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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta events’

Dear Netherworld:

For some reason, I’ve never had a burning desire to visit you. I guess I prefer “real” haunted houses/places.

“Fake” ones rely on jump scares, which are too much like pranks for me.

However, when your children — whom you haven’t seen in almost two weeks — want you to go with them someplace, you say, “Yes.” Or at least I do.

Our group consisted of three moms and five teenage boys, ages 15-16.

Someone needs to shave.

Here are the things that I found scary upon arrival:

  • The ticket price. It was $30 each. Yikes!
  • The porta potties outside didn’t have lights inside them.
  • The lack of masks indoors. COVID isn’t gone, y’all!

Once inside, there were other things to scare me:

  • Just as I started to walk in, the dude pulling back the curtain stuck his hand in front of my face. I screamed from shock. Then giggled because HOW DUMB?!?
  • A huge animatronic demon face bum-rushed me and shoved me into a wall.
  • The floors were designed to match the “rooms.” Squishy flooring to represent grass in a cemetery, for example. What’s scary about that? The broken-ankle potential. I don’t need that again.
  • There was a corridor of clowns. HORRIFYING. I loathe clowns.
  • Each of the two haunted houses ends with a chainsaw-wielding madman. Or three. I loathe chainsaw-wielding madmen. (That comes from a certain movie seen at an impressionable age.)
  • One of the boys’ friends putting on a badass act. “What? I can’t help it if I’m not scared.” OK, then, Buzzkill.

I did have a good time, though. One of the best things was the boy banter.

Dominic: Gideon, be careful they don’t put you in one of the exhibits.
Gideon: What?
Dominic: “Oh, here’s another skeleton.”
Dylan: More bones, all Fernbank style.
Gideon (laughing): My superhero name can be Bones.
Dominic: I feel like this right here is a villain origin story.

I’ll probably see you next year.

Happy Halloween!
Beth

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Dear Rick Springfield,

Thanks for the chat this week. It was … surreal to talk to you on the phone. It was even more surreal to say this to my family:

I have to turn on the ringer on my phone; I’m waiting for a call from Rick Springfield.

But these are the perks of being a freelance reporter.

Granted, my angle — your seething hordes of rabid female fans — is a little unusual.

You were bemused by my questions, I could tell. But I made you laugh, so that’s good.

Thanks for being gracious and humble. And a 71-year-old heartthrob who’s clearly still got it.

Why do I know this? Because I saw your fans in action at Chastain Park in Atlanta in August 2018.

This is you braving the crowd. I was impressed.

See you Friday night at the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Block Party!

Your fan,
Beth

*Yes, I took liberties with the song.

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Dear Dominic,

Imma be real with you, Chief*:

I’ve had a great time with you this week, even though it wasn’t supposed to be just us hanging out together.

You were supposed to get off work so we could all go out of town.

But despite the fact that I told you the dates four times (🙄), you didn’t ask for time off.

So your brother and father went to Savannah without us.

That’s ok. We made the best of it.

We watched all of “Sexy Beasts” together, and were both very amused.

We went kayaking on the Chattahoochee.

We teased each other mercilessly.

Me to you after you made me wait an hour to start “Forged in Fire” with you: Let it be known that you’re the worst.
You: Oh, I know.

You even learned to ride Marta to football practice as I was working and couldn’t take you.

You even cleaned up after yourself in the kitchen and cleaned your room.

Maybe your prefrontal cortex took a developmental leap this week.

The reason doesn’t matter. The outcome does.

It’s been great. And I’m glad you sometimes enjoy spending time with your mom.

I hope to do it again soon. Maybe more “Forged in Fire” tonight?

Let me know via text (that’s your way, even when you are just in the other room).

Love,
Mama

*Dominic said this to me no fewer than three times this week.

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Dear Greg,

Thanks for your inquiry into the space I have listed on Airbnb.

I have questions:

  1. Why are you contacting me and not your wife? She has a job (clearly), so I assume she is a big girl who can plan her own trips.
  2. Will I be able to rent out the kitchen and living room for those nights as she apparently won’t be using them?
  3. Do you do this kind of thing all the time? Ask for “a better deal” where negotiation is not standard?
  4. If you buy a car, do you negotiate the price based on how many times you plan to drive it?
  5. What about your own house or apartment? Did you ask for a discount on the price or rent based on how many times you’ll use the whole house?

Sorry, Greg, but your request is ridiculous to me. The site is Airbnb not Airb. And I’m going to be a B and say NO!*

I’m still going to have to get it ready and clean it when she leaves. The price is comparable to other places and much cheaper than a hotel.

