Perspective

12 November, 2016
Rat Fink

I confess, I’ve struggled for it this week.

In the literally hundreds of posts, articles and comments I’ve read on social media since Tuesday, I think I’ve seen every explanation for why a person voted the way he did, and every love-infused statement of encouragement from the winning side to the losing side on how important it is to get past our differences and band together behind this president.

Well I won’t.

The best result from this election: Never, ever, ever again will we have to suffer Sanhedrinistic diatribes from arrogant, superior loudmouths about someone being morally unfit for public office.  The worst: People who claim to love me and members of my family voted for Trump, thereby voting against members of my family who are gay, members who are of Hispanic descent (like, oh, two of my grandchildren), a member who is engaged to a Hispanic woman, members who have benefited greatly from Planned Parenthood, and members who have read the science and fear for the health of our planet due to greenhouse gas, which our president-elect calls a…well, read it for yourself.

I will get past this, I suppose. I’ll have to, or the only one suffering will be me. But I don’t suffer because HRC is not president (I wanted Bernie, as many of you know). I suffer because I am overcome with disappointment and sadness that people who absolutely vilified the current president for eight years (although there was not a single scandal for all of those eight) for being a downright terrible person — not even a real US citizen — are now calling on me to support this new person.

Well I won’t.

If he approaches me personally, I will be respectful, because I respect the office. I’ve had a lot of practice at that lately. But if you voted for him, you voted against all the people I’ve listed above (including me, being a woman). Telling me otherwise will leave my opinion unchanged. There are just some things you can’t gloss over with doubletalk about how “he speaks his mind” and “he’s not a politician” and “experienced people will help him not screw it up” and “the country needed change.” I could address each of these specifically, but I am getting ready to go visit my longtime RtB pal Rae this morning. So fun! Haven’t seen her in over a year.

Anyway, I’ve refrained from saying much on social media, but this place is more private; just me and my 100 readers worldwide. ;-) Besides, my political opinions aren’t radical or anarchist. Rather, I’m a proponent of the kind of government that welcomes and takes care of all people: the kind of government that will be conspicuously and unsurprisingly absent in the White House come January. And Ben Carson as Secretary of Education? Don’t get me started…

It’s the weekend before more craziness at school (aka The Push to 20 December), and I have some fun activities planned. How about you?

In with the old

23 October, 2016
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So my good fiend and RtB citizen RD and I used to work together, see? I was his secretary many moons ago. We’re talking 20+ years past. Once in a while, there’d be the odd joke about the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians battling it out in the World Series someday — after which there’d be laughter, or saying something akin to shyeah right, or references to pigs on the wing.

Well, whaddya know. ;-)

This year, the Fall Classic will be played in two hardscrabble Midwestern cities that have sunk to terrible depths and somehow survived; two cities that, until 2016, have struggled to put out championship pro sports teams. I must admit it’s nice to experience it twice in one year (likely the last time in my life) with both the Cavs and Tribe getting to the final rounds, but I say it’s about time both US coastlines take a rest and watch the Rust Belt take a swing, savvy? It’s our turn.

Sports championship droughts are a “thing”; a title no one wants, but an “accomplishment” that’s often on the minds and lips of many. Chicago and Cleveland are semi-pros in this category, to wit:

MOST RECENT CHICAGO CHAMPIONSHIPS: Baseball (White Sox, 2005 — Cubs, 1908); Football, 1985; Basketball, 1998. Only the Blackhawks, with three Stanley cup wins in six years (2010, 2013 and 2015) can claim any kind of consistency. The Cubs haven’t been to the World Series in 71 years.

MOST RECENT CLEVELAND CHAMPIONSHIPS: Baseball, 1948; Football, 1964; Basketball, 2016.

A little thin on the dynasties, obvs. And of course, there are those who poo-poo pro sports as a whole, on account of the endless cash grab mentality on the part of owners, the violence of the hits, the vulgar salaries that push ticket prices ever higher, and the poor example many pro athletes set for kids. I know all that, too. It’s an argument for another day.

Today, we celebrate. Cubs or Tribe — matters not. Have I mentioned it’s our turn? Go Great Lakes!

All those years ago

10 September, 2016
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Leave it to me to replace one addiction with another.

Shortly after I took a break from Facebook, I received an offer for two free weeks of Ancestry.com.

Hahaha. Haha. Ha. Ha.

Well a week later, here I am. I’ve traced both sides of my family (parentage only…the whole tree will take me probably the rest of my life) as far as I can go. But wow, the places I went…

Our two family names are Pierce (father) and Martin (mother). Here’s what I found.

I mapped my paternal heritage back to circa 1770, when my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Seth John Pierce, came over from Ireland and fought in the Revolutionary War, living out his life afterwards in Georgia. Fortunately, Seth’s wife, Millie Askew, had a much longer published ancestry, almost exclusively from England. William Askew is my 11th great grandfather.

On the Martin side, we go waaay back. As luck would have it, Scottish and Irish aristocracy kept careful birth and death records, and I hit the jackpot all the way back to the 15th century. Fascinating.

I find myself wondering what they looked like, how they lived, what their personalities were. They obviously had station and land. Why was this not passed down to me? I ask you. I ask Grandpa Martin, and the 14 Grandpa Martins who came before him.

As I read the forums and comments on the Ancestry site, I see that many families have an official genealogist/archivist. I am far from that, but now that I’ve got us mapped with parent sets, I’m looking forward to branching out on the tree and seeing who else we might be tied up with.

Terrific. Another obsession to get up at 4:30 a.m. to satisfy. Psh.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Lady Rat of Fink

I’m not dead yet

28 August, 2016
Rat Fink

Oh, knock it off already.

Oh, knock it off already.

