Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Back to business...

We're back from Italy and I have written up our trip on my travel blog.  Now I can get back to the business of bitching.  Today, I could be bitching about the latest suicide attack in England.  But I figure everyone's going to be complaining about that today.  So instead, I want to share a link to an essay I read with interest on Medium.com yesterday, while we were waiting to check out of our apartment.

Writer Ijeoma Oluo titled her essay, "I’m So Tired of Being Told that my Fat Body is Going to Kill Me".  Like so many of us who are fatter than we ought to be, Ms. Oluo has heard many health warnings about her weight from doctors.  The daughter and granddaughter of type 2 diabetics, she has been told since she was a teenager that she would inevitably get diabetes, have to give herself shots, and would probably die young.  She was told this even though her blood sugar usually runs low and she's had to be treated for hypoglycemia more than once.

I have to admit, although no one in my family has diabetes that I know of, Ijeoma Oluo's essay hit home for me.  I haven't gotten too many crappy comments from doctors, mainly because I don't go to doctors unless I am damn sick.  And that hasn't happened in a very long time.  Still, I have read a lot of comments from fat shamers who think they have a crystal ball and can read the future.  Somehow, in our country, a lot of people are under the impression that if you're fat, you're gonna become a diabetic.  And if you're not fat, you're perfectly healthy.  That's not so.

Anyway, I won't rehash Oluo's essay because y'all can read it for yourselves.  Instead, I want to write about the comments I got when I shared it with Facebook friends.  I have one friend, an American citizen originally from Italy and now living in Germany, who loves to take any opportunity to bash Americans.  He also enjoys fat bashing.  He writes that it's the doctor's job to tell his or her patients about the risks of obesity.  And you know what?  I agree.  However, what I relate to is Oluo's comments about how doctors keep insisting that she's going to be diabetic, even though she has no signs or symptoms of diabetes.  She's been repeatedly told that she's going to get sick, even though she's not now.

At one point in her essay, Oluo writes about how she had just given birth and was getting to know her brand new son when she heard a nurse ask about her weight.  The nurse assumed incorrectly that Oluo had suffered gestational diabetes.  Indeed, the medical folks were expected her to be diabetic and asked her to be tested numerous times throughout her pregnancy.  And there she was, gazing at her brand new baby while the doctor and nurse made comments about the miracle that she hadn't had gestational diabetes.  Way to fuck up the mood!

I get that medical people are supposed to be concerned about a person's health.  They are supposed to offer suggestions of ways to be healthier.  However, I think a lot of them have become lazy and think that a person's weight, particularly for females, is the only reason they might be suffering from an ailment.  Rather than looking at a patient objectively and individually, a lot of them simply tell the patient to lose weight.  For some healthcare providers, it seems that's the solution for everything.  It's not helpful to visit a doctor who can't see past a patient's size.

I have a friend who, until very recently, was very slender and petite.  She has gained a lot of weight over the past year or so.  Why?  Because her thyroid gland crapped out.  She's now significantly overweight, despite having been tiny for most of her life.  I'm sure people who don't know her assume that she eats a lot of junk and doesn't exercise.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have another friend who became a type 2 diabetic after giving birth to five kids and going through menopause.  She is heavy, but she's also fit.  She runs half marathons with her twin daughters and works full time as a nurse.  She's also a good cook who knows the value of nutrition.  Yet many people probably look at her and think she's irresponsible and in need of shaming and/or advice about her diet and exercise regime.

I am myself a big lady and have never spent a single night in a hospital since I left babyhood.  I haven't taken any prescription drugs of any kind since 2004, except for prophylaxis antibiotics I took last year after I had a dental implant placed.  Granted, I haven't seen a doctor since 2010, but I think if I were unhealthy, I would have had a real need to be seen.  There may come a time in the future when I do become sick.  It might even be because of obesity.  However, obesity is just one risk factor and causative agent for becoming sick.  What's more, if you're overweight, you still have to live.  Is it healthy to go through life worried sick that your body is going to turn on you?

