Friday, October 20, 2017

Challenging the Propaganda Machine: Sarah Huckabee Sanders Needs a Civics Lesson, Because of Course She Does

My paternal grandfather was a pilot in the Air Force during World War II. His service to our country fighting Nazis is probably the biggest point of pride in our family. I have his collection of wartime papers, photographs, and a few articles of his clothing and pins, some of which I have shared previously here. I remember looking at model airplanes in his home-office and hearing stories of his flight school training.

He was crushed when he was medically discharged from the Air Force for ulcers, and couldn’t serve abroad with his fellow fighter pilots. Had it not been for his condition, though, I likely wouldn’t be here, because nearly everyone else in his squadron was killed in action overseas.

I am proud of my family’s military background, which is at least part of why it was so disturbing to hear White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders tell a member of the American free press (referring to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly), “if you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that’s something highly inappropriate.”

Actually, it’s not. Putting aside the fact that John Kelly is now a civilian, “debating” a member of the military is absolutely appropriate.

What’s not appropriate, at least in our American constitutional democracy, is a slavish fetishization of the military—be it in the White House pressroom or at a football game.

What we’ve seen developing lately is a sinister brand of blind jingoism and obsequiousness. One that tries to suppress, shame, and intimidate civilian criticism of government actors based on the specious falsehood that such criticism is tantamount to “disrespecting our troops.” 

It’s a false equivalency and it’s a very dangerous one at that.

The American Revolution was fought—and won of course—by challenging the British forces that ruled the colonies. The Founding Fathers were deeply concerned about and highly skeptical of military incursions and overreach into civilian life. Their copious writings reflect the fundamental idea that the military is ultimately accountable and subservient to a civilian democratic government—not the other way around.

This is distinct from many despotic nation-states around the world. And certainly, it’s because of that distinction that American citizens remain free to criticize their government for failing to live up to its Constitutional guarantees.

The current administration appears not to understand this principle of basic American civics, and their ignorance is to our detriment. Make no mistake: for those in power to serve up this type of autocratic propaganda—unchallenged—endangers us all.




Thursday, October 19, 2017

Alaskan Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19): Your passion will ignite this month as you read the comment threads in the ADN and wonder how anyone could possibly get so worked up over service dogs and the theft of canned Spam in Hawaii. Personally, you’re much more troubled by the fact that someone seems to get run over or shot in Anchorage every single day. Time to lock and load your rifle and go shoot yourself some moose sausages to let off a little steam. KABLAM!

Taurus (April 20-May 20): Your natural inclinations toward practicality and loyalty are at odds this month as you want to patronize your local independent book store, but deep down don’t feel like leaving your couch. You’re pretty sure they won’t have what you want anyway, and Amazon Prime shipping is free, so, you’ll just have to live with the guilt of contributing to the demise of Alaska’s mom and pop retail community, asshole.

Gemini (May 21-June 20): This month, a secret admirer will finally ask you out on a date! So what if your new love interest happens to be your kid’s second grade teacher’s ex-husband. And who cares if he suggested hiking Flattop followed by the Moose’s Tooth like that shit isn’t the most unoriginal date in all of Anchorage and you haven’t been on the exact same date 1,000 times. Just go with it. God knows there’s no better prospect on the horizon!

Cancer (June 21-July 22):
Your keen intuition will serve you well this month when an adventurous-bordering-on-stupidly-careless friend suggests you venture into the glaciated backcountry for three days unprepared for the elements. Take heed of those doomed souls whom Alaska has chewed up and spat out, and decide maybe not to let peer pressure turn you into a statistic this time.

Leo (July 23-August 22): You’ll capitalize on your physical strength this month as you take advantage of the PFD sale that finally prompted you to sign up for the gym again. You’ll need it after you slip and fall on early-morning October ice right outside the front door before you can even set foot on the treadmill. Good thing your insurance covers physical therapy—for now!

Virgo (August 23-September 22): You might find yourself getting emotional this month, but not from lack of sleep. The waning daylight has you patronizing retail weed stores more than usual (yay for democracy!) and sleeping from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and yet still waking up in pitch blackness feeling like you got into a fist fight with a grizzly bear. Take some time for self-care by crawling back into bed again.

Libra (September 23-October 22):
Your analytical side is dominant this month as you deal with that little nagging voice in the back of your mind that keeps asking, “what if oil never recovers and the state descends into an endless shit-spiral, my house winds up not being worth the dirt it sits on, and I have to start panhandling on the streets of Juneau just so I can afford to buy my child an outdated geography textbook in the hopes of cobbling together a decent public education for him/her?” Put a blue tarp over that fear, just like the one that’s been draped over the rusty snowblower in your driveway for three winters. Also watch the Monorail episode of The Simpsons and pretend the Monorail guy is Exxon. This won’t make you feel better, but it will make you laugh!

Scorpio (October 23-November 21):
It’s 10:00 p.m. in Alaska. Do you know where your children are? Unless you’re on meth right now, the answer is probably yes. Next case! 10:00 p.m. is also prime time to get on Twitter and stare into the Rectangle of Doom known as your iPhone while the rest of the country sleeps blissfully. Leverage your predilection for intimacy into creating some dank memes until you lose track of time.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21):
You can be super temperamental, but this month your patience will be tested to the max as your Alaska Airlines jet overheads three different cities in Southeast on day five of a two day work trip. Use this unscheduled “vacation” to get familiar with a dodgy fleabag hotel and stay up all night wondering if anyone was murdered in your room as you watch re-runs of Forensic Files before you have to head back to the airport in three hours to attempt another failed departure.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19):
You can be cold, distant, and unforgiving, but this month you have to make a tray of brownies and at least five different meal train meals and potluck dishes for various neighbors with babies and numerous attempts to raise money at your kid’s school because the Legislature wants your kids to Rice Krispy-treat their way to jobs and college. Just try not to let your controlling side get the best of you when you realize the dog ate half your pan of lasagna and his hair is all over everything.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18): Don’t be shy about asking for what you need this month. For example, if the garage that changes out your snow tires says they can’t get you in for another two months, beg and plead and maybe even cry until they agree to accept your vehicle tomorrow. Nothing wrong with asserting yourself and turning your careless procrastination into someone else’s emergency every now and again. God knows someone does it to you every day of the week, and one good turn deserves another.

Pisces (February 19-March 20): Your love of water will shine this month as you stare at your enormous kayak and ask yourself why you ever bought that POS to begin with. All it is now is a decoration in your garage instead of someone else's garage. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that it takes longer to get down and loaded up than the time spent actually using it. Just look at it and smile and picture it actually on the water.




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

15 Little, Everyday Juneau GRIPES!

1. “In America, we drive on the RIGHT side of the road!”

2. “What? This place is CLOSED?! It says right here it’s supposed to be OPEN!”

3. “How is this construction project STILL going on?!”

