PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: rants (page 1 of 2)

For The Record….

I originally posted this on Facebook, and made it public, because I am so tired of how women are so casually objectified, treated, assaulted and demeaned. I wanted as many people to give pause and really hear my words, to reflect on what they believe, and how we can collectively take action to stop not only the runaway election train, but also just the everyday shit, the daily life, and that IT’S OK to demand to be treated better. As of this morning, that post has been shared 40 times, which pleases me mightily, because it means it’s resonated with other like-minded people, who are tired of the tilt and want to see the scales balanced. Since I own this domain, I wanted to place it here for posterity.

Every generation has its battle. I am not a historian by any stretch of the imagination, but I look back at the women who paved so many roads before me. The ones who were imprisoned over their fight for the right to vote. The women who fought for equality, who have fought for equal pay (still not there), fought for freedom over their own goddamned bodies (still not there), fought for freedom to not be raped because of what they wore, what they drank, where they were (still not there). Fought for the right to raise their voices to be heard (still not there), fought to be respected in the workplace and the opportunity to rise to the top (still fighting for share).


And I look at my own life. The shock of being grabbed and groped in high school – in between classes! The shock of my high school chemistry teacher and english teacher making comments about the size of my breasts.. The shock of my government teacher bragging about his college sexual conquests, right there in class. The shock of saying no and still being raped. The shock of being told to be quiet, to dress a certain way, to be admonished for speaking up. The astonishment of a male coworker leaning in as if he could just kiss me because he thought he was entitled to and I was just…there to receive it.

After all these years of this, I’m out of tolerance. I’m simply bankrupt of patience. So when I hear a rich and famous and powerful man say he can grab women by their pussies, that he just can’t stop himself from kissing them if they’re pretty, I want to set the world on fire with my mind, out of hope in reducing the landscape to ashes, that from the smoke, the phoenix of equality and respect could somehow rise. Because, sure, I’m not at-risk for a Trump assault, after all, I’m a fat pig by his standards. But I am not unworthy of respect or decency. I am not reduced to an object to be possessed, or labeled in two-dimensional slurs. I am an intelligent human being who is contributing to society and worthy of respect and decency. And the fact that my generation is STILL FUCKING FIGHTING FOR THIS is what makes me insane with anger. I have plenty of self-respect, and it doesn’t make me a crazy bitch to expect it from the world around me. I’m not here to decorate your world, I’m here to contribute, I’m here to speak up when others feel afraid, and by god, I am going to vote and do whatever else it takes to not lose more ground for all women in this country.

This Is What A Feminist Looks Like

A friend of mine posted about how the UPS man wouldn’t hand over her package until she told him what was inside. He played that game. And I have to say, having experienced this sort of interaction more times than I could attempt to count in my 47 years on this planet, it’s probably one of the biggest contributing factors to my Face of Stone that makes people somewhat afraid of me when it surfaces, like a submarine rising to battle above the waters. Because fuck you, dude. Oh, I can hear it now. “He’s just flirting!” “He’s just having some fun.” “He’s just playing around, he probably likes you.”

You know what? I’m reached the age in life where IDGAF, because stuff like this, societally, blames me and says, “let’s excuse bad behavior because you’re not in the mood to put up with it.” And what dictates that I should be in the mood? Because I’m a woman, and I should welcome a man’s attention and interest and playful banter, even if all I’ve done is answer the goddamned door to receive a package, something I PAID FOR. No. Just, no. How about saying something like, “I hope it’s something you’ve been looking forward to!” or asking, “How’s your day been? What do you do for a living?” Because holding a package hostage under the guise of “just playin'” immediately tilts the balance of power. It says, “Until you give me what I want (the answer), I’m not going to give you what you reasonably expect to receive without issue.” It’s like holding a package high above a kid’s head and making them jump for it. And you can argue that on the grand scale of things, this is small stuff, but if someone thinks it’s ok to do, I really don’t want to know what other boundaries they might ignore. And I resent being “That Witch” who calls your supervisor to complain, or “That Cunt” who won’t play along with your idea of fun, or “That Humorless Bitch” who just won’t smile for you. The real problem, in my opinion, is that I’ve endured it enough that I could feel my anger as if it were happening to me.

