Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Crisis in Progress

Mardi Gras at McDonald’s

baking blueberry breakfast delicious

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

Since Mardi Gras is called Pancake Tuesday in, I think, England, I went to McDonald’s to have some. But the real Mardi Gras King today was undoubtedly the person who left their cardboard crown from Burger King under the bus seat today, amidst a pile of scattered candy.

I am wearing my two strands of Mardi Gras beads. Disclaimer (since Nick always fantasizes about some risque explanation): I found one on the sidewalk by the bus stop after the Mardi Gras parade had gone by one year, and the other was awarded me for eating at Hacienda after my dentist appointment another year, since my dentist’s office is across the street from them. Because my life is exciting.

I AM THE OUTSIDER AND I WILL NOT SHUT UP

Since I am a declared presidential candidate (no Launching an Exploratory Committee for me!), I am as entitled to pontificate as any of the others. I will never stop reminding you that–

–Mexico was going to pay for the wall, hence, no need to keep asking us to do it, and

–the tax cuts to individuals given in tax “reform” will expire, the ones for corporations will not.

Perhaps I will state those two things at the end of every post, like Cicero’s “Carthago delenda est.” (“And by the way, Carthage must be destroyed.”)

And if you say, “But you’re not a serious candidate!”–I’m not a serious anything.

Well, I had a couple World Leader Edicts in mind, to keep in practice for when I win the election. I was even sitting on the bus thinking, I’ve got to write a blog post just to get these on the record. Now that the time has come, I cannot remember a single one. And I haven’t even started my Mardi Gras drinking.

ON ANOTHER NOTE

There is no segue for this, so I won’t even try. We are mourning the loss of my mother-in-law, Amazing Grace. I’m glad I got to see her at her 90th birthday party in January. It’s funny how the little things can affect you–I just remembered, No more birthday and anniversary cards from her, and teared up a bit. Her funeral will be tomorrow, which is, as it happens, Ash Wednesday. Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

 

 

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More Campaign Promises & Bonus Graffiti Analysis

take it easy painted road

Photo by Reafon Gates on Pexels.com

Is it too much to expect a graffiti artist to know how we use quotation marks?

At any rate, Nick is doing two weeks in Weevilville. No, this is not a sentence (although he should surely be sentenced to two weeks of something…“House arrest! House arrest!” he says, jumping up and down). He is, rather, learning things he will need to know when I become President and he becomes my enforcer, I mean, my chief of staff. Yeah, that’s what I mean. So here is a post for his encouragement. (“Please, no perfume review…”)

MORE POSITIVE PRESCRIPTIONS

If I remember correctly (I may not, but far be it from me to go back and check), my previous campaign promises were mostly things I would not do. Things I will  do… (Hey! Periods look the same in italic or otherwise!)

–I will not (here I go again, going back on my promises already) call anyone “enemies of the people.” I’m more concerned with enemies of me.

–the Rose Garden at the White House will be off-limits to everyone, since I will be curled up in it when the weather’s nice. (I may have mentioned this already. Let’s call it an Encore Presentation.)

–New World Leader Edict: If you pick up an item at a store, walk around shopping and then decide you don’t want that item any more, you must TAKE IT BACK AND REPLACE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT, not just put it down where you were when you decided you didn’t want it, while telling yourself, “It’s their job to put it back.” I figure this measure will get me the retail-employee vote.

EXPECT A BUNCH MORE WORLD LEADER EDICTS IF I WIN THE ELECTION.

PROMISED BONUS FEATURE

The unisex restroom at the convenience store down the street from my house is a rich trove of graffiti. Currently available for viewing:

–“III%”, surrounded by a circle of stars. Maybe Rom did this, since he is the III of his kind.

–“CSX Railroad” with a drawing of same. OK, railroad tracks are pretty easy to draw, and the train yard is immediately adjacent. Still, I’m kinda surprised that railroad graffiti is a thing. Well, except for the kind on train cars themselves. That’s a thing if ever there was one.

–An ongoing discussion of who sucks, with countering argument of who is a snitch. This conversation is regularly corrected, with names being crossed out and replaced with others.

–“Hug’s, Not Drug’s”- OK, we don’t know how to use apostrophes either. Such are the consequences of drug use.

Most of these observations are presented in fat black felt-tip, but in feeble ballpoint pen, there is “I THOUGHT I PASSED OUT.” I would have thought you’d have been more certain one way or the other. Must have been the drug’s.

