50 Shades of Twilight

Somehow, I knew it was coming. It was in my news feed yesterday and I just wasn’t surprised. Not even a little. That purveyor of teenage angst, Stephanie Meyer is ‘re-imagining’ her Twilight series. Bella is becoming Beau and Edward is becoming Edythe. So now, instead of a 250 year old male vampire stalking a sullen female teenager, we get the 250 year old female vampire stalking male sullen teenager.  I suppose next we’ll be hearing about E.L. James writing a gender reversal of 50 Shades as well.Perhaps she’ll call it 50 Shades of Gemima.  It’s stuff like this that makes me

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James and Meyer seem to be feeding off of each other here, James reimagining 50 Shades from Christian’s POV, something Meyer has already done with Midnight Sun. I’m not sure what came of that, since the manuscript was leaked, but I can see E.L. James now. Surfing the  net, she sees an old article about Meyer’s Twilight from Edward’s POV, arms going up and shouting “Eureka! I can recycle 50 Shades from Christian’s POV and no one will ever know I don’t have an idea in my head. I’ll claim my fans have been clamoring for this all along!”

It is my fervent wish that these two would take their bazillions of dollars, go and sin no more, but I guess fame and fortune are too addictive to give up.

Am I too picky (yes I am) to want these people,  who have the attention of the world and readers who hang onto every morsel published, to do better? Granted, I don’t expect Austen or duMaurier or even Rosemary Rogers, but come on. I see a picture on facebook and a new idea pops into my head for at the very least a short story. I know there’s nothing new under the sun, but rewriting Twilight is recycling of the lowest form. If you can’t come up with something original (or at least a twist on it) do you really want to rehash old material?  And here’s the thing. You can re-write things, but you should at least have the wherewithal to make it sort of new and steal from the greats. Re-write Rebecca or For Whom the Bell Tolls, not your own mediocre mind-numbing tripe that makes me want to

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Just a thought.

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Don’t eat my bacon, I won’t eat your cauliflower

bacon cheeseburger

If I worked at, say, Harry’s Hamburger Hut and you came in wanting a double cheeseburger with bacon, I wouldn’t say “That’s bad for you, it’ll clog your arteries, here, have some cauliflower instead,” you’d call the manager and tell him I was interfering with your right to a bacon cheeseburger and that you don’t like cauliflower. Unless you do, in which case, I think you need to rethink your priorities.

cauliflower

That little analogy is the introduction to my opinion on the whole Kim David thing. What I think is really happening has nothing to do with her desire to convert LGBT people to Jesus’ path. My humble opinion, they’re already there.

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jesus meme figs

Being behind the curve on this whole Kim Davis kerfuffle has kept me from making the mistake other bloggers have, (the letter is a fraud, like the Twitter account of her coworker) and for that I say (npi) Thank You Jesus. But I digress already. I’m not going to condemn Kim Davis or call her names or quote scripture (even though all that time spent in Bible study is now paying off handsomely) or tell her that I think she’s a bigot and a hypocrite.

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Yes, she is all that, but more to the point, I think she’s a fraud. Yup, that what I said. Having followed the story from her first refusal all the way to the memes that are apparently endless, I have come to the conclusion that this is a ploy. Why? Because I think she’s seen the results of all the Go Fund Me pages where hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to other “Christians”.  Those who “stand up for their beliefs” and then made a boat load of money because those opposing them are so quick to spew hate and threaten. I also think she wants her fifteen minutes of fame but soon will realize that sitting in a jail cell, even if the family brings you your bunny pajamas and fluffy slippers, isn’t the same as being at home wearing them while sitting on the sofa watching Pat Robertson make a bigger fool of himself.

money

Is this cynical of me? Why, yes it is. Yet it’s also valid, I believe, because I’ve watched other so called Christians enjoying the lime light. Oh, look, those pizza people now have almost a million dollars to plow through. They’ll never have to get pizza sauce under their fingernails again, thanks to the well meaning (if misguided) people that donated for them. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, per se. That’s called freedom and if you want to give money to people who want to infringe on the rights of others because it conflicts with what they believe, it’s also your right.

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What isn’t your right is this: to bully people who believe differently than you do because it interferes with YOUR belief system. I say that whether you’re gay or straight, Wiccan or Jew, black or white.  Worship who you want, believe what you want, (there are of course exceptions to this rule, like pedophiles) but when that belief gets between me and my beliefs, we’re going to have a problem.