4. “Aren’t these teenagers freezing their ASSES off?”

5. “Is there some off-gassing chemical in that Holland America poncho that makes you want to walk DIRECTLY in front of my car and almost commit suicide? Asking for a friend.”

6. “Is it raining AGAIN? Wait of course it is.”

7. “Ugh not a low ceiling! We’re NEVER gonna get outta here.”

8. “Ugh not high winds! We’re NEVER gonna see the ground again!”

9. “Wait today’s a teacher IN-SERVICE day?! Nooooo!”

10. “Why is the weed store already out of WEED?”

11. “This Costco peeled garlic is all moldy ALREADY?”

12. “OMG I can’t believe I just spent $10 on SOUP.”

13. “How do these leggies WALK in those HEELS?”

14. “Someone put THAT on Juneau buy/sell/trade?”

15. “How can one town produce SO MUCH DOG SHIT?”

BONUS GRIPES: "I DARE you to tow my car!" and "Is there ANY middle ground on the radio between Justin Bieber and Rod Stewart?"

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Newsweek Has Great Tips on Surviving Two Sociopaths Blowing Up the Planet to Prove Whose Dick is the Yoogest

It seems almost retro to say we’re in this place again, but welp, here we are, cowering under our literal and figurative desks once more. And not just to avoid an active shooter armed with 23 pieces of military-grade artillery festooned with bump-stocks and silencers dispensed as free samples at a gun show, either.

Nopers!

This time, we’re taking cover from two active sociopaths—one of whom happens to be the figure-head President of the United States—and both of whom seem bound and determined to return Planet Earth to its origins in the Milky Way just to prove whose dick is the yoogest and fairest in all the land.

The fact that no one will actually remain alive to rule definitively on this question has not deterred Fascist Senile Cantaloupe and Sentient Cabbage Patch Kid from holding humanity hostage in their global peen-measuring contest.

It's all good though, because the FAKE NEWS is here with this BOMBSHELL (pun intended) piece from Newsweek chock full o’ tips to survive a nuclear blast! Let’s break these down and see just how realistic this guidance actually is, m’kay?

“Experts recommend being on the lookout for emergency alerts that could come in the form of text messages.”

Okay, first of all, my iPhone sends me push notifications from trash-ass apps my kids download on the reg. This could easily devolve into a “boy who cried wolf” situation. Like when I hear one of those loud pings, pangs, bings, or dings, how do I know it’s not Barbie Dreamtopia Magical Hair telling me that new hair fashions are available for in-app purchase, as opposed to The Donald telling me that he finally pulled the trigger on the ultimate ragequit? Second of all, I’m sure Trump’s text will get lost among the zillions of group texts and FB messages on which I routinely find myself, despite making it clear in no uncertain terms that group texts and messages are Satan’s handiwork. This whole “nuclear-blast-text-lost-in-the-shuffle” is exactly why.
“It can take up to as little as ten minutes for a nuclear bomb to strike the U.S. giving no time to buy emergency supplies.”
The person who came up with this tip obvs doesn’t have the Amazon Dash Button. Thanks to Jeff Bezos, you can now order Charmin and Cheez-Its right from your bathroom and they will be on your doorstep immedes. I’m confident that ten minutes is MORE than enough time to procure the Nyquil, Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food frozen yogurt, Four Loko, and heirloom tomatoes (among other bare necessities) required to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
“Likely targets of a nuclear attack include strategic missile sites and bases, D.C. government centers, ports and petroleum refineries.”
D.C. is a fucking swamp in every sense of the word, and everyone who lives there should move anyway. That festering boil was officially canceled on 11/9/16. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re probably fine unless your house is in Prudhoe Bay or Cape Canaveral.
“Staying inside in the event of a nuclear blast is key. After 20 minutes of the blast, radioactive flurries and toxic matter will begin to fall. Fallout is especially dangerous during the first two weeks.”
Staying inside for two weeks is gonna be a fucking CAKE WALK, fam! My bed is already my favorite place on earth! The one teensy wrinkle is that I might be overcome by curiosity about “radioactive flurries” and be tempted to go outside with a black-light and see if we can maybe organize an end-times rave.
“If radioactive material gets on your clothing, government officials say taking off the outer layer can eliminate 90 percent of the radioactive material.”
But what happens to the other 10%? Will it give me glow-in-the-dark titties? Gawd that would be bananas, amirite? Here’s hoping!
"Get down, cover your head, don't stand there in the middle of Central Park and gawk. Get under something."
It’s too bad Harvey Weinstein had to fly to Europe for “sex addiction” treatment because his number one skill is getting on top of people. A nuclear blast would finally give that repellent, bloated sack of gelatinous hirsute donkey shit something useful to do with his “addiction” to jumping people’s bones. This is right in his wheelhouse. FREE HARVEY! The future of the planet depends on it!
“FEMA suggests camping out in underground spaces underneath large buildings before the blast. Experts also encourage hiding in a central location with no windows.”
Bruh! I love camping! Based on this description, the State of Alaska’s centralized mail room in the basement of the State Office Building in Juneau is the perfect place to pitch a tent and roast some s’mores over an open uranium fire.
“With a nuclear bomb eminent [sic.] experts warn [against] looking at the blast. Unlike the eclipse, special glasses won’t save you in the event of nuclear destruction, which causes a light so strong it's brighter than the sun and will blind you. Experts urge keeping your mouth open to keep your eardrums from bursting. If you live close enough to the blast, chances of survival are slim.”
So let’s dispense with the elephant in the room: post-nuclear winter, no one will care about the difference between “imminent” and “eminent” anymore, if they ever did. Much less will anyone know where to track down those special eclipse glasses that everyone threw out ten seconds after the eclipse was over. I’m sure when the Blinding Light of Impending Doom sears our retinas, we'll all remember to open our mouths so that our eardrums don’t burst, but also so that little specks of cosmic dust get into our lungs, presumably. But this only applies if you live far away from the blast. If you live close by, you might as well look right at that mushroom cloud with your mouth closed and your ears and eyes wide open so that all of your senses are fully engaged in your last moments on earth and you die looking like one of those little rubber stress dolls that you squeeze and the ears and tongue and eyeballs bulge out comically.
“A 2014 study published in The Royal Society found that most homes and buildings will not be able to withstand a nuclear blast.”
Actually forget everything you just read. We're all fucked and we're all gonna die! JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL!



Monday, October 16, 2017

I Wrote a Song for All the Garys In My Life

I wrote a song for all the Garys in my life: past, present, and future!

Gary, oh Gary, you have ALWAYS been there for meeeee
Though I may have been quite wary
When you barged into the bathroom just to watch me peeeeeee (your actual name was Garyyyyyy!!!)

Gary, oh Gary, you said I should cover myself up
Even though I was only eleven
I said okay, sure, yuuuuuuuuuuuuup!

