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Posts Tagged ‘Bright ideas’

Dear Bob,

Listen, friend: We need to have a talk.

You were one of my favorite teachers in high school, and I’m thrilled we reconnected when I lived in Atlanta.

But you have scared the bejesus out of everyone with your recent emergency.

I realize that taking a group of students to the Galápagos Islands — a trip that included snorkeling — was too appealing to be denied.

However, when loads of people in the group got a stomach virus, did you HAVE to be an overachiever and get an extreme case? Of course you did.

This was your lovely wife Susan’s status update over the weekend.

Emergency surgery, scary-low oxygen levels, infection attack on numerous organs — that’s just a fraction of the issues you faced.

The good news is that you are awake and asking for sweet tea from Chick-fil-A.

So that means you are on the mend.

It’s about time.

Keep up the great work!

Love,
Beth

* Thanks, Toy Story.

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Dear Rep. Ann Kelley,

What — and I mean this sincerely — the f*** are you doing?

WHY would you propose a change to the Missouri House of Representatives rules that forces women to cover their arms?

And you are a woman. What the heck?!

Let me get this straight: You lost your mind over requiring people to wear masks a couple of years ago to stop the spread of COVID, but now you are forcing women to wear sleeves?

You claim it was to clarify language to be “equal” to men. (By the way, you really should hire a PR person or copy editor or SOMEONE to help you with your writing skills.)

Sure it was.

I can’t believe it was adopted 105-51. (Note that the House is made up of 116 men and 43 women. Party affiliation for reference: 111 R, 52 D.)

I can’t believe you wasted any time on this at all. Have you seen the state rankings? Just look!

30th in Education

42nd in Public Safety

42nd in Healthcare

I swear to God — you are affecting my healthcare: my mental health!

I really don’t know why I’m surprised at either of the things above. It’s so much easier to control women and what they do and wear rather than tackle big issues in all people’s lives. Right, Ann?

What an embarrassment this is for the state. You want to be in the international consciousness with this foolishness?

I’m so glad my representative didn’t vote for this nonsense. (Granted, I think he was absent that day.)

Pull yourself together, please. Focus on important issues.

Sincerely,
Beth, a Missouri resident with sense

Bare arms vs. bear arms (God forbid she wears a mask.) Photo credit here.

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Dear Friends and Family (old and new),

As many of you know, I’m adopted. I was adopted when I was about six weeks old. (“Fresh baby! Get her while she’s pink!) I’ve always known I was adopted. My parents said they would help me look for my birth family when I was ready.

I was never ready when they were alive.

It felt like it would be disrespectful to them to search. Also, what if my birth mother hadn’t told anyone about me? Showing up on her doorstep would be a bit of a surprise — and likely not in a Prize Patrol kind of way.

I had great parents. Howard and Jeanne loved me, and I loved them. I had a normal middle-class childhood: We lived in a standard subdivision of ’70s split levels (say that three times fast) outside of Atlanta, and I went to public schools but a private college (scholarship, FTW!). We weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor. No abuse. (Unless you count all those times I got whacked with a fly swatter because of my smart mouth. And I certainly don’t.)

Some of my friends were adopted too, and we commiserated about what it must be like to actually look like someone else or see some of your behaviors handed down from a parent. My parents often looked at me like I was a zoo animal because I had so much more energy than they did. They were sedentary people. And y’all know I am … not.

Still, my friends weren’t so keen to search either. It’s a big thing. Rejection looms large.

All I knew about my birth mother was that she was a very young college student and didn’t feel she could care for me at the time.

When I left college myself and started thinking about starting a family, I wrote to the adoption agency to see if I could get any medical information. It felt important to find out if I had a family history of cancer, heart disease, diabetes (“The Shugahs” if you are from the South), etc.

They sent back a few pages of typed social information: birth parents’ first names, general background, number of siblings, physical features, college education, circumstances surrounding my conception and birth, etc.

Then, the kicker:

My people, I was not ready for that. I folded that little letter back up and tucked it into a file folder. There it stayed for nearly two decades.

And even now as I try to explain what has been going on over the past few years, I realize I have to stop here for now.

This feels like a four-part series: Beginning (this part), Discovery, Meeting Mom, Meeting Dad.

Stay tuned. (If you are interested, that is.)

XO,
Beth

*Credit to Harry and the boys.

