WTF Wednesday

A Texas man admitted to stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas over nine years. What in the hell?

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Can anyone please tell me what “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values” means? What does the “Judeo” half have to say about demanding “Merry Christmas” only? WHAT IS GOING ON? No one is stopping you from give holiday greetings as you so desire, but the President of the United States does not need to be making statements about which holidays get recognition.

I prefer to say “Happy Holidays” because it’s an inclusive greeting and I have friends and colleagues who celebrate a multitude of holidays throughout winter. I will give them a specific greeting (such as “Happy Kwanzaa”) if I know they celebrate it, but a general wish for a joyful holiday in no way lowers the overwhelming celebration of Christmas in America. My pharmacy already has Christmas crap out and it’s not even Halloween. I know I say this every year, but CHRISTMAS IS FINE.

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And Trump has been subpoened for all documents related to his sexual assault of women. The assaulter in chief HAS TO GO, but I know they have to do gather this information correctly and patiently.

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We have a lot of events in the first couple of months of the school year, and many of those events rely heavily on RSVPs as we are feeding people or reserving seats. We had a new faculty barbecue recently, and I was helping with the check in. Several administrators showed up who had not RSVP’d, so I didn’t have a printed name tag for them. One person got very irritated that he had to write his name on a tag (THE HORROR) and blamed his “secretary” for not “taking care of business.” I told him that the invitation went directly to him so as not to cause confusion over who was invited to attend, so it was his responsibility to respond. He looked me in the eye and told me that it is “not his job” to worry about “low level” tasks like that. And I told him that that is his problem and not mine.

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At another event where we had seats saved with names, an administrator showed up and asked me where his seat was. I told him that he hadn’t responded to any of our office’s emails requesting a commitment to attend, so we didn’t reserve a seat aside for him. He then continued to be annoyed and was rude to several people on my team about it. We had reserved a few extra seats in the event that unexpected folks showed up, but those were already full because he arrived several minutes after the event had already begun. I had to let him know that a great way to avoid this kind of awkward situation in the future is to reply to email and to arrive on time because he’s a grown man.

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WTF Wednesday

The stories about Harvey Weinstein are HORRIFYING. As someone who reads far more celebrity gossip and blogs than I should, there have been rumors and references to his inappropriate behavior for as long as I can remember. The stories the survivors are sharing are so skeezy and awful. I’m glad he’s been fired by his company (unlike the President who has had 16 complaints of sexual assault against him, but still GOT ELECTED), but he will remain a very rich man, and I imagine that eventually he will land on his feet again because white guys have a strange habit of failing up. Time will pass, people will forget, his power will return. Just look at Bill O’Reilly – he’s still on TV!!! Listening to the audio below of Weinstein harassing a woman made me feel ill.

I hate that the onus of this entire thing has fallen on the women to “speak out” about it. There are numerous reasons why a survivor would not report that an assault has occurred, but making it even harder is when someone like Weinstein can destroy your entire career with the snap of a finger. Men in Hollywood have to carry the burden of speaking out on this. The must demand that this not happen in their industry. They must hold each other accountable. They can no longer look the other way.

Don’t even get me started on Donna Karan’s comments blaming women. I know she apologized, but GIRL, NO.

The past week has felt like an attack on decency in this country. Don’t worry, there won’t be changes to laws that impact gun violence, but the house GOP was inspired by the Las Vegas massacre to attempt to crack down on our reproductive rights.

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Trump damaged LGBTQ rights  and access to free birth control thanks to “religious liberty.” Thanks for legalizing discrimination, ya asshat. But, yeah, all those people marching in January were totally overreacting to this administration. No reason for it! Women’s healthcare and the rights of other vulnerable groups aren’t being affected AT ALL. Please keep your religion away from my body. If you don’t want an abortion, then don’t get one. If you don’t want to use birth control, then don’t. If you don’t want to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, then go get a different job. Your job is issuing marriage licenses, not deciding who you think that God would think should be married.

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And I fully understand the desire by many to decrease federal regulations and return law-making to the states. BUT, when states cannot be bothered to follow federal supreme court decisions and institute laws that protect people, then the federal government has to step in. A lawmaker in Kentucky is proposing a bill to ban abortion. It’s unconstitutional, but I doubt they care. How many states would not require accommodations for people with disabilities if it wasn’t federal law? How many school districts would elect not to provide services to children with disabilities because it’s expensive? I understand that ADA compliance is costly and inconvenient, but it is the right thing to do. ADA in no way solved all of problems that people with disabilities face, and we still have a long way to go in actually meeting the needs of and erasing the stigma surrounding them.

