New Lemonade / Jan. 1, 2022

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

Stop The Leak

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With the world not being flat,

we can’t always see what is coming …

Take this new round of Covid with its wonderful Omicron variant. Maybe we didn’t see this new virus actually coming, but c’mon, didn’t we sense something just around the corner? Didn’t we intuit our truce with this pandemic was inherently fragile? If once again we have to hunker down for the winter, how do we do this as a culture? What did we learn from previous battles? What seemed to work last time and what didn’t?

Let’s begin by stating the obvious – even before Covid, trust in government has been dead on arrival for decades. We’ve been mired in an age of social and political polarity featuring both political belligerence and social entitlement, and the opportunity schism that keeps them far apart. The belligerence side comes from so many of us either being left out, overwhelmed, overdrawn, the wrong color, the wrong sex, standing up to be heard, or standing in line for our meds … all while the far less populated side of entitled Americana eats at expensive restaurants, drives elitist cars, sends their children to pedigree colleges, and pays $400 to see the Lakers. So what is the answer? Anyone with some good ideas?

I’m told that America wants to be great again. That sounds good. There are so many of us who fear for our children and our children’s children that the best will no longer be ‘yet to come’. How can we get back on the right track? Where do we start? Is there any way we can make better use of our lemons?

If we do want the best to come, may I suggest while we’re making America great again, why not make Science great again as well? That’s my New Year’s resolution, to be part of a clear and passionate voice helping to make Science a respected and vital player in life, something akin to truth but open to and seeking improvement. Truth and improvement – ah yes, we can dream a little can’t we?

Let’s get back to what worked during the first Covid winter – a few possibilities come to mind. Look at what big deals very simple things became. Like taking a walk. Reading a book. Enjoying a new recipe. Having a friend. Who would have thought such simple acts would stake their claim to be the golden rings on the carousel?

Those insights and the possibility of a place in our lives for humility are important because here are the ongoing problems that await us, intent upon continuing to divide us even if we defeat the virus – racism, sexism, school shootings, a huge national debt, and the most formidable of all, climate change … there are no vaccines for any of this.

And this whole thing about life being a glass half empty or half full? It’s no longer a matter of which half we choose. It’s a matter of whether we have the actual wherewithal to keep the glass from leaking … whether we are up to the task of preserving the usefulness of the glass itself, as in the challenge of climate change and whether we are capable of not squandering the future.

How do we do keep the glass from leaking? I hate to use the word ‘duh’ here, but the first step to Stop The Leak is to get vaccinated. Then, after we hopefully wade through this self-made political sewer, we can move on to the plethora of systemic problems we faced before viruses made us their bitch.

Those are my thoughts for the day and a new year … and now that I review them, I’m starting to figure out why I don’t date much.

All the best, Hermione

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Reporter Agnes Killjoy

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The subject of Presidential Executive Privilege has been a hot topic for almost a year now. What can you say to the American people to convince them that as a former president, you have the right to keep private all of your administration’s information pertaining to the January 6th insurrection?

The Mar-a-Lago Reply

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Look Agnes, I can call you Agnes can’t I? I can call you Agnes, yet somehow you feel comfortable calling me the ‘former’ president – just like the people you work for, your editors and that name they call me, ‘the former’, who are very bad people by the way, the people you work for, very bad. They should be in movies those people, and I can tell you, they’re the kind of people good people love to hate, myself included.

Let me pass along something about the real world, Agnes. Life is not a love-in, no it’s not, it’s not a love-in. And if things go wrong like they do for so many people, for so many fabulous people … people need to hate things, they need to, and there are so many people without a voice out there. If they don’t have someone to hate for them, then what? Think about it. Then what?

What if, I mean, we can do other things when we get up in the morning, orange juice maybe, but hating the enemy is part of life. When I get up, the first thing I do is think about my enemies. I do it instead of working out.

So you call me the former president. Look at me, do I look like a ‘former’ anything?My memory is like flypaper it’s so good. My hair is still orange, my doctor says I’m not obese, what’s there not to … I love the Jews by the way. Do I look like any kind of former? Look close, but don’t touch me. Have people ever really needed to touch one another? I was so far ahead, so far ahead of Covid.

