Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: cats

Mmmm…Mitsouko by Guerlain

clouds countryside dawn dusk

Photo by Tim Savage on Pexels.com

Mitsouko haunts me. This is the only perfume that brought tears to my eyes the first time I smelled it, and the only one I wear in my dreams. (I dream about shopping for others, but if I apply perfume in a dream, it’s always Mitsouko.)

Part of its spell for me is obvious–its basic building blocks of peach, rose, and oakmoss are my favorite notes. But Mitsy is so much more than the sum of its parts, and in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s like faith–if you understand it, no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t, no explanation is possible. It was created in 1919, and thus qualifies as unfashionable now, yet it transcends fashion. It smells like peaches, roses, and forest floor, but liking all those smells doesn’t guarantee you’ll like it. It smells intensely autumnal, but is glorious on a summer day (especially in the dampness which is such a hallmark of the climate here). It’s an introverted scent with its dusky woodsiness, yet it’s dramatic. Maybe melodramatic. Introverted yet intense.

It’s not a crowd-pleaser in this “Eww, someone’s wearing perfume” era. But it’s a masterpiece nevertheless, and ever the more.

IN NON-OLFACTORY-WORK-OF-ART-RELATED NEWS…

On pumpkin-pie box at McDonald’s–“Packed with all the flavor it could possibly hold.” Well, isn’t that true of everything? Apparently not, since one of their meal combos was described as “Just the right amount of yum.” Because yum isn’t something you want too much of.

I am in postage-stamp heaven. Currently available are–not only rose stamps but DRAGON stamps! (“Who uses stamps anymore?” Nick yawns, but he is just out-of-sorts because his picture is not on any of them. Also because I haven’t made him my running mate yet.)

HOW TO PROTECT THEM FROM THEMSELVES?

Cat Esmerelda fell off the top of the door, leaving claw marks on the way down.

Cat Glamour will eat any bits of kitty litter scattered on the floor.

This seems to me emblematic of our current political situation.

VOTE FOR ME. I’M THE OUTSIDER AND I WILL MAKE ALL THESE POLITICAL ADS STOP.

Tragedy Averted

 

 

black and white short coated cat

Photo by Brit on Pexels.com

Note: the above photo is not Ez, but gives you an idea of what she looks like.

About 10 days ago, Cat Esmerelda (my dual-purpose spirit and service animal) started to jump onto my clothes cabinet via Rom’s chest of drawers (or, as we say in this part of the world, “chester drawers”). However, I’d left a pair of socks on the chester drawers, because I intended to wear that pair the following day. Ez freaked out upon seeing the unfamiliar object, aborted her leap, and fell across the arm of the bedroom chair. Since she got up and walked away, I thought nothing more of it. When she started huddling in the corner behind my laundry basket, and stopped grooming herself, we thought, Well, maybe she’s sore and bruised from the fall. It wasn’t until she started refusing all food but yogurt, and actually gagging when we offered her other food, that we thought, She’s getting worse, not better. Rom took her to the vet, who ordered blood work and diagnosed kidney damage. She was given subcutaneous fluids. Arrangements were made to admit her for intravenous fluids, but this proved not to be necessary.

I will never forget her jumping onto the bed (barely clearing it) to be with me, laying her head wearily in my hand, and looking at me with dull eyes, as if to say, “I want your face to be the last thing I see.” Rom offered an alternative translation of her look–“Fix it!” Of course, she probably meant both of those things. I’ll also never forget a few days later, when she joyfully bounded onto the bed, ramming her head against me repeatedly (with her icy and no-longer dehydrated nose), and looked at me with shining eyes–“You fixed it, just like I asked!” The credit actually goes to Rom for taking her to the vet, because I myself was sick that week. (Google “shigella,” and prepare to be grossed out.)

