Tag Archives: education

We Don’t Want Him

Nicholas Sparks is trending because he refused to accept an LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 club in the Christian school he founded and there’s some ongoing litigation yada. Apparently part of the case has been settled, and he has the legal right to be intolerant, so that’s cool. I more or less support keeping it legal for private clubs to arbitrarily let in and keep out whom they please, as opposed to landlords, employers, public schools, etc. (Whether they should get tax breaks is a different issue.)

Just because something is legal however doesn’t make it good or right. It’s also legal to cheat on your wife. But that’s not what I came here to discuss today. If you don’t already know, Nicholas Sparks is a writer, a hugely bestselling writer. His books have been made into movies. You’ve surely heard of The Notebook? Well, there you go.

In the frenzy to bash Sparks, people have been conflating his books with romance novels and dumping on the whole genre. Now, I don’t mind bashing Sparks ~ I made a yucky 🤮 face on Twitter myself. I can’t stand his sterile prose ~ and that was before I knew he was super religious. Now my review of Safe Haven from 2013 makes a lot more sense.

But let’s be clear: Nicholas Sparks is not a romance novelist. He says himself he isn’t one, and he is correct. He writes general fiction (“love stories”) with romantic elements. It’s an important distinction, peeps! To be a romance novel, a story must have a Happily Ever After ending. If you want to bash the genre, go ahead. If you want to rag on Sparks, for his politics or his writing or both, have at it.

But please don’t lump Nicholas Sparks in with romance novelists. Cuz that just pisses me right off. 😡💥🔥 He’s not welcome in our club. On the whole, you will find the protags in romance novels to be a tolerant lot, or they become tolerant as the story progresses.

I note that in The Daily Beast article I linked in my first sentence, Sparks bags on the whole romance novel genre because he’s a stupid ass who has read none of the books he’s criticizing. Romance novels are not about “the taming of a man” ~ if anything, they err on the side of misogyny, even though they are written largely by women and mostly from the POVs of the female protagonists. What they are, are fantasies of what it would be like if an alpha hero fell in love with you and wanted you more than anything on this earth, and indeed would do anything on this earth to make you his own. And he succeeds. That is what romance novels are and why those of us who love them, love them. ❤️❤️❤️

Sparks can stick with his yawningly vanilla pudding Ken-doll heroes because there is obviously a market for bland safe smooth love too.

^^^ The sexual excitement level in a Sparks’ novel goes from zero to pudding.

Siberia High School


My best high school fren.

Stole these Q’s from Fandango, who says he found them at Barbara’s.

1. Did you know your current significant other?

No. I met him in December 2011 at the Orange County Animal Shelter.

2. Make and year of car?

Whatever would start at 40 below zero.

3. What kind of job?

Babysitting, then K-Mart cashier.

4. Where did you live?

Siberia aka suburban Illinois.

5. Were you popular?

Everyone was jealous of my awesomeness and avoided me.

6. Were you in choir?

As if.

7. Ever get suspended from school?

No.

8. If you could, would you go back?

🤮

9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with?

Prom, lol.

10. Did you skip school?

Of course.

11. Go to all the football games?

😂😂😂

12. Favorite subject?

Math.

13. Do you still have your yearbooks?

Nope.

14. Did you follow the career path you planned?

Didn’t plan, which was a mistake.

15. Did you have a class ring?

God no.

16. Still close with your best friend?

Actually we recently emailed.

17. Who was your favorite teacher?

All the weird math dudes. And I liked Mr. Foreman, the creative writing teacher too.

18. What was your style?

Jeans and ten million sweaters.

19. Favorite shoes?

Boots obviously.

21. Favorite music?

Top 40.

22. High school hair?

Long & boring, same as now.

23. What kind of cologne/perfume?

Don’t remember.

24. How old when graduated?

18.

25. Did you play a sport?

One guess.

Measles, Science, Faith, Etc.

I want to mention measles for a minute because it’s important. If you’re a kooky anti-vaxer, I suggest you skip this post. I won’t be hosting any anti-vax comments here ~ they will hit the trashcan without response. Thanks for understanding. 🙂

In 1989, I was attending college at Cal State Northridge when there was a measles outbreak. I was a commuter student and didn’t socialize much, but even so I called my regular doctor and asked him if I should worry about it. Nah, he said, you had your vaccine as a kid.

