Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: birthday party

Social Page: This Is Not Nick

Allow me to explain. {Reactions are evenly divided between “Who’s stopping you?” and “As if anyone could stop you.”} {Ooh, using non-italics as italics! Triple points!}

I attended the birthday party of Nick’s younger cub, who we pretended had just turned 2, even though he will not actually do so until tomorrow. (Is it really right to lie to a child?)

This was held at Nick’s new house. Yes, he left his plague of frogs behind, doubtless to the dismay of whoever purchases his old house, if anyone ever does. {“And now no one ever will, thanks to you,” he growls.} After my own 750 square feet (I believe I have the second-smallest house in town, since I knew someone who lived in one that was only 500), Nick’s new house seemed overly large to me. I myself would be able to live in his basement, although Nick would be unable to sleep at night if I did, in fact, live in his basement.

The family cat, newly transplanted and un-thrilled with large social gatherings, had retreated to the farthest corner in the farthest closet of the farthest room, with the unerring instinct of his kind. I could probably have talked him out if I’d been alone, but we were in the midst of a Grand Tour.

…”But wasn’t there a point you were getting to?” Nick inquires pleasantly. Yes, well…

I owe my host an apology. I think. Possibly.

“Could you put that in the bold-face capital letters?” Nick wants to know. “Maybe some italics, too?”

I…no, you don’t get any italics, you miserable beast. 

In fact, Nick may owe me an apology, for wearing shorts with loose strings dangling from the hem, which bothered me whenever I caught sight of them. But I did not have to put up with them for long, because…

This party was advertised as featuring “water games,” which sounded scary but fascinating, which is pretty much the relationship I have with water anyway. I cannot swim, and cannot be taught to swim, because I won’t put my face under water. But I love playing in the hose, and splashing around in shallow water–as long as no one thinks it would be fun to shove my head underwater. Or knock my feet out from under me. Or similar possibilities too horrible to contemplate, which Nick is probably contemplating at this very moment. Or there’s the possibility of Making a Fool of Myself, which is almost as horrifying.

So they had one of those bouncy houses with a slippy-slide water-shower-type thing, and our host stripped down to his swim trunks. These seemed a bit too big for him–they rode so low, they looked about to fall off at any moment. But, as if this were not suspense enough for one afternoon, he learned that I had actually brought my swimsuit just in case I decided to join in the fun.

I had been observing carefully–testing the water, as it were–to see if any other adults were joining in the aquatic frolics–any adults, that is, other than our host, who doesn’t count because he has no dignity. There were none–not even Sam, for whom I’d had high hopes. But Nick, undeterred by the overwhelming odds against it, decided that me going down the water slide was what he wanted most in the world at that moment (having abandoned all hope of our ride-along ever coming to pass). Or perhaps he was just morbidly curious about seeing me in a swimsuit. He turned on all his boyish charm. “I’ll write about it, and you can put that in the blog–how about that?” I was beginning to think…it would be fun…surely I would enjoy it if I just forgot about Making a Fool of Myself…and it might be interesting to read what Nick wrote about it… until Officer S.H., standing next to the also-expectant Sam, said, “And we’ll take a video of it!” At that point negotiations broke down.

Perhaps now I should have a poll:

–Did I narrowly escape a blackmail scheme? (When you’re World Leader, you have to think about these things.)

–Or will I someday turn to Nick, who is weeping at my deathbed, and say, “The one thing I regret in life is not going down that water slide when you asked me to.”?


Business As Unusual


–You want to report road rage, then say you followed the other driver to a parking lot and are now screaming at them.

–You need assistance because “A beagle charged me and is trying to bite my ankles.”

Speaking of potential ankle-biters, Service Cat Esmerelda was crying for me the other night. Oh, how cute, she’s got her catnip mouse, I thought. No, she had an actual mouse, mortally wounded but not yet dead. She wanted me to–bite its head off, I suppose. I taught her that the correct course of action is actually to contact Rom for disposal.


The better the ant baits you put down, the more colonies of ants you will attract as a result. We hope to wipe out all ants within a 3-mile radius.

OK, I just revealed we’re infested with mice and ants. Would it help if I added that Rom got bombed by a stink bug twice in 2 days?


