mind expanding nonsense

The End Is Near

The end of our forced Covid 19 lock-down may be near, but I ain’t jumping into any re-opening anytime soon.  The end may be near, but I’m stayin’ as far away from it as my ancient ass can socially distance itself. The end is near, but the handwriting is on the wall (two cool biblical apocalyptic phrases in one), a rush back to ‘normal’ is surely gonna end in disaster.

It’s funny how the ways in which you can tell enemies from friends is changing once again.  It used to be, in the good ol’ daze days that if someone was of a different color than you, well they had to be your enemy, mainly because they were different and competing for the same resources.  That used to work for our cave-man ancestors, but not all of them.  The Neanderthals ended up on the wrong side of that equation and look what happened to them.  So skin color is not a reliable indicator.

Ya gotta look a little closer to distinguish friend from foe, like which church they go to, or in the case of my Neanderthal forefathers, which god or idol they place their trust in.  When I was a kid, we Lutherans knew that them Catholics were no good, and always up to something involving the Pope, like digging a tunnel to the Vatican or cleaning rifles in the church basement. That used to be a sure-fire way to tell who’s who.  The problem was, Lutherans and Catholics are virtually the same deal, with the exception that we Lutherans had no Pope, and our priests (pastors) got to screw Nuns, but they had to marry them first and make them wives, which meant they still got none.  You could only have one wife however, and not a whole convent full, lest you become like old testement King Solomon who had a shit-load of wives.  The danger there being you could fall into Judaism, which means you’d have to have your wee-wee circumcised.

Sadly, now a days all them sure-fire tricks to tell friend from foe no longer work as well as they once did.  But!  Thanks to the Corona Virus and the need to wear masks, it’s easy to tell who’s an evil-doer and who’s not.  Used to be that only the bad guys wore masks, like bank robbers and such, but then along came the Lone Ranger, and he was a good guy wearing a mask.  Go figure.

Well leave it to a world-wide pandemic for the culture wars to politicize mask wearing for health and safety reasons.  Wearing a mask is now either a badge of honor or disdain.  No need to break out all that camouflage gear ya got hanging in your closet with the assault weapon next to the kid’s bedroom.  All ya gotta do is go outside maskless and start mingling within six feet of others, and everyone can tell that you’re a red-blooded American patriot enjoying his right to pursue happiness as you see fit.

What have we come to?  The Corona Virus doesn’t care if you’re on the left or on the right or live in a blue state or red state.  It doesn’t give a shit about your “Rights’.  It’s an equal opportunity killer.  Oh well…Live Free AND Die.

Thou Shalt Not Covid

In our new world of Covid 19 there appears to be no end to the  shortages we’re facing.  There’s a shortage of masks and personal protective equipment.  Ventilators are in short supply, along with tests, and increasingly trained medical personnel, who are sadly falling victim to this hideous virus.  There is a shortage of toilet paper, and soon there will be a shortage of meat as packing houses are being closed due to employee infections.  There’s a shortage of patience, and a shortage of leadership.  But when I see local state houses inundated with armed protesters, demanding their ‘Right’ to assemble, jammed together mostly without wearing masks, but carrying huge assault-type weapons.  I know one thing, at least there’s no shortage of fucking idiots.

Coping With Corona

I don’t know about you, but I’m just about done with this stay at home lock-down stuff.  I can hang with maybe two more weeks, but after that I’m done.  When our President decides to turn the America switch back on, I’ll be there at the front door waiting to jumping back in with both feet.  Well….maybe I won’t go that far.  In fact, if the President does turn the America switch back on, I think I’ll just wait a while until it warms up a bit and running smoothly without any bugs or glitches.

In the meantime, what this means to me is: this old dog’s gotta learn some new tricks.  I gotta figure out ways to cope with living in this science-fiction disaster flick situation that’s become our new normal.  So I decided to make a list of things that I should and shouldn’t do to keep grip on what’s left of my sanity as I can.  Not rules!  Don’t want that!  Don’t want anything crammed down my throat except a Covid 19 test swab, or maybe ventilator (if available) should things get really bad.

Don’t Watch Cable News:  I’m a news junkie and watch CNN and other ‘liberal media’ a lot more than I should.  It’s tempting to just sit there and take it all in what with all the ‘essential’ information they’re dispensing. But I don’t need to constantly see the little score-board of new infections, deaths and points dropped on the DOW in the upper right-hand corner of each show.  Reminds me of evening news during the Vietnam War and the daily body counts.  Cable News is not news, it’s commentary and opinion.  A fear machine designed to keep you in an anxious and agitated state of mind.  Fox is the worst.  It’s time to call a cease-fire in the culture war.  Everybody knows things are turning to shit, don’t gotta  be reminded of it every hour on the hour.

