Eyes open, grab phone, check the time. It's 4:30am. Why am I awake?

Brain: "Hey, buddy. I see that you're up. What'ya say we review every mistake and social gaffe you've ever made in your life?"

Me: "What? No. No, I don't want to do that. Not now, not ever."

Brain: "Hey, remember back on the first day of school when you followed all the girls into the girls room? Ha! Good times, good times."

Me: "I said I didn't want to do this!"

Brain: "And then there was that time in third grade when on class field day you were watching the turtle race with the whole class, you put your head down on the ground for an eye level view of the turtles and the teacher must have thought you were trying to look up the girl's skirts. She hauled you to your feet and slapped you across the face."

Me: "People think I drink to dull the pain. When actually I drink because I'm trying to kill you."


MORE
Oh man brother - I feel your pain. Over and over again.
I feel this deeeeep, too. Last night I pulled an unwilling all-nighter because someone on Reddit asked "Describe a time you gave someone advice or words of comfort, but it turned out to be a really awful thing to say." So I told an anecdote about a poorly-timed joke and then couldn't stop thinking about it. AAAGH.

There's a song by Barenaked Ladies called "Everything Old is New Again" and it has a line about laying in bed and "let[ting] all my nightmares repeat." Yup.

Why do our brains do this?!?
I am told it is because we focus on the past to the detriment of the present.

Or because we associate social gaffes for actual blunders.

Or because we don't forgive ourselves for mistakes.
I can't speak for everyone, but that last one... woof.
I don't have a sleepless story because I'm a champion sleeper (sleep is even how I cope with stress ). But yeah, at almost 50 I still STILL get pissed off a things that happened in grade school. Usually things that were not in my power to correct, due to the teachers being fallible humans with power (or sometimes they were just jerks). Or things where I should have done something but didn't, due to being afraid to engage. Or the intersection of these two.
Ok, getting off this thread because I'm getting pissed off again thinking about it.

You know, as I kid, my role model was Spock. I never liked the feels. I'm somewhat better now.
I liked Spock as a kid, and even as an adult, I still think he had a great story arc in TOS.

But yeah, finding a way to live with unresolvable conflicts from the past can be a struggle.
#thisiswhyitakexanax
#betterlivingthroughchemistry

I kid. Mostly.

(When I get caught in a death spiral and absolutely positively no-way no-how can shut my damn brain off, xanax is a magical rescue. As much as I joke about it, I don't take it often and I have a very healthy respect for it.)
 

It seems that just as one incident of a company's marketting department blundering on the company's social media account is fading from memory, another one comes along to take its place.

The latest, Gillette, the famous razor makers, took to social media to shake its metaphysical fist at "toxic masculinity". Why? Who in their marketting department thought that by taking a cudgel to their user base they'd increase sales?

Instead, the backlash seems to be trending toward people dumping Gillette products. I bet the person who put forward this brain donor of a marketting plan is praying that it slinks away to a quiet corner to die. Adn as quickly as possible, please.

Now, Gillette is owned by Proctor and Gamble, who continued to use the Gillette brand name and sponsor Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots play in the NFL. Damn, that seems pretty masculine. I wonder if the marketting department knows?

Let's ignore masculinity for a moment and focus on toxic behavior. One definition of toxicity would be using your power and influence to denigrate and punish people or a person for traits and circumstances beyond their ability to control.

Using that definition, castigating an entire gender for an accident of birth seems like pretty toxic behavior.

In any event, it seems like a good time to dump your Proctor and Gamble stock.

MORE
I don't know if this would interest you, but there's a thoughtful analysis of the Gillette ad kerfluffle (kind of analyzing the analysis of the ad, if you will) here: https://medium.com/@remakingmanhood/the-attack-on-gillettes-integrity-is-actually-a-larger-cultural-inoculation-cd1b1732a10b?sk=1e1d449b0e70ddc154f1ab9c48854c7d

And the Twitter thread summary (a great synopsis) is here: https://twitter.com/RemakingManhood/status/1086992730109165568

I don't know what exactly I think about any of it—the ad or the chatter about the ad—but the ad didn't strike me as a condemnation of an entire gender (but then, I'm female). And it is intriguing to me that the ad, rather than sparking conversations about ally-ship, is instead spurring talk about Gillette as an evil corporate overlord.

