Year of the Tiger

According the the Chinese lunar cycle, the year of the water tiger, which happens once every 60 years, started on February 1. The water tiger symbolizes strength, clearing away evil and bravery. It also signifies new beginnings and I will go ahead and speak for everyone when I say YES PLEASE. Let’s shake this etch-a-sketch back clean. I have been trying to close this book for MONTHS. Like, PLEASE END. We’re tired. We’re depressed. We’re over it. Give me something to sing about. Drop kick me towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Turn up Eye of the Tiger and let’s do this! Wind in my hair, no stopping me now, don’t care what you think, middle fingers up – I’ve definitely entered the rock n’ roll phase of whatever this is. I’m not going to start fires, per say, but if I see one and happen to have water, I’m drinking it. I’ll take one ticket to the revolution please. I have always loved a bonfire and I do love a burnt marshmallow. The cape is off. I’m showing my stripes!

I’m pretty sure the writers of And Just Like That… watched Bridesmaids and Knocked Up and thought to themselves – how can we combine these ideas in a 30 minute format but make it shittier? And then someone who watches Euphoria was like – don’t forget peen!!!! I don’t know about anyone else, but I have seen so much dick on television lately. SO MUCH. And I’m not necessarily mad about it but more like – why? And this isn’t me being a prude but pointing out that a lot of it isn’t exactly necessary but purely for shock value. I watched Red Rocket – which is a whole other topic of discussion for another day – and I’m not sure I needed to see a naked Simon Rex run along a dirt road for five minutes with his flag at full mast. I’m not a scientist, unlike the majority of the world these past few years, or a man, which seems to carry more clout when it comes to anatomical conclusions, but I don’t think that’s how it works. And I never thought I’d be the one to grumble about a naked Simon Rex but it’s gotten to a point I gotta ask what we’re doing here. I’m all for nudity when it’s necessary and has a purpose and is authentic to the story but if we’re going to be authentic, can we all agree that running does not turn anyone on? Or does it and I’ve been doing it wrong my whole life?

I was really hoping not to address this can of worms but it has been brought to my attention that I sometimes do not speak my full truth in an attempt to avoid conflict. So now I have to because the conversation won’t go away and this is a huge part of what I have had a problem with the last few years and I’m done being quiet about it. Insert blaze of fire here. Grab your popcorn. You can’t just start canceling things because you don’t like or disagree with it. Or if you do, do it for yourself. Block and mute and cancel whatever you want. Curate your own bubble. But don’t do it for me or anybody else. Or if that’s what you’re about, can you please start canceling IMPORTANT things that MATTER?! Cancel the two-party system. Fast food. Biased journalism. Corporate aristocracy and one-sided platforms. Let’s cancel unaffordable health care and the insanely low salaries of educators in this country. Let’s cancel taxes created by a room of people who don’t pay them. Let’s cancel algorithm based intellect. Cancel hatred and bigotry and singular ways of thinking. There is this tendency to cancel and overreact to misunderstandings, opposing opinions, those with questions and things and people that are different and it’s a very scary slope. Does it always have to end in a blood bath? What about conversation, learning, understanding, empathy or even the smidgen of a notion that we could be wrong? Is that such a crazy thought? You learn one thing about someone or hear one sentence or one sound bite or one moment or one word you think you know who someone is and that’s not how it works. It’s like Salem all over again. Society is on a constant witchhunt. The only difference is we aren’t burning them alive physically. Just socially and emotionally. Instead of crucifying people, how about we let them learn from their mistakes and – I don’t know – be fucking humans?

I am a supporter of intellectual diversity. DO YOU BOO. Black liquorish is disgusting and a food I believe is only eaten by people who murder people on Saturday afternoons. But I don’t think it should be banned from the shelves. Heavy metal music makes me bleed internally but somebody loves it and they should be able to listen to it. And you’re probably thinking – food and music are different. So I’ll take it up a notch. I am pro-choice. I believe in the right to choose even though I may not agree with the choice. I don’t believe in making decisions for others. So put me in whatever evil box that makes me. Whatever happened to cultivating your environment? For instance, if there’s a show I don’t like, I simply don’t watch it. I don’t throw the entire network into the pits of hell. And I certainly don’t need other people to do it for me. I can make my own decisions, thank you very much. I feel like for how “advanced” society thinks they are, it’s very fire and brimstone these days. We have a very ‘OFF WITH THEIR HEAD’ mentality and I don’t approve. I think this whole thing with Joe Rogan and Spotify and artists disassociating because they don’t like someone else on the platform is ridiculous. And before you get all bent out of shape, I don’t listen to podcasts. I am not a podcast person. But I know that if I don’t like something, I don’t listen to it. Why is that hard? What am I missing? Where does freedom of speech begin and end for you? It’s an honest and important question. It can’t only apply when it works in your favor or opinion and is convenient. You cannot be selective in when your beliefs apply. On a final note, at the very least, can we all just stop assuming the worst in one another?

In other things I don’t understand, how is anyone upset about the Bengals being in the superbowl? Other than it’s not your team, Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers? Unless your a Steelers fan, what have the Bengals ever done to you but lose? Do you have any idea how heartbreaking the last almost three decades have been? We could have been ahead by 42 points in the 4th quarter and I STILL wouldn’t feel at ease. The physical and emotional strain this franchise has put on me is not healthy. I never thought I’d see the day. Rams fans have not been through the rollercoaster we’ve been through – unless you’re old and been following them around since their days in Cleveland which is where they originated and if you have – WOW. They’ve been bopping all over the place. They were in LA from the late 40s until 1995 and then came back in 2016. They’re like the on-again, off-again relationship which is probably healthier than the broken relationship we’ve clung onto for dear life. Doors have slammed, things have been said, sometimes we weren’t speaking. It’s what I imagine being in a relationship with a schizophrenic who refuses to take their meds is like. We never knew who was going to show up. Maybe the only thing that ever remained the same is being on absolute pins and needles until the final whistle. The fact that we have a kicker who can kick field goals blows my mind. Coin tosses are more consistent than what we’ve lived through. The amount of yelling (not the good kind) I’ve done as a Bengals fan is why my neighbors think I’m in a dysfunctional relationship…or a relationship at all. JB9. (sigh) If you can get past his fashion sense – cause it’s something to behold – Joe is outstanding. The guy has ghosts for an O line. He gets sacked more in one game than most QBs an entire season. That’s how good he is – the real tiger king. I am a huge fan of Stafford but he and the Rams, whatever city they’re in, can wait. It’s our year. It’s the year of the tiger. Go Bengals! WHO DEY!!!!! If you need me, I’ll be at the game in my gear with half of Ohio. WHOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOoo!!!!!!!!

A lot of people have been reaching out to me for book recommendations – I know that’s been my escape of choice these days – so I’ve made a short list. Plenty more where this came from.

Throne of Glass – the BEST fantasy series ever. It’s considered YA but doesn’t read as such. This is a 9 book series…devastated it ended.

I Am Pilgrim – fiction, suspense, thriller. Couldn’t put it down while driving through the French countryside – whoops!

Educated – A memoir in the Crawdads alley- but better IMO. It’s heartbreaking, beautiful and resilient

In Five Years – fiction, fate, romance, friendship. This one still has me thinking. WARNING: Have tissues on standby

Killers of the Flower Moon – Detailing the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI, this book will blow your mind because you have to keep reminding yourself it isn’t fiction. You WILL be triggered

Also if you like what you read and would like to express it…here’s your chance. I appreciate you either way!

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