Archive for the ‘Politics/Society/Seriouser Stuff’ Category

Here’s another riddle for you, Internets!


Why does my child appear green in this photo?

a) Poor natural lighting in our house

b) Because my iPhone camera has been on the “Process” setting for the entire year I’ve had it and I just realized it today

c) She’s about to vomit on my face

d) She’s an alien

Share what you see in the comments below! And be sure to start fights with your friends and family over it!

No, mental illness is not a ‘choice’


Pissed off by all the B.S. about mental illness that has infected the Internet in the days following Robin Williams’ suicide, I wrote a column about it for the paper that employs me. I’m posting about it here and encourage you to read it, because this is important. Here’s the link.

Take care, friends.

4 reasons why I would be a great juror

My life in a nutshell.

Story of my life.


The jury duty system in this country is messed up. Why? Because I have never been called for, let alone served on, a jury. And I am part of .05 percent of the population who actually wants to perform this civic duty.

Yes, you read that right. I want to do jury duty.

Why? I dunno, it just seems like it would be interesting. I am probably romanticizing it in my mind, thinking whatever trial I would be on would be some high-profile case with lots of twists and turns and gotcha! moments.

And now, my dear husband got to serve on a jury, and it is Just. Not. Fair.

Here’s what would be fair: Let me be on the jury. I have four great reasons why:

1) I have a pretty good understanding of the legal system. I edit and discuss cases in the news, and my husband is a lawyer, so I automatically understand How These Things Work better than 97 percent of the general population. Do you know what a motion in limine or voir dire are? Well, I don’t really, either. But I do know they are things that go on in court, so I’m one step ahead of you there.

2) I have extensive experience pretending to be a witness at mock trials. Zach was on trial team in law school, and they had to practice a lot before competition. They needed people to serve as witnesses in the case, and I was basically the big gun they called in when no one else would do. I even schooled a real, live lawyer once when she was questioning me and she got her facts mixed up. Then, drunk on the power of justice, I was all “The truth? You can’t handle the truth! I’m putting the system on trial! No, you’re out of order!” It was my finest moment yet.

3) I’ve watched some shows and movies involving juries, so I pretty much got this thing. My favorite? Definitely William Hung and his Hung Jury.

4) Because I actually want to be on one, for crying out loud! How often do you come across that sort of enthusiasm during selection? Isn’t it mostly just people hemming and hawing, doing whatever they can to get out of it? Telling you they can’t do it because their great aunt’s cousin’s chicken just died and they absolutely cannot miss the funeral? Wouldn’t it be refreshing for a change to have someone eager and willing to fulfill her civic duty? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Put me in, Judge! I'm ready!

Put me in, Judge! I’m ready!


I want to get into the World Cup so I can feel worldly and sophisticated, but it’s hard because I kind of hate soccer

I want to like soccer, I really do. It’s the most popular sport in the rest of the world (where it’s also called football, appropriately), so there must be something to it. And with the World Cup underway, it’s the perfect opportunity to try to figure out what that “something” is.



But man, I just really have a hard time getting into it. So I joined a “World Cup Fantasy League” at work, in which I drafted four teams in hopes of piquing my interest in the game in general. (Go France, Chile, Mexico and Nigeria!)

But there are still several factors standing in the way of that happening:

The lack of timeouts/commercials. I am pretty sure someone once told me this is because soccer teams basically have corporate sponsors, so they don’t need commercials to fund televising games. Or something. But as someone who likes to stay well-hydrated and non-hungry, there’s a good chance I will need to use the bathroom and/or grab a scrumptious plate of cheese fries during any 90-minute duration. But when are you supposed to take a break when there are no commercials?!? WHEN?

The minimal scoring. It’s not the low numbers at the end per say; it’s more the frustration of having the excitement build up whenever a team has a shot at the goal, only to have the opportunity thwarted 99 percent of the time. Then, when they do manage to score, it’s usually when you’re in the bathroom.

The ties. Seriously, why does it seem that 95 percent of soccer games end in a tie? What, pray tell, is the point of playing a game if a likely outcome is the same as if the it had never been played at all? This is America, damn it. We play sports to see which team’s display of skill and brute force can rake in the most money.  Obviously, this can only be done by declaring a clear winner and loser of each game.

The “injuries.” Are professional soccer players also required to attend the Royal Tampa Academy of Dramatic Tricks? Because I have never seen grown men overreact the way soccer players do when they get “injured.” Seems like whenever a player gets tapped on the shin the wrong way, he falls over, grimacing in pain, convincing me that his entire leg has fallen off. Then the training crew comes over with the “magic spray,” and, with just a quick misting of that, ta da! Leg is magically reattached and good as new! It’s maaaaaaaagic. 

I would just like to say that if soccer teams do indeed have a “magic spray” that cures even the worst of ills, it’s kind of a dick move for them to not share it with the rest of the injured world.

Stoppage time. The clock is only a few seconds away from hitting 90 minutes, and, after what’s seemed like a g.d. eternity, you’re finally going to get to use the restroom and/or put delicious food in your tummy.

But wait.

It’s. Not. Over.

Why? Stoppage time.

Why, whyyyyyy can’t soccer just be like other sports and stop the damn clock when there’s a timeout/”injury”/other nonsense on the field? Isn’t it harder to have to keep track of all the time that ticks of the clock than to just stop it? Seriously, can someone explain it to me? I really just don’t get it, and I’m feeling kind of lazy right now and don’t want to Google it.

