Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Stab From the Past

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!”

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Day

I have been retired for a year today. Hmm, have I learned anything? And why do I feel like I should have learned something?

I am wearing the “My Work Number is 911” t-shirt, because it isn’t.

Today is National Donut Day, but I had no donuts. I guess I could rectify that tomorrow.

I am somewhat intoxicated.

Oh, Rom wants you to know, reference our anniversary lunch at Logan’s, that he did not, either, put both steak sauce and something else (ketchup?) on his burger. He used them to dip his fries in, which I personally don’t think is any better, and may be worse.

THE WEIRDEST AD I EVER SAW

This was an old magazine ad on Ebay, for some brand of lipstick. It said, “There’s a little bit of Satan in our satin-finish lipstick.” Because it’s devilishly sexy and stuff. It had a guy in a devil costume lurking behind the lipsticked model. I just can’t see that ad running today. Of course, we have an entire line of nail polish called Sinful Colors, so I could be wrong.

Oh, looking back on my decision to be a Writer (and the accompanying Hey! I might not need college!) decision I made in 8th grade–I didn’t, and don’t, doubt my ability to write, per se. I think I could have been entirely adequate in some magazine-staff or copy-writing position (that didn’t require me to go out and interview people). The doubts were/are about Creative Writing. After all, an agent once told me, “You don’t even understand the basic story-arc.” And how could an autistic person, who can’t understand how people tick, make characters come to life? OK, I haven’t Learned Something.

Speaking of which, the paper recently had something about The Danger of Self-Diagnosis, when it comes to autism. So have I been officially diagnosed? I have been half-diagnosed. I once said to my mother, “That nice lady you had me talk to in first grade was a child psychologist, right?” And she said, “Yes, she said you might be autistic, but we figured out it was just that we didn’t know your eyesight was so bad!” Yeah, that explains a lot. Not.

 

 

Product Criticism

 

On Coke carton: “15 cans! That’s 3 more than a 12-can carton!” Um, yeah, I figured that out myself.

On Pepsi carton: “Tastes great over ice!” Wow! I’d never have thought of that!

I’m sure you’re expecting me to weigh in on the latest McDonald’s controversy. Well, if you’ve heard of it, anyway. Someone is suing McDonald’s because they wanted their Quarter Pounder without cheese, and didn’t think they should have to pay for the cheese. (I am just imagining damages paid for however many cents a slice of cheese is, through a lifetime of burgers.) McDonald’s is maintaining that the sandwich’s full name is “Quarter Pounder With Cheese,” and that therefore cheese is part of the nature of the item, and that the plaintiff could just pick the cheese off anyway.

I’m not sure what justice is in this case, but I can make several points. (Of course I can!)

–Telling someone they can “just pick off the parts you don’t like” is invalid. The juice of the unliked item remains on the burger. My personal nemesis is onions, but even though I like cheese, I know it would melt into the burger and ruin it for someone who didn’t.

–And before McDonald’s gets too snooty, the original patent for the item in 1975 mentioned cheese as an optional feature. And I remember when the Quarter Pounder was introduced (you saw that coming, didn’t you?). You ordered either a Quarter Pounder (in white styrofoam carton) or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (in yellow styrofoam). I don’t remember when they decided to default to the Cheese option, but it was not always thus.

–And most importantly, how does this affect me? I dislike a bunch of stuff they put on burgers (I was appalled the first time I ever went to McDonald’s as a child and realized they put everything on burgers–who gets ketchup and mustard and pickles and onions?). But it never occurred to me to tell them, “I don’t want the mustard and pickles and onions, and I don’t want to pay for them, either. Subtract 7 cents from my bill.”

All this is making me want a cheeseburger.

 

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 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!”)

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?

 

Environmental Enrichment Required

I seem to have a dearth of material now that I’m retired, unless Nick were to kidnap me and take me on some horrible Adventure, I suppose. After all, how often do you need to read my opinion of holiday decorations?

BUT YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR IT ANYWAY

‘Tis the season for gag-inducing cinnamon candles at the dollar store, the candle they would make me burn in Hell. Especially since they’ve had problems with the glass in their candles exploding when it gets hot. I bet all glass in Hell explodes when it gets hot.

OK, I guess candle-burning in Hell is an interesting topic.

HARKING BACK TO YE DAYS OF YORE WHEN I DID HAVE MATERIAL

On I guess March 21 2013 (I don’t know what time zone WordPress is in, but it sure ain’t mine, so all their dating is suspect), I reported a caller saying that someone needed to be “cemented” (they meant “committed”), and a caller saying, “There’s been a suicide….I’m the victim.”

HARKING BACK TO YON DAYS OF YORE EVEN FURTHER

Astrology for ’75:

Taurus woman/Cancer man: “He’ll lick your belly button when you’re not looking.” I don’t advise anyone to lick my belly button. Even if I am looking.

Taurus woman/Leo man: “Wear emotional sunglasses to avoid burns.” Where do you get those glasses?

Secret Wish for Aquarius: “Having a tall, silvery humanoid/astronaut go to the moon and back to prove his devotion to you, having him proclaim his love for you on network TV.”

ANOTHER DISSATISFIED CUSTOMER

The guy in front of me at McDonald’s was making a complaint. The manager said, “I’ll replace your entire order, sir.” He said, “I don’t want my order replaced!” (I’m thinking, Shut up, let them replace your order, and let us all get on with our lives and lunches.) Then he said, “Where’s the dude I talked to on the phone?” Ah, the Dude I Talked To On The Phone. I used to work with him.

