Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

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.

 

 

Drunk & Orderly

…is what I was on Saturday. But that was then, and this is now.

COSMO ASTROLOGY FOR 1981

Interior decorating for Sagittarius: “Turn your digs into a colorful caravan by covering walls with brightly-printed sheets, then gathering ends of same at middle of ceiling. Add rattan chairs, huge pillows covered in madras cotton, a collection of Buddhas–pure erotica!” Yes, there’s nothing more erotic than a bunch of Buddhas.

Brief intermission while I get up and turn the light back off, after having it on to copy the above.

AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM

Well, the corner of Franklin & St Joe has a problem, but it’s symptomatic & stuff.

First let me note that someone has tossed a pair of athletic shoes over the telephone wire. It has been rumored that this means that drugs are for sale at this location. Even before I read Snopes on the matter (they say no one knows why it happens, but probably it’s just because we can), I found problems with this theory. How do you know where to get the drugs? Do you just stand on the corner until someone shows up?

At any rate (to use one of Rom’s favorite expressions), at least two people were able to get some drugs, because there was a guy on the bus stop bench angrily talking to himself.

Rom just came in here and turned on the light, just because it’s dark. How dare he?

I thought, he’s really going to be mad when he realizes that the bench isn’t really at the bus stop, but is half a block away. This is because the important thing is not giving riders a place to sit while they wait, but displaying the advertising on the bench to the best advantage. People sitting on it actually block the view. I thought I was just paranoid to think this, until I saw recently that they moved the one across the street away from the bus stop, too.

At any rate, perhaps the guy on the bench suspected the truth, because he hunched over and started screaming at the sidewalk.

Then a different guy lurched toward me, so I had to step aside to avoid him. He kept staggering onto the liquor-store parking lot and back,

(Disclaimer: speaking of staggering on liquor-store lots, I’m drunk again. I have to have a reason to be drunk–previously it was Cinco de Mayo, now it’s my birthday/anniversary season.}

and then he approached me–“Gotta light for a cigarette?” Well, that’s one stupid habit I never started, so no. He then stumbled over to the guy on the bench, who interrupted his diatribe with the pavement long enough to give him a  light. Then Guy #2, who apparently saw no reason to save up his cigarette money so he could fix his missing tooth, sat down on the curb, smoking and twitching. Then he got up and wandered into the street, apparently thinking he could see if the bus was coming more effectively that way. Keep in mind that this is W. Franklin St. during evening rush hour, even though many people were just rushing to the liquor store after work. OK, I was one of those people. Except for the “after work” part.

When the bus arrived, I got on quickly, to secure my coveted front-upper-level seat. The smoking/twitching guy got onto the bus entrance steps and just stood there, then stepped off.

Bus driver: “Sir, do you want to get on the bus or not?”

Guy: “I’m scared.”

Driver: “Scared of what?”

Guy: “Being shot.” He then backed away from the bus. I am betting the police dealt with him eventually.

This post is dedicated to the people at Dispatch who decided, against all odds, that they missed me.

 

 

It’s Not Easy Being Dead

I just liked that from the previous post. Yes! I can cannibalize even from the immediately previous post! Speaking of the previous post…

OTHER NON-REASONS I WEAR PERFUME

I don’t wear it in place of soap and deodorant. So much for those who say, “I don’t need perfume–shower. This isn’t the old days when we didn’t have soap.”

I don’t wear it to seduce anyone. As in, “You shouldn’t try to be sexy at the office, so why would you wear perfume to work?”

I wear it because it smells good (to me–other people might disagree, but I might disagree with their choice of leggings as pants), and because a great perfume is a work of art.

YOU MIGHT BE A REDNECK IF…

Overheard on the bus:

“I told my son, ‘You better put that trash out before you go to bed tonight.’ So when I saw he went to bed and it wasn’t done, I took it and dumped it over him. He woke up and said, ‘You dumped it on me!’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I needed room to put more in.'” To be charitable, let’s assume that she was speaking about a wastepaper basket, not the garbage can in the kitchen. One hates to think what would happen if he hadn’t cleaned the litter box.

UNWANTED RESTAURANT REVIEW–TACO BELL

You thought I’d given up doing these, didn’t you? Since I only did the one of McDonald’s, and that was like a year ago, in fast-food time.

