Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm technologically illiterate.  The thing is, I'm really pretty disinterested in electronics altogether.  Which is weird for someone who uses them pretty much all day, every day.  Making me a technohypocrite.  In my defense, it's virtually impossible not to be connected in today's over connected world.

I've told myself time and time again that I'm not going to sign-up for anything else that requires a log-in and a password.  Because I can't even remember the ones I have.  But, every time there is some ridiculous reason for me to sign up.  Like it's required by my kids' schools, so I can academically stalk my children.  As if I don't stalk them on social media already.  Adding one more thing to my 'to do' list.

But first, I have to create a log-in that makes sense so I'll remember it.  For instance, ILOVESTALKINGKIDS. But, that may set off some alarm bells for the school administration, like I'm a pedophile or something.  I'd use my real name as the log-in, except the first time I tried to log-in I used it, messed up somehow and now it registers as taken. So now, I have to come up with something really boring, that's probably a lie like Knittingmom.  (I don't knit.)  But, that's already taken. As are most of the other mundane things I've thought of.      

And now I have to make a password that's 10 characters long consisting of 6 letters (at least one of which should be capitalized), 2 numbers and 2 symbols (excluding the < sign, because that might demean the other letters or symbols in front of it, you know...political correctness and all).  Making this a long and infuriating process.

But, it's nothing compared to my battle with the CAPTCHA.  Which is more of a war, that I'm losing.  Maybe I'm not human, because I can't seem to prove to my computer that I'm not a computer.  Seriously, who can read those things?  Even with my reading glasses on, it's like they're written in Klingon or something.  And last time I checked, Klingons aren't human.  Or real.

Don't even get me started on anything that requires a security question. Because it's always some obscure question.  Like:  What elective did you take in the fall of your freshman year of college?   Or:  Who's your favorite Astrophysicist?  And then there's: Where were you when you realized you sold out and your dreams would never come true?  I mean, not only is it depressing as hell to traipse through your past and recount this stuff and divulge it to your computer overlord, but really...who can remember this stuff?  I can barely remember to give my diabetic dog his insulin twice a day!

I would complain about e-mail, but I rarely read them anymore.  Same with group texts.  And for someone who puts so much information on-line with my blog and social media, I'm really skeptical of those discount cards offered by supermarkets. Are they collecting data on me?  Which is totally ridiculously paranoid and hypocritical.  Which is why I use my old phone number for this purpose.  Somewhere, some 70 year old guy with my old land line is getting coupons for tampons and zit cream at the check out.

I guess I have to admit, I love to hate technology.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Minority

I'm the first to admit it; I know nothing about being a minority.  I'm a white, privileged woman living in a white, privileged world.  And I have a lot of white guilt about that.  No matter what I do, I'll never know how it feels to be a minority.  At least I'm a woman, so I know what it's like to be discriminated against, sexually harassed, marginalized and objectified to keep me grounded.  Thank god for that!

If I have one complaint about where I live, it's that my neighborhood isn't ethnically diverse.  It's white.  It's so white, that if you mixed everyone in my community together, cumulatively we wouldn't even constitute off-white.  Even in summer when everyone has a tan, it's still as white as newly fallen snow around these parts.  I don't know exactly why that is, only that it is.

So, last Saturday after I went out to dinner with my husband downtown, we stumbled upon a bar with live music.   And when we went inside, about half of the patrons were African American, as was the band playing that night.  I felt guilty for even noticing.  But, coming from my homogeneous world how could I not notice?

And I started thinking about the one and only time I was in the minority, which was when we lived in Morocco.  One of the reasons we left Colorado Springs for Africa, was to experience what it's like to be immersed in a completely different culture.  Where we'd be the minority.  Which we were for a couple of years.  And people would stop and stare.  Point and whisper.

But, no matter what we did, or where we traveled, we were still white and privileged with the entitlement of having American passports.  Quite simply, even as foreigners, we wielded a huge advantage of power, without even trying.  I came to the realization that there's no way for us to truly experience what it's like to be in the minority.  Or the challenges that come with it.

All any of us can do it encourage, celebrate and protect diversity.   

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Porta Potty Hell

There are two things that are extremely important any time you travel anywhere in the world:  1.  Consuming enough roughage to poop.  2.  Having a place to poop.  Because, the older you are, the more you realize that life is really all about shit.  Repugnant, putrid, vile shit.  Only a small fraction of which is actually excrement.  But whether it's literal or figurative shit, it's all a waste.  Welcome to the shitshow that's adulthood!  Here are some porta potties provided for your convenience.

I could smell the stench, carried upwind on a balmy mountain summer breeze, before I even saw the repugnant toilets at the campsite.  I always seem to forget about this vital component of camping.  And with four nights in a tent, avoiding the camp toilet is completely unavoidable.  Sooner or later you're going to need to use it.  But, sooner if you're a coffee drinker.  And what adult doesn't drink coffee?  A masochistic psychopath, obviously.  The same kind who camp regularly.

When you just can't hold it anymore, that's when you'll have to do the walk of shame to the camp toilet.  Don't forget a flashlight, because other than daylight, there is no other light source in there.  But, since I can never remember to pack a flashlight, I bring my phone.  (Which is how I captured this great photo of one of the camp toilets three years ago.)  Perhaps most importantly, don't forget the wet wipes!  Because chances are, there won't be any toilet paper.  But, there will be flies.  So many flies.  Which, after the noxious fumes is the second reason to hold your breath before going in and squatting over the potty. BUT, DON'T FORGET TO TAKE THE PHONE OUT OF YOUR BACK POCKET FIRST!

The bad news is, no one can hold their breath, squat over the potty, do their business (especially #2), clutching their phone and a package of wet wipes without peeing on themselves or taking a breath.  It's impossible, trust me!  And the only thing worse than using the porta potty in the first place is being passed out in the porta potty.  I don't actually know that from experience, it's just common sense. In addition, don't ever look directly into the crapper.  I think that's pretty basic.  But there are two valid reasons why one might do this unconscionable act.  1.  Is this going to overflow?  2.  Am I done?  (Sometimes it's just a habitual thing if you're doing #2 to look in the bowl to ascertain this.)

While you're doing Lamaze breathing to hold the squat hovering over the seat, clenching your phone, the dim light illuminating the sign that says not to put diapers, feminine products or garbage into the toilet because they're extremely difficult to remove.  Well, duh...that sounds really reasonable.  Until you consider there's no toilet paper.  And then you look at the wet wipes you brought with you.    While I'm normally a decent, respectful, environmentally conscious human being, I'm sure as shit going to throw that potentially toilet clogging, environmentally hazardous wet wipe that I wiped myself with in there.  Because I'm no masochistic pack-in, pack-out psychotic homemade from a flannel cloth and essential oils reusable wet wipe user.  Because at this moment, I don't give a shit about the environment! I'd say I'm going to hell for that, but I'm already there in porta potty hell!  And judging from the rife stank, so is everyone else at this campground.


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