Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Theater of Cruelty

Inflation Will Get Us All

First off, my thanks to whoever read, um, 37 previous posts on the 13th.

The inflation I speak of is not the financial sort (that would be boring, though accurate), but creeping slippery-slopism in other areas.

FASHION INFLATION

An ad on Facebook said, “We’ve perfected the no-show sock!” I commented, “What’s wrong with socks, that you want no one to know you’re wearing them?” but went unanswered. Yes, I’m the only person who can’t start an argument on the Internet.

Once upon a time, no-show socks (we called them “footies”) were solely worn by women. Now they are routinely worn by men, including fashion icons like Nick. Socks have now become unmentionables, except for…wait for it…WITH SANDALS, BY MEN. This used to be the sole province of nerdy old men, but now young men do it too. I’m not sure what weather conditions would call for sandals with socks. Of course, I’ve asked the same question about wearing a sweatshirt with shorts, and got the answer, “Because it’s cute.” If you say so.

This isn’t inflation-related, but why do the same women who obsess about panty lines not care if their bra straps are showing?

I had another example of cultural inflation, about something other than fashion, but I can’t remember it. Perhaps I will do so in the future.

COSMO ASTROLOGY, 1983

Romantic Rendezvous for Scorpio–“On the deck of an ocean liner, during a storm at sea.” Really? “All hands on deck! Just work around these two people doin’ it!”

Ads & Products & Stuff, Oh My

ADVERTISING HALL OF SHAME

…award this week goes to some product (I don’t even remember it, so there!) that starts its commercial with “Are you bothered by chronic constipation?” with SHOTS OF PEOPLE SITTING ON THE TOILET.

Rom is urging me to tell on Head & Shoulders shampoo, not least because we’ve argued twice about it. The newest bottles have “#1 DERM RECO” emblazoned on them. Our disagreement was not because that’s not a stupid way of putting it–we are agreed on that score–but because he believes most people wouldn’t understand what they meant by it, and I disagree. Of course, I read women’s magazines, which routinely use “derm” for dermatologist, just like they use “gyno” for gynecologist. (And if you read these magazines, you get the idea these are the only two doctors their readers have.) Now that I think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard people actually using these terms in conversation.

Let’s just go ahead and ban this sort of thing, shall we? I haven’t issued a World Leader Edict in awhile.

BY THE POWER INVESTED IN ME, WHICH I HAD BEFORE STEPHEN COLBERT STARTED HIS FURRY-HAT ROUTINE, JUST CHECK MY ARCHIVES UNDER “WORLD LEADER PRETEND”…

Be they banned henceforth and forevermore:

–“mani,” “pedi,” and “mani/pedi”

–“vacay”

–“cardi” for cardigan

–“cami” for camisole

–“convo” for conversation

–not only “reco” for recommendation, but “recs” as well

–“deo” for deodorant

I’ll probably think of more as I go along.

–Sign on door of CVS–“Automatic Entrance. Doors Can Close Unexpectedly.” Is “Enter at your own risk” really good business practice?

–IHOP is deciding to focus on burgers? Why?

–Also, Dunkin’ Donuts deciding its name is now just “Dunkin'” is stupid.

I SUPPOSE YOU’RE WAITING FOR ME TO REVIEW THE NEW QUARTER POUNDERS

McDonald’s claims these are better than they previously were, and I agree. Keep in mind that I’ve never been a big Quarter Pounder fan, preferring the double cheeseburger or McDouble (which are not, by the way, the same thing, although the difference is just an additional slice of cheese on the double cheeseburger) (maybe you already knew that, but I had to have it explained to me). My main problem with Quarter Pounders now is that they have a more “charcoal” flavor. I never care for that–it tastes just plain burnt to me–but I know a lot of people like it.

I SOLVE A MYSTERY

For a long time, I’ve wondered how McDonald’s determines receipt numbers. Some people get, say, 398, while someone else there at the same time might get 277. But they always start with 2 or 3. I finally realized that it has to do with which register it was rung up on. #1 is never used for some reason, 2 and 3 are at the counter, so the people ordering inside always get those, and 4 is for the drive-through. I’m glad I figured that out. Wait a minute–maybe 1 is for the drive-through, and 4 is the one that’s never used. Oh well, I never have to deal with those, so they don’t affect me.

Did you know that Nick once said the military would be good for me? Of course, he said the same thing about prison.

 

I’m Gonna Complain

…inspired by a woman on the bus, who used “Well, I’m not gonna complain” to wrap up a lengthy complaint.

