Sunday, November 22, 2020

Unity? Yeah, Sure

Remember the night of the election in 2016? Remember as soon as the results were announced, the melting snowflake videos started going viral on Facebook and Twitter. That night, the fires and broken windows started and they've never really stopped. Trump, from the moment he was called as President, got the poison pens of every Democrat and Never-Trump pundit out there. He was called every vulgar name in the book and nothing was too nasty to say about him or his family. The supposed grown-ups in the House and Senate began talking about impeachment as soon as the election was over. Nineteen minutes after the election was over, The New York Post posted an article that mentioned impeachment. Nineteen minutes. The "not my President" movement started that night. 

For the next four years, the Democrats and RINOs spent every waking moment bashing the President. Wherever they could hurt him, they did (even when it hurt American citizens). Who can forget late night "comedian" Bill Maher hoping that the Trump election would trigger a recession that would crash the economy. Can you imagine someone cheering for a recession just to hurt the President? 

In May, New York's Shakespeare in the Park was held. It was a free performance in Central Park which ran for a month that summer. The play chosen was "Julius Caesar". But this was no classic depiction of the play. The play was modernized and Caesar bore a strange resemblance to the President. People sat in the stifling New York heat to get to Act III, where Caesar is stabbed to death by members of his Senate. 

The murder scene was a bloodbath. The actor selected to play Caesar was "House of Cards" actor Gregg Henry. People stood and cheered as he died. It was, to put it mildly, horrific. People were participating in wish fulfillment. If only someone would stab the President to death. The threats happened daily. Madonna at the Women's March (the day after Trump's inauguration) saying how much she dreamed of "blowing up the White House". The disgusting play was still showing when, on June 14th (coincidentally, Trump's birthday) the Republican team was practicing for the Annual Baseball game when a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire and shot Senate Whip Steve Scalice, nearly killing him. A witness said the shooter asked him if those were Republicans or Democrats on the field. When the witness said "Republicans" the shooter shot Scalise and tried to shoot others. Only the DC police department and the park police where the practice was happening were the only ones who kept it from becoming a blood bath for real. The Republicans lost a good man in Congress and, by all accounts, a damn good third baseman. Kathy Griffin, a D-grade comedian, did a weird photo op, where she posed with a mock-up of President Trump's head. The blowback by conservatives was massive. Despite this, the only bad thing that happened to her was she was replaced on her gig on CNN's New Year's Eve special. That's all. Of course, she apologized, but she played herself as the victim. 

Now, after spending four years beating Republicans and conservatives like the proverbial redheaded stepchild, the Democrats are asking for unity. This is rich. Where was their "unity" when the President was told he would not be allowed to give his State Of The Union address from the floor the House, where it has been routinely delivered for more than a hundred years? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been incredibly vicious in her open hatred of the President and her refusal to work with him, even on a Corona Virus stimulus package to help cash strapped Americans hit hard by the lockdowns. In 2018, he signed the hated Omnibus Spending Bill. He signed it for only one reason: in order for the military to be funded. At the time, some of our enemies were engaging in sabre rattling in order to test the new President and Trump wanted to make sure we were covered. Obama had decimated the military during his time in office and right before he left for good, he approved another huge cut to the military budget. Our combat preparedness was in question because of this and Trump really had no choice but to sign the bill. He promised the people at a televised presser that he would never sign another bill like that one. And he has been true to his word. All he asked for on the Corona Stimulus Bill was a stand-alone bill to help hurting Americans. But the Democrats wanted amnesty for illegals and other pork in the bill and Trump refused to sign it. There was no "unity" in any of the acts the House made during Trump's four years. During his impeachment hearings, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee held a virtual Star Chamber, where they met with witnesses in secret and Republicans on the committee were barred from attending. During the open hearings, Democrat chair Jerry Nadler repeatedly told witnesses they did not have to answer questions from Republicans. This impeachment sham further split the country in two. The House knew they did not have the 60 required votes to remove him from office. Nancy Pelosi had her own bit of political theater by having gold pens made up for the occasion. Yes, that was very unifying. 

Now, because the Democrats believe they have won the White House, they want us to obey them for the good of the country...because it will bring unity. But the Democrats don't want unity. What they want is submission. The same group of people whose plan from the first day Trump took office was too keep him so busy with investigations and lawsuits that he wouldn't have time to implement the agenda he ran on are the same ones who want our cooperation now. Even as they announce re-education camps for Trump supporters and threaten us with Reconciliation Committees, they drum the unity message into us. Of course, the election hasn't yet been decided. I wonder, if the election goes Trump's way and he's re-elected, will the people now calling for unity agree to their own demands? No, of course not. They will riot and loot and burn everything in sight. They will, once again, refuse to cooperate with the "illegitimate" president. Sure, the AP called the election for Biden. But the media doesn't call elections. They make projections. And they can project that Biden won all they want, while ignoring the massive voter fraud that occurred right under America's nose. 

Strange, these Democrats. Nancy Pelosi rips up a copy of President Trump's State of the Union address right there on nationwide television and yet she says Trump behaves childishly. Joe Biden is right there on video bragging about how he withheld over a billion dollars in foreign aid money to Ukraine until a prosecutor looking into the company his son sat on the board of was fired, yet they accuse Trump of a quid pro quo for a phone call with a newly elected head of state in Ukraine. They are guilty of everything they accuse the President of doing. It's a classic Alinsky tactic---"Accuse the other side of that which you are actually doing." And all the while, the Democrats pretend that their corruption doesn't exist. They are as pure as the driven snow and love this country and the Constitution. They accuse Trump of "trampling the Constitution" while Democrat governors impose unconstitutional lockdowns on American citizens which overstep their enumerated powers. For three years, they discussed nothing but the Russia collusion hoax, stating every day there was irrefutable evidence of the President's guilt but when presented with signed affidavits and other concrete evidence of massive voter fraud, say Republicans haven't presented any evidence. In the end, the Mueller Report, which was supposed to be the nail in the illegitimate President's coffin, turned out to be a big nothing burger. It became obvious as he testified before Congress that Mueller didn't even write the report. The Democrats spent three years and used nineteen liberal bulldog lawyers to go after him and they never came up with anything. The people who later testified at Trump's impeachment hearing never even witnessed the phone call. They would go on CNN and say "Oh yes, we have all the evidence we need to take down the President" and then, when under oath, all they could manage was "I never said that" or "I was not present when that was discussed." There's a big difference telling Don Lemon all about your rock solid evidence and testifying to the same in front of Congress. When you're on MSNBC or CNN, you can say any stupid thing you want to. The court of public opinion doesn't require an airtight case. However, lying to Congress is a crime and a serious one. And, in the end, all the "we have irrefutable evidence" hucksters had nothing to say. And they wonder why the country is so divided. 

