand. 

Erm - golf isn't even a contact "battle" sport, you don't have to be physically fit to play it, and all you're doing is hitting tiny balls in small holes with little metal sticks?!? πŸ˜‚

But apparently, that gets you into Louisville's Valhalla - that and  the fact that you're rich enough to afford the exorbitant country club fees - a fortune that wasn't necessarily, or even usually, obtained through hard work rather than inheritance, especially here in Kentucky.


But I digress ...

So WAS Scottie behaving like an overprivileged entitled celebrity, driving past halted traffic after a fatal car accident and assaulting a police officer?

- OR -  

Was LMPD overly aggressive and assaulted him, as is their history?

As for the actual assault, who assaulted whom - we need the body cam for that.

Otherwise, for now, I'm going with likely a little bit of both are true here.


But I tell you what we are NOT going to do, is automatically assume that Scottie was an innocent little white celebrity,  just minding his own business, when cops attacked him for no reason.

Because did you all do the same for Breonna Taylor - who really was just innocent, minding her business in her own apartment - when LMPD raided her home and shot her in her bed sleeping, over a mistaken identity?

No, you did not - and WHY not?



Also, you know dang well that if this was anyone else who wasn't a rich, famous athlete, they definitely wouldn't be out just an hour later, just to play in a golf tournament - particularly if black.


And that is the problem in America - we assume that rich white male men are innocent and "misunderstood" the laws rather than broke them.


Thus, though I'm still gonna hold on who assaulted whom -  I'm NOT going to automatically assume innocence, either, just because he's a famous, rich, white golfer and we're dealing with the LMPD.

At the very least, Scottie needs to own his shit on what he DID do, regardless of whether he saw the cop or not - which is try to drive around halted traffic to get to his precious tournament, as if he, and where he is going - is more important than everyone else.

Well, he did finally get to Valhalla, but not through the honor of battle πŸ˜‚ - and I don't know how heavenish it's going to be for him today, after that, in addition to pouring rain.

How much better would this story have turned out if he had just respected the traffic halt due to a fatal car accident, instead of driving around it to get to that tournament?

Then, instead of an entitled a-hole, he'd be a selfless human being for having respected the fact that there had been a fatal accident and waited his turn, like everyone else - but he didn't. 

_______________________________


PS - Yep, this has turned into the socioeconomic/political nightmare that I predicted, especially here in Kentucky.

GOP golf fans are now trying to blame our (Democrat) governor, Andy Beshear for Scottie's "poor treatment."

???

What the heck did the governor have to do with any of this? 

That's hilarious - and sad.  

When anything bad happens, blame (scapegoat) a Democrat.

Oh, yeah  - Governor Beshear totally caused a fatal car accident to prevent Scottie Scheffler - who no one knew was a Republican until now (but we could've guessed) - to sabotage him in the tournament.

Y'all know that's ... completely insane, right?

No - again, if your boy had followed the rules, like everyone else, instead of trying to drive around police at the site of a fatal accident to get to a golf tournament, then none of this would've happened!




















Shani Louk's Body Found Today ...


I have said many times, on here, that I do not think we should take sides with Israel and Palestine, but should instead help mediate to get those hostages back, alive if we can - but instead, we chose to throw gasoline on the fire.

I think this way because I think both "nations" have been terrible to each other - over their faith and their inability to coexist and share the holy land - both before, during an after October 7th.  


And yet, when I hear that Shani's body was just found - and that she was previously paraded around nearly naked on a truck of cheering Hamas, on video (her leg tattoos in the video revealing her identity) - I am sickened. 




And yet, I have also seen those 2019 videos of Israeli soldiers stopping, kidnapping, and torturing Palestinians, too -  long before October 7th. 


And yet, you know what my first thought is?


Not that the casualties or victims are either Muslim or Jewish.


It's that the true victims and casualties aren't soldiers - in fact,  not only are they often innocent civilians, but usually also women.  


In fact, historically, one of the first thing war parties seem to do is go after the women, raping and murdering them  - trying to justify what cannot be justified -  in the name King and Country, or Allah or Jehovah or God or Jesus.


Then I think why did they pick Shani out of everyone, to kill and parade around like that, when she was an advocate for peace between the two sides?

Simply because she wasn't fast enough running away?  

Or was it because she was scantily clad and had tattoos and thus, they thought she deserved it?  


And if you think we Christians are above such action, think again.


