Friday, May 15, 2020

The Grass is Greener

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: boondocks, road trip, tires, trampoline, yours
they were submitted by:


I live in the country in the middle of nowhere really. The technical town listed on my address (and I live outside the city limits there anyway) has a population of 298 people. 298. Sure, it's quiet. It can be a little boring. But I've always been a bit thankful for that and the fact that we live far away from any really large metropolitan area. I've seen horror movies. I don't want to be trapped in a huge city with everyone competing for life and resources. I mean, have you seen the walking dead? atlanta is NOT where anyone wants to be when shit goes down, man. So here are some pro (ok that's questionable) life tips from someone who's been living in bumfuck nowhere for all her life and who might have read a post apocalyptic novel or two. or few. 

Post Apocalyptic Guide to Living In the Boondocks

1. I mean, wait. Unless we’re talking about an economic collapse, it’s probably going to be contained well before it gets to my place or yours. You don’t even have a Target store, so you probably won’t have to worry about, you know, roving bands of hungry urbanites looking for, I don’t know, corn or cows or the folks from Wrong Turn for awhile. You’ve got awhile to make a plan. Smoke some weed and craft some shit. We got this.

2. Your basic supplies will be covered by the stores you can find even in the boondocks, but you may want to take a road trip early on to get more complicated stuff that you didn’t panic buy online. Might be worth traveling for a sporting goods or camping store to be better prepared.

3. Prepare a bug out bag just in case you need to travel. First aid, fire starters, meds, a dry bag, thermos, life straw, etc. also definitely bring some kind of protection. Apparently people like Alex Jones are just looking for any excuse to eat their neighbors’ asses, and you have to fight them off at all costs unless that’s your kink then more power to you.

******If you want to try to stay in one place, do the following as soon as you start to worry. If not, uh…good luck.

4. Get an old trampoline. It’s good for building a pretty cheap coop for chickens, guinea, and ducks. The eggs are good for protein to trade and eat, and if needed the birds themselves will be good food. Consider larger animals if you have the space. Or have a couple pigs and a goat in the house. No one’s judging anymore. Live your Dr. Doolittle fantasies in real life. At least it will give you someone to talk to. and sure, yeah, i probably spend way too much time talking to my animals already, but whatever. I'm well prepared.

5. Use as much of your land as possible for a garden. Go ahead and till it now, throw down some black plastic to make sure everything is dead, then add nutrients to the soil and prepare it for veggies. Also buy some older fruit trees and plant so you may have fruits in the next year or so. Garden naked. Get dirty. Rub yourself with tomato plants and commune with the harvest goddesses. You’re going to need all the help you can get.

6. Maybe make an obstacle course? Get some tires for, like, cardio or whatever and some rope to climb or to spice things up with the last few tinder dates you manage to squeeze in. Might as well live it up while you can. If you’ve spent most of your nights rewatching The Office for the 30th time while you scroll through the same three apps on a loop every ten minutes because there is literally nothing else within a 100 mile radius of your house except the dairy farm that you’re pretty sure is ruining your lungs and definitely ruined the spring days with the windows open thing, then you might want to physically prepare. Do I know how to do this? No. But I'm sure you can youtube it?

7. Set up some traps. For people or monsters. I don’t know. It seems like fun when Fred does it in Scooby Doo.

8. Build a persona as the weird witch or wizard or oracle (or if you’re me, you’ve had this down for YEARS). Creep your house out. Put signs in the yard about reading auras or some shit. Use some trickery to make people BELIEVE it. You know what’s going to happen. You have all the best treatments. A, you can barter the fuck out of this. B, if you see anyone not from the area migrating to build something new, scare the shit out of them. Grab their arm and search their palm then scream about doom until they leave. Resources are scarce. Ok, unless they’re nice or whatever and then I guess maybe they can learn how to make soap.

9. Learn new stuff. Seriously. I think everyone should do this anyway. If you are unable, that’s one thing, but if you can, learn to knit or sew or make your own bread. It’s so gratifying to make a new recipe work with what you have on hand or to be able to patch up your own clothes or make your own masks right now. With the right tools, you can make everything you can’t get your hands on, and that’s always a plus. Also, learn how to just sit with yourself. Mindfulness. Awareness. Love yourself. Not like that. Okay, like that too. That’s always fun. But love your entire being. If the shit hits the fan, you need to be able to fuck shit up not be fucked up, so do the work when at all possible. You’re the best you that you’ve got or whatever I read on that photo of a beachy sunset that one time I accidentally added a Susan to my facebook.

10. Buy some books. You’re going to miss tv. And some days your own head isn’t going to be a safe space even when you’ve done the work, so yeah you might want to pretend you’re a pirate kidnapping a princess or Walt Longmire or a tiny kitten who gets lost or whatever and that’s ok. Escaping is good too. Make sure you include the Discworld series because it’s fucking amazing.

That's all I've got. I mean, we're all doomed if it gets any more serious than this first wave of corona anyway, but it's nice to think we might be prepared I guess. Good luck out there. Might want to check into moving to the boondocks asap. At least you can prolong your exposure!


