Monthly Archives: February, 2016

Delegates, PACs, Caucuses, Primaries, and other words with no meaning

Early voting has started for the Texas primary.  I know because there are massive amounts of Trump signs out in the lawn by one of our voting places.  I think the building has something to do with city government, but really don’t care because the city is run by Republicans.  I did see one Bernie Sanders sticker on the back of a car.  These are brave people.  I’d be afraid of having my bumper shot.

Anyhoo, I should get over there and cast my vote.  My husband votes Republican (I have attempted to reason with him, and barring that, possibly drug him, to no avail) so we act maturely and often vote without each other.  And don’t tell the other person. You know, in case he or she forgot.  We never forget.  But it’s a fun game we play.  He’s not into politics really, which is how we stay married.  But he still votes Republican because it runs in the family or something, like mental illness.  At least we can agree on one thing.  Neither one of us can stand Trump.

I will never, never tire of this picture.  It should be plastered on all his campaign photos.  They'd still vote for him.

I will never, never tire of this picture. It should be plastered on all his campaign photos. They’d still vote for him.

But like acid reflux, he just keeps coming back up.  I actually did try to read a little on this primary caucus thing, and now I am officially way more confused.  They’ve had primaries (or caucuses?) in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, though not all take place for both parties at the same time, and some are decided and some are not and some are closed and some are open and some are mixed (like candy!).  I have no idea why exactly.  I do know Trump is winning a lot. So is Hillary.  (Like there’s been 4 states out of 50!  The media has totally called it already!)

But according to my lawyer friend who does not get news from Facebook, Bernie still has the popular vote of the Democrats.  I’m not sure anyone really has a strong vote with the Republicans, since some still refuse to bow out, even if they have no percentage of the vote.  And some states have split delegates, and are not winner take all though everyone says they have won, and certain delegates have pledged themselves to each (What are delegates again?  Who are these people?  Can I be one? I can delegate great!) but Hillary has the super PACS (like Pac-Man?) and I’m still not totally hip on this whole delegate / PAC thing.  I keep thinking that we should just, you know, vote for who we want ourselves. But what do I know?

My thoughts on this.

My thoughts on this.

I do know I haven’t heard much about these states in a while (I totally forgot about Iowa), so way to go getting your state noticed, guys!  But you should know, there is a lot of stupid out there, so please sane people who happen to want to vote my way, get out and vote.  Even vote for Hillary.  Though I think another four years of Clintons will be torture, it won’t be anything like what we’ll get with one of these wackamoles in the other party.  At this point I am actually missing Romney and McCain, you guys. That’s bad. That’s super bad.  And Super Tuesday (it’s not a football game, sorry) is coming up and we’ll get primaries from several states, including my quiet, unassuming little state Texas.  I’m not scared AT ALL.

But back to the headlines, which stay as wacky as ever!

Brought to you by the ghost of Socks the cat.

Brought to you by the ghost of Socks the cat.

Pat Buchanan political commentator says Trump’s rise is a rejection of “Bush Republicanism.”

Funny, I thought his rise to power came after the opening of the Seventh Seal.  And what is Bush Republicanism exactly? Sort of kind of sane Republicanism?

Pat Robertson: Bernie Sanders voters are a bunch of “ignorant sheep.”

But Pat is like on the 700 club.  I thought it was supposed to be good to be a sheep so Jesus can be your shepherd?  But what do I know?

I STILL know more about politics than most Trump supporters.  Baaaa.

I STILL know more about politics than most Trump supporters. Baaaa.

Trump pranks Jeb Bush by stealing his website campaign.

Trump tweeted “Jeb Bush forgot to renew the rights to his domain name for his website.  Guess who bought it?”  You know, sometimes I forget we’re running an actual political campaign here with all this here tomfoolery!

Jeb Bush: Republican candidate suspends his campaign.

Aw.  Jeb, please know, your political ads were the bomb and I will never forget them.

Jeb doesn't get politics either.

