I got to my Zoom Korean class a little early last Wednesday, along with one other classmate, so while we were waiting for the others to show up I took advantage of the situation and I asked my classmate something I’d wanted to know for a while. She’s obviously not a youngster, and her reason for taking Korean language class is for the mental challenge of it. Meaning, she doesn’t know much about K-pop but she’s pretty good at grammar. So I asked her, “Irina, are you in your 60s yet?”

She answered that yes, she is; she’s 69 years old.

Crap. That means that I am not the oldest person ever to learn Korean. 

There go my bragging rights. Now it all hardly seems worth it.

 

Before we dive in to this week’s hilarity. . . 

 

 

 

 

. . . I have heard from some of you Dear Readers who can’t see the Comments to this blog. While  I have yet to call up the people who I pay to host this thing about this issue because I’m never in the mood to do technical admin stuff like that, I do have a suggestion that might work. Try using a different browser. If you use Firefox, for instance, try punching vivianswiftblog.com into Google, of instance, and see what happens. 

Let me know if this helps.

And now to all the delightfulness that is America in the week of April 30 – May 7:

To follow up on last week’s story about the cops in Loveland, Colorado, who arrested an elderly woman with dementia and broke her arm in the process:

Three down, about half a million to go.

More good news:

Former President  Donald Trump told Facebook’s oversight board that his supporters were “law-abiding” during the Capitol riot, arguing that nothing he said on Jan. 6 could “reasonably be interpreted as a threat to public safety,” according to portions of his comments made public on Wednesday, May 5.

The remarks were submitted to Facebook’s oversight board on Trump’s behalf by the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative Christian group. The American Center of Law and Justice also claimed that it was “stunningly clear that in his speech there was no call to insurrection, no incitement to violence, and no threat to public safety in any manner, and described a “total absence of any serious linkage between Trump’s speech and the Capitol building incursion.”

However, federal investigators have identified substantial evidence that some of the rioters on Capitol Hill were directly inspired by Trump’s call to action earlier in the day. More than 400 Trump supporters have been arrested for their actions on Jan. 6, many of whom have said that they were acting on behalf of Trump and were inspired by his calls to march down to congress.

Trump’s actual words on Jan. 6: “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women,” Trump told his supporters shortly before the Capitol assault. “We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

Thousands of Trump supporters, waving Trump or Confederate flags and wearing MAGA gear, descended upon the Capitol. They overwhelmed law enforcement, pushed past police barricades, and temporarily stopped Congress from counting electoral votes.

The Facebook oversight board decided to keep Trump off the platform because of his incessant rhetoric that incited violence. Twitter has banned Trump permanently, and this week also got rid of Trump’s “dummy” Twitter accounts.

 

 

 

 

Without his social media platforms, Trump has to rely on old fashioned Press Releases to get his crazy talk out to the public:

 

 

 

Breaking news:

Remember that reality show about the Dugger family from Bug Fuck, Arkansas?  19 Kids and Counting (formerly 17 Kids and Counting and 18 Kids and Counting)  aired on the cable channel TLC for seven years and featured the Duggar family: parents JimBob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children – nine daughters and ten sons – all of whose names begin with the letter “J”. 

The show focused on the life of the Duggar family, who are devout Baptists, and and their frequent discussions on their deeply held values of purity, modesty and faith in God. It was cancelled in 2015 when it was discovered that the parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, had covered up the sexual depravity of their oldest son, Josh Duggar, who as a teenager had got in trouble or molesting 5 under-age girls (two of whom were his sisters).

Well, Josh Duggar’s been at it again:

Josh Duggar is charged with receiving and possessing material depicting the sexual abuse of children (200 images were retrieved from his computer), which have him facing up to 40 years in prison. 

I love this shit. I love it when religious people show us what their religion really is.

One of Josh Duggar’s sisters, Jinger, had recently written a book called — wait for it — The Hope We Hold: Finding Peace in the Promises of God. In it she briefly discussed her brother Josh, the sex pest. She writes, “One of my siblings had made some sinful choices, but it had been years ago. It had been awful, but we dealt with it as a family,” explaining that they “sought the Lord” and “took the necessary steps to move towards healing.”

She doesn’t mention that one month after her family’s show was cancelled, her brother Josh was involved in another scandal when a  news site discovered that Josh had active accounts on Ashley Madison, a website created to facilitate cheating on your spouse. 

Josh, then 33, confessed to having a pornography addiction and to cheating on his wife. The wife didn’t divorce him, nope. She made 6 babies with him, and as he was arrested for the child porn thing, she was pregnant with their 7th kid.

P. S. Jinger Duggar doesn’t feel so charitable about her brother Josh now that he’s been charged with being in the possession of child porn:

I wonder how these guys feel about their old buddy Josh:

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at what Mike Huckabee was doing back in 2015, when Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal broke:

Right. Mike Huckabee said it was terrible, absolutely terrible, that the Obamas let their teenage daughters listen to the “mental poison” of  Beyonce.

And here’s what Mike Huckabee, who is an evangelical and ordained Southern Baptist minister and who used to be the governor of Bug Fucking Arkansas, said about Josh Duggar molesting 5 under-age girls, including two of his own sisters:

“Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable.’ He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities,” Huckabee wrote in a post on Facebook. “No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things.”

Really? Do “good people” molest their own sisters? Is molesting five under-age girls just a “mistake”? 

And here’s the latest:

 

In other Republican news:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checking in with the other traitors:

This headline is wrong: It wasn’t the Florida National Guard — this asshole lives in Nevada.

Charlottesville, Virginia is where a bunch of white supremacists marched in a Unite the Right rally in August 2017, to protest the local government’s debate about pulling down several Confederate monuments. If you want to see the face of American nazisim, look no further than this photo of Peter Cytanovic (above).

So Cytanovic wanted to play soldier with the Nevada National Guard in November 2019, and his enlistment lasted a little over a year before the guard found out about his nazi past and ejected him. “Initial criminal and fingerprint checks found no record that would deny enlistment,”  said  spokesman for the Nevada National Guard. 

While Cytanovic has subsequently renounced white nationalism and has denied that he ever understood what the term meant when he described himself as such, his past actions and that iconic photo of him at Charlottesville done him in.

“The Nevada National Guard does not tolerate racist, extremist ideology,” the spokesman went on. “The Nevada National Guard took action immediately after discovering Mr. Cytanovic’s affiliations.”

So, Yay for that.

 

But holy shit, what is happening down in New Orleans, my favorite American city??

Did she just say “real facts”? And did she name drop Jesus Christ? Hang in there, Dear Readers, I’ll have more to say about Jesus H. Christ at the end of this post.

What do you call this?

Y’All Qaeda.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s enough for cats — this week I’m turning the end bits over to the dogs:

 

Photos of UPS drivers with the dogs they meet on their routes:

 

This driver keeps treats in his truck and these doggies know it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know why this makes me laugh.Did this ever happen on airplanes? Where did they store that huge salad bowl? Can you imagine this happening today??

 

That’s the whole enchilada this week, Dear Readers. Have a great weekend everyone, and now I’m thinking about enchiladas and how I need to have three of the Monterey Jack variety in my life asap but my favorite Mexican restaurant doesn’t open until noon and that’s three hours and 12 minutes from now, so now I guess I know what I’ll be doing for the next three hours and 12 minutes.

See you next Friday!

Read more

That’s not my cat but then again, that’s not my mat, either. Our next-door neighbors, the ones who put a cat-sized hole  in their fence so our cats could move freely between properties, sent me this photo. That’s their back patio, and that’s Odie, who lives across the street. Odie visits us both. He flirts with the neighbor’s cats and he comes to our backyard to rile up Taffy with his “Quien Es Mas Macho” attitude. As you can see, he’s really handsome and you can’t help but like him, but he’s also a bit of a jerk.

This (below) is a photo of my dining room table when I am doing my Korean language homework. I will be finishing my 60th Korean class next Friday, giving me a grand total of 60 weeks/90 hours of instruction, equivalent to four college semesters. I have never, ever had to think this hard about anything, ever, in my life.