I really related to Oluo's essay.  I have spent a good portion of my life hating my body, even though it's strong and basically healthy.  I don't fit the image of beauty that many people have, but some people also think I'm "unhealthy".  Well, if I am able to do all I want to do and my body performs as it should, how can I be "unhealthy"?  Maybe I am at risk for getting sick, but I would venture to guess that most anyone is "at risk" for getting sick for any number of reasons.  Far too many people are far too free with their opinions about other people's lifestyles.  And most of them are judgmental simply because they don't like the way another person looks.  They don't give a flying fuck about the person's health, as they so unhelpfully claim.

Life is hard enough without someone insisting that they know what's going to be another person's cause of death.  The truth is, everyone dies and no one knows what is going to cause death.  I prefer to enjoy my life rather than listen to other people's opinions about my appearance and whether or not I'm "healthy" enough for them.

Rant is now over.  Hopefully tomorrow, I will find something new to bitch about.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The beauty of not living a 24/7 lifestyle...

I didn't write yesterday because the Internet was down until the afternoon.  I took it as a sign that I needed to take a day off from writing.  I will definitely be writing about our trip on my travel blog, probably starting on Monday, when we get back to Germany.  I would start writing now, but the sun is out and I think there may be a chance that we'll go out and do something today.

Yesterday, I spent the morning napping.  The bed in this house isn't great, but it's especially not great when you share it with two dogs and a man.  I didn't sleep that well the first night here and made up for it after breakfast.  Then Bill and I walked the dogs, brought them back, and walked down to the main drag for lunch.  We spent a couple of hours enjoying a simple Italian meal.  Then we came back to the house, turned on music, and drank wine.  The weather was a bit stormy, so we watched the clouds over the lake and I took lots of pictures.  Anyway, I'll write more specifically about that on the travel blog.

It's been really great to get out of Germany.  I need the occasional change of scenery to remind me why living in Europe is worthwhile.  Actually, it's worthwhile to Bill and me for a lot of reasons.  I think some Americans don't like living in Europe because it's not as convenient as the United States is.  There isn't a 24/7 lifestyle in Europe.  People take days off and things move at a slower pace.  You can't always go grocery shopping in Europe on Sunday like you can in the States.  

The lack of a 24/7 lifestyle is precisely why I like Europe.  I like the fact that people aren't work obsessed and there's time to look around and smell the flowers.  I like all of the different types of people here and the many things to see and do.  I like that sometimes, I'm forced to take a day off from writing blogs because the Internet isn't working.  I need to be reminded sometimes that I lived over half my life without Internet access.  It wasn't a bad thing not to be connected to my electronics all the time, especially since they tend to cause me a lot of angst.

Think of the time I spend writing about Facebook, which I realize is pretty much a waste of time.  I mean, sure, I have met new people and learned new things courtesy of the Internet.  I have been able to keep in touch with some people that I might have otherwise lost track of years ago.  But then, some of those people turn out to be jerks.  Or they think I'm a jerk.  It's nice when you can unplug and remind yourself that life is best lived offline.

Well... the Internet is being wonky again today, so I'll stop here.  In a couple of days, I'll have lots to share about this trip.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

My male Facebook friends are dropping like flies...


I just lost yet another male Facebook friend I know from life off the Internet.  This time, it was another guy I knew in college.  Back in January, I lost a male college friend over Natalie Maines.  Last month, I lost a male friend and his wife, presumably over my thoughts on abortion.  Last night, I lost one over a stupid click bait article about Melania Trump.

I was feeling my oats and decided to share an article about Melania Trump.  Granted, it was a dumb article with a click bait title promising photos that Donald Trump "doesn't want you to see."  There was nothing "wrong" with the photos in the article.  In fact, my friends and I weren't even discussing the article as much as we were the Trumps.  I commented that I don't think Mrs. Trump is that beautiful because, to me, she always looks like she's scowling.  Actually, so does Donald.  But I would probably scowl too if I had to screw Donald Trump.  The point is, we weren't really discussing the actual article or the photos appearing within it.

Along comes my former Facebook friend, same guy who, just two weeks ago, complained about women who breastfeed in public.  He chimed in on the discussion.

Now, in fairness to my former Facebook friend, I probably was a bit more abrupt than I should have been.  I think I was still feeling a little perturbed by his comments about public breastfeeding and other things he's said about women over the years.  He strikes me as the type of guy who wants to appear sensitive and evolved, but regularly lets sexist attitudes slip out.  I am usually fairly forgiving and ignore those comments, but I was kind of on edge last night.  Also, it was after dinner and I'd had more than a couple of drinks.  Anyway... he posts a comment that there's "nothing wrong with the photos".

