Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Crisis in Progress

Fall Festival Follies

ancient animal antique architecture

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“None of these dragon stamps looks like me,” Nick observes testily, craning his snaky neck over my shoulder. “This one is breathing fire, which I can’t do, thanks to you–”

“–I thought you’d given up on that idea,” I observe. He twitches an ear, as if dislodging my comment from it.

“…And this one looks like a snake or a salamander, or something…”

“I think they call that kind a worm.”

“And this is that Chinese kind of dragon. I’m not sure those things even exist. Now, this one is–well, breathing water or something, in the ocean. I don’t know, I suppose that could be me, if I decided to go sink ships or something…”

“Why are you always talking about destroying things? Get your claws off my shoulder.”

He does so–slowly, no doubt pretending it was his own idea–and lies down in front of me, with his back to me. But his ears are canted back, listening for any word or movement. After several moments of silence…

“I’m ignoring you,” he says. Several more moments…”I’m still ignoring you.” The ears quiver. Then, since he requires constant attention–

“You’re ignoring me back! I knew it! No fair!”

“I don’t think you know what fairness means. Do you want me to tell you a story?”

“When do I ever not want that?”

“OK, then. Let’s pretend that you were a man…”

“I don’t know, that might be boring.”

“…at the Fall Festival.”

“Do I get to destroy anything? Can I eat all the cotton candy?”

NICK AND ME AT THE FESTIVAL THIS YEAR

I had been avoiding the Fall Festival, because 89 degrees did not seem like fall. (Oh, it might be climate-change fall, but that doesn’t exist, right?) Besides, I’m nervous in crowds, so I usually grab something from the booths right next to St Joe, on the edge nearest my house. But Nick texted me that he had ride tickets, and I had been wanting to ride the Scrambler again, which they don’t let anyone do alone. Which is rather odd, since it doesn’t even turn you upside down. If it did, I wouldn’t be on it.

I tracked down the aforementioned Nick, with his mate and his kids, Things One, Two and Three. (Thing Three is still a baby, and had no particular interest in the festival.) Nick and his kids had just been on some ride that simulates weightlessness. “So did you like it?” I asked him. “Of course not! It was horrible!” Rather odd to hear from an Army helicopter pilot. “I’m still nauseous,” he grumbled, but it availed him not, because he had two kids who wanted to go on rides, and most of the rides they wanted required an adult as well. So he kept muttering under his breath, “Hurry up, before Dad dies,” and such.

I want you to take note of the NOBILITY of this man, making their cart on the ride SPIN FASTER because it made Thing Two squeal with glee, even though, once it was over, Nick was biting his lip to keep from throwing up.

And he proved himself a GENTLEMAN as well, because, even in his weakened state, he accompanied me on the Scrambler, letting me step up onto his hands (I plan on having him spread his coat over puddles for me to walk on in the future), and carefully positioning himself on the outside, so he was the one who got bumped into as the ride turned. (I was trying not to bump into him, but I wasn’t trying very hard.) I also told him the story of a Scrambler ride in my past, where my strapless top popped off, and the guy I was with pretended not to notice. Nick said that, if that happened now, it would be a “desperate bid for attention,” which reminded me why I hate him. Nevertheless, he is now my official Scrambler Partner, and if he throws up, he’ll be on the outside and it won’t get on me.

BUT OF COURSE, I MADE ALL THAT UP. HERE’S WHAT REALLY HAPPENED…

I went to the festival with Nick, who insisted on flying up to the top of a building, and then swooped down onto a clown and ate all his cotton candy.

 

Mmmm…Mitsouko by Guerlain

clouds countryside dawn dusk

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Mitsouko haunts me. This is the only perfume that brought tears to my eyes the first time I smelled it, and the only one I wear in my dreams. (I dream about shopping for others, but if I apply perfume in a dream, it’s always Mitsouko.)