I am so proud of myself. This is what I wrote (using Korean’s 14 consonants and 22 vowels) for homework for Lesson #59  this week:

잔 녁 에 제 가 읽 은 책이 오 늘 친 구 가 저 한 테 준 책 보 다 재 미 있 었 어 요.

I’m going to explain why Korean is rated as the most difficult foreign language to learn. If you’re not into philology, you can skip to the memes about the English language (slightly below) and we’ll meet you there in a sec.

This sentence (above), is the most sophisticated sentence I’ve ever written in Korean. It means, “The book that I read last year is more interesting than the book that my friend gave me today.”

I’m color-coding the parts of speech so I can explain how they work in Korean.

“The book that I read last year” and “The book that my friend gave me today” are both relative clauses, which in Korean are written before the noun, so that it’s more like: “Last year read book” and “friend to me given book“.

The main verb — the only “real” verb —  in this sentence is notis“, it is “interesting” (which in the English version of this sentence is an adjective) because in Korean, there is a verb that means To Be Interesting. As the only verb in the sentence, “interesting” is the only verb that is conjugated, and like all Korean verbs, it goes at the end of the sentence. So the whole sentence goes something like this:

Last year read book compared to  friend to me given book is more interesting.

The  compared to in this sentence is not actually written, it’s only indicated by a little particle that signals “comparison” that has no equivalent in English. But, because of the particle that has no English equivalent, the reader of this sentence knows which book is more interesting (the one I read last year).

But that’s not all.

You’ll notice that each of these relative clauses contains a verb: to read, and to give. In Korean, these verbs are indeed conjugated, but not like regular verbs because only one verb per sentence can be conjugated like a regular verb. Verbs in relative clauses have special conjugations that are only for relative clause verbs, unrelated to the regular verb conjugations, and they have different forms for present, past, and future that make them behave a lot like adjectives (which are also conjugated in Korean, but differently). 

Fun Fact: In Korean, every verb has a regular form and an honorific form, and some have two honorific forms depending on whether the action is going to a person higher than you, or to a person lower than you, because of Confucianism. Since this sentence is about a friend, who is my equal, I am using the non-honorific forms of the verbs.

Each of these relative clauses also has a subject: in the first clause it’s “book“, and in the second clause it’s “friend“. In Korean, you have to put a subject particle after each subject noun to let the reader know what’s what, such as, in the case of the second clause, “The book that my friend gave me today”, the subject is “friend” and not “book” (which is the object).

 More Fun: The subject particle changes depending on whether the last letter in the subject noun is a vowel or a consonant and, in this sentence, one of the subject nouns ends in a vowel and the other subject noun ends in a consonant, so I have to use two different subject particles.

Also, Subject particles are different from topic particles and while a sentence can have both a subject and a topic which require particles, this sentence does not. So, whew.

One more thing: there is a time particle that has to go after “Last year”. 

P.S. There are also object particles, which are used when it is necessary to clarify which noun in a sentence is the subject and which one is the object, but in this sentence there is no such confusion because of the comparison particle, and by the way there is another set of comparison particles different from the one I’m using in this sentence for when comparisons are not explicit, but only implied. 

So, in conclusion:

잔 녁 에 제 가 읽 은 책이 오 늘 친 구 가 저 한 테 준 책 보 다 재 미 있 었 어 요.

Last year (time particle) read  (relative clause verb conjugation) book (subject particle)  friend (different subject particle) to me given (relative clause verb conjugation) book (comparison particle) is more interesting (regular verb conjugation).

P.S. For some reason, WordPress is screwing up my color-code in the published version. Sorry about that.

Any way, that’s why it takes 90 hours of Korean lessons to learn how to write this sentence.

I know what you’re wondering and No, before Korean Lesson #59, I had no idea what a relative clause was. And to answer your other question, Probably Not.

(Would you have started learning Korean if you had known that every fucking thing is conjugated and there were all those fucking particles?)

Is anyone else here acquiring a new skill? How’s it going? Anyone got any tips for teaching an old brain new tricks? Please?

My Korean teacher assures me that her learning English was harder than my learning Korean. (Wait. Did I get that right? Does anyone know other it’s “my” learning Korean or “me” learning Korean?)

 

 

 

 

 

But you don’t come here for Korean lessons. You come here for cold hard news of the week so let’s go!

“Budgie” is Brit-speak for “parakeet”. This little fellow was found on the deck of a UK Fisheries Protection vessel in the Cletic Sea, 25 miles from the Cornish (southwest English) coast by the chief engineer on board. The chief engineer simply put out his hand and the parakeet hopped on. He says the bird was clearly exhausted and seemed relieved to go inside.

“It’s very comfortable around people,” the chief says, and the budgie has been climbing on his shoulder and head. The crew has been feeding the little guy various things, with peanuts being the budgie’s clear favorite.

The crew are going to be on patrol for a while but another Fisheries officer, Madeleine Bradshaw, is scheduled to rendezvous with the ship. That officer will take the budgie back to shore and look after it until the owner is found. Failing that, the bird will have a new home with Bradshaw. 

It is rare for domesticated budgies to fly away  from their homes because the outdoors make them anxious. Because of this, they usually do not know how to get back home because they get overwhelmed with nerves.

Now, the Arctic Tern, a 4-ounce bird slightly larger than the American Robin, migrates every year from the North Pole to the South Pole, a round trip of 18,681 miles (30,000km), and no one gets excited but one budgie flies 25 miles from home and it’s international news. Go figure.

In other hard-breaking news, the police are still acting like pigs. Except that pigs are nice animals that we shouldn’t eat, whereas I’d have no trouble making cat food out of a few of these cops, except that I would treat my cats to better grub:

The “pop” being the sound of her arm breaking when the cop threw her against the patrol car.

In June of 2020, inLoveland, Colorado, 73-year old Karen Garner, who has dementia sensory aphasia, which impairs her ability to understand and communicate, was confronted by a Walmart employee for trying to walk out of the store with $13.88 of merchandise in her bag. She offered to pay for the items, but the employee confiscated her bag and called the cops, even though the store had not suffered any loss — Karen didn’t steal a damn thing.

The police found Karen walking down the road two blocks from her home, picking wild flowers. They pushed her to the ground and handcuffed her. After picking her up and slamming her against the squad car, he officer’s body cam shows Karen appearing to be confused and fearful as she pleads, “I am going home.”

The arrest fractured Karen’s arm, sprained her wrist, and dislocated her shoulder.

The police then took Karen to the police station, where they put her in a cell while they gathered around to watch the body cam video. They were filmed by cameras inside the station, which showed them laughing about the arrest.

“I love it,” one officer says, with a laugh. “This is great.”

Another officer asks the arresting officer if he had read Ms. Garner her Miranda rights. The officer says he had not.

“I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground,” the officer says.

“Hear the pop?” one officer says.

“What did you pop?” asks another.

“I think it was her shoulder,” the first officer responds.

Fuck the cops, and Fuck the Walmart employee, too. Lawsuits are pending and I wish the Police Union would be liable for damages instead of taxpayers.

Let’s go now to the shit bags who tried to overthrow the government on January 6, 2021:

The FBI has video of Mark Middleton (the shit stain in the red MAGA hat) grabbing a Capitol officer and pulling him towards the mob. Beside him, wearing a Trump beanie, is his wife, Jalise Middleton, who also grabbed the officer with her hands. Then another officer stepped in, and Jalise Middleton assaulted him, too. 

The Middletons continued to strike officers and jab flagpoles at their faces  until one officer sprayed them with a chemical agent, which forced them to retreat.

It’s on tape. I hope they get years behind bars.

This MAGA asshole, Richard “Bigo” Barnett, is the dip shit who put his feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk on January 6, 2021 :

He’s been arrested  in Arkansas for trying to overthrow the government and for leaving a threatening message for Speaker Pelosi:

In a recent court filing, Barnett’s lawyer defends Barnett from the charges that he threatened Speaker Pelosi, saying he didn’t call Speaker Pelosi a “bitch” in the note that he left at her desk. 

