Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

OFF THE RAILS

black and white person feeling smiling

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BROUGHT TO YOU IN ALL-CAPS VISION

HOW DARE THEY TRY TO IMPEACH ME, THEY SHOULD BE IMPEACHED THEMSELVES, SURE IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE BUT THAT’S JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T INHABIT THE REALITY THAT I DO, NO ONE ELSE IS REAL AND I WILL NEVER DIE, AND IF I WANT TO DYE MY HAIR ORANGE EVEN THOUGH I DREAMED IT WAS PURPLE, PILE IT ON MY HEAD, AND WEAR WHITE SHORTS IN PUBLIC, THAT IS ALL PERFECT BECAUSE I AM A VERY STABLE GENIUS, NOT JUST STABLE BUT VERY STABLE, BECAUSE I SAID SO, AND WHO SHOULD YOU TRUST MORE THAN ME, BECAUSE ALL THE SO-CALLED EXPERTS HAVE BEEN LYING TO YOU FOR YEARS, BUT I’M NOT LYING BECAUSE I SAID SO, WATCH OUT OR I WILL GIVE YOU A NICKNAME WITH THE WORD “LIL” OR “LIDDLE” IN IT, BECAUSE ONLY I AM BIG, AND SURE I JUST WON ON A TECHNICALITY BUT THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE IT WAS RIGGED, BECAUSE IF IT WASN’T RIGGED, EVERYONE WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR ME, BECAUSE I SAID SO AND I HAVE THE BEST RATINGS, AND RATINGS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. THAT AND MONEY, AND I HAVE THE MOST OF THAT, TOO. I AM NOT INSANE.

(Disclaimer: The above is satire (albeit heavy-handed). No one needs to come check on me.

VOTE FOR ME, I’M THE OUTSIDER!

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Alcohol Is Writing For Me

three persons wearing unicorn costumes

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And why not? It has for many before me. And I want to know what’s the problem with the unicorn in the background here.

THIS JUST IN

Fiona & Archer are now 8. She gave Rom a “note from the Cersive {sp} Fairy–I can write cersive!” and signed her name. Rom said the fairy hadn’t spelled “cursive” correctly, and Fiona said, “Well, she’s only 5!” She then admitted that there is, in fact, no cursive fairy. I see a career in politics in her future. Archer somehow managed to restrain himself from questioning belief in said fairy. If he had done so, it would have been in a sentence beginning, “Actually…”

ANOTHER DAY, NO ALCOHOL THIS TIME

See, I’m versatile.

My brother-in-law told me a story that reminded me of the old days of talking to the reality-challenged on 911. A neighbor in his apartment building came to him and informed him that:

  1. The out-of-state license plates on the apartment building’s lot belonged to people who were here to spy on him,
  2. These people hacked into his mother’s phone in an attempt to get at him,
  3. What appear to be stars in the sky are actually drones spying on him.

He must be very important indeed.

COMING UP ON THEATER OF CRUELTY

Well, eventually. An account of Nick at the Fall Festival, although he’s now claiming he will attempt to avoid me. Probably because I’ve avoided posting about him at the festival a couple of previous years. And also because I had the barbs removed from his tail.

CAMPAIGN UPDATE

Vote for me! I know no one in foreign countries, so I can’t sell out the U.S. for political gain! Although, if I did, I would echo the guy I overheard at McDonald’s who said, “That whistleblower is the one they should go after!”

Also vote for me if you’re tired of politicians waving their arms around.

MY TRUE SUPERPOWER

On Friday the 13th Eve this month (namely, Thursday the 12th), I had finished my lunch at McD’s and took my tray to the trash can. Having dumped it, I turned and somehow got my foot caught in the legs of a baby chair, which somehow pulled my foot out from under me, and I fell–luckily on a well-padded area (of me, not the floor, although maybe the floor should be padded).. Sure, the baby chairs were lined up neatly against the wall, but hey, they were gray and the wall was brown, so…I was amused to note the following day that they’d put a yellow CAUTION cone next to them. The following day, it had been removed. How soon we forget.

I clicked on frequently-used words to tag this post with. I wanted “politics,” but they kept giving me “apologies” instead. Hmm.

Oranges: Bigarade, Cologne & Concentree

mandarin fruit

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…by Jean-Claude Ellena, whom we’ve already met in connection with Angeliques sous la Pluie.

