Friday, November 03, 2017

Free-For-All Friday: Let Us Bitch

I must be feeling better because I'm getting feisty and I'm getting restless. Whatever Patience I've managed to manufacture is wearing thin, and I'm starting to feel that staticky energy under my skin. A whole bunch of things large and small are irritating the hell out of me, and lest I blow my stack and create some serious Collateral Damage, I'm going to let loose a little steam here. I hope you'll join me in Comments and then have a relatively serene weekend.

The Dishwasher: Hey, listen: no one is happier than I am that I can load up my yucky dishes in a machine and then settle in and watch Dateline or whatever gritty Chicago-themed drama is on television and have clean dishes to show for my effort. My problem is that with all the advances in technology, why does it still take two goddam hours for the dishwasher to do its thing? I don't get it. I mean, we give it rinsed-off dishes, for goodness' sake. It's not like it has to scrape plates and pry off stuck-on meatloaf detritus, or polish silver or anything. I feel like dishwashers should have advanced to the point where they take half an hour, tops, to get the job done. Come on.

republicans: Nope. Still not capitalizing it. At this point, it's painfully obvious that they are...actually, I don't have a clue what in the hell they are. Not one. How pitiful is it that this bunch of lying, spineless, soulless animals are making Bush 43 and his administration look good? The retirements of incumbent republicans are coming thick and fast, and it's not because they are finding their conscience. It's because they are afraid of being primaried out by lowlifes and white nationalists handpicked by the far-right element that hijacked the party way back when they were charmingly called the tea party. John McCain can speechify his outrage all he wants, but he opened the door and legitimized them all when he chose their pinup girl as his running mate and never admitted his mistake. They all--every single one of them--owe President Lincoln an apology.

Christmas Creep: It's almost not worth mentioning anymore, but if I don't bitch about it, then the terrorists win. The onslaught of Christmas commercials began immediately on November 1st. IMMEDIATELY. Lexus is already running its "December to remember" ads. Christmas trees are all over the airwaves and I just know that the cruelly annoying Old Navy commercials are imminent. IS IT OKAY WITH RETAILERS EVERYWHERE IF I HAVE THANKSGIVING FIRST? Yesterday morning I took a walk and noted with relieved approval that the massively overdone Halloween display around the corner was already down. But then I noticed that it was being replaced with Christmas decorations. My hanging geraniums are still blooming on my front porch. I just had a waterlily on my pond. I snipped fresh oregano and parsley the other day. Many of the trees still have green leaves. WHAT IN THE HELL IS EVERYONE'S BIGASS HURRY?  I am unlikely to feel Jolly if I am Bludgeoned and Assaulted by Christmas a full seven weeks before it arrives.  Thank heaven I have a fully-stocked wine cellar (even though our wine refrigerator called it quits; I know--First World Problems).


Your turn.  What do you have to Bitch About?  Feel free to crab about these and/or add your own in Comments. 


  1. Nance..Your dishwasher would have to run for about six hours in order for you to "enjoy" all the Chicago based television shows currently airing (I'm including reruns)..
    To name just a few , we have Chicago HOPE, PD, Empire, Justice ,Fire and COMING SOON Chicago Sanitation...It will tell the story of the brave men and women who man the Trash and Garbage trucks of this great city..
    Personally, I can't wait for the premier of this intriguing show.I hope all of your commenters watch so we can discuss the episodes as they appear. Sort of like a Book Club for the Windy City. We can call it Chicago Library..Oh,Wait.did I just give them an idea for another show?


      The Chicago shows are all over the place, aren't they? And the writing is awful. And where did they go to find so many raspy-voiced actors and actresses? At least Chicago Med has Oliver Platt.

      Chicago Library...holy crap, you know I'd watch that.

  2. My niece just got a new dishwasher and has the same complaint as you do. I always run mine when I go to bed so it's doesn't matter how long it goes, I'm not in the room but mine is still old and only goes 45 minutes.

    I am so sick of the Republican, spineless people in Congress. Whatever their problem is they are letting their leader destroy the country.

    What is my bitch? The phony war on Christmas that certain people including the president is pushing already. When they called to boycott Starbucks last year my car couldn't pass the place without turning in.

    1. Jean--I run mine overnight also, but the whole thing still frosts my cupcakes. It's ridiculous. Sometimes I have to run it during the day, and it just irks me.

      Oh, the whole War On Xmas kerfuffle is so idiotic and persistent that I wrote about it 12 years ago when my blog was a baby. I called out the megachurches for being closed when Xmas fell on Sunday. Hypocrites.

