Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Let’s Get Serious

The Ultimate Fashion Felony

The photo feature is not working, and I know not why. Of course, I’m not working either.

N-E-WAY….It was bound to happen eventually. You know how I feel about leggings as pants. Well, now there is something fashionable called “lampshading.” You avoid the whole leggings issue by, well, avoiding leggings. You just wear a long shirt over, I guess, nothing. Of course, you could have slipped some tiny shorts under there, but the point is to look like you’re wearing a shirt and no pants. Why you would want to look like that, I don’t know, but Jennifer Lopez and some other person whose famous name I can’t remember were photographed like that, which means you’re supposed to want to. WHY MUST EVERYONE DEFY ME?

My thanks to the person who discovered the blog through Perfume Posse. I intend to review ISM next, but I’m hoping the photo feature will work for me by then.

RADICAL CENTRISM IN ACTION

Remember to vote for me in 2020! I’m the Outsider! The all-purpose write-in candidate! Sure, I don’t know how to govern, but unlike the current incumbent, I’ll consult my advisers!

Take the immigration issue, for example. I don’t know how I’d reform the nation’s immigration laws (oh, wait, that’s Congress’ job–whew!), but I do know:

—These people are not “undocumented immigrants.” They are here ILLEGALLY. It’s not just a matter of they have the wrong piece of paper, or they left it at home.

–On the other hand, they are human beings, not defined solely by their immigration status, so they should not just be referred to as “illegals.”

See how easy that was?

 

 

 

Nothing But Blue Skies: Hermes Hiris

nature sky clouds blue

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Continuing our exploration of dusky, bluish scents–Iris was recommended to me, as well as violet. These two are what are referred to as “blue florals.” I love these cool, powdery notes–iris more than violet, since it isn’t as sweet. My favorite color of iris is the lavender-blue type, but Hiris is like a sky-blue iris (if such a thing exists) set off by fluffy white clouds.

As a child, I asked, as all kids do, “Why is the sky blue?,” but the answer never satisfied me. Sure, the light in the visible spectrum reflects mainly the blue wavelength (or something like that, and frankly, I’ve had too much apple ale to look it up), but why?  Hiris doesn’t provide an answer, but perhaps its beauty is answer enough.

Hiris (the in the name harks back to Hermes, known mostly for purses and scarves, but also a damn fine fragrance house) was created by Olivia Giacobetti in 1999. I first tried it in 2004, and disliked it heartily. It reminded me of mashed turnips. The scent of iris is created by the roots (known as orris) rather than the flowers, so I suppose that’s appropriate, but I don’t like turnips. It took many years for me to appreciate this fragrance, but now I love it. No turnips, just an airy, casual-but-sophisticated scent, so elegant, but not fussy. It’s very “blue” in feel, and blue is my favorite color.

BUT MEANWHILE…

Vote for me! I’m the Outsider! (Yes, now I capitalized it!) If elected, I promise to nominate Supreme Court justices for their ability, not for how they’ll vote on a given political question. Won’t that be fun?

Yes, I’m making a mockery of the democratic process. Thanks for asking.

Also…people who came on board recently have been puzzled by the tone of this blog. Just assume that nothing is serious, except for the perfume reviews.

AND ALSO…

…Halloween merchandise was spotted in the stores, like, 2 weeks ago, but I was too deathly weary to report it.

Vintage Jewelry: Balenciaga Le Dix

gold pearl and rose gold flower necklace

Photo by Scott Webb on Pexels.com

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.

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

 

 

 

Ours Is Not To Reason Why

I am full of opinions today, and you need to hear them.

Leggings are still not pants, no matter how many women wear them. “I work out, so my butt is cute” is not a counterargument.

It occurs to me that my plan to grab the pervert’s cellphone from under the restroom stall is actually a pretty good one. I’d be barricaded in my stall, and I’d use his phone (with the incriminating evidence still on it!) to call 911. I now yield the floor to Officer Nick, who will explain why my plan wouldn’t work.