I’m sorry to say this about Rom’s favorite fast-food place, but I seldom go to Taco Bell. My infrequent desires for Mexican food are better met by Taco John’s, right down the street. (Taco Bell vs. John’s is a Chevy-vs.-Ford sort of controversy in these parts, and equally unresolved.) But I mean to cover all the places on St Joe between Maryland and Franklin (that allow me to eat on the premises, that is, which may cut out the pizza places), so it must be included.

I had, as I think I said once before on here, actually been avoiding TB entirely since the time they completely forgot about my order–even though I was right there on the premises waiting for it. I tend to resent places that give priority to the drive-through over the counter, since I, of course, am always at the counter.

A BRIEF ANNOUNCEMENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY MY EXPERIENCE AT  MCDONALDS YESTERDAY: WHY WOULD YOU ORDER MCDONALDS FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE WHEN YOU ARE ALREADY STANDING AT THEIR COUNTER?! HUH?

Where were we? Right, at Taco Bell, across the street from McDonald’s.

Anyway, they had no problem remembering my presence this time. The sign outside said, “Need money? Taco to us about a job that’s nachos yet!” so perhaps there had been an employee shakeup. Although the other sign that said, “Work at your happy place!” might have taken it a bit far.

Unfortunately, this time they weren’t playing their 70’s rock soundtrack. What they were playing was so forgettable that I forgot it.

One problem I’ve had with Taco Bell is their lack of side dishes, unless you’re into nachos, which I’m not. So I was pleased to discover their Mexican rice, which I had with a soft taco. The latter was eerily similar to the same item at Taco John’s, except for Taco Bell-style ground beef, which is, as I’ve noted, inferior. However, both items were entirely adequate. So now I have a menu plan for those times when everyone else in my group wants Taco Bell. Which would really only happen in the mid-70’s, with 7 of us stuffed into a VW bug with a bottle of Boone’s Farm wine. As the old joke goes:

Officer to a driver at a DUI checkpoint:

“I’ll have to give you a field sobriety test.”

“OK.”

“Now text your ex.”

“I’d rather not.”

“Wanna go get Taco Bell?”

“No, I’m good.”

“OK, you’re free to go.”

Restroom review: Atomic-powered toilet that wants to shoot you to the stars when you flush, and no place to put your stuff while you wash your hands.

Yes, this review is less than enthusiastic, but I warned you going in.

I PUT OFF PAYING MY UTILITY BILL SO I COULD TELL YOU THIS

Why is there all this extra writing on the back of the envelope? Besides the usual “Manage your account online.” It reads:

Step 1) Write your Vectren Energy Delivery account number on check.” {I refuse to do this. They have my name and a piece of paper with my account number already on it in the envelope. Besides, no one needs a 19-digit account number.}

Step 2) Place stamp on return envelope and ensure your address is visible through the film window. {I resist the temptation to ensure both of these things are upside-down.}

Step 3) Mail payment at least 5 business days prior to due date to ensure timely delivery.

Step 4) {which is actually in boldface type because this is what they’re really getting at} Avoid steps 1-3 next time by creating an online account and paying your bill online!

Your cheery exclamation point does not deceive me. It’s easy to make anything seem like an unbearable chore if you write it that way. I can do it myself:

PAYING YOUR BILL ONLINE

Step 1) Attempt to remember username. What combination of your names/initials did you use?

Step 2) Attempt to remember password. Get told that your password–

a.) must include letters, numbers, and a “special character”

1.) mutter, “But I am a ‘special character’!”

b. cannot be the same as a password you’ve used in the past 3 months

Step 3) Click on “Forgot password?”

Step 4) Get asked your mother’s maiden name. Try to remember whether you used all-caps, all lower-case, or a combination of the two.

Step 5) Prove you’re not a robot. {And, in the final analysis, can any of us prove that?}

Step 6) Ask for a second chance to prove you’re not a robot, since you could not read the first chance any better than a robot could.

Step 7) Finally access bill-payment screen.

Step 8) Make sure your information matches what they already have on file.

Step 9) Click on “Pay Now.”

Step 10) Get advised to “Print a copy for your records.”

Step 11) Tell them, “I shouldn’t need to do that, because the whole point of doing it this way is supposedly to avoid paper.”

Sure, you will now say, “You’re presenting the worst-case scenario!” but I assure you, at best it involves 3 steps, just like doing it not online. The real point is that they want you to do it online because it saves them money, because they don’t have to pay someone to enter it into their computer system, because you just did it for them.

And if anyone wants to hire me to write stuff on the back of envelopes, meet me at McDonald’s.

 

 

 

Dreaming is Free

…to quote Blondie. Speaking of which, the song “Rip Her To Shreds” always reminds me of Nikki the Tragically Hip. I can just picture her being in a band and singing that.

