Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: firefighting

A Year of Scratchy Glitter

…well, not exactly. The title was inspired by the fact that this will be my 365th post. But, due to my outstanding lack of self-discipline, I don’t post every day. But WHAT IF I DID? Advice to writers always says to “Just write something, even if it’s not any good.” (“But they don’t say, ‘And then publish it,'” they mutter nervously.) And self-help advice in general always says, “Making a public commitment will help you stick with your resolution.” THEREFORE:


–That I intend to post every day for at least the following year. Stop squirming.


–I have given myself the unenviable task of going back through all the previous posts, starting with SG’s inauspicious start back in the mists of February 2013 (I think. Maybe it was 2012.). And each day, I will present an excerpt, or at least a synopsis, of the post for that day. Yes, it’s called cannibalizing my material, and no power on earth can stop me from it.


On Sunday, I tripped and fell on the way home from church, scraping my hand and knee, and sustaining a sizable black bruise on my breast. Also quite a bit of upper-arm pain, since I landed on my elbows. So I have been using the handicapped bus and bathroom facilities (“As you should have been doing all along,” Nick says–see, Nick, I write your retorts for you–you’re welcome), and appreciating the room to maneuver and relative lack of clambering they offer. So before you glare at someone who doesn’t look handicapped….


Last night I was home, after a busy day of fire dispatching dealing with a wind that was determined to kill us all. Since the rain had stopped, we opened windows on the non-wind side to take advantage of temporarily-mild temperatures. After Rom went to bed, it started to rain again, so I closed them. “Well, it isn’t raining against this side of the house,” I thought. “I wonder if it is on the other side? I think I hear it hitting the glass.” In the spirit of idle curiosity (since the window there hadn’t been opened), I went over to look. What I’d heard wasn’t water hitting the window, but the cheery crackle of the fire in the corner of the kitchen.

I did a mental double-take–“Oh, look, the kitchen’s on fire. THE KITCHEN’S ON FIRE!!!” Flames were–well, not shooting out of the back burner, exactly, but leaping enthusiastically.

I ran to wake Rom up, while wondering frantically what we had that we could throw on a grease fire. Rom ran in and half-smothered it with a potholder, half-blew it out. A great deal of smoke resulted, which kept Rom coughing for most of the night, and me wondering, Should we call an ambulance? COPD + smoke inhalation = not good, surely. But the situation was resolved eventually with a further opening of windows.


Your gas stove wants to kill you.

I Got a Head Full Of Ideas That Are Driving Me Insane

…the title one of which I stole from Bob Dylan, but I’m guessing he can’t copyright ideas driving you insane.


Remember when I told you about the mascara designed to clump up on your lashes, so you look like, well, someone with clumpy mascara? Well, this month’s InStyle magazine has a manicure with deliberately chipped-looking nail polish. “The manicurist applies the color in a jagged pattern a little short of the nail tips, to get the chipped effect.” Really? You can wear it with your clumping mascara, and be sure to add that hair-styling product that makes your hair look unwashed. Or, better yet, just don’t wash your hair and use dry shampoo to soak up the oil–I actually see that recommended frequently, so the shampoo doesn’t fade your dye job. Next they’ll be saying don’t shower, just use baby wipes. And then the end will come.


From Mental Floss–“What Happens To Your Body After Death.” No, I’m not telling you.


–Do you feel teased yet, Nick? (“Do you feel tased yet?,” he answers grimly.)

When last we saw our hero, he was flying (literally) to the scene of a fire. I ran in that direction in a panic (not literally, of course–I don’t panic). I could just see myself getting in trouble, because a trained and equipped beast is an expensive piece of police department property (although less expensive than a police helicopter). Luckily, it was easy to keep him in sight, and follow him to the house in question. Flames were shooting through the roof.

An onlooker saw him and pointed at the sky. “Is that a–”

“Yes,” I said.

“I’ve heard about those,” the man said dreamily. “But to actually see one in flight–magnificent!” The sun flashed off Nick’s dazzling-white underside as he circled slowly in the air. (He’s assured me he can actually hover while airborne, but I don’t take his word for things.) Then, having sized up the situation, he lowered his head, and dove straight for the fire.

A horrible thought flashed through my mind–in his endless quest to breathe fire, Nick was going to actually inhale the flames! Desperately, I raised my voice and called to him, but there was no sign he’d heard.

“My dog!” The woman’s scream startled me. She pointed to the burning house. A little dog stood trembling on the porch. It looked at its owner, then looked back. It headed toward her, then panicked at all the strangers gathering, and turned, trotting back to the house. And then yelped as Nick’s jaws closed on it.

I started toward him, but he leaped into the air again, his wings fanning the flames, the dog still carefully clasped in his mouth. He had cleared the roof and was ascending steadily, and then the roof fell in, sending a shower of sparks skyward which hit his wing–the only part that’s not armor-plated.

To his everlasting credit, he managed to glide down safely, and set the small dog on the ground beside its owner, before collapsing. I could see an actual hole in his wing, with smoke curling up around it.