You and your wife can take it or leave it.

Sincerely,
Beth

*Credit to my cousin Ellen for that gem.

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Dear Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel and Ross,

We’ve been together for more than 25 years. I know some people don’t like you, but I do. (Yes, I know some parts of your lives are problematic.)

It took me a while to start hanging out with you. But after Episode 6 of Season 1 (“The One with the Butt”) in Fall 1994, I couldn’t ignore you any longer. We have my friend Heidi to thank.

Heidi: Do you watch “FRIENDS?”
Me: No. Should I?
Heidi: Yes. You are Monica. Monica is you.

That is the episode with the shoes.

Heidi isn’t the only one who has made the connection over the years.

In my defense, I lived with a complete pig my first year of college. She was the kind of person who would spill milk and just leave it. She wore my clothes, got beer all over them, and put them back in the closet.

Shudder.

The worse she got, the more I cleaned. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I don’t like to clean, though. I just hate clutter. If everything is put away, it doesn’t LOOK dirty.

But I digress.

Artifacts from your lives arrived in Atlanta, so I had to go see them. I took the family. I’m definitely the biggest fan in the group as I met you when I was at the same stage in my life as you.

And yes, I do see myself in Monica. I also like to cook.

Anyway, thanks for the memories.

Your friend,
Regina Phalange Beth

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Dear Coach S.,

I am sure you are a lovely person. I appreciate your commitment to football. I am impressed by your communication skills.

However.

I am not as committed to football as you are. I never wanted to be a sports mom. But now that I am one, I want to remind you that my son is in school to get an education.

Practices five afternoons a week and three mornings is a bit much, don’t you think?

You don’t?

Ok.

Have you seen No. 27’s grades? Granted, they were on the downhill slide before football entered the picture.

But now he’s really got an excuse to be behind.

And for what? So he can stand around for a few hours on a Friday night?

Yes, yes, I know. He needs to learn. To pay his dues. To wait his turn.

I guess it will help him learn teamwork and time-management skills.

And there are worse places than a stadium to be on a pleasant Friday night.

And our team is winning.

“Our.”

Sigh.

See you next game.

Sincerely,
Dominic’s mom

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Dear 2021,

I hope you are better than 2020. (2020 can suck it.)

I’m not one for resolutions. I usually declare things I won’t do or won’t give up. Just to be contrary. (Look. Listen. Give me this one rebellious thing. That’s about the only one!)

For kicks, I decided to look back at last year’s list.

Here are the things I declared I would not do, along with the result:

  • Keep makeup I don’t wear. Coral lipstick is not for pale people like me, and frosty pink is for preteens. Success: I ditched so much crap this year.
  • Retain books on my Kindle I won’t read.A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments” by David Foster Wallace is a supposedly fun read that is not. Byeeee! Success: I purged my Kindle and did not add any books. Of course, I didn’t read a single book either.
  • Put up with less than I need/deserve/worked for, etc. I am not a “Welcome!” mat. Mixed progress: I occasionally washed other people’s dishes and clothes, but I got better about calmly explaining what was bothering me.
  • Save money. Yeah, I know I should, but let’s be honest: I won’t. Success: I didn’t.
  • Stay home. I want to say “absof–kinlutely” to adventures near and far. Dream scenario: I get paid to write about it. Fail: I think we all know what happened this year.
  • Continue procrastinating on my book. This is the year I finish it, write the proposal, and find an agent. If E.L. James can become rich and famous off her trash Twilight fan fiction work, so can I. Fail: I did absolutely no work on it. Lack of motivation, thy name is COVID-19.
  • Lose more than just five more pounds. I’m calling that my “wine cushion.” Success: I found a few pounds more of me. Pandemic pounds FTW!
  • Stay in this place with the small kitchen. When it’s a pain to make things as fairly easy as Scotch eggs, it’s time to upgrade. Success: We moved to a larger place with a slightly larger kitchen.
  • Ignore show suggestions from certain like-minded people. I resisted watching “Killing Eve.” I was stupid. Success: I’m even taking suggestions from randos on Twitter. I’ve got some issues with “Bridgerton.” Who wants to chat about it with me?
  • Let people try to make me feel even slightly embarrassed about my love of bad taxidermy. Those uptight people can shove it. My obsession is Hando approved. Success: I let my freak flag fly this year to positive results.
  • Vote for Trump. Duh. Success: Duh.
  • Stop writing blog posts at least twice a week. I’ve been keeping this pace since April, so I’m pretty proud of myself. Success-ish: I was doing well until the holidays. I blame Netflix. 

