She’d Rather Wait

I’m still not feeling well and am not in the mood to write, so today is Throwback Thursday. The following dialogue took place between Alma (a 92-year-old woman I used to take care of) and myself. Alma passed away early last year at the age of 94.

May 30, 2015 at 11:08am

Alma – The weather’s been awful this year, hasn’t it?

Vicki – No.

A – You don’t think all this rain’s been awful?

V – No, awful is a destructive tornado, or being flooded out of your house. The weather we’ve been having here is terribly annoying, but I wouldn’t call it awful. That, to me, is like daring God to show us how much worse it can be.

A – What do you mean?

V – I mean, maybe it’s better to thank God for how good we’ve got it than to complain about how terrible it is.

A – I’m gonna wait for it to dry up a little.

New Phone

I don’t feel like writing today. I’ve been down in the dumps and not feeling well, so I thought I’d make today Wayback Wednesday with this old Facebook post from May 31, 2015 … the day I bought a new home phone (landline) which I recently made reference to in another blog post.

May 31, 2015 at 12:23am

New phone instructions, as printed on a 10-page fold-out, almost the size of a road map: (This is just one of many parts of the instructions, but I think people who need this information probably don’t need a phone.)

To make a call:

1. Lift the handset and wait for a dial tone.

2. Use the dialing keys to enter the number you want to dial.

3. Place the handset on the telephone base to hang up.

To answer a call:

1. Lift the handset while the phone is ringing.

2. Place the handset on the telephone base to hang up.

Note: The instructions didn’t mention this, but if the telephone is a new form of technology to you, it is customary to greet the caller after you’ve completed step #2. This can be done with the traditional “Hello?”, or if you have up-to-date technology and have been made aware of who is calling, you may greet them personally, in a more customized manner.

Prideful Politics

I am not politically minded. I have a hard time understanding a system created to confuse via legalese, contradictions, doubletalk and illogical interpretations. My brain understands right vs. wrong, fair vs. unfair, nice vs. mean, inclusion vs. exclusion, etc. Even these things have their gray areas, but not like bureaucratic politics.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that frequently Party-A will tolerate words or actions from a Party-A politician that they won’t tolerate from a Party-B politician, and vice versa.

When it pertains to sexual misconduct, for instance, party-A members who condemned a party-B politician for being inappropriate/immoral in the past will overlook and/or defend similar actions with a party-A politician. This is not limited to sexual misconduct, however. These exceptions are made in many different areas.

Whenever one finds oneself saying, “But Mr.Twenty-Years-Ago did (or said) the same thing and the other party didn’t have a problem then, so what’s the big deal now?”, then it’s time to take stock of your own ethics/morals. I know people who darn-near condemned past politicians who weren’t members of their party for the same things they now turn a blind eye to.

We need to stop treating party politics with as much (or more) respect as religion/spirituality. We need to stop treating politicians as if they were members of our favorite bouncy-ball teams.

Politics is not a game! Politicians are not infallible, regardless of the party badge they wear!

We have to understand that politicians (including presidents) from all parties are just as human and no better than you or I. They are not gods! They should not be viewed as “better than” anyone else.

“We, the People” should stand together, but instead we side with a team (party) and revel in criticizing and condemning the other guys. That’s the game that has been created for us in order to keep us battling against each other so we won’t see the big picture. As long as they can convince us that we should oppose the other guy because he/she is rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, Democrat, Republican, Muslim, Christian, atheist, male, female, etc., then we are always going to be fighting for the wrong things.

Every time I see liberals or conservatives being criticized or condemned by their opposers, my first thought is “This is nothing but a friggin’ game!”

The world of politics should not be about “scoring one for the team” and mocking the opposing team. Instead we should be examining the character of the politician, not defending him/her simply because he/she won our vote.

There is no room for pride when people’s health, lives, livelihoods, life’s savings and God-given rights are at stake. (If you don’t believe in God, then view them as birth-given or natural rights.) It is true that our rights should be viewed as birthrights, granted to all human beings, without exception to nationality, religion, sex, sexuality, etc. These rights have always been the basis of Law. Whether you believe in a higher power or Karma, the Law should pertain to all. (Note: We must also remember that true Law protects the rights of mankind and is based on right vs. wrong. Codes, acts, regulations, statutes and ordinances don’t always reflect this.)