Boundaries. Respect. This is what a feminist looks like. Basically the same shit everyone wants and expects from the humans they come in contact with.
Bighairjen

Shopping…Like Childbirth?

Because apparently if you don’t go out during the crazy for a few years, the mind blurs and the memories fade and you think, “It can’t be that bad!” I hear this phenomena applies to childbirth, so why not post-Thanksgiving shopping?

I didn’t go out on Black Friday. Or Black Thursday. I mean, sure, I’d love a set of $35 king-size, 600-threadcount sheets, but if that’s the only thing that appeals to me, I don’t see getting trampled, shoved or waiting for an hour worth the savings. I did, however, venture out on Saturday, primarily to go to The Olive Tree, to celebrate Small Business Saturday, and then… because it’s been months and months and months…. Joann’s.  My BFF Beth even screeched at me on the phone when I said I was headed there. “Don’t you remember your blog post?! That’s crazy!” Yes, I remembered it… vaguely. But I needed a few crafty things, and Joann’s was the destination, what with three coupons, one for 25% off my entire purchase. WHY NOT?! WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!

Well, I’m surprised I made it into the store, because the fun started in the parking lot. If a car has stopped, with its turn signal on, and is waiting for the oncoming car to pass so they can turn? Should the oncoming car just pull right in, turning in front of them? NOT IN MY WORLD, MOTHERFUCKERS.  So that set the tone.

Once I got in, I knew that there would be no fabric purchasing. Not that I’d planned on it, but fabric purchasing at Joann’s is certainly one of the inner rings of hell. They’ve rearranged to make a central place (outsmarting my old trick of “go to the home dec fabric department!”) but everyone stands around with their tickets and their 8 million fucking bolts of polar fleece, and the clerks announce the numbers…repeatedly, because some people just wander off because the universe, apparently, revolves around them. So no fabric. I needed some ribbon, thread, crafty things, beads, and a glue gun. I impulse-purchased some silicone molds because they’ll be useful for jello shots AND my upcoming cookie exchange, and found myself wandering the bead section for most of my time there. I almost (ALMOST) cut a bitch who thought she’d hang out in the notions aisle (by the thread) (and by the fabric cutting area, already jammed) and TEXT MESSAGE.  BITCH YOU IS IN THE WAY! She was also one of the passengers in the aforementioned car, so residual rage was at work. I ended up helping a lady in jewelry supplies, because she didn’t realize there was more than one aisle (good luck to her and her journey in life), and then I got in line. Fortunately, they were heavily-staffed, and the line moved quickly, so I got out of there with only a fraction of the surly I expected to have by the time I’d paid.

As for The Olive Tree, I would encourage anyone with a foodie in their life to give them a visit – they’re in Hawthorne Plaza (parking there is always entertaining, I got a great spot but when I was leaving, some old man almost took out my back end because even though I was halfway backed out, by god, he had to GIT SOMEWHERE NAO). They’ve got amazing flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars  (I got Rosemary-Lavender Olive Oil and Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar), smoked & flavored salts, lots of other local food purveyors sell their goods (I nabbed a bag of some of THE best toffee I’ve ever had), and they even do bonuses, like if you spend $50, you get to pick from a basket of small-size oils/vinegars to sample. (Persian Lime olive oil!)  We know the owners of the store through the ever-burgeoning foodie/gardener scene here in Kansas City, and they do great corporate gifts, gift boxes for the chef in your life, and are a font of knowledge on using all of their products. I can also safely say that I’ve NEVER wanted to cut a bitch while shopping there, which is like, the greatest ringing endorsement I can give during this crazy holiday season! (Seriously, though, they’re awesome. They need to stick around and be here 10 years from now. Go! Online order if you’re not local!)

