It was important for me to launch my blog on the first day of autumn (if you continue to follow my blog in the future you will find out why.)
I have been thinking about starting a blog for sometime. People are often telling me I should write a book, but I’m not sure I actually have enough of a “story” to do that (or frankly, the discipline.) I have several social media accounts and I use them to discuss a variety of topics, but all of them seem too limiting. Because, the truth is, I’m a talker. If I had a nickel for the number of people who have told me to “try to be succinct” or “keep it brief” or “don’t be so wordy”, well, I’d be a super rich person.
To be honest, it was James Corden’s response to Bill Maher’s fat shaming segment that finally motivated me to get my rear in gear. I was incredibly frustrated that I didn’t have a real platform to discuss that specific issue. I also recently stumbled across a massive amount of information related to menopause and/or weight and I feel the need to share all of it as much as possible.
It was for these reasons that I knew it was time to finally create something where maybe, just maybe I could not only help other women who are going through menopause or starting menopause or wondering about menopause or are scared shitless about the prospect of menopause, but that perhaps I could also help people in general understand about women’s health, weight loss/gain, body issues, fat shaming and the mental health concerns that go along with all of these things.
I am not a medical professional, I am going to say that straight out, but I do hope to get opinions in the future from individuals in that industry. I also will be citing articles, studies, and books that contain legitimate scientific research.
So, there’s my first post. It’s not much, just an introduction really, but I think it might be one of the more difficult posts I will have to make. Because it was tough figuring out exactly why I wanted to do this and what I wanted to accomplish. Let’s see what happens. Are you with me?
Hello everyone. I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been trying to decide whether I wanted to continue on with my 7 things posts or just periodically do blog posts when I felt like. I’ve decided to sort of do both.
I’m going to switch from a weekly 7 things post to a monthly one. Maybe I’ll go back to weekly some day, but lately it’s been more and more difficult for me to find things to include.
In going to a monthly post I think it’ll make me feel freer to send out other posts periodically, on specific topics. Initially I wanted to do more posts on subjects like women’s health/mental health (obviously menopause), beauty, cooking, film & music, books, history, and other subjects that I’m passionate about or that catch my interest but during the pandemic my brain fog was fairly epic. So that’s the plan.
Okay, before we get started…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN CANDY!
John Candy would be 72 years old today. Hard to believe we lost this comic genius nearly 30 years ago. If you’d like to get a little infusion of the late, great Mr. Candy, here’s a VIDEO counting down his top ten films. I most definitely agree with #1.
Here’s another little bit of John Candy news – Ryan Reynolds and Colin Hanks are working on a documentary about John Candy. Can’t wait to see that!!!
On with the BOOOOOOOOOO…
1. This David S. Pumpkins SNL Skit – They’re BACK! Tom Hanks returned in his titular role as David S. Pumpkins with his two skeletal sidekicks, Mikey Day and Bobby Moynihan.
Click on the picture below to go to YouTube to watch the video of the skit.
2. This Collection of Ghost Stories – This is my favorite ghost stories of all times. Intelligent, literary, clever, with just the right amount of scary. Back in the late 80s when I worked at Webster’s Bookstore on the east side of Milwaukee we were lucky enough to get Robertson Davies for an author visit. He was way too big to have at the store so we collaborated with the Milwaukee Public Library and held the event at Centennial Hall at the central library. A couple hundred people attended.
Robertson Davies was a notorious curmudgeon and true to form he was a bit of a stickler about signing books at the event. He only would sign one book per person and only his name.
Fortunately I was the staff person chosen to drive Davies and his wife to O’Hare after his appearance. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. I played a Gregorian Chant cassette that I had bought in Oxford. They liked it so much I gave it to them. I even got Robertson to laugh once. What an accomplishment! I waited until I dropped them off to ask him to sign my books (two of them.)
It took me a long time to figure out what “cofion gorau” meant. I assumed it was Latin. Turns out it’s Welsh for BEST WISHES! I received a thank you note from Mrs. Davies a few weeks later which I still treasure.
One more brief note – one of the best audio books I’ve ever listened to was High Spirits. Narrated by Christopher Plummer it was released on audiotape in 1991. Back then people weren’t really buying audiobooks; they were mostly found in libraries or used by sight-impaired individuals. I borrowed it from my local library and loved it so much I decided I needed to own a copy. I ordered one from my local bookstore (it cost a pretty penny) but who has a cassette player anymore?! Sadly the audio version isn’t available in a “modern” format BUT some kind soul has put the book on YouTube. It’s in four parts so you’ll need to search for the other three parts. Enjoy.
