Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: public transportation

War on Words

No, not a war of words. That’s what Nick and I have. There is mutually-assured destruction involved.


And speaking of today’s post-literate world, why is everyone saying that someone “kneeled” instead of “knelt”? Even CNN is doing it.


Time to visit a bright and happy world which uses lots of italics–the world of Cosmopolitan magazine’s Bedside Astrologer booklets. I collected the whole set, from 1970 to 1991. They are the lightest possible entertainment, and even more so in retrospect. So if you ladies want to know what you were supposed to wear in 1972, or how Cosmo thought you should entice your boyfriend of whatever sign in any given year, let me know, I’m taking requests!

Highlights from 1970

Fashion for Aries: “You’re most comfortable in casual clothes, like a mink Russian hat.” Somehow I don’t see a mink anything as casual. And obviously we were still wearing real fur in 1970.

Taurus: “As a sixties girl, you love all the good things (fun furs, color television) that money can bring.” Ooh, color television!

Taurus travel plans: “You’ll be drawn to Ireland, Iran, or somewhere in the Near East (Istanbul would be a perfect choice).” So basically any place beginning with “I”?

More for Taurus: “On May 5, there’s danger of a nasty argument with a stranger. (Avoid it!)” As opposed to, say, smacking them upside the head, or whatever we did in 1970?

“The Cancer man may have fantasies of waltzing you, naked and draped in garlands of flowers, through elaborate fountains or waterfalls.” Has anyone ever had that fantasy?

“The Pisces man’s fantasy probably places him in a spa where he can minister to water nymphs.” Yeah, probably.

By the way, my very first job was to write stuff like this for a small local paper, which folded after one issue.


From Saturday Night Live: “52% of Americans believe that sex with robots will be acceptable in the near future. The other 48% are women.”

I was reminded of this looking at an ad for the single of “My Sharona,” featuring a scantily-clad Sharona and captioned, “This is my Sharona–what’s yours?” Um, shouldn’t that be “Who’s yours?” No wonder men think sex with robots is OK.


Opinion delivered passing the golf course at Helfrich Park: “They should plow all this under and put up affordable housing.”

There was a guy on the bus wearing headphones that featured red/blue/green lights, which apparently pulsed in time to the music. Which we couldn’t hear, because he was wearing headphones. And he couldn’t see the lights, because he was wearing headphones. Makes every kind of sense.


My 4th post, “Everybody’s Traffic,” is my restatement of the Golden Rule–that every time you complain, for example, that “the traffic was terrible,” remember that you were part of it. For every person who says, “The road was full of idiots who don’t know how to drive,” there is another person saying, “I had some asshole riding my bumper all the way here.”

That post also marked the first mention of Nick’s name, in the context of a threat.


Irregular Features


  1. This is not a good time of year for finding new leaves.
  2. If you find one, it’ll probably have a stink bug under it anyway.

Be that as it may, Blog School, which I finally finished (it’s supposed to be 2 weeks, but I took that at-your-own-pace provision seriously) recommends promising you a Regular Feature to encourage myself to post regularly, but since posting regularly in itself would be a surprise, here you are!. I’m not sure what kind of Feature would work in this admittedly freewheeling format, but maybe I’ll come up with something later.

So here I sit, eating M&M’s in proper colorlogical order, from my least to my most favorite colors (brown-yellow-green-orange-red-blue–if the vending machine doesn’t give me any blue ones, I am entitled to get a 2nd handful to rectify the situation).

I am freshly back from vacation, and was ready to go back on it with my first baby-daddy call. “My baby daddy almost hit my other ex-boyfriend and his parents with his car! We never have gotten along.” Then why did you have sex with a guy you don’t like? Another baby mama called me a “stupid-@ss bitch.” Hey, I don’t have a baby-daddy, so I suspect I’m smarter than you are. Of course, she probably doesn’t have to think about M&M’s before she eats them. We all have our own gifts and abilities.


