Into the Fray

I belong to several different online groups, especially on Facebook. They’re mostly book clubs, classic movie fan sites, and vintage photo connoisseurs. I’ve noticed that, especially in one of the vintage photography groups, people are becoming unnecessarily mean and argumentative. In this group, anyone can post pictures of anything vintage, whether it’s their family, celebrities, locations, etc. Someone posted a photo of Doc Holliday and “Big Nose Kate,” his girlfriend/wife, and there were people – you’d think it would be just men, but women as well – who jumped in to immediately say how much Kate looked like a man in a dress (she didn’t) and of course the comments spiraled out of control from there. Good grief! This Hungarian-born, frontier woman has been dead for 77 years. Let it rest.

In the same group, a controversial photo of Billy the Kid was displayed. It’s been authenticated, but some historians still have their doubts, which I won’t get into here. Still, it was as if some of the group’s members had been personally attacked or offended or perhaps had some vested interest in the origins of this photo for all the rage and insulting comments they were throwing out…directed at the photo, the original poster, as well as to those who mentioned, correctly I might add, that the photo had indeed been authenticated and even insured, controversy within the industry notwithstanding.  Nothing is as irksome as self-appointed vintage photo police.

Photos will be posted of family members and people will scream “Photoshop!” even though the photo is obviously old and photoshopping didn’t exist then. While it’s possible the photo was manipulated in the dark room all those 100’s of years ago, who the hell cares?  In any case, it’s the person’s family, so they would probably know if it was accurate or not. People will post old Victorian spirit pictures (which are well-known to be faked) and the commenters jump on those too – screaming, “fake, fake, fake!” As if no-one else had any idea and they are exposing some modern-day fraud. These Visual Vigilantes attack the original poster and anyone else who voices a positive opinion of simply liking the photo or thinking that it’s “cool,” or complimenting the dark-room work, regardless of whether it’s real or not.

Now I know the Internet, and Facebook in particular, is a breeding ground for arguments, but it has become increasingly apparent to me that people will indeed argue about anything and everything. However, it’s amazing to me that in a group that is supposed to be all about simple, innocuous, and light-hearted fun, there are those who cannot contain themselves. It’s as if they MUST be hateful, mean, and argumentative – as if they’ll implode otherwise, by containing all of that vile vitriol…like pressure-cookers left unattended. Or would they explode? Either way, it would be a big mess.

What is wrong with people that they can’t seem to find enjoyment in anything?  Perhaps arguing and being hateful are their forms of enjoyment? If so, our society is going to hell a lot faster than I originally anticipated.

 

 

Color Me Confused

Earthquakes abound.  Hurricanes are wreaking havoc and leaving trails of death and destruction in their wakes.  There is rioting and looting in major cities, insane dictators launching nuclear missiles, flooding and famine throughout the world and people who still like the Steelers.

But nothing going on in this world today compares to the awesome destructiveness of Crayola’s newest color unveiling, Bluetiful.

Yes, this may be the most important subject and timely topic we can be divided over, hands down.

You see, Crayola has upset the space-time continuum by daring to name its own product.  After a naming contest for its newest color creation in the blue family, the winning name was Bluetiful.

Immediate outrage ensued and predictably, a boycott was threatened.  How dare this company name its own product?  Don’t they know that millions of children rely on crayons to learn colors and spelling and vocabulary?  It is no longer the responsibility of parents, or even teachers, to teach children that any shade of red is still red or that any nuance of blue is, in fact, still blue. And that they’re spelled r-e-d and b-l-u-e. Darn you, Crayola!  How dare you, the most popular art supplier of colored drawing implements in the world, neglect your duty of teaching our children?

What’s next?  Now that this insult is in place, will I be expected to teach my own children other things as well? Perish the thought!  Kindergarten teachers everywhere are in a tailspin.  They cannot be relied upon to teach our children colors!  Only you, Crayola, could accomplish this feat.  And you, Crayola, YOU just let us down!

I’m not sure I can continue to use my adult coloring books any longer.  Yes, yes, I still play with crayons. But more important, the confusion of naming crayons something other than their original color is just too great for me to handle.  What if I picked up the wrong blue and used it? Gasp! I mean, it could ruin a perfectly good drawing of Starry Night or Rainbow Dash.  I simply cannot be held responsible for my refrigerator art if Crayola continues to confound me this way.

