Sunday, December 30, 2018

Dance, Dorothy, Dance!

No one does a better 1950s Hot Mess on the screen as Dorothy Malone in Inherit the Wind.

I have a love-hate thing with Dorothy.  I love her, I hate the makeup that they used on her.  Her eyebrows were too dark for her hair color, and her hair was the wrong color for her skin tones.

As her career went on and they cut back on the brassy look, lightened her hair, and gave her a softer look, she took on a whole new look. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas: "There is no pig in here."

Sunday, Donald Trump's butt boy, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin pulled a boner over the weekend.

Donald Trump was fuming about the market tanking on Friday, so Mnuchin - who really doesn't have a clue and should be investigated for running an agency that he had a track record of lying to before he was named its leader - thought it would be a spiffy idea to bolster the sagging markets. 

"Let's talk to the heads of the biggest banks, and not tell them I am going to make a statement," thought the Secretary of the Treasury.  The man has a marble-sized brain, so he thought it was a good idea.

What Mnuchin does get is that the only good news about a bank comes from its CEO when it exceeds - by a little bit - that earnings were higher than expected.  Or that the bank has a branch near you.  Or that they have a large ATM network.  Maybe your neighbor tells people "I got a great rate on a car loan."  But that's about it.


Because banking is a little bit like running a whore house. 

Actually, let me change that.  Banking is a lot like running a whore house. 

Everyone in town knows where it is.  Everyone in town knows what it does.  People transact business in there, and it's nobody's business but your business what you do when you walk into a bank office.  Everything is pretty private if it is 1) Legal and 2) Not Illegal.

What you never want to hear about a bank is a whole lot like what you don't want to hear about a whore house.   You never want to hear that the regulators are in there (bank), or that the health department paid a call (whore house) and in either case, when it becomes public, it makes people nervous.   In fact, it's nothing for a regulator to be in a bank because they are making sure that everyone is doing exactly what they are supposed to be.  Same with a whore house.  Health department checks up on it to make sure that the women (and men) who work there are doing so because they know what they are doing and aren't being forced to do it and that they aren't passing social diseases.

So after his call, what did the Secretary of the Treasury do?

He issued a statement that the largest banks are well run, have liquidity, and they want to make loans.


But if you have ever seen the 1984 farce, A Private Function - starring Michael Palin and Maggie Smith - then you know that when you announce to the world that there is "no pig in here," that there is, most certainly a pig being hidden in there.

Smug with his good deed of what was proclaiming "No pig in here" as it were, the result was that on the stock market side on Monday, Wall Street and Dow Jones, together, showed the single biggest loss in one day since 1931. 

What Mnuchin should know, and if he had the brains to know that you don't do that because people start questioning what you aren't saying.

If everything is fine with the banks why would you say anything?

If in fact there is "no pig in here" why say it?  You just open the door to the police and show them there is no pig in there.

And in fact if there is "no collusion" - which is a term, NOT a legal definition - you don't need to say "no collusion" at all, or repeatedly.   If there is no collusion, then the report will clear your name.  But when you say it continually, it sounds like a "denial" of what you are most afraid that they are going to find because you know something is there.

So tomorrow, if the market tanks again, remember: Steve Mnuchin will be insisting that there is no "no pig in here."

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Yeah, I don't have time...for this.

So this past week, Cookie decided that he really needed a new pair of shoes.  It's not a capricious decision.  Cookie buys shoes only when Cookie needs new shoes. 

I hate going shoe shopping.   I hate the entire process.  Hated it when I was a kid, too.

In my mind, I know what I want, but the stores never have it.

Anyway, I had a pair of Merrill's that are maybe six years old and I really love them.  They're just a pair of slip-on shoes, but they are awesome.  I wear them around the house and they are so comfortable you forget they're on.  But alas, Merrell no longer makes these. 

So a neighbor said that there is a Merrell store at Arundel Mills, the "outlet mall" down by the airport.  No anchor stores.  But it has a casino.

Anyway, I drag myself down there - about a half hour drive - park the car, and having never been there, I picked a door and walked into the mall. It took a good ten minutes to get from the door at one end to Merrell's store at the other end.

