Friday, February 11, 2022

News Fatigue

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:

hoaxed ~ favoritism ~ wolf in sheep’s clothing ~ running smoothly ~ poke bowl ~ manually

They were submitted by:

I've had covid a second time and haven't slept well in months. Well, really in a year so this isn't the best thing I've ever written (I don't know if anything lately has been since I can write at most a paragraph at a time), but I want to keep the prompts going, and I hope in the next couple weekends I can functionally read well enough to catch up on comments. 


Things aren't really running smoothly yet are they?

I mean I'd obviously hoped yet another politician hadn't turned out to be wolf in sheep's clothing, but, uh, let's just say those hopes weren't too high and yet here we are with...whatever the hell is going on in this place. Covid responses are as bad as ever with no new lockdowns here, overflowing hospitals, raging case numbers and we got 4 at home tests (per entire household) and maybe, if we're lucky and can scramble around for them, 3 better masks but we have to go out without one into busy pharmacies to pick them up ourselves. No checks, no eviction moratorium, no student loan relief, this business with Ukraine, what's been happening unchecked in Yemen, absolutely no bills to help the poor, fuck them kids, next to nothing to stop climate change, more deportations than ever, more police funding... I could go on.

The news lately has been all about the new cat at the white house. On a different channel they're probably still talking about whether a candy mascot is fuckable or not. Someone somewhere is writing that a poke bowl made at home is cultural appropriation and someone else is writing a dissertation in the comments about why that's wrong. Two headlines back to back will tell you that New York is giving us hope for Omicron and that new York's hospitals are past capacity. It's everything and nothing all at once and we just keep falling for it.

We really have been hoaxed into thinking we can't do better than this shit right here. We get hoaxed by the news every single day. Even if a person decides to manually look a thing up instead of letting their usual social media feeds tell them what's happening in the world, there are going to be 47,618 takes about any specific issue at minimum, and anything worth reading is going to be behind a paywall. Where do we go from here when good information costs money and conspiracies are free? Pay is low. Morale is low. Inflation is through the roof. How do we keep making it so people have to pay for even the most moderate info and still wonder why so many people are misinformed and lost? And don't tell me "well they should trust science" because if you know anything about our FDA, literally anything, then you should know why people don't trust our government when it comes to the medical field. Every day there's a new reason not to trust doctors. Every time the CDC contradicts itself so more people can get back to work sooner and keep lining rich people's pockets, people lose a little more of any faith they had that we get answers.

In a situation where people are already so fucking tired of all of this, where real news fatigue has set in, the constant changes and ridiculous focus on outrage about a fucking cartoon candy and how the company is obviously showing favoritism to the left by changing its CARTOON SHOES only increases the problems. Book burnings, fascists in Canada, mass shootings still happening all the time, people in a massive cult murdering their own families, worsening inclement weather events...

Where the fuck do we even go from here?

Don't answer that. I don't want to know.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Part-time Working Hockey Mom

Friday, February 4, 2022

Haunted Love

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This month 5 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:

How did you meet your other half? Or if not tell us a love story.

It was submitted by:

There's a part of my life I like to keep just for me so please enjoy some fiction today! Thank you!


I hadnt slept well in so long I'd lost count of the days--enough to keep going but not enough to keep myself from dissociating into daydreams every time I turned around. Get through making breakfast? Sure. Eat it before it got cold? Not a chance. As soon as I sat down I'd be staring off into space until my grits were lumpy as I was the day I met her.

"oh come on! This is ridiculous! How can you see me?!? Are we just not going to talk about this?"

I snapped out of my daydreaming. Did I really just hear that? That voice? Was I hallucinating?

"Don't pretend you can't hear me. I know you can. Answer the question."

She sounded real, but then again, I didn't know what a hallucination was supposed to sound like.

"Um...hello?" I risked. Holy shit I have to be really losing it. Was I actually dreaming right now? I had stopped being able to tell dream from reality at times, and maybe this was one of them?

