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Death to the Internet Slideshow!

August 4, 2015

You suckThere’s been something bothering me and I feel like I need to get if off my chest. It seems lately that no one can write a damn news article anymore. Everything has to be a slideshow or a video. And it’s driving me bonkers.

I have to be on a computer all day for work, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is get on my computer. I want to cozy up on the couch, with a beverage, and check out interesting Internet content on my phone or iPad during TV commercials. I don’t want to watch the news because it’s too damn depressing, so I end up looking at a few sites I know and enjoy to remain somewhat informed and entertained.

For example, I really wanted to read the 15 Essential Must Haves for Fall! But it was a slideshow, and after 20 minutes of trying to x-out stupid pop-ups ads and waiting for the slides to load, I got aggravated and decided I’d just make up my own essential fall wardrobe. Another interesting one I missed out on was the 25 Most Hilarious License Plates Ever! Man, do I love a creative and/or punny license plate. But clicking through 25 slides to see them? I’d rather scoop my eyeballs out with a dull, rusty spoon. And let me tell you, there is nothing more disappointing than wading through the mire of a slow-loading, pop-up ad laden slideshow (or video) with a headline that makes you think your life will end if you don’t read such revelations, to only come to the end of it thinking WTF, a toddler could have written a more interesting piece.

By the way, don’t get me started on the “you won’t believe this” headline that you think you must click on. Not only can you believe it, there’s no actual news there and you probably just downloaded a virus and gave a Russian hacker access to all your passwords, SSN, first street you lived on, your first pet’s name, your childhood BFF’s name, your blood type, and credit card numbers, and exact geo-location, as well as your home security system PIN.

Damn it, I want my articles written in paragraphs with actual sentences! And if I wanted to watch a video, I’d get on the G-D YouTube. I’m not opposed to 25 funny pictures, but since 99.99% of the population now looks at the ‘Net on a mobile device, can we at least put them all on one page? Can I get informed about the goings-on in the world without having to watch a 30 second ad followed by a 3 minute video? And just because I click on your stupid slideshow does not mean I want to sign up for you stupid slideshow newsletter via a pop-up ad that I can only get rid of on my phone by closing out the whole frick-fracking web page.

CHEESE AND RICE! Doesn’t anyone write actual articles anymore??!!

(Thank you. I feel better now. For a minute.)

The Photo that Made Me Weep for Chillicothe

June 30, 2015

hand lotion tshirtI saw this photo on the front page of my local paper on Sunday. It just made me want to weep for my community, for so many reasons.

The first being, this guy woke up in the morning and knew he was headed to court for his uncle’s re-sentencing on involuntary manslaughter and felonious assault. And he decided his best attire was a t-shirt offering his semen as hand lotion for those with dry skin, and all one needed to do was pump his junk to get some. Apparently, not one of his family members suggested a different choice in attire. Now I don’t know if this guy was allowed into the courtroom, but if he was, what a shame. All courts have dress codes, as they should. It saddens me that so many people no longer have respect for the court or themselves, for that matter. I’m by no means a prude, just ask any of my friends, but there is a time and a place for such a t-shirt and it’s called the Easy Rider Rodeo. I happen to own several questionable t-shirts myself (my fave being Johnny Cash flipping the bird), but I don’t wear them in places they would be deemed offensive. People are worried that gay marriage is going to result in the moral decay of our society?! Personally, I think we should be more worried about people like this.

Secondly, not one single person who worked for this paper noticed what this t-shirt said prior to publishing the photograph. Now the paper has apologized to its readers, and I know humans make mistakes. But c’mon, don’t we hold anyone accountable anymore? This photo had to slip through the hands of more than one person before it got to the point of being published. Doesn’t anyone proofread anymore? Doesn’t anyone have any investment in what they put their name on anymore? Are we in such a hurry to put some product out there for consumption that we don’t even care about the end result of that product? Whatever happened to taking pride in your work? Prices for products keep rising while the quality of those products are declining. A few years ago, our local paper ceased being “local” and is now published in a different city. I presume those folks aren’t as concerned about how Chillicothe looks to the world. If that paper were in local hands today from start to finish, then perhaps that photo would have never seen the light of day. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way small newspapers can operate in the digital age while maintaining profitability. Sad indeed.

