I think we all could use a hug from Chewie…
As often happens, several stories came to my attention after I had posted this week’s Friday Links
that I would have included if I could have. I don’t always do a weekend update post when they come along, but sometimes I don’t think a story should wait until next Friday. So here are a few:
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher were laid to rest this week. Carrie’s ashes were buried with her mother, in inimitable Carrie style: Carrie Fisher’s Ashes Placed in Giant Prozac Pill Urn. Yep, an urn designed to look like a giant anti-depressant. One of the other stories I saw (but now can’t track down) mentioned that in her home Carrie had some tiles on one kitchen wall that depicted prozac pills, as well. Carrie was outspoken about her mental illness and refused to be ashamed of it, so it seems fitting that she be laid to rest this way.
And while we’re remembering Carrie, here’s an article I wish I’d found earlier: The Tao of Carrie Fisher: 37 Great Quotes From the Actress and Author.
This next story requires a bit of context. So, every state has some members of the legislature who tend to embarrass and confound people, but I’m not sure anyone has a more eccentric legislator than Washington state Republican Senator Pam Roach. A recent story in our local Republican rag described her as “contentious, bipolar, unhinged, and crazy—and that’s by her fellow Republicans” and “a scheming, bumbling small-time villain in an early Coen brothers film. She’s a doting grandma and matriarch of a large family, but also a rage-fueled tyrant with a persecution complex and dozens of ongoing feuds.” She’s been banned from her own party’s meetings after many incidents of temper tantrums (including more than one in which she brandished guns in the faces of her own staffers).
She ran for a seat on a county council (which pays better than being a state senator) and narrowly won, so she’s stepping down from the Senate. Even though she is leaving, she is pre-filing a proposed law: ON HER WAY OUT OF THE WALEG, PAM ROACH AGAIN FOCUSES ON THE IMPORTANT STUFF: MANDATING CURSIVE IN SCHOOLS.
I don’t know if other states do this, but because the constitution mandates fairly short legislative sessions (which almost always get supplemented with special sessions because they never manage to finish the budget in the 60 days) our state has a process where legislators can file bills they want to be considered before they session begins. So this stupid proposal to force schools to teach children how to write in cursive will have to be assigned to a committee and given a hearing, even though the senator who filed it will no longer be a member of the legislature by the time the session begins.
This particular bill cracks me up because I’m a 56-year-old man who never learned how to write cursive. That’s correct. My mom taught me how to type when I was in grade school, right about the time that our school was just starting to have us practice making loops as the first stage of cursive writing. I can fake cursive writing. I visualize the letters and draw them, but it isn’t the same sort of process as printing. I can writing relatively fast, but it’s printing, not cursive. And I type at over 100 words per minute, so…
And yes, my signature is basically a scribble. But that’s also true of a lot of people who actually learned cursive in school.
So I guess this is the perfect farewell from a thoroughly unhinged legislator.
Meanwhile, it’s a Snowpocalypse: Snow, freeze-up to immobilize southern US before eyeing coastal Northeast and ‘Travel Nightmare’: Winter Storm Helena Wreaks Havoc on the South; Residents Told to Stay Home.
Here in Seattle we’ve been dealing with colder than usual temperatures for us, plus an intense flu epidemic, but rain and moderately warmer temps are on the horizon. So we don’t have to deal with horrible snow and ice making our roads impassible.
But I’m not allowed to critique other places having trouble with snow since we’re so bad at it here in Seattle.
I hate stories like this, but they’ve released the names of those killed in the tragic shooting yesterday: Victims identified after ‘crazy and cruel’ mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport that killed five, wounded six. There’s a news video that start playing automatically when you get to the page. It was recorded shortly after the shooting, and contains several claims which have since been corrected in later reports. I’m linking because this story has pictures of the victims, and I think it’s important to remember and honor those murdered.