If I love bacon and you don’t, fine. Don’t eat bacon. But don’t break into my house and try to steal my bacon to keep me from eating it. That’s wrong. Why? Because I won’t break into your house and steal your cauliflower just because I don’t like  things that look like brains. A simplistic analogy, true, (and don’t get your knickers in a twist because I’m comparing religion to bacon), but I think we’re over complicating the issues here.

Kim Davis might honestly believe that she’s doing the right thing. But instead of refusing to grant marriage licenses to people who want to do that crazy thing called marriage, she should resign. She was elected to do a job and she’s not doing it. She could be impeached, though knowing Kentucky, I doubt that will happen. Yes, you should stand up for what you believe in. On your own time, not the company you work for (i.e. the government that has declared same sex marriage legal). No private sector business would allow her to not do her job, and that’s how it should be.

I believe in rules. The good ones, not the stupid ones like no selling booze on Sundays, or paying inheritance taxes. Kim Davis has had her fifteen minutes. Let’s not give her anymore of our time or money. I would be willing to wager that by the end of the first day no one pays any attention to her, she’ll slink away, tripping over hair that is way too long for a woman of her advanced years.

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…Jokers to the right

Part two of the Great Exodus and my newborn dislike of all things American Airlines. We pick up right where we left off, with our heroine valiantly struggling to get herself and Moof the cat across the country. When last we saw them, she was trying to restrain herself to keep them from restraining her.

Now back to our story:

 

rows of minions

RFA and BFA glare at me and RFA take Moof’s carrier. That problem solved, I now having nothing to focus on my but my claustrophobia. My eyes dart around looking for a window. As long as I can see outside, I’m okay. All the windows have the shades pulled down but one. That one is blocked by the biggest head I’ve seen since A Charlie Brown Christmas. Still if he moves a little, I can get a glimpse outside. Doesn’t happen, so I pull out my book and hope for the best.

The flight is uneventful. Yeah, I know, hard for me to believe too. We land in Dallas and I notice on my ticket that nowhere does it say what gate I’m supposed to be at and I seek out the nearest desk person and ask, he looks it up and tells me B 48. I, being the polite Southern woman I am, say thank you and look for an exit. If I’m going to have to wait for two hours, I’m going to let Moof out and smoke and hopefully regain some of my calm. I stop in the ladies room first though and make a half-hearted effort to freshen up (an utter waste of time), then start digging in my purse for her leash.

No leash. But, being resourceful, I take out my favorite pair of sleep pants and cut out the drawstring and make one myself and then go find someone who can tell me the way out of purgatory. This of course means I’ll have to go through security again, but I don’t really care, I just want fresh air and sky and I mean to have it. It’s a five minute walk to semi-freedom and then I’m outside and digging out my phone as I sit on a stone pillar by the window. First, I call my friend Sherron and tell her to save herself, leave me til the morning, I’m sure I can find someplace to hang out. She refuses and says she’s coming for me anyway. I thank her and heaven that I have such friends on this earth.

Second call is my friend Hula, and she enjoys the story. I too will enjoy the story, at least by the end of the year, right now, I’m inhaling my cigarette and being grateful that I get another day of no jail time. I call Rook, who so selflessly did her best to get me on that airplane. Through no fault of her own and because of her diligence, I did make it to Dallas and I say it here and now,

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THANK YOU ROOK and SHERRON, YOU’RE THE BEST!

It’s 7:3o and I haven’t eaten since yesterday, but the Dallas/Fort Worth airport is just as ritzy as LAX, though about ten cents cheaper. I stuff poor Moof back into the carrier and spy one of those carts that you can put stuff on and wheel it around. Now, I’ve been to DFW. It is huge, a labyrinth of unparalleled proportions and my hands are swollen and aching. Just a shout out/warning to the younger people: appreciate the young, it won’t last forever. I dig through the purse and find the $5.00 it will take to get a cart and then we’re off again.

 

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I find AA, check in, and head to security, where Moof is a big hit  again, after I take her out of the carrier. Everyone wants to pet her and by now, she’s as tired as I am, and allows it and I’m thankful that she’s being sweet. Again, I get to keep on my shoes and again they swab my hands, and test my saline and I ask one of the TSA guys where I can find something to eat. Something simple, something that I won’t have to sell Moof for medical experimentation to get. I find a little place and ask for a quesadilla, a plain one so Moof can eat too. The woman behind the counter nods, but won’t look me in the eye. This is cause for some concern, but I figure the other people I see eating haven’t keeled over, so it’s most likely safe. I get my food, stow it away and set out to find a diet coke to go with it, as well as gate B 48.

