Monday, November 21, 2022

Yaaaaayyyy BURN BAN!

 After posting about shitty air quality created by neighbors burning wood the other day (AND the way that pollution always seems to be overlooked), I was happy to see this as a headline in the Seattle Times:

Burn bans in Snohomish, Pierce counties amid unhealthy air quality

"The use of some wood-burning stoves is temporarily banned in Snohomish and Pierce counties amid concerns about unhealthy air. 

The Puget Sound Clean Air agency imposed a Stage 1 burn ban in Pierce County on Saturday and another in Snohomish County on Sunday, citing stagnant air and high levels of wood smoke that have created unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups. 

'The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution creating unhealthy air, usually due to excessive wood smoke,' the agency said in a statement.


Those are not counties where I live now (no such burn ban is in effect, or if it is, nobody knows about it or enforces it), but I grew up in King County (sandwiched between Snohomish and Pierce) so I know the culture of those places and the amount of diversity in the cities and towns within them. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention, but for all of the Seattle area's (King County's) reputation as being insufferably liberal and supposedly progressive ... NOT SO MUCH. Very few people give a fuck about clean air, very few people support mass transit, and fuckers in Seattle and the Eastside contribute at least as much waste, groundwater pollution, etc. if not more than other places, and do it without a morsel of guilt or jot of awareness of their hypocrisy (if they actually are hypocritical at all: for real most people just don't give a fuck and don't even really pretend to). So it's actually unusual in my lifetime to see this kind of attention paid to private individuals' contributions to air pollution and an actual attempt at regulation being communicated. In the county where I live our cars do not even have to pass an emissions test, which I am kind of fine with because of what a burden it puts on poor people like us living in a very out-of-the-way place requiring us to travel for jobs and a lot of services, like seeing medical specialists, etc.

Actually, now that I think of it, I vaguely recall my grandpa complaining about such burn bans. So maybe I just haven't been paying attention and/or forgot about this stuff. We rarely watch local news, too, so maybe I'm just missing it.

I should learn more about this "Puget Sound Clearn Air agency". And ... like ... why the fuck isn't King County included in the burn ban? Which counties are covered by this agency anyway (where I live is still on the Puget Sound, so, again ... why are we not included? Or are we and I just don't know about it?

It is not surprising that Darrington and Eatonville are not covered by the ban; it sucks for people living there who have to breathe it in BUT there truly are a lot of poor people in those areas who can most affordably access a relative abundance of wood to burn for heat, so ... yeah. Tough one.


Saturday, November 12, 2022

VOLUNTARILY SHITTY AIR QUALITY

 I love this time of year in the wet (but not as wet as you probably think it is) northwest. I love BEING OUTSIDE in early November.

But of course just as soon as the huge forest fires stopped raging and went into smolder mode -- as soon as the air quality started to improve -- here we've got a couple of fucking neighbors who have now decided it is too cold for words and they MUST BURN WOOD! ALL DAY! ALL NIGHT!! STOKE THE HOME FIRES AND TRAP ALLLLLLLLLL OF US LIVING NEXT TO THEM IN THE SHITTIEST SMOKE-POLLUTED AIR QUALITY EVER!

It is hard to take people's take on air pollution seriously when they never say word number one about how absolutely shitty and PERSONAL it is to shit on your neighbors this way.

In the past few years as forest fires have become a yearly dark stinky cloud every fucking year for weeks and months on end (made worse by not having rain for weeks and months on end), I literally did not even notice how bad the smoke was the first time it laid a blanket of smoggy gloom over the Strait of Juan de Fuca here. You know why I didn't perceive the air quality as being significantly degraded? BECAUSE I HAVE GROWN UP SO USED TO INDIVIDUALS BURNING WOOD FOR SIX MONTHS OUT OF THE YEAR AND POLLUTING EVERYTHING AROUND THEM IN THE PROCESS.

My grandpa was one of these people. He did not care about my dad's asthma. Rather, he did not believe that his wholesome naturally man-make-FIRE in homemade FURNACE wood smoke could possibly cause another man to NOT BE ABLE TO BREATHE. My dad later wound up on oxygen for years and died of emphysema, and I believe living for years under my grandpa's smoky thumb contributed to it. 

So instead of taking a walk in my own neighborhood on this beautiful sunny Saturday or even just spending more than a fast moment passing through the backyard as quickly as possible trying to hold my breath, I AM INSIDE. BITCHING ABOUT THIS SAD STATE OF UNHEALTHY HELLISH AFFAIRS.

