Monday, December 31, 2012

Ridiculous Resolutions for the New Year

1. I resolve to "like" all my own Facebook posts.

2. Instead of shutting down my Twitter account, I resolve to log on once a day to post the following tweet: Suck on it, Trebek.

3. I resolve to cut down on an American, and I resolve to curse more like a British person. Please bugger off.

4. I resolve to take 20 photos of the cats each day. Video everything they do. Hope they do something hilarious or adorable. Post to blog every day. Wait for one of these photos or videos to go viral. Achieve Internet fame. Pimp out cats for personal gain.

5. I resolve to take 20 photos of the kids each day. Video everything they do. Hope they do something hilarious or adorable. Post to blog every day. Wait for one of these photos or videos to go viral. Achieve Internet fame. Pimp out kids for personal gain.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Midlife Crisis Book Club 2013

Who can say no to the pornstache?
1. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

2. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

3. Sweet Valley High or Why My Twin Sister is a Lying Whore: The Series

Friends, I need your help.

I've decided to attempt another reading challenge, but the "classics" for 2013 will be classics from our youth.

I am approaching 40 and I need to remember the girl I used to be, the one who believed that by 40 she'd have financial security, a published book, and a tall, good looking husband. Where did that girl go? Where did her money go? Why will no one publish her book (which is fucking amazing, don't even kid yourself that it's not)?

So let's reread the books that entertained, shocked, and thrilled us in our youth. The bar is not very high on the shocking part. I was pretty titillated by the part in Gone With the Wind when Melanie and Ashley went into the bedroom together and SHUT THE DOOR. I can't even tell you what my 12-year-old mind did with that information.

Tell me your favorites from your middle school days and I'll add them to the list. They don't have to be young adult books. They can be adult books that you snuck out of the library. One of my personal favorites was my mother's copy of My Secret Garden. I might have found it when I was snooping through her bedroom. It was highly illuminating.

Um, sorry, Mom.

So what's a book that shocked you? Fueled your adolescent fantasies that popular boys eventually fall for the smart girl next door? Taught you something you didn't know? Changed the way you thought about the world? Convinced you that your twin sister was a sociopath? Made you believe that perfection was being blond, blue-eyed and a size 6? Seriously, screw you, Francine Pascal.

Share your suggestions with me in the comments below or on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Banned Books and Pink Mustaches

Every Christmas I give Jacob a banned book. This year's pick: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
Looking especially Vonnegutesque this Christmas
 A few quotes from the novel:
“One might be led to suspect that there were all sorts of things going on in the Universe which he or she did not thoroughly understand.” 

“That's one thing earthlings might learn to do, if they tried hard enough: ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones.”  
“...when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist.”
This one, which I have considered needlepointing on a pillow:

“Goodness me, the clock has struck-Alackday, and fuck my luck.” 

And one more that is hilarious.

 “He had a tremendous wang, incidentally. You never know who'll get one.”
So it goes. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

But Where Does the Red Brick Road Lead?

During a press conference last week, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre suggested that 1994's Natural Born Killers is partially to blame for what happened in Newtown.

This has prompted me to share some good news and bad news with you, my loyal readers:

Good news: Nearly two decades ago, I watched Natural Born Killers. In the 18 years since, I never murdered anyone.


Wait. Not so fast.

Bad news: Last night I watched an even older movie.

This morning I accidentally killed a woman before stealing her shoes. Now I'm going to get a makeover and ask if they can turn my eyes from brown to blue. Then I think I'll murder the woman's sister and steal her broom.

Stick the dog in a basket 'cause this day's about to get crazy.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Best Books I Read in 2012

“And this one has entirely ruined her disposition with books.”
Aunt March referring to Jo in Little Women (the 1994 film version).

Suck it, Tolstoy
At the beginning of the year, I began a classics reading challenge. I started in January with Anna Karenina. What a mistake. Anna Karenina was the book I enjoyed the very least of all the books I read this year lifetime. I blame it for my failure to complete my own reading challenge. I made it month by month through August. I enjoyed some books more than others. (A Room With a View was good, as was The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath).

But sometime in September I gave up. I was tired of feeling like I had homework to complete. I also was afraid that each month's classic would be as boring as Anna Karenina so I would procrastinate on picking up that month's selection. (I just realized that I gave up some other things in September, too. I stopped working out. I stopped feeling hopeful about certain things. I stopped drying my hair on a regular basis.)