So no. I think I'll decline the Democrats call for "unity". 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Outrage Junkies

Is it my imagination, or does it seem like liberals are addicted to outrage? At least, they seem that way since President Trump was elected. I admit, I never blogged much about politics before (this was a spanking blog, after all) so I never had the chance to write about all the times something the President did or said or wore triggered the liberals into spasms of faux outrage. Even before he was ever elected or got the nomination, the liberals in the media just couldn't stand his behavior. Something a normal person would have passed off with a laugh or maybe just a "not a good look, Donald" in passing the liberal media spent hours reporting on. Little things like Trump not buttoning his suitcoat sent them scurrying to "experts" to report on why a man running for president doesn't know how to wear a suit properly; like they didn't know that Trump has spent most of his adult life in suits. He knows perfectly well that a gentleman is supposed to button the top button of a single breasted suitcoat. The man has been around elite snobs all his life. He knows which fork to use and that food plates are passed to the left. I'm pretty sure he knows that the top button gets buttoned. But maybe he was in a hurry and forgot? Or maybe, like most heavyset people, he finds it uncomfortable? Whatever the reason, the liberal media had a field day with it. It was probably at this point that Trump realized he could get the liberal media's goat just about any time he wanted to.

Or how about the way he drinks water? Or the fact that he drinks water at all? The press seemed obsessed with the President's consumption of eatables. During a speech, the President stopped to take a drink from a bottle of water he had handy. The liberal press went ballistic. "The President is not allowed to drink water during speeches because he once made fun of Marco Rubio for doing the same thing! He's a hypocrite if he drinks water during a speech!" Actually, that's not what happened. The President made a rather funny and immature comment on the campaign trail because Rubio didn't just drink from a bottle of water while he remained at the podium. He had to practically walk out of camera range to retrieve a bottle he kept on a little table about five feet away. It looked unprofessional. Rubio has given hundreds of speeches during his time in public life. He knows what looks bad. Whatever the reason, instead of focusing on why Rubio didn't have a bottle of water sitting next to him, they chose to focus on the fact that Trump commented on it. Later, after he had been elected President, Trump was giving a speech somewhere (I forget now) and had a bottle of Fuji water with him. When he went to drink from it, he used (gasp) both hands to hold it. The liberal media went bonkers. Why would a strong, healthy man like Trump need both hands to hold a simple bottle of water? The media began to spread rumors that perhaps the President had the beginning stages of MS or a tremor of some sort. But they forgot to mention that Fuji water comes in square bottles, which are hard to hold. I have scanned them at the supermarket where I work and they have slipped right out of my hand. They are just not made for human hands. If you went to the Facebook pages of liberal pundits or Hollywood stars, they would post silly stuff like "Guess who else drank water? Hitler!" 

They also questioned why a 70-year-old man might need to use the handrail when getting off an airplane on a windy day. I remember repeatedly seeing footage of Trump deplaning Air Force One using the handrail and the liberal media speculating on the President's fear of heights or of falling. They deliberately ran side-by-side footage of President Trump coming carefully down the steps and then-President Obama jogging down the steps. First of all, Obama was 25 years younger than Trump. Maybe he hasn't seen the footage of President Ford slipping and falling while getting of a plane (the incident that Chevy Chase used to get laughs on SNL for a year)? I hate to tell the folks over at CNN, but most 70-year-olds ARE afraid of falling. They're afraid of breaking a hip and losing their mobility and independence. Using a handrail while getting off a plane on a windy day is not as "highly unusual" as you all believe.

Remember how outraged the media was when, a week after the election, Trump took his family out for a steak dinner and didn't mention it to them? They were apoplectic with rage. One liberal media pundit (I forget who but it could have been Brian Williams, the valor stealer) said with a straight face that part of the media's job is to protect the President. Yes, he said that and so did others. Perhaps you people aren't aware that the president, even when his name is Trump, gets a Secret Service detail? So they aired their outrage by reporting (also with a straight face) that the President enjoys his steaks well done and with ketchup on it. And also, they apparently liked to keep tabs on how many scoops of ice cream he had after dinner and whether he got chocolate sauce while his guests had to make do with plain ice cream. You had to have been on another planet to have missed that bit of hard hitting reporting. They also turned into concern trolls over how many Diet Cokes the president was drinking every day. How are the President's eating habits even newsworthy? There were other things to report on.

Oh, and the President has small hands. Yes, that one got big laughs during the campaign the first time one of his opponents brought it up. Instead of getting defensive, Trump held up a hand at a campaign rally and announced "Look at that hand! Is that a small hand or what?" The press lost its mind. It was at this point where I got the idea that, no matter how Trump reacted to a situation, in the press's eyes it was going to be wrong. The truth is that, for a man who's 6'3", his hands are pretty small. But I never got the memo that, to be President, you had to have big hands. Surely, as small as his hands are, they're still bigger than Hillary's. I never heard anyone say anything about the size of HER hands. 

The outrage machine continued on unabated after the election. If anything, it got worse. Now the President's family was fair game, too. His older daughter, Ivanka's choice of a pink dress to attend an employment summit was derided as "too girly" and they accused the First Daughter of setting women back a hundred years. Yes, they said that over a pink dress. Or what about the time the President's youngest son, Barron was seen with a fidget spinner? The media began to speculate (meanly) that the 11-year-old must be autistic or have ADHD. Never mind that fidget spinners were a fad among young people at the time. Then there is the endless commentary about the First Lady's shoes. Everything from "Trump forces her to wear them" to "she wears those shoes to feel superior" was parroted by the liberal media. When she joined the President on a trip to Houston to inspect hurricane damage, the boarded Air Force One wearing her signature Loubaton's. The media scolded the First Lady, saying that those shoes were a bad choice for visiting poor people who had just had their city flattened by a hurricane. When she deplaned, she was wearing sneakers. But, again, the media had to have an opinion on that, too. Indeed, the First Lady's clothing has always been the subject of much media poison. I don't remember them every saying anything about the way Michelle Obama dressed when she was First Lady and many of her outfits were disasters. Melania Trump always looks elegant and chic and crisp in whatever she wears. As a former fashion model, she has a very good grasp of what looks good on her. Then there was Donald Jr's well-reported divorce from his wife, Vanessa. While Trump Jr and his ex-wife tried to shield their five children from the media glare, it was impossible. The media was at least partly to blame for the break up, in my opinion. The way the liberal media constantly hammered the entire family would have been enough to make anyone throw up their hands and say "I can't stand it anymore!" Even Tiffany, who grew up on the west coast following Trump's divorce from her mother, Marla Maples, wasn't spared. She didn't know her father that well, but did attend her father's alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, before heading off to (and graduating from) Georgetown law school. She had joined him on the campaign trail and got to know him better. Because she had been part of the plot to elect the outsider, she was fair game. Her weight and the way she spoke were all scrutinized. They called her "chunky" when there was nothing wrong with her weight. She looks like any other healthy young woman. But when it came to the women of the Trump family, the media saved its most hurtful barbs for the First Lady. Her accent was mocked, despite the fact that liberals claim to be for immigrants. Gidi Hadim famously mocked her on an award show and the video of it went viral. Many said she could not speak proper English, despite the fact that Melania speaks five languages, including French, fluently. She always showed beauty, grace and elegance on the world stage. She has made her point when she's needed to, however. When the late Peter Fonda said that Barron (then only ten years old) should be locked in a cage with a pedophile, she followed her husband's lead and responded on Twitter. In her own gentle yet forceful way, she let Peter Fonda know how she felt about his comments. Then the press slammed her for defending her minor child, which any normal parent would do. When some liberal talking head testified at her husband's impeachment hearing and tried to make a joke at Barron's expense, saying "Trump can name his child Barron, but he can't make him one", she again responded. She had been the one to name him Barron, not his father. Barron was a name she liked. Trump had wanted to name him Joseph. The liberal talking head (whose name has escaped me) made an apology, but it rang hollow as most apologies from liberals do.