The majority of people who chose the clever name of Bluetiful in the contest obviously have no respect for the role that Crayola plays in tutoring our children.  I suppose next I will have to teach my child manners?  Crayola should do that as well; Please Pink and Thank You Turquoise, for instance.  Yes Sir Yellow?  The possibilities are endless.  Crayola is falling behind the times here, and we are forced to teach our own children.  It is an outrage, an outrage I tell you.

Apparently, Crayola is only confusing us on a limited basis, since they discontinued my favorite color, Dandelion to make room for the mixed-up-not-a-real-word Bluetiful.  If you are going to baffle our children, Crayola should keep Dandelion and just add Bluetiful as an extra.  I was just getting used to Dandelion, and had finally begun to accept that Dandelion was a shade of yellow after twenty-some years of confusion.  And now, this?

A purple pox on you, Crayola, you destroyer of Denim Blue dreams!  Our Eggplant egos have been dashed to the ground, and trampled on by your Salmon sandals.  I can only hope that, together globally, we will overcome this Indigo insult.

Until we do, my friends, stay strong and Bluetiful.

 

click pic to read about all the hubbub

Bow Before Me and My Genius Mind

Well, friends, it’s official. I’m a genius.

According to an article in Curious Mind Magazine, people who share my level of intelligence have a few things in common. We are all slovenly, foul-mouthed night dwellers.

Yes! Vindication!

One of the items the article touches upon is that intelligent people can live happily within mounds of chaos.  I’ve always had the ability to find any object in the innumerable piles of my own self-made mess – or that of others – if I’ve touched it or seen it at least once.  This talent has not only been helpful at home (with two kids who constantly screamed “mooommm, where is my [insert any item whatsoever here]!?”), but at work as well where I was always able to help my employers keep track of their own individual chaos. I assumed this was a subconscious thing I did to remember where the item was or where it was supposed to be, but it turns out that I am, in fact, just intellectually a level above all of you organized people. Hey, don’t roll your eyes at me! It’s in the article, it must be so.  Also, my messy desk is a sign of creative genius, so just leave my mold covered coffee mugs alone and let me work in peace. I’m not lazy, I’m smart!

My inability to go to bed before 2:00 a.m. is also a sign that I am heads above all of you, tucked all warm in your little beds by 10:00 p.m.  Never mind that 2:00 a.m. is when the best items are on sale at QVC or late-night horror movies come on, it is actually just my genius brain doing genius things at a genius time of the morning.  Genius!

Lastly, it would seem my unrepeatable tirades against the entire driving population of my state are also a sign of my extreme intellectual advancements.  Contrary to some of those inane studies that show that people who curse frequently are considered less intelligent, it has been scientifically proven that I and all my potty-mouthed kin are in fact superior in intelligence to our more straight-laced peers.  I have a gloating comment to make about that, but I can’t write it here.  Perhaps if you share my intelligence, you can imagine what it would be.

I’m not one to say “I told you so,” but I always knew that under my sailor’s vocabulary, under-eye bags, and piles of junk, I was a genius.  Now, science proves it.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I love to say I told you so.  I told you so! 

Go forth and spread the word to your cursing, messy, night-owl friends.  We are the elite ruling class of intellectuals.

We are geniuses!

my inspiration for new business cards…

 

 

 

 

When Good Salads Go Bad

Okay, so picture this. My daughter and I were at our favorite pizza joint in the world.  I’m not going to mention names (*cough cough* Ledo’s).  Our mouths were watering for the best pizza and bread sticks in the world.  Not that there is ever really a BAD pizza, is there?  Even a bad pizza still beats a celery stick any day of the week, but I digress.

My daughter…my 18-year-old daughter… had decided to add a Caesar Salad to her order.

Before I go any further in my traumatizing Caesar Salad tale, let me explain.