Gary, oh Gary, you said I was too faaaaat
Even though my body was 100% normal
Whadyya make of thaaaaaaaaaaat?

Gary, oh Gary, you were there on the Brooklyn-bound A
Following me insanely from car to car
Just because you had something to sayyyyyyyy

Gary, oh Gary, you told me I dressed like a slut
Never mind that I didn’t ask for your opinion
And called you a fucking nuuuuuuuuuuut

Gary, oh Gary, you made an obscene gesture at meeeee
And pretended a softball bat was a dick
And gave it a fake hand job for all to seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Gary, oh Gary, you asked if we could “make a porn.”
My boyfriend was sitting right there
Clear as the day you were booooorrrrrn!

Gary, oh Gary, you’ve supported my careeeeer
Telling me to make eye contact and smile more
And comparing me to your wife with a sneeeeeeeeeer

Gary, oh Gary, you’re in the comment threeaaaaaaaads
Shit-posting dumb-ass memes
That make it seem like you got dropped on your heeeeeeeeeeead

Gary, oh Gary, you cat-called me on the streeeeet
And followed me with your friends aggressively
And looked at me like meeeeeeeeeeeeeeat

Gary, oh Gary, you got that crazed look in your eye
And pushed the boundaries of consent
But hey look I know you’re not that kind of guuuuyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I’m sorry if your name is Gary and you’re really a woke-AF duuuude
I don’t mean to imply that all Garys are Beckys because that would be very ruuuuude.


LALALLALALATRALALALAFUCKINLA!

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Surprise! Mike Ditka is a Yooge Dick

Here's a non-exhaustive list of things I find more surprising than reports that Mike Ditka is a clueless, racist fucking dumbass:

1. Finding my kids' dirty socks all over the the floor and inside out.
2. Ending up on a group text against my will.
3. Trump tweeting some bullshit at 3:00 a.m.
4. Needing to take a piss when I wake up in the morning.
5. Dog shit on a trail in Juneau.

Ditka went full-on Archie Bunker in this radio interview about the NFL's #TakeAKnee movement:
I think it’s a problem. Anybody who disrespects this country and the flag. If they don’t like the country they don’t like our flag, get the hell out. My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on,” Ditka said. “I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity. Now, if they don’t want to look for them then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. If you don’t work, that’s a different problem.
The stupid in this statement is SUPES hard to break down, but let me try one piece at a time.

I think it’s a problem.

TRANSLATION: A bigger problem than unarmed Black people being executed by the State on the spot with impunity.

Anybody who disrespects this country and the flag. 

TRANSLATION: Anybody who has the uppity complaining nerve to ask not to be executed by the State on the spot with impunity.
 
If they don’t like the country they don’t like our flag, get the hell out.  

TRANSLATION: If they don’t like being executed by the State on the spot with impunity, they should leave the country.

My choice is, I like this country, I respect our flag, and I don’t see all the atrocities going on in this country that people say are going on.  

TRANSLATION: Everything in my life has led me to this moment; this moment where I can’t possibly imagine anyone having a different life experience than me, much less consider the possibility that (a) that experience might be beyond the person’s control; and (b) similarly, not everything I am and have is simply the natural consequence of my hard work and the American meritocracy.

I see opportunities if people want to look for opportunity. Now, if they don’t want to look for them then you can find problems with anything, but this is the land of opportunity because you can be anything you want to be if you work. If you don’t work, that’s a different problem.

TRANSLATION: See above.

DA BEARS! What a dick.



Hurricane Maria Response: Trump is Garbage, My Mom is an Animal, and My Friend in the Coast Guard is a Badass

"Wait WHAT?" I asked my mom over FaceTime Friday night. 

My parents had just returned home from a play, and we were watching the end of the Yankees/Astros game when my mom casually dropped that she was headed to the U.S. Virgin Islands to do mental health/PTSD relief work for hurricane victims. 

She'd done this before. 

She spent six weeks in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan and made several trips to post-genocide Rwanda. So it's not like this doctors-without-borders routine is out of character or unexpected. It's just that each time she does it, I'm amazed, because at age 72, she is by far the oldest doctor on these missions and is only getting older with each trip. It makes me anxious, but also awed.

I'm not a fan of invidious comparison, so I try not to think about the fact that while my mom is trying to step in and do something real and compassionate for humanity--something not even our own President seems capable of doing without revealing himself for the steaming pile of hot garbage that he is--I'm on the internet writing jokes about my period and checking every ten seconds to see how many people reacted to them with a crying-laughter emoji. 

Everyone has their niche and their strengths, I suppose, and I'm not going to sit here and say my mom can "do it all." She definitely can't. Like there is a shitload of stuff she can't do. She's a terrifying driver and her idea of cooking is "foraging" for takeout at the various bodegas and farmer's markets in northern Manhattan and the Bronx. 

But when it comes to activism, she's an animal. "I'd go to jail to resist Donald Trump," she said before attending one of many post-election protests. "You have kids to raise, I don't recommend jail.” She's probably the only person I know who hates Donald Trump more than I do.

Now she's headed to a disaster zone yet again. This is why she went to medical school.

A friend of our family's--another total badass--is in the Coast Guard and stationed here in Juneau. Andy is away from his wife and two daughters for at least a month on deployment to Puerto Rico and the USVI. Here's his report from October 12, reposted from Facebook with permission:
For the last week, I've been back and forth between Miami and Puerto Rico coordinating logistics for the Coast Guard's hurricane Maria response.
I have traveled the north coast of PR; the damage is extensive, but the vast majority of buildings are made of concrete and are structurally intact. I have talked to people who were handing out relief near Humacao today (near where the eyewall made landfall), they reported that even there, though many houses were destroyed, most were not. 
The biggest issue is the devastation of the utility grid. Most of the island does not have electricity or potable water, and there are widespread landline and cell outages. The electric grid was on life support before Maria and this storm pulled the plug. We are expecting to operate on generators at our bases for 6 months+. Even the Coast Guard bases did not have reliable or sufficient backup power before the storm, and getting the right generators airlifted and installed has been a major effort. 
I have heard talk that the grid will be restored to current standards and be much more resilient that the previous version, which could be a good thing to come out of the storm. Coast Guard, National Guard, Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine aircraft are all delivering aid to the remote areas, but aid has not made it to all parts of the interior. 
Many people I have encountered in San Juan are piecing things back together and getting back to work in a city with very limited electricity. Shops and restaurants are opening back up, gas stations are open and regular commercial flights have returned to the airport (though the terminal had no air conditioning when I arrived). Leaves are growing back on many of the trees amazingly quickly. I have noticed a marked increase in green in just the past few days.  
I am flying to St. Croix and St. Thomas for the next couple days and will report what I see there.  
@ Viejo San Juan
I spoke to Andy on the phone yesterday, and he noted that the above update was mostly about the coast and not as much about the interior, which is still struggling to get aid. 

