Just bitchin'

There Be Monsters…

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I’m amazed to say I can identify with Donald Trump. I’ve long considered myself arrested at the emotional development of a twelve-year-old. And I hate to lose. And sometimes I’ll lash out like a child when provoked. And I have bad hair days (well, okay…Trump has a bad hair life, but I’m trying to make a point here).

I can identify with Hilary Clinton, too. I’ve struggled in male-dominated areas of endeavor and had to over-compensate with harsh repartee and an iron glare. And I hate making mistakes. And sometimes I try to cover them up because I think no one will notice, or maybe time will rob them of their import.

I can identify with Ted Cruz. Canada’s a pretty cool country; I’ve always enjoyed my jaunts over the border.

I can identify with Bernie Sanders. I sometimes feel if I don’t make my mark on the world real, real soon, I might not have another opportunity. You don’t want to check out with so much left unsaid or un-given that regret is the last thing you taste.

But as just, plain me…an unsung, American citizen of voting age, I can’t identify enough with any candidate running for President to feel good and hopeful about electing them into office.

There’s always mud-slinging and a battle of wits in every presidential election, but this time it’s different, because all I’m hearing is the volley of insults and accusations being lobbed across an insurmountable, ideological distance from one party to the other.

I’m scared.

I don’t want any of these people in charge of something I do love with all my heart: my country.

My immigrant parents raised me to cherish being born here. They were politically active in their own way and staunch supporters of whomever attained the office of President of the United States, because they said anyone who did so was worthy of respect, whether or not you agreed with the platform upon which they stood.

I’m the first to admit I’m politically challenged. But this is the first time I feel as though I’m watching a clown show…a sit-com…a farce…

There have been times in the past when I’ve voted against a candidate rather than for the one who received my ballot. This time that cop-out option doesn’t feel available.

There is no lesser evil this time around.

Like an ancient map of the known world, truncated and proscribed by a sea of horrors… there be monsters.

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They circle us and lick their chops and are slippery and hard to see. And they bite at each other with abandon. And we don’t know what will happen when we’re immersed in their treacherous waters.

And I’m scared.

Really, truly…

…like never before.

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Just bitchin'

…lest we forget…

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MSNBC’s tribute ‘9/11 As It Happened’ begins with silent text tracking across the screen, saying that the broadcast is not only an homage to the terrible events 14 years ago at the World Trade Center, but is also intended for the future…lest we forget.

Stomach dropping, I stare at the bleak words.

Remember the Alamo…a ghostly voice whispers.

All I remember is growing up in Southern California where Spanish was a required class in elementary school. All I remember are the friends and classmates of Mexican descent and their wonderful culture and cuisine that spilled over into the lives of everyone who lived in that region.

Pearl Harbor…a day that will live in infamy…

All I recall is my oldest friend, my roommate from college, who is from Tokyo. I remember sharing holidays with her family and learning about the Buddhist religion from a charming people.

And I watch the words…9/11… lest we forget

…and I know

that someday

we will

forget.

And the cycle will repeat.

And that is the moment I understand terror.

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The Summer of Bacon

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It’s official. Bacon is epidemic in the U.S.

Just like obesity.

It is not inconceivable that the two are related.

I can blame my friend who drew my attention to the world of evening TV commercials for my new-found amazement and bacon-fueled outrage. If it weren’t for him, I would have remained blissfully ignorant, bouncing out of my chair for every commercial break to putter about with minor chores like dishwashing or reading mail.

But now I stare, saucer-eyed, at the endless parade of sizzling, fat-striped temptations.

Ahhhh, bacon…how do we eat thee? Let me count the ways:

First, one I’ve already mentioned in a former posting. The forerunner of the lick-a-pig deluge: Little Caesar’s deep dish bacon-wrapped crust pizza.

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Now, as body-conscious, swimsuit weather progresses, the advertising industry has kicked into overdrive, churning out competition in the category of The Most Grease-Bang For Your Buck. So, bow before the obesity-altar and welcome:

Wendy’s Baconator Fries. Like deep-fried potatoes aren’t bad enough, this little culinary artery-clogger boasts the traditional bad-boy French fries smothered with melted cheese and lots and lots of bacon.

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But wait! There’s more!

The Baconator fries are intended as accompaniment, a companion side-dish to…wait for it…the Baconator and/or the Son of Baconator!

