September 2021

I have a great story for you all today, but to set the mood I’ve hand-selected these memes for you to enjoy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s the thing. After 40 or so years  of being an adult, I’m getting less and less thrilled about it. Specifically, I’m talking about the years from around the time you become eligible for Social Security until you die. These do not seem to be the most exciting years of life, judging by what I did yesterday. Yesterday, 65-year-old me put new shelf liners in our kitchen pantry, and then I went to the bank, and then I waited until Jeopardy came on TV so I could make a gin and tonic. 

I’m not saying that I was never bored when I was in my 20s or 30s — in fact, I was often bored. . . but there was always a way out!  I could take off for Paris! I could stay out all night dancing and getting high in the East Village! I could join the Peace Corps! I could go hitch-hiking in Ireland! I could go live on a kibbutz in the Jordan Valley for a year! I could jump into a love affair with someone totally inappropriate that would end in tragedy! Sadly, life doesn’t offer  itself up that way when you are in your 60s, 70s, or 80s and I rue it every day.  And yet, there are people who get to my age and find ways to still be energized and excited and ensouled by life. 

That’s why I am in awe of my friend, Janet Lea, a Baby Boomer public relations executive who fell deeply in love two years ago and, as a result, is in Yorkshire (England) this week, meeting and greeting local and national celebrities who are clamoring for her attention as she unveils her first book to the acclaim of world-wide gathering of  academics and influencers.  

Now this is what I call Living Out Loud which is, fact, the subtitle of her book:

Gentleman Jack is the name of an 8-hour historical drama from the BBC that aired in the Spring of 2019 about Anne Lister, an upper class lady from Halifax; a landowner, world traveller, and polymath who cross-dressed in men’s clothes and took a wife in 19th-century England. Anne Lister was a lesbian at a time when there wasn’t even the word “lesbian”.

As Janet says: “It never crossed my mind that watching a TV show in 2019 would propel me out of my comfort zone, send me on a transatlantic adventure, and plop me smack  dab in the middle of an international community of lesbians, historians, and strong women. Gentleman Jack upended my life.”

The thing is, Janet is happily married to her wife of many, many years, and was enjoying a slower-paced life in semi-retirement in New Mexico but, “Thanks to Gentleman Jack, I fell in love with a woman who had been buried for nearly two hundred years. I was stupefied and embarrassed because Anne Lister was, after all, dead. But far more mortifying and unexpected was my morphing into a 70-something fan girl.”

With the conclusion of the first season of the show Janet “assumed what had become my unsettling preoccupation with Anne Lister would end and my infatuation  with all things Gentleman Jack would surely dissipate. 

But no, it didn’t,” Janet says.  “It got worse.”

I was obsessed.”

So what she did was put a 15-page questionnaire to the Facebook group of Gentleman Jack fans from around the world , asking about the impact the program had had on their lives. Out of the 600 people who wrote lengthy and “searingly emotional” responses, she interviewed close to 70 people, via Zoom, while the world was in lockdown in 2020 and 2021. Their stories show how people can find their true selves, via Gentleman Jack (or some other catalyst). These are  people who re-created themselves to live more loving, more authentic, more meaningful, and more adventurous  lives because of Anne Lister’s example of strength and courage.

Since publishers usually have a backlog queue of books in their publishing schedules that would have put her on a 2-year waiting list, Janet founded her own publishing company, hired a graphic designer, proofreader, IT specialist, and production manager while she handled rights and permissions and got her book and e-book to press just two months after her final interview. Pub date: September 2, 2021.

And now, 23 days later, Janet is the foremost documentarian of the phenomenon spurred by this BBC TV show that is re-shaping lesbian identity. She’s got a sold-out book event in Anne Lister’s hometown, she’s an honored guest at a symposium that features renowned Anne Lister historians and archivists, and she’s holding meetings with the creators of the BBC program because of their interest and gratitude for her  work, which, buy the way, has made The Gentlemen Jack Effect the #1 book in Lesbian Studies on amazon.com.

P. S. I did the illustrations.

 

 

 

What I love most about Janet’s story is that it shows how alive we can be at any age. Everything that she has accomplished in the past two years comes down to falling in love, to having that special kind of passion that is the life force itself. I wish there was a way that you could conjure it up at will, but it seems to be a thing that comes out of the blue, randomly, when you least expect it. And isn’t that wonderful? It could happen today! 