  3. I hate that Lexus commercial. I haven't seen it yet, but maybe because it hasn't played on MSNBC...

    But the commercial I hate the most that gets resurrected every few years is the coffee one where the creepy son arrives home in a Beetle, sneaks in the house, makes coffee and that wakes up his creepy family. I don't know when the ad first aired, but I think about 30 years ago. It was creepy then and its even creepier now.

    I don't even think about the commercialisation of Christmas. It's always been that way to me.

    Glad you're feeling better.

    1. Jill--Long time, no see. It's a pleasure to have you back.

      I get that Christmas is, especially for non-Christians, a largely commercial holiday. My big bitch is that it starts so darn early and treads all the heck over Thanksgiving. It's like that obnoxious coworker who butts into every conversation, ignores the established topic, and says, "Ok, but wait til you hear what happened to me yesterday" and then goes on and on and on and on while his overpowering aftershave is making you nauseated. You excuse yourself, move away for a moment, but you never really escape him because he's everywhere in one form or another.

      I know the coffee commercial you're talking about, and it IS creepy. But then, the whole notion of Santa Claus (which the kid in the commercial sort of parallels) is awfully unsavoury too. All that surveillance when you're sleeping and awake, keeping track of what you're doing, appearing in your home at night...why is that all okay? LOL.

      Thanks. Me too.

  4. Laughing at your reply to Jill, regarding the scariness of Santa. Maya SO wanted to believe in Santa as a kid, and Ted asked her why she thought it was OK for people to sneak in through our chimney. Our brave guard dog Mulder would lose his shit, to be sure.

    I do not want Christmas commercials yet, though I will admit that I have already bought my cards and stamps, and almost half of my gifts. Yay me! I like doing the stuff early, because then I don't feel rushed and stressed out once December gets here. Ted likes to do his shopping on Christmas Eve, or maybe the weekend before, which used to bug me, but now it doesn't at all. I'm mellowing with age, and the realization that it does not affect me.

    We have such a tight spot in our kitchen for a dishwasher...we had one that we really liked for a week or two back in '07, but it didn't fit right and we had to send it back. Sigh. I dislike our dishwasher, but there is nothing to be done for it, really.

    I think if my appliances knew how I felt about them, they would be mightily displeased. And really, it's not THEIR fault that they were shoddily made and not what I want. I did buy them after all. Sigh again.

    I can't talk about the republicans. I just can't.

    1. j@jj--Don't talk about them, then. I get it; truly, I do. Sometimes, I just have to Get It On The Record, and then I feel better. (As if everyone doesn't already know How I Feel.)

      I don't have a single problem with anyone doing his or her Xmas shopping early or wrapping early or even telling me about it. Like you, however, I don't want the Economic Industrial Complex shoving the consumer side of the holiday down my throat the moment November hits, making me feel like a slacker or something. All it does is make me want to give all homemade gifts, even if they are tacky and useless and made with hot glue, cotton balls, and Solo cups.

      I think this is the most important sentence I have read today, anyplace: I'm mellowing with age, and the realization that it does not affect me. It's huge, and I'm not kidding. I love you, Julie. You really know how to Cut Some Shit Loose.

  5. The Dishwasher: I don't have a dishwasher. So I'm still envious of you. That said, when I lived in the co-op in Berkeley ten years ago (Jesus, I am getting old), we had a sanitizing machine. You had to get all of the food off of the dishes first (so rinse + the occasional scrub), but then you put them in the sanitizer and two minutes later, the germs were gone! It was fantastic.

    republicans: I have nothing to add. The basket of deplorables remark really hit the nail on the white supremacist head.

    Christmas Creep: I was in a Target store that was actually setting up their Christmas displays before Halloween. It was disgusting. Also, last night I was in downtown SF, and they had already set up the skating rink and giant Christmas tree. ::sigh::

    General Incompetence: There are so many acts of incompetence I have personally witnessed that I could write about them without ever running out of material. But I'd like to focus on one. Some colleagues and I are heading down to San Diego for a conference next week. Two of us agreed on an outbound flight that leaves out of San Francisco a few hours after we finish work. We're going to head to the airport early and relax a bit before our flight. We told a third colleague about our plans, sharing the flight information, so that he could join us. A few days later he booked his flights and shared his itinerary, which had him flying out of Oakland, and airport that's twice as far away from us! I asked him why he wasn't joining us, and he mumbled a bit about getting confused. WTF? You have a MASTER'S DEGREE in mathematics and you can't verify that you've booked yourself with the same flight number as we did?

