This was this young lady’s first time out with the AR. Looks like she’s got the hang of it. This was her reward for finishing the school year with Straight A’s. The Evylrobot and I were thrilled to help make this happen. She’s got a great future ahead of her, and we’re proud to be a small part of it.
Aww, cupcake. I’m so sorry.
Here, let me pat you on the head and guide you to a safe space while the adults just fucking deal.
Look. I get it. Real life is hard. There’s, like, bills and responsibility and alarm clocks and evaluations. It’s, like, seriously style and cramping, ya’ know? You really put your heart and soul into that expletive filled rant against capitalism and someone just stole your freaking intellectual property and shared without even so much as a link back. That sucks! No one will ever know that you wrote that!
How will anyone ever know that you are the super special snowflake that really participated? I know, I know. You just can’t even.
Well then maybe you should odd.
Someone hurt you right in the feels? Take a moment. Breathe in. Let the hurt flow through you. Can you show me on the doll where it tingles now?
Listen. Really, listen. I don’t care how much melanin content you’ve got, who or what you want to consensually rub your gooey parts against, or how you’d like to identify yourself. Are you useful? Can you make me a sandwich? Mow my lawn? File my taxes? Massage my feet while painting my toenails? Entertain me?
Then why for any deity’s sake should I give a flying flip about your well being? Because you feel discriminated against? Show me.
I’m a woman of color* in flyover country. I’ve never been able to pass**. I’m a survivor of many things I never deserved, but the sun just keeps rising so I better keep on.
The world has crapped on me and my own over and over and yet, we persevere. You, my dear snowflake, really can too. Yes, you too can own a tiny house in the suburbs with innumerable plumbing problems and mice so your children can go to the right schools and you’ve got the bragging rights of living in the right suburb.
I digress. This is you and your micro-aggressions.
Breathe in. Feel it fully from your forehead all the way down to very tips of your toes.
You. Think of you.
Meditate on you.
So you’re a socialist? That’s awesome. What, exactly, are you contributing to society? From each according to his ability, yes? So, what are your abilities? What are you throwing into the pot for redistribution?
Oh! You have a bowl.
There’s kind of a lot of people showing up with bowls. I might have some pepper. It might be in spray form.
Someone maybe ought to wash all these bowls people keep bringing. No?
I’d direct you to the ball pit, but you have to sign a waiver. We had to let some un-vaccinated children play there so there might be a touch of polio.
You don’t want to hear me, do you? In fact, you’ve probably stormed away with your spittle rage to your keyboards and are furiously telling reddit what a terrible human being I am. Post a link while you’re at it, ‘k!
I am! I am the awful human being that thinks maybe, just maybe, you should be capable of contributing to what ever perfect society you believe you deserve a place within. It’s true. If you are useless, I believe society should shun you. Kick your worthless butt out. You. Should. Starve.
Does that hurt? Do you need a minute? A blanket?
Who am I kidding? You’ve left. You’re already telling me that I’m terrible in my comments. I like you. You’re going to tell your friends. They’re going to get mad too and visit. They will probably comment. You know what? Happy clicks and angry clicks are totally equal for ad revenue. Do that. I’m a damn evil capitalist. Angry is usually a lot more delicious, profitable clicks. Please, be mad. I like lobster.
Oh right! You can’t deal with this right now.
Hang on. I’m going to have to move some crap out of the designated safe space. The entire house is a deplorable mess, but that should definitely take priority.
Here you go, sweetie. Some gentle head pats. Maybe even a Popsicle.
Right now happens right now. Yep, that sucks the big one sometimes. Sometimes, your car decides that your gas pedal doesn’t really exist while you’re doing 75 MPH down the turnpike. Totally okay. You drive stick. Shove that bad boy in neutral, turn the car off and back on(rebooting the computer), and throw it back into gear at speed without impeding traffic. This is now. It’s a lot. It’s seriously, no doubt, scary. I’ve done it. You can too.
Forget the safe space. Own the scary space. Conquer and overcome.
*I really hate that term.
**Almost as much as I hate that one. In the second grade, I had to explain to my teacher that Filipino is not, in fact, a Native American tribe, but thank you for the paper work that could get me on the rolls.
So that little Dance, Monkey rant I wrote way back in 2010 has recently gained new life. You’ve probably stumbled across it since it has legs of its own now and walks free of its original creator (That’s called plagiarism, folks. If you see it, let me know). Sometimes it even picks up some extra words along the way.
