Monday, March 30, 2020
But here, safely ensconced at "The Gods Are Bored," mostly among like-minded -- and therefore highly intelligent and enlightened -- people, I can post tirade after tirade.
So today I'm inaugurating a new recurring motif: Replying Here. When our sorry excuse of a commander in chief tweets some brainless drivel that heightens my ire, I'm going to post it here and then smack the shit out of it. This is my comfort zone, and I need to vent.
Today's Assault on Humanity comes from March 29, 2020.
Real Donald Trump on Twitter:
"Because the 'Ratings' of my New Conferences etc. are so high, "Bachelor finale, Monday Night Football type numbers" according to the @nytimes, the Lamestream Media is going CRAZY. "Trump is reaching too many people, we must stop him." said one lunatic. See you at 5:00 P.M.!
For real, are you kidding me, you bone-headed, knuckle-dragging insult to everything Neanderthal? Where's your empathy? Oh, wait! I go way back, watching your antics. You lost your extremely limited supply of empathy during a coke binge at Studio 54 in 1978. A janitor sweeping up the next morning dumped it in the trash and didn't even notice, because it was so small.
Empathy is what we need right now. We need a leader who is actually a human being.
EXHIBIT A: IF YOU CAN'T BE EVEN THIS HUMAN, YOU ARE HOPELESS
Nobody's asking you, Donald Trump, to stride in to an emergency room and kiss elderly women on ventilators. But you should be able to express something more than a brag-out about your television ratings! Oh, right. Maybe you did. Maybe there are 42 compassionate tweets that I don't know about. But it doesn't matter, you chimp! One stupid, ridiculous tweet like the above totally cancels out any sympathetic tweets you send.
Trump, you execrable egg-head, you are only as good as your worst tweet. You are president. You should think, and think hard, about the contents of each tweet. And if you can't think (there is abundant evidence of this), you should turn this task over to someone who can. Oh, wait. There's abundant evidence that you have surrounded yourself with toadies who don't think much either, if their wallets aren't in the game.
Repent, clueless tweeter! Take that ridiculous, unprotected cell phone and fling it into the Reflecting Pool. Your boasting has always added insult to injury, but right now it is intolerable.
From Anne Johnson
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Count me the fuck out, Tex. I'll hang on to my life, Dow Jones be damned.
There is hardly anyone alive now who can remember the Great Depression. My mother was a little kid in the 1930s, and if she were still alive she would be 95. But the point is, America made it through the Great Depression. Without killing grandma! Jesus, has nobody read the last chapter of The Grapes of Wrath?
This bonehead Texas lt. gov. had the bloody nerve to speak for all older Americans everywhere. What does he know about the many households that are headed by grandparents? I'll tell you: He knows squat. Bupkus. Nada. Less than zero. There are significant numbers of such households, including in his state.
And excuse me for pointing something out to this clueless moron, but he forgot to ask grandchildren if they value their jobs over their grandparents. That's a big omission! Oh my Bored Gods, the stories I could tell him about my students and the bonds they share with grandparents! I wish I felt comfortable telling you all about it, but it would violate my students' privacy. But what does an old white guy care about people of color in New Jersey? The economy! Jobs!
I can only talk about myself.
When I was a child, growing up in a household ravaged by mental illness and redneck mentality, my father's parents were a bastion of strength and sanity. My life would have unfolded entirely differently if I had not had them and their gentle care, their little mountain home, and their comfort.
EXHIBIT A: BELOVED ANCESTORS
That's me on the far right. Smiling.
In order to keep my grandparents from dying before their time, I would gladly have worn feed sacks and eaten potato peels, or stood in line for soup, or lost my job. What amount of money can you place on the lives of your grandparents?
This is not to say I would never be willing to sacrifice my life for my daughters. Pish, tosh! I certainly would! But the reason for that self-sacrifice would have to be more than the national economy. My daughters are already suffering from this recession, and they will continue to after the quarantine ends. But I have confidence in the sweep of history. We will bounce back. And if it gets grim, if we find ourselves in a Great Depression, we will live as they did then. Sharing sacrifices.
I want to live to see my grandchildren, if at all possible, thank you very much you clueless moron of a lieutenant governor. A plague upon your house! Go ahead and sacrifice yourself. As for me and my house, we need each other more than that.
Monday, March 23, 2020
I told Mr. J, "I didn't order anything from LL Bean." But maybe someone sent me a gift out of the blue, for no reason? So I opened it. Inside was one of the ugliest shirts I've ever seen. You know that LL Bean look. Aggressively plain navy with some sort of snot-colored print. It was my size, though.