Part of its spell for me is obvious–its basic building blocks of peach, rose, and oakmoss are my favorite notes. But Mitsy is so much more than the sum of its parts, and in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s like faith–if you understand it, no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t, no explanation is possible. It was created in 1919, and thus qualifies as unfashionable now, yet it transcends fashion. It smells like peaches, roses, and forest floor, but liking all those smells doesn’t guarantee you’ll like it. It smells intensely autumnal, but is glorious on a summer day (especially in the dampness which is such a hallmark of the climate here). It’s an introverted scent with its dusky woodsiness, yet it’s dramatic. Maybe melodramatic. Introverted yet intense.

It’s not a crowd-pleaser in this “Eww, someone’s wearing perfume” era. But it’s a masterpiece nevertheless, and ever the more.

IN NON-OLFACTORY-WORK-OF-ART-RELATED NEWS…

On pumpkin-pie box at McDonald’s–“Packed with all the flavor it could possibly hold.” Well, isn’t that true of everything? Apparently not, since one of their meal combos was described as “Just the right amount of yum.” Because yum isn’t something you want too much of.

I am in postage-stamp heaven. Currently available are–not only rose stamps but DRAGON stamps! (“Who uses stamps anymore?” Nick yawns, but he is just out-of-sorts because his picture is not on any of them. Also because I haven’t made him my running mate yet.)

HOW TO PROTECT THEM FROM THEMSELVES?

Cat Esmerelda fell off the top of the door, leaving claw marks on the way down.

Cat Glamour will eat any bits of kitty litter scattered on the floor.

This seems to me emblematic of our current political situation.

VOTE FOR ME. I’M THE OUTSIDER AND I WILL MAKE ALL THESE POLITICAL ADS STOP.

Art-Deco Garden at Dusk: Goutal Heure Exquise

close up of leaf

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When exploring dusky scents, how could one omit “Exquisite Hour”? Iris, rose, and sandalwood (the Goutal website used to call it a rose scent with iris, and now thinks it’s an iris scent with rose, I suspect to distinguish it from the many other rose perfumes they have) — I love these cool, powdery notes. This one is indeed super-powdery (but not baby-powdery) and super-sophisticated. The sandalwood adds an incensey quality, but no smokiness–it’s like an unburnt incense stick. If I had to sum this up in a few words, I’d say “floral incense powder.” Glorious. It does not smell like it was created in 1984, but I refuse to call any fragrance introduced during my lifetime “retro.” Just like a ’65 Mustang cannot be an “antique” car.

IN OTHER NEWS

The franchise owner at McDonald’s was there yesterday to see how his order kiosks were doing. This turned into Customers Explaining Why They Don’t Use the Kiosk. “I just think it’s a better customer experience with human contact,” one woman said. Another said, “I suppose it could speed up order time and cut down on the length of the line, but…” as she stood in said line. Score one for the human race in their Rage Against the Machine! ROBOTS WILL NOT REPLACE US. OK, ROBOTS WILL ONLY REPLACE US IF WE LET THEM. Many people don’t know that, as Trump likes to say.

RAGE AGAINST ANOTHER MACHINE

I was trying to get an insurance question answered (“Why did I have to pay $800 for something you told me beforehand was free?”), but I hadn’t been on the site in so long, I’d forgotten my password. Typed my information into the “Forgot Password?” fields, was told “Unable to retrieve password. Your information is not on file on this site.” OK, I thought, maybe I never set up an account here in the first place. But the “Register New Account” screen said, “Unable to create new account. Your information is already on file on this site.” Umm…

NOW A ROBOT IS STALKING ME

“This message is to confirm your upcoming appointment. In the interests of speaking to you personally, we will contact you again in several hours about this matter.” My phone rang several hours later, and I hastily answered it, since they wanted to speak to me personally. But it was the same machine as before! I should have known it was a trick–no actual person from a doctor’s office would be calling me on Sunday.

SPEAKING OF STALKERS

“But, but,” Nick is stammering, “I thought your next post was going to be about…you know…” The Fall Festival, right.