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Dear Halloween,

I love you so much. Still. As I’ve said. And this year, I feel like I’ve taken advantage of the opportunities you provide.

Decorating the house? Check.

Haunted Mine? Check.

Costumed cat? Check.

Six Flags Fright Fest? Check. With the boys, even, who had a bit they did for the occasion.

Carving pumpkins? Check.

The Darkness haunted house? Check. Although that wasn’t without risk.

I wasn’t moving fast enough, so Dominic moved me into a doorframe. On accident. So he says. 😉

Scary movies and fire pit? Check.

I’ve even seen “Halloween Ends.” (I would not say it was worth the time and money. Maybe I’m just a hipster when it comes to franchises.)

I’m looking forward to seeing if I get trick or treaters this year — my first year in my house.

Anyway, thanks for being you. I’m a fan.

Love,
Beth

*Alice, of course.

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Dear Victoria,

Thanks for going with me to the Haunted Mine at our university (aka place of business).

I know we are coworkers who barely know each other, but you came through. People I knew better begged off (because haunted, because mine, because both).

Even though I’m an Explosives Technology student, I had not yet been to the experimental mine. I read all about the prep, though.

“Scaring starts at 6.”

Too bad I live 1.5 hours away and couldn’t get in some hours.

I’m glad we met up at the Tater Patch. I don’t know what any of that means.
Sporting saucy hard hats!

We got the safety briefing (“It’s a mine. The walls are made of rock. If you hurt yourself, let a scarer know immediately.”). Then it was time.

It was genuinely terrifying, especially the bit with the clown with the chainsaw.

This is the photo that one accidentally takes when running from a clown wielding a chainsaw.

NO, THANK YOU.

I had to remind myself that the scarers were not allowed to touch me. (And I was not allowed to touch them either. Consent goes both ways.)

Huddled together, we screamed/laughed our way through it.

Well, the screaming/laughing was me. You were mostly laughing. At me. For good reason.

Anyway, it was great, and I appreciate you going with me. Thanks again!

Happy Halloween!
Beth

*A great Duran Duran song and a terrible pun for this post

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Dear Dr. P:

It’s been a dozen years since I’ve been in a for-credit course. I really don’t know what I’m doing in your Explosives in Industry course. Or what I’m doing in the Explosives Technology graduate certificate program in general.

My background is journalism/mass communications and performing arts.

So why am I here?

I genuinely don’t know.

I guess it just seemed cool to learn about explosives.

And I guess I wanted to do something completely different.

Even though this certificate program is billed as being for non-engineers, there’s still a steep learning curve.

I mean. What is going on there? Those acronyms mean nothing to me!

However, I did enjoy your video tour of the experimental mine.

Also, EXPERIMENTAL MINE?! That’s DOPE!

Anyway, I’m Tracy Flick, so I will figure out what I don’t know. I plan to get an A in the class.

I’m on the right track.

Looking forward to learning more.

Sincerely,
Beth

*Always time for a Monty Python reference.

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Dear Kate and Kathy,

We appear to have a symbiotic relationship. I force you to get out and “people” occasionally. You tell me about all the good stuff going on in the neighborhood.

I had no idea when I moved in that our neighborhood is such a happening place!

Naked bike rides, concerts in the park, Friday evening socials, garden tours, antiques fairs, the Moonlight Ramble, and now the Tour de Lafayette.

It’s such a big deal that it even warranted beer tents.

Not that I could partake. Beer and a 5:44 a.m. flight don’t mix.

Still, it was cool to see the racers whipping around the park.

So thanks for the intel. See you Tuesday for game night!

Your new neighbor/friend,
Beth

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Dear Lacey,

At least I think that’s your name. Hard to remember when lightheaded from blood loss.

I hope you remember me. I was strapped to your machine for a hour Friday.

When you originally asked if I wanted to donate two pints of blood, I said, “Sure.”

You said it would take no longer than 30 minutes.

But then the machine started “acting up.”

Not something anyone in my position wants to hear.

Finally, I was free to go.

Maybe a few more minutes with you would have been good, though. Maybe with my donation arm up over my head. Maybe with a little more pressure applied to my new wound.

I got to my car, and suddenly I looked like I had been in a knife fight.

You’ve heard of a shy colon? Apparently, I have an extroverted vein.

Back in the blood mobile, you and everyone else sprung into action.

I kept saying I was ok, though.

No one believed me. I got loads of attention, some apple juice and a snack.