Jeb doesn’t get politics either.

Marco (Polo) Rubio won’t let a cracked molar keep him from campaigning.

OMG, the heroism.  So you were in a prison camp?  Big deal, John McCain!  Rubio has to see the dentist!

Cruz: ‘We are the only campaign who can beat Donald Trump’

Well, you did do it one time out of three.  But – yeah that doesn’t make me feel any better.

I'm totally sincere, guys.

I’m totally sincere, guys.

These guys sure are a hoot.  Thing One discovered a video called “Trump and Friends” which puts the faces of political candidates on the trains from Thomas the Tank Engine, and makes the trains even more disturbing.  But it fits perfectly, considering those trains were always being jerks to each other.  Enjoy!

 

-Alice

 

 

 

 

 

 

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He Started It: Kindergarten Politics and the Republican National Debate

Breaking News: Just thought you should know, Hillary barked like a dog on the campaign trail.  Back to the post.

You might be wondering – why, Alice, why would you watch that?  You know your brain’s still not well after 50 Shades corrosion.  Well, I didn’t watch the whole thing – just some highlights.  And you know where I got those highlights from, right?

Thanks Facebook News!  Or thank you to our political parties, who continue to have some of the most hilarious / bizarre headlines I’ve ever seen.  Including these gems from Trump (And no I am not making any of these up):

The Things and I practiced doing this pose and fell over laughing. Thanks, Donald!

The Things and I practiced doing this pose and fell over laughing. Thanks, Donald!

Donald Trump on Ben Carson Feud: He Started It

Donald swears he is a bestest Christian, not Ben!  But only because Ben started it.

Donald Trump Says I Could Shoot Somebody and I Wouldn’t Lose Any Voters

Except the voters he shot dead?  Any survivors would keep the bullets in a little shadow box.

And a few minutes after congratulating Ted Cruz on his win in Iowa –

Donald Trump Accuses Ted Cruz of Stealing the Iowa Caucus

What did I dooooo?

What did I dooooo?

Really, I could just use the headlines featuring Trump and have an entire post.  Especially considering he dominates the race to the point that I don’t hear enough about how awful the rest of the candidates are, and I’m pretty sure they’re all awful.  But it’s degrees of awful we are talking about here, people.  My favorite headline so far is this:

Donald Trump: Presidential Candidate Alludes to Independent Run During Event in South Carolina

Donald’s had it with the Republican party who is totally not being fair to him!  I decided to (once again) break my rule against reading the comments to see what Trump supporters thought about this.  No worries.  They are sure that Trump can still win even if he divides the Republican party because he has a large percentage of the Hispanic vote.  Well that makes sense.

Donald Trump Defends Calling Mexicans Rapists

Next they’ll be saying he’s got the Muslim vote.  I do realize that people have a tendency to vote against their own interests, like the “chicken voting for Colonel Sanders” as my father always says.  That’s Colonel Sanders again, not Bernie.  He’s a senator.   Pretty sure.

Colonel Sanders promises a chicken in every bucket.

Colonel Sanders promises a chicken in every bucket.

But nevermind that.  I say, “Run, Donald, Run!”  That way Hillary and Bernie can sit back, take their blood pressure meds and relax.  No need to fight each other, guys!  Calm down!  Bill, please go home – you look tired.  And Jeb – really – grown ups don’t usually have their Moms campaign for them.  It’s not like she’s class Mom of the Republican party.

Though they certainly need one.  In this clip, watch as candidates for the greatest office in the land take turns calling each other lying liars that lie!

So many good moments in this video.  First Trump states that Cruz is a liar, a bigger one than Jeb Bush, who pops his head up, eyes wide like a spooked deer, hearing his name, but uncertain what to do about it.  He brings up how Rubio tried to take away voters by telling everyone at the caucus that Ben had quit the race, cause like he wasn’t there. (Rubio getting a spot on the next Mean Girls movie? Possibilities!)  And later, though it’s hard to hear over the mindless bickering of Trump and Cruz, the moderator actually threatens that he will “turn this car around, gentlemen.”  Cruz then informs Trump that grown ups do not interrupt one another.  And Trump mutters something like “Yeah like you’re a grown up.” with a sneer.

