Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard

Ok umm….really? So watching clips of the trial, not the full, unedited footage, just the clips. And so, also, I realize that a clip can spin the narrative. I’m conscience of that. A simple clip is pointed. It is directed at a certain focal point. With that understanding, I am trying very hard not to be biased.

It is almost impossible to find something that supports Heard’s case…and I am looking. Like, desperately. This is so lopsided. I’m trying like hell to find something that allows me to put a tick mark on her side. But I’m having trouble.

I’m trying not to gauge her by her attorneys’ likability. Because they really have none. So I’m separating that. Domestic abuse is serious. Johnny Depp smiling at points in the trial? Not sure about that….but Amber Heard’s downturned mouth? It’s a bit affected. So I don’t know. I’m trying to keep an open mind. If she is lying, what a blow to actual women that have truly been a victim of domestic violence! If she’s not lying and he wins…..same.

Watching with bated breath…..

Origins – How Ideas And Phrases Became The Iconic Euphemisms They Are Today

Close But No Cigar: Carnival games nowadays give out stuffed animals as prizes, but in the late 19th century, the games were targeted to adults, not kids. Instead of getting a giant teddy bear, winners might get a cigar. If they almost won but didn’t earn that prize, they’d be “close, but no cigar.” By the 1930s, the phrase extended beyond fairgrounds to everyday close shots.

Bite The Bullet: To decide to begin an unpleasant yet unavoidable experience is to “bite the bullet.” But rest assured knowing your predicament is likely not as nasty as the soldiers’ with whom this phrase originated. Before anesthetics and painkillers were invented, wounded fighters would literally bite down on a bullet to cope with the pain of a surgical procedure. Why a bullet? The lead they’re made of is more malleable than stones and other battlefield finds, and therefore less likely to break the patient’s teeth.

Bullshit: The Etymology of the term goes like this: In Farming, you can use manure as fertilizer. Two types of natural manure are the manure of cows and the manure of steers or bulls. The eating habits of these animals are very particular. Cows eat grass, and bulls eat grass and weeds (higher salt content). This leads to the obvious conclusion that cow manure is an excellent fertilizer while bull manure contains weed seeds and high salt content (not very good fertilizer). In the old days when selling manure, shady manure/fertilizer sellers would mix cow and bull manure (sold by the pound). People thought they were buying good fertilizer but what they got was a load of bull shit. Due to this, the term has solidified itself into the modern vernacular in association with something that is fake, misleading, or untrue. Check out the urban dictionary definition of the word:

Give The Cold Shoulder: Surprisingly, this doesn’t just refer to coldly turning your back on someone. Etymologists think the phrase originated from medieval etiquette. After a feast, hosts in England would subtly signal that the meal was over (and it was time for guests to leave) by serving a cold slice of pork, mutton, or beef shoulder.

The Middle Finger: In the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French threatened the English archers that they would cut off their fingers and when they failed the Englishmen mocked them by showing their fingers. Though many people have many different stories, it is commonly believed that in order to win the war the French soldiers threatened the Englishmen that they would cut off their two fingers so that they could not shoot their arrows. In an act of defiance and to taunt the French, the Englishmen would hold up their middle fingers to show the French that they could still draw their bowstrings.

The derogatory remark ‘fuck you’, is also said to have started from this Battle of Agincourt. The timber from the Yew tree was used to make longbows. The French threatened to cut Englishmen’s fingers so that they could not Pluck their yew. So, when they failed to do so they started mocking the Frenchmen and showing the finger and yelling, “look we can still pluck yew,” and over time, ‘pluck yew’ became the now used fuck you along with the finger.

Fly Off The Handle: In the days before mass merchandising, poorly fastened axe heads would fly off while they were in use. The result was dangerous, hence why the phrase is used to describe risky behavior with unpredictable results.

Steal Someone’s Thunder: In the early 1700s, English dramatist John Dennis invented a device that imitated the sound of thunder for a play he was working on. The play flopped. Soon after, Dennis noted that another play in the same theater was using his sound-effects device. He angrily exclaimed, “That is my thunder, by God; the villains will play my thunder, but not my play.” The story got around London, and the idiom was born.

