The World’s Still Here (Told You So) and the White Death Returneth

end-of-the-world snake food

The world obviously didn’t end on Friday, December 21, just like it didn’t end on May 11, 2011 or in 2000, or 1988 or 1986 or any of those other dates set by people who desperately look for meaning in the writing of the ancients and/or the scattered patterns of the skies.

It would be easier that way, maybe, but I don’t really want my life any more scheduled than it has to be.  Routine is one thing, but scheduling all activities down to the minute is bullshit.  I can imagine that might be part of the reason why today’s kids are so apeshit.  I mean, most of them have to get up way early to go to the sitter before school, then spend all day at school with every second micromanaged, only to stay after school to play sport “A” and/or do activity “B” which is also micromanaged, and then come home to a late dinner and chores, fall asleep, and repeat the same noise the next day.

daily_schedule_prekinderThis would drive me apeshit as an adult, let alone as a freaking four year old!  I really can’t schedule my whiz times.

There’s not much room for any quiet contemplation in that kind of rat race.  I don’t respond to micromanagement well, and I don’t generally function well as a part of a group.   What if I want to stare at the wall when everyone else is dancing about the room? I would be royally screwed if I would have to adhere to a day care schedule, let along to be a middle school or high school kid today.  Granted, very few if any people share my need for copious quantities of solitude, but I’m sure that after awhile the lack of spontaneity and absence of breathing room would- given time- have to disturb even the most extroverted neurotypical.

It’s not that I’m so averse to having a schedule- as long as it’s mine and not one imposed upon me.  It’s one thing if I set aside time for an activity that I’m interested in doing, and quite another if it’s something someone else schedules for me that I’d rather not be doing.  There are also some things- like bodily functions- that just really don’t occur on a regular schedule, at least not for me.  I take a lot of blood pressure meds, I like my coffee, and I don’t have much bladder capacity.  I have to stay within reasonable proximity to a toilet.

I think that’s why holidays and so forth are so stressful for me- strange toilets.  In all seriousness, there are people I want to see and spend time with, and others I’d really rather avoid.  This Christmas I was pretty fortunate in that I spent most of the day with Steve-o (someone I did want to spend time with) and got to spend most of the day Sunday with my granddaughter (who I also wanted to spend time with) so I’m cool.  I don’t need and I certainly don’t enjoy big formal parties and such.

ballroom gown meAll dressed up, (and this looks itchy to boot) with nowhere to go.

As far as the End of the World, I say let that be a surprise.  There are some things I don’t think I really want to know about in advance.

Central Ohio is positioned in a sort of strange place in relation to weather fronts.  It’s far enough south of the lake that we don’t get the “lake effect snow” that Cleveland and other cities too far north for human habitation experience.  Columbus proper- or at least within the confines of I-270- sits in a bit of a valley.  It rains a lot and it floods easily, but we get far less snow than the hinterlands up north.  There’s a huge difference in snowfall just in going 15-20 miles further north.  Most of the really wicked weather fronts end up either staying north or sort of blowing around us.  So when forecasters say the White Death is coming to Central Ohio, I believe it when I see it.  Far too often we’re supposed to get some huge-ass storm, the mere mention of which sets everyone off raiding the grocery stores on their quests for Velveeta cheese and Marlboros, and instead of White Death of the Apocalypse we get either a shitload of rain (that’s the default for Central Ohio anyway) or a piddly dusting of snow that doesn’t even warrant me putting on boots.

Velveeta-cheese1marlborosRedneck priorities- screw the milk and bread- we need smokes, and Velveeta cheese is good all by itself!

Yesterday we actually had a substantial snow- about 4″ or so within I-270.  Despite the arrival of the White Death, I was quite able to get to work and get home in my nice little Hello Kitty Yaris.  I think the traction control light came on once.

Maybe I’m jaded because the snow situation is very different where I come from, even though it’s only about 50 miles away.  I remember one surprise storm up in the hinterlands all too well.  My sister and I ended up pulling cars out of ditches with her ’68 VW Bug and a tow rope.    She had snow tires on the back of it which came in handy.  I also remember off-roading in snow-covered cornfields with VW Rabbits.  They’re geared low and are fairly high off the ground, so they would go through a lot more than one would think by their size.

1983-volkswagen-rabbit-gti1983- when Reagan was president, the air was dirty but sex was clean, and Steve Perry wore Spandex.  Damn, I should not have sold my ’83 GTI.

The End of the World, Take # 479, Pragmatism Has Its Advantages

goodinbed

I was fortunate enough this weekend to pretty much not have to do squat.  So I didn’t.  It was lovely.  I missed seeing my granddaughter, but I had such a horrific headache yesterday that it was good for me to simply stay in bed.  After awhile I felt better and figured since I pay for premium cable (mostly because Jerry has to have all those stinking sports channels I don’t watch) I might as well watch TV.  The only thing that sucked is that it seems right now everything on TV is all centered on the same theme- that 12-21-12 is going to be the end of the world.  Never mind that the Mayans, while technologically advanced, were superstitious enough to pull beating hearts out of live humans, to sacrifice to demons.

sacrifice

I really want to trust my apocalyptic timing to guys like that.  I think that the whole Mayan calendar thing is sort of the same concept as going through the calendar on my cell phone and coming to the conclusion that the world must end on December 31, 9999 because no programmer thought it necessary for there to be a provision for a five-digit year. Never mind that by the time the year 10,000 rolls around either a.) all the humans will be dead, or b.) if there are humans they will be using different technologies than we use today.

People have been trying to set a date for the end of the world for forever.  Odds are they’re wrong this time, just like they were back on May 21, 2011.  And all those other times too.

the-end-of-the-worldIs this the End of the World- or just Detroit?

