Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: autism

Violets In Powdered Sugar: Attar Bazaar African Violet

purple hydrangeas

Photo by K B on Pexels.com

First off, HURRAY for a free photo service even I can navigate!

In case you couldn’t read the suddenly-tiny print in the last post (no, I wasn’t trying to sneak the information in–apparently cutting-and-pasting song lyrics off Google is not as clever an idea as I thought it was), I’m going to include the occasional perfume review. And if anyone has a perfume-related question (“I want a perfume that smells like X” or “I can’t find my favorite scent anymore, now what?”), please ask. Fragrance is one of my “special interests,” as we say in the autism biz. (“Obsession” sounds so judgmental, doesn’t it?) (No, I did not intend a pun on the perfume name Obsession.) I suppose this knowledge can now expand to fill the space once occupied by NCIC codes and NIMS definitions.

I’ve always wanted a “signature scent”–“me in a bottle,” what could be more romantic? Sure, also self-absorbed, but in a romantic way! Frustrated by my inability to find something that fit both my personality and preferences, I turned to my husband for help. Rom, of course, knows me better than anyone. It could be argued that he knows me better than I know myself. (It would be argued, in fact. We tend to be argumentative.) He said I should smell like “cool, misty dusk in an interesting place.” (Could he be more romantic?) I asked the fragrance fans at MakeupAlley for help, and they said this mood was best achieved by notes of violet, iris, sandalwood, oakmoss, powder, and/or incense. They recommended 13 specific perfumes, the first of which we deal with today.

Attar Bazaar was started in 1980, and they offer inexpensive perfume oils, mostly in an Oriental vein (incense, patchouli, woods, resins). But they do have a few florals, hence African Violet.

I find AV a bit screechy when first applied–violet is a high-pitched note to begin with, so the beginning is a little shrill. It quickly settles, though, into a candied sweetness that makes me think, not of violets with sugar crystals, but violets dredged in powdered sugar. There’s a creaminess to it, a velvety softness. I detect no other notes (unless you want to call sugar a note)–no leafy green notes, no woods–just the violet flowers themselves. So if you are a violet purist and just want the sweet stuff, I recommend this. Also, there are not many violet scents in an oil formulation, so if you prefer that to an alcohol-based scent, definitely check this one out. For my own purposes, I found it a bit too sweet.

By the way, my reviews are based on samples I paid for myself, and I am not paid for reviews. Of course, I’m not paid for anything else on here, either.

Now let’s move on to…

WORLD EMOJI DAY? REALLY?

“Facebook salutes the tiny symbols that have changed the way we communicate.” Yeah, I guess. And I’m wondering how long it will be before texting eliminates punctuation. It’s already made it uncool, in the same way that paying for stuff with actual cash is uncool.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Against Everything

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

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

CONTINUING OUR CANNIBALIZATION PROGRAM

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

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

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

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

“This one goes out to the one I love

This one goes out to the one I left behind

A SIMPLE PROP TO OCCUPY MY TIME…”

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

 

 

I Am a Cannibal

Hey, they said to start with an attention-grabbing title! And now that I’ve got your attention, since I screwed up the punchline of the joke I ended with last time, here is the actual joke, for the 2 people who haven’t heard it:

–A farm boy and his girlfriend are walking along a country lane through his father’s fields. They see a cow and a bull doing, um, what a cow and a bull do when they love each other very much. The boy turns to his girlfriend and says, “I’d sure like to be doing what that bull is doing right now.” The girl says, “Go ahead. It’s your cow.”

What I am getting at here is that I will be cannibalizing previous posts, since there’s funny stuff in them, especially from work, that I’d forgotten. Sure, you could say I’m doing it to make up for the fact that I no longer have access to fresh material along that line. You could say that, but you’d hurt my feelings.