OTHER AND NON-TRAGIC NEWS

McDonald’s is finally through with the remodeling. Rom would approve of their removal of the multi-color wall panels, although they replaced it with the words “Two all-beef patties with a bunch of other crap and a sesame-seed bun” (I have never been a fan of the Big Mac and can’t remember its attributes) in multi-colors, which I can hardly regard as an improvement. They also are attempting to get people to use the self-service kiosks by greatly reducing the size of the counter where you order from an actual person, but I ain’t falling for it. “But, World Leader,” you ask, “being autistic, wouldn’t you welcome not having to deal with an actual person?” Yes, in theory, but in actuality, I oppose anything that might enable them to lay people off. INSERT MOMENT OF SILENCE HERE FOR THE TWO PEOPLE THE CITY WAS ABLE TO LAY OFF WHEN THEY AUTOMATED THE TIME CLOCK, WHOM I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN. One of the main reasons I retired as soon as I could was that they were out to automate as much as they could, and the job was being pared down to just answering phones, which was my least favorite part of it. Yes, it is all about me. But you knew that.

OVERDUE WALGREEN’S NEWS

Of course, they have their Halloween stuff out in abundance. I was looking over the makeup, trying to decide which would be the most flattering with my coloring. Then I remembered–it’s Halloween, it isn’t supposed to be flattering. I will probably just do what I always do, and wear stuff I already have, just more of it.

They also have the first Christmas stuff out, but I suspect it’s just stuff that didn’t sell last Christmas, so I will not blame them for it.

will, however, blame whatever company (and I don’t remember which one it was, SO THERE) said on TV that their product and/or service would enable the customer to “family greatly.” Hey, it’s all random anyway.

MCDONALD’S HAS PUMPKIN PIES, AND IT’S ALL PUMPKIN, NOT THAT PUMPKIN “CREME” STUFF THEY FOISTED ON US LAST YEAR!!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scratchy Glitter Rises From the Dead!

…And goes to school! And stuff!

…WAIT, GO BACK TO THAT RISING FROM THE DEAD THING…

…or at least rising from the sidewalk, where, on May 20, I tripped and dislocated my finger. (If you want to visit the site and leave flowers, it’s on Maryland St. by Thornton’s–the new white sidewalk square, where they’d repaired it and it’s not quite flush with the others.) The finger was at a “jaunty angle,” to quote a concerned colleague, and was “relocated” after shooting me up with so much lidocaine my lips were numb. Before this happened, if you’d asked me what happens after you dislocate a finger, I’d have said it’d be sore for a few days, then you’d be good as new. I would not have answered “weeks of physical therapy which manages to be both painful and boring.” As it turns out, Answer 2 is the right one. Anyway, typing was not an option for awhile. But I have learned valuable life skills, like how to shower with your hand in a plastic bag.

Other things I have learned thanks to Alien Finger, as I like to call it:

–It’s hard to wash your right armpit with your right hand.

–It’s not a good idea to drop a gel deodorant stick on the floor.

THEATER OF CRUELTY

I called my good friend NICK (his name capitalized so he can find it easily, since he’s now biting his nails wondering when I’ll get around to mentioning him) from the ER (with my husband egging me on–“Call him! Send him a picture!”) and said, “I think I just broke my finger, so I can’t text you.” He answered at once, “Sure you can, you’ve got 9 other fingers.” DID NOT MISS A BEAT. I realize this response may not seem admirable to everyone, nor will my own admiration of it.

SCHOOL

Since they recommended it to “revive a dormant blog,” I thought this would be a great opportunity to take the Word Press “Blogging Fundamentals” course, and learn all that stuff I thought I’d figure out as I went along, and if you go back through my archives, you can see how well that went. They will give me a daily assignment, and today’s is to

INTRODUCE MYSELF AND SAY WHY I’M HERE,

which I probably should have done at the start, but I was too intent on letting my FanBase of 15 readers know why the blog was dormant. Anyway, now I feel self-conscious and awkward like I did when I first started, so THANKS, WordPress!

WHY YOU SHOULD READ SCRATCHY GLITTER IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME PERSONALLY

I offer a (I think) unique perspective, being a 911 dispatcher with Asperger’s syndrome. There, I SAID it. {Dear Employer, I started before there was ADA and I’m not invoking it on you now, kthnxbai.} I had trouble holding a job before this one, but I’ve been doing this for over 30 years now. I’d originally planned on being a famous novelist, but it’s hard to do that when you haven’t written a novel.