I should have known. This is Pepsi territory and not a Coke in sight. That’s okay. I have food and I have a bottle of water. It’s all good and I start walking after asking another AA worker bee which way to gate B 48. I get that look you see on people’s faces who have no idea what’s going on, but he points me further down the causeway and I see the numbers going down.

D 48

D44

D40

B’s got to be close, right?

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 I make it to the B’s through sheer strength of will and collapse in a chair, pulling out my now cold quesadilla. I open it up and take out a piece of chicken but Moof’s not having it. She has reached her tolerance level. She’s been dragged from her soft bed, shoved in a crate and dragged half way across the country and her not eating is her way of saying, “fuck you mom, I’m done.” Who can blame her? So I eat her portion and mine, and drain the water, then rest for a minute. Okay, fine, more than a  minute, and then haul my body out of the chair, toddling along. I now feel like I know how anyone trying to find the promised land feels. I keep looking for a  clock because I want to be sure I make this flight. And I’m going to make this flight, even if I have to take hostages.

I reach the escalator with the arrow that tells me gate B 48 is but an escalator and Skydrive ride away. I can’t find an elevator and say a sad farewell to my little cart. I will miss him and his silent assistance. I   enjoy a short, swift ride on Skydrive and escape when it lurches to a halt and starting looking for signs again. I  see arrows, arrows that point toward Gate B 48 and keep going. I am nothing if not persistent. I go past

B44

B45

B46

B47

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There’s just one problem. When I go the lady at the desk, she grimaces. “You’re at the wrong gate, it’s down there, Gate 45, not 48.”

My grip tightens on my purse and carrier and  I push out a “thank you” between my teeth and walk back down to Gate 45 where I sit next to these two teenage girls. I say again, teenage girls. It’s now 9:25. We haven’t begun boarding yet, but at long last, I’m starting to believe that I’m going  to make it. The keepers of the gate aren’t wonderful, but neither are they overtly hostile, which is a plus in my opinion. We get on, and I find my  seat, by the window, and I just slide Moof’s carrier in. I know it won’t fit under the seat but I’m hoping.

False hope, even though it’s false, is still hope. When the male flight attendant comes and asks me if Moof is a pet or a service animal, I, having learned my lesson on the  flight to  Dallas promptly answer, without blinking, “Service.” MFA leaves and returns with Amazon Flight Attendant, who gets into my personal space with “If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fly, but  since it’s a service animal, you can strap her into the seat,” and turns to the gentleman next to me and says, “We’ll just move you up one seat.” He kindly moves and I switch seats and strap Moof in. You’d think that would be a good sign, yeah?

Nope. The pilot comes on the PA and starts apologizing for the delay. Delay, there’s a delay? Well, yes because the sub-contractors AA hired are apparently lazy, slothful, and downright stupid. It’s their fault we have no a/c or gas, so, the pilot says, he apologizes for them and for AA. I’m thinking, Man that ship sailed long about 7:46 when I missed my second flight to Dallas. Unless they’re going to give me free life time air miles, there will be no accepting of the apology. And even then, I’m not sure I’d accept, as this has been the longest day of my life and I’ve had some doozies. But they continue on and when all the instructions are given as to what to do in case there’s an emergency, the MFA stands at the front of the plane, feet spread apart, arms over his chest, chin down and eyes roaming the cabin. At first I assumed it was his super hero stance, then I realized, no, he’s a serial killer looking for his next victim. So, of course, I grab my notebook and start making notes for book three of my Nobles Island series. Let’s see Sawyer figure this one out.

 

minion-celebration

At last we take off and I say yet another short prayer, thanking God for any and all good things that might happen and blaming the bad on karma I’m still paying off from the last couple of lives. All goes well and I can feel my shoulders start to relax as we begin our descent. The wheels hit the tarmac and my stomach flips because I swear I felt us bounce and lay a hand over Moof’s carrier. This close to the ground, hopefully the fire won’t be too bad and we’ll be able to walk away with very little damage. He hits the brakes and I’m thinking, he should have been apologizing for his poor landing techniques instead of their sub-contractors lack of a/c stuff. I can hear the tires squeal on the runway and close my eyes. I’ve made it all this way only to crash and it feels almost perfect.  Yet when I open my eyes, it’s to the sound of the pilot thanking me and my fellow travelers for flying AA. I thought, how perfect are those initials.