The lawyer explains:

“Instead of writing the accusatory “You bitch” as the government falsely states, it only says “biatd” and without the word “you”. On information and belief, the “d” was meant to be two letters, “c” and “h” with the “c” connected to the “h” to spell “biatch”, which is  a slang and less offensive word for “bitch”.”

But wait, that’s not the only stupid thing a MAGA defense lawyer has written this week.

Remember MAGAt Rachel Powell?

Her lawyer made a groveling apology to the Court, citing the Lana Del Rey defense, arguing that Powell was copying the face mask used by pop singer Lana Del Rey, who had a mesh face covering with a clear plastic lining so her fans could see her at a small get-together:

Her apology was accepted by judge Royce Lambert, who let her off the hook but warned that she would have to wear a cloth face mask from now on. Judge Lambert, who presides in Washington DC, is from Texas and is a Republican appointed by Ronald Reagan so I suspect’s a crypto-MAGA sympathizer because Rachel Powell’s ass should be in jail. But wait, there’s good news to come!

The best news of the week is that Trumps’ lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had his Manhattan home and office raided by the Feds of the Southern District of New York:

We are getting more details on this story today, Friday April 30, that I don’t have time to delve into but I hope by next week we have some hot juicy charges for federal crimes that have mandatory sentences!

This is also breaking this morning, about Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, the guy whose head is firmly up Trump’s ass, and his best buddy, a guy named Joel Greenberg, who seems to have turned on Gaetz and given the feds some incriminating info:

I, for one, am hugely looking forward to the news this coming week.

This past week, on his 100th day in office, President Joe Biden made his first speech to a joint session of Congress, and it was pretty hot stuff:

It does my heart good to see Vice President and President of the Senate Kamal Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presiding over the joint session of Congress.

And now, for the usual shit:

 

 

 

 

I need this sign:

And this sign:

Remember that I called this week’s post That’s Not My Cat? We’ll end on that note, but first, let’s start with That’s My Cat, But That’s Not My House:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not My Cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for today, Dear Ones. 

Have a great weekend, everyone. If you happen to have a bad day or feel a bit blue, just remember that the Feds are thiiiiiiiis slice to getting Giuliani, thiiiiiiis close to getter Gaetz, which means that they are thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to getting Trump. Maybe America isn’t totally in the shitter after all.

And if that doesn’t cheer you up, remember that there is always wine, and cats, and wine and cats.

 

 

Read more

It is 8:36 AM on Friday morning as I type this, and I took this picture out of our den’s picture window (sorry for the reflection)  about four minutes ago. That’s Taffy cat, on the left, and his shadow Bibs cat on the right, both of them curled up in the far back corner of our backyard. This is my way of telling you to rest assured, this blog post will start and end with Cats this week, so hang in there.

I don’t know what got into us last night, because it was just an ordinary Thursday, but Top Cat started making martinis around 7 o’clock and one thing led to another and we blasted Imagine Dragons and danced in the kitchen and made a batch of nachos and a late-night bubble bath was involved and this morning I’m feeling a little woozy. Good thing I start prepping this weekly visit of ours on Monday so I have some content already in the can for you and, if I remember to tie things up correctly (sorry about last week’s tardiness…I forgot to hit the Publish button until late in the day), you shouldn’t notice anything is amiss…but hoo-boy…Top Cat’s vanilla martinis go down way too easily.

Let’s start with the biggest story of the week:


I’m sure we all lost that knot in our stomach last Tuesday when the Derek Chauvin’s jury came back with Guilty verdicts for all three counts of murder and manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd last May. The fact that we were all tense before Judge Peter Cahill read the decision shows how little faith we have in our system of justice in America. 

I’m glad it’s over but, it’s not over.

There are still so, so many bad cops out there. I mean really, really bad cops.

A hack on the website that raised $2  million for this piece of shit’s defense  revealed  the  names  of donors and Norfolk  Police  Lt.  William  Kelly,  who  was  second  in  command  in  the  Norfolk  Police  Dept.’s  internal  affairs  division,  was revealed  to  have  written :

“God  bless.  Thank  You  for  your  courage.  Every  rank  and  file  police  officer  supports  you.  Don’t  be  discouraged  by  actions  of  the  political  class  of  law  enforcement  leadership. “

City  manager Chip  Filer, who  fired Kelly,  said: “Kelly’s  egregious  comments  erode  the  trust  between  the  Norfolk  Police  Department  and  those  they  are  sworn  to serve.”

No word yet from Kelly’s union on whether or not they will sue to re-instate him.

And then there’s this shit stain in Los Angeles:

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s some updates on the MAGAts who rioted at the nation’s capital on January 6 this year:

The prosecutor who wants to keep Egtvedt in jail wrote this:

“Defendant was not a protestor swept up in the swagger of a violent mob — he was a violent instigator. He is unmoored, with little to connect him to the community, and little regard for the authority of the federal government. It is clear that the defendant is both a danger to the community and a risk of flight. Considering all of the factors set forth above [in the body of their motion], there is no combination of conditions that will reasonable assure his appearance in the Dstrict of Columbia and/or the safety of the community. The defendant should therefore be detained pending trial.”

This is the level of stupidity we are dealing with when it comes to Trump supporters.

Federal prosecutors told a judge that Dan Egtvedt can’t be trusted to follow conditions of his release from prison, in part because he physically tried to stop his mother from getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Egtvedt, who is accused of assaulting Capitol Police officers, was arrested on February 13 after officers were called to his brother’s house in Maryland because of an altercation. Egtvedt, according to prosecutors, was incensed about the impending inoculation, in part, because he believed it would alter his mother’s DNA.

By the way, Egtvedt was turned in to the FBI by a “decade-old friend”. Egtvest, who you might have noticed is white, was, in the end, released by Judge Christopher Cooper and invited  to come back to DC on June 3 for trial. We’ll see.

Stupid people lack the mental acuity and self-awareness (or modesty) to understand just how stupid they are, so they think they are smarter than the average federal judge. Here’s the MAGAt known as “Pink Hat Lady” and “Bullhorn Lady”:

 

 

As of today, Friday April 23, there is no word if Judge Beryl Howell was wiped that smirk off Bullhorn Lady’s face and thrown her in jail. But I’ll keep checking for updates and I’ll let you know.

And lastly, on Thursday April 22 (yesterday), karma caught up with this guy:

Let’s all remember that one year ago today, on April 23, 2020, the Head Moron in Charge of MAGAts said this:

 

Let’s check in on one of Trump’s biggest fan in Congress, who is still trying to get headlines by stalking Alexandria Ocassio Cortez:

Marjorie Greene has been criticizing the Green New Deal for months and she hasn’t even read it.

Wait. Are we sure that she actually knows how to read?

For those who don’t know, the Cracker Barrel Country Store is a chain of Southern-themed restaurants out of Tennessee that is popular with rednecks and white trash and is known for its rowdy customers. If you apply for a job at the Cracker Barrel, there’s a question on the application: “Are you good with your fists?”

Short digression: Am I crazy, or is this headline from Newsweek online sound as if it had been written (if she can write) by Mrajorie Taylor Greene herself?

And, I don’t even have to tell you, it’s a lie that AOC has agreed to debate Greene. 

In other Republican news:

Former House Speaker Republican John Boehner has been trying to rehab his reputation by writing a memoir that whitewashes his career in Washington (the capitol) (Lawyers in Love reference):

 

 

 

For sure there’s a Republican pharmacist in Chicago:

 

For fun, let’s check in and see how the right-wing media is covering President Joe Biden’s commitment to make policy based on science and sanity:

They forgot to mention that Joe also wants to outlaw Cracker Barrel restaurants and make it illegal to name your kid “Chad” .

 

Twitter can be a fun place too. Last week, a TV station in Boise, Idaho tweeted a photo of one of its talking heads with a one-line caption:

For some reason, it blew up and people made so many comments on this tweet that mark orson was trending for the first time in his life:

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other “Mark” news . . .