He is now on St. Croix on the east end of the island. He says the population centers are okay, but that folks in the hinterlands aren't necessarily getting services, there's no refrigeration, and it's miserably hot. 

In St. Thomas, he reported, about a third of downtown Charlotte Amalie has electricity and people are settling in to a new normal. Overall there was a mixture of hope and frustration, and I plan to share his next update separately.

I thanked Andy for his service and being a credit to our country. He responded: 

“This is why I joined the Coast Guard.”


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Attention 2017 Females: You’re Gonna Piss Yourself Laughing at the Snake Oil for Sale in the 1900 Sears & Roebuck Catalog

I love old-timey snake oil ads for women, whose insecurities have for centuries been a lucrative business. What's amazing about these ads from the Fall 1900 Sears & Roebuck catalog, which a friend sent me snapshots of, is really how little has changed. 

Check it out:


Freckles are very annoying blemishes, especially for those with pretty complexions. Time to render that skin soft and white! And of course, nothing disfigures a woman's face so much as an unnatural growth of hair.



Looking for a cure for "female weakness" and "all female disorders?" This is the greatest remedy of the ages! Especially if you're suffering from a "dread of some impending evil" or have "a craving for unnatural foods."



Do not be without an electric belt (WTF?!) for a hundred little aches and pains, including "weak nerve pains."



FAT FOLKS: Too much fat is a disease of great annoyance to those afflicted. Also, don't let your headaches turn you into a "martyr."



Oh look! Some guy named Dr. Worden is going to give you "female pills for all female diseases," especially "all forms of female weakness." WOMEN CAN BE BEAUTIFUL. Note: these pills are not a cure-all, yet two paragraphs down they guarantee a cure for any case. M'kay.



Constipation: that most hideous and deathly demon of sickness.



Friday, October 13, 2017

Yay! There’s No Travel Ban on “My Wealth!”

If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when my wealth can't travel as freely as me. 

Forget about foreign exchange fees. I hate it when my wealth gets traveler’s diarrhea from a sketchy papaya salad in Ko-Lanta and can’t leave the resort hotel room for a few days. 

Or when my wealth forgot to sign up for TSA pre and has to get its titties felt up along with the rest of the unwashed masses in their neck pillows and Juicy Couture sweatpants and Uggs.

Or when (God forbid) my wealth's passport is expired and ends up grounded in Cannes.

If you have a lot of money, you have "wealth." If you only have money that comes twice a month in a paycheck, you have "money” or in my case, “a paycheck.” If you have a "job" you're just a regular old plebe. 

The real ballers of our one-percenter, economically-segregated, free market trickle down capitalist society don't have "jobs," or even "careers." That's for The Poors. No, these aristocrats are IN some amorphous field. I wish I could explain exactly how they got so rich, but as the saying goes, wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.

Like here's what the woman in this ad would say if you asked her what she did for a living. "I'm in finance," or "I'm in real estate," or "I'm in pharmaceuticals," or "I'm in advertising," or—my personal favorite—"I'm in business." It sounds almost mafioso, except it's perfectly legal and in fact actively aspired to.

See, if you're just a workaday rube, you're not "in" anything. I'm not "in" law. I'm a lawyer.  My friends who are fishermen, engineers, teachers, nurses, police officers, bus drivers, and doctors, aren't IN anything, either. They're just "a fisherman," a "teacher" or a "pediatrician." They aren't "in fishing" or "in pediatrics."

And don't bother asking anyone who's "in" anything what the fuck it is that they do all day. They won't be able to tell you. I've tried--MANY times--and I can't get a solid answer out of anyone. All I know is that people who are "in" something make unspeakable amounts of money, the origins of which not even they are willing or able to explain.

My point is, if you're not IN something, you probably won't find yourself wearing a size 2 tan suit and a white shirt with no stains on it (because you don't eat or drink) walking through a veranda in Italy on your way to an important meeting of whatever the thing is that you're IN. 

You're probably so calm, cool, and collected that your Diva Cup is staying in place as you stroll confidently and with zero concern about perioding all over your light beige pants. And you probably already have a CitiGold card to ensure that your "wealth" (as opposed to your "money" or "paycheck") can "travel as freely as you."

For the record, here are the top 10 places my “wealth” has “traveled” over the past year—all in one direction: forever out of my possession:

1. The deli counter at Rainbow Foods
2. The bank that holds my mortgage
3. The plumbing & heating guy 
4. Juneau Parks & Rec youth soccer 
5. Capital Service auto repair
6. Alaska Airlines
7. Amazon prime 
8. Hurricane relief
9. Snowpants
10. The giant gaping hole at the bottom of my checking account.

BON VOYAGE!



Thursday, October 12, 2017

I Brought Receipts on the Diva Cup (Not for the Squeamish or My Dad)

Did you see that parenthetical in the title? Dad? I'm talking to you. Stop reading this now. If you call me in three days and tell me how vulgar and disgusting this blog post is and ask me yet again how it is that I can function in the world as a respectable professional and still write about this stuff, I'll have to say I warned you. 

This disclaimer also goes for everyone who's not my Dad and/or who does not want to read a product review--a graphic product review--of the Diva Cup. If you don't know what the Diva Cup is, I suggest you Google it before venturing further into this post.  

Okay, that said, let us begin.

I was in the bathroom at work today, when I saw a colleague vigorously washing her hands. "Can you please do a blog post about the Diva Cup?" she sighed. Boy could I ever. "BOY CAN I EVER!," I said with enthusiasm. "I'll do it tonight. Stay tuned."

When I first tried the Diva Cup, it was called "The Keeper," and a friend of mine who also got periods raved to me about how amazing it was.

 "IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE," she promised. Not so fast, my fellow moon-cycling friend.

Now before I go any further, let me just say I know the Diva Cup and its progenitors have their strict adherents. These devices are like licorice, cilantro, or the Grateful Dead. Women love them or they hate them, and no matter what camp you're in, you can't believe anyone would be in the other. 

There's also a hint of sanctimony to the Diva Cup camp, because you get to brag to everyone about how nice you are to the planet and how 12 months of YOUR used tampons aren't ending up in the Whitechapel Fatberg in the London sewer.

But whatevs. 

Here’s my final verdict on the Diva Cup: the margin of error is SLIM. 

When I first saw the different options and sizes, I became concerned. Under 30? Over 30? Before childbirth? After childbirth? Wait. What would happen to my junk? (this was before I had kids). Will it ever be the same again? And if it's not, how will I know? Will someone tell me? Good God this isn't a source of additional insecurity I need in my life.

Having deduced the proper size of Diva Cup (or Keeper, as it was called circa 2005 when last I tried it), I enthusiastically opened the package and my first thought was that it looked like a 1970s diaphragm Tinkerbell would use to keep Peter Pan from becoming her baby daddy.