The truth is that whatever I'm in the mood for at that moment, that's what I want to be reading. I don't want to feel required to sit down and slog my way through another damn Tolstoy.

These are the best books I read in 2012:

1. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Since the moment I finished this novel, I have been telling other people to read it. I wrote about it here. and this is what I said: Around page 37, I got the feeling I was going to love this book. By page 41, I knew it. I could tell this was going to be my kind of book and my eyes teared up a little. When it comes to books, I am my most sensitive self. I can't help it. I get overly excited about the ones I love and overly moved by the idea of writing a story that makes someone feel something. I love the books that remind me why I want to write.

Beautiful Ruins begins in 1962 on the coast of Italy as Pasquale, a young Italian man with blue eyes, watches a beautiful American actress arrive at his small, isolated hotel. Then it picks up today on the back lot of a movie studio. The book goes back and forth between the events of then and now. There are numerous characters and they are all "beautiful ruins," flawed and hopeful and hopeless. Richard Burton, the actor and sometimes-husband of Elizabeth Taylor, even makes an appearance.

Immediately after I finished, I picked up another book by Jess Walter.

2. The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

This story follows the downfall of a man laid off from a newspaper. His house is on the brink of foreclosure, his wife is flirting with her high school boyfriend on Facebook, and he's taken up with a bunch of drug dealers. It's a great read. I could relate to this man whose industry is disappearing, whose options seem limited, and whose life is unraveling.

3. Broken Harbor by Tana French
If you haven't read any of Tana French's novels, you're missing out. She has an incredible talent for mixing mystery and character studies. Broken Harbor is a murder mystery, but it's also the devastating tale of what happens when too many things go wrong, how a country's struggling economy and real estate bust can destroy its citizens, how a normal family can spiral into madness.

4. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
I had no idea what Little Bee was about when I picked it up. The back contains a vague description about two women, a fateful day, and what happens when they meet again two years later. I don't know that all the secrecy is necessary, but I'll go along. I'll just tell you it's a wonderful read. It held numerous moments that hit home with me. Among them is this brief excerpt from the first chapter:

"I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." 

5. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Wild is a memoir about a writer's solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. Her journey is prompted by the death of her mother, her divorce, and her increasing use of heroin. The journey is difficult, to say the least. In many ways, Strayed's literal trek makes an excellent metaphor for the journey many of us must make through the hardest times of our lives. It's not a perfect book (it sometimes smacks of the self-absorption that plagued Eat Pray Love), but maybe it's only that Strayed isn't a perfect person. There is inspiration to be found in the journeys of those who have made poor choices but, with the weight of the world (or an overstuffed backpack) on their back, still find a way to keep moving forward.

6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This YA novel is about a 16-year-old girl with terminal cancer. She falls in love with a boy who also has cancer. Sound like the setup for misery? Yes, it's sad, but it's also funny and intelligent and truly wonderful.

7. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
A mysterious event occurs in which random people disappear from the planet. Is it the rapture? Tom Perrotta's novel focuses on the residents of one small town to give us this brilliant look at how the world might react.

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I still haven't seen the movie, but I borrowed this slender little book from BFF Tina. It's written as a series of letters from Charlie, an introverted teenage boy, to a recipient who is never revealed to us. It's a wise, sweet, funny, and sad book. By the end, you will love Charlie and you will hope that life brings him all the happiness he deserves.

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

10. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

11. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I put these three together because that's how I read Gillian Flynn's novels, all in one big gulp. She's that good. I hope she's hard at work on her fourth novel, because I'm impatient to see what she does next.
If you do read her three novels one after the other, plan to read something lovely and life-affirming afterward.  Flynn's novels are dark and twisted. You're going to need something light and refreshing to cleanse your palate. Perhaps, you should plan to read the next book on this list:

12. Bossypants by Tina Fey
My spirit animal is laugh-out-loud funny. She also is incredibly wise and full of good advice.
“If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?”

13. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
My friend Lane sent this to me earlier this week. (I love getting books in the mail.) It's a slender novel that has a lot to say about aging and about how we remember our past.

“How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.” 

