Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Mildly Amusing Adventures

Why Is Everything So Complicated?

male bugs illness disease

Photo by Pixabay on

Well, WordPress just “added functionality,” which I clicked on by mistake, and no one will be available to help me undo it until the 22nd (which happens to be the date I started in Dispatch, so it’s all ironic and stuff), so now I am stuck.

This “functionality” will supposedly enable me to insert media content from all over the Internet! At any point! Which I don’t want to do! I just want to select pictures from their library of free stuff, which has now been removed, because I’m supposedly browsing the entire Internet for pictures, many of which are not free. I hate everyone.

Anyway, (sorry if there’s a gap here, since I was experimenting to see if I could find the free library, but no such luck), I was originally going to write about:


You say you don’t want to know anything about them? Well, Rom and I have had to learn, so too bad. I am here to inform.


–Ticks wait for hosts by hanging around on leaves, etc., and holding out their first pair of legs to grab on. This behavior is called “questing.” Isn’t that cute? Aren’t we all on a quest of some kind?

–They can survive through cold winters! We will never be free of them!

–But they prefer heat and humidity, so we in this part of the world will really never be free of them.

–They prefer to stay on you for hours or days, but “are usually removed quickly by humans, to prevent the spread of disease.” This makes it sound as if we’d be OK with them sucking our blood for hours or days, as long as there was no risk of disease. I don’t know about you, but I object to that.

Females stay on you (see above), while males eat little, preferring to gather around an available female. It’s a party on your body!


OK, prompts keep appearing randomly asking asking if I want something to be boldface or italic, but since I can’t figure out why or what triggers them, it’s, you know, random. I wish they had a Version For Autistic People Who Were Born Before the Computer Revolution and, As a Result, Don’t Know What They’re Doing.

Anyway, I don’t actually believe in astrology, but I find it fun, and Cosmo hit it on the proverbial head (or nail) for me in What Your Sign Should Be For Halloween: Taurus is too cheap to spend money on something you’re only going to wear once. So put together a vampire look with your sexiest LBD (they err in assuming I have more than one little black dress, {actually, I don’t have any}, although I do own 7 pairs of knit pants in various shades of brown), and the makeup you already own, just more of it. That is exactly what I do every year. Black eyeshadow and red lipstick, here I come!

OK, there’s no telling what this post is going to look like, but here goes.





The Rage for Incremental Change

photo of guy fawkes mask on backpack

Photo by Markus Spiske on

I am tired of the above guy and his smirk, but there’s a paucity of photos available when you type in “army backpack” (mostly boring people hiking), so you’ll just have to put up with him.


…which is beginning to be what this blog seems to be about, but AT ANY RATE….

There was a guy in front of me on the bus whose giant army backpack (camo, bedroll on the top, aluminum pots and pans clattering on the sides) bore a patch that said:





Let’s just analyze this, because that’s what we do.

  1. I bet every one of these patches sold said “Permit # 911-01.” Because, 9/11, September 11, 2001, get it?
  2. So it expires in 2050? Good thing we got that terrorist thing knocked down by then.
  3. Oddly, I felt not safer because this guy was on the bus, but less safe.
  4. The fact that it said T.M. (trademark) led me to believe this was not, in fact, actual Army issue, a fact my actual Army source confirmed by his disdain.

My thanks, as always, to the people who keep checking to see if I’m still posting. Am I? It’s so hard to tell. (I hear Rom’s voice saying, “You have an obligation to your readers.”)

Oh, and the title is Stephen Colbert’s comment on the moderate Democratic candidates. VOTE FOR ME, I’M NON-THREATENING! Right, Nick? “I thought you were going to write a story about me,” he says pitifully.

P.S. I am eagerly awaiting the appearance of pumpkin pie at McDonald’s. It can’t be long now! McDonald’s–another thing I share with Trump.



Tyranny, Mutation, and Stuff

black and white dartboard

Photo by Engin Akyurt on

The above picture was chosen for its superficial resemblance to the cover of a favorite Blue Oyster Cult album, Tyranny and Mutation.

