Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's World Offend Everyone Day!

 Is it possible to reach a lifetime limit for political correctness? Because I think I’m there. In spades.

 If you want my honest opinion, all the pushing to play nice in the sandbox and trying our damnedest to make sure we haven’t offended anyone with the most inane of sentences, has only managed to turn out a generation of entitled, backboneless, vanilla-flavored people who lack passion about anything other than surfing the internet in search of ever new ways someone, somewhere has somehow offended them.

 And I’m exhausted from the effort of censoring myself to accommodate these troll-as-sport jackasses.

 Here’s a brutal truth about life, kids: the world is an offensive place to live. Everywhere you look, you’re gonna find tons of opportunities to be righteously outraged. 

But here’s another bit of honesty: spending your time bitching on your social media channel of choice ain’t gonna do a damn thing to change it. Change takes something this generation of Keyboard Jockeys seems unfamiliar with - commitment and hard work.

 So here’s a simple thought for the Internet Crusaders who feel the need to search out every last post, tweet, picture and status update that could possibly be misconstrued as the almighty “Offensive” to whatever your cause-of-the-day is: unlike, unfollow or unfriend and close the damn page.

 Because you losing your shit and flaming anyone with a differing opinion is a wonderful way to jump that person up in the search engine ranking. (Which is a good thing!) Instead, do everyone a favor and move away from the technology, walk out into the world and be the change you’re looking for.

file under: put up or shut up and stop clogging my feed

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Birthday Gift For My Daughter

Dear Daughter,

 I’ve been agonizing over the perfect present for a young lady whose tastes seem to be changing faster than her moods. Since I’ve always told you the best gifts are those that come from the heart, I decided that the best thing I could give you was to see yourself through my eyes.

 One of the greatest joys of my life has been watching you grow from a pouty-faced toddler into the amazing person you’ve become!

 From the time you were a little girl, you were already showing that you looked at the world differently. While your friends were playing with dolls and dreaming of the day their Prince would come, you proclaimed, hands on hips, that you didn’t have the time to waste waiting for some Prince and stormed the castle to find him.

 When he proved a boring guy more interested in balls and glass slippers, you ditched him and went exploring on your own. You informed us that, if Prince Charming liked the castle so much, he could stay home with the kids while you went to work doing what you loved.

 Even back then you had your own sense of style, snubbing your nose at play clothes and demanding to be in pink, frilly dresses at all times. Then you would proceed to play in the mud with your brothers, covering yourself from head to toe without a second thought. In your opinion, skinned knees and dirty hands went just fine with lace.

 But that’s always been your way; soft and sweet on the outside with a core of solid willpower and a total disregard for the expected.

 As you grew older, you proved time and again that you could do anything you set your mind to. The more people smiled and patted your head, the more you set your jaw, planted your feet and pushed through whatever imagined barriers were in your path.
 Your strong will has always been one of the most beautiful things about you (even if it was occasionally an exasperating pain in my ass!) I always knew that it would be your best defense against a world that enjoys telling us what we can and can’t do.

 As you passed through your teens, you continued to grow into an independent, free-thinking woman who wasn’t the least bit concerned with what was and wasn’t cool. You set your own standards and expected those closest to you to set theirs. (Marching to the beat of your own drum doesn’t even begin to cover it!)

 In a world that pushes conformity, you somehow managed to passionately live outside the lines. You will never know how truly beautiful that sense of self was to see!

 As you’ve continued to move further out into the world, I know you’ve struggled with how others see you and how you see yourself. You’ve begun trying on different looks in hopes of standing out a little less, hoping past hope to blend into the crowd.

 Even though you don’t see it, my heart bleeds for you. After all, I’m not so old that I’ve forgotten what insecurities feel like.

 But there is one thing you need to know - you’ll never succeed in blending in. You, my sweet child, were born to stand out! You came into this world on your own schedule, kicking and screaming with a light that burned brighter than the sun! And that’s something you’ll never be able to hide.

 When I look at you now, I see a young woman filled with passion, joy, and a drive that is stronger than Wolverine's adamantium claws! I see a woman that, deep down, knows exactly who she is and how she plans on changing the world for the better. I see a woman with something greater than determination to follow the path she’s chosen, roadblocks be damned!

 When I look at the woman you’ve become, I see a person I wish I could be more like. I see someone I not only love with more depth than the deepest ocean, but someone I admire just as much.

 If you could see yourself through my eyes, you’d see just how beautiful you are, inside and out, and just how brightly you shine.

 Thank you, my miracle child, for the gift of having you in my life.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dancing with geese

 I keep a small flock of geese. More accurately, I’m privileged enough to be allowed to feed and water a small flock of geese, because they keep me. Either way, the feathered poop machines have been a large part of my life for the last seven years.

