Controlling the Purse Strings

“My writing room? Yeah right,” Hal said. “That’s what I intended it to be, my special retreat where I would be able to let my creative juices flow. But my selfish wife has taken it over, like just about everything else in my life. She uses it to practice playing her flute. She fancies herself to be a female Ian Anderson, you know, the flutist from the band Jethro Tull. But the god’s honest truth is that she’s terrible at. I tell you, Roger, she is one certified bitch.”

“Well it seems to me, Hal,” Roger said, “that you are standing at a crossroads. You seem to be so timeworn by that woman that you need to make a decision. Stay with her and put up with her shit or leave her and live your own life.”

“I would, Roger,” Hal said, “but she’s the one with all the money and she controls the purse strings. If I left her I’d have to get a real job and I haven’t worked a day in my life. Do you know what I’m saying?”

“Yeah, I think I do, Hal,” Roger said, shaking his head. “I’m sure you’ll feel better when you two snuggle up together in that big, king sized bed tonight.”

Hal smiled. “You got that right, my friend.”

Written for these daily prompts: Scott’s Daily Prompt (writing room), Thursday Inspiration (special), Ragtag Daily Prompt (flute), Word of the Day Challenge (certified), The Daily Spur (bitch), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (crossroads), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (timeworn), and My Vivid Blog (snuggle).

One-To-Three Photo Processing Challenge — 2/3/22

For this prompt from Daily Musings, the idea is pick a photo you want to play with and process it using three different methods. Okay, let’s start with the original, which I took on my iPhone of our dearly departed dog a few years ago at Ocean Beach.

All processed photos were made using apps available for the iPhone or iPad at Apple’s App Store. Also, all images, including the original, were resized (shrunk) to make them quicker to load (and to take up less space in my WordPress media folder).

Original Photo
Processed using Prisma
Processed using Distressed FX
Processed using Sketch Master

Which image do you like best?

Sandman Wants to Know More

Sandman, over at The Jazzocracy, posed four more interesting questions this week and I thought it might be fun to take a moment or two to answer them.

What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?

Tik Tok.

What quirky things do people do where you are from?

This probably happens all around the globe, but I think it’s quirky and it’s an event that occurs every year. People decide it would be fun to take a plunge in either the San Francisco Bay or the Pacific Ocean in the middle of winter.

What are some things you wish you could unlearn?

There’s nothing that I specifically wish I could unlearn, but at my age, I seem to have begun to forget much I already have learned. And I wish that wasn’t the case.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life?

We had to put our cat down last week and every day I look around and feel a hole in my heart because he’s not around anymore.

Only In America

Some of you who are reading this might think I’m exaggerating or making a mountain out of a molehill, but it’s very clear to me that Republican legislators in red states all across the country are looking for opportunities to enshrine white Christian sensibilities into state law. Their aim is to turn the United States into a white supremacist theocracy.

Let me give you some examples of why I feel this way. A Republican Oklahoma state senator, Rob Standridge, has introduced legislation that would allow parents to sue any public school educators who teach anything “in opposition to closely held religious beliefs of students.” Standridge has also introduced a bill that would give individual parents the power to demand the removal of any book from school shelves that they believe contains LGBTQ content.

This bill would allow parents to sue teachers for $10,000 “per incident, per individual.” The fine would need to be paid by the teacher “from personal resources” and the educator cannot “receive any assistance from individuals or groups.” If the teacher is unable to pay and receives assistance, they will be fired immediately and unable to teach in the state for five years.

What could this mean for Oklahoma teachers?

  • A biology teacher who discusses evolution could be sued by Creationist parents.
  • A health teacher who educates students about different forms of birth control could be sued by abstinence-promoting parents.
  • A history teacher who correctly describes the Founding Fathers as a mix of religious and non-religious individuals could be a target of conservative evangelicals.
  • An English teacher who wants to challenge kids with thought-provoking literature would be forced to stick to only the blandest books.

And then there’s Florida, where Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed the “Stop Woke Act,” where WOKE is an acronym for “Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees.” The act would let Florida parents sue schools that offered instruction in critical race theory. Critical race theory is an academic concept based on the idea that racism is not about individual people’s prejudices, but about institutions and policies. It does not, as Republican lawmakers and pundits in the right-wing media claim, teach that all white people are racist.

This bill would essentially ban making white people feel bad about racism. The bill would make it illegal for public schools and private businesses to inflict “discomfort” on white people during lessons or training about discrimination. It was already passed by the state’s Senate Education Committee, its first hurdle before becoming a law.

Another piece of state legislation in Florida, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, would allow teachers to be subject to lawsuits if they discuss sexuality and gender issues in the classroom.

In Virginia, the newly elected Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, announced that he’s created a “tip line” for parents to report instances of school officials “behaving inappropriately,” by which he means teaching “divisive” subjects like critical race theory. Youngkin had already issued an executive order banning the use of such concepts and now he’s asking the good, white Christians in his state to snitch on teachers. “We’re asking for folks to send us reports and observations,” Youngkin said. “Help us be aware of their child being denied their rights that parents have in Virginia, which will give us the ability to make sure we’re rooting it out.”

These examples I’ve given in Oklahoma, Florida, and Virginia are just three examples of this insanity. Republican legislators in many states in which they are in charge are passing laws to ban books and forbid the teaching of subjects that do not support Christian teachings, or that make white people uncomfortable.

And these same Republican controlled states have already enacted laws that are designed to make it more difficult for people of color to vote and easier for Republican legislators to decide what votes to count and what votes to toss.

This is America in the second decade of the 21st century. If you’re not scared or pissed off about the future of America after reading this post, you must be a Republican.

FOWC with Fandango — Crossroads


It’s February 3, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “crossroads.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.