And speaking of which, let’s add to the Radical Centrist Manifesto:

–You are not entitled to free healthcare.

–You are, however, entitled to affordable healthcare.

“Radical Centrism–Our Motto: ‘See How Easy That Was?'”



Nick had a birthday party for his two youngest cubs, who turned six and one respectively, on adjacent days. It featured the usual elements:

–Me Bringing My Own medication, a can of which will make me actually engage in conversation eventually,

–two palatial inflatable structures, with your choice of Water or Not

–a child getting on top of one structure, endangering his companions within

–a small child refusing to get out of the bottom of the water slide, annoying his companions at the top who now can’t slide down

–Nick engaging in reckless adrenaline-fueled activity in spite of a recent injury

–me going inside to decompress, only to be cornered by a dog and a small child

–adults discussing whatever surgery they’ve recently received

–Nick and his mate wrestling on the ground, trying to smear cake on each other. I was told this courtship ritual occurs at every birthday party, but I had not been privileged to see it previously. Actually, I didn’t see it this time, either, since the table was in the way. I only witnessed the combatants arising, duly covered with cake. I think Nick ended up taking several showers that day, for one reason or another.

–Cheetos! And cake, which I cut the frosting off of. I ate too much of both. But it was my first meal of the day, after all.

Speaking of Cheetos (that should have been my post title right there), I’ve noticed a cultural oddity: In my youth, the standard Cheeto type was those puffy styrofoam-like cylinders. Then they introduced an option: “Baked to a delicate crunch, or quick-fried to a crackly crunch!” (Or “indelicate crunch,” if you will.) It took a long time for the latter to catch on–my preference for them was considered a bit eccentric–but now they are the default Cheeto. (Disclaimer: My market research for this consists mainly in noting which kind is the standard-issue at Subway, which may not be a representative sampling, but probably is.)

Good thing I didn’t become a college professor (which I considered becoming until my Great American Novel was published), or the world would have been treated to “Cultural Shifts in Cheeto Consumption Over Time.” Publish or perish!






Impossible Advertising

turned on gray laptop computer

Photo by on

–“Coors Light–the official beer of drinking in the shower.” At bottom of screen depicting this–“Do Not Attempt.”

On base of scented candle–“Do not breathe candle fumes.”

On educational TV show: “Archaeology has only discovered 10% of civilizations.” Rom: “How can they know that?”

I did not whine in a timely manner about Halloween candy appearing on the shelves at CVS, but it’s there, and has been for about a week.

Someday I hope to discover which employee at Walgreen’s drives a black Cadillac, since it’s on the lot every day.


I have reached a stage in life where I can’t be sure, if a guy lets me get on the bus ahead of him, if it’s because I’m a woman or because I have some gray hair (although I got my first gray hair when I was 27). But I can be sure if it’s a man my own age. He was wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt. Because it’s m-m-my generation. (Apologies to both bands.)

A woman got on who works at Taco Bell on Lloyd, and started telling the bus driver and her friend about this weird sect she’d just heard of, who believe only 130,000 people will be saved. (It’s actually 144,000–it’s from Revelation, the 12 tribes of Israel times twelve, BUT WE WON’T GET INTO THAT HERE). She said, “I’m Christian myself, but I’m Catholic.” When she got off the bus, she said she was going to pray for the two women she’d been talking to, and the bus driver’s friend said, “Don’t pray for me–I know who you’ll be praying to!” The Taco Bell lady got off the bus, and the bus driver’s friend said, “She’ll be praying to the wrong person!” The bus driver said, “Yes. That is idolatry.” For the record, Catholics do not, in fact, pray to the devil.

I went to get stamps, and intended to get T. Rex stamps in honor of Trexa, but they had none, so I had to settle for dragon stamps, in dubious honor of Nick.




“Write” Prompt, My Stay in a Desperate World

close up of hand over white background

Photo by on

Well, not quite, but sort of.

