Mind-Reading at Work is Apparently a Thing.

lumbergI always knew, even as a little girl, that I wasn’t particularly special. Despite my being an only child (many of whom *think* they are more special than they are), I knew it was only my parents who thought I was a “precious little snowflake.” But the fact of the matter is, I’m not good at much. I’m not saying this for attention—I’m just realistic. Some people are great at one or two things—others are great at many things. I’ve come to realize that no matter how hard I try, I am just never going to be all that spectacular at anything. And that’s okay. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with just being average. I’ve learned to accept it.

But I’ve always thought myself to be a good writer. I love to write, and it’s one of my passions. Do I think I’m the best writer in the world? Hardly. But I like to think I have somewhat of a knack for it. I get complemented on it often. I especially enjoy writing satirical pieces, but I like to think I’m decent at all forms of writing.

Then I started working for an advertising agency. And all that changed. Now, I think I’m just not as good a writer as I thought I was.

2015 was a rough year in many ways. My mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly, and she was a saint of a woman whom many people miss terribly every day. I also got diagnosed with cancer, and while it’s a very treatable form, there is a high recurrence rate, so it is always on my radar. And it makes me feel tired—all the time. Not “I only got 4 hours of sleep last night” tired. Like, literally—every waking minute of every day I spend in complete exhaustion.

My cancer forced me to only be able to work part-time, especially since I am going to grad school. As a result, money is very tight. Granted, not tight enough for me to skip the yearly winter vacation, but tight enough to have me somewhat worried. So, I work about 25 hours a week at the agency and pick up off jobs here and there to supplement my income. My husband works full-time as a teacher, which is great and he is incredibly good at it—but he’s not exactly a Wall Street stockbroker, so we’re hardly rich.

So, let’s just say I’m a bit…sensitive right now, with all that has happened this past year. And my increased sensitivity may have me more emotional than normal. And writing is one way I handle it, so here I am.

Note: wine is another, less healthy way I handle it.

When I started this agency job almost a month ago, I thought I’d be great at it. I literally write all day. I do nothing else. We have clients who need web content, or social media/blog management—and that’s what I do. In theory, it’s awesome. But my work gets butchered. Often.

Now, I’m okay with constructive criticism, especially when it comes to my writing. I want to write better. I want the feedback. But holy shit—I’m not so bad that you have to tear it apart. I very rarely make a typo or a grammatical error, and I have a pretty good understanding of tone and knowing one’s audience—you know, the basics.

But here’s the thing. Everyone has a writing style. And everyone’s writing style is unique to them. As a writer, I have learned to adjust it somewhat, so you might be able to say I have several writing “styles.” And I’ve tried them ALL at this place. And they get ripped a new asshole half the time I submit something to my manager.

What I don’t understand is this: I submitted several writing samples when I interviewed for the position, from grad papers to some of the Air Force articles I wrote back in the day. I wanted them to see my different writing styles. I also had to take a writing “test,” which consisted of answering an unreasonable number of questions (and it was timed) along the lines of, “Who do you idolize?” or “Write a blog post about Yummy Cakes Bakery.” Apparently, I did well at it. So they knew what they were getting into when they hired me. I hate surprises, so I am who I am. There is no mystery with me. What you see is what you get.

Now, they are acting as if nearly everything I write is pure and utter shit.

Dearest manager, if you want every piece to be in YOUR writing style, well—you have to write it. I’m not trying to be an asshole when I say that, but I am not you. I am my own person and I have my own style. You apparently liked it, which is why you hired me. So stop acting like it’s not what you want now. And if it ISN’T what you want, you need to give me some feedback on what’s wrong with it. You can’t just say, “Do this over.” or “I don’t like it.” How the fuck is THAT going to help me, and how the hell is it even going to help YOU to ultimately get whatever it is you’re looking for? I’ve asked for specific criticism, only to get the vague “it just sucks” kind of attitude.

And then, the other half of the time, they love what I do. There’s very little middle ground. And it’s not like I am just good at press releases and blog posts and bad at web content. Their dislike for my writing is all over the place, so I never really seem to know if something I submit is going to be a home run or an epic fail.