Chew The Fat: Originally a sailor’s term, this phrase refers to the days before refrigeration when ships carried food that wouldn’t spoil. One of them was salted pork skin, which consisted largely of fat. Sailors would only eat it if all other food was gone… and they often complained as they did. This idle chatter became known as “chewing the fat.”

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag: Who would even put a cat in a bag? The answer may lie in medieval markets, where people used to sell piglets tied in bags for farmers to carry home. A shady dealer might swap the piglet in the sack with a less expensive animal, such as a cat. So when you let the cat out of the bag, you were exposing the con to everyone.

Gadzooks: “Zounds!” “Egad!” “Cripes!” These silly exclamations, called minced oaths, were originally Bible-friendly alternatives to swearing. The idea was that if you shouted “Gadzooks!” instead of “God’s hooks!”—a reference to the nails from the Crucifixion—you could stub your toe without running afoul of the third commandment. Other minced oaths: gosh (“God”) and jeepers (“Jesus”). Christians have been shouting “gadzooks” since the 1690s.

Pea: One pea was originally called a pease in Middle English. However, it was often misinterpreted as a plural word, thanks to the last “s” sound. This led scholars to create a singular version of the word, pea, in the 17th century. According to Mental Floss, the actual plural of pease in Middle English was pesen.

Umpire: This word came from the French term “nompere,” or “one without equal.” But because the sounds blurred together when spoken out loud, “a noumpere” ended up becoming “an oumpere,” later forming the word we now know as umpire.

Three-peat: When you invite your friends over for game night and win three games in a row, it’s not simply three wins. It’s not a repeat plus one. It’s a three-peat, a term usually used to describe three consecutive sports championship wins. The term was successfully trademarked by former Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley in 1988, just as his team was set to win three consecutive NBA titles. Unfortunately, the Lakers lost to the Detroit Pistons, but since Riley obtained the copyright for commercial use, he did profit off other teams who completed the precious three-peat. There’s a bright side to everything.

Deadline: Now a synonym for “due date” or “time limit,” the word “deadline” was originally used much more literally. During the Civil War, prisoners at one camp were confined to a pen and surrounded by a “deadline”; so called because if a prisoner crossed it, he would be shot dead.

Blockbuster: During World War II, this modern-day term for a box-office hit had a more sobering definition: A bomb big enough to take out an entire city block.

Murphy’s Law: “If there’s more than one way to do a job and one of those ways will result in disaster, then somebody will do it that way,” said Captain Edward A. Murphy to his assistant after testing a rocket sled at Edwards Air Force Base in 1948. The exchange led to the use of “Murphy’s Law”: If anything can go wrong, it will. 

Feeling Blue: If a ship lost its captain or one of its officers during its voyage, it would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along its hull while returning home. Now, the term means to feel sad.

The Social Media Lie

Life is pretty messy. Remember that. Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, magazines, advertisements, all of it, are all presented through a lens of bullshit. That’s what’s real.

Those social media posts are people at their happiest moments. They are anomalous moments of people who look like they are feeling great, having a fantastic time, taking in exotic views and having amazing looking meals. Let’s not forget the meals. Then, in our nature to relate, we look at our own lives and wonder why we don’t have that. What is wrong in our lives that we are not feeling great, looking great, traveling to these places or eating meals from these amazing restaurants?

We are seeing literal snapshots of happy moments, filtered by the people posting, and we are extrapolating out to mentally assume that all of their moments are just like those pictures and videos they post. We are comparing our own lives to a fantastic representation of something that is just not real. We all have good moments.

Social Media is a place that is littered with people who want you to look at them and envy what they have. It is a sign that says, “I need validation that I am beautiful and admired.” It’s quite blatant, but also, it’s widely accepted. That societal acceptance is what confuses our rational minds into not considering how egotistically vain, self-centered, and needy those posts are. It has been normalized.

But it would serve us all well to remember that there is no such thing as perfection in anyone’s life, that everyone has ups and downs and that people don’t capture the downs to share them out, only the ups. Don’t compare your complete life to someone else’s ups. It will only lead to negative self-talk, depression, anxiety, and jealousy.

Understand that the tough times are there to make the good times that much sweeter, and that it is normal to not look perfect all the time, to not always be doing something that is exciting or daring or brave. Sometimes it’s okay to be a real person, and have a boring, ugly day. We all have them. There. I admitted it.