Agnes, face it … half the country still considers me the real president. What can I say? The people love me, they love me, they’re very very incredible, don’t you think? The people? It’s like a rock star except I don’t have to do the drug part. And I also like the word very very, it’s one word right? I don’t know why, I just really love that word.

So let me ask you this – what are you going to do with all those people who love me and consider me their president? My people. What are you going to do with them once people like you make this country communist? Half of this country, they hate you, they don’t trust you, they know that you and the Press lie to make a living. Look Agnes, I can appreciate stretching things a bit – I’m in Real Estate – but what are you going to do with my people?

Killjoy: We are off-topic here, my question is about executive privilege.

Trump: You really want me to talk about executive privilege? I can do that. I can talk about executive privilege. No one knows more about executive privilege than I do. In the old days, executive privilege meant you had your own bathroom. We’re not just talking about special bathrooms though, are we Agnes? Let me put it this way, I think that all executives and what they do in their bathrooms is up to them.

And when you think about it, politics is just one big bathroom, isn’t it? Politics is this one big bathroom with rows and rows of stalls where elected officials dump their agendas and try to make believe the place doesn’t stink.

As far as what is recorded, my papers, what I said or might have said, look – ‘what I say’ and ‘when I say it’ has always been a mystery to me. I have no idea what I’m going to say next, and frankly, I don’t believe I said what I just said! That’s why people love me. That’s why I love myself. Some people say it’s a sign of being very, very smart and I agree with them. Not all of us can be wrong. That’s just who I am, not being wrong.

You call it an insurrection, I call it patriotism. If good citizens want to protest at the Capitol, that’s their right. So a few of them get pushy. Kids at rock concerts get pushy too. People at rock concerts die too. Are you going to charge everyone with treason?

Confiscating my administration’s information is stealing. The Democrats are thieves, pure and simple. There’s a website with Democratic family trees that shows their relatives were thieves also. That’s how it happens, through gene stuff, the stealing thing. They can’t be trusted with our money, or with our information. Does that answer your question?

  • Maybe this – here’s what I’ll do, Agnes … half of America thinks I’m the president. So I’ll give the Democrats half my papers. I have a lot of papers. I’ll give them half. It’s the art of the deal.
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AMY’S GUIDE TO STAYING IN

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Amy Lighthouse is a self-described over-achiever, who worked at Snapchat and Apple before going into venture capital. During the initial Covid onslaught, she wrote for The Lemonade Stand offering strategies of how to cope with quarantine and staying in. Her recipes and cable television suggestions have boosted the spirits of numerous households who credit Amy with keeping a number of families from harming each other.

GREEK LEMON CHICKEN BOWLS WITH SIZZLED MINT GODDESS SAUCE

  • Prep Time: 20 MINUTES
  • Cook Time: 20 MINUTES
  • Total Time: 40 MINUTES
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories Per Serving: 556

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size chunks
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2-3 cups cooked orzo or couscous, for serving
  • 1 roasted red pepper, sliced
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • sliced avocado, Persian cucumbers, olives, and basil, for serving

Sizzled Mint Goddess Sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped
  • juice from 1 lemon/1 jalapeño, halved and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • kosher salt

Instructions

1. In a gallon size zip top bag, combine the chicken, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, paprika, oregano, shallots, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and a large pinch of salt. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.

2. Meanwhile, make the yogurt. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, remove from the heat and stir in the mint, it will sizzle up. Then set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, basil, lemon juice, jalapeño, cumin, and a pinch of salt. 

4. Set your grill, grill pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Take skewers and thread the chicken pieces on. Alternately, you can roast the chicken at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

5. Grill the skewers until lightly charred and cooked through, turning them occasionally throughout cooking, about 10 to 12 minutes total. 

6. To serve, spread the yogurt sauce onto plates and drizzle with the mint oil. Add the orzo, peppers, feta, avocado, cucumbers, olives, and chicken. Sprinkle on some greens and herbs. Enjoy!

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The Lemonade Stand

The Lemonade Stand is proud to announce the availability of a new novel.

Virgin Rodeo

Virgin Rodeo Illustration
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For most of his life, 44-year-old Henry Drudge was the epitome of being ordinary. Tethered to his insecurities, he often found himself residing in a perpetual whirlpool of self-doubt, consequently becoming a man who made no one’s speed dial. This would all change when Henry gathered the courage to make a citizen’s arrest.