I go in and I look and they have nothing at the outlet store that I want (Suprise) but a guy has to do his due diligence, right?

Now before we go any further, that day, I was wearing a ball cap, a pair of ratty old jeans, a ratty old mock turtleneck from L.L. Bean and a fleeced lined hoodie from a Farm and Fleet store in Ohio that I bought when they went out of business.  In other words, I look heterosexual. 

Dressed as I was, I got out my iPhone and started looking for the nearest REI, which had the shoe closest to what I wanted, and while I am waiting for the map to come up - because I know nothing about that part of the region, someone walks up to me.

This someone says, her very best "ohmygod," voice: "OK, I hate to interrupt your phone time but you to go in the back and find me this shoe," which she hands me, "in a size five."

This Chippy doesn't look up from her phone, she is dress like Arbutus' version of Arianna Grande, and a cheap looking Arianna Grande at that.

I start to say "Miss, I don't..." when she puts up her hand and says "Don't tell me what you can't do, just get IT done," in a perfect vocal fry.

Now, maybe she saw me, maybe she had those laser-focused eyes of her focused on the phone, but you don't treat anyone like that.  ESPECIALLY retail workers.

So I asked her to have a seat, she replies with" "Look, I don't have all day. I don't have time...for this."  And with her hand, she does a brush off move, like I was a gnat. 

OK, I'll be right back, says I.  And I head to the exit.

As I am leaving the store I said to the clerk "There's a brat over there who needs help."

And I left.

During the drive home, it got me wondering, about entitled people.  Where does that entitlement come from?  Is it a function of being in an outlet mall?  Would this have happened if I were in a Nordstrom?  And if I were in a Nordstrom, or Lord and Taylor, or Bloomingdales, would have any of the employees even asked me if they could help me dressed as I was.

I still don't have an answer or anything profound to report back.  I also don't have that new pair of shoes I need, either.

One conclusion is that I miss the Midwest.  I don't think I will ever acclimate to the harshness of people here.  There is no reason for it.  Baltimore calls itself the Charm City, but Charm has been something that is in short supply.

There is a lot of anger here.  There is a lot of crime.  And a great deal of insecurity.  All of that could be in play.  And I suspect that there are a whole lot of people who look at me and ask "Why does he get to live in a ratless neighborhood?'

But then again, this young woman's problem is that deep down, she is an utter bitch.  Just one of those Chippy's that buys a dog because its a fashion accessory, or snarls at children who are playing and loving life, or someone who sees some who is homeless and hates them because they "homeless" and that, not their condition, annoys her.

Or, she's just an utter bitch. 

And no, I don't have time for her.

Friday, December 21, 2018

When will this holiday madness end?

Seriously, Cookie is feeling boxed in by the growing crowd's desperate people jamming up the parking lots.   And there NO ONE waving a wand of dusting the place with magic dust to remind people that the holiday is not about getting the best parking spaces. 

And now we are throwing the obligatory X-Mas party!

I told Noreen it wasn't a costume party!

DAMNIT!  I forgot the Christmas Ham!  Back to the store, and that means playing Holiday Parking Lot Dodge'um, again!

Got back just in time to see Norma Desmond entertaining the troops with her Sunset Blouevard Cooch Dance.

Now to heat up dinner!

So how's your Friday before Christmas shaping up?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

So what's with this Christmas thing, anyway?

Not the Little Drummer Boy, but close

Stolen from Ann Marie

What do you hate most about Xmess? 

Commercialism, and the waste it leaves behind.

What is your least favorite piece of Xmess music? 
The Little Drummer Boy, because - and believers will tell you this - there was no Little Drummer Boy in the manger.  It was a SILENT NIGHT for Christ's sake.  And percussive instruments are not soothing to a woman in labor.  And they certainly are soothing to a newborn babe, either.  AND the fucking song goes on and on and ends around the beginning of the Annuciation

What traditional Xmess food OTHER THAN FRUITCAKE (too easy) is being sent down the garbage disposal? 

Homemade anything from a person I don't know and like.  "Why Jerri!  Homemade Quince Jam?"  And there is always a cat hair in Jerri's homemade jam.  So into the trash, it goes. 