I’m not that smart, but I’m definitely not stupid, either. I’ll do my best to deliver what you ask for, but I can’t do that until you tell me what you want. If you take five fucking minutes to explain what you’re looking for in a piece, I’m going to give it to you. That, and I’ve only been there less than a month (part time)–give me a break. I’m sorry I don’t know every single one of your clients and what they want by now.

So, to all those bosses or managers out there, TELL THEM what you want. Be specific. People aren’t mind-readers. I repeat: PEOPLE AREN’T MIND-READERS. Something may seem obvious to you, but it may not be obvious to your employees. Employees enjoy working for managers who take just a small bit of time to give them a little guidance. People generally WANT to do a good job, and they also generally don’t want to have to do things over again because they had to guess at whatever the hell it was you were looking for. So if you’re a manager and you haven’t done this already, work on your communication, and especially your specification skills. The more clearly you communicate with your workers, the better of a job they are going to do. Period.

And I’ve learned something by this, too…that I should probably work for myself. Because at least I know what’s going on in my own head. Most of the time.

 

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My parents.

I started a recent Facebook post out this way…and I felt I needed to finish it.

I love my parents to death.We have had a LOT of problems over the years, but at the end of the day, I would do anything for them. I would die for them. I am happy to have them both still on this Earth with me. That being said, I am in my mid-thirties, and I can honestly say that I am still absolutely, horrifyingly mortified by a good 50%-75% of the things they say and do. But today….today was “let’s be so incredibly awkward in front of our daughter” day and I obviously missed the fucking memo.

My parents and I have been through a lot of ups and downs throughout my life. They drive me batshit crazy. And yet, they are the most generous, caring, decent people in so many ways. They have done so much for me throughout my life, and they continue to support me in so many ways to this day. I am grateful for them.

But days like today have me wishing I knew for sure if I was adopted. I’m now only 99.5% certain.

Let’s begin with my dad. My Dad is one of the most generous people I know. Flat out. He’s also one of the smartest. He’s incredibly well-rounded. He figures shit out I couldn’t figure out with a gun to my head. He speaks like, a hundred languages. He’s insane at anything math-related. He made sure I had everything I needed growing up, and worked overtime constantly to do it. I owe my incredible education to my dad, who helped my mother to make it a priority for me, their only child…despite not having a lot of money.

My father, being pretty darn intelligent, also knows just how to push my every button. And it’s by being really, really weird. He’s kind of old, but not “cool old,” just “old old.” He just always does strange shit. He has mild to moderate OCD for sure. He taps on lights switches dozens of times to make sure the light is really OFF. He checks every car lock to make sure it’s locked….then goes back to check in it again. He drives a 1996 Chevy Lumina. No self-respecting car thief would be caught dead in that. I think you’re good, guy. He grunts a lot. He bitches a lot. He treats me like I’m 12 years old. He thinks women–myself included–are not as smart as men, so he discusses Russian economics with my husband and yells at my non-level-headedness for having a second glass of wine.

Harmless things, mostly.  And I guess the good traits outweigh the bad ones, so you try to let them slide more often than not.

But today. Today was insane.

I go to a different Church than my parents. We are both Roman Catholic, but I go to a Jesuit parish (Jesuits are known for being a somewhat more “liberal” order in the Church) and they go to a couple of different parishes, trying to make a Latin Mass at least twice a month (they can be hard to come by, you know, because no one knows Latin anymore).

But they wanted to go to dinner with me after they heard me sing. I am the cantor for the Saturday Mass at my parish, and my parents really haven’t heard me sing much since they left when the Jesuits took over the parish (again, they were just too “liberal” for my parents)…maybe around 12 years ago.

So, they went to my Mass tonight.

I love my parish because it’s really down to earth and welcoming of all types of people. We have wonderful priests who encourage a lot of the concepts behind liberation theology (encouraging people to really think more for themselves), and they are just really well-rounded, interesting guys.

After Mass, I introduce my parents to my priest/pastor. My pastor is just a pretty “hip” guy. He’s a bit older–in his 60s–but you’d never know it. He’s very youthful in looks and spirit. While I haven’t agreed with everything he’s done, I think he has been an asset to our parish overall.  He’s very smart and interesting to talk to–as are our other two senior priests.

