Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: cats

Scratchy Glitter Rises From the Dead!

…And goes to school! And stuff!


…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.


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.


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


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!


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?


“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.


…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.


–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.


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…


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.


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 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.


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…


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.


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.)


–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.


Oh Noes!

Correction: Glamour’s correct title is Empress Calicula the Second. Calicula the First was the somewhat-less-noble Zinnia the Worm, in ye olde days before the coming of Esmerelda–the era of Calico Overload.

I Was an Accident Victim!

“WHAT?!” cries Nick, leaping up, and then sinking down moaning because of his wounded knee. Yes, and I was also a victim of a cat attack, but let’s take it in chronological order.


I was crouching on the floor at Walgreen’s–why? To sniff some candles on a shelf near the floor. I decided I would eventually buy all 6 scents when they went on sale. (These are the ones labeled “essential oil blends,” available at both Walgreen’s and CVS. They smell great–not like cheap drugstore candles, which is more than I can say for the other ones available at these venues.) Anyway, having thus informed myself, I looked up to see that an employee had come around the corner with a cart stacked taller than her own height–and therefore her own eyes–with boxes of merchandise. I imagine those of you who’ve been in a car crash (I have not) know the feeling–when you realize “it’s-actually-going-to-hit-me-and-there’s-no-time-to-do-anything-about-it.” So this cart knocked me over, and knocked my 32 ounces of Coke from McDonald’s over also. Luckily it splashed on the floor and not on me. Ironically, had knocked it over myself earlier at the restaurant, but since I didn’t hit it with the force of a cartful of unknown (but apparently heavy) items, the lid stayed on and disaster was averted.

The employee was effusively apologetic–wouldn’t it be nice if you could trust they were sincere, and not just afraid of lawsuits? I assured her I was fine. (Actually, I sustained a bruise on my inner thigh because the corner of my handbasket–probably the kind you go to Hell with, as Rom pointed out–was jammed into it, but that’s hardly lawsuit material.) (Unless you’re a lawyer, I suppose.) She cleaned up the mess, and made sure I received 2 free Cokes from their cooler, which, since they totaled 40 ounces, left me 8 ounces ahead of the deal for my pain and suffering.


Shortly after I got home, my service cat Esmerelda paraded about before me, screaming to be played with. Since I was listening to music (early Rolling Stones anthology), I didn’t want to get off the couch and get a toy. (“She was always bored with a thousand toys, and still she cried all night,” to quote the Stones.) (Let’s not even get started on my listening-to-music practices, for they are arcane and embarrassingly eccentric. OK, mildly pathological.) So I wiggled a pen around the legs of the coffee table for her. This was mildly interesting, but no more than mildly, because she is intelligent enough to know it’s really me doing it. So, to aid her suspension of disbelief, I wiggled the pen underneath her wool tartan throw. (Well, we didn’t get it for Ez–it predates her appearance–but she’s the one who sleeps on it.) This suspended her disbelief a bit too well, since she lunged under it blindly and snagged my finger, and I jerked back with her claw still in me, and you can guess how well that worked out. I was going to finish out the song–“Heart of Stone,” a personal favorite ever  since I used to listen to it in high school and imagine myself a femme fatale (as you might imagine, I was actually the opposite of that)–but, you know, blood, etc. Ez realized I didn’t want to play anymore and left to look out the window. Once I’d applied pressure (knowledge gleaned from listening in on ambulance calls!) and applied a band-aid, she came back and yelled at me to pet her. So I did, a lengthy and perverted procedure which includes letting her nurse on my hand. The hand without the band-aid, luckily.

And you thought I didn’t lead an exciting life.

Festival Day 1: We Fry Everything

But first…



If I see the phrase “hypocritical Bible-thumping Christians” (especially effective when misspelled) ONE MORE TIME, I’ll–thump a Bible, I guess. There are hypocrites in every religion, and I’ve known some self-righteous atheists as well. And it’s not because “religion brings out the worst in people,” but because ANYTHING people have strong feelings about–politics, money, sex–can bring out the worst in them. That’s why we need a police force.

Now that I’ve set the record straight, let’s move on to fried things. Actually, I had nothing fried myself (ribeye sandwich, blackberry cobbler) (SWIRCA booth, ever-reliable cobbler source), but in a world that can give you chicken-fried bacon (with ranch dipping sauce, because it was too wholesome before) and pickle-juice slushies (how about maraschino cherry-juice slushies? that’s something I might actually try)…

I was, as usual, undercover as a 12-year-old boy (well, except for the yoga pants) (and the careful accessorizing), in an attempt to return the Festival to its Halloween roots. My orange skull T-shirt was pronounced “really something” by adults who thought I hadn’t heard them, and “awesome!” by a girl who looked to be about 11.


–Sentiment courtesy of Patti Smith, referring to M-M-My Generation and rock and roll. I am pleased and proud to announce that the music on the midway was HARD ROCK, AS IT SHOULD BE, and not that non-rock stuff it had been for many years previously. To herald my arrival on the grounds, they played “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin, and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” (“But if you do them dirt-cheap,” Nick wants to know, “how much could my cut be?” Fear not, Nick, you will be paid in deep-fried Reese cups.)



On the way to the festival, I passed a young cat on the sidewalk, which arched its back and looked up at me hopefully. Little one, are you lost? Or did someone care enough to put a collar on you, but not enough to keep you inside so you’re not at the mercy of strangers on the sidewalk? I spoke to it kindly, but did not touch it, lest it try to follow me.

And on the way from the festival, I stopped in at the Pet Food Center, and there was a yellow-and-white cat up for adoption–“Neutered and micro-chipped! Adoption fee only $30!” He looked up at me sadly, as if he knew what the outcome of non-adoption could be.

When I got home, my service cat Esmerelda (the reason why I can’t adopt another cat at this time) greeted me purring and led me to the bed to be cuddled. As if she knew.

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