 

Busy News Day

Good News: Most of the recycling had already been taken out by my husband, leaving me with one bag of trash and some recycling I had in my car.

Bad News: Asshole people walking their dog(s) didn’t pick up their dog’s shit, which I squarely stepped in, as I took out the trash.

Buried News: I did not notice I had done this.

News with Foreshadowing: I returned to my car, and as I started to drive to work, I thought I smelled something. Something very bad. Very very very bad. My brain puzzled perhaps it was a skunk. The one part of my brain that was apparently functioning on all cylinders puzzled back why we hadn’t smelled it when depositing the trash.

Newsflash: Shit on my shoe. Had to be. Oh god, there’s a big leaf also stuck, and it can only be one thing gluing that to my shoe: shit. Shit shit shit shit shit shit.

Feature News Piece: I am driving, and it’s trash day. There are people out and about, and I hang a sharp right into the northern part of our neighborhood, desperately looking for a spot to pull over, exit my vehicle and rectify this HORRIBLE SITUATION. I didn’t want to pull in to a driveway, and I needed to pull over, but not in front of a house where a car was in the driveway, or where someone was walking out to put out their trash. Commence mouth-breathing. Drive by friend’s house, discover I have not gone this way in a long time. Finally find a suitable spot, get out, start scraping and hopping about in a generally disgusted manner while waving arms wildly that can only be accentuated by the bell sleeves I’m wearing..

Breaking News: The beep of a car horn sounds behind me. Oh fuck, what now? Oh hai. It’s my friend Robyn, with her daughter. They slow and ask if I’m ok. (of course I’m ok. but I’m NOT ok, oh, lord.) I stammered something about dog shit and bodily harm to those who don’t clean up after their animals and after determining I was only crazy in the sense I’m always crazy, they went on their way. I grabbed Wet Wipes from the back seat, and attacked my shoe, as well as the pedals. GAH.

Slow News Day: Arriving at work, I could only splutter. I then spent ten minutes washing my shoe, five more minutes washing my hands, and went on with my day.

Headline of the Day: Sushi lunch. Yum.

Leisure News: Get out of work a bit early, come home, turn on television, and five minutes later, something is definitely wrong with the tv.

Bad News: The tv is fucked. Internet search turns up a common problem. Holiday tomorrow, no options.

Good News: Said tv was purchased from CostCo, prior to the change in their television return policy. Locate scanned receipt. Note to self, somewhat smugly, this is why giant box has been in storage. Call store and get confirmation that television is, indeed, returnable for a full refund.

News Wrap-Up: Collapse in heap. Revive, pull out tiny flat screen tv and hook up to various components. Band-aid, at best, but it will do. And a whole lot better than the dog a-poopeh on mah shoe.

The (Self-Appointed) Spelling and Grammar Police Are Having A Week.

I don’t claim to have perfect grammar, spelling, or even spectacular sentence structure. I do, however, make every effort to use correct spelling and proper grammar, and I try to limit the number of sentences I start with the word “so”, as that is a particular weakness of mine.

This week has been a bit crazy, hectic, stressful, you name it – but I have been provoked twice now to actually yell at the television because of spelling and grammar. The Fox 4 morning news crew are a fun bunch, but a couple of them just cannot get the proper use of the word “good” versus “well”. I finally had to post on their Facebook page because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Don Harmon, the weatherman, had just finished saying “Slow..ly. Slowly. I think that’s right.” And then Mark Alford responded with something like, “It’s going good out there.”  My post:

Way to go, Don, properly identifying adverbs! (slow-LY!) You are correct!
Next, let’s get Mark telling the world things are going WELL instead of
‘good’, since that is not proper grammar and it makes me yell at him.
Thanks!

To his credit, Mark actually responded with humor, saying “im well with that!” I may have to go down there with a ruler and rap some knuckles. Actually, it would be rather fun to have a paintball gun and every time an egregious grammatical mistake is uttered, KAPOW! I would also shout what they should have said, since I’m quite good at that already.  The traffic guy should be very afraid if this comes to fruition.