I said, "I never said anything was *wrong* with the photos.  She was obviously a successful model at one time."

Then he complained about the clickbait title, to which I responded that I didn't "come up with the title."

But then he wrote this...

I just commented on the title. Ease up. If you post something, expect the world to scrutinize every detail. That's how the internet works.

That comment is what flipped my bitch switch.  So I wrote this.

It's my page... and I am not the one scrutinizing. You are.

I now realize that I misread what he wrote, probably because the condescending tone of his post set me off.  But, in fairness to him, my tone was also a little hostile.  That's probably because I wondered why he was looking at photos that Donald Trump supposedly didn't want him to see.  It seemed to me he was disappointed that they weren't more scandalous.  And it was also fresh in my mind that this is the same guy who apparently thinks breastfeeding mothers should be forced to cover up.

Anyway... the conversation continued thusly...

I was actually very calm when I wrote my comments and not really "upset".  I would say that if I was feeling anything last night, it was annoyed.  But even if I was feeling upset, it would be my prerogative and my right to express that, especially on my own fucking Facebook page.

Again, in fairness to him, I suppose I could have been nicer.  He happened to catch me at a bad time.  He probably also doesn't know that I have issues with authority sometimes.  Or... people who think they have authority over what I can and can't say or how I express myself.  I look at my Facebook page and my blogs as my "home".  I wouldn't go into someone's home and tell them to "Ease up." or "Relax." or "Chill out."  It just seems rude to me.  

Actually, last night's exchange seemed a bit more like "projection" to me.  Looking back at that post about projection, it occurs to me that he's the one who inspired that one, too!  He accused me of "projecting" because I don't like the Olive Garden.  And now he's telling me I'm "upset" when he has no way of knowing what my actual feelings are.  If he had been talking to me in person, he would have heard me speaking in a calm tone of voice.  But he assumes I'm "upset" because I asked him not to tell me what to do or presume how I feel.  I'm probably more upset as I type this than I was last night when this happened.    

Anyway... he did unfriend me.  It's probably for the best.  It's not the first time he's annoyed me and, I'm sure, I have been regularly annoying him, too.  I get the sense that he likes women who are quieter, more demure, and "nicer" than I am.  I do have an edge and can be bitchy sometimes.  Aside from that, if a disagreement about a stupid clickbait post about Melania Trump is enough to make you want to cut ties with someone, you weren't really friends in the first place.  But, I will be 45 years old next month and I don't see myself changing.  I was moved to post the following status.

I really need a change of scenery.  Glad I'm getting the hell out of Dodge.

Well, it's time to pack a bag and head to Italy.  Hopefully, tonight, I'll be sitting in a really nice restaurant instead of posting on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Goodbye zero balance...

Last night, Bill called Hebridean Island Cruises and paid off the balance of the cruise we're planning to take in September.  I was a little sad to do it, since I've had a negative credit card balance for the past month.  That hasn't happened since the mid 1990s, when I lived in Armenia.  The balance for the cruise was a hefty hunk of change and I still need to buy plane tickets, so it may take a couple of months to get everything back down to a debt free balance.  We have been saving for the trip, though, so it won't take years.  ;-)

We still don't know if Bill is going to be able to take this trip with me, although it does look like we won't have to move this summer.  Bill's job interview was rather cursory, seemed to go very well, and afterwards, he was told someone from the benefits department would be calling him to tell him about what the company offers.  So I have a feeling he'll get an offer and it would really have to be poor for him not to take it.  If Bill isn't able to go, either his mom will go with me or I'll just go alone.  The dogs are already booked for boarding and I know where to go in Scotland to catch the bus to the ship.

I hope if Bill gets the job, he'll be able to negotiate coming with me on the cruise.  A lot of people will be starting the job at the same time, which means they will be accruing time off at the same rate.  I figure many of them will want to go somewhere for Christmas or Thanksgiving.  We don't have a need to go anywhere during those times and Bill can stay in town and cover for those who want to go home.  The time we want to travel is just after Labor Day, which means a lot of people will be at work.  By contrast, we could be in town for Labor Day, just as we plan to be local for Memorial Day (Bill's boss is going to Spain).

