Top 5 Reasons I Don’t Live in Florida

I took a summer break from writing this blog so I could have a mental breakdown. Now I can check that off my list of things to do and get back to some smart-ass blogging.

As you’re aware, it’s hurricane season, and meteorologists around the country are having orgasms on live TV as they discuss the trajectory of the latest deadly hurricane.

As I watched Floridians escape the last storm, I realized I never even want to visit this horrible state. Here are five reasons why:

Hurricanes (obviously). Floridians are exposed–and not just the nude sunbathers on Miami Beach. Florida is the dangling participle of America, taunting hurricanes and tropical storms with easy access to both its east and west coasts. There’s nowhere to hide from a hurricane in Florida. It’s surrounded by the OCEAN, for God’s sake.

Florida_hurricane_(pre-1900)_tracks

(The tracks of Florida hurricanes, or the route for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.)

20-foot pythons. Really, any size of python–and not just pythons. Snakes of every variety and poison level slither into houses in Florida looking for the opportunity to eat the residents. Not cool, snakes. At least in Utah, our rattlesnakes give us fair warning before attacking. I don’t want to wake up with a python trying to eat my head.

Sinkholes. Even Florida doesn’t want to be in Florida. Houses, sidewalks, roadways, golf courses–they’re all trying to disappear into the center of the earth to escape the deadly pests in the Sunshine State.

Crocodiles. These reptilian villains have been around for 200 million years (or 4,000 years if you attend a Christian megachurch in Orlando). These carnivores (the crocs, not the Christians) lurk beneath the water, eyeing their victims before going in for the kill. Creepy bastards.

Feral pigs. Not middle-aged men scouring Florida’s clubs for underage girls, but actual wild pigs. I thought wild pigs were something only found in fairy tales and Old Yeller.

old yeller

(Me, almost 50 years old, sobbing: He was such a good dog. You stupid pigs!)

Better the devil you know, right? At least in Utah I only have to worry about earthquakes, liquor laws, senior drivers, Sasquatch, BYU fans, tarantulas, the state legislature, elitism and the self-righteous. And the self-righteous don’t try to eat my head.

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Bathroom Brouhaha

I feel like I’ve missed something. Admittedly, I often feel like this since I’d rather spend my life reading books than interacting with humans, but the furor around this issue leaves me flummoxed.

Recently, the Obama administration told schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

Okay. Great. Move on. Right?

Not so fast, common sense. It seems many people in this country received common sense vaccinations, rendering it impossible for them to behave like rational people. So, they scream and freak out, saying Obama has given permission for pedophiles and perverts to access the saintly vault of women’s bathrooms.

Officials in 12 states, including quick-to-be-stupid Utah, are huffing and puffing and stomping their feet, and suing the White House because they feel the issue should be decided “by the states.”

boss

(Actually, yes, he is the boss. He’s the President. Of. The. United. States.)

There have been transgender people using bathrooms in America for decades and it’s never been a problem that I’m aware of (refer to paragraph 1.) So why now?

These aren’t people going into bathrooms with video cameras strapped to their shoes. This directive doesn’t allow the school’s quarterback to barge into the ladies room and kick open doors. It doesn’t grant approval to men to dash through the women’s water closet, giggling and running from stall to stall, peeing on the toilet seats.

Nope. All of that is still not allowed, crazy people.

This White House ruling was meant to foster non-discrimination across the country, and will affect less than 1% of ‘Merica’s population. In fact, .03% of the population are considered transgender, with most of those people undergoing gender transition procedures.

Obama’s hope is that these students can be treated fairly without being discriminated against. So, remind me again why people have their panties in a bunch?

obama

(“Are you s***ing me?”)

Would it bother me if a transgender person used the stall next to me? Nope. I wouldn’t even know. They are normal people, just trying to get through their day with as little stress as possible. Being worried about where they can pee shouldn’t even be a concern.

Does this mean you shouldn’t worry about your children being alone in the bathroom, or you don’t need to keep an eye out for Willy the Weirdo peeking over the stall? Of course not. But odds are it won’t be a transgender person doing the lawbreaking.

