If I Had A Million Dollars

Howdy, howdy! I struggled to find something to ramble about today. Writing has been hard, so I’ve been procrastinating by taking on some extra reading (then writing a couple of short blurbs/reviews for Pseudopod). But otherwise, I’ve been blah again. I had a good month of regularly writing, then it went downhill. I’ll get back on track soon. But it leaves me with nothing to blog about either. Luckily, I’ve been listening to Barenaked Ladies the last couple of days and apparently Amazon likes their song “If I had a Million Dollars,” so I thought I’d make a short list of things I’d do with a million dollars. Be aware that these are all separate scenarios because it’s only a million dollars.

1. Save most of it. Let’s be honest… a million dollars won’t get you very far these days. Especially people like me because if I randomly came into any money, I’d lose my benefits (including Medicaid and probably Medicare). That would mean a bunch of things would go wrong and that million dollars would disappear pretty fast just to cover living and medical stuff. But this is a fantasy, so in my pretend world, I’d get save most of it and let it slowly collect interest and all of that because I like seeing money in my accounts. Or I would like it if I had any money.

2. Pay stuff off. Jeez, my fantasy worlds are so boring. But yeah, I’d pay off the vehicles that we still owe money on. I’d also pay for all the stuff Dad needs in order to finish his projects around the house. And then I’d save whatever was left because that’s just how I am.

I’m usually the friend in this scenario.

3. Buy a fancy cripple friendly RV. Aside from the fact that having our own portable hotel room would make traveling easier, they look pretty. And of course if we had an RV, we’d have to take a road trip out west. There’s always more of Canada to explore too. As well as the rest of Texas. Then we could always go back east. Not sure when the money would run out, but I’d still put some away before we started our trip(s).

4. Go back to school. Not sure if I would just go for some kind of PhD (what useful degrees can you get with a background in English that won’t lead to teaching?) or if I’d start all over with something in physics. It could be fun either way.

5. Stop feeling guilty about buying myself little things. That’s the biggest fantasy of all. Even if I were rich, I still think I would hesitate when buying things just because I want them. It’s weird. I had a hard time ordering a bracelet I wanted recently. Why? Because I’ve done nothing to deserve the splurge and we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so it’s not like I’ll have anywhere to wear it. I ordered it anyway, though. Maybe if I had money, I’d stop thinking that way, but I doubt it.

That’s my boring list of things I’d potentially do with a million dollars. As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments or lists here or on my social media pages!

Getting to Know Me

Hello, hello! I have nothing worth rambling about, so I thought I would just do one of those random “about me” questionnaires that spontaneously float around social media. Yes, I know all the warnings about people using these things to guess at your passwords and security questions, but I don’t care. None of these answers have anything to do with my passwords/security questions. Don’t waste your time. And if you do waste your time with it, well… I told you so. But seriously, I’m bored and enjoy filling these things out.

Since I probably won’t put any other images in this post, here’s a picture of me with a tail in my face after the doggo’s last grooming a couple of weeks ago.

1. Were you named after anyone?
Sean Connery (RIP) and Nichelle Nichols.

2. When was the last time you cried?
I’m not entirely sure. Probably the last time someone made me want to punch them in the throat. I’m an angry crier. Leave me alone.

3. Do you like your handwriting?
It’s legible. That’s all that matters. If I can easily reach the page and write at a proper angle, my writing is nice enough. If I have to write upside down or sideways, it’s crap but you can still read it.

4. What is your favourite lunch meat?
I don’t really have a favorite. If you mean the super processed stuff, we don’t eat that very often anyway. But I just like meat, so I wouldn’t have a favorite anyway.

5. Do you have kids?
Nope. I’ll just borrow some if I want the experience, that way I can give them back to their parents when I’m tired of them.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
Probably not. I’m kind of a dick. >__>

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
I don’t use sarcasm. I’m sarcasm incarnate.

8. Do you still have your tonsils?
Yup.

9. Would you bungee jump?
No, not even if I could. Being a human yoyo doesn’t appeal to me.

10. What is your favourite cereal?
I don’t eat cereal, but I used to like Rice Chex. I guess I still do when it’s mixed with stuff and drizzled with chocolate. Oh, and I like rice krispie treats. Does that count?