14. God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
Whatever your beliefs, believe this: Christopher Hitchens was an excellent writer. He also was an outspoken atheist always ready to debate believers. In this book, he explores religion and its impact on the world. Hitch presents facts calmly, but his writing also contains an edge of angry defiance. It's a fascinating read.

“I leave it to the faithful to burn each other's churches and mosques and synagogues, which they can be always relied upon to do.”

15. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Four people intent on suicide meet at the top of a building on New Year's Eve. They quarrel. They judge each other's reasons for ending it all. But they form a sort of support group and find a way to go back downstairs and continue living. The book is funny and sad and avoids easy answers or simple happily-ever-afters.

16. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
Will Schwalbe and his mother Mary Anne always discussed books, but it is not until she is diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer that they form a club of sorts. In this memoir, Schwalbe shares the books they read and the conversations they had. Anyone who loves reading and discussing books will relate to the discussions of Will and Mary Anne as she nears the end of her life.

17Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
A woman goes to bed each night and by morning she has forgotten everything about her adult life. How does a woman with no memory of her past solve the mystery of her present? This book grabs you and doesn't let go.

18. Zone One by Colson Whitehead
A zombie novel of the literary kind, Zone One follows "Mark Spitz" as he helps kill "skels" and clean up bodies in the aftermath of "Last Night," the night when infection spread across the globe. Everyone has a story about "Last Night." Those who have survived are diagnosed with  P.A.S.D. (sounds like past), "post-apocalyptic stress disorder." Zombie apocalypse or not, who among us isn't haunted by our own "pasd."

19. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This charming novel creates a world all its own, full of magic and romance. By the end, I wanted to join a magical circus that appears out of nowhere, with black and white tents and a magical clock and an act featuring kittens. 

20. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Part of my classics reading challenge, Animal Farm was probably my favorite of the seven classics I read. Although, I must say, I find it extremely depressing that, as a society, we really are dumb animals so apt to forget the writing on the wall.

Books I Finally Read and Found Completely Overrated

Books I Did Not Read Because I Have Standards

Web Site I Read That Hilariously Made Fun of Books I Did Not Read
50 Shades of Suck

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts - Am I The Only One?

I've noticed that, in the comments beneath almost any story ever published online, at least one commenter will begin with this: "Am I the only one..."

The person is then likely to launch into some observation such as:

"Am I the only one who doesn't think George Clooney is all that?"

"Am I the only one who has never been interested in Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit?"

"Am I the only one who knows exactly how to raise children to be perfectly behaved, knows exactly what I'd do in any given crisis, knows exactly how to fix the problems of every person to ever make a mistake? In other words, am I the only one who is perfect?"

The perfect people of the Internet strike again. And again and again and again.

Answers to the above:



Yes, you are a perfectly sanctimonious douchestocking.*

*Merry Christmas.

People are desperate to belong. Am I the only one who feels this way? I'm the only one, right? I'm all alone! OH MY GOD, I'M THE ONLY ONE.

(No, friends. Melissa Etheridge is the only one. You are one of many.)

It certainly does feel that way sometimes, but please calm down, little ones. There's not one of us out here who has feelings that are unique. Even serial killers are not alone. There's a whole bunch of them. Doesn't that make you feel better?

This lack of uniqueness is why comedy works, because people can turn to each other and say, "Ha! That's hilarious because it's TRUE!"

That's also why drama works, in books or on the screen. We have all felt the feelings. You are not alone.
But, in the spirit of Internet commentary, today's FRT is all about seeking solidarity. In other words, do you feel me, brother?
You're the only one who understands me.
Am I the only one who thinks Big Bang Theory is a shitty show? It was nominated for a Golden Globe. Now, I understand Golden Globe nominations don't actually mean anything (remember that time The Tourist was nominated), but seriously? Big Bang Theory is one of the best shows on TV? I think not. It's one notch less moronic and boring than Two and a Half Men.

Am I the only one who can't believe Parks & Recreation gets no awards-show love? COME ON!

Am I the only one who lied about actually finishing The Hobbit in my high school English class?

Am I the only one who thinks anyone who begins a sentence with the words, "I'm not a gynecologist..." should then proceed to shut the fuck up about women's issues he knows nothing about? Am I the only one who read this story and felt like my head was going to explode? If you don't want to read the story - and you don't - here's what this complete asshat of a judge said: “I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something. If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage in inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case. That tells me that the victim in this case, although she wasn’t necessarily willing, she didn’t put up a fight.”