I observed National Lipstick Day on July 29 with Watermelon Pink (sure, it’s just gloss, but I’M A BOOMER AND LIPSTICK INTIMIDATES ME), and I am now observing National Beer Day with, yeah, you guessed it.

Sign on side of a van: “Elevators and Escalators–We’re Dedicated to People Flow.” Said van was on the lot of the liquor store, so I’m guessing some people would be flowing soon.


There is nothing like returning to an area you used to be intimately familiar with after a span of some years. I went back to the vicinity of my work, to do some errands at nearby businesses. I walked through that area for some 25 years on my way to work. In the 2 years since I retired, it has become Not Anyone’s Job to pull weeds out of the sidewalks in front of the houses. And the yards themselves are overgrown with weeds. It’s the first sign of civilization falling, people!

However, Wesselman’s grocery was absolutely unchanged since, oh, 1963. (Disclaimer: The writer of this post was not in this town in 1963. I was either in Chicago or L.A. Big radio markets, you understand. Or you do when your stepfather is a DJ.)  It’s kind of eerie. For one thing, they never got the memo that We Use Body Wash Now, and not a bottle of it can be found. Old-fashioned bar soap can still be had, however.


I am absurdly thrilled with the gel-ink pens someone got me for my retirement party, 2 YEARS AGO. It magically makes my handwriting legible. Thanks, Unknown Person!









Making the World a Better Place

photography of bus stop during winter

Photo by Micael Widell on

…one bus stop at a time. And I hope I never get stuck at the bus stop in this picture. It looks like a criminal mastermind stuck it out in the creepy woods, but when you sit down, it whisks you away to their arctic headquarters. Or something. It’s just too new for such a remote area, you know? Plus that creepy blue light. And is that snow or rocks piled up by the side of the road? WELL?

Anyway, I have made it my mission (and a modest one it is) to clean up any trash I find at the bus stop near my house. Especially since this only involves taking it across the $ General lot and throwing it in the trash can there.

I tell you this not to give myself a Good Citizen award, but to note a weird facet of human psychology I’ve observed in the course of doing this.

Once, back when it was still cold, I saw a blanket and a sack of clothes on the bench. I thought surely someone must have forgotten these items, so I left them undisturbed so the person could come back and get them. But they remained undisturbed, blocking access to the bench. But the Real Problem was that, as the days passed, more  trash got piled up on top of them–more and faster than I’d usually observed. Apparently the presence of a significant pile over several days convinced people that this was a Designated Drop-Off Site and it was OK to leave their trash there as well. So I gingerly picked up everything and carted it to the Dollar General Dump, and trash deposit returned to its former occasional occurrence. Although if I ever share the stop with the person who keeps leaving gallon containers partially-filled with pink fluid (some sort of “juice drink”–the flavors vary, but it’s always pink), I may have to address them directly.  (“And get your finger dislocated again,” Nick says, in his capacity as my Life Coach.)


Which is worse:

–a sidewalk overgrown with weeds, because the homeowner thinks that A.) the City sends somebody by to take care of it, or B.) no one actually uses the sidewalk, right?


–a sidewalk overgrown with weeds which the homeowner has dealt with by means of chemical spray, which leaves them dead and brown, BUT STILL STANDING THERE??

Write! Write! Write!

person holding pen leaning on table

Photo by on

Yeah, and guess who couldn’t tell from the tiny sample picture that the person in this photo was writing music, and then I couldn’t figure out how to remove a picture, or if it’s even possible. At any rate, there’s a button in the corner of this page that says “Write,” so that’s what I’m doing. No, I can’t write music, either.


There is, at the present time, a board with a nail in it on the ground down the street from my house, just waiting for some hillbilly to grab it and use it in a fight. And don’t think that wouldn’t happen around here. There is also an old couch in my back yard. (The people who brought the new couch wouldn’t haul the old one away, so Nick had to haul it out of our living room with his powerful jaws. Rom then beat it half to death with a sledgehammer.)  But we have been outdone by our neighbors down the street, who have an old mattress on their front porch. They thought the Heavy Trash people would pick it up. They were wrong, so there it stays.


