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  • Amy Polen
  • December 14, 2017 06:02:55 AM
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A Little About Us

Part personal, part political, part observation. I'm not quite a bleeding heart liberal, but I won't hesitate to call people out if deserved.

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H Is for Hypocrite

You know them. We all know them. It’s been a part of life for so long that I don’t remember life without such hypocrisy. It’s always been there, but now it’s front and center. Republicans are telling us that it’s time to unite the country and heal. What the actual fuck? They’ve spent years stoking … Continue reading H Is...

You know them. We all know them. It’s been a part of life for so long that I don’t remember life without such hypocrisy. It’s always been there, but now it’s front and center.

Republicans are telling us that it’s time to unite the country and heal. What the actual fuck? They’ve spent years stoking the fires that led to the flashpoint of January 6, and we’re supposed to just let it go? No. And to say that if impeachment proceeds, it will incite more violence? No. They don’t get to blame people trying to hold a man accountable. Congratulations, Republicans, you’re now negotiating with terrorists.

Unity? Look, this country is not united. It’s not going to be united. Almost half of the country voted for a man who encouraged an attempted coup. Sorry, but I’m not uniting with that. I’m not working with that. If they want to reach out, go for it. Maybe it will succeed. But I won’t be extending an olive branch.

Today’s cast of characters…

Lindsey Graham. The drama queen put on a great show the night of January 6. And then he flew to the Rio Grande Valley with Trump yesterday.

The Republicans who refused to wear masks when they were in their secure locations on January 6. And spread COVID. I’m sure the three House members who now have COVID are just waiting to tell you how much they love you.

There are too many to name, but the Republicans who objected to Biden’s victory and then turned around and said the country needs unity. That list seems to bear a striking resemblance to the ones who sold their souls to the devil… er, Trump.

And while I’m at it, I’d like to give a special shoutout to our non-governor, Henry McMaster. Mr. Do As I Say, Not As I Do. Or not even that. No mask mandate. State wide open. Record cases. Record deaths. He even spent Christmas with COVID, and he’s still all about insisting that children need to be in skooool so their parents can work. Because teachers are really just daycare providers. All the while oozing that so-called southern hospitality.

Bless their cold little hearts.


Personal Experience: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

I don’t venture outside of my preferred genre that often. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson, is not in that genre. It’s sort of literature, historical fiction, with a little romance all rolled into one, maybe? It was a book club book, and I wasn’t really looking forward to it because … Continue reading Personal Experience: The Book Woman of...

I don’t venture outside of my preferred genre that often. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson, is not in that genre. It’s sort of literature, historical fiction, with a little romance all rolled into one, maybe? It was a book club book, and I wasn’t really looking forward to it because I knew it wasn’t my usual thing.

It wasn’t my thing, but reading this book was a surreal experience. I’ll get to that.

The summary from Goodreads
“The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government’s new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.

Inspired by the true and historical blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek showcases a bold and unique tale of the Packhorse Librarians in literary novels—a story of fierce strength and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

It’s a heavy book, you should know. It’s not light and fluffy. But it’s well-written and goes into so much detail about the setting, the lifestyles, and the people. And here’s where the surreal part comes in… I actually didn’t read the summary until after I finished the book, so I didn’t realize it was inspired by a true story. But the entire time I was reading it, I was thinking, “OMG, this is SO real! It’s exactly as I knew it!” even though I’m too young to know that time frame.

See, my dad grew up in that area. A little after that time frame… the story is set in the 1930s, and he was born in the 40s. And once I finished the book and realized it was inspired by true events, I looked it up. An outpost had been planned for Somerset, KY, which is about 25 miles from where my dad grew up. If you’ve never seen southeastern Kentucky, it’s hard to get a good picture of what life was like there, or at least how I remember it.

Once or twice a year, we’d drive there from western Kentucky. The drive got shorter as I got older and the roads improved. I remember two-lane windy roads and a wooden bridge when I was young. And mountains, or at least what led to mountains. But so many trees and hills. Tiny houses, some of which looked to be on the verge of falling down. Trailers set into the side of the mountain. Many houses without running water, even in the 1980s.

The author’s descriptions of how hillfolk didn’t trust the government and how education was discouraged… while not as prevalent by the time I was old enough to see it, it was still true. If someone graduated high school, that was more than enough. And looking back on those visits through adult eyes, I can see the distrust of the government and outsiders. Pride was a real thing.

With all that said, it’s been about 30 years since I’ve been there, and things inevitably change. Progress happens, whether you’re ready for it or not. But I’d like to thank Kim Michele Richardson for taking me back to a time I thought I had mostly forgotten. The book was authentic, and I expect that it will stay with me for a long time. I highly recommend the book.


There Are Some Days When Your Heart Hurts

Today is one of those days. I won’t pretend to be a political commentator. I’m not. I’m just another person who watched the events of yesterday with horror. My heart hurts. And yet, I wasn’t surprised. We saw this coming. If you didn’t, you willfully ignored all the signs. In 2016, he said, “What do … Continue reading There Are Some Days When Your...

Today is one of those days.

I won’t pretend to be a political commentator. I’m not. I’m just another person who watched the events of yesterday with horror.

My heart hurts. And yet, I wasn’t surprised. We saw this coming. If you didn’t, you willfully ignored all the signs. In 2016, he said, “What do you have to lose?”

Everything.

And to those who say that this is not who we are? It is. It’s not me, it’s not others, but almost half of the country voted for him. This IS who we are as a country, and that deeply saddens me.

It’s not too late. I hope.


Microsoft, Are You Kidding Me?