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Now, it’s my understanding that the original Baconator was a double-pattied burger layered with cheese, topped with bacon. Son of Baconator goes Daddy-burger one better (or worse, depending on your desire to live healthier and longer). Sonny-boy has added additional bacon between layers that were previously bacon-less. Why? Because they’re there. Or, as the commercial touting the Carl Jr.’s and Hardee’s burger layered with a hotdog and potato chips reasons: ‘Because…AMERICA!’

Somewhere there are think tanks and brain-storming sessions devoted to the riddle of ‘where else can we inject fat in this dish?’

I despair for our national health.

The only thing I can say on the positive side is: faced with a choice between any one of these grease-monsters or a doughnut containing Ariana Grande’s spit…I’d have to choose the grease.

The world of fast food has become a very scary place.

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Saliva With Your Sprinkles

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Oh, dear.

Another silly celeb spouting stupidity.

Oh, dear.

So in case you haven’t heard, a minor celebrity named Ariana Grande went into a donut shop, bellied-up to the counter upon which rested a tray of the pastries…licked them…and turned away muttering how much she hates America. Then she stuffed a previously un-licked donut into her mouth. All in plain view and hearing of the shop’s surveillance camera.

Clearly, this woman will never be honored for her intellect.

There was and still is a huge outcry about her comments on hating the country that shelters her.

I honestly don’t care. Maybe I should. But I don’t. See…I’d have to respect her to care what comes out of her mouth. I don’t.

Oh, wait…I need to backtrack here.

I DO care tremendously about something that came out of her mouth. Saliva.

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She licked donuts that she had no intention of buying or eating. I hear she tells her fans she’s a vegan, but she did chow down on a non-vegan donut while in camera range…just not one of those she licked. The issue of lying to her fans about her diet doesn’t interest me in the least.

What I do care about is her complete lack of personal hygiene. I don’t care how low her IQ is; she should know not to trail her spit on other people’s food.

The woman herself has no relevance in most people’s lives, so her opinions are powerless. ISIS will not be recruiting her anytime soon, I’m sure.

And although there might be a pre-pubescent fan base somewhere who’d love to suck on her saliva, I doubt the donuts she defiled were meant for them.

So rude.

She’s made some bumbling attempts to apologize for her ‘I hate America’ statements, but not a word about her deplorable lack of manners and hygiene.

And now I have to amend my statement that Ms. Grande has no relevance in my life.

I will never look at donuts again without wondering if someone else’s DNA is lurking among the sprinkles…

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A Different Kind of 4th

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I live on the beach, so the 4th of July is usually a noisy, colorful celebration that sparkles across the night sky from sundown to midnight, with a few inebriated revelers lurching about until dawn, setting off the occasional Roman candle just to keep the rest of us on our toes.

Not so this year.

Extreme fire danger prompted authorities to ban fireworks.

Bans rarely enjoy unanimous compliance here. Especially on the 4th of July. I mean, in a country that treasures individual freedom above all else…a nation based on rebellion…you think we’re going to do as we’re told on the very holiday that honors revolution?

Naaaaah.

But this year was different.

The fireworks displays were fewer and farther between. Instead of sitting on my beach, feeling the ground reverberate, hearing my windows rattle, and keeping a hose handy for the vagrant sparks the wind would fan my way…instead of all that, I listened to quiet voices in the dark.

I listened to an elderly gentleman tell the story of the American Revolution to grandchildren who weren’t distracted by pyrotechnics.

I watched a young father raise his daughter to his shoulders and point out the dazzling constellations that glittered overhead in a crystal clear sky.

I heard someone whisper ‘We’re so lucky to live here.’

And I have to agree.

Happy Birthday, America.

Thank you for taking my people in, so I could call you ‘home.’

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Letter to the Ghost of Osama Bin Laden

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The page has turned.

Another anniversary.

There is a qualitative difference this time around. Previous years were rife with remembrance. Sharp shards of unavoidable history.

But this year, I was hard-pressed to find them. What had previously been a deluge, now a trickle.

Maybe it’s me.

With the extraordinary adaptability of the human animal, I have subsumed you into daily life, feeling not terror, but wariness.

Such a lukewarm legacy. Was it worth it?

I see no time when our beliefs and cultures will mesh.

Enemies eternal. A common view, me and you. I bet it bothers you to share something, anything with the likes of me.

Like children in a schoolyard; one offering his lunch money, eager to make friends, form bonds, buy them if he has to. A little desperate to be liked.

The other filled with nameless rage and bared teeth, hating those whose very existence he feels invalidates his own. Acting out.

You envisioned a roar, but left only an echo.

Part of it is the passage of time.

But most of it is because I love my country with a ferocity that surpasses your fanaticism.

We’re still here.

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