Clearly, it resonates with people even still. I like that. I like when my words reach people. I like to think of all of you imaginary friends out there as real live people with thoughts, passions, experiences, opinions of your own. Something this response to my rant points out that I didn’t express well.
“You exist for my entertainment.”
Can you imagine saying that to another human being? I would hope that none of us could imagine it. Especially those of us who are Christians. The words go against the very foundation of our faith—the belief that God made us, loves us, and died to redeem us, and that His love gives us each worth.
She’s got a point, and I would never say that to another human being. Yes, my rant is worded personally, but it is directed self-important character these various celebrities play when they have an audience. Don’t get me wrong, I stand behind what I said in that rant seven years ago. The point is that despite what those in the public eye seem to believe, their opinions don’t matter any more than any other human being. Yes, they are human beings deserving of love and compassion with every right to their own opinions, but they do not have any authority to direct what you or I chose to believe.
My words were harsh and intentionally so. I make no apologies for them. I encourage you to read Gina Dalfonzo’s Rebuttal to me. She takes a much kinder and gentler approach to reminding us all that no matter how many cameras are pointed at you or how much a platform you’re given, we’re all humans suffering the same human condition.
First you try to pass off my content as your own (link goes to an archive), but once you got called on it, you made a snarky comment and blocked me from it before I ever got a chance to see it.
What a tiny ego you’ve got there! Not only are you so lacking in wit that you have to steal it without attribution, but you don’t have the courage to actually address me directly and instead decided to hide your clearly insignificant confidence. That’s so cute.
See, I don’t actually have time to research what you post. I have friends. I know that’s probably a foreign concept for you. I suppose my readers may want to reach out to you to thank you, though. I’ve been neglecting this space and your sniveling attempt to build yourself up inspired me to actually post something. Congratulations, Robert Judware, Thieving Troll! Have fun with that.
ETA: Peter of Bayou Renaissance Man is a prince and you should be reading him. Many thanks for letting me know about this infraction.
The story of lumpia in pictures.
First you prep the ingredients
Shredded carrots (2.5 ish lbs), chopped green onions (1 bundle), garlic (1 whole clove), a dozen eggs-separated (2 or 3 whole eggs go into the mix), and some soy sauce.
Reserve the egg whites. They will be used later.
Mix in the meat. Here it is 5.5 pounds of ground pork.
Time to get messy. Each roll takes about that much filling. Close to a standard ice cream scoop.
Personally, I prefer to work with the spring roll wraps. Start at the corner
Roll tightly towards the center
Fold the sides in
Continue rolling. This is where the egg whites come in handy. You will dip that last corner in the egg white to glue the roll closed.
Line them up carefully. Try not to let them touch.
If you are planning to freeze them, it’s a good idea to let them sit for a few minutes to let the egg white set.
They freeze well at this point. You can thaw them out to fry later.
Or get them straight into 350ish degree oil
Fry until golden
Wait until they are cool enough to eat and enjoy.
Is this thing still on?
Spent the weekend with dear friends which always does my soul good. Maybe not my waistline, but certainly my soul. At the close of the weekend, OldNFO admonished me to “throw something up on the blog once in a while.” One shouldn’t ignore such things, and it just so happens that I realized I have story often told in person that has yet to be told here.
One of the *cough* amenities that was included when we purchased our house was a hot tub. Said hot tub promptly shelled its pump a few months after we signed the mortgage and became a large, fiberglass tub of misery, gook, and breeding mosquitoes. Sure we drained it and kept it covered, but somehow rain and detritus would find its way in so I made it a practice to thrown in chlorine tabs and some bleach from time to time in an attempt to keep the mosquitoes and mystery odors under control. My brother promised that one day, he was coming to get the thing and fix it up just as soon as he had a place to put it.
Fast forward to a lovely Saturday in early fall. A perfect day for a cookout. The weather guessers had predicted it and so we had invited everyone over to partake in some grilled goodness in our backyard. Hubby went off to gather the meat, and I headed out to the backyard to make it ready for the festivities.
That’s when the smell hit me. Assuming the storms had created some sort of unholy concoction in the hot tub, I grabbed a gallon of bleach and poured it in without lifting more than just the very corner of the hot tub cover.