I read an article in which a woman resolved to give up her bad habit of sarcasm. I suggested to Nick that this was a self-improvement program we might embark on together. “Absolutely not,” was his response. So it is Business as Usual, since we both have long claws and a great many teeth.

Speaking of such beasts, and their armaments and capabilities, Rom wants you to know that he did not actually chase Nick’s cub at The Birthday Party, but merely made a scary noise in his general direction. Of course, Nick was skulking in the outer darkness at that point, and will have to take our word for it.


–Put in ice.

–Add shot of additional flavoring. (World Leader additions–Do not add a bunch of shots of additional flavoring. And note to tween girls–No, you are not proving your edgy individuality by putting some of every flavor in your cup, but nice try.)

–Fill cup with the soft drink of your choice.

I’m glad they give us the correct sequence of these steps. Apparently I’d been doing it wrong.


The restroom at Thornton’s. Too bad they never play anything I want to hear.



Irony Infinite Reverb

Did you know that being ironically aware that you’re a cliche is itself a cliche?

But enough whining. Time for Complaining About Others! A woman on the bus was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Tuesday: It’s Just WTF.”

Objection the First: Why have that kind of attitude about what is, after all, a day in your all-too-temporary earthly life?

Objection the Second: It was, in fact, Wednesday. Reminds me of a friend I had who wore day-of-the-week underwear, but on the wrong days. You know, edgy, ironic, etc. How often do you get to say, “Hey, did you know my underwear is ironic?” (See, Gen X, you didn’t invent the concept.) (Of irony, I mean, not underwear.) (“But, World Leader,” they say, “weren’t you really troubled by the wrongness of her not using the day-of-the-week underwear as it was intended?” To which I say, Shut up.)

Speaking of irony, I just watched Letterman’s last show. Did you know my generation is retiring all around me? And people keep asking me, “So when are you going to retire?” (“Come to usss….”) Retire? I haven’t even become what I want to be when I grow up yet!

And speaking of being older than plastic (YES, I explained that in a previous post, WHY DO YOU KEEP BOTHERING ME?), I looked up when McDonald’s senior discounts kick in, and turns out it’s 55. I’VE BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR 5 YEARS!! And they can’t give me the time back.

Speaking of previous posts, a couple points about my party I forgot to mention last time:

1. A couple people mentioned my youthful complexion, and no, I am not making that up. I give all the credit to Paula’s Choice skincare. No, I didn’t start using it because of the name, although it is a bonus that all my cosmetics have my name on them. And no, I get no remuneration from them, because I wouldn’t know how to go about requesting it.

2. Nick took his life (and, more importantly, pride) in his hands and HUGGED me at the party. No one got bitten or scratched (in spite of what might reasonably be expected). Luckily, since he was in the thick of things (so to speak), he was unable to sneak a picture of the event and no one else did either, so I could have just made this up for all you know.

I was asked why the blog isn’t illustrated. That would be because I don’t know how.

Don’t Fear the Reaper     

I think everyone knows who this title was stolen from, but YOU CAN’T COPYRIGHT A TITLE!


I was sent out of the house so I wouldn’t get in the way of preparation. (All hail to Rom and D., who did everything.) Rom had planned to put those number candles on my cake (said cake being a pan of brownies, so dark that their batter looked like asphalt), but was thwarted because $ General was out of 0’s. (Or they figured people with “0” in their ages don’t want anyone to know their age.) I did find 0’s at Walgreen’s, but by then it was too late, and he had committed to candles which spelled out “Happy Birthday.”


The last time I’d been by My Shelter House, as I now think of it (hey, it was our polling place for many years, too), I disapprovingly noted the peeling paint, and hoped it would be spruced up in time. Apparently we were the first people to reserve it this year (hey, it’s not even Memorial Day yet!), because they called Rom and asked when we intended to get started (our rental fee entitled us to occupy it from noon until midnight, although Nick ordered us to be out by 11, so he wouldn’t have to deal with us professionally), so they’d know when to be done painting. So you can thank me for the beige paint with dark green trim.

I had been starting to think, “A party! What was I thinking?” and getting panicky, but I thought, You have several bottles of sedative on hand, so chill. “Only 3 bottles?” I asked Rom, checking the fridge once we got there. “I don’t want to see you after more than 3,” he responded grimly.

