It’s a boy! It’s a girl! It’s an $8,000,000 disaster!

Gender reveal parties are stupid.

There, I said it.

Granted, as someone who would rather die than create and incubate a small new human which would then repay me by tearing its way into the world via my delicate lady bits, I may be ever so slightly biased.

I (hypothetically) understand why finding out the gender of a baby would be exciting and something worth sharing, I just don’t get why it has to be such a circus. “We have happy news! Come stand around at our house for two hours while we string you along before finally letting you watch us lift a rabbit out of a hat holding a carrot which when cut open will reveal vegetable weevils that have been dyed either blue or pink!”

It’s like on all those cooking competition shows where Gordon Ramsay stalls for twenty minutes before actually announcing whose dish won them a tiny advantage in the next round and you just want to strangle him.

“There were many impressive contenders in the battle to fertilize Heather’s egg. But there can only be one winner. Which sperm had the drive and motivation to rise to the occasion? Was it an X or a Y chromosome of Dan’s that found the perfect pairing with Heather’s X? It’s time to find out. And so…without any further ado…I am so very pleased to announce…that the winner…of the battle to knock Heather up…the gender that I am about to reveal…the child that will be growing up under its lucky parents’ roof for the next 18 years…after an incredible performance during Heather and Dan’s successful act of procreative love…please join me in congratulating this wonderful husband and wife as they welcome…”

Like, enough already. What’s wrong with just, y’know, telling your friends in passing and letting everyone get on with their lives? Sure, have a small gathering if you’re the happy hostess type and you want to blurt the joyful news out en masse and in person. Just don’t make all your invitees wait for the next ice age before you pop your confetti-filled balloon or slice your overpriced layer cake down the middle. And if your guest list absolutely must comprise more than a hundred people, spring for a JumboTron so the people in the back can actually see what the fuck is going on.

Also, try not to set anything on fire.

know it’s just not a baby-related event without guns and highly volatile explosives, but do your best to rein yourself in.

That kid’s gonna cost you enough without an eight million dollar fine on top of it all.

Quoth The Nut: Day 2

And so arrives Day 2 of the Three Quotes, Three Days challenge, or as I like to think of it, using the words of those wiser and wittier than me to take a vacation from thinking up anything clever of my own. Thanks again to Christina of The Wordy Rose for the friendly kick in the butt.

If you’ve already forgotten how the rules work, see yesterday’s post. I’m not rehashing all that shit again just because you weren’t paying attention. Sheesh.

Today’s quote comes from…somewhere. I’ve seen it questionably attributed to George Carlin and Mark Twain, among others (Twain wrote something fairly similar, and Carlin did spend a lot of his time talking about stupid people so I can see why he’d be a logical choice), but nobody can seem to show their work, so I’m just gonna chalk this one up to the Universe. Nice one, Universe.

I don’t generally give much credence to star signs, but I’ll still be the first to admit that I do in fact have all the stubbornness of a Taurus and then some.

Which is to say I learned this lesson about idiots the hard way.

I didn’t have such a bad time of it before the internet came along. But then, y’know, the internet. An endless miasma of antiquated views, religious fanaticism, prejudice, conjecture, and questionable grammar at my fingertips, and I’m just supposed to stand idly by and watch?

Fat fucking chance!

The most painfully accurate XKCD of all time.

Facebook debate about the morality of same-sex relationships? You’re on.
Article questioning a woman’s right to choose? *cracks knuckles* Bring it.
Bigot with two brain cells and a YouTube channel? To the comments!

Just kidding about the YouTube comments. That’s a kiddie pool of crazy even I wouldn’t dip my toe into.

But I was still a sucker for the rest.

I don’t know how many hours of my life I wasted in futile games of cat and mouse with people who were actually proud of their own ignorance, but it was too many. This time, I would think, this time I will find the perfect way to word things so the light bulb will go on in their head and they’ll see reason! And after every “this time” failed, there was another waiting just behind it.

Still, even the most stubborn person eventually runs out of “this time”s.

I was in the middle of writing some stupidly long Facebook comment when I finally snapped out of my delusion. I can’t even remember what we were debating. And I don’t know what was so different about that day as opposed to any other day. But I recall looking at my words, then looking back at the words that had set me off, and having everything just click.

Wait just a goddamn minute… You know what? Fuck this.

There will always be stupid people. And that sucks for us all.

But it’s not your job to fix them.

They don’t want to be fixed anyway. They are far more committed to being stupid than you are to talking sense into them. You are not a lesser person for giving up, you are just making more effective use of your time.

So let it go, go eat an Oreo, and get on with your life.

What are you waiting for? GO!

Quickly, before I could change my mind, I highlighted my meticulously worded wall of text, took a deep breath, and pressed Delete.

Immediate relief washed over me. I didn’t feel like a failure. I felt more like a genius. A belated genius, perhaps, but better late than never.

It was so satisfying, I almost didn’t even need the Oreo.

Almost.

That’s a paddlin’, or, “Everything I know about pest control I learned from Home Alone.”

In 2001, my friend Andi moved away to Massachusetts to attend college there. I was staying in Vancouver for university and was sorry to see her go. There were only a handful of people I bothered to keep in touch with after high school, and of those, she was the only one I spent time with regularly. Still, we had the internet. We kept up such a flurry of online conversation that pretty soon the miles didn’t seem to matter so very much.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from jumping at the chance to go visit when she invited me to spend a week with her during the summer of her second year. I booked my flights and then counted down the days in giddy anticipation as Andi went into planning mode, trying to cram as many places and activities into our schedule as she could.