We de-plane and when I reach the potted plant, I sit my purse and Moof down and flex my hands that are now ridiculously swollen. I can’t hear anything thanks to the up and down of cabin pressure but there’s a lady there who’s just dropped another person off and she has a wheel chair.

 

 

airport minion

Oh, how I wanted to just sink into it and beg her to push me to the baggage claim. However, having some small semblance of dignity left, I instead thank her for offering it, put Moof in the seat and we take off, following the signs. I’m almost there when I spot Sherron. I want to collapse but again, I do have my pride and we meet up and head to the baggage claim together, wheelchair and all.  I’m afraid that my luggage won’t be there and there will come another adventure of tracking down two suitcases at  one in the morning. The two carousels spun in tandem with each other and I stood there, staring, praying, and then out pops the first suitcase. Not mine, but someone’s so I hold out hope.

More suitcases, and then I breathe a sigh of relief. My suitcase,which used to be so pretty once upon a time, came rolling out. One corner is ripped open, yet I’m thankful because my cotton granny panties  aren’t showing. Then the second miracle. Suitcase number two comes out. Say what you will, I believe the power of prayer is a strong thing. We gather all the things and make for the door.

I fear if we do not make our exit swiftly and silently that the airport demons will reach out and suck us back in, where we will never be heard from again. You laugh. Ask Stephen King, he knows.

I can only thank Sherron and Mark for being there in spite of the heinous hour and pushing my brain dead body to a place to lay my head.

I might not have the best family, but I damn sure have the best friends.

P.S. I’m forwarding this to American Airlines, so if you never hear from me again, they got me.

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Clowns to the left of me…

airport minion

You know the cool thing about being a writer/blogger? It gives you a license to kill. Not really, since killing as a general rule is frowned upon in society, but it’s worth considering.  So, buckle up, rant/indictment of American Airlines is about to begin.

My beloved friend Rook took me the airport Wednesday morning. Three o’clock in the morning, so we would be assured of enough time to get through checking in, going through security, finding the proper departure gate. You know how it goes. You can’t just go to the airport, throw your bags on the little moving thingy, check in and hop on a plane anymore. (Yet another reason to hate terrorists.) So, we left in plenty of time and go right to where we’re supposed to be. It’s now five a.m. We’re loaded down with two suitcases, a purse and a cat carrier.

We get in line and I think, done, how awesome.

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I should stop thinking. There are at least 70 people in line and as I scan the American Airlines check in desks, I see…two people. Two people who apparently think that it’s better to look at their monitors instead of the endless queue of people waiting to make their flights. There are others, who (I think) work there, walking up and down the line as I nervously eye the clock.

The clock which seems to have been caught in a temporal anomaly. The one that speeds time up so that the next time I look at it, thirty minutes have passed and we are, maybe, two steps further than we were.  It’s now 6:30. My flight is at 6:45.

The same lady who has walked past us at least half a dozen times, stops and asks us again, “When is your flight?” Again, we answer “6:45.”

“Well, then come with me.” I look at Rook, she looks at me. Remember, it’s 6:30 now, and I’ve been awake since eight a.m. yesterday morning. This does not bode well for the people who get on my nerves, but, we follow her, around the other people, to a shorter line.

I think Hooray! Straight through to the plane!  {Insert derisive snort at my naivete here} We get to the shorter line and a tall, skinny woman with the look of someone who would rather be in Jamaica than in LAX at 6:30 in the morning, asks everyone and the other lady what we think we’re doing. When the other AA worker tells her, she does snort in derision and tells us, “You’re in the wrong place and if you want to make your flight (something that is so not going to happen since it’s now 6:40) you all need to go the main area.” When we all look at her as if she’s speaking some alien tongue, her faces screws up even more and she adds, “the longer you wait here, the less time you have to make your flight.” Her tone suggests, were she able, she would send us all straight to the 9th level of hell to burn in perdition so she could go have a coffee.