WordPress is inviting me to attend a “Word Camp” near me. That sounds scary. Luckily, “near me” is defined loosely.

YOU KNOW THE PEOPLE IN THE BOOTH BEHIND YOU AT MCDONALD’S ARE NERDS WHEN:

First topic of conversation: What you should trade your PS4 in for. The fact that you should trade in your PS4 was not open to question. (Note: I only know what a PS4 is because of South Park.)

Second topic: “I think Cambridge Analytica should be in trouble, not Facebook.” (Note: Spell-check says “analytica” is not a word, and I agree.)

Third: “The only reason they had so many Ewoks was because they couldn’t put in that many Wookies, because of the expense for the costumes.” (Note: I have never seen a Star Wars movie.)

YOU KNOW YOU’RE MILDLY INTOXICATED WHEN:

I’m sitting here feeling daring because I’m wearing a tank top. Yeah, it’s 56 degrees, but I’m inside.

I REITERATE MY YEARLY PROMISE THAT IF SOMEONE BUYS ME A FORD MUSTANG FOR MY BIRTHDAY, I WILL LEARN TO DRIVE.

PRODUCT REPORT

Seen at CVS–fake succulents. Just grow some facking succulents! It isn’t hard.

And…”Sour Neon Night Crawlers.” As you know, Sour Neon Crawlers is the name of my imaginary band. “Night Crawlers” would be a good name for our second album. People would know what the band was about by then, and we could just stand there on the cover wearing leather and looking ironic.

DREAMING IS FREE

I dreamed that I was about to die, and they told me, “We have technology now that can bring you back to life, but only for 24 hours, and you can only do it once. You’ll need to wear makeup, because you’ll still look kind of greenish, and you’ll have to wear perfume, because you’ll still smell just a little bit like a dead body.” I chose Avon Timeless, because I thought an old-timey scent would be a witty touch. I’m sure Avon would be flattered. And how did I spend my precious 24 hours? At a party with my former co-workers, and I insisted on telling everyone, “You know, I’m actually dead,” and then feeling hurt because they all looked horrified and backed away from me. It’s not easy being dead.

No, I do not wear perfume because I’m trying to cover up the smell of a dead body.

 

 

 

The Content I Robbed You Of

ASTROLOGY FOR 1980

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

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

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

OLD POSTS DEPT.

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

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

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

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

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

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

In other words, the strictly-theoretical garden.

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

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

A. It’s very large, and

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

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

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

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

 

I Solve Our Nation’s Problems

…again.

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

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

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

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

Live-Blogging: Death & Taxes

Yes, I am using my FanBase for stress relief.

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

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

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

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

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

“Last name.” I’ve made a good start.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE JUST FACKING-WITH-ME PART

“Subtract line 10 from line 9.

Enter the smaller of line 9 or line 10.

Enter one-half of line 12.

Enter the smaller of line 2 or line 13.

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

“Add lines 14 and 15.

Multiply line 1 by 85%.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not F. Scott Fitzgerald

…as my writing professor once told me. I bet F. Scott Fitzgerald wouldn’t have gotten a B+ in his class, either.

This post is brought to you courtesy of K8, my best friend from high school, who encouraged me to have another can of ale.

COSMO ASTROLOGY FOR ’79

Health for Taurus: “Eliminate junk food.” I did not do this.

Beauty for Taurus: “A minimum of makeup. All you really need is a light foundation, a dab of rosy rouge, and navy liner, mascara,  cranberry or expresso shadow for expressive eyes.” This doesn’t seem minimal to me. Plus, it’s “espresso.”

Speaking of which, I told Rom (a fellow Taurus) back when, after seeing a car model named the Scorpio, that, “They’ll never name a car Taurus. Just too dull.” Shows what I know. You know the zodiac sign that will never have a car named after it? Cancer.

I IMPROVE OUR COUNTRY

You know who Trump should get on board as his adviser? Captain Obvious. He’s a military man, which Trump respects. Plus, when Trump is about to say something like, “If she wasn’t my daughter, I’d date her,” he can say, “It’s not cool to say that.” And Trump can say, “Thanks, Captain Obvious.”

 

 

Palm Sunday

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

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

PARTS OF SPEECH WAR, NEVER-ENDING

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

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

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

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

LEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTS

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

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

SOMETHING I OVERHEARD ON THE BUS

“Your little boy sure is cute.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

%d bloggers like this: