Declining an invitation

Yesterday was a day off from writing, not even on purpose. There was simply nothing to say.



& links

Nov. 23, 2022

The world would be a much better place if people who had nothing to say simply shut the fuck up, so I thought I'd set an example.

Tomorrow, it's Thanksgiving at the all-you-can-eat place, with some of the family. I'm kinda dreading it because family, and also kinda looking forward to it because family.

Most of them won't be there, and none of the nieces, nephews, or grandchildren. Looks like we'll have only seven or nine people.

My brother Dick says he and his wife Young-sook will be having Thanksgiving with his wife's son's family. They barely speak English, same as his wife. Sounds like it'll be nice for her, though as always, awful for him, but that's the life Dick's chosen.

My brother Clay and his wife Karen have been non-committal, hemming and hawing. "Maybe we'll be there," Clay says, but my prediction is that they'll end up at one of their sons' houses.

My sister Hazel can't sit in her wheelchair for more than half an hour or so, so she no longer leaves the nursing home.

My brother Ralph is dead, so he can't make it. Hope his wife comes. I like her.

Dad won't be there for the same reason as Ralph, but Mom will. I'm  dreading and looking forward to seeing her.

My nephew George-the-stoner won't be at the restaurant for Thanksgiving, but he's invited me to his place for Friday, the day after.

George and I have been texting recently, sometimes even about real things, and he's not an idiot. In person he's a bit much, but I like the guy. I'd say yes to his invitation if I could take the bus there and back, but he says there's no bus service near his house, so my answer is no. 

"I'll pick you up and take you home," he says, but that's why the answer is no. The answer is always no, to anyone who offers to drive me somewhere.

It's a rule, for me: If I can't get there on the bus, I'm not coming.

First and least important, I don't like inconveniencing other people. Nobody in my family lives within ten miles, so picking me up and bringing me back is not quick and easy.

But mostly, I don't like inconveniencing me

I'm an extreme introvert, and when I've had enough chit-chat at some social event, I must leave. Now. 

If someone is driving me home, then I can't leave when I want to leave.

I do not want to wait fifteen minutes or half an hour while the driver says goodbye to everyone. I do not want another hour of chit-chat in the car as we drive toward my house. I do not want the inevitable side-trips on the way "since we're in the neighborhood." And I do not want the driver — George, or anyone else — to come inside my house "for just a few minutes" after the drive.

Screw all of that. It you want me to come over, live near a bus route. Especially on a holiday.

And now, the news you need,
whether you know it or not

ACLU sues to let underage daughter witness father's execution 

Woman slows down traffic riding motorized scooter on Interstate 

This is a local story that was played for laughs here in Seattle: A woman took her power scooter onto the interstate, which is illegal. "Technically it is trespassing," says a spokesman for the State Patrol  "You’ll see the 'no trespassing' signs on the ramps."

I was amused like everyone else, but then I stopped and thought: Why are freeways for cars and trucks only? For safety and blah blah, says the article, which goes to greater lengths than most TV coverage to dig deep and explain why this is so dangerous, but bite me.

What's philosophically wrong with pedaling a bike or riding a scooter from Seattle to Bellingham or Tacoma, via the freeway? That's the most direct route.

America's freeways are built and maintained by tax dollars, and they're by far the most expensive public thoroughfares in America. They should be for all the public, with bike lanes, protected from traffic by concrete barriers. Scooters and rollerbladers, skateboarders and wheelchairs and pedestrians welcome. If it feels dangerous, lower the speed limit until it feels safe.

America should be for people, not for cars.

Starbucks to close another unionized coffee shop 

With climate change, crops migrate north 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops...

Indiana sheriff's deputy accidentally shoots student during high school class 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops...

Second rural Arizona county delays certification of vote, this one for no reason other than “solidarity” with the other MAGA counties 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops...

Links I liked

An advertiser's perspective on what's down at Twitter 

Phantom of the Fox Theater in Atlanta 

First kiss on camera was between two nekkid women? 

Your Gmail account has unlimited addresses 

Roo balls 

Mystery links
"Like life itself, there's no
knowing where you're going"




♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

• "Believe" by Franka Potente 

• "Head Over Heels" by Tears for Fears 

• "Mr Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra

The End

Virginia McLaurin 

Ellen Levine 

Ron Peck 


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.  

Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.

Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. Clitoris is not in my thesaurus. I guess there is no other word.