Which brings me to this morning, when KSHB (NBC)  flashed up two different slides (the typed-up cards on their template background that accompany the anchors while they’re talking) with horrid typos. The first one was about the new television season, and that production had “haulted” on a show. Uh, wtf is that? You can haul things, but you don’t hault them. Then, THEN, the next story was about – wait for it – BOAL GAMES. This is not the closed-captioning system translating, this is someone typing it in for the day’s stories. Seriously, I think six-year olds know how to spell “bowl”.

I think what bugs me in all of this is that even though I don’t hold my local media outlets to the standards I would hold, say, the New York Times, I do expect a certain amount of accuracy and I expect a whole lot of proper grammar. This isn’t a reality tv show, this is the news. Manufactured, selective, tilted at times, sensationalist most of the time, but you are still THE NEWS. And in ignoring grammar and spelling, it feels like we are moving yet another ten paces closer to accepting an unacceptable level of national stupidity. Why not just start typing it all in phone-texting style? Hell, start doing shots of Jager during the news, why wear a tie, or a nice pantsuit (Katie Horner, I’m lookin’ at you), just wear swimsuits or dress like the cast of Jersey Shore? Talk smack, talk trash, why have standards at all? Editorialize while you’re at it!

Nevermind me, I’ll still be getting my real news from NPR. I have never heard Steve Inskeep say “Things are going good!” And I’m GREAT with that.

How To Merge

This would ordinarily count as a public service announcement, however, I may wind up cursing so much, the lesson will only remain appropriate for truckers, sailors, and Marines.

First, a message to the old man leaving Price Chopper on 103rd in your little white truck: FUCK. You. Thank you for not understanding the general concept of merging, so I was forced to hit my brakes and send my leftovers flying off my passenger seat, to leak and smear on all the papers in my bag. Fuckyouverymuch. Punching it to get out of the parking lot? I get it. Getting into the middle lane and pulling into my lane while there was still room? That’s awesome. Except you didn’t do that, did you. You went below the speed limit and made like you were coming over, then went back into the middle lane, then came back over again, as I was wildly gesturing and screaming at you by that point and sending all my belongings on to the floor of my car.  I got to play the “Is he coming over? Is he waiting? He isn’t going a consistent speed? I am? But now I’m not, as I don’t want to wreck my car?” game.  And, for the record, I was going below the speed limit. I got to come home and scrub things, after calling you numerous, colorful terms that would have made even George Carlin pause and look at me in admiration. Have a splendid evening, douchecanoe.

Merging. I have witnessed this problematic element of driving quite often of late. Let me break it down for you. The whole fucking point of merging, especially when getting onto the highway, is to be TRAVELING AT THE SPEED OF TRAFFIC. This is why those goddamned red lights on the entrance ramps are the bane of my existence, even though I get the reasons behind them. This isn’t a putt-putt-putt along lane, slow way down maybe stop if it doesn’t feel right. We are not doing the goddamned double-dutch jump rope and you get to pick and choose when your feet are going in.  Get your ass going. And to all the rest of you sailing along in the right-hand lane? Get the fuck OVER. Y’all don’t seem to understand how badly I wanted a driver’s license as a child and it was denied to me. I studied the inserts Shell Oil used to run in Woman’s Day and Family Circle, using Goofy to show how to properly accelerate (imagine an egg between the pedal and the floor! Press down slowly!) I ate up every bit of information on what to do in accidents, when to use flares, how to stay safe on the road. So to say that I studied the Iowa Motor Vehicle License book would be an understatement. I absorbed it. I can still see the line drawing for merging onto the highway.

Here’s the one from the Missouri booklet, it’s quite similar:

mergemofos

This is not that hard, people. Driving isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. Let people in as they’re merging, and if you’re a merger, speed the fuck up so you’re not creating a potential 20-car fender bender and sixteen more high-blood pressure cases.