Guys, even 5-year-olds know better than to talk like that, mostly because their parents and teachers will put them in time out.  Personally, I think that’s what the moderator should do – put candidates in time-out according to age.  We wouldn’t have to hear from Trump for 69 minutes.

At least there is one thing the Republicans can agree on.  Even though the extremely conservative Justice Scalia has died nine months before the election, they believe Obama should wait and let the next president appoint a new justice.  Sorry, Obama is still actually the president.  And it doesn’t occur to them they might be letting either Hillary or Bernie do it.  Or possibly one of our write-in candidates.

Go, Grumpy Cat!

Go, Grumpy Cat!

-Alice

 

 

 

Barbie Got Back Part Two

I was going to write a Valentine’s Day post, but I did a post on the completely made up totally true origins of the holiday already.  So it’s back to our post on healthy body image!  There is a song by Sir Mix-A-Lot, dedicated totally to this, and it is totes romantic.

 

Hits ya right there.

Hits ya right there.

You see?  Even rapper knights from the 80s know that it’s okay for a woman to have some curves on her!  So why not Barbie?  That’s the conclusion Mattel came to after only 50 years or so.  And lots of complaining.  And their company profits sort of going down the toilet due to not putting effort into their projects anymore.  So they made some gutsy changes that got Barbie on the cover of Time Magazine.  No, I’m serious.

Nope. But Sir Mix-a-lot is on the phone for you.

Nope. But Sir Mix-a-lot is on the phone for you.

Yes, there is now a “curvy” Barbie with an actual behind, a bit of tummy, and healthy thighs.  Also a tall, flatter Barbie, and a short “petite” Barbie, for all those freaky tall and short people out there.  Just kidding.  It’s actually nice to see a variety of doll shapes since some girls are tall and skinny (like I was, and I like my daughters are) and others are just short and petite which I used to envy until I realized I would always be able to reach items on the top shelf that they couldn’t.

I got all three shapes of doll because RESEARCH.  Again, apologies for the naked doll pictures, but if you wanna see the shape, you gotta see it without clothes.  And we all know Barbie always goes commando underneath her duds, with the exception of those drawn on skin-tone panties that look like she’s got some sort of infection going on.  I also pulled back in the Lammily doll, based on an average of normal girl proportions, from my last post for comparison, though she’s a little more annoyed about the nude thing.  Barbie is used to it, as she regularly lays around my house with no clothes, just as she did when I was a kid.

Tall and geeky, short and freaky, and Miss Mixalot. I should probably give them real names.

Tall and geeky, short and freaky, and Miss Mixalot. I should probably give them real names.

The Things, otherwise known as my testers, checked out the dolls and gave their opinions.  The short one had a nice dress but scary looking eyes.  The tall one was, like, tall.  Thing Two strongly favored Miss Curvy.  I told them we needed names, so Thing Two decided on presidents.  Meet Jenny Clinton, Emma Obama, and Sarah Roosevelt.

Now for the pictures that will probably surface during their campaigns.  We brought in highly-flexible yoga Barbie again (her name is Marsha Brady Trump and if you have to ask why, you probably haven’t read my blog much.)  Since Curvy Ms. Roosevelt is the most controversial, I concentrated on her for most of the comparison shots.

Curvy Barbie vs Barbie 1

Right off the bat, you can tell there a few differences between Roosevelt and Trump here. Meg the Lammily doll is lying nearby – for some reason.

So Curvy’s legs are noticably thicker, and you can see a bit of thigh.  But you need a closer look to really see the junk in the trunk.  This post is going to get so many views for all the wrong reasons.

