An Open Letter the Guy At the Pool

I’m sure you’re a super nice guy, and yes, your kid* is freaking adorable with those bright blue eyes and long camel eyelashes, but your game could use a bit of work. For one, although I’m sure the family pool at the Y is a great place to get to know some local ladies, you should probably steer clear of the ones with rocks on their hands. Particularly when the guy with the matching ring is just a few feet away.

Also, I don’t know how it’s possible that I could smell your body spray from 3 feet away in a chlorinated pool. That’s some serious dedication. At least we all know you aren’t afraid of commitment, but you and that bottle might need some time apart. Honestly, I’m kind of fascinated. Does that require a brining process to get the full saturation? Hmm, maybe I don’t really want to know. I suppose it could be related to amazingly well-manicured stubble.

And by the way, the cute little lifeguard is probably younger than your swim trunks.

*I assume it’s your kid. I suppose that could be your nephew or just some random toddler you picked up on the way. Either way, he’s got that flirtation game down.

Ice Storm

You know what, ice storms suck. Ice storms that come before the trees have dropped all of their leaves come with extra special suckiness.

This is what we woke up to Sunday morning.

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Sigh. Thankfully, we notified the neighbors that they might just want to move the car before it became one with the tree.

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We owe her an antenna

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Yet still, we are blessed. We’d been hearing the news of the storm since Wednesday so parked our own vehicle on the opposite side of the driveway.

We spent Thursday with family sharing good food, good stories, and lots of laughter. With the freezing drizzle on Friday, we decided we felt like a swim so headed to the local YMCA and their indoor pool. After a nice swim, we tossed Die Hard in the DVD player which turned into staying up and watching the first three movies while the storm rolled in.

Woke up Saturday to more freezing rain and the first of the branches in the yard. We decided the most appropriate course of action was to stay indoors and watch the next two movies in the franchise, interrupted periodically by the sounds of snapping branches and them crashing to the ground.

Thankfully, all fell to the ground. Nothing of any consequence hit the house or the cars. We don’t have any power lines near the house and aside from a few flashes, the lights stayed on for the duration of the storm. Some of my neighbors weren’t so lucky. Just across the street, they lost power for around 6 hours. We offered to run an extension cord.

Sure, this is going to be a lot of work, but we’ve got a chainsaw and we’re all able-bodied. Several neighbors have offered their assistance as well. We’ll all help each other, and together, we’ll weather this storm and the next.

See? We’re starting to get it cleaned up already. No shortage of firewood in my neighborhood!

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I’m Thankful for You

All of you. The liberals, the conservatives, the anarchists, the libertarians, the Christians, the atheists, the pro-this, the anti-that, the men, the women, the undecided, the gay, the straight, the flexible. All of you. If I missed your label(s), good. Because although I have at least one friend that would fit under each of those, you people defy labels and boxes. You are more and I’m so very glad. Not one of my friends is a mirror of my own beliefs. You make me think and consider views beyond my own and make me a better person.

Thank you for being you.

Good Job, Guys!

You remember all that talk about guns being great equalizers? You know, that thing that makes it possible for a 110-pound woman to stand up to a 300-pound rapist?

All that effort to encourage your wives and daughters in the shooting sports? All the talk about how we’re all equal on the firing line?

Congratulations. You just told all those women that they still don’t measure up. Because obviously all knowledge about firearms is housed in a set of testicles.

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Hur. Hur. Hur.

Obviously ignorance makes one worthless. You know, like a girl. How dreadful.

Way to go. Good job in showing your daughters, girlfriends, wives just how strong, intelligent, and capable you really believe us all to be.

37 Trips Around the Sun

Complete with an obligatory birthday selfie.

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I’m not going to lie about my age. I have taken every single one of those trips around the sun. Not everyone gets as many, and I hope to have many more. Besides, I’d much rather look damn good for 37 than to tell anyone I’m 29 and have them think those must have been some rough trips.

Because It Feels Like Something

I’m going to quote myself in full with only minor changes because it still applies

Gun Control, Because It Feels Like Doing Something

No one wants to feel powerless, helpless, hopeless.  We are all so horrified by the events in CT OR that we’re devouring information and trying to answer the question of why. We just can’t accept that we just don’t know.

We don’t know why the shooter succumbed to the darkness.  Why he targeted innocent children.people.  All we know is that he did.  And it hurts.  It shakes us to our very core. We don’t want to acknowledge that the darkness lurks in everyone.  We want to push it to some outside force.  He can’t be like us. Surely my darkness couldn’t ever look like that.

It must be the video games, the mental health issues, the loneliness, the gun.  Right? Please let it be something definable. Something we can tie to the stake in the funeral pyre. Anything other than the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. No. Something must be done! We must have a culprit at which to direct our pain, our confusion, our sorrow, our rage.

For the children.

Guns are the easy scapegoat for the simple-minded.  Never mind the fact that not one single gun restriction has ever reduced violence.  Never mind the fact that as gun ownership has increased, violent crime has decreased.  Yes, I know.  Correlation does not equal causation, but causation requires correlation.  Therefore, the claim that more guns cause more crime is demonstrably false.

But history, logic, and facts have no place in an emotional argument.We must Do Something.  It doesn’t really matter whether or not it’s the right something.  It doesn’t matter whether or not the something saves a single life.  It doesn’t even matter if we’ve tried it before only to fail.  It must be done, and it must be done now. Now, so we can stop staring into the evil.  The something must distract us from the darkness. The darkness hurts.  It’s frightening.  The something feels better, warmer, brighter.

And it continues to leave our children defenseless. Not just our children, but us as well.  I have never committed an act of violence, and yet the something would confiscate much of my property and leave me with only harsh words to fend off the rapist twice my size that is overwhelmed by his darkness.  I’m a well-trained vocalist with a lot of voice, but I’d rather have a proven equalizer for that battle.

I reject the something.  Even if it means I must stare into the darkness with no security blanket.  I accept the fact that human beings are capable of unspeakable evil, and that we must each chose for ourselves whether or not we embrace our own darkness.  I acknowledge that most chose to keep their demons at bay. For those that do not, we need more than harsh words, empty platitudes, and regulations to protect ourselves and those we care about.  My gun is no security blanket.  It is not a talisman warding off evil.  It is a tool. It is the tool with the best track record of putting an end to the evil actions of others.

I don’t want to feel like your children and mine are safe.  I want them to be safe.