But no matter, I was willing to give it a shot. I greeted Day 1 of my next period with an enthusiasm I hadn't experienced since my "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret" days. I folded it as shown on the instructions and shoved it up on in there. I immediately knew this was going to require a level of intimacy with blood and gore I wasn't ready to accept.

And I was right. 

I kept at it for the better part of a year. And while the Diva cup SOMETIMES did the job, other times--meaning the 99.9% of the time you didn't get a PERFECT fit of this object into your vajazzle canal—you were playing with fire. And by fire I mean blood. And by blood I mean a LOT of blood. I'm talking some Sissy Spacek in Carrie type shit.

Like this is literally how I looked after a Diva Cup fail:



Needless to say, it wasn't worth it. Bottom line: DO NOT RECOMMEND.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The 27 Constitutional Amendments for Dummies and Also Presidents With Very High IQs

1st Amendment: This one’s yooge. The United States is a secular government and can’t force you to listen to Joel Osteen or pray to Allah. The government can’t stop you from saying and writing "dipshit motherfucking cocksucker asshole son of a cheddar dick," and most other things, with some limits. Those limits do not include “criticizing Donald Trump on TV.” The government also can’t stop you from “peaceably assembling,” i.e., marching around while needing to pee in a pink pussy hat or with Tiki torches in khakis and swastikas. The government can’t make you sing songs or salute flags at a football game or anywhere else. The government has to let you pray 24/7 if that’s your jam, but if you try to use your religion to shit all over other people’s human rights, maybe not so much.

2nd Amendment: The government can’t take away your musket because you might need it for a future revolt. Believe it or not, you probably can’t have a nuclear warhead in your basement, though. Some weapons in between are okay, but probably not every single one of them, m’kay?

3rd Amendment: The government can’t make you AirBnB your condo for free to the National Guard. Realistically this is never going to happen so you probably don’t need to worry about this amendment.

4th Amendment: This one gets heavy rotation. The government can’t generally fuck with you or your shit without a warrant signed by a judge explaining exactly the who, what, where, when, why, and how of exactly what shit gets fucked with. Cops can still fuck with you on the street or the road, within limits. The “within limits” is a crucial point to know, especially if you’re driving or walking down the street while Black. If the government screws up and takes your shit illegally, it can’t use it against you later because it got that shit in a fucked up way. This is called “fruit of the poisonous tree.” Courts don’t eat that fruit--they make the government compost it. Data-collection and drones are still a bit of a black hole in search-and-seizure land, but the courts are working on it.

5th Amendment: The government can’t raze your house to build a highway unless it pays you fair market value for it. If you get charged with a federal felony (e.g. RICO), a grand jury has to indict you. If the government prosecutes you for a crime and loses, it can’t prosecute you again. That’s called double jeopardy. This is the amendment you hear about on TV when some dude says, "I plead the 5th!” which means you don’t have to narc yourself out. Also the government can’t murder you, imprison you, or take away your shit without jumping through a zillion hoops.

6th Amendment: Criminal trials need to be prompt, orderly and legit. Like if you’re on trial for a crime you get to have a jury and face your accuser and ask them questions and get a public defender. So trials need to roll like that. Not like some sort of Kangaroo Court, North Korean, Banana Republic clusterfuck of human rights abuses, m’kay?

7th Amendment: If you spill hot coffee on your lap and sue McDonalds for more than $20.00 in federal court, you get a jury. Believe it or not this is a good thing. Watch “Hot Coffee” on Netflix and you’ll see why.

8th Amendment: This is that whole “cruel and unusual punishment” thing. The government can’t put you on the rack or hang you in the public square anymore. Also not allowed: thumbscrews, gibbets, the gallows, etc. Killing peeps by electrocution and lethal injection is still okay for now though. Also a judge can’t set bail at a zillion dollars or fine you zillions of dollars.

9th Amendment: Just because some rights aren’t spelled out in the Constitution doesn’t mean you don’t have them. We can’t think of everything, for fuck's sake.

10th Amendment: States’ Rights, y’all! The federal government has limited powers, and States and people get to call the feds out on their shit when they exceed those powers.

11th Amendment: Sovereign immunity, y’all! You can’t sue a State in federal court unless the State says it’s cool.

12th Amendment: The Electoral College elects POTUS and Veep. If you were alive in 2016 you can probably tell this isn’t the greatest thing ever.

13th Amendment: No more slavery.

14th Amendment: This one’s a doozy and goes on forever. Here's what you need to know: if you’re born in the U.S. you’re automatically a U.S. citizen. Also most of the federal constitution applies to state governments: they can give you more rights than the federal constitution but not fewer. Redistricting happens, and you can’t serve in Congress or as POTUS or Veep if you’ve ever committed treason (oops!). The whole “equal protection thing” lives here too. So the government can’t fuck with someone for their race, religion, gender, immigration status, wedlock status at birth, and possibly (though by no means definitely) sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

15th Amendment: Everyone gets to vote, including Black people and ex-slaves. Not women though! That comes later.

16th Amendment:
Federal income tax is cool. Bring on the IRS and the 1040/W2!

17th Amendment: Once upon a time, state legislatures got to elect Senators but now you get to do that! The Senate consists of two senators from each state, elected by the citizens of that state. Their term limit is six years and each Senator gets one vote in Congress. If a Senator dies or leaves office before their term is up, the Governor of their state can appoint a replacement to fill the vacancy.

18th Amendment: No booze. Sorry, wastoids!

19th Amendment: Women can vote now.

20th Amendment: This is a boring amendment about when terms for elected federal officials start and end. No one really cares about this amendment so you probably shouldn't either.

21st Amendment: Booze is back, bitchez! Bottoms up!

22nd Amendment: POTUS only gets a max of two four-year terms, thank God.

23rd Amendment: If you live in Washington, DC, you can vote for POTUS and Veep but you’re hosed in Congress.

24th Amendment: No poll taxes.

25th Amendment: This one is obscure but getting brandished a lot lately. It deals with the order of succession for POTUS and Veep and says Congress can impeach the shit out of a lunatic POTUS.

26th Amendment: Anyone over 18 can vote now (used to be 21).

27th Amendment: Serving in Congress isn’t supposed to make you rich. Emphasis on “supposed to.”



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bullies and Their Enablers: What Harvey Weinstein and the NRA Can Teach Women About the Power of Our Voices

This is a post about bullies and their enablers, and the power of women’s voices. Granted, it’s about two very different types of bullies and their enablers, but on closer inspection I think you’ll find they have something in common.

Bear with me.

The entertainment world was rocked this week by revelations that Harvey Weinstein, a powerful movie producer, spent his career leveraging his considerable influence in the film industry to sexually assault and extort sexual favors from Hollywood actresses.

The revelations were made via the New York Times’ good old fashioned investigative reporting: interviews and document reviews, which unearthed zero surprises to any woman who has ever been propositioned or extorted for sex by any man in a position of authority.

