Monday, December 28, 2020

Another 2020 Sucker Punch

 In the grand scheme of things, losing your favorite soft drink for all time is a small disappointment. But this is 2020, Year of Horrors, and Coca-Cola's decision to discontinue production of TaB is One. Last. Kick. In. The. Keister.

Yes, here I sit looking at my last two 12-packs of TaB, purchased at great expense from Ebay. By the time the fucking assholes management team at Coca-Cola announced the discontinuation of this worthy beverage, all available stocks of it had been snapped up by opportunists.

I've been drinking TaB since the early 1970s, and it is literally the only Coke product I like. TaB was Coke's first diet cola, and it doesn't taste anything like Coke or Diet Coke. It's not sweet. It has a hint of cinnamon. And until Red Bull came along, it was the best soda to rev up the heart rate.

It hasn't been easy to get TaB here in New Jersey for the past 10 years, but if you had a good eye you could find it. And then you just bought every 12-pack on the shelf. In this way I've kept my larder stocked with TaB pretty continuously. Alas, no more!

So a big, fat FUCK YOU to Coca-Cola! You had ONE product I bought. You DISCONTINUED it. I hope it's the beginning of the END OF YOUR COMPANY!

You know who drinks Diet Coke? Donald Trump. Case closed, the company can drown in rat poison.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

A Smithsonian-Worthy Yule Navel Gaze

 We stubborn hillbillies never forget a slight. When the Smithsonian said this page wasn't worthy of inclusion in its ranks, it rankled. Take this holiday, for instance. It screams, bleats, shouts, and roars "pandemic diary."

People are getting tired of observing pandemic guidelines, and the case numbers are rising again. I'm not an ordinary person, though. I'm a stubborn hillbilly. So when my school deemed it unsafe for small cohorts of students to walk in the door, I flung them a doctor's note so I didn't have to either. I've been working at home ever since. I don't like it, but it beats getting the virus. I gerry-rigged the home office I used for so long as a writer, which is weird in the extreme. 

The worst part is having virtual teachers' meetings at home. All those administrators you can't stand? Suddenly they're in your living room. Makes my skin crawl.

The pandemic has put a lot of time on my hands with nothing to write about, so I have returned to the teenage hobby of cross stitch and embroidery. Look at this Xmas gift I made for The Fair! 

She says everyone will ask where she got it!

I've never been apart from my daughters during the Xmas holidays, and like everyone else in America, I wanted to observe traditions. But ... stubborn hillbilly. Luckily, both daughters live in Philadelphia, so on Xmas morning early (between the period of driving rain and the period of plunging temperatures) we convened on the porch of The Heir's West Philly rowhouse. Heir lives on the third floor. We used the porch.

Heloooo? Smithsonian????? How many pandemic photos do you have of ordinary families following the goddamn CDC guidelines?

The other thing I have never done without on the holidays is a Yule tree. About two weeks before the winter break, I bought a little tabletop "fresh" tree from a supermarket. By Xmas Eve it looked gray as a ghost. So I got in my old car (which needed a spin) and drove to where I knew there was a vacant lot with some pine saplings, and I ethically sourced an organic, free range tree. Third time I've done this, and although it's mean to maim a tree, it certainly cheers things up here.

These New Jersey pines aren't fragrant, but I like the long needles.

Here I am, another American affected by the pandemic, but not nearly or even remotely as dreadfully as a lot of people. Now it's just a countdown until the day the USA is rid of Donald Trump (cross fingers) forever. He's bent upon ruining the nation the way he tanked all his other businesses. What a train wreck.

The Light returns, we'll get through this mess, and the next time you hear from me it'll be from a bottomless pool of self-pity. But I'll leave that for later.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Borders Sealed

I bid you greetings from the Independent Republic of Johnsonia! We have reached out to congratulate President-Elect Biden on his electoral college certification and his strong speech thereafter. The coughing and throat-clearing were a bit concerning.

Speaking of concerning, after seeing the case counts rising at her place of work (and after hearing someone in the restroom fail to wash their hands), the Grand Wazoo put in a doctor's note that will keep her working inside the borders of Johnsonia for quite some time.

Whew! What a relief!