Unethical behavior remains unethical regardless to which party the politician belongs. Likewise, class (or lack thereof), politeness, ethics, competency, etc., should not be judged by the party to which the politician belongs.

Don’t be so friggin’ in love with your party of choice that you become blind to the things that truly matter.

The character of a man matters far more than the party to which he belongs. Those who can’t raise themselves above the party are doomed to accept whatever position(s) the party takes, whether they’re right or wrong.

We must remember that we (human beings) are natural, whereas political parties are artificial – created and run by politicians. Then we must ask ourselves which is more important – standing for the rights of God’s/Nature’s creation or standing for the whims/demands of man’s creations.

The Unlikely Origins of Two Words

The word son consist of three letters and one syllable. The word daughter is nearly three times as long, consisting of two syllables.

Both words have Old English roots and were adopted from other languages, but it’s not the origins of the words that trouble me – it’s how terribly different the two words are.

(Note: The following story has no basis in fact.)

I’m sure son came first. It seems to be the practice of mankind to cater to the males first and then, as an afterthought, toss the remaining crumbs to the females.

Based on this historical view of the sexes, I think the two words may have become a part of the spoken language in the following manner.

The Origin of “Son”

Ooga and Booga are a woman and man with four boys. Ooga has just prepared a meal for her family.

Ooga – Booga, call Fee, Fi, Fo and Fum. I make food to eat.

Booga – We need word for little mans so we can call all four at same time.

Ooga – But we call them “boys”.

Booga – I tired of all other cavemans boys coming when I call for boys. We need word for our boys.

Ooga – We shall call them our sons – like the giant ball of fire in the sky that gives life.

Booga – I like! I like very much! One syllable! Easy to pronounce! Yes, we shall call them sons.

The Origin of “Daughter”

A thousand years later, Olga has prepared a meal for her family and asks her husband to call their girls in for dinner.

Olga – Bolga, go call the girls in for supper.

Bolga – Every time I call for the girls twenty other girls show up. I can’t afford to feed the entire village! We need a word, just for the girls who belong to us. We call our male children sons. We need a word for our female children.

Olga – I don’t have time for this right now! The food is getting cold. I’ll tell you what you should do – go look out at the meadow. The first thing you see is what we will call our girls.

Bolga stepped outside of their modest little hut and looked at the meadow where he saw a lion greedily eating his prey. The lion’s dinner was a species of animal that was growing rarer by the day and was in great danger of becoming extinct.

The animal was well loved as a companion animal for its sweet, gentle and trusting demeanor, but nature had not provided it with proper defenses to fight off predators and it was therefore just twenty years away from dying out.

Bolga returned to his hut.

Olga – What did you see?

Bolga – I saw a lion eating a wild prairie daughter. From this day forward, we shall call our female children daughters.

Olga – They’re not puppies! I don’t know if I like that word.

Bolga – It’s perfect! The prairie daughters are almost gone. They’re dying out. In another 20 years nobody will have ever even seen one.

Olga – My concern has more to do with our girls taking on the characteristics of the prairie daughters. What if they grow meek, mild and irresistible, falling prey to men?

Bolga – That would never happen! We’re humans, not animals! We’re a lot smarter than they are.

Olga – Oh my gosh, Bolga! Your hand is bleeding! What happened to you?

Bolga – Oh, it’s nothing. I just lost a couple of fingers this morning. I found an alligator and stuck my hand in his mouth to see what he would do.

Olga – Smarter than the animals, indeed!

The End

Actual origins:

Old English dohtor, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dochter and German Tochter

Son as a word originated before 900 BCE; from Middle English sone, Old English sunu; cognate with Dutch zoon, German Sohn, Old Norse sunr, sonr, Gothic sunus, Lithuanian sūnùs

Stupid Taco!

My brain sometimes (meaning often) doesn’t put puzzle pieces together as soon as they are presented. Brainy likes to take puzzle pieces and place them in ridiculous patterns before taking the time to put them together properly.