I was delighted to see some former co-workers I seldom get to see, as well as current Tolerable Co-Workers, as they are known, as well as my Numerous and Aggressive In-Laws, as they are properly called. I must mention the brilliant collection of cards,  including 911 references (how common are these among the ranks of greeting cards, really?), and one with actual Scratchy Glitter on the front, which, for some reason, although I loathe it, I feel compelled to touch every time I encounter it. Ew ew ew ew ew, as Eminem said about certain strange and disgusting sexual practices involving tubing.


Yes, there were some, even though I hadn’t asked for any. I didn’t refuse any either, though.

Today I used my gift card for Thornton’s. I figured it was the perfect excuse to try the dreaded Roller Grill Item, which actually turned out to be pretty good. Since there’s no place to sit down in Thornton’s, I took my Item and my drink and trundled across the street to Walgreen’s, where I had a little picnic on their bench under the awning, safe from both the blazing sun and the giant storm cloud, which for some reason were both in the sky simultaneously, and neither of which I wanted to be under.

I received gift cards for Walgreen’s! and for Barnes & Noble! and for Canton Inn! and will report back on what use I make of them, and, for that matter, how I manage to get to Canton Inn, which will probably be a story in itself.


I was solemnly presented with a creepily natural-looking crow, which has been handed down to several people celebrating significant birthdays. We proceeded to argue about whether it was taxidermy or not, and whether it had actually made a noise, or whether we’d just imagined it. I thought it should croak “Nevermore,” or, as one of Rom’s nieces once thought it was, “Quoth the Raven, ‘Never mind.'” Puts a whole different spin on the poem, doesn’t it? At any rate, the Old Crow now perches above this computer until I can figure out who else to bestow it on.


A couple people asked if the fabled Nick (one person actually called him that) was going to make an appearance. I was even asked if he was a real person or just a fictional character. The latter theory was gaining credence as a couple hours went by without him. After 2 1/2 bottles of apple ale, and a little too much food, I started thinking I might be about to be sick. I headed for the bathroom in case this happened, but luckily the crisis passed. And who should I see when I came back out, but the said beast himself, proudly carrying a 12-pack of ale, in case I needed more. He was duly inspected by the gathered FanBase. His lack of fire-breathing ability was deplored, but the length of his fangs and scaliness of tail were much admired, until all the attention made him slink back into the outer darkness, though not before grabbing a quantity of brownies.

While Nick was out of the room, Rom thought it would be fun to play with Nick’s younger cub, who had been gleefully running around up to that moment. So Rom charged at the cub while making a monster noise, causing the poor thing to flee in a panic, squealing in terror and flapping his tiny wings.


I include it here because we had it at such a polite volume that probably no one could hear it.

–Bruce Springsteen, “Darkness on the Edge of Town”–because I walk streets of fire, obviously!

–R.E.M., “Out of Time”–That’s me in the spotlight, that’s me in the driveway, losing my religion…

–the Doors, “L.A. Woman”–I had to include some Doors, and this one doesn’t have any songs that are 20 minutes long and involve screaming.

–Blue Oyster Cult, “Agents of Fortune”–this features “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” which Sister Elizabeth told me she considers my theme song. So I’ll just have to have it played whenever I walk into a room.



First of all, I want to thank everyone for attending, in case I get too drunk to remember to do it later. Actually, what’s more likely is that I will thank you over and over, relentlessly. I’m of the “I love you, man!” school of intoxication.

–Rom made all the food, including baking the bread!

–The shelter house rules include:

* “No sitting/standing on chairs and tables.” That’s right. You’re not supposed to sit on the chairs. Of course, it’s not like they’ll send someone to spy on us.

* “The parking lot and Park shall be policed for litter, including cigarette butts.” Really? Howell Park is a pretty big place. Hopefully, the police will show up, and take care of said policing for us.

–My sole contribution to this undertaking (other than money) has consisted of holding the door while groceries were carried in. But I will also be drawing up the music list, by Rom’s request. He told me to make selections which are representative of my tastes and personality! Isn’t that the dream of everyone who loves music–to put together a soundtrack for your life? And then make everyone listen to it? Rom then added, “But include at least one CD that won’t piss people off.” In that spirit, there will be no Eminem, so you won’t need to worry about “Daddy, what does ‘fack’ mean?”

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