Janet’s book  click here is available at amazon.com because it was the only distributor she could find who would get orders out fast and efficiently to America and overseas. You don’t have to be in love with Anne Lister to be moved and inspired by these life-affirming and joyous stories of self-actualization, but you do have to have a beating heart — these stories will move you. 

Happy reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. I hope you all fall in love and 18 months later find yourself in a far-away land being the toast of the town. Or, throw yourself a staying-at-home party while you whip up some margaritas and tip the cute pizza delivery guy an extra $10. For all you Australians who are gearing up for lawn-sprinkler-hopping-into season, and all you Northern Hemispherians who are taking stock of the sweater situation: you never know. A great passion might be just around the corner, because weird things happen on the cusp.

 

See you all next week.

XXOO

 

 

 

 

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For those of you who are looking forward to Fall here are some messages from Your People. For for those of us who are dreading the end of Summer, here are some messages from perverts:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This last image (below) almost — almost — puts me in a good mood about the Solstice:

 

And this:

 

As I do every year about this time, when the weather turns cooler, I made a slew of appointments with doctors, dentists, and hair stylists to get myself in order for the eventual bleak times. Because of this, I’ve been talking to a lot of receptionists lately and have been saying my name to strangers with some frequency. 

I like my name. I’ve never been tempted to change or gussy it up with a foreign pronunciation (I knew a guy named Steven who went to Europe for a semester in college and when he got back he insisted that everyone call him Stefan, accent on the “fan”).

I’ve never wanted to disguise it with a cuter nick name, or get rid of half of it by taking either of my husbands’s last names. 

Other people have liked my name, too. A writer took it and made Vivian Swift the leader of a gang of thieves in 17th-centry London for a romance novel whose title I forget. When I was first certified as a diamond grader I worked at a jewelry store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan with a big, loud (in the 1940s she would have been called “blowsy”) salesgirl who got pregnant by the watch repair guy and she named her baby Vivian…I was not pleased. 

Four times in my life I’ve had people ask me  if Vivian Swift was my real name, it’s that good a name.

In the 1980s, when M*A*S*H was on TV and Hot Lips was played by an actress named Loretta Swit, I used to brace myself whenever I had to introduce myself because people invariably heard “Vivian Swit”, and I was not pleased. So thank the lordy for Taylor Swift — I hardly ever have to say my last name twice any more.

Anyway. A few days ago I’m making an appointment  to cut the last 18 months of pandemic out of my hair (it’s so long now that I look like a veteran country singer in a lounge at one of the second-rate casinos way off the Strip in Vegas). Before the pandemic, I had found a good stylist at a salon in my little village that thinks itself quite cool. I call the place and I tell the receptionist my name, and that I want an appointment with Michael V. She taps the info into her computer (I can hear the keys clicking), and then she says, in a voice that dips and rises as if she’s  talking to  a not-very bright three year old:  “Soooo, what-cha thinkin’?”

At first, I couldn’t think what on earth she was on about. “What-cha thinkin’?” What am I thinking? About what? Why do you want to know? This is confusing; I just want a hair cut, not a self-assesment of my most recent metacognitive activities. All I could think to say was, “What?”

She repeated the question in exactly the same intonation, and I was so annoyed that I just let the space between us be filled with dead air while I debated whether I wanted a good hair cut more than I wanted to tell this girl to go fuck off  with her “What-cha thinkin’?”. 

Thankfully, the girl quickly filled the silence by asking me, in normal English, “When would you like to come in?”

So next Tuesday I’m getting all the Miss Havisham of the Pandemic Quarantine Times cut out of my hair so I can look somewhat pre-COVID when I go out in public. If I go. I just want to be prepared.

Just because I happen to have them, here are two pictures of me, taken 39 years apart, so you can see my country-singer hair from last week. . . 

That’s the neighbor’s cat, Anthony, visiting during Happy Hour in our backyard.

. . .  and from 1982.

That second photo is from the archives of my 1982 sweetheart who recently looked up “Vivian Swift” in the inter webs and because there aren’t that many Vivian Swifts in the world, he found me and sent this memento from my Peace Corps days in Niger, West Africa. Thank you, Juan, for this, and thank you for being a Californian because we owe the good citizens of CA a big Muchos Gracias for  defeating the Republican effort to overturn a fair election by recalling the Democratic governor and installing a weird, anti-black African-American asshole named Larry Elder. Gavin Newsom won by a 2-1 margin by making it a definitive defeat for Trumpism.