When we dare to ask her where the “main” lobby is so we can do as she suggests, she, who WORKS FOR THE AIRLINE, tells us, “I have no idea.” I can do nothing but stare at her, because if I open my mouth, chances are the TSA minionis going to come tackle/taser me. I may not always keep my mouth shut, but on occasion I have been known to have a modicum of common sense. She points in a general direction and we head to that general area where, lo and behold, there’s a big fucking sign that says “MAIN.”

Remember people, SHE WORKS THERE.

Rook and I get in this line and I look at the clock. Nope, 6:45. Not gonna make it. When we finally get to the desk, where we explain to the lady what has happened. Or, really Rook does. I’m too livid to speak, my main goal at this time is not to beat the woman to death with the cat carrier. (It weighs 14.5 pounds. I again refer you to the fact I would not be happy in jail.) Rook does all the talking and gets me on a flight at 7:36, so I can make my connecting flight.

The weighing of the luggage comes next and one suitcase is over the limit, so imagine if you will, two middle aged women, one of whom is pulling stuff out of one suitcase the other who is frantically stuffing said pulled out items into the other suitcase. When the second suitcase will hold no more, I put everything else in my purse. I now have my favorite sleep pants (more on that later) and other sundry things jammed into my purse, along with my usual purse stuff and a book. We make a mad dash to security and the lady was nice and tells me I don’t have to take off my shoes.

Rather than protest, “But I wore my good socks!” I say a profound thank you and keep moving. Onto the conveyor belt go my purse and cat carrier. I have dug Moof out of the carrier and am holding her against my bosom, like Melanie held Beau when they were making their escape from  burning  Atlanta. The TSA people LOVE Moof and want to pet her. I let them, then manage to get Moof back in the carrier, where I’m called over to the deck where they want to look at stuff inside your purse and I think  Well, crap. Because I have saline in my bag. They swab my hands and I know it’s ridiculous, but I’m thinking, I hope it cleans them too, not just look for bomb making residue.

They test the saline, it’s just saline. It’s just saline because I have no idea how to make a bomb and a terrorist’s life is not for me. At least not yet. By the time I get to Dallas, all that might change, but if I DID become a terrorist, it wouldn’t be to protest the inequities of labor law or demand that all religions bow to mine. Nope, my jihad would be against American Airlines and the demand that they put people into positions who actually know what they’re doing.

We’re through security, fast duck walking down the causeway to find gate 44C.

FOUND IT!

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This is where Rook leaves me, because I can catch a bus by myself. I have no watch, so I’m thinking, well, they wouldn’t put me on the shuttle for a flight that’s already left, right?  {Insert your smart ass comment here.} The shuttle takes forever and then I’m on it and at my designated gate.  I go to the desk, ask the man how much longer til this flight boards, and hand him my ticket. He looks at me with utter disgust. “That flight left,” and throw a thumb over his shoulder to the plane that is just reaching up for the sky. Now, I admit, I don’t have a lot of patience and I have a pretty bad temper, but those anger management classes have really paid off. There was no cursing, no yelling, no beating about his head. I did snap the pen in my hand in two though.

I politely try to explain to him what has happened and he sends me to another place to re-book the flight. This lady re-books me for 12:06 p.m. to Dallas. I, because I do have a triple digit I.Q. ask, “That’s for today, right?”

She looks at me funny, says yes, gives me my ticket/boarding pass and I find a clock, the proper gate, and a coke machine. It’s now around 9 a.m. and I’m hungry, so Moof and I, we meander around to where they keep the food. The ridiculously expensive food. The $15.00 for a hamburger food. I check out the food truck. Maybe a chicken quesadilla, plain so I can give some to Moof. The quesadillas have kimchi on them. I ask if they can make me just a  plain one, and they give me a look that declares me a Philistine. This is where I start to wonder if I should be allowed out on my own.

So I take my soda and go find a little slab of concrete that is close to my gate, sit and lean against the wall and close my eyes. Next thing I know, a little Asian man is snapping his finger in my face, asking me if I’m going to Atlanta and if I am, my plane is boarding now. I snap my finger back at him and say “No, I’m waiting for the noon flight to Dallas, and please don’t do that snapping thing at me again, I don’t respond well to it.”  He straightens, turns on his heel and leaves. I look at the clock. Not even eleven yet. I stand, stretch, and decide to check out the shops. Apparently, shop keepers know they have you over a barrel, and though I was mightily tempted by the store with all the Minions stuff, I resisted and went back to the gate area, to find a chair to sit in. I found one and there was even a space for Moof to sit on the table so she could see things, instead of nothing but people’s feet.