 

Utah 2015: A Recap

Utah survived another year but several significant events made headlines, including Mormon preppers convinced the world was coming to an end on Sept. 28. Didn’t happen. But here are some things that did happen:

President Obama visits Utah

In a token gesture to our super-white, super-conservative and super-Republican state, President Barack Obama reluctantly stepped off an airplane at the Salt Lake airport and spent the next 16 hours trying to get out of Utah.

During his first visit to the state, President Obama spoke at Hill Air Force Base, blocked traffic in downtown Salt Lake, created a security headache for several agencies and reportedly slept in a Sheraton Hotel to demonstrate he just didn’t give a s*** about Utah’s hotel options. In less than 20 hours, he was back on Air Force One, getting the hell out of Dodge.

obama

(“Where are we?” Prez Obama asks.)

Prison Relocation Plan

Because this is still a thing, the Utah Prison Relocation Commission selected a new prison site near 1-80 and 7200 West in what is currently an undevelopable marsh similar to the planet Dagobah (in the Dagobah system).

Land developers who own the land surrounding the current prison in Draper said, “Moving the prison has nothing to do with the fact that the prison sits on prime real estate and we will make a (figurative) killing once this penal colony is relocated to Dagobah.”

The mayor of every other city listed as a potential prison site breathed a huge sigh of relief that this “blessing in disguise” would not be “blessing” their communities.

Utah beats BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl

As a Christmas gift to the state’s football fans, the University of Utah faced Brigham Young University in Las Vegas at the lazily-named Las Vegas Bowl. Utah haughtily accepted the match-up, convinced they would stomp the Cougars into poker chips. After jumping to a 35-0 lead, the U’s defense sat it out the rest of the game, with BYU racking the score up to 35-28.

After the loss, BYU Coach Bronco Mendenhall stormed off the field, threw his clothes in a duffel bag, hopped in his 1968 Volkswagen Beetle and drove to the University of Virginia.

Utah man returns $22,000

While driving down I-80, a Utah man stopped to move a bag that had fallen out of a Brink’s armored truck onto the highway. The bag contained piles of cash, totaling more than $20,000.

Not believing his good luck, the man looked both ways, put the bag in his trunk and drove home but made the mistake of telling his wife about it who punched his arm repeatedly until he called the police to report the bag of cash.

“I should have kept my mouth shut,” said every married man in the world.

cash

(This could have been your bed, Utah guy.)

LGBT anti-discrimination bills passed /LDS Church pisses people off

Historic legislation in 2015 granted Utah’s LGBT residents the freedom from employment and housing discrimination. Gay rights advocates celebrated the new law saying, “It’s about freakin’ time!”

“Not so fast,” the LDS Church replied. A change in the church’s policy handbook was leaked to a ravenous press, explaining that members in same-sex relationships are apostates and their children must disavow the practice of homosexuality in order to participate in church ordinances.

The policy stirred worldwide outcry and prompted thousands of “members”, who had already stopped going to church years ago, to officially turn in their membership cards and keys to the cultural hall/basketball court.

Utah’s population exceeds 3 million

In what was sarcastically described as a “stunning achievement” the three-millionth Utahn was born in 2015. This “stunning achievement” was attributed to millions of couples having sex in the state since Utah was granted statehood in 1896.

It’s been projected that the state will have 4 million residents by 2031.

“That’s a challenge I’m willing to accept,” said every man in Utah.

Jackie Biskupski is elected mayor of Salt Lake City

In a narrow victory, Jackie Biskupski beat incumbent Ralph Becker to become the new mayor of Salt Lake.  As an openly-gay, single parent, newly-engaged Salt Lake mayor, Biskupski said her election was meaningful on many levels, but mostly she was excited about her cool, new office which she was super-excited to move into.

In a poorly-executed plan to boost morale, Biskupski quickly asked for resignation letters from most of the city’s department heads, except for former Chief of Police Chris Burbank who had “resigned” earlier in 2015.

The Governor cuts funding for Planned Parenthood 

Because men can’t seem to stop trying to control women’s bodies, federal funding for Planned Parenthood clinics around the country is in jeopardy. After a secret video emerged detailing the alleged sale of aborted fetal tissue, legislators crapped their collective shorts and decided to cut off the organization’s funding.

Utah’s Governor Herbert told state agencies to stop giving money to Utah chapters of Planned Parenthood. Because Utah.

Although the health organization helps women with sex education, STD testing, pap tests, pregnancy and birth control options, the guv felt it necessary to stop funding Planned Parenthood “Because I don’t really know what they do.”

