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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Warm Brownies

Why, you may wonder, is JennTheGamerMom talking about warm brownies (gooey chocolatey brownies, with the frosting melting over the edges and... <ahem!>) in the hottest July on record here in the Seattle suburbs?

Because it's not that kind of brownies.

It's this kind of Brownie.

That's right, Miz Liz has now officially joined the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, and the whole troop celebrated both Lizzy and the other new girl, and the bridging for the other girls; bridging in this context is graduation from Daisy Scout to Brownie Scout.

I expect you all to buy twice the cookies now.

Just kidding.


Thankfully, given that the temperature outside is about human normal (98F as of this writing), our co-leaders had the very good idea of having the bridging ceremony/picnic at a local park,on Lake Sammamish (with lifeguards for extra safety). The Brownies cooled down in the water (after my own little Brownie dashed up once to tell me she was afraid of stepping on crabs (it's fresh water, honey; you don't have to worry about that) and again to tell me she got her skirt wet (which was fine, because, again, fresh water).)

This is a Girl Scout troop made up of people whose parents are practically Boy Scouts, insofar as preparedness goes. They had changes of clothes for everyone, bottled water in addition to the picnic drinks, and sunscreen of varying strengths to refresh any that was waning. And they did it all on the lake shore where I spent a lot of time growing up.

I have a lot of memories of - while not this park specifically - the general area, and Lizzy and I talked about some of these on the way there (in between singing along to this song, on an old CD I bought for Abby about ten years ago).

I remember the White Wave (really the eternal summer motorboat wake) with which my stepbrother used to frighten us (especially my younger sister) while out in our rubber boat, the USS Overloaded.

I remember scaring the crap out of my dad during an informal driving lesson along that road, by turning left into oncoming traffic.That was about 31 years ago.

I remember this (Styrofoam?) airplane that we would catapult into the air at the larger park just north of the one today. It was often weighted in various spots by coins that my dad - an aeronautical engineer - would Scotch-tape on to see what would happen to the flight path. That would have been... almost 40 years ago?

All in all, a good time was had, with paddling in the lake, and crossing a bridge from Daisies (or not-a-scout, in Lizzy's case) to Brownies, and picnics and ice cream and playing and... just fun.

But still, as mentioned? Hace calor.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

That Which Offends

I find it interesting that different people - even some I count as friends - are so very offended by things that make me shrug and say, "meh."

And vice versa.

Ariana Grande ranted about how much America sucks and basically showed some super nasty behavior (ewww... licking donuts? Who does that?) in public, and half the people I know on Facebook are set to have her run out of the country on a rail. Or tarred and feathered, whichever comes first. Because an actress and singer said mean and stupid things on video.

She posted an apology, which apparently no-one believes. Especially the people who say that "all Disney child stars are horrible," thereby proving they have no clue. Grande made her mark on Nickelodeon, not on the Mouse.

But other actresses and singers - and even people who claim to be experts in something other than singing and acting - are forgiven immediately by some of these same people for things that I personally find extremely offensive. It doesn't mean that I won't - for instance - ever read anything by Orson Scott Card again because he's a homophobe who said in 2008 that he would "actively try to destroy" any government that allowed same sex marriage.

To me that's a lot worse. Even treasonous. Certainly worse than some spoiled 22-year-old behaving badly in public.

But yet I read (some of) his books (not with my kids; they're not old enough).

Just as I listen to (some of) her music with my kids.

You want to vilify Grande, be my guest. Just be honest with yourselves as to why you're mad.

Is it because she acted like a spoiled brat in public? Or is it because you honestly believe that anyone who doesn't love our country the way you do should get the hell out?

Or... and I'll say it softly because I know this isn't the case for most of you (just a few commenters I saw on Facebook)... do you assume by her name and her looks that she's not a "real" American anyway?

If the latter, then shame on you.