Well, I start to introduce my parents, and my Dad just walks right up to the guy, takes his hand, and kisses it. KISSES IT. My average-Joe, very Jesuit pastor.

The poor man looked horrified. I had to just immediately process that this had just happened.

I had just witnessed a grown man kiss the hand of another grown man. Like, knight-kissing-the-hand-of-a-princess style. He might as well have genuflected, too.

Now, in the Roman Catholic Church, it’s a somewhat-outdated tradition, but it is well-known and still reasonably common to see Catholics kiss the hands of bishops, cardinals, and popes. Even liberal me would kiss the hand of a cardinal or above out of sheer respect for the office. But not priests. Priests are more “of the people”, and the Jesuit order is probably the order that lives that phrase out the most in the daily lives. They are very down-to-earth, and that (and education) is generally what they are known for.

So, my poor pastor, who I am pretty chill with, looked so incredibly uncomfortable…and I just stood there. With my mouth literally open. I then somewhat snapped out of it, they made some super-awkward small talk, and I ushered them the hell out of there.

Now, I’m not sure if my father does this shit on purpose, or if he’s doing it just to fuck with my head. Well, Dad, my head is fucked up enough.

And now I feel you have come one step closer to being put in a home.

See, we can’t have this shit happening. I have to at least  be able to somewhat predict you when we go out. There isn’t a drop of anything in you that should possess you to kiss the hand of another man, like an 18th Century French Earl would kiss the hand of the queen. No.

So now, my pastor and I are probably not going to be cool ever again, and my father was the one who made it awkward.

And while I’m absolutely mortified by all of this, I can’t be overly mad because it’s relatively harmless in the end.

But the completely weirded-out look on the face of my pastor…well, all this would have made a really good sitcom scene.

Now, my mother is normally relatively sane. How she lives with my father is a mystery to me. But today, her awkwardness just shone through, too! Lucky me!

My mother is awkward because she is anxious. She has trouble talking to people she doesn’t know. She knows this, so at 70 years old, she tries to fix her lack of people skills by being a part-time breakfast waitress at a local hotel. She likes it, and it has largely helped with her anxiousness. I give her a ton of credit for doing it.

Not today. Today, we sit down at the table and the hostess says our waitress will be right with us.

The waitress shows up and says, “Hi I’m Casey.” My mother immediately says, “Urmm…I’ll have the Caesar salad, but I want the anchovies on the side.”

Like, it was mind-bogglingly rude. She doesn’t mean it to come out that way but I don’t know if it’s the anxiety or she has mild autism or something, but she does this quite often to a degree. But this evening was just…whoa, tiger. Calm the fuck down. Let her finish her fucking name.

And I had to correct her like a 5 year old in front of our teen waitress. My Mom literally has shit hearing but hates wearing her hearing aids, so she thought the waitress had asked what they would like…or that’s how she explained it.

So, yeah. That was my evening. Then I came right home and drowned myself in a bottle of wine and a couple of Ativan to forget this weird-ass night ever even happened.

Definitely adopted.

 

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“Hot Boots” Sweet Jesus.

So I had to return something at Marshall’s and had some time to kill a while back and found these things there called “Hot Boots.” I thought I had found the face of God. After my surgeries and ever since, I was having even more out of whack temperature control issues since they essentially removed an pretty relevant organ from my body. My feet tend to be freezing while the rest of me is overly warm. You just pop them in the microwave for 2 minutes and then slip them on. And they smell like lavender. Like fucking lavender. And they keep your cold-ass feet as warm as the arms of the baby Jesus himself. And they have literally changed my life. If I cried at shit like this, I’d cry. But for a $14.99 investment, I can now truly begin to LIVE again. All because of the people in China who made me my “Hot Boots” (normally I’d care about buying shit in China, but not this time). Peace of mind. I, China manufacturer of “Hot Boots”, am grateful for your product and your employees’ personal sacrifices.

Now go. Go and pick up your very own pair of “Hot Boots” at your local Marshall’s. Your feet will thank you and then take you for a sandwich.

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Why I’m Entering the Special Education Field

I didn’t write this as part of any assignment for grad school, but who knows? Perhaps someday it could be used in some class later on down the road. I wrote this for myself. I actually wrote a variation of this quite some time ago, and altered it for this post. I think it’s good to remind ourselves of why we are journeying down the road(s) we have chosen.

I have thought about teaching for about a decade now. But I always dismissed it. Yes, I’m organized, think I could be a decent teacher, and believe I would serve as an ideal authoritarian figure and relatively decent role model. But…I’m also not the most patient person. I get easily frustrated and have a short fuse. The most ironic part of all of it? I don’t want my own children.

So, why the hell would I enter a field centered on teaching some of the least “controllable” children? The children who require the most patience and the utmost tolerance? It doesn’t make sense…or does it?

I have taken the easy path throughout most of my life. There, I said it. In terms of my chosen profession(s), I have taken the “comfortable” roads. I’m a semi-decent writer (or at least I like to think I am). I enjoy writing. It’s comfortable for me. Most of the jobs I have had involved copious amounts of writing.

Yet, something has always been missing, and while it took me over ten years to figure it out, I hope that I have finally done so. I have been missing the challenge. This is not to say that I haven’t had challenging jobs. I have had some VERY intense jobs in my life, roles that required a lot of responsibility and leadership. But at the end of the day, I was still…bored. I may have been so busy that I didn’t have time to pee or eat lunch, but I was still bored. It’s a tough feeling to explain unless you’ve been there. But writing government proposal responses on how to train Saudi Arabian Special Forces or a device used in wartime didn’t exactly give me the warm fuzzies.

Now, anyone who knows me at all knows that I am not exactly a glass-half-full kind of person. Optimism is NOT my strong point. Rest assured, I am not going into this with some idiotic sense of idealism. I am not stupid and I’m not naive; I have lived with a teacher long enough to know that teaching even “regular” education students is not easy. Students with special needs will be an even tougher challenge in many ways. And I’m probably not prepared for it. It’s likely that I will NEVER be truly prepared for it. These children each have such unique needs that I know I am bound to face something entirely new with every class and with every DAY for that matter. But the older I get, the more I realize that I NEED that. I cannot keep going down the same path and expecting it to be different with each new job that’s kinda-sorta like the one before. I have learned, as of recent, that I need to experience the unexpected—and react to it, one way or another—on a regular basis in order to feel any sort of sense of self-worth.

I need to stop being so comfortable and start doing something that truly challenges me to be a better person. Therefore, yes, part of this journey is a selfish one. But I’ve been working hard on becoming a better person in a variety of different ways. I’ve been working on that patience thing. I’ve been trying to calm myself down more, be less anxious. Even the little things—like watching less TV—have yielded positive results. I’ve noticed that I’ve become slightly more introspective; I suppose fewer distractions will do that to a person.

I do not think I am going to change the world. Not even close. I won’t even change most kids’ lives all that much, I’m sure. At the end of the day, they will still have multiple challenges long past any class they have with me. In many cases, their home lives are less than desirable. And their job prospects aren’t really all that good, especially if the economy continues to ALSO be not that good.

But maybe I’ll change one kid’s life. And who knows? Maybe with my help, that kid will eventually have the self-confidence to continue to go to school to grow up to become a nurse, or a social worker, or a teacher, or the founder of a world-altering nonprofit. That’s how you leave a legacy, people. And the older I get, the less money seems to be the answer. I’ve had some high-paying jobs and they didn’t work out. For me, it’s about leaving some tiny inkling of a legacy. Most of us will never be the next Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Aristotle, or George Washington. Most of us won’t go down in the history books. Most of us will largely be forgotten when we pass from this world into the next. I know that will happen to me.  I doubt I’ll be remembered by anyone for very long.

But to meet my Maker knowing that something I did helped even one person to be more successful, to have more self-confidence, or to live up to their potential…well, that’s good enough for me.

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My Faith is not Something I often Discuss…Today is Different.

So, yeah…I’m a Catholic. I go to Church. I not only GO to Church, I cantor at the Saturday Mass at my Church, and have done so for a decade and a half now. I was a member of my parish’s pastoral council for 5 years and worked at the food pantry run by my parish for several years as well. I try to volunteer there for special events when I can, and I like to think that I’m pretty well-known (maybe even well-loved?) there.