During the Covid pandemic of 2020, Henry travels along the lower half of the California coastline from Monterey to Big Sur to La Jolla, intent upon breaking up an underage sex ring centered in his hometown of Santa Barbara. Henry would first have to buy a gun as backup, and then figure out who to arrest. He never claimed he knew what he was doing. 

Chapter One – Virgin Rodeo (link)

This book is exclusively available at Chaucer’s book store in Santa Barbara.

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New Lemonade / Dec. 1, 2021

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

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Mirror-Mirror-on-the-Wall

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Mirror-mirror-on-the-wall, who’s the greatest of them all?

So now we officially enter the post-election era of FrankenTrump … after being banned for bad behavior from Twitter and Facebook, Donald Trump has created his very own social media platform called Truth Social, and he’s discovered how to raise money for his 2024 mouthpiece by SPAC-ing himself, a skill he learned from Stormy Daniels.

  • What a surprise, don’t you think?
  • Donald Trump coming back on social media?
  • And from what they say, apparently he isn’t a good loser.

Here’s what’s in store for us – the man who was impeached and banished from the Washington tribe is quickly clawing his way back into the spotlight. And he’s doing it with two politically-charged words – truth and social. Truth Social … as in I’ll protect you from socialism. All this while attempting to create a platform from which his rabid followers can feed, as he simultaneously trolls for fence-sitters, suburbanites, and marginal Democrats. Republicans are far better at politics.  

Here’s a possible historical truth we might want to consider. This division in our country has been festering since we achieved our sacred independence from England. When Americans no longer had a common enemy in the British, it didn’t take long for the enemy to become ourselves … and I think we’ve never gotten over that. Essentially, as long as America has existed, there’s been a lot of people who have nothing, eternally pissed off at a lot of people who have something.

Add slavery to that, and you have a mess.

In fact, in a country that professes to respect history yet doesn’t like to teach it, the truth is that after the Declaration of Independence, life in America was no Horatio Alger story. Even omitting the indelible stain of slavery, Americans were massively divided by economic class – the preponderance of the hoi polloi could barely keep their heads above water, while the landed continued to accumulate more property and wealth.

With the voting enfranchisement of democracy as a tailwind, the two economic classes and their votes were eventually absorbed by political parties. One party protected the people who had nothing, the other party protected the people who had something. Now, in the Bush-Obama-Trump-Biden era, politics have taken another major step, morphing into religions. Each political party believes the other party is morally wrong.

Unfortunately, Truth Social or some form of it, is about to make that division wider with a holy war of Fake News, false votes, and despicable Democrats. I’d like to take a shot at going on record to predict the top five stories that will be reported in 2022 by this future bastion of right-wing veracity

  1. President Trump Claims Pence Came Onto Him
  2. President Falls, Hits Head, and Has Amnesia Before Court Appearance
  3. Have You Ever Really Seen Liz Cheney and Dick Cheney in the Same Room?
  4. Hillary Clinton Went All The Way With Her Gerbil
  5. Melania Trump Signs Sworn Statement that Her Sole Ownership of Trump Tower Has Nothing to do with Keeping Secrets

Good luck, America.

Hermione

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December 1, 2021

Reporter Agnes Killjoy

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Mr. Trump, you have recently weighed in positively on the mass resignations of police and firemen who refuse to get vaccinated. To clear up any misunderstandings, you’ve been severely critical of police in the past, especially the Washington D.C. police who you called a bunch of wimps. Can you clarify exactly where you stand on the police?

The Mar-A-Lago Response

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Trump: First of all, I didn’t call the entire D.C. police force a bunch of wimps, only the ones who went to the Capitol, and I called those guys a bunch of homosexuals, and for good reason. You’re Agnes Killjoy, you worked at Pox once.

Killjoy: Yes, I did, I was an intern in the Pox News division.

Trump: Agnes … you’re the one who called me the bubble boy, right? They tell me that’s you. We’ll discuss that later with my friends from The Ultimate World Order. As far as the Washington D.C. police force is concerned, Agnes … you guys bother me, you reporters … people like you Agnes, you’re nobodies reporting about somebodies, and since you’ll always be a nobody, you need to take down a somebody … I don’t think any of you had mothers, I really don’t.