Lastly, tons of people shared this on social media and from what I saw most of them were hee-hawing about it. I guess I could see where some might find it to be a funny shirt, but I’m just not one of them. Maybe I’m becoming a grumpy old lady, because it just made me sad. Our little community here has been under a great deal of negative scrutiny by the national media because we’ve had a rash of missing women, most of which have turned up dead. We have a serial killer on the loose, they say, in this little “run down” town in the rust belt. I was born and raised here and have lived here most of my life. I’ve also lived in several other places in the United States and I chose to come back here to little Chillicothe. It’s a winsome little city and it happens to be a very nice place to raise a family. Sure, there’s crime here and we definitely have our fair share of hullabaloo. I haven’t done any statistical analysis, but through what I see at my work, my educated guess is that most, if not all, of our crime is fueled by the illicit drug business. I suspect our “serial killer” is heroin, but again, that’s just my personal opinion. I’m not worried about turning up dead tomorrow by a creek. I would even venture out to take a trip to the Walmarts after midnight and not worry about my well-being. I saw one article recently rate Chillicothe as being more dangerous than Cincinnati. Balderdash! This isn’t the scary town the media is painting it to be.

I guess being a vehement supporter of free speech, I should support the ability of this man to wear his stupid t-shirt anywhere he wants. It just dismays me that he chose to wear it in a setting where you would expect one to use some decorum and that it had to be documented for posterity. I can only imagine what the deceased victim’s family thought when they saw that shirt.

But what do I know; maybe decorum is just an old-fashioned idea of times gone by, which is extremely disconcerting, in my book.

Legalese for Dummies: You’ve Officially Been Summonsed to Read This

June 18, 2015

justiceFor the last three years, I’ve been working in some capacity with the legal field. Though I consider myself slightly above average in the informed adult area, there were still things I didn’t know when it came to the law and legal practices. I suspect the same can be said for any average American. So I decided to give you a little primer on the most commonly used terms in the legal field, so that if perhaps you find yourself in a little conundrum, you don’t make an ass of yourself. By the way, this is NOT legal advice, because I’m not an attorney. But I do highly suggest that you always consult one before you make any decision with legal ramifications.

I can’t tell you how many times folks have called a law office inquiring how much it costs for a “disillusionment.” I always wanted to tell those people that the disillusionment of their marriage was entirely free, but that the cost of ending a marriage depended on how much revenge you wanted to get. However, I figured that would result in my boss losing money, so, I went along with the charade. The correct terms for ending your marriage are dissolution (both parties agree to everything, and I mean EVERYTHING) or divorce (where nobody agrees on anything and you leave it up to a stranger, i.e. the Judge, to decide who gets what). So it goes like this, the disillusionment < dissolution + divorce, except when the disillusionment = revenge, then divorce > dissolution + disillusionment. I know they don’t cover that in high school math, but the Sesame Street reduction is simply that you’re fucked. Don’t get married.

Now, if you find yourself in some legal trouble that isn’t of the domestic variety, there are more terms you should familiarize yourself with. The first of which is the arraignment. This is your initial appearance at court following being served with a charge. It’s pronounced “ah-rain-ment” not arrangement. Also, that date on your ticket is NOT a suggestion to come to court at or around that time. It’s a show up or get a warrant issued for your arrest kinda thing. Personally, if it were me, I’d show up, request time to hire an attorney, and say as little as possible. Then I would go talk to an attorney. But that’s just me. You can do it however you like.

Sometimes people call and ask if someone has been “indickted” of a crime. I’m sure that person feels like they’re getting dicked, but the correct term is indictment, and it’s pronounced “in-dite-ed.” Again, this can be a not so pleasant experience and I’m sure it would be best to consult an attorney to explore your options after you’ve been indicted for something. Because, you know, you don’t wanna get dicked.