I did have all my vaccines in the 1960s, but nevertheless I got a light case of the measles as an adult in 1989. If I hadn’t had my vaccination as a child, I might have gotten really sick as an adult. Children can also suffer terrible complications from the virus.

One of my cousins died of “whooping cough” (pertussis) in the 1930s… and just recently a child died of it here in Orange County. How any parent could decide to skip giving a healthy baby this vaccine boggles my mind. Imagine listening to your baby cough to death.

I realize it is a special weekend coming up for people of two major faiths and I respect that. I believe in nomming up delicious coconut macaroons as well as Cadbury eggs. But even more… I believe in science.

You can call that faith if you wish.

Song Lyric Sunday: School

Out of Jim’s prompts for this week, I choose school. One of my favorite songs from Steely Dan is “My Old School,” which is what I’m sharing today. It was written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker in 1973 for the album Countdown to Ecstasy. The lyrics are about a drug bust at Bard College (“Annandale”) and reference the local prosecutor at the time, Daddy Gee ~ better known as G. Gordon Liddy. (Wikipedia)

I remember the thirty-five sweet goodbyes
When you put me on the Wolverine up to Annandale
It was still September
When your daddy was quite surprised
To find you with the working girls in the county jail
I was smoking with the boys upstairs when I
Heard about the whole affair, I said oh no
William and Mary won’t do

Well, I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I’m never going back
To my old school

Oleanders growing outside her door
Soon they’re gonna be in bloom up in Annandale
I can’t stand her
Doing what she did before
Living like a gypsy queen in a fairy tale
Well, I hear the whistle but I can’t go, I’m gonna
Take her down to Mexico, she said oh no
Guadalajara won’t do

Well, I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I’m never going back
To my old school

California tumbles into the sea
That’ll be the day I go back to Annandale
Tried to warn you
About Chino and Daddy Gee
But I can’t seem to get to you through the U.S. Mail
Well I hear the whistle but I can’t go, I’m gonna
Take her down to Mexico, she said oh no
Guadalajara won’t do

Well, I did not think the girl
Could be so cruel
And I’m never going back
To my old school

One-Liner Wednesday [rants in my pants]

I’m disgusted by the news from yesterday. And this time it doesn’t have anything to do with our horrible POTUS or one of his sycophants. I’m talking about the college admission scandal. Sure, people will roll their eyes and say it’s nothing new that the uber wealthy will pave the way for their children (we all try to help our children the best we can), but to me there’s a big diff in alumni daddy making a donation so his not so bright son can get a spot with less than stellar creds and these desperate celebs paying criminals to cheat for them. Paying a shill to take their kid’s SAT, or a proctor to change the answers, bribing a coach to say their kid is on a team when she’s not, sending in photoshopped fake pics of their kid playing a sport, on and on.

But to me the most awful thing is that these spoiled brat celeb kids don’t even give a crap about the value of these prestigious schools. They aren’t there to get a degree in order to make connections and start a career. Nope. Not at all. They already have connections and careers, thanks to their parents and their good looks. They have contracts as models and influencers. All they need the college for is to be able to add it as a hashtag.

It’s utterly nauseating. I hope the colleges throw every celeb kid out and give those spots to people who actually want to be there and have legit credentials.

~*~

One-Liner Wednesday

Celery [SOCS]

Celery contained magical anti-calories, people thought. If you chomped on these stalks, the energy you expended chewing and digesting them would exceed the number of calories in the celery itself. So, all you had to do is eat celery all day and soon you would be celebrating your new trim and fit figure!

But of course if you kept eating pizza and nachos and milkshakes and candy bars with your stalks, the celery diet didn’t work, and you did not end up looking like your favorite celebrity, unless that celeb was President Taft. 😳

Many crazy diets have come and gone since I read about the magic of celery as a teen. Some girls in my high school went on the 3-3-3 diet: 3 bananas, 3 hot dogs, 3 carrots every day. Very phallic. Why doesn’t my phone know phallic? I must not be writing about enough dicks; I blame my DEXIT.