METS Transportation has finally done what they’ve tried to do for years and cut the West Side bus service down to a single route. (Since they have meager resources, because PROPERTY TAX CAPS, they had to do it to make room for Sunday bus service.) So now, if I’m going to work and need to head north, I have to get on a bus headed south. If I’m headed home and need to go south, I have to get on a bus headed north. It’s like it’s uphill both ways. (It actually is uphill both ways, since there is more than one hill involved.) Walking the whole way, rather than going around in circles on the bus, may actually save me time. How To Meet Your Weight-Loss Resolution Goals!


–Cut your toenails.


“My relatives were visiting for New Year’s, and they left something that looks sketchy.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s a pipe and some kind of plastic pack.”

It turned out to be a nightlight and a battery pack.


–shave gel (although they were uncertain what scent I’d prefer)

–something to reinforce my earlobes so I could wear injuriously heavy earrings

–something that would enable me to pee in a car


–I used a Crown Royal bag as a purse in high school? That’s how much of a hipster I was. I’ve never tasted Crown Royal.


Rom said, “You’re having a redneck New Year’s Eve–on the couch, drinking Redd’s and eating ramen.”




Day 30: Merely This and Nothing More


“Couple Arrested For Drugs Had Sex On Floor Of Bank.” How could you improve on that? It has it all. Including betrayal–he told the police the drugs were all hers.


The sun was very bright, which turned my glasses very dark. I looked at myself in the bathroom at McDonald’s with my dark glasses and red (technically Currant) lipstick, and thought, This is the coolest I’ll ever look. Lest you think I was overly cool, I got home and almost dropped my glasses in the toilet–as it was flushing. I found out I could juggle.

Remember the woman who responded “Shut up” to her son’s childish questions? She was on the bus again today. Apparently “shut up” is her default dialogue–this time she said it when he asked about the Boy Scouts and their Christmas-tree activities. She then told her two daughters to shut up, but that was understandable, as they were engaged in a debate about which one was touching the other, and who started it.

S.G.’S 30 POST, 5/11/13: Genius Has Side Effects

I intended to use this as a motto of sorts, but apparently decided I’m less of a genius than I thought I was.


Day 12: We Are Young Despite the Years

Title courtesy of the R.E.M. song “These Days,” which never fails to make me happy. Of course, it came out in 1986, when I was but 31, so…

Our furnace decided to malfunction tonight, so I should type fast to keep warm! (“I could drive you around all night in a heated police car,” Nick offers with elaborate casualness.) (I expected spell-check to tell me “casualness” wasn’t a word, and it did not. It did, however, tell me that “wasn’t” is not a word. Hmm, my spell-check can’t spell, WHERE CAN I GO?)


…A woman was saying, “They told me asking for a cigarette on the boat was panhandling.” She scoffed at the very idea, adding, “They sell cigarettes there, but it’s 12 bucks a pack!”

A few observations:

–You admit that cigarettes are indeed available at the casino,

–Yet you don’t want to spend your money on them, preferring to cadge them from others for free,

–So you can spend your money on slot machines.

I would conclude from these facts that asking for a cigarette on the boat is, indeed, panhandling. I would also conclude that, if you’d saved your money instead of flushing it down the toilet that is the casino, you could afford to pay a dentist to do something about your three missing teeth.

As they tell us at work, “It is not your job to criticize others’ lifestyle choices.” No, I do that for free.

Speaking of things I do for free, Nick described me as a “self-appointed writer.” Well, no one else would appoint me!

S.G. POST #12, 3/27/13–Holy Week: Chrism Tuesday

–I discovered a handbill for a Grim Reapers motorcycle gang anniversary party, promising “Fun! Prizes!” I discovered also that the Reapers actually have a website, which advises us, “Do NOT ask how to join.” I think I will become a self-appointed biker, as well.

The Sin of Sloth in Action

…it sounds like a contradiction in terms, but I have made it come to pass.

The other day a man gave me his seat on the bus. I congratulated myself on my devastating femininity. Then I realized I was sitting under a sign saying ‘PLEASE OFFER THESE SEATS TO THE ELDERLY OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES.”