There are also times you may be asked to fill out an official form stating your knowledge of the facts about a particular case. A lot of people call this the affadata, but the correct term is affidavit (aff-a-dave-it). If you tell anyone you need to fill out an affadata, they’ll have no clue what the hell you’re talking about and they’ll probably send you to some IT room at another location. Typically, you don’t need affadatas at your arrangements, either. Or really any other time, unless you’re trying to evict someone. Again, it’s always best to consult a professional if you feel you need such paperwork.

Occasionally you may encounter a crazy person who won’t leave you alone. You may feel it’s necessary to get some legal protection from said crazy person. Contrary to popular belief, these are not called straining orders. The old school term is restraining order, but now we call them temporary protection orders or civil protection orders. This is one realm of the legal field that you can probably accomplish with the help of a victim’s advocate, which most courts have. So you won’t have to strain yourself too much to get one. But in reality, it’s just a piece of paper and last time I checked, bullets still go through those. Not saying you shouldn’t get one if you need it, just that a piece of paper doesn’t really do a whole lot when it comes to restraining folks.

And lastly, we have the ever-popular subpoena to discuss. These are issued when you need someone to come to court and testify at a hearing. Now, if you can get the person to come willingly, you don’t even need one of these. But if you think the person won’t come, you can have your witness served with a subpoena requiring them to come to court at a specific date and time. If they don’t show up, then they’ll get charged with a crime and have their own little arraignment to discuss why it is they blew the court off. The correct pronunciation of this term is “sah-pee-nah” not “sub-peenie or “pee-nah.” And for the love of God and all that’s good, the plural is not “sub-PENIS-uss.” It’s just not. And when you walk into court declaring you need such a thing, nobody is going to hear the sub part or the plural part. They are just going to hear you saying PENIS. Then everything you say after that will not be heard. And while we hear a lot of weird shit in court, the word penis always throws us for a loop.

So there you have the first installment of Legalese for Dummies. I’m sure there are more terms that I left out, mostly because the idea for this blog hit me whilst applying makeup this morning and all the notes I furiously scribbled before court this morning are still right where I left them… at court. But hey I figure this way, maybe this way we can have a Legalese for Dummies a la mode.

Until then. . . exercise your right to the 5th Amendment. . . unless you’re a Beastie Boy.

The REALITY is We’re Doomed

June 16, 2015

Donald_Trump_hairGod, I love America! We are the home of the free and the brave. This is where you come when you want all of your dreams to come true. All you need is some bootstraps to pull up and some God damned determination! Of course, it doesn’t hurt if you have some sort of minority status and/or a bunch of dollars to throw around. And if you have both, well you’ll hit the proverbial lottery. (Now one of these days, I’m going to invent a sarcasm font so it’s clear when I’m being facetious, so don’t steal my idea. In the meantime, you’ll have to just go with your gut.) Is it just me or is America turning into a reality show?

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that Bruce Jenner was finally able to tell the world he’s really a woman. He spent 65 years living the life society dictated that he should live. It takes some guts to make that kind of transformation, especially when you’re considered an American icon. Good for him, I say. We should all strive to live as our authentic selves. But the media has to go and make a spectacle of it all… ratings and such… Plus, I have to say that I’m just a tad bit perturbed that Caitlyn, who is approximately 22 years my senior, looks way better than I ever did as a natural born woman.

And then we have this Rachel Dolezal chick. She’s just as white as white chicks come looking at her childhood photos. Blond hair, blue eyes, freckles… Yet she’s transformed herself into a stunning black woman and rose to lead the Spokane NAACP. I’d really like to get the name of her stylist, because that is some amazing work, I might add. She says she identifies with being black. Hell, I get that. I identify with being an independently wealthy really old white man with a terrible comb-over, but that’s a lot harder to fake.

Which brings me to Donald Trump. I know he’s been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, but I’ve been familiar with him because of his reality show — Celebrity Apprentice. Yes, he has more money than God and he owns the Trump Tower. And he wants to be our president. The President of the United States of America. The POTUS. The leader of the free world.

But I just can’t get over the fact that this is the same man who was totally pulling for Geraldo Rivera to win the latest season of his stupid reality show. I mean for fuck’s sake, Geraldo?!?! Trump had a (possibly one-sided) bromance with the king of really bad talk shows. You know, the same guy that was going to unearth the secret vaults of Al Capone. That guy who got his nose busted with a chair by a white supremacist on national TV. The guy who took a selfie of his half-naked 70-year-old body and posted it on the Interwebz. Yeah, that guy. Donald Trump loves Geraldo Rivera.   And you know who will become Secretary of State if you vote for Donald Trump? Geraldo Rivera.