Stay Connected:  One can go absolutely stir-crazy if they stuck at home all day.  Add social distancing, and the message is; stay away from other people.  B O R I N G.  I feel it’s import to remain in and encourage staying connected with others.  I call my old geezer buddies daily.  Just checking in, seeing how they’re dealing with it all.  We’re not in this all alone.  There is no “Other”, he’s your brother. Give em a call, or Skype.

Eat Less And Exercise More:  Nothing better when your bummed out (or have the munchies) than to plop in front of the tube and eat ice cream right outta the carton.  Comfort food makes ya feel good. Too bad I’ve wolfed-down everything sweet in the house a week ago, and on top of that, my gym is closed.  We gotta stay healthy and as fit as possible.  If nothing else, go for a walk.

Get Some Sunshine:  Not only does sunlight help you produce vitamin A and D, it’s a fairly good antidepressant.  Coupled with maybe some deep breathing I start to feel relaxed and less stressed.

These are some of the things I’m working on.  How about you?

Stay healthy and be well.

Corona What?

Unless you’ve been in a coma or on a thirty day silent meditation retreat, I think everybody pretty much now knows that the world has changed, and literally almost overnight.  I woke-up last Friday morning to learn that California (my home state) had been shut down by order of our Governor.  Say What?  I’ve lived in California all my life, and it’s been open all the time 24/7.  Things are getting serious!  I now have to practice “social distancing”.  Wash my hands before I eat, after I eat, before I touch anything, and after I touch something.  I’m washing my hands so much , I even wash them after I let a fart.

I don’t know about you, but I’m taking all this shit very seriously.  The Wife and I drastically changed our behavior and curtailed all of our public and social activities.  My gym has closed.  We don’t go to ‘Dollar Tuesday” at the local theater ( one uncovered cough could take-out all the Social Security recipients attending) and we don’t have friends over for dinner.  Nobody comes in our house and we don’t touch anyone!

Pretty drastic measures.  But hey, we’re 73 years old and statically in the high-risk group; but thankfully without pre-existing conditions.  I’m not at all comforted by what comes out of the mouth of our President, who at first denied the outbreak (yet another hoax), then minimized it (oh yea you can still go to work),  makes excuses for the total lack of preparedness  (I’m not responsible) and now wants it over and done with so the economy can rebound and he be re-elected (we’re doomed!).

On the plus side:  The Planet is getting a much needed break from pollutants and green house gases, what with airplanes not flying, folks not traveling and much less oil being consumed.  People may be forced to get down to the basics and come to find what’s really important in their lives.

Stay healthy,  Be safe.  And keep in mind:  This is not the end of the world.

Hallmark Christmas Movies

 

If you have cable or satellite TV, you probably get the Hallmark channel.  And like all the specialty channels that abound these days, Hallmark specializes in G rated light-weight romance movies.  Their Christmas movies have a huge audience, mostly women who prefer non-violent schmaltz with happy endings over the more edgier stuff on Amazon Prime, HBO, Netflicks and all the other subscriber channels ya gotta pay extra for.

They are all basically the same:  A young attractive woman who has a high paying dream-job in the big city that affords her the opportunity to frequent coffee bars, enjoy long leisurely lunches in nice restaurants (always with a glass of wine), and whose boss is always kind, supportive and allows her much time off (did I mention that these are fantasies) to travel to her small home-town because Daddies Christmas tree farm is in danger of being bought-out by a greedy corporation who wants to turn the place into condos.  What’s a girl to do?  Matters get worse when the corporate rep, a good-looking single guy who just loves her cute young son/daughter, shows up in town at the same time.  The tension between the two , who are always smiling (as is everyone else) builds.  But somehow despite all odds, love is in the air, along with a lot of hot chocolate and snowball fights, and Mister Wrong turns out to be Mister Right.  He softens up and they fall in love.  The Christmas tree farm is saved, Daddy is put in an Alzheimer’s home, and they seal the deal with a kiss (always closed mouth and never any  tongue).  Oh yeah, it turns out that he was actually a Prince in disguise.

