Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: FanBase Follies

The Things That Happen Between Life Events

meal food dish mexican

Photo by Raduz on Pexels.com

The title is how one of my sisters-in-law (they are numerous and aggressive) defined this blog, which she seemed to have a high opinion of. YES, I KEEP ALL POSITIVE COMMENTS IN AN EMAIL FOLDER MARKED “STROKEFEST,” DOESN’T EVERYONE?

Interesting–spellcheck now thinks “email” is a word. It does not feel the same way about “StrokeFest,” however.

This post is brought to you in spite of a poisoned taco. My advice: if the center of your fast-food taco meat is cool, DO NOT KEEP EATING IT. As I did. I even thought at the time, “Well, if I get sick tomorrow, I’ll know what caused it.” So I did. Get sick, and know what caused it. One does not always have that assurance.

COSMO ASTROLOGY ’85

Interior decoration for Scorpio: “Who else but Scorpio would toss a paisley shawl over her TV? Or line bathroom walls with dozens of small framed mirrors? Or buy a funky old dinette set at a thrift shop and paint it lime green? Or make witty collages out of family memorabilia? Or…”

Let’s break these observations down one-by-one:

  1. I don’t think it takes Scorpio boldness to toss a paisley shawl over a TV. Of course, if I tossed one, it would probably slide off. Maybe that’s what they meant–that Scorpio strength of will would keep it from doing so.
  2. Why would you line a bathroom wall with dozens of mirrors, none of them big enough to see yourself in?
  3. I’m glad only a Scorpio would buy a funky old dinette set and paint it lime green. That means we have only a one-in-twelve chance of it happening.
  4. On the other hand, I think more than one-twelfth of the population has made witty collages out of family memorabilia. Even though you run the risk of your family not appreciating your wit. I once made a witty collage for my bedroom wall out of ads which expressed the image I had of myself. I was 14 at the time, and I also made a picture of a flying hippogriff (traced from an illustration in E.R. Eddison’s novel “The Worm Ouroborous,” in case you thought I could draw), with a psychedelic border design made with brightly-colored magic markers, captioned “Fly Trans-Love Airways” (from Donovan’s song “The Fat Angel”–Cupid, get it?), in Lord of the Rings Elvish script. And I wondered why I had no friends.

Speaking of the 80’s, Harper’s Bazaar now tells us that 80’s retro fashion is in (I think for the second time–we’re running out of decades to be ironic about), with “neon-bright colors and oversized silhouettes.” Sure, it’s a change from the undersized silhouettes I got sick of long ago, but why can’t we have clothes that just fit normally?

Vote for me, I’m the Outsider, etc.

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

The End of the World or Getting Lost on the Bus

blur chain close up daylight

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

…is what I most often dream about.

FUN FACTS ABOUT SCORPIONS

Did you know…

–they have external digestion–they spit digestive fluids onto the prey item, which dissolves it so they can then ingest the liquid?

–they glow blue-green under UV light? But only when their exoskeleton has had time to sclerotize.

–the male sometimes uses a small amount of venom on the female, to pacify her so mating can occur?

–once it occurs (courtship takes from 1 to 25 hours), the female bears live young, and carries them on her back? They are white at first, and are called scorplings. Adorable!

I should have looked up fun facts about spiders instead, seeing as how it’s A Certain Person’s birthday, but she will just have to make do with scorpions. As one sometimes must.

Fashion Police Report

DUELING T-SHIRTS ON THE BUS

First, another guy with a “SORRY, I Couldn’t Hear You Over the Sound of My FREEDOM” shirt, but this time with Abraham Lincoln instead of an eagle. Somehow, I doubt that Lincoln was in favor of not listening to other people.

Then a woman with a “Green Eggs and Ham” t-shirt and pink hair got on, and Mr. Freedom started flirting with her. Or trying to. Guys, “I see you’re goin’ for the Wanna-Be-a-Goth look” is not a good pickup line. He then started loudly listing the Dr. Suess books, ranked according to his estimation of best or worst (#1: Green Eggs and Ham, #2: The Star-Bellied Sneetches, #3: The Lorax), followed by the movies he’s seen recently and his evaluation of the CGI quality of each. All the while, he was oblivious to her avoidance of eye contact. Maybe he couldn’t notice it over the sound of his freedom.

AND FURTHERMORE…

Nose rings are gross. The newly-fashionable kind that hangs down from your nose and looks like a protruding booger in profile, more so. Michael Stipe, I’m looking at you. But trying not to.

Leggings continue to not be pants. The number of people treating them as such does not alter this reality.