Which animated TV Xmess special leaves you wanting to rip the wallpaper off the walls? 
Anything animated by Rankin - Bass, EXCEPT "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer".  Even as a kid I hated them.  Have you ever looked at their feet?  They look like irons.  And there are a total of 18 specials.  

What was your least favorite Xmess gift ever? 

ANYTHING that comes from an "EXECUTIVE" gift selection provided at stores, by their checkouts.  This includes puzzles made of wood or chrome. An old timey locomotive mad of wood.  A basketball net and a nerf ball.  You know, the gifts you by someone when you don't know what to get?  HATE THOSE!

For whom on your Xmess list is the hardest to shop? 

I only shop for my husband, but even that's hard because we have a $50 limit. 

How would you spend this time of year if you weren't caught up in all the "holiday" madness?

But we are.  And that's what I hate about this time of the year.  You can't escape it unless you a Ba-zillionaire.

But if we win the MegaMillions, the Husband I would move to Pasadena in October and return home in March.

Anyway, we're less than sixty days to Ground Hog Day, so spring is just around the corner. 

Merry Christmas, Bitches!

Monday, December 10, 2018

God Damn it: Jury Service

One of the BIGGEST things I hate... HATE about Baltimore (city of) is that it is its own county, separate from Baltimore County which surrounds it on three sides.

And because of this being the City of Baltimore, where everything is - and if it isn't, just wait - fucked up, is their jury service policy and procedures. 

Back in the Midwest, jury service is a two-week term, that you can only be called on to serve every two years.  What nice about that, after the initial aggravation, is that you get a rhythm two it. If you notice says you are to report Monday, June 1st, you go on Monday, June 1st.  And if you aren't called by the second Thursday of service, noon, they let you go.  And when you walk out, if you serve on an actual jury or not, you get a "Certificate" that gets you out of jury duty for the next two years!

IN BALTIMORE, however, it's one day, and you can be called once a year. Only if you are selected for a jury do you get a one year exception to serving again in the a one year period.  Furthermore, after getting the notice, your life hangs in the balance until 5PM the day before, because that is when you call in to see if your "Block" of numbers have been called. 

So let's say that you are assigned draw number 5312, for Thursday, December 27, 2019.  You don't report until you, and hundreds of other people, all call at the same time.  You have to listen to this gawdawful recording, that goes on and on and on.  Then they get to the numbers "If your jury number is between muffle muffle muffle and 8000, you will report tomorrow at 8:00am..."

So you have to call, and go through the same bullshit again and hope that the record doesn't get mucked up.   And you listen and the voice says 5500 and 8000 - YOU ARE IN THE CLEAR.

But if the voice says 5000 and whatever fucking number is greater than you, THEN you go.

And parking is a hassle - because they don't have a decent mass transit system here - and the traffic and the security, and on and on.

Most of the time they don't select me during the questioning.  But you still have to report to the court to be part of voir dire, or selection process.  Sometimes you can be in there for hours with nothing to do but watch the judge and the lawyers talk and ruffle papers.  If you get selected, then great - you know what your purpose is.  If not, you have to return to the Jury room and wait to be called again. But the absolute worst is being chosen an alternate.  Because you have to be there, paying attention to everything, without being able to decide the outcome. 

I usually don't get chosen.  My father was a lawyer, my brothers are lawyers, my cousins are lawyers, my best friend is a lawyer and represents the alleged defendant in capital crimes trials.  I have been to paralegal school. I have worked as a paralegal.  I have gone into juvenile prisons to interview the "yutes" about their conditions of confinement and give them information on the progress of their early release petitions.  (More than usual, they don't get out early unless they have made enormous strides in their treatment and in their education.)  And I have a bias; which is, if someone has prior convictions on a crime of opportunity, then they more likely to re-offend again.  Its a fact of psychology - past behaviors are a good prediction of future behaviors.

Is that fair to Defendent?  It is if you get it all out there during your voir dire, then you have been honest.