 

The Great Debate

person dropping paper on box

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{Credit for this post, or blame as it may be, goes to my former co-worker [well, they’re all former now, aren’t they?] L.L. [if I once gave you a cute nickname for blogging purposes, I no longer remember it, sorry–it went in the trash folder with the NIMS regulations], who informed me that a regular 911 caller who is, let’s say, reality-challenged, called in and announced he is running for President.}

MODERATOR L.L.: We welcome you to the 3rd floor employee lounge of the Safety Building in the Civic Center for tonight’s debate. Our candidates are, representing The Rent Is Too Damn High party, P.G. {so called because that’s what he calls himself when he calls 911–they really are his initials, so he’s not reality-challenged in that respect}, and, representing the Radical Centrist party, P.J. {so called because those are my initials, and I was actually called that as a child. But now I have put away childish things, supposedly.}

BOTH CANDIDATES WALK TO THEIR RESPECTIVE PODIA. AN AWKWARD SILENCE ENSUES.

P.G. “It’s me, P.G., checking in!”

MOD L.L.  “Indeed. P.J., do you have a response to that?”

P.J. “Um, was there a check-in process? I didn’t see a form or anything.”

L.L. “No, you’re fine. Well, let’s start with a bit of information. Have either of you chosen your vice-presidential running mates yet?”

P.J. “Yes. I have chosen a certain Nick–”

P.G. “Hey, doesn’t that guy turn into a dragon or something?”

P.J. {blushing} “I believe my opponent is off his medication.”

NICK {jumping up and waving his arms} “Hey! I never said I wanted to be Vice President!”

P.J. “Objection overruled.”

L.L. “No one’s on trial here.”

P.J. {glaring at Nick} “Well, someone should be.”

P.G. “I was on trial once.”

L.L. “P.G., have you chosen a running mate yet?”

P.G. “I have, Your Honor. I’ve narrowed it down to two fine ladies–Ada Redd {not her real name, because I’m trying to stay out of trouble}, who was in the circus once before she was conceived and who is killed every day, and Mrs. T. {whose full name I no longer remember–it’s in the trash folder with the S.O.P. for suburban fire move-ups, mercifully}, who smells entrails in her basement.”

L.L. “And do those individuals actually exist? I believe the Constitution requires that they do.”

P.G. “They do, Your Majesty.”

L.L. “Very well. Now let’s–”

P.G. “Does anyone else smell a gas leak?”

L.L. “No, I don’t believe–”

P.G. “I’m serious. I detect a strong odor of natural gas. You need to send the fire department out here.”

P.J. {nervously eyeing the exits} I think it’s just this perfume I’m sampling.

AUDIENCE: “The fire department! Let’s go out and watch them!”

Chaos ensues. No one is trampled, fortunately. 

MY APOLOGIES TO L.L., AND TO EVERYONE WHO SIGNED ON HERE EXPECTING A PERFUME REVIEW, AND, WELL, EVERYONE, REALLY. EXCEPT NICK.

 

 

 

The Four Last Things

close up photography of black animal

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

This photo came up when I searched for “shoulders.” One would think I had searched for “rat’s ass.”

The Four Last Things are death, judgement, heaven, and hell. But instead of those, I offer:

MY TWO MOST NOTABLE SHOULDER EXERCISES

I visited a physical therapist for my frozen shoulder, at the ominously-named Comprehensive Pain Center.

Least-favorite exercise: You know when someone twists your arm up behind your back? Well, I have to do that to myself, with the aid of a towel. Who knew it was actually good for you? (Now Nick wants to know if he can be my personal trainer. Only if you pay me.)

Most-favorite: The one where I just lie down. Yes, I just have to lie down, and force myself to relax. Of course, it has to be in a specific position, again with the aid of a towel. And of course, I have to be forced  to relax.

AND TWO SIGNS OF THE END TIMES ON YOUTUBE

“It makes you feel five minutes closer to death” is a phrase I once read in a review, I don’t remember of what. It’s become Rom’s and my standard way of saying something is a complete waste of time. So, two things that will make you feel five (or however many) minutes closer to death:

  1. Videos of people unwrapping packages.
  2. Videos of people playing video games.

Raw Material

cash dollars hands money

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ve been suffering from a dearth of material since I retired, but I realized I have, at the moment, two past events and two future events to recount, PLUS a segue between the two categories, so here goes–counterfeit money + a 90th birthday party + physical therapy + perfume review introduction (you thought I’d forgotten about those, didn’t you?).

ADVENTURES IN COUNTERFEITING

I found a $20 bill on the floor at the Dollar General. If I’d seen someone drop it, I’d have returned it to them, but no one was around, so I snagged it.

It was crumply and had weird markings on it, but no more so than some other bills I’ve had. But I presented it at McDonald’s, and they knew it was wrong right away. “We’ll have to keep this, if you don’t mind,” the employee told me, but of course they’d have kept it whether I minded or not. Easy come, easy go, I said, and explained how I’d gotten hold of it. I also explained this to the nice officer who came to pick it up.

I tell this story belatedly because Nick, who was the first person I told it to after Rom, felt compelled to post it on Facebook.

Perhaps this is what my fortune cookie meant when it said I’d inherit some money this year, but I didn’t exactly inherit it, unless someone had fallen down dead in the dollar store and dropped it. I am also picturing the conversation if I had seen it fall out of someone’s hand–“Excuse me, you dropped this,” “No, never mind, it’s fake anyway.”

