I’ve had better days. Oh, I’ve had much worse than the last few weeks, but these last few weeks have just been a conglomeration of disappointment. I haven’t heard back from any of the jobs I’ve applied for. My lack of employment opportunities has led to an eagle-eyed watching of my finances.

This means I must pass on all the new Transformer toy releases. There will be no autographs from the upcoming Emerald City Comic Con and to be frank, no anything other than food. To make the finances more fun, we’re getting consecutive snow storms that I get to pay to have shoveled away.

 

I tried out for a voice part in a Transformers video and never heard back on that either. The parts were being given out last week.

 

And just to put that cherry on my disappointment sundae, I threw away my new asthma inhaler. I picked it up while cleaning, and since I had a bunch of stuff in my hand, I didn’t feel that it was the full one, and tossed it. Now I’ll have to pay out of pocket for the refill.

 

So no, there hasn’t been anything terribly wrong, just a lot of little disappointments that have led to a big bowl of down in the dumps soup.

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I have an English Mastiff, Rodimus. English Mastiffs are giants in the dog world and everything about them is huge. This would include the exponential floofing that happens every dang day. What do I mean by exponential floofing? I mean Rodimus sheds so much it looks like several Pekinese exploded in my house.

My Dirt Devil has become my trusted companion. Every day we wage war on the incoming flood of floof. To add to the joy of the daily floof fight, Rodimus must attack my vacuum. One would think he’d get used to the vacuum cleaner since I use it every day. Alas, not my giant guardian. Without fail, he flops on his belly and bites the Dirt Devil as it bravely battles the incoming armada of floof. When he is truly on his game, Rodimus lunges up and bites the hose.  Fortunately he has yet to land a death bite.

There is floof all over my house. No sooner do I vacuum it out of one room, I swear it breeds more floof in another room. When I am done writing this blog post, I shall wage today’s war on floof. Rodimus shall resume his war on my trusty Dirt Devil, but together Dirt Devil and I shall battle on in the never ending war on floof.

Yay Mastiffs.

 

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Mars Rover Opportunity has died. After eight months of trying, as of yesterday, February 13, 2019, NASA is no longer going to try to contact the little rover. They are calling her mission complete.

For many of us, myself included, the end of Opportunity is a sad day. It is not just a machine that has stopped working. It is the death of a little rover who did so much. Mars has been the planet of our science fiction stories, comic books and movies.  Oppy and the other rovers let us see that planet as it truly is. Oppy showed us a Mars’ sunset, what the solar eclipse looked like from Mars; Mars’ rocks and dust storms. Her own tread marks in the sand.

I felt the same sadness when Opportunity’s sister rover, Spirit died. Her wheel stuck and with no way to maneuver herself to the North Ridge for sunlight, Spirit’s solar cells could no longer access the sunlight needed to power her battery and she ceased to function.

I sat watching the live feed from NASA as Cassini’s final moments happened. The Saturn probe plummeting towards Saturn, while trying to keep its antennas pointed towards Earth.

I was and am saddened by the loss of all three. I dread to think about the end of Hubble’s function. The images of space the telescope has sent back to Earth have been nothing short of spectacular and breathtaking.

I know many people don’t understand my sadness at the little rover’s passing, and that’s fine with me. To me they were more than an engineered collection of wires, computer chips and motherboards. They were a window to space; a way to see the cosmos and the endless wonder of the universe.  A place I long to see myself.

I thank Cassini, Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity and wish Curiosity safe travels as he makes his way across Mars.

Goodbye, Opportunity. Your ninety day mission turned into fifteen years of discovery and fascination.

I applied for a job as a writer of geeky toys today. As part of the application process, I had to provide writing samples, so I gave them my blog address. It was rather embarrassing to see that I have neglected my blog for five years; five whole years of nothing.

It is rather shocking that someone who is as opinionated, outspoken, and chatty as I am, has said nothing on her blog for so long. I love talking all things geeky, nerdy, Transformery. Whether I get the job or not, I full well intend to revive my blog and chat about geeky things I love, even if I’m talking to myself. After five years of neglect, I’m pretty sure I’ll be the only one reading this blog. Anyone who was reading it, must have given up on the endless amount of nothing by now.

Your new series, Transformers-Robots In Disguise, is going to air on Cartoon Network. In the press release, you said it is because more boys watch Cartoon Network, that Transformers are for boys, and that girls watch what is still The Hub and will become Discovery Family.
Are you aware of how many of your fans you just insulted and dismissed.?  I am a female, and I have always loved Transformers, even though many deemed me nerdy and geeky because of it. It’s bad enough to be looked at as a freak by your peers simply because you love a particular toy. It is worse when fans of those same  toys — and the toy creator itself — ostracize those they don’t believe belong in the fandom. Yes, girls and women love Transformers just as much as boys and men.