Just as a side BTW: Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are stuck in LAX for any length of time, bring one of those fold up chairs with you because LAX chairs are the same as concrete, only the chairs have arms and you  don’t have to bend as far to sit down.

I wait a bit and then get up to check the board for my flight. Looks like I won’t be missing this one, because the departure time has changed from 12:06 to 12:55. Half an hour later, it’s changed to 1:05. At 12:55 I get up, prepared to board. Guess what?! Departure time is now 1:55. By now, I fear American Airlines has beaten me into submission because I don’t do well without sleep, or even with sleep for that matter and I settle down to wait a bit longer. There’s a young mother with an adorable toddler there now and apparently he knows a kitty when he sees one and tries to poke his finger through the front of the carrier. God love her, all Moof does is make a pathetic meow sound and turn her back to him. I fear I have now traumatized the cat to the point of no return.

At long last, they call my flight and people are pushing and shoving to get to be first in line. This is when one the worker bees comes on the P.A. and says, “Please step away from the line. You’re not helping and if you don’t, you will be the last to board. And you stand by people, you’re not getting on this flight, it’s full, so you’ll have to wait elsewhere.”

I mutter something about manners and the woman gives me the hairy eyeball and repeats what she just said, but says nothing to me. I wait until most everybody is in line then get up to join the queue. By now, my hands are beginning to ache and my formerly comfortable Dr. Scholls’ sneakers make me wish I was at the beach digging my toes in the sand, but I soldier on. I get to the flight attendant who tells me where I need to be seated and I tell her, “No, I asked for an aisle seat, because I’m claustrophobic.” I look at the ticket. Middle aisle, middle seat and I push down a panic attack. At this point I just want out of LAX and I would kill the neighbors for it. She shrugs and I think, it’s only two hours, if you focus on something else, it’ll be ok. I try to fit Moof under the seat and have half way managed it when the guy who’s going to be sitting on my  right comes up. Offers no assistance, just stares at me as if I’m ruining his flight. This is another reason I want the aisle seat, there’s a better angle for it, and then guy who’s sitting on my left shows up, giving me the same look, so I sit down, Moof on my lap.

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I figure the always kind and benevolent flight attendants will help me when they come through and see Moof is not under the seat. One blonde, on red head, neither of whom are even a little bit helpful, stand over me and tell me I’ll have to put in the overhead and I’m like, “uh, no and if you try, it won’t end well.” I left off, unsaid, the “for you.” They are hovering over me in a manner that reminds me of photos of the Spanish Inquisition and I stand, when the blonde asks me where I’m going. “Uh, this is the plane to Dallas, is it not?”

“Yes, but is that your final destination?”

Spanish inquisition

“No, but right now, I’d be happy to be out of this airport. Huntsville is my final destination.”

BFA: “Huntsvealle?” That is her approximation of a southern accent.

Me: “No. Huntsville.”

BFA: “So, Huntsvealle?”

Me: “If by that, you mean Huntsville, then yes, that is my final destination.”

BFA:  (Hand on her hip.) Well, if he doesn’t fit under this seat, he won’t fit under the other seat. Don’t you know that?”

Me: “Actually yes, I do, which is why I asked for an aisle seat. An aisle seat allows for a different angle.”

BFA: “Well, you can’t hold her like that, it’s against the rules.”

Me: “Then please find someplace else, besides the overhead bin, to put her.”

BFA leaves and returns with red headed flight attendant, one on each side of me. I’m still clutching Moof’s carrier in my lap.

RFA: “We’ll put in her in the back in first class.”

Me: “That would be fine.” See, not that difficult a problem. That garners me a dirty look, but ask me if I care.

To Be Continued in …Jokers to the right.

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Glass Houses

false prophets 1

I was torn between writing about the hypocrisy of reality television or about all the people who rant about LGBT people and then are found to have accounts on Grindr. The latter won out. Why? Because there hasn’t been a day that has gone by this week that didn’t expose some preacher being a lying hypocrite about what God wants. I have known ministers in my life who were kind and believed in the word of God. I have seen ministers who preach of sin and deviance yet are so loaded with it themselves, I vow never stand too close, because I just know any minute God is going to zap them with a quicky lightning bolt.