People have jumped on this keto thing, but we all did the Atkins’ fad way back when. It’s nothing new. We’d order bacon double cheeseburgers and throw away the buns, hon. Sure, you’d lose weight because meat is satisfying and pasta is not, ounce for ounce. Sorry, vegetarians. Also, how much cheese can you eat without barfing? 🤮That is rhetorical.

Then came the 1980s when people decided fat was bad and carbs were good. They threw away their butter and chowed down on bagels the size of dinner plates. Why are we getting so fat, they moaned over their vats of spaghetti.

In the 1990s, I watched other moms load up their kids with constant snacks and juices. I tried not to do that; I had my own ideas about nutrition. But kids grow up and have to make their own choices eventually. I did not like to be Dictator Mom, about food or any other thing, except education, and that philosophy worked out well imo.

One of the things now is to shun prepared foods. Oh, that’s the new boogeyman! 🙄 It’s not that we’ve all been stuffing our faces with way too much food for way too long… it’s that we’re not tra-la-la-ing for hours through farmers’ markets every Saturday for fresh produce, and then spending the rest of the weekend cooking from scratch. The heck with writing books or having hobbies! We’re fat because we haven’t been slaving over a hot stove.

Bullshit. I call BS on all ideas of overweight except one: too many calories nommed up. I don’t care if they come from salad or salami or pasta or papayas. Too many in over time leads to fat layers on our bodies. There’s no magic cure except to eat fewer calories over time.

Personally, I love packaged and prepared foods. For single people who don’t want to buy wastefully in bulk, and who don’t want to spend their free time cooking, they are fabulous. But so is celery ~ and it comes in a package too.

My First Mystery

… award that is!

A big thanks to Kristian for the nom. He has a very entertaining blog and it’s hard to believe it’s less than a year old!

The Rules:

1. Put the award logo on your blog. ✅

2. List the rules. ✅

3. Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog. ✅

4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link to their blog as well.❓

5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself. 🆗

6. Nominate 10-20 people. ⚠️

7. Notify your nominees. ⚠️

8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, specifying one weird/funny question. 🚫

9. Share a link to your best post(s). 💤

Three Things:

1. I’ve never seen Titanic.

2. I’ve been wearing tights under pants because it’s so cold in SoCal.

3. I usually cry at other people’s sad animal stories, and sometimes at happy ones too.

Questions from Kristian:

1. Name something you like to see in a book, that makes you want to read further.

– A kitty or puppy.

2. What would make you want to stop reading a book?

– The author intruding with his/her political opinions in fiction.

3. If they produced the story of your life, what genre would it be?

– Medical: “A Cure for Insomnia” 💤

4. If you could have a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

– NorCal.

5. What advice would you like to give to your ten-year-old self?

– Go to Northwestern!

As for the rest, my nominees and questions, I shall use this handy-dandy card from Rory. 😀

The Mysterious New Math

A bouquet 💐 of thanks to Rory for giving me a Liebster award! I don’t keep track of these things, so idk if this is my first Lieb, or what.

Can we talk about the directions for a minute? (I’m adding periods because these are sentences.)

“Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award.”

Okay, that’s clear enough.

“Answer 11 questions that the blogger gave you.”

We’ll come back to this one.

“Give 8 random thoughts about yourself.”

Kaaay.

“Nominate 8 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination.”

Meh. But even if…

“Ask your nominees 8 questions.”

Now, hang on. Does anyone else see the problem here? How the heck are you supposed to answer the eleven questions the blogger gives you when here it tells you to give the next pile of peeps eight questions? Is this the new-new math? No wonder peeps can’t make change without computers.

*

My 8 Questions

If vampires can’t see their reflections, why is their hair always so neat?

– Obviously they have a stylist on payroll. I heard it’s the same one Mooch uses.

If a kid refuses to sleep during nap time, are they guilty of resisting a rest?

– I’d take that with a grain assault.

If they weren’t called grapes and you had the opportunity to rename them, what would you call them?

– Blumps

If the grass wasn’t green what colour would you make it?

– Purple

Has your imaginary friend ever had an imaginary friend, or just you?

– She cheated on me way back, just like in the movie Her, which is why I have a cat meow.

So, dance in the rain, wallow in the mud or naked angel in the snow?