The time I had to play it at recess in elementary school (aka, “probably the real reason”). One time, in fifth grade, I got talked into playing soccer at recess instead of enjoying my usual entertainment of the tire swing. They made me be the goalie, probably because I was short and scrawny and they figured they could get anything past me.

And … they were right. Oh, I tried. I jumped and I dived and I slid to try to stop the ball, but they all just flew right past me. I’m pretty sure I still have scars on my knees from the grass burns. I don’t remember the exact score at the end, but it was something like 400 to zero. From that day forward, I vowed I would never play soccer again.


As you can probably tell, I’m actually quite clueless about soccer. The last time I watched it was the 2010 World Cup, upon which most of my “knowledge” is based. And, it’s entirely possible most of the games featured Team USA, which, let’s face it, doesn’t represent the pinnacle of the game.

(Also, I have a small bladder and, possibly, uromysitisis.)

But, I’m going into this World Cup with an open mind. I just hope my bladder and tummy can hang on for the ride.

#psl #omg!

Guysh! Hey guysh! It is officially fall, so I wanted to tell you about this top-secret coffee drink that you are going to love! It’s called … a pumpkin spice latte! It’s pretty new and very few people have even heard about it, and they definitely never post photos of it on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and abbreviate it with hashtag psl every time they get one, that’s for sure.

Hashtag itsfall! Hashtag yum!

Hashtag itsfall! Hashtag yum!

I kid, of course. Someone posts a photo of their pumpkin spice latte at least four times a second this time of year. In fact, I’m pretty sure I saw my first hashtag psl photo of the season at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 1. Somehow, the mere presence of a hashtag psl meant “It’s fall!!!!!” It probably doesn’t help that, what with me being in/from Montana, I also have a lot of friends who are white girls, who, according to Twitter, are the ultimate hashtag psl connoisseurs.

I have nothing against people who enjoy pumpkin spice lattes. I don’t drink them often myself, but I do like just about anything with pumpkin. It just makes me chuckle when I see so many people declaring it fall when it’s still 90 degrees out, even in Montana, simply because they’ve had one.

Seriously — what year is it?!?

I came across several news items today that had me seriously wondering if I had been knocked unconscious, shoved into a time machine and hurled backward through the space-time continuum.

First, there was this gem of a decision by the Montana Legislature:


This is when I first started to suspect something was off. I mean, we’re (hopefully) on the verge of marriage equality here, but some Montana lawmakers still can’t grow a pair and remove a law that was struck down as unconstitutional in the 1990s anyway.

Then, I watched this video about black students not being allowed to go to “white prom” in Georgia. Yeah, you read that right. White prom. Since I thought there was no way any place anywhere in the world — even Georgia — could legally hold a segregated prom, I was convinced I’d been transported back to 1964.

I had no idea just how bad it was though until I came across this post reminding me of how Montana and other states attempted to pass legislation requring local law enforcement to  ignore any federal laws passed banning assault weapons … as if a little conflict called the Civil War had never happened, had never resolved the whole is-it-constitutional-for-states-to-pick-and-choose-which-federal-laws-to-follow-like-letting-white-dudes-own-black-dudes-if-they-want-to debate. (RELATED: Louis C.K. as Lincoln)

But the Civil War did happen, and it did establish settle that debate, and there’s no way these legislators could have possibly missed that. Unlessss … unlessss … it’s actually 1860 and the Civil War hasn’t even started yet! Yes, that must be it! It’s the only logical explanation!

So, in the eight years since electing our first black president — and 45 years to the day since MLK Jr. was assassinated — we’ve somehow managed to progress -152 years. Congratulations, America.

Drivers of Great Falls: You are legally required not to run over me


I like Great Falls, a town that often gets a bad rap. It’s one of those towns I feel like I shouldn’t like living in, but I do, in spite of that.

But man, people here GOTS to learn to stop for pedestrians! I don’t think I’ve ever lived anywhere that is so unfriendly toward people getting around on two legs. Granted, the last city I lived in was hippie-dippie Missoula, where more people own bikes than cars and drivers will stop half a mile from a crosswalk just in case there could possibly be someone needing to cross it in the next five minutes.

But Great Falls drivers are the WORST. I’m seriously lucky to be alive to write this at all after the close calls I’ve had — either because people a) didn’t see me running across a crosswalk or 2) my angry reaction when they didn’t stop for me, which may or may not have involved various vocal and physical incarnations of the F-word, could have prompted them to turn around and run me over anyway.

I haven’t quite figured out if people here aren’t stopping because they don’t realize that IT IS THE LAW to give pedestrians the right-of-way when they are crossing at a green light or someone is waiting to cross the street at a marked crosswalk …or if it’s because they are just being assholes.

I do know with absolute certainty that it’s not because drivers don’t see me. How do I know this? Because during winter, I often have no choice but to go running until after it’s already dark. And because I’m not a total idiot, I dress for these runs in attire I know I can be seen in, complete with a glow-in-the-dark neon shirt and a red blinky light.

It looked like this:


I probably don’t earn cool points with many drivers, but I know you can see me when I look like this. If anyone hits me and then tries to claim it was because they couldn’t see me in the dark, I’d know they’re a g.d. liar, considering that this photo was taken from the International Space Station.

So what’s the deal, GF? Why can’t you be cool and just not almost run me over all the time? I’m just trying to get a little endorphin fix. I run on the trail and away from the main roads as much as I can, but I have to cross some major intersections to get there. Give a squirrel a brake, would ya?

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