WORLD LEADER EDICT

I hereby ban fake stuff on clothes. This includes:

–Pants or leggings with fake holes torn in them. “But it shows my cute legs in the summer!” or “I can wear cute print tights under them in winter!” is not a valid defense.

–Fake signs of wear on jeans.

–Fake pockets or, even more weirdly, fake flies on pants, ditto. I must confess that I actually own a couple pairs like this, but since I always wear my shirts untucked, it doesn’t matter what the top of my pants looks like. Pants are just a pair of legs to me. Ironically, I am the ideal candidate for leggings.

–T-shirts advertising a college you didn’t go to, a charity event you did not participate in (if only to donate money), a band you don’t like (except the Sour Neon Crawlers, who need all the publicity they can get), etc. If your shirt says “I’m Awesome,” you must, in fact, be awesome. If you have a Scratchy Glitter t-shirt, the lettering must be in glitter which is, in fact, scratchy, although I shudder at the thought.

A FAN-BASE GET-WELL CARD

Before I forget, as I am prone to do, best wishes to a couple readers who are recovering from medical problems. Privacy regulations do not allow me to reveal who they are or what they are recovering from.

BUT NEVERTHELESS I WILL PLUNGE BOLDLY INTO POLITICS

…and observe that if there is a Second Civil War, I will be stood against the wall and shot, no matter who wins. The fringes on both sides participate in The Emperor’s New Clothes politics, they just differ in what fancy outfit they believe the Emperor is wearing. If only there were a Party of Common Sense. But then we couldn’t agree on what common sense was. I may have to rule the world after all.

Sign at the Pet Food Center: “Uncle Sam Wants You To Be Flea and Tick Free.” That was Uncle Sam’s final wish, before Trump shot him on Fifth Avenue because Vladimir Putin told him to. And no, I’m not a progressive. Fooled you again.

boy wearing black jacket holding electric guitar

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Winter Is Coming

How do I know? School supplies are edging out the sunscreen at Walgreen’s.

SEEN ON T-SHIRTS

“Scream While You Can While We Rip You To Shreds.” That’s what this country needs–more hostility. I assume this sentiment was promoting a video game, because it was worn by a nerd I couldn’t imagine ripping anybody to shreds.

Black t-shirt with bald eagle, except the eagle was red, white and blue: “I Couldn’t HEAR You Over the Sound of My FREEDOM.” Well, why is your FREEDOM so fackin’ LOUD?

A black t-shirt featuring a Native American smoking a joint, and the exhaled smoke turned into galaxies and stuff.

“This Is What Epic Looks Like.” Epic looks like a skinny girl with pink-tipped red hair. Of course, these days, maybe her name was Epic.

And a guy in a neon-orange t-shirt and camo cargo pants. Apparently he only wanted his upper half to be seen.

THIS JUST IN

Fiona and Archer are now 7, and are into metaphysics.

Fiona: “Everything has a shape.”

Archer: “Not God. He’s everywhere.”

F: “OK then, well, everything has a color.”

A: “Not a black hole. It has all the colors.” Wouldn’t it actually have none of the colors? I don’t know. I’m no physicist. Or metaphysicist.

CRISIS IN PROGRESS: CRIME IS COMING TO A LAWN NEAR YOU

I promised Trexa I would tell this story eons ago. And you’d think I would have, since I’m always whining about lack of material.

Trexa woke up one day recently and saw that part of her lawn was brown, but in a weird pattern. She called the lawn service to come out. Pointing it out to the guy, she said, “It almost looks like some design, doesn’t it? Maybe like a scissors.”

The lawn guy said, “Or…something.” He was hesitant to tell the nice lady that a drawing of male genitalia had been etched on her lawn with weed killer. Apparently vandalism (or, as the law calls it, Criminal Mischief–I’ve always liked that term, along with Maintaining a Common Nuisance, which is what they charge you with when other people were doing drugs in your house, but you weren’t doing them yourself) (and it’s great to be a former 911 dispatcher, so no one will wonder how I know all this) with Round-Up has become a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging Addiction

I was digging through some stuff from my retirement party (YES, IT WAS LAST JUNE, WHY DO YOU ASK?), and came across an unsigned note expressing the hope that I would “keep feeding our blogging addiction.” I sure hope no one’s actually addicted to this thing. They must be in a bad way by now.

ASTROLOGY ’78

Career for Taurus: “Form a partnership with a talented chum and invest last year’s savings in a doll hospital.” Is there even such a thing? I had no pal talented enough in ’78 to tell me. Good thing I didn’t invest ’77’s savings, if any. I think I was unemployed most of the year, except for the summer spent at the massage parlor. This is where having lower-upper-class parents comes in handy.

