Palpatine Always Wins

Remember when I talked — just a post or so ago, to remind you — about having an adult conversation about this virus and all of its fallout?  When I talked about those in positions of power and influence offering *gasp!* honest information and assessments?

Ahh, the naivety of youth…

The folks who worked with and for me asked, when all of this shit started to fall apart, if the furloughs really were temporary, or if “furlough” was Latin for “fired”.

At the time, I laughed and reassured them.

At the time, I even believed that reassurance.

Now?

Now,…not so much.

Just how many of the “temporarily furloughed” will be rehired when all the COVID fun and games are finished?  Hope and optimism tell me that number is in the 90%+ range…but hope and optimism are abusive lovers who have beat the shit out of me in the past, so why believe them now?

Companies get a bad reputation from mass firings — err, “course corrections” — so many avoid them like the plague…

Ummm…

Well, there goes that argument.

When you’re IN the freaking plague, what is there to avoid?

It’s a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for the executive set, that’s what it is.  They get to fire…  Sorry, they get to furlough until their hearts are content, but then they can Palp_trustmepoint to viruses and conspiracies and democrats and republicans to pass on every iota of blame…

Ahh, it’s good to be a heartless asshole when the world is falling apart.

A few weeks ago, I thought jobs were safe.  Today, I thinks it’s a flip of the coin.  And tomorrow?  Tomorrow, I think you’re gonna have to roll the hard seven to have a job.

F76F7DCC-4694-4719-9406-9FE8BDC33FE1But, hey, at least we have the election to look forward to…

Shit, where did I put that bottle of scotch?

Furloughed

What was it the British royal family said after Westminster Palace was bombed in World War 2?  Oh yeah, “Now we can look the East End in the eye.”C871932F-4514-4D7B-BE23-023CDFEF11E5

Now I can look my friends in the eye.

I and couple of others are the last remaining “regular” staff still working at Yellowstone Forever.

Err…we were the last regular staff working, anyway.

Now all the regulars are gone, and it’s down to just the $250k+ per year vice presidents to run the place.  All 8 of them.  EIGHT.  Eight, for a “nonprofit” with all of 50 full-time staff.

Look, I’m a freaking libertarian, but c’mon…

Does a “nonprofit” that has not given raises for 3 years…

Does a “nonprofit” that claims to be working for the “greater good”….

Does a nonprofit that has furloughed their entire “regular” staff, really need to be paying over $2 million for 8 fucking vice-presidents?!?

Ahem.

That wasn’t what I sat down to write, but what the hell…when the hell have I ever worried about what I intended to write?  Crap, I get to start collecting unemployment as of April 26th…why should I worry about what I “intended” to write?

At least I can look my friends in the eye, now.

But to many, this is a still a fraud.  COVID-19 is still a “lefty plot” to bring down Trump.

Okay then.

Every single one of the $250k+ VPs is a big Trump supporter…and they’re still working at full pay.  The rest of the organization?  The ones making $10, $15 or $20 an hour?  Yeah, we’re all collecting unemployment now.  

Sorry, but the free passes for this pandemic are all gone now.  Those currently in charge own it, as do their sycophantic supporters still collecting full paychecks while everyone else worries about how to pay the damned bills.

Again, this is not what I sat down to write…but it is what came out when my fingers started moving over the keyboard.  And, just to be fair, this whole fiasco does not belong solely to the fool in the White House.

Oh no.

Oh HELL no.

All of the idiots in DC own it.

All of the sycophants who place party over country own it.

All of those who believe only what confirms their own biases own it.

Nancy Pelosi owns it, just as much as does Donald Trump.

Chuck Schumer owns it, just as much as does Mitch McConnell.

The signs were there, the warnings were there, for those willing to look past the next election enough to worry about this country and this world more than their own livelihood.

All had the chance.  All heard the call to stand up and make a difference.

9C399E4C-7FE2-46E1-9E4C-FC6EB9D389DEAll were called, and all were found wanting.

Is it any wonder why I hate the whole damned shitshow?

But what the hell do I know, I’m furloughed…

Unquiet Words

Do you ever get cocky?

Ever know that something won’t work, but still think you can overcome the universe and make it work for you?

That’s pretty much me right now.