 

 

 

 

I finally found information about the 18 military advisory board members that Trump appointed and Biden fired: they do NOT get paid for their attendance, but they do get “travel allowances”, so Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s former campaign manager, gets federal money to fly to Colorado to sit in on meetings of the Air Force academy’s military advisory board. Luckily, the Air Force never convened its advisory board while Conway was a member, and now the Pentagon is looking into abolishing all 40 military advisory boards for being nothing more than political patronage any way.

 

 

That (above) is a real story, by the way. A group of five zebras, referred to as a dazzle, have been on the loose in Maryland for over two weeks. The zebras escaped in late August from a 300-acre farm near Upper Marlboro, Maryland, owned by Jerry Holly, who is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to keep 39 zebras. The zebras escaped shortly after they were transported to the farm from Florida. 

Since their break-out, the zebras have been scouring for food in neighborhoods in Prince George County in search of food, water, and sometimes a pool to dip into. Residents have posted photos and videos  of the zebras while local officials struggle to catch them. 

The zebras are not dangerous unless you approach them, but “You can’t hunt them down. They’re just too fast, they run, they won’t let you get near them,” Rodney Taylor, chief of Prince George county’s animal services department.

I, for one, would love to wake up one morning and find five zebras grazing in my backyard. It would really take my  mind off hugely annoying current events, such as what Donald Trump did on September 11 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history  of America.

On the same day, Rudy Giuliani showed up drunk at a party to…celebrate?…9-11:

 

In case you didn’t know, and I didn’t until I looked it up, the reason we put COVID in capital letters is because it stands for COronaVIrus Disease.

And where some people see a deadly public health emergency, Republicans see opportunity:

 

Speaking of shitbag Republicans, here’s how the Texas anti-abortion law is going:

Back to the latest COVID Karma news:

 

 

 

 

Ryan Cole is the doctor who is against COVID vaccines. So the Republican commissioners of the county — which encompasses the state capital, Boise — put him on the regional health board and said they welcomed Cole’s “outsider” perspective and willingness to “question” established medical guidance. They appointed him over the protests of their lone Democratic colleague.

To critics, Cole’s elevation to a public health-care role is an extreme example of GOP-driven resistance to not only mandates but basic medical guidance, as the pandemic overwhelms Idaho’s hospitals like never before.

The covid-19 patients filling hospital wards and prompting statewide rationing of care are almost all unvaccinated. Yet Idaho’s lieutenant governor recently suggested, falsely, that vaccinated people are more likely to die, and some officials in the heavily conservative state — where many preach “freedom” from government — consider even recommending the shots to be an overreach.

 

 

 

This guy (below)  is an anti-anti-vaxx protestor, so he goes to anti-mask mandate rallies and protests in a most brilliant way:

 

 

 

The far right is going to hold another rally in Washington DC tomorrow, Saturday September 18, but I don’t think we have to worry too much about it.

The rally is being planned by “Look Ahead America,” a nonprofit led by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Barnyard, who is described as “a C-list activist” and a Steve Bannon wanna-be. His group is “dedicated to standing up for patriotic Americans who have been forgotten by our government,” Braynard is focused on claims that the people who staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are “political prisoners” who have been unfairly maligned.

Around 500 people have indicated they plan to attend, though the memo notes that past recent events organized by Look Ahead America had significantly lower attendance than expected and were peaceful.

Trump is not the only Republican keeping his distance. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, who were scheduled to speak at the event, both canceled their appearances. Congress will not be is session on Saturday, so it looks as if there will be no public hangings of Democrats or RINOs. It’s going to be pathetic, in other words.

So let’s catch up with the latest on the real January 6 insurrectionists and then we’ll just hang out and insult Republicans and look at cat memes::

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, lastly, for you Neil Gaiman fans (I know who you are):

That’s another week in America (and that one sad dining room somewhere in the UK), Dear Readers. Have a great weekend everyone. I hope you all have a fantastic Solstice, whether it’s the Autumnal (Northern Hemisphere) or the Vernal (Southern Hemisphere), we are in a period of change and even if we want to whine about it (that would be me, in the background, bitching and moaning) it’s good to change things up, to find new projects, to make adjustments, and to welcome in a new way of being. And remember: if you hear the sound of hoofbeats, it’s only your dazzle coming to get you.  

 

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Everything is suddenly different in September. The air (cooler already), the quality of light (still bright, but not as beguiling), the mornings (darker). I don’t like it. So if I seem more annoyed than usual it’s because Fall is 11 days away and I’m not in the mood.

