Guns and Life: A Tater Rant

So, apparently, Trump called the NRA today to tell them there would be no movement on background checks.  This should be no surprise to anyone.  The Republican party sold their souls to the gun lobby years ago. All we will ever get from them are “thoughts and prayers.” I don’t doubt they gave cursory thought to the tragedies of gun violence. I don’t doubt that they uttered a prayer. Thoughts and prayers without action mean nothing. I’m done with “thoughts and prayers.” I’m done with people claiming to be pro-life but then showing they care more about their guns than actual lives. As I wrote before, pro-life for them seems to end at birth. If someone is really pro-life they won’t care more about guns than people. If someone is really pro-life they won’t refuse to even consider reasonable gun control. If someone was really pro-life they would see no reason a reasonable human being needs to own weapons of war. I have no problem with hunting. I have no problem owning a gun for security. You don’t need the weapons used in the mass shootings for hunting and home security unless you are really bad at it. In that case, you probably shouldn’t own a gun anyway.  I’m tired of people posting about how life is precious and then posting “DON’T TAKE MY GUNS!” when we propose sensible measures to save lives. You aren’t pro-life. You are pro-birth.

I’m also tired of the same old “Something else is the problem” game.

It’s mental illness!

It’s video games!

It’s violent movies!

 

It’s anything but guns!

Other countries have mental illness. Other countries have video games. Other countries have violent movies. You know they don’t have? THEY DON’T FUCKING HAVE MASS SHOOTINGS!

So, spare me you holier than thou, pro-life, Jesus posts until you show me you care about humans once they are born.

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It’s Time to Start the Slide to Retirement Tater

A post came up in my memories today where I talked about how to define myself now that my role as a dad has changed. I wrote that post when my son was heading to college and my daughter was starting high school. A lot has happened over those four years.

My son has now graduated from college and is starting his first real job this week.

My daughter leaves for her second year of college on Friday.

I accepted a new position at my place of work and moved to a new branch.

My mom died(and thus my role as son has ended)

That’s a lot in four years. The job and mom thing were just a month or so apart.

I still struggle with the thought of what defines me. I’m still dad, but I go weeks without seeing my kids. I go to work, I go home, I read or watch TV and then I start all over again. I still don’t want to be a person who is defined by my job, especially since I’m not sure anyone respects my job or my ability to do it. Also, I will no longer be doing this job in six years or so. I don’t want to be that person who struggles with retirement because my life has been defined by the work I do. So, the question is where do I go from here?

I’m not sure I can answer that.  After all, the original post is from four years ago. I’ve had four years to consider this and I’ve done nothing. Maybe the “defining” thing is the problem. Do I really need to worry about that? Maybe it’s time t just think about doing more fun things after work. I already plan to see a movie on my Fridays off at least once a month for the next couple of months. I need to go ahead and buy that ticket to the concert in DC next month even though my wife won’t go with me. I need to get out and go to DC, Baltimore, and Annapolis. I need to take day trips to other places further away. There’s no reason to wait for retirement to start doing these things.

I guess it’s time to stop worrying about how present me is defined and start working on becoming the future, man of leisure, me.

 

What’s Good in Tater Town 8/18/19

Another not so stellar week. That has to change soon, right? Let’s see if I can find the good.

  1. My son came home Sunday night. We grilled steak and watched Detective Pikachu.
  2. A friend gave a CD to listen to and I really liked it. It’s good to find new music you like.
  3. I went to the Ravens game Thursday night. It was good to get out of the routine and it was a nice night to be at the stadium.
  4. My boss is on vacation.
  5. I worked half my day at another branch on Friday. Working two locations and traveling in between made the day go faster.
  6. I had enough reward points at Royal Farms to get a free lunch on the way from branch to branch.
  7. I worked on Friday, so I have two days off in a row this weekend.
  8. My son came home again last night for dinner and he and my wife finally say End Game.

I think that’s it for the week.

My Week in Books, Movies, and TV 8/16/19

It’s been a long week. I had to go back to last week’s post to see what I said was on deck so I could maybe remember what I did this week.

Movies – I went to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood last Friday. I’ve always been a Tarantino fan so I expected to like this movie and I did. DiCaprio and Pitt are great as the leads. I especially enjoyed Pitt in the movie. The ending was unexpected, but I really liked what he did with it. I would highly recommend you see it as soon as possible. We watched Detective Pikachu Sunday night. I did not expect to like it as much as I did. It was actually pretty funny. You don’t need to know anything about Pokemon to enjoy it.