As far as the Washington D.C. police force is concerned, have you allowed yourself to see that website that shows police in dresses practicing flopping as a crowd control device? Ya gotta see this, it’s pathetic. Losers, all of them, losers. Flopping like that’s going to control anything. They were doing the same thing on January 6th at The Great Freedom Rally, except it was all those Washington A.C.D.C. losers.

Killjoy: By Freedom Rally, do you mean The Insurrection, sir?

Trump: No, I mean The Great Freedom Rally. That’s how history will record that day. Are you blind or something? Didn’t you watch it for yourself? All those cops flopping? Where are you from, Agnes – are you part of that Sunday morning clown show Meet The Communists?

Look, as far as the police are concerned, I love the ones who voted for me. The ones who didn’t vote for me, not so much, they’re losers. I’m not the kind of President who represents losers. That’s just stupid, and believe me, I have college board scores you can’t see to prove I’m not stupid.

And besides, isn’t the only way we’re going to beat the Obama Virus is with herd immunity? Right, herd immunity? So why not let all the cops and firemen go out and get all of us to this herd immunity? Get the community a little sick, people get better, they have their antibodies, they go back to work. What’s the big deal?

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The Lemonade Stand

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Polly Peepers / family advice December 1, 2021

Hoping For The Best

Dear Polly,

I love your column and share it monthly with my girlfriends. We love that you’re not afraid to speak your mind, and that your advice is always so sensible, even if sometimes it’s outside the box. Well, Polly, I am beginning to feel boxed … and it’s something I can’t share with the girls.

Oftentimes, the girls and I talk about what is a successful relationship? Each of us understands that we have it better than most, yet there is, I must admit, somewhat of an undercurrent of competition as to which marriage is successful and which marriage is not. My minister tells me this is normal, and not to pay attention.

Here’s my problem – I guess I just feel like a liar.

My husband and I argue way more than I let on. And every time the girls talk about successful relationships, I find myself not willing to share what really goes on between the two of us. He’s a good man, he treats me well, but we’re really so different, in the Mars and Venus kind of way. My minister tells me, “… at least he lets you argue with him.” I don’t know, is that really a privilege? I’m beginning to think my minister is a chauvinist, which is why I’m coming to you.

  • What is the secret? How do my husband and I deal with all of the arguments?
  • How can I contribute to making this a successful relationship?
  • It’s really important to me.

Hoping for the Best, Peachwood, Kansas

Dear Hoping for the Best,

The best way I can answer your question is to send along a rarely seen video from friends of mine. He is a Greek Orthodox priest, and she forgives him.

~ Polly

Dear Polly,

Look, I’m a guy, and I don’t normally do this kind of thing, like write and ask for advice. I admit it’s easier than doing it in person, but still, I’m just not that way. Unfortunately, as it turns out, I’m desperate, and the cashier at the University who really understands me has suggested I write to you.

I am divorced and a co-parent of two girls with my first wife. I married again and my second wife who also had a child from a previous marriage, wanted a thousand more children, and unfortunately, I didn’t ask her about that particular subject before we got married. We parted ways when she decided she didn’t appreciate my full-body condom, and she went off and signed up at a sperm bank to have someone else’s kid. I took that as a sign that this relationship wasn’t as long term as I’d hoped.

Anyway, I’ve got these two girls from my first marriage, and their mother has decided to leave town. Not really move out of the county, mind you, but sort of far enough away not to be involved. Her lawyer claims she did her part, giving birth, and that she has HypoDistancia, a disease that apparently allows you to let everyone else take care of your bills. 

Polly – I hate writing this stuff about myself. But tell me, I have these girls who need a functional mother. I mean pretty soon they’re going to have you know, that time of the month. And I don’t have siblings to fill in, or the money to hire a Mrs. Doubtfire. I just want to be a good dad. We only have one bathroom.

                                                                            In Deep Sh*t, Anacortes, Washington

Dear In Deep Sh*t,

There is no existential shovel large enough to make this easy. Let’s begin with what not to do. I wouldn’t advise the desperate path of beating the bushes for a new relationship just to have a role model for your girls. It’s a temptation, I know, but don’t panic. First lick your wounds from your most recent marriage, and then figure out what you’ve learned from the experience. Like proposing to someone you think you know, but not really. I think there’s room for growth there.