I always thought people who took a “social media vacation” were kind of silly. Seriously, either you can handle it or you can’t. Log on or not. Makes no diff, so stop being a big baby about it.

I love social media, as many of you know. The fun banter, the checking in on people, seeing everyone’s pictures, sharing about life events and pets and grandchildren, and commiserating about sports teams — I adore it all. But over the last few weeks, I became, I dunno….sidetracked. By some ghoulish turn, I found myself increasingly drawn to the resultant anger of reading articles about Donald Trump, blog posts about those who would “reform” public education in order to line their own pockets at the expense of kids, and reports of yet another idiot exercising his “2nd Amendment rights” by blowing someone’s head off.

Looking back, I recognize that I was morphing into a slightly different morning routine: Come downstairs, start the coffee, take pups out, grab a mug, sit down at the box, and hit the political articles posted on Facebook. Add to that the new twist of starting school, and I was doing all the above plus hitting the road and dealing with the standard problems of teaching and being a union president. Add to that the slight increase of stress associated with my longtime friend and partner in musical theater going through chemotherapy this fall, and I guess you could say I’d become a pretty grinchy rat over a very short time span. Comparably tiny glitches in the routine were making me bark at people who care about me. It was getting to where I didn’t like me very much.

So…stop. Enough. Back up the truck. Mama needs a cool change.

On 26 August, I deactivated my Facebook profile. And of course I wanted to announce it in a positive light, for two reasons: 1) I hate it when people get all upset in an online forum and announce, “I’m leaving!” Just leave already fuh cripesake, and take your swan song drama with you;  2) however, when my friends found I’d deactivated, some would surely contact me and ask what was up, so I thought I’d head some of that off at the pass. Anyway, that was Friday night. Now it’s Sunday morning. And you know what?

I don’t want to go on the cart.

I’m not dead yet. :-)

I’ll most certainly be back, but I’m thinking maybe after my show closes and the election is over — both of which happen around the same time. Maybe sooner, maybe later. It’ll just depend on my rattitude. I envy people who can juggle all the plates and keep it all together in a manageable balance. Me? I think I was feeding the wrong wolf, and that’s not healthy. When you get up in the morning searching for outrage instead of peace, you’re out of round; cracking the enamel. And that’s where I was headed.

It’s kinda weird, actually: As I write to you, I’m thinking about rehearsals for Addams Family starting tomorrow. But the thoughts are not soaked in dread, as they were a couple weeks ago. Instead, I feel something akin to a healthy fear. haha But it’s good. I’m not allowing myself to read the news sites this morning; I need to munch on something else for breakfast; like peace. Maybe later I’ll catch up on the news of the world, but not now, in the formative minutes of daybreak. I have to frame my morning more carefully, and I get no peace from reading about guns and Trumpkins, say thankya.

So here I am, temporarily quit of social media, and still alive and stuff. I have no idea what happened in American politics overnight, and don’t plan to get one until later. And I’m fine with that. Meantime, I’ll get some school work done and have a chat with the Thriller. Happy Sumday, fiends. Fink out.

Shouldn’t-a done that.

1 August, 2016
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I (feel like) I ate the whole thing.

I (feel like I) ate the whole thing.

So here it is, 3:30 a.m., and I’ve been up since I opened my eyes at 1:40. I blame the birthday cake.

Yesterday was the Thriller’s big day, and we had a small gathering to celebrate; kind of an “open house” deal, in an effort to make it convenient for the kids and their families to just come over when they could.

I didn’t plan anything for dinner, figuring that we could just make a sandwich or something at 6:00, when everyone left. Well….turns out that dinner was cake. And cake, and more cake. While this photo is an exaggeration, by the time I went to bed last night, I felt like the four pieces I’d eaten between 4:30 and 6:30 were all that size.

Cake wasted. Oh, and don’t forget the half piece before bed, with a small cup of milk, of all things (I rarely drink the stuff, and even this was the lactose-free kind). I think that was the deal-breaker.

Unfortunately for me, I can’t do the “bedtime snack” routine. It interferes with my already-shaky sleeping patterns, and I end up wide awake with indigestion at 2 a.m. Last night was no exception; only this time, a nightmare came along for the ride:

I was standing in my high school parking lot, having just got back from teaching middle school choir (strange, because I don’t travel for my job; the kids all come to me from the building next door). I was baffled because even though I’d just arrived, somehow I couldn’t find my car. Dude…

So I did the beep-beep thing on the key fob, trying to locate it. Every car in the parking lot responded — except mine. I remember pointing my keychain at a motorcycle, and it kept beep-beep responding to me. I tried to tell a group of students that “this motorcycle has stolen the code to my car,” but they acted like they didn’t hear me. Panic scratched at the back of my brain.

Switch to the teacher lounge at the high school, which in reality is the size of a small bedroom, but somehow today held the entire faculty — most of whom I didn’t know. I retold my tale but no one listened, except a guy who is a principal in another district, and even he was more interested in my Browns season tickets than my plight. (Like I’d sell ’em if I had ’em.)

Suddenly, I was out searching the parking lot again, when, to my horror, I realized I’d blown off middle school choir (which supposedly I had already taught, right?), and now, on top of losing my car, I was going to lose my job.

*bing*

I came to and looked at the clock: 1:39. The ooky feeling in my gut told me why I was floating around in dreamland. Indigestion was keeping me semi-awake, or at least not deeply asleep. Drat that birthday cake.

Shouldn’t-a done that.

So now I’m up for the day, as it’s 4:15 and there’s really no point in attempting a do-over, even though the Pepto is starting to work. Meh…serves me right. I rarely eat high-sugar/high-fat stuff in any great amount, so it shouldn’t surprise me at all that I’d be affected by making a meal (or three) out of it, all in one afternoon.

Rat Fink, Rat Fink. What a donkey. *yawn*