The President got busy presidenting right after his inauguration. One of the first things he started doing was cutting back on the regulations that were strangulating small businesses. He cut two for every new one that was made. He understood that some regulation was necessary. But the ones instigated by the Obama administration had been punitive, intended to put small businesses out of business. Obama had been in the habit of picking winners and loser throughout his presidency. Since he hated middle America and the average citizens who ran bakeries, bars and boutiques out in Flyover Country, he took every pain to take them down. They weren't real people to him. Just nasty Tea Baggers (as the liberal media often referred to Tea Party members). The liberal press howled that Trump was deliberately attempting to undo Obama's legacy. Obama's legacy was great for foreigners, but very bad for actual Americans. The disastrous NAFTA agreement had shipped millions of American jobs overseas or to Mexico. In case no one knows this, NAFTA stands for National Free Trade Agreement. But there was nothing fair about it when it came to the way it favored foreign interests and penalized American workers. Signed during the Clinton administration, succeeding Presidents had chances to dismantle it, but chose not to. But Trump, ever the no-nonsense businessman, knew these deals were bad for us. He got right to work on a new trade deal, which included Mexico and Canada. It was much more fair to us. We never knew that Canada had placed a 200% tariff on dairy products we shipped to Canada. Trump took care of that. Justin Trudeau howled in protest, but he signed the new deal nevertheless, perhaps sensing that this President was cut from different cloth than Obama had been. Once that was done, he got us out of that horrible Paris Climate Accord. This was supposed to encourage participating countries to lower their emissions and shrink their carbon footprint over time. But when it was read, only America was held to the high standard. China and India, the two largest polluters on the planet, would each get a ten year buffer period, where their emissions could increase before they were held to the same standard as the US. Now, the air in China is filthy, as anyone who has been there can attest. The people walk around in face masks because the air is unbreathable. In fact, China's air is so dirty that fully one-third of the air pollution in San Francisco comes from China. China wants the profits from a manufacturing economy, but unlike other countries (including the US), they have made no effort to clean up their air. The liberal press, of course, spun the story that Trump wanted everyone to breathe dirty air and drink filthy water. They went on daily diatribes about how the earth wouldn't survive four years with Trump at the helm. Meanwhile, date began to trickle out about just how much America had lowered its emissions and shrunk its carbon footprint without having to be in any kind of climate agreement. Businesses were making the necessary changes voluntarily because Trump had given them the means to. "What?!" the liberal media shrieked, "the people will do things on their own without a mandate from the government? How is this possible?" Because most Americans want clean air and water. They just don't want government telling them how to do it. 

If the liberal media was chagrined about Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Accords and doing away with NAFTA, they went completely off their rockers when he began respectful negotiations with North Korea to end their missile testing policies. Trump, ironically, was doing more than any peacenick to broker peace between North and South Korea. He was also vowing to bring our soldiers home from the pointless Iraq war. He said in one of the debates with Hillary that we should never have been in Iraq, that it was a pointless war. If he was disliked before, he was hated now by the Left. The Iraq war was sacred. You weren't allowed to criticize that. Then someone found some old footage from an appearance Trump made in 2002 on "The Howard Stern Show" where he said he would favor a strike on Iraq if we ever made it. "Ha!" the media crowed, "Here's proof that Trump is a hypocrite!" Actually, it was simply proof that, in almost fifteen years of seeing our soldiers blown to smithereens in a war for which there was no real goal, Trump had changed his view on the Iraq war. Many people did, they were just too afraid to say so. 

Trump, in many ways, went out of his way to trigger the liberals and their lapdogs in the media. He would say things or do things that he knew they would explode over and then laugh at how dumb they were. Trump never went to Harvard or Yale. He was considered by the media to be uncouth and uneducated (despite a degree in finance from the Wharton School of Business). Sure, he'd had some failures. Name one businessman who hasn't. But where Trump really shined, not only as a businessman but as President, was his willingness to take risks. America was used to Presidents who talked a good game, but were actually Casper Milquetoasts when it came to action. Trump, like most businessmen, likes to win. That in itself made liberals uncomfortable. When he first announced his intention to run for President, he was asked if he thought he could win, to which he replied "I'm not in it to lose, that's for sure." What was this? A president who wanted to win? Liberals acted like this was all new to them. Hillary Clinton had callously and deliberately undercut her only rival for the Democrat nomination, Bernie Sanders and  the liberal media didn't even mew about it. But Trump taking a risk by asking the black community "What the hell do you have lose?" by voting for him, made them lose their minds. Every liberal pundit of color went on TV or took to Twitter to lambaste the Republican nominee as a "racist" who preyed on the fear blacks had of the White Man. It would have been laughable if it hadn't been so sad. Trump had received awards from Jesse Jackson and others for his "tireless efforts on behalf of the black community". Now, as an outsider President, he was a vicious racist and white supremacist. One of his first acts as President was to issue a pardon to nineteenth century boxer Jack Johnson, a man who had been accused of ugly crimes against white women and who had served time in jail for them. The President's pardon of a man who had been a victim of the racism of his time was seen as "pandering", yet Hillary's comments to a black radio host about keeping hot sauce in her purse wasn't. 

I guess since the Democrats have probably succeeded in ousting Trump from office (something they have been trying to do since Day One) I guess they are going to get the last laugh. Now, we should do what the Democrats did to Trump. We should open spurious and expensive investigations on Biden and his family. We should call his every decision into question; that is, until Kamala Harris is inserted as de facto president. I'm going to look back on the Trump years as some of the best years America ever enjoyed. If Biden can get the GDP anywhere near 33% it will be a miracle. But that won't happen. They will go on being outraged, yet demand that conservatives and Republicans act civilly. The sad part is that we probably will. Like the English schoolboy of 70 years ago who shakes the hand of the prefect who just caned him, we will go back to making nice with them, thinking it will make the next four years easier for us. But believe me, the outrage junkies have no intention of making anything easier for us. It's very sad that our country, once described by President Reagan as a shining city on a hill, has been reduced to a Third World banana republic--a place who counts the votes is more important than who voted.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

On Elections

Author's Note:

 Since this is my blog, and I have pretty much retired from the spanking scene, this blog will now be used to air my thoughts and opinions on the news of the day, the foibles of the human race, my own spiritual journey and the occasional blog about food or fashion. For all of those who enjoyed "Positively Spanking" over the years, I can't thank you enough for your support and for just taking the time to read the musings of one person in the scene. 

I have now lost all faith in the electoral process. I'm afraid that, no matter who is elected President, we will never have free and fair elections again. Ever. If Joe Biden wins, the liberal Democrats in power will do what they have been threatening to do since Trump was elected. They will get rid of the Electoral College. They will pack the Supreme Court with activist judges who will make law from the bench, as they are wont to do. They will weaponize government agencies like the IRS, FBI and DHS to investigate and punish those who disagreed with them. They will enact the Green New Deal, which will place us many trillions of dollars more into debt and will pretty much end life as we knew it in America. They will have virtual power in perpetuity. Republicans never win another national election. Ever. All this genuflecting is not for the betterment or benefit of the American people. No, it's to ensure that they remain in power. The peaceful transition of power that elections were supposed to be about is over. 

If Trump wins, the liberal Democrats will continue call his presidency into question. They will open spurious and expensive investigations into Trump, his family, his friends and those with whom he does business. They will block, delay or obstruct any new piece of legislation he tries to pass, just as they have done for four years. They will make another costly attempt to impeach him over some imagined wrong. It will never end.