Mr. Weinstein of course denied criminal culpability (and arguably just pulled a Roman Polanski by fleeing the country). But he admitted to the behavior and gave the usual spiel that all the Harvey Weinsteins of the world do when their misdeeds and crimes finally—though sadly not inevitably—catch up to them:

He’s in therapy. He’s going to spend more time with his family. He’s taking a leave of absence “to deal with this issue head on.” He grew up in the 60’s and 70’s when times were different. He hired a woman to speak for him and tell everyone that he’s just “an old dinosaur learning new ways." 


M'kay. That's why T-Rex turned into a rapist and “some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating.” It's all about perception, you see. In other words, gaslighting.

Too little too late. Mr. Weinstein's company fired him before he could check into rehab for exhaustion or stick to whatever crisis P.R. script he was following. A subsequent New York Times article described it like this:

Even in an industry in which sexual harassment has long persisted, Mr. Weinstein stands out, according to the actresses and current and former employees of the film companies he ran, Miramax and the Weinstein Company. He had an elaborate system reliant on the cooperation of others: Assistants often booked the meetings, arranged the hotel rooms and sometimes even delivered the talent, then disappeared, the actresses and employees recounted. They described how some of Mr. Weinstein’s executives and assistants then found them agents and jobs or hushed actresses who were upset.
Now let’s rewrite this paragraph as follows, in a different context:
Even in an industry a country in which sexual harassment a slavish devotion to weapons of all kinds, no matter how deadly, has long persisted, Mr. Weinstein the NRA stands out, according to organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety—a merger of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and elected officials. the actresses and current and former employees of the film companies he ran, Miramax and the Weinstein Company. He had The NRA has an elaborate system reliant on the cooperation of others: Assistants often booked the meetings, arranged the hotel rooms and sometimes even delivered the money talent, then disappeared, the organizations and some elected officials actresses and employees recounted. They described how some of the NRA’s lobbyists Mr. Weinstein’s executives and assistants then found them agents and jobs and helped them get re-elected or hushed families of shooting victims actresses who were upset.
A day after Sandy Hook, Shannon Watts of Indianapolis, Indiana founded Moms Demand Action. If her twitter account is any measure, the level of abuse she endures from the NRA and its cheerleaders is legion. 

The New York Times' exposé of Mr. Weinstein—and an end to his reign of sexual terror—would not have happened without the courage and participation of his female victims in outing him. 

But the abuse also would not have happened in the first place without his enablers.

90% of adult rape victims are female and 82% of all juvenile victims of rape are female, while the perpetrators of sexual abuse are usually—though not always—male. Perpetrators of mass shootings are overwhelmingly male. As of 2013, the NRA’s board of directors was 87% male.

In these two seemingly different scenarios, there are are three common denominators: (1) male bullying and aggression; (2) its enablers who are often motivated by a toxic combination of fear and greed; and (3) women’s willingness to fight back—and to keep fighting—in the face of even further bullying, abuse, silencing, and discrediting. 


My point is this:  Bullies like Harvey Weinstein and Wayne LaPierre do not work alone. They are enabled by people—their debtors or their hired guns--whom they threaten, belittle, pay to make excuses for them, and who stand to lose money and power by falling out of favor with them. 


And to be perfectly clear, a bully's enabler should not be confused with his victims--who are often overwhelmed by their attackers and abusers and may never feel emboldened to come forward.

Without enablers and left to their own devices, most bullies eventually lose their grip of power and control. And without women, that power and control is rarely--if ever--challenged or called into question at all.

Women, keep fighting.



Monday, October 9, 2017

Winter is Coming ...

Hark! Winter is coming, and the snow in yonder mountains drifts ever-downward toward our humble lodgings. 

As termination dust blankets the distant ranges somewhere afar in the Territory, so too must our preparations for the cold, hard months ahead begin in earnest. 

'Tis a grueling labor simply to prepare for winter's veil to descend upon us here on the Last Frontier, and requires of our small family much due diligence and industry.

First, we must ensure that we are on the schedule for the propane delivery guy and that we have in our possession a cord or two of dry (or at least not damp) wood. 

We will also require amongst our provisions a half pound of bacon, three sacks of dried beans, a saddle, and some empty Cheez-It boxes and egg cartons from Costco to fuel our iron stove.

Next, we must take a full accounting of our winter raiments: snow-pants, boots, long underwear, waterproof mittens, and the like. We must with a keen eye determine what of these items is too destroyed from last year to use again, and/or which may no longer fit our growing youngsters and/or be subject to L.L. Bean’s lifetime guarantee.

We then must make a timely audit of our bank accounts on the internet, and from there begin the arduous yet rapid process of divesting ourselves of our recently acquired Permanent Fund Dividend checks in order to replace the aforementioned too-small raiments or otherwise seek out deals and steals for these items and promptly give the entirety of the remainder of our PFDs to Eaglecrest Ski Area.

Our conveyances, too, must be properly secured for the difficult journey ahead. 

We must forthwith appoint ourselves to Capital Service and see if they have the one extra snow tire we need in stock in order to properly balance the other three on the Subaru so as not to wreck the transmission and see if we can remember where we put the other set of snow tires which are so crappy we need to replace them but oops our PFDs are all gone so I guess not!

Word has reached us from NOAA and our one friend who studies glaciers that this winter is going to be a doozy but no one really knows if that's true or not because sometimes they say it's a doozy and it's just rain and other times there's so much snow our driveway becomes invisible until April.

Which brings us to the final and most important decision to be reached as the days shorten: shall we engage the services of a plow guy? Or finally fix the snow blower and do it ourselves?

God willing I shall have the answer soon, should Divine Providence see fit to let me live to make a record of the coming winter...



All Hail Rep. Steve Scalise and His Unwavering Principles

Guys. Guys guys guys. 

If it’s one thing I respect, it’s a man who stands up for his principles, even after being shot in the hip and having his life saved by a black lesbian despite spending his whole career denigrating the Blacks and the Gays.

That’s why I was I was heartened to read that even after surviving a mass shooting during a Congressional baseball game, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise has remained staunch in his opposition to the most minimal forms of firearms regulation that even the NR-fuckin’-A supports; and that best of all, he will be speaking at the Value Voters Summit sponsored by the Family Research Council.

The Family Research Council has been labeled a hate group by the reputable Southern Poverty Law Center because of its unabated attacks on LGBTQ people and its links to white supremacy—including Rep. Scalise himself—who bee-tee-dubs refused to recognize MLK day and described himself as “David Duke without the baggage.”

M’kaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

So what if Crystal Griner—a married black lesbian police officer—took a bullet in the leg for this man and literally saved his life? Who cares? One thing has nothing to do with the other!

The fact that he’d be six feet under if not for Officer Griner shouldn’t stop Rep. Scalise from continuing his impassioned, noble life’s work of slandering the humanity of the woman he called “part of his family.” 

I mean—right?