WARNING: A lot of writing on these topics tends to be painfully earnest. This is not that.

I like to say I invented the blog. This thing actually started as an email newsletter to a few select colleagues back in 1990. Then, it was called Crisis in Progress Press. I can express myself much more easily in writing than in speaking, so the computer has been, well, I hesitate to say “therapeutic.”

After going on at such length, I am now going to stop abruptly. It’s past my bedtime (bedtime being between 3 and 4am), and I need to re-wrap Alien Finger, since the tape is covered with cat hair and is filthy and gross.

Turn Me Loose!

…I’ve gotta have it my way, or no way at all! So it is, and so it shall be, to quote Patti Smith.

Yeah, I’m on vacation, and yeah, I’m drunk, as Nick so astutely noticed, since he’s all astute and stuff.

You gotta love when your husband comes in and says, “Well, you stepped in it.” Stepped in WHAT? I should know after all these years–a hairball. Remember the ongoing philosophical debate–which hairball is worse to step in, fresh and warm, or old and icy-cold?

POLITICKING

“Hey now baby, get into my big black car…I just want to show you what my politics are.” Courtesy of Cream, and I think of it often in this electoral season.

Hey, how long has it been since we had a CONSPIRACY POST? Anyone remember the
Baby Corn?

OK, I just almost choked on my drink. This is NOT FUNNY. In fact, it’s kind of painful.

Anyway, I now announce that, considering the dearth of acceptable candidates, I unhesitatingly support A CAN OF CREAMED CORN for President. Any can will do.

I’ll write later if I think of something to say.

AND I DID!

…Courtesy of the people at some laundry-product company. A woman SNIFFS THE CROTCH OF HER PANTS and says, “These pants have that yoga smell!” Um, that’s not what we call it. She then sniffs the area again after laundering and says, “Now I don’t smell like wet dog!” Um, that’s not what it smells like.

Day 22: More Fun Than the Law Allows

S.G.’S 22ND POST, 4/26/13: Selected Short Subjects

–Nick shows up with a beard, after telling me he wasn’t going to grow one because it was too trendy.

GREAT MOMENTS IN BUTT DIALS

–Child singing “Jingo Bells, Jingo Bells” as a woman says, “Shut the f*ck up, I know how to drive” to a man in the car.

BEST BAR FOOD IN TOWN–OR IS IT??

Ad in the paper for Hagedorn’s: “Fiddlers, cat fillets, frog legs every day!” Cat fillets? Good thing I keep my cats indoors.

 

Day 1: Let’s Pretend

Welcome to my year-long post-a-day project, in which you help me pretend that I have to produce a column a day, like it or not. I predict that on some days, I won’t feel like writing, and will whine about it. On the other hand, I usually change my mind and do feel like it once I’ve actually started.

S.G.’S 1ST POST, 2/22/13: “What Are You Doing Here?”

In that post, I predicted that this blog would be self-centered, which indeed came to pass. I also expressed the hope that I’d attract more readers, which did not. However, my thanks to the unknown FanBaser who was so excited by this archive-excavation project that they went ahead and read the post in question before I’d done so myself.

But enough time travel for now…

MILDLY-AMUSING ADVENTURES: I LIVE TO TELL THE TALE

The scabs on my hand and knee are mysteriously getting smaller. You know what that means–I am spreading SCAB DUST wherever I go. Yeah, eww.

The new Thornton’s is cavernous, and appears indestructible. The restroom is one of those annoyingly-futuristic ones where everything is no-hands. The toilet flushes as soon as you stand up, the sink tap turns itself on and off–never allotting enough water–and the paper towel dispenser requires you to wave your hands around like an incompetent wizard (sprinkling everything with Magic Scab Dust). (And was there an epidemic of bathroom sinks being left running in the past which cost businesses millions of dollars? Really?) Beside said towel dispenser is a sign saying, “IF YOU REQUIRE ASSISTANCE, USE THE  ASSISTANCE REQUEST DEVICE BELOW.” Which is a button. A button that you push. I’m going to start calling the zipper on my jacket a Garment Closure Device.