Almost back-to-school time, because everyone’s forgotten that back-to-school should be in September. I still like looking at school supplies, and found myself wondering if I could still find a use for construction paper. Is there a use for construction paper by anyone other than elementary-school children? The same question could be asked of papier-mache.


–Vultures circling at Franklin St./St Joe Ave. No, I’m not dead yet, in spite of this fiendish heat, which is, of course, not caused by climate change, because climate change would mean we shouldn’t be driving quite so much, which is, of course, unacceptable.) SEE HOW I MADE A PARENTHESIS HERE, EVEN THOUGH I HADN’T STARTED ONE, BECAUSE I AM PARENTHESIS-ADDICTED. I am also drunk. Because a guy on the TV said we shouldn’t drink during the heat wave, so of course I had to do it. We boomers are irrepressible.


Whatever “kudos” may be, I issue them to my former co-worker 911SK, who (having left 911 for less-stressful climes at the Water Dept.) said she wanted to stuff ice cubes down her pants in this heat, because “it’s a clam bake down there.” Now I will think of that whenever I go out in the heat. We need more clever sayings by women.

But it’s back-to-school season, so it’s bound to cool off soon, right? RIGHT? Oh, that’s right, we don’t go back to school in September anymore. We know better somehow.










Dear Diary…

purple leather notebook black pen and brown branches

Photo by Alena Koval on

…I’m not sure what the twigs in this photo would be used for.


From the state Department of Revenue: “We calculate your refund this year as $55, not the $121 you stated on your return. If you wish to dispute this, you may use the enclosed envelope.”

  1. If you already know how much it should be, what are you bothering me for?
  2. No, I do not wish to dispute this. I wish to back away from you slowly. I know a dragon curled on a pile of gold when I see one.


I have been inundated with messages on “How To Be a Better Blogger!” If I was going to become a better blogger, I’d have done it by now.


Febreze ad: “Your house smells musty because it contains soft objects that trap odors, then release them back into the air.” No fair! Why can’t they just trap the odors and keep them? “Febreze can even be used on clothes you want to wear another day!” Yeah, along with your dry shampoo for “the days you don’t wash your hair.” Let’s just live in filth. {Disclaimer: The other day, a Cheerio rolled off the table and into the corner, and I thought, No, I’m not eating that.}

Home decorating ad: “Our flooring will give your home that vacation feeling.” Rom: “That’s a lot to ask from a floor.” {Obviously, my kitchen floor does not give us that feeling–see above.}


In fact, better than some–I can make a public statement without saying anything stupid or abusive! Or get my picture taken without shoving others aside to get to the front of the line! And I know the place for my signature is at the bottom of the page! I have so much to recommend me.


Yesterday, Rom called me from the bike shop and told me his new bike would cost more than twice what we expected. Luckily, there was no one else at the bus stop to hear me cursing. Fiercely brooding about this, I got off the bus and headed for the convenience store, to drown my sorrows in a fountain drink. I obtained same and headed out the door. “Hello!” the clerk said. “Hi,” I answered, wondering why he was saying that as I was leaving. Turns out I’d forgotten the paying-for-it part.


Freedom Day

grayscale photography of waiting shed near open road at night

Photo by Alexander Kovalyov on

I guess everything looks cooler in black and white, Even a bus stop.