TRUTH: HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE.

I'd say I can make up for being stuck inside on a beautiful sunny day by instead going out on cloudy days when it's raining, but it's often EVEN WORSE when there is cloud cover trapping all of the smoke under a lid of grey.

People do not know or care how fucking poisonous they smell. Another reason why I hate hearing the word "toxic" used to describe politically incorrect behaviors or personalities or relationships. It's fucking ridiculous coming out of the mouths of people who never say (much less DO) anything about actually toxic air, water, etc.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

A Person vs PEOPLE

Between Election Day and Veterans Day and Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, rewatching Men in Black (one of my favorite super-entertaining comfort movies) feels appropriate, and a good time to quote Kay:

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

I should put this into more context and tie it into my bitchy alarm bells for what I call "The Tyranny of the Social", and how ~25 years after this movie came out dealing with how much truth people can handle and whether staying in denial is better,  we are now living in an age of massive disinformation, viral propaganda, deep fakery and boy oh boy this week it sure is relevant but still, at its core, a tale as old as time.

One of the things I love about this quote is acknowledging WE ARE ANIMALS. I have a major bitch bone to pick with people who think being human makes us non-animals, or that referring to a person as an animal is some extra huge insult that means that person is less-than-human. HUMAN = ANIMAL. It is vital to craft all policy bearing this FACT in mind. We are animals. Count on people to BE the animals WE ALL ARE. No judgment, just acceptance.

*****

As humans, the only things that we can rely on as relatively-forever (permanent for our lifespans) are The Sun and The Mystery.

Sunday, November 06, 2022

That Was Easy!

 Okay, so we've established that I fucking HATE reading or hearing people say "YOU GOT THIS!". I'm also not a big fan of how people say "amazing!" these days, but I realize that's just a younger generation's "awesome!" which I *still* say with complete sincerity (most of the time I say it with completely sincerity, I mean ... maybe 10% of the time sarcastic. Or ... more than 10% of the time. Because sarcasm is AWESOME, riiiiiiiiight?!? I'm on the fence about "right?" at the end of sentences nowadays. It doesn't bring out the bitch in me but I'm not, like, a proponent (though it is sneaking into my speech now and again).

I want to balance all of that out with a ... what is it, like ... a catch phrase? that I actually DO like. Nay, LOVE:

"THAT was easy!"

Yeah, like that big red button you could put on your desk and slam your hand down on it when you finished something, and this robot speak 'n spell voice would diminish your accomplishment

In theory I should hate "that was easy!" Minimizing my efforts and such. But it really reduced anxiety and felt like an accomplishment. It felt like such a beautiful way to finish something ... ANYTHING ... and reward myself with a sense of mastery. See? That wasn't so bad after all! And now it's done! And I'm a red button right here waiting that you can pound any damn time you want and I won't argue with you or grade you ... there's just one congratulatory thing letting me know I am competent and/or I have actually finished something, even if it was just one small step in a long list of commandments.

I didn't have to smile at the red button or demure the compliment. It wasn't hyperbolic, but it *was* something I would not have awarded myself naturally. Because of this "growth mindset" thing I'm learning about that I don't have / need to work on. Because it wasn't a real person or actual social or professional interaction, you didn't have to take it too personally (yet the positive components of it ALWAYS sunk in for me, every time). I didn't have to replay the interaction over and over in my head to try to suss out some nuance or covert message in an actual human's inflection. The red button had no ulterior motives. There were no hidden feelings towards me or judgements about me inside the big red button. I never had to question it. I just DID it when I finished something ... and lit up inside.

The big red that was easy button was great, too, because it is so tactile. That shit is great for kinesthetic learners (even if that visual, auditory, kinesthetic learning model is out of vogue now) that need to move their bodies through space and slap something and jump around. The big red button encouraged that, and there was no hesitation ... it's right there on the desk where you've been working so UNkinesthetically. 