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade

Wandering Web Designer

On the Border

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Follow Me Home


My Life After

Southern Belle Charm

Part-time Working Hockey Mom

Friday, May 8, 2020

Opinions Are Like Assholes: everyone has one but not everyone wants to see it

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 7 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

my “Secret Subject” is:

Are you able to be close friends with people who think differently than you do? Or do you think that friends have to have similar core beliefs in order to be close?

It was submitted by:


I feel like my answer to this might not win me any friends, but by the end it will probably become clear that I'm okay with that.

Fundamentally, I don't think I can truly answer this question without clarifying what we mean here by "think differently."

Since having chronic fatigue syndrome I experience a lot of cognitive issues. Memory loss, executive dysfunction, loss of balance, trouble speaking words even when I know what they are and trouble recalling words period, trouble thinking clearly... It's a long list. And I guess at this point my brain works differently than what is "normal." I'm not neurotypical. I have friends like me. I have friends who are neurodivergent on a developmental level. And I know people who are neurotypical. We literally think differently, and not one group of us is better or even better off. We're different. End of.

Are we talking about someone who thinks pineapple not only belongs but MUST be on pizza? Because despite how "differently" I feel about it--like someone who eats it is the wrongest kind of wrong-- I love someone who is like this albeit begrudgingly. I feel some kind of way about this blasphemy to everything that is good about pizza, but who does it hurt for him to eat it? (Obviously besides my own feelings.) Superficial opinions like this are fine. You want to put mayo on things? Knock yourself out even though I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. Don't like the color purple? Ok. I don't get it but I can still love you. Hate The Big Lebowski? Well, I might not think much about your taste in films, but ultimately you're only hurting yourself here so what does it matter in the end? I mean, I'd like you better if you got my constant references, but we could still be close. I have core fundadamental beliefs about foods and movies and music that I think are important to who I am as a person, but if someone I love doesn't agree I silently judge but we can still be close.

I suppose though this prompt is perhaps more about politics and those kinds of core beliefs. And once we cross into that territory things are no longer simple. When we discuss politics we aren't usually talking about how we think the President should use the Federal Reserve to react to an impending recession. We aren't typically talking about states using income or sales tax to fund their budget. Admittedly even those topics can understandably get heated, but more times than not we're arguing over fundamental differences in VALUES. How I feel about socialist programs, queer rights, feminism, reproductive health, anti-imperialism, and nationalism involve respect for humans, help for humans, and basic human rights aligns with how I view the world, society, and what I see as important. These things are no longer just an opinion. They're a reflection of my morals and concern for my fellow human beings. It's not the same as saying you don't like cake which, yeah, fucking sucks but not nearly as much as it sucks to know someone thinks my trans friends shouldn't exist or have access to equal rights. How can I have people in my life that think so differently about my and my friends' and my own child's right to exist? How can I be friends with someone who thinks people like me who can't work are a drain on society? How am I supposed to respect someone who doesn't think food and water are basic and fundamental human RIGHTS????

The answer is an easy one for me. I can't.

I can't wait around for some asshole who doesn't understand that my kid's genderqueer identity doesn't mean he's mentally ill to finally get that he's a person just like anyone else. I can't spend my time arguing with them over it hoping maybe they'll come around. I can't wait for the Trump supporters that still lurk around in my life to finally see what so many others do... it's not just a "think differently" situation anymore. I have to look out for my own and my kid's safety. I was out of the closet in the 90s. I know how much is at stake. I've been threatened with violence from the moment I was out and throughout my life. I don't have room in my life for people who lack basic respect for human life unless those humans love, live, worship, and have sex the exact same way they do.

My point is that at the end of the day we don't "think differently" when it comes to politics more often than not. What we have is an absolute mismatch of values, ethics, morals, and understanding, and with that difference comes a lack of respect and unconditional love that is an absolute requirement for a close, personal relationship. Can we be friends? Maybe but probably not. Not really. But we absolutely can't be close. At best I can stand in the outfield and not wish illness or harm to come to you or yours but that's as good as it's going to get.

When it comes to having those same core values and beliefs but thinking differently about how to achieve those goals or the root causes of identifiable issues or perhaps how to make changes to or reform or deconstruct systems, there's less at stake here. When I think of someone who is "different" than me, it's not these issues that come to mind because we don't "think differently" in my eyes. We have a different approach. We aren't so fundamentally different that working together and having mutual respect is impossible. And there lies the crux of the issue--how differently we think really matters in how to approach this question and these relationships.

I've never minded cutting people out of my life that treat or react to people badly. I'm not gonna be your friend if you don't tip in the u.s. either. I mean really. I don't mind cutting out people that don't make me feel good, that I groan when I see it's them commenting or texting or calling. I have one life, and I'm not giving it to people who make it shitty. The end.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade

Wandering Web Designer

A ‘lil HooHaa

Southern Belle Charm

Part-time Working Hockey Mom