3. This Brief History of Witches by Aubrey Hirsch – a concise and eye-opening history about how women healers were portrayed as being harmful, scary, and evil by greedy misogynists.
4. These Halloween Costumes – my nephew as Gomez and my sister-in-law as Morticia. Are they not the cutest?!?
5. This Halloween Illustration/Artwork – by one of my favorite illustrators, Kirsten Ulve (who just happens to be a fellow Dubuquer… though like many people from Dubuque, we both moved away. Kirsten moved way further than I did.)
6. This Spooky Film Written By Kids – This is everything.
7. And THIS Halloween Cartoon. Tom Gauld is my soulmate.
1. This Flight Crew – In August Flight AA 372, traveling from Dallas-Fort Worth, TX to Phoenix, AZ, staffed entirely with a female black flight crew, flew in honor of aviator and veteran Bessie Coleman.
Coleman was born on January 26, 1892 and was the first black woman and Native American to receive a pilot’s license and the first black woman and Native American to receive an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.
She did have to go to France to do it though because flight schools in America at the time prohibited both women and black people from applying. After she honed her skills she returned to the U.S. where she because a star as a barnstorming stunt flyer, dubbed “Queen Bess.”
2. This Series – Last summer I was slightly obsessed with the series Blood & Treasure. It aired on CBS and was the perfect show for the summer – a little mystery, a little romance, and a lot of adventure. Kind of like Indiana Jones mixed with the Oceans movies mixed with the Librarians.
This year it’s only airing on Paramount+. Now I have Paramount+ but the problem is I didn’t see it advertised anywhere so I only found out it was airing at all about a week ago. It actually started in July. At least if there is a season three it’ll pop up for me now (fingers are crossed.)
3. This Updated Version of Courtney Cox’s Tampon Commercial – LOVE IT!
4. These Crispbread Crackers – There is regular or a gluten-free version. I’ve been having them for lunch with either cream cheese or goat cheese, sometimes I add capers and salmon or cucumbers and radishes.
[Found at Trader Joes]
5. This Instagram Post – Qasim Rachid is the best.
6. This Coffee Maker – This is why I always say that Volkswagen is (or at least was) the greatest car maker in the world – the VW Beetle.
7. These Beautiful Pickled Veg – This is from my favorite food vlogger Beryl Shereshewsky‘s Instagram. I’ve mentioned her before in a past Seven Things. Her next post is going to be on pickling things. Can’t wait! (Also, I need to learn how to make vegetables look this pretty.)
2. These Tributes for the Passing of Queen Elizabeth – I’m worried for the UK. From what I’ve read, the new Prime Minister is like Margaret Thatcher on steroids. That is the last thing they need right now. And they don’t have the EU to keep things from going off the rails and now they don’t even have the Queen. Guess we’ll see what mettle King Charles is made of.
3. This TikTok Filter – Every Gen X-er will love this (and apparently now Millennials and Gen Zs too.) I me, a-ha’s ‘Take Me On‘ is a classic.
[Posted by my friend Ann on FB – thanks Ann!]
4. This Rousing Speech by Michael Sheen – If you ever doubted Sheen’s talent, you won’t after watching this. If he had been born 100 years ago (or more) he’d have ruled the world. Hell, he could rule the world today if he wanted to.
This was posted by a friend of mine on FB and one of her friends posted a comment saying here’s evidence that this speech is completely spontaneous –
As a Welshman I’d like to explain a few things for those that might not know:
Spirit of ’58 – This is referring to the last time Wales got to the World Cup – 1958. The teams have been pretty poor between then and until the last 5 or so years so it’s seen as a massive achievement just to get to the finals.
Rob’s page – This is referencing the current Wales manager Rob Page who has been somewhat of a really good stand-in after Ryan Giggs, the previous manager, was removed after assault allegations surfaced.
Yma o hyd, you sons of speed – This is two references, the first is a very popular Welsh language folk song called Yma O Hyd, which has been co opted recently by the Welsh fans and Welsh FA to stir support. It’s a song about although being invaded and ruled by the English and despite their best efforts, the Welsh language and the Welsh people / culture are ‘still here’ (yma o hyd in welsh).