So. In case you’d like the full-blown directive from the same book, here you go:

ENTERING THE HIGHWAY
Entrance ramps are short, one-way ramps used to get on the highway. At the end of most entrance ramps is an acceleration lane. Use the ramp and acceleration lane to increase your speed to match the speed of the vehicles on the highway.

As you are speeding up, watch for an opening in the highway traffic. Switch on your turn signal, and pull smoothly into the traffic. DO NOT stop at the end of an acceleration lane unless traffic is very heavy and you have to stop.

Drivers already on the highway should give you room to enter, but if they don’t, DO NOT force your way onto the highway. You must yield the right-of-way to them, even if that means stopping at the end of an acceleration lane.

Namaste, motherfuckers.

I Would Shoot This Week Like I’d Put Down A Rabid Possum, If I Could.

Hey, didja all enjoy the full moon this week? Beautiful, bright, havoc-wreaking full moon that it was? Good god. The Crazy ratcheted up pretty high this week, I must say.

On Wednesday, I met a couple friends for an impromptu lunch at Red Snapper. Upon leaving, I thought my back tire looked low. Indeed, it was. As in almost flat. Yikes! So I hustled across the street, got air back in it, skipped my errands, and came home. It stayed inflated pretty well and looked good the next morning, so we assumed it was a temporary seal thing, hitting a pothole, etc. But now I’m paranoid. So I left work yesterday with paranoia in my heart, looked at my tire, and decided it looked lower. Not like the first time, but lower and something must be wrong. (One thing to know about me: I go from blissfully ignorant to OMFG WE’RE GONNA DIE AND LOSE ALL OUR MONEY FIRST in about 8.2 seconds flat.) So I’m worrying. And as I start to drive in the parking lot, I hear this crazy noise. OMFG! I pull over, spanning four parking spaces, and put the car in park, frozen, listening. I’m quite certain this sound is coming from my tire. Except the sound continues, after I’ve stopped. I finally realized that it was a plane flying overhead. Yay! I’m losing my mind!

Get home, the Wo takes a look, agrees it’s low, and we come up with the game plan: tomorrow at some point, I’ll go in to Firestone, get the thing fixed, get an oil change, and be on my merry way. We refill a bit with the pump he has. He checks it this morning: pretty low again, so now we accelerate the time frame, and I’m heading up there for an 8 am appointment so they can get it taken care of and I can be in Westport by 9:45. Everything seems fine, I’m hanging with Mr. Magoo in the waiting area until he’s finished, then I switch seats so I can keep an eye on things, and get called to the counter around 9. Lookin’ good. Except for one thing. They can’t fix the tire. It’s all shredded on the inside, he says. And my two front tires have wear on the insides of the tires and you can’t see it unless the car is up on the hoochymomma thingy, but it’s really bad and I need four new tires, he gestures at wildly circled numbers on a sheet of paper and can I hang on a sec because he has to run something out to some manager in the parking lot.

I get out the phone, and call the Wo. Tell him briefly that I’m being sold 4 new tires and could he talk to the man when he returns. Which he does, at that moment. I hand the phone over, he goes through the spiel again, and hands the phone back to me.

Now. Here is where, for me, it really broke apart. I can be blissfully clueless and unaware at times. But the rest of the time, my antennae are set on “11”. And so, as I take the phone, and as most people do, my head tilts down to listen and talk. But I am still watching the employee – who is looking at the computer, and I see, in this short second, he rolls his eyes. So as I’m hearing my husband in my left ear “THEYARETRYINGTOSELLYOUTIRESYOUDON’TNEEDYOUNEEDTOGOSOMEWHEREELSE” I’m thinking, “You motherfucker. There are two people standing right here, and the only one who gets to roll their eyes at my husband? IS ME.” So I’m pissed. He’s pissed. The Wo’s pissed. I hang up. Store dude looks at me and I say, “OK, this is why I let him handle these things. Can we just fill the tire with air and I’ll pay for my oil change?” And he says, “Well, he sounded really angry, I’m just saying, if you don’t replace all four tires, you have AWD, you would void your warranty (I’m still puzzling that one, as the dealer’s warranty expired a year ago), and let me take you back in the shop and show you this wear, you can’t see it unless the car’s in the air, so you can explain it to your husband,” and I’m all, “NO, that’s fine, let’s just settle up here.”