THIS OBSERVATION BROUGHT TO YOU BY REDD’S APPLE ALE

Did you know that blogging is something you can do while you have the hiccups? As opposed to saying the rosary, or reading aloud to myself (one of my autistic things, I’ve done it since I learned to read), which are my other options at the moment. But, lest my faithful FanBase feel like a mere convenience, let me also observe that as soon as I sat down here and started, I thought, “God, I love this! Why don’t I do it more often?” This may be because I’m drunk, but in vino veritas, as them ancient Romans used to say, and I’ve found it to be frequently true. Or to be true frequently. Syntax is not my strong point at the moment. I’m actually not even sure exactly what syntax is, but it sounds good. (Charles, can you help? I remember you mentioned it once in an email in the 90’s.)

(“Stop pounding the keyboard!” Alien Finger whines. Why did I need to dislocate that finger, anyway?)

WordPress is now telling me, “Subscription required for speech features!” I don’t know what button I hit. I wasn’t trying to talk to anybody, God forbid. I can barely handle what to italicize.

SCARIEST BUSINESS NAME I’VE SEEN

“Deaconess Comprehensive Pain Center.”

SPEAKING OF SCARY…

Dear A Certain Person, I saw 2 items at Walgreen’s you need–a spider skeleton, and a Mexican Day of the Dead-style Rottweiler. Sure, I could just send you these items, but then I’d need to pay for them. (“Does she know my address?” A Certain Person wonders nervously.)

FASHION OBSERVATION

I said it before and I’ll say it again–“tactical pants” is a silly term. “My pants are an integral part of the plan.” Right, Nick? Rom says he’s holding out for strategic pants. Until then, he wears Real Workwear jeans from Rural King, the official men’s pants of the West Side. Rural King is Rom’s favorite designer.

MCDONALD’S UPDATE

They do, too, have pumpkin pies. The Marketing Book lied to me. They are not quite the same as the previous ones, but are “pumpkin cream pies,” with a quantity of white stuff which has a cheesecakey quality. I eat them every chance I get.

Donald Trump recommends Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. Of course, this is a man who believes that exercise is bad for you.

I ALMOST FORGOT…

The only thing I found of note in my very first post (“What Are You Doing Here?” February 2013) was the observation that “The Internet lets a cult of personality develop around a person with no charisma.” Um, yeah.

Life’s Rich Pageant: McDonald’s

I bring you the first of my Unwanted Restaurant Reviews. Any typos are the responsibility of Redd’s and not, for example, me.

No sooner did I say that there was probably already someone on YouTube doing this same thing, than I saw someone, a guy who wears an over-sized suit and Brylcreem in his hair while he criticizes Domino’s Pizza for being too doughy. (Pizza can never be too doughy, in my opinion.) Instead, you will have to visualize me in a t-shirt and hair without any styling product, and indeed, without any style.

Jimmy Fallon once said, “‘Thank you for choosing McDonald’s?’ You don’t choose McDonald’s. You end up at McDonald’s.” Aside from not being exactly true (Rom observed the other day, “I could go for 10 McNuggets right now,” without actually being moved to do anything about it), this is actually a plus in my book. Why do I like McDonald’s? Because of the ambience, believe it or not. Everyone ends up there eventually. This is where you can observe the difference between a Hippie and a Hipster, as follows:

Hippie: dreadlocks, full beard, tie-dye t-shirt

Hipster: goatee, backwards ball cap with lightning bolts on the back (thereby revealing that you’re supposed to wear it backwards and be ironic), black t-shirt with kittens fighting on the front upon a background of flames (you can only wear this ironically–the irony is built in)

COMMERCIAL BREAK BECAUSE 2 CANS OF REDD’S HAVE MADE ME THIRSTY BUT I AM ALREADY DRUNK ENOUGH, KTHNXBAI WHILE I GO GET A CAFFEINE-FREE DIET COKE BECAUSE I AM LAME

ALL-CAPS VISION BROUGHT TO YOU BY CAT TOWN, A HUMOROUS SITE WHICH STOPPED POSTING IN 2005 AND IS SORELY MISSED

By the way, this subject matter, if I ever get around to it, is brought to you courtesy of Nick, whom I unwisely notified that I was going to do this, and is now not speaking to me so I won’t be distracted. I feel used.