The other reference in this is to Gary Speed, a Welsh football legend who sadly committed suicide in 2011 that was adored by Welsh football fans.
[Shared with me by Angela G., Thanks Stasie!]
5. This Video Showing a Cartoonist Creating a Work of Art – MESMERIZING!
6. This Artist’s Drawings of the Queues Waiting to Say Good-bye to the Queen – Beautiful art illustrating an historic moment.
7. This Lumberjack Cake – Anyone else unable to hear the word lumberjack and not think of this?
Well, I missed another week. This time it was due to a happy reason – visitors (had THE BEST time!)
I’ve found that I’m doing a lot more things out of the house in general. I think I’ve finally been able to convince my brain that the pandemic is over.
Socialization, what a concept!
One thing I’ll miss (as an introvert) is being able to use the pandemic as an excuse – that sure was convenient…
Okay, let’s get to it…
1. This New Podcast by Meghan Markle – The Duchess of Sussex launched her new podcast called ‘Archetypes‘ and boy was I excited when I first read about it.
There’s only one episode so far but it was a doozy – an interview with Serena Williams. Hearing these two successful and accomplished women, who both happen to be people of color, talk about their experiences with sexism and misogyny, was emotional, sometimes infuriating, and definitely relatable.
For example, at one point they discussed the double standards of how men are often referred to as “passionate” when they get loud, emotional or have a short temper but when women behave exactly the same way they are described as having a “melt-down.” They gave a few different examples of this.
I don’t think this podcast is going to solve the sexism/misogyny problems in the world BUT what it will do is make women realize they are not crazy for feeling the way they feel. Too often women have been kept in place through gaslighting – men and superiors making women believe that they are wrong for feeling disrespected or used or mentally abused. Discussions like this will help women know that they aren’t crazy and they certainly aren’t alone.
2. This Mom Speaking Up Against Book Banning – BRAVO! And note the sound of people applauding her. Honestly, I know that all the pundits and experts are saying that the midterms are going to be close and that everyone is more concerned with the economy that book banning and Roe v Wade and other social issues, but I don’t believe that our country is so lost.
3. This Little Article from 1912 – Yes, you are reading that correctly, it is from August 14, 1912. We’ve known that fossil fuels are damaging to the climate for well over 100 years and yet people have been ignoring the warnings. And by people I mean those who PROFIT from fossil fuels. Don’t get me started…
4. This New Bill Nye Show – Bill Nye for Adults (and teens). One part disaster film, one part political commentary (Nye does NOT hold back), two parts science lesson (but done with flair, cuz it’s Bill Nye!) A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Too bad the people who need to watch it won’t be watching it. But hopefully a lot of tweens and teens watch it and they’ll be able to vote soon enough.
5. These Posters – I was able to see the Always New: The Posters of Jules Cheret exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum about a week ago. The exhibit includes over 100 of Cheret’s posters from the collection of 600 posters that were donated to the MAM by James and Susee Wiechmann.
I’ve had an obsession with vintage French posters for ages. This is the second vintage poster exhibition I’ve been lucky enough to see at the Milwaukee Art Museum and I’m thrilled to know that these posters are going to be part of its permanent collection.
6. This Photo of Daddy Pete – SO sweet!
[From my friend Jeanne, thanks sweetie!]
7. This Film Short – Has a slight Gorey-esque quality.
Hi all, sorry I missed last week – a very dear family member, my Uncle, passed away and there was a lot going on.
My Uncle Bobby was a devout Catholic and a HUGE lover of history and this week’s blog reflects those things as well as being sort of a tribute to him.
1. This Woman Who Was the First to Circumnavigate the Globe Alone – Everyone is familiar with Amelia Earhart and we all think of her as being the first woman to aviate, well, pretty much everything. But Amelia wasn’t alone when she made her infamous (and tragic) flight around the world.
“Looking back, Geraldine ‘Jerrie’ Mock might have said these were the things she preferred: a double shot of scotch over a bouquet of orchids. Pants instead of a skirt. And a trip around the world where she could’ve taken her own sweet time taking in the sights, instead of staring at the ceiling of a hotel, trying to sleep in preparation for her next flight.
Mock is the first female pilot to circumnavigate the world alone. During and after her ground-breaking 22,860-mile flight in 1964, the barely five-foot-tall pilot set 21 world records. ‘Just nobody else had the sense—or shall I say, the stupidity—to try it,’ Mock toldAir & Space magazine just before she died at the age of 88 in 2014. ‘There were women who told me that they flew because of me. I’m glad I did what I did, because I had a wonderful time.’”