So this happened. I took screenshots for proof, lol. The younger daughter is attending school virtually. She has a school-issued computer, but she prefers the Microsoft Surface we got her. Right before Thanksgiving, it stopped charging. If you don’t know, the Surface doesn’t have a traditional laptop battery. There’s a magnetic cord for charging, similar … Continue reading Microsoft, Are You...

So this happened. I took screenshots for proof, lol.

The younger daughter is attending school virtually. She has a school-issued computer, but she prefers the Microsoft Surface we got her. Right before Thanksgiving, it stopped charging. If you don’t know, the Surface doesn’t have a traditional laptop battery. There’s a magnetic cord for charging, similar to some phones and other devices. It’s still under warranty, so after struggling through the diagnostic process and retrieving the important stuff before the battery completely died, we sent it off. WITH the charging cord and keyboard, as directed. Got the notification that they received it, got the notification that they shipped the replacement.

The replacement arrived today. Upon opening it, we saw that it was just the tablet. No keyboard. And most importantly, no charging cord.

If you haven’t tried to do it, it’s not easy to navigate Microsoft’s online support. It’s definitely not easy to get to a live person. The virtual assistant eventually booted me into a chat with a real person. Supposedly, I was #1 in line, but it took about 20 minutes of waiting before anyone showed up. Microsoft, do you seriously only have one or two people doing live chats?

This is how it went. Turns out, Microsoft considers a charging cord to be an “accessory. EVEN THOUGH IT’S REQUIRED FOR CHARGING THE COMPUTER FOR USE. The keyboard, I can understand. But the charging cord??

So there you have it. Charging cords for computers are accessories. The keyboard and cord will arrive in a separate package “in a few days.” It seems that they don’t even ship them at the same time that they ship the device.

Just like always, please comment and/or share. Or tag @Microsoft.


Are There Any Grownups in the Room?

Perhaps one day, I’ll live in a state that tries. I hope. Our governor had a news briefing last week. South Carolina is trending up in COVID case numbers, but he will not be ordering any restrictions. He takes his cues from a certain angry toddler, so I guess we’re all just going to pretend … Continue reading Are There Any Grownups in...

Perhaps one day, I’ll live in a state that tries. I hope. Our governor had a news briefing last week. South Carolina is trending up in COVID case numbers, but he will not be ordering any restrictions. He takes his cues from a certain angry toddler, so I guess we’re all just going to pretend nothing’s happening.

He urged people to get tested, so they’ll know they’re negative before Thanksgiving. Because you know getting tested absolutely ensures that you won’t get the virus or become contagious to others before Thursday. His own state health department had to put out a statement about that. https://twitter.com/scdhec/status/1330904110015639553?s=20

Also, skooools (you can hear it for yourself) are glorified daycares, so they must be open 5 days a week for in-person classes. It’s bad enough that school districts are ignoring their own plans. Our district, by its own plan, should have been 100% virtual for most of the past month, but has continued in hybrid.

Back in March and April, it was a really bad day if we had close to 200 new cases statewide. For the vast majority of this month, we’ve had 1,000+ daily cases. But by all means, let’s leave restaurants wide open and not require masks. And yes, let’s definitely have family gatherings.

We’re not traveling for the holidays, although I’d love to. I’m not willing to put my elderly parents or myself at risk. I can see the writing on the wall, so I went ahead and got my hair cut this morning. If I’m going to have to stay home for the next 3 months because of stupid people, I’ll at least have good hair!

Sometimes I wish I could be the kind of person who just carries on life pre-COVID and doesn’t think about doing the right things.

As always, feel free to comment and/or share!


COVID in the House

Literally. Our older daughter tested positive for COVID one week ago. I made her get a rapid test after she told me a coworker was waiting on results. Seven months of being cautious, mostly staying home, and wearing masks. And it all flew out the window with the word “positive.” I’ve said it before. I’m … Continue reading COVID in...

Literally.

Our older daughter tested positive for COVID one week ago. I made her get a rapid test after she told me a coworker was waiting on results. Seven months of being cautious, mostly staying home, and wearing masks. And it all flew out the window with the word “positive.”

I’ve said it before. I’m at increased risk. I have underlying conditions, and I’m on a medication that suppresses the immune system. The older daughter is the only one of us who regularly leaves the house, since working from home isn’t an option for her. She’s supposed to wear a mask. However, she’s 22 and well, we know that age group doesn’t always listen. I don’t fool myself.

I ordered her to come straight home when she told me the test results. She’s spent probably 99.5% of the past week in her room. Her first words to me were, “I feel fine. Why do I have to quarantine?” Because my dear, you and all the other invincible people are the reason we’re still in this mess. Because it’s the right thing to do. Because I don’t want you to unwittingly kill someone.

So far, so good. She’s had no symptoms. Husband tested negative. The other kid and I have not been tested, but we’re staying home. If she comes out of her room, she’s masked, and we go behind her with disinfecting wipes. We’re on the downside of quarantine, and no one else has symptoms. Still, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

So it’s not a story of woe. It’s not a story of someone being so sick from the virus. It’s also not a story of it being no big deal. Because it is a very big deal. If she had continued to go about life as normal without being tested, and without us insisting that she stay home, she would have infected others. She might have inadvertently killed someone.

Yesterday, there was a new daily record of new cases. It’s spiraling out of control, and people are going to die. Why? Because people can’t be bothered to do a simple thing like wear a mask? Because people refuse to get tested? Because people think they’re entitled to pre-COVID lives?

Do the right thing. Please.

Feel free to comment and/or share.


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