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins celebrated Rep. Scalise’s healthy return to for-profit homophobia by noting in a memo that the Congressman’s miraculous recovery will “literally take center stage, as Steve makes a return to the biggest gathering of pro-family conservatives in the country after a shooting that rocked the country.” Because, “for so many Americans, seeing him back at work, defending our values, has been an answer to prayer.”

I for one am looking forward to Steve's speech on lucky Friday, October 13.

Yes.

Thank the Lord our prayers were answered and that this class act didn’t let the fact that he almost died from gunshot wounds in the arms of a black lesbian stop him from Stanning David Duke and shilling for an organization that claims the woman who saved his life is harming society at large and that her very existence is “associated with negative physical and psychological side effects.”

It’s not every day that America is treated to an example of such unwavering character and principle. We could all stand to learn a lesson in morality from Rep. Steve Scalise.







Sunday, October 8, 2017

The LeConte Glacier is Retreating and I For One Say Good Riddance!

According to research schmesearch and science schmience, geologists just finished two years of studying the LeConte Glacier near Petersburg, Alaska and preliminary findings are that the "glacier could reach a record retreat by the end of the year." 

Well I for one say good riddance to bad rubbish. Finally, America is WINNING against elitist leftist libtards and the snowflakes/ice chips who are triggered by global warming and forced to leave their safe spaces in a couloir somewhere.

This cowardly retreating glacier is, per the news article, "a lot like hundreds of others that cover Greenland." 

Of course it is. These glaciers are all the same. They're cold and isolated and keep to themselves. They don't speak English. They refuse to assimilate. They're extremely dangerous when approached. And when the going gets tough what do they do? 

RETREAT! SURRENDER! 

I mean, can you even GET more un-American than this? Sure sometimes bald eagles land on them, I assume. But with a name like "LeConte" you know this glacier is a French pussy. Maybe if the glacier was named Dale Wayne Jenkins or Jim-Bob Wiggins or something it'd be a different story, but all I can say about the LeConte glacier is GO HOME TO GREENLAND, LeCONTE! 

And when you wave an American flag in front of them what do these ungrateful sheets of ice do? NOTHING! They don't even stand up for our national anthem! They just LIE there slowly melting, expecting everyone else to take care of them and keep them from vanishing forever and making oceans rise to a very inconvenient level for the human race.

Well no more. 

Finally we have a President who understands that America--not remote glaciers with French last names--comes first. Trump won't let glaciers take our jobs, or murder our women and children with their crevasses, or take our AR-15s away by dropping a big giant chunk of ice on our heads and knocking it out of our cold, dead hands.



Friday, October 6, 2017

Alaskan Gun Owners Who Think Assault Rifles are Bullshit: An Unofficial Survey

I’ve lived in Alaska most of my adult life and almost everyone I know owns guns, including assault rifles. I'm around guns a lot more than I want to be, honestly, but I chose to live here and I accept that it's part of the culture. Still, almost every one of my friends says the same thing, including those who own assault rifles: 

“No one NEEDS an assault rifle, including me.”

Don't take my word for it. I think it’s important to hear from gun owners and firearms enthusiasts in one of the most gun-loving states in America why THEY think assault rifles are bullshit or at least unnecessary. 
So I solicited their thoughts and am posting them--anonymously--here:


  • “Not bullshit necessarily, but completely unnecessary. Not gonna stop a bear or moose with a .223; and if you need 30+ rounds of high velocity ammo for “home defense,” it’s probably too late for whatever you’re defending. I am an AKn gun owner, who has an AR. Fun for plinking, but like I said, unnecessary—serve no purpose not better served by other firearms.”

  • “I own firearms. I trapshoot with my shotgun and use my revolver for protection while alpine camping. I believe assault rifles are ridiculous, unless you are actively being assaulted upon in a wartime situation. Firearms should only be possessed by people who can extensively prove their mental health is top notch!”

  • “Hey, I saw your request for gun owners who think assault rifles are BS. That's totally me. I think the argument that regulating these sorts of weapons will somehow prevent people from having reasonable access to firearms for both protection and hunting is absolute bullshit. It's the same shit your five year-old tells you when you say they have to share, you know, "but you're going to take it all!"

  • “Assault rifles are for ripping up people. They're the opposite of sporting, responsible, or tools needed for treasured hunting traditions worth passing on to your kids. Says an Alaskan-born gal who grew up cleaning pistols at the kitchen table (don't ask) and who owns a shotgun and a rifle."

  • "I am a hunting guide, gun owner, avid outdoorsman and super liberal. Weird combo I guess. I have lots of guns. More than I need. Many I've never shot. I love my guns, I find some like art work. But I don't own a single assault rifle. Nor will I. I see no need and find them ridiculous, useless and ugly. I get it, some guys love to go shoot guns for fun, and I'm sure AR15s are fun to plink with, but not at the cost they bring society and the black eye they give normal guns. They serve no purpose. They are not for hunting. My 12 gauge duck hunting gun doubles as home protection and is much more effective for the latter than an assault rifle, no matter what people say. If I had to choose any gun for home protection it would be a shotgun. I do own three semi autos, all 12 gauge shotguns for bird hunting. But each have a max capacity of 3 rounds. I don't think a blanket law outlawing semi autos is fair. But to get rid of semi auto assault rifles tomorrow wouldn't bug me, or put at least a capacity limit. A hunting rifle, or self defense gun doesn't need more than 3-4 round capacity. If you haven't killed what you're aiming at by then it's either run away or killed you! I detest the NRA and how they have made normal gun owners look like fanatics. They create a terrible image. Interesting though, in my line of work I would without a doubt lose my business for my views. It's a yes or no deal. If word got out I'd be boycotted. I don't keep them quiet, but don't bring them up either. It's too political."

  • "We have rifles for hunting. My husband owns both a handgun and shotgun for bear protection while working in remote areas in state. We don't own any firearms intended to defend ourselves or our property. Outside of military or law enforcement duty, owning a firearm for the purpose of harming or killing another person, in any imagined scenario, is morally ambiguous at best. More consistently, I meet people who own and carry firearms with minimal training, if any, as a form of personal defense against imagined attackers ... a negligent would-be hero. In reality, these people are more likely to harm themselves or their family members, be harmed by another with a firearm, or have their own weapon used against them. In my opinion, personal safety gained by owning or carrying any firearm is an illusion. Don't even get me started on military grade firearms/caliber/ammunition, high capacity magazines, or automatic weapons. I see fear, machismo, and cowardice at the heart of the open carry and concealed carry movement."

  • "So ... I believe in guns. I hunt with rifles, I own a revolver. I know how to fire an AR. Our primary purpose for owning the AR is home defense and while I think it’s overkill, my husband does not. We have a gun safe and regularly take our 9 yo to the range for practice with the rifles. We regularly discuss gun safety and gun violence with our very sweet, innocent child. The reality is people do fucked up shit because they’re lonely. Teaching children social skills and what love is along with rifle practice should make for a well rounded individual ... I hope. Odds are a lot higher that I would use my revolver before the AR in a home defense situation. However the Zombie Apocalypse will require the AR (that's my husband's input!)"