2. This Historic Photo – In 1906, Gabriel Lippman was the first person to create a color photograph. Although he won a Nobel Prize for his invention, his process was too time consuming and costly to be used commercially. The following year the Lumière brothers introduced the Lumière Autochrome which allowed people to take color photographs.
Here’s how Autochromes work:
“Autochrome plates are covered in microscopic red, green and blue coloured potato starch grains (about four million per square inch). When the photograph is taken, light passes through these colour filters to the photographic emulsion. The plate is processed to produce a positive transparency. Light, passing through the coloured starch grains, combines to recreate a full colour image of the original subject.”
This process really made it much more accessible for general photographers to take color photos because they could use their existing cameras and simply purchase autochrome plates.
Kodachrome came out in 1935 and the following year a German company invented Agfacolor (but because of WWII it wasn’t released until 1949.)
The reason I’ve given a brief history lesson on color photography is because I wanted to show why it’s so unusual to have a “colour (not colorised)” photograph in 1928!
[Found by my friend Jeanne – thanks Jeanne!]
3. This Technique for Securing Letters – Before modern envelopes were invented, people used something called “letter-locking” to make sure that only the intended recipients read their missives.
Two of the most well-known individuals who used letter-locking were Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. On the eve of her execution, Mary wrote her last letter which was purported to be her last will & testament and a bid for martyrdom. She carefully made a slit to create a needle-like piece of the paper sticking out, folded the letter over and over, cut a slit through the letter, and threaded the needle through the slot until it was fastened tightly.
There are other letter-locking videos on this YouTube channel, from all through history and all over the world. They are fascinating! If makes me want to write real letters so I can try it.
There is one thing I noticed though – on some of the letter-locking videos the process ruins a small part of the letter. It made me think – what if someone was sending a love letter and they rip it open and they’re reading it and it says – I’ve waited so long to tell you this. I …. and then there’s a big splotch of sealing wax or the words were poked through by a spiral lock. AHHHH!
4. These Photographs – Photographer Richard Silver has taken these breathtaking photos of the interior ceilings of churches from around the world and published them as a collection called Vertical Churches.
You can find out more about Silver’s podcast at the My Modern Met article. I’d also suggest checking out his website and his Instagram for more vertical churches photos and just more photos in general (he’s fantastic!)
5. This Juicer – Passed down from my Grandma Celeste to my Mom to me. Sometimes no amount of innovation can improve something. I mean, if you want to have a big ole’ electric juicer that might be better but there is no manual juicer better than this one, especially when you have to juice a bunch of citrus.
6. These (Not Surprisingly) Overlooked Medieval Women – In 13th century Europe, though things were prosperous or perhaps because of the prosperity, there was a lot of wars being waged. This led to many men being killed and women and children being left without a provider.
Enter the Béguines, were most likely the first feminists. They were a group of women who created female-only (and children) communes to provide refuge, support, and outreach.
“From the early 13th century, a loose movement of concerned women, the Béguines (origin and meaning of the name unknown) had started to spring up in towns and villages, not as formal institutions, but as local refuges, for mutual support and outreach. These discreet communities of like-minded charitable women were determined to respond to the suffering of the disadvantaged, beaten, abandoned, and even the rescue of children from the clutches of prostitution. Béguine women were never nuns, they had no religious affiliations, they were solely motivated by a mutual desire to provide service, support and welfare to the less fortunate in society.”
7. These 3,300 Year-Old Shoes – Of course I can’t hear the words “King Tut” and not think of Steve Martin singing his song but once the song plays out in my head I am able to focus on how remarkable these sandals are. The first photo is a little misleading. It doesn’t show the wear and I thought to myself – these aren’t really over 3,000 years old.
2. This Service Offered by NASA – A few days ago the International Space Station (ISS) few over my hometown. Unfortunately I didn’t hear about it until after it had happened, as I read all my neighbors commenting about how cool it was on Next Door. Bummer!
That’s when I discovered that you can sign up to be notified whenever the ISS flies over your zip code. It’s called “Spot the Station” and it’s simple to do. Choose whether you want to be notified via email or text and enter your zip code (be sure to select the actual community you live in on the map) Once you sign up they will send you a confirmation code. Enter that and you’re good to go.
This is what one of the text notifications look like (I got my first one already!)