We've done it, too, over the centuries, in conquest, demanding our faith be the one true faith  - to pagans, Catholics vs. Protestants, Native-Americans, Muslims, Jewish people.

All in the name of whatever God, who is actually the same God by different names in all 3 faiths, who tells us to be merciful -  and yet that instruction is completely ignored in favor of conquest of this region or that region in their God's name.


And we Christians aren't above it even now - look at what many Trump supporters want to do now, with calls to literally execute people like Stormy Daniels, Judge Marchan, even comedian Jimmy Kimmel!


And recent Christian nationalists demand their own version of Christianity be in control of government,  and twist/flip back on anyone disagreeing with them that just their version of Christianity  should be in control into "Christian persecution."



You want to see what real religious persecution actually looks like,  my fellow Americans?

Take a look at 23-year-old Shani's half-naked, lifeless  body being paraded in the back of a truck by Hamas because she was Jewish.

Take a look at those videos from 2019 of Palestinians being tortured on the street by Israeli soldiers, just because they were Muslim.

Take a look at Ireland, just a few years ago, terrorizing each other over Catholicism and Protestantism.


Then take a look back further, at our own country - who built it, and why we instituted separation of church and state in the first place: They were Pilgrims, Calvinists, Catholics, Quakers, and Shakers -  all Christians themselves - but fleeing Anglican Christian Europe, because Anglican-Protestant governments imprisoned or even killed anyone who didn't follow just their version of Christianity.

Then take a look at how those same formerly religiously persecuted people turned right around and did the exact same things that were done to them, to the Native Americans.

Forcibly Christianized them/converted them, imprisoned them,  forcibly removed them off ancestral lands, took their children away, and killed them -  just because they didn't worship the same God or in the same way.

Take a look at even before that at the Crusades, Catholic "knights" marching all over Europe and the Mediterranean, claiming lands in the name of King, Country and Christ or suffer death.

Take a look at the Spanish inquisition, or later Spain up until 1974 under  Catholic fascist dictator, Francisco Franco.



In fact, religious zealotism and need for conquest is responsible for the majority of conflict in our world's history - and yet we never learn and continue to take sides.

And though I feel for soldiers having to put themselves in harm's way, just following orders,  they still DO make a choice to sign up for military, in this day and age - so my compassion is even greater for innocent people who had nothing to do with it.

We need to evolve, and it starts with a conscious attempt to stop the "tribal" mentality.

By this, I mean, if you have ever said this sentence: "My ____ would never do that/behave like that" - then not only are you blinding yourself to our history and some current bad apples that exist in every group, but you are contributing to keeping us from evolving as a society into better human beings, yourself.

Bias may be human and natural, but that doesn't make it truth or fact - and it may be one of those "human nature" things it's high time we rise above.

Because whether you fill in those blanks with "children, family, work, college, or company" - and especially if you fill in those blanks with "race, faith, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status" - then realize that in your arrogant tribalism mentality, YOU are keeping us from evolving into better human beings, as well as blinding yourself to history and extremist factions that exist in your own group.

Whatever the case, if we won't do what we can to put these fires out, can we at least stop fueling them, especially based on faith - please?










Sunday, May 12, 2024

Happy Mother's Day!

 I just sent this ecard to my mom and a couple of other moms I know.  If you're a mom, you'll know this "Mom!" symphony well! πŸ˜‚

https://www.americangreetings.com/pickup?rr=y&m=&token=r08d0ada0-fd7a-4a49-9090-e23c691d7035&pn=prod3274860&utm_medium=pickup&utm_source=share&utm_campaign=receiver

My favorite is toilet paper boy, and the last one, the "writing on the wall," with a clearly very annoyed cat looking on, nearby.

Because I can't post it here, here's a screen shot of the finale πŸ˜‚




Happy Mother's Day, to all the moms of human and fur babies out there! 



Saturday, May 11, 2024

Best Line of the Week ...


Super busy, this week, and just now catching up on everything in the news.

So though I have rolled myself off the couch laughing so hard, at particularly late-night comedians "coverage" of the hush-money trial, this week - as well as watching serious news anchors trying to report all the salacious details with straight faces - there was one comment that was uttered that had me both laughing and viewing things from the 10,000-foot, big-picture view, which is the way Jon Stewart always looks at things.


In fact, just take a step back and look at it from the same view - can you even believe this absurd situation we're in, in 2024?


A former president is on trial for paying hush money to a porn star to keep their former tryst quiet during an election.

The top candidates for his running mate, among this clown car of running mates, is/was Kristi Noem - who shot her own puppy, Cricket, after dragging him to a gravel pit -  and then literally, on the way home from doing so, spotted her billy goat and said "Hey, I'm gonna shoot my goat, too, while I'm on a roll!"

And instead of feeling appropriately sad or guilty about doing so, she then bragged about "doing the tough jobs" in her book, read it aloud on the audio book, and defended doing so on interviews as just "life on the farm."  

The she actually doubled down on it by saying Biden's dog, Commander, should be put down, and if she saw him anywhere near the White House, it would suffer the same fate, and she'd say:  "Commander, meet Cricket."


Okay, that last part made me tear up when I heard it, it's so callous and monstrous.

But also, considering my grandparents lived on a farm that had been in the family since at least 1732, as well as having lived through the Great Depression when true survival was as stake, I can say this with absolutely certainty:  


No, Kristi - this is NOT "life on the farm."

True farm people only kill or shoot:  (1) that which they intend to eat or (2)  in immediate self-defense or (3) because an animal is suffering - NOT just because they're inconvenient or they don't like them.


In fact, most bulls and roosters are aggressive, but they don't kill them because they'd no offspring livestock.  They just do their best to keep themselves away from/safe from them.


So no, thank you, MAGA Republicans  - I don't think we'll be taking any shade, shame or shit from you, from your pseudo-morally superior high ground, which consists of nothing more than a tacky,  flashy-but-flimsy, 99-cent gold-lamΓ© curtain, which y'all refuse to take a good look behind πŸ˜‚


And yet they do so try.

Because from outside of the courtroom, Trump said "if any Jewish person voted for Biden, they should be ashamed of themselves," after Biden (finally) threatened to pause sending weaponry to Israel if they continued to pursue this course of action in the Gaza strip, Jon Stewart - who is Jewish and voted for Biden said:


"My apologies to you ... 'Rabbi.'  Thank you so much for taking your time off of your condomless porn-star hush-money trial to deliver a shame lecture to (Biden-supporting) Jews.  I will reflect on your moral standing, next Yom Kippur."


Hahahahaha!  πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Pause for a religion education moment versus propaganda ...


 Yom Kippur is a day of self-reflection, repentance, and atonement in the Jewish faith.

 The Muslim faith has similar, held on the same day, called Ashura.

We have no such day in the Christian faith, but we SO should!

Catholics come the closest with "confession," but there is no whole day taken to self-reflect on the matter. 

 However, in the Jewish and Muslim faiths, you don't have to share your sins/wrongdoings with a spiritual leader or another soul, so they can judge you/use it against you/keep tabs on you/your family (if they are so inclined), unless you want to - in order to unburden yourself, or feel you need to apologize and/or make amends with that person - otherwise, it's just between you and God.


Having said that, I  just wanted to make my personal position clear on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the Gaza Strip again, and that is this ...  

I refuse to take sides -  or more accurately, I take BOTH sides -  and I think the U.S. should do the same.

Meaning that I think we should be MEDIATING the conflict between them, not adding fuel to the fire by sending weapons to either side, and instead, send humanitarian aid ONLY to BOTH sides.

Now - I do NOT condone what Hamas did, but neither do I condone actions taken previously and since by Netanyahu and the Israeli government itself, not the people.

That does NOT make me either anti-Semitic OR a Muslimophobe - it makes me in support of efforts to resolve conflict, instead of taking actions which only add fuel to the fire!


Geez, the one thing Jimmy Carter did right during his presidency was mediate this centuries-old conflict well, so you think that people - particularly Biden - who was already, what, like 75 -  would remember!  πŸ˜‚


_____________________________


PS - After my husband overheard two women at work yesterday say "Who would listen to anything she says, she's a porn star?"

He said nothing, nor would I, but my thoughts went to:

1)  Just because she has sex on film for money doesn't also make her a liar; in fact, it might actually make her more honest than women like ... oh, say ... Melania?!? 
2)  The fact that he paid her $130,000 to stay quiet isn't in question or a matter of opinion - it's a fact that legal documents prove  - the only question is, why he paid her this money?  
3)  Considering she's had sex with hundreds of men and the experience  she's most ashamed of is with Trump should tell you something about the guy! πŸ˜‚




Friday, May 3, 2024

Separating Fact From Fiction: NYT Article Today About COVID Vaccine Efficacy VS. Known Legitimate Side Effects to Date

 

There's an interesting article today in the New York Times, today, written by a journalist who interviewed dozens of reputable people who have experienced substantial side effects.