WAR ON WORDS UPDATE

Yes, it’s not just a war on parts of speech. I saw an ad for cottage cheese that said, “A Whole New Way To Cottage.” By which they meant, “to eat cottage cheese.” Because who has time to say two more words? We’re approaching point-and-grunt territory. Speaking of which, I saw a game on Facebook–“Write the name of a band using only emojis and let us guess who they are!” See, a means of communication shouldn’t make me have to guess what you mean. I don’t think the Sour Neon Crawlers could be represented solely by emojis.

Courtesy of Rom: “The erupting volcano in Guatemala is called Volcano del Fuego. As opposed to…?”

Also courtesy of Rom, things that have been forever ruined for me…

“Old Rugged Cross”= “On a hill far away stands an old Chevrolet”

“Ring of Fire” = “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine. I hold my pants up with a piece of twine.”

And the auto-parts place–“When the name is Napa, the quality’s crappa.”

LETTING US LOOSE IN SOCIETY

There is an autistic guy working at McDonald’s (I know this because he says so), who reminds me of myself at his age. He was telling a work buddy, “Yeah, I’ve tried applying for other jobs, but at the end of the interview I tell them, ‘I’m autistic, just so’s you know,’ and I never get a callback.” Oh, dear, as Nick would say. (This phrase inserted for the sake of Nick, whose eyes well with tears whenever a post of mine doesn’t mention him.) Now, I never applied for jobs at fast food places when I was his age and looking. They all knew me as that weird customer. Black biker t-shirts! Big rings! And other stuff that doesn’t go with glasses!

 

 

 

 

 

Stress-Free Writing Experience

…switched to “Distraction-free writing mode” since I remarked upon it yesterday. Apparently they realized they could not promise to eliminate stress, in spite of the feverish sort of enjoyment I usually derive from this. Once I actually start. Anyway, all it meant was they hid the menus at the side, as if I had been stressed out by them before. As if.

Almost done with the second can of Wicked Apple Ale, thanks to wicked Nick, not to mention his wicked wife, who first gave me some to try, though it was the non-wicked type. I soon hit the harder stuff, to quote Bob Dylan.

Today is my 31st anniversary, and Trexa took me and Rom to Logan’s Roadhouse. My steak (medium-rare) and sweet potato (without cinnamon) (they also had cinnamon apples, eww) was very good. Rom had a burger done “medium-well,” which I guess means gray and flavorless without being actually burnt. No wonder he put both ketchup and steak sauce on it.

You know Logan’s serves lots of aging boomers, because the soundtrack when we entered was Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the Guess Who (involving some of the same personnel–they must need the money). Speaking of which, I saw a headline recently–“Millennials Now the Most Frequent Caregivers.” Why? Did Gen-X’ers get tired of our shit?

I must take issue with Logan’s restroom. It had a fake distressed-concrete floor, with real puddles of water in 3 out of the 4 stalls. It made me feel like I’d been kidnapped and taken to the basement of an abandoned warehouse. Well, except that I had a toilet instead of a pail to go in. And they gave me steak. Anyway, why would you want your bathroom floor to look like it was crumbling away after the fall of civilization?

1968 vs. 1984

It was 1968 when I decided I was going to be a writer. I was sitting in 8th grade English class, we were studying 1984, and it struck me–I could do this! Then I immediately started worrying about whether I could do it or not. This was against the background of recently discovering that my lack of math aptitude precluded a career as a scientist. Actually, my 2nd thought after my epiphany was, And I wouldn’t necessarily have to go to college! I suspected even then that I wouldn’t be able to make it through. This did not keep me from trying 3 times.

 

I Remembered To Show Up

…belatedly.

OBSERVATIONAL HUMOR

…is what Rom says this is.

Brought to you courtesy of Nick, who showed up at my door on my birthday with a gift bag full of apple ale clenched in his teeth, before flying away. The bag was black and had scratchy glitter on it. I suspect this was deliberate. Have you noticed that such bags always have the scratchy glitter on one side, but are smooth on the other side, so that glitter doesn’t rub off on your clothes? Why do I always have to touch the glitter anyway, even though it makes me shudder?

I have had 2 cans of ale (my normal dose), which makes me want to spend money on something self-indulgent. Last year it was green-and-white gingham shorts, but I resisted the temptation. (I love green-and-white gingham, and plaid with a black background. These prints give me a feeling of security. They’re like the opposite of the Baby Corn and the Union Suit. Anyone remember those? Check the posts under Conspiracy News for more info.)Now am tempted by some Keds in Iris Shimmer, and an Almond Cucumber perfume sample, even though I tried the AC perfume before and it didn’t work for me. Almond and cucumber are my comfort notes (kind of like the Magic Prints noted above), so I keep thinking, But it has to work! Sometimes perfume just refuses to cooperate.

OK, I hit some key that keeps deleting stuff I didn’t intend, and I don’t know what I hit, so I can’t correct it, and that is why the above paragraph is incorrectly punctuated.

SONG LYRIC ANALYSIS–MOODY BLUES

“Schoolwork, one and one is two

But you know that now that’s just not true”

Yes, it is true. Your ingestion of LSD does not affect its veracity.

AND THE DOORS

Rom says that “When the Music’s Over–turn out the lights” makes him think, “turnip delight.” You’re welcome. I hope I can forget that before I listen to it again.

Today is the 2nd anniversary of Alien Finger, which is celebrating by being stiff and sore, which I suppose is appropriate. I keep reading about people who dislocate a finger, pop it right back in, and it’s good as new. What’s their secret? Youth, probably.

Today is Pentecost, which makes me think, “Here he comes to save the day! That means the Paraclete is on his way!”

Long ago, my cousin Becky (hurray for Facebook and cousin Linda, who helped me discover cousins on the Forbidden Side of the family!) asked me, “Do you miss working?” After long thought, I can say I sometimes miss having a job (a Purpose in Life and all that, though I never thought of 911 as that purpose), but I don’t miss having that job. As I think every time I go by Dispatch on the bus and think, Glad I’m not answering phones in there.

IT HAS TO BE CLASSY, IT HAS CARPET–TACO JOHN’S

I visited this fine establishment on Cinco de Mayo. Since it was Saturday, I had church, and couldn’t go to Hacienda and have a strawberry daiquiri, which would have been the logical thing to do. Although people might have been drunk at St Boniface Church before.

Taco John’s has been around since 1969, although Rom can’t remember it the year he graduated from high school. The identity of Taco John is mysterious. I imagine him being kind of like Johnny Appleseed.

TJ’s is the only carpeted fast-food place I know of. Like the Women’s Hospital, the addition of carpet adds a certain cachet. It’s almost like you’re at home, except that someone cut into your abdomen. At the hospital, I mean, not at Taco John’s.

My softshell taco was very good, especially since the clever person who assembled it added a tuck-and-fold technique that meant I didn’t have to balance it carefully to keep everything from falling out the end. That must have been a Cinco de Mayo special, though, since it has fallen out the end every other time I’ve been there.

Ah, Potato Ole’s. The old Mexican classic of disc-shaped Tater Tots sprinkled with Lawry’s seasoned salt. Cinco de Mayo marked the first time I have ever finished an order. And if you put cheese on them, you are gilding the lily. And if you put bacon bits, donut bites, icing, and chocolate on them and EAT THEM FOR DESSERT, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

TJ’s has a senior discount of 10%. I forgot to add discount information when I wrote about Taco Bell, but that was because I got 10% off there once, and the next time I requested it, the manager said they didn’t have a discount. Maybe I just looked too young.

LEGGINGS AS PANTS UPDATE

I am actually not against leggings as a lower half, as long as you wear a butt-covering top. But today I saw a woman who did wear a butt-covering top, but then knotted it up in the back, because she got dressed and thought, “Oh no! Now no one can see my butt!”

Speaking of entities trying to defy me, the roses in my yard, which normally bloom in mid-May, burst into glorious bloom simultaneously on THE DAY AFTER MY BIRTHDAY.

Spellcheck thinks “donut” is not a word. I don’t know what to tell it.

WordPress has an icon in the corner that says “Stress-Free Writing Experience.” I have to find out what that might be, but I am too stressed-out at the moment. As is Alien Finger.

 

 

Birthday in Hell…

…it being a day of record-breaking heat. Of course, Rom broke the heat record on the actual day he was born, so no contest there. I think that was 91, too, which is even more remarkable in late April.

Thanks to all the well-wishers who included praise for the blog. I had been considering terminating it–I’ve sometimes felt I have nothing to write about now that I’ve retired–but thanks to you, IT SHALL CONTINUE.

COSMO ASTROLOGY ’82

Fashion for Taurus: “Elegant pajamas in sun yellow and navy stripes are exotic at night, especially when coupled with bright pink sandals.” Because yellow and navy blue just don’t clash enough.

Fashion for Gemini: “Smashing combination: red halter under a gray flannel jacket worn with pale peanut-colored pants or tucked into orange walking shorts.” Again–did we just forget how to combine colors in the 80’s?