Top notes: bitter orange (that’s what “bigarade” means), cardamom, pink pepper

Base notes: hay, cedar

I’m not burningly interested in citrus scents. I don’t dislike them; they just bore me. However, I was surprised by my enthusiasm for this one.

That being said, there still isn’t a lot to say about it. If you like oranges, you’ll like it; if not, not. The main note is mouthwatering, juicy orange, accented by greenness and a bit of wood, like the leaves and twigs of the orange tree. (Not its flower, fortunately, since I am a long-time hater of orange blossom.) I found it surprisingly lovely–for some reason, “lovely” is the exact word that came to mind when I smelled it.

This is, technically, two different scents–Cologne Bigarade and Bigarade Concentree–but it’s a difference of intensity more than anything. When the line put together gift samplers of their scents for Christmas awhile back, they put Cologne B. in the women’s sampler, and B. Concentree in the men’s, which seems about right, since the more concentrated version smells a bit earthier, and the lighter one more delicate.

Since these reviews are All About Me…

–Personality: Not really me. It is, after all, orange, and therefore irrepressibly cheerful and sunny, even though the green/wood notes provide a bit of shade.

–Comfort level: No problem. Even the Concentree is basically a light scent, just not as light as the Cologne.

–Preferences: Like I said, lovely, and I was surprised by how much I like it, but basically, I don’t want to smell like oranges.

Rating: 5 out of 5, nevertheless.

 

I’ll Try Not to Whine

clear water drops

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This photo has nothing to do with anything, but came up when I typed in “crystal” and I liked it. Yes, I am comfortably ensconced in the old format again.

Commercial for some hotel: “You won’t just walk down stairs. You’ll walk down stairs covered in Swarovski crystals.” Why, exactly?

Pumpkin pie has finally arrived at McDonald’s! As anyone can tell you, I am easily pleased. The box it comes in says, “Packed with all the flavor it can hold.” Well, isn’t everything?

Note on toilet paper package: “Join the conversation on Facebook!” Why, exactly?

A Halloween makeup display at Walgreen’s offered options: skeleton,  a female version of the Joker (what the world has been crying out for, I guess), a Serpent Goddess (or Serpent Princess–I know I should keep my goddesses and my princesses straight, since the scope of their powers would differ greatly, but I can’t be bothered) (yes, I’m qualified to be a Serpent Whatever, but it would require buying something), and a Venomous Vamp, male and female versions. Rom said one can’t be a venomous vampire. It does seem unfair, but life is unfair. Why, exactly?

HOW TO BE A BEYOTCH AT MCDONALD’S

I was behind a very-put-together-looking woman who insisted on a refund because they were out of French dressing, EVEN THOUGH she accepted a different type of dressing and ate her (free) salad anyway.

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF HUMAN NATURE

Remember a couple posts ago, where I noted that someone leaving an old blanket at the bus stop led to everyone treating it as a waste dump? Sure you do. Well, there’s another stop–the first one after Walmart, if you must know–that has no nearby trash can, and trash was starting to pile up. But then someone thought, Hey, this Walmart shopping cart I helped myself to can be used as a trash receptacle! And now everyone puts their stuff there, instead of dropping it on the ground. Of course, that means it’s not available to use as a shopping cart, but there’s always more where that came from. So now there are 2 shopping carts there.

I guess that story wasn’t really has uplifting as I’d hoped.

Why Is Everything So Complicated?

male bugs illness disease

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Well, WordPress just “added functionality,” which I clicked on by mistake, and no one will be available to help me undo it until the 22nd (which happens to be the date I started in Dispatch, so it’s all ironic and stuff), so now I am stuck.

This “functionality” will supposedly enable me to insert media content from all over the Internet! At any point! Which I don’t want to do! I just want to select pictures from their library of free stuff, which has now been removed, because I’m supposedly browsing the entire Internet for pictures, many of which are not free. I hate everyone.

Anyway, (sorry if there’s a gap here, since I was experimenting to see if I could find the free library, but no such luck), I was originally going to write about:

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TICKS

You say you don’t want to know anything about them? Well, Rom and I have had to learn, so too bad. I am here to inform.

DID YOU KNOW?