I started watching Transformers when I was a kid in school. It was the original, now known as Generation 1. That was 30 years ago and since then I have watched many different incarnations, Animated, Armada, Beast Wars, Prime. I’ve seen the movies. Cringed at the deaths of Transformers I came to care about. I’ve read the comics, fan fictions, bought toys, tee-shirts and movies.

Now you say they are for boys. Why? Why do feel the need to dictate whom the cartoon is for? Why can’t it be for girls as well? Have you seen Twitter, Facebook and Deviant Art? So many of the Transformer fans there are girls and women.

Gender bias is nothing new and sadly a very real topic in the geek world. To have the very creators of something I enjoy so much deem it not for me because I am a woman bothers me. Transformers are just as much mine as any boy or man’s.

But your comments did not just insult Transformers’ legions of female fans. They also insulted and dismissed the legions of Bronies who are loyal to My Little Ponies. These boys and men have faced mockery and ridicule for their enjoyment and loyalty to a show, you and others have deemed appropriate only for girls. School age boys have been bullied, men have been laughed at and in some cases physically attacked for being Bronies.

Perhaps you could lead the way in ending the gender biased and separatism that plagues not only the geek world, but society in general, by not delegating which genders your shows and toy lines are for. Instead, you could promote and market them to all their fans regardless of gender.

As I watch the series Outlander I don’t have to wonder what it would be like to suddenly find oneself in the same place but in a different time. The sad truth is I am living it every day with my Aunt. She is getting older and suffered a TIA almost two years ago. Since that time I have been her full time caregiver and I have watched as this strong, vibrant, intelligent woman has declined physically and mentally.

I’ve watched this slow decline over the last year and a half but it never hit me as hard as it did the other day. My Aunt enjoys spending time on the enclosed back porch. I clicked the security camera on and watched her shuffle back to her seat. She is no longer the woman who climbed Machu Pichu and the pyramids in Mexico. Instead what I saw was a thin, frail, woman hunched over a cane, holding on as she went. A lump formed in my throat as my chest knotted.

She is living with me here and now but not really. More often than not she looks at me and says she feels like she has woken up in another time. Inevitably this leads her to ask me when she will be going home. She bought the house we live in over 60 years ago and now she thinks she lives back in the apartment she grew up in. Each time she asks, I explain how we are home and retell the story of how and when she bought the house. A story she used to tell me with pride when I was growing up.

When I see something wrong, I want to fix it. I’ve always been this way. I can’t fix this. I can only take care of her, retell the story of her life to her and reassure her. It doesn’t seem to be near enough and I feel helpless and useless.

For my Aunt, huge parts of her life are missing. She has indeed gone to another time while in the same place, but there is no romance in her journey. It is one of fear and heartbreak. She knows what is happening to her. There are days she knows where and when she is and is terrified. She can’t stop what is happening, none of us can.

The other night I was watching Deadliest Catch. In one scene, the captain’s girlfriend was cooking dinner for the crew. One of the crewmen said he was allergic to milk. Hearing this, the cook laughed and added milk to the meal she was preparing. The crew member became sick and when the cook found out, she laughed.

I was so angry when I saw that. I have food allergies and to see someone show such blatant disregard for another person’s health and deliberately feed a person food that would make that person sick was pathetic.

For most of my childhood, I complained of stomachaches and not feeling well. I was never taken seriously, usually being laughed at and dismissed as “the family’s little hypochondriac”. By the time I reached adulthood, I did not know what it was like not to have a chronic stomachache, ulcers and discomfort. When I would complain to my doctors they dismissed the problem or advised me to take anti-anxiety or anti-depressants. None believed my complaints were anything but psychological.

Only once did a doctor offer a different approach. She tested me for h-pylori, believing that to be the cause of my chronic ulcers. It wasn’t, but it was nice to have someone finally believe there was something wrong.

Several years ago another doctor did listen to me, right down to every meal I was eating during the day. He knew the problem, celiac disease, more commonly known as wheat gluten allergy. Since eliminating wheat from my diet, I no longer have a chronic stomachache. I don’t have acid burning my stomach and throat. It is a welcome relief, but I do miss so much of what I used to be able to eat, pasta and pastry most.

My family and friends all know of my allergy and still insist I eat foods I’m allergic to. Their usual comments are “Just take a taste.” What will one bite hurt?” “Oh, you won’t get that sick.” “It’ll be worth it.” These comments are stupid and upsetting. It is precisely these comments and attitudes that have kept me from attending any family holiday since my diagnosis. The sad truth of the matter is I do not trust anyone to not have gluten in what they are serving.