For a representative experience, you should go to McD’s on a weekday. Saturday is Baby Daddy Day, and Sunday is Everyone Is Eating Somewhere Else Day.

I gave my order to an employee who then said, “I hate McDonald’s food. Can’t stand it.” Way to insult the customer’s tastes right out of the gate! In fairness, she wasn’t speaking to me, but to a colleague who was ordering their employee meal.

Speaking of which, I witnessed a guy getting his Employee Evaluation (something we never got at 911, by the way). He got a good review, since he had corrected his previous problem of neglecting to wear his apron regularly.

WHAT I GOT:

Fish sandwich, no tartar sauce, because that is just mayo with boogers in it. This menu item is brought to you courtesy of the Catholic Church–one franchisee was finding Lent was cutting into his sales, so he came up with a Lenten-friendly entree (Ray Kroc’s suggestion was a pineapple slice on a bun). HONORABLE MENTION: McNuggets. These are useful, because I don’t have to make any special requests. They’re acceptable even without sauce. This comes in handy when I’m not alone, because being with someone rattles me just enough that I’m prone to forget my special needs, and end up having to scrape boogers off my sandwich. Speaking of which, McD’s current menu board is not autism-friendly, nor even friendly to other people. Not only is it constantly flashing and changing in a sensory-overload sort of way, but it will change to something else just as you’re trying to figure out, for example, what the price of an item is. There is also an apparently-still picture of a Coke, but I thought, “Are those soda bubbles moving? They are!” and there proved to be a moment when an ice cube enters the frame and dumps itself into the drink, and then I get fixated on staring at it until the ice cube falls into it again, so it’s a good thing they know what I usually order.

Speaking of innovations, I have spoken of their Retro Moderne remodeling before. I have not encountered chartreuse chairs at any other establishment. There is a middle area I call the Senior Corral, where the village elders speak of the issues of the day. (Is Obama a Muslim? Are Catholics brainwashed?). Rom hates the Senior Corral, and positions himself as far from a colorful wall covering as possible. There are two of these, one in the Corral and one on a side wall. I was greatly disoriented the other day when I went in and the central Corral one was gone, replaced by a plain white wall. I thought, That wasn’t white before, was it? No, I know it wasn’t, because I remember comparing the two walls and thinking, It’s OK that they are two different patterns because they use the same colors. This is what I do when I wear my navy-and-white-striped pants with my navy-and-white circle-print shirt. (This is called having a Fashion Sense.) Then, because they weren’t finished facking with me yet, the colorful design reappeared on that wall the other day. You gotta wonder.

My seating preference is to wedge myself into a corner, but the current free-form seating arrangement makes that more difficult, so I usually sit by the window.This has the advantage of swivel chairs, so I can make myself my own fidget spinner.

YOU THOUGHT I FORGOT ABOUT FOOD, DIDN’T YOU?

McDonald’s fries are consistently good. Rom insists they have never been worthwhile since they stopped frying them in beef tallow. I can’t really tell the difference, but he is a professional cook, after all.

McDonald’s sodas (or soft drinks, as we call them in this part of the country–I didn’t know anyone outside of commercials called them that) are also good. However, at the St Joe location, the right-hand Diet Coke spigot tends to give you more carbonated water than syrup, and the center one is prone to splash all over you. You want the left-hand one for optimal performance.

I cannot report on the sweet tea, tea being loathsome.

I finished with a hot fudge sundae. Running an ice-cream machine is a skill McDonald’s is having trouble mastering. I remember reading about a DQ that put out a sign “OUR ICE-CREAM MACHINE WORKS, UNLIKE THE GUYS ACROSS THE STREET!” until the DQ lawyers made them take it down. However, it was working on this occasion, and as good as the equivalent item at DQ.