You underestimate yourself. Most men do when it comes to nurturing. In fact, I would venture to say you have far more going for you than you might imagine. Young girls want to please the opposite sex considerably more than they want to please the same sex. They are not in competition with you as much as they might be with a mother-figure. In fact, I would suggest to keep your ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ single father card in your back pocket. It’s your ace.

  • Ask your girls to help you raise them. Ask for their advice.
  • Be honest with them as to your fears and vulnerability.
  • It works well in dating, and equally well in parenting.
  • And rather than seeking out advice from female friends as to what to do,
  • seek out advice from single fathers, share their successes and their mistakes. 

I guarantee you this – by being honest with yourself and with your girls, they will grow up to love you for the effort you’ve put in, and if necessary, forgive you for the mistakes you have made.

Believing in yourself as a parent is believing in them as your children, and no parent can do more.

~ Polly

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New Lemonade / Nov. 15, 2021

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Hermione Luck / Chief Columnist

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Where Do We Go From Here?

Here is why the Governor’s race in Virginia was so important – the winning candidate, Glenn Youngkin, found a viable Republican formula to beat the Democrats, where he was able to tacitly acknowledge Donald Trump, while remaining sure to keep his distance. The viral subjects of Fake News and a stolen election were clearly avoided.

His main issue involved a parent’s’ role in the classroom, which has catapulted to become a new flashpoint in American culture as we revisit the sociology of Scopes vs. Tennessee.

What was the key to Youngkin’s win? His campaign tapped into the political reality that Joe Biden won the presidency because of an anti-Trump vote with moderates, especially in suburbia, especially with females. And with Trump not on the ticket, a lot of those voters switched back to the Republican alternative because a lot of people want an alternative, any alternative, like really really bad … and Joe isn’t giving it to them.

But let’s face it, the man has enjoyed little help. Covid and its variants, food prices, gas prices, claustrophobic quarantines, supply chain bottlenecks, the black hole of federal debt, China and Russia enjoying their turn at schadenfreude.

Then as icing on the half-baked cake that he’s trying to serve America, poor Joe is saddled with a pathetic Democratic party that continues to perform its circular firing squad routine to the delight of conservatives … the progressives seem intent upon making ‘holier-than-thou’ an art form and pissing-off everybody in the room, while the moderates can’t keep their pants from falling down as they bend over to look for votes.

For me, Biden is the nation’s sacrificial lamb. By 2020, Trump had thoroughly torched the landscape, his biggest sin being that all by himself he somehow made truth negotiable. By the time Trump ran for re-election, as if we’d all been to war, healing became a viable campaign issue for the entire country.

The country clamored for compromise, and indeed the country did need Joe Biden once. But I think we all understand that the country isn’t likely to re-elect him if he chooses to run, mainly because the economy seems to be benefitting only Wall Street and as a Covid society we essentially remain at war with one another.

It isn’t that Biden and Harris have failed. This would have happened no matter whose grandfather we elected. It’s more a matter there was only a snowball’s chance in Hell for a Build Back Better compromise in the first place. The infrastructure bill that emerged from the House is a reminder that promises made when running for office usually reach the finish line like a survivor from a shipwreck plucked from a sea of bickering Congressional self-importance.

So where do the Democrats go from here? Is Biden a viable re-election candidate? Where do the Republicans go from here? Do they really need ‘Trump the candidate’ as opposed to ‘Trump the mouthpiece’? Where does the country go from here? Is bi-partisanship permanently vestigial? These questions are interesting, even relevant, but the bottom line as far as I see it, is how do we begin to right the ship. Where do we go from here?

I wrote a column recently that I shelved because I felt it was too corny. Identifying as a progressive myself, the word corny often meant, you know, Republican. Walt Disney material. Snow Whiter than white. Then again, I thought to myself some of my best friends are Republicans, which sounds enlightened except for the fact I don’t have any best friends.

Here’s that column.

Whether it be Black Lives Matter or Make America Great Again, we’ve been a country of slogans since the first Americans claimed No Taxation Without Representation.

That initial slogan masked our humble beginnings, that we were a country of cast-offs, a country determined to have a different future, a country that felt it had a special destiny, a destiny that made it exceptional.

The fact that Americans are attached at the hip to the vision of being the greatest country in the world, that they are inherently ‘exceptional’, is well-documented. We’ve never strayed far from that opinion of ourselves.