Ukraine and Russia – The Momentum is Lopsided.

Putin has failed to inspire the people of his nation to align with his ideologies. This was his very first loss in the war on Ukraine. If you fail in creating the buy-in of your people, you have no chance of winning. Come on, man, this is basic land and power-grabbing 101. You don’t have to have the buy in of anyone else, but you do have to have the buy in of your own people. Even if that buy-in is created through brutality or brainwashing, the people and your soldiers must be committed. And if, for some odd reason, you are rooting for Russia, it must be infuriating to watch Putin’s biggest faux pas before he sent even one troop into Ukraine.

Ukraine is not a part of NATO or the EU council. Ukraine was only recognized as a country by the US as recently as 1991. If Putin fails in absorbing Ukraine back into Russia, Ukraine will become a member of both of those groups, solidifying it as its own sovereign state–quite the opposite of what Putin had in mind. Russian soldiers are half-assing this invasion, or occupation, or whatever this is. They are not invested. The same in not true for the Ukrainians. They are all-in, converting breweries into weapons factories, citizens picking up arms, making Matatov cocktails, changing street signs to confuse the Russian soldiers, and launching electronic attacks on rails systems that transport soldiers and releasing the names of military officials to the public.

Other Western nations and NATO members are standing behind Ukraine as well. Germany committed $100 billion to defense spending, shipping weapons to Ukraine, and ending the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was constructed to bring gas to Germany from Russia. Turkey closed the Bosporus strait to Russian warships. Cascades of places have closed their airspace to Russian craft. Elon Musk’s SpaceX has promised to help keep Ukraine online. FedEx and UPS have suspended service to Russia. Meta and YouTube have demonetized Russian state media. Polish citizens have collected 100 tons of food for Ukraine in 2 days. The world is lit up with the Ukrainian flag to show solidarity. Sports teams are refusing to play Russia in international tournaments. The London philharmonic opened its Saturday concert by playing the Ukranian national anthem. The list goes on.

Elon Musk has responded to the suggestion by Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin that the International Space Station (ISS) could come crashing down to Earth, due to new US sanctions against the country. 

Rogozin, who leads the Roscosmos agency, tweeted Thursday: “If you block cooperation with us, who will save the ISS from an uncontrolled deorbit and fall into the United States or Europe?” On Saturday, Musk responded by posting the logo of his company, SpaceX. 

In all, Putin’s effort is falling drastically short on the support it needs to be victorious and Russia’s economy is suffering due to the sanctions that have been imposed on it by the US and other nations. Russia’s only play at this point might be withholding its gas from export, an economic move that could create ripple effects in multiple countries’ economies, since Russia exports roughly 20% of the world’s oil supplies. But a move like that could push the world to a swift answer that Russia may not be prepared to weather. Putin is well aware of the dangers surrounding a move like that and undoubtedly the decision to withhold gas from export weighs heavily on him as he imagines the repercussions of it.

I don’t see a way out for Putin or Russia, short of defeat. But Putin is cagey and prideful, so I could imagine a possibility where he could purposefully take actions to annihilate the world in his defeat, to take everyone down with him.

Programmable Digital Currency

“Enter “Central Bank Digital Currencies”: the mainstream answer to bitcoin.

For those who have never heard of them, “Central Bank Digital Currencies” (CBDCs) are exactly what they sound like, digitized versions of the pound/dollar/euro etc. issued by central banks.

Like bitcoin (and other crypto), the CBDC would be entirely digital, thus furthering the ongoing war on cash. However, unlike crypto, it would not have any encryption preserving anonymity. In fact, it would be totally the reverse, potentially ending the very idea of financial privacy.” (Source: The Wentworth Report https://wentworthreport.com/2021/10/11/programmable-digital-currency/)

Programmable digital currencies would be programmed to disallow people from purchasing items that the state or employer deems inappropriate. This comes with an inherent disposition for corruption. It would allow an outside entity to prevent my purchase of something. If employers begin to pay their employees in this way, they can then dictate what they employee can and cannot purchase. This is basically like working for coupons.

