Things Driving Me Crazy Today

I realized it’s been a while since I’ve posted a Things Driving Me Crazy Today blog. Does that mean I’m more tolerant of the insane behavior around me? Nope. It just means I’ve been living in frustrated anguish, but once I vomit-blog my list I’ll feel much better.

Here are the Things Driving Me Crazy Today (and by “today” I mean anytime during the last four decades):

  • When you lose one earring but don’t realize it until you get home.
  • People looking at you weird because you’re only wearing one earring. But you don’t know why they’re looking at you weird.
  • Working through lunch, thinking of all the calories you just saved–and then binge eating the pantry when you get home.

binge

  • Running with my crazy-ass dog Ringo when he decides to take a sharp left turn right in front of me so I have to do a quasi-spastic almost-hurdle over his body to avoid face-planting on the asphalt.
  • Being at a business conference where people take their jobs WAY too seriously.
  • That ONE person who has to keep asking questions or making comments when the workshop is already over and people want to leave and go get lunch, dammit!
  • When my sock slips off my heel and lodges under my instep while I’m exercising.
  • When you use a public toilet, but it’s about a foot lower than you think it’s going to be and you fall onto the seat.
  • Waving back at someone in the gym before realizing they weren’t waving at you. (Turn that wave into a ponytail check.)

raccoon

(Oh, you weren’t waving at me? Awkward.)

  • When you’re at work with two hours to go and you only have two things to do: a project that will take three hours or one that will take 20 minutes.
  • Books that suck.
  • Eating taffy. Having it pull a filling loose. Ditto for Bit o’ Honey.
  • When you bring up a website where a LOUD video automatically starts playing–and you can’t find it to shut it off!
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Watching the Parade Go By

I’ve been a dedicated parade attendee for more than four decades. I’m not sure why. It’s not like watching a local parade is the same as enjoying the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with its bloated, floating cartoon characters. It’s more like watching paint dry.

FWI 2014 (13)(When the librarians stroll by, pushing book carts, you  know you’re watching a small-town parade.)

Each year, the beauty queens float by on their crepe-paper concoctions, with themes like “Honoring the Past” or “Striving for the Future.” I’ve never seen a float with the slogan, “Kicking Back and Enjoying Today” where, instead of standing and waving, Miss City could recline in a hammock, drinking spiked lemonade.

And too many cities have asked parade participants to STOP THROWING CANDY! This is insane. Next to Halloween, parades are the very best, free candy events in the universe!!  I leave with my pockets stuffed with salt water taffy, Smarties, smashed suckers and Tootsie Rolls. I understand city leaders are concerned about residents’ safety, but really? I could understand the candy ban if people are throwing baseball-sized jawbreakers into the crowd, or those pointy rocket suckers. But taffy? I can’t imagine that doing any serious damage. I’d like to see the number of Tootsie Roll emergency room incidents that caused city leaders to outlaw candy throwing. Boo.

FWI 2014 (12)

(I’ve trained my grandchildren to run into the street to get me candy.)

Here’s a parade idea: what if marching bands actually played music?!?! Call me crazy, but watching overheated, sweaty band members march by without musical accompaniment seems a leeeetle paradoxical. But, then again, having heard some of these bands “play” “music,” maybe it’s best to let them  pass by in silence. (Disclaimer: I marched in my share of parades as a flute player–not good enough to be a flautist–and I have “Let’s Go Band” scarred into my psyche. Permanently.)

Why are clowns still a thing in parades? I had hoped climate change would force them into other lines of work–like not scaring the s*** out of kids.

FWI 2014 (20)

(And don’t forget the random snow plow. In August.)

And why must there be cars, cars and more cars? Especially if the passengers aren’t throwing candy. You can only look at so many VW Bugs before you want to punch the family next to you.

Finally, there’s always that one random dude walking the parade route, handing out candy–and you’re not quite sure if he’s a politician or a pedophile. (But I still take the candy.)

Fun Days 2014 (2)

(And I still can’t explain this creepy dude.)

Now that parade season is over, cities have an entire year to do it right next time. Either way, I’ll be there cheering the local librarians and snatching candy from babies.

Land of The Free

freedom

America is a land of contradictions. We have some of the most brilliant scientists in the world, but on the other hand we have . . . well . . . Arkansas. The same country that brought you Cosmos and Planet Earth also presents you with Swamp People and The Bachelor. But that’s what makes America great. And extremely dysfunctional.

For example, each year we celebrate The Fourth of July to remind us that we are free from overbearing governments, excessive taxes, British humor and . . . wait a second. Okay, we really celebrate July 4 to recognize our acceptance and love for diversity in race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and . . . wait. Hmmm.

Well, we celebrate it for some reason. Probably because ‘mericans love their gunpowder and explosives. And all-you-can-eat hot dogs.

bald eagle

(Bald Eagles shouldn’t use Rogaine.)

We know America isn’t perfect. We tend to prove that on a global scale every day. But, hopefully, everyday Americans believe that “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I didn’t notice any footnotes in the Declaration of Independence.

And while a person’s right to kick ends where my crotch begins, maybe I could take a step back so they have more room to kick. Maybe we should all take a step back and remember that tolerance and acceptance are not the same thing. Because, who wants to be tolerated?

eagle

Clarence Darrow said, “True patriotism hates injustice in its own land, more than anywhere else.”

I don’t care if you’re a democrat, a republican, a Whig, a Kardashian or an iced-tea party chairperson. We love this country where you can wear Uncle Sam underwear/bra sets, purchase fireworks 24 hours a day, wave small Chinese-made American flags, sing the national anthem at the top of your lungs and push small children down to get the free taffy during 4th of July parades.

This great democratic experiment continues to evolve. Just because our government is mired in inefficiency and anger doesn’t mean America’s populace has to be just as messed up. As Mitt Romney said so eloquently, “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” (Actual quote.)

Ditto. I think.