Clothes off, yay! Curvy Roosevelt has a wider torso, more hip, and thighs. But flexi Trump has a lot more posability. If you could combine the flexy with the curvy, it'd be an even better doll.

Clothes off, yay! Curvy Roosevelt has a wider torso, more hip, and thighs. But flexi Trump has a lot more posability. If you could combine the flexi with the curvy, it’d be an even better doll.

Now for the butt shot. Curvy Barbie does got back, ya'll.

Now for the butt shot. Curvy Barbie does got back, ya’ll.

So she has a butt – a real butt.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t see very many behinds (not that I spend a lot of time looking but you know what I mean I think I’ll stop talking now) that are so nonexistent as on Flexi Trump.  And once again those pencil legs really stand out, even if they can bend behind her body in a scary sort of way that – even scarier – real people are actually able to do in yoga class.  Did I mention you can get stress fractures doing yoga?  It’s true – a coworker did.  And she thought she was getting healthy!

Anyway, I also wanted to compare Curvy Roosevelt’s body to the Lammily more average sized body.  Come on, Meg!  Come meet someone!  No, really, we promise it will be better this time!

You are a lying liar, Alice.

You are a lying liar, Alice.

Again, we did the strip tease shot.  Meg is filing a lawsuit against me, I’m pretty sure.  She doesn’t get research.

Meg is giving me her death glare.

Meg is giving me her death glare.

The two dolls both have some added butt and thigh, though one has a shorter torso, and the other a longer one.  I’m not sure really which torso is the most normal.  Maybe it’s because women are shaped differently.  Nah, it has to be problems with manufacturing!  Curvy has skinnier arms and upper body, and her legs get skinnier in the calf down to the feet that are still too small to adequately support a normal person.  Plus, while she’s wearing shoes here, I can tell you she still has no toes.  Unlike the Lammily doll, who has some very detailed toes there.  Evolution in doll making for sure!

My body has always been a bit closer to curvy, which is why I object when people complain – you’re shocked right? – that her body is unrealistic still.  It’s called “pear shaped”.  There’s also “apple shaped” (if you are bigger around he middle) and “stick shaped” (if you still have to wear undershirts instead of bras and you’ve been desperately searching for your hips.)  I’ve had friends of all these body types.  Not surprisingly, none of us are happy.  Especially when we’re told we’re either too fat or too skinny.  Just as this doll, like the Lammily doll, is “fat”, according to people with very thin minds.

Get into my car

Get outta my dreams, get into my car, baby!

Finnick from the Hunger Games doesn’t seem to mind.

Time Magazine complained about a few things.  For one, the doll has no clothes to fit her yet, though they are coming out with some in the future.  Oh, dear!  It’s like someone might have to sew those clothes.  And sell them.  And they have sewn them and we have come.  To Etsy, where I have never gone before.  It’s truly amazing the talent out there that “average” people have to sew tiny clothes in perfect detail.  Mattel and other companies need to employ these people.

Curvy can borrow the Lammily doll's clothes, but the same can't be said for the Lammily doll. But unluckily for my pocket book, there are a lot of outfits to fit both dolls now.

Curvy can borrow the Lammily doll’s clothes, but the same can’t be said for the Lammily doll. But unluckily for my pocket book, there are a lot of outfits to fit both dolls now on Etsy and the Lammily site.

I was asked if kids are really that affected by a doll. No, it’s not the doll – it’s the culture so many embrace, of one nearly impossible body.  But as a parent, there are so many ways to combat it.  They watch you in whatever you do and say (including how you hate your own looks, which is something I say too often).  They also arrive without judgment (most of the time).  Like the song in South Pacific, such attitudes toward skin color or body shape “have to be carefully taught”.  I liked watching how my kids judged the dolls based on which ones they happened to like best.  And they like most dolls with little notice of size, shape, or color.  Disney princesses play alongside Ken and Barbie and it’s not totally unknown for My Little Pony or, say, a giant stuffed rabbit to invade from time to time.  We like to call it creativity.  Or madness.  Both have a great spark.