FESTIVAL FOLLIES

Walgreen’s still has their “RESTROOMS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.” signs up. But they can’t really  be sorry, since the Festival is over. I suspect they thought, “Hey, let’s leave it up, so we won’t have to keep unlocking the bathroom door for people.” I’m guessing the manager doesn’t come in until Monday. CVS, on the other hand, has removed the “NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS. PLEASE DON’T ASK.” sign.  (I find “Please Don’t Ask” almost endearing.) Of course, they don’t have to let people in to theirs.

 

 

 

 

Tragedy Averted

 

 

black and white short coated cat

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Note: the above photo is not Ez, but gives you an idea of what she looks like.

About 10 days ago, Cat Esmerelda (my dual-purpose spirit and service animal) started to jump onto my clothes cabinet via Rom’s chest of drawers (or, as we say in this part of the world, “chester drawers”). However, I’d left a pair of socks on the chester drawers, because I intended to wear that pair the following day. Ez freaked out upon seeing the unfamiliar object, aborted her leap, and fell across the arm of the bedroom chair. Since she got up and walked away, I thought nothing more of it. When she started huddling in the corner behind my laundry basket, and stopped grooming herself, we thought, Well, maybe she’s sore and bruised from the fall. It wasn’t until she started refusing all food but yogurt, and actually gagging when we offered her other food, that we thought, She’s getting worse, not better. Rom took her to the vet, who ordered blood work and diagnosed kidney damage. She was given subcutaneous fluids. Arrangements were made to admit her for intravenous fluids, but this proved not to be necessary.

I will never forget her jumping onto the bed (barely clearing it) to be with me, laying her head wearily in my hand, and looking at me with dull eyes, as if to say, “I want your face to be the last thing I see.” Rom offered an alternative translation of her look–“Fix it!” Of course, she probably meant both of those things. I’ll also never forget a few days later, when she joyfully bounded onto the bed, ramming her head against me repeatedly (with her icy and no-longer dehydrated nose), and looked at me with shining eyes–“You fixed it, just like I asked!” The credit actually goes to Rom for taking her to the vet, because I myself was sick that week. (Google “shigella,” and prepare to be grossed out.)

OTHER AND NON-TRAGIC NEWS

McDonald’s is finally through with the remodeling. Rom would approve of their removal of the multi-color wall panels, although they replaced it with the words “Two all-beef patties with a bunch of other crap and a sesame-seed bun” (I have never been a fan of the Big Mac and can’t remember its attributes) in multi-colors, which I can hardly regard as an improvement. They also are attempting to get people to use the self-service kiosks by greatly reducing the size of the counter where you order from an actual person, but I ain’t falling for it. “But, World Leader,” you ask, “being autistic, wouldn’t you welcome not having to deal with an actual person?” Yes, in theory, but in actuality, I oppose anything that might enable them to lay people off. INSERT MOMENT OF SILENCE HERE FOR THE TWO PEOPLE THE CITY WAS ABLE TO LAY OFF WHEN THEY AUTOMATED THE TIME CLOCK, WHOM I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN. One of the main reasons I retired as soon as I could was that they were out to automate as much as they could, and the job was being pared down to just answering phones, which was my least favorite part of it. Yes, it is all about me. But you knew that.

OVERDUE WALGREEN’S NEWS

Of course, they have their Halloween stuff out in abundance. I was looking over the makeup, trying to decide which would be the most flattering with my coloring. Then I remembered–it’s Halloween, it isn’t supposed to be flattering. I will probably just do what I always do, and wear stuff I already have, just more of it.

They also have the first Christmas stuff out, but I suspect it’s just stuff that didn’t sell last Christmas, so I will not blame them for it.

will, however, blame whatever company (and I don’t remember which one it was, SO THERE) said on TV that their product and/or service would enable the customer to “family greatly.” Hey, it’s all random anyway.

MCDONALD’S HAS PUMPKIN PIES, AND IT’S ALL PUMPKIN, NOT THAT PUMPKIN “CREME” STUFF THEY FOISTED ON US LAST YEAR!!