By the way, that last sentence is the only time you will see me use the words “I yield to Nick,” under any circumstances.

PROGRESS FAILS SPECIFIC SENSE

That is an R.E.M. line which often occurs to me these days.  Ways in which progress fails:

–The new buses have computerized change-counting machines to put your fare in, which, I suppose, enabled them to lay off the person who’d been counting it all at the end of the day. This means that only one coin can be allowed to pass through it at one time, so the machine can keep track of it, and this means the slot had to be made extra-narrow to ensure that only one coin goes in. Which, of course, means that if you put more than one coin in at a time, it jams up.

–Why, in this age of environmental correctness, are even more things made out of plastic? Fences, mailboxes, grocery bags…? I was reminded of this when a fellow bus passenger’s Walmart bag, being made of plastic, sagged and dumped his purchase of Axe body spray (in the Anarchy scent) onto the floor. Axe is the biggest-selling line of men’s grooming products in the world, but it’s called Lynx in every country but the U.S. Why? Do they think we won’t know what a lynx is, even though they live on this continent?

Why is the sky blue? I know, the visible light spectrum reflects blah blah blah, but that only explains how it’s blue.

I Hate a Parade

Therefore, the festival parade got rained on.

Rom said, “You should post more frequently so you don’t forget stuff.” Yeah, good intentions, what the road to hell is paved with, etc. I’m inclined to think the road to hell is not well-marked, either.

The bus today was standing-room-only, thanks to a woman whose attitude was, “I can’t be expected to move over. I have a tote bag.”

A CUSTOMER WAS LESS-THAN-RIGHT AT MCDONALDS

Speaking of which, in that blessedly cool and quiet setting, a woman marched up to the counter with 2 orders of fries and said, “These are cold and nasty. And I want 3 orders back.” OK, if you paid for 3 orders but only got 2, fine. If someone in your party already ate one order even though they were cold, or you expect to get an additional, free order of fries as compensation, too bad. And try not to be such a bitch. See, if my fries aren’t hot, I consider it to be in the nature of fast food, and better luck next time.

This is why they never made me the supervisor of anything.

CANNIBALIZATION, continued

My 3rd post (“World Without End”) was about how I got religion, if anyone has been wondering. Trust me, I was not Likeliest To Attend Church when I started at Dispatch. In the interest of brevity, that post featured only why I became religious in the first place, not why I embraced any particular religion. So here’s that explanation:

After my initial ecstatic experience in March of ’95, I feverishly read up on various religions, but came to no firm conclusion. Then I decided that, if God really was trying to get in touch with me, surely guidance would be provided, so I prayed for that. Around dawn on a day in  June (those who know me at all will know I was staying up late, not getting up early), I was idly paging through an old Bible I still possessed, and my eye fell on the verse in Matthew that says Ask, and you shall receive. This felt like a Sign to me, and I started attending St Paul’s Episcopal church downtown (that being the denomination I was raised in). And yes, I am aware of the objection that I probably chose it just because it was familiar to me. I’m pretty much aware of any objections to faith that can be found.

My conversion to Catholicism was more of an intellectual decision. I had been reading church history, and was troubled by all the divisions that had arisen, from the Orthodox split in 1054 to the Protestant Reformation. Jesus is on record saying that Christians should all be one, and we Episcopalians prayed for unity at every service, but we were part of the problem! So on Ash Wednesday 2002 at St Paul’s, I was gazing out the stained glass window that had been refurbished thanks to my contribution that year, and thinking, “Too bad that window has my name on a plaque, since I’ll be a Catholic now.” Since I hadn’t consciously made the decision yet, I was a bit unsettled by that thought. But I got my ashes and headed for the bus stop to go home, and prayed, “God, if I ought to  become a Catholic, let someone ask me if the ashes on my forehead mean that I’m Catholic.” In the past, comments on my ashes were either “You have some dirt on your face,” or, “Are you in a cult?” (Seriously.) When I got on the bus, a guy pointed to my face and said, “Are you a Roman Catholic?” So there you have it.