Flannery O’Connor was Catholic and wrote weird stories about the South. At any rate, the same woman who had previously announced at the stop that she’d shot a diseased chicken with a shotgun was there today. She wears glasses and has hair dyed pink and red, with dark roots, which reminds me uneasily of something I might have done at her age. AND SHE WAS TELLING US ABOUT HOW HER FAMILY ALWAYS TALKS ALL THE TIME AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS LIKE SHE DOES, AND IF YOU CAN’T KEEP UP, TOO BAD, AND ONCE HER COLLEGE PROFESSOR GAVE HER AN F ON A PAPER AND SAID IT WAS “INCOHERENT RAMBLING.” Meanwhile, her man, a soft-spoken guy with the accent of his native Pennsylvania (according to him, I didn’t think he had any accent) was wearing a t-shirt with an old-timey newscaster, and the words “THIS JUST IN. YOU’RE AN IDIOT.” Actually, I am a very stable genius. I have to tell you, or else you’d never be able to figure it out.


A picture of an old-timey 50’s newscaster signals that something ironic is about to be expressed. Similar, but more general in application, to a picture of a smiling old-timey 50’s housewife, which signals something ironically feminist, because all old-timey housewives are assumed to have been repressed and miserable and in a state of desperate denial . Get it?


I need to update these, as 2020 is, well, not fast-approaching, exactly, but you get the idea.

If elected, I will not:

  1. Alienate our allies.
  2. Suck up to dictators. (I will be a dictator unto myself.)
  3. Impose tariffs on everyone even though I don’t understand how they work.
  4. Say that you owe me an additional 2 years on my term for daring to investigate me.
  5. Pay someone to block the release of my tax returns/school grades/SAT scores. My state of stable geniushood should be obvious to all.
  6. Dye my hair an unnatural color.
  7. Have a fake tan. Actually, have any tan at all.

So, if you’re trying to think who to write in on the ballot, keep me in mind. Then they’ll have to go looking for me. It’ll be like John Galt in “Atlas Shrugged.” Except better-written.

Oh, and the title? I retired 2 years ago today.

The Moral of the Story

black bird perching on concrete wall with ocean overview

Photo by Tim Mossholder on

A couple days ago, I missed my bus, for the usual reason of letting Rom show me points of interest in the yard for too long (and, I must admit, prolonging our romantic leave-taking). OK, I thought, I will walk down to St Joe, which takes me 20 minutes or so.

I got to the top of the hill, turned, and felt a warm splat on my face. Ironically, a couple of days previously, I’d thought, It’s surprising, with all the walking I do, that I don’t get pooped on by birds more often.

It got on my face, my hair, my pants, my glasses. Suddenly I lost all appetite for walking to St Joe, especially since I was wearing dark clothing (as I usually do), which made what had happened all too evident. I walked back down the hill, glasses clutched in one hand, and one eye squeezed shut, since the stuff was threatening to drip into it, in spite of my flailing at my face. There actually is a story in the Catholic Bible–you know, the one Protestants didn’t take books out of–about a man who slept out in the open, and birds pooped in his eye, and he went blind. (Yes, there’s a lot of weird stuff in Scripture.) I was fairly sure that, due to being legally blind, I would trip or be hit by a car, but neither occurred.

So I got home, cleaned my face, hair, and eye with makeup-remover wipes, and changed my pants. Rom said he’d never seen so much bird poop on a person, and speculated that it had been a large bird like a crow. Hence the illustration. Also keep in mind that crows are probably the smartest animals other than us and the great apes. (I don’t know about the not-so-great apes.)

But what is the moral of the story, you ask?

Well, Rom said, “It seems like Someone doesn’t want you to go out.” Nevertheless (and ever the more), I went out again anyway, and got on the next bus. At a stop down the way, a couple was waiting, but all they had was a $5 bill. They asked if anyone on the bus had change. And guess who had a wad of $1 bills, thanks to McDonald’s being short of 5’s? Considering one of them had a lunch box, and they were willing to use a $5 bill for a $1.50 fare for the two of them, I bet they got out at Walmart to work, not shop. So maybe Someone wanted me to take that bus, although I question the use of bird excrement to achieve the desired end.


And I know what it’s like to be shat on! And if I get any subpoenas, I’ll just ignore them. Why not?

Disclaimer: The author of this post received 1 or 2 subpoenas in the course of her job, when she had one, and did not ignore them.


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