Category Archives: Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving

This year I feel incredibly lucky at Thanksgiving.  Nobody at my feast will have voted for Donald Trump.

Nobody.

And they will all be relatives.

Didn’t I tell you that I’m lucky?  It’s true — I will gladly spend then next two days cooking for them.

But I know that not everybody is as lucky as me.  I feel your pain, I really do.  One of my brothers voted for Trump, as did a nephew and, I’m pretty sure, a great nephew.  But none of them are coming — they don’t usually come so I did not banish them.

It’s hard to talk to folks about this election and why we feel so strongly that the wrong side won.

It’s hard to talk about this election and not place all Trump voters into Hillary’s stupid basket of deplorables.

It’s hard to talk about this election to Trump voters and not slap them upside the head for being stupid, for placing our democracy at risk, for threatening the future of the planet either by a Trump tiff or by his unwillingness to accept that climate change is real and to do something about it.

For those of you who need assistance, I give you this video — with a shout-out to my friend Karen:

 

 

Not that it will change anything.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating.

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I’d Like To Buy The World A …

You’ve been asking for more poop from me.  Be careful what you wish for.

Because today is World Toilet Day!

This morning, I was inspired as shit by my friend Judy when she alerted me to the arrival of World Toilet Day (which I’d somehow forgotten?!?) and to Mr. Toilet himself.  And to this article.

Mr. Toilet is my hero.  Seriously.

Mr. Toilet was not born with that name.  Nope, Mr. Toilet is actually a rich, big-hearted man named Jack Sim who wants to do good in the world with the shitload of money he made in construction.  So, being flush with cash, Jack was inspired when he read a statement by his country’s (Singapore) then prime minister:

He said we should measure our graciousness according to the cleanliness of our public toilets.

As a travel lover, let me tell you that nothing, and I do mean nothing, says “welcome” like a clean, accessible toilet.   (As a Crohn’s patient, however, I stay home a lot.)

As I said last year on this auspicious occasion,

The point of World Toilet Day is actually pretty important.  People without access to hygienic facilities risk illness, many women are preyed upon and attacked as they seek out a place to go.  Diseases are transmitted, including infections, cholera, well, here’s a picture.

The "F-diagram" (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing. Source WikipediaThe “F-diagram” (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing.
Source Wikipedia

Mr. Toilet founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001.  As Judy’s article says:

It’s a nonprofit coalition of leaders from more than 40 countries who try to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the world’s sanitation and water problems.

Together these loo lovers started the World Toilet College and SaniShop, initiatives that train entrepreneurs not only to make household toilets but also to maintain them and market them in the developing world. More than 4,000 people have been trained since 2005; the WTO says that up to 10,000 toilets were assembled in 2010 alone.

But it’s the way Mr. Toilet wants to go about increasing toilets that hit me where I live.

So first you have to make owning a toilet not just rational but aspirational. You have to make a toilet come with bragging rights, like a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Aspiration is important, as you can see even rich people have really nice toilets — they go for the highest level all the time. So this is the same as the poor people. They aspire to own products that have bragging rights, like a cellphone or television. The psychology is exactly the same.

He wants to first make owning and using a toilet funny, then sexy, and then normal.  He wants to remove the taboo on poo.  He wants people to laugh about, talk about and sing about toilets.

Here.  I’ll help.

Who knew that World Toilet Day would lead me to find the theme song for my life.

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Eleven/Eleven

Friday, 11/11/16 is a big day in my family.  It’s Adoption Day.  Our 25th.

You see, on November 11, 1991, my husband John and I adopted our son, Jacob.  He was 3-1/2 months old at the time.  Jacob was born in Chile, and John and I literally traveled to the end of the earth to turn a happy couple into a happier three-some.   It was on 11/11 when the Chilean court approved us and said, yes, Elyse and John, “You’re Parents!”

For years, I’ve told Jacob that I knew something was up with that number.  As a teenager, I was fixated on 11:11.  I got a clock radio for my 16th birthday – it was an old-fashioned “digital” clock, with numbers that literally flipped on a carousel.  Every night I waited until 11:11 before I could go to sleep, no matter how tired I was.  I’ve always told Jacob that, even though I didn’t know what it meant then, well, my heart obviously knew that 11:11 meant something.  Something big.

But I didn’t know just how big or just how wonderful.

Because 11/11 = Jacob.  Our son, my baby, our boy, our young man.  Our hilariously funny, nutty, astute guy.  Our pride and joy.   Jacob, you continue to delight, amuse and inspire us.  We love you, Peanut.

And because we all need to laugh, here’s one of Jacob’s favorite Elevens.  And we all need to laugh, don’t we?

*****

And Happy Veterans Day to any/all Veterans.

[This is a re-post.  Updated.  Because I’m busy.  Sheesh.]

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Scarier than Any Ghost

What’s scarier than a slasher?  Things that go bump in the night?  A monster under the bed?

The possibility that these two will live in the White House.  At 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC.

halloween

From my friend Father Kane at The Last of the Milleniums.

 

There is an answer, though.

hillary2

Google.  Oh and Hillary.

 

And this is pretty damn important too.