Creepy and Eerie: Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist

black and white gray grey smooth

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Continuing our exploration of misty fragrances in general, and iris perfumes in particular, how could we omit one named Iris Silver Mist?

Serge Lutens may be the most esteemed genius perfumer currently working. His scents are considered works of art, but they are often compared to pictures you admire in a museum, but wouldn’t necessarily want hanging in your home. ISM is no exception.

Various reviewers have said that Iris Silver Mist should be worn by:

  1. Cathy’s ghost in Wuthering Heights
  2. a Star Wars stormtrooper
  3. a Terminator cyborg
  4. a character in Frank Herbert’s Dune
  5. the White Witch of Narnia
  6. various Harry Potter characters–a. Dumbledore, b. a Dementor, or c. Lord Voldemort himself (yes, Nick, I said his name)

So you can see that this perfume takes a lot of living up to.

Most reviewers say that it smells like roots and dirt in the opening. I don’t get that, probably because I’m not a gardener. What I get is a well-blended but spare mix of iris, incense, and sandalwood, cold and extremely austere. I love it, but the thing about it is, well, the strange effect it has on my emotions. An effect I find hard to explain.

OK, the analogy just occurred to me. It’s like Clive Barker’s writing. Barker is a horror writer beyond compare, and I own a lot of his stuff, but I don’t think I’ve read any of it more than once. It just creeps me out too much. The stuff in it is utterly implausible (and Barker himself doesn’t actually believe in any of that occult nonsense), but I feel like if I read it too much, I would believe in it. And then I’d go insane.

How could a perfume, as coldly beautiful as it is, have a similar effect? Who knows? I just know that Iris Silver Mist is the opposite of a comfort scent for me–a discomfort scent, if you will. It makes me nervous. It’s what my evil twin would wear. Fittingly, Rom hates it more than any other perfume I’ve tried. He literally ran out the door the first time he smelled it.

Let’s stop talking about it now, shall we?

STUFF OTHER THAN IRIS SILVER MIST

Taco John’s has finally removed their one wobbly table with the two (2) wobbly chairs. Yes, I know this because I without-fail always picked that one to sit at.

Ad at Taco John’s–“Potato Ole’s. Call them crispy, golden slices of heaven.” OK, if you insist.

Another ad (yes, Taco John’s is all I did today, other than buy some body wash, after a lengthy discussion of the coupon policies of CVS)–“Upgrade your drink to medium or large, scan the code on the cup, and enter to win food, Cabela’s gear, or a Yellowstone adventure trip!” Hint: if the Cabela’s gear I hope to win (not that I will, having no smartphone to scan with) is just clothes, I’m not the right candidate for a Yellowstone adventure trip. Or any other adventure trip, really. OK, or any adventure whatsoever.

EXCEPT, OF COURSE…

…the adventure that is the Presidency! Vote for me! I’m the Outsider! And yet a Radical Centrist, at the same time! How do I manage it?

 

 

 

Evansville Is Invaded

adult arrival beard boss

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I have it on good authority that 911 dispatch received a “strict dress code” on 2nd shift yesterday for Donald Trump’s visit. Did they really think he’d stop by? I was itching to ask my source (well, they weren’t just “my” source) exactly what the dress code was, but “Send it to me so I can make fun of it” didn’t seem like a tactful request. (But if you do, I will.)

I did, however, run into the Assistant Director of Dispatch at Walgreen’s (a reader since this miserable thing first started as e-mail in 1990!), and she informed me that there were two (2) designated dispatchers, one for the motorcade and one for the venue itself. This is overtime I’d have snapped up, in my best chinos and polo shirt (my “uniform” whenever I was Representing the Department). It would be interesting to find out how much of the job I’ve retained, but not interesting enough to risk people’s lives for it.