We’re almost done — I have one more block of memes to show before we get down to serious cat business — but here’s an appetizer, a photo tweeted under the caption “I think I have cat issues”:

Also a tweet, from a guy who was trying to get some reading done:

Today, I want to introduce you to a Twitter account called Italians Mad At Food.

People send in photos of Italian food that was not made in Italy, and Italians respond. Since it’s a Twitter account from Europe, and Europe has strict privacy laws, that last names of the Italian responders have been blocked out, but otherwise these are the  uncensored thoughts of Italians who wonder why the rest of the world loves Italian food when what passes as “Italian” in the rest of the world isn’t the least bit “Italian”.

Let’s go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, lastly no words, because the photo speaks for itself:

 

You Made It!

You’re Almost Done!

Here Are The Cats!

From a Twitter account called Bodega Cats (“bodega” is a Spanish word for that little shop on the corner ), here is a section of working cats from around the world (but mostly America):

P.S. This (below) explains why most bodegas have cats:

 

This guy looks like he catches honey badgers for a living.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Remember, if you must drink, drink responsibly. Or not. It’s up to you. You’re an adult, you get to make the rules. Stay healthy, get vaccinated FOR REAL, and be nice to cats and other living things.

Read more

I don’t go looking for trouble, I really don’t. I don’t seek opportunities to yell at people, but what can I do, when opportunity strikes?

I was on my daily run when I spotted a white male, on the other side of the street, approaching me. He had with him a small, fluffy white dog on a leash. Then I saw the male pull up on the leash until the dog was walking on its back legs with its head in, effectively, a noose. The little dog staggered like that for a few seconds, and then the the male let the dog down, back onto its four paws. After a few steps the male did it again: he yanked on the leash, the dog was walking tippy-toe on his back legs, and the male seemed to be enjoying himself. The dog looked distressed.

By now I was almost even with the male and I could see that he was young, in his middle/late teens. I pulled out my earbuds and I YELLED. “Hey!” I said. I have a loud voice and some little practice at making a scene.

The kid stopped in his tracks and stared at me. I was furious and the adrenaline kicked in, and I began to scream at him.”YOU DON’T DO THAT TO A DOG! THAT’S ANIMAL ABUSE! YOU GOT THAT? YOU DON’T DO THAT TO A DOG!!”

The kid was still rooted in place, looking dazed, when I put my earbuds back in and went on my way. After a moment I turned around to watch him, and he was slinking away, walking the dog like a normal human being.

I got to the end of the street, where there was a woman in a Cadillac SUV parked at the curb. She waved me over, so I pulled my earbuds out again, and she said that she’d been watching that kid as he passed her car, and he was making the poor dog walk on his hind legs over and over and she really wanted to say something, but she didn’t, and she was glad that I did.

I told her that she should have yelled at the kid, because often the simple hock value of being berated by a stranger is enough to shame people into better behavior. But yeah, we both agreed, that kid was a creep.

He’s also a symptom.

I still use that street on my daily run, and I keep an eye out for that kid and his dog. I’m sorry that I didn’t confiscate the poor pooch. I really wish I’d grabbed that dog and saved him. I hope he’s being treated well. 

Along those lines, here’s the feel-good story of the week

In her “defense”, anti-masker Debra Hunter, who coughed on a Heather Sprague, who was recovering from brain cancer surgery and wearing a face mask, said she felt remorse and guilt from “one very poor decision” that had cost her three children nearly all of their friends and had made her feel like a pariah in her community. She said her children had been greatly affected by the hundreds of text messages, emails, phone calls, social media threats and even hand-delivered letters she had received after the video of her coughing on Ms. Sprague gained widespread attention.

“The reality is that my family has been permanently scarred,” Ms. Hunter told the judge. “And although that scar might fade over time, it will never completely disappear. My kids should not have to pay the price for my mistake.”

But the judge wasn’t having it.

Judge Ruth took issue with Ms. Hunter’s testimony, saying she had expressed more concern for her family than for Ms. Sprague.

“She talked about how it changed her world and, you know, she’s getting the nastygrams on Facebook and things of that nature, and they can’t go to the country club or wherever, and can’t play soccer,” he said. “I get that. But I’ve yet to see any expression — or a significant expression — on her regret about the impact it had on the victim in this case.”

The judge gave Hunter 30 days in jail, followed by six months probation. She also has to take a parenting skills class and attend anger management classes and pay a $500 fine, and the has to re-imburse Ms. Sprague for the cost of the Covid test she scrambled to get after being coughed on.

And here’s the kicker: Hunter was in the store on that fateful day trying to return an item that she didn’t have in her possession. Hunter became irate when the staff at the store wouldn’t give her credit for the invisible item, and was berating them when Sprague said she felt she had to get her phone to video her in case anything physical happened. That’s when Hunter threatened her, and coughed on her. 

“It was an episode that was rooted in privilege and entitlement,” Sprague, the victim, said. “Seeing my mask, the defendant was calculated to attack me at my weakest point both physically and psychologically. I was stunned and fearful in the aftermath.”

In my opinion, I think Hunter should have gotten an additional 60 days for being such an asshole to the Pier 1 staff., but I wasn’t consulted in this case. However, I’ll settle for the public humiliation. I mean, this story went international — UK newspapers covered it. A lot of people really hate Debra Hunter, so, Karma: Job Well Done. And the next time I see someone abusing an animal, I will remember to get my phone out and start recording before I become the crazy lady who yells at kids.

The moral is: Don’t be a Dick. People will have video of you.

Speaking of video…let’s start our weekly news round-up with Derek chain, on trial for killing George Floyd.

 

 

 

 

 

And then, 7 miles down the road from the Chauvin trial, this happened: 

 

 

 

 

There was unrest in the streets of Brooklyn Center, and the governor fueled the bitterness by calling in the National Guard.

 

 

 

And for no reason at all, a uniformed Army medic who happened to be black while driving, was pulled over and assaulted (and his dog, in the car, was also pepper sprayed).

 

Greg Kelly, the moron who theorized that the uniformed Army medic was a bad apple, is the son of the former police commissioner of NYC. This Kelly used to be a host on one of the local morning news programs on TV, and seemed to be a likable guy, until he went all-Trump and now he works for the racists at NewsMax. Here’s Kelly:

 

Kelly and his  fellow MAGAts gather together on-line at Parler, where they swap conspiracy theories:

 

 

 

The Republican CongressMAGAt from Georgia who was stripped of all her committee assignments because of her nut-case support for QAnon theories that led to the insurrection at the capitol on January 6 (meaning that she has no “work” to do during the 40 hours a week, or so, that she is on her “job”) is seeking to stay relevant by coat-tailing on the popularity of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocassio Cortez (AOC), the popular progressive climate-change activist from New York:

AOC has not responded to her invitation, so Marjorie Taylor Greene sweetened her offer:

Classy. the Pay Per View thing is very classy. 

AOC is right to ignore the bait. As Mark Twain said, “Don’t wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

 

 

I don’t have breaking news that Matt Gaetz, the Republican CongressMAGAt from the panhandle of Florida, has been arrested for raping underage girls for pay, but here’s an excerpt from his latest book in which he brags about his access to the top MAGAt and traitor, Donald Trump:

 

When can we get rid of the Senate?

 

When can we get rid of Republicans?

 

 

 

I fact checked this. This is real. This is the photo John Bennett used when he ran for the Oklahoma State House, bragging that he was the only candidate endorsed by the NRA (National Rifle Association). WTF, right?

 

OK. That’s it. That’s all the news I can take. Now, since I started today’s blog with a story about a dog, let’s cleanse our souls and get in the mood for a funFriday with, you guessed it…DOGS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In New York City, every corner store has a shop cat. Here’s a photo of a shop cat on the job: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Be kind to dogs, be kind to others who are kind to dogs, and mostly be kind to yourself. 

See you next Friday.