 

The 3rd Secret & 2 Other Mysteries Revealed

But first…

THIS JUST IN

–Fiona, now 6, to her mother:

“Why haven’t we bought any more animals?”

“We bought 2 fish, plus we have 2 cats.”

“But all we do with the fish is give them food and look at them.”

“Well, that’s all you really can do with fish, and you and your brother were the ones who wanted the fish. And I don’t want to take care of any more cats than the two we have.”

“But what if took care of them?”

That’s the oldest trick in the book, right? It was time for me to get out of the car (McDonald’s waits for no one), but Fiona had already launched into, “When I’m an adult, I’m going to…” Have a country estate so she can have endless numbers of animals, no doubt. Not that we’re in a position to talk–we have a raccoon living in a brushpile on the property who’s had to be rescued from the garbage can twice, and Rom ducks whenever he goes out the back door to avoid disturbing the spider that’s spun a web across the doorframe. (Nick adds to notes: “Security provided via spider, avoid back door.”) Maybe our pet raccoon and spider are the reason why, when the window was accidentally left open and unscreened all night, the cats did not attempt to escape. Nightmare In Progress…Speaking of which–

HOUSEHOLD TIPS FROM ROM THE DOMESTIC GOD

Not only does it wash dishes and greasy, oily wildlife, but Dawn dish detergent can be used to wash your house! No more green scum on the siding!

MISCELLANY, ETC.

I saw a tanker truck that said “Silvertip Propane” with a picture of a snarling grizzly bear on it. Do you really want to remind people that your product is deadly? I mean, we’re not re-filling flame-throwers here. Are we? I don’t know what flame-throwers are filled with. I suppose a flame-thrower could also remove the green scum on the siding.

Remember the story I told of the 4-year-old jumping up and down yelling “I’m Captain America!”? That’s Trump’s foreign policy.

Dear Hanes, if you put a label on a package of socks saying, “Our Softest Socks! Feel Here!” I will touch them when I walk by. Every time. (I did eventually buy them.)

Irony in action: I got home the other day, clutching my broken umbrella, and found the new umbrella I’d ordered waiting on the porch. And getting rained on.

AND NOW, A DRUM ROLL, OR MAYBE SOMETHING LESS INTIMIDATING ALONG THE SAME LINES

In the spirit of tying up loose ends, taking them off the table, and sweeping them under the rug, here are the rest of the things they didn’t know about me at work.

–Remember my 2nd post, my story about the time I got beaten up at a previous job? Sure you do, just look up the archives for February 2013. Ever wonder why I never mentioned what that job was? (Maybe not, since no one asked me.) I was working at a massage parlor. Yes, that kind of massage parlor, yes, I was desperate for money, and yes, I was terrible at it. I ran afoul of the dress code there, too, as I seem to have done at every job I’ve had. I hasten to add that I did nothing that was not completely legal in St Louis County in 1976, so you law-enforcement types can just sit back down.

And two more mysteries cleared up about my 911 job, which will be of interest mostly to the supervisors who dealt with me, neither of whom still work there, but both of whom are readers here:

–The time I got in trouble because I was screwing up ALL THE TIME, and couldn’t seem to stop, no matter how I tried? That was scary. (And LET’S GET SERIOUS for a moment–IT WAS SCARY PARTLY BECAUSE OF THAT CREEPY THING THEY DO WHERE THEY SEND A MESSAGE AROUND TO EVERYONE WORKING SAYING “WE JUST ARRANGED FOR SOMEONE TO COME IN AND WORK FOR THE PERSON WHO’S GETTING IN TROUBLE WHILE WE TAKE THEM OUT OF THE ROOM, AND DON’T LET THAT PERSON KNOW IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN.” COULD YOU BE A LITTLE MORE LIKE 1984???) They said they might fire me, then asked if there was trouble at home they should know about that might be affecting my performance, which there wasn’t. I didn’t know what was happening to me any more than they did. In retrospect, it must have been a hormonal imbalance occasioned by my recent surgery–eventually, the problem went away by itself.