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Depends on the shoe. My Converse, yes. My boots, no because they also have zippers.

12. Do you think you are strong?
Physically? Nope. Emotionally? I have super strong and unhealthy coping mechanisms, so probably not.

13. What is your favourite ice cream?
Coffee? Cookies and cream? Both? Both. Both is good. Preferably mixed together.

14. What is the first thing you notice about people?
It really depends on whether they’re facing me or not and whether they’re sitting or standing. I should probably say something stupid and mysterious like their aura or vibe, but honestly… usually the ass. I’m at the perfect height for it. If they’re sitting, then probably their hair.

15. Red or pink?
Red. Dark red.

16. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
Aside from everything? Uh… I guess that I don’t keep up with people even though I know I should. I’ve said it before. I’m a shit friend.

17. Who do you miss the most?
No one I’m willing to talk about.

18. What is your favourite tea?
Does boba count? I like tea, but I don’t drink it enough to have a favorite.

19. What colour shoes are you wearing?
Invisible? I’m not wearing any.

20. What was the last thing you ate?
Nuggets (catfish) and shrimp with a side of fried pickles. Mmm… be jealous. It’s okay.

21. What are you listening to right now?
The whoosh of my ventilator because I didn’t think to turn on the radio when I started working on this post.

22. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
Probably one of the glittery ones. I’m partial to the purples, but anything is fine as long as it’s sparkly.

23. Favourite smells?
Rain. Fresh cut wood. Old books. Roasting garlic.

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
I don’t talk on the phone unless I absolutely have to, so probably Dad.

25. Mountain hideaway or beach house?
Beach. Ocean view, please.

26. Favourite sports to watch?
Sports are not my thing. Baseball is okay if I’m actually at the game. Is skateboarding still a thing? I don’t mind watching that. Dancing is okay too.

27. Hair colour?
Somewhere between blonde and brown, I guess.

28. Eye colour?
Blue.

29. Do you wear contacts?
Nope. I don’t like being touched at the best of times. You really think I want someone jabbing their fingers in my eyes?

30. Favourite food?
Food in general. I just like to eat.

31. Scary movies or happy endings?
I don’t watch enough movies to have a strong preference either way, but I guess happy. I like my horror in book form.

32. Last movie you watched?
No idea. Troop Zero? I don’t remember any movies since then.

33. What colour shirt are you wearing?
Black with a red Oz logo. A Japanese band that’s no longer around.

34. Summer or winter?
Summer. Bring on the heat!

35. Hugs or kisses?
Like the candy? I’m on team Hugs. The actions? Please don’t.

36. Favourite dessert?
Creme brulee!

37. Strength training or cardio?
Cripple privilege allows me to not exercise and no one says anything about it.

38. Computer or television?
Computer. Always.

39. What book are you reading right now?
Open for Murder by Mary Angela for this month’s review post and HP and the Chamber of Secrets for fun.

40. What is on your mouse pad?
I don’t have one.

41. Any tattoos?
Not yet. But I want one.

42. Favourite sound?
I’ve never thought about this. Water sounds, I guess.

43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
Beatles.

44. What is the farthest you’ve been from home?
Out of the places I remember, Wiscasset in Maine is around 1,900 miles from us, but so is Quebec, so one of those two places.

45. Do you have a special talent?
I can turn pretty much anything into something perverted, but otherwise no.

46. Where were you born?
A hospital.

47. Where are you living now?
The same place I have always lived.

48. What colour is your house?
If you had stalked me properly, you would know the answer to this question. Step your game up.

49. What colour is your car?
I don’t have a car.

50. Any pets?
A dog and a bunch of fish.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

How I Avoided the Election

Howdy, howdy! It’s Tuesday November 3rd as I’m writing this and I have no idea how all of the election crap is going. I don’t particularly care either. We’re all screwed for the next four years no matter who gets in, so why waste time worrying? As you’re reading this, it’s the 4th or later, so you probably already know who won. If it was the ancient white dude you were rooting for, congrats! If it was the other ancient white dude, better luck next time. But as with all election years, I’ve spent my day avoiding politics as much as possible. Here’s how I did it this time.