I swear to you, the tub belched out a green, putrid cloud of evil. It then laughed at my attempt to sterilize whatever was hidden inside and have a nice, normal gathering of my parents, grandparents, in-laws, and their parents. The trees recoiled in disgust. That’s when I knew.
I had to open the tub.
Horror. Pure horror awaited inside.
Starlings. 21 nasty, dirty, garbage eating starlings had apparently sought shelter from the storm inside the hot tub, where they drowned. I found 21 dead and rotting starlings. They were bloated and most of the feathers had fallen off.
What to do? I’ve got people coming over and a tub of rotting death to greet them. It’s not like I could just throw them in the trash.
So I did the only rational thing, I dug a hole. A large hole.
Remember how I told you that hubby had gone for supplies and meat? This is the point in the story where he returns triumphantly only to find his mud-coated wife standing in a 3 foot deep hole with a crazed look on her face and holding a shovel.
“Honey?” he inquired.
“I have to bury the bodies.”
In that moment, he knew I’d snapped. Had our guests arrived too early? Or was it the neighbors with the yippy dog?
I muttered something about the f*ing birds and proceeded to ladle Satan’s chicken soup out of the hot tub and into the hole. Hubby, wisely, went back into the house.
With the birds neatly buried, we went on to have a lovely picnic with the family, but I couldn’t eat chicken for months. The hot tub has since been cut into pieces and left out for large trash pick up. I took special glee in watching the garbage truck crush its remains.
Because I think you’re missing the details. While you throw accusations of insensitivity at me you’re stomping on sacred ground.
And don’t you dare try to offer me your comfort and sympathy now. You don’t deserve the warm and fuzzy feelings of that. Yes, I dared to state that pets aren’t the same as children. That was so very harsh of me. Do you need a safe space?
That’s cute. You’re going to lecture me on how hard Mother’s Day is for some people. Did it ever occur to you that I may be one of those people? Oh that’s right, you can’t see past your sanctimony. You can trot right on out on that high horse of yours.
Complicated. Yeah. I’m supposed to play your silly games and pretend that your love for your dog is equal to my grief for the child I lost before they ever took a breath. On Mother’s Day, I might add.
I hear you, just scroll past and ignore it if it bothers you that much. I see how well that worked out for you. No, you decided I must need to be informed and educated and put in my place. Here’s your freaking medal.
As if I could compare stroking my cat’s fur as he breathed his last to my friend that held her child’s hand as she lost her battle to cancer. That would monstrous. I’d be a terrible human being for even hinting at such.
Right. I’m insensitive. I’m a horrible person.
Why don’t you go ahead and explain how insensitive I am to the 85-year-old woman I held as she made the heart-wrenching decision to turn off her daughter’s life support? Indeed, she took great solace in caring for the cats her daughter left behind, but she’d trade them all for another moment with her daughter.
Go on. I’ll wait.
Emerson, the cat, came into our lives during a period of intense turmoil, and he was and still is a source of tremendous comfort. I needed to nurture something. I needed the unconditional love in return and he gave it and then some. He continues to do so today. He has been there for more of my ugly sobbing than I care to get into. It would be doing him an injustice to treat him as a replacement for a child. He’s no surrogate. He’s far more sensitive than you, actually.
Some day, far sooner than I’ll be ready, he’ll be gone. It’s my job and responsibility to make sure that process goes as peacefully and painlessly as possible. I will weep. The grief will be intense and include more of those ugly sobs.
Trust me, I get it that our pets can bring great comfort and solace in the face of pain and difficulty. That relationship is wonderful, special, and not the same as parenthood. Funny how no one seems to have noticed that I didn’t even say it was less. I only said it was different.
Am I a good person? Well my dog thinks so, anyway. My real friends do to. Me? Well, I try to be. Really, I think that’s all any of us can do.
Today seems the right day to tell this story, the one year anniversary of Amy’s overcoming.
I’m not wearing that bracelet anymore. I wanted it to do something more. Something different than just becoming a thing that I wore or a keepsake in my jewelry box. Her memory deserves something special.
The answer started with a huge puddle of mud.
Which would soon become a playground, but we had a long way to go and a lot of work to get there.
There was a mountain of mulch
This hole seemed like a good spot
Mud and all
A little help from some friends.
And a swing-set is born.
Add some concrete
And a little on your host.
The overcomer bracelet became a permanent part of a place built for laughter and joy. It rests in the concrete at the base of the swing-set.
I’d like to think Amy would approve.