Because if I go back into the garage, it’s another point of sales pitch to wear the little lady down, I suspect.

So I wait, and then another employee comes in and tells me all about her morning and how she was t-boned on her way in and blah blah blah, and then a new dude comes in and says it looks like I need to be helped. I decline, saying I’m just waiting. But here’s what I think is interesting. First dude has now gone back into the garage, and never comes back out to interact with me again. New dude is now “handling me” and feigns shock and awe at the numbers on my tires and that I’m going to drive off the lot with my car in such a state, even, but is all smiles and polish and tells me they will give me their recommendations and an estimate, should I want to return. Now, I’m not all-knowing in the world of auto repair but I felt like this guy’s appearance was definitely a planned move and part of the whole schtick. (I heard the schtick given by the t-boned employee over the phone, all the dreadful things they found and how much it would cost.)

I pay, collect my key, my receipt and go. In my car, I look at the price tag: just over $1,100. Yes, eleven-hundred. Dollars.

The Wo is already regretting having sent me there, but he wanted me to have a nice place to sit and wait, but now I’m going where he wished he’d sent me in the first place, to Larry’s Wholesale Tires on Wornall.  Larry, or his other cousin Larry, comes in from the shop to see what I need and sends me down the road to the U-Haul place (which he also owns, and I ponder this, thinking how unassuming he is and he probably is quite well-off), because that’s where they fix tires. Honestly, I don’t know why I ever thought I’d be incapable of driving a car in NYC, because if you can cross two lanes of Wornall without a light and make repeated left-hand turns while you’re on it, I’d say you could take on just about any traffic situation in this country. I get down to the U-Haul spot and for whatever reason, I am instantly reassured. I’m greeted, there’s no problem, just back it in here, okey dokey, the guy finds a 1.5″ metal shiv that’s in the main part of the tread, he extracts it, does other manly things to the tire (including patching it), tells me he doesn’t see any shredding, but at some point I’ll need A new tire, because the side seam looks a little worn, and they all blinked when I told them what their neighbors up the street wanted me to spend.

So then I ate some Indian food at Chai Shai with Beth and knitted and decompressed (and wished I’d gotten the mango shake instead of the iced chai, because o.m.g. is it good,) ran into Dan of Gone Mild there, always nice to see him and say hello.

Then I came home, and discovered the breezeway was filled with bits of foam and bright red maribou feathers. Because Tripper had GONE INTO THE CLOSET, removed one slipper, and systematically shredded it everywhere. Then he took JWo’s old shoe he’d already done a number on, and completely chewed off the toe. That fucking dog isn’t getting out of his crate until he’s 12.

Next on my list? Re-installing software on my laptop that was rebuilt on Wednesday. I told you, this week has just been from hell! TGIF, indeed!

Musings

So, I pondered on Plurk earlier today, ‘the naivete and stupidity of clueless people will never fail to astonish me. Does that make me… naive too?’