Key takeaways?


1)  There genuinely are more side effects reported than were experienced in the clinical trial - *HOWEVER* - this is not unusual, and even typical, for ANY medication or vaccine in the real world versus a controlled trial.  

 

2) There are more allergies to the ingredients than anticipated.  

 

3) The worst side effects appear to be mostly stemming from contaminated batches sent out from one particular pharmaceutical company (which was NOT Pfizer, Moderna, or AZ). 

 

4) Despite these side effects, the risk of experiencing adverse events is still considered small, and the efficacy of the COVID vaccines has proven an overwhelming success at curbing COVID - in other words, the benefits still far outweigh the risks.


This graph is a year old, and the CDC hasn't come out with the one for this year yet, but here's the proof from the CDC tracker: 



Also, it's worth a mention that there's a growing number of legitimate side effects - and then there are new symptoms that people attribute to the vaccine that are not, and in fact, related to other illnesses when investigated. 


Having said that, the medical community shouldn't be gaslighting anyone who is experiencing a new symptom, because the truth is, we still don't know what the long-term effects are, just like we don't know the long-term effects of the new immune-mediated "biologics" for autoimmune diseases and cancer, and everyone's body chemistry is different - BUT - neither should we be jumping to conclusions when experiencing a new symptom that it's automatically related to the vaccine. 


For example, I hear things like my maintenance man saying "My dad had no heart disease, there's no history of it in my family, he had no prior heart disease, but he had a heart attack and died. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's a duck." 


I just give my condolences and focused on the loss of his father, rather than argue about the vaccines, of course.


But this is what I'm actually thinking to myself:


"A platypus looks like a furry sort of duck, but it isn't - and unlike a duck, has a poisonous bite." 
"Also, the sun doesn't revolve around the earth, just because it 'looks that way'."  
"Genetics isn't the only cause of heart disease - poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and other comorbidities like diabetes are also major contributors to heart disease." 
"Many people hadn't been to a doctor in years, ignored prior warning signs, and/or ate badly, smoked, drank, etc.  As humans, we always want something else to blame.  It's human nature, but not very scientific." 


Now - I am NOT Not saying that I trust big pharma completely, or any corporation, for that matter - they're greedy af.

However, being that Job #1 is typing interviews between Big Pharma and key-opinion leaders and insurance companies (private and public) before new drugs and vaccines are launched, I honestly believe they did the best they could on this one, and here's the only reason why I suspended my skepticism on the type of claims pharma usually makes:  

Because their own lives were at stake with COVID, just like ours, the entire world was literally waiting and watching this one, and they were among the first to get the vaccine, themselves.


Also, can I just say that I find it odd that the same people who vote to protect the taxes of big corporations and the wealthiest 1%, ignore their influence on politicians, and listen to their anti-climate-change nonsense, are the same ones making up conspiracy theories about  pharmaceutical corporations and vaccines?

So you don't trust their vaccines, but you're A-OK with them paying less taxes, charging an arm and a leg for things (that don't cost THAT much to make) without restriction, and polluting our environment?

That makes zero sense.

(Conversely, as I said, the only reason I suspended my skepticism of the kind of claims Big Pharma makes is because their own lives were on the line with COVID, too, the world was watching this one, and they were among the first to get vaccinated themselves.)

And I'm also not saying a vaccine couldn't have been a factor, but if so, it's would be more likely that it's one of many  - as of yet, we don't know and we shouldn't automatically dismiss the idea - but neither should we automatically blame the vaccine for new symptoms. More information and study would be required.


And personal experience is no substitute for science, I know, but my husband and I have experienced no side effects at all, and neither has anyone we know.

We also have known exactly 0 vaccinated people to die after contracting COVID, but have known several unvaccinated people to die from COVID.

Also, I have never gotten COVID, despite the fact that the vaccine never promised to prevent getting COVID, only mitigate the symptoms (but I also wore masks and bleached everything down, every day). 


But the proof is not just in science, but the fact that we can all go out again, with or without masks, to do everything we used to do - and that is all due to those vaccines. 


Both of these things can be true - there is a small risk (yes, still small) that you could potentially experience adverse effects AND the vaccine is effective at saving your life from COVID. 

So in the end, I view it a bit like cancer treatment, it's a risks-versus -benefits choice - risking the side effects may be worth it to save your life overall?