Crumpled Paper
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Everyone makes their call on where they feel they are in life and what they’ve accomplished.

For some? Everything falls apart and goes downhill after 21. Who am I to argue? Aside from qualifying for Medicare, there isn’t much in the way of milestones after that magical number. It’s the peak of life with the world lying open at a person’s feet.

Others savor the age at which they retire — whatever number that happens to be. Without the restrictions of a job, they find the freedom they haven’t enjoyed since childhood. Oh, sure, bills still arrive at the door…

Hell’s Kitchen is a perfect example of a trash TV favorite
Image by Ralph Klein from Pixabay

“You cook the scallops in a non-stick pan, so they don’t stick. That’s why it’s called fucking non-stick!”

It doesn’t matter how many times you watch the clip; there’s no stopping the snorts of laughter. Is it the intonation of Gordon Ramsay’s line? Or is it the basic common sense getting hammered into a stranger? Maybe it’s nothing more than plain old trash TV delivering on a promise of entertainment. However you look at it, the formula works: you bust out in giggles.

Behind the famous insults, backbiting behavior, and trash talk, though, you can start to tease out lessons…

Firefly on the middle couch cushion (Terrible photo credits go to me)
Firefly on the Middle Couch Cushion (Photo Credits to Me, Unfortunately)

“Now you’ve done it. Look at his face!”

I covered my mouth to hide the smile, knowing a hysterical laugh hovered close behind. Never mind the warning alarm warming up in my thoughts; the tableau in front of me demanded insane mirth: A guy looking at me with “are you serious?” painted across his face, while my tabby glared daggers of indignation into the back of his head.

Swallowing a giggle, I crossed my arms. “If you expect to get back on his good side, you’d better apologize.”

“Um, I wanted to sit next to you.”

I smiled. “Yes, but…

Original print by Jim Nunes (Poor photography skills are mine alone)
Original Print by Jim Nunes (Poor Photography Skills By Me)

“It spoke to me. I could see the emotion. Don’t you?”

I knew the response Mom wanted. I even felt my better self writing a proper sentence in the back of my mind. Too bad my genius took too long perfecting the answer, allowing my usual snark to reach my mouth first. “It reminds me of geometry class. That was high school, which was full of traumatic emotions. So, yeah, I guess I see it.”

Cue Mom’s famous eye roll and sigh. (You know the one; every parent masters the motion and trots it out for such moments) I abandoned…

Flaring pain
Photo by bill emrich from Pexels

Twelve layers of jagged cement piled on top of my leg. Every exposed corner and snapped piece of rebar dug through the flesh to burrow into the bones underneath. While my nerves screamed warnings to my brain, I tried to distract myself by running down the list of weight experiments MythBusters completed with femurs. How many pounds did the average femur endure before snapping? (Oh, right, those were synthetic analogs) Not that it mattered as a live electric current found the exposed rebar.

Sounds like the beginning of an action sequence from a movie — or, at the very least…

Are we seeing the beginning of The Handmaid’s Tale?
Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

When The Handmaid’s Tale first appeared on television, I paid no attention — aside from a “glancing listen” to co-workers' conversations discussing the latest episodes. Having landed in the Bible Belt for high school, the book didn’t appear on my reading list. And I never encountered it in my wanderings through the bookstore. And while everyone around me felt the series worthy of conversation, I prided myself on avoiding the cattle rush of mainstream popularity.

So while the premise sounded intriguing, I let years slide past. Until recently, I didn’t pick up the phenomenon — when I admitted COVID-19 had…

Traffic-strewn highways resemble the neural pathways of fibromylagia patients
Photo by Ian Beckley from Pexels

How many times have you uttered the words, “You’re getting on my last nerve?” The phrase tends to get your point across, right? (Okay, so if someone’s pushed those final buttons, it doesn’t, but most people get the drift) Have you ever considered what the words MEAN, though? Where IS that final nerve located?

For people with fibromyalgia, this is a daily examination. As individual neurons scream for our brain’s attention (most of the time for no good reason), we grit our teeth and start to navigate the long, insane, complicated highway that is the human body’s nervous system. An…

Invisible illnesses often demand cries for help
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

There are many medical diagnoses a doctor can pronounce that cause your heart to drop out of your chest. They paralyze your brain and throw you onto the double pathway of grief and denial. Doctors have a special tone of voice when they deliver the news, and their faces adopt a stereotypical expression — one actors and actresses mimic in movies and television. And, if you’re lucky, they take your hand and move on with a plan for your treatment. Because even when they use the dreaded c-word, there’s usually something up their sleeve. …

“Is the wait time for our vet appointment over yet?”

Veterinary wait times have always been a point of contention. I worked to soothe ruffled feathers when I worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician, patiently explaining why people found themselves sitting in the lobby for two hours. I saw the anger and frustration first-hand, and I knew there was little I could do; demand eclipsed supply. Now, with the restrictions of COVID-19 protocols, those wait times have soared, increasing frustrations. …

2020: Would NOT Recommend

If I had even a penny for every time I heard or read some variation of, “2020 strikes again,” I could fund a time machine to skip the year entirely. For me, it’s an ironic concept. I’m not apart from the occurrences of this year, but, in the past, I’ve held different superstitions. Before the cesspool that became 2020, I held a firm belief that odd-numbered years were the real villains of the calendar. Then the bottom fell out, and I had to reexamine my world view.

But is 2020 the demon we’re making it out to be? Or are…

Andria Kennedy

Freelance science writer, meanderer of thoughts, and complete animal nut. My life is governed by a tiny demon (or possibly a flerken - still running tests).

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