SOCIAL PAGE

I attended my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday party yesterday. An impressive number of people braved the cold and snow to be there. (In the interests of accuracy, I must note that she will not actually turn 90 until Wednesday.) It is the job of Trexa and myself at these gatherings to sit in the corner and mutter about how loud everyone else is. I am betting this was the loudest 90th birthday party I’ll ever attend, and possibly the loudest anyone will ever attend. Unfortunately, the corner we were sitting in was right in front of the card/gift table, and people kept handing me things and asking me to put them on the table behind me. However, I’ve developed a condition called “frozen shoulder,” and I can’t really reach behind me. So I’d hand the items to Trexa, and she’d put them on the table. Yes, it takes two people to put a birthday card in a basket.

Now this is where the segue comes in. You might remember my dislocated finger 2 years ago, and the 5 months of therapy that followed. Well, I start physical therapy for this shoulder tomorrow, and it should be good for a few weeks of whining at least.

Also coming up at some point–reviews of the entire Frederic Malle perfume line. They will be widely interspersed, though, so you can gather your strength between reviews.

 

 

Vampire Cat

white and black cat lying on floor

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Disclaimer: Photograph is an approximation of the cat in question.

Sometimes living with small predators can make you think twice. Yesterday Rom cut his hand just-short-of-needing-stitches badly while woodcarving, and came in dripping blood on the floor. I started wiping it up, with Cat Esmerelda beside me, watching . Then Rom asked me to help him bandage it in the bathroom. When I came back to the kitchen, the remaining drops of blood were gone. So we have a vampire cat. It’s like a vampire bat, but without wings.

“Vampire Cat, Vampire Cat

Does whatever a vampire does

Can she fly through the air?

She cannot, she’s a cat.”

Or, “Vampire Cat, doo doo doo doo doo doo…” (And why has there been no word of a Baby Shark movie? Sure, there’s not much to work with, but that’s never stopped Hollywood before.)

The weird thing is, Ez seems like the least bloodthirsty cat we’ve had. She doesn’t bite or scratch, even in play. She’s just a little scavenger.

FURTHER THOUGHTS ON MY FORTHCOMING INHERITANCE

The fortune said an “unexpected” amount of money. Well, any amount would be unexpected at this point. Also, it would be hard to unexpectedly inherit money “in bed,” unless you’re Melania Trump. Speaking of which, Donald said he prefers to call it a “strike” rather than a “shutdown.” Well, I prefer to call it a tantrum. So there.

Nick is not doing well at sucking up, thinking that I am actually endeared by his insolence.

He was tickled to find out (hey, maybe he should be tickled! How much money would that be worth, hmm?) that my username in the International Perfume Community is CobraRose. Hey, the purpose of the Internet is to give yourself a cool nickname.

Brought To You By the Voices In My Head

person holding string lights photo

Photo by David Cassolato on Pexels.com

…because I had a dream recently in which someone asked me to post again. Yes, that’s sad. No, I am not going to Make a Resolution To Post More Often, because you’ve heard it all before.

BUT YOU NEED TO KNOW–

–that the self-service kiosks at McDonald’s are full of poop bacteria! POOP!! Yet another reason not to use them. Of course, that was a very small study. Perhaps the customers on the West Side of Evansville are cleaner people. And while we’re on the subject, when the study came out saying that restroom hand dryers just blow poop bacteria (or “poopteria,” as scientists call it) back onto your hands, I expected to see them taken out of restaurants immediately, but so far I have been disappointed.

Speaking of germs, I am currently battling a cold. Well, perhaps “battling” is too strong a word, as it’s a very mild cold. Mild enough that I did not bother telling Nick, who took me to Canton Inn for my Christmas present. Actually, first he took me to the National Guard Armory, because he left his wallet in his office. He didn’t let me see his office, though.

A WORLD’S FIRST!!

After our meal, I said, “Time to find out about our futures in our fortune cookies!”

“Our future?” Nick said nervously. “You know you have to add ‘in bed’ to those.”

“Our respective futures, then,” I said.

I

got

an

actual

fortune.

“You will inherit an unexpected amount of money within the year.”

“Should I start sucking up, then?” said Nick, knowing I have no children (that I know of).

Notice they did not say a large amount of money. And they did say I’d inherit it, not win the lottery or find it on the street. Maybe Nick will die and leave me some. I bet he didn’t think of that. Whatever it is, it will happen within the year. I don’t know if that’s the calendar year or a year from today, but at this point they’re almost the same. I’ll keep you posted on my inheritance progress.

DID YOU KNOW?

Fortune cookie messages are not written by Chinese soothsayers, but by hack writers like me.

 

 

Fall Festival Follies

ancient animal antique architecture

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“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

Photo by Tim Savage on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

 

 

 

 

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