They can say that Biden will be President all they want. But everyone knows the truth. If Biden is declared the winner, then Kamala Harris will be the de facto President and she will pick a suitably progressive person as her Vice President. Joe will be put out to pasture like a racehorse who can't win anymore. America right now, needs a tough, hardnosed take-no-prisoners leader who will stand up to our enemies. It's hard for me to imagine frail, feeble Joe taking a hard line with China or Russia or North Korea. 

Biden's corruption has been totally ignored by the press, the liberal pundits and by Democrat voters. If Donald Trump, Jr had done half the things Hunter Biden has done, the press would be reporting on it nonstop and asking Trump to step down as President. Democrats told us repeatedly that "decency is on the ballot". What's decent about a man who allowed his position as Vice President to be sold to foreign powers in order to enrich himself and his family? What's decent about a man who covers up his son's troublesome behavior, including crack usage, sex with underage girls, taking millions of dollars for a job he knows nothing about? What's decent about a man who told a worker in a hardhat "I don't work for you!" when, as a public servant, he most certainly does? What's decent about a man who has spent 47 years in politics accomplishing nothing but seeing to his own bottom line? What's decent about a man who has made so many racist comments that one can only assume he's a racist? And while we're on the subject, what's decent about a woman who got where she is based solely on her improper sexual relationship with a powerful man? When Trump was running for President, his sexual past was scrutinized. No stone was left unturned. It got so bad that a porn star's creepy lawyer became a media sensation. The Democrats were so against Trump that when it came time to name a new Supreme Court justice, they found a mentally fragile woman and fabricated a sexual assault that never happened. Never mind there was no actual evidence and the so-called victim could not remember any of the pertinent facts of the case. The #metoo movement was ready to publicly crucify him simply because he was Trump's pick. He had served with the apparent blessings of both parties on the Appellate Court. But as soon as he became Trump's pick, his entire life was picked apart. Never mind that he had already been investigated by the FBI on six other occasions. Never mind that Dianne Feinstein made what was supposed to be a private letter from the so-called victim public because she wanted a media circus. His yearbooks and calendars were scrutinized. Kavanaugh was forced, in front of his wife and parents to speak about his sexual past, up to and including publicly admitting that he did not lose his virginity until he got married. These are the people who are ignoring the Biden's sexual improprieties; whether it be Joe's propensity for sniffing and fondling women and children or Hunter's relationship with his brother's widow or his impregnating a stripper and refusing to pay child support until dragged into court. They are the same ones who clutched their pearls and got the vapors when the Access Hollywood tape was released. They give a pass to a video of Hunter Biden snorting cocaine off the ass of an underage girl, but a billionaire playboy talking candidly about what women will allow rich men to do to them is too scandalous for words. 

No matter what happens, I will persevere. I will get up and go to work tomorrow like any other day. I will stay right here and be an American because that is my birthright. I will know, like many others do, that a hardworking, courageous man was cheated out of what was rightfully his. Perhaps, God has a reason for this. Perhaps, when we get on the other side of this, something even better awaits us. I made it through eight years of Obama. I can make it through this. One thing is for sure. You won't see conservatives out in the street burning and looting and attacking people, though some may take to the streets in frustration. There is no way this election was on the level. Trump had overwhelming support in every city he campaigned. The Democrat governors of the Democrat cities he campaigned in made special rules to try to limit the number of people who could attend. They said he had to hold his rallies outdoors so he picked the largest areas he could find---airports. The sight of Air Force One gliding onto the runway amid thousands of screaming supporters will live on in my memory. The boat rallies and car rallies that were organized when Trump wasn't even going to be there was further testimony to the support he enjoyed. You will never convince me this election was on the up and up. 

I pray for President Trump and his family and for Vice President Pence and his family. I pray that somehow, Trump will prevail and justice will be done. If Biden is elected, the investigations into the Russia collusion hoax and the Biden corruption and Hillary's pay to play schemes will be swept under the rug. Attorney General William Barr will be fired, of course, along with many others. Press Secretary Kayleigh MacEneny will probably get a network job. I'm sure all the liberals will be happy. Until their rents go up. And their gas prices go up. And the cost of groceries goes up. Then, somehow, it will still be Trump's fault. Because to them, everything is. As for me, I'll continue to be the same happy warrior I've always been. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Getting On With Life

Author's Note: This post is very political. I'm a conservative and not ashamed of that fact. If this bothers you, find something else to read.

I know I should have posted this when this whole mess started. I meant to. But somehow, I never had the time or my head wasn't in the right place. But today, with a sprained ankle keeping me home from work, I think it's time to give my take on this whole Covid-19 thing.

It seems like I can hardly remember a time when this wasn't an issue, yet it's only been a few months. Like most other people, when I heard that a "new" virus was among us, I paid little attention. One flu was the same as another to me. Then the powers-that-be decided that all "non-essential" businesses be closed down for 15 days in order to contain the virus and "flatten the curve". OK, 15 days didn't sound unreasonable, given that this was something out of the ordinary. Better to be safe than sorry. Then 15 days turned into one month, then two months, then three months. In the meantime, the store where I work (and every other store) experienced shortages on toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Panic purchasing was rampant. Then, once the "non-essential" businesses were closed and people were forced into their homes, I had to have a special paper saying that I was considered an essential worker and please allow me to pass. This made me very uncomfortable. I'm an American citizen and I had to have a piece of paper saying I could be out of my house. It sounded a bit Third Reichish to me. I have still not been stopped by any police on my way to work.

But I went to work everyday. We weren't told to wear masks or gloves or anything of that sort. Not in the beginning. The focus was on getting the store stocked (with what little we could get) and cleaned up. We shortened our hours from six a.m. to midnight to seven a.m. to nine. People hated the inconvenience of the shorter hours and the fact that in several aisles, our shelves were bare. As a front end worker, I and my fellow front end workers took the brunt of customer's anger and frustration. "When are you gonna get some *&$%$# toilet paper in this place?!" was something I heard dozens of times a day. We had had to place limits on water, some fresh meat products and paper products (when we could get them). Customers just found ways to get around the limitations. Then, we suspended returns and exchanges at the service desk. Unless you got sour milk or spoiled meat, we weren't taking it back. Then we barred reusable grocery bags and put up plexi-glass at every register. About six weeks into the lock down, we were told that masks were required. About two weeks after that, we learned that we would have to have our temperatures taken before beginning our shifts. By that time, I was fed up. I was already starting to hear that the virus wasn't as bad as it was being made out to be. That the models were off or wrong or deliberately misleading. 