If I am not allowed to buy red meat because it has been deemed unhealthy by the government and instead, I must buy broccoli, I am reduced to using my money as a simple coupon.

There’s more to the story than meets the eye, and I wonder how many people are really even following this proposed change to the world’s monetary system. Looks dangerous to me.

Priorities

I tend to reflect too deeply on things, even when the catalyst for that reflection is mundane and silly.

A bird pooped on my car. It was on my windshield, literally right in front of my line of sight on the driver’s side. It happened overnight so by the time I got to my car in the morning, it had dried on there pretty good and needed a little extra help to get it off than what my wipers and wiper fluid could do on their own.

I sprayed it off with the hose. I would not have taken the extra time to do this if the bird poop would have been anywhere else on the car. I would have cleaned it eventually had it been somewhere else, but my sense of urgency was amplified by its location.

I thought it was interesting. Even in the slightest moments, we are always prioritizing. The location of the aviary defecation forced me to prioritize it higher than it otherwise would have elsewhere and so of course I began to relate it to all of the other mundane things I prioritize over the next. Spent the next ten to twenty minutes reflecting on why, then came in a wrote this post.

Here’s a Life Hack That Everyone Knows but Won’t Admit to or Practice.

What can you offer? What skillset do you have that makes you valuable to me? This is a tragic, unwritten, BTS look at how nearly everyone views relationships. Any relationship. Friendships, work relationships, relationship relationships…In this world, you are defined by what you can offer others. This is the capital that gives you value. It is an unfortunate fact of life. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is also the constraint we are forced to live with. Since it is a truth that is so rarely acknowledged, we can easily miss it. We all subconsciously know it though; it lingers there, and we are fully aware of the shittiness of the thing, but we just prefer not to think about it. Thinking about it might give it credence and we all think we take the moral high ground by ignoring it. But what if we don’t ignore it? What if we leverage this knowledge to our advantage? It can be exploited quite easily once it is acknowledged.

A successful person has gained the ability to make themselves valuable on multiple fronts. Think about what you are good at. What can you do that not everyone has the knowledge or ability to do? Who is in need of that? Whatever it is, and whoever those people are, you are valuable to them. Imagine purposefully learning and honing a skill solely for the purpose of exploiting it, to wring the juices out of it to increase your value. That is a life hack. That is why companies will pay top dollar to hire someone, that is why people want to be around you. If you can master several skills from various disciplines, your widespread appeal goes up. You become more valuable to a larger group of people and so you are increasing your stock.

But simply having those skills is not enough. And this is when it becomes tricky. Once you have the skills, you have to throw your pride and ego out of the window and be willing to be used. Not only must you be willing to be used, you have to be happy about it. And I don’t mean you have to act happy about it, you literally have to be happy about it. This is the deal-breaker for most of us. Our pride won’t allow us to feel that we’ve been taken advantage of. So, we keep our amazing skillset close to our chest, and we dole it out too frugally. This habit keeps others from understanding the true magnitude of how they can use us for their own advantage and thus lowers our stock.

Why do we value doctors? Why do we value our friends? What do they give us that we need? Why do we value anyone? I wish it were truly selfless, but in nearly every case, it’s for what they do for us, whether it’s a service or simply how they make us feel when we’re with them. They are doing something for us, even if it is not obvious without some sort of self-reflection.

So, to recap (TLDR): Learn a bunch of skills that people need, give them freely when they need them, and watch your personal value skyrocket.

My Amazon Salary…

I work at Amazon. I am an L6, which means Operations Manager, which means I am in charge of salaried Area Managers, who are then in charge of associates. I manage managers who manage workers. Does that make sense?

Area Managers are L4(if you just started) and L5(if you are tenured). Thats how it works. I started at Amazon as an L5 because I had extensive leadership experience managing others.

Process Assistants are L3–they are one step down from the Area Managers.

Amazon started me at 80k annually, with a 20k sign on bonus. Additionally, they gave me 20 stocks which take 4 years to vest. I am in year two. For year two, as an added sign on bonus, they are giving me 15k, pro-rated in each monthly check. Yes, Amazon pays me monthly which was a pretty big switch up from my previous job which paid me weekly.

