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BookWoman56

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  1. He just emailed me to tell me she died a few hours ago. Fuck. Looking at the daily counts of anonymous people who have been infected or died is one thing, but this really hits home. I didn't know her quite as well as some of the other parents, but I did know her. A long, long time ago a friend of my parents described when the police/highway patrol showed up on her doorstep to tell her that her brother had been killed in an accident, and her first thought was that he was now going to be one of those highway fatality statistics. My father died of West Nile in 2013, and that was another "statistics" moment; he ended up being one of only two people in our home state to die of it that year. And now my friend's mother is part of the national and global statistics of Covid deaths. It just feels so weird, and my friend is hurting even more than normal because of the circumstances.
  2. I bet somebody could make t-shirts with this statement printed on them and make serious bank. I was participating last week in a Zoom meeting with a small group of friends from high school/college, and the mother of one of my friends is now in the hospital with Covid, two states away from where he lives. He's not optimistic about her chances and can't visit in person because of the restrictions in place. In many ways, I think this type of situation is one of the worst aspects of the pandemic. He knows she's getting medical care but feels helpless and concerned that she will end up dying more or less alone, with no family members there.
  3. Sorry for the confusion; I'm usually about 5 years late knowing what acronyms mean and stupidly assumed these would all be commonly used and understood, since I had encountered them quite a bit over the last couple of years. To recap, MOH = maid/matron of honor in a wedding. AITA = Am I the asshole? (I don't use reddit but apparently there are discussions there in which people describe a situation and ask the community to chime in on whether the original poster was an asshole for doing something; then there are people who take screencaps of those posts and turn them into YouTube videos. A lot of these focus on wedding issues, and I've been watching some of these videos just for the train wreck value.) BSC = bat shit crazy.
  4. Can't remember if the movie explained the function of the groom's cake, but it's essentially just an alternative to the wedding cake. The groom's cake might be chocolate or some other type of cake that isn't as bland as the wedding cake. I've been to weddings where the groom's cake was chocolate (as it was for mine), strawberry, or something like Italian creme cake. I have never IRL seen anything resembling the armadillo groom's cake.
  5. That's pretty much how my first wedding reception went, except it was evening and no dinner. In my part of the country, at that time, dinner at a wedding reception just wasn't a thing. My mother worked at an upscale women's clothing store, which was one of maybe two stores in town that routinely carried wedding dresses and bridesmaids' dresses. She bought my wedding dress and paid for the bridesmaid dresses for my sister and my cousin; the MOH and another bridesmaid paid for their own dresses, but at a discounted price. I deliberately chose dresses that didn't look like traditional bridesmaid dresses and could be repurposed; the mother of one bridesmaid in fact called my mother a couple of months later to express her appreciation that she'd been able to take her daughter's bridesmaid dress, have a bit of beading/braid added to the neckline, and repurpose it for a country club dance. We had the wedding cake made by a one-person cake shop; my mother's friends made the punch and mints, and another friend made the groom's cake. We just bought the nuts and served coffee and tea in addition to the punch. (Again, this was fairly common at that time. My mother and her friends had helped each other out over the years making punch, mints, finger sandwiches, etc., for graduation teas and other relatively small parties.) In retrospect, while it wasn't that expensive, it was still a bit OTT for my own personal preferences and was done to accommodate my parents' and the in-laws' wishes. My second wedding was much more low key, done at my parents' house. I've been divorced for a long time now and can't envision ever getting married again, but if that were to happen, it would be a courthouse ceremony in everyday clothes, no guests, no reception, etc., because I have neither the energy nor the inclination to plan a "wedding" at this point in my life. Much of my annoyance when watching the wedding-related AITA videos was how often the couple wanted something low key but the parents insisted on a big blow-out, and how often the couple and their family members turned into complete jerks because they've been brainwashed by the wedding industry and others that things must be a certain way or else the wedding doesn't count. Literally, telling a bridesmaid she has to dye her hair so that the bride is the only person in the wedding party who has blonde hair, etc., or that while everyone else can bring a plus one, cousin Joe can't bring his same-sex partner because not everyone knows he's gay and we can't have any distractions from the couple, in case the homophobic members of the extended family choose that moment to throw a hissy fit over cousin Joe's sexual orientation. That's in addition to the ones in which the couple/parents insist that wedding guests "must" give gifts equal or greater in value to the cost per person of the event. In roughly 95% of those videos, I'd have told the parents and/or the couple that I would not be attending if I had to jump through their insane hoops. Watching those videos and reading the comments about them have convinced me that far from being a nice event with family and friends to celebrate a couple getting married, entirely too many weddings bring out the absolute worst BSC and entitled behavior that one can imagine.