I'm relatively easily stimulated and rewarded by sounds (it is part of why you could say I go through phases of addiction to video games and have been since I was in elementary school) so as a reward, the "that was easy" button functioned really well for me. For another reason, it was an EASY IMMEDIATE SYSTEM for rewarding myself by acknowledging I accomplished something. I've tried SO MANY SYSTEMS to reward myself like all of the books on ADHD and motivation tell you to do, but pretty much all of them are so time consuming and so much work to administer that they rarely worked, or if they did it was only under very specific circumstances. "That was easy" was one size fits all, and really worked so well at not requiring finishing the wrap-up complete fully-stuffed big beef end-of-quarter burrito of a whole entire PROJECT that it rewarded me WHEN I NEEDED IT (doing the painstaking SMALL STEPS of chiseling little tiny chunks, and separating big to-do's into smaller components, which, again, all of the books tell you to do but they never seem to really give you permission to micro micro micro task them into every single one of the genuinely small components -- they never give you enough lines in the workbook for that, instead it's like BREAK YOUR HUMONGOUS PROJECT DOWN INTO FIVE SUBTASKS OKAY GREAT SEE HOW EASY THAT IS?!?!? and I'm always like what? NO! Or ... oh, I must be REALLY stupid). The big red easy button never fucking told me I was stupid. It was like ... I'm here for you and I'm RED don't ignore me THAT was easy *I* am easy I am a button and you don't have to modulate your tone with me I am sturdy I can take it you can hit me whenever you want that touch of finality that's like okay you did that! And the unspoken thing that amounts to growth mindset is that I'm not minimizing your efforts, rather I am letting you know you have a level of mastery that gives me every confidence you can do more and more and more. One step at a time. One little slap of my red with white first aid text face. Like a boxing coach or a punching bag, holding up those red paws. Bap bap bap! Pff pff pff! Mgh mgh mgh! 

Patience. Practice. Nothing grandiose. Private moments encouraging you to keep doing the small things. That shit works.

See? I am not a bitch about everything.

And I do think the whole "growth mindset" thing is a big key in overcoming a lot of the anxiety and judgment that bitchiness wells out of. If I remember correctly, one of the characteristics of people like myself who do NOT have a great growth mindset is that we perceive a lot of shit as being realllly reallllly haaarrrrrrrrrd. "That was easy!" didn't make me feel like my assessments were incorrect though. It didn't make me feel stupid or like my mindset sucked ass. It just recalibrated shit. The kind of shit that I didn't think of as hard on a conscious level most of the time. It really helped me put the small things into perspective. It was built to be hammered on OVER AND OVER AND OVER lots and lots and lots and lots of times. It wasn't like "you have to do EVERYTHING, all of the HARD things, to add up to one big gigantic haaaaard ass thing before you get one big reward like a platinum keychain or a car or a massage or whatever. It was like ... yeah, that little thing MATTERED and now it's done ... I'll bet you've got another one in you but I'm not going to psych you out with my robot voice. I don't even have eyes to see you struggling. All I know is when you tell me you did it, I tell you yeah! You're capable! And that is just way fucking better than some bitch with perfect makeup on instagram who doesn't even know me sneering "you got this!".


Sunday, October 23, 2022

No You Don't!

 "You got this!"

No, dumb ass. You don't got this.

They don't got this. I don't got this. Stick your bullshit vote of super-confidence right up your fucking ass.

I hate this stupid fucking thing people say to each other and themselves now when any of us are having reasonable misgivings about our qualifications to accomplish whatever, assume a risk, etc. It's the dumbest fucking shit I've ever heard. Insert eye-rolling barforama animatronic emoji react.

You hear this everywhere nowadays. It's spectacularly stupid. Some glowing POSITIVE VIBES ONLY way to shut down someone's second-guessing or insecurities with a crazed scientologist Tom Cruise blazing white toothy grin. It's a line out of the handbook for The Tyranny of The Social. Pretending everybody's equally qualified whenever they SENSIBLY consider that maybe they're not up for whatever the fuck. Pretending somebody's not going to get burned while you push them into the fire naked with that extroverted smile when those bitches know perfectly fucking well you're going to bomb and it's going to fucking hurt and you're going to cry. They don't give a fuck about that, and they won't be there with an effective salve or appropriate facial expression when that happens. Because half the time they know you are a loser and an outcast and an incompetent hypersensitive fuck-up, so they just say YOU GOT THIS to act like they support you when really all they mean is YOUR FEARS AND WORRIES AND GRIEF ABOUT WHO YOU REALLY ARE are a fucking GROSS WASTE OF TIME TO THEM and they WILL NOT BE DRAWN INto your pathetic reality or let you drag them down in your morass of mediocrity or substandard unsuitability for coolness, whether it's a burlesque performance or hitting up someone totally out of your league for a date or running for president or going cliff-diving or VAN LIFE or whatever the fuck.