    I also learned that I have colleagues who haven't returned any graded assignments as late as the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth weeks of the semester. How does one fail so spectacularly at their job?


    - Mikey G.

    1. Mikey--Maybe the colleague didn't have the guts to tell you he just didn't want to hang out with the rest of you? I can't imagine it, but maybe...?

      As far as Someone Failing Spectacularly At His/Her Job, you do not have far to look to find examples of that. They are everywhere in every arena. AND SPEAKING OF republicans...! (You set me up for that.)

      I knew that my dishwasher was slacking! I need a sanitizer!

      You bring up such a salient point, though, about General Incompetence. So much of the world would be a Much Better Place if every single person would Just Do His/Her Job. Period. It's really not a whole lot more complicated than that.

      Nice to see you here.

    2. That's not the case with the colleague. We're good friends, and I know him well enough to know that he just failed at getting the right ticket.

      And even if he didn't want to hang out with us, he could have booked a flight on a different airline and flown out of a different terminal. Or booked a flight at a different time.

      Though this does remind me of that trip I took to Southeast Asia several years ago, where my travel companion was so sick of even the sight of me that she booked a flight from Vietnam to Cambodia to put herself further along in the itinerary so that we wouldn't even accidentally bump into each other. I mean, I was sick of her too, but I didn't feel as though I need to put down cash so that someone could physically remove me from being in the same country as her :-p

  6. I want the orange menace impeached and forced to resign, or to be declared unfit for the presidency. The amount of people who are content to "watch it burn" are people I would seriously like to shiv.

    I am sick and my daughter's birthday party is tomorrow. Thank god it is somewhere else. I am too lazy to have to clean the whole house prior to a birthday party these days.

    1. Gina--I'm so sorry you're ill. Being sick when you're the Mom is simply The Worst. Add a kid party to the mix and even if it is elsewhere, you're still Sick With A Kid Party Happening. Ugh. My deepest sympathies. XO

      The situation with 45* is almost a No-Win any way you look at it. His frothing base will still be ignorant, racist, gun-loving morons who will cuddle their conspiracy theories and never go away. He will almost certainly not finish out this term, but his judicial appointments and slash-and-burn destruction of President Obama's good work ensure that he leaves behind a lasting and withering legacy that this country won't recover from for a long time. He is the personification of what the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove built the republican party into so that they could get Bush 43 in the White House and ensure that corporations/Wall Street wield huge influence in our government. And here we are. You've been reading me long enough to remember how many times I bemoaned anyone who said, "I trust the intelligence of the American people to...". There is not a single thing I've seen to make me trust the collective intelligence of the American people.

      That's why I have to be an active member of The Resistance. I won't go down without a fight.

  7. This president and his minions are horrifying. The entire thing is a disgrace, and I just cannot believe people still support this man (in addition to my horror that they ever supported him). My only hope is that Mueller brings more and more charges, slowly working his way up and into, as in getting a look at Trump's tax returns. We used to live in NY, and honestly, Trump was just a buffoon, nothing to be taken seriously, with all his bankruptcies and wives. And now look...the presidency. I will say this, though, his changes have already been felt in Cleveland. My daughter is a teacher in the CMSD, and educational, after-school programs have been cut. Programs that really made a difference in the day-to-day life of these kids. I am in the process of getting a divorce and every time I see something about Obamacare changes (which I will have to get b/c I am self-employed), I get the shivers. Sad times indeed.

    1. Elle--I share your sentiments, as you know. I taught in one of Ohio's big urbans for 30 years, and I know firsthand the struggles faced by kids in economically distressed/disadvantaged households. They are the victims of these cuts in the worst way all the time. This administration is a bully and a narcissist and thinks only of himself and his rich, white cronies.

      Mueller's process is textbook: get a low-level informant eager to make a deal and roll on some higher-ups, then arrest some key players who have reputations and big bucks to salvage and see if they'll do the same. And 45* is so stupid and narcissistic that he will hang himself if the investigation doesn't get to him first.

      As to the aftermath of it all and how we will fare, who knows. I can only hope for the best.

      Like you, I can't believe this moron has ascended to such heights. It's the acme of The Peter Principle.

