Category Archives: rerun

Terrible Lessons I Learned From Children’s Lit (part 1)

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Sorry for the rerun, but I want to pick this theme up again and figured a refresher was in order.  Also, I had to write another thing for a thing, so here’s an older thing that’s hilarious (promise!). Forgive me? Also, Mara Wilson (Matilda) is on Twitter and you should probably follow her because she’s hilarious and awesome.  @marawritesstuff.  Go. Follow. Yay.

So in re-reading and re-watching some of my favourite children’s/YA books/movies, I’ve realized some really disturbing things.  In fact, I figured I’d share them here so you can all see exactly how my demented mind works.

Let’s start with Mathilda, shall we?  I’m gonna talk about the movie ’cause it’s what I had handy and when you’re dealing with Roald Dahl, the book and the movie are very different things. (Hint: the books are even more terrifying.)  But don’t worry; he’ll turn up  again.  I learn lots of terrible lessons from the film adaptations of his books particularly.  This is what I learned from Matilda:

•If you want a child to grow up intelligent and independent, you should absolutely neglect them, thoroughly. It will make them smart and strong.

•If you are that child, your life has been crappy enough that while you’re generally a good person, you have a free pass to act like a sociopath at least once.

•Acting like a sociopath will get you the life you always wanted.

Some of you are probably wondering if we watched the same movie.  We did.  I’m just more warped than you are.  Still, it’s all there.  Matilda’s parents neglect her from the day she’s born, bringing her home from the hospital in the back of a station wagon and then forgetting her there until, presumably (we’re never told in the movie) she can walk herself in.  Because of this neglect, she learns to take care of herself, cook for herself, navigate a metropolis and manipulate the adults around her.  Oh, wait. We’re not to the sociopathy yet. Forget that bit.

Actually, let’s go ahead with the sociopathy:  If you’re Matilda and you’ve grown up in that atmosphere of neglect and indifference your entire life, you learn to play by a different set of rules and that’s okay in fiction but doesn’t play out well in the real world.  But in fiction, if your parents are “bad,” you can punish them.  In the movie, this takes the form of pranks, mostly, from replacing dad’s hair tonic with mom’s peroxide to gluing his hat on his head.  (Interesting, mom is never punished for her indifference and shallowness. But that’d be another bullet point and in preaching class, I learned 3 points are plenty, thanks.)

Anyway, apart from punishing her dad in order to get her way (which was to make him allow her to go to school), she finds that the principal at her new school is also bad and therefore can and should be punished.   I should probably point out that this is about the time that Matilda learns she has superpowers.  These are important because that’s what she uses to punish the bad adults at that point, through trespassing, theft and vandalism on the principal’s private property on the hunch that it was wrongly obtained (because 7 year olds are notorious for knowing the complexities of any given situation).  Later, she uses those same powers to physically assault the principal.  Trunchbowl is no peach and she definitely is a bully, but thanks to this movie, I learned that bullies just need someone to bully them back with supernatural powers.

In the end, this scares the bad principal while her parents get some federal justice aimed at them. Her parents flee the country, however, but Matilda, who apparently thought about this well ahead of time, had adoption papers prepped so that she could ditch her bad family, have her favourite teacher adopt her and they lived happily ever after in the house that had belonged to evil Ms. Trunchbowl.

So in the end, kids, remember that if you are smarter or more talented than someone else, it’s totally okay to use that to your advantage to manipulate the people around you into doing your will — as long as you have an adorable lisp and an exit strategy.

Join us next time on Auntie Hazard’s Story Time  to find out why it’s okay to take candy from strangers in pimp suits!

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Adventures in Cough Syrup (Rerun)

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Sorry: today’s a rerun from last year.  The goats are taking longer to draw than I thought AND there was a #Sharknado to contend with.  Please forgive me and enjoy this tale of drugs and lies. (But in a fun way.)

 

If you’ve ever seen television (and I know, because I almost never watch, but wait — I’m getting ahead of myself), then you have seen this stupid monkey with better fashion sense than I have on my best days. You know the one. The orangutan with

Stupid Monkey

You can tell he’s evil. Only evil looks that good in green.

the Slytherin scarf? (Seriously, first hint there, guys.) This stupid monkey would have you believe that getting cough relief is simple.  This monkey makes you think that you can just go to Robitussin, click a few buttons and then they’ll give you a moron proof code for Your Perfect Cough & Cold Relief™.

This monkey is a lying sack of fuzz.

I have had a cough since last Sunday and lost my voice (much to the relief of many around me, all of whom are welcome to go eat a shoe) on Tuesday.  Then the REAL coughing began.  This came after about 3 weeks of not sleeping because fun fact about me, I happen to be crazier than a whole box of squirrels with chicken pox.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep — again — because sleeping would let the mucus demons settle just enough and they’d get cranky and decide to rip my chest open just to make things more interesting. (NB: This version of the story could have something to do with my hitting the NyQuil pretty heavily at this point.)