Instead of exciting 911 stuff, I will now regale you with…

MY DEALINGS WITH MY CELL PROVIDER

  1. Log onto their website to find out why I can’t post pictures to Facebook.
  2. See an ad for upgrading my phone for $20 off. I was planning to do so anyway, so I agreed.
  3.  (the computer or WordPress or somebody is automatically numbering and indenting these things; how cool is that?) New phone arrives.
  4. Call to get service “swapped,” as they call it, to new device. Am told this will take anywhere from half an hour to 3 days.
  5. It doesn’t happen, but, instead, says “Error 02.”
  6. Call back, get a different person, who says the original person (who acted like it was, not her first day on the job, but maybe her first week) hadn’t really made this happen.
  7. Put process in motion. All goes well, until it says “Error 09.”
  8. Still another person tells me “Error 09” means no one actually knows what the problem is, and I should turn it off, then turn it back on. (I should have guessed this, from my very first experience with computers, with Fire Department training in the late 80’s.)
  9. New phone is fine, until I call my voicemail, and am told “We are unable to authenticate your voicemail.” Give up out of weariness.
  10. Call voicemail again later in the day, and it works fine and pretends nothing has happened.
  11. Check the mail today, and they have sent me yet another phone which I didn’t ask for.
  12.  Call and speak to a 4th person, who says they will send me a mailing label to send the superfluous phone back.
  13. How do I get it to stop numbering stuff now?
  14. I will tell you how the whole return-label thing goes. (“Oh, please do,” Nick says, making me itch to slap him.)

OK, apparently you just need to hit the return key twice. Would you rather hear about how my latest doctor’s visit went?

SPEAKING OF DRESS CODES…

BUT ACTUALLY, I’M SNEAKING IN MY DOCTOR’S VISIT ANYWAY!

As Trexa and I were waiting for the elevator, the guy who was waiting for it with us was wearing a t-shirt that said, “I Like My Butt Rubbed and My Pork Pulled,” and justified this with a picture of barbecue.

My doctor’s visit involved discussing an embarrassing solution for my embarrassing problem–but at least there IS a solution! Let’s see if I can refrain from telling you about it.

Trexa and I saw a woman who’d pulled off at Claremont & Dreier (where other drivers can’t see you until you’re almost on them) so she could squeeze a zit on her chin.

 

 

Vintage Jewelry: Balenciaga Le Dix

gold pearl and rose gold flower necklace

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Continuing our exploration of “dusky” perfumes, Le Dix was recommended to me as a powdery fragrance with a violet aspect. I don’t get violet, and I get only a bit of powder. What I do get is the scent of my mother’s jewelry box in the late 50’s–one of my earliest memories.

I did not come up with this comparison–I read it in Tessture’s review of this scent on makeupalley–but when I read that review, it brought this forgotten memory vividly to mind. I would paw through my mother’s jewelry as she got ready to go out, struck by the smell of old metal–not exactly pleasant, but certainly intriguing. At this stage in her life, it would have been mostly cheap costume jewelry–my favorite piece was a necklace of some type of seeds dyed bright green, to give you an example.

Le Dix begins with a whoosh of aldehydes, a la Chanel No. 5. I have never been able to wear No. 5–it smells like urine on plastic to me–and LD is blessedly free of that, but it does start out very “perfumey.” (Ironically, this effect, which seems so old-fashioned now, was considered ultra-modern when No. 5 came out in 1921, and was thoroughly mainstream by the time Le Dix came out in 1947.) Then come a few powdery dried-up flowers, then quite a nice sandalwood, which forms the main body of the fragrance. But that tinge of metal persists from start to finish, which makes the scent very evocative to me (the jewel-box effect) but also very dated (all the jewelry in this box is so retro, it could only be worn ironically). So LD is certainly interesting to sniff, but not something I’m interested in wearing.

Le Dix was officially discontinued to make way for the new Balenciaga Paris (which I have not tried), but bottles can still be found online.