I even got an offer of drycleaning.

You should see the other guy!

No need. Hydrogen peroxide worked wonders.

And today I’m barely bruised.

You know what else I am? Happy I successfully donated blood when the need is critical.

Maybe I’ll see you again in two months.

Your patient,
Bloody Mary Beth

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Dear Holzhauer Auto and Motorsports Group:

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Best?

When Gideon was visiting me, he found a 2014 Dodge Charger he liked at your establishment. (What is it with my kids and muscle cars? Just teenage boys, I guess.)

We took a drive to Nashville, Illinois, and purchased the car on the spot.

Gideon save up $2,000 for the down payment.

We were assured that you had inspected the car and all was well. We purchased a warranty to be on the safe side.

We drove back to St. Louis, and arranged for Gideon and Eddie to come up this weekend to drive it back to Georgia.

Worst?

I took the car for safety and emission inspections to get it registered.

I bet you know what is coming.

It failed the safety inspection because it needed a new catalytic converter, engine mounts, an engine leak fixed, etc.

I think you knew this. That’s why we got such a good deal.

And your warranty doesn’t cover any of that. Of course. (So what good is it? I’d love to know.)

More than $6,500 later, the car is finally road worthy.

Happy about the car. Not happy about the 12-hour drive ahead.

Sigh.

It was worth it to see Gideon so happy, but I’ll be contacting you tomorrow for a discussion.

Talk to you later!
Beth

*Thanks, Rihanna!

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Dear Bob Cassilly,

My guy, WHAT were you smoking when you created City Museum? Whatever it was, it was some good stuff. City Museum is like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life — in person or in movies/on TV. Not even “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” comes close to this crazy place.

When I moved to St. Louis, people kept telling me I needed to visit. However, I don’t like museums. (It’s true. I’m sorry. But I don’t think you do either.) Finally, my friend Kate said that it is not a museum in any traditional sense of the word. She tried to describe it, then basically gave up.

“You have to see it,” she said. “It’s … sensory overload.”

So I went. And she’s right.

City Museum is like a museum in the way that I am like Beyoncé: barely any resemblance in form or function.

It is a building that houses artifacts — artifacts presented in chaos. It’s a 10-story fever dream.

I’ve now been four times.

Why?

You created notable features such as:

• An actual school bus cantilevered on the top floor over the street

• A Ferris wheel on top of the building

• A 10-story slide

• A five-story slide (that has not been open any of the four times I’ve been)

• A cave system

• The world’s largest (maybe) pair of underpants

• Two airplanes

I can’t even begin to summarize what is there. And every time I go, I discover something new.

Dominic and Gideon were in town, and I said we were going. They, like me, are not into museums. I said, “Hold that thought.”

Neither of them could believe what you created. Dominic lamented that, at 6’2″, he is too big for some of the tunnels.

“I wish we had come here when I was a kid.”

I fully agree. This could have entertained them for HOURS, and they would have slept well. (Every parent knows a day that wears out the kids is a good day.)

Here is just a sample of what we got into at your creation.

A seagull disgorges Dominic.
Gideon finds a tunnel under the first floor. No, thank you.
Dominic goes where I won’t.
This is the entrance to a slide. Seriously.
The caged bird yells, “Take my picture!”
My hips don’t lie, nor do they fit in this opening.
Dominic makes it to the top of one of two castles.

Speaking of the castles:

I’m sorry, TWO WHAT NOW?

There were a few moments where I worried about their safety and mine. I was right to worry. From the actual City Museum website:

The do-it-yourself, trying-anything nature of the museum led, not surprisingly, to injuries and, also not surprisingly, to dozens of personal injury suits. Mr. Cassilly’s response was to post telephone numbers of lawyers at the door.

The kids and I developed the habit of them going first into some cave/tunnel/hole to do reconnaissance then reporting back about the viability for me.

This tunnel was not for me.
But this one was ok.

Yes, I used my own children as canaries in a coal mine.

I make no apologies. They were willing participants. And had a fabulous time.

I’m sorry you died an untimely death — a death that turns out not to have been a bulldozer accident. L’esclandre!

And I love that people who love City Museum can also live there.

It’s not for me (not enough windows or, you know, standard amenities), but I recognize the appeal.

So thanks, Bob, for never growing up. For creating a place so outlandish there is no equal.

Your fan,
Beth

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