There's room for everyone.

There’s room for everyone.

-Alice

Barbie Got Back: Part One

There has been a lot of talk about the issue of body image, especially with women.  There’s also been a lot of Barbie trashing, an easy target what with the doll’s obvious impossible proportions which are totally unlike the impossible proportions of many of our models and actresses, and never, ever shown as ideal in the media.  But Barbie is a doll meant for children, so parents especially have been griping about this since Barbies were first created. (The idea of the doll came from an “adult toy” for bachelor parties.  I can’t understand their complaints at all.)  So anyway, one would think they’d be happy when finally, toy companies started making dolls that approach a more natural likeness to a real human body.

My proportions are fine! What are proportions?

My proportions are fine! What are proportions? (Sorry I can’t get past the idea that Barbie is dense.)

You’d be wrong of course!  One of the first dolls to get media attention back in 2014 was the Lammily doll, created by Nickolay Lamm, a guy so conceited he named the doll after a combination of his name and family!  Totally unlike what Barbie’s creator did, what with naming Barbie and Ken after her children.  It had to be tough being her kids.  Especially when your mom romantically linked you. But never mind that, back to the unfortunately named Lammily, which sounds like an ointment for sheep.  In spite of her name, this is an groundbreaking doll.  You see, Lamm decided it’d be interesting to see what Barbie would look like if you made her proportions more like an average of the proportions of a real 19-year-old woman.  Note I said an “average” of the statistical measurements of a woman of this age.  Meaning some are bigger, some are smaller, yadda yadda.  But then he confused it a little by saying “Average is beautiful” as part of the campaign.  And you know what Americans think about average.

As you can clearly see, the one on the right is like FATTY FATTY!

(computer generated prototype of Lammily) As you can clearly see, the one on the right is like FATTY FATTY!

No one is average!  We should all strive for perfection that we can never attain, not settle for realistic dreams!  How dare we suggest a girl be content with being “average”.  Not even a mathematical average of human body types.  But there were enough people who wanted a doll that didn’t make them or their kids feel like fatties wearing size, omg, 12 (The beginning size for plus-size models.  I wish I was kidding here.)  So in one day, his kickstarter campaign far surpassed what was needed to start the project.  When Lammily arrived, the doll the media hyped to no end, calling her the alternative to Barbie, or even better, “fat” Barbie, there were a lot of mixed reactions.  Some people were happy.  But most were annoyed – on either side of the political spectrum.

Say what? (Lammily doll final product)

Say what? (Lammily doll final product)

Some were disappointed that this doll, started by one guy and a handful of dollars and helpers, did not come up with a huge range of body types and ethnicities with his pilot project.  Because yeah, that’s what all small companies are capable of doing.  He also made her, omg, white, but at least he made her brunette, and not wearing pink!  Also no make-up!   A plus, right?  Nope.  Now the ones who wanted a “family friendly modest doll” said she was “plain” and her clothes were boring and what kid (or parent) would want to play with that?  Also, not every girl looked exactly like the Lammily doll.  Which would mean – not every girl is average?  Just like not every girl has crazy proportions? (There are some women who are naturally long legged, tall, skinny and perfect looking.  It’s called the genetic lottery.) And then were the people, many of them women, who said this doll was “fat”.  A doll statistically made by mathematical averages of a real female.

It's muscle, people! Try working out! Sheesh.

It’s muscle, people! Try working out! Sheesh.

Even worse, he came up with a package of stickers with everything from cellulite to acne to various wounds (broken leg, scars, bruises – is Lammily in a bad relationship?) to help kids identify with the crap that puberty throws their way by sticking them on their dolls.  Personally, I think I would have loved this as a kid.  In fact, I might have to still order these stickers, if only to enjoy slapping them on Barbie and the Disney Princesses myself.  Because it just makes the world feel a little more fair, that’s why.

The doll wearing these stickers will experience all of puberty and every accident possible in a matter of seconds.