FELLOW-DINERS’ FOLLIES

–Rhetorical question from parent to a heck-raising child: “You ever had a spanking?”

–Another parent to a toddler: “Why are you crying? Because you want my newspaper? Really?”

IT’S FRIDAY AND PIZZA TIME SO I AM GOING AWAY NOW

 

Thanks & Apologies

Thank you to the person who told me the first thing they do every morning is check to see if I’ve posted! Although maybe an apology would be more appropriate.

RANDOM STUFF I FORGOT LAST TIME BECAUSE ROM CAME IN AND GAVE ME FOOD IN MY SPECIAL BLUE BOWL

BEST NAME FOR A ROCK BAND EVER–(courtesy of a candy I saw at CVS): Sour Neon Crawlers. Let’s get that band started! I could write lyrics, I don’t sing any worse than some singer-songwriters, and Rom said I have the personality of an egotistical lead singer, so let’s go!

BONUS: BEST NAME FOR A COUNTRY BAND EVER (courtesy of a sports team I saw on the news while waiting impatiently for Colbert to be on): Normal Cornbelters.

Billboard at Lloyd/St Joe–“Want to know how this works? Call us.” Yes, it’s a billboard advertising itself. And no thanks, I think I understand how they work.

TALKIN’ ‘BOUT MY G-G-GENERATION

An editorial in the paper recently noted disapprovingly that states have over-extended their pension obligations, “even offering retiree health insurance.” How dare I have health insurance! I should just do without, as punishment for working for the government for 32 years. (Well, 32 years for this government. I worked for 2 others before that.)

I am now in my third  month of pretending I’m independently wealthy and have inherited a small fortune (but only a small one, as befits my lower-upper-class upbringing). Of course, it’s easy to live cheaply when you don’t have a life, as it’s commonly defined.

HEY, WAIT, I GOT A NEW COMPLAINT

–stolen from Kurt Cobain, if I understood him correctly.

When did parts of speech become randomized? I hate to bring it up, since it makes me sound pedantic. Not to mention un-creative, which is the worst thing you could call me. (“Wait! Wait! I need to add this to my notes!” Nick says, jumping up and spilling his pink lemonade.) Yeah, I know, language evolves and stuff. But still…

“Enjoy the go.” (Well, that’s wrong for so many reasons, #1 being the idea that using the toilet would actually be pleasant as long as you had the right toilet paper.) (Did you know there’s a commercial out there that SHOWS A DIAGRAM OF TURDS MOVING THROUGH YOUR INTESTINE??! It’s a sign of the end. So to speak.)

“Each child schools differently.”

“Discover your awesome.”

“This is how you Sonic.”

“the big reveal” We already have a word for that–revelation.

I saw a woman on the bus with a t-shirt that said: “American Pride: ‘America’, adj., in or of America. ‘Pride’, noun, a highly opinion of oneself.” Bigly, I say.

Speaking of which, a clerk at Thornton’s complimented me on my tattoo and said, “Is that a cobra? You’re the last person I’d think would have that.” Time for the Blue Oyster Cult t-shirt, obviously.

OTHER PROBLEMS THAT I HAVE

I read that the autistic brain lacks the ability to automatically prioritize sensory input. I never thought of it that way before, but it makes so much sense. Everything comes at me at once, so no wonder I like to stick to the familiar. It’s mildly disorienting just to go to a McDonald’s location I haven’t been to before, and actual Travel is just overwhelming. (I remember a co-worker asked, “What will you do when you retire? Travel?” and I said, “NO!” with a loudness and vehemence she might have found odd.) Rom has an expression, “It’s like you get on moving day,” to express this state. You know how they say that someone “sees what has to be done and does it?” I have trouble seeing what has to be done. Just issue instructions, please. And hope I’ll follow them. (You can see why Rom has that expression.) The everything-at-once theory also explains why I get a lot of both “I can’t believe you noticed that!” and “I can’t believe you didn’t notice that.”