There was no gift card with it, but the invoice said the item had indeed been paid for.
So I called LL Bean. And surprisingly enough, after a very short wait, I got a real human being on the line. She read me the last 4 digits of the credit card used to purchase the ugly shirt. Not my card. Whew!
The question remained: Why did this hideous waste of cotton arrive on my doorstep? And then the customer service rep and I figured it out. The shirt belonged to the other Anne Johnson.
The other Anne Johnson lives down the street in the next block. (I notice her house is up for sale). Things used to get really mixed up between our two houses, but in recent years about all I've gotten is thank-you notes from the Boy Scouts.
I told the LL Bean customer rep that I would just schlep the item down to the other Anne Johnson. Which I did. She wasn't home. I left it in the mailbox.
Now it's just a few months later, and Mr. J and I find ourselves isolated in our house, with two daughters who hardly ever see eye-to-eye absolutely united in their demand that we not go out.
Bowing to the requests from the old kith-and-kin, Mr. J set out to order some groceries from the local store where we do the vast majority of our shopping. We can walk to this store from our house. But to get our asparagus and oranges delivered, we had to go through InstaCart.
At precisely 5:52 yesterday evening, InstaCart sent Mr. J a text message, reporting that our $100 of groceries had been delivered. Only they hadn't. Nor were they placed on the porch at any later hour, and they weren't here this morning.
My nimble fingers did a Google Maps search, and wouldn't you know it? There's another house with our exact address in the very next borough! When I called the house up on Maps, it was clearly and distinctly a single-family dwelling.
Someone else got my oranges. And InstaCart is out of the question, because Mr J spent 90 minutes on hold with them trying to sort this out ... and got nowhere. Never even talked to a human being.
I'm glad I stocked up on March 10, but I didn't buy any perishable fruits and vegetables. I didn't get cheese, either. Guess Mr. J and I will have to do without those luxuries. First world problems.
This is a mixed-up, fucked up country at the best of times. These are not the best of times.
Friday, March 20, 2020
I am posting the following message from my daughter The Fair. It is an offer of reasonably-priced services regarding web design and other tasks.
Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, March 19, 2020
At this time you address your deities personally, petitioning them for clarity or asking them to hold you and your loved ones in the Light. Any concerns or celebrations are acknowledged. Stay in the presence of the Divine as long as you like. You can kindle a bonfire, do a dance, some drumming or singing, or even make a craft. At the end of this period, complete the ritual as below.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The rest of us are getting laid off, or our hours are reduced, or we've been downright fired. Or maybe you were looking for a job, and had your finger right on one ... and then this happened. Our nation's workers are being sucker-punched.
And as usual in America, the government is going to step in to try to help. It will be the stupidest Republican of all time who votes against stimulus that includes a basic income, a pause in college loan payments, and deferral of income tax.
How is our government going to pay for this? The bill will come due. Here's a modest proposal. Tax those rich bunker-dwelling motherfuckers! They are the reason the rest of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck in the first place.
In special circumstances like this, companies that are highly profitable should dip into those profits to help their workers. You think McDonald's doesn't have a bottomless pit of money somewhere? The C.E.O. should re-invest 9/10 of his salary and all his bonuses into private stimulus grants to employees. (Hint: He would still be crazy rich.) Wal-Mart? Don't get me started. If justice prevailed, the Walton family would be announcing a vast employee assistance program, established with funds from their own personal fortunes.
Sadly, oligarchs have proven abundantly that they don't care how much pain and suffering they cause humanity. An opiate epidemic can claim 100,000 lives -- husbands and wives, beloved sons, daughters, nieces, nephews -- and the Sackler family will blithely collect fine art and yachts. They don't care who they kill.
It's time for ordinary Americans to demand that oligarchs care about the greater good.
Call this what you like: socialism, communism, whatever. I don't care. In the best case scenario, the ridiculously rich would voluntarily surrender wealth in service to the common good. In the next best scenario, the government would compel the billionaires to pay taxes.
In the worst case scenario, citizens will rise up and make the matter very, very personal. The two scenarios outlined above would be far better options.
Workers of the world, unite.
News Flash: You all know my daughter, The Fair, right? She just went from full-time employment to 12 hours a week. The Fair has mad skills. She can make or improve a web site for you. She knows how to market your product on social media. If there's anything of an online nature you've been wanting to do but aren't sure quite how, contact her! email@example.com
I'll post more about Fair tomorrow.
Stay safe, only eat the rich!