  6. If this pandemic has any potential good, it might be that more people realize they can have a small wedding wherever the fuck they want to, and use Zoom or something similar to share the wedding ceremony with other family members/friends who can't come in person. Again, unless everyone involved has a ton of disposable income, expecting people to spend thousands of dollars to travel to a destination wedding is a jerk move. And even if everyone has the money, people shouldn't feel obligated to travel to exotic location ABC just to attend a wedding. I am old enough that when I got married the first time, the expectation was that the bride's family paid for the wedding and the groom's family paid for the rehearsal dinner. But this was back when wedding costs were much more reasonable, and there wasn't this mindset that if you couldn't have a lavish dinner for 300 guests at your reception, plus days of OTT bachelor and bachelorette parties, an outrageously expensive wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, a live band at the reception, etc., then you might as well not bother having a wedding. These days, it makes more sense for the couple to pay for their own wedding and avoid the clashes of two sets of in-laws demanding things for the wedding that the couple themselves don't want. I personally can't see the point of parents spending $50K on a wedding for their kid; if the parents have that kind of money dedicated for a wedding, it makes much more sense to me to give your son or daughter the money to use toward a house instead. Also, to add to my original list earlier: Just because a family member or friend has a business providing a service that the wedding party will want, such as a bakery, florist shop, photography, etc., does not mean that the family member/friend is in any way obligated to provide those services for free to the couple getting married. If they do offer the services gratis, that is their wedding gift to the couple and nobody should be demanding an additional wedding present.
  7. At Columbus AFB? I lived in Columbus for a couple of years several decades ago. Keesler AFB also does training, but I think primarily for technical roles. In any case, accents in Columbus are quite different from accents in Biloxi. I only have myself to blame for this new pet peeve and it doesn't really affect me, but I fell into the rabbit hole of AITA videos on YouTube, and quite a few of them focused on weddings. So my new pet peeve is the wedding industry in general and the people who turn into dictators when they or family members are getting married, or who in general use the dynamics of a wedding to reveal that they are total jerks. My apparently unpopular opinions on the wedding industry and weddings in general include: A wedding that costs $2K is just as valid as a wedding that costs $20K or even $200K. Hell, a wedding ceremony at the courthouse that costs $200 total is just as valid. Unless everyone involved has a ton of disposable income, it's a jerk move to ask someone to be in the wedding party and expect them to spend $2K on bridesmaid dress/tux, travel, etc. Whoever came up with the edict that all bridesmaids, regardless of differing body shapes, complexions, height, etc., must wear matching dresses (both color and design) is an idiot. WTF is wrong with just asking bridesmaids to wear something they like, so everybody feels good instead of one bridesmaid having a dress whose color and cut flatter her, and the other bridesmaids wearing dresses that they hate and make them look dreadful? Similarly, I do not see the BFD of a guest wearing something that is white, ivory, cream, etc., provided it's not an actual wedding dress. Do people really think that the guests are going to mistake a woman wearing a regular dress that happens to be a cream color for the actual bride wearing a fancy wedding dress? Apart from the dress color, if your wedding guests don't know what the bride looks like enough to distinguish her from someone else, then maybe they shouldn't be attending your wedding. Parents who set up wedding funds for their kids: If you have more than one kid, then the amounts should be equal. Don't rob one kid's wedding fund or college fund to pay for another kid's wedding. Parents who do not set up wedding funds for their kids: Don't do stupid things like taking out a 2nd mortgage to pay for an extravagant wedding for your kid. The couple getting married and the parents, if they're going to pay for it or chip in, need to set expectations early about needs versus wants and realistic budgets, and stick to them. Finally, somebody else's wedding is not an appropriate venue for a guest to propose to another guest, announce a pregnancy, come out, or throw an impromptu birthday party for a child, unless the couple getting married has explicitly approved the extraneous activity well ahead of time.
  8. We just had the 51st anniversary of Hurricane Camille on the 17th. That was the 'big one' around here before Katrina (I think before Camille the notable one was the 'Hurricane of 1947', but that one was before my time. I'm old enough to remember Camille, though. She had sustained winds of 175 mph and wind gusts of over 200 mph and leveled the MS Gulf Coast.) Yes, Camille was the one I remember most vividly. At that time, my father and his business partner had a 28' boat that they kept on the MS coast. During Hurricane Betsy, a few years earlier, they had simply taken the boat up one of the local rivers and ridden out the hurricane. They started to do the same thing during Camille, but when the boat radio started giving reports of winds up to 210 mph (this was before landfall), they looked at each other and decided that while having a boat was nice, if they were dead they wouldn't be able to enjoy it. So they dropped anchor somewhere up the river and drove back to our hometown. Funnily enough, the boat was relatively unscathed by the hurricane, except for losing its roof, which they found a few hundred feet from the boat itself when they made it back down there. For us, even 70 miles inland, the winds were intense. Overnight we lost 6 large pine trees, and another 40 or so were damaged enough they eventually had to be cut down as well. I remember that night standing just outside the front door with my father and listening to the transformers blowing. It was 3 days before we had power back. So I feel for the people in Laura's path. The next few days are going to suck.