Fashion for Virgo: “Pair a hand-painted short wrap shirt in peanut-glazed cotton with a forest green tightly-pleated skirt.” What is with all this peanut stuff?

Decorating for Scorpio: “Invest in a hanging fireplace.” Now, I don’t know much about such things, but how do you hang a fireplace, exactly? Seems like it would catch something on fire.

ROM & I GO TO GERST HAUS

My only observations (it was an enjoyable afternoon, and I do better at complaining):

–If your cornbread has hot peppers in it, you should mention that fact on the menu. Otherwise it is just a cruel practical joke.

–This is the only establishment I’ve visited that had, over the relevant area, the word TOILETS. We know what you really want!

Poor Nick was saved from forgetting my birthday only by my tender mercies in telling him yesterday, since he hasn’t found the part on Facebook that tells you all the upcoming ones for the whole year.

 

 

The Content I Robbed You Of

ASTROLOGY FOR 1980

The Liberated You–Aries: “You’re propelled toward many affairs and will have them whether or not you marry. (Once wed, of course, you’ll be considerately discreet.)” Of course.

The Liberated You–Taurus: “You’ll have many, many lovers in your life (Venus girls are sexy at sixty!), and though you may forget a few of them, their memories will overflow with lusty thoughts of you.” I’ve had two. Unless I forgot a few of them.

The Liberated You–Aquarius: “Even when well-married, the lusty Aquarian girl has a taste for affairs on the side. You dally discreetly, though, and waste no time with guilt–nor should you.” I’m beginning to get an idea of what constituted “liberation” in 1980.

OLD POSTS DEPT.

Around this time in 2013, I was being relieved that the police department didn’t have helicopters, because that meant there was no chance of a mandatory training ride-along with Nick.

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

Our family friend Charles has described the typical garden tour given by my in-laws:

“Here’s where I was going to put in marigolds, but I decided the yellow wouldn’t go with what I already had.”

“There was a hydrangea bush here, but it died when we had that cold snap last year.”

“These rosebushes were covered in flowers last week, but they’re all gone now.”

In other words, the strictly-theoretical garden.

In that spirit, I give you…two things I thought of writing about but didn’t.

–I went to Walmart (where I’ve never been, at least in its present location–you know, until they decided they needed a Bigger Building, and left the old one as an Everlasting Eyesore), hoping to report back to you. But the only things I have to say about Walmart is:

A. It’s very large, and

B. Their restroom sink sprayed water all over my sleeve.

I bought myself a souvenir of an extra-large deodorant stick. That seems to be what they specialize in. Maybe that’s why they needed a bigger building.

–Inspired by their new Peach-Mango flavor, I was going to try 5-Hour Energy Drink and report back to you (thereby having experienced mango flavor in both stimulant and depressive {ale} forms), but my social worker/arresting officer Nick advised against it.

So there you have it. Or rather, there you don’t have it.

 

I Solve Our Nation’s Problems

…again.

I dreamed that Rom was elected President, and he wasn’t even running. It was some kind of grassroots write-in thing, kind of like “Who Is John Galt?” in Atlas Shrugged. Rom informs me that, if this were to happen, he would indeed feel obligated to serve. I have more trouble imagining myself as First Lady. I think having the Secret Service around all the time would get on my nerves.

I’M READING OLD POSTS AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME

…since WordPress “improved” their archiving display and didn’t show me all old posts, I finally figured out how to go back to the old display mode, so now I can bother you with more of these. Anyone who whispers that this is a desperate ploy to make up for lack of original material will be shunned.

In March 2013, I had to read training material on “Dispatch Personalities: How To Deal With Difficult Co-Workers,” and discovered that one of the “difficult” types was, well, me. In retrospect, I really wish I’d listed more specifics, so I could tell if someone is trying to “handle” me. (Nick whistles casually; Rom says, “No fair! I had to figure all that out myself!”)

Live-Blogging: Death & Taxes

Yes, I am using my FanBase for stress relief.

These will be my federal taxes. I never inflict both federal and state on myself on the same day.

No, I do not file them online. No, I do not itemize. No, I do not have them done by a professional.  I am lazy and miserly, and do not want my taxes/bill-paying dependent on whether I have internet access. Plus, I never hooked up my printer. See “lazy” above. OK, see “autistic inertia” as well. And fear of the unknown. And stuff.

My, I have a lot of forms. Pension, Social Security, final W2…I’m frightened already. Maybe I shouldn’t be responsible for my own affairs.

Damn, I didn’t buy alcohol to reward myself with. Afterwards, I mean. Although drunk tax-doing would be entertaining. The IRS will probably send me a letter anyway, saying, “Were you drunk when you did this?”