In fun news from Monday, Pruitt is rolling back the limits on carbon emissions. I understand that these limitations are hard on industry, but could they not at least be replaced with more modest regulations to keep moving us in the right direction? I absolutely do not want the people who have worked in the coal industry to be without jobs or a source of income, but promising them something that isn’t going to happen is cruel. Instead of clinging to a dying industry, we should be investing in training people to work in alternative energy jobs. Jobs that are safer and still offer a competitive salary without needing a college degree. The way we power our country is changing, and the employees of the coal industry deserve the opportunity to change with it.

Why would we not move toward energy goals that not only provide people with safer jobs, but also protect the air and environment?

Moving on from political woes – a student called me full of outrage last week because she had been “on hold with financial aid for two hours.” It was 8:30 in the morning. They open at 8.

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I asked her if she remembered who had been there at 6:30 am to put her on hold since the office wasn’t open (calls go straight to a message stating that they are closed). She eventually admitted that maybe it was for 20 minutes, BUT STILL. I get that financial aid is a confusing and frustrating ordeal, and that there are often very long waits to get help, but don’t lie to me!


WTF Wednesday

I don’t understand this country. I don’t stand how someone’s right to shoot high-powered assault rifles at pumpkins in their backyard outweighs the need for public safety. Cigarettes kill people, and that industry has been regulated. A man tried to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb, and now shoes are part of airport security. You could make a bomb with liquids, so now we have rules on how much toothpaste we can carry on. Blue Bell Ice Cream led to the death of three people, and they got shut down. A single wreck in California led to a massive recall of Toyota vehicles and a loss of tens of millions of dollars. None of these changes involved “Well, we just need to hold people responsible. The car/bomb/cigarettes/liquids/ice cream weren’t to blame! No need for changes!”

Thousands of people die by firearm each year, and that seems to not be a problem for us. Or, as The Onion so eloquently stated, “At press time, Americans nationwide agreed that years of taking no measures whatsoever to prevent mass shootings may finally be paying off.” One person got killed by lawn darts, and now there are NO MORE LAWN DARTS.

I’m in a deep hole of rage and sadness about this country right now. I am so angry that people went to a concert and were murdered. Why are we not willing to demand something better than this? How can we just shrug and act like it’s okay that they went to enjoy music with loved ones and friends, then died there.

On a side note, it has been amazing watching Jimmy Kimmel over the past year. I have always enjoyed him, but he has brought a truly sharp commentary to many of the issues lately. He has expressed things in a way that are personal, emotional, and easy to understand. I frequently see people complain that “everything is political now,” but what do you expect when our Congress can’t seem to accomplish anything and the President is temperamental fascist asshat? Their shitty politics are actively ruining lives.

Back to guns. I am not here to tell people they shouldn’t have access to guns at all, but I absolutely believe that there are steps we can take to better regulate them. The second amendment describes firearms for the use of a militia. Our military seems to be doing just fine and we aren’t planning to mutiny against them, so why do people need guns again? Oh right, just because you can. I know people are sick of talking about it and don’t want hear anymore about gun control, but I don’t care. I can’t think about anything else. And don’t come at me with “If bad people want to kill, then they will use knives or other weapons.” I know that terrible people murder with other weapons frequently, but when they stab over 500 people in a very short time frame, then we can chat knife control.

I deeply believe that the only way to effectively argue is with reliable data and statistics. There are a lot of things I think are true, but I try only to make points that can be backed with information and examples. Several people I know have responded to that effort with “I don’t care about statistics” and “Your numbers don’t matter.” Well, they do. Information matters. You don’t get to decide that it’s safer in places where people have more guns because you feel like it should be. It’s not. So, if you’re interested in learning more or better equipping yourself with information on this topic, then here are some links about firearms and gun safety that inform my beliefs:

  • The American Journal of Public Health found in 2013 that for every percentage point increase in gun ownership in a state there was a .9% increase in the homicide rate.
  • There have been ZERO mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 33 years. ZERO.
  • For women, the American Journal of Public Health found that women are five times more likely to be shot by a former or current partner than a male stranger.
  • The Violence Policy center reported that a woman’s chances of being murdered by her abuser increases more than five times if he has access to a gun.

WTF Wednesday

Let’s start with something positive – the first official photos of Meghan and Harry TOGETHER!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Gah, she’s so gorgeous and has that effortless “casual, yet super stylish” look about her. HOW DO YOU GET THAT LOOK? I can’t wait for this wedding!

Royal attends wheelchair tennis at Invictus games(course)

A naval hospital ship is finally setting sail for Puerto Rico, but WHAT IS THE HOLD UP WITH GETTING THESE FOLKS SOME FEDERAL ASSISTANCE!??!

I hope that if you have family and friends there that they are in a safe place with ample food and water. If you know of reliable organizations to donate to, please leave a comment!

Also, leave it to Cheeto to blame Puerto Rico’s finances for the hurricane. Pretty rich coming from a man who owes God only knows how much to other countries in bank loans. 

He really can’t get anything right. 

I have so many very strong feelings about this kneeling business and they can mostly be summed up with “WELCOME TO AMERICA.” Over the past few days about 90% of my Facebook friends went into TOTAL and COMPLETE meltdown over the NFL. You would have thought that someone had come into their home and stabbed them in their True Patriot heart.

Image result for i'm offended gifWhile I certainly wish that no one ever felt the need to kneel or turn their back on our flag, I certainly respect their right to do so. Donald’s comments are an assault on democracy. The fact that people somehow believe that an athlete making millions of dollars negates the right to express his or her grievances is vile. They don’t owe you anything. They aren’t entitled or ungrateful because they are expressing solidarity for racial justice in this country. Perhaps if we spent more time listening to why they feel the need to kneel instead of automatically criticizing them, then we could actually confront the problems they are trying to bring attention to. Also, Jerry Jones kneeled in front of all of America with the Cowboys and my entire hometown keeled over in horror. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

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I honestly don’t care what people do during the anthem, but I will fight with you all day if you dare to imply that you get to decide what that is. Also, the NFL got paid millions for patriotic displays, so bite me. Trevor Noah has an excellent segment on the heart of the matter – when is it okay for Black people to protest?

Hillary Clinton is coming to Davis (20 minutes away) on her book tour. As soon as we found out, Heather and I responsibly registered on the website to gain access to the presale code. Shortly after, we received this confirmation email:

On September 6, we woke up extra early in case we received the email and needed to buy tickets ASAP. Nothing came. We waited. Then nothing came for the entire day. I changed my phone settings so that if an email came to that account (I have four accounts on my phone), then it would make a noise no matter what. I was ready. I wanted to see Hillary. So, I waited.

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Finally, last week we learned that the presale tickets had gone on sale days before and had sold out immediately. Neither Heather nor I received an email. We were outraged. Hillary, why must emails always be such a struggle???

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WTF Wednesday

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I am working on a project that should not be mine to do, and I have grown increasingly bitter about it with each passing day (you know, because I already have a full-time job). I have been frustrated with the group involved because we are being asked for specific sets of information and the group is just deciding what information they will provide. So, I am spending a lot of time asking questions about all of the things not included which is a huge waste of my time. Just give them what they ask for. It is very clearly stated. No need to figure out anything on our own. Here is a [modified, obviously] example of a recent conversation:

The request: “A list of candies sold in the store.”
The answer I received: “Below are all of the chocolates in the store.”

My email conversation after reading that (verbatim except for candy terminology, of course):

Me: Why did you only include chocolates? What about all of the other candies in the store?
Them: We didn’t think we needed to list them.
Me: What made you think that?
Them: We think this request was pertaining only to chocolates.
Me: What made you think that?
Them: What are you asking?
Me: Why didn’t you list all of the candies in the store? The request asks for a list of candies, so we need to list all of the candies.
Them: Everything?
Me: Yes. That is why I said “all.”
Them: Do you think I should contact the store and ask them for a list of all of the candies?
Me: Yes. That is exactly what you need to do.
Them: I guess I can do that.
Me: Do that. Quickly.

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In July, I had an issue with a flight I booked to Texas. I paid for the damn thing, but my reservation didn’t exist and I rebooked with another airline. The airline told me to call my bank in order to get the transaction reversed. I did that. Yesterday, I received a notice from my bank that they would be reversing my refund because “The merchant has supplied documentation indicating the debit to my account to be valid.” I called the bank to ask for said documentation which they OF COURSE cannot provide me. I called the airline back and they still have zero record of my transaction. So, thanks a lot Bank of America and United Airlines, ya bastards.

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And, almost five weeks later, they finally decided yesterday to total my Jeep.

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I’m really going to miss that car; she was a good one. I’m also feeling bitter and petty because I not be reimbursed for my rental car (which has now cost me over $600) because totaling it will max out the $5000 liability coverage that the other driver purchased. SEE YOU IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT, GIRL AND YOUR SHADY MOTHER.

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Maybe not. I haven’t decided how petty to be about all of this, but I still hold a grudge because they lied and held up the process. I would also like to give a shout out to Allstate because they are paying me the actual cost of going out and buying another 2011 Jeep Patriot with comparable mileage and features, so that is truly wonderful news. And their first offer wasn’t BS, then they upped it after further conversation. So, bless you, Allstate for not being jerks.

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Well that GIF makes me sad. Rest in peace, Nelsan Ellis. You were a star.