  9. Exactly. I've been through a Cat 5 hurricane (admittedly 70 miles inland from the MS Gulf Coast), that had significant storm surge along the coast and knocked down some 2-story houses completely. Even if you're inland, high winds and spinoff tornadoes can wreak all kinds of damage. So if local authorities have been saying to evacuate, please do that. Not sure if Laura will be Cat 4 or drop down to a Cat 3 before it makes landfall, but it sounds pretty bad with the predicted storm surge.
  10. That's just bad management/project planning, pure and simple. Any good PM would have known project A was close to ending and ramped up for project B to start as soon as project A was done, including figuring out work assignments for the people involved. Or if there were some rational reason that there needed to be a 1-week gap between the two projects, have notified the people involved ahead of time.
  11. I had my first WFH full-time gig almost 20 years ago, and now I've been WFH for 5 years. One thing I'd suggest is trying to set up social engagements on an ongoing basis with friends or close colleagues. For example, a friend and I would go grab lunch or coffee together every other week. Obviously the pandemic makes that option a bit more difficult, but maybe a short phone call just to stay in touch. Overall, just schedule some personal interaction into your life so you don't wake up one day and realize that it's been 6 months since you talked to anyone other than colleagues on business calls. As a fellow introvert, I am quite fine WFH full-time, but my daughter lives with me and my son and his family are less than 5 minutes away, so I can't become a complete hermit. To me, the advantages far outweigh the possible risk of becoming isolated, which is something you can control. I don't in any way miss commuting, getting up early and having to dress in business clothes, and listening to colleagues be on the phone all day or worse, coming into my cubicle just to chat while I'm trying to get work done.
  12. It's the same for me, although from the perspective of a person, not as a civil rights lawyer. I've seen way too many episodes of L&O:SVU and other cop shows where a cop doesn't hesitate to intimidate and hit someone who doesn't immediately jump when the cop says to jump, which usually amounts to not answering questions before an attorney is present. There's also the total disrespect the cops on those shows display toward attorneys and prosecutors, bitching and moaning because a prosecutor won't bring charges against someone based solely on the cop's hunch that this suspect is really the perpetrator, or that a defense attorney actually does his or her job with a client who's a suspect. Finally, I hate the "us versus them" mentality that is so prevalent, evidenced by making almost all non-cops be obstructive jerks. In real life, what BFF of a murder victim blows off the cops investigating the murder by claiming they have a business meeting/golf game in a few minutes, that is way more important than finding out who murdered their BFF? Yet I cannot count the times I've seen this scenario play out on cop shows.
  13. @shapeshifter and @Enigma X, I am so sorry for your losses. This is an especially awful time for deaths of loved ones, when often it's not allowed to visit them in hospital or when their deaths might not have occurred except for this pandemic. As time goes on, I'm increasingly grateful that my mother died late last year, so that she was able to die in peace at home surrounded by family. My thoughts are with both of you.
  14. Several years ago, I was on an interstate in FL and a car passed me that must have been going at least 90 when the posted speed limit was around 70. For as long as I could see it, the car was switching lanes back and forth to get around other drivers who were going the speed limit, even driving on the shoulder at times. A few minutes later all the cars in front of me began slowing down and then stopped for a while. When I finally got to the spot that was causing the slowdown, sure enough, that same car had crashed and was in the median, with the car flipped over. I don't remember seeing another car damaged there, so at least his recklessness didn't injure anyone else. The driver was the sole occupant of the crashed car. My pet driving peeve is people who realize too late their exit is coming up and try to veer across multiple lanes to reach the exit ramp. FFS, just get in position to take the next exit and then adjust your route as necessary. Better yet, figure out ahead of time when you're going to need to exit and get into position to take the exit normally.
  15. For me, smelling burnt popcorn means a migraine is imminent. Right now I'm dealing with allergies and trying not to freak out, as some of the symptoms overlap with those of Covid. Mostly I would just like to get back to a point where when these symptoms occur, I only have to worry about whether it's a cold, allergies, or sinus infection. I think I have anxiety fatigue, exhausted from feeling antsy about when this fucking pandemic will more or less be over.
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