In an updated projection, Utah is expected to have 14 million residents by 2031.

Obama has vowed never to visit the state again.

Halloween for Dummies: Top 5 Tips For a Successful Holiday

hocuspocus

Some people live in countries (or states) where Halloween is ignored because people believe it’s based on Satanic rituals and pagan beliefs. They might have a small Jesus-themed trunk-or-treat event in a church parking lot, handing out mini New Testaments, before heading home for a family sing-a-long. But in Utah (home of pagan beliefs) we celebrate Halloween like NO OTHER. We Halloween the s**t out of October.

I attribute our love for this dark holiday as a respite from the otherwise strangling hold the dominant religious culture has on our everyday lives. When you’re afraid to go to lunch on Sunday or fearful of ordering a glass of wine with dinner, Halloween is nothing!

So if you are Halloween clueless, here are some tips to help you get through this hellacious month.

  1. Decorate your house. This doesn’t need to be elaborate. Maybe a mummy by the doorstep or a bloody head on the mantel. It seems the more religiously oppressed a person is, the more Halloween decorations they purchase. If your neighbor has a plethora of monster-themed inflatables, they probably need a religious intervention.
  2. Get a costume. To blend in on Halloween, you’ll need a disguise. Again, if you’re super-religious, you’ll probably decide to go as a sexy Dr. Who or a nymphomaniac circus clown. If you’re more moderate, a T-shirt with a clever Halloween slogan will do.
  3. tshirtCarve a pumpkin. If you’re a vegan, gutting and carving up this orange squash could make you a little nauseous. But suck it up. Carving pumpkins is a big business. Instead of using dull butter knives and metal nail files (like I did 40 years ago), there are now super-duper carving kits with all kinds of blades that will guarantee you a night in the ER. (For extra points, roast the pumpkin seeds; then brag about how you roast pumpkin seeds.)
  4. Buy candy. In bulk.  This is a holiday MUST. Utahns have an average of 9.5 children per family. There are approximately 800 families that will come to your door begging for candy. You must give each trick-or-treater (aka Halloween beggars) at least three pieces of candy. You do the math. I don’t do math. It’s a lot of candy.
  5. Host a Halloween party. Part of the requisite celebration is throwing a Halloween bash. Spend at least 14 business days constructing a menu that includes demon-themed delicacies. Make sure to throw a tantrum when people don’t appreciate your culinary efforts. Post photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and every other social media platform that validates your superior Halloween cooking talents.

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(Last year’s Carrie-themed Halloween cake.)

Important note: you must have ALL Halloween decorations, costumes, foods and paraphernalia removed by midnight on October 31 so you can start decorating for Christmas on Nov. 1. Happy Halloween!

Idioms for Dummies

It would be fair to assume the word “idiom” meant “a gathering of idiots.” But you would be wrong. Funny, but wrong. An idiom is an expression whose figurative meaning is different from its literal meaning. For instance, to rub someone the wrong way means you’ve annoyed someone, not that you suck at giving massages.

Anyway. Here’s a list of random idioms and other random words to go with them.

  • A blessing in disguise. This means something really crappy happened and if you’re lucky, something good will happen several years down the road.
  • You can’t judge a book by its cover. (Especially now when no one reads books. Thanks, Kindle.)
  • A leopard cannot change his spots. True (unless it uses Olay Spot Corrector). But a leopard can hide in the bushes, track you through GPS, hang your photos in his lair and follow you on every social media platform.
  • Don’t cry over spilt milk. I always cry over spilt milk, because I’m usually the one cleaning it up.

spiltmilk

  • Going to hell in a hand basket. (Self-explanatory.)
  • Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. He puts you to work weaving hand baskets.
  • No room to swing a cat. This is PETA’s least-favorite idiom.
  • Let the cat out of the bag. (PETA’s second-least-favorite idiom.) Once you let the cat out of the bag, you’d better run like hell because that cat’s gonna be pissed.
  • Practice makes perfect. Not true. After years of practicing being an adult, I’ve decided practice makes frustrated.

practice

  • Run out of steam. Since our homes don’t run on steam, this could mean running out of solar power. That’s not good because then we’re all screwed.
  • Having a sixth sense. This handy talent means you can talk to spirits or receive psychic communication. A seventh sense allows you to communicate with teenagers and small animals.
  • It’s a piece of cake. Referring to something easily done, a piece of cake also easily screws up my intentions to eat healthy.
  • Last but not least. Something you say to your kids when they finish last. It sounds much better than, “You’re the biggest loser. And you’re walking home.”
  • And finally . . .

tooth-your-own-horn

(It’s illegal in Utah.)

