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Pondering the Pandemic*

March 20, 2020

Virus
Helle 2020

Pandemic Playlist

So, I’ve been doing the socially responsible thing of self-isolation and social distancing. I’ve only bought what I needed to sustain my family for a week. I’ve probably also watched too much news. I mean what else is there to do? Have you seen the choices for daytime TV lately? There’s only so much Dr. Phil a normal human being can take before losing their goddamned mind. Yesterday, I actually found myself watching a Facebook live video of a funeral for someone I don’t even know, and only because one of my friends shared it. Let me just say, I will haunt for eternity, all people who broadcast and share my funeral on Facebook.

I am by no means an expert in epidemiology or actually anything other than perhaps chocolate martinis, but I am telling you that this shit is BANANAS. I did work for a for-profit treatment center for a year and I will tell you, that convinced me that for-profit healthcare is the fucking devil. There is absolutely no way that someone making a profit off of your misfortune is doing what’s best for your health.

But besides that sickening fact, the thing that strikes me as just unfuckingbelievable is that for the supposed greatest nation on the planet, many people don’t even have health insurance. They can’t afford it. Many of them have almost full time jobs making $10 an hour working for places like Walmart. Yeah, when people work less than 40 hours a week, a company doesn’t have to give benefits. So guess what? You and I get to subsidize some of those Walmart workers who perhaps work 35 hours a week so they can have Medicaid and maybe food stamps. By the way, the Walton Family, owner of the Walmart, is one of the richest families in America.

Equally disheartening is that we also have people who work full time jobs who don’t get paid sick time. Couple that with the toxic American work culture and we have people who are sick showing up to work because they can’t afford to take off. Perhaps they are making your lunch time Big Mac meal or looking after your kids in the daycare. And when they have, oh let’s say the Corona Virus, then you may be exposed to it as well. Your kids could get it. Maybe your 80 year old granny will get it. And she could die, all because some guy couldn’t call off at McDonald’s and still be able to pay his bills for the month.

And don’t tell me you’ve never worked at a place that actually had sick leave but made sure you never used it. What kind of wimp calls off sick and makes her coworkers pick up the slack? Oh what’s wrong, you little pussy, can’t handle a cold? America is the inventor of the toxic work culture that expects you to show up no matter what. In some work places, you can’t even take a vacation day, let alone a sick day.

The United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave, is the only industrialized country in the world where people go bankrupt because they were unfortunate enough to get cancer. People who have diabetes die because they can’t afford their insulin. Women still die in childbirth in the US. Last year, the average life expectancy for US citizens dropped for the 3rd straight year in a row.

Yet during this pandemic, we have communities who are afraid to shut down schools for fear that children won’t eat. We have people who can’t miss work or they won’t make their rent. We have people who are one paycheck away from financial disaster. We also have people who just don’t fucking care that their actions affect other people.

In the midst of all of that, we have no real leadership in the White House. We have GOP senators selling off their stocks after receiving classified briefings of the economic damage this pandemic is having on our country, while they simultaneously vote against measures that could help hard working Americans. NBA players, actors, and the wealthy get tested and treated, while veterans and nursing home patients languish and die.

I don’t know about y’all, but it doesn’t seem like we’re really concerned about being best or making America great.

*This is my very first blog where I personally painted the image, wrote the entry, and procured a playlist for your listening pleasure. It’s basically a full time job that I didn’t get paid one penny for, but it’s ok because I like you. The least you could do is like it or maybe even share it. If the bars weren’t closed, I’d say you could buy me a drink. Thanks for reading, love you all, and stay the fuck home. ~helle xoxo

Liz

March 10, 2020

I’ve waited 48 years. Now I have to wait another 4 years. Blows my mind that this country is still so misogynistic, that y’all afraid of a female president. On the eve of International Women’s Day, our Secretary of State used his twitter account to mock the pinky promises Elizabeth Warren used to encourage young girls to run for office. I actually remember when our leaders at least pretended to put on the air of having a modicum of virtue.

Female candidates have to perfect. She can’t show emotion, but she needs to smile. She can’t be a cop, but she can’t be progressive. If she’s moderate, she’s not aggressive enough. She’s not electable because some orange buffoon might stalk her on a stage. And she’s probably sent emails.

But males running for president have to be (checks notes) breathing. The average life expectancy for a white male in the US is 76.2. Both of the male dem candidates have passed that milestone. One of them had a heart attack in October. But the collective has decided these are our best bets to beat trump?