AKA Americans insisting on voting Dem or Rep instead of voting for someone who might actually do things to benefit everyone.

1. I helped Dad uninstall a switch from SmartThings and connect the new switch when he got it in. He’s finally remodeling his room and my job in the process is to figure out the smart home aspects. I’ll post pictures of the room when he’s done, but it’s coming along nicely if I do say so myself.

2. I read some manhwa (Korean graphic novels/webtoons). Okay, so I was actually procrastinating on writing this post, but it also kept me away from election stuff too. No one wants to know what kind of BL (if you know what that is and want to squee over it with me, message me on one of my social media pages) I was reading, but a few of my favorites had updates, so it kept me amused for half an hour.

Shakespeare and Hathaway.

3. I watched BritBox with Dad. During breakfast/lunch (same meal), we watched an episode of Shakespeare and Hathaway. It’s a fun show and you should be watching it. For dinner, we’ll probably watch an episode of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. It’s an okay show, but there are better mysteries out there. They keep changing his wife (not the character, just the actress), which is distracting. We’ll probably watch some stuff on Hulu too.

4. I scrolled through Facebook. Yes, I saw a bunch of people freaking out about election day stress, but I only stopped scrolling for cute memes and pictures of pretty people. I also made sure to stop before the main media coverage of the day started, so I could avoid all of the madness. I’ll scroll through it after a decision is made.

Terrifying.

5. I read and wrote this post and did some other things I needed to do. In other words, I adulted. This is not something I recommend, but it’s necessary and better than watching election crap.

I have no idea who’s ahead in the polls as I’m writing this. I’ll find out who wins later. For now, I’m going to go relax and avoid everything. If you avidly kept track of everything, I hope you didn’t stress yourself too much. If you just bided your time until everything was over, feel free to share what you got up to here or on my social media pages! I need new ideas for how to avoid the next election.

7 Stories for the Season

Hello, hello! How is everyone doing this lovely October day? It’s that scary time of year where people normally start decorating with spider webs and carved pumpkins in preparation to hand out candy to appease all of the little ghosts and goblins. Unfortunately, Covid is dampening this year’s Halloween spirit, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate. You can always watch scary or corny movies. You can still decorate to your heart’s content as well. And now is as good a time as any to read (or reread) some scary stories. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite short stories with you today.

1. “Strawberry Spring” by Stephen King. Of course King would be on my list, so I might as well start there. This particular story is in the collection Night Shift. What’s not to love about a serial killer story? But really, you can’t go wrong with any of King’s short stories.

2. “The Colour Out of Space” by H.P. Lovecraft. This is one of the few stories that kept me up at night and I have no idea why. It’s just one of those creepy stories that gets inside your head. It can be found in a number of Lovecraft collections or you can read it here. And yes, I acknowledge he was a racist. I don’t have to like a person or agree with them to enjoy their work.

3. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Because who doesn’t love a slow descent into madness? If you’ve taken any college level English courses, you’ve probably read this, but it’s always worth another look. It can be found in a bunch of collections or here on the Project Gutenberg website.

4. “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. This is another you’ve probably read if you did your English homework, but I still love it. The story of a creepy recluse is always intriguing. You can find it in loads of collections and if you Google it, the whole text usually pops up in at least one public lesson plan.

5. “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe. Pretty much any Poe story fits the season, but the one that creeps me out the most is this one. Why? Because teeth freak me out. Of all the things to be obsessed with, I just don’t understand why anyone would fixate on teeth. But I digress. If you have a collection of Poe, it’s probably in there. If not, you can read it here.

6. “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” by Neil Gaiman. This is a weird and cute story that’s pretty predictable, but still fun. It was published in the anthology Impossible Monsters (edited by Kasey Lansdale), but you can listen to Gaiman read it here if you have 10 minutes to spare.

7. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. It’s not scary like the usual horror story, but it’s terrifying because it’s not a particularly far-fetched idea. This could happen because people suck. It has happened in the past in various ways. It’s basically ritual sacrifice without the whole appeasing a god angle (at least from what I remember). Stuff like this happens and that’s terrifying. You can find this one in a bunch of anthologies and it’s usually around online if you Google it.