3. This Collaboration Between Kellogg’s and Penguin Random House – I’m not a big fan of sugary cereals (well, truthfully I am a big fan, but everyone knows they’re unhealthy, especially for us menopausal broads.) I am, however, an ENORMOUS fan of promoting summer reading and I love that Kellogg’s is healing kids (and adults) get free books just for eating cereal. I mean, the kids can read these books for the Summer Reading programs that they’ve signed up for at the LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
5. This Bold Kindergarten Teacher – On November 9, 1938 Mrs. Helen (Hurlick) Beebe was called to testify in court as a witness to a burglary. Judge Arthur S. Guerin, noticing that Mrs. Beebe was wearing trousers, reprimanded her for wearing something that was so distracting. To everyone’s amazement, Judge Guerin rescheduled the proceeding so that Mrs. Beebe could return in what he deemed a more “acceptable outfit.” In other words, he wanted her to put on a dress.
Well, Helen wasn’t going to have any of this jerk’s misogynistic bullshit. And she showed up at the rescheduled hearing once again wearing slacks. The judge rescheduled the hearing again, this time warning Helen that if she showed up in slacks she would be held in Contempt of Court.
After the second postponed hearing, Helen was interviewed and quoted as saying”
“Listen, I’ve worn slacks since I was 15,” She said, “I don’t own a dress except a formal. If he wants me to appear in a formal gown that’s okay with me. I’ll come back in slacks and if he puts me in jail I hope it will help to free women forever of anti-slackism.”
Helen Hurlick Beebe
Anti-slackism – I LOVE IT!
Sure enough, when she showed up in slacks a third time, the judge threw her in jail for contempt. Her sentence was five days. And just to add salt to the wound, the judge made her wear a denim dress while she was incarcerated.
Helen was released early and her case went to the Appellate Court. They overturned Judge Guerlin’s ridiculous ruling, giving her carte blanche to wear whatever she wanted to the next hearing. She chose to wear a formal evening gown. Sassy.
6. This Sunday Morning Story on Refrigerators – now I want one. And I want to remodel my kitchen…. Mostly though I love that this is a long-time Fitchburg, Wisconsin company that is still going strong AND manufacturing here.
7. This Upcoming Hallmark Movie – Hallmark has really been upping its game on diversity. They’ve aired several LGBTQ+ movies (not just ones with peripheral characters who are LGBTQ+ but actual movies ABOUT LBGTQ+ love stories); they have a line of Mahogany cards & ornaments targeted for African-American customers and now they’re adding a series of Mahogany movies; and just a few days ago I saw a trailer for this movie…
Romance in Style is all about BODY POSITIVITY! Yippee. You can see the trailer HERE.
1. This Country Music Group on America’s Got Talent – I’m not a regular AGTT watcher. I tend to watch the truly amazing performers who go viral via YouTube weeks or even months after they’ve been on the show. But I managed to catch this performance just a few days after they were on. Most likely you’ve already seen it or at least heard about it.
Chapel Hart is a KICKASS trio from Poplarville, Mississippi. Their performance was so sensational that the judges (Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, Simon Cowell and host Terry Crews) made an exception to the rules and gave a “Golden Buzzer” to the group even though there were no more Golden Buzzers left to give.
Chapel Hart (sisters Danica Hart and Devynn Hart, and their cousin Trea Swindle) performed an original song called “You Can Have Him Jolene” which is a tribute to their idol (and America’s idol) Dolly Parton.
You can watch the video (again and again) below and also read the lovely tweet from Dolly herself!
(Side note: a little history behind Dolly’s Jolene. One day Dolly met a little girl named Jolene and she said to the girl – such a lovely name, I should write a song. And she did! But she decided to use a little bit of her own life for the story. Going all the way back to just a year after she was married to her husband Carl – 1996. It seems there was a bodacious redhead making goo-goo eyes at Dolly’s hubby and that was the inspiration for the song. Needless to say, Dolly ain’t gonna let Jolene have him.)
In addition to getting this fabulous recognition from Dolly, Chapel Hart also has been invited to debut on the Grand Ole Opry. It’s been quite a week for these three young women.
If you’d like to watch the video directly on YouTube here’s the link.
[Shared with me by my friend Meta]
2. This Emu named Emmanuel Todd Lopez, and his adorable caretaker, Taylor Blake of Knuckle Bump Farms –
Taylor had been making education videos when Emmanuel made an unplanned cameo and since then Taylor and Emmanuel’s videos have gone viral. People are scrambling to get a hold of some of the “Emmanuel, don’t do it!” merchandise! Taylor says – it’s coming!