Elizabeth Warren had a plan for everything that you’re concerned about. But instead, the majority of dem voters were split between 2 old white guys. Yes, Joe has name recognition. Bernie has some great ideas. But neither has laid out any concrete plans to move us in a forward direction. And let us not forget that Liz is the reason that gazillioniare Bloomberg couldn’t buy his way into the election because she eviscerated him in the debate.

Apparently, Americans (and I use the term “Americans” loosely because many Republicans have decided they can’t abide by the socially accepted rules that only democrats vote in the democratic primary, because they can only win elections through voter suppression, gerrymandering, and voting in dem primaries because they are scared little bitches) decided that two really old guys, one who just had a heart attack, have a better chance of beating a guy who brags about grabbing pussy & paid $130K to keep a porn star quiet, who separates families at the border and puts kids in cages, had a better chance than the woman who has spent a lifetime making sure that consumers were treated fairly and wanted to make sure that the super wealthy finally paid their fair share to support this country.

The people who vote for this shit deserve what they get. I didn’t vote for this. I’m not Bloomberg rich, so I can’t move. When I look at my fellow rural, low income, social security, welfare dependent neighbors, I don’t understand why they vote for this.

Nevertheless, I persist.

Creating Sanity

February 25, 2020

The news cycle of the last few weeks has me feeling like I’m losing my mind. So, I decided to take a break from the news for a week. Thing is, it’s really hard to break a routine and my routine was having a news channel on in the background all day.

Yesterday, I binged The Stranger on Netflix and finished up the last two episodes early today (by the way, highly recommend). Then I took a bath. And then, I flipped through all the channels to find something else to watch. Did you know there’s actually a show about people who voluntarily go to jail for 60 days?! I thought Naked & Afraid was horrific, but jail seems much, much worse (note to self: don’t go to jail).

Anyhoo, the jail show wasn’t cutting it for me. So, I decided to paint. I haven’t painted in forever. My daughter is quite a talented artist and she once told me the reason she started painting was because of an old painting I did that still hangs in our house. It’s really not a great painting, but when I look at it, it reminds me of a time when I used to be creative. It also reminds me of a time when being creative made me feel alive.

So, I decided to give it a wing again. I painted something last week, but I wasn’t terribly happy with it. Today, I gave it another go round, and while it’s not museum worthy, I don’t mind sharing it. Perhaps, it will inspire you to create something or share something you’ve created.

We certainly need to continue paying attention to what’s happening in our country. But we also need to be mindful of self care. However cliché it sounds, it’s like the instructions you hear at the beginning of a flight: put your oxygen mask on before trying to help others.

Creating is my oxygen mask. Now, put yours on, too. We have a long road ahead.

Menage a Trois: More Creepy Valentines

February 10, 2020

So, I’ve been bombarding you with heavy stuff and cussing a lot (LOL JK I’m not going to stop cussing), so I thought I’d get back to my roots and write some funny stuff. Some of my favorite blogs are the Creepy Valentines (click here for Part 1 and Part 2) and since it’s February (although sometimes it still feels like January), I grabbed a cocktail or 5 and hit the google to see what I could find.

I have to say I’m torn between being disturbed and laughing my ass off. As I mentioned before, it seems like vintage Valentine’s cards all have 3 central themes: guns, violence, and phallic symbols, which all seems quite odd for a holiday devoted to love. But then I remembered that St. Valentine got his head chopped off and then it all made perfect sense! So in honor of the decapitated St. Valentine, let’s look at some creepy Valentine’s Day cards of yesteryear.

Hey Twitter followers! I found the perfect card for the object of your affection. I think that’s all I need to say about that.
I think he got too close to her butt and now he has a black eye. Obviously, she’s a Facebook girl.
If your lady isn’t stabbing you, is it even real? The guy who gets this card has 99 problems and the bitch is all the problems. Red is the color of love, after all.
See our obsession with guns isn’t a new thing. For hundreds of years, women have had to worry about deranged men shooting them for unrequited love. The recipient of this card needs a protection order, stun gun, and Rottweiler.
Swipe left.
Swipe right. Because you love a girl who’s a little crazy.
Now here is some kink. We’ve got some bestiality, some sort of simulated oral sex with a banana, possibly some child porn. I don’t know who this is trying to turn on, but as Susan Collins would say, it’s very concerning.
Hey, kids! I think this right here is the birth of shade. I mean sure, there’s still that element of bestiality (never thought I’d type that twice in the same blog), but that burn is deep.
Ladies, if his hose is burning, don’t touch that shit, unless you have an excellent employer sponsored health care program. But even then, do you have sick leave for all the doctor appointments that burning hose is going to inflict? Plus, are you sure those droplets don’t have the Corona Virus?
My sources tell me this is the official White House VD card for this year. Personally, I wouldn’t let that dick get anywhere near my nether regions, because I’m worth more than $130K. Be Best!
Happy VD, Rush.