I could keep going, but I think I’ll save some for another time. What are some of your favorite scary or creepy short stories? How about corny Halloween short stories? As always, feel free to share your lists or comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

Last Quarter Intentions

Hello, hello! How’s everyone doing today? It’s been a gloomy couple of days, so I’ve just wanted to laze around. You know how it goes. But next week is September’s book review post, then we enter the final quarter of 2020. Can you believe it? Time is racing by, but at the same time it feels like 2020 has been stretching on forever. It’s weird. Anyway, in preparation for the end of the year, I thought I would let you know what my intentions are. I’m not even going to bother calling them goals because that word hasn’t helped me stay on target in a long time. So, here’s a list of the things I hope to accomplish by December 31st.

Basically.

1. Finish the first draft of DS2. I originally wanted to finish this a week or so ago, but the blahs got me and I stopped working on it. I wrote some short stuff in the interim, so I wasn’t completely useless. However, I need to get back to the novel. I’m aiming for 65-75,000 words and already have about 18,000 written, so even if I wait to start on October 1st (I need to reread what I’ve written over the next few days to get back in the voice) I’ll only need to write between 900 and 1,100 on my writing days. I can do it. I plan to do it. We’ll see if it actually happens.

2. Finish the shawl. I’ve been working on this thing on and off since October, so I want to finish it and have Dad weave in the ends and block it, so we can get it sent off. It’s my own fault it’s taking so long. Hopefully since I don’t plan on trying to force out 1,500 words on my writing days, I’ll be able to squeeze in at least half an hour of crocheting on those days as well as more on the days I don’t write. My priority will be the words, but I’m still hoping I can finish both by the end of the year.

Or just buy me yarn. No flattery necessary.

3. Keep querying and submitting. I haven’t missed a week yet, but I’m slowly running out of agents to query until I get rejections from some others (ones in agencies where you’re allowed to query other agents even if you get a no from one of them), I might drop down to two or three a week instead of five. I’m only 25 submissions away from 100, so I’m not worried about cutting back a bit. Then, I can look for publishers if none of the agents bite. I’ll still keep up with my two short story submissions each week too.

4. Read extra books. Once I finish the book I’m currently reading, I’ll have met my 30 books goal for the year, but I’ll still need to read at least two books for November and December’s reviews. I’m also planning to reread HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone and I’m sure I can find a book or two in my Kindle collection of stuff I’ve bought but haven’t read to fill out the rest of the year. Or maybe I’ll just say screw it and read manga instead.

I mean, if I had enough money, I’d be less anxious which would make me happy, but books work too.

I could talk about my intention to try and make new friends, but we all know how bad I am at keeping up with the ones I have, so I probably won’t do anything different. I’m trying. Slowly. But it’s not like it was back in the Yahoo chat days. Back then I’d randomly *glomp* someone and hey presto, new friend! Nowadays, I join a new forum or group and just lurk because I feel like a creeper. So yeah, new friends would be nice but are unlikely because I’m a socially awkward weirdo.

Anyway, that’s what I hope to accomplish by the end of the year. What about you? Anything you want to get done within the next three months? As always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments or whatever here or on my social media pages!

Book Rant

Hello, hello! September is flying by. I can’t believe we’re already a third of the way through it (close enough anyway). I have no idea where the time is going. I’ve mostly been reading. It’s weird. I’ve already read this month’s book for the review and I’m currently working on next month’s book since it’s on the long side. But, since the last time I talked about reading, I’ve also read another book from my “want to read again” list. It’s an old book I read back in elementary school and loved. Well, I picked up the Kindle version via my library’s OverDrive account and apparently they updated the book when it was released as an eBook. Needless to say, I have issues with it.

The cover of the 2012 Kindle version.

Ransom by Lois Duncan is about a group of five kids who live in one of the richer areas of New Mexico getting kidnapped when someone steals their school bus. It’s a story about five completely different people struggling to survive and come to terms not only with what’s happening, but also with each other. Honestly, it’s a little melodramatic and the dialogue is a bit stilted, but it’s a fun read if you come into it with the right mindset.