In fact, it’s part of what annoys the rest of the world – not annoyed because we have the strongest military that ever waged a war, but more along the lines that we think we’re pretty much better than everyone else, not just great but the greatest, not just good but the best, you know, the top of the heap … exceptional.

Well, humanity is definitely a heap, that much is clear. And most any culture that’s been on top of their respective heap, or considered themselves exceptional, has experienced a painful fall. Egypt, Greece, Rome, Spain, Britain, the Dutch can attest to that sobering reality. So what can we do about it?

One starting point might be to drop the self-congratulatory shout-out of claiming to be exceptional. Even a significant number of Americans are getting tired of the routine. Obviously, we have major unresolved issues, and we’re currently discovering that these are the kind of issues that sap the life out of greatness.

Maybe it’s time to put greatness on the back burner. Maybe we need a different recipe to achieve our goals. What about making America grateful again? And from there, get on with business. You know, like including everyone.

We seem to have misplaced something important somewhere along the way … the kind of perspective that includes a certain pause, a certain humility … glad I’m here, glad my kids are here with me … I accept there’s work to be done, and I’m ready to chip in. The kind of perspective that demands results. Results. Which puts us where with Congress?

Let’s be capable and not culpable, and maybe when we’re done, we’ll simply let history decide if we’ve fulfilled our expectations of ourselves.

Hermione

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November, 2021

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Reporter Agnes Killjoy

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Mr. Trump, Arizona recently passed legislation that took the authority for election related lawsuits away from the secretary of state, currently a Democrat, and gave it to the attorney general, now a Republican, which could potentially enable the overturning of results by a court. Can you comment on this?

The Mar-a-Lago Reply

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  • You ask, can I comment on this? Can I comment?  Sure, I can comment … but that’s a stupid question, don’t you think? I can do anything … I can comment, I can go to the movies, I can ruin someone’s career. It’s a great thing, a very great thing to be able to do anything … and all of America loves seeing me do it. I envy them, being able to watch me.

But first … you called me Mr. Trump and not Mr. President. You know I’m the real president, don’t you? This whole Biden prank is just some Democratic magic trick where they make this elephant disappear. Pretty good trick, actually, but that’s not the point, is it?

The great people of Arizona knew what they were doing. If they didn’t like the results of an election, they had every right to have another one. The last time I looked this is America, isn’t it? If they don’t want to wear masks or get vaccinated, they have every right to infect other people, don’t they? Next question.

Follow-Up / Killjoy addressing Lindsey Graham attached to Mr. Trump

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Killjoy : Senator Graham, I notice that your lips seem to be stuck to Mr. Trump’s behind, which you claim inspires you. Many people wonder if this affects your posture on a number of things – is it true you conceive new legislation while in this position?

Senator Graham : Bending over comes naturally to me, so my posture is not affected one bit. As far as new legislation, I’m proud to be of service to my soon to be president again, and frankly the closer I get to his wallet and his undeniable charisma, the more ideas I have to save this country.

The Lemonade Stand

kRIS Krankle / guest columnist

founder of M.I.L.D.E.W.
Men with Intimacy and Learning Disorders Experiencing Women

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Perfect  Strangers

Look, I either vote Republican or I write in my dog’s name.

Democrats just annoy me, especially the elitist ones who went to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and make believe their Porsches cost less than what I earn in five years. I’m more from the trenches where those kind of armchair Democrats only make their appearances to take a selfie.    

I believe that people you vote for, need to do a nine to five to earn our respect, that as a nation we are special no matter what Hermione says – we work more, we vacation less, we try harder, we’re wired to give a helping hand. But even with all that said, whenever I go to confession, I find myself pissed … which isn’t a surprise after a lifetime of being pissed.

Like I said, I work my ass off … I go to church on Sundays when I could be watching football on the tube, I do everything right to please what seems like a lot of people … and now when my kids are finally gone, the mortgage is paid, and I haven’t had a heart attack yet, I find myself surrounded by stupid.

In the beginning, I thought to myself what is it with this whole pandemic thing where people don’t wear masks, especially so many of my fellow Republicans? I don’t get it? For one thing, there’s a lot of ugly people out there, don’t you think? My guess is that masks would help to alleviate that problem. And for some of them with bikini threads up their ass on the beach, I would think they’d wear tents.