XXOO

Read more

So Easter Sunday came and went and I did not rush to Walgreen’s on Monday to buy all the left-over half-price chocolate bunnies so, Yay Me and my healthy lifestyle. Also, I still have a ton of candy in my freezer from my Day After Valentine’s Day shopping spree. 

I don’t observe Easter because I’m an atheist (not to brag) but I see that the religious are still at it:

The idol of the far right religious fuckwads, Der FuhrerFuckFace, wanted to wish his moron followers a Happy Easter but it came with an insane pre-amble:

 

This week the New York Times broke the story that Donald Trump’s  “Stop the Steal” campaign to overturn the election results last year, based on the big lie that Joe Biden’s victory was the result of wide-spread voter fraud, raised its money by de-frauding donors. Anyone who made a one-time gift of money to the campaign was auto-magically enrolled as a perpetual donor:

In my opinion, anyone who is dumb enough to give money to Trump deserves to suffer, I don’t care how broke and sick and crazy they are. However, more than a few of Donald’s donors got wind of the scheme and filed for refunds from their credit card companies:

 

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) uses a slightly different tactic to squeeze money from its idiot base:

In case you’re wondering, yeah, Republicans really are that stupid to fall for it:

This made me want to give Donald a call at his office at Mar-A-Lago to tell him that he’s still the biggest horse turd on the planet so I dialed 561 832 2600 but I’m still blocked from my first attempt to speak to “the piece of shit who incited the insurrection of January 6.” 

In the good news portion of todays blog, I have to tell you that not everyone spent Easter Sunday being a prick.  On April 4 a person on Twitter, @tayloralrick, was walking across the Longfellow Bridge in Boston and wrote: omg went for a walk and saw this man taking a picture of all his dogs and i almost cried.

Here’s the scene:

 

 

At this stage of the pandemic, who among us hasn’t experienced a sudden burst of emotion at some beautifully mundane moment that reminded you of the world before

Here would be a great place for me to drop such a story, of an encounter with normality that left me in tears for what we’ve all lost during this Covid Time, but I can’t think of one just now. I wish my life had more of a narrative arc but it’s still pretty random and desultory, which is why I’m not writing any more memoirs lately. 

However, I did get smacked with nostalgia for 1980 in the grocery store last week. I was in the rice aisle of my local ethnic food emporium, looking for that jasmine rice from Thailand that Top Cat likes so much, when I realized that my mind was suddenly flooded with images of riding in a mint-green Jaguar on a road trip to Montreal with an old boyfriend who I hadn’t thought of in ages.

It was because of the song playing on the muzak track, Christopher Cross’s Ride Like the Wind.

For those of you who don’t remember, Ride Like the Wind was the first single from Christopher Cross’s Grammy-winning self-titled debut album. It was released in February 1980 and  reached number 2 on the US charts for four consecutive weeks. That song was all over the radio that whole Spring.

In early June of 1980 I was 24 and I left America to spend two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa, so I gave that boyfriend, who was English and about 20 years older than I, Christopher Cross’s album as my going-away gift. I wonder if he’s still alive. The boyfriend, not Christopher Cross. Christopher Cross is still alive, at age 69, hanging out with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band. He won 5 Grammies for that debut album, good for him. I didn’t have a TV in Africa so I had no way of knowing.

What a jumble it is, life in your 20s.

I’m cautious to identify as a Boomer because I know how much we are hated, for good reason, by Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. Because of how much we have fucked up,  the kids who came after us haven’t had as much room for missteps and false starts, like we Boomers did. There isn’t as much room for second or third chances, like we (me) had. I had plenty of time to grow up in the 1980s and 1990s, when all my mistakes were kept private and off-line, and jobs were relatively easy to come by, and life was squalid and we didn’t mind.

That was my train of thought, there in the rice aisle in the Mexican supermarket on Post Road on the north shore of Long Island last week.

I’m not usually a big fan of nostalgia but I went home and made a Ride Like the Wind playlist for my daily 5-mile run. I haven’t listened to it yet. I’m not 100% sure that I want to go back down that rabbit hole, only to resurface with the knowledge that what’s in front of me is a whole lot more finite than what is left behind.

Speaking of looking back, I wonder if the MAGA rioters will one day look back at January 6, 2021 and realize that that’s the day they fucked up their lives? Boy, I sure hope so.

Well, this one won’t look back to anything being as she’s dead and all, but maybe all the other 300+ arrestees might have a good long time in prison to ponder the life choices.

 

This blonde one is from Texas so, what do you expect? (Answer: 10 to 20.)

 

 

 

 

 

Oh no! I left Easter Sunday ramblings behind, and I forgot all about Mike Huckabee’s amusing tweet of the day:

 

 

 

Republican Congressman Matt Goetz, from the Florida panhandle, is still in deep trouble over his sleazy sex life:

 

 

 

 

In other Republican Pervert news:

 

 

While former Speaker of the House John Boehner craps on the MAGA-wing of his party, remember that he was one of the people who created the modern Republican party starting in the 1990s:

 

This was part of Boehner’s agenda back then:

 

 

 

 

That’s all the news that I have the patience for this week. 

One last tidbit before we get to the cats. Christopher Cross wrote Ride Like the Wind while he was high on acid. I miss those days, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. If you need something to celebrate, remember that we have made it through the Australian Summer with the quietest fire season in a decade! Although the flooding situation was the worst in 50 years due to La Nina bringing in lots of cool and wet weather, the good news is that a billion animal lives were saved in 2021 and if that doesn’t make you happy, well, here’s a picture of a wombat in a wheelbarrow:

 

Happy now?

XXOO and see you next week.

 

 

Read more

I was called a Troll this week — twice. In internet lingo, a Troll is a person who intentionally upsets people by posting or tweeting “flame bait”, that is, an accusation or option that is so far out that people can’t help but want to scream at you through the ether and punch you.

While my words were indeed intentional, I didn’t want to start anything — I was just trying to give people helpful hints on how not to be stupid.

First case: Holly McCormack is a Democrat from Georgia who has announced that she is running against Trump-loving Marjorie Taylor Greene in 2022 and that’s well and fine, but this is her Twitter bio: Band mom, small business owner, and *actually* from northeast Georgia.

All I wrote was, in reply, “I’m all against MTG, but who cares that you’re a band mom??”

I didn’t even use the F-word, and I was really irritated by that fucking “band mom” credential, for obvious fucking reasons.

So I got a reply from another Twitter user that just said, “Troll”. It was the first time that I’d earned that distinction.

Second case: Some anonymous Twitter guy mused that he or she wanted to start a petition that called for “more voting rights and less millionaires.”

Well, you all know that I had to help. I responded: FEWER. Fewer millionaires, not less. It’s basis English, dude. Good luck with the petition.

Someone got offended that I would bother “a person of color” with an English lesson, and they even called me “dude” to use my words against me. To be honest, there was no indication that the original tweet was from a POC, and it actually made me laugh to think that it mattered, so I suspect that I was being trolled for being a “Troll”.

This here, below, is the kind of high-class trolling I aspire to, in this case in reply to the dip shit Republican representative of Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District:

I mostly stay out of trouble on Twitter. It’s my mouth that gets me in hot water and this week I was back on the phone trolling in the name of truth, justice, and to any others.

Maybe you’ve seen the footage of the sickening attack on a 65-year old Asian-American woman by a guy in broad daylight in mid-town Manhattan in front of a luxury apartment building while in the lobby of that building two doormen looked on and did nothing

Somebody tweeted out the phone number the management company of that luxury apartment building so I got on the phone and left a blistering message (but no F-bombs, I was keeping it classy) on the Brodsky Organization’s voice mail (they were smart to not put a person on the line), about the despicability of an organization that would hire such racists who would not help a person being beaten RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM.

Within hours, the Brodsky Organization released this:

Can you imagine being the union rep who has to defend these bums? 