VOTE FOR  DEMOCRATS FOR THE HOUSE AND SENATE

Because they’re already planning to oppose anything she tries to do as President.

turn-america-blue

 

But since I love you all, I’ll give you a break.  You can watch this.

Happy Halloween!

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Earth Day/Birthday Redux

You may have seen this before, but I tried to write something new about my sister Judy.  And, well, this piece really just sums up who she was better than anything I’ve come up with since.

She’s been gone now for 16 years.  Not a day has gone by since that I haven’t wanted to talk with her, laugh with her, or, alternatively because she was my sister, smack her.  There really isn’t a relationship like you have with a sister.  Even long after they are gone.

*****

Today, April 22, is Earth Day!  It’s the  Anniversary of the very first Earth Day.  Here  is Walter Cronkite’s report on the first Earth Day, 1970:

It would also be my late sister Judy’s 64th birthday.

Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely.  Judy was a born environmentalist and recycler.

On the first Earth Day, Judy was a new, very young mother who believed in saving the planet.  She was the first “environmentalist” I ever knew personally, and well, I thought she was nuts.  There was a recycling bin in her kitchen for as long as I can remember.  And this was back when recycling took effort.  She believed in gardens, not garbage, and she made life bloom wherever she was.

I’ve got kids,” she’d say.  “It’s their planet too!”  

But years later, Judy took recycling to a whole different level when she helped people recycle themselves.  In the 1990s, Jude, who was then living in Florida, began working with the Homeless, assisting at shelters.   Then she actively began trying to help homeless vets food, shelter and work — to enable them to jumpstart their lives.

When she died in early 2000, the American Legion awarded her honorary membership for her services to homeless vets.  A homeless shelter was named in her  honor.  So she’s still doing good works, my sister is.  That would make her wildly happy.

Jude also gave me the Beatles.  So it is very appropriate that they wrote a song for her.

You see, the night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, it was MY turn to choose what we were going to watch.  And we were going to watch the second part of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan on the Wonderful Wide World of Disney.  My four (all older and MUCH cooler) siblings were furious with me.  But I was quite insistent.  You might even say that I threw a Class I temper tantrum over it, but I wouldn’t admit to that.  But hey, I was seven.  And it was my turn to choose.  Fair is fair, especially in a big family with only one TV.

Somehow, Judy talked me out of my turn.  She was always very persuasive.  Thanks Jude.

Hey Jude, Happy Earth Day-Birthday.

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Ancient Shit

It seems that while there is nothing new under the sun, there’s a lot of new stuff in bogs.  New-ish stuff.  New-to-me-and-you stuff.

Sometimes it’s just horse shit.

But sometimes it’s special.  Special horse shit.  That, apparently, is a thing.

You see, some folks dug up some old shit and decided they know who put it there.

Hannibal!

In a study published Monday in the journal Archaeometry, researchers argue that new evidence in the form of some very old poop might hold the key to solving this mystery once and for all.

Yup!  Using ancient horse shit, scientists are pretty sure they’ve figured out Hannibal’s route over the Alps.

They say that microbial evidence suggests a “mass animal deposition” (a.k.a. poop) occurred in the Col de Traversette pass in 218 B.C. — just when Hannibal was making his journey to Rome. By digging around in a peaty bog along the pass, the researchers found what they think are microbes usually associated with horse manure.

“Over 70% of the microbes in horse dung are from a group known as Clostridia and we found these microbes in very high numbers in the bed of excrement,” study author  of Queens University wrote in an article for the Conversation.

Hannibal and poop

I’m afraid I don’t know these guys personally, But Fox News tells me they are from Queens University in Belfast.  And who am I to doubt Fox?  This may be a FoxNews photo, too.  But I got it from Google.  I love you Google.  Fox?  Not so much.  I do love the Alps, though.  Does that help?

Now, you might ask, where are those legendary elephants?  I don’t know.

Here’s what they say:

Horses trudging through the Alps are suspicious, but solid evidence of elephants in their company might close this case for good. Until then, Allen and his colleagues will have to keep probing the poop and surrounding areas for more clues.

There are also reports of horsey tape worms.  But I do believe that that is a subject for another fake medical expert’s blog.  It’s bad enough that I did two poop posts in a row.  This is becoming a pattern.

Oh, and I personally have experience with horse poop of the European variety.  See:  https://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2012/05/24/me-and-julie/

Sometimes, a woman just has to accept her fate.  Shitty though it may be.

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Fasten Your Seatbelts

Holy shit.

This election just got really interesting.

Antonin Scalia died.  Anybody need a hanky?  I didn’t think so.

Mitch McConnell has already said that the next president should nominate someone for the vacancy.

So did Ted Cruz.

Of course they said that.  And of course, Mitch McConnell will block the nomination of whomever President Obama puts forward, even if the man or woman’s halo is clearly visible to Scott Kelly from space.

According to my husband the lawyer and Google, a 4-4 tie in the US Supreme Court means that the lower court ruling will stand.

Things are gonna get interesting.

Many thanks to my bloggin’ buddy Mark at Exile on Pain Street for letting me know the news.

 

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