–Ticks wait for hosts by hanging around on leaves, etc., and holding out their first pair of legs to grab on. This behavior is called “questing.” Isn’t that cute? Aren’t we all on a quest of some kind?

–They can survive through cold winters! We will never be free of them!

–But they prefer heat and humidity, so we in this part of the world will really never be free of them.

–They prefer to stay on you for hours or days, but “are usually removed quickly by humans, to prevent the spread of disease.” This makes it sound as if we’d be OK with them sucking our blood for hours or days, as long as there was no risk of disease. I don’t know about you, but I object to that.

Females stay on you (see above), while males eat little, preferring to gather around an available female. It’s a party on your body!

COSMO ASTROLOGY UPDATE

OK, prompts keep appearing randomly asking asking if I want something to be boldface or italic, but since I can’t figure out why or what triggers them, it’s, you know, random. I wish they had a Version For Autistic People Who Were Born Before the Computer Revolution and, As a Result, Don’t Know What They’re Doing.

Anyway, I don’t actually believe in astrology, but I find it fun, and Cosmo hit it on the proverbial head (or nail) for me in What Your Sign Should Be For Halloween: Taurus is too cheap to spend money on something you’re only going to wear once. So put together a vampire look with your sexiest LBD (they err in assuming I have more than one little black dress, {actually, I don’t have any}, although I do own 7 pairs of knit pants in various shades of brown), and the makeup you already own, just more of it. That is exactly what I do every year. Black eyeshadow and red lipstick, here I come!

OK, there’s no telling what this post is going to look like, but here goes.

UPDATE: I DETECTED A TYPO, SO I HIT “EDIT,” AND ONE OF THE OPTIONS WAS “GO BACK TO CLASSIC EDITOR,” SO WE’RE ALL SAFE NOW. I wept with joy. No, I didn’t. As you were.

 

 

Nick Gets a Tune-up

macro photography of brown weevil on green leaf

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I got a letter today from the Police Department addressed to “Handler of Beast #1307.” “Don’t they know I’m retired?” I grumbled.

“It has come to our attention that the said beast still bears the official colors of the Police Department. Since this animal has been decommissioned, we request that you remove said colors.”

I called Nick in from the kitchen, where he was stealing cat food.

“Do you know anything about this?”

“About what?! You know I can’t read. Well, read well. I can’t read well.” He turned his undeniably navy-blue back on me.

“You’re not supposed to have police coloration anymore. People might get confused and expect you to do police work.”

“Well, suppose I just refuse to do it, and we’ll see how that goes.”

“I am responsible for you, and–why have you been scratching so much?”

“Dunno. Allergic to responsibility, probably.”

“No, it’s just that one spot. Let me see–”

“Can’t I even itch in peace?!”

One of his scales was slightly raised. I pried up as much as I dared. “Just what I thought. You’ve got a tick under there.” His armor-plating repels most pests, but makes them hard to remove if they do burrow in. “You’re going to the vet.”

We are, you mean. I’m not going there alone.”

“Of course not. You can’t pay the bill.”

Since we can’t use the Police Department vet anymore, I took him to my own, who was impressed to behold him.

“We don’t see many of these. This is a fine specimen.” Nick preened. “Have you bred him?”

“Well, he…he sort of breeds himself.” Nick preened even more.

“Yes, since they mate for life, initial mate selection is extremely important. So what seems to be the problem?” I pointed the bad spot out.

“Ah, yes. I can remove that. It should cause minimal discomfort–

Nick immediately became agitated. “Then why mention the possibility?”

“–but of course he’ll have to be sedated.”

“No, I’m not going to let you–” Nick began, but I immediately grabbed him by the ears. It’s a risky move, since I have to bypass the terrible teeth, but his ears are sensitive, and it makes him disinclined to struggle further.

The vet started preparing the injection. “He’s going to stick a needle in me!” Nick said, sounding uncharacteristically squeaky.

“Don’t move or I’ll rip your ears off,” I murmured, so the vet couldn’t hear. “Don’t think I won’t.”

“You’ll do nothing of the kind,” he answered between his teeth, likewise under his breath. These pleasantries kept us occupied until the vet could slide the needle beneath a scale on his throat, and we both eased him down as he collapsed.

It was short work for the vet to remove the affected scale, pry the tick out, daub the wound with ointment, and reattach the scale. Since Nick was still snoring–OK, more like gentle hissing–the vet said, “I assume you want me to readjust his colors?”