These are really low budget movies that only take three weeks to shoot.  Most of the cast are straight out of community theater, and if they do have a ‘star’, they are usually well past their prime.  All the hot actresses of the 80’s and 90’s are now playing not so hot grandmas.  You kinda know them when ya see ’em, the challenge is: what sit-com where they on thirty years ago?

The locations are always snow covered small mountain towns with thriving cup-cake bakeries, candle shops and antique stores.  Main street is over decorated with all manner of Holiday paraphernalia.  And every interior shot filled floor to ceiling with holly, ribbon and multiple Christmas trees.

Wow Hansi!  How come you know so much about Hallmark movies?  Well…The Wife loves ’em, and we start recording them as soon as they come out in early September.  Every night until Christmas is a Hallmark movie in our house; we’re now staring to record “Winter” movies and are gearing up for Valentines (another biggie) shows.

I actually don’t mind these movies that much.  After an early evening of medication, listening to 60’s music on earphones and dreaming up blog stuff, it’s nice to settle in on the couch with a case of the munchies and watch something that isn’t too demanding.  The good part is I can fall asleep and not wonder how it ended.  They all end the same…Happily Ever-after.

My apologies to Albert King for butchering the lyrics to his song Born Under A Bad Sign wherein he laments that “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all”.  How true!  The Wife went out of town with a girl friend (not like in a gay girl-friend, just one of her female friends; of course if ya watch enough Project Runway you’ll find that term can easily apply to both men and women).  So, I was left home alone for three days, and because all her friends knew she was going somewhere, We didn’t get a bunch of phone calls that weekend.  Except…for Robo calls (guess they didn’t know).  I did get one actual call, from a telemarketer.  Who I asked, “Are you a Robo call?”  When she replied, “Do I sound like a Robo call?”, I said “Yeah”, whereupon she hung up.

Being home alone when you’re 72 isn’t like “It’s party time!”   And it’s definitely not like the movie about the kid who’s parents forgot about him and left him behind alone to fend off burglars (although if too much herbal medication is consumed paranoia can creep in and make ya wonder if every strange noise ya hear is a home invasion and all I’m stuck with to fight them off is my measly cane).  I do get to play my music as loud as I want, and watch watch whatever ‘evil’ (meaning not a Hallmark Christmas movie) television show that I want.  Big problem is, after two nights all the left-overs are gone and the carton of ice cream was nearly empty.  That means cooking, and with cooking comes dish washing, and I like to keep my dish washing down to one utensil, a coffee cup, and maybe a bowl if I can’t microwave the container of leftovers.

Being home alone is okay once in a while, but I wouldn’t wanna do it all the time.  It could get lonely.  But at least I’d have Robo calls.

 

Cancelling PRIME

I cancelled Amazon Prime the other day.  Had to Google how to do it first cause there wasn’t a big red button on their website to click on and put ya outta your misery.  Nope, ain’t that easy.   There was hoops to jump through first: “Your Prime membership”, then “Accounts and Lists”, which produced a drop-down menu were “End Membership” was hidden among a host of other crap.  But it didn’t end there.  I had to wade through four different pop-up windows questioning my intentions if that’s what I really wanted to do; offering me another eight days for only $1.99 – such a deal.  It was kinda like the dope peddler, who after offering you the first fix for free, keeps tempting you to give in and give it just one more shot.  “You know ya like it, come-on just give it one more try”.  What really fried me was after going through this whole rig-a-ma-roll, I got an email giving just one more chance.  They don’t give up!

All this to cancel my free 30 day trial before it rolled over to a twelve buck monthly charge – don’t want that.  Don’t get me wrong.  Amazon Prime is great… if ya wanna buy stuff.   I didn’t have to get of my ass, get dressed, go to a store and fight crowds this Christmas season, just sit back, select what I wanted, read the reviews, compare prices and then watch free Prime videos until my package arrived in two days.  Then I did have to get off my ass, cause I got an email with a picture of my delivery at my front door. [ For some reason they always left it on the side of my screen-door which made it near impossible to open  outwards; could you image what would happen if I’d ordered food from Whole Foods – One could starve to death inside their house with a pile of rotting food just outside their front door.]

Prime also relieves ya from having to endure any human contact whatsoever.  The Wife and I can hunker down with our doors locked, drapes closed and watch MSNBC all day.  It’s a scary world out their filled with terrorists, criminals, illegal aliens ( and I’m not talking about the ones from Mars passing themselves off as earthlings), armed evangelicals and Trump supporters.  Can’t be too careful these days.

I can see how folks might get hooked on Prime.  Sure makes life easier.  I just don’t wanna become addicted.

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