This girl loves Caesar Salad.  She has had every Caesar Salad in every restaurant in the state.  She eats Caesar Salad with the same gusto that I have when I eat hot fudge sundaes. So, you can imagine her love for Caesar Salad. She has downloaded every recipe for every dressing she sees on Facebook.  She was given a restraining order from the Kellogg Company because of her suggestion for Frosted Caesar Salads, part of a balanced breakfast.  Her first child will be named Caesar, and rumor has it, she is trying to find a man with the last name Salad.   When she went to donate blood, she was told by the Red Cross that her blood was 90% Caesar dressing and she could not donate. She was crushed. My child has never met a crouton she didn’t like, although she does have her favorites on the salad itself. She definitely knows what is acceptable and not acceptable in the world of salads.  She has a tattoo that proudly proclaims, “I will let no lettuce remain behind.” Okay, so I made that last one up. But she does WANT the tattoo.

 In short, my daughter is a Caesar Salad connoisseur.

The waitress brought the salad and set it in front of her.  My daughter paid proper homage to the gods of salads, and then picked up her plastic cup of dressing.  Eyes full of anticipation, she poured the dressing.  Or, rather, TRIED to pour the dressing.  The dressing was so thick it stuck to the container.  She used an ice pick to chip it out.  Once it was sitting in a congealed glob of goo on top of the salad, she gamely picked up her fork and tried it.  To the horror of every Caesar Salad addict in the world, this dressing wasn’t even chilled.  Still, my daughter would not…could not…be deterred.  “There are no bad salads,” she proclaimed, “they are just misunderstood.”  I watched in horror as she lifted the play dough covered crouton to her lips.  She is the bravest girl I have ever known.

This girl put her fork down delicately, and to my utter amazement pushed the bowl aside.  She wasn’t sure what was in the silly-putty-like dressing, but she suspected it could have been expired yak milk and Gorilla Glue.  The meal continued, and at the end of the meal, the waitress brought out boxes for the leftover pizza.  She had a separate box for the salad, which by now had crawled out of the bowl and was making its way slowly towards me.   I firmly but gently tell the waitress that the salad scared me, as it was then staring at me menacingly.

My daughter, being a nicer person than me, didn’t want to complaint. I had no such issue because, well, I’m me. “That salad was a little off, and I suspect it is plotting our murder,” I told the waitress.  She apologized, and skipped merrily off to get our check.  When she returned, I saw that she was charging us for the uneaten blob that had by now swallowed the salt shaker.  Not one to make a huge fuss, and having already made the salad’s nefarious agenda to take over the restaurant known, I whipped out my credit card and paid for our meal.

Suddenly, we were accosted by a sweet looking fatherly type of gentleman.  He cornered my shy daughter in the booth and demanded – demanded – to know what was wrong with the salad.  So much for fatherly.

My sweet daughter had been so bitterly disappointed by her salad experience that she stood up for herself, despite being a non-confrontational type.  She was speaking up for salads everywhere as she informed him,   “The dressing tasted off.  I think it may have spoiled.  I didn’t trust it enough to eat it.”

The man harrumphed like Ebeneezer Scrooge.  If he’d have had a well-oiled handlebar mustache, he might have started twirling the ends of it.  “Young lady, have you ever had OUR Caesar Salad? Have you ever even HAD any Caesar Salad before?  It’s supposed to taste like that.  It should have a bite to it. I think you just don’t understand the type of dressing it is…”  His tone was condescending and accusatory at the same time, a nun scolding a student for texting in class.  “In fact,” he continued, “I had a bite of the dressing in the back, and it tasted just fine to me.”  At this point, it’s not entirely clear if he ate my daughter’s salad or had some from the kitchen, but that’s not important now.  His performance was beginning to draw a crowd as he continued treating my daughter like a puppy who chewed a shoe.  “Do you even know what a Caesar Salad should taste like?” he asked disdainfully.  This man could have been a manager, or the owner, or some homeless fellow who wandered in off the street for all we knew at that point.  He definitely took things to a whole different level.  He was dismissing her not only as both a customer, but as a thinking adult with common sense.

Having gotten past my initial shock at his take on this situation, I stepped in and told him that my daughter was very much aware of what a Caesar Salad should taste like and theirs was bordering on cruelty to customers. (I may have been a little nicer than that, but not much.)

We walked out with a coupon for a free pizza, but the salad was still charged on the bill.  I wasn’t even questioning the charge, had no plans to do so, so I am unclear why this man took this all so personally.  Perhaps this was a long lost (with good reason) family recipe?  All he needed to do was simply say, “I’m sorry you didn’t care for the salad.”  Instead, he made a huge fuss and belittled my daughter.