3. This Editorial About Why It Matters That J Lo Took Ben Affleck’s Last Name – Honestly, I don’t know why a 50+ year old (especially one who’s been married like four times) would want to take their husband’s name.
Here’s the thing – I get that it’s easier four couples to share the same last name, especially if there are kids involved. In this day and age I feel like at the very minimum that couples should hyphenate their names and both take each other’s names. There are also couples who figure out how to merge their names into a single name.
And I get it – from a family legacy thing and ancestry and all that (carry on the family name) that doesn’t work but really, the whole family legacy thing is bullshit. It’s just men and their egos.
Anyway, this article explains very thoroughly why it is problematic for Jenny from the Block to take Ben’s name.
You’re a feminist Jennifer!
4. These Coffee Pods – I have one cup of decaf coffee every morning which is why I don’t really like to make a pot or futz with a lot of different appliances.
Recently I have been using a small pour-over and it’s fine but it still takes a bit of time and effort, sometimes more than I want to put in first thing in the morning.
But I stopped using k-cups for a couple reasons, the main one being that they are bad for the environment. The second reason being that drinking a hot beverage that has been poured through plastic is not healthy. After all, we avoid putting items in plastic now in the microwave. Why would we think it’s okay to run hot water through k-cups to make coffee?
Enter Cometeer. These are “pods” in that they are pod-shaped but that is the only similarity. The contents are high-quality beans that are ground and brewed and then flash-frozen into a small sphere. The spheres are put into the pods. Cometeer sends your package in dry ice so it arrives frozen (you receive notification so you can watch for it as soon as it’s delivered and can get it into your own freezer.)
All you need to do is drop one of the spheres into a cup of hot water and you have a perfect cup of coffee. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a smooth cup of coffee.
I signed up for a subscription (every four weeks) for the decaf package and have only tried two of the types included so far. It comes with four different varieties.
Seriously, this is life changing. Also, it makes fabulous iced coffee drinks!
5. This Milwaukee-Themed Collage – Only Milwaukeeans will understand how wonderful this is.
Can you identify all of them?
Starting at top going clockwise: The Purple House, Brother Ron and his Religious Car, superfan Mike “Freeway” McCarter, the late year-round sunbather and nudist Dick Bacon, John Hamann aka “The Milverine”, the late Frank “Pepperoni Cannoli” Pecoraro, and in the center, TV attorney David Gruber.
6. These Vintage Home Gadgets – Why can’t they figure out a way to make things that we use everyday that look pretty, like they used to. Okay, maybe not the mixer, but the other things are wonderful! I love those Bosch coffee grinders.
3. These Photos of the Stars – You’ve probably already seen these photos someplace but I’m including them nevertheless. The first photos were released from the James Webb Space Telescope and they are freaking amazing!
To really see how incredible these photos are you can visit this interactive webpage that NBC created where they have side-by-side comparisons of photos taken by Hubble vs. Webb.
This is the most spectacular of the photos…
And these are pretty damned impressive (especially when you look at the NBC interactive site.)
One last thing, as usual the twitter-verse has had some fun with something that went viral. Here’s an article from Hyperallergic that has compiled some of the best memes about the James Webb Space Telescope but here’s one just to lure you in…
4. This Drink Tip – I saw this video on the Milwaukee Journal Facebook Page about summer mocktail drink tips (I LOVE Kristopher!) One of his suggestions was to use frozen fruit to keep drinks cold. Genius! Who likes a watered down drink and as Kristopher mentions, you get a healthy snack to boot.
The only draw back is that there may be a limitation on which fruits you can use based on size.
Somehow I ended up finding these and I think they are an equally good solution if there are any fruits that you like that may not work as well frozen by themselves.
Sorry I missed you all last week but I was down for about 10 days with some sort of (non-COVID) bug. Let me tell you guys, keep washing your hands and wearing your masks because you DO NOT want to get this, and apparently it’s going around.