{This post is being repeatedly interrupted by a screaming cat who runs in, yowls, and runs out, spreading destruction throughout the house, from the sound of it.} {Turns out what I heard was the toilet paper being torn off the roll.} {At least nothing was on fire this time.}

A Clean Bill of Health

Forgot to mention–during my ordeal, Ez stuck her head in the bathroom door to check on me–then immediately withdrew. Which goes to show that an animal’s love is not, in fact, unconditional.

I am in a good mood, because I will not have to drink that stuff for another 10 years, and I might be dead by then. Not only did it taste like the devil’s attempt at 7-Up, it had the consistency of spit.

As a souvenir, I have a big grape-colored bruise on my arm, due to difficulties getting the IV started. I should have known when the woman doing it said, “You know, I really appreciate it when it acts like it’s supposed to.” Which means that it either acted like it was supposed to, or it didn’t. At any rate, it will be 3/4 sleeves for me for the foreseeable future, because it looks like I tried to inject drugs, but was incompetent. Which I probably would be if I did. Today I wanted to wear one of my rose-print sweaters, and had 3 color choices with the desired sleeve length. “Multi Floral”–nope, too multi-colored, might match a bruise on the arm too well.  Black and blue print–not even to be considered. I settled on “Coral Bliss with Bavarian Cream,” which is probably the most overwrought color name Lands End has yet come up with.

WORLD LEADER REMINDER

Halloween decorations are not allowed to go up until October.

Speaking of the season it ’tis (I say redundantly), at Walgreens they have a life-sized witch statue, which startles me every time I go in. For one thing, she’s almost exactly my height. (Nick, do not breathe one word. Not a single word, understand?) As happens every year, I had to restrain myself from spending 99 cents (because they think we won’t notice that that’s basically $1) on a black silk rose with my choice of red, purple, or silver glitter, because what would I do with that? Stick it in my mailbox at work? Speaking of self-restraint, I was enticed by a display of Disney Villains makeup. Now I don’t need more makeup, but who could resist eyeshadows with color names like Dungeon and Scream of Fright? (“Not you, certainly,” says Nick, laying his hand on his taser, as he so often does when he’s in uniform in my presence. He must be easily frightened.) I will probably be kept from purchasing these by a dilemma–I have a sentimental attachment to Maleficent, because I had a Sleeping Beauty book as a kid, when the Disney movie first came out…but the colors in the Evil-Queen-from-Snow-White palette would actually look better with my coloring. Yes, the villainess from Snow White doesn’t have a name–they just call her Evil Queen. If I were an evil queen, I’d do something about that.

Speaking of evil, I was pleased to note that, for the first time, the concept of the Evil Clown is really taking off this year.

(Disclaimer: Unlike all other bloggers on the face of the earth, I have not been able to figure out how to negotiate a lucrative tie-in, so Walgreen’s is not, in fact, giving me a lifetime supply of Halloween decorations in exchange for this post. Even though there is a creepy spider living in my bathroom. And even though when Rom took his pack down from the hook,  70+ stink bugs came trooping out like the passengers in a clown car. An evil clown car.) 

The Ultimate Mildly Amusing Adventure

Well, unless I go on a ridealong with Nick. Maybe. Anyway…

THE LAND OF INFINITE EW’S

The first thing you need to know is that I don’t sleep in the nude. Because what if the house caught on fire?

And it should surprise no one that I sometimes neglect to put away my clean laundry, and just live out of the basket until my next days off, when I do the wash again. It should surprise you still less to know that our calico cat Glamour likes to curl up on the warm laundry in the basket when it’s fresh from the dryer.

Do you see where I’m going with this? No?