TV – I’ve watched 1.5 episodes of BH90210(I’m watching episode 2 as I type this) and I am enjoying it. It’s not a reboot. It is the 90210 actors playing versions of themselves considering a revival of the show after reuniting at a convention. It’s fun to see all of the actors together again. The story sounds dumb, but it works for me. You have to be a fan of the original, I think, to enjoy it. My daughter has started watching Downton Abbey and I’ve seen pieces of it here and there. I never considered watching it because it didn’t seem like something I would like but I almost feel like I want to go back and watch what I’ve missed.

Books – I finished one book this week – Raised in Captivity by Chuck Klosterman. It is a collection of very short fiction. Each story is 10 pages or less. I didn’t know how I would feel about stories that short, but it worked. It was easier to read short stories knowing each one would only take a few minutes to read. You didn’t get so absorbed in one that it was hard to move to the next and a bad one didn’t ruin the experience. The stories are all very weird.

On Deck – I have two movies on DVD – Cell and Long Shot. Cell is the one based on the Stephen King book. I never got around to watching it and feel like I would like it. Not sure I can convince anyone to watch it with me. I’m also not sure I can convince anyone to watch Long Shot. I’m the only Seth Rogen fan in the house right now. TV this week will be trying to finish a couple of shows on the DVR before my daughter goes back to school. I have two books I need to read for book clubs by August 28 and 31. That is going to be a challenge. I tried reading them at the same time but decided that wasn’t working. Too bad I can’t find audio for either one of them.

More Of Tater is Done

Here are some other things I’m done with.

People who don’t do much but spend a lot of time talking about how much they do.

People who don’t know how to do things telling those who do them how they are doing them wrong.

People who ignore you until they need something from you.

People who make their own rules and use those rules to not do things until such time they want to do those things and then say the rules don’t matter.

Being an afterthought, forgotten and ignored(again until they want something from you or what to tell you how you’ve done something wrong).

Not getting enough sleep due to a combination of stress, anxiety, and pets that need to go outside way too early.

Multiple days a week when the thought of leaving the house makes you sad.

The inability to do anything to change the fact that leaving the house makes you sad.

Lack of respect for the work you do or have done.

Summer heat and humidity.

Distracted drivers.

Bad drivers.

Driving in general.

People who write whiny lists about what they are done with.

People who end a sentence with the word with.

 

WWW Wednesday 8/14/19

I discovered this a couple of weeks ago and did one and then forgot last week. It is hosted here if you want to visit.

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading two books. One for a work book club(Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins) and one for a personal book club(FKA USA by Reed King). I’m too early in to both to give an opinion. I picked them both so I hope they are good. They both are a little weird(like me)

I just finished reading Raised in Captivity by Chuck Klosterman. I’ve always been a fan of Klosterman’s work. This is a collection of very short fiction. They are also very weird. I seem to be in a weird loop at the moment.

I will probably read Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill next to complete a weird trifecta. This is a look at the Manson murders and attempts to disprove the race war theories put forth in Helter Skelter. I’ve always been a little obsessed with the Manson murders, so I’m looking forward to this one.

 

A Few Snippets of Conversation Between Me and My Daughter

My wife is out of town. It’s just me and my daughter at home. I’ve been home since 2:30 this afternoon. Here is a selection of some conversation today:

Me -Do you want this entire piece of lasagna?

Her – Yes(and then talking to the TV) Is it a boy or a girl?

Me – I don’t know! Can lasagna even have a gender?


Me(talking to myself while in the kitchen) – Is there a cucumber in the here(the fridge)

Her(pausing the TV) – I’m never going to finish this show if you keep talking!

Me – I’m just looking for the cucumber.

Her – Well, there’s no need for narration.


Me(watching Flash) – I’m not really a fan of Joe or Iris. Barry could do better.

Her – Rude!

Me: Barry should marry Supergirl.

Her – You should just stop saying things.

Just a normal night in Tater Town.

They Don’t Own You, You Don’t Owe Them

Once upon a time, in an office far, far away(Baltimore) I worked for a terrible person. I was a contract employee and, even if this person wasn’t terrible, would need to find a new job eventually. During this terrible time, I filled in as the librarian at the women’s prison for several months. It had the benefit of not being in the same office as the terrible person and I felt I was actually doing some good. I applied for the open position and the terrible person passed on hiring the person actually doing the job and hired someone else. At this time, I became more active in my job search. At some point, the terrible person found out I was looking for a new job and was furious. She called me in to her office and yelled about how I owed it to her to tell her I was looking so she could start thinking about a replacement for me. I wish I would have had it in me then to tell her why exactly I owed her nothing. I did eventually find a new job, but it was right back to jail. You can read some of that story here.