The doll wearing these stickers will experience all of puberty and every accident possible in a matter of seconds.

So basically, Barbie is bad because she has too much makeup and no pimples, is too sexualized, and has a body that is not natural.  And Lammily is bad because she has no makeup and has pimples, is not sexualized, and has a body that at least approaches natural.  And then there were the people who, inexplicably, said Barbie is great and they were never, ever influenced to think they had to have a body like her.  These are some of the same people who said Lammily was fat.  Are you sensing a bit of disconnect here? Cause I sure am.  Sorry, Lamm, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

The site (Lammily.com) is now releasing a black doll. BUT WHERE ARE THE LATINOS, HUH, HUH?

The site (Lammily.com) is now releasing a black doll. BUT WHERE ARE THE LATINOS, HUH, HUH?

What’s most ironic is that when you hear or see actual stories of how kids play with these dolls (not the ones in advertising, but actual stories) the kids really don’t care that much.  UNLESS the parent makes it a big deal.  For instance, one youtube video, labeled “Kids react to ‘Fat’ Barbie”, shows a woman purposely sticking Lammily marks on the doll before showing it to her small child along with a Barbie in a fancy dress.  Guess which one the kid picked?  Yeah, she chose the fancy one, and I’m sure she was not at all influenced by mom’s body language or purposeful attempts to make the Lammily doll more unattractive.  I think this is one insecure lady.  God forbid she gain weight herself one day.

Leader of the awful human being brigade.

I’m thinking she’s a follower of the awful human being brigade.

So in response to the very, very horrific examples of human-kind seen in the comment sections of many articles and reviews on these dolls, I bought a Lammily.  Because that’s the kind of research I will do for my fans, and not because I like buying dolls anyway.  I bought her an extra set of clothes to experiment with as well, since she doesn’t fit in any of Barbie’s “no ribs” fashions.  Thing Two announced that Lammily (Who has been renamed “Meg” by the Things.  But not, as Thing Two vehemently insists, “Megyn.”) looks like me.  I think that’s a compliment.  I’ll take it as one, because Lammily has some nice muscular legs (which mine are not any longer) and a young, pretty face.

Not this Megyn, the Meg from Little Women. Yeah my kids actually chose to read it on their own!

Not this Megyn, the Meg from Little Women. Yeah my kids actually chose to read the book on their own!  Far out!

I have to admit, when I first saw this doll I thought she looked strange.  She was thicker, without much of a waist (the hips probably could have been a little more hippy – girls do actually have hips) an actual butt, and (gasp) thighs.  And then I realized with startling clarity that I had looked at myself for years, even back when I was a young, very thin woman, as someone with enormous thighs.  So much so that I did not, and still do not, wear shorter dresses or skirts.  To realize that this was normal was amazing, and somehow this doll showed it better than anything else I had experienced, possibly because I could physically hold this thing in my hand and compare it with other dolls.  The Things were amazed as well.  Forgive the nudie pics but it is the best way to see the comparison between body types.  For actual doll porn, please see the rest of the Internet.

Meg wonders whether Barbie's leg might snap off - they are rather close to twigs in comparison.

Meg wonders whether Barbie’s leg might snap off – they are rather close to twigs in comparison.

“Good grief, her legs are like pencils, Mom!” Thing One said, looking at Meg and then Barbie.   And this is a kid who is thin, but with legs that can actually support her.  Thing One immediately made Meg one of her super flexible yoga Barbie’s younger sister.  Because why not?  Both can live together, as they do in the real world.  They are still toys, and not just political agendas.  It might be nice to let the kids decide what they want and don’t want.  And even it is only the parents who really like Lammily, and not kids, that’s okay – cause guess who has the money to buy the dolls?  The parents.  But parents can do best by their kids by just letting the dolls go, and seeing what happens – without preconceived notions.  It’s an opportunity to talk with your kids about what they think, and why.  And it’s a chance to play again.  Which more adults should do – in my humble opinion.