In a way, it would be interesting if I went on the trip alone.  I haven't done anything like that without Bill in a very long time.  I would miss having him with me, but it would also give me a chance to function by my lonesome.  And that would be good for me...  Besides, Hebridean takes excellent care of its passengers anyway.  I still want Bill to come, though.  I would miss him if he didn't.

Tomorrow, we are headed to Italy for a long weekend.  We're bringing the dogs with us and I hope for delicious food, good wine, and beautiful scenery.  It's been really nice to be able to take these long weekend trips to different places.  One luxury about living in Europe is that you can see a lot of places that aren't necessarily tourist destinations.  We are going to Lake Como, which we have seen before, but this time, we're staying in an apartment right on the lake.

Last time, we stayed in a hotel on a mountain near the lake.  There were no lake views, although the hotel itself was pleasant enough and offered good food.  Actually, the last time we were in the vicinity of Lake Como, we got trapped. But we were only there for the day as opposed to spending the night.  I hear there are storms expected on Friday.  Hopefully, they won't affect us too much.  I could just hang out in the apartment and watch the storm while sipping wine.  That would actually make me happy!

I actually prefer to stay in hotels.  I like really nice hotels with good bedding and awesome showers.  But it sure is nice to be able to bring our dogs with us when we can't book them somewhere.  I would rather not have them with us on vacation, but in some ways it's nice to be able to have them.  It means we save money and don't have to worry about dropping them off or picking them up.  Also, although they can get into trouble when they're with us, we also don't have to wonder how they're doing.

It may seem like we're always taking trips.  Our last one was in February to a tiny French town in Burgundy.  Even though no one has really heard of St. Marcelin de Cray, that trip remains very memorable in a good way.  I'm hoping this weekend's trip is similarly awesome.  At the very least, I hope to eat some good fish or something.

Well, it's time to get dressed and walk the dogs... then I'll make pasta sauce and maybe vacuum and do a load of laundry.  Yep.  I got big plans for the day.

But tomorrow, I get to see this again...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ringing the devil's doorbell to my "sin cave"...

I'm finally inspired to write something of substance again.  I owe it all to my gay cousin's husband, who shared the following meme yesterday...

The person who made this meme needs a lesson in proofreading...

I couldn't resist sharing this with some select friends in a couple of groups.  It definitely got some people talking, too.  There was a debate as to whether or not the above meme and others like it were real or satirical in nature.  I'm pretty sure this is satire.  What makes it good satire is that it's believable.  There are some religious groups that believe masturbation is dirty, sinful, and leads to a one way ticket to Hell.

But really...  this is clearly a joke.  

And the person who made this meme doesn't know the difference between Soldiers and Marines.

I have shared the video below a few times on this blog.  I do so because it offers real proof that there are people in the world who would dare to chastise you for "ringing satan's doorbell".  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it's referred to as "self abuse".  Catholics also have issues with masturbation.  So do fundies and Muslims.  Like anything else that is pleasurable and makes life more worthwhile, many religious people think that jerking off will send you straight to Hell.  

Masturbation is seen as "selfish" behavior that deprives society of potential life.  If you're stimulating yourself or a partner solely for the purpose of pleasure, you aren't engaging in the business of bringing new souls to the world.  One of those new souls could end up being the next Pope.  Or, conversely, that soul could be a mass murderer.  Both could be potential tithe payers.

Mormon Mission Pres Allan Pratt On Masturbation!! von samueltheutahnite

Seriously.  This is a thing in the LDS church.  It's also a thing in other churches.  I'm pretty sure it's all about avoiding lust, keeping one's thoughts pure and chaste, and not looking at porn.

Folks, everybody masturbates.  I figure if God didn't want us to masturbate, our arms would be shorter and we wouldn't be able to reach the "joy button".  

This isn't to say that I don't think a person can have a problem with "sex addiction" or that excessively viewing pornography isn't harmful.  If you are spending all of your time and money looking at porn and jerking off to the point at which your genitals are raw and bleeding, that is clearly a problem.  Anything done in excess is unhealthy.  But most people don't spend all day masturbating or obsessively hunting for porn.  For most people, it's simply a pleasant way to pass time, relax, engage in a little fantasy.  