  2. When did that expression "because family," or because anything start to emerge in the popular vernacular? Hmm, around the time of the advent of smart phones, an internet toy? Double hmm...
    Ah Thanksgiving, nice you are in the bosom of your family, though you struggle with it...I plan to do my about once a year breakfast extravaganza manana on the first day of the holiday season, then followed by five more: xmas eve, xmas, new years eve, new years, and finally the Superbore, though there have been some good ones recently...It will be a pancake from a good mix with bananas and walnuts inside it, then a couple soft boiled eggs on top, heated up maple syrup and melted butter, and then yogurt on the side, everything but sausages or bacon, I actually gathered up these ingrediants the last couple days...Then the dinner later: baking a chicken liberally drenched in barbecue sauce with squash and potatoes, maybe I'll get it together to make a salad, I did buy a pretty good pumpkin pie yesterday and have been having a slice a day...Yes boo hoo I have no where to commune in boring or fun gatherings, it seems to be a Thanksgiving tradition for the world to ignore me, and so that's why I hate the holidays, well THIS is actually my true celebration, at this moment, now, writing about the food...Should I be sad, mad, glad, or wonder why it's like this? I grade the holidays and sometimes I actually have two out of three good ones, that's why I liked the isolation of covid, the pressure was off, right? I may have ONE good holiday if the 49ers make it to the Super Bowl in February. So that's it, my menu and lament, here come the holidays and, well, I guess people really like them?...Paul M

    1. Sounds like a lovely menu. I hope the solitude is good for you. Love it myself, though I *can* get enough of it.

      It's just another commercialized holiday like Xmas. I don't even do Xmas, too much fake good vibes for me, but I can celebrate overeating.

      The problem with me and food — I bought a pumpkin pie a few days ago, and simply ate it. It wasn't even dinner; there were also a couple of hamburgers.

      Happy thanksgiving alone, man.

  3. Thanks for the mercy greeting, on to the pancake!

  4. Hope it all went well today at your buffet. I went out and overspent on Indian take-out. Freshly cooked, though, and the girl loves it. We're spending today thankfully alone together. I'm going to watch some movies in a bit. Signed up for the Criterion Channel because I like the movies they have and I need closed captioning/subtitles for everything I watch because I really am THAT deaf. I'm not nearly as introverted as yourself, but I get it. You need your solitude to recharge yourself. I assume it's gotten more necessary as time has gone by, as you've seen and heard all the nonsense over and over and over by this point. -- Arden

    1. Good food and spending some time with *one* person you like or love — that sounds swell, especially if you still like the person afterwards. Hope you do.

      I *very* briefly had Criterion when they first launched, but it glitched out on me. What did you watch? Anything you'd recommend?

    2. Funny you mention the glitching. For the first two weeks, the service performed flawlessly. On T-Giving, I watched How to Get the Knack...or whatever it's called, the Richard Lester film from 1965. Quite funny. 3/4 of the way through, it began dragging and needing to catch up every four minutes or so. Anything else I tried to watch did the same. Didn't happen on any other platform. Hmmm...

      Thus far, I loved Ken Loach's film Sorry, We Missed You, which is as usual about the working class Brits who are ground into dust by society. The story here was on a two-income family in the gig economy. She works as a home-health-aide and he drives for PDF (Packages Delivered Fast) as "his own boss" (translation: all costs are on him, company owes him nothing). His rebellious young son is clueless to how hard his parents are working and just wants to spray-paint shit and deal with the world through his phone...movie offers no solutions but seeing this shit acted out just makes me damn glad I never had any ambition to raise a family.

      Older Ken Loach: Kes was very good. Robert Altman's Tanner '88 was a step back in time to when people smoked indoors and politics wasn't as nasty as it's become with Fox News stoking the fires of resentment... Of course, Tanner was a look at Democratic Party stuff, so it was goofy and never go-for-the-throat like it would've been on the other side where the Willie Horton ad was being readied for the final race.

      Other stuff I watched isn't coming to me at the moment, but thus far everything has been at least interesting and worth seeing.

    3. I can't remember the particulars or the proper nouns, but when my Criterion started glitching — a lot — I looked under the hood, and they'd built their platform on an on-line video system that's *always* glitched frequently for me, on every computer I've owned. I threw in the towel right then, but I hope your one bad experience is out of the ordinary.

      I mix up Mike Leigh and Ken Loach in my mind. Ought to check out more of both of them, and I'll start with Sorry, We Missed You...

      I don't think I can do Tanner '88, though. Watching politics from an era when politicians only told little lies, here in the time of bigger lies every day, feels like it would be too depressing for me.

    4. Altman's Secret Honor is a great, if you haven't seen it. Probably the most peculiar political / bio film ever.

    5. Nixon! I didn't know it was about Nixon — definitely it goes on the list!

    6. It's great! Philip Baker Hall is completely compelling, as always. In this case, it's literally a one-man show.

      Hall was in The Insider -- you seen that? Excellent film. I don't think you've reviewed any Michael Mann films? Best living crime director: Thief, Manhunter, Heat, The Insider, Collateral, etc.

    7. Yeh, I saw most of my Michael Manns when I was happily married and not writing, so no reviews. Thief is the only one I don't think I've seen... looking for it now...


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