I do love this country, but Cheezus H. Triscuit, we are turning into one big reality show. Which makes total and absolute sense, because we just can’t tear ourselves away from the train wreck of shows littering the cable landscape today. That’s all fun for some entertainment on a Tuesday night, but is this really what we want our future to be?

Think about it. Trump is Prez. Geraldo is Secretary of State. Kim Kardashian is Surgeon General (because who’s had more surgery than her since Joan Rivers died). I don’t know who the Veep will be. We’ll probably have a 9-week summer reality show to vote on that.

After all, it would only be appropriate. ‘Merica!

Seven Things Your Mom DOESN’T Want for Mother’s Day (And a few things she does want)

May 6, 2015

mother's dayA couple of years ago, I wrote about some do’s and don’ts of buying Mother’s Day gifts. As I was sitting on the front porch on this glorious Wednesday before Mother’s Day, I figured there were, more than likely, a few wayward souls who still haven’t found that perfect gift to honor the most important person in their world. I’m kind enough to offer my expertise to help you out.

Now I still stand by everything I previously wrote, so I guess you could just save yourself some time, read that other post, and get your ass to shopping. I mean there will be some overlap, because frankly, I’m a pretty good judge on the things moms really want but would never, ever dream of saying out loud. Or you could procrastinate and read this post before shopping. Entirely up to you – no pressure.

So here are the things your mother does NOT want for Mother’s Day, along with a suggested thing she probably does want and will never tell you she wants.

  1. Anything from Bath & Body Works. Your mom does not want shower gel, lotion, or body spray. But she loves B&BW, you say! So what? I love Sharpie pens, doesn’t mean I want one for Mother’s Day. Whenever I need a new Sharpie pen, I go buy one. The same can be said for lotion, shower gel, and body spray. Alternate gift – A Michael Kors handbag. Every mom needs one.
  1. Mom Jewelry. She knows she’s your mother. She doesn’t need a bracelet or necklace spouting out the fact that she’s a mother. What she needs is a piece of bling that makes her feel sexy. Something that will make her the envy of the office (or grocery store). If you’re going to buy jewelry, go big or go home. Alternate gift – a big, sparkly tiara. Every woman secretly wants to be the Queen. If you buy her a big crown, she can be the Queen anytime she wants – at home, at the grocery store, at the BMV. And if you have some extra cash, spring for a feathery boa, too.
  1. Appliances. Your mom is tired of hand washing dishes and you’re thinking about getting her a dishwasher. Great! Go ahead and get her one. Just not for Mother’s Day. Get it on a random Tuesday, because you love her. You’ll be the best kid ever. Get it on Mother’s Day, and you’re just reminding her that she’s your unpaid servant. Alternate gift – a gift basket full of fine libations and Godiva chocolates, after which consuming, she’ll forget all about that sink full of dishes.
  1. Exercise equipment. So you think your mom is fat? Because that’s what she’ll think when you surprise her with a treadmill on Mother’s Day. You might as well kiss clean britches away for the next year. Alternate gift – a cute little puppy. That she’ll be walking in the park daily… aha… see what I did there? It’s all about creativity, people.
  1. Dinner at Applebee’s. Yeah, mom’s idea of a relaxing evening out honoring her sacrifices should never occur at a faux sports bar with eleventy hundred TV’s blaring so you won’t miss a game. I don’t care how good that damn Blondie is. There aren’t enough Perfect Margaritas in this world to make that right. Alternate gift – arrange for a nice brunch at the best restaurant in your town. Gather a few of her friends (this is where you and your friends can collaborate on the Mother’s Day gift), drop them off for brunch and cocktails, then pick them back up so they don’t get a DUI on the way home. If you have extra cash, spring for a mani/pedi afterwards.
  1. The Family Cook-out. Aww, ain’t that sweet. You want to invite the whole family over and cook out some hamburger and hot dogs with a side of store-bought potato salad. Nothing says love like the Kroger deli. Don’t forget to swing for the pre-made “Best Mom Ever” cake from the bakery. And for the love of God, use paper plates, so she doesn’t have to clean up after your mess. Alternate gift – concert tickets. Send your mom to go see her favorite band live! Oh, KC and the Sunshine Band isn’t playing a venue near you? No worries, get on the Goggle and search up disco band concerts. You’ll find something. It’s a night away from you, she’ll love it.
  1. Homemade Coupons for Chores. Unless you are 10 years-old or younger, you’ve just committed the most gravest sin of Mother’s Day gift giving. Who are you trying to kid, kid? You know damn well you are never going to do what your coupon claims you will. This is pretty much equivalent to admitting you are the worst child on the planet. Not only are you too cheap to get your mother a gift, you’re going to tease her with the fact that you pretended to get her a gift that you’re never going to fulfill. Shame on you. Alternate gift – send your mother on a weekend Colorado pot tour so she can forget about how terrible her kids are.