I want to make this clear: I’m not doing this or telling you this to get any sort of recognition. I enjoy it, and the fact is, most people don’t really know about this side of me because it’s NOT something I exactly advertise. Most people who know me well are surprised that I’m a practicing Catholic. Most people who don’t even know me so well are surprised at that I’m a practicing Catholic.

I suppose I don’t exactly strike most folks as being exactly pious. I curse like a drunken sailor. I have, well…for lack of a better term, “sketchy” portions of my past. I have done things I’m not proud of and that I highly regret. I’ve also done things that I’m not proud of, but don’t really “regret” per se, because they taught me a lesson I needed to learn at that point in time. I don’t think I’m a bad person, but I also don’t really exude virtue.

And in many ways, I’m what some would call a “cafeteria Catholic.” I am for gay equality and gay marriage. I am for female ordination. I am for priests having the option to get married. I am for birth control (for the record, I am personally against abortion, but am not very vocal about it). My husband and I aren’t having kids (part of it is because it would be dangerous for me health-wise, part of it is because we don’t want them), and this is a bit of a no-no in the Church, as sex is for procreation, after all. I think that, in some cases, divorce is necessary and that people shouldn’t be “punished” for it. I don’t give a shit if you live together before you get married; my husband and I did just that, as a matter of fact, and it was a good thing for us. And I’m guilty of eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

I understand why so many people are angry with the Catholic Church, especially given the circumstances that have unfolded over the past decade or so. The way the child abuse scandal was handled was downright disgusting in every way, shape, and form. I will make no excuses for it. I will make no excuses for the popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests who protected child abusers—the lowest of all scum. So help me God, I would have no issues putting a bullet in the head of anyone who hurts a child, ESPECIALLY someone who sexually abuses a child. I understand not wanting to be a part of an organization that protected those who hurt children. I struggle with this every single day.

But my church—not the “Big Church,” but the “little” church I’m a part of –had nothing to do with that. We are a family.  And I don’t believe in leaving your family or friends when times get tough. You do your best to work through it. You set an example. We welcome old, young, gay, straight, rich, poor, Black, White, Asian—you name it. Our church does what we can to imitate Christ (well, at least most of the time) and Christ did not exclude those who were different. And that’s what I like about my “little church.”

As for me, I may not radiate piety, but I like going to my church. I like leading the congregation in song. Music is my prayer. I am, by nature, an extremely anxious person, so it’s the one time I can be prayerful and peaceful. I love the people there and I like listening to the gospels and homilies. It’s not something I talk about very often, but these are good things for me. Sometimes that one hour of quiet helps put my chaotic existence into perspective.

Which is why it bothers me so much when people make fun of my beliefs. I cannot tell you how many times I get criticized, berated, and chastised for going to church.  I want to make this clear: I do not mind people asking me about it, or saying they are surprised I go, or being taken aback when I say that I am/have been so involved in my parish. This does not bother me. But I have been in many social situations where people who I like to think know me somewhat well (and also know fully well that I am a practicing Catholic who attends Mass regularly), think it’s appropriate to either make fun of me for going to church/being involved, or, even worse, make fun of the Catholic faith.

I like to think that I am extremely open to the fact that not everyone is Catholic, and not everyone appreciates having Catholic evangelism thrown in their faces. This is why I generally do not talk about it unless I am asked. I am very open and accepting of other religions, faiths, and beliefs. So why does making fun of my religion, my faith or my beliefs make you feel better about yourself? The “priests-fucking-little-kids” jokes are getting old. Less than 4% of priests were even ACCUSED of abuse—a rate far, far lower than the remainder of the male population. It’s only because Catholicism is the largest denomination of the Christian faith (with the Christian faith being the largest in the world) that it got as much publicity as it did. The vast, vast, majority of priests are good men and wonderful human beings. Those are FACTS. To lump them all together because a handful of them committed abuse is like calling all Black people criminals because a handful of them committed crimes, or calling all gay people pedophiles because a tiny percentage of them have abused children, or labeling all Mexicans illegal because some of them hopped the border. It’s ignorant, and it makes you look like an intolerant shitbag.