Here is a picture of what is probably the final Blue Jay feather of 2021, which was delivered to me last Saturday exactly like this:

Wednesday morning was warmer than usual so I got wonderfully drenched one last time by this lawn sprinkler:

Is it weird that I have a collection of photographs of my favorite lawn sprinklers? Is this how people become “odd”?

And now I face the entropy of Fall as an endurance test of my will to live as all the sparkle and joy seep out of my life and then it’s Winter and I will be seriously morose and bored. 

The one bright spot in my ever-more dreary life is my Korean class, in which we keep learning new ways to conjugate a verb (I know 53 ways so far) but I have a hack to keep me engaged in the very annoying task of acquiring a new language. It’s my practice to write ten Korean sentences a day using the latest bizarre verb ending, so what I’m doing lately is writing the filthiest, but most beautifully conjugated, Korean sentences I can think up. I’ve never seen Korean porn (pornography is highly illegal in both South and North Korea)  but I think I have a bright future in smut if the industry ever takes hold over there.

During a discussion of Korean food a classmate recommended that I try radish kimchi instead of the usual napa cabbage kimchi.  So now I have a small tub of radish kimchi sitting in my fridge, uneaten, because kimchi is an acquired taste on top of which I have never eaten a radish in my life and I’m not sure that this is the way I want to start.  However, I have been trying out some Korean recipes and not to brag, but I make an outstanding jjajangmyeon — black bean sauce over udon noodles. I make a very spicy vegetarian version with cabbage and onions and it’s my favorite breakfast dish and if it weren’t so fattening I’d have it for lunch too.

For the past few months I’ve thought that “black bean” sauce meant it was made from “black beans” but this week I learned that there isn’t a single black bean in it; it’s made from a soy bean paste that turns black when it’s fermented. (I’m kind of glad I didn’t know this beforehand, as I am squeamish about soy bean foods, such as the dreaded tofu which is so disgusting that I can’t even look at it.) Jjajangmyeon is the Korean comfort food most equivalent to pizza, and yes, I also frequently have pizza for breakfast, but I put a fried egg on top of it the way they do in France because that makes it more breakfast-y. There’s a holiday in South Korea, called Black Day, April 14, on which single people who didn’t get valentines in February get together and eat jjajangmyeon. Because it’s black. And the holiday is called Black Day. 

As for other culinary adventures, Top Cat and I thought it was vile but the backyard raccoons loved the peanut butter/ketchup dip I made last week. I spread it on whole wheat bread and cut it into raccoon-sized hors d’ouvres and set it out in the backyard with a big bowl of water at dusk and every morsel was gone by morning:

Speaking of vile, are we all agreed that Texas Republicans suck? And that’s saying a lot because Republicans in general are assholes, but the ones in Texas are walking shitstains. Their new anti-abortion law is written so that no state governmental entity or person can be held accountable to it. Instead of the state enforcing the law — the normal way these things work — the Texas law leaves that to private citizens, who are empowered to sue anyone who “aids or abets” someone seeking an abortion — from the doctors who perform abortions to someone who drives a woman to a clinic. It includes a “bounty hunter” provision that allows someone who successfully files a suit to collect $10,000 on top of legal fees. And it also means that a doctor who performs an abortion can be sued by any number of private citizens — a dozen, a hundred, a thousand citizens —  for that one abortion.

 

 

 

 

This guy, Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, has explained that although the anti-abortion law does not make exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape, women don’t have to worry because. . . 

“Let’s make something very clear,” he said. “Rape is a crime. And Texas will work tirelessly to make sure we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them, and prosecuting them, and getting them off the streets.”

The governor’s statement  ignores the fact that three out of four rapes are committed by someone known to the victim, and he offered no elaboration as to how exactly his administration would “eliminate all rapists from the streets” before they have committed an actual rape. And he hasn’t explained why, for fuck’s sake, if he can eliminate rape now, he didn’t do it when he was the fucking Texas Attorney General from 2002 to 2015? Or when he was first elected governor in 2014? 

Of course the shitbag is lying about his ability to “eliminate all rapists” because never, in the history of the world, has rape and rapists ever been “eliminated”.  Just wait. Any day now there will be a case of an 13-year old rape victim being forced to give birth to her rapists’s child because she lives in Texas, and we’ll see what bullshit the governor has to say about that.