Alice

P.S. No I haven’t been blind to Mattel hopping on the body image bandwagon with a brand new line of fashionista Barbies – a tall, a petite, and – oh oh – a curvy.  More on them in part two.

Politics and Circus Peanuts

So yesterday we had the Iowa Caucus, which is a big deal because for the first time in almost four years, people care about Iowa again.  I’m still not sure why.  I’ve looked up the definition of “caucus”, which sounds a lot like a word for poop, and found this:

(noun): a meeting of the members of a legislative body who are members of a particular political party, to select candidates or decide policy.

The only difference between this and a primary, in which we go vote for our favorite (or least hated) candidate in our party of choice (or last resort), is that there’s a lot of people partying at the caucus, at least until they find out the results.  Then stuff like this happens:

Awww. (photo from theguardian.com)

Awww. (photo from theguardian.com)

That’s right!  Trumpy came in second by a wide margain.  Yay!?  Uh, so who came in first?  Teddy Cruz.  I forgot who he was for a moment, until I saw his face.  Oh yeah.

Future Republican presidential candidate?

Future Republican presidential candidate?

Marco (Polo) Rubio of these boots are made for walkin’ fame, came in a close third to Trumpy.  So, according to the Guardian, we could have two “Cuban Americans” fighting over the Republican nomination.  I giggled a little at that.  Because they are totes Cuban.  Must be why they are so insistent on keeping out immigrants.  Goodness knows we never get Cuban ones, just ask Florida.

Jeb finished in a dismal sixth place after a libertarian of all things, and brain donor Ben Carson.  Not a good sign.  Still, I hope he hangs on because I really like his ad campaign.  It’s hilariously awful.  Huckabee officially bowed out of the campaign, which I thought he’d done months ago, leaving only like 30 Republicans in the race.  I think.

As far as the Democrats go, it’s officially still too close to call, which means Hillary is like, oh wow thank goodness I won as evidenced by CNN supporting my campaign!  Her numbers were higher than Sanders – by .03 percentage points.  Meanwhile Sanders had his own victory speech because he nearly beat her, in spite of purposely ticking off Wall Street and corporations (or because of?), and in spite of both the media and the Democratic party thinking his ramshackle campaign could never win.  Sometimes, guys, it helps if you actually cast a vote.  I know, it sounds stupid, but sometimes it does.  At the very least, you can cancel out someone’s vote.  So just do it.

Everybody join me in song! Nanner, nanner, boo boo!

Everybody join me in song! Nanner, nanner, boo boo!

Now these wins don’t necessarily mean that Clinton and Cruz are going to be our candidates.  There are actually states besides Iowa.  But it does give you an idea.  Sanders is still in the race, and Trump Dump’s incredible charm did not let him win this one.  He even managed to spit out that he was “honored to be in second place” and that he “congratulated Cruz”.  If I were Cruz, I’d hire a few bodyguards.

Trump being sincere. Totally.

Trump being sincere. Totally.

So one state down, only 49 to go!  Isn’t this exciting?  I’m just so excited I think I could barf.  Maybe the definition of caucus should be the one first proposed by Lewis Carroll in that book I kind of like:

“What is a Caucus-race?” said Alice; not that she much wanted to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.

“Why,” said the Dodo, “the best way to explain it is to do it.” (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)

First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle (“the exact shape doesn’t matter,” it said), and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there.

There was no “One, two, three, and away!” but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out “The race is over!” and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, “But who has won?”

-“Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

The Caucus Race

Every political race ever.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Alice

Maximum Squirrel Overload

It’s Monday, ya’ll, which means another full week OF DREAD.  I like to be prepared, so I started my dreading early – Sunday night – when my anxiety reached top notch and I had to decide how to calm it down.  Oh, sure, there are lots of ways, but you have to be able to GET to those ways in order for it to work.  For instance:

Round round get around I get around ooooh get around oooooh I get around I get arouuuuunnd all over town I’m a real cool squirrel blah blah blah blah blahhhhh!