FURTHER NOTES ON COSMO

I did give Cosmopolitan magazine a certain amount of slack (though not much, as you can tell by the previous post) for slang-they-think-is-hip. I used to read it quite a bit when I was still their target audience (well, their target audience was never exactly a bookworm in glasses and band t-shirts, but anyway…), and then they thought it was cool to use a lot of French (“be a soupcon more self-protective”) and to italicize everything. However, I must take issue with their use of the term “inspo.” (“So what’s your inspo for this?”) Of course, no one these days has time to say the whole thing, so “inspo” will have to fill in until we come up with the “inspiration” emoji. After all, we already have a “sarcasm” emoji, which has an expression I’ve seen on Nick’s face countless times.

OTHER THINGS I TAKE ISSUE WITH

It is close enough to the election for the political memes to start popping up on Facebook. Be advised that I ruthlessly delete all posts from either extreme. So, whether you think that Christianity is what’s wrong with this country, or you think that the truth can only be found on Fox and Breitbart, out upon you! A pox on both your houses! I feel a bit guilty (“Aren’t I avoiding all viewpoints that don’t agree with mine, and thus perpetuating the problem?”), but there seems to be no one out there who does agree with me, so it’s a guilt I can live with.  Signed, A Radical Centrist.

Lilting & Joyous

close up of pink baby booties

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Note: The above is what came up when I searched photos for “booty.”

“Lilting and joyous” is how reader T.R. described goldfinches, and said “Just like you!” For the record, Rom said the bird that most resembles me is the mockingbird. That’s what I really wanted to illustrate this post with, but no luck.

DISASSEMBLING COSMO

I bought the copy of Cosmo I mentioned in the last post, and promptly forgot it on the bus. “Well, I don’t care enough to pay another $5 for another one,” I announced to Rom. Yes, I bought it the next day. Because stupid persistence had been activated.

They are having a Steamy Story contest. I could win $10,000 and a private consultation with a best-selling romance author! Imagine how surprised she’ll be when she learns I’m not in my 20’s! The rules state that the story should “have a badass heroine, take place in the present time, and have a happy-ever-after ending.” I can see the book cover now–“Bad Ass! Her ass was bad!”

But on to asses, bad or otherwise. You are now entering…BOOTY MANIA! Involving “glitter-dipped bums poppin’ on social.” Was it scratchy glitter? Other observations: “Juicy backsides refuse to quit.” “The cultural viewfinder is focused on the rear view.” “By 2014, it seemed perfectly normal for fitness stars to popularize butt selfies on Instagram.” It doesn’t seem perfectly normal to me. Of course, I’m not on Instagram. “Donks are rarely censored on social media, so they can proliferate unchecked.” How often must I say it–JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD. Let your butt proliferate unchecked, that is. “Fitfluencers readily admit that butt photos get the most likes.” Fitfluencers? Really? “Today’s vast buttscape includes both smaller and fuller figures, but experts warn that striving for an ultra-ripe peach could become a harmful endeavor. Embrace your butt–without going overboard.” It’s hard to embrace your butt.

THE BEST BOOTY LOOT

Yes, there are products. Exfoliant! I have to say, I’ve never thought of exfoliating that area. Butt masks! “These are safe to wear under undies for up to an hour a day.” I want to know what’s in them that makes them unsafe to wear longer. Butt cream! “Shimmery skin and an addictive smell hook fans of this balm.” Write your own punch line. Don’t make me do it all.

OTHER COVER STORIES

“V-Time is the New Me Time. How to Give Your Lady Parts Some TLC.”

“5 Signs He’s Just Using You.” Sign #1–if he strikes up a conversation after he sees you reading about booties and lady parts in Cosmo.

“We want to hear how V-Time is the new Me Time!” you’re clamoring at this point. Well, it involves, you guessed it, products. Exfoliant! Is there anything that can’t be exfoliated? “Body and V-Zone Soap.” Um, I was already doing that. “Spray Bay Bay–support and hydrate your Queen V.” I was unaware of my royal status, but I’m all for supporting it. Oil! “Illuminates, for a happy, healthy glow below!” So now it’s glowing? Are we supposed to use it for a reading light?