The book was written in 1966. I read it in the early ’90s. In other words, it was pre-Interwebz and pre-cellphone. That’s what makes the plot believable in the first place. The kidnappers can’t get in touch with one of the families via home phone, which ups the tension. There’s no such thing as email or texts or any of that. People are out of touch with each other for hours on end. Parents can’t track their kids’ phones. No one actually worries until someone isn’t home for dinner. That was the norm back then and it made the story plausible. It made it exciting.

This is how kids used to know it was time to get home, even when I was a kid.

But when I started reading the Kindle version from Open Road Media, I noticed they added things. There were random mentions of cellphones and a lame attempt to explain a daughter writing letters to her dad because he wouldn’t answer her emails. It’s like the editors were trying to make the story more accessible to a modern audience, but all they managed to do was make the story ridiculous. Plus, they didn’t bother updating the speech or coming up with a more modern excuse for the cripple dude. I mean, how many kids have had polio recently? According to the CDC, we haven’t had a case in the U.S. since 1979. In 1966 when the book was published, the idea that an 18-year-old had contracted polio as a child wasn’t far-fetched at all. If you’re going to update a book, at least be consistent. The anachronisms in the version were eye-twitch inducing.

Basically.

In other words, avoid this version of Ransom. Try to find something earlier. I don’t know if other newer versions do the same thing, but if you run across mentions of cellphones or emails in your copy, know that it’s LIES. This is a good book if you can get into the time period. I don’t understand why they felt the need to update it. It wasn’t necessary. It just ticks me off. Anyway, as always, feel free to share your thoughts or comments or similar stories here or on my social media pages!

Day Off!

Hello, hello! Dad’s getting ready to stain the front hallway (right outside my room) and today he’s using something that might have fumes. Instead of being trapped in my room with potential stink, I’m going to chill in the living room where I can escape out into the backyard if need be. My computer battery is crap, so I’ll only have my phone with me. I hate writing on my phone. Needless to say, I’ll either be watching TV or reading today. Enjoy your week! I’ll be back next Wednesday.

5af5bbba63520b09798f903957f2208d

That Explains A Lot

Hello, hello! It’s already August and I have no idea where the time is going or what I’ve done while it was passing. I admit that I’ve been majorly slacking on writing. It’s not that I’m feeling burnt out or anything, but I still can’t find the motivation. The slew of rejections doesn’t exactly help get me pumped to write, but I was expecting them, so I’m not super depressed by them either. I’d just rather be reading or watching TV with Dad or something. Other than the actual writing, I’m still doing everything else I should be doing. Including reading. I thought I’d take a chance to ramble a bit about the books I’ve been rereading from years ago.

358b742efd397028cf02812dd5c82b23
Accurate.

Along with my books for review and other new-to-me stories, I’ve been working my way through a list of things I’ve been wanting to read again. So far, I’ve made it through C.S. Lewis’s the Chronicles of Narnia and am currently working on The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. Other books I eventually want to get to include Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, the Anne of Green Gables series, His Dark Materials, and some other standalones. If you’re interested, the full list (minus the things I’ve already reread) can be found on my GoodReads profile.

Anyway, I’ve definitely had some thoughts while rereading these things. First, the Chronicles of Narnia. I knew they were on the misogynistic and racist side because C.S. Lewis was a man of his time, but I really didn’t remember them being as bad about it as they are. All of the girls do amazing things, but they’re constantly written off as doing the best they can for a girl. Then there’s the whole thing with the Calormenes being stereotypical heathens that basically need Aslan (Jesus) in order to become good people. There were also some slurs that I didn’t remember being in there. But I’m not too sensitive to these things, so I still found the stories entertaining and fun. Misogyny and racism existed. They still exist. They show up in literature, especially in certain time periods. I understand that and accept that if I read stuff from back then, I’ll run across these kinds of things. I’m just saying it’s interesting how my younger mind glanced over this stuff.