I hope you have the best February 14th ever & I hope you get some good stuff for VD, and not the VD.

xoxo~Helle

STFU

February 5, 2020

To all of you who have said:

Elections don’t matter

Both parties are the same

Both candidates are horrible

The Congress will keep him in check

But, Obama…

But, Bill Clinton…

I didn’t vote

Well, the economy is good sooo…

Look at the stock market!

Her emails

We need civility

You’re just a libtard

Snowflake

Shithole countries

If they didn’t want to be separated from their kids, they shouldn’t have come here

Well, history will judge them poorly

It doesn’t affect me so I don’t care

Politics are dumb

Get over it

There are very fine people on both sides

Yes, asking for a foreign country to intercede in our elections is horrible, but it doesn’t warrant removal from office

He learned his lesson

Fuck you. Then fuck you again harder. And then fuck you once again with 2 dicks. Without lube.

It’s a New Decade. Quit Being an Asshole

February 3, 2020

Though I’ve slacked and not done this list for a couple of years, I’ve decided to do one for 2020. In my defense, I wasn’t being my normal slack ass. I actually had a job and my bosses were the political types and I didn’t want my lack luster online life ruining their illustrious careers. Now that I’m a freelancer, I can say whatever I want and I only have to worry about people ruining my illustrious non-career of outing my friends on Facebook for being racists asshats.

So if you aren’t a follower of this blog (and why aren’t you?), you may not know that I make a list of things that I would like to see go away in the New Year. Hang on to your panties, because they’re probably gonna get in a twist.

Now I addressed my number one in the last blog I wrote, which you can read here. If you are a lazy ass and don’t want to click on the link and read it, I basically said that we need to cancel racist, sexist, xenophobic assholes. 

OK, hang on to your britches. No fucks given after this point.

Mass Shootings. The only time in the history of America that the solution to the problem included more of what was causing the problem. Can you imagine if the solution to the opioid epidemic was to give people more drugs? Do you really need an assault rifle? I own guns. I enjoy shooting targets. I have never once felt that my rights as an American citizen were impeded because I didn’t have a multitude of assault rifles to protect myself. But I have considered not attending a public place because I’m worried about some asshole shooting up the place and killing me.

Nail pics. Perhaps perfectly acceptable for Instagram, however, not acceptable for weekly HR updates. My last job, the lady who sent out the weekly HR updates always included a pic of her weekly nail art. I think I speak for most people who never felt they could speak up, FUCK YOUR NAILS, PENELOPE. No one actually gives a fuck. And those people who perhaps made some sort of convo with you that led you to believe we are cared about your nails were just being polite. Also, Penelope, when HR is asking us to be professional, you probably shouldn’t share your nail pics with a little quip about how you’re doing a bar crawl in Chicago and that’s why you couldn’t make the company fundraiser for people with substance use disorder. But I’m the one without a job because I reported HIPAA violations and was retaliated against. LOL.

Cancer. It’s 2020. Shouldn’t we have a cure for this shit yet? I feel like the drug companies don’t have any incentive for curing anything. They just make up drugs with names that have an inordinate number of the letters Q, X, K, and J that we can’t pronounce and have horrific side effects. You have eczema? Well take this drug that will cure your skin condition, but may cause cancer. Do you have diabetes? We can cure that, but the side effect is a fatal bacterial infection in your perineum. Not trying to be gross, but that’s your taint. Because having diabetes isn’t bad enough, now you have to worry about your taint killing you. For fuck’s sake people, you expect more from Burger King to get your $7 drive thru order right, why not expect these fucking bloodsuckers to cure your disease for $500 a month?