As for me, I’m just going to sit back and read my hate mail while wearing my mom jewelry, have a few PBR’s, smelling like a moonlit path, and maybe enjoying a hot dog or two.*

Happy Mother’s Day, y’all. xoxo~Helle


*It’s a joke. Relax.  And by the way, did I actually make it through a post without dropping the F-bomb?  Yay!

Put Up or Shut Up: A message to Gwyneth Paltrow and all other rich assholes doing the Food Bank Challenge

April 13, 2015

Really?!I think I’ve well established that I have a love/hate relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow. In other words, I love to hate her. I mean I don’t go out of my way to hate her; usually I’m minding my own damn business and not giving a flying fig what that high-priced skank is doing until she blows up all three websites I look at every day. And to my credit, I totally ignored the whole to-do about her steaming up her vagina, but the “oh I’m going to live like a poor person for week” really got into my craw.

For all of you who live under a rock and don’t know, dear Gwyneth accepted a food stamp challenge from Mario Batali to live on $29.00 worth of groceries for one week. I guess $29.00 represents what people get for food stamps for one week, and Mario Batali hates Gwyneth Paltrow so much, he set her up for certain failure. This reminds me of last year, when people were videoing themselves wasting dumping ice water over their heads to avoid donating to the ALS charity. You know, to raise awareness and all. Because nobody was aware that ALS existed before that. Ahem, Lou Gehrig.

Anyways, dear ol’ Gwynnie took the challenge to heart and headed straight to her local Trader Joe’s and picked up some kale, rice, beans, and SEVEN limes to sustain her for an entire week. Apparently, Ms. Paltrow was fully stocked on Patrón before the challenge ensued. I was really saddened to see she wasn’t able to finagle some sea urchin on such a limited budget. And I bet her dentist is just beside herself with all the acid erosion those pearly whites are going to be getting from sucking on so many limes this week. I hope she doesn’t get holier-than-though fruit mouth.

I’d really love to hear what this hard-working, single mother of two was trying to accomplish with this tweet.   Are we really supposed to believe this is what her diet is going to consist of for this week? With such a paltry protein showing, I’m betting she won’t even have enough energy to summons the nannies to get the children off to school.

Let me tell you about my mom. She was raising three young girls when she found out she had cancer. My dad was not in the picture, and my sisters’ dad decided he wasn’t sticking around for cancer. So my newly single working mother with cancer had to go on food stamps to support all of us. As a teen-aged girl, I hated going to Big Bear with her to do grocery shopping because I saw the looks and sneers people gave us as we held up the line to pay with food stamps. And back in the day, they were actual paper fake-money looking things. Not like the debit card looking things of today. Everyone knew you were using FOOD STAMPS. And as they waited for the cashier to perform the extra steps FOOD STAMPS incurred, you were subject to everyone in line examining your groceries and passing judgment on you because it didn’t fit their idea of what you SHOULD BE EATING since they were footing the bill.