– It’s a marvelous night for a raindance…

Can you describe your blog to me without using the letters i and e?

– A crazy salad

What are you afraid of becoming?

– Homeless

*

Okay. Here are 8 random thoughts about me, which will also segue into 8 questions, should anyone care to answer them here or elsewhere. If you’d like to grab the award to display and answer the questions on your own blog, consider yourself tagged. Again, 8 =/= 11, in my world.

1. I love math, though I’ve forgotten a lot. I think it would be fun to take it all again, starting from geometry (my favorite). Is there any subject from school you wish you could remember more of?

2. I would love to be able to afford to quit working and get a masters degree, or just take poetry and other classes for fun. What would you do if you didn’t have to work?

3. Travel is not high on my list of priorities. This makes me an outlier, since most people are always going on and on about traveling. It’s just so expensive and disruptive to my routines. Plus, I don’t like to leave my kitty. 🐱 What makes you an outlier?

4. I’m very aware of time slipping away now, and each day that passes is one less I will have to spend with family, finish my writing projects, read the books in my queue, etc. This is why I’ve pretty much stopped watching TV and going to movies. What unfinished projects are on your list?

5. I live in an area I can’t really afford, and if for whatever reason I am forced to move from the affordable place I have now, I don’t know what I will do. I think about this all the time and there is no good solution. What is your top fear at the moment?

6. I get super annoyed when restaurants don’t have hot tea, or even offer to nuke a cup of hot water for me in their microwave (then I can use my own tea bag, which I always have a supply of). Is this so unreasonably difficult? Not talking about fast food, but normal restaurants. What makes you crazy irritated at a restaurant?

7. I’m trying to be healthier this year, which for me means exercise, but it’s really hard to get motivated to exercise when I’m constantly cold and achy, even if I know logically that (eventually) the exercise will help me feel less cold and achy. Do you have any circular issues of this nature?

8. Once you’ve broken a bad habit, it’s easier to break others ~ this is true for me! I gave up afternoon candy breaks. Then dating sites. Then Facebook. Somewhere in there I gave up arguing with people online (long, long time ago I gave up trolling for reactions). More recently I’ve begun simply blocking people on any forum when they annoy me, rather than reading their posts and gloating to myself about what an ass they are. That’s just more wasted time, as is reading the jerks who comment on Fox News’ articles. Time is too precious and it’s running out. Describe your thoughts on time and/or bad habits.

The Norty Competition

Obviously I’m going to lose this, as I’m not norty enough, but I figure I’ll stay in to give Impy a bottom curve, so to speak, to grade against.

You SAY, you’re Norty, BUT Are You?  Really?

1

Your neighbour next door is creating a helluvva a din!! It’s a Sunday, not even 7am, so nothing decent about it, just bang, bang, bang, whaddya do about it?

Be polite, ignore it or stomp ova there and give ’em a piece of your mind, or maybe, something even nortyier?

– Sunday morning at 7am is the perfect time to blast my show tunes soundtrack whilst I tidy up the place. “THE HILLS ARE ALIVE…” 🎶🎶🎶

2

Me and the boys we like to prank a bit, now l know l askt you this before loike, but what about joking, which we fink is different to pranking? Are you up for a bit of a laugh all the time, you know a bit of a sneaksy giggle on the side?

– Only if it’s about religion or politics. Other topics I take more seriously. Except s-e-x… gotta larf at that, especially in the middle of it. But idk why people take such offense to this. *shrug*

3

‘ave you ever prank called someone and pretended to be someone you aint for a giggle?

– Not after caller ID, silly.

4

Even we Imps know about the Internet and the ‘trolling’ that goes on, they can be right fugly swines dem trolls, ‘ave you eva trolled anyone not nasty loike, but for fun?

– Who me? Well, I did destroy alt.anger, which was great fun. Does that count?

5

Right your in you metal box with wheels and you are late for something that you ‘ave to be at like NOW, do you speed to get there?

– Goodness, no. That would be breaking the law! I just honk and wave madly at everyone to get the farkadoodle out of my way.

6

Do you have to watch what you eat at Christmas or is it well you know, live for now type of fing?

– I watch for the scrummiest treats and grab them all for myself when everyone else is busy guzzling down booze.