Attack on Women’s Healthcare. Some dumbfuck in Ohio is trying to pass legislation that would require a doctor to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy. This isn’t even an actual medical procedure. He used a medical journal from the early 1900’s because medical technology hasn’t progressed since then.  Can you imagine the outrage if lawmakers were making laws about what guys could do with their dicks based on science from 1917? Listen folks, women can only have 1 baby every 9 months. Men can impregnate a countless number of women every day. Math tells me women are not the problem here. So why are we trying to legislate their uteruses? Wouldn’t it make more sense to legislate the all the sperm causing pregnancies? Of course it would, but we keep electing old white guys to make laws and unfortunately, those are the same people whose sperm is wrecking havoc on society.

Voting. We have to stop this relentless attack on voting rights. Put a stop to gerrymandering. Quit purging the voter rolls. Stop hindering people who have been convicted of crimes from voting. The US incarcerates more people than any other industrialized nation and of those incarcerated, the majority are people of color, the poor, and women. Those people are the majority of your electorate. Shouldn’t they have a say in who represents them? I mean the whole Boston Tea Party was about taxation without representation. As you read this there are really rich white people making millions of dollars from legalized marijuana while black people languish in jail from marijuana charges. There is no law that prevents a convicted felon from serving in Congress, yet that same person can’t vote? That’s absurd. And racist. 

DUS loop. Did you know the number one crime in the US is driving under a license suspension? Did you know that most of the people who are convicted of this crime become tangled into a loop of fines and court costs that it is virtually impossible to escape the maze without help from an attorney and the kindness of local forgiveness programs? The fact of the matter is that this is a death sentence for Americans in rural areas who don’t have access to public transportation. They can’t get to work, medical appointments, or their court hearings about their DUS charges. They often lose visitation to their kids, rack up child support bills, and have no hope of escaping the maze. Do you feel safer being protected from these hardened criminals?

Criminalizing Substance Use Disorder. Imagine having a chronic disease and facing jail every time you fucked up. Are you diabetic who decided to have a cupcake? Go to jail. Got heart disease? You didn’t exercise today. Go to jail. Got cancer? You smoked today. Go to jail. Seems ridiculous right? Whether you like it or not, every time you think that someone with substance use disorder should go to jail for slipping, you’re opening the door to being jailed yourself for your misgivings. No one would argue that someone addicted to sugar or nicotine should be jailed for their addiction, why are you advocating for someone addicted to heroin be jailed for theirs? This is a health issue, not a criminal issue. I’d also add that when you send someone addicted to opiates to jail, you are sentencing them to death. Your tolerance for opiates decreases with non-use. So a person who’s been in jail for an extended period may decide upon release to use again, and that dose could be fatal for them. So what, right? They’re addicts. Yeah, they are addicts. They also have people who love them – parents, kids, sisters, brothers. (Also, instead of calling them addicts, let’s start referring to them as people with substance use disorder). The opioid epidemic is creating a generation of orphans. It would actually be more cost effective to get people treatment and prevent the trauma of these orphans, if you’re more concerned about taxing the economy as opposed to doing the decent human thing.

Ten versions of the same selfie. OK, I get it. You took 20 selfies and you narrowed it down to 10 and you just can’t decide which one you look the cutest in. Gonna let you in on a little secret. If you only post one, we wont know that the other 9 were as equally good or that one was better than the other. You will still get your likes and we won’t be subjected to a multitude of similar shots. Have some fucking thoughts for your fellow mankind on the social medias. Yes your page is all about you and you can do whatever the fuck you want. And I will block your ass for being a narcissistic asswipe, which will result in less likes. See how that works?

trump. I saved the best for last. If you don’t think it affects you, then you aren’t paying attention. 16,241 lies in the last 3 years. Kids in cages. Travel ban from “shithole” countries. Tax break for millionaires. Election interference from foreign countries. Profiting off the presidency. Cutting Medicaid and Social Security Disability. Rolling back environmental protections. Rolling back nutrition guidelines for schools. Farmers going bankrupt. But hey, the stock market is doing great! Do you have stocks? Yeah, I don’t. Do you have a 409K? Probably not because that isn’t even a thing, but yet the dumbass in chief tweets about it. Nevertheless, honestly it would be more important to me that Americans could get healthcare, fair wages, and not have to worry about getting murdered at church. But I digress. None of this is normal. You wouldn’t have accepted this 4, 8, 12, 16 years ago. Why are you now? Wake the fuck up before all your liberties are gone. You can’t vote solely for your pocket book and then cry about all the other things you’ve lost. The sicker, dumber, and poorer you are, the better for him. Stop voting against your interests because you’re afraid of black and brown people. Trust me, they aren’t your enemy. You know who is? The super rich white guy hoarding so much money it would take 80 of his progeny throwing money out the window to even spend a fraction of their wealth. Our congress just gave him carte blanche to cheat in the next election. Are you OK with Russia, China, or even South Korea selecting our next president? Because that’s what’s going to happen.