Let me tell you, living on food stamps is not glorious. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve seen the occasional person buying steak with food stamps, but I assure you, that’s not the norm. I’m fairly certain that most people would prefer to NOT be on food stamps. It’s fucking embarrassing that you can’t take care of your family without government assistance. Each week, right there in the grocery store line, you are announcing to the world that you have failed at the American Dream, and you’re subject to all those behind you passing judgment on your failure and deeming you not worthy of the food you’ve purchased.

Showing that you can live like you’re poor for one week should NEVER be a challenge you pose to another person in AMERICA. I don’t care if it’s under the guise of raising awareness or not. It’s a DISGRACE to all of us that HUMAN BEINGS in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are going hungry every single day. It’s fucking despicable.

And it’s even more despicable when you’re a multi-millionaire challenging other multi-millionaires to live on $29.00 worth of food for a week. Put your money where your mouth is. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be writing a check to my local food bank tomorrow… right after I mail an even substantially larger check to the IRS.

I encourage you to do the same.

Freedom: It’s the Icing on the Cake

April 1, 2015

gay cake So I’m sure you’ve heard all the hoopla over Indiana passing their so-called Religious Freedom Act, which critics have been blasting because they claim it opens the door to allow businesses to freely discriminate against certain groups of people without any sort of legal repercussions. Does it indeed do that? Hell, I don’t know. I only listen to about half of what comes out of politician mouths, because it seems to me they just tell you what you want to hear and whether or not what they say is put into action is an entirely different story.

Now, do I think discrimination is bad? Sure. There was a time when our country thought that women shouldn’t be able to own property or vote and black people shouldn’t drink out of the same water fountains or attend the same schools as white children. Absolutely ludicrous, in my opinion. I am by no means a religious scholar, but I WAS raised Catholic and DID attend one year of parochial school in the 4th grade. I don’t remember reading the Bible on a regular basis (do Catholics do that?); however, I distinctly remember some talk about Jesus hanging out with lepers and hookers. And there was this one time he made wine out of water. That Jesus seems like a cool cat to me. His followers, however, are a whole different story, sadly.

It seems many of us think that gay people shouldn’t be able to get married. Personally, I think everyone should be able to experience the hell that is marriage. Why should that special right only be reserved for straight people? Last time I checked, suffering was super popular with the religious folk. After all, Jesus loved all the miscreants and ne’er–do–wells, so why shouldn’t we? Aren’t Christians supposed to be following that cool cat’s lead? Someone fill me in on what I’m missing…

My only problem with someone using these so-called religious freedom laws to refuse to, let’s say, bake a cake for a gay wedding or what-not, is that these same people who claim they are just abiding the laws of their religion seem to have an à la carte philosophy when it comes to these matters. They don’t want to bake a cake for two men in a loving, monogamous relationship who want to proclaim their love for each other in a joyous celebration, but they probably wouldn’t have any problem making a cake for the retirement party of a priest who’s molested countless children. They probably wouldn’t bat an eye at making a cake for the anniversary celebration of an adulterer. Or even the greedy little businessman needing a cake for another grand opening. Nope. All those people would probably get cakes. Nice grandiose and overly extravagant cakes. Fornicators, greed mongers, and lustful gluttonous sloths may all have cake! Hallelujah!

After a quick search on the Goggle, I noticed there are many states with such laws, and Florida happens to be one of those states having such a law.  I think, perhaps, I will move to Florida and open a bakery catering to all the sinners who need cakes for their special occasions. After all, sinners need cake too, and quite frankly I’m tired of the bi-polar Ohio weather. I don’t know about you, but I think sugar (and booze) takes the sting out of being a sinner. I can’t be perfect like Christ, and a delicious buttercream frosting is probably the next best thing, so…

Be on the lookout for my new bakery opening soon in Key West. It’ll be called Helle’s Sinful Creations. We won’t deny delicious cake to any patron. We don’t care what kind of sin you are committing as long as you pay with cash or credit. Obviously, we can’t risk taking your personal check, but a cashier’s check will be just fine. Make sure you try our pièce de résistance: a decadent and luscious devil’s food cake covered with a rich bourbon-flavored cream cheese frosting. It’s so delicious, you’ll think you’ve died and went to heaven.

And let’s face it, that’s the closest you’ll be getting to heaven, you sinner.


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