Then we got the horrifying news about what this lock down was doing to our economy; the $22 trillion economy President Trump had worked so hard to achieve. And then I began to put two and two together. As I watched the liberal media and Democrat politicians gleefully announce how bad the job numbers were and how many people had filed for unemployment and how many small businesses were being forced to close permanently, it dawned on me what the whole purpose of this pandemic was. Mostly, it was to tank the economy in an election year and hopefully, keep Trump from being re-elected. They had already tried everything else---Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, quid pr quo, even impeachment---and Trump was still president. Trump was at a rally when he got word that he'd been impeached. But everyone, whether Republican or Democrat, knew that Congress didn't have the votes necessary to remove him from office. So the plan began to change from getting him out of office to sabotaging his re-election chances. China was more than happy to help since they were pissed off about the tariffs Trump had enacted, which had hurt their economy. Former Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel once famously said "Never let a  crisis go to waste." So with this advice in mind, the people who wanted to see Trump humiliated and removed from office (a group that included a lot of Republicans, too) contrived together to let this virus infect the whole world. They allowed the Chinese to lie about the fact that the the virus was a "novel" virus (meaning it affected only animals) that could not be spread among humans. They allowed the Chinese to withhold the genome sequencing of the virus, thereby delaying the US and other countries from getting meaningful testing underway, while at the same time they let hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals fly all over, unchecked and untested. All the while this is happening, the President has already gotten his task force together. At the same time, the Democrats, who led House committees and subcommittees (many of whom had oversight), were choosing to focus on impeaching Trump rather than the potential damage the virus could do.  When Trump announced the travel ban in late January, a move that probably saved countless lives, his reward was to be called a racist by the liberal media and by Democrats in both houses of Congress. While the President was trying to get a handle on the situation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was telling people in California not to listen to his "fear mongering" and to come on out to Chinatown for the new year's celebrations. In New York, Governor Cuomo did likewise. 

Now once President Trump unveiled his task force, the first order of business for the liberal media was to say it wasn't "diverse" enough. In other words, there were too many white people. I remember saying on Facebook that if I were assembling a pandemic task force, I wouldn't care about their skin color. I would want a group of eggheads who've never been on a date. But of course, to the liberal media, everything is about race. Most of us, in the beginning, believed that the models we were being shown concerning the number of people who would likely die from this virus were accurate. We wanted to believe that we were getting the truth from the media. Turns out, neither was the case. Both sides, the liberal media and the task force doctors, had an agenda. When President Trump said he would have the Navy hospital ship Comfort in New York Harbor by the weekend, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called it poppycock. She said on the air "it ain't gonna happen." That Saturday, when the Comfort steamed into the harbor, she had had to eat her words. Whatever the President said he would do, he did. Of course, the liberal media was spouting their garbage that it couldn't possibly get done that fast. But they forgot who they were dealing with---a businessman who knew how to get things done. Everything he attempted to do was met by the press with derision and scoffing. He had acted in haste. He had acted too slowly. He did too much. He didn't do enough. No matter what he did, no matter how good the result, no matter how much it helped peopled, it was wrong. It was right about this time that I began to suspect that things were not as they appeared.

The press has always felt it had the power to influence us. Hollywood feels much the same and they're right. It was the press who fanned the flames of hysteria that caused the famous toilet paper and sanitizer shortages. It was the press who, at the President's daily press conferences, asked accusatory "gotcha" questions in hopes of getting a sound bite they could play on their evening news shows. When the President would answer their questions, they accused him of "hogging the stage". When he didn't know the answer to a question and deferred to one of his experts, they accused him of not knowing what was going on. When he famously made a few aside comments about research he'd heard about using sunlight and disinfectants injected directly into the bloodstream, the press said he had told people to drink bleach. It was in this atmosphere that I began to see with my own eyes that the liberal media was playing much too big a role in this drama. They weren't giving us information. Not useful information, anyway. They were fomenting panic and enjoying it while they were doing it. It was about this time that the experts began to contradict themselves. Yes, a lock down was necessary. No, a lock down will hurt us more than the virus. Masks must be worn when out and about. No, the masks are useless. Thousands of hospital beds went unused. In the meantime, people who had been scheduled for "elective" surgeries were cancelled because the whole of the medical world was going to be needed to combat the virus. When that didn't happen, when it became obvious that the field hospitals and hospital ships weren't going to be needed, people with open minds began to question. Why aren't we re-opening? The government had declared grocery stores, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, and other places that provide needed services as essential, while restaurants, nail salons, beauty parlors and bars were told to stay closed. Worse yet, while Planned Parenthood was allowed to stay open (remember those folks who had their elective surgeries canceled) and pot shops and gay dungeons were allowed to stay open, during Holy Week, churches and synagogues were told to close. Visiting your favorite glory hole was consider essential, but worshipping on Easter wasn't. For many, this was the last straw.

Those of us who know the Constitution began to see the capriciousness of the closings. As defiant (and desperate) people began to push back, governors of blue states doubled down on their power trips. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot (who had gotten a haircut during the lock down when other people had to go without) issued a warning that churches that defied the order to stay closed would risk being closed permanently or being destroyed as a public health hazard. When a Mississippi pastor was arrested and his parishoners ticketed for holding a drive-in service, where people listened to the sermon from their cars with their windows rolled up, I had seen for myself that the heavy handedness was reserved for Christians and Jews. During the Muslim holy day of Ramadan, Governor Cuomo announced that he would supply 400,000 free meals. He made no such offer to Christians during Easter or Jews during Passover. The anti-Christian bias was laid bare for all to see and yet, the liberal media saw no problem with it. After all, they hate God. 

Now because I work in a grocery store, I have worked continuously during the lock down. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to continue making a living while others have been forced to apply for unemployment. Supply is catching up to demand and many states are re-opening in phases, Illinois among them. But...the economy, the one President Trump rightfully crowed about, is in shambles. His enemies have done what collusion accusations couldn't do, what quid pro quo lies couldn't do, what impeachment couldn't do---hurt Trump by killing the economy he was so just proud of. Most of the liberals in media and in Congress are socialists, after all and this booming economy wasn't what they wanted. They didn't want this blatant proof of how good capitalism really is for everyone. They wanted us cowering in our homes; scared, poor, hungry. Waiting on the government for a handout. But many people, patriots and liberals alike, began to see that this was not how they wished to live. Their businesses were failing and many were having trouble feeding their families. They needed to get back to work. The liberal press, as always, was their to spin this. When President Trump announced plans to re-open the economy, socialist Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, pounded her fists, saying people should not be forced to go back to work. Forced? Does she not understand that most Americans WANT to work? That the businesses they had spent their whole lives building were in danger of staying closed forever if not re-opened soon? 

While Americans could see that the virus was losing its potency and dying out, the liberal media continued to announce doom and gloom. They said, if we re-opened businesses, there would be a brand new outbreak. People who went to stores without masks were kicked out. People who protested at their respective state houses were called selfish for wanting to get businesses re-opened. They were told they didn't care about life. Please. When you advocate for killing babies in the womb, don't talk to me about how much you value life. Sane people began to argue "Look, if you're afraid and want to stay indoors, do that. But don't expect me to live in fear with you." 

Which brings me to the title of my post. I think it's way past time to get on with life. I'm all for precautions when necessary. But when the experts are now saying openly that they were wrong about the impact this virus would have, I think it's time to put the masks away and stop the social distancing nonsense (which the experts also now tell us didn't have much impact on the virus either). I'm not sure who to attribute this quote to, but it's true:

"Fear doesn't stop death. It stops life."