In 2021, I will not:

  • Take for granted the ability to hug friends, see a movie in a theater, see live music, eat in a restaurant, travel, go out without a mask, work out at the gym, etc.
  • Take for granted physical mobility. (This was the year I broke my ankle and damaged my rotator cuff. So that’s been fun.)
  • Lament a packed schedule of in-person meetings.
  • Ever get off political mailing lists, apparently.
  • Be able to wear real shoes again without dealing with discomfort. (I wore flip flops for six months straight.)
  • Stop calling out people for being stupid.
  • Change my Alexa voice from Samuel L. Jackson. Having him curse at me when I ask him to set a timer gives me LIFE!

I reserve the right to add to this list.

Hoping for the best,
Beth

 

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Dear Georgia Power,

We all knew Zeta was coming. We all knew there would be rain and high winds. We all knew the power would go out (because it goes out here if someone coughs too violently).

As a result, this family has a propane stove, a generator, hurricane lamps and many portable phone charging blocks.

So it was not a surprise to wake up yesterday at 6:13 a.m. with no power.

What was a surprise was that there were no updates from you on your website ALL DAY LONG.

There is no ERT.

I looked at Twitter, expecting to find more information.

Nope.

Your first tweet was at 10:05 a.m. — nearly four hours after 600K+ Georgians lost power.

And this ridiculously late attempt directed people to the outage map that had NO INFORMATION.

Much later, you tweeted this gem:

No shit, Sherlock.

I couldn’t resist replying.

Here’s the thing: I do not doubt your crews in the field and in the office are working very hard to restore power.

But in a crisis, you have to communicate to your stakeholders. This is PR 101. And THIS is why I’m dogging you.

Whoever is handling your Twitter account tweeted only 13 times in the space of 24 hours.

People are freaking out and you traffic in sporadic platitudes?

Come ON!

You can do better. You should do better. Millions of Georgians rely on you.

Next time, I hope your response team includes a dedicated crisis communicator.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear Evangelicals for Trump:

I infiltrated your ranks Thursday night, against my own best interests and Eddie’s wishes.

We were both afraid it would be shoulder to shoulder with no masks in sight.

We were wrong.

The hotel employed social distancing efforts, and nearly everyone was wearing a mask. At first.

I didn’t take any chances. I double masked — with a twist.

My mask says “But her emails.” Heh heh.

To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t burst into flames upon arrival.

Let’s just say you’re not my usual crowd.

And I did find it very funny that I followed a car with the custom license plate “SAVED” into the parking garage.

So why did I go?

Because I genuinely wanted to know how people who follow the Bible can also follow Trump.

I was raised Presbyterian. I know scripture. And nowhere does it say:

And if thou wanteth the p—-, thou shalt grabbeth the p—-. And thy womenfolk will submit, for it is good.

Anyway, the crowd warmer was a gospel couple. Lovely, but not exactly sing-along style. Not for me, anyway, because, you know, HEATHEN.

The emcee for the night welcomed the crowd, then introduced Jonathan Cain.

The Jonathan Cain from Journey.

And my inner voice (in the voice of Daveed Diggs) said, “Whaaaaat?!”

Apparently, he’s got a new single to promote.

 

I don’t know what you thought of “More Like Jesus.” In my humble opinion, it’s no “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and he’s no Steve Perry, vocally.

(In other words, it’s not a banger.)

Next up was Jentezen Franklin, a “trusted voice for our president.”

And it was then, 30 minutes in, that someone finally explained why religious folks would support Trump:

It’s not about four more years. It’s about 37 more years. It’s about two more Supreme Court justices who are pro-life, pro-Israel, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Without that, according to him, “We won’t have the freedoms we grew up with.”

“What freedoms are those?” I was wondering when the dude brought out his saxophone.

I’m not kidding.

Jentezen Franklin plays “America the Beautiful.” He didn’t follow with “Baker Street,” sadly.

I guess he didn’t want Cain to upstage him.

This was getting a talent show kind of vibe, so I was excited to see what Bishop Harry Jackson would do.

But he just promoted his new book and explained racism to a room of mostly white people. Y’all were polite, but unenthusiastic.

Bishop Harry Jackson didn’t show off his musical talents.

Interestingly, he was the first person to mention the president by name: 45 minutes into the event.

Ralph Reed, the next speaker, alluded to why.

Donald Trump with his imperfect past and with his personality … God chooses to use whoever he chooses to use.

Ah. Gotcha.

God and Jesus are the headliners; Trump is support.

Y’all seemed to love Ralph, even though he didn’t do anything music-related either.