Catholicism has its problems. I will be the FIRST to admit that. But to discount all the good the Church has done because a few disgusting individuals decided to get their jollies off diddling little kids is asinine. Agree or disagree with some of the Church’s tenets/doctrines—I’m fine with that. Let’s have a discussion about it. But to poke fun at a legitimate faith, and a legitimate part of many people’s lives just makes YOU look stupid and narrow-minded.

Accept the fact that faith is an important part of some people’s lives. It’s an important part of mine. If it isn’t an important part of yours, I’m cool with that. But frankly, I’m so sick and tired of people thinking it’s okay to mock someone else’s genuine and sincere beliefs. And this happens OFTEN. REALLY, REALLY OFTEN.

So the next time you think it’s okay to label an entire group of people just because a few of them did shitty things in an attempt to ruin the rest of the group, think twice. Faith is an especially touchy subject. Everyone’s faith—or lack thereof—is unique and special. And no one should infringe upon that. I believe in God. I am a Christian. I am a Catholic. I am a practicing Catholic. If you can’t handle that and find the need to mock me for it, you’re the one who should be ashamed…not me.

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America the Beautiful? Not so sure anymore.

I want to make this perfectly clear: I love this country. I am so proud of and grateful to the generations of men and women who fought—either in our military, police/fire forces, or in other “civilian” ways—to preserve our freedom, and to those who continue to do so. We have the best in the world due to them, and this is not a reflection on these brave men and women whatsoever.

My heart still jumps leaps and bounds when I hear our National Anthem. I get choked up each time because while other countries may not agree, I firmly believe that ours is the most beautiful anthem in the world. “The land of the free, and the home of the brave.” How can your very soul, you very existence, not beam with pride when you think of the sacrifices so many have made and will make just so that we can continue to be free of tyranny and injustice?

That being said, I am so ashamed of the direction this country has taken within the past couple of decades or so.

This disgusts me, as I know full-well how much I sound like my know-it-all father (I mean that with love) right now, but the United States is swirling down that giant proverbial toilet as we speak. He’s right on that.

It seems as if every day I’m hearing a new story about another school shooting. Or movie theatre shooting. Or mall shooting. Many people argue that a country without guns (with the exception of police and military) would make us safer. I don’t necessarily agree with this, as I’m of the belief that the wrong people are going to find guns no matter what, and depriving the right people of their right to protect themselves and their families with their weapons is a very slippery slope. But I do understand the outrage and the fear. Everyone relates to that. Even those who want to keep their guns partially do it out of fear. Both sides of the fence have that commonality.

On a lesser note, my husband, a teacher, comes home from school every day with a new story of how some kid came into the classroom with the most horrid smell attached to him/her, simply because his/her parents didn’t give a damn enough to insist that he/she take a shower and wash his/her clothes. So many kids only come to school to get their free breakfasts and lunches because they don’t have anything to eat at home. He, and other teachers I know, reveal times where kids’ parents come in to parent/teacher conferences high or drunk. And the state does nothing to take them out of these caustic environments. These children come home at all hours of the day and night (if they even have homes) because their parents neither know nor care where they are. Drugs and alcohol and their own demented lives are more important than those of their progeny.

Companies are taking clear advantage of their employees by reaping record-high profits and paying their dedicated workers, the “little people,” and unfair wage. The cost of nearly everything has drastically increased in the past 20 years+, but wages remain stagnant. If you consider inflation, wages are dramatically lower than they were in the past. People can’t afford to eat healthily because high-calorie “junk food” is cheaper than fruits, veggies and lean meats. Who doesn’t know folks who have had to decide between heating their homes and buying the medicine they need to be comfortable, to survive even?

Companies like Monsanto consider profits over the health of the Earth. The fruits and veggies we can barely afford as-is are covered in pesticides that have been proven to make us sick, unless one is lucky enough to be able to afford organic produce. Factory farms cram in animals, who end up standing up to their ankles in their own feces, and corporations like Purdue and Tyson expect us to eat the meat that is produced from these poor creatures…and many of us do so, instead of supporting local farms where the animals are treated with dignity and are allowed to roam free until their final breath.

We crowd into Wal-Marts at Christmas like lunatics, just to get an extra $5 off the latest video game system, instead of remembering what the holiday season should truly mean.

