It's been forever since I mentioned that ridiculous brother of mine. Whoops!
Well, there's news. Yesterday, for instance, he graduated med school and is now an official doctor! The ceremony was hideously boring but the dinner afterward was amazeballs. How in the hell did South freaking Dakota have the best scallops I've ever tasted when I've lived in Florida? Maybe it's cuz we were at the fanciest place in the state, and the food had better be good for nearly a grand to feed the lot of us. (The waiter opened the champaigne with a cutlass!)
Anyway he's starting his residency (out of state, but not too far) in June. Thankfully his fiancee is such a talented lawyer that her firm will let her telecommute and will pay to fly her back in every month for meetings and such. They're renting an entire house in Fargo for little more than she pays for a one-bedroom in Chicago, and the cost of living decrease should be a blatant shock for her. The people and (lack of) activities and opportunities will be even more so. (I like Shannon, but damn she a city girl).
My mother's hoping for imminent wedding and grandbabies, since she's closing on 60 with no other opportunities in sight. I'm hoping Shannon gets that Corgi she's been talking about, since their place allows dogs under 60 lbs.
On a semi-related note, I recently got a shirt that says "Fitness Goal: Pet more dogs" which seems about right.
Adam*, one of my youngest bro's choir pals, has a majestic deep bass I admired the few times I've heard him sing solo.
I gotta give props to the guy. It's freakin hard to sing Danny Boy without crying on a good day.
(Really, that song is some kind of weaponized form of music.)
Singing it at the foot of your dad's bed while he dies deserves at least a medal or something.
*We usually call him by his last name, but that gets confusing when stories include other members of his family.
I keep threatening to sue my parents for giving birth to me in Minnesota. That has to be some kind of negligence, considering I've had to spend my whole 30 years of life as a Vikings fan.
Incidentally, I listened to the game with those same parents (and the dog) on the radio on the way home after accompanying them on a ski trip to Copper Mountain. It was 12 hours into the drive home in the final seconds of the game and the car went ballistic. There was much shrieking and honking of the horn; the dog was scared out of his tiny little mind while I was grabbing and shaking the seat in front of me. We waited for the inevitable flag on the play, but none came. That was such a cool feeling. Even though I lived in Denver during the Elway years, there wasn't a deep connection since I had just moved there.
About that ski trip - I came along to take care of the dog, who is just getting more antisocial by the day I swear. My disastrous trip to Center Village resulted in one dog fight, several attempted dog fights, and much lunging and whimpering wanting to Meet The Peoples!!! It also resulted in some lost poop bags (and dispenser), the button of my jeans, and my whole belt broken. (Jim is ridiculously strong.) He's too much of a rural dog for town life. I'm a little impressed with myself being able to hold him back when he was in full KILL MODE. (The dog he was trying to kill was nice! and the owner was nice! Jim is just too traumatized by Oscar... and Dakota and The Girls and Spirit and Tory and Shady and Miss Bailey and... okay I think I get it now. It breaks my heart because he was so friendly and playful as a puppy before he got attacked all those times.)
I didn't ski, of course. Wrecking my knee a few years back was the last time I did that. I actually bought a half-day pass to try to learn to snowboard, which turned out to be the greatest disaster in the history of mankind. It took me about an hour to get down the bunny hill. All the instincts I had from skiing were working against keeping me upright, and I had no one to teach me except my brother, who had no one to teach him when he learned. I never made it more than a few feet before falling over.
Okay now I've depressed myself. Time to end the post.
Wind chill warning. 25-45 below zero.
I'm going to curl up alone with netflix and a hot cup of tea for the holiday. I'll miss midnight kisses from my doggie (my ritual for the last 3 years), but there's no way I'm going anywhere and he doesn't like being roused after 9 pm anyway XD
It seems like every year has to have That One Week when zero feels warm and freezing feels downright tropical. It hasn't been above zero for days and I'm amazed that so many outdoor critters are able to live through it.
So I had a surreal moment of disappointment over a situation being less bad than I thought.
I’m talking about yesterday’s news that the Trump administration banned 7 words/phrases from appearing in any future CDC publication. The list included things like “diversity” and “evidence-based.” It turns out things aren’t quite that bad – instead of a fiat from on high, this was an internal list of terms to avoid when asking for funding from a Republican-controlled legislature.
The reason this disappointed me was because I’d had an idea. I was about to promote it when I learned the people who work for the CDC aren’t being forcibly censored, which would be much easier to resist than what's really happening.
It’s a moot point now, but I’d like to share my idea because of how much enjoyment I get from it, and I think others might too.
Here it is: In every publication, note, and memo – use those banned terms as frequently as possible. Not to a ridiculous extent, but take every available opportunity to use them. Then, before publishing, use Find-and-Replace to change all those terms to… Pokemon.
Okay there would be some licensing fees and whatnot, but I like to think Japan would be reasonable about such a great idea. Replace every ‘fetus’ with ‘squirtle,’ every ‘transgender’ with ‘butterfree,’ and every ‘vulnerable’ with ‘geodude.’ Every scrap of text from the CDC would instantly go viral. Don’t worry about the substitutions sounding grammatically incorrect - sounding ridiculous is the point. It serves as a blatant mockery of wannabe oppressors, while still technically following orders. Send the clear message: “We are not afraid of you.” Show the autocrats they are small and that the adults in the room do not respect them.
My suggested pokemon were going to be squirtle, butterfree, geodude, wooper, sneasel, spoink, and bidoof.
Choosing which Pokemon should be on the list was a challenge. They have to sound silly enough to communicate the ridiculousness of the situation, be pronounceable, and be so obviously Pokemon that even someone who knows nothing about the franchise can tell at a glance. Those were the seven that I thought were best.
Honorable mentions: Clefairy, jigglypuff, woobat, turtwig, trubbish, foongus, cubchoo, mewtwo, slurpuff, guzzlord, buzzwole, and wurmple.
The 'banned' words, just for reference: fetus, diversity, transgender, vulnerable, entitlement, science-based, and evidence-based.
So... that list must indicate the worst bogeymen of today's Republican politicians. A non-homogenous population, human rights/autonomy, and the existence of objective facts. We live in strange times.
Oh, right. I never did follow up on the last post. ^_^;
Remember I was afraid I had toxic monster cancer? The exact severity is still up in the air, as the doc helpfully took a nice long vacation right after the phone girl gave me The Worst Possible biopsy results. So I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs waiting until he gets back on the 22nd.
Of course they couldn't just send me to another doctor or anything because I guess they're trying to maximize my psychological trauma.
In other news, Oda just did a press release that the Wano arc won't start for another year or two, and some of it's gonna focus on Ace. That's nice. I hope I live that long.