And, the time I got in trouble because I forgot to do the move-ups for a working fire in the county? I was waiting for a phone call from Wisconsin telling me my mother had died. As it turned out, I didn’t get that call until I’d left work, but I probably should have called in sick that day or something. I didn’t mention this when I got complained on, because I didn’t want them to think I Couldn’t Handle the Job.

There. Now they can correct my Permanent Record, which they’ve probably burned by now anyway.

Stepping out of the confessional, and getting silly once again, because I can’t think of a segue (I guess I can’t handle this job, either), tune in next time for a new feature on S.G.–reviews of restaurants you’ll never see reviewed–the fast food places on St Joe! Sure, someone’s probably already doing that on YouTube, but I doubt I’ll be on YouTube unless the Sour Neon Crawlers really take off, or Nick and I do our drunken chess tournament.

The Second Secret

This is what we call posting semi-regularly. (I am trying to ignore Cat Esmerelda yelling for attention behind me.) (In case you thought cats were low-maintenance.)

TWO DAYS LATER…

What else were you expecting?

In analyzing How My Job Affected Me & Why I Blog About It–most dispatchers want to be perceived as Caring Professionals. We do care, of course–we want the bad guy to be caught and the baby to start breathing again. But our management likes to tell us, “Imagine that it’s your friend or family member calling when you answer 911.” It doesn’t work that way. It cannot work that way. Emergency-services people among themselves have a dark sense of humor. Those who can’t develop one don’t last past training. (I do remember one trainee who used to lecture her trainers about their attitude. Just think of how that went over.)

That being said, I’ve heard colleagues say that this job has made everyone cry at one time or another. (I guess that’s why the restroom floor has a drain, to dispose of dispatcher tears.)  But I have never cried because of work. (Cursed, yes.) However, it’s also said that everyone who’s been doing the job for any length of time has a Call That Haunts Them. I actually have one of those, and that’s the second secret. No one has heard this story before but Rom.

It was while we were still downtown. I was the calltaker. (We had only one back then–quaint, isn’t it?) I took a suicide call.

Now suicide calls–the ones made by the actual suicidal person, not by family members or friends–have always been my most-hated part of the job. I never felt like I knew what to say, and the consequences of saying the wrong thing might be terrible. This guy had stabbed himself in the abdomen with a screwdriver, then regretted it and called 911. And he was fading fast, and could not remember his address.

This was in the 80’s, when we did not have even the rudimentary GPS capabilities we have now. The guy could give me the numerics of his address–and did so repeatedly–but he could not remember the name of the street. I kept asking, but every time I asked, he just repeated the numbers and trailed off. Time was running out, and I was frantic to get the information. I felt so helpless, and kept thinking, If he can remember the numbers, why can’t he remember the street?, and I kind of snapped at him.

Eventually, his brother called in and gave us the address, and we got everybody out there, but by then it was too late. Ever since then, I’ve wondered, if I hadn’t spoken to him irritably, would he have been able to remember? I suppose it’s equally possible that my sharp tone might have jolted him out of his daze. But anyway, I wish I’d managed to remain professional throughout, which surely would have improved the chances.Oh well.

I also had some of the usual silly stuff to write, but it doesn’t really fit well after this, so I will just leave it for now.

Oh, in case anyone was wondering what was my most-favorite part of the job–that would be monitoring the tactical channel on SWAT callouts.

 

 

 

True Confessions + Some Actual Content

I’m going to tell you a secret. Actually, three secrets, but the other two will have to wait. Only then can we move on as a nation.