And not getting vaccinated? These people not wearing masks and not getting vaccinated, these are my people – I know them, I know how they’ve struggled, I know how they feel left behind. Does anyone get it that by dying from Covid, you can’t vote for Trump anymore?                                    

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The wife has me watching this Hulu series called Nine Perfect Strangers. First of all, what kind of network wants to call themselves Hulu? Give me a break.

At first, I thought it was going to be some kind of sissy channel, all chick flicks and make-up advice, the kind that should be called Wedgie or The Swirlie Channel. But there are a few cop shows with some rather good-looking women and gratuitous nudity, so I’m good.

And I gotta tell you, I don’t get this ‘binging’ thing. People watch these episodes on Netflix, and Prime, and Hulu for like days in a row? They’re binging on what, hummus and Vodka? Tell me, what kinda job do they have where they can call in sick to watch t.v.? I want that job.

So this Nine Perfect Strangers has all these big movie stars like Nicole Kidman who in her role as a therapist seems like she’s just returned from Venus where they use varnish as a moisturizer. Apparently, the series is about really rich people seeking therapy in order to come to terms with the ghosts in their lives.

That’s what the wife underlined in her notes for me, the ghost thing. She writes all of these program notes before we watch our shows … it’s like homework.

  • The quarantine changed everything. The wife and I now watch these cable movies every Friday night before bed. I’m not sure how all that happened? We’ve gone from ESPN to Hulu.
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Nine Perfect Strangers is about having money and if you’re willing to pay, you’re able to afford Tranquilium, a kind of Garden of Eden where people come to be healed. Apparently, there are a lot of people these days who need to be healed. I don’t know, in my book, it all seems like get a life. Apparently, that is the point of Tranquilium.

I never realized how much healing has changed … we now have CBD rubbed into your brain replacing communion and the collection plate, retreats where people repeat over and over I love myself, and at Tranquilium you’re given a few micro-doses of psilocybin in your morning breakfast.

And now that we’re halfway through the series, the wife says she wants us to do this micro-dosing as well, these off-ramps from reality as she calls it. I mean, does she remember who she married?

I have no interest whatsoever. I’ve already been to Portland where the whole city is on psilocybin … look how that’s working out. And to be honest, I’m not sure I want to explore any of these so-called ‘offramps’ …

I feel safer on the existential highway in my Buick which allows me to travel on cruise control. And let me tell you, no way the wife does this on her own. For me, it’s a bottom line kind of thing – I don’t want anyone to be checking out her bottom line.

I admit it, I’m not ashamed to say any of this. I don’t want some well-hung shaman to be administering drugs to my wife in some orgy-crazed sex lodge. Aren’t I doing enough? Are we forgetting movie night? And drying the dishes every third week? Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day?

I’m telling you, I’m doing it all.

I’ll tell you who needs to take some hallucinogens – the whole freaking Congress. I want Mitch McConnell to look in the mirror and see a turkey. And Lindsey Graham  to see a weasel. And Ted Cruz to look in the mirror and see nothing. I’m a Republican and I still have no idea who these people are, or what they are?

So this Nine Perfect Strangers thing sure stretches my boundaries a bit and I’m doing the best I can even though Nicole Kidman’s Russian accent doesn’t work. It’s like Bill Clinton trying to pretend he’s from England or Christopher Walken trying to act as if he’s not an alien. But I watch because I want to do good by the wife. I feel confident that we’ll solve this whole hallucinogenic brew haha, a spelling I came up with at The Brewhouse.

Although I do admit, I am still trying to figure out what she means by saying our watching these chick series together prevents us from being perfect strangers.    

kRIS

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Adversity

Buddha ben Buddha

All human beings can stand adversity, but if you want to test someone’s true character, give this person power

Does power inherently feed on itself, always craving more of the same? Powerful people often monopolize the world and its conversation creating an echo chamber of narrow hallways. The privilege to be heard does not automatically confer the privilege of being correct.

Question: Do males and females exercise power differently? List the similarities and differences in the way males and females exercise power.

WORD ASSOCIATION

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apply the first word to each of the following three

(1.) adversity … challenge / unfair / relative

(2.) prosperity … opportunity / greed / deceptive

(3.) apology … vulnerability / connection / opening

(4.) control … necessity / illusion / leash