Donut (my next-door neighbor – the maternal hillbilly) was just outside calling Taco, her dog. I’m used to this now, but it still sounds rather funny because it sounds as if she’s beckoning a Tex-Mex menu item.

When Donut steps outside to call Taco in, Brainy likes to imagine a little four-legged fully loaded taco bounding across the yard enthusiastically to greet its human.

Today Donut was upset because Taco wasn’t responding to her calls, but finally Taco came running and Donut greeted the happy little dog by screaming, “Stupid Taco!”

Brainy first pictured a fully loaded taco wearing a dunce’s hat and sent the message down to my larynx and lungs to respond with laughter.

Then Brainy pictured a sad little taco dunce and sent the southbound message to stop laughing.

Then Brainy arranged the puzzle pieces in their proper order, remembering that Taco is an actual dog – a soul, with feelings – and sent a message down below to activate the tear ducts.

Occasionally my hillbilly neighbors provide ridiculous humor, but more often than not, they are loud, obnoxious and verbally abusive toward each other and their pets.

~ ~ ~

Credit to Leah Flores for the “Sad Taco” image used as the featured image for this post.

Leah Flores is a Boise-based artist who brings together her love of photography and illustration to create adventuresome designs. Born in the Pacific Northwest on Leap Year Day 1988, Leah is a first-generation American with Costa Rican and Scottish roots. In her work you will find mountains, forests, and wildflowers woven with hand-lettered evocations to go explore the natural world.

View Leah Flores’ work.

 

Calling All Food!

Dee (my dear 70+ year old neighbor who passed away last October) is the one who gave the name Donut to the matriarch of the hillbilly family living next door, but to my knowledge Donut is not aware of her nickname.

Coincidentally, Donut named her dog and cat Taco and Oreo.

Several times a week I hear her calling for one or both of them, either to call them in for the night or to call them in for their dinner.

Donut calling for Taco and Oreo is enough to make one hungry. It’s like food calling food to come in and eat their food.

I posted this on Facebook a month or two ago and was surprised by how many of my friends name their pets after food items, but then again I once heard of a woman who named her daughter Frappuccino, so I guess naming your pet Hamburger Helper or Chips Ahoy isn’t much of a stretch.

Peanut Butter vs. Marmite

I have a thing for BBC panel shows – especially Q.I. (I miss Stephen Fry as the host.)

I honestly don’t remember on which panel show I heard this discussed, but apparently it’s very hard to find peanut butter in most European countries. It’s not that they don’t have peanuts – it’s that they don’t find grinding them into a paste to be very appetizing.

Personally, I love peanut butter, but I do understand that tastes vary from culture to culture. I wouldn’t question their distaste for peanut butter if it weren’t for one thing.

MARMITE!

If you’re not familiar with Marmite, their slogan is, “Love it or hate it” because few are neutral regarding the salty goo. It’s made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing. I’m sure there are many creative ways to use Marmite (or similar products) but one of the most common methods is to spread it on buttered toast.

Perhaps I might actually like Marmite if it were used sparingly as an ingredient in a dish for the purpose of adding a little flavor, but straight or on toast? No thanks! The only word that comes to my mind to describe the flavor is “bouillony”‘ or perhaps “bouillonish”.

To further understand the taste of Marmite, let’s break the word down.

mar – 1. Impair the appearance of; disfigure. 2. Impair the quality of; spoil.

mite – 1. A minute arachnid that has four pairs of legs when adult, related to the ticks. Many kinds live in the soil and a number are parasitic on plants or animals.

I think the manufacturer of the yeast extract goo was smart to choose the brand name Marmite over Spoiledparasite.

To be fair, there are many who love Marmite. Those who love the brown salt lick syrup are very passionate about their love for the product.

Those who hate Marmite describe it as “salty”, “having the flavor of straight soy sauce” or, my favorite description, “ass crack”.

If the flavor of ass crack were to be manufactured and marketed to the public, I have no doubt there would be a market for it.

Love it or hate it, there will always be those who have a hearty appetite for the taste of disgusting.