20 October 2019

I sat in Starbucks today--I know, what a surprise--distracted from the work in front of me by two things.

1--people kept passing my table with Frappucinos in hand, and after the fifth one, I really wanted a Frappucino. I resisted the urge because they tend to give me screaming brain freeze and the calories aren't worth it. If I still want one this week, after a decent workout, then I'll cave. Chances are I won't want one by then, but I'm allowing for the possibility.

2--people near me were talking politics. It wasn't the content of their conversation that piqued my interest or even the political bent, it was the way they were discussing current events.


It only took the one word for me to know which side of the line they're on, and while I agreed with nearly every point they made, I bristled at the colloquialism.

Rethuglicans. Libtards. tRump. Drumf. Democraps.

Look, I get it. People on every side are frustrated and lashing out. But if you're using these terms, you're infantilizing the issues and detracting from the point. There is no rational discussion when slinging insults at the people with whom you're trying to reach. It doesn't matter if they're slinging it right back; if you want people to listen, to hear you, then speak like an adult and leave the invectives on the playground.

You won't change anyone's mind if they feel attacked.

I will nope right out of a conversation with people I agree with when the childish slings and arrows come out. I will nope right out if someone can't separate the party from the people; there's a vast difference between the Republican Party and registered Republicans. The same can be said for Democrats. I will nope right out of it if the implication is that anyone registered to the opposing party is an idiot.

That doesn't mean I understand them. I cannot fathom why anyone would still support the abject amorality, anti-intellectualism, and party-over-country individuals that have a chokehold on the U.S. I honestly don't think our government structure will survive if this continues. But that doesn't mean I'll grab onto the current social-media terminology when discussing the issues.

Don't get me wrong. As much as I try not to, when someone presents themselves as a Trump supporter, I judge them hard. But if I hear the word rethuglican fall from your mouth, yeah, I judge that, too.

We're heading into what could be the most important election ever; certainly in our lifetimes. Maybe we should stop, take a breath, and treat is as such instead of a playground pissing contest.


18 October 2019

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I own these as a pair of shorts. Until 2 days ago, I hadn't realized that they were available as pants.

By Monday night, they will be mine. I was not passing up the chance to order these and have them in time for the 3 Day. They're gold pants so they're lightweight and should be comfortable enough even if it gets a little warm in San Diego while we're walking, and I'll sure as heck appreciate having them in the morning when it's What-the-Fork chilly degrees outside.

Now, hot pink would pair well with these pants, but everyone is going to be in pink and I can't be like everyone. Last time I wore neon orange and it worked well; any time the Spouse Thingy and I got separated (like, at lunch or pit stops) it was super easy for him to find me. He won't be there this time, but Michelle will be in a sweep van and keeping an eye out for me, so something blinding would be good.

Not, like, to blind her, but to make it easier to pick me out of the masses at a distance.

So, why not screaming neon yellow?

I ordered a couple of these from Custom Ink last night, with a guarantee to get them way before the walk. Today I got a couple of emails from the company, one to confirm my order, another with a proof, and a third with a request.

Basically... "Yeah, hi, we noticed that the shirt you created and ordered seems to be for a charity event. Please reply with a link to your fundraising page so that we can make a donation."

I figured the offer was cool and didn't expect anything more than $5. But within an hour, they'd replied back that a donation had been made, and apologozed that it wasn't more.


Now, I get it. This is good PR and built into the prices they charge. But I would have ordered the shirts anyway because I want them for them walk, and this was totally unexpected.

Twenty bucks is twenty bucks, and now puts me at just under $300 to go.

I'm getting excited now, because that puts it within the realm of being able to self-donate if I have to, even with the expense of airfare and the hotel (only way I'm going is if I sleep in a hotel every night and don't camp...that was the Spouse Thing's one request, no more camping.)

This popped up on Facebook memories a couple weeks ago, and I lamented (tongue in cheek) that I had actually traveled across the country wearing it.

I had a notion--before finding the rainbow pants--that I could at least wear the pants again. It would amuse me, if no one else.

So I went digging for them, because it's not the kind of thing I would throw out or donate. It took awhile, because I've store a bunch of stuff and things are not exactly orderly in my closet right now, but I found them at the bottom of a stack of event t-shirts.

And I tried them on.

There's a wee bit of room there now.

If I let go, they wind up around my ankles.

So they're not going with me, and I think I'm keeping them around just as a reminder of where I've been and where I don't want to go again.

This was good for my ego, I admit it. I've been in Plateau Hell, having not lost any weight since March and only 4 pounds since January, and it's been doing a mental number on me. I can't really cut my calories any further--I'm at 1200, 1300 tops every day--and I just don't have the time to burn more (15-20 miles a day 3-4 times a week is enough, though I'm adding swimming back to the mix next week.) It felt damn good to put them on and have them not fit so badly that even a belt isn't going to help.

I think I'll like the golf pants even more.

Just under 4 weeks to go.

There's still time to donate, and it's tax deductible!

11 October 2019

< hops on the soapbox >

I’m sitting in Starbucks, as I frequently do; I came here with the intent to work, to finish a short story and read through another for typos so that I can upload it to The Wick Chronicles soon. It’s not super busy here, but there are quite a few people around me, and people tend to sit here and talk, no matter how enmeshed in my work I happen to be.

Usually, tuning them out is not a problem. It’s when they start on something that captures my attention that my work generally suffers, because I’m unintentionally listening rather than writing.