What? WHAT?

If you read the story, you find out the assailant threatened to mutilate the victim's face and vagina with a heated screwdriver.

So, Judge Derek G. Johnson, this woman likely didn't fight back because the ASSAILANT THREATENED TO MUTILATE HER FACE AND VAGINA WITH A HEATED SCREWDRIVER.

Am I the only one who wonders what schools are teaching people? Where is this "shuts down" shit being taught to boys? Boys who then grow into the most astoundingly ignorant men?

Am I the only one who wants to do this?

Am I the only one who wants this song to play on a loudspeaker while I walk down the street?

Am I the only one who cannot really handle all the gun talk? My counselor once asked me what I would do if I ever had to hear a shotgun going off again. I said that I didn't really know, but I didn't think my reaction would be a good one. Turns out I don't need the sound. The nonstop mention of guns is too much. My post-traumatic stress cannot handle it. Am I the only one who wants everyone to please shut up?

Am I the only one who is tired of all the blame being thrown around for last Friday? I'll share a story. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I did to cause August 3, 2009. "A lot of time" is an understatement. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I could have done to prevent it. One day, I said to my counselor that if it was my fault that would also mean that I was in control. A large part of why I blamed myself was because I wanted to feel like I could control what happened to me. "But if it's not my fault," I said to her, "then that means I have no control. It means that at any time a man with a gun can trap you in a room and make you watch him die." And she said, not unkindly, "That's right."

Am I the only one who needs desperately for people to understand this?

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe what everyone should be rushing out to buy, instead of guns, are books? That's right. Read a little more. Learn what other people's lives are like. Begin to understand that humanity is complex. Begin to learn that empathy is key. Begin to understand the difference between your and you're.

Am I the only one who is sincerely exhausted by the abundant stupidity on display day after day? Do these idiots seriously not know the difference between wrapping and raping?!

Am I the only one who cries like a broken-hearted teenage girl whenever I hear this song? The other day, Tina said, "Why do Christmas songs make you cry?" I said, "Because they're fucking sad, that's why!"

Am I the only one who uses the F word way too often and pretends to feel ashamed of it? But I don't. No shame.

Am I the only one who is sick to death of getting to the end of a year and saying, "Next year has to be better"?

Am I the only one who seriously needs that to be true?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

5 Clooney-Inspired Gifts

1. Something to quench your thirst
A George Clooney hand-painted wine glass ($25) By LoveGoodThings on Etsy
2. A place to rest your head
A pillow ($45) by Graylock Fine Art Photo on Etsy

3. Best kitchen accessory ever
A tea towel by The Girl in Yellow on Etsy

4. Best seat in the house
Sit On My Face Limited Edition Furniture ($374) by Graylock Fine Art Photo on Etsy

5. Something worth repeating
An O Brother Where Art Thou giclee print ($8.99) By The Pressing Pigeon on Etsy

What the World Needs Now is LOLs #2

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What the World Needs Now is LOLs

Serious Thoughts and Cuddly Animals

It's nearly impossible to think about anything other than Friday's tragic deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary and the murder of Nancy Lanza in her home.

We all know what's going on, what's being said. It's mental illness, it's guns, it's video games, it's movies, it's God, it's Satan.

I find it is the human condition to want life to be black and white. Good guys, bad guys. White hats, black hats. Heroes and villains.

As a group, we are about as simple-minded as you can get. No nuance, no shades of grey. (Goddammit, E.L. James, you've ruined the phrase forever.)

But life is shades of grey (definitely so ruined).

Life is complicated. Like a lot of you, I have been struggling this week. I have cried a lot, and I was already setting a personal record for tears.

"[Crying] is my new thing. I've become abnormally brilliant at it." - Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give.

Break: Here's a cat snuggling a stuffed animal.
I have a favor to ask all the perfect people of the Internet: Please stop criticizing the parents of the victims for doing interviews.

Admit this: You have NO idea what you would do in their situation. It is clear to me that you have never experienced a traumatic event, because otherwise you would be kinder and more understanding of those who have.