It's not the government's job to safeguard my health. That's my job. There will always be new strains of viruses coming out. When the Hong Kong flu pandemic hit in 1969, we didn't close down the economy and force everyone to stay home. No, we held Woodstock. There are still those who insist we need to stay locked down until a vaccine is available. The people most pushing for this scenario stand to make money off the new vaccine. Bill Gates all of a sudden thinks he's a medical expert. Bill  Gates is a globalist who wants to bring down the population and vaccine and chip those that remain. He's the same guy, as head of Microsoft, deliberately put viruses in his software and then offered his customers anti-virus software. This is all about money for him, which is why he's acting with the WHO and the CDC and George Soros and others who want a global government, where the US gives up her sovereignty. I know there are socialists right here on American soil who hope for that with fond anticipation. But I also know that there are patriots; people who want America to stay free and where the government stays out of people's way as much as possible. What this ultimately comes down to is this: will our government listen to us and remember who they work for? Or will they continue to ignore us and do what they want? Time will tell.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Forty Years Is A Long Time (Or My 80's Experience)

Author's Note: This entry could get pretty long. So, if you have a mind to read this whole thing to the end, I suggest you grab a snack or a cold drink. You might be here a while.

On New Year's Eve, I celebrated my 59th birthday quietly at home. I spent quite a bit of time reflecting on many things--school, the jobs I've had, the men I've loved, getting saved, and other things of note that have happened to me. Normally, I'm not a very introspective person. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about why I do things. I might have saved myself a lot of grief if I had changed that policy years ago, but there you have it. This blog post is going to be an attempt to commemorate or, at least, discuss a specific time in my life.

Most people, once they reach a certain age and maturity, spend time reminiscing or taking trips down memory lane or whatever you want to call it. I believe the reason for this is because once you hit about 50 you realize that more of your life is behind you than ahead of you. During these trips down memory lane, one is apt to find oneself picking their favorite decade. Most of us would choose our 20's because we're still young enough to enjoy things and old enough to do them legally now. I turned 20 on December 31, 1980 so I would say that my favorite decade was the 80's. Now, I've seen a lot of documentaries about the 80's, mostly made by people who weren't even born then. They mention things like Reaganomics, the Rubik's cube, New Coke, MTV, Trivial Pursuit and all the other obvious things. But you just get the feeling they really don't have an emotional connection to the era. I do. I happen to love the 80's. I loved everything about it--the fashions, the music, the films. 

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I was a pretty shallow person at that time. I was young, full of myself and thought I was indestructible. I had no illusions that I was pretty or anything. Oh, I was what my father used to call a "handsome" woman, but I knew I'd never be in a music video. I was working as a dishwasher at the local Denny's and making my own money. So, I used it for what I wanted to buy. I bought mostly clothes, jewelry and records. I had always loved music. In May, 1982 we finally got MTV. It had gone on the air officially on August 1, 1981 but Peoria didn't get it until the following year. The first time I saw it, I was babysitting for my sister-in-law's sister. I was flipping through the channels (having sent the kids to their rooms because of a fight over a game of Frogger) when I landed on something strange. It was a group of guys singing the lyrics to a song. Now I knew videos existed. I had seen The Beatles' videos for "Penny Lane" and "Hello, Goodbye". And I'd seen other artists attempts at videos. But this was a new group. So new I'd never heard of them before. The first thing I noticed (besides the fact that they were wearing make up) was that they were really young. The second thing I noticed was that this song had a bass groove that was infectious. It was like all those disco songs we shook our booties to in the 70's, but cool and modern because of the synthesizer. The song, I learned, was called "Planet Earth" and it was by a group called Duran Duran. Hmmmm...interesting name, I thought. The music was unlike anything I had heard before. And the way the young men in this five-piece ensemble were dressed was interesting as well. 

My first response was that they looked slightly effeminate. I had them pegged as British because I knew all the American bands. I had been listening to John Cougar Mellencamp, The Cars, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Aldo Nova and other favorites for a while. These guys were a different breed of cat altogether. I was so taken with the image of these young men that I called my sister and told her to turn on MTV. She didn't know we had it so I had to tell her how to find the channel. She came back to the phone, sounding unimpressed. "A bunch of fags, so what?" she  said. "You don't think the sound is cool?" I asked. "The drummer's kinda cute," she said, nonchalantly. This was long before the age of Google or the internet so I had no way to find out who these guys were. Lucky for me, I had a pen pal at the time who lived in Canada and I mentioned seeing the video for "Planet Earth" and wondered if she knew anything about them. Oh, did she ever! I still have the letter she sent me back introducing me to these lads. However, the ink on the letter has faded and I would not be able to make it readable here so I'm going to write what she wrote verbatim:

"Yes, I know this group pretty well. They come from Birmingham, England. They toured with Blondie last year and "Planet Earth" is from their first album. Their second LP "RIO" should be out soon. Here are the names of the guys--
Simon LeBon--lead vocals
Nick Rhodes (nee Bates)--keyboards and synthesizer
Andy Taylor--lead guitar
John Taylor (nee Nigel)--bass
Roger Taylor--drums

Their roots were in the punk/New Wave movement. They actually belong to the punk offshoot called New Romantics. It's all about fashion and making music you can dance to. I saw them live and they're great musicians and singers. The coolest thing about them is that none of the guys named Taylor are related."

She then went on to tell me about a vacation she had taken in New York City. And that was that. I wasn't a teenager anymore, screaming over the Bay City Rollers. This was a more mature infatuation. I soon honed in on John Taylor as my favorite member. I remember thinking he was hot. Now, mind you, I had only seen their videos. I had never actually heard them speak or anything. But I figured since they were on the cutting edge, I ought to try to mimic their "look". It was all about looking as young and as chic as possible. God knows, I tried. But I was on a limited budget. 

It wasn't just about the clothes though. The hair and make up had to be right, too. You can barely see the headband I'm wearing, but you can see the blue and red stripes hanging down my neck. My top, which was the first thing I ever bought in real silk, is red with small blue polka dots. I thought the headband would go nice with the whole look. Then I had a friend take me down to the park and take some pictures of me. I wasn't sure what I planned to do with these pictures, except keep them and laugh over them someday when I was married and had kids. I'm looking at some of these photos for the first time in over 30 years. 

I was a clothes horse, absolutely, which is why clothes were a huge part of my 80's experience. But they weren't the only part. I did actually solve a Rubik's cube. It took me parts of two days to do it. In those days, the little squares were actually colored. Nowadays, you can take the colored stickers off and put all the colors on one side and  say you solved it. But there was no cheating then. No YouTube tutorials on how to solve them. You just had to gasp figure it out. But that was the fun of it. Instant gratification was not a thing in 1981. 

I said before that clothing was a huge part of my 80's experience and that was true. I think I'll just post some selected photos here and explain what they are. 

Around 1983 or so, aspects of menswear, up to and including ties, began to show up in women's wear. But the idea was always to keep the colors muted and feminine (in the beginning). Later, shoulder pads made us all look like linebackers. Yes, that's a Nick Rhodes-inspired haircut. The black leather watchband is very much of the era, too. And of course, you had to be photographed with a cigarette if you really wanted to look sophisticated. 

Later, around 1984 or so, something called "orange make up" started to appear. Women (and men who were so inclined) began to wear coppery colors on eyes, cheeks and lips. This was my version. My sister is decked out in more sensible pink tones. My hair, always evolving, looks very 80's here, straight at the back and curled on the top and sides. To achieve this look, you had to have a very good curling iron and industrial strength hairspray, either Aqua Net or Rave. I wish someone had told me that my shirt was unbuttoned. Otherwise, this would be a perfect snapshot of the 80's. 

This was taken in the Spring of 1983. I'm pretty sure it's at a banquet of some kind (probably bowling) due to the flowers on the table and the adult beverages. My hair was always changing. I think I had lightened it in the front by this time. No matter how hard I tried, my sister always managed to look better than I did. 