Things to Know Before Moving to Utah

So you’ve been suckered in by the astounding beauty, the majestic mountains and the plethora of frozen yogurt shops. You’ve decided to relocate to The Beehive State (which is an apt motto since everyone here is basically a drone trying to get buzzed). But before you take the leap and immerse yourself in Utah culture, here are some things you need to know:

You will absolutely be approached by representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. First, it will be a formal visit by two spiffy looking young men in cheap suits. Then your neighbors will invite you to various potlucks and family home evening events (which is an entirely different blog). Then two or three older men will turn up on your porch, inviting you to church. These people are either bishops, stake presidents or security alarm salesmen.

darth

You can purchase alcohol–if you know the secret password and handshake.  Utah’s alcohol rules are created by people who 1) don’t drink, 2) believe drinking alcohol will send you to hell, 3) are unmoved by persuasive arguments and 4) like to wield their self-imposed power in a Donald Trump-like way. (A sober Donald Trump.)

There is no separation of church and state. Any legislative issue in Utah must be (unofficially) approved through The Church (see above). Only when The Church slowly nods its head do legislators take action. It’s also why a bunch of teetotalers run the Dept. of Alcohol Beverage Control.

Statewide, diversity hovers at -2 percent. Strangely enough, the state is becoming well-known for its variety of ethnic foods. Even stranger, these diverse foods are usually created by white men who served missions for The Church in various parts of the world. There is a large population of Mexican and Latin Americans in Utah, who add life and color to the state, but most people don’t acknowledge that bit of info.

The average age for a girl to marry in Utah is 19. Officially, they say it’s 23, but most girls are on their second marriage by then, with two or three kids, and she’s just starting to sell multilevel products to her family.

SCAN0026

(Just a typical Utah wedding.)

There are no professional sports teams in the state. People might argue that the Jazz basketball team is “professional,” but we all know the Utah Jazz is basically a farm team for the rest of the NBA.

Salt Lake Comic Con: To Geek or Not To Geek

Utah hosted its first Comic Con event–which seems like a slam dunk, because there are more sci-fi/fantasy geeks in Utah per cubic yard than there are Asians in China. So nerds across the state donned their Imperial stormtrooper armor, hopped in their Tardises (Tardii?) and beamed themselves to the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake.

salt palace(Landing site for the Geek Mothership in SL,UT.)

My husband dragged my reluctant carcass to the event so he could chase retro sci-fi stars (remember Richard Hatch, anyone?) and hobnob with cosplay characters. My first thought when I entered the convention center was, “Where the hell did all these people come from?” Knowing my allergy to large crowds, my husband quickly shuttled me to the food court to lull me with stir fry and cookies.

Because of the record-number nerd herds, I wasn’t able to see much. But I instantly realized I missed the memo that said all women must be wearing cleavage-revealing superslut clothing. Every girl from ages 10 to 90 was scantily clad (because décolletage is a super power, I guess), and every man from 10 to 90 was ogling these Wonder Women, Catwomen and even a few promiscuous Ewoks.

Old versions of William Shatner, Stan Lee and Adam West made appearances (with no noticeable cleavage. Well, Shatner, maybe). And crowds of people lined up to have their photo taken inside a Tardis. I thought about doing that, but since the line was 3.1 miles long, I didn’t feel like running a 5K to get my picture taken inside a spray-painted cardboard box.

Comic Con (8)

(I’ve heard it’s supposed to be bigger inside.)

I guess the radon gas in the air affected my judgment, because I DID end up standing in a line (albeit a short one) to get photographed with a plaster replica of Gollum. He looked about as surprised as I was to be in the middle of such chaos.

Comic Con (4) (Who the hell are these people?)

After we finally extricated ourselves from the crowds, we stumbled out of the Salt Palace, and back to reality. Would I go again? Not if I have to fight off hordes of Superheroes. Besides, it’s Utah. Life here is basically a Comic Con.