He was trying to say something. I leaned closer–thinking at the same time, How stupid am I? He’s in pain, he’ll probably bite my head off!–and he said, “I don’t want…to breathe fire…any more.”






Nasty Habits

Ad on Facebook: “The Wear-All-Day Bra You Absolutely Need!” I absolutely do not need to wear a bra all day. You’d be amazed how fast I can whip that sucker off. Without even taking my shirt off. It’s a magic trick many women have mastered.


Didja ever notice all the fish-sandwich specials at this time of year? And that they’re all “for a limited time only”? Guess what limited time it is? That would be Lent. But they never mention it, lest non-Catholics think they’re not allowed to buy a fish sandwich on sale.


–Call of a possible meth lab. The sign on the building says “Hoosier Accounts.” So much better than getting your meth from Mexico, or wherever it’s coming from these days.


I encountered Nick at Thornton’s, and now I have a knot on my head and Coke on my jacket. I will jerk a knot in his tail at my earliest opportunity. Which reminds me…

The other night, I went down to Fountain Ave. (there is no fountain to be seen there, by the way), where they were attempting to train Nick to detect arson, sniff out explosives, etc., with the aid of a burned-out car. (He will work for food, such as bananas, oranges, and the occasional dead rat.) But first he tried to guard the car by jumping on top of it and flaring his wings. He can hardly be blamed for that, since he has been bred and trained for guard duty. He then found an old shoe in the gutter, and between chewing on it and growling at anyone who tried to take it away, there was really no reasoning with him. So they called in the Cop Whisperer.

He tensed up when he saw me, raising his head, with a strip of leather dangling from his jaws. “You can’t have this shoe.” He quickly gulped down the rest of it.

“I already have shoes.” I showed him, and he drew back a little, because, well, he’s been kicked once or twice.

He then laid down, wrapping himself in his tail (although the claws protruded just a bit from beneath it) and folding his wings. In other words, appearing as non-threatening as one can when one is bristled and scaly. Unfortunately, the fang tips also protrude a bit even when the jaws are closed.

“Just the person I wanted to see,” he said.

“I highly doubt that.”

“It’s true. Did you know–” he sort of elongated toward me, without getting up off his belly–“that, if you volunteer to go on a ridealong, you retain your right to leave at any time? It’s called our catch-and-release program.”

“Back off or I’ll swat you on the snout. No, I did not know that.”

“It’s worth considering, don’t you think?”

“It sounds like a trap.”

“Would I lie to you? I’m offended that you would think so. Why don’t I just pounce and rip you apart right now?”

“Would it be worth all the trouble you’d be in?”

“Ah. There is that. I’ve heard stories…”

“So how about paying attention to your fire training now?”

“I don’t like fire. Fire bad.”

…And that, for the time being, was that.

To be continued, if he has his way….

Tied In Knots

I had an adventurous walk to work yesterday, in a wind which tied my hair into knots. By the time I arrived, I looked like I had flown in on a broom. (Nick, bite your tongue. Hard. Thank you.)


Now featuring–Pegasus brand Male Endurance Stamina Lotion! I guess it beats thinking about baseball. But then, what doesn’t beat thinking about baseball? Oh, I know!–Also to be found at Phillips: incense in the Eat It Raw scent!


–A grass fire in Elberfeld, in the course of which THE FIRE TRUCK CAUGHT FIRE. It’s like when you see a tow truck towing another tow truck.


It’s Not Easy Being Me

It takes a touchingly devoted stalker to put on a uniform and get into a police car, early and on his day off, just so he could waylay me on my way home from church. (Sure, Nick, you can call it “overtime” if you want.) And he spoke longingly of the ridealong he wants me to go on with him, which I wouldn’t do if he got down on his knees and begged me. (Actually, I guess I

English: Smart(s) vehicles of Municipal Police...

English: Smart(s) vehicles of Municipal Police of Prague, Czechia Česky: Automobil Městské policie hl.m. Prahy (Smart) – Opletalova ulice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

would if he did that, but he’d never do it, so I’m safe.) And anyway, Nick, you should know that abducting someone in a helicopter isn’t really feasible. So much for the Adventures of Beauty and the Beast.

Enough about police work. How about firefighting? I congratulate our own Denali, who consumed some contest-winning quantity of over-spiced chicken wings tonight. It shows a serious lack of judgment, and I hope Hose House 3 does not get any fire runs in the near future.

And speaking of which–Rom and I were talking about basic human maintenance, and I realized how many of my preparation routines are predicated on the question–What if the house caught on fire? I don’t sleep in the nude, because what if the house caught on fire? The order I wash up in the shower is based on, if the house caught on fire, which parts of me would I be most sorry I hadn’t had time to wash? Well, you have to have some basis for these decisions! Like, how do you decide which underwear to put on, if not to match your outfit? (I couldn’t find a way to relate that decision to the house being on fire.) The other day, Jess (my stepdaughter) gave me a ride to my errands, and I was able to throw on clothes fairly quickly, but only because I’d planned my outfit the night before. If I hadn’t, I’d still be standing in front of my closet to this day.

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