920

The other thing I noticed with the Chronicles of Narnia was the religious aspect. I know there were things that always made me uncomfortable with this series as a kid, but I never quite put my finger on it. Rereading it now, I realize it was probably the same things that makes me uncomfortable about religion in general. Aslan abducts kids, forces them to do his bidding before he’ll send them home, and for some reason they love him for it. It’s all a little brainwashy and super creepy. Not to mention the whole Aslan versus Tash thing. It comes down to “my god’s better than yours” and Aslan literally explains that no matter who people worship, good things are done for Aslan while bad things are done for Tash. No other god can be good, I guess. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind that the Chronicles of Narnia are pretty much just Bible retellings, but the creepiness of it all still shows through.

That’s enough about C.S. Lewis. The book I’m currently reading, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, is the one that got me into reading and that explains a lot about me. There are blood and guts and a mean voice in Trisha’s head and curse words and all of the fun stuff I still enjoy. There’s a decapitated deer (head first, body later). A disemboweled fawn. Butterflies that turn into creepy hooded people who claim to be sent by various gods. The signs of a “special thing” lurking just out of sight. Not to mention all of the regular scary things in forests like snakes and bugs. And I’m not even finished with it yet. I remember some of this stuff, but at other points I have no recollection of it. The joys of gore. I still love it.

tenor (13)

It’s weird to look back at things and see what the mind has retained versus what it has purged over the years. Makes me wonder exactly which tidbits helped shape my mind. Anyway, what are some books from your earlier years that you’ve reread recently? Did they surprise you? Did you notice anything about yourself? Do you still like them? As always, feel free to comment here or on my social media pages!

Disability “Pride” Month

Hello, hello! July is chugging right along. How is everyone doing? I’m not as productive as I should be, but I’m still getting stuff done. I switched both of my remaining yearly check ups to televisits, so I don’t have to worry about going to UT Southwestern this year (huzzah!). Otherwise, I’ve been procrastinating and writing and reading and submitting and querying. It sounds like a lot, but I could be writing more. Anyway, I recently discovered that July is Disability “Pride” Month. I have conflicting feelings about that name, so I thought I’d ramble about it for a bit.

Disability-Pride
It’s a thing.

I’ve never really been comfortable with pride months/weeks/days/whatever. Especially when it’s referring to something genetic. I can’t think of one good thing that has come from people being proud of their genes. It’s creepy and you literally did nothing to be proud of. If anything, you should be proud of your parents for having sex and making you.

Not all disabilities are genetic! I know this. If you survived an accident or something, you deserve to be proud of yourself. You even deserve to be proud of yourself for living with a disability. It’s hard work. I should know. My issue is that “Disability Pride Month” makes it sound like we should be proud of being disabled. I mean, if you’re proud of your disability, more power to you. But I’m not. I had no choice in the matter, so why should I be proud of it? I’m proud of myself for earning an MFA in creative writing. I’m proud of myself for trying again and again despite the plethora of rejections I receive. I’m proud of myself when I come up with a solution for something like reaching a pen that’s an inch too far away. But my disability isn’t something I’m proud of. It’s neither here nor there. I just have to deal with it. 

tenor (12)

Personally, I’d rather have a Disability History Month. I’d love to see the TV stations doing specials on people with disabilities or airing little factoids during commercial breaks like they do for other history months. And I don’t mean inspiration porn type stuff. I want to learn about Helen Keller the activist, the first blind and deaf woman to earn a BA, the author, etc. I want to hear about how Sir Anthony Hopkins delves into a role and how his acting style may have been influenced by his (until late-in-life) undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome. I want to see something about Justin Dart Jr. (a survivor of polio who ended up in a wheelchair because of it) who played a major role in getting the Americans with Disabilities Act passed thirty years ago. There are so many interesting people with disabilities, so it would be neat to actually learn about them without the whole inspo-porn twist that gets thrown into similar stories.

theonlythingworsethanbeingblind

That’s just how I feel. The word choice creeps me out, but I’m okay with having a month where people get to learn about people with disabilities. I know some people will get in huff about “why isn’t there an Able-bodied Pride/History Month?” but whatever. People just like to complain when they feel left out even though it’s not really meant to exclude them, but instead, it’s an invitation to learn about something outside of their bubble. As usual, feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages!

