So, I Bought a Ford

Oh yes, my Michigan peeps are laughing at this. My dad worked for Chevy for almost 40 years. We HATED Ford. I had a moment of traitorship just looking at the thing.

But.

Back in ’06, when I got the Honda, I REALLY tried to find a Chevy. Granted, this was before the bailout, but still. Chevy had no good options, even with my dad’s employee discount (which I can get as long as my mom is alive, legacy costs, anyone?).

So I got the Honda Fit. I loved it. I still love it. I’d buy another one in a heartbeat.

But, when I was thinking about replacing the Honda, I went and looked at Ford first. I liked the fact that a) they bailed themselves out and b) they jumped on the technology bandwagon. Mostly B.

I leased a Ford Fiesta. I LOVE this car. The hands free cell feature is seriously the coolest freaking thing ever. I’m going to spring for the $60/year fee to see how the maps/directions work. If it’s good, I’m IN.

Yes, Saginaw residents. Do your worst. I bought a Ford.

Why I Never Go Home for the Holidays

I have a few reasons why I don’t go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I cemented this right after I moved from Michigan to Colorado (a journey I started the day after Thanksgiving, 1993. That might be telling. Or not).

First of all, I’m going from Colorado to Michigan. The chances of me having to spend my holiday in an overcrowded airport, stranded for three days of my four day weekend, are about 70%. No thank you. I like DIA, but not enough to live there over an extended weekend. And the crowds! Nopenopenope.

Second, the holidays are fraught with drama, even between relatives who see each other all the time. And apparently I have the singular ability to say some random offhand thing that offends someone and then we have Drama 101. So, no need to stoke that fire. Nope.

Third, I’m just not a big fan of Christmas. I LOVE Thanksgiving, because gorging yourself on turkey is probably one of my definitions of Utopia, but the whole holiday “shiny happy family” expectation thing just is NOT going to happen. Ever. I’d guess 70-80% of the population knows what I’m talking about. Everyone wants a Hallmark holiday, and then Uncle Gene barfs into the Christmas tree while Aunt Sally is screaming at Uncle Sam to STFU. It’s a thing.

I’d rather go visit when the weather is nice, there’s a good chance my flight will leave at LEAST on the day it was scheduled, and I can enjoy myself, because there is no holiday pressure.

Also, people need to get over the fact that if someone isn’t “home” for the holidays, they’re depressed. I assure you, I am quite happy to cook a 20lb. turkey for myself (yes, I REALLY do this – I freeze the leftovers and I have turkey for months – it’s AWESOME) and I hate Christmas so I don’t care that I don’t have a tree (I have not decorated since 1999). I drink vodka and binge watch Netflix – it’s AWESOME.

I’m also a little bothered by this concept of “home”. My home is here, in Colorado, in my apartment with my silly Shiba and my insane calico cat, and the friends I hang out with. My family lives in Michigan, and I visit them. But that is not home. I don’t live there. I don’t want to. That is not home.

You Know, I Used to Ignore the Homeless

About 99% of the time. Like you do. Like we ALL do, all of us who were born into the middle class. They’re losers, they’re hopeless, they have nothing to offer, they are the dregs of humanity.

Tonight I got addressed by a homeless guy sitting on a bench next to the liquor store, where I was heading to replenish my vodka supply (I LOVE that I can walk to a liquor store!). He asked for change. I had none; I rarely, if ever, carry cash. Still, I knew why he was sitting there. He was trying to pony up enough for a drink. When I told him I had no cash, he was incredibly polite about it, too, which is unusual.

So, when I went in to make my purchase, I got an “airline sized” bottle of vodka for him. It was only about a buck. As I passed him on my way home, I handed it to him, saying, “Hey, I know I didn’t have any cash, but I thought this might help you a little bit.”

He was incredibly grateful. Yeah, he’s probably an incurable alcoholic, he lives on the streets, and he’s begging for money for booze. I get that.

I also get he’s a human being, He’s not likely to change his behavior at this point in his life, and if it made him happy for ten minutes, then he at least got to be happy. I looked at him and realized how close many of us are to being him. So yeah, I supported his addiction.

And I’m not sorry.

Old is When You Quit Caring About Pop Culture

I don’t know when it happened, exactly. At some point in my childhood, my father went from listening to 70’s soft rock (don’t judge) to Elvis Presley and polka. And got horribly stuck there. Forever. 

I didn’t realize until much later his 70’s soft rock was actually the current thing to be listening to at that time. He was actually still in touch with popular culture (because, hey, I was like, 10 in 1976) until…

I became him. 

Oh, it happened slowly. One day I noticed all this talk of Justin Bieber, and I had not heard a thing about him (to be fair, I listen mostly to adult alternative, so…).