This is what the actress Maisie Williams has to say:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember that website I told you about last week where Texans can go to to fill out a report about suspected abortion activity? It was called ProfileWhistleBlower, and I and thousands of others logged onto the site and filed fake reports, hoping to crash it.  And then, the site host, Go Daddy, pulled the plug: 

 

And our federal Attorney General did this:

 

Supreme Court justice Brett “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh was one of the conservative votes that let Texas pass the anti-abortion law on Sept. 2. So the senator from Rhode Island did this:

 

 

Which brings us to COVID.

This (above) headline is misleading, but you’d expect that from a conservative news organization (The Daily Mail). The doctor only refuses to see unvaccinated patients IN PERSON. They can still get the medical attention they don’t deserve remotely.

Ivermectin is the horse de-wormer that Republicans take for Covid instead of the vaccine:

 

This is the best Anti-vaxxer story of the week:

A viral video of a woman deliberately coughing on masked shoppers at a Nebraska grocery store while laughing and calling them “sheep”, which was first posted Sunday on Reddit, has been viewed more than 4 million times. In it, the woman approaches a mother and daughter in the produce section of a Super Saver because they were wearing masks (Lincoln, Nebraska, where the store is located, has a citywide mask mandate in place). She follows them, heckling them about their masks and coughing dramatically.

“You’re such sheep,” she tells them. 

When another shopper asks why she isn’t wearing a mask, she responds: “I’m not sick and neither are you.” 

The mother who posted the video added, “There were several other people around wearing masks, but for some reason she chose to pick on me and my kid. She laughed and kept saying: ‘Look at you, it’s so cute how scared you are!’ By this time I was absolutely livid, trying my best to hold it together in front of my kid. I didn’t finish my shopping, instead I went to the self checkout to pay for my stuff. Next she followed me to use the self checkout right next to mine.”

The video also caught the attention of two online activists that have made a habit of identifying right-wingers in such videos: Danesh, known by his handle “thatdaneshguy,” and the TikTok user “Guilt.” The two spent hours sifting through profiles and activity in Nebraska-based anti-mask groups on Facebook. Eventually, they stumbled on the cougher’s profile, and found out that she was a 54-year old named Janene Hoskovec. 

“It was definitely on the easier end of people we’ve found,” Guilt said. 

The two posted her name on Tuesday night, and by Wednesday morning it was a trending hashtag. 

According to Hoskovec’s LinkedIn page, she was born and raised in Nebraska but currently works in Tempe at the Arizona branch of SAP, a German software company. 

On Wednesday morning, SAP put out a brief statement on Twitter, apparently in reference to the incident: 

“The health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we live and work are of utmost concern to us,” the company tweeted. “We are taking the matter of an SAP employee incident very seriously and investigating the situation.”

On Wednesday, the company added: “We have reviewed the incident and can confirm that the individual in question no longer works for SAP.”

Oh, Janene! Look at you! Look how cute you are when you lose your job for being a shitbag!

That’s the Feel Good story of hate week, Dear Readers.

 

And then there’s this guy:

Republican Larry Elder is hoping to become the next governor of California if the recall of Gavin Newsom is successful:

Our President Biden fired all of Trump’s appointees to several military advisory boards:

I tried to find out if these “advisory” positions are paid, but I couldn’t get any info that. 

And then there’s this bitch (Indian – American, Trump appointee to the UN):

My English moots on Twitter are losing their shit over this:

I know ABBA had hits in America and were hot in the 1970s, but they are still GODS in Europe.

And that’s my news round up for this week. The good, the bad, the trivial, and the epic, we made it through another week of madness and it’s FRIDAY! We all deserve a hug and a big stinking glass of adult beverage and a dinner of comfort food.

Sometimes, I go without the french fries:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Let’s put on our sweaters and heave an extra blanket on the bed and look up some hearty soup recipes as we get into the Fall mindset and meet here again next week to cast a cold eye on what new idiocy we have managed to live through. I wish I could reach through this screen and hand you all a glass of my favorite Vouvray, but all I got is this and I hope it tides you over until it’s 5 o’clock in your time zone.

 

 

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So September has announced itself.

On Wednesday we got very alarming text alerts, late at night, about tornados in our area.  But I was on my computer, socializing with 42 members of a BTS Twitter party and I wasn’t going to run down into the basement as advised (because did I mention the monthly BTS Twitter party is called Wine Wednesday and wine makes me very brave?) so I ignored the warning, and then we got some scary  flash flood alerts. However, I know the history of this area. In the late 19th century, when developers were trying to entice people to move out of Manhattan, they lied (like all salespeople do) and called the land where I live “The Alps of Long Island”, meaning that we are on high ground here in Too Many Cats Manor so I knew flooding was not going to be a problem, plus it was Wine Wednesday and wine makes me brave.