The other phone call I made was to Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Logo office. You can talk to a real person there and tell them you want to speak to “That piece of shit who incited an insurrec—” but you won’t get much further because you’ll be hung up on.  However, you can feel good that you made working for Donald Trump really depressing for however long you were on the line.

Here’s the phone number:  561 832 2600.

It may seem to you that I spend a lot of time being sociable (see above) but lately I’ve discovered another interest: Footwear Design.

I’ve been buying my own shoes for, oh, 50 years now, and I still fuck it up. I bought a new pair of running shoes on the internet that I wore once. So I went to a store in person and bought another pair of running shoes…and once I had them on my feet for an hour they, they were also unwearable for exactly the same reason as the first pair: they were too high-cut around the ankles. It seems that I am incapable of snap judgements regarding the suitability of zapatos.

So here’s what I did:

Who knew that all you need, to customize your sneaks, is a pair of scissors and duct tape? I’m actually very proud of my resourcefulness. I’ve never seen the insides of a sneaker before, but now I know it’s mostly foam.

And now I have a stylish and super-comfy pair of one-of-a-kind running shoes. Yay me. Top Cat says he won’t be seen with me if I’m wearing these but he never comes running with me anyway.

This past week got off to a sad start with the freeing of that ship that had been stuck in the Suez Canal. Didn’t we all have great fun with Boaty McStuck Boatface? One guy even made a website so you could track the non-movement of it, at istheboatstillstuck.com:

Let’s return to that more innocent time, a week ago, when the whole world had something to laugh about:

 

All the red dots in the graphic below represent a man yelling unwanted advice on how to un-stuck the boat:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then, one day, it was all over:

 

So much for the light side of the news. Let’s take a look at the fun and games of American politics, shall we? 

 

 

 

 

Remember Deborah Birx, the lady with the scarf, who stood behind Trump while he was telling Americans to inject disinfectant, or light, into themselves to cure COVID? She’s been on the television trying to convince us that she did the best she could to reign in the lies that the Trump administration told about the pandemic:

 

On March 26, Georgia’s Republican Governor Kemp signed into law a 98-page restriction on voters’ access to mail in ballots and drop boxes, instituted new ID requirements, gave the legislature more control over the returns, empowered the Republicans, and made it a criminal offense to give food or water to voters waiting in line.

 

 

 

Gov. Kemp singed the legislation behind closed doors in his office. State Representative Park Cannon knocked lightly on the door and was hauled of to jail by state police:

 

 

 

 

In case you’re wondering how it’s done, here’s how it’s done:

 

 

Things in Minnesota just got bad, but for a different reason:

This case was about a woman in Duluth who took one prescription pill and downed five shots of vodka at her home before going out o a bar. Seeing that she was drunk, the bouncer refused to let her in, so a 20-year old guy “picked her up” and took her back to his apartment, where she passed out. Then he raped, her, but, as you can see, the judge says it’s her fault for being drunk in the first place.

Here’s the judge, Paul Thissen:

Surprisingly, he is not a Republican; he’s a Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party leader. But he smirks like a shit-eating Republican.

So, to extrapolate, now that the MN Supreme Court ruled that if a woman chooses to drink, she can’t be raped because she “consented” to being blind drunk, then, if you rob or beat a drunk man, he has consented as well, right? Right?

Thissen runs for re-election in 2027. Should be an interesting campaign.

 

In more legal news:

The case (above) involved a Brooklynn judge and a plaintiff with a hair-line fracture on her leg, and it was the first day of jury selection when the 68-year old lawyer insisted that he couldn’t breathe with a face mask on. “Ok,” the judge said finally. “It hurts me to do it, but case dismissed.” 

And here’s the latest update re: America’s least favorite lawyer, the representative from Florida’s 1st Congressional District, Matt “He Looks Like a Cartoon of Butthead” Gaetz:

 

 

 

kIf you remember, Matt Gaetz is the dickhead who went to Wyoming to campaign against its lone representative, Liz Cheney, after Cheney voted to impeach Donald Trump. 

 

 

Matt Gaetz’s 1st Congressional District in Florida covers the state’s western panhandle:

 

But let’s face it, it’s not just the panhandle. All of Florida is a problem:

In case you thought that we’d finished with Georgia, YOU ARE WRONG! Marjorie Taylor Greene’s  4th Congressional District is known as “Georgia’s Florida”:

 

 

FunFact: Marjorie Taylor Greene ran unopposed in 2020, and got 74.7% of the vote.

Other Despicable Republican Women:

 

k

And that’s it for this week, Dear Readers. You Are Now Informed.

Anyone in the mood to look at some big goofy dogs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. I want you all to get out there and make your world a better place, or at least annoy the shit out of someone who deserves it. 

Or take a nice nap. That’s good, too.

XXOO

 

k

k

k

k

 

Read more

So, yeah, America is at it again.

Five days before a man walked into a Boulder, Colorado supermarket with an AR15-style pistol (technically, it was a Ruger AR-556) and shot 10 people to death, the National Rifle Association, the lobbying group for gun nuts in America, bragged about their great legal victory in … wait for it … Colorado:

I had something other than mass murder on my mind for this week’s blog and I was hoping that we could get through one week in America where I could blog about something trivial and mildly annoying in VivianWorld but nooooooo, we have to let this latest atrocity sink in:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s check in with one of the biggest assholes in America, the representative of Colorado’s 3rd congressional District:

 

If you’ve been wondering how such an shit stain as Bobert got elected, I can answer that. She won her election in 2020 by 22,566 votes out of a total of 273,268 votes cast in a district is heavily Republican. This is who the Democrats put up to run against her:

Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Represenatives Colorado 3rd Congressional District Diane Mitsch Bush speaks to supporter during a rally in Montrose Colo., Saturday Oct. 27, 2018.

Diane Mitsch Bush is a retired sociology professor who served in the state house of representatives and she’s 71 years old. Why her? The Democrats couldn’t find a jalopy to run? I’m amazed she got 121,416 votes with those bangs. Happily, there are three very strong Democrats who have filed their intentions to challenge Bobert in 2022,  and there might be evidence that Bobert collaborated with the rioters at the Capitol on Jan.6 so her ass might be in jail for aiding and abetting sedition by then.  

In other world news, it’s weird out there:

Meanwhile, in Canada:

 

Sidney Powell is back in the news:

 

Her pointless law suits failed to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 Presidential election, so the Republicans have been busy making sure that they can retain their minority rule in the future by voter suppression:

 

 

 

The senator from Mississippi, Cindy Hyde Smith, quoted the bible (Exodus 20:18, about keeping the Sabbath holy) as a reason for never, ever, EVER allowing for Sunday voting.

I fact checked this. She was indeed sworn into office on Sunday, January 3, 2021, by bible-clutcher Mike Pence, who was presiding as president of the 117th Congress. God I am so tired of these people.

 

But some times, SOMETIMES, Republicans make me laugh:

 

 

Kissing? Roll the film, Jimmy:

 

 

 

 

In other, much less important but far more entertaining news, there’s a woman in California who made an apartment for her cat:

OK, not a whole apartment…more of a sub-let in a corner of the living room:

That cat’s crib is nicer than mine (you’ve seen what my den couches look like).

P.S. I looked it up. Kids are still saying “crib” so I’m still, like, relevant.

And while we’re on the subject of cats, I’m going to end our visit this week with more cats, cat thoughts, cats, cat manners, cats, and cats.

OK?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

k

k

k

 

 

The photo on the right was taken after Patio Cat came inside to his forever home.

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. And no matter how bad the news will be when we meet again next Friday, I WILL write about the important things on my mind, which is deep thoughts about duct tape and people my age and the shortness of life.

 

 

XXOO

Read more

It was late afternoon on Saturday March 14, 2020 and I was in my Korean language class at the Korean Culture Center in Koreatown in midtown Manhattan. Only 4 people had shown up, so the teacher had the rest of the class on her laptop on something called “Zoom”. 

By then, the New York governor had already declared a “state of emergency” and had cancelled the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan for the first time since 1762. On March 12, he had shut down all the theaters on Broadway, and had “contained” an outbreak in New Rochelle in Westchester County by quarantining the town and sending in National Guard troops to direct traffic away from the hot zone.