The Great Mask Debate

Hello, hello! How is everyone doing? Last week, I had to go to the doctor’s office because I hadn’t seen her in over a year and I needed a prescription (she doesn’t do televisits). I wore a mask that Dad had custom-made to work with my ventilator, plus I wore a face guard for extra protection. I looked pretty stupid, but that’s better than getting Covid. Anyway, as many of you know, I’m in Texas. It’s a hotbed for the virus right now, but a good chunk of people are still making a fuss about wearing masks. So, I thought I would take the time to articulate my thoughts on some of the most common arguments against masks that I hear.

106630312_10157173518386716_1070323855511421363_n
At least my Cowboy Bebop shirt is cool.

1. “Being forced to wear a mask infringes on my civil liberties!”
Two questions: a) What are “civil liberties?” and b) Exactly which liberties do masks infringe upon? Let’s start with question a. Civil liberties are individual rights that protect us from tyranny and laws that are not created for the good of the community as a whole. In other words, your civil liberties are stuff like the freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial, freedom of the press, the right to vote, etc. Mask laws are for the good of the community as a whole and don’t stop people from saying whatever they want or anything else like that. So, question b is a trick question because masks don’t affect your civil liberties at all. That argument only makes you sound like an uneducated sheep who heard someone else say it and thought it sounded legit. It’s not.

2. “Young, healthy people aren’t killed by Covid, so they don’t need to wear masks.”
First off, that information is false. Young and healthy people are dying from it too. But the biggest issue with that statement is the fact that masks are not meant to protect the wearer. They’re more effective at keeping the wearer from unknowingly spreading the disease (any similarly transmitted disease, not just Covid). Basically, it’s a matter of protecting the people around you at the expense of your own comfort.

1200x0

3. “Masks are hot and uncomfortable, so I don’t wanna wear one.”
I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way about clothes, but we still have to wear those in public. But this selfish argument stems from the fact that America is an individual-centric society instead of a community-centric one. Many of us are raised to put our own needs and desires above everyone else’s. So, the thought process of “I’ll endure some mild discomfort to protect my fellow citizens” is literally a foreign concept to many Americans. It’s not an excuse, but apparently it’s a hard habit to break. Add it to the misinformation from the above argument and the selfishness just gets worse and worse.

4. “There’s so much conflicting data.”
Is there, though? I mean, are you actually approaching this topic from a research perspective or are you just looking for “studies” that confirm your bias? Are you looking at peer-reviewed articles and studies with appropriate sample sizes? Let’s say you’re writing a research paper and you require ten sources… are you sifting through (and ignoring) hundreds of studies that don’t support your hypothesis just to find ten that vaguely support your hypothesis? Have these studies been replicated with similar findings? Or are you just spouting “data” you saw on some Joe Schmoe’s website? The data in favor of masks is pretty overwhelming if you look at legitimate studies. Stop being willfully ignorant.

200 (4)

5. “Covid is a hoax and masks are the Lefties newest way of trying to control us through the government!”
I see you want to go full conspiracy theorist on me. Challenge accepted. So, the government is using masks to control you? They give you your own personal identification number at birth and track it until the day you die. They make you register every major purchase you make (homes, vehicles, etc). They allow tech companies to install bugs in our homes and vehicles to track our every movement and purchase preferences (because every smart device we own is listening to us). But, yeah. Masks are how they’re controlling us! It has nothing to do with the fact that they want to keep us divided about every little thing to distract us from how inept all of them are at actually running a country. The conspiracy theorist in me wouldn’t be surprised at all if the conflicting reports on the effectiveness of masks were all funded by the government just to sow dissent among us. But instead of erring on the side of caution and wearing your masks while you take a good hard look at how poorly the government is actually handling everything, you’d rather throw hissy fits in Costco. Congrats on being a pawn of the government! /end conspiracy theorist mode

There are other arguments I could address, but writing this post gave me a headache, so I’m going to stop and do something happy for a bit. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments here or on my social media pages. Disclaimer: arguments based around facts are completely acceptable even if they get a little heated, but if it devolves into name calling and rudeness, I will intervene.