McRib is back! Tastes like a weiner, shaped like a bone!

This Blog Won’t Write Itself

…as I realized earlier today.

THE SAGA OF THE CASHMERE TWINSET

I once read that “every woman should have a cashmere sweater in her signature color.” My signature color is periwinkle, so the closest choices were either Lilac or Paradise Blue Heather, and only the latter came in size L, so that’s the one I got. Ssso soft….

THE WORK ETHIC IN ACTION

…well, aside from expecting the blog to write itself.

The woman in front of me on the bus started her phone conversation with, “They can’t get mad at me for not coming in today.” I’m betting they can, especially when she continued with, “I need to get someone to call my work on Tuesday and act like my kids are sick and it’s an emergency, so I can leave work at noon. I gotta go trick-or-treating with my kids.” Because you shouldn’t let your job get in the way of the traditional trick-or-treat hour of NOON. She finished up with, “This job is gonna get me in trouble.” No, you’re doing that quite well on your own.

Commercial: “It’s the Halloween weekend!” There is no Halloween weekend. This ain’t Labor Day. This year Halloween isn’t even contiguous to a weekend. Wonder what they’ll say when it falls on a Wednesday.

I suppose I shouldn’t expect Walgreen’s to be anatomically correct, but not only do they have skeletons of spiders, but the things that do have skeletons–dogs, cats, rats–all have skeleton ears. I thought it was for cuteness’ sake, but the inclusion of rats suggests they did it so that people would know what it was a skeleton of.

What does it mean when the “Scary Witch Hair” wig looks suspiciously like mine? WELL?

THE WAR ON PARTS OF SPEECH CONTINUES

“Tell us how you burger.”  Or just point and grunt.

STAB FROM THE PAST

My first post from March ’13 marked the first mention of Nick as a beast, and the introduction of “Theater of Cruelty” to describe our interactions. I excoriated him for referring to me as “abominable” on Facebook, and for misspelling “abominable.”

ASTROLOGY ’74

Beauty for Taurus: “Tuck a rose in your cleavage.” Ouch.

Favorite Fantasy for Cancer: “Having him carry you off to the bedroom while the steak burns.” Um, shouldn’t you do something about that fire first?

Passionate Setting for Capricorn: “At the base of a gnarled oak tree in a bed of daisies.” I can actually provide that in my front yard, if any Capricorns want to get in touch with me.

An Army of Red and Green Laser Snowmen

…is what was promised in a commercial I saw today. “ACT NOW AND WE’LL THROW IN VAMPIRE BATS, ABSOLUTELY FREE!”

ASTROLOGICALLY CHALLENGED

Let’s continue our zodiac explorations…now for 1973.

Witchiest Makeup for Taurus: “Green shadow on eyelids, the merest dusting of same for the most intriguing earlobes in town.” Yeah, green earlobes would be the most intriguing in town, I’m pretty sure.

Interior decorating for Gemini: “Start a crystal collection–a disconcertingly placed bud vase with blue silk rose in the bathroom.” I guess a crystal bud vase in the bathroom would be disconcerting no matter where you placed it. I recommend the back of the toilet.

Favorite Aphrodisiac for Cancer: “Clam juice, with a frosting of Mediterranean sea salt, sprinkle of tarragon.” I’m glad I’m not a Cancer, so I don’t have to drink this.

THE OTHER DAY…

Rom saw a sour neon crawler on the sidewalk. This must be an omen. Of something.

SOUR NEON CRAWLERS PERSONNEL:

P.J. McBride–vocals and bass guitar. There’s a heartwarming story of how I learned to play bass even though I’m hampered by a previously-dislocated finger.

Romuald McBride III–drums. He learned to play drums to deal with quitting smoking.

Lead and rhythm guitars–two of my brothers-in-law. These guys are real musicians and I was impressed by their performance of Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” in my living room. It takes a lot for an acoustic performance to impress me.

Keyboards–my old friend Charles.

With luck (oh, and with work, and you know how that goes), I’ll come up with adventures for the Sour Neon Crawlers, similar to the stories my dear departed friend Suzy and I wrote about our favorite musicians in 8th grade (Bob Dylan, Donovan, Simon & Garfunkel). Yes, I’m regressing. This is what I do when I’m not giving snaky tongues to birds in my coloring book.

I am at war with my coloring book. Every time I turn a page, I think, YOU EXPECT ME TO COLOR ALL THESE THINGS? ARE YOU INSANE?? Then I scribble all over it.

AN ILLUSTRATION OF AMERICA’S FOREIGN POLICY

–Little boy playing with his dad at McDonald’s–“Give me back my missile! You are evil!”

MORE CHILDISH THINGS–THIS JUST IN

Archer (currently 6 years old) is an alien for Halloween. He told Rom that he’s called Extraterrestrial Highway. Rom said, “Is that how you got here?” and he said no, that’s his name. He also has a special way of holding his hands while running (even when he’s not an alien) because “it’s aerodynamic.”

I hope this post meets with the approval of Nick, who was bored by me earlier.

As it happens, my 6th and last post for Feb. ’13 was entitled “Tortured By Boredom,” and described NIMS training as “being waterboarded with words.” Those who have had this training will know whereof I speak.

 

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