MORE-TASTEFUL PRODUCT NEWS

The other day, the bus driver said, “You always smell so beautiful!” (Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, described by one Fragrantica member as “the poster child for melodramatic dark rose scents”), and sadly said she used to wear Victoria’s Secret Divine, which has been discontinued. I did a bit of research, and the next time I see her, I’m going to recommend Bulgari’s Omnia Crystalline.

NOTE: When I write perfume reviews, I always title the post accordingly, so anyone doing a search for that fragrance can find it. But I also tack on additional content after the review. So anyone who’s been skipping posts when they see it’s a perfume review (Nick stops in the midst of slinking away) may want to think twice. (“I don’t even think once,” Nick says, flicking his scaly tail.) Now I have to go dip my butt in glitter.

 

Domination, Donald Trump, Donuts

bread food sandwich wood

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…is not what this post is about, but a list of my frequently-used tags (do I write a lot about those things? really?) on the side of my page showed them, and the juxtaposition amused me. Like my music collection, in which “Catholic Communion Classics” is next to “More Cowbell.”

Disclaimer: Nick paid for this post with dinner and a movie, and is, I’m sure, already fretting because his name is not in the title. He will have to settle for a subtitle:

DINNER AND THE MOVIES WITH NICK

And not even a very good subtitle.

Nick may think that he can change from his human to his beast-shape at will, but that actually occurs only when will it, which does not always work to his advantage. So it was in the form of a man that he came to pick me up Sunday evening. I had invited myself along to see The Big Lebowski, his favorite movie, basically because I wanted to know what the big deal was. And Nick was too much of a gentleman to say, “No, you can’t come, you’ll spoil the mood.”

Our dinner party also consisted of Nick’s wife J. (I’d add her middle initial, but I don’t know it), their children Thing One and Thing Two, and Nick’s friend Officer A. B. Nick’s wife was eight months and three weeks pregnant with Thing Three, and I kept thinking, What if she goes into labor right here? Well, there are two police officers here, I guess they’d know what to do. Actually, most men know more about childbirth than I do.

If J. had gone into labor, it would be because there were two birthday parties going on at Hacienda that night, and employees are required to come to the table and clap and sing, and they were VERY LOUD. I was about ready to run out the door myself.

Nick, whose idea of a good time apparently involves trying to make me eat food I dislike, kept asking me why I don’t like salsa, to the point of insisting that this post include the explanation. I don’t know why, since I told him why right then and there. It’s because it looks like vomit. This also applies to gazpacho (I once actually saw someone vomit into gazpacho, and it looked no different afterwards than it had before), and re-fried beans, which look more like cat vomit. If anyone now feels they’ll never eat any of those again, they can just blame Nick, which is a good policy anyway. I tried dipping my chips into ranch dressing, when that option was made available, but it seemed pointless.

Before the food arrived and gave me something to do (since I don’t talk much), I did the usual social-event self-monitoring–OK, now you’ve looked at that person long enough, it’s time to look at someone else, or they’ll think you’re staring at them. If Nick has the keen peripheral vision he’d like me to think he has, he would have noticed that I did stare at him quite a bit (he was sitting next to me), and assumed I was magnetized by his good looks. I was actually wondering if a light-colored fleck on his cheek was a chip crumb or a gray hair in his beard. Oh well, by now it’s either washed off in the shower, or not. I’ll have to remember to check next time.

Thing Two, The Destroyer of Crayons, got free french fries because his food was late. Thing One, The Gazer at Screens, wasn’t sure this was fair.

Nick protected me from an ant on my plate, even though he had sore fingers from being bitten by a folding chair earlier. See, there is an officer there when you need one. Even if he lost a fight with a folding chair.

J. and the kids went home (because this movie is soooo not suitable for children), and the rest of us headed for the theater.

I didn’t really think I’d like The Big Lebowski, but I actually did. It is dopey, but a lot of intelligence went into its making. Did you know:

–“Directing” Jeff Bridges consisted of him going up to the director before each scene and saying, “Did the Dude burn one before this happens?” Since the answer was usually yes, he would get ready by rubbing his eyes until they were bloodshot.