    2. I would suggest that it is the Small Peter Principle

    3. Sillyak--He is certainly (over)compensating for something. ;-)

  8. I am with you on everything you said. As for the repubs, well don't even get me started there. What has happened to our society when George W Bush starts looking good? And for Christmas, I am never happy about the Holiday but having is shoved down our throats earlier and earlier every year is disgusting. And I have just read about yet another shooting where 20 or more people have died. When will we ever get a handle on gun control?

    1. Meredith--Sigh. Guns, guns, guns. If a school full of dead children didn't get anything done, I'm sadly afraid it will never, ever happen. Columbine broke my heart and Newtown shattered it forever. After those two tragedies, I gave up on this country's commitment to any meaningful gun legislation forever and knew that until a maniac got into the congressional chamber and shot it up, nothing would ever happen. I would never wish that, truly, and even though sad individuals have gotten to congresspeople singly, it has done nothing to effect change. As I knew it wouldn't.

      I'm surprised that you, a parent of a young child, aren't more Jolly about Christmas. But perhaps that is part of the reason. Even though they make it more fun, they also require a lot of work to preserve the Magic side and keep up expectations. Although my grownup kids, who don't even live at home, expect things to still be Traditional and Worky, too.

  9. Just yesterday Mike decided that he wanted a Thanksgiving wreath for our door, so we headed out to Michaels with no great expectation of finding one. But amazingly we did! There were THREE left on a sale rack in the midst of the Christmas explosion. We got one for less than $20.

    I read this quote yesterday from Michael Arnovitz, and it sums up why I feel so depressed about the state of our country: “...what is most appalling of all, if we are willing to accept it, is that Donald Trump is not the cause of the problems in this country. On the contrary, he's the result.”

    1. Bug--You two are really into decor in general, and seasonal decor in particular. I applaud your Celebratory Nature!

      That quote IS depressing. And while this may be a distinction with perhaps a negligible difference, I would say 45* is a symptom of the problems rather than the result.

      Enjoy your lovely new wreath. I will try to embrace some Celebration Attitude myself.

    I was thinking the exact same thing just the other day. Why DO dishwashers need such a long cycle? I put mine on the ‘light’ setting and it still takes damn near 2 hours. Lately, I just turn it on at night before going to bed so I do not have to agonize over it.

    I help out when I can with citizenship classes for immigrants (mostly Latinos). I wish I had time to do more. Last month I spent all Saturday at a university sponsored event to help DACA kids get their renewals done in time before the axe drops next spring. And you’re right: the current 45 MAGA movement makes the Tea Party look like… a tea party. It will take generations to get a majority of the public better educated, if that even ever happens. I am not counting on it. We have to find a way to be as cleverly seductive as the bottom feeders that are promising them the moon with a fence around it. Just in a good (read: sincere) way. I have watched a few programs on T.V. where progressives try to bridge the gap by listening politely to these folks in local town-hall-style meetings, and the one thing that stands out, above all else, is the fact that so many of them don’t give a crap how much stupid stuff 45 says or does; they feel insulted and demeaned by liberals and they are sticking by ‘their man’ who is ‘telling it like it is.’ So sad that they are eating up this bullshit and don’t realize that 45 could give a tinker’s damn about them. He will keep trying to push legislation through Congress because his approval rating is abysmal. His supporters don’t get that he could really care less about them and just says whatever it takes to get his adoring fans to cheer him on at his freaking endless pep rallies: Guns, Jobs, Lower Taxes, Great Medical Care… These people can’t even see that he has ‘drained the swamp’ and replaced it with a stench that makes the supposed previous swamp look like heaven. Dems are in serious need of new blood and strong leadership with a message that resonates with people of all stripes. If they do not get their act together in the Midterms, the Black Cloud of Authoritarianism is going to choke us all. My biggest fear right now is Bannon: he is one dangerous character, and scarier than even 45.

    I think I could deal with it if the toy section of big box stores did not start putting out Christmas Barbie dolls in AUGUST. Halloween stuff goes out at about the same time. By the time it is Halloween, I am scratching my head saying, “Wasn’t that at least a month ago?” Geez. I’m with you: NO CHRISTMAS STUFF UNTIL AFTER THANKSGIVING.

    1. Ortizzle--Ditto, ditto, ditto.

      What is truly scary right now about 45* is that he is filling the federal judiciary with far-right lifetime appointments who are absolutely unqualified. This is going hugely underreported, and it is frightening. Here is a link to what I'm talking about. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to do something about these appointments, but it is almost impossible in a republican majority-led Congress.

      Bannon is a bad influence, but he is not in the White House and Congress; those are the sad, pathetic partyline zombies who are killing us all.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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