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Edgar Allan Poe’s Ebola.

Once upon a rainy evening, while I worked but dreamed of leaving,
For the tasks I dwelt upon were all a most insufferable bore,
While I typed away, unceasing, suddenly I heard a wheezing
And the sound of someone sneezing just outside our office door.
“‘Tis some passerby”, I muttered, “sneezing near our office door –
Only this, and nothing more.”

I would like to state, moreover, this occurred in late October,
When the mood is dark and sober and imaginations soar.
Eagerly I wished this stranger would be gone and quell the danger
That seemed sure to strike our chamber should he think to linger more –
Silently I willed the man to quit the threshold of our door
And to trouble us no more.

But, despite my quiet pleading, no footsteps were heard receding,
And the sound of labored breathing filled the air beyond the door.
“Scoundrel!” thought I. “Who’s this man to walk up to our door and stand
With no hello and no demand, and pant upon our office door?
Who’s this creeper, why’s he here, and why’s he breathing on our door?”
Then the stranger sneezed some more.

Presently, to quell my fears, I stuck my fingers in my ears,
But I could not help but hear the stranger knock upon our door.
It was nearing closing time; surely it would be no crime
To leave him out there in the grime left by the heavy rain downpour –
Leave this man to think us absent, and those knocking sounds ignore,
And my peace of mind restore.

But he knocked again, determined, and I felt unduly burdened,
Duty-bound to find out what had brought him to our office door,
So I called out, “Just a second!” as I walked in his direction,
Praying that no grave infection would attack me from his pores,
Hoping fervently that what this man was bringing to our door
Was a cold and nothing more.

Suddenly the door flew open, and I rued that I had spoken,
For this man was rife with tokens of the illness that he bore;
Glistening with sweat excess, he claimed he was from UPS
With a box for our address, a package we’d been waiting for.
This he uttered, then he coughed all over me, and box, and door,
As I stared at him in horror.

Terrified out of my mind, I grabbed his clipboard, quickly signed,
Shut the door and closed the blinds upon that sickly, fevered form.
Though by panic paralyzed, I knew that I must sanitize,
Hurrying to improvise, I snatched some Lysol from my drawer
Used its disinfecting spray to cleanse my hands and box and door –
“Please protect me,” I implored.

But it was with spirit sour that, within that selfsame hour,
I could feel the fever start to burn into my very core,
Slow at first but then more dire; soon I was a walking pyre,
Blazing with a savage fire like that which doth from Hell outpour.
Curse thee, wretch, for bringing this Ebola to my office door!
Quoth the virus, “Wait, what?”

Then to my computer turning, fever still within me burning,
I began to Google like I’d never Googled e’er before.
“WebMD, what’s my prognosis? How to fight this plague ferocious?
Which the meds and what the doses? Tell me truly, I implore!
Tell me what the pharmacy can give me for this viral war?”
Quoth the virus, “Dude, wtf, I’m just the flu.”

But my thoughts I could not vary from that dratted Typhoid Mary
And the sentence that he carried and delivered to my door.
Death he brought me, death and pain! I’d all to lose and naught to gain!
This evil flowing through my veins would be my end – I was done for.
Too soon the sunset of my life had come to pass on Death’s dark shores!
Quoth the virus, “Will someone please explain to this nutjob that I’m not Ebola?”

And Ebola, cruel and chilling, still is killing, still is killing
My poor body hour by hour as I lie shaking on the floor.
Prithee do not weep with sorrow should I fail to wake tomorrow
But this slice of wisdom borrow: stay inside and bar your door,
Trust no others – all are foes – and set no foot outside your door!
Quoth the virus, “You’re a fucking idiot. I’m gonna go find someone sane to infect.”

 

My sincere apologies to Mr. Poe who I’m sure is currently rolling in his grave, likely put there by Ebola.

 

Nuts on ice.

I went for my first skate since March last night, and it was glorious.

There’s a rink about a five minute walk from our apartment. It reopened for the season just this week, and after six months of no ice, this Nut was not about to miss the first opportunity to lace on her skates and get gliding. I suppose I could have spent those six months going to one of the rinks across town that’s open year-round, but I like that I can just stroll over to this one. No traffic stress. No frantic search for parking. Just a nice walk through the neighborhood and a familiar face to greet me with a smile and scan my pass when I get there.

I love the sessions early in the season before skating parties and dates on the ice get into full swing. I love having room to really move. There were only a handful of us out there, maybe ten in total, making our way around the rink with varying levels of ease.

I started out a bit wobbly. My skates were newly sharpened, but I forgot that the ice in October kind of sucks and you just don’t get the same bite with your edges that you do later in the year when overall temperatures are lower and they don’t have to try so hard to keep the surface frozen.

Once I compensated for the lack of give in the ice, though, I was zipping around the rink like I had never missed a day. I did a few simple tricks to get them out of my system and then I settled back into a long, relaxed stride.

And I began people-watching.

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Observing the common idiot in its natural habitat.

It’s been a long week for me. I’ve had this alliteratively sneaking suspicion that someone’s been slipping me sleeping pills on the sly, except in reality my thyroid’s just an inconsiderate douchecanoe and the pills I actually am taking to remedy the situation are taking their sweet-ass time to kick in. I’m tired, and I’m achy, and I’m cranky.

So in the spirit of crankiness, I’m just going to take some time to bitch about one of my pet peeves.

Learn to fucking look around you, people.

And watch this show, because it’s awesome.

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