There is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbation.  It's completely natural and healthy, especially if you wash your hands when you're finished.  Masturbation is the safest sex a person can have.  If you do it with your significant other, it's also a way to bond.  It can even be a physically necessary thing to do for both men and women.  I can't speak for men, but I know that when Aunt Flow comes calling, nothing makes me feel better than self stimulation.  It relieves cramps, relaxes me, and makes it easier to fall asleep.

I think the attitude against masturbation has a lot to do with the idea that sex is somehow dirty or sinful unless you're doing it solely to make babies.  If you're making babies, you're making "arrows for the Lord".  More arrows for the Lord means more money and power for religious organizations and ideologies.  More power for religious organizations can lead to more political power and perhaps even eventual world domination.  If you're beating off to relieve tension, you won't be as pent up on the basketball court or the board room.  You won't have that edge that might push you over the top, right?  But you also might be more stressed out, angry, and unhappy.  It's not healthy to be on edge all the time.  Excessive stress can lead to strokes, heart attacks, depression, anxiety, and a host of other ailments that might lead to an early grave. 

Bwahahahaa... really?  Nah...

So I say you should keep masturbating.  It's no one's business if you do it.  It's healthy and normal and all the cool kids are doing it.  My sin cave is waiting for the doorbell to ring.

Just don't get any on ya...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Judith Ann sings the blues...

It's Monday morning.  Mr. Bill has a job interview today, having passed a phone screening the other day.  Meanwhile, I'm sitting here in my nightgown and watching this ridiculous Gong Show act from the 70s.

Someone commented that this lady, name of Judith Ann, was high on cocaine.  I don't know if she was, but I would not be surprised based on her "enthusiasm".  Another person commented that her pants are so tight he can "read her lips"!  I miss the 70s...  but this song sucks!  I'd love to know where it came from.

I talked to my mom yesterday,  who told me that she's going to move out of her apartment at some point.  She got on a waiting list for a place in Durham, North Carolina, which is a lot closer to my eldest sister's home in Chapel Hill.  Although Mom has a beautiful view and a nice place to live, the apartment has become prohibitively expensive and the place apparently isn't run very well.  The building was once a grand hotel and is very beautiful, but it has a lot of maintenance issues.  And they also keep raising the rent.

I am grateful that my mom is so independent and pragmatic.  She makes her own decisions.  I'm not sure when she's moving; it could be years.  But she is making plans to go, which would mean I would no longer have any family living in the area where I grew up.  I will always have a lot of friends there, though.

Bill's mom is having a partial hip replacement this week.  She's nervous about the surgery, but is very healthy and independent.  She has a few friends helping her in Texas.  Hopefully, all will go well and she'll get to come see us in a few months.  Maybe she can even take Bill's place on my cruise to Northern Ireland in September, if it turns out Bill can't go.

As for me...  well, I am eagerly planning our weekend trip to Italy.  We're leaving Thursday and bringing the dogs with us.  Hopefully, it'll go well and we won't get trapped down there again.

I suppose I'll get dressed and walk the dogs.  Later on, I'll gear up to call Hebridean Island cruises and pay off the trip that I hope we'll still be able to take in a few months.  I know... first world problems.

This is a really dark photo because the sun hadn't yet risen.  Arran wishes Bill luck...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

80s era Mormon films...

Somehow, I landed on this today...

This was made in the 80s...

Filmstrips were kind of a thing when I was a kid.  I would have thought by 1988, they would have gone out of style.  But apparently, the Mormons were still making filmstrips in '88...  This one is about a nasty bitch who spreads malicious rumors about her rival in a school election.  Edited to add, I see that someone has corrected the uploader and said these were actually produced in 1983-84.  That makes sense.

I remember watching filmstrips when I was a kid, but I have a hard time watching this now.  It seems so cheesy.  The plot line for this appears to be straight out of The Brady Bunch, too.  Crappy acting abounds.

It's Mother's Day.  I suppose I could come up with something to write about my mom.  Right now, I'm not inspired and I'm distracted by Mormon filmstrips.  We didn't do this stuff in the church I was raised in.  

Here's a film from 1980.  I think the kids must be adopted.  They are far too pale to be their parents' kids.  

In the above film, a little girl willingly donates blood for her older, injured brother, even though she thinks she will die doing it.  I love how the nurse doesn't wear gloves as she handles the girl's blood.  I am probably about the same age the girl is.  