When I was promoted from L5 to L6, my pay was increased to 91k annually and they gave me 3 additional RSUs, which are the stock options. Amazon stock is currently $3200 per share.

The stock options vest schedule is a bit convoluted. After the first year, 1 share vested. It was about $3300 at the time. I have 2 shares vesting in May, and 1 more in August. So, I’m doing ok for this year.

I am in charge of how many items get shipped through my Facility Center (FC). I am tasked with controlling what they call the ‘flow desk’ and I control the flow of items getting picked from our inventory to the sorting, to the packing and then finally, out to shipping. I oversee all of Outbound at my FC, which is basically sorting, packing, and shipping. I feel that I am paid a very good wage for what I do.

I am salaried, so I am basically always on call, which is to be expected. I feel that work conditions are fair. Leadership makes a solid attempt at work life balance. I work 4 days a week, 13-14 hour days.

I say all this to ask….what do you think of the pay vs. the time worked, etc? Fair? Not fair?

Toxic Positivity. Is that even a real thing?

I started listening to the Freakonomics podcast yesterday, and this was the topic of discussion, intently listening to discover how positivity could ever possibly be considered toxic. I mean, aren’t positive thoughts the key to health and happiness? I naively assumed we were all trying very hard at building this quality, ever reaching for the promised land of sociological wisdom, and in that freeing our troubled souls from the bonds of negativity, hate, and inner angst. Turns out I’m an idiot. That old idiom that too much of a good thing can be bad is actually true.

So, what was the premise? Initially, I couldn’t think of a single con for positivity. Lots of pros, no cons. The first argument that positivity could be toxic relied on how it makes other people feel. If I’m always positive, other people may feel that they fail in comparison, that they are somehow not as good of a person.

The second argument against positivity was that always seeing the good side of something could blind you to real red flags. They could blind you to an abusive relationship, for example.

Interestingly, the podcast swayed my opinion of positive thoughts just a little bit. I mean, I do think that staying positive through trying times is beneficial, but nothing can–or should–exist in a vacuum. We should always strike a balance. To understand and appreciate the good things, there must be a contrasting ‘bad thing.’ Otherwise, how would we recognize something as good? This is the time-worn idea of yin and yang, good and evil, light and dark. It makes sense, I get it. But in a world with so much negativity, maybe it would be okay to simply tip the scales to the positive side every so often.

Drunk Posts

Here it is, blood alcohol level is taking the escalator up. I tell myself its good. After all, it could be going up on a falcon heavy. An escalator ride can be quite nice, if you’re not the white rabbit from that one Carroll thing. You know the one. It’s riddled with drug use and masochism but disguised by metaphor to trick little kids. Probably why I like it so much.

Anyway, I think I’m on the edge of schizophrenic, and I don’t mean that sarcastically or to offend schitzos. When I drink, there is a personality trait that emerges inside me that doesn’t seem to like the lights on otherwise. The real tragedy is that the only good thing about this dipshit is that he writes better than I do. Of course he does. It’s not really a high bar after all, is it? And he really doesn’t want to share the podium, either. That’s the kind of asshole he is.

He’s flying- a reckless bad boy that thinks he can rule the whole world one day. Didn’t Hitler try that? A lot of women want a bad boy, but bad boys are the douche bags that mind fuck them out of ever having a normal relationship with anyone in the future. I’m not that guy. I’m an introverted idiot that thinks weightlifting makes him more desirable. Most, and the only reason I don’t say ‘all’ is because I haven’t conducted a study to prove it, but most guys that lift weights only do it because they are insecure narcissistic nerds. Yes, insecurity and narcissistic tendencies can co-populate –and do–inside the male, testosterone flooded biome.

I tell people I only drink to make room in the fridge. I have grocery shopping to do. All this beer is monopolizing space. Truth is, I drink beer to write better. Yeah, it’s still shitty writing. But still better. And I can’t seem to pull off showing over telling unless I’ve cracked open a few Rolling Rocks. Probably the worst beer to drink in terms of calories and quality, but fuck it, if I’m going to assassinate my liver, I might as well pull out all the stops.

Second issue is I want to delete everything I have ever written. I have purged and permanently lost literally years of work on a one-night bender. I’m oddly comfortable with it. If this post lasts an hour, it will be shocking.

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