I thought the actions were drastic but necessary, as precautions against the spread of this new virus but, since I’m not a fan of the St. Pat’s Day parade and I rarely bother to go see anything on Broadway,  and I lived 35 miles away from New Rochelle, I felt that my life would be largely unaffected, except that I’d be washing my hands a lot more often and for a lot longer.

The Korean class ended, and I walked to Penn Station to get my train home to the north shore of Long Island.

That was the last time I had a normal day.

The next day, the mayor of New York City closed all the schools, including my Korean school, and on March 17 he issued a “shelter in place” order for all five boroughs. 

Lastly, by order of the governor, all of New York state went into lockdown at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

The face masks, the isolation, the one-way aisles in the grocery store, the plexiglass partitions everywhere…that’s normal now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, I’ve stayed pretty normal during this past year. As you know, a new kitten came into our lives last Summer, and she’s a delight, but she’s taken a tool on our den couches. these couches were already the cat’s favorite scratching posts and they looked really crappy, but Kimmy likes to get INSIDE and tear out the stuffing. So, in order to prevent her from eating the insides of our couches, I’ve had to take drastic measures:

Here the culprit, posing with her “work:”

Since last March 14, I have taken 45 Korean classes. It’s really thanks to Korean that I have had something to keep my brain engaged while in isolation.  It also means that, for this class alone, I’ve spent 67. 5 hours, on Zoom.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Reader Jeanie was right: if BTS had won the Grammy for Best Pop Performance by Group or Duo last Sunday, you wold have heard me scream all the way to Michigan. But, alas, the award went to Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande and in response, the people at TOPPS candy came out with a commemorative Garbage Pail Kids collectible card:

The Garbage Pail Kids are for, uh, kids, and they are supposed to be satirical and a little gross, but the image of the members of BTS being hammered like Whack-A-Moles was Not Right. I found out about it on Twitter, actually from a BTS fan in Israel, that BTS fans around the world were already organizing a protest. I did my bit, and emailed a short message to TOPPS that the image was offensive and requesting that it be removed. I got this reply:

Later the same day, my Twitter tl informed me:

Five hours after I had sent my email to TOPPS, the company replied to me:

I give TOPPS credit for taking responsibility, for removing the image, and for contacting me.

You might be wondering why would I and a few million others would bother about a Garbage Pail Kids card game:

You know…it’s always this fucking guy, ALWAYS. Some fucking guy has a problem, and it’s the fault of women, and the solution is to go kill the people who are responsible for this fucking guy’s failings. ALWAYS. Women always pay for men’s sexual frustrations and if you ask me, that’s the whole reason behind religion and the Republican party but let’s not digress. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many people complained about this police spokesperson, Captain Jay Baker, and his “had a bad day” speech, that the county put out a press release:

 

 

 

It was a big deal that Korean musicians had been nominated for an American music award, and it was a big deal that a Korean-American movie, Minari, had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture , along with a nomination for Best Director for its Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung and two Korean-American actors from the movie for Best Actor, Steven Yeung, and Best Supporting Actress, Yuh-jung Youn. It had been a good week for Korean-Americans, and by extension, to all AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders). And then this happened.

It’s also wrong and racist to keep referring to the spas as “massage parlors”, and for the narrative to be around “sex addiction”. 

 

We all know that this violence agains Asian women didn’t come out of nowhere. There have been over 3,400 hate crimes against Asian Americans since Trump started talking about the China virus. And, of course, it’s usually men who take out their anger over COVID’s affect on all of our lives in cowardly attacks on elderly Asians:

 

 

Are white men the problem? Here’s your answer:

And, while we’re dismantling white supremacy and general human stupidity, for god’s sake, let’s get this done:

 

 

 

Over 300 people have been arrested for their “alleged” participation in the riot during the insurrection in Washington DC on January 2, and then there’s this fucking guy:

Right. The Republican senator from Wisconsin says that Black Lives Matter protestors are scary, but the Trump rioters were “patriots” who ‘loved America”.

Well, Senator Shit For Brains, I’m a black Lives Matter protestor. I’m a 65-year old white lady from the suburbs. Do I look scary?

(Insert photo of me taken on my 65th birthday, and the correct answer is yes, Vivian, you do look scary.)

This is where my internet and/or WordPress crapped out, so I’m going to bring it to a finish with little further commentary and a bit less content than I had planned.

Let’s get back to the good news that over 300 of those insurrectionist fucks have been hunted down and arrested by the FBI:

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the face of Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold:

This is Merrick Garland, our new Attorney General, whose nomination to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama was held up forever by Mitch McDonnell. I know I say it too much, but Fuck You, Mitch.

How’s the rest of the Republican party doing?

 

 

 

Kevin McCarthy, leader the Republicanism the House of Representatives:

Liar and sex pest Madison Crawley Republican from North Carolina gets lesson in constitutional law from Ted Lieu, Democratic house member from southern California:

 

That’s the week that was, Dear Readers. I’m sorry I’m late today — my internet froze for an hour and I got up late.

Enjoy some cats and dogs and some interesting trivia about earthworms, for Dear Reader Steve, whose husband makes a mean earthworm chili and which apparently is not as icky as it sounds:

 

The caption for this snapshot: Only one of them knows they are going to see the vet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Thank you for reading, and for being here each week during the pandemic. Let’s keep each other sane.

 

 

Read more

*******When I first learned that my blog was being attacked by an IP in Lativa I was insulted. Weren’t Latvians supposed to be cool? Didn’t they all wear Grateful Dead T-shirts to the medal ceremony when they won the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in Seoul?

Nope. That was Lithuania. 

So, anyway, somebody in Latvia has been bombarding my blog site for a few weeks, hundreds of times a day, trying to get “in” so, on Friday, WordPress had to lock my blog for its own protection until I updated the software. So I did and for now, the problem is solved. For now. I’m sure the Latvians are updating their malware as we speak.

So, in the future, if you can’t find me here, assume that it’s because of Latvians. 

And now for our regularly-schedule visit.*******

The COVID pandemic turns one year old on March 11 and I still haven’t processed how much life has changed, and how it will ever be normal again. Lordy, it’s been a tough year.

However, on the good side, Ruch Limbaugh died and is still dead.

 

I was in California on March 11, 2020, when I heard that the World Health Organization had declared that the spread of the corona virus had become a global pandemic, and I thought, Well, shit, I hope it will be over by the time I go see BTS  in May.

I got a lot of things wrong in 2020, but the one thing that I got right was when, in January, I predicted that 2020 was going to be the Year of BTS. I figured that if I, who had not been much interested in pop music for a decade and certainly was not into music made by Koreans had become a fan, then it meant that no one was safe from these guys.

And it turns out that in 2020, BTS became the best-selling musicians in the world. Here’s the BBC:

Billboard:

Forbes:

It’s the first time that non-English-speaking performers have topped the list, which for example usually looks like this:

This is a big deal. Because it’s Korea, of all places, and if you think racism isn’t a factor in repressing the careers of Asian artists, all you have to do is look at this tweet from a Forbes music journalist:

Hugh McIntyre is only in his 30s.  I’ve been around since 1956, so I’m not shocked at all about  how stupid people can be. 

I’m bringing you this update on current musical trends because I want you all, Dear Readers, to be up on the latest in pop culture and its attendant shift in the nexus of contemporary civilization. Also, this Sunday night you can watch the Grammies to see what happens when BTS is the first Asian group to be up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. It will be historic.

You might be signing up for Korean lessons some day soon.

Also, I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time on the internet lately, looking at photos of Corgis and reading Corgi blogs. 

I’ve been around since 1956 and I’ve never had a Corgi. I think I might need a Corgi in my life. Does anyone know, first hand, if they are good with cats?

OK, so now all of you are caught up with the news here in VivianWorld. Let’s see what’s been going on outside of Corgis and BTS, shall we?