I had to Google him. GOOGLE him. An advantage my parents never had, sure, but still. I had a fleeting feeling of concern about being out of touch with the latest thing (which, up until that point, had never really happened before) but I thought, “Well, he’s bubblegum music. No wonder I didn’t know him”. 

Except, up until that point, I had ALWAYS known about the latest and greatest in the bubblegum pop world. Hated it, mocked it, but KNEW ABOUT IT.

That little nagging finger of “You’re getting old” poked at me. I ignored it. 

Then I started noticing that on the entertainment pages on CNN I only recognized the actors/actresses over the age of, oh, about 27. I have no freaking clue who these new people are, with the exception of the big Hollywood names that everyone knows. Literally, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT DID THEY ACT IN????

It got worse and worse. I watch TV. I watch movies. I found myself wondering if I was losing my mind or if pop culture was really passing me by. I had the horrible experience of listening to the “oldies” station…and realizing it was music from my years in high school. 

Then I stopped going to the movies. Oh, I LOVE  a lot of the current movies and a lot of the comic based ones, even though I was never a comic book person. Frankly, two of the three movies everyone is raging about just don’t appeal to me, but I’d go see two of the three anyway. And then I realized that’s because most of my friends are a good ten years younger than me. Thank Gan for that, or I’d be acting like I was sixty-seven by now. They at least keep me in the loop. And what I’ve seen isn’t bad. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying if my younger friends hadn’t pointed it out, I’d have missed it. Completely. And now I’m going “Well…maaaayyybbbeee I’ll see it…” Yeah. 

This worries me. I don’t feel old, but I think I’ve discovered that after a certain age, while we’re all interested in new things, we start taking more comfort in things we know. The fact that I have unlimited access to knowledge does not change this. 

Quite frankly, I really want to know who this Groot person is and why I should care. 

The Difference Between Cats and Dogs

Short but sweet post, but I think I nailed it:

After having both a dog and a cat, I have come to this conclusion:

Dogs, no matter how old, come to you as children. You teach them, you mold them, you let them know what your expectations are and you train them to behave as good citizens. Dogs want to please you; they’ll quickly adhere to your rules if you’re consistent and firm.

Cats, no matter what age, come to you as a crotchety old-timer with a cane and an attitude, screaming for everyone to get off their lawn, and you suck it up and deal with it. Because, CAT.

No freaking lie.

Half Year Reading List

I’m about 3 weeks late on this one, but here it is. I’m apparently in a major reading slump right now. Damn.

But, summer is here, so I get to spend nice afternoons on the balcony reading. Hopefully that will increase my book list.

So, for 2014, here’s what we’ve got:

Libertarianism from A to Z – Jeffrey A. Miron
Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch
The Four Man Plan – Cindy Wu
Life Without Bread – Christian B. Allan, Ph.D. & Wolfgang Lutz, M.D.
The Undead Pool – Kim Harrison
Winter Omens – Trisha Leigh
What it Means to Be a Libertarian – Charles Murray
Skin Game – Jim Butcher
Coveted – Stephanie Nelson
Mr. Mercedes – Stephen King
Awakening (The Guardians) – Samantha Long

Share any interesting reads you’ve had in the comments – I’m always looking for good books.

2nd Amendment. You’re Doing it Wrong

Every time I see some ridiculous asshat on Youtube, or on a video shared on Facebook, who stupidly damn near blows his head off (and trust me, sometimes I wish said asshat would remove himself from the gene pool) I just shake my head and think, “Thanks for fucking up, bro.”

It’s in these moments I understand why people want to ban guns. Because, stupid + bullets = dead.

They’re not the rule. They’re the exception and the horrible warning. Guns are not toys.

I am a responsible gun owner. I have a semi-automatic pistol in my apartment; it is unloaded and the pistol and ammo are far enough away that I (living in a security building; you come here you’re coming for ME) have to get out of bed, cross a room, and pop in a mag before I can shoot you. I belong to a gun club and I practice. I like target shooting; it’s FUN. I’m not necessarily training to blow someone’s head off (but ask me about zombie pirate targets; those are FUN).

I know how to break my gun down, clean it, put it back together, and use it. I’m not some paranoid homeowner who heard the words self defense and gun and went out and got one with no real knowledge of how to use it or how to take care of it. Or how to keep it away from little hands. Seriously, you have to lock that shit up if you have kids.

Yes, there are a lot of irresponsible asshats out there. Yes, they scare me too. But, it’s the same with cars. There are a lot of shitty drivers out there, but I have yet to hear anyone saying we should ban cars. Hmmm.

Trying to take my 2nd Amendment rights away because people are stupid is like canceling the bus schedule because people can’t tell time.