In case you are wondering, my house is 91 feet (approx. 28 meters) above sea level. The sea, in the form of Hempstead Harbor, is about a mile and a quarter away. The only way we are going to flood is if the cats leave the bathtub faucet running overnight. So I stayed at the party and had a grand time while the rains and wind did their evil best to make life miserable in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for about 24 hours. But it was almost a non-event for us. We never lost electricity and the basement stayed dry.

In other trivia from My Life, here are a few treasures that I found this past week during my morning outings:

 

 

 

I made a special run for the last day of August, and by “special” I mean that I dedicated the experience to giving thanks and keeping Summer thoughts in my mind. I am grateful for having had an outstanding season. I had projects and I met goals and I had a mission that was not about myself this Summer, all of which had me feeling useful and productive, which is a very fine way to feel.  Plus, a shit load of Blue Jay feathers came my way. So on this last day of spiritual Summer, August 31, I took my early morning run, and I got an excellent final lawn sprinkler drenching, and I found this:

Probably the final feather of 2021:

A lot of people on Twitter seem to care deeply about what will be the Song of Summer 2021. Justin Bieber, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, and Billie Eilish all have fans that get pretty pushy about this. Now, I have not given a crap about the Song of the Summer since 1969, when my sister and I declared that More Today Than Yesterday by the Spiral Staircase had to be THE Song of the Summer. I hear that song, even now, and I’m a gawky 13 year old,  at the Warrington, PA Swim Club, sunburnt and standing in line at the snack bar hoping that next year I’ll grow up and be cute like the teenagers on TV, and I’m hearing  someone’s transistor radio blasting Top 40 from WFIL in Philadelphia, “I love you more today than yesterday”. 

Anyway. You might not know this, but BTS, the South Korean pop group comprised of my seven Korean husbands, released a song in English, called Butter, on May 21. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and stayed at #1  for nine weeks, and it’s still on the list, 14 weeks later, at #23. It’s had more weeks at #1 than any other song released this year, so a lot of people think Butter is the Song of Summer 2021.

The only London soccer team with a superstar player from South Korea also thinks that Butter is the Song of the Summer (this is for Top Cat, who is a huge Tottenham fan):

“Smooth like butter” is the first line of the song. In Korean, the Tottenham Hotspurs says that their forward, Son Heung-Min, scores free kick goals smooth like butter. Cute, right?

Butter is cute and catchy and has an adorable music video and I’ve downloaded it a lot. But it’s not my pick for the Song of the Summer. For me, Summer 2021 is Leave the Door Open. 

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, both born in the mid-1980s, have made a perfect 1970s R&B single. The mv even looks like it was shot in the ’70s in that the clothes and almost everyone in it are ugly. But the intro to Leave the Door Open is already iconic, and although the verse is a bit silly  because Bruno Mars is kind of goofy as a writer (remember 24 K Magic?), the chorus is dead sexy and I think Summer is sexy so, ipso facto…it’s my pick for a totally meaningless honor, Song of the Summer.

Last week I promised you a Katara the Cat painting. Well, I did my best, three times, and I just don’t like any of them. It’s the ears. 

If you remember, this is my reference photo:

I didn’t want to paint Katara with her ears in that position, so I borrowed our #5 cat, Kimmy,  as my Ear Model. . .

. . . but every time I paint Katara’s face with Kimmy’s ears I feel like I’ve got them wrong — the ears feel fake. They aren’t Katara’s ears and it throws me. Alex, I’m sorry to have failed so badly, but I just can’t “get” Katara. Alex, if you ever get a full-face, in focus photo of Katara, please send it to me and I will be happy to paint the REAL Katara. 

In the meantime, everyone: Meet Winston:

Winston has a date with me and my paints next week. 

One last story from my molehill life because I’m in a dilemma and I need advise. 