–A lot of the Dude’s distinctive clothes were actually Bridges’ own. Sure, it all looks like it came from Goodwill, but you know the Dude would be selective about his Goodwill shopping.

–The dream sequences were lit to make them bright and sharp, the Dude’s apartment was made seedy-looking (insofar as a bungalow in Los Angeles can be made so) with grittier lighting, and the bridge between the two was the lighting they used for the L.A. skyline shots, which used the orangey-type streetlights rather than the cold bluish kind. So it, to paraphrase the Dude, tied the look together.

–Walter’s repeated admonitions to Donny to “shut the fack up” was an inside joke about Steve Buscemi’s character in Fargo, who never stopped talking.

Nick and I shared a tub of popcorn (which I hadn’t had since I retired). Once we reached into the tub at the same time and our hands touched. Yikes, cooties!!!!!

Oh, I also liked (most of) the music, especially “Dead Flowers” at the end, although it would have been better by the Stones themselves. So, all in all, thanks be to Nick, who, I am reasonably sure, would not forget to put roses on my grave.

 

Creepy Eating at Taco Bell

portrait of young woman with umbrella

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

No, the person in the picture is not me, although I can see why you’d think so.

I decided to eat at Taco Bell yesterday, because I wanted the one thing they could offer me–a chicken quesadilla (the one at Taco John’s has stuff in it I don’t like that looks like boogers).

Since it was raining, the helpful bus driver actually drove me across the street to get me nearer to the desired location. Taco Bell on St Joe (as opposed to the evil one on Lloyd which removed its attendant KFC–why would you want Taco Bell if you could get KFC?) has two entrances, one from the parking lot and one from the street. I, naturally, chose the latter. Walked in the door, and the manager LOCKED THE DOOR AFTER ME. This was disconcerting, especially since I was the only customer, but I was determined to have that quesadilla. (Doesn’t that sound like a relative of the armadilla?) The manager then walked over and locked the other door also. I thought, What is this? Some kind of Stephen King deal? The horrific ARMADILLA will burst through the floor tiles and devour me? I thought of demanding to be let out at once, but I was determined to have that quesadilla. I didn’t bolt it down in a panic, either. I had to shrug my shoulders at several puzzled customers who tried the door and couldn’t understand why I was in there eating alone, as if I’d reserved the place. Then another employee asked the manager, “Why is it locked?” and she said something about “they’ll track across the lobby.” So she was planning to NOT LET ANYBODY IN until it stopped raining. She abandoned this plan when she saw that everyone who tried the door did not just go through the drive-through instead, as she’d been hoping, but left, no doubt to go to Taco John’s in the next block, which was letting people track across their classy CARPETED lobby.

BUT NOW…

Are we alone now? Is Mark Zuckerberg gone? Good. Today marks the end of Facebook automatically notifying my tiny helpless group of Facebook friends every time I write a new blog post. Facebook has decided that a blog is a Commercial Enterprise, rather than a personal one. This is news to me, since I make no money off it. They say it’s in the interest of not annoying people with unwanted commercial content, which could, as it happens, be allowed to annoy people anyway if I gave Facebook some money. “If you’re a public figure, it’s to your advantage to turn your Profile into a Page!” they say. I ask you–am I a public figure?

Anyway, I am just going to manually link my blog posts to my Facebook feed until they make me stop that, too. I am encouraged by the fact that, since I resumed illustrating the blog, Facebook has started labeling it as a “photo” instead of a “post.” They allow photos, right?

A USEFUL DISTINCTION

I dreamed that the government set up totalitarian rule, and I tried to warn Nick about it, but they seized my papers and computer. Maybe Nick was actually IN ON IT.

Just remember: armed henchmen sent by the public sector are “jackbooted thugs;” if sent by the private sector, they are “hired goons.”

–Donald Trump sends someone to seize my stuff = jackbooted thugs.

–Mark Zuckerberg sends someone to seize my stuff = hired goons.

KNOW YOUR OPPRESSOR!

I AM NOT INSANE.

 

 

 

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