“Can you do that?”

“Oh, yes. It’s actually a simple procedure, but you need the right tools. Then he’ll revert to his original color.”

“Which is…?”

He shrugged. “We’ll just have to find out.”

The “special tool” appeared to be a simple pair of pliers. The vet began tugging on the barbs at the end of Nick’s tail.

“Are you actually going to pull those spines out?”

“Oh, yes. It’s just a minor adjustment. They’re mostly decorative, anyway.”

He pulled–hard–causing the patient to whimper in his sleep. I stroked his ear soothingly, and he quieted. Some half-dozen spines were removed in this way.

“Now, we wait…” the vet said. So we did, until the dark blue slowly faded, and became the dull green of one of those army-green grasshoppers.

Nick started to stir. “Why is my tail sore–What?!” He looked at himself with dismay, then turned to me. “You planted that tick on me so you could get me in here to do this. I just know it.”

“No, the tick was there before I got the letter, remember?”

“And good thing it’s only a tick,” the vet said. “Sometimes they get infested with weevils, and then their scales fall off.”

“You know,” Nick said musingly, “I think I like this green better anyway.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rage for Incremental Change

photo of guy fawkes mask on backpack

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I am tired of the above guy and his smirk, but there’s a paucity of photos available when you type in “army backpack” (mostly boring people hiking), so you’ll just have to put up with him.

THE STUFF YOU SEE ON THE BUS

…which is beginning to be what this blog seems to be about, but AT ANY RATE….

There was a guy in front of me on the bus whose giant army backpack (camo, bedroll on the top, aluminum pots and pans clattering on the sides) bore a patch that said:

“U.S. SPECIAL FORCES

TERRORIST HUNTING PERMIT  NO. 911-01–T.M.

NO BAG LIMIT, TAGGING NOT NECESSARY

2001-2050”

Let’s just analyze this, because that’s what we do.

  1. I bet every one of these patches sold said “Permit # 911-01.” Because, 9/11, September 11, 2001, get it?
  2. So it expires in 2050? Good thing we got that terrorist thing knocked down by then.
  3. Oddly, I felt not safer because this guy was on the bus, but less safe.
  4. The fact that it said T.M. (trademark) led me to believe this was not, in fact, actual Army issue, a fact my actual Army source confirmed by his disdain.

My thanks, as always, to the people who keep checking to see if I’m still posting. Am I? It’s so hard to tell. (I hear Rom’s voice saying, “You have an obligation to your readers.”)

Oh, and the title is Stephen Colbert’s comment on the moderate Democratic candidates. VOTE FOR ME, I’M NON-THREATENING! Right, Nick? “I thought you were going to write a story about me,” he says pitifully.

P.S. I am eagerly awaiting the appearance of pumpkin pie at McDonald’s. It can’t be long now! McDonald’s–another thing I share with Trump.

 

 

Tyranny, Mutation, and Stuff

black and white dartboard

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The above picture was chosen for its superficial resemblance to the cover of a favorite Blue Oyster Cult album, Tyranny and Mutation.

And speaking of which, let’s add to the Radical Centrist Manifesto:

–You are not entitled to free healthcare.

–You are, however, entitled to affordable healthcare.

“Radical Centrism–Our Motto: ‘See How Easy That Was?'”

VOTE FOR ME! I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, BUT NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!

SOCIAL PAGE: PARTY AT NICK’S PLACE

Nick had a birthday party for his two youngest cubs, who turned six and one respectively, on adjacent days. It featured the usual elements:

–Me Bringing My Own medication, a can of which will make me actually engage in conversation eventually,

–two palatial inflatable structures, with your choice of Water or Not

–a child getting on top of one structure, endangering his companions within

–a small child refusing to get out of the bottom of the water slide, annoying his companions at the top who now can’t slide down

–Nick engaging in reckless adrenaline-fueled activity in spite of a recent injury

–me going inside to decompress, only to be cornered by a dog and a small child

–adults discussing whatever surgery they’ve recently received

–Nick and his mate wrestling on the ground, trying to smear cake on each other. I was told this courtship ritual occurs at every birthday party, but I had not been privileged to see it previously. Actually, I didn’t see it this time, either, since the table was in the way. I only witnessed the combatants arising, duly covered with cake. I think Nick ended up taking several showers that day, for one reason or another.