Yesterday I was parking my car behind the local Total Wine store, in order to stock up for the next Wine Wednesday (and Wine Friday, Wine Saturday, Wine Sunday, etc) and I had to maneuver around a shopping cart that had been left behind by some pissant shopper who is too lazy to put the damn thing back where it belongs.  It’s a point of honor with me that I ALWAYS return my shopping carts to their corrals because I’m a decent human being; so I was pretty annoyed that some entitled asshole had left their shopping cart in the middle of a really good parking spot. When I got out of my car I grabbed the shopping cart to return it to where it belongs with all the other shopping carts because I’m a decent human being, and that’s when I noticed something black was in the cart. I picked up the black thing, and to my surprise it’s an iPad.

Now, on my morning runs, I have found many other things besides Blue Jay feathers, and one of those other things that I have found was an iPhone. It was lying on the side of the road, and I picked it up, scrolled through the phone book, and called the number listed under “Mom”. That’s how I was able to return the phone to a nice young man who was mystified, having no idea how his phone came to be lying on the side of the road, but there you are. So, I now have this iPad, and I figure I’ll do the same thing — scroll through it and find the owner and give the shitbag a piece of my mind about ditching shopping carts in parking lots before I hand over the iPad. I toss the iPad in the back seat of my car and I proceed towards Total Wine because I have more important things to do at the moment. I’ll get to the iPad when I’m home.

Alas, at home I find that the iPad is locked. So now I don’t know what to do with the thing. Do I hand it over to police? Do I return to Total Wine and give it to the manager? Do I go to the Apple “geniuses” and have them break into it? Do I throw it out because the owner is the kind of person who abandons shopping carts in parking lots and he/she deserves to lose their iPad? Do iPads come with tracking devices? Can I let him/her find me? Opinions, please.

Speaking of opinions, everyone with half a brain knows that this one stinks out loud:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to see how scary it is now that Texas has deputized all private citizens to inform on their neighbors, take a look at that website. You would never think to see this in America, but here we are. Andes, I have already left my bullshit “information”.

 

In other national news, this is the Republican’s worst nightmare:

 

 

Mo Brooks is the Alabama congressman show spoke at Trump’s rally and encouraged the crowd to go to Congress and “kick ass”. He also wore body armor on Jan. 6. Is it just me, or is he terrified of the Jan 6 committee?

 

 

 

Remember this insurrectionist?

 

The latest in Covid news is that the Delta variant is spreading like crazy so . . . 

Toilet paper demand has risen at retailers such as Massachusetts-based grocery chain Roche Bros. and Food City, headquartered in Abingdon, Va., with more than 130 retail outlets in southern states. “I don’t think we fully recovered from when the supply chain got a massive hit,” Arthur Ackles, Roche Bros.’s vice president of merchandising and buying, said.

Manufacturers of toilet tissue say they are responding to the latest increase in demand. Kimberly-Clark, which makes Cottonelle and Scott toilet tissue, and Kleenex, “is monitoring the situation closely, and working hard to produce more toilet paper and other essential paper products to best meet consumer needs,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. “We remain vigilant with consumer demand and will continue to produce and ship as much product out to retailers as possible.”

Georgia-Pacific, which makes Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper as well as Brawny and Sparkle paper towels, “continues to produce toilet paper and towels 24/7 across our system,” the company said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Our customers may be experiencing small demand surges locally and we are responding. Like other manufacturers, we continue to face a variety of challenges across the supply chain including shipping, transportation, logistics and labor.”

 

This panic-buying not just in the U.S. It’s happening in Australia too:

Australians are really good at messaging for the public good. Her’s another example: 

 

During an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,Trump lawyer Sidney Powell struggled to respond to questions that the correspondent Sarah Ferguson asked about the truthfulness of Powell’s lawsuits. Powell, flummoxed by Ferguson’s tenacity, threatened to end the interview.

Powell was one of several public figures who propagated the Big Lie,  that mass voter fraud cost Donald Trump the 2020 election. The voting-machine companies Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic have filed billion-dollar defamation lawsuits against Powell over her involvement in spreading the baseless conspiracy theory.

At one point during the interview, Powell responded to a line of questioning by asking Ferguson if she worked for Smartmatic and saying she was confused about why Ferguson had come to interview her.

“Because you’ve made a series of very strong allegations against Smartmatic and against Dominion containing many errors of fact,” Ferguson responded.

Powell stuck by her baseless claims about widespread election fraud: “I am saying that thousands of Americans had some role in it, knowingly or unknowingly,” Powell said. “It was essentially a bloodless coup where they took over the presidency of the United States without a single shot being fired.”

When Powell claimed that the fraud had been planned for at least three years, Ferguson asked, “Do you ever hear yourself and think that it sounds ridiculous?”