 Everytime I post about them, someone inevitably shares a story of a traumatic run-in resulting in being chased or nipped. (And the word “nip” is SO misleading. Believe me, that shit HURTS!) At times, they really can be aggressive ass-hats, especially during the mating/nesting period. i.e. NOW!

 Since the beginning of my own personal attack-hell has begun (and I’ve got a couple of bruises on my backside to prove it) (photo NOT included!), I thought I’d help out those poor souls who inadvertently find themselves on the wrong end of a pissed off goose.

 The first rule of Goose Fight Club is
NEVER turn your back on ‘em.

 Trust me on this, they can move a lot faster than those round bottoms make you think they can and they just LOVE attacking from behind. Remember, no matter how fast you can run, a goose can outfly you every time.

 So now that you find yourself standing face-to-bill with the beast, much of your success will depend on understanding how the waddle butts fight. (Remember we’re talking face-to-face, ‘cause first rule of Goose Fight Club, right? Right!)

 When geese fight, the object is to grab the rival by the neck and proceed to beat the crap outta him with the muscular, bony part of their wing. (Think our upper arm.) The ultimate goal is submission and shaming in front of all the hot chicks and lesser males. To achieve this, they wrestle their opponent to the ground and pin him in what looks like the beginnings of sweet, goosey lovemaking.

 For us mere humans, the best defense happens to be a quick thinking offense and what The Girl refers to as The Goose Dance, is just what the Doctor ordered.
Let’s Dance, Mother Honker!

The Prelude - The dance begins with the sticking out of the necks, heads low to the ground and weaving back and forth like a cartoon cobra. This move is almost always accompanied by the hiss, designed to scare the crap outta you.

 Don’t fall for it! Hiss right back at his ass.

The Wings - If sounding like an annoyed snake doesn’t work, their next move is to rear back and spread their wings, looking larger than life and displaying their sexy, goosey biceps.

 You’ll earn some extra macho points if you make this move first. Just stand as tall as you can, spread your arms wide (think Dracula with his cloak), and make some pissed off goose noises of your own.

The Rush - Bend slightly at the waist, arms still spread, and charge the cranky feather-head. Do NOT be fooled by a goose that backs away or *outright runs. Remember the first rule of Goose Fight Club and never turn your back.

*  If your worthy opponent does run, this is the point where you can begin backing slowly away from him. He just might decide you’re too crazy to mess with and opt to guard his family instead. He might.

CHARGE! - If it comes down to the menace charging you back, go all Karate Kid, only instead of catching a fly with chopsticks, you catch a goose’s neck with your c-shaped hand. Don’t squeeze! You don’t need to. (Think comfortable dog collar, NOT choker chain.)

 All you need to do is let his momentum carry him past as you swing around behind and place your other hand on his back, right between the wings. Now, as gently as possible, push the dumbass to the ground, your first hand pinning the neck out in front. GENTLY replace the hand on the back with your knee and hold him in this prone position for 30 seconds or so, just long enough to show him who’s whose daddy. (This is the point where I personally find it uber therapeutic to yell, “Who’s the bitch now, punk?”) (For a cleaner version, “Who’s your daddy?” also works.)

 When you release him, he’ll be humiliated and should back off long enough for you to make your getaway to a more permanent place of safety.

 I dance with my sweet geese every year (three or four dozen times a year) and have yet to see it fail.

The Canadians - I’m gonna be honest with ya and admit that I’ve never actually had to pin a Canadian Goose. The Prelude, The Wings and The Rush have always been enough to buy me time.

 Ya gotta figure a healthy goose will only attack if you’re near their mates, nests or babies, so once you remove yourself from their “living room,” they’re usually pretty cool.

I DON’T Dance!

 OK, if you’re not in the mood to dance with your goose, you can also try the stick trick. For some bizarre reason, geese seem to be afraid of sticks. (We’re talking one at least as long as your arm, not a mere twig.) The working theory is they mistake them for snakes, but since I’ve never heard this from a goose, it’s still just a theory.

 That’s right y’all! Grabbing a stick and slowly waving it in front of you as you back away WORKS, it’s just nowhere near as much fun as having a Dance-Off. (Again, I’ve only tried this with domestic geese. If a wild one ignores the stick and nips your ankles? I’m claiming zero responsibility!)

 How about you? Any terrifying tales of Geese Gone Wild or tips and tricks you use to avoid goose inflicted subdural hematomas? I’d love to hear ‘em!

Pet Pal
Write a thank you letter to your furry, feathery,
or fishy friend for always being there for you.
How have they helped you cope with your
health condition?

 OK, I cheated. But I’m hoping it’s apparent how much I love these guys and how much they've helped me maintain a sense of humor. They also give me a non-negotiable reason to roll outta bed and be outside with the sunrise, for fresh air and exercise. EVERY.LAST.DAY.

 As crazy as they make me, my life would truly be diminished without them.