Music!

Music can be calming.  But once you reach Maximum Squirrel Overload, you are kind of past that.  No kind of music, saying you were calm enough to find a music player, is going to make you feel better.  There are a few types of music.  Sad music: bad idea cause you are already anxious and probably depressed about being anxious and sad songs won’t help.  Happy music: bad idea too because what business do people have being happy when you are freaked out?  Then there’s rap music most of which I think is best classified as Angry music because there is much talk of popping caps in posteriors.  Popping a cap might help with anxiety, but the jail time afterward would not, so don’t try it.  Also, what are your chances of being able to find the gun?

No, the dog won't work as a substitute.

No, the dog won’t work as a substitute.

Exercise!

I love when people say to work out your anxiety or depression with exercise.  Look, people, I have no idea where any of my sweatpants are, and if I did, they would be dirty. Then I would have to wash them.  And dry them.  And put them on.  That’s way too much work when your mind is going 1,000 miles an hour.  You are already getting a mental workout, and trying to add physical to it can be too much.  I guess the best way to describe it would be to expect someone to solve 500 quadratic equations, cure Cancer, and write a symphony, then tell them they had to do this all on the treadmill or elliptical.  Now yes, if you manage to get to a gym before you reach Squirrel Overload, you have a chance of physically beating that anxiety back, but if it comes on suddenly, it’s just way too late.

I can turn this exercise bike into a real one with the power of anxiety! Vroom!

I can turn this exercise bike into a real one with the power of anxiety! Vroom!

Hot, soothing beverage!

This is usually my best bet, except this time I could not make the cocoa because even though I had cocoa packets, I did not have milk.  Well, I had milk, two half gallons, but they had both expired. Saying I was able to force myself to pour the milk (which might come up in chunks which milk should never do) down the drain without barfing, I couldn’t because there were already dishes in the sink.  So first I would have to put the dishes in the dishwasher.  Except the dishwasher is full so then you have to put the dishes up except that they didn’t all come clean, so they have to go back in the sink.  No one wants milk curds on top of that.  So forget it.  Finally I drove to McDonald’s for some, but they “broke” the machine.  I would break it too if I worked there, but still.  I had to drive yet another place before I finally got my cocoa.  Then I remembered I hadn’t taken some of my pills, so I swallowed them with cocoa only to swallow them wrong and get heartburn.  Once I had finished taking care of the heartburn, I managed to go to bed.  That, my friends, is way too darn much work.

Look I just want some calming cocoa in my gun mug!

Look I just want some calming cocoa in my gun mug!

Humor!

The last thing I feel when under Squirrel Overload is funny although I probably act rather amusing and or terrifying (it’s such a fine line) when under the influence.  This morning I was not as sparkified, just dreadish, and telling myself that I just had to go to work for a little while even though I wanted to stay home.  So I drove my Things to school and somehow the conversation diverted to dead dogs because – are you really surprised with us?  Anyway, we discussed Where the Red Fern Grows which is a classic children’s book because it involves two dead dogs AND a dead child (for more on the dead dog topic see my post on dead dogs in literature.  It’s a real romp.) And the Things, who were both forced to read this book, reminded me that the bully in the book was killed and I was like oh when he was mauled to death and they said no, an ax fell on him.  Which is such a great image there.  And I was like, dang, that author had some sort of personal vendetta against dogs and boys named Billy.  And Thing Two said, “Mom, it was just an AXident.”  Get it?  Well, we did, and we laughed, because we have problems.  But not as many as the author of Where the Red Fern Grows.

Okay, guys, time to die!

Okay, guys, time to die!

So the dread is still there, but at least I made it to work.  And when I think of that horrible pun about an ax falling on a kid, I smile.  I guess when you are on Squirrel Overload, it helps to have a couple of Things handy.  I’m willing to rent them out.

Alice