Today’s word that pulled me from outer space back to earth: stupid.

“I don’t know why you do shit like that. It’s stupid.”

I mentally rewound the things I’d been hearing but not paying much attention to, and then listened to the rest. No, it’s not polite, I should endeavor to not eavesdrop, but my inner twelve-year-old wanted to know what this no-longer-excited young adult did that could be deemed as stupid.

He’d been excited. He was animated when he spoke, and basically shut down when informed that his interest, what he’d participated in, was “stupid.”

And now I’m ticked off.

His stupid shit? He’d waited in line to be one of the first to get the newest iPhone. He tried to explain why he did it, but it fell of dismissive ears. “You could have pre-ordered it and gotten it the day it came out. Or you could have waited a few days and not been out all night in a line with the other idiots.”

I really wanted to tell that poor kid that it wasn’t stupid. I’d almost made up my mind to speak up if his companion went to the restroom, and almost made up my mind to say something even if he didn’t, but I waited too long. They left right after that, and I’ve been stewing ever since.

Look. Your passions don’t have to make sense to other people. If it makes you happy to wait in line all night to get the newest phone, then wait all night. Revel in it. Just because I wouldn’t do it doesn’t mean I don’t get it. I do. It’s not about being the first to get the phone—of course you could have ordered it and gotten it on day one. It’s about the excitement of the people you’re with, the party atmosphere. It’s about meeting new people and connecting with old friends. For you, it’s fun, and that’s the only reason you need.

If you want to stand in a line all night for the newest book in your favorite series with a hundred other people who share your passion, do it. Dress up, play games, have a wicked good time.

If you want to stand in a line all night to be the first to see a new Star Wars movie, dressed like a Storm Trooper, do it.

Embrace your passions and don’t apologize for them.

And if you’re on the other side of the table, the person who thinks those things are stupid…don’t do them. It’s that simple. Don’t do them, and refrain from criticizing the people who do. If your friend is jazzed about spending a day or two in a line to get concert tickets to see someone he absolutely loves, don’t mock him. Be happy for him. Be thrilled. He’s going to have a great time with a bunch of other people, maybe make some new friends, and then he gets to see his favorite performer.

If your friend likes reading books in a genre you don’t but he can’t help but tell you about it, don’t tell him to shut up. Ask questions. Find out what it’s about and why it’s so important to him. No one is forcing the books on you, but your friend is attempting to share something with you. Something that matters to him.

If you have a friend who posts pictures of their lunch, their dinner, their car, their motorcycle, their kids, their finally-clean-after-a-depressive-bout house, don’t mock them. You have choices here: scroll past without saying anything, click “like” and move on, or come to an understanding that this excites them. Be happy that someone you care about enjoys his delicious food, his car, his bike, loves his kids, and broke through something that finally allowed them to create some order in their lives.

If you’re not religious—even rabidly anti-religion—and have a friend who posts a sincere thanks to God for his day, don’t shit all over it. Why not be happy that he has something in his life that brings him comfort? If you don’t like it, scroll past it. If they’re not proselytizing or rabidly shoving it in your face, just move on.

I admit, this is all something I struggle with online and IRL. I have rolled my eyes at the 1000th picture of a dog doing the same damned thing every time its picture gets taken, because frankly, that dog kind of creeps me out, but I move on. I’m sure people roll their eyes at all the photos of my cats. At my bikes. At my pink-things endeavors. I cannot fathom why someone takes a selfie every single day and posts it, or why someone takes selfies while on vacation yet never includes the thing they’re on vacation to see. Like, dude, it’s right behind you, let us see it. I don’t get a lot of it.

I don’t ask the right questions, if I even think to ask questions. Face it, I am socially dense a lot of the time; people ask me questions and I answer, but it doesn’t occur to me to keep it going and ask questions of my own. And that doesn’t matter who you are. I am not great at conversation anymore. It is what it is.

But what I hope I never do, what I will hate myself for if I do it, is to tell someone else that the thing that excites them is stupid.

You love movies? Fantastic. Tell me more about the one you just saw that really grabbed you.

You love trashy novels? Awesome. (I might ask why, but I won’t mean it sarcastically. I hope.)

You love cooking and want to share a picture of your latest culinary masterpiece? Spiffy. And fork you, now I’m hungry. Show me again.

You quilt and want me to follow your blog where you show your work? Hell yes. That’s amazing. I adore your talent.

You went on vacation to Far-Away-Place-I’ll-Never-Go? SHOW ME THE PICTURES. I will be genuinely interested.

There’s no requirement in life that says you have to understand the things that make other people happy. As long as they’re not harming anyone else, why not skip over the WTF factor and get right to the Well Why Not factor?

Just…stop shitting all over other peoples’ passions. Be happy that someone you care about has passions. That should be indulged, not condemned.

<  /off the soapbox  >


7 October 2019

All righty.

Fundraising resumed.

I am apparently intelligent enough to go to San Diego, walk, and determine when I should stop walking and jump on the sweep van. And since DKM will be in one of the sweep vans, even if it's full, I can probably strap myself to the roof and ride to the next pit stop.

So...I need to start walking a little bit more.

I need to sort out my hydration for the walk.

I need to get 319 tiny bottles of Fireball to take with me...for pain control.

I need to get some neon pink hair dye, because it's not a 3 Day if my hair isn't pink.

I need to raise $815 more.