 

 

*** I had to look this up. It’s true that Kanye West sells items like this with holes in them, what he calls “ripped homeless sweaters”, but they only cost $2,243. And a retailer who sells these things has assured us that they are worth every penny:

Yeah, it’s all pretty funny.

But this isn’t:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how Donald Trump, who is still banned by Twitter, tries to tweet, and this is what he really put out:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, how’s the insurrection thing going?

Remember her?

She’s got a new scam going:

 

 

 

I got news for all those fuck-wad “patriots” who rioted at the Capitol on January 6, 2021:

 

 

That includes those terrorists who are posing as Republicans in congress:

Lauren Bobert is the asshole who represents Colorado’s Third congressional district. 

 

That’s the news for now. 

And now, to get us in the weekend mood:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been around since 1956, so I find this funny:

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. If there are Latvians getting you down in the dumps, remember the wisdom of the Trash Pandas:

 

Read more

This is a photograph of a Mercedes SUV stuck on top of a pile of snow, taken by me (yours truly) at 4:40 PM on March 3, 2021 here on the north shore of Long Island. I was driving my car on Stoneytown Road in Plandome Manor and I had to pull over, and stop laughing, to get this shot. I mean, it’s not every day you see an $80,000 – $109,000 car in this kind of compromising position.

Now, some people might have indulged in a moment of glee that some Gold Coast Karen had got her GLS-class luxury ride in a predicament, but not me. Yes, I was laughing, but I was laughing because it’s been a long pandemic and an even longer Trumpocracy and I had almost given up on finding anything delightful or inspiring about the human race, but this sight, here, renewed my faith in the wonder of people and I was full of mirth and delight.

I know how that SUV got stuck atop this pile of snow, its front wheels hanging uselessly in mid-air as its undercarriage is fixed at the apex of a frosty isosceles. (The tow truck showed up seconds after I snapped this pic.)

We’ve had snow, a lot of snow, on the ground here on the north shore of Long Island since the blizzard of February 1, which has been refreshened by picturesque snow dumps every five days or so. It’s been a very scenic Winter.

However, this past week, it’s been sunny and warmer, and things have begun to thaw out and the streets are clearing and some yards are even snow-free; the only remaining signs of Winter are the huuuuuge mounds of snow that were snow-plowed there on every street corner.

So, you’re in your Mercedes, and you’re about to make a right turn onto Cardinal Road, and you see a big pile of snow jutting out into the roadbed, and instead of making your way around it like you’ve been doing since February 1, you say to yourself, “Fuck it. I’m gonna see what five thousand pounds (2500 kilos) of luxury German engineering can do!”, and you gun it, straight into that pile of snow, that beautiful, slushy, smash-worthy pile of old snow.

Sadly, you’ve forgotten one thing. Sure, lately, it’s been sunny and in the 40s (degrees F; that’s 5 degrees C), but today is the first day of a brutal cold snap, and what was mere slush 24 hours ago is, in fact, today, a rock-hard pile of ice. 

And thus, your magnificent piece of Teutonic manufacture doesn’t get you through the snow; it has  enough powerful momentum to get you up the glacier-like incline but, because of the laws of physics and common sense, the front wheels lose purchase for the down-side and fate leaves you there, up in the air, stranded, to contemplate the life decisions that brought you to this stand-still. (You can’t see in the angle of my photo that the back wheels are also dangling a few inches above the asphalt.)

I, for one, applaud you, you hapless driver of Mercedes GLS-class SUV. You saw a chance, a chance to have a moment — a fleeting instant, a blink-of-an-eye millisecond — of fun in this sad and awful world (in the form of a pile of snow v. Stuttgart’s finest) and you went for it.

OK, things turned out to be not as fun as you expected, but there’s a German word for that (of course there’s a German word for that, the German language being rich in describing subtle shades of disappointment): Verschlimmbesserung, so it’s not as if you’ve been any more of a sad-sack than all those whose vast experience of let-downs provided the etymology for Verschlimmbesserung.

Take heart, dear driver, as I do, in your derring-do, your quest to feel larger and more alive, to break free from the dull constraints of pandemic routine, the maddening mediocrity of middle age (because no one young drives a Mercedes SUV), and the soul-robbing conformity of traffic laws.

You remind me what it is to feel alive.

No, not the feeling of the fruitless spinning of wheels, not the embarrassment of hoisting yourself onto your own literal or metaphoric iceberg, not the painful expense of rectifying a lapse in judgement.

The feeling of being truly alive is about feeling awake and welcoming to the possibilities of every moment, to leaping into the unknown, to surprising yourself with your own audaciousness.

Whoever you are, yon driver of that Mercedes GLS-class SUV on Cardinal Road, I want to be your new best friend.

Better yet, I want to make better friends with that part of me who would be stupid enough to plow my car into a pile of snow for chance to be in the middle of sparkly, shiny, ice-crystal smithereens. 

Let’s live it up while we can.

With this in mind, maybe this week’s news won’t seem so depressingly idiotic. Maybe we’ll even have a laugh at the lunacy.

Let’s test this theory, starting with the annual American conservative gathering-of-the-morons:

 

Conservatives, including evangelicals, lined up to get their photo taken with a golden statue of a calf Trump:

 

I’ll transcribe the caption for you: The statue that is turning heads at CPAC is really just an appetizer for the real thing, though. It’s the fiberglass mold of the stainless steel sculpture that Tommy Zagan (the artist) has stored in Tampa Florida. Making that statue cast him his life savings of $50,000. He apparently wants to sell that one for more the $1 million, but if he can’t, he wants it to go in the Trump Presidential Library. “It is museum-quality, and that’s the one I’m eventually hoping to get in the Trump library,” Zegan told CNN. “It’s is literally priceless.” [Even though Zegan has actually put a price on it.]

Zegan told Politico that the fiberglass was made in Mexico over a period of six months in the resort town of Rosario. He then took it to Tampa, Florida where it was painted in chrome, and then got a U-Haul to transport it to CPAC. “If someone offered me $100,00 I’d take it,” Zegan said.

P.S. Turns out, the statue was actually made in China. don’t tell the raid anti-China CPACers.

Speaking of morons, let’s see who the FBI has arrested lately for the insurrection of January 6:

Speaking of morons, let’s see what’s been happening in the Republican party:


 

FYI: Steve Scalise is the representative of Louisiana’s 1st congressional district:

 

The Republicans are suing in the Supreme Court to overturn voting rights in Arizona:

 

Speaking of morons, let’s see what’s news in TrumpWorld:

It can happen! Arrests can be made!!

 

 

 

And then this happened, and the Republicans were shitting themselves over “cancel culture”:

The fine print says: “If I Ran The Zoo”, “And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street”, “On Beyond Zebra”, and “McElliot’s Pool” were among the six Dr. Seuss books that his estate said “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

To own the libs, Don Jr. put out a photo of him and one of his spawn reading Cat in the Hat in defiance (Cat in the Hat is not one of the six books being put on the out-of-print list):

And everyone noticed that he was holding the book strangely…to cover up the fact that it’s a Spanish version of Cat in the Hat.

Other conservatives got on board, trying to slam-dunk on “cancel culture”:

Hey, guys? You know that “cancel culture” you’re bitching about?

 

Here’s a look at why the Seuss estate wants to “cancel” some of Dr. Seuss’s old books:

So that’s all the news I’ve got for you. So, now for something completely different:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This really happened, at London Euston station:

The tabby was spotted on an Avanti West Coast train, sitting atop the 125 m[h Pendolino service at 8:30PM on March 3. The train was due to leave for Manchester at 9PM. Passengers were put on a replacement train, as staff took this one out of service to try and coax the cat down. In total it took two and a half hours to coax the cat down to safety away from the 25,000-volt lines which power trains.

That’s all the cat news I have for you this week. But please enjoy these snippets about another furry delight, the American Trash Panda:

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Go do something ridiculous, out of character, and pointless, and please have a ball while doing it. And then, tell us all about it.

XXOO

 

Read more