–Cheetos! And cake, which I cut the frosting off of. I ate too much of both. But it was my first meal of the day, after all.

Speaking of Cheetos (that should have been my post title right there), I’ve noticed a cultural oddity: In my youth, the standard Cheeto type was those puffy styrofoam-like cylinders. Then they introduced an option: “Baked to a delicate crunch, or quick-fried to a crackly crunch!” (Or “indelicate crunch,” if you will.) It took a long time for the latter to catch on–my preference for them was considered a bit eccentric–but now they are the default Cheeto. (Disclaimer: My market research for this consists mainly in noting which kind is the standard-issue at Subway, which may not be a representative sampling, but probably is.)

Good thing I didn’t become a college professor (which I considered becoming until my Great American Novel was published), or the world would have been treated to “Cultural Shifts in Cheeto Consumption Over Time.” Publish or perish!

 

 

 

 

 

Impossible Advertising

turned on gray laptop computer

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–“Coors Light–the official beer of drinking in the shower.” At bottom of screen depicting this–“Do Not Attempt.”

On base of scented candle–“Do not breathe candle fumes.”

On educational TV show: “Archaeology has only discovered 10% of civilizations.” Rom: “How can they know that?”

I did not whine in a timely manner about Halloween candy appearing on the shelves at CVS, but it’s there, and has been for about a week.

Someday I hope to discover which employee at Walgreen’s drives a black Cadillac, since it’s on the lot every day.

GOD SAVE US FROM THEOLOGY ON THE BUS

I have reached a stage in life where I can’t be sure, if a guy lets me get on the bus ahead of him, if it’s because I’m a woman or because I have some gray hair (although I got my first gray hair when I was 27). But I can be sure if it’s a man my own age. He was wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt. Because it’s m-m-my generation. (Apologies to both bands.)

A woman got on who works at Taco Bell on Lloyd, and started telling the bus driver and her friend about this weird sect she’d just heard of, who believe only 130,000 people will be saved. (It’s actually 144,000–it’s from Revelation, the 12 tribes of Israel times twelve, BUT WE WON’T GET INTO THAT HERE). She said, “I’m Christian myself, but I’m Catholic.” When she got off the bus, she said she was going to pray for the two women she’d been talking to, and the bus driver’s friend said, “Don’t pray for me–I know who you’ll be praying to!” The Taco Bell lady got off the bus, and the bus driver’s friend said, “She’ll be praying to the wrong person!” The bus driver said, “Yes. That is idolatry.” For the record, Catholics do not, in fact, pray to the devil.

I went to get stamps, and intended to get T. Rex stamps in honor of Trexa, but they had none, so I had to settle for dragon stamps, in dubious honor of Nick.

 

 

 

“Write” Prompt, My Stay in a Desperate World

close up of hand over white background

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Well, not quite, but sort of.

I observed National Lipstick Day on July 29 with Watermelon Pink (sure, it’s just gloss, but I’M A BOOMER AND LIPSTICK INTIMIDATES ME), and I am now observing National Beer Day with, yeah, you guessed it.

Sign on side of a van: “Elevators and Escalators–We’re Dedicated to People Flow.” Said van was on the lot of the liquor store, so I’m guessing some people would be flowing soon.

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD, AGAIN

There is nothing like returning to an area you used to be intimately familiar with after a span of some years. I went back to the vicinity of my work, to do some errands at nearby businesses. I walked through that area for some 25 years on my way to work. In the 2 years since I retired, it has become Not Anyone’s Job to pull weeds out of the sidewalks in front of the houses. And the yards themselves are overgrown with weeds. It’s the first sign of civilization falling, people!

However, Wesselman’s grocery was absolutely unchanged since, oh, 1963. (Disclaimer: The writer of this post was not in this town in 1963. I was either in Chicago or L.A. Big radio markets, you understand. Or you do when your stepfather is a DJ.)  It’s kind of eerie. For one thing, they never got the memo that We Use Body Wash Now, and not a bottle of it can be found. Old-fashioned bar soap can still be had, however.

IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, AND I DON’T FEEL FINE.

I am absurdly thrilled with the gel-ink pens someone got me for my retirement party, 2 YEARS AGO. It magically makes my handwriting legible. Thanks, Unknown Person!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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