Have you ever been in shock? These parents are in shock. It has been five days since everything they knew about the world changed forever. Five short days in a lifetime. Shock is a lovely phase in which things are a bit fuzzy. I know these parents are feeling intense pain. I also know that this pain is nowhere near as intense as it's going to get when the shock wears off.

Eventually, the activity will end. Family members will go home. These parents and grandparents and siblings will be left alone and the real work of grief and suffering will begin.

For now, they are able to go through the motions. They want to talk about their children. Who are you to criticize when and where they choose to do so?

They will spend a lifetime needing to talk about their children. If they want to do that talking to a counselor, at home with their spouse, or on Katie Couric's talk show, it's certainly not up to you to pass judgement on them for it.

Break: Here's a picture of a dog snuggling up to a horse.
I am struggling because I feel like everyone wants to identify the one thing to blame for this awful situation and it's not that simple. I keep thinking about how I have spent several years grieving a person I loved, but I am also grieving a person who, when he killed himself, also destroyed the father of my children and my best friend. It is not a simple thing with which to live, to love and miss someone who irreparably wounded you.

My heart aches for the family of the shooter. They must be feeling a pain that seems unbearable. They, not the perfect people of the Internet, will be the ones who will never stop asking how this happened, and seeing over  and over the hundreds of small things that led to something so large.

It's just that this was someone's child. This was once a small baby, a little boy, a middle school student. I look at his middle school photo and I cry because I know that no one then knew what would happen.

There is something about this act of picturing people in the "before" that breaks my heart even more than seeing the "after."

When you are in the midst of tragedy, it is the "before" that rips you to shreds inside.

No one wants to imagine what seems unimaginable.

Break: Here's a picture of two bunnies.

I ask myself all the time how the unimaginable happened. What are the things that came together to create my personal trauma? I can lay it all out for you now. I can give you dates and times of events that, when put all in a row, seem like clear signs of a coming tragedy.

But we do not live that way. You know it and I know it.

We live with hope. We live with the idea that "that would never happen to me." Hell, I never once in my wildest nightmares could have come up with the thing that happened in my house, just as the parents in Sandy Hook could never imagine. If you could imagine those things, what would you do? You would shiver, you would shake your head, you would push the thought away as quickly as it came to you.

We look back and we know better. We look ahead and we know nothing of what is coming for us. And yet it is the truth of humanity that we pretend to know. We revel in pretending. We revel in the certainty of what we deserve, of what we have earned, of what life will give us, of "I would never do that" or "That would never happen to me."

Break: Here's a bunny in a dress.

I can tell you, too, that had there not been a gun in this house, that my personal trauma wouldn't have happened. And I have to wonder what if there hadn't been a gun in Nancy Lanza's house.

The gun is the thing. The gun is the ingredient that turned it from something that could have been remedied to something that is irreparable.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying to take all the guns away. I've seen enough of the arguments about how the law doesn't matter to criminals anyway.

You've won me over. Give everyone a gun that pumps out hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes. It's YOUR RIGHT.

Every single day, at least 20 people run the stop sign at the corner where my house sits. I'm really worried about the safety of the kids crossing the street there to get to the bus stop.

So I called the police and said, "Hey, you should just take down those stop signs on the busy road and make it a two-way stop. I know you think the four-way stop might help cut down on the problem.

I know you think it decreases the chances of children getting run over on the way to the bus stop and it decreases the chances of accidents, but is it really worth it when you're taking away freedoms? Plus, criminals aren't going to follow the law anyway. Take down the speed limit sign, too. It's just so pointless because a criminal is going to go as fast as he wants.

So there's really no point in trying to enact any sort of traffic control at all."

Yes, clearly America has a precedent of never setting any sort of controls on anything in an attempt to increase safety.

Break: Little buddy here has a question.
Ma'am, was that sarcasm? 

What I would like to see from the NRA, with all its power and reach, is this message: Not everyone in this country needs a gun.

Instead of screaming about rights and the 2nd Amendment and being defensive, stop for a moment and calmly send the message that a gun is a powerful weapon and it is not for everyone. (Side note: Stop sending the message that it makes you a man.)

Why would it be so bad for this powerful group to use their platform to speak about mental health, about regulations ("well-regulated" is in the amendment these people love so much, right)?

Why are so many gun owners opposed to the words "well-regulated"?

You are not a member of a well-regulated militia and you fucking know it.