A friend pointed out that I just want to believe in the best of everyone. And I think that’s mostly true. It’s a blessing and a curse, some of which grew from being an only child, because your formative influences are adults, who use logic and restraint and explain things and treat you with respect. Something I hear-tell is less common when a sibling’s in the mix, and I do believe that siblings give you thicker skin. I can’t even begin to count the number of times in my life where I’ve been hoodwinked, for someone else’s amusement, or out of addiction, or because they’re just plain mean. Yet I still apply logic to the wound, and while my skin gets a bit tougher and I’m certainly capable of being a jaded mean bitch when I need too, I really do want people to just … be. I drove up Wornall a few weeks ago and there was a blind man, obviously trying to figure out exactly where the bus stop was. The sign is on a light pole, and there’s grass there, it’s not a shelter. The traffic was going along quickly and I slowed, fearful he could mis-step and land in the street. But then another man, who didn’t seem to know him, walked up to him and I could see he was speaking to him. Then he touched him on the shoulder, guided him, talked to him, helped him find where he needed to be. It brought me to tears, these two people, just being human and kind and helping and receiving help.  No hidden agendas, no pretending to be anything else.

I was frustrated this past week by an obvious breakdown in logic. Granted, one should really avoid Twitter arguments, because bitch, please, I can NOT make my points in 140 characters or less. But I think it’s important to recognize that when you are putting things out there on Twitter, and you say something unpopular? You will get called out for it.  You will be accountable for it. If you want to say that the KC Fiber Community is lame, and then later say what you meant was inspired, I urge you to use www.m-w.com, because lame is not a derivative of inspired, or vice-versa. If you then want to be a martyr and say you’re just expressing your opinion and flounce about it? Well, then I get really pissed. Because yes, you are FREE to call us lame. And it IS an opinion. But I will defend my friends (who are…supposed to be the Lame-Labeler’s friends as well) because they are trying to make it a better place, and a more rewarding community, and you might not like being held accountable for your opinions, but there you have it. The old adage came to mind… when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is… stop digging.

Now that I’m not so irritated about it, and I’ve distracted myself all weekend with voraciously reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy, I’ve come up with a new twist on an old, albeit creepy, quote.  Sums up my sense of astonishment pretty darned well, I’d say. And, it’s rather appropriate with the big dug-out hole, too.

“It puts the logic on its skin and watches it slip right off again!”

Bitch, please. (I love that SNL skit just a little too much.)

Am I Going to Have to Change to “FlashMobJen”?

WTF, riots on the Plaza?

Parents?! Hel-loooooo. It’s 11:30 on a Saturday night, do you know where your children are?

I’m utterly disgusted with the state of parenting, consequences, and the lack of personal responsibility.  I love how we’re talking about trying to move teachers to a merit-pay basis – sure! Who doesn’t want their compensation tied to a crumbling infrastructure you have no control over? There are students who don’t care about their MAP scores because – well, nobody at HOME cares about their MAP scores. They’re perfectly content to race through, guessing, writing “I Don’t Know”, and basically turning in a half-assed job. How do you motivate that attitude to care? You can’t beat them – and if mom and dad don’t think getting an education’s very important, well, they’re not going to pass along any desire to excel to the kids.

So back to these roving mobs of ‘kiddos’. It’s scary. Mobs of anyone, any age, any size, any color, with limited wisdom and little care for consequences? Scare the shit out of me.  GroupThink is one of my greatest fears in life, and I was raised to question it and shun it with every fiber of my being.  And because the attitude towards authority, elders, the merchants, the police was so flagrantly insubordinate, so disrespectful, I go straight to smackdown. I think there should be a curfew. I think if these kids break the curfew? The parents should get fined. If the parents can’t pay the fine, or want an alternative to the fine? Then they should be court-ordered to parenting classes.  This is what would happen if you were caught drunk-driving, or beating your wife, or other things we deem  wrong and in need of correcting. Why not parenting? Is the American Family oh-so-sacred? We shouldn’t tell another person how to parent their child? Well, no, I don’t think it’s my place to tell the mother with her screaming infant that it would be better for everyone in the restaurant if she took her child outside. But we do tell mothers who shake their babies not to do it. And we do make people take classes to learn how to drive a car, and hey, even a test! But none of that’s necessary if you want to bring a child into the world, and you think it’s ok to put your needs first and not stay home  on a Saturday night and make sure your kid isn’t hoofing off to some part of town to participate in a riot, or a strong-armed robbery, or breaking someone’s jaw, or ruining some girl’s prom night.  All we do in this country is sweep up. We build higher-security prisons, instead of teaching disadvantaged mothers that they can break the cycle, they can raise their child to get an education, how to help give them tools to a better life. Instead, we throw a little money at them, teaching them “the system” will always take care of them, when in fact, it won’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the biggest advocate for a helping society. I believe those who are fortunate should help people who are less-so. But I don’t believe in handouts, nor do I believe in something-for-nothing.