It amazes me that these people think what applies to everyone else doesn’t apply to them. A married minister (yes, to a woman) with five children telling a teenager to commit suicide because he’s gay is the latest example. Oh look, there he is on Grindr with nekkid* pictures of himself. I’m stunned by stories of ministers who are so vehemently opposed to allowing gay ministers preach that they leave their church and start their own,only to be outed as gay themselves. I’ve reached the point where if there is someone who’s spouting off about how gay people will be the death of the American family structure, I automatically ask myself, ‘wonder what his boyfriend thinks about that‘ instead of what a jerk.

But here’s my point. If you are secretly gay, stop bashing gay people. Because if you are, then you’re probably on Grindr or some other site and that will be your downfall. Someone, somewhere, will be zipping through profiles and find you. Then will come the inevitable outing on all the sites and you will be disgraced and have to go into hiding. Your wife will look at you in a new light, your children will shake their heads and your parishioners will devour everything they can find on the internet about what you did.

Or better yet, just be truthful. Understand that God’s love is not predicated on you bashing his other children just because they’re gay. It’s not predicated on you, standing before a congregation, being a liar and/or hypocrite about who you are and what you believe. Instead, try being non-judgmental and loving your fellow human, the way it’s supposed to be. Don’t tell a vulnerable, questing teenager that he might as well go to hell for committing suicide as being gay.

That old cliche about people living in glass houses? There’s a reason it’s a cliche. Because it’s true.

Rant over, we will return to our regular broadcasting of funny cat pictures ASAP.

love thy neighbor

*I used nekkid here because I agree with the late great Lewis Grizzard. Naked means no clothes, nekkid means no clothes and you’re up to something.

The Pit that is Social Media

women with tape over mouth

I can be blunt. I know it, my friends know it, and for the most part they accept it. A new book cover was posted on facebook not too long ago with a blurb beneath it. I liked the picture, I am acquainted with the author though she is better friends with someone I was better friends with and I read the blurb. I won’t quote it here, but it made no sense. Just like that. “The first sentence makes no sense.”  In all candor, if I’d realized that she’d written it, I probably would not have said a word. I’ve found telling people their blurbs or their excerpts suck tend to have a negative effect, so usually I say nothing. I got the response I should have anticipated.A terse, it was about the picture, not the blurb.Did I mention I said sorry? Not about saying the blurb made no sense, but conventional wisdom says an apology was required so I did just that.

But it brings to the forefront another issue and that is being able to take criticism. Yes, I could have said, “Well, XXX,great picture, but I don’t know if the blurb works.”  I mention this because a few days later, on another thread, there was another conversation about someone I care a great deal. I made mention of something and that was promptly attacked, by the above mentioned ‘author’ who took that opportunity to be bitchy and several other people. Now, I had by that point just thrown up my hands and said not my monkey,not my circus. But it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The author of the thread, with whom I’ve been friends for years, said nothing to stop the nasty comments.

The entire situation, which got completely out of hand, could have been diffused with two sentences:

“Thanks for caring, I’ll keep it mind, let’s move on.” and (to the other person) “Please don’t talk to someone who’s been my friend through good times and bad, I don’t appreciate it.”

See, the one who made the nasty remark,instead of saying something directly to me about my bluntness earlier, let it keep eating away at her and when this next thread came up, took that opportunity to take a pot shot. I went back and read my comments, to be sure I wasn’t being pedantic or obtuse and BAM epiphany! The author of the thread has the need to share everything. I don’t. You go to my facebook page and there’s not a lot. I just don’t overshare. Others do and that’s fine.Though to be honest, I don’t really need to know you went out and got drunk again and had a fight with the ‘rents at four in the morning or that your ex is sleeping with your best friend to live a happy life. If we’re friends, you’ll message me and say, You got a minute? I could an ear.

Then it becomes inconsequential, the drama. That’s fine. if you live for drama, Facebook is the place for it. And cat pictures. That being said, what it shouldn’t be for is the posting of no name comments because you don’t have the nerve to say something to the person’s face and open a dialogue to work it out. It shouldn’t be used to beat someone up with ‘anonymous’ comments. It shouldn’t be for talking about that person like they don’t exist, will never see the post. It should be about acknowledging that, hey, mistakes were made by everyone.

broken hearts cropped

So, for me, the last straw was not being defended by a friend. I didn’t defend myself, because 1) it wasn’t my thread 2) I have a temper, a bad one and if I let it take over, it would be worse than bad. Banned from facebook bad. So instead, I withdrew with my hurt feelings and unfriended the author who made the nasty remark. Which worked, because I don’t think she liked me much after the the blurb makes no sense remark anyway. I needed to step back.i did however,send a message to someone (another friend for many years) to say thanks for hurting my feelings.  She promptly unfriended me.

unfriended 1

All righty then. Lesson learned. If you want people to not unfriend you, don’t disagree with them. Follow the party line and post cat pictures.