1. This Oatmeal Cartoon – I don’t actually “love” this but it’s an excellent cartoon.
The Oatmeal explains in their usual indubitable way, why religious extremists SUCK…
2. This Target Commercial – Yay for body positivity! If only the body positivity movement had started 50 years ago.
3. This Podcast – Only the first episode is about the current residents of Windsor Palace (Prince Andrew and his shady association with Jeffrey Epstein), the other episodes are about Elizabeth I, “Mad” King George III, and Victoria (who was not the prim and proper monarch we thought she was…)
4. This Recycling Idea – My biggest gripe about weddings is the cost. My second biggest gripe is the waste. This young bride found a solution that addresses both issues.
Gwendolyn Stulgis found her dream wedding gown but it cost waaaay more than she had budgeted. She decided to buy it and then after her wedding give it to another bride who couldn’t afford a wedding gown.
She set up a contest on Facebook asking brides to submit their requests. She also laid out the following requirements:
The recipient of the dress should have a wedding date within a few months of the post, and after it is worn, the bride must dry-clean it and pass it on to another bride, creating an ongoing chain.
She found a very grateful woman who was overjoyed to win the dress and the contest went on to inspire other brides to do the same thing.
Now Stulgis has started a Facebook group called “Shared Dream Dresses” where women can share their wedding gowns and bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
7. This New Marvel Series – Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim, Southeast Asian, female superhero and she ROCKS! I also love that they have brought some real history into the storyline, pulling in the India-Pakistan partition as part of the plot. I highly recommend you check this out on Disney+.
(For some of us, things have been difficult for a while – in Wisconsin it’s been particularly difficult for those of us who are/were public employees for example.)
But last week was, by far the most audacious example of complete disregard of the Constitution, Precedent, Freedom of Religion (which is literally why our country exists), Respect for Women, and Democracy.
Of course I am talking about the Dodd Decision which resulted in the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. But, the decision on abortion wasn’t the only major decision SCOTUS made last week that will impact millions of Americans and that went against wishes of the majority of Americans.
On Tuesday SCOTUS ruled that Marietta Memorial Hospital could reimburse their employees requiring dialysis at low rates in the hopes that the employees would switch to Medicare (so they’d be completely off the hook.). DaVita (a dialysis provider, frankly not necessarily the hero in this – they’re just trying to get more business) sued the hospital claiming that the hospital was discriminating against their employees by offering the low reimbursements. SCOTUS said that because the hospital offered the same reimbursement amount to all renal disease patients, whether they had end-stage renal disease or not, it wasn’t discrimination. (End stage costs a lot more.) I think it’s appalling that insurers, especially a hospital, can pick and choose what diseases to cover. (FYI, shockingly Sonia Sotomayor voted with the conservative justices. I wonder if it was her effort to “regain the public’s confidence“. Think she feels differently now? And/or after hearing this?)
Also on Tuesday, SCOTUS ruled that Maine could not prevent religious schools from receiving public funds through the statue tuition program. Separation of Church and State is gasping for air and about to take its last breath.
On Thursday three rulings came down. The first SCOTUS ruling was not only an attack on States’ Rights but was an outrageous interpretation of the 2nd amendment. The timing was also deplorable considering the Uvalde, Brooklyn, and other recent mass shootings. In this ruling, the conservative majority struck down a New York State law that set limitations on carrying guns outside of the home.
To me, the Second Amendment seems fairly clear: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.“
It’s that second comma that is the problem. It basically says – because a WELL-REGULATED Militia is necessary for a “State” (or government) to remain free and secure, the government shall not infringe the rights of individuals to keep and bear “Arms.” Setting aside that it SAYS “well-regulated” right in the amendment, my feeling is as long as people are able to have access to some “arms” (it doesn’t define arms, could that be pitchforks, pinking shears, a rolling pin?), I would think the government would be within its right to regulate guns that it felt were a threat to public safety. After all, that is one of the government’s main jobs. But what do I know. I’m no lawyer. Clearly.
I read this article today and I think the question is not just specific to California. Are Americans prepared for black and brown people to be carrying guns in public? This is not going to end well.
Another ruling was an attack on every American’s right to Miranda. A man named Mr. Tekoh wasn’t read his Miranda rights and was questioned “at length” by a sheriff. He ended up signing a confession.
The judge ALLOWED the confession (which is hugely problematic for so many reasons,) Still, the jury acquitted the man. Mr. Tekoh filed a civil lawsuit against the sheriff for violating his constitutional rights.
These conservatives (@#$%^(#*) Justices have ruled that Miranda isn’t actually a constitutional right. Alito had the balls to say that although Miranda has constitutional roots, “a violation of Miranda does not necessarily constitute a violation of the Constitution.”