I think we all struggle in our own ways with the cultural pressures around gender and gender identity. I'm glad we're having national conversations about it now, as difficult and unsettling and confusing as they are. My hope is that the narratives that come out of these discussions/confrontations/conflicts are ultimately helpful and not just chaotic and divisive (but then, I'm a storyteller).
Anne Mollo 1/21edited
Thanks for the link. I think it's interesting that Mr. Greene's article didn't take a stand, didn't make a point or take leadership, the traditional male roles. Which is kind of accepting Gillette's point, if damning it with faint praise.

I prefer Egard Watches response.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_HL0wiK4Zc
 

Totally a first world problem, but anymore it feels like Thanksgiving is the starting line for a race through the end of the year.

I went home to Massachusetts to visit family at Thanksgiving and stayed for a week. I'm a homebody, so a week away from Chateau Conrad was pretty exhausting for Mama Conrad's little introvert. Then there's the month-long marathon of shopping and consumption leading up to Christmas. This year, maybe it was the timing of the holiday, maybe it was a confluence of the flu, and needing to replace my truck but Christmas' arrival left me feeling Christmas-spiritless.

Plus, there was a shitshow with one of the street urchins in my neighborhood two days before Christmas. The less said about that the better. But, word to the wise. Get a dash cam and make sure it records audio. My cheapo closeout dash cam saved my bacon when I showed the video to the po-po.

New Year's Even finally arrived and I managed to slog through it and watch the ball drop. Poor Jenny McCarthy looked like a drowned rat with all the rain in NYC.

New Year's Day did allow me to see the first use of 18 instead of 19, on a highway sign advising drivers that a road was going to have work starting soon, Deldot posted the start date as 1/2/18. Man, those guys are slow.

But we're here in 2019. I can hide in my house, post a warning that trespassers will be devoured by angry opposums, and relax. For a couple of days at least.

MORE
Congrats on the surviving! We're glad you are a member of Those Still Standing. :)
Do I still count as 'standing' if I'm in bed under a blanket?
#totallystillcounts
 

Since Scottish Parliament banned gingerbread men and Baby It's Cold Outside is now Persona Non Grata, these songs will be next on the chopping block. 

1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Subjecting minors to softcore porn. Heteronormative. Underage incestuous voyerism.

2. The Christmas Song: Open fire? Pollution. Folks dressed up like Eskimos? Cultural appropriation.

3. Holly Jolly Christmas: Kiss her once for me? Unwanted advances.

4. I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas: Animal abuse.

5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town: Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake? Peeping Tom/Stalker.

6. Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Everyone telling you be of good cheer? Forced to hide depression.

7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Bullying.

8. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Forced gender-specific gifts: dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols (GUNS!) for Barney and Ben.

9. Santa Baby: Gold digger, blackmail.

10. Frosty the Snowman: Sexist; not a snow woman, assumes the gender of Frosty. Religious anarchist; knows he's going to die and ignores the police. Confident he'll be resurrected.

11. Do You Hear What I Hear: Blatant disregard for the Hearing Impaired

12. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Make the yuletide GAY? Wow, just wow.

13. Jingle Bell Rock: Giddy up jingle horse, pick up your feet: Animal abuse.

14. Mistletoe and Holly: Overeating, folks stealing a kiss or two? How did this song ever see the light of day?

15. Winter Wonderland: Parson Brown demanding they get married…forced partnership.

16. I’ll Be Home For Christmas: Not if you are homeless. That’s just Insensitive.

17. Grandma got ran over by a reindeer: Homicide. Extremely violent and promotes alcoholism.

18. All I Want for Christmas Is You: Insensitive to people suffering from Obsessive Compulsive behavior.

19. Deck the Halls; Don we now our GAY apparel. HOLY SHIT!

20. Dominick the Donkey; Ethnic sterotyping, reinforcing gender stereotypes, animal abuse. It's a trifecta!

21. Fairytale of New York; Drops F-Bomb (the gay one; and it’s NOT “fairy”); Promotes ethnic stereotypes. Slut shaming.

22. Do They Know It's Christmas?; White supremacist. Paternalistic. What? Africans can't save themselves? 

Gleefully stolen from various sites on the interwebz and compiled here.