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
ANNE'S PANDEMIC HILLBILLY TURKEY
1 frozen turkey from Thanksgiving promotion, thawed and roasted
1 tranquilizer in the benzodiazapine family (I used clonopin) whiskey can be substituted
jar of turkey gravy, or gravy you made when you roasted the turkey
1. Take the tranquilizer or imbibe the whiskey. This will be the only way your nervous stomach will accept food.
2. Put 2 cups cooked turkey in a pan with the gravy. Heat.
3. Make Bisquick biscuits according to recipe.
4. Cook peas according to recipe
5. Serve when you're calm enough to eat.
It is recommended that you do not watch television, most especially the nightly newscast, before you begin to prepare this recipe.
Hey, let's trade! If you have a pandemic recipe, post it in comments, or put it on your blog and let me know. We're all in this together.
Monday, March 16, 2020
EXHIBIT A: THE DANGER IS REAL
Mr. J and I are in a high-risk group for the virus, so we are chilling at home for at least the next two weeks. I'm essentially an alarmist, so I stocked the freezer on March 7. I didn't stockpile more than Mr. J and I would need, though. That's despicable, doing that.
Even when I went on March 7 there was no bleach, no wipes, and no hand sanitizer. I did get a package of toilet paper, and let me just say...
EXHIBIT B: THE DANGER IS REAL
I know some of you who donated paper and pencils to my classroom are wondering: How are my students going to do their schoolwork at home? There are indeed many kids at my school who don't have Internet, or only have smart phones. I made paper-based packets for all my students, and their work will go into writer's notebooks that we set up in September and use all year. I gave some precious loose leaf to the kids as well. No one should have to type a paper on a smart phone with their thumbs. And those assignments? They're based on personal choice books the kids took from my classroom -- books that y'all sent me. Books that they will want to read.
As you might imagine, being confined to my house means I'll have plenty of time to blog. I'm going to try to figure out how to set up a blog for my classroom that will be independent of this one. But I'm also going to get back up to speed on this one.
May the Bored Gods bless and keep you. Stay safe, maintain a distance at work, and remember to check Etsy for all the vendors you'll miss at your spring festivals!
Talk to you tomorrow, crow-navirus willing,
Thursday, March 12, 2020
My grandparents lived 12 miles from the nearest convenience store and 25 miles from town. Their little cottage sat on the mountainside, and you couldn't see another house in any direction -- just mountains and forests.
Being that remote, my grandparents were ready to hunker down. They had shelves of canned goods and boxes of powdered milk and potato flakes. They had big jars of medicine and even cans of motor oil. It wasn't that they wanted to stay home all the time, it's just that frivolous trips to the store were a waste of time and gasoline.
I'm in the thick of coronavirus scare, and my store doesn't even have powdered milk. It's gross, I know, I know. But it serves a purpose.
Although I just ignored another birthday, and I feel like a spring chicken today, I had a whopper of a virus in January. I coughed for weeks. Worse than that, Mr. J had the same virus and developed pneumonia. He was in the hospital for two days.
The minute I heard "novel coronavirus" on the local news, I went out and bought a boatload of supplies. (Too late for hand sanitizer, but I'm not a fan anyway.) I stocked the freezer and the pantry and took some heat for it from picky Mr. J, who likes his foodstuffs minty fresh.
I have reason to believe my public school will be closed on Monday.
When Donald Trump was elected, I soothed myself by reading books about contagious diseases. The big ones, like smallpox and bubonic plague. Little did I know that this seemingly irrational choice of literature would be a cautionary tale. Not that the coronavirus is smallpox (which killed 3 of 10 who caught it), but if you're over 60 and have a history of pneumonia, it might as well be.
I think I have everything I need to live in this house for two weeks except one prescription that can be delivered.
There are people quarantined in my county. We have had one case confirmed.
As you might imagine, I'm sitting here thinking about the little cabin on the mountainside, bulging at the seams with foodstuffs and medicines, with rain barrels and kerosene lamps and pup tents and army blankets. Oh, to be at home once more!
Kind of hoping some bored deity will protect me, considering how much I do for Them. Okay, so I don't do much for them. But I used to, and they have good memories.
Wednesday, March 04, 2020
EXHIBIT A: I MADE THIS JAWN
It's revealed now because it has been delivered. I did enjoy making it, because while it's a cheesy kit, it has a little bit of an edge to it. The elements kind of sneak out of their squares, and the central tulip spreads over two squares. I didn't put a back on it or any ruffles, because I wanted it to be light and portable, and washable (which it is).
I also didn't sign it because I didn't want to mess with its vibe.
I hope this pleases the Bored Gods. They let me live long enough to finish it, so there's that.