"No. Over here!"

I looked around. Up. Down. Twirled and searched the entire room. I heard giggles while I peered out the window.

"Well I guess you actually can't see me then huh? You had me fooled, girl."

I was kinda getting weirded out and frustrated and curious all at once and afraid of my own pending insanity. I half sobbed, half laughed out, "what the fuck is going on????? Did I finally...I've lost it haven't I?" and then promptly burst into tears.

"Shit." I hear over the sobs. I thought I caught a blur of motion, a light orb...something less than solid and then I felt so warm like being wrapped in a blanket fresh from the dryer. And better like a friend had a stopped by armed with tea, fuzzy socks, weed and a white noise machine determined to help me relax and sleep. Taken care of, then. It's like in that moment everything was ok.

That's how I met Frannie, the ghost who lived in my house for the past 50ish years or so.

I know, I know. I didn't believe in ghosts either. I knew all the shows were fake and all that. I didn't go seeking out ghost stories. I just went on about my life insistent they very likely didn't exist, and if they did, I damn sure didn't want proof of it. So no I wouldn't buy that charming doll at the antique shop, and I damn sure wasn't picking up that old trunk someone left by the side of the road. Like I really, really didn't want to test the odds on that. I even bought a house I really thought has a relatively short history with just two owners to limit my odds!

And yet there I was in Frannie's warm embrace in the precipice of a mental breakdown from lack of sleep and not knowing if i was actually already in need of some grippy socks and a long stay at a facility.

"There, there. It's okay. You're ok."

I could almost feel pats on my shoulder. It felt like a milder version of the zap you get after rubbing your socks on the carpet and touching a doorknob. I certainly wasnt having tactile hallucinations right? I mean I was still ahead on my deadlines at work and the house was clean. My clothes were appropriate. I went shopping for a new vacuum the day before. I was ok like for real ok right? This wasn't in my head.

It wasn't.

"Don't take this the wrong way or whatever but what the fuck are you?"

I sense her hesitation despite not being able to see anything at all.

"Um... I don't know entirely. A ghost I guess?"

"Ghosts aren't real, dude. What's going on? Am I on some prank show?"

Oh great. Now she was the one crying. I could hear her. And I couldn't return the favor of the hug either and it was all my fault she was crying so then I started crying AGAIN.


Things quietened down but I could tell she was still there. It's like she wanted me to know but she didn't know what to say.

"So you're a ghost?"

"I think."

"What does that even mean?"

"Well. I lived here a long time ago, and that's really all I remember. I know this house. I know it was mine, but it just keeps changing, and the people keep changing. I don't know. I'm just hear, but no one can see me. I really thought you could though. It seemed like you were always looking at me especially lately but...I guess not."

"Well I haven't been sleeping lat--"

"Yeah I noticed..."

"That's a little weird you know that, you know?"

"I'm a ghost."

"Ok. Point proven. But ok so I haven't slept. And I've just kind of been staring off into space most of the time I guess. I dont really know."

She started crying again. And I guess if no one had seen me in that long I'd probably cry too. But I could hear her which was new. Maybe it was the not sleeping. I haven't figured that part out...yet. I don't know if I ever will. I really don't know if I want to know. Would it break the spell or ruin it all to know? If I believe she's a ghost or don't believe, does it ruin it? If I investigate too hard, does she leave? It's been almost a year of having her around. It's been even longer of not sleeping. And I don't know what we have or don't have or what she is or isn't but I know I can't imagine my life without her. I mean, we're not pulling a Bev Crusher on Star Trek or anything with her ghost sex and all that (what were those writers thinking? Seriously?) but I love her. I love making her laugh and knowing when I get home she's there...fucked up because she has no choice but it is what it is. And for now at least, I'm going to love her for every minute we have together.


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

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Part-time Working Hockey Mom

A ‘lil HooHaa