LET’S OBSERVE A MOMENT OF SILENCE 

…for the small spider that fell into my candle. I blew the candle out as a sign of respect, and it is  now entombed in rose-and-magnolia-scented wax.

THEATER OF CRUELTY UPDATE

We haven’t heard about a certain beast for awhile, have we? I heard that he’s gone rogue now that I’m no longer his handler, and was spotted in Orlando attacking Disney characters (now that there’s an app that helps you locate them). But he is no longer my concern, I suppose.

 

 

New-Product News!

RAMPANT MATERIALISM ON NORTH ST JOE

…or “North Street Joe,” as someone from an alarm service once called it. Which is why alarm services should stay local. Repeat after me, “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.”

–Guys! Are you tired of moist towelettes that have scents like “Spring Blossom”? Then you’ll be wanting new “Dude Wipes”! I did not make that up. They also come in “Shower Wipe” size. Nick, are you paying attention? And right next to the Dude Wipes, you will find “Nads Nose Wax,” which “inserts easily into the nose.” Well, one hopes so.

BUTTER PECAN ICE CREAM, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? I’m glad I discovered this stuff before I die. Lic’s even has a BUTTERNUT SUNDAE with caramel sauce! They also have “Cinnamon Hottie”–cinnamon ice cream with red-hots–which is the ice cream they’d make me eat in hell. Nick, quit taking notes, please.

–E-mail from Lands’ End, where I get most of my clothes: “We have a print polo shirt for every day of the week!” I briefly entertained the idea of having a polo shirt “uniform” to cut down on stressful clothing decisions, but then I’d have to decide which print went with which day of the week, which would only add stress.

–Headline in paper: “Theme parks adding features for autistic people.” Leaving aside the question of why autistic people would want to go to a theme park (obsession with a particular theme-park character, thanks for asking), they offer “quiet rooms” with weighted blankets. The whole weighted-blanket idea makes me feel a bit panicky, but it might actually work in practice. “You will relax!” They also pinpointed the noise from automatic toilets and hand dryers in restrooms. I can tolerate those, but I do hate them. Aside from the sudden-loud-noises aspect, why can’t we all be trusted to decide on our own water temperature and drying time? (Well, I apparently can’t be trusted to decide on a polo shirt, see above.) Anyway, these idyllic theme park restrooms feature all-manual controls and are “painted calming blue.” Would that all were like them. Hell, paint everything calming blue.

Speaking of dudes (we were, several paragraphs ago, just scroll up), in my retirement, I’ve been making much use of the pedestrian walkway over Lloyd Expressway. Recently, they painted over the gang graffiti (“Taylor Made,” get your juvenile-delinquent ass back to Taylor Avenue, and “Cream Team,” I don’t want to know where you’re from), except for “Kilroy Was Here” and “Dude.” Because who could object to Kilroy and Dude? So the structure will now be called the Kilroy-Dude Memorial Overpass. Kilroy comes first because he’s been around longest. Duude!

 

Day 24: Q-Tips

I knew I had other stuff to write about, but yesterday I was too busy cussing at equipment, so it slipped my mind.

Speaking of equipment, the other day someone asked, “Why is it always freezing in here?” and the supervisor replied, “Well, this room is full of electronics…”  Which are worth more than we are. Gotcha. At least it beats the more common supervisory response, which is to deny that it is, in fact, freezing.

BEAUTY TIP OF THE DAY

I recently noticed while combing my hair out in the morning (I shower at night) that I haven’t been losing near as many hairs as I normally do. (No, I don’t count them, I’m just approximating.) “What positive change in my life occurred a few weeks ago?” I asked myself. “Why, I made the decision to retire!” Yes, THIS JOB WAS MAKING ME LOSE MY HAIR. Not a lot, obviously, but this is my beauty tip: For thicker hair, don’t work at 911.

