Categorical Love

A woman whose husband has sports equipment he’s never used. And she doesn’t mention it.

A woman who thinks her husband is hot.

A man who thinks his wife is hot.

A man who picks up the cracker off the kitchen floor, instead of complaining that his wife didn’t pick it up.

Dogs who love you whether you feed them or not, whether you’re their owner or not.

People who love and follow their favorite music group through years and decades with extreme loyalty. Even if they ain’t that great.

Good neighbors. Always there with a smile and a helping hand.

Fan fiction.

Bragging about yourself.

Bragging about others.

Weddings.

Charity. Expecting no reward.

The green thumb of a gardener.

A toddler reaching for Mama’s hand.

Rain, and rainbows.

Guest column——”Ask Suzi Uzi”

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Guest column——Ask Suzi Uzi, Advice specialist and psychologist

 

Dear Suzi,

Do I have to wear a mask in public?

Yours truly truly,

Not Scared

 

Dear Mr. Scared,

Your question made me pause. Are you saying you don’t want to wear a mask at all? Are you saying you prefer wearing one in private? Without knowing what your question really is, I can only guess, so I’ll give you the general answer—Yes. And before you claim they don’t work, let me ask you if you’ve considered an upgrade.

“Have you considered an upgrade?”

Probably the mask you’re using has the lowest possible rating for protection. Ratings for respiratory protective devices are determined by the size of the particles they will allow through to your lungs. Pulling your shirt up over your face, for instance, may keep the stench of your friend’s fart from getting to you, and it may not. You may do the same thing if you pass someone blowing sugary vape stench all over the sidewalk. You’ll block most of it, but still get the taste of oily strawberries coming through the cloth of your shirt. Upgrade to a surgical cloth mask and you might block a little more of the offensive odors and some of the particulates. Upgrade to N95 and you’ll block most of the odor and a little of the solids inherent in those kinds of stenches. Upgrade once more to P95 and you’ll not only remove the odor, but you’ll be safe from the majority of the oils in the vape, and the majority of the fecal particulates from your friend’s flatulence. Upgrade one final time to an enclosed air circulator, such as a SCUBA mask with tanks, and you won’t be breathing outside air at all.

Truly yours, truly,

Suzi

 

Dear Suzi Uzi,

Why are manhole covers round?

Philosophically yours,

Derek

 

Dear Derek,

Are you really going to play that game with me? Pfffft! Easy question, easy answer: they’re not. Manhole covers are not round, they’re flat. Just like the Earth. Flat! Flat! Flat! Now get outta here!

Psychologically yours,

Suzi

 

Dear Suzi,

Forces creat what?

Yourn,

Unsure

 

Dear Unsure,

Excusing and scanning over any typo: Most forces create motion, but I suspect there are forces out there doing the exact opposite. If we were conversing about chaos elements, the opposite would be absolute, and infinitely so, but I wonder if you’re hinting at anthropogenic forces. If so, the opposite does occur. Men get going and tend to stop others. Just look at YouTube for a million and a half examples of this concept. This is called transpositional physical law. Men have a way of enacting unnatural events within a natural universe. Could it be that humans themselves are the quantum elements? Possibly. So which one do you think you are? Gluon? Lepton? Neutrino?

Undeniably yours,

Suzi

 

Dear Dr. Uzi,

If a guy wants you to be his girlfriend, then asks you to do the laundry and clean the bathroom, should you?

Sincerely,

Stella D.

 

Dear D.

Ewww, no! Next he’ll be asking you to do even more disgusting and degrading things. Have some self-respect.

Seriously,

Suzi

If I could eat everything…

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If I could eat everything…

Would I? Would I eat it all? Would I be the ultimate omnivore? Would you, would he, would she?

Pie and cake? Truffles and caviar?

Would I devour pebbles, boulders, even mountains? Cats and dogs? Dogs and cats? Cows and sheep and fish and chickens? Whales and dolphins too?

Would I cure my thirst with rivers or oceans?

How about metal, would I eat greased-up tractor parts? Buildings, skyscrapers, battleships?

How long would it take to eat it all? A day? A week?