On the way home my daughter and I discussed this, and mutually decided that we would rather drive the extra twenty miles to the Ledo’s in the next town over, rather than go back in that store because of the manager’s attitude.  We couldn’t help but wonder if he would have treated her the same way if she was a male.  Any girl who has wandered into Home Depot looking for caulk knows the look, the attitude, and the condescending tone I am talking about.  This man definitely seemed to be “mansplaining.” It was uncalled for and, truth be told, more than a little insulting. I sincerely hope he is just a jerk with everyone, and not just the “little ladies” that come into his store.

Enjoy your arrogance, sir, and enjoy it alone.  Here are two less “little ladies” that will be putting money in your pocket.

Eye of the Beholder

We live in an age where people list their occupation as “Television Personality.” This means that they appear on television, and that gives them a marketable personality. Think “Kardashians.” No, please, don’t think Kardashians. God knows they get enough press. We have become a Reality TV culture. We watch relatively unknown people, waiting to see what wild and crazy thing they do next and by so doing, make them famous. This brings me to young Farrah Abraham and an article I just read about her.

Eight years ago, Ms. Abraham was a pregnant 16 year-old living with her parents in Council Bluffs, Iowa. MTV announced that they were going to do a program called 16 and Pregnant. Farrah, apparently realizing that she filled the requirement, applied to appear on the show. She was cast and appeared on the second episode. Her baby was born, and, quite fortuitously, MTV announced the premier of a new show, Teen Mom. Farrah was again cast to appear. A Television Personality was born.

Teen Mom was followed by a stint at cooking school and the release of a cookbook. In 2012, she released a studio album AND an autobiography, both called “My Teenage Dream Ended.” This was followed by an appearance on “Couples Therapy.” Of course, her burgeoning fame led to starring in adult movies, you know, as it does. Still, I guess Television Personality sounds better than Porn Star on the resume. Farrah landed a $500,000 contract to appear as a regular at a “Gentleman’s Club” in Texas. Celebrity Big Brother came along in 2015. Farrah was then just 24 years old. After she was “evicted” from the Big Brother house, she looked for the next project.

In so doing, I suppose she felt she must somehow perfect herself. She was already quite lovely. However, some folks think that multiple plastic surgeries will make them more attractive, happier, …and more marketable. It’s sad, really.

Abraham underwent three breast augmentations, a rhinoplasty, chin implant, and lip injections.  Then, she decided that maybe it was time to remodel, as she calls them, her “lady parts.”  She just recently announced that she’d undergone a “vaginal rejuvenation” procedure.  That is the not-so-discreet subject matter of the article I read.

In an interview, she said this about the procedure: “Like you’re 16 again!”  I find that odd in and of itself. It’s not as if she’s 80 to begin with… she’s only 26 for Pete’s sake. Not to mention, I have absolutely no idea why someone would want to announce to the world that they’re even having this kind of procedure, let alone document the whole thing on Instagram and discuss it at length in interviews. But there you go. That’s the world we live in today.

Apparently, this procedure is becoming more and more popular. Who knew?  Ms. Abraham said that she did it so that she would be more attractive and to “heighten feelings of intimacy.” What!? I won’t even get into the fact that science debunks the claim this surgery enhances sensitivity. However, I will say that if she rationalizes her attractiveness and worth on her nether regions, I just find that overwhelmingly depressing.

Now, I’m big on “live and let live” so long as whatever you’re doing isn’t somehow infringing on someone else in some way. But this issue, it just boggles my mind and it saddens me to see us, as a society, going in this direction. I’m reminded of the Twilight Zone episode “Eye of the Beholder,” but in a much more intimate setting.

I know women have altered their appearance since the dawn of time, but we’re not talking tattoos or hair color here or even breast implants. This type of surgery, with all of the inherent risks that go with it, is a permanent alteration to your innermost person for no other reason than to look good during sex (or simulations thereof). That’s it. That’s the purpose.

It’s so very disheartening to see women feel the need to go under the knife just to be more accepted, more attractive to others (key word, others), to further their career, to become… more.

Quite frankly, it also seems to run against her claim that she is a “model for all teen moms.”  Having plastic surgery on your vagina at 24 years of age shouldn’t in the remotest be seen as a goal for young women. Well, unless you want to be a Television Personality, I guess.