  • "As a long time gun owner and an Alaskan who uses guns for both protection and hunting — I will freely hand every one of them over for destruction if that will stop what has been happening in our country... absolutely no one needs assault weapons!"

  • "Here's my take: [AK-47s and AR-15s] have no place in a hunting arsenal. Those rifles are inherently inaccurate. You can make them hunting accurate, but by the time you're done you'd be better off with a rifle designed for hunting. Those things are made to shoot quickly, in close quarters, nearly indiscriminately. There's no need outside military applications. If it means anything, I own three hunting rifles, three shotguns, one small practice rifle, and a handgun for bear protection. A gun owner for gun control."

  • “Guns are for feeding our family and keeping a connection and sense of responsibility between being meat eaters and taking life to do so. That is the only legitimate reason to have a gun.”

  • "I worked in law enforcement for many years. About 18 months ago, I began a new career in law enforcement training instead of having direct contact with regular citizens. I teach taser, defensive tactics, firearms, and other "soft" skills such as instructor development and advanced training/classroom methods. While employed as a sworn officer, I carried a firearm. I even carried it off duty. I carried off duty for mainly two reasons. The first being there are some bad dudes out there that probably have some beef with me and might like to do me and/or my family harm. The other reason is that I feel it is my responsibility to respond to deadly encounters in public to protect my community. I have specific skills and training that allows me to respond in ways an average joe couldn't. (But it's not like I'm some super GI Joe or whatever). I just feel a greater responsibility than I did before I started my career. I own several pistols, shotguns, a hunting rifle, and an assault rifle. Pistols were carried on duty and concealed carry off duty. Shotguns are for bird hunting. Rifle is for deer/bear/Alaskan animal hunting. So they all serve a purpose, I suppose. The assault rifle is for people. Those who disagree with that sentence are willfully ignorant. It's for quickly dispensing high caliber ammunition into a human threat or threats. I hate the fact I feel a need to own an AR-15. I wish I lived in a world where I would feel comfortable chucking it in the trash. I would gladly give up my assault rifle if I knew there weren't other idiots out there with them. Truthfully, I'm more afraid of the knuckle-dragging yokel that can pass a background check than I am anyone else. I guess I rambled a bit. Here's the takeaway: there is no use for an assault rifle other than harming people. A sensible hunter understands this. I'd give it up in a hot second if I knew I'd be safe from all the other Neanderthal second amendment humpers out there. If you have any specific questions, I'm absolutely happy to answer or provide clarification."



CDATPharm + Small Alaskan City = Mortification!

“Ugh, he’s SOOOO cute.”
“Ugh, I KNOOOOOOOOOOOOW, rieeeeeght?!”
“He’s like, SO tall. Even when he comes out from behind the counter he’s still like, SUPES tall.”
“And that hair! He looks like the cover of a romance novel. So adorbs.”
“And he’s always so PROFESH—he like, tooooootally knows his shit.”
“OMG I know.”
“OMG it’s so embarrassing.”
“OMG. Seriously. SO. Fucking. Embarrassing.”

[*Dissolve into adolescent giggles*]

Except it wasn’t actually two teenage girls engaged in this dialogue. It was two 40-somethings. And not just any two 40-somethings. It was me and a friend of mine, who had ventured out to our local pharmacy to retrieve a long list of embarrassing items from the very-attractive-and-at-least-ten-years-younger-than-both-of-us pharmacist.

Due to my status as a platinum-level frequent flier in the Big Pharma-Medical-Industrial Complex, I happen to know CDATPharm’s name, face, and voice on the phone. But out of respect and discretion amid the inevitable Juneau outing, shall hereafter refer to him only as CDATPharm—Or Cute Dude At The Pharmacy.

In the three years of writing this blog, mortification has become my stock-in-trade. There’s a certain freedom that accompanies stating life’s most horrendously mortifying observations as they come to you (silently to yourself or out loud to a friend), musing that they "would make a good blog post,” and then blasting them all over the Internet in order to divest them of their power.

It’s quite liberating, frankly.

In an ideal world—or at least a town of normal size, accessibility, and anonymity—CDATPharm would not necessarily be privy to the full list of medications that I take for numerous ailments. Or at least I wouldn’t have run into CDATPharm skiing with another attractive friend of his last season, with his secret knowledge of all my prescriptions in the back of my mind as we gamely made idle chit-chat over the variable conditions on the mountain that day.

“No, you see, hahaha--the Valtrex isn’t for REAL herpes. It’s for the SOMETIMES cold sores that I get like, seriously ONLY when I’m stressed out in this ONE little corner of my upper lip? In winter mostly? Like I THINK I actually got it from my babysitter? When I was little? Not from sex? Everything is TOTES fine in THAT department, heh heh heh—no, really, I swear, ha ha ha.”

Of course I don’t say any of this out loud. I just let CDATPharm think I’m a walking (skiing?) STD. 

I won’t even get into that time when I was nursing Isaac and needed Diflucan for the better part of a year. I will let you all Google that one, as even my relatively loose bounds of decency restrain me from spelling it out for you.

Then there’s the Prozac. Sometimes I call it “Fluoxetine,” because I tell myself that using the generic name makes me sound less crazy and better informed than the average mental patient.

“No you see,” I want to say, “I’m not THAT depressed. At least not right NOW, hahaha. I mean, I’m not going to like KILL myself or anything. It’s just that I’m like, super neurotic? And can’t stop obsessing over all the terrible things in the world and all the people who probably hate me for bad shit I have no idea I did? Really that’s it. It’s not so bad.”

Fuck my life, I almost sigh aloud as he hands down the little plastic bag of drugs and tells me discreetly and with a poker face that he probably has to "fax the doctor for refills on the Diflucan."

I don’t know why I feel the need to prove to CDATPharm that I’m not just another middle-aged mom who contracted genital herpes on a psych unit. 

Because even if I was, would he care? Of course not. He’s a consummate professional and I am simply that customer who convinced Aetna to cover a new eczema drug that costs a zillion dollars to ship here, and wasn't that very interesting?

Really it comes down to this: all other things being equal, is CDATPharm the FIRST person on earth I’d choose to know the intimate details of my medical history? 

No, no he is not. 

All other things being equal, would I feel better if CDATPharm was a matronly old lady with giant hairy moles whose access to this information would feel slightly less mortifying to me?

Yes, yes I would.

UPDATE: Not 20 minutes after I posted this CDATPharm called and I was POSITIVE he was going to excoriate me for this blog post. In fact, he was just letting me (“Elizabeth”) know that my Prozac refill was ready. TRUE STORY!










Stock photo. Not actual CDATPharm