Yeah,  that’s not gonna work for me. So now I have three less friends. Never mind that I was there with two of them through so many ups and downs, or that I was the one that they called when things were beyond ridiculously out of control. I won’t lie, it hurts.

That’s why this blog, because I’m trying to work through this hurt and because I don’t have any new cat pictures to post.

Except this one.

 aw hell

Wait…What?

hypocrisy

Okay, bear with me and forgive me if I ramble. When I think on things that confuse me, my thought process seems to wander like a deranged Pac Man trying to find his way out of a maze. The last few days there’s been Indiana, with the governor signing a lovely little thing that authorizes people business owners to refuse service to customers based on their own religious beliefs. While I can understand the basics of that, I ponder on its wisdom.

In Arizona, Sylvia Luke thinks it would be a good idea to make church mandatory. In fairness, she did add that that would never happen, so instead voted merrily on the conceal/carry law that was actually on the floor.

And they do it in the name of Christianity. I don’t get that. No, really, I don’t. How do you take God’s love for everyone, even the prostitutes, and turn it into, “I’m a Christian, but only for these people here on my list.” and who makes up the list? Being a good Southern woman, I’ve been to Bible School, been to church, been to places where people have talked about God’s love. I’ve seen preachers take what, to me, is a clear order to love everyone, not just the ones that make you comfortable, and turn it into a sad thing.

The Bible doesn’t say, love everyone except for the ones that make you uncomfortable with the way they’re built.  It does say no tattoos, no touching pigskin, wives are slaves and children can be sold and feel free to stone adulterers (except on Sunday).

But there’s a caveat, though it’s implied I think. The thing with quoting the Bible to make your argument is you can then turn around and find other quotes that dispute the first quote. I love the language of the Bible. As a writer, there’s something ethereal about it to me that appeals. What I don’t love is that it is a book of contradictions. Written by men (apparently women were too busy doing other things to put ink to parchment back in the day) and therefore makes me reach the logical conclusion that the book, written by men, not God, is flawed. No, this is not a slag against men, I sinceriously don’t get it. How can you put all those chapters and verses in a book, proclaim it is the word of God and use it to make other people irrelevant? Especially when one chapter contradicts the next? It makes God look like he’s schizophrenic and in dire need of medication.

There’s been a meme going around for a long time that has an arm tattooed with a quote from Leviticus about men not being with men. (18:22) and not too much further down is the one that says don’t get a tattoo (19:28), so quick question. When he gets to the gates, do they let him in because he believed 18:22 or send him downstairs because of 19:28? That’s where my conundrum lives.

How do you take Mark 12:31: The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.  and turn it into a law that makes it okay to shun people because of the way they were born?

or 1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. and use that as a way to justify denying their humanity.

You cannot, in my humble opinion, use religion to beat somebody else up, whether you’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual or Vulcan. When I was little, my favorite show was Star Trek. Not just because it had spaceships and space travel and cool things like transporters (but they did factor in). It was because that world was one where it didn’t matter if you were a geek (which I still am) or a hot Captain (though let’s face it, Kirk was a man-ho). I thought that was what the world was supposed to be, people saying I don’t care if you have pointy ears or live in a cave, it’s cool.

There is enough desperation and hate in this world as it is. I want that Star Trek world where, if I were a lesbian,it wouldn’t matter. Where, if I were a man trapped in a woman’s body, it wouldn’t matter, or if I worshipped the orange tree in my backyard as an almighty deity, it wouldn’t matter. As long as I was a good person, who respected others and didn’t pee on people in public, that I would be treated with the same respect I showed others.

I know that’s a simplistic view of the world, but that kind of is how I feel. Would it be so difficult not to use religion as a bludgeon against people who are different?

So, I’ve figured it out. I’m just gonna not hate people who are different from me or try to pass a law that says, you don’t think like I do, so get out.

Thoughts? Rebuttals?