I say it every time I talk about local elections in South Bend: the actual election is the Democratic primary, particularly with respect to the mayoral race, because the local Republican party absolutely refuses to run anyone with the remotest shred of credibility. In the last several years their candidates include demonstrably crazy people and at least one person who was homeless while running for office. They’ve run exactly one credible candidate since I moved back here in 2007 and he spent his entire race running against the city. Turns out if you think a place is a terrible shithole where no one should live, the voters who live there don’t choose you to run the place! I know, it’s weird.
Seriously, this was an actual mailing by those fuckers. Forgive me, it’s the highest-DPI scan I can find and it’s not great:
… yeah, that’s even worse than I thought. It reads: RIP: Here lies South Bend, a once vibrant city now abandoned by business, overrun by violent crime, and driving people from their family homes because of high property taxes.
Now, put me in charge of this awful place that I obviously hate!
Yeah, good luck.
Anyway, I talked about Republican candidate Sean Haas’ shitty website the last time I talked about the mayoral race around here. I am compelled to let everyone know that I have seen my first Sean Haas yard sign, and this motherfucker, who supposedly is a teacher, has no fucking clue whatsoever how capital letters work:
There are ten total and six unique words on that goddamned sign and two of them need capital letters and don’t have them. I dunno, maybe some of you out there think I’m being superficial, but this is a level of don’t-give-a-fuck that I would find shameful from a middle school student. I have both a former student and a former co-worker in common with Haas, although I’ve never met the guy, and while they both say they won’t vote for him neither of them think he’s a terrible person. So, fine, I won’t cast aspersions upon his ancestry or anything like that. But if your damn lawn sign has two typos and only ten words you do not get to be Mayor. I need people who give a shit in that job, and this guy clearly doesn’t, and furthermore he doesn’t have anyone working for him who gives a shit either or this abomination would never have made it out of Photoshop.
Or, y’know, Paint.
It was probably Paint.
So, yeah: when whoever wins the Democratic nomination wins 70-30 in the fall, this is why: it’s not because South Bend is so monolithically Democratic that a Dem win is inevitable– South Bend is in Indiana, after all– it’s because none of the local Republicans give enough of a shit to actually put up a nominee who is worth the money spent on his campaign.
(EDIT: I think I’ve decided who I’m voting for, by the way, but I think I’ll save it for another post and not step on this one. Needless to say, it won’t be Haas.)
I am not normally the type to read instructions, at least not at first. I’m perfectly happy to go over them once I’ve taken a shot at something, but my usual method is to muddle in and see if I can figure things out before touching the instructions. I’m not stubborn about it or anything like that; I just don’t go for the instructions first.
The new banner is built into that base. It did not come with instructions.
Have you ever used one of these things before? There is a tension rod behind the banner itself. It hooks into the metal piece at the top of the banner, but 1) you need to know the feet are there (they rotate underneath the base for ease of transport) and 2) you need to be standing on the feet before you try and pull the banner up because otherwise the base is going to snap up toward your hands after a second or two and the whole thing becomes very unwieldy and also 3) it is not immediately clear how to hook the top of the banner into the top of the tension rod, especially if you do what I think is the natural thing and try to pull the banner up while standing in front of it, meaning that you’re obscuring your view of the tension rod while you’re pulling the banner up.
This means that two or three times you will either lose your grip on the banner or you will not seat it properly and it will crash back down into the base at what is frankly a terrifying velocity and volume and you will yell loud swears and your son will ask you what is wrong in a vaguely frightened tone of voice that you will be ashamed for making him use.
So. For future reference:
Rotate the feet out from underneath the enclosure so that they are perpendicular to the base.
Stand on the feet, behind the banner.
Insert the extended tension rod into both of the holes in the base. There are TWO holes. The second one is invisible and it will take a moment to get the rod into both. FIND THEM BOTH.
While continuing to stand on the feet, lift the banner up over your head and insert the tab on the tension rod into the slot on the banner. TEST IT to make sure it is seated properly.
Walk away slowly, terrified that your footsteps will transmit a shock to the banner through the floor and it will snap back into place.
Do not touch the fucking thing again until you are ready to take it down, and when you are, do it very carefully.
So apparently the other teacher is back tomorrow. So I’m off the hook and back to my own job full-time.
And because I can never ever be happy or be satisfied with my life I was *disappointed* by this information. After weeks of GODDAMMIT I DON’T WANNA TEACH ANYMORE I was disappointed that I didn’t have to.
Guys, I totally recommend being an old white man if you can find a way to do it. Because I have been walking around looking like this since October and no one has said shit to me about it the whole entire time:
I tend to grow a full beard between October and March or April every year, right? It’s cold outside, Goddammit, and I’m already losing enough heat through my bald-ass head. This year for some reason I decided to throw any caution about, like, basic grooming completely to the wind and just let that bastard grow out however it wanted to. I kept my upper lip somewhat trimmed because otherwise it gets in my mouth when I’m trying to eat, but other than that? You do you, beard. I’m not getting in the way.
(And, okay, I hadn’t showered or really done much of anything when I took that. I usually don’t look that bad. But still.)
(This is utterly male privilege, by the way. I know nothing about grooming at all, despite having had some sort of beard for all but maybe two weeks since I went to college. I just let the shit completely go. And no one said boo the entire time. Let a woman go two days without brushing her hair and try to show up at work, I dare you.)
There is also the variant I call the Full Pappy. This is the Full Pappy:
To achieve the proper Full Pappy, you take your bushy-ass unkempt-ass beard and brush it against the grain for a couple of minutes until it looks even more ridiculous. Now, I never went out of the house looking like this, but still.
Anyway. It’s mid-March and the beard is starting to get annoying when I’m trying to sleep (that’s a thing!) so it was time for it to go. So now, because, again: white dude, I look like this:
I was in the bathroom killing off my cheeks and trying to figure out how in the fuck I wanted to shape this raggedy monster and it suddenly occured to me that I really like the feeling of the extended length on my chin, as I am an inverterate, unapologetic beard-stroker, and so I just stopped shearing the sides of the damn thing at a 45 degree angle and left all the length. So now I maybe look a little younger and a touch more in control of my face but I also look like I should be wearing a jean vest covered in patches and carrying some sort of flag.
I dunno. We’ll give it a couple of days and see if I decide to trim it back to something civilized or if it’s gonna be halfway to my nipples by summertime.