 

Because I am so impressed with Sarah Ferguson and whoever wrote that sing about the fuckwads who are hoarding toilet paper, I have gathered other examples of Australian excellence for your viewing pleasure at the end of our news round up. 

Starting with the latest in Covid Karma:

 

 


Aug 30   Robert David Steele, the conspiracy theorist who  called COVID-19 a hoax, has reportedly died of the disease.

Steele, a former CIA officer, was hospitalized with COVID-19 in early August, shortly after he spoke to a large crowd in florida.

Known for anti-Semitic beliefs and falsely asserting that NASA operates a child slave colony on Mars, Steele was also a promoter of the sprawling QAnon conspiracy that centers on the baseless idea that former President Donald Trump will vanquish a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles.

Steele has also claimed that U.S. military bases are “lily pads” used for the smuggling of gold and children.

“We are normalizing pedophilia and idiocy!” he said. “We are normalizing the destruction of the family.”

May he rest in eternal stupidity, along with these guys:

Aug 17 In February, DeYoung (above) published an interview promoting the conspiracy theories that the Pfizer vaccine would make women sterile and that world governments were using the virus and vaccine to centralize power. DeYoung’s guest at the time, Sam Rohrer, said that very few people who were infected lost their lives, calling the vaccine only a “purported solution” and “not truly a vaccine.”

Both host and guest encouraged listeners to read conspiracy-minded materials on the coronavirus vaccine, with DeYoung asking, “Could this vaccine be another form of government control of the people?”

It’s the same story with these shitheads:

 

 

Here’s the latest about that Texas father of three:

And more:

 

 

 

 

The video of this school board meeting is a hoot — this lady, known only as “Melissa”, was protesting a mask mandate.  Her microphone was cut off and she was removed from the room for threatening board members. But “Melissa” should know that no one is anonymous on Twitter:

 

 

 

 

 

Be glad that you don’t live in Mississippi:

 

 

House Minority  Leader Kevin McCarthy (Republican), who is scared shitless that his phone records from the January 6 insurrection will be made public, is in hot water for another reason:

 

A company owned by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s in-laws won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California based on a dubious claim of Native American identity by McCarthy’s brother-in-law, a Times investigation has found.

The prime contracts, awarded through a federal program designed to help disadvantaged minorities, were mostly for construction projects at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in McCarthy’s Bakersfield-based district, and the Naval Air Station Lemoore in nearby Kings County.

Vortex Construction, whose principal owner is William Wages, the brother of McCarthy’s wife, Judy, received a total of $7.6 million in no-bid and other prime federal contracts since 2000, The Times found.

Vortex faced no competitive bids for most of the contracts because the Small Business Administration accepted Wages’ claim in 1998 that he is a Cherokee Indian. Under the SBA program, his company became eligible for federal contracts set aside for economically and socially disadvantaged members of minority groups, a boon to its business.

Wages says he is one-eighth Cherokee. An examination of government and tribal records by The Times and a leading Cherokee genealogist casts doubt on that claim, however. He is a member of a group called the Northern Cherokee Nation, which has no federal or state recognition as a legitimate tribe. It is considered a fraud by leaders of tribes that have federal recognition.

 

And that’s all the news for this week. 

Time to let FunFriday roll:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to top it off, here’s AUSTRALIA:

This is from January 2020, when there were terrible fires in Victoria state:

 

 

 

 

Below: “Ripper” is Australian slang for “awesome”, and by the looks of the uniforms, those are Victoria state cops.

 

 

 

 

 

Below: News Corp is the Murdoch media company:

 

This one is my favorite:

 

 

I saw this photo (above) and I wondered, Is that white bread with sprinkles? Read below:

 

And that’s another week, Dear Readers. It’s a three-day weekend here in the US (Labor Day on Monday), four days if you’re Jewish (Rosh Hashanah on Tuesday). If you are celebrating with friends or family, and want to make a special surprise dip, like I did  . . .

. . .  from the recipe that I told you about last week . . .

 

. . . with apologies to Dear Reader Judy: DON’T. It’s disgusting. It’s nutty and sugary in a cloying, rancid, shitty grape-tootsie roll pop covered in sad school lunch kind of way. It’s really one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve eaten fried grasshoppers. 

Instead, celebrate the end of Summer with love and champagne and BBQ, regret and melancholy and the commencement of the dark season’s unrelenting fear of death like normal people. 

See you all next week. 

XXOO

 

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