“First name and middle initial.” I got this.

“Last name.” I’ve made a good start.

Oh no, I got up to use the bathroom and discovered that my service cat Esmerelda had been waiting patiently in the hall for me to get up, and she came to me crying. ‘LIE DOWN ON THE BED AND LET ME NURSE ON YOUR HAND, IT’S PROVEN TO LOWER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE, DO IT NOW NOW NOW!!!”

Back 4 minutes later, after washing the cat spit off my hand. Much purring was obtained.

Line 9a–“Ordinary dividends.” As opposed to…? Oh, “qualified dividends.” These terms seem overly subjective.

“Special rules may apply if your home was in one of the Presidentially-declared disaster areas.” Well, he declares everything a disaster area. How about “the industrial Midwest”?

“You can ask the IRS to figure out the taxable portion of your pension for you for a $1000 fee.” I get the feeling they’re trying to discourage that practice. Luckily, the pension people already figured it out for me.

A BRIEF INTERMISSION TO REMOVE THE PORTION OF THE PACKING PAPER WE LET THE CATS PLAY IN THAT HAD GOTTEN WEDGED UNDER THE WHEEL OF MY CHAIR AND WAS GETTING ON MY NERVES

“Report the taxable portion of your pension from form 1099 on line 12b. But you may be able to report a lower amount if you use the General Rule or the Simplified Method instead.” I’ll take my chances. I have a feeling that the Method isn’t really Simplified enough for me. It’s a trivial amount anyway.

Nick, there are all kinds of alternate rules for military personnel. Sucks to be you.

THE JUST FACKING-WITH-ME PART

“Subtract line 10 from line 9.

Enter the smaller of line 9 or line 10.

Enter one-half of line 12.

Enter the smaller of line 2 or line 13.

Multiply line 11 by 85%. If zero, enter 0.” Well, duh.

“Add lines 14 and 15.

Multiply line 1 by 85%.”

THEY DIDN’T SAY SIMON SAYS! And that will be my defense in court. Oh no, now I hear sirens! They’re on to me.

Seriously, this is the part I always screw up. Sometimes to their benefit, sometimes to mine, never involving very much money.

“Line 19–Reserved for future use.” If you say so.

“If you checked any box on line 23a, use the Standard Deduction Chart For People Who Were Born Before Jan. 2, 1953 Or Are Blind.” Darn it, Rom.

“If refund amount is $1 or less, we will send a refund only on written request.” Half of your refund will go for the stamp needed to mail that request.

“Bank routing number–the first two digits must be 01 through 12 or 21 through 32.” Why? What happened to 13 through 20?

Time to check my math! Wish me luck. (“It’s not a matter of luck,” Nick says primly.)

Well, now it’s storming. Thunder and lightning are always reassuring on the completion of one’s taxes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palm Sunday

…marked, as always, by resisting the temptation to tickle the neck of the person in the pew in front of me with a palm. As opposed to last week, when I just coveted the rose-print sweater of my neighbor.

Nick refused to give his soon-to-be-born daughter my name. He is a hurtful person.

PARTS OF SPEECH WAR, NEVER-ENDING

–“Discover your happy.” HAPPINESS. The word is HAPPINESS.

–“Beauty responsibly.” Since it lacks a comma, I have to assume that they think “beauty” is a verb. They are wrong.

Should I have another can of ale? Too bad this is not some type of internet venue where you can respond in real time. I will just have to make this decision myself. I guess I should have asked the question on Facebook. Maybe I will.

Well, I did ask, and no one’s answered yet, and in the meantime I almost forgot I have this post going. Maybe I shouldn’t have another one.

LEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTS

Hmm, still no answer from Facebook. Apparently no one on Facebook cares how drunk you are. I will just have to crouch on top of Facebook, awaiting permission to drink more.

No, I have not done my taxes yet, but thanks for asking.

SOMETHING I OVERHEARD ON THE BUS

“Your little boy sure is cute.”

“Yeah, he’s asleep now, but when he wakes up he’ll bite and kick and throw things! He’s all boy!”

“Yeah, when I told my little boy that he was going to have a little brother, he bit me! And he meant it, too!”

Um, that doesn’t seem like “all boy.” That seems like you’re raising a future sociopath.

And, lest you think it’s better for girls…

“I finally told my daughter, ‘I don’t care if you only bathe once a month.'”

“Yeah, my daughter’s at the Youth Care Center.” (a/k/a Teenage Jail)

Sigh. Nick, you owe it to your daughter to give her my name, or who knows what will happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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