Anyway, NyQuil wasn’t helping. Delsym promised 12 whole hours of relief.  Delsym lied to me AND tasted like slightly sweetened butt, grilled over a raging butt fire, sprinkled with freshly plucked BUTT.  It was insult, injury AND NO COUGH RELIEF WHATSOEVER rolled into one.  I’m a bit bitter. I hope one day with therapy that I’ll move past it, but the outlook is not good (I asked my magic 8 ball; I call him Keith).

So two strikes so far. Then I decide I’ll believe the freaking monkey even though I know enough about pharmacology to know that the only difference between Delsym and Robitussin DM (the one the monkey said I needed) was guafenesin. Basically, the D part is supposed to make you hork less, but the M part (guafenesin) is supposed to make the times you hork useful.  (Also, spell check believes that instead of guafenesin, I mean “deafening.” Draw your own conclusions there.)

Not only did it not stop my horking, I now had overdried sinuses, so the horking was all dry and non-productive and yes I’m writing a paragraph about snot, but I’m done now. Go on to the next one.

So, miserable and convinced that I would die of the lamest chest cold ever — though if I could convince people it was mucous demons, at least my obit would be interesting — I did what any sane human does when all of one’s arsenal of non-professional knowledge has failed her. I called and croaked at my grandmother.

Granny fixed me up, all right. Her instructions were, “Sip it if you can. If you can’t stand it, drink it hot; you won’t taste it.” These words terrified me. I didn’t ask what was in it because I was almost sure it was better not to know. But that night, I took a swig, gagged — and didn’t cough. MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A GENIUS! She’d invented a cure for the EVERYTHING. It tasted like donkey butts, but it was WORKING. …and I was a little dizzy.

That’s when I called and croaked at Granny to find out what was in this genius blend.

She told me: 1/3 lemon juice, 1/3 honey & 1/3 whiskey.  Yup. My granny had cured me with a bottle hot tottie.

Still, the cough isn’t entirely gone yet, but… I don’t really care much.  (hic)

PMDD (Once More, With Feeling!)

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PMDD (Once More, With Feeling!)

I was going to write about the incredible trip with my best friends to Eureka Springs a few weeks ago — which was awesome. But it was a 4 day trip and that’s a lot of work and I just don’t feel like it, but I did start it. Then I was going to write about politics because I *totally* solved the problem of North Korea (you’re welcome, world). But I wrote about half of it and realized that it was just making me mad, so I checked my email and found a company telling me how I could advertise for them (for free) because that’s apparently a thing they feel entitled to now and then I popped my knee and decided I hate everything and everything is stabby.

And then I remembered that I lose my mind sometimes, so I checked my calendar and, yeah, I’m crazy right now.

I was Dx’d with PMDD a few years ago and if anyone even hints that it’s PMS, I will find you and slap you, so shut up. It is NOT PMS. PMS is maybe you feel cranky and bloated and you have cramps and it sucks enough. PMDD means you lose your damn mind.

Seriously. I already knew I was crazy because I’ve dealt with depression most of my life. But then I started taking medication for that and I was substantially less prone to kill myself most days. But for a few weeks out of every month, I would lose my grip on rational thought, cry or rage (or both) over everything, including microwave directions, become convinced that life was absolutely HOPELESS and anyone who said differently was a liar and I hated them.

It was kind of like having the worst years of being a teen compressed and shoved into my brain through a convenient opening for maximum crazy.

It made me think I was beyond help because I was taking the medication for depression and it obviously wasn’t working, except when it did, but that didn’t count because it wasn’t working now. (If that made sense to you, you should probably see a psychiatrist.) Once I could convey that yes, I was taking my meds, but I was still flipping out every month, I had a doctor ask me if I’d heard about PMDD and I said I thought maybe it was something in one of those commercials that I never paid attention to because it made me homicidal. She said that yeah, we should probably treat this before I became a felon.

So we did. And for the last couple of years, the meds I take mean that I experience something less like “batshit insanity” and something more like what I imagine bad PMS must be, what with the cramps and bloating and cranky-kind-of-emotional, but I don’t automatically assume that I’m responding absolutely logically and that the best thing for everybody is for me to die so the world can go on.

And while I’m writing this rather tongue-in-cheek, it’s not a tongue-in-cheek kind of topic. PMDD is actually really serious. (And yeah, I’m dropping the smartass for a minute to say this). If you find yourself flipping out and nothing in the world makes sense anymore but it all makes you angry or depressed, seek help. It can get better.

And maybe, some day, you can not stab people too. We’ll not stab people in solidarity. But call me after you’re drugged because I don’t want to be that last person you stab before treatment. I love you, but there are limits. Also, if you want to read something by someone who isn’t currently blogging weird stuff and tweeting irrational hatred for stupid marketing moves by major corporations, you can click here. I hear these people have medical training and stuff. Show offs.

And here’s a picture to take your mind off stabbing things:

If this makes you feel stabby and you're not female, you might be a sociopath. Either way, I suggest you ask a professional. I'm a blogger. They're not the same.

But if you still feel stabby….

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