I'm not sure if I was trying to be a vamp here or what, but I know for sure this was Thanksgiving, 1983. I was lucky in that I had great skin (due mostly to great genes I inherited from my mother) and so make up always looked great on me. The gray corduroys and gray argyle vest are probably not a good choice for vamping in, however.

I came late to the designer jean craze. I'm wearing dark gray Sasson's with pastel pinstripes and a pink boatneck top. I always thought wearing pink kept everything really girly. The mesh shoes are very 80's. I'm not sure what kind of look I was going for with that hairdo. It looks like I'm wearing one side loose and the other side pinned back. Anyway, these are the kind of jeans the phrase "painted on" was designed for. Carol, as always, looks way crisper and more comfortable than I do.

I believe this is the last birthday cake we ever got from Mom and Dad. I paid a small fortune for the meticulously razored hair and the printed top with standup collar. Carol must have been wearing her stack heeled boots as she looks way taller than me. After cake with the folks, it was off to the bars to celebrate. 

Behind all the clothing errors and great music of this time, something very dark was happening. I was beginning to have my first bouts with depression and anxiety. I didn't tell anyone even though my mother was a nurse and would have been able to get me the proper help. I didn't tell anyone because I didn't want to be one of "those people". I didn't want my life to be going from one therapist to another and one drug to another, although I was beginning to self-medicate around 1984. I started with beer and pot, which I'd been smoking since the 70's and graduated to harder stuff, mostly vodka, bourbon and occasionally tabs of LSD provided by a friend I worked with. I tried so hard to make it look like I had myself together because I was always complaining about people who didn't. 

This was taken at the Heart Of Illinois Fair in July, 1986. This is just about the last photo from the 80's where I was still pretty happy. A year later, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and my world began to fall apart. The sailor top was out of style by this time, but I still wore it because I loved it. Pairing it with the two-toned denim cropped jeans kept it pretty much up-to-date. I slowly began to lose interest in the things I had been interested in before, a sure sign of depression. And the things I did still engage in I didn't get the same joy from. I think the most striking thing about this photo is how photogenic I was back then. I can't take a good photo now to save my life. Probably because my face is aging. 

From 1987 on, I was just trying to work and keep my relationship going. By that time, I was a full-blown alcoholic and I was in an abusive relationship. No matter how bad he treated me or how much I might have feared him, I feared being alone more. My mother began to drift away from us and was diagnosed with early onset dementia. She was only 53 at the time. So the shallow girl who only cared about clothes and make up had to grow up and fast. That same year, my condition became obvious to my sister and she begged me to get help. "You're with a guy who's beating you and you're drunk everyday to cope with it. Please see someone." Only the twin I loved more than my own life would have been able to get away with saying those words to me. But I had to admit she was right. So I made the decision to seek counseling. The first lady I went to, I will just say right now, was more bonkers than I was. I wanted to tell her my problems so she could help me and she wanted me to take enemas. Really. She said they were discovering that certain types, mostly caffeine, were good for people with depression. "You want me to put coffee up my ass?" I asked incredulously. "Not hot, obviously" she replied. "But caffeine is a stimulant and putting it in the rectum, with all those blood vessels, will get it right into your bloodstream." "You're a quack!" I said and left. It would be another two years before I sought another therapist. One thing I was really proud of was getting out of my abusive relationship. One day, Matt (not his real name just in case he's reading this) came home from work with groceries for a party we were going to be throwing a few nights later. I had asked him specifically not to do the grocery shopping because I was going to clean out the refrigerator the next day when I was off work. It turned into a knock down, drag out fight, during which our downstairs neighbors called the police because we were making such a racket. He broke my nose that night for the second time and managed to bruise a kidney. He liked to kidney punch me because the bruises didn't show when I was dressed. I also had various lacerations from hitting objects like tables and lamps while he slapped the snot out of me, all the while reminding me whose refrigerator it was. The doctor took photos in case I wanted to take Matt to court, but I can't look at them. They are way too graphic to post here. Needless to say, Matt went to jail that night. After they discharged me from the hospital, I got my friends to come help me pack my stuff. I was shocked to see that there was blood all over the apartment. Because of the bruised kidney, they had wanted to keep me overnight and run some tests in the morning. But I knew this was my only chance to leave him so I checked myself out AMA. I thought about moving back home, but my mother was ill and my father was recuperating from a heart attack. They didn't need the drama. So I moved into a shelter for a few weeks and thought about my options. At that time, there weren't a lot of resources for battered women. I already had a job so the only thing to do was to get my own place. I talked it over with some friends and we agreed to rent a duplex in a better part of town. It would be expensive, but worth it. It turned out to be the perfect arrangement. My friends, Doug and Connie, were really supportive and I felt safe there. When Matt got out of prison, he left town so I decided not to prosecute him. He moved back down to Kentucky. To this day, I don't know where he is. 

As safe and protected as I felt in this new home, I was still drinking. They had given me pain medication for my broken nose and I was abusing that. I would just call my family doctor and tell him I was still having pain and he would send in a prescription no questions asked. Bruised kidneys take a long time to heal, I discovered. My father was relieved that I had left Matt and even more relieved that he had skipped town. My experiences with Matt soured me on dating for a long time. Anyway, I wasn't really girlfriend material. I was working a low-paying job and abusing drugs and alcohol. But I want to say right now that I never went to work under the influence. Hung over, yes. But I was never lit at work. 

My interest in spanking was full-blown by this time. I had tried in vain to get men to spank me. I would even misbehave to get one. But it never happened. I remember like it was yesterday the first time Matt hit me. We were arguing about taking out the garbage and I said something flip to him. He jerked his head in my direction and looked at me, anger boiling in his eyes. I can still see his long brown hair whip around as he turned. Without a word, he raised his hand and slapped me so hard across the face he blacked my eye. My ears were ringing and I could barely hear. I was afraid he had injured the only good ear I had. But in a few seconds that cleared and I heard him say "Girl, I don't know what got into you but you better NEVER take that tone with me again. You hear me?" Shaking, I nodded. Then he went off to work, taking the garbage out with him. I had wanted him to take me over his knee and give me a loving, slightly stern spanking. Instead, he had made it so that I was trying to figure out how I was going to cover the ever darkening bruise on my eye. I began to believe I was never going to get the spanking I wanted. I had to wait many more years for that. If there had been a spanking scene in America at that time, I would still not have been able to participate. I was too immature and too emotionally damaged. The desire was there but there was no one to fulfill it. So, as with a lot of things I wanted to do in my life that didn't work out, I put it on the back burner and concentrated on helping my parents. Once my father had had his heart attack, it was obvious he wasn't going to be able to care for my mother by himself. Carol and I begged him to put her in a nursing home, but he refused. 

The 80's ended on a bad note for me. When they began, there was so much promise there. But in late November, 1989 a friend I had known since childhood died in a car accident. What was really haunting about the whole thing was that she had come over to my place to show me her new car, a sporty black Camaro, just the day before the accident. Her mother told me that she had been driving fast with the radio blaring and wasn't paying attention to what was happening. A semi slowed down suddenly in front of her, obviously having car trouble, and before he could get off the road, she slammed into his back end. She wasn't wearing a seat belt and died instantly. She was married with a three-year-old son. All I could do was shake my head. Didn't she have any worries about what would happen to her driving like that? I was sad, angry and confused. So I did what I always did in those situations--I reached for a bottle. 