The above story is brought to you by me hearing about others who are concerned about what people will think if people here they might be looking for a new job. No one should worry about what people think about them looking for a new job. No one owes it to anyone to tell them they are looking for a new job. No one owes it to an employer to not look for new opportunities. What you owe your employer is this – do your best when you are at work. Do the job you are paid to do. That’s it. That’s all you owe them. Same goes for supervisors and coworkers. If you have a good relationship with them and you think they will support you, by all means, let them know, but you don’t need to tell anyone anything you don’t want to tell them. You do owe it to yourself to do what is best for you and your family. That’s it. End of story. This also applies to people who work for me(though I can’t imagine anyone wouldn’t want to work for me forever).

There are lyrics to a Bowling for Soup song that apply here:

Follow your heart. Fuck everybody else.

What’s Good in Tater Town 8/11/19

It was not the best of weeks. Way too much stuff stressing me out. You can read my rant about some of it here. Let’s see how much good I can find.

  1. I went to two different branches on Tuesday afternoon to see friends. I was seeing them because they are leaving, but it was still good to get to see them and other friends.
  2. I had a meeting near one of those branches Wednesday afternoon so I walked over after and had leftover dessert from the party.
  3. A storm delayed my departure so I got to spend a little more time talking to friends I no longer see every day.
  4. We went to food truck night Thursday night. I love food truck night.
  5. I went to see Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Friday morning and had $5 off food from AMC to use while I was there.
  6. I stopped at 7-11 on the way home to get my free Slurpee I had on the app.
  7. The meme I made for social media at work was somewhat successful yesterday.

I think that’s all the good I can find this week. It was more than I expected.

My Week in Books, Movies and TV 8/9/19

It was back to a somewhat normal week. My daughter came home on Friday. My wife came home on Sunday. I finished a couple of books, but they were books I had already started. Other events of the week did not make for a calm enough mind to sit and read. I did watch a lot though.

Movies – I watched one of the four movies I had from the library. My son came home Sunday specifically to watch Shazam with us. We all really liked the movie. It was nice to have a light, funny DC movie for a change. They did a good job with it. Zachary Levi was great as Shazam. Mark Strong was a good villain. Jack Dylan Grazer was really good as the best friend of the kid who became Shazam. A good cast and a good script make for a good movie.

TV – We watched the second season of Derry Girls last weekend. It is a very funny show. If you haven’t watched it yet, do it this weekend. It’s easy to binge. Two six-episode seasons and each episode is only 25 minutes or so. You can watch the entire run without a break. It’s one of the funniest shows I’ve watched in a long time. While my daughter was at a wedding I started watching Friday Night Lights.  I knew it was supposed to be a good show, but I never got to it while it was on Netflix. It is on Prime, so I decided to give it a shot. I watched six episodes while she was gone. I have not watched more mainly because I haven’t had the time home alone. I did really like it, but there are a lot of episodes and the new fall season is starting soon, so it might take me a while to get to the rest. If you have the time and like football/high school drama I would recommend it.

Books – I finished four books this week.

Neon Prey by John Sandford – I started listening to it because the CD was at the library where I work. I hated the reader. I stopped at my local library to pick up a movie and the had a print copy available in their 7-day collection(I love this idea. New releases available for a one-week checkout with no holds). I then alternated between the audio and the print. I generally like the Lucas Davenport books. This one was OK, but not my favorite. I’m not sure if it was the story or the reader that made me like it less than the others.

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred Taylor – This is the last book in the Logan family series that started with Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. The Logan kids are now adults. The story covers WWII to the early 60’s with the now adult Logan kids moving north and still dealing with racism. I enjoyed it. It is a very good look at historic civil rights events through the eyes of the Logans. It was a little long and a lot of time was spent on Cassie’s first love story. I felt like that could have been trimmed down quite a bit. I would recommend it though.

Short and Skinny by Mark Tatulli – a middle-grade graphic memoir about the author’s time as a short and skinny middle schooler. It was a nice, quick read and perfect for upper elementary and middle schoolers.

I Was Their American Dream by Malaka Gharib –  A memoir about growing up the daughter of a mother from the Philippines and a dad from Egypt and figuring out who you are. I probably would have liked it a lot more if I had not read it when I was stressed out and angry. It’s probably not a good idea to try to read a book in that mood. I should read it again.

On Deck – At some point this weekend I will watch Detective Pikachu with my kids. We might force my daughter to watch Top Gun tonight since she’s never seen it. I plan to go see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood this morning. I will watch BH90210 this afternoon while others are out shopping. We need to finish watching Flash and Deadly Class before my daughter goes back to school soon. I’m reading Raised in Captivity by Chuck Klosterman and then I need to get to reading my books for my work and personal book clubs.