He emphasized that you need to support Trump because he is:

Pro-life
Pro-marriage
Pro-freedom
Pro-constitution

Reed claimed Trump is “the most pro-life president in American History.”

Imma let you finish but first, let me remind you of his response to the ongoing pandemic.

In fact, let’s back up. I can’t help it.

Pro-life: Just unborn babies, apparently
Pro-marriage: Only between a man and a woman
Pro-freedom: Religious freedom to discriminate
Pro-constitution: A Tea Party battle cry regarding the expansion of the federal government (maybe)

OK. I’m done for the moment. Go on.

Next up: Alveda King, niece of MLK Jr.

She talked about squash plants and chipmunks. I was a little confused. But then she said:

Some things never change. Some things do change. There was a change of the guard in 2016.

And then she said something about Planned Parenthood “ripping little babies up.”

I see. Abortion. That’s the main driver.

OK, then. Let me say this about that:

No one is hyped to get an abortion. It’s a last resort. Also, no one is “pro abortion.” So let’s agree on one thing: The goal is to reduce abortions. How do we do that?

As we’ve seen with prohibition and the “war on drugs,” making them illegal won’t work. People will find a way, but it makes it very dangerous for women. So to me, the solution is to put more money into sex education, healthcare and contraception.

If you are pro-life (and really, aren’t we all?) then you should be supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood that actively help women with the above needs.

Alright.

Moving on to the next speaker, Richard Lee, who is as orange as the evening’s celebrant: the Cheeto in Chief.

He didn’t address abortion like everyone else. His main beef seemed to be with what is being taught in school: “garbage.”

Oh, and the Antichrist in the form of Democrats.

The Democratic Party has been taken over by the Antichrist. It’s an evil party.

I thank God that he sent Donald J. Trump to us. He is a gift to the church of Jesus Christ.

As much as you seemed to like this statement, I could tell you were restless. He willfully went over his allotted time and joked about it.

You were ready for the final act: Pastor Paula White. I found out later she is married to Jonathan Cain. Ah. He’s her third husband. With overlaps in relationships. So she’s truly taking those commandments seriously.

(🙄)

I mean, good for her for breaking into a man’s world in all respects.

In 2017, she became the first woman to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration.

She spent her time this night trying to convince everyone that Trump really is “godly” and “knows his scripture.”

Sure.

All I know is that I was hot in my two masks (and perhaps because of the fire and brimstone), so I slunk out a side door.

Y’all weren’t hot because all but about 12 of you shed your masks mere moments into the event.

(And that made me feel like I was marinating in the ‘Rona.)

Anyway, thanks for letting me bear witness. And now I’m on the Trump Train mailing list! This should be fun.

Your obedient servant friend,
Beth

Yeah. You know how I feel about bashing the news media.

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Today is Sunday. I usually post something innocuous about teenagers or Coronacation or whatnot.

But today I don’t wanna.

It would be tone deaf to whine about Dominic using every pan in the house to make an egg sandwich when a man has died from a cop kneeling on his neck.

Yet another black man.

Yet another cop.

How terrible is that?

When will it end?

I’m mad that a black CNN reporter covering protests was arrested before the white Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd was.

I’m mad at people saying protests should be peaceful when they absolutely crucified Colin Kaepernick.

I’m mad at police shooting rubber bullets into crowds of peaceful protestors, using tear gas, escalating violence.

I’m mad at a white male high school “friend” who wants to mansplain everything to everyone all the time, even about race.

I’m mad at another high school “friend” telling people how the mainstream media operates when she has never spent a day in a newsroom.

I’m mad at the white lady in Publix who told Eddie she doesn’t understand the protesting: “I mean, these people! Didn’t we just have a black president?”

I’m mad that systemic racism clearly exists, but there are still people who deny its existence.

I’m mad at Trump. Perpetually. I want him to STFU and anyone who supports him/agrees with him to GTFO.

There’s plenty going on in my life. Fun stuff to write about. But maybe later.

Right now, there are bigger things going on, even just down the road in Atlanta.

I’m phenotypically white. I can’t change that. I have no idea what it is like to be a person of color in this country. So at the very least, I can STFU and listen to what people who do have to say.

America is broken, and I don’t know what to do about it except:

1. Listen to other people’s stories, believe them and learn.
2. Call out people on their bullshit.
3. Harass Contact elected officials about important issues.
4. Research candidates and vote in EVERY SINGLE ELECTION.
5. Be an ally every day.

Black lives matter.

And I’m sorry that things are STILL not remotely equal. In 2020.

Love,
Angry Beth

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