Let’s face it, the odds are against the date setters, and if I were God (good thing I’m NOT) I wouldn’t let them have the satisfaction.  I’d pick a day and a time that’s completely off the radar and surprise everyone which is exactly how God said He’s going to do it:

(Jesus said-) “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” – Matthew 24:42-44 (NIV)

I don’t know when the End of Days is going to be, and I’m not really that worried about it, because it’s one of those things I can’t change, but I could almost bet it won’t be on December 21.  Maybe whenever it is, it will be at the end of February when the world (at least Central Ohio’s portion of it) is at its most dark, dreary and depressing.

There are, however, websites devoted to Doomsday 2012  who claim true believers with all the credibility of Britney Spears.  Yeah, the crazy chick who went nuts and shaved her head.  I’ll believe it when Ozzy endorses it.

ozzy

Ozzy Rocks!  Never mind he’s the same age as my Dad.

I just don’t see too many believable authorities giving the 12-21-12 doomsday theory much credence. Unless proven otherwise, as far as I’m concerned, the doomsday sayers are simply modern-day Millerites.  We’ve all heard that noise before. NASA has pretty much shot down most of that hoo-hah.  I figure if these guys could send people to the moon and get them back then they probably know a thing or two about stuff that’s going on- or not going on- in outer space.

Speaking of outer space, you really don’t hear much about UFOs anymore.  I mean, they’re sort of in the same category as Bigfoot.  I’ll believe there’s such a thing as Bigfoot when someone can either capture a live one or find a carcass.  How can a giant ape live in the forest without ever leaving a dead body or even scat?  I mean, bears live in the forest and they leave carcasses and scat.  People catch live bears too.  It would be as if someone is alleging the existence of redneck men but can’t provide evidence of beer cans, Hershey splatters in the toilet bowl, and a trail of cigarette cellophanes and dirty clothes behind them.  Redneck men exist.  Even should they try to hide, we can prove the existence of the redneck male by virtue of all the PBR and Natty Lite cans and Slim-Jim wrappers they leave behind, as well as all the fudgy whitey-tighties.

rednecktatooUnfortunately, most rednecks are not shy.  Even when they should be.

I think I should have some sort of celebratory “The World’s Still Here” party on December 22.  Then again, that’s the day I will probably be at CVS around midnight, buying all the candy my sisters don’t want my nieces and nephews to have.  This year I am really only bothering to buy the good stuff for my granddaughter.  Steve-o has already gotten a high dollar pair of shoes and a car seat to put in his car- early- so I’m not getting him anything else.  I got Mom a velour sweater that isn’t fugly, and I got Dad a gag calendar (so far) that has Toilets of the World on it.  I’ll probably also get him some socks and some long johns or something.  It’s hard to buy for the man who has a taxidermied squirrel on a skateboard.

toilets-of-the-world-calendar-2013-5239-0-1345046806000At least Dad appreciates my humor.

The Year of the Apocalypse? Wasn’t That 1984,or 1986, or 1999, or 2001?

I have to say that I am somewhat amused by the plethora of 2012 doomsday predictions that are scattered all over the Internet, TV and pretty much everywhere else.  The whole bit about the Mayan calendar ending, as if people who were into human sacrifice (by yanking out the victim’s still-beating heart) were some kind of infallible authorities on scientific and/or eschatological issues, seems more than a bit nebulous to me.  I understand that the Mayans had a lot going for them in matters of astrology and astronomy, but even the modern understanding of either of these studies is incomplete and likely not as accurate as we would like to believe. 

Of course, this year we are offered the sublime public imperative to get Obama the freak out of the White House before he does even more damage. 

I am no fan of Mitt Romney either, but for comparison’s sake I would rather see Sheena elected president if only because she would do a lot less damage than Obama.

I can see it now: Sheena for President: At least I’m housebroken,and the only ass I lick is my own!  But I don’t think dogs are eligible to run.  Pity.  But they don’t go rambling on about global warming myths, and they don’t make pacts with terrorists either.

As recently as 1975 the scientific community was seriously concerned about another impending ice age- and that was back when the air was dirty and sex was clean.  If pollution was going to cause global warming, then why wasn’t Ohio a tropical paradise back in the 1970’s?   Today’s wisdom is to go from a couple decades’ (if that) worth of weather reports as sufficient evidence to claim “global warming” and blame “apocalyptic climate change” on the use of internal combustion, frequent bathing, and the Western world’s use of toilet paper to wipe our behinds.  OK.  If the use of internal combustion, frequent showers, scrupulous wiping and the inevitable pollution those luxuries supposedly generate is causing global warming, then I would like to know how the same creature comforts that supposedly are making the earth a stygian hell were paving the way for us to die on a frozen planet less than forty years ago.  It seems a bit fishy to me.

What do the tree huggers have to gain?  A world of people who smell like ass and can’t drive?  I can show you a whole room full of them down at the BMV waiting to take their driver’s tests, and it’s not a pleasant experience. 

Just because something is synthetic doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.  Plastic, spandex (*on hot, buff dudes, I must clarify), computer chips, acrylic nails and McDonald’s cheeseburgers all come to mind as man-made items that are pretty damn handy.  On the other hand “all-natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “good.”  Arsenic is an all natural poison.  Ebola virus is an all natural disease-causing agent too.  So let’s all go snacking on arsenic-and-Ebola and see how those all natural goodies treat us?

I have to look at the end of the world with a pretty pragmatic eye.  No human being is more than a minute electrical charge away from the Dirt Nap.  Death is inevitable, whether it’s all at once with the rest of the world, or all by myself  at some random time when that little electrical switch in my heart decides to stop working. 

Like the Serenity Prayer says: Accept the things you can’t change.

Life is a lot easier that way.