I also cannot serve on juries involving sexual or physical abuse of a child, because I was one as a child.  PTSD and all, Defendant may be innocent, may be guilty, but I literally had too much skin that game.  And besides a victim of a crime should never be asked to determine the guilt or innocence of someone accused of that crime because the chance of projecting yourself as the victim is way too great.  In my mind, they are guilty until proven innocent.  And that doesn't mean a fair trial them.

And for your time, effort and expenses, you get paid an amount less than the parking rates.

It's not that I mind jury service, just tell me how many days, and what day to report so I can make life plans.  But this one day a year lottery that they run is not only a drag but its stressful.  I could get out of it by unregistering to vote.  But given the way things are going, in this nation, that isn't a smart move.

So sometime in the next 30 days, I will be locked up in a room awaiting someone to call my number, and then pay an outragous amount to park my car.  No fun.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Some changes at DHTiSH

Back in November, I came to the conclusion that after eight years, it might be a good time to call it a day with DHTiSH.

Blogs on Blogger have pretty much run their course, and I had launched Krab With a K on Tumblr.  And let's face it, Tumblr is a great source of "artistic" images.

But then, last Monday, Verizon, which bought Yahoo! and Tumblr in 2017, and then folded the two into a holding company called "Oath:" to keep it separate from its ungodly expensive cell phone business and its landline business, and its FIOS cable business, finally forced Tumblr to eliminate all of the adult content on the platform.

Here's my problem with that.

Verizon knew what it was buying when it bought Yahoo! and Tumblr came with the deal.  Even at the at the outset, market and industry watchers said that Verizon was going to address it.   They could have spun off a platform for the adult Tumblrs, but no, they wanted everything.  Well, on December 3, 2018, they "fired" every Tumblr contributor, artist and community member that contributed to the adult community.

What does that mean?  EVERY Tumblr member was given two weeks notice that on December 17, the site was taking down everything identified that contains sexual content.  We were all given two weeks notice.  Since then, images on my Tumblr's had been flagged, and that includes Krab With A K, which is a "G" rated Tumblr.

We weren't given a month, we weren't given an option, everything is going if their bots and people find it to be of an adult nature. 

What brought this one?  Apparently, it was child pornography found on an APPLE app for Tumblr, which was then banned from the Apple Store. 

Now, let me be perfectly clear - Child Pornography has no business being anywhere or existing at all, period. There should be no safe haven for that at all.  I even get uncomfortable thinking about a couple of nude pictures taken of me when I was a toddler by a professional photographer hired by my parents. Never mind that the guy penciled out my "stuff" so I looked like a sexless childs toy baby doll.  I don't want some creep buying those at an Ephemera Sale in the future.

But pictures of adults, who pose for those for that media, is not legal to own in the U.S.

So what happened, in a nutshell, was that Apple got a complaint, dropped the app, which gave Verizon the reason to ban the LEGAL adult content. 

But also what happened is that Verizon, Oath, and Tumblr have killed communities.  There were groups of men and women, in the leather communities, in the S&M communities and other fetish groups (did you know that there are people turned on at the thought of being in a dental chair?) have been sidelined. 

These communities have to find a new place to go because Verizon got its knickers in a bunch.

Now think about this.  White Power and ProNazi groups weren't banned.  Pictures of mutilated bodies, murder victims lying in pools of there own blood, big game animals being slaughtered, pictures of war, starvation, and Tumblrs that are hate groups that target LGBTQA, races, religions and people from other nations weren't banned. 

But adult nudity was.

ALL of this means that we all have to rethink what an online community is, and who owns that ability to congregate online.  If you have a community on Facebook, that means it exists only through the benevolence of the people driving the platform.  They, not you, have the right to flip that switch and destroy your online community.  You have no say in it.

So, for the meantime, DHTiSH will continue to be online.  And it also means that I am heavily involved in helping several of these communities and their members stay in contact with one and other as new platforms are developed.  (And for the record, Cookie is not turned on by any Dentistry Fetish.  Just not my thing, but if it yours, go knock your socks off.)

Is Tumblr going to reverse itself?  No.  You can send all the petitions and all the communications you want to the evil empire that owns and runs it.  Nothing is going to change.

What I do know is that something will fill the void and provide the service.  Who and what that is unknown and when it will be up and running, no one knows. But it also presents one heck of an opportunity for someone.