Old people, the Royal Rumble, SD cards that can S my D

I swear I’m not technologically incompetent. If anything, I’d rank myself slightly above average, maybe a nice 7.5/10. Maybe it’s just the nature of the beast, or Murphy’s Law, or that other variety of Murphy’s Law from that show I never remember the name of, ‘everything that can go wrong will go wrong at the worst possible moment,’ but somehow my cell phone, my sister’s camera, and my computer all failed at the same time, and I lost my camera.

I have since found the camera, in a backpack that got put in the hall closet. Never again with the compact cameras. I shouldn’t be able to lose a means of recording in a backpack pocket. I need my cameras to inconvenience me.

Anyway I decided I wanted to make a Royal Rumble reaction video because I made one last year and I’ve played it over a couple times since then and it amuses me. My thought process is basically, well, do you find this funny? Then do it, at this point. The urgency of the Royal Rumble reaction video is entirely my family’s fault. My Mom broke her foot what feels like several years ago, but was really about a month ago, and I don’t think I’ve taken a deep breath, like in a literal sense, since then. My Mom has the physical grace of a donkey, which is all the more amazing given she is maybe 100lbs. Her lack of control of her being is so acute it somehow manipulates the laws of space and gravity and physics and I’m sure there’s a blanket concept for those three things I would know if I learned science in high school but I didn’t. Usually it’s just annoying but with the lack of foot and added crutches and even if I keep making fun of her, very real injury, it’s scary. She fell literally seconds after we got back from the hospital, flat on her back in the middle of a dark road, no less, and took a header ironically, going to the physical therapist’s office. I learned it’s really hard to pick another human being up, even if they are light. If they have a satin-y puffer jacket on, it’s worse. If you haven’t cut your bangs in a while and you can’t see and also it’s pitch black out, that also ups the difficulty.

It’s gross to see your Mom in pain or incapacitated like that. I have no other way to describe the wrongness that goes beyond just empathy. Both my grandparents died recently, and the terror of their mobility has been high on everyone’s minds. I don’t know so much that my Mom is flying to close to the sun, so much as she has some innate drive to hurl herself into it and then refuse help. Like my grandma, my grandma who in the last months of her life, with 100% mental clarity, and nearly 0% vision, decided to deep fry potatoes, blind, because it was a waste of money to order takeout french fries when they had perfectly good ones in the freezer.

I’m so fucked. My grandparents deteriorating health destroyed their half-dozen kids, and billion grandkids or however many there are. I have my sister, who makes my Mom Uber to appointments when she is home, and once cancelled on my birthday lunch with our Dad because she forgot to call off work, only she didn’t go to work, she was at home. I know this because we live in the same house. I mean what?

So that has been heavy. The thinking about caretaking. Which great news, I am fucking horrible at. Then that’s setting off good old-fashioned sibling rage. Rage.

So I haven’t been doing much besides trying to stay calm. My Mom was feeling good enough we went to return some stuff from Christmas that never got done. Thank God for 90 day return policies. A nice girl held the door for us. I got a new pair of sunglasses. We went to get groceries and I got a bunch of movie theater snacks and a motherfuckin’ sub. I ingeniously taped a selfie stick to my bookshelf and got my little reaction capturing set up going and did a little test video and things are looking up.

I recorded about 25 minutes (light on, counter going up, everything) and decided you know what, I’ll be smart and hit stop, and start a new video, so I don’t have one 2 hour video to contend with, and if something fucks up it will be contained. So I hit stop, I watch the video ‘save,’ go to play it back, and THAT FUCKER DISAPPEARED. NOTHING IN THE GALLERY. NO FILE. NOT ON THE MEMORY CARD. NOT ON THE PHONE. WTF!?!?!

I pulled the memory card, because motherfuck you SD card, this ain’t my first rodeo, so it wouldn’t get overwritten, but so far so shitty. I borrowed my sister’s camera (I realize my borrowing something from her/my talking shit about her in the same couple paragraph span is sort of wrong, though I do think her, trust me, abandoning me with our theoretical elderly parents is a different realm,) and recorded the last bit of the Rumble, but at that point my heart wasn’t in it as I was distraught about what new means my phone had discovered of torturing me.

To be clear, I realize this all sounds silly as fuck, and is in the grand scheme of things, incredibly minor, it’s just been a genuinely hard month, and I was so looking forward to that little spot of dumb indulgence. I managed to get so gutted I had to make a trip to my old cryin’ spot, sitting on the (lidded) toilet in our basement bathroom while praying there were no centipedes in there. I think I’ve classical conditioned myself to cry in there, because if I’m going to cry, it is virtually always in the worst room in the house.