MORE
12/26 '18 4 Comments
Do They Know It's Christmas was boneheaded because the majority of the beneficiaries were Muslim. Then again, it did the job and raised dollars.
Thomas Boutell 12/27 '18
Falls under that classic: if it's dumb but it works, it's maybe not so dumb?
Karen 12/29 '18
I forget what the source was, but I listened to an English professor defend Baby It’s Cold Outside based on cultural nuances of the era it was written in and how that changed the meaning of the lyrics. It was quite interesting.
This is what I tend to go with, and on occasion tell others who are open to discussing it. It's funny how much the song is such a shitshow by today's standards.
Karen 12/29 '18
 

Please accept my non-denominational holiday wishes with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2019, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, lack thereof or sexual preference of the wishee or wisher.

MORE
12/21 '18 3 Comments
 

Today in history, the Forty-Seven Rōnin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenged the death of their daimyō, Asano Naganori. Asano had been compelled to perform seppuku for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka.

After they lost their positions as samurai, the forty-seven made themselves appear to have lost all honor by posing as drunkards and thieves. After waiting and planning for a year, the rōnin avenged their master's honor by killing Kira. In turn, they were themselves obliged to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder. 

Their story has been fictionalized several times, but always at the expense of the actual story.

MORE
12/14 '18 2 Comments
"Their story has been fictionalized several times, but always at the expense of the actual story."

Sadly, that often seems to be the way of things.
I didn't know this.

Thanks!
 

I bought this "signed and numbered" print in 1998. The art was completed in 1989 and the print was made in 1990. When I moved into my house in 2000 I had it in a crappy poster frame. The frame broke during the move. So the backing cardboard with the print reversed  and covered by the backer paper went on a closet shelf. Where, due to my mad procrastination skillz, it languished for 18 years.

A friend who knew about the print gave me a 60% off custom framing coupon to a local cafting store with orders to "Get Betty off the shelf", which I dutifully did before Thanksgiving. 60% off of nearly a thousand dollars, since I obviously wanted acid-free paper and museum glass to preserve the valuable (hopefully, someday) artwork.

I made note of the artist and Googled him after I paid for the framing. Seems like this fellow has about a dozen original pieces of Betty Page art, all done comic book style. And he's run 1000 signed and numbered pieces of each piece of artwork and sold for around $20. Each and every year.

So, the "valuable" "signed and numbered " print of original artwork is worth about $20. Plus $340 in framing means the whole shebang is worth about $360.

I guess the value is in the eye of the beholder.


MORE
12/7 '18 1 Comment
I think it's cool.

If it makes you happy, then even better.

But maaaan-- I didn't know framing was so expensive. I have a few hand-drawn pieces my friend Stefan made for me that need framing, and at $350 a pop, I may need to put that off a bit longer.
 

Today is the "birthday" of Schrödinger's Cat. Don't forget to wish it a happy birthday. (Or schedule the funeral.)

MORE
11/29 '18 3 Comments
That's funny - Mark and I were just discussing this particular feline over Thanksgiving. Thanks for the head sup!
I think of Schrodinger's Cat often. This morning I woke up and thought about the text messages that may or may not be on my phone before I checked. For a moment, they didn't really exist, and therefore neither did the inevitable obligation to act on them, because I did not see them (not a perfect analogy, but I was still waking up.)
Karen 12/4 '18edited
Obligations existing in a quantum state. Interesting wrinkle on Schrödinger's Cat.

Napoleon once directed his secretary Bourrienne to leave all letters unopened for three weeks. A large a part of the correspondence had thus disposed of itself and no longer required an answer. I tried doing this with bills once and it didn't work out so well.
Ray Conrad 12/4 '18