arrrrgh I could rant on and on. I just HATE the fact we don’t just turn the worst parts of town into places like the Harlem Children’s Zone. Make being a part of that desirable. Make being a good parent, make being a productive member of society, make being a good student the desirable goals in life. Instead, we’ll just throw up new prison walls, drain a strained court system even further, and add more police to the streets on a Saturday night. Maybe bring in the National Guard. Turn our streets into a new kind of war zone. Freedom, my ass.

P.S. if we bring in the Nat’l Guard, my friend Beth would like them to spend their days fixing potholes. kthxbai.

Random Orts

1. The stoplights on the entrance ramps on I-435 make me crazy. CAH-RAY-ZHEEE. I think it’s because I had five years of dealing with those motherfucking things in Minneapolis, and they were definitely more hard-ass about them up there (only one car per green, not two), and in most instances, there is at least a little more room to accelerate than what I remember. Also, these seem to be turned on when traffic is at gridlock, vs. in Minneapolis, they just were ON during rush hour, no matter how busy the roads were, so you sometimes had the momentous excitement of going from 0 to 60 in half a city block to merge into traffic going 70 mph and your lane was disappearing rapidly. So yeah, I know, it could be worse. But with my new job (yay!) I have loooads of commuting options, because so many major streets run parallel to the highway, and my distance on the interstate is pretty short to begin with. But I still like to bitch about those lights. They are my Vietnam Flashback.

2. Boundaries are important. I think I’ve really learned that lesson this past year. My spidey sense is honed to intrusions on my boundaries and I react accordingly. Sometimes overwhelmingly. I feel very wary and watchful in a lot of different situations, I’m resentful when my time is taken for granted (or considered less-than), and I am spending less time trying to fix things and just walking away from broken detritus. It keeps my boundaries springy and happy.

3. I believe I am the last person in the metro area who is not sick of winter. Let’s face it, I’ve got plenty of my own insulation, brisk weather invigorates me, you can always put on a sweater, and as long as it isn’t icy? I’m cool. Literally and figuratively. Snow makes me happy – as long as the streets get plowed!
Snowy backyard

4. If people don’t appreciate me (and especially if they’re family), I find it triggers Instant Resentment! You don’t even have to add water, just shake the contents and presto, a fiery concoction of vitriol and cursewords. In some cases, also some sadness. I knit some really nice things this winter – one for my mom, one for my dad’s second wife, I sent them, and never heard a word. Boundaries. Silence is sometimes as loud as a land mine.

5. Other family members are fiercely protective and appreciative of me, and it makes me weep with confusion and gratitude. Sometimes my boundaries just melt.

6. There are some batshit-crazy people in the world and you just can’t understand them, because nothing starts from a logical argument. My poor brain keeps trying to scribble out equations with motivations and potential scenarios and conclusions, but it’s fruitless.

7. Even though I realize I am a Responsible Adult, it is breath-catchingly surprising when I’m actually called that. I took a friend to and from an oupatient procedure last week, and when I picked her up, they read the home care instructions to me, because I was “the Responsible Adult”. I was like, wow – really? Lady, I can hardly get my laundry done, it’s my biggest nemesis. But yeah, I guess I still qualify.

8. I picked up said friend’s prescription and was extremely disheartened to see that infant formula is behind a locked window in some drug stores. Sigh.

Sad Times

That’s it for tonight! Peace, love & hair grease…

Older posts

© 2017 PlazaJen: The Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑


Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/rbnugent/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346