I feel badly for saying it since I definitely know a lot of people a lot of times have their hearts in the right spot when they say it, and have genuinely enthusiastically supportive intentions but OMG I've never seen a bigger advertisement for anyone being totally unqualified for whatever undertaking they're about to embark on. I would rather someone say, well ... even if things go poorly you're not going to die from it, and will learn something from it. Unless of course PEOPLE COULD ACTUALLY DIE because you decided to fly a small plane at night in bad weather like JFK Jr when you were grossly underprepared, or drive a UHaul that's too big for you and you are already a shit driver.

You don't got this, fuckers. Every so often just please let's recognize. YOU DON'T FUCKING GOT THIS.

Maybe I just so totally don't got shit that I cannot even conceive of someone's confidence being bolstered by these dumb fucking words and the manner in which they are delivered and the type of people who say them. Do you know a single person who appreciated hearing this? Does this shit really work for some people? For as many people as it's said to? My god I do not fucking get it.

I am more comfortable with a lot of risk than most (women) I know, and have taken A LOT OF RISKS. All different kinds. So it is not that I'm a big fraidy-cat. But that is not the mentality or words of non-wisdom that get me to take a leap or feel good doing it. IDK. I don't fucking get it. It's just offensively fucking stupid to me. Maybe part of it is that I am comfortable taking risks and NOT feeling good or confident about it. I will still do a lot of shit. Maybe that is because I do not feel good or confident about anything in life most of the time? Who knows. All I know is this is probably a big part / example of my bitch makeup.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

"GUARANTEED TO FIT"

 Oh my lord when are they going to stop making these ginormous extra-super-bulky toilet paper rolls? They say “guaranteed to fit”, but where? On one of those giant spools in a car wash?

I picked up a pack of these ridiculous “LONGER-LASTING ROLLS” and I guess good news because I can only get between one and three squares of toilet paper off of them because the roll WILL NOT SPIN; it is TOO BIG for our normal-ass toilet paper dispenser / roll-hanger thingy (what are these actually called? You know what I mean anyway…).

Yes, they’ve had the super big rolls before 2022, but they seem to have scaled it up even more because these ones are HUGE. The others before this were big, true, but Charmin has taken it to a whole new level.

Maybe it’s good. Maybe they actually will last longer (because we cannot freely ROLL the toilet paper off so, like I said, can only get a couple hard-won squares at a time). The extra-big ones before this iteration made me feel so ABUNDANT, so toilet-paper RICH, that I found myself using EXTRA while each roll was fresh. Or maybe I just wanted to reduce the uncomfortably-decadent size of the roll as fast as possible to try to just get back to some semblance of normalcy.

God forbid you take a bath with these super-sized rolls; I soaked in our small bathroom without a fan on to enjoy the steamy humidity during too many months with no rain and the toilet paper swelled up so much it almost popped itself off the hinges. We had to unmount it in order to use the paper as originally designed.

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Poop Sleeve

 I am short. I have short arms. But the sweatshirts and hoodies I wear have normal-length, non-petite sleeves. And even longer sometimes, because my gut and tits are large while my arms are short, and I believe in catering to the extended size of my core and chest before my meat-deficient arms.

Having too-long shirt-sleeves is often pleasant, but also often annoying. The MOST annoying thing about having too-long sleeves, though, is after taking a messy shit.

When the elastic cuffs are sprung and the sleeve won't stay pushed up over elbow or even hug the forearm at a decent sanitary height. And I'm wiping this whole messy area ... and the sleeve slides down, brushing against my backside that may have stray fecal matter ... and the cloth comes down like foreskin over the limpening cockhead of my hand's palm and knuckles: entirely too close for comfort to the whole unsanitary area, putting the cloth at risk of retaining shit you don't want coming into contact with the edge of a a plate or ... anything ... at lunch or whatever.

I detest the exaggerated C shape I have to make with my arm trying to keep it the cloth of my sleeve out of the way, posing like a malformed coffee mug over a soft-boiled-egg cup posing as a saucer that is really a toilet and I'm just trying to describe this so you can picture it if you've never had this problem.

By the time you realize the sleeve is going DOWN mid-wipe like a baby elephant's trunk snooping around for a little brown peanut candy, it's almost impossible to catch it with the other hand in time. Sometimes I succeed, but that unpleasant sudden jolt of adrenaline to avoid sleeve-contamination really detracts from what should be a relaxing experience attending to yourself in private and makes me feel quite bitchy.

Now that I think of it, even if my sleeves weren't too long this would still create a problem owing to the whole posture and depth/length of the asscrack.