You cannot tell a person has food allergies by looking at them. It is not something they can ignore for one meal. It is never okay to “Just eat this one thing”. In many cases the allergic reaction is becoming sick, but it others, the allergy is so severe anaphylactic shock and death can result. As I watched that scene in Deadliest Catch I couldn’t help but wonder if that dingbat would have been laughing and giggling about feeding the crewmen milk if his allergic reaction had been anaphylaxis. Would she have giggled if her willful ignorance had cost that man his life?

Despite my constantly telling my family and friends all the things I can’t eat, they still try and entice me to eat what will make me sick. Food allergies are very real and serious. Those who do not have them need to understand this. For those who don’t have food allergies, before you feed a person with allergies what they are allergic to, or tell them “it will be okay, just this once”, ask yourself this, do you really want to feed a person a toxin that will not only sicken that person, but could cost them their life?

A month or so ago I got my Masterpiece Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. I break the cardinal rule of collecting Mint in Box, Transformers. I take them out of the box and play with them. I make comics with them and post the comics on my DeviantArt page.

 

I’ll devote another blog post to how my spoiled robots actually live. But this blog entry is about my Masterpiece Sunstreaker. I am a huge fan of the Lambo Twins, but there was something about my Sunstreaker that wasn’t sitting right with me. Sure, he’s missing the Autobot logo on his chestplates. No harm there, a small oversight. No, there was something else nagging me that was off about the frontline melee warrior. The proverbial itch that one cannot scratch. And I’m ashamed to admit it took me until this morning to have my “Eureka” moment.

 

Sunstreaker is missing his helm fins. Instead of his trademark fins, he is sporting the same audial horns as his twin, Sideswipe. How could the manufacturer get it so wrong? Yes, I know they just changed the paint scheme on the previously released Sideswipe, but really? Sunstreaker is known for his exotic helm fins. They are as much a part of him as his golden paint and narcissistic personality. It seems wrong to look at him and see audial horns. The Transformer Universe Sunstreaker has the helm fins, so they can be done and look pretty good I might add. It’s just Sunstreaker without his helm fins is like Prowl without his chevron or doorwings. It’s just wrong on every level. So very very wrong.

 

Masterpiece Sunstreaker and Sideswipe

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Transformer Universe Sunstreaker

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On June 30, 2014 the Supreme Court issued a ruling making the corporation Hobby Lobby a person with more rights than a woman. The 5 male justices all decided that an inanimate object, a piece of paper, which in essence is what a corporation is, has rights that women do not have. That inanimate object can arbitrarily decide which medications its health insurance will have to pay for based solely on religious grounds. Apparently those 5 men have forgotten this country was founded on the idea of a separation of church and state.

 

Oh, wait the corporation isn’t making those decisions. It is the owners of Hobby Lobby making those decisions. Odd thing about individuals and corporations, they are not the same entity. A corporation is set up to separate a person, from their business. The owners are arbitrarily making the decision to deny certain forms of birth control because they have had no issue with before, which brings up a bigger issue. Was this ever a religious rights issue? Why is Hobby Lobby so concerned about covering some forms of birth control when they themselves are helping to fund millions of abortions? Why do they have no religious issues when said forms of soon to be denied birth control make them a dividend profit?

 

Hobby Lobby invests in pharmaceutical companies that make birth control. So HL’s religious beliefs are not being affronted while money is put in their pockets. A large percentage of HL’s stock is from a China. A country which has over 14 million state funded abortions per year.

Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs are nonissues while the company is able to buy mass merchandise at cheap prices to sell at a good mark up. The fact that money China receives from Hobby Lobby helps pay for abortions in that country doesn’t even cause a religious twinge in the righteous ones.

 

The health plan Hobby Lobby had before Obamacare with its Affordable Care Act did in fact pay for the very same medications it claimed it is religious opposed to. Odd that their religious conundrum began after the ACA came to fruition.  So was the whole lawsuit nothing more than a swipe at Obama with religion being a convenient excuse.

 

Another puzzle to their religious righteousness is their health insurance covers male impotency medication. One can assume that not all male employees of Hobby Lobby are married. Why is it, Hobby Lobby’s owners have no religious objection to unmarried men having sex? Surely their Christian faith, which was strong enough for them to be so outraged at the idea of paying for different form of birth control, must be just as bothered by men engaging in non-marital sex, a no-no in the Christian faith.

 

On June 30, 2014 the 5 male justices of the Supreme Court made a piece of paper a person with more rights than women. Assholes.

From June 25-30, my publisher, Writers AMuse Me will be having a special promotional contest. Visit the website of each of our writers and playwrights’ and find the hidden letters. Unscramble the letters and enter the contest at Writers Amuse Me.com.