Seriously, it’s freezing in here. I have long sleeves, a fleece vest, and Security Blanket over the top of it. (There was a brief intermission during which I attempted to ascertain the exact shape of Security Blanket,  for the most effective draping. It appears to be a perfect square.) I am typing only intermittently so I can stick my hands in my pockets. I usually leave the room at the end of the shift with Security Blanket over my shoulders like a cape. Unsure what super-powers it would confer.

SPEAKING OF SUPER-POWERS

I was in the weird position the other day of dispatching a run on an autistic 14-year-old who’d run away from home. Weird because, you know, I am one. One officer was telling another, “He left after an argument with his mother, and said he was going to the library and he’d be back at 5:30. He’s high-functioning, but he is autistic, so he can’t be left by himself.” Well, everyone’s case is different, but if they’d decided I could never be left by myself, I’d curl into a spiny ball and never uncurl again. It’s making me feel a bit edgy just thinking about it.

ANOTHER ADVANTAGE OF RETIRING

Maybe I’ll be able to stop dreaming about crime. The other night I dreamed I was being killed by poison gas. Rom and I were at McDonald’s, and a robotic female voice said, “Q.Q.! Q.Q.! Exit the building by the available doors!” We went outside, and that’s where the poison gas was. I was so scared I woke up. The next night I dreamed someone shot a guy who was dressed as Colonel Sanders, and was about to shoot me too. And those are just the interesting ones. I can’t count the number of times I dreamed someone was trespassing on my lawn. And I wonder how long it will take after retirement for me to stop dreaming that I’m late to work. Maybe never.

911 ETIQUETTE–ENGRAVED INVITATIONS

Officer’s notes on a run: “Brian invited Jacob over to fight. Jacob took Brian up on his  offer. Brian called 911.”

Ambulance call: “Says she fell a few months ago, hit her head and spilled her brains.” That must have been why it took her a few months to call.

Deputy on the air: “Show me out with a toilet in the road.”

Narcotics complaint: “I want to be anonymous, because I know these people and they’ll revenge on you.”

I was telling Rom stories like these, and he said, “What’ll you do for fun after you retire? I know–you can go on ridealongs with Nick!” Right, Nick? “Of course,” he says, smiling thinly.

 

I have Security Blanket on inside-out. This troubles me, but I only have 1 more hour to be troubled in, so I’m not going to expose myself to the soul-sucking cold long enough to turn it around.

FASHION TIPS

Facebook article–“20 Fashions That Make You Look Older.” It’s illustrated with a photo of an old woman with a man’s tie tied around her head. That doesn’ t make you look older. It just makes you look wacky. I’m not going to click on that article.

OK, I had to click on that article. I’m doing at least half of those 20 things. People often say I don’ t look my age, but maybe they’re just being nice.

–“The only acceptable tights are black.” No, the only acceptable tights are ones that aren’t pretending to be pants.

–“Too much gaudy jewelry.” You can kiss my ancient ass.

–“Carrying a big ‘old lady’ handbag.” I carry a tote bag with tie-dye stripes on it. Could this be what they’re referring to? You can tell I’m hip! It’s tie-dye!

–“Wearing unflattering colors.” Well, this could apply to anyone. It’s not like, “Oh no, I’m 40–unflattering colors don’t flatter me any longer.”

–“Wearing chunky shoes.” Well, I actually have an old-lady reason for that–problem feet–but I had those when I was young, too. And I don’t even like the term “kitten heels.” It means you’re trying to be cutesy.

“You’re not wearing shapewear.” I’m not wearing something that squeezes me constantly, no. Since no one has dared tell me, “You’re obviously not being squeezed–you should do something about that,” well, see the ass-kissing part previously.

TIP FOR THE DAY

If you hear a robotic voice saying, “Q.Q.! Q.Q.!,” it can never be good.

 

 

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