So last night I popped on a nightshirt (a robin’s-egg blue one with big red roses on it) from the basket, and went through my before-bed rituals: listening to music (Lita Ford’s greatest hits), updating the checkbook (which had also been put off until my days off), paid the water bill (ditto), brushed my teeth, applied lip grease and hand cream, went to bed, and had the usual tiresome dream about being late to work because criminals were trying to break into my house, and my phone wouldn’t work to call 911. Woke up, realized I didn’t even have to go to work today, drank some milk. Rom came in, announced he was tired from working in the yard since dawn and was taking a nap. Supervised tucking the cats into bed with him, got a Coke from the fridge, listened to music (Windham Hill’s greatest hits from 1986). (Kind of the anti-Lita Ford when you think about it.) Realized it was time to get ready to go out, went to the bathroom to wash up. Wondered “What is that scratchy stuff that’s making my chest itch?,” peered down my nightgown, and realized THERE WAS A BIG SPLOTCH OF CAT VOMIT ENCRUSTED ON THE INSIDE OF IT.

I want you to go back and read the previous paragraph again. I did all the things listed, including a full night’s sleep, WITH CAT VOMIT ON THE INSIDE OF MY SHIRT. I SLEPT IN CAT PUKE. I couldn’t have whipped that garment off faster if someone had pointed a gun at me. Well, no one ever has pointed a gun at me and demanded that I disrobe, but you get the idea.

Well, the washer is finished. Now to see if the Tide Stain Release has released the stain from my nightshirt.

You know, I didn’t have to tell you that story. In fact, I thought as I was washing up, I’ll never tell that story to anyone. But I did. You’re welcome.

 

No Excuse

Would you believe I made a birthday resolution to post more often, then failed to do so? You would? Oh.

UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION

In the Incident of Nick’s Cub, Rom said that, while he wasn’t exactly chasing said cub, he did advance toward him slowly while making the scary noise. Of course, Nick was stuck up a tree and knew nothing.

Speaking of which…

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

The other day, on the bus stop bench in front of White Oak Manor (more accurately referred to as Small Rosebush Manor), there was a large carton of fried chicken. I don’t mean someone forgot their 4-piece meal. I mean a moving-size packing box full. I don’t know if they forgot to bring it on the bus, if the driver said they couldn’t bring it on the bus, they stole it, whatever. But there it sat in the June heat, for who knows how long, and who knows how much longer it would have sat there. But I knew the right man–or whatever–for the job. I advised Nick of its existence in his beat. Yes, he ate it up, cardboard box and all, then fell asleep at the bus stop and had to be towed away on a flatbed truck. Well, we couldn’t just leave him there. People would be afraid to wait for the bus.

WORLD LEADER DECREE

Speaking of municipal services–you know that sidewalk in front of your house? How about pulling the weeds that grow between the cracks? It’s interesting that people will stoutly maintain that the parking space in front of their house belongs to them (it doesn’t), but the sidewalk has weeds a yard tall because “that’s not my property.” You know, the city doesn’t have a crew that goes around pulling weeds out of sidewalks. You don’t pay enough taxes for that. (And just spraying them with poison and leaving the dead brown weeds lying there is NOT THE SOLUTION.)

YOUR BIRTHDAY PRESENTS AT WORK

–The Thornton’s card from Charles and his lovely wife J. provided me with fountain drinks and the occasional Roller Grill Item (I can recommend the franks and the bratwurst) for all of 3 weeks. That may not seem like a long time, but gives you some idea of the amount of soda I consume.

–The Walgreen’s card from my colleague 911SK provided me with a new Schick Quattro razor, Raspberry Rain shave gel, Olay Age-Defying body wash (yes, I went back to it–I am ever-defiant), and Romantic Rose deodorant–I am nothing if not romantic.

–The Olde Crowe still perches on the shelf above my computer. You know, I should start taking that thing with me wherever I go, and talking to it in public places.

Speaking of  beings I talk to, I currently have 2 cat scratches on my leg. One is from Glamour when she lost her balance jumping on my lap (on the way to Rom’s lap), and one is from Esmerelda reaching out and desperately trying to keep me from getting out of bed. Love is a battlefield.

 

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