Actually I'm surprised how relieved I am, but I am really, really relieved. No workplace can be 100 percent safe right now, and even though mine seemed like a good bet, recently I was not nearly so comfortable.

So Johnsonia is all sealed up, not even allowing our ambassadors-at-large to come home for the holidays. We take public health very seriously in this nation.

Also, there's some kind of winter storm on the way. Since Johnsonia is in the coastal plain it usually gets a "wintry mix," which is a nice way of saying "too warm for snow, too cold for rain."

Batten down, foreigners!

Friday, December 11, 2020

In Which I Wax Emotional

 Don't know if you will be able to view this, but what the hell, I have nothing else to say today.

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Frank Talk about Infectious Pathogens

 We all know that Rudy Giuliani is in the hospital (or was), having been infected -- who knows how -- with COVID-19.

I say "who knows how" because just about everybody around him is as daft as he is. Nobody wears a mask.

Rudy is sick, and the entire Arizona legislature is quarantined because he went out there to pull sneaky shit brief them on his unfounded views of election fraud.

So we all know how germs work. They have to be inside us, and then expelled from us, to infect another person.

Can you imagine getting sick from COVID after being around Rudy Giuliani? Something that was inside him and expelled from him got into your body.

EWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!! GROSSSS!!!!! Rudy Cooties!!! Disgusting.

Have I ruined your day? Sorry.

Friday, December 04, 2020

The Wazoo's Gambit

 Some day, 300 years from now, an earnest young researcher will go to the Smithsonian Institution and ask, "Do you have any primary source material from suburban white women in the early 21st century?" And the curator will look at the researcher with a vacant expression and say, "I don't know. Have you read Joyce Carol Oates?"

In the meantime, this fabulous blog, containing events big and small for more than 15 years, will be relegated to the landfill of American history. I tell you, I'm still peeved about it.

Take this week's adventure, for instance. It is:

a) pandemic related

b) reflective of middle class liberal female values, and

c) a subtle statement on the consumer economy.

You would think the Smithsonian would eat this stuff with a fork and spoon.

Oh well, pish tosh as I always say. Let me tell you about the Gambit that kept me from losing my online teacher mind this week.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Yule looms with the same horrible restrictions. The various citizens-at-large of Johnsonia already know that there will be no gathering for Yule. Household members only.

With that in mind, I set out to deck the halls with my usual holiday trappings. Except I couldn't haul them from the basement. Everything brought back memories of non-pandemic times. "I'll only be more depressed if I look at this stuff for a month," I said to no one in particular.

What I needed was some basic new stuff, a few candle holders for the mantelpiece. I could see in my mind exactly what I wanted -- tea light holders like they have in abundance at the thrift store. Trouble is, the thrift store is always crowded, and it's in a former factory that has zero ventilation. I haven't been there since August.

I started shopping online. I looked at JoAnn Fabrics, Ross, Macy's, Target, Marshall's, Williams Sonoma, and Lowe's. Not finding anything, I turned to Etsy. This is where I picked up the term "crackle glass." They have 22,000 Christmas candle holders for sale. And nothing is cheap.

All the while, the little voice in my head was saying, "You know you can get these at the thrift store, right?"

But I resisted. My county is a hot spot. It's irresponsible to put one's life at risk for a candle holder.

Never underestimate the fallout from a bad day in the teacher trenches, though. After receiving a spectacularly lackluster score on an observation that lasted 20 minutes, I pretty much decided what the heck. After school I got in my car and drove to the thrift store.

I strode in. As I knew it would be, all the holiday swag was right in the front of the store. Bip Bip Bip, I picked up 3 candle holders (just what I wanted), a package of tapers, a fake poinsettia, and -- on my way to check out -- an ugly Christmas sweater for the ages. Fifteen bucks, and I was back in my Subaru in less than 10 minutes.

That was three days ago, and I don't feel like I caught COVID 19. In fact, every time I look at my mantelpiece, I feel damned good!

The moral of this Gambit is, when one feels underappreciated one tends to throw caution to the wind. But one doesn't really throw, one tosses lightly. No harm is done, no furniture is stained, and there are tea light holders to boot.

How's the case count where you live?