Do you live in a home with an addict?

Do you live in a home with someone who is depressed?

Do you live with someone who is mentally unstable?

You do not need a gun.

We set many controls in this country to increase the safety of our citizens.

I must admit that I do not understand why anyone needs a weapon that is capable of pumping as many as 11 bullets into each of 20 first-graders in less than ten minutes. So I don't see why it would be so wrong to take these things off the streets.

Do you use it for hunting? What the fuck are you hunting? Alien invaders? Do you need it for safety? Fuck you, no you don't. Do you need it for some war you want to start?

We set traffic controls. You cannot go so fast that you endanger others. If you do, there are consequences. Why isn't it OK to place controls on a weapon that goes too fast?

Near Jacob's school, there is a neighborhood that everyone used to cut through to avoid a traffic light. Eventually, they put up a temporary barrier. They invited citizens to come to a meeting. They listened to concerns of residents. They looked into the routes of emergency vehicles. They took the time to analyze what was best, what was safest and least disruptive, for citizens and drivers before cutting off access through the neighborhood.

And yet, we can't take the time to discuss what might be best for this country when it comes to gun control? We can't even have the conversation?

I think it's time for reasonable conversations and reasonable action. If we're going to scream about the 2nd Amendment, then why is it so wrong to make the "well-regulated" part happen?

I hate this debate. I really do. I don't want to take away freedom. But I also know I'm not free to have a nuclear weapon up in here, so why should you have a tool of horror? What? It's only how people use it that makes it horrific? Well, I just want to top it with glass and use my nuclear weapon as a dining room table.

I admit that I am biased. I don't like guns. A friend of mine posted just that comment on Facebook and was attacked for it. It is OK for people to say they don't like guns. It doesn't automatically mean they want to steal your freedom fries.

I know that I don't have the answers. I just think we should be able to ask the questions without being subjected to a barrage of simple-minded photos on FB declaring that "People, not guns, kill people." While that statement is true, so is this one: People with high-powered assault rifles kill people really quickly.

And it is OK to ask the questions: "Is this how we want it to be? Is there something we can do to save the lives of even one classroom or movie theater or mall full of people?"

Let me repeat that: It is OK to ask the questions.

I bet one day someone asked, "Hey, do you think we should require people to get their driver's licenses renewed so we can make sure they are still capable of driving? That might save some lives on the road."

Break: Cute overload.

When you post comments on Facebook about how "guns don't kill people" and you are oh-so-smug, what happens is that I remember a time when a gun killed a person I loved. I am immediately put back into my garage where I watched a gun destroy a person. And no, this would not have happened with a bottle of pills. There would have been time for things to happen differently, if only there hadn't been a gun.

I am struggling with this.

And I am glad for you that you do not know exactly what I know. You think you can imagine it, but you are incapable of truly knowing.

Do you know what it costs to clean up the aftermath? $1,500. That's just to clean up the physical aftermath of what one person with one gun can do to one body.

That is not one iota of what it costs to clean up the emotional aftermath.

So you just don't know a thing really.

Keep your guns. Keep them. Snuggle them close.

But stop deluding yourselves that you, the perfect people of the Internet, actually know what those parents are feeling, what the shooter's family did wrong, what the first responders saw when they arrived. Stop thinking that you, when faced with someone who has a gun, would be the hero of the day.

You are sitting at home on your computer, typing up responses and reveling in how YOU would do everything right.





Because only people who know nothing can be so certain about things. Only people who know nothing are opposed to asking the questions.

I need a hug.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Channeling My Spirit Animal

The first nine seconds of this video? That's me today. I have not cried once.
That's all.

I know it's Clooney Tuesday, but I'm just not that into him lately.

Other things I'm not into lately:
Working out.
Grocery shopping.
Putting away the laundry.
Putting up with idiots.

Oh, wait, I'm not really into those last three things EVER.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Random Holiday Movie Observation

At the beginning of Miracle on 34th Street, Maureen O'Hara, clipboard in hand, is directing costumed participants to their proper locations before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

She looks at a man dressed as a pilgrim and says, "You're on the pilgrim float."
Sure, makes sense. (Seems like he could have figured that out for himself, though.)

Then she looks at three men dressed as clowns and says, "You three, you're on the pirate float."