I’ve been trying to figure out if this blog is still viable now that I’m retired and no longer able to provide content that you couldn’t get anywhere else. Or that you weren’t getting anywhere else, more precisely. Which brings us to the secret, of sorts.

I never thought this blog would make me famous, since I’m not insane. However, I did think it might attract a wider readership of fellow 911 dispatchers. Toward that end, someone more publicity-minded than I am (well, that could be anyone, couldn’t it?) linked to this blog on a dispatch Facebook page so that others could view it. I received my highest readership that day, some 360 people. That was a big surprise to wake up to. The bigger surprise was that all those extra readers never came back. They checked it out once and decided it wasn’t for them.

I’ll discuss why that might be so in the next post, but in the meantime, if you noticed a point at which S.G. lost momentum, and I could no longer be counted on to post regularly, that would be why. Nick, if you call me a “poor thing” again, I will…well, I don’t know what I’ll do. You’ll have to check back with me later.

I remember when I couldn’t wait to get home and post all kinds of exciting stuff about my less-than-exciting life. I still get ideas, but I tend to lie down and wait until the urge passes. BUT NOW…

LYRICAL CRITICISM–BAD RELATIONSHIP IDEAS FROM POPULAR SONGS

–“Why you gotta be so cruel? I’m gonna marry you anyway.” Always a good idea.

–“Marry you no matter what you say.” I believe that’s illegal.

SEEN ON THE COVER OF COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE

“Sun’s out, buns out!” That’s illegal, too.

ADVENTURES IN THE RESTROOMS OF LIFE

I don’t read my daily horoscope, but mine must have said “Taureans will have trouble accessing public restrooms.”

At CVS, they’d put up the “No Public Restrooms” sign in front of, well, their public restrooms, as they do at unpredictable intervals. (Whenever they see me coming, for all I know.) It actually says, “No Public Restrooms–Please Don’t Ask,” which infringes on my freedom of speech.

At Walgreen’s–well, if you smell an almighty stench as soon as you turn into the hall leading to the restroom, you know not to go in there.

At Thornton’s, the women’s room had a sign saying “Closed for Cleaning.” Feeling a bit desperate by now, I slipped into the (empty) men’s room. When I came out, I saw a mother and daughter waiting for the Cleaning to come to an end. The little girl said, “Mommy, that lady came out of the men’s room!” I went and got my fountain drink (thus beginning the cycle all over again), glanced back, and saw mother and daughter emerging from the men’s room, looking a good deal more relaxed.

I PERFORM A HEROIC DEED IN THE RESTROOM

On another occasion at Walgreen’s (see, this is what happens when I post regularly, so be careful what you pray for) (if anyone was in fact praying for this), whoever keeps mischievously locking one of the stall doors from the inside (I’m guessing a poltergeist) had again done so. I thought, What this situation requires is someone able and willing to slither under the door and unlock it. So I did. It meant that my clothes acquired bathroom cooties, which makes them ritually impure until they’re laundered, but two-stall functionality has been restored. I expect a plaque on the stall door for my efforts.

I AM LESS HEROIC AT HOME

…having dropped a brand-new shoe in the toilet. So that shoe now has toilet cooties (even though the toilet was clean), which will not be removed until I get caught out in the rain wearing those shoes.

OK, I’m tired of this topic. Time to resume arguing with A Certain Person about whether Nick is adorable or not.

 

Day 29: Has Been Canceled

I had to go home sick after about an hour. Let’s just say that I won’t eat crab pizza again.

LET’S GET SERIOUS, MOMENTARILY

How do you know something’s wrong with your society? When a guy with no shirt and yellow pajama pants is cutting himself by the Four Freedoms monument.

*****************************************************************************

In other news, last week I proved unable to open 1.) a bag of Chips Ahoy, and 2.) a soda bottle, in a timely manner. But I was highly motivated to gain access to both those items, so I got someone to assist me.

 

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