Here's one from 1986...  This one is about how sinful California is.

And one about a girl who ends up paralyzed after an accident.  The guy doing the sign language is very distracting.

I guess these films and filmstrips were shown during Seminary... which means kids had to get up way early in the morning to watch this crap.  Seems like torture.  I'd rather be sleeping.

I don't know what we're going to do today.  For the past two years, we've gone out on Mother's Day and encountered big crowds.  But the sun is shining and yesterday was kind of a bust that led us to McDonald's.  So maybe we should make an effort.  And maybe I'll call my mom and be inspired to write something more substantial.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Yesterday was military spouse appreciation day...

As God is my witness, I somehow never knew that military spouses had a special day set aside for recognition.  Even though I was an "Army wife" for twelve years, Military Spouse Appreciation Day was not something I ever celebrated.  In fact, three years after my husband's retirement, I'm just hearing about it for the first time.  And I heard about it for the first time, not from military spouses looking for a pat on the back, but from people who bash the special day and regularly make fun of so-called "dependas".

I have written about my dislike of the term "dependa" many times on this blog.  I feel no need to rehash too much about that.  Suffice to say that while I think there are a few spouses who take the military life a bit too personally and seriously, for the most part, I think a lot of military spouses handle their lot in life with grace and class.  It truly isn't easy to be the spouse of someone who is in the military, especially if you've ever had your own education or career ambitions.

What a shame that some people see all military spouses in this way.  How does the artist know she didn't just do some fundraising or volunteer with the FRG?  And really, are all "dependas" fat?

Military spouses often can't win.  Either they are "dependas" milking the system and spending their spouse's paycheck (and it's usually the wife supposedly doing this), or they are uppity bitches who don't know their place and are looked down upon for seeking something for themselves.  I was lucky enough to have a fairly easy time being married to an Army man.  I will be the first to admit it.  I only endured one six month deployment and Bill mostly had good bosses who let him take time off when he wanted it.  Bill also made enough money that I didn't have to worry about working, even though I initially wanted to work.  Not every spouse is as lucky as I have been.

Military culture is one in which the government tells you where you will live.  In some cases, the government even forces you to live in their quarters, where you might have to tolerate people you'd rather not.  Just a couple of days ago, I wrote about a woman whose husky shed in the dog park on one of our local installations.  Another spouse actually called her husband's command over the dog hair and the husband, who was simply the "sponsor", got in trouble.  That shit would not happen in the civilian world.  It would get laughed out the door.  Most spouses are considered civilians (unless they are serving, too)... but they often end up living according to military rules.  That's not necessarily easy, because it basically means having to put up with stupid shit, yet not earning a paycheck or, really, even having a choice-- unless the spouse gets a divorce or the servicemember quits the military.

While I'm not necessarily a fan of self-congratulatory behavior, I do think it's nice that the military now recognizes spouses and whatever contributions they make, even if it's just being a good partner and parent, if that applies.  What sucks is that so many people in the military belittle the contributions and sacrifices made by military spouses.  Some servicemembers do it to incredibly offensive and disrespectful levels, too.  I have written about that in this blog, as well.

Since Bill is retired, I guess I no longer have a dog in this fight.  I am now a contractor's wife, happily married to a retiree.  But I'm now hanging around more military folks now than I ever did, even when I lived on Fort Belvoir.  For the most part, I really enjoy folks who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses.  It's one area where you are sure to meet people from every walk of life and from all different corners of the world.  I think people from different cultures are fascinating.  I have also been around the military my whole life and am mostly used to the crusty ways they handle things sometimes.

I just think it's too bad that so many people in the military community think they have to degrade spouses for having a special day of recognition.  Quite a few spouses really do add a lot to the military cause and they mostly do it without a paycheck.  Besides that, regularly making fun of military spouses is just a low class and moronic thing to do.

I also notice that a lot of the people who have no trouble bashing military spouses get their noses out of joint when people bash military servicemembers.  In fact, I know a guy right now who likes to pick on "dependas", but will get pissy when my Italian friend jokes about US military servicemembers being knuckle draggers and thugs.  Basically, both of these guys are promoting unfair stereotypes.  Anyway... I know I'm wasting my time complaining about this issue.  It's not going to go away.  But count me among those who don't think dependa bashing is funny.  People need to grow up and get a life.