Politicians fight constantly, unable to agree on bills that should pass…but they are too busy arguing over some tiny detail of it that really doesn’t matter. They do this to the point of shutting down our government, not paying salaries to hundreds of thousands of government employees who depend on a paycheck and causing major headaches for everyone.

Single, teen mothers are nearly worshipped on television, when in reality, many of them cannot afford to give their children what they really need and depend on the government to provide them with free food, diapers, medical care—you name it. Not all, but far too many. Birth control is readily available and most of it can be accessed for free, but God forbid we hold teens (boys AND girls) accountable for their own bodies.

We actively do things to pollute our water, our land, our animals and ourselves…all to make a buck.

My God, when will it stop? When are we as a country going to wake up and stop the madness? Organizations such as Occupy Wall Street form but quickly fizzle out. The Green movement is gaining only a negligible amount of ground. We continue to purchase cleaning products and cosmetics tested on animals instead of exploring options (most are even reasonably-priced and work just as well, if not better!) that don’t harm living things. What happened to a hard day’s work equaling a fair day’s wage? What happened to company loyalty to employees, to providing benefits that will ensure their best people stick around until they retire? What happened to the 9-5 workday, and most places being closed on Sundays so they could dedicate some time to their families? Why are working on vacation, or not spending the few vacation days we have actually resting?

What happened to parents actually caring about what grades their kids earned? What happened to not passing children on to the next grade until they passed the one they were in? What happened to curfews, so that parents knew where their children were? What happened to folks not having kids until they can afford them, and even then, only having the number of children they can reasonably afford without government assistance? Why can’t we have more focus on mental health, so that the mentally ill are provided help before they can open fire on innocent people? What happened to political bipartisanship, the days where politicians worked together to achieve a common—and a common-sense!—goal that would truly benefit their constituents?

There are plenty of answers to these questions, but those who have the means to fix these problems choose not to do so, so I fear those days are long gone.

And soon, I hope to be long gone, off to another land that promotes more of the ideals important to me. I hope such a place exists, somewhere out there. In the meantime, I will continue to sound like my father. The difference is that now, I’m proud of it.

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Bikes + Snow = Dumbasses.

I am not a winter weather person. I cannot ski and have no desire to learn. I haven’t ice skated in years and probably don’t remember how. Gary always finds a way to throw me in a snowbank, which pisses me off. Clearing snow off of the car is almost as annoying as actually driving in the snow.

But nothing irks me more in the winter than those assholes who decide to ride their bicycles, on MAIN ROADS, when there is snow on the ground.

I am on the firm belief that bicyclists should not be allowed to bike on main roads at ANY time of the year. I simply feel it’s stupid. I know this will piss a lot of people off. I don’t care. You have no business being on the same roads as the big boys and big girls driving…you know…CARS.

I can’t tell you how many times I’m in back of a biker and have to slow down to a snail’s pace because some asshat is swerving around on his Huffy. And these morons think they should be there. No. No you don’t. Why? Because the very second someone in their car accidentally hits you, you are going to sue them for your OWN fucking stupidity. It would be one thing if there were some laws out there that protected drivers from idiot bicyclists’ frivolous lawsuits. But as a (relatively) responsible driver, I shouldn’t be on the hook for your being a dumbass. Now, especially when there are snowbanks the size of bunny hill ski slopes, you bicyclists really need to use some common sense. Driving is difficult enough as it is in the snow, we don’t need to worry about running you dumbasses down, too.

I get it. You just NEED to be physically fit. Fine. I’d rather be a fat ass or run on the treadmill, but to each his own. If you so desperately need to exercise, fine—take your ass to a bike trail and no one will have to worry about bowling you down.

Or perhaps you got your license taken away from one too many DUIs and you think the bike is your only form of transportation. Well, it’s not. You have feet. You can walk. It’s not much better for drivers, but at least you generally have some additional control.

So bicyclists, knock it off. I don’t make enough money to be sued. I’d have to declare bankruptcy. Then again, with the amount of money I owe to credit card companies, maybe you’d be doing me a favor.

But it doesn’t mean you should be an idiot. So stop being an idiot. Drive a car, take the bus, walk, hail a cab, whatever. As much as I hate people, I have no desire to be a giant lesbian’s bitch in prison for running you over. Thanks in advance.

 

This guy is an assclown.

bicyclist

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