Look, I’ve talked before about how I need life and activity around me to write.  I’ve talked about the sense of release, the sense of freedom, that comes with writing in coffee shops and taprooms.  To write — I mean really write — I have to be out.  And that’s great, as far as it goes.  But sometimes…

But sometimes you’re at home, and the urge hits you.  Sometimes you’re somewhere quiet and peaceful and alone, and the ideas start to come.  That’s when my iron-clad rule #1* can become a problem.

*You always write it, right freaking then.

Now, for most writers a place of quiet, peaceful serenity is probably the best place in the world for the creative process.  Unfortunately, I’m not most writers.  Hell, we established that when I described the fact that I couldn’t write a story in linear order if you held a gun to my head.  I can’t write the scenes in the order they appear, and I can’t write when it’s peaceful and quiet.AF488EBD-3EAC-4D16-942B-85A0EEA3E32F

Yeah, yeah, I know…I’m weird.  You’re just now figuring that out?

So, here I am, sitting at home and trying to put my thoughts and ideas into words.  In the peace and quiet.  And it just ain’t working.

Oh, I can get words onto the page, but they…uhh…they kinda suck.  Do you have any idea at all just how frustrating that is, by the way?  How frustrating to know, as soon as you type them, that the words you’re putting down are a waste of time and effort?  That you’re just going to delete them later?1A69DA5C-BF5D-4E3D-8042-98F1A0E64B9A

Honestly, I feel like I’m in detention, being to forced to write lines over and over.

Screw it, I’m not working today.  I think I’ll just head over to the bar for a beer and a thousand words…

Oh, the crosses I bear to be a writer.  But, hey, I’m doing it so you don’t have to.  Yeah, that’s it!

See, I’m not just a writer, I’m a giver…

The Squirrel Who Thinks He’s A Bear

I sat outside the other night.  A plate of nuts and olives, a bit of cheese, and a nice glass of Speyside scotch…all to go with a gentle breeze and the blue, blue skies you get only up in the mountains.  Six feet away from me, laying in the tall grass that stretches away from one side of my RV site, were two big bull elk, napping and being generally lazy.

It was the kind of night you get only when you are able to live in a place like Yellowstone.  Even back in Colorado — in the “southern” Rockies — you don’t really get those evenings.  And for those who just visit Yellowstone?  The pace to take advantage of the few days most visitors have in the park is simply too frenetic to allow a true slow-down, let alone a true evening just to sit back and soak it all in.

So, there I was, having the perfect evening…until my neighbor started in on me.  He started screaming at me, cussing me out in no uncertain terms, and letting me know just what he thought of my obnoxious habits.  Now, I’m a pretty big guy, and pretty fearless, so normally that kind of thing just sets me off…but not this time.  This 4A16391E-F17D-4FC6-925A-DA584E599F58particular neighbor, I should explain, weighs about 700 pounds and stands over ten feet tall.

Err…at least in his mind.

1B634BD3-C987-46FB-9C24-801F46481272In reality, he weighs about a pound, and stands about four inches tall…but you’ll never convince him of that.  In his own eyes, he’s the biggest freaking grizzly in all 2.2 million acres of the park.  I’m not joking about this — this damned squirrel is the most fearless, aggressive thing I’ve ever met.  Look, I’ve stood ten feet from a mother grizzly with a cub and been less worried about getting attacked than when this little bastard starts getting pissed at me…

And he’s found his way into my trailer.

Holy shit, this freaking super-villain of a squirrel is bringing the fight to me!

FE904BE8-E452-47A2-820B-8735A7D5C2EBI try to fight back, I really do.  I try to fight back, but I’m quickly turning into Carl Spackler.  I look up “squirrel fighting methods” and they do nothing.  I try something different, and still nothing.  So I pull out the stops and try something more serious, severe even…and Ernest Squirrelfeld just strokes his 9925265B-882E-4606-A168-FB7125BB1F0Dtiny white cat and laughs at me.  “No, Mr Human, I expect you to die!”

Harrumph.

I can hear the little bastard taunting me.  Hell, right now as I write this, he’s up on a branch just out of my reach, chittering at me like a furry little demon.

Anyone have the number for the Acme Rocket Company?A3309762-8C2E-4348-B653-E79448F4B53E