7

Have you ever, deliberately  … mm, perhaps, maybe, taken someone’s decorations down outside their ‘ouse? you know loike for a laugh?

– No, that would be stealing! I’d rather sneak some extra ones in there… you know like a dirty magazine in Santa’s pack, things like that. Not saying I have, mind you.

8

Right, what’s your most annoying habit, but you pretend loike that its not, but you know it drives uvva people nuts, and you get a giggle out of their frustration?

– I don’t understand the question. I’m really not that bright and quite easily confused. You mustn’t rely on me to do anything.

9

Here’s one that’s always a good indicator for me … right in your own words when l say the word Norty, how does that cum across to you? How do you see Norty as meaning?

– I see two people in on a joke that no one else gets, laughing their freaking heads off until they cry.

10

If you ‘ad to describe yourself as one of the following what would you pik and why?

Sprite

Gnome

Elf

Pixie

Imp <~ this one cuz i lurve a good prank but not a mean one just a fun one

Sumthing else that we aint ‘eard of …

11

Have you ever played that card game er, what’s it called, ‘ang on “Fugly wots that game called we wos playing last night with the Tooth fairy and the Bunny?That’s it, right, have youe ever played Cards Against Humanity and if so, did you win or lose?

– I’ve played it but honestly it’s high school norty… so I was bored. Didn’t win cuz I don’t understand the way people think. Obviously my sense of humor is funnier… and nortier.

12

Wot is the word that rhymes with Orange? [Easty Bunny wonts to know loike!]

– Whore mange, nasty condition and may be contagious. If you have it, we know where you’ve been, guvna!

13

Does you show your appreciation for good food and drink in the time given tradtion of burpin’, belchin’ an’ fartin’ out loud loike, or are you one of these timid sorts?

– A lady never discusses these things.

14

‘ave you ever gone into a public place and played a prank on the general public at large? One of my favourites is to pretend that l see the silly reindeer in the sky on the Eve and point and shout “Oh ma Gord LOOK reindeer flying high!” [When l have people looking l run orf!]

If you’ave done something loike that, wot wos it?

– A friend and I co-pranked a class of students by pretending we were undercover agents and he came to my apartment every morning so we could coordinate our outfits.

Right leave your answers at the bottom, or make a post if you want, either way all good. Let’s see who is squeaky clean or right proper norty! Thisll sort you lot out, then me and the uvvers can get down to somfink else next time!

YEAH!!!

Technically speaking… [FPQ #6]

This week’s provocative question came up when I read an article that talked about how the extent that Russia used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States and the Brexit vote in Great Britain was more extensive than what was originally thought and that such disinformation and misinformation on social media sites continues almost unabated to this day.

With that in mind, here’s this week’s provocative question.

“Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

I am wavering on this week’s question, which is what makes it so provocative, I suppose.

On the one hand, technology has done amazingly wonderful things for the world. We’re able to grow more food, educate more people, cure more diseases, prevent more deaths in childbirth, respond faster in emergencies, etc. And we continue to advance exponentially in so many areas of science and medicine and engineering.

On the other hand, we’re as shitty toward our fellow humans, animals, and the planet we all live on as we’ve ever been. And now we can use technology to facilitate our terribleness. Instead of simply mocking some poor soul in a school hallway, we use social media to torment him 24/7 until he commits suicide. Sick people upload vids of themselves torturing animals for the amusement of other sickos around the world. And we all have so many gadgets and chargers and crap filling our lives, and we must have the latest versions, tossing the previous ones into the ever-expanding trash heap covering our earth and oceans.

Blech! 🤮

I haven’t even touched the part about our elections and the Rooskies and the hot new cold war and how our life spans are declining from sitting on our asses texting all day and how Spectrum has the goddamn nerve to increase my price yet again after my price increase last year when they switched me to “high speed” for people who game on multiple TV’s when I’m just a single person who doesn’t game on any device and singles are always being financially penalized for multi-person households who hog all the resources and pollute up the planet but at least Edison sends me a report card every month saying good job which is worth fuck all but hey.

What was this poast about again? Oh. It’s from Fandango. We hate Trump! Hells to the yeah! What do I win? 😂