I’m so glamorous.

Sometimes my tenacity is a bad thing and now is one of those times, because I’ve devoted far too much of this week to trying to recover a file of me eating a sub while hating Baron Corbin. I just don’t want that memory card to win, and right now I feel like it is. I hate forgetting things, losing things, and being one upped by machines.

Also my music lesson sucked this week. Where is sanctuary. Ugh.

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The Walking Dead “Slabtown” Rant (Beth Greene’s Revenge)

I’m not trying to take up the feminist mantle, not that I’m a woman in denial or that I have an issue with feminism, but feminism and anything that deals with gender issues as a whole seems to have come to mean something I’m not really sure I want to represent me or that I want to align myself with. But zombies.

So basically don’t read this if you watch The Walking Dead or haven’t seen the (11/2/14) episode “Slabtown.”

We found Beth. In a hospital. That is run by a female cop named Dawn that is positioned sort of as a lady Rick if Rick had never let go of being a sheriff whose guiding principle is a terribly misguided give/take. Her “police” forces “rescue” those in danger and return them to the hospital where they receive care and are expected to “pay for” this kindness through work. Freedom through work. Except they don’t let you leave. And it is highly implied a woman’s “work” is forced prostitution (isn’t it always.) When Beth arrives resident/sex slave Joan (of Arc?) has recently gnawed a chunk of her arm off in a suicide attempt, only to have her arm amputated (while conscious) and be returned to predator cop Gorman. I’m sure she would have rather had the opportunity to slave it out in the hospital laundry room folding towels with lone dude Noah, if given the choice.

The most disturbing/dramatic scene of the episode is when Gorman, the fire in his rapey loins stoked by Dawn who has taken Joan from him, and denied him “the right” to defile Beth, steals a lollipop (childhood innocence? the small pleasures of the post-apocalyptic world?) given to her by Noah, sucks on it (ew) then attempts to ram it in Beth’s mouth. The episode is focused on ownership, bodily autonomy (Joan’s forced amputation,) the degree to which you can sacrifice the rights of others under the auspices of the common good, who has the right to decide who has desirable qualities and who does not, and what those qualities are (Dawn argues Beth is weak and only useful as a warm hole to benefit another, while Beth argues that she is strong and capable…)

The whole plot line is a perfect metaphor for (or all out example of) sexual violence and gender discrimination and more generally the struggle for power and meaning and a narrative to live our lives by.

Which created so many great talking points, like:

  • This behavior is sanctioned by a woman! A woman in power! What does this say about women in power?
  • Dawn is a cop, a job traditionally seen as masculine! Beth is warm, emotional, maternal, beautiful, all feminine qualities! Must women sacrifice their femininity to attain power? Must they always in competition with one another?
  • What does this say about how we view police officers and people in power? (The Governor’s henchman assaulted Beth’s sister Maggie in a previous season)

I was stoked to watch Talking Dead and work through some of the complex emotions I was having, and so disappointingly they completely glossed over… everything. I realize the show is lighthearted, but seriously, the entire episode is about sexual slavery. I doubted they would go so far as to say rape, but I figured they would at least dance around it with “assault” or “unwanted touching” or something. Seriously! The whole episode! She was in a military brothel. I was immediately reminded of the WWII joy divisions (thanks teenage love of Joy Division) and the Japanese comfort women and the thousand other examples of forced prostitution for the “benefit” of men in power. It’s not like this is some ~crazy~ scenario dreamed up by a horror writer, there are historical precursors. A lot of them. I thought that would at least get a mention, since they seem to like a good extratextual reference. Nope.

On a lighter note Beth has been great the past couple seasons and I’m glad badass Beth continues (especially since Maggie is such a fucking bitch.) On Talking Dead Ana Gasteyer mentioned she felt Beth represented the triumph of emotion in the post-apocalypse. Rick has been focused on cramming his emotions and his humanity down, while Beth has seemed successful in incorporating them into her new life. With Daryl’s training, she’s become brain and brawn, maternal and warrior-like all at once. I kind of feel like she is positioned against Michonne, who sort of failed as a mother in the “real world,” but was naturally suited to the post-apocalyptic world, and has struggled to regain her connection to other people. Beth was the opposite, a natural caregiver with no street smarts who is now apparently a singing Disney princess angel of death.

Please dear God she needs to stay alive long enough to hook up with Daryl, the sexual tension is slowly killing me through the television.