Of course, I can’t include everything that we need to see go away this year because that would be a fucking novel. Actually kinda surprised you stuck this out to the end. But I encourage you to share yours, I’d love to hear them.

Be a Better Human

January 13, 2020

There are many things I’d like to see go away in 2020 (and I’ll write about that later), but I wanted to give this topic special attention. Lately, I hear a lot of white people bitching and moaning because they’re being called out on shit that they are used to doing all in “good fun” that is actually racist and/or sexist and they don’t want to give up their “good fun” because it “triggers” others.

For example, when I was in high school we played the dumb circle game. I know you know what I’m talking about after the dumbasses at the Army-Navy game. If you don’t, you can Google it. Back in the 80s & 90s this was an annoyingly dumb game that kids played during study hall. Somewhere along the line, white supremacists decided to adopt the circle hand gesture as their own. And I’m not so naïve that I don’t think this wasn’t done on purpose. Racist, sexist dumbfucks are pretty lazy and rarely come up with new and novel ideas to sow their hate. So now, you can’t play this game without being labeled a white supremacist. But here’s the kicker – people are mad that they can’t play the dumb game. They aren’t mad that white supremacists hijacked their game and they can’t play it anymore. Which by the way, why aren’t all y’all raising hell with the white supremacists for hijacking your game instead of the rest of us who take issue with white supremacist hand gestures?

I often hear people use the excuse that they themselves haven’t experienced a phenomenon and because of that, it doesn’t exist. Great theory, but completely flawed. See white people can’t experience discrimination because by definition, discrimination is the oppression of the minority by the majority. Here in America, white people are not the minority. And don’t you white people start coming at me with the reverse discrimination argument. This is not a thing. Perhaps you are experiencing the inability to continue being a racist ass, but that by definition, is not discrimination. Perhaps it’s an inconvenience for you, but it is not hindering your ability to make a living, find housing, maintain employment, or not be arrested or shot because your skin isn’t white.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to argue with other women that the gender pay gap is a myth or that sexism is a fallacy – because they haven’t experienced it personally. I am a woman and I have experienced both. I have worked alongside men in similar capacities where I’ve had more time on the job and more education and I have been paid less. I have had bosses rate my physical appearance on a numerical scale. I’ve heard the same boss make comments about my female coworkers’ weight or sexual appeal. I have been labeled “volatile, negative, and difficult” for speaking out about it. I have been passed over for promotion to outside candidates because I wouldn’t adhere to a harmful status quo.

And you know what? I don’t regret it one fucking bit. I didn’t sell my soul, my values, or my morals to a corrupt organization. As a matter of fact, I blew the whistle in the face of that corruption and when the retaliation was too much to bear, I quit. Yeah, I miss the money, but they weren’t paying me enough to ruin my good reputation and sell out the people of my community in the name of the almighty dollar. 

Perhaps when my grandma was instilling these values into me she didn’t mean for me to take them so literally, but I did. I don’t wish to capitalize off of someone else’s misfortune. I don’t want to get a leg up by pushing someone else down. And by the way, when did it become a badge of honor to cause mental anguish on someone? They like to call it “triggering” but I, along with most mental health professionals, like to call it emotional and verbal abuse. It’s not cool and if you’re Christian, it certainly doesn’t fall within the teachings of Christ. I’m not even Christian, and I sure as hell don’t need a book telling me that treating my fellow human beings ethically and morally is the right thing to do.

Y’all, this isn’t hard. If a black or brown person tells you that something is racist, you believe them. If a woman tells you she’s been sexually abused, you believe her. If a trans person tells you they’ve been violated, you believe them. You ask how you can help and then you take what they say to heart and you use your voice of privilege to make change. You DO NOT engage in blaming the victim or playing victim because of a slight inconvenience in your daily routine.

Two hundred and forty three years ago, this country was founded upon a community of immigrants seeking freedom from oppression. Isn’t it high time that we take this to heart and accept that our differences make us stronger?

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