A lifetime.

An insatiable hunger by definition couldn’t be satisfied. Not in a day. Not in a week. Not ever. It couldn’t be satisfied with a giant meal. It couldn’t be satisified with a day long binge. It would never end. The devouring wouldn’t end with a mountain. It wouldn’t end with a planet, or a galaxy of planets. The hunger, let’s be honest, might only end when it devoured itself. The binge eating might only find conclusion with the devourer eating herself.

If I could eat everything…

Would I consume my own self?

Circular Attacks

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The topic of bullying is a circular one.

Let’s say you feel like the rich man is bullying you by pouring his finances in anti-you organizations. You protest locally. Change is so slow and seemingly out of reach. But then something twists. A worker at the anti-you organization claims he was bullied by protesters as he went to his unglorified job at the anti-you organization. The worker demands more pay for what he does. Then the rich man says he was bullied by workers demanding too much. The rich man tries to turn it in his favor again. He starts a new organization so he can scale down the first one and hire new people for less pay. Then you say the rich man is bullying you even further by flooding the market with anti-you organizations. You protest locally. And it continues…

Or you could take it to the playground where a child pushes another child off of a swing. The bully takes the swing and the victim runs home crying to mama. On the next visit to the playground, mama shows up. Encouraged by backup, the first victim pushes the first bully off of the slide. Inside her head mama says, “Way to be!” Her mouth says something different, “Uh, we don’t do that, ‘kay?”

First victim now becomes vengeful bully boy and is emboldened by the mama’s nonchalance rather than chastised. Vengeful bully boy pushes another child off of the slide. This third victim has a shorter fuse than most and pummels vengeful bully boy with berserker fists. Vengeful bully boy is a victim again, the fourth in this scenario, and the third victim is now the third bully. Second victim (first bully) watches in amazement as bully mama tears up the third victim and drags her vengeful bully boy off of the playground, leaving third victim (now also the fifth victim) sobbing and wondering why he’s so picked on.

Or we could take it to the workplace. Apprentice worker feels picked on because, well, the bottom of the totem pole feels that way. Everything is blamed on the manual laborer. Less than quality parts? Blame the apprentice. Poor engineering? Blame the apprentice. Critical timing not met? You know who to blame.

Apprentice worker feels bullied. Dislikes the job. Looks elsewhere and secures a position at a different company.

First company feels pressured by the consumer to produce. Now has no apprentice, too top heavy to roll the blame comfortably. Worst case scenario, they are threatened by the prospect of going out of business. Blame shifts to the “job market”. They demand federal intervention and receive it in the form of financial support—which comes from taxes drawn from none other than the apprentice. Taxes are raised to support the corporations that are failing, and the apprentice is the victim again.

Or take it home. One person in the family berates another for something they did. Person berated feels bullied. The next chance they get, maybe immediately or later on, they lash back at the one who did the berating. Victimhood passes around the house like a plague, but so does the bully hat. The only way to stop the cycle is by refusing to wear the hat. Refusing to bully back is how bullying ends. Revenge doesn’t get the job done. It doesn’t even make you feel better, though it might seem like the only way to feel better when the opportunity for revenge presents itself. You give in to the anger and the frustration and you feel worse. You make someone else feel worse. They might even lash back at you for the lashing you gave them.

Hate never stopped hate. Violence never stops violence. Only love can cure hate. Only peace can put an end to violence.

Lego Death Star!

My child did something amazing. Check this out. It’s the Lego Death Star! Finished!

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“Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station.”

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Sound familiar? My boy didn’t say it when he showed me he was done, but he should have. It was the first line from the movies that popped in my head.

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Stats:

Over 4,000 pieces!

2 and 1/2 years to build. (I didn’t push him, just encouraged him every once in a while.)

The instruction book is 230 pages long.

There are 192 steps detailed in the instruction book.

Possibilities now—endless.

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“He’s heading for that small moon.”

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“That’s no moon. It’s a space station.”

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“You’re all clear kid. Now let’s blow this thing and go home.”

We don’t plan on taking it apart any time soon. We’re going to enjoy the “fully…operational battle station” for a while.