Interior decorating for Sagittarius: “Old piano covers can still be found at thrift shops, make an interesting centerpiece for your living room.” I’ll say. What do you do with those, anyway? Wouldn’t you have to buy a piano? Or do you just pile them up on your coffee table?

THE THING I’M LEAST LIKELY TO WEAR

A t-shirt I saw an ad for saying “I Pooped Today.” For one thing, wouldn’t you have to wear it most days? I refuse to define myself by whether I’ve pooped on any given day.

THE WAR ON PARTS OF SPEECH CONTINUES

“Discover your sexy.”

“Realize your awesome.”

WHAT IS WRONG WITH NOUNS? STOP GRAFTING ADJECTIVES IN THEIR PLACE!

CANNIBALIZATION OF PAST POSTS CONTINUES

In March 2013, I was preoccupied with a sign I saw advertising the Grim Reapers’ house party. Especially since they forgot to include the date.

In April, in honor of Nick’s recent birthday, I admitted that I owed a whole room of dispatchers dinner from Canton Inn because I hadn’t realized that his message “Going to Canton. Jealous?” was actually an offer to bring us some. I also noted, based on bitter experience, that my beloved Woa Dip Har was impossible to eat at work. Reading that gave me a voracious desire for Woa Dip Har, now that I don’t work (unless you call writing this post work), but I fear it will remain forever unsatisfied.

The actual date I was writing was the birthday of the Foxy Lady, whom I called “my fellow connoisseur of the absurd.” In her honor, I illustrated the post with a picture of a stir-fry captioned “Uploaded to Wikipedia to showcase baby corn.” And what deserves to be showcased more?

 

Against Everything

“There’s an improved way to post on WordPress.” No, there isn’t, just a newer way. It is unfamiliar, therefore I fear it.

Faced with an expectant FanBase, I am forced to admit I do not have the cashmere sweaters in hand as yet, so no picture has been taken. I am also bemused by the varied reactions to my appearance in general. A guy who works at Thornton’s said, “You’re the last person I’d expect to have a snake tattoo,” while others seem to think a cashmere twinset is equally unlikely, so perhaps my personal style is not as well-defined as one would hope. Well, as would hope. I try.

CONTINUING OUR CANNIBALIZATION PROGRAM

I forgot to mention, reading my 4th post in Feb. ’13 (called “Trifecta” something, it’s all a blur)–I was basking in compliments as a new blogger (well, ASIDE from the fact that I invented the blog in 1990, and I’m going to keep mentioning that, so get used to it), and someone asked, Why am I not a newspaper columnist? The short answer is that the paper already has Jon Webb and Stan Levco. The long answer is that I’m autistic. (Doesn’t seem like a long answer? Watch me.) I actually had some professional connections in my youth, since my stepfather was in broadcasting, but I was no more able to network than I was able to fly through the air by flapping my arms. (To give you an idea–I worked at a factory for a couple years, and, after calling me into the office to ask if there were “any problems they should know about,” a question which baffled me, they moved me to a department where I could work by myself, since other people had been complaining about me, for reasons They wouldn’t reveal. And yes, I showered every day. So you can see how networking might be a problem.) I might have more of a clue now that I’m older, but I can’t guarantee it. How does one get started writing professionally these days?

Speaking of compliments, I was discussing the tooth fairy with Nick. Aside from the fact that inflation will get us all (I only got a dime or a quarter from the tooth fairy–something silvery and disc-shaped, at any rate), I remarked that kids must sleep more soundly than adults, since someone sticking their hand under my pillow now would probably wake me up. He said, “Probably not. I’m sure you sleep suspended from the ceiling upside down, wrapped in a cocoon of your own wings.”

And speaking of that ancient post–I really regret the demise of the WordPress feature that would recommend illustrations based on words you typed. (Well, except when my post title was “Spiders and Dead Bodies.”) You can sign up for illustration services, but they work by sending hundreds of pictures to your email inbox, and who has time to sift through those? Not me, I’m almost famous.

And speaking of fame (the title of this post should have been “Raging Segues”), the soundtrack at McDonald’s today included “The One I Love” by R.E.M., a song which proves that people only listen to the first 2 lines of anything. This is a popular romantic request number on radio stations, BUT–

“This one goes out to the one I love

This one goes out to the one I left behind

A SIMPLE PROP TO OCCUPY MY TIME…”

Anyone see a problem with that? It’s about casual sex on the road, hard though it may be to imagine R.E.M. engaging in the practice. Unlike, say, the Sour Neon Crawlers, with their army of groupies.

 

 

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