Now, if you've read a certain other entry of mine, you'll know that I cleaned up and got saved in the 90's. So while there was a lot of pain and heartache in my 80's experience, I did have some good times. 

"What has happened to it all?
Crazy, some'd say
Where is the life I recognize?
Gone away.

But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somehow I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive."

"Ordinary World" 
Duran Duran

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Catching Up

While reading older blog posts, it dawned on me that it's been nearly a year since I posted anything here and that was just about my kidney stones. So, let me get anyone who might still be interested in what's going on with me up to date.

About the kidney stones...I saw an amazing doctor who informed me of all the things that had been going on. First off, the surgery that had resulted in my being hospitalized had been unsuccessful. The first surgeon had been unable to get the scope high enough in my ureter to retrieve the fragments. Turns out, I had something called a stricture, which is a narrowing of the ureter and this is why he had been unable to advance the scope far enough. He had simply put in a stent and handed me off to this other doctor. Strictures are a pretty common side effect of kidney stones. What actually happened to me has a name---it's called "steinstrasse" (German for "street of stones") and it's where broken stone fragments line up behind each other and block the ureter. This is why my pain was so bad. The ureters are delicate structures and always working to move anything in them out. Experts believe that the pain response from a blocked ureter is the most extreme pain response the body can tolerate. Things like child birth, gunshot wounds and traumatic injuries are bad to be sure, but they believe that because the ureters are so delicate, the pain response is more acute. 

This doctor showed me my CT and the KUB films that had been taken. My entire left kidney was white there were so many stones. All of them were too large to pass by themselves. He said "I can't get you on the schedule for surgery this week, but next Wednesday, you're having surgery." In his office, Wednesday was surgery day and as I was seeing him on a Monday, I had nine days to wait it out. He told me to call him for anything I might need, whether it was more pain meds or if my pain got worse. I asked him why hadn't the people in the ER given me anything when I was initially diagnosed and he said "Those people aren't urologists. They tell you that nothing is being blocked so you shouldn't have pain. They would just about rather die than give a patient pain meds." I told him how I had felt crazy because I was having both pain and nausea and I was told I shouldn't be having either. It effected my work. He told me to sit tight and he would take care of me. He was the only one who had taken my pain seriously. He told me to rest up for surgery and drink lots of water, which I was doing anyway. What else could I do? 

On Wednesday, the 27th of September, my amazing and awesome cousin again agreed to drive me to the hospital. An hour before I was scheduled, the hospital called me and said they had had to cancel my surgery for that day because the laser they intended to use wasn't going to be available that day. Apparently, because those lasers are so expensive, Peoria only has one and both hospitals share it. My cousin, who lives in Pekin, was almost to my apartment when I called her and told her that my surgery had had to be cancelled. She asked if I wanted to have some breakfast. Well, heck yeah, I was starving. So she took me out to breakfast. They rescheduled me for six AM the next morning. My cousin and I had a lovely breakfast at Cracker Barrel and looked over some Christmas ornaments. The next morning, she was there at 5:00. I was scared and I told her so. We prayed in the car before going in. I got registered and then they took me back to prep me. I was given a gown, slippers and a shower cap to put on. Then the nurse came in and started my IV. The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me as well and to ask me some questions, particularly about my heart stent. The doctor came in after that and told me that all systems were go and that I was going to be rid of these stones. He later told me he had removed 21 stones from me. Some had been in the upper pole and some were in the mid-pole. A few were still stuck in the ureter, despite the stent. And a couple were in the pelvis, the meaty part of the kidney. They were just all over the place. He seemed confident he had gotten all of them, but he stopped short of proclaiming me stone free.

 This is what he was up against--a big ball of stones and fragments all bundled together at the proximal end of my left ureter. Yes, that red stuff is blood. The big blue thing is the stent from my previous unsuccessful surgery.

I had the surgery on Thursday, by Saturday I was starting to feel close to normal. I did the grocery shopping and stopped in to tell my boss that I had had my surgery and was just waiting on a follow up visit to let me know when I would be cleared to return to work. I returned the following Tuesday. Because the stent was still in place and caused irritation, I was put on short shifts for a while. It felt so good to go to work and to feel normal and useful again. Of course, it couldn't last. 

The following Friday, I had the stent removed. Let me just tell you a bit about that procedure. For one thing, it's a good thing I'm not that modest. A nurse I was becoming fond of took me into the Procedure Room and told me to undress from the waste down. She left me alone while I did this. She gave me a sheet to put over myself. Then, when she returned, she had me lie down and open my legs "like a butterfly spreads its wings". She numbed my urethra with some Lidocaine (I assumed) and then we waited for the doctor to come in. Other than the topical, you get no anesthetic with this procedure. The doctor came in, gloved and gowned, and produced a cystoscope, a small flexible scope for looking in the bladder. My stent was something called a "JJ stent" or a "pigtail stent", which meant it had little curls at both ends to keep it in place (thought they have been known to shift or fall out completely). On the end that's in the bladder, there's a string attached to it which allows the doctor to grab the string and pull the stent out. I could watch the whole thing on a monitor right next to me. A lot of people on Youtube said that this procedure doesn't hurt. I want to know what they have been smoking. It hurt for sure. But it only lasted a few seconds. But a stinging or burning sensation followed the removal. It wasn't that bad. I went back to work and felt that this was all behind me now, except for a kidney function test he wanted me to have.

The following Monday, I made pot pies for dinner and went to bed early. I wasn't due in to work until 11:30, but I was tired. At 2:30 in the morning, I awoke in extreme pain. Once you have this kind of pain, you never forget it. Since it was the middle of the night, I opted to take an ambulance to the hospital. A CT scan confirmed a 5 mm stone at the UPJ (uretalpelvic junction). I was in tears. I had just had surgery less than three weeks previously. Surely, I could not have made a stone that large in such a short amount of time? They told me to see my surgeon for follow up and gave me papers to give to my boss. I was still in tears when I took the papers in to him. I apologized profusely for the inconvenience, but my boss said not to worry about it. Later that day, I saw my surgeon and he confirmed that he had more than likely missed a fragment. He told me the debris field where he had blasted all those stones had been pretty large and missing one is common. "You're having surgery tomorrow." He complimented me on my good attitude. "I'm determined to make lemonade" I told him. 

So the next morning, my wonderful friend and sister in Christ took me to have yet another surgery (my fourth). It was quick and straightforward. The fragment was easily spotted now that the debris field had cleared (meaning I had peed out the sand-sized remnants).

They gave me two cups of grape juice in the recovery room, which I quickly vomited. I had drunk them too fast, apparently but I was dying of thirst and it tasted so good. I went in on the following Wednesday and had the stent removed. I've been problem free since then. I drink mostly only water now, with the occasional soda. I'm working now on getting some of this excess weight off.

On the scene front, things are getting a bit interesting. I have had a couple of very enjoyable play dates, one of which was with a man I had been wanting to meet for years. This stems not only from our love of spanking, but our mutual enjoyment of rectal temperatures. I like getting them and he likes giving them. We had a very nice time. I also have a few other fairly local tops interested in meeting me. It strikes me strange that this happened as soon as I left the party scene. It could be a coincidence or maybe not. Whatever the case, I'm determined to once again make lemonade. Stay tuned.