Justice Kagan wrote in dissent:
“Today,” she wrote, “the court strips individuals of the ability to seek a remedy for violations of the right recognized in Miranda. The majority observes that defendants may still seek ‘the suppression at trial of statements obtained’ in violation of Miranda’s procedures.”
“But sometimes,” Justice Kagan continued, “such a statement will not be suppressed. And sometimes, as a result, a defendant will be wrongly convicted and spend years in prison. He may succeed, on appeal or in habeas, in getting the conviction reversed. But then, what remedy does he have for all the harm he has suffered?”
The third ruling on Thursday had to do with an individual on death row. A man was asking that his death sentence be carried out by firing squad instead of lethal injection because his veins were compromised, which means a lethal injection death would be cruel and unusual.
There are only four states in the country that use firing squad as an approved method of execution. Georgia, where this prisoner resided, is not one of those four states.
Coney Barrett, Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch were in dissent. They claimed that the man was trying to get out of his punishment because death by firing squad may never be approved in Georgia. It’s telling that these four put execution before the 8th Amendment. But then they are all Federalists.
AND TODAY (Monday) SCOTUS issued three more decisions: a. The first was interesting – it will allow some prison inmates to ask for reduced sentences. The reason for this – Trump’s First Step Act, signed into law in 2018. And it was the three liberal justices, Gorsuch, and THOMAS who said Yea! The intent is of the law is to reduce racial disparity. Shame on the other four. b. The second – And the wall came tumbling down. No surprise the praying coach won. Prayer is soon coming to a public school near you. c. The third – Doctors are pretty much off the hook (or getting a second chance) on the opioid thing.
There is one more big decision come down the road. That is WEST VIRGINIA v. the EPA. If SCOTUS rules against the EPA, the US will have no way to limit greenhouse gases, power plant emissions or any pollution that is creating climate change. The likelihood that this Supreme Court would rule in favor of WV is fairly high.
I will say though, there are a few things that ensued from this shitstorm of anti-democratic decisions that made me feel better, gave me hope, but also made me recognize that this country is most likely going to become more divided before we return to any semblance of normalcy.
These tweets would be two of them…
ANYWAY, on to my SEVEN THINGS!
1. This Font – Honestly, this is genius and if I could read everything in this font I would not only be a happier person but a more educated one as well. If you click HERE it’ll take you to the Bionic Reading website where there is a Chrome extension you can add to convert pages into the font (I haven’t tried that since I don’t use Chrome) and there is a general convertor where you can either enter a URL (which is great for those really long Atlantic and New Yorker articles) or you can upload a file (unfortunately it only accepts TXT, RTF, RTFD, EPUB or DOCX – NO PDFs.)
Maybe someday everything will have Bionic Reading as an option and we can just turn it on!
2. This Seventeenth-Century Woman Artist – Artemisia Gentileschi – “Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes” (c. 1624-27), oil on canvas, 73 11/16″ x 55 7/8″. Detroit Institute of Arts
3. This News about Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody – O…..M…..G I don’t know how many of you made it through the pandemic watching videos of Mandy and Kathryn (like I and millions of others did) but I could watch the two of them ALL DAY! Sadly, this show will only be a 30 minute sitcom on Showtime, it’s called Seasoned. Just like with their home videos, their son Gideon is involved. I cannot wait!!!
To get an idea of what it’s gonna be like…
[Sent to me by Ann L. – Thanks Ann!]
4. This Clever Pride Flag – Kitsch + Pride Month = Perfection.
5. This Chihuly Museum – How have I never heard about this??? It’s located in Seattle.
Photos by Mellanie Mercier
[Found by my friend Mellanie]
6. This Sparkling Water – Finally something I can drink that isn’t caffeinated, has no sugar or artificial sweeteners, and isn’t overly carbonated. I picked up an 8 pack of this from Imperfect Foods and gave it a try. Was I delighted! Found out it’s at my local grocery and I promptly picked up a second 8 pack. I really like the raspberry-lime flavor. The only other one I’ve tried is the “Arnold Palmer” (half lemon/half tea).
They have cocktail recipes on their website. These would be genius in cocktails or mocktails!
7. These Magazine Covers – I think all of them except for the Blondie cover are from the best decade of the 20th century, the 1980s (the Blondie one is from the 70s.) Richard Bernstein created the covers of Warhol’s Interview Magazine from 1972 through 1989. Iconic.