One of my Numerous and Aggressive In-Laws, Sister Catherine, posted a video made by a teenage boy, demonstrating how his mother freaks out while getting the house ready for guests. (No, I can’t link to it; you should realize that by now.) The resemblance to my in-laws was, in fact, eerie, complete with dialogue like, “If you kids haven’t made your beds by now, throw them out! It’s too late!…No one should think we sit!!…I need a bird feeder at every window!…Somebody stick seashells on all the doorknobs!”

It’s not exactly like that at our house, even though I’m married to Sister Catherine’s brother. The only holiday we are responsible for is July 4th, because our house is so small that we can’t entertain when it’s cold and people can’t overflow into the yard. (Digression: commercial for WFIE weather: “Sometimes cold weather isn’t pleasant.” Sometimes?) Here, at any rate, is how clean up for guests. I’m counting on everyone forgetting I said all this by July 4th.

BATHROOM: Remember that Rom said he’d take care of it. Breathe sigh of relief.

HALL: Surely a hall doesn’t need cleaning? Note dust on baseboards. Resent its presence. Reflect on the need to do something about the hall closet so I can actually locate something when I need it. Then realize I don’t even remember exactly what’s in there anymore.

BEDROOM: Remove obvious dead leaves from large houseplant. Cat Esmerelda strolls in, hoping I’m doing something interesting, realizes yet again that it’s something boring, leaves. Cat Glamour resents that I’m removing the things she most likes to noisily eat on Sunday mornings when I’m trying to sleep because I have to get up early for church. Dust all the stuff on my chest of drawers. Wish I had less stuff. Note that Ez’s toy mouse is on the floor again, toss it up on top of my clothes chest (yes, I have two chests full of clothes, plus one closet) where it belongs. Realize there are spiders under the table with the houseplant on it, resolve to finish the rest of the job at some hour when spiders are less likely to be active.

MY ROOM (office? study? den? lair? guest bedroom, although it has no bed and rarely contains guests?): Become dismayed by all the books I own that I haven’t read in years or at all. Discover that there are silverfish behind some of them. Decide that taking them all out and dusting behind them would take too long, and no one’s likely to look closely at them anyway. Dust bric-a-brac, wonder about the derivation of the term bric-a-brac. Light scented candle, get paranoid about leaving it unattended, as all candle labels warn you not to do. Note profusion of perfume samples, resolve to find my signature scent, as I have been trying to do since 1969.

LIVING ROOM: Another large houseplant with dead leaves. This one exudes droplets of sticky fluid that won’t wash off. Weigh merits of taking everything off the coffee table first or just dusting around it all. Decide there’s no time for the former option because I put all this off until July 3rd anyway. Dust every small decorative item on the shelves, curse each one individually. Remember that I actually alphabetized my CD’s this year, proving that I can finish something that I start. Worry about the younger generation thinking, “You still have CD’s?”

KITCHEN: Attack kitchen table, to make room for large quantities of food. Discover that the stack of magazines next to my place at the table contains the Walgreen’s ad from six weeks ago. Peruse it and attempt to determine the frequency with which items I need go on sale, taking a long-term view. Note that Secret Romantic Rose deodorant is featured in the illustration, feel reassured that it hasn’t been discontinued. Discover there is cat hair on the table legs, become irate because vertical surfaces shouldn’t need dusting, because of gravity.

I can’t remember who it was who said our housekeeping resembles the Addams Family’s, but there you have it. The weird thing is that I am actually capable of laser-like focus (capable of it? more like, incapable of anything else), under the right circumstances. “Right circumstances” = “something I want to do.”


After vowing that he would never do it, “for the sake of my sanity,” Nick looked in my window–“to my everlasting horror,” he said. What horrifying thing was I doing? Reading the Bible. I knew he was coming by, to pick up some table scraps we’d decided to toss him, but since he hadn’t texted me yet, I wasn’t expecting him right then. So there came a furtive tapping, as of someone gently rapping, rapping on my chamber door, and I am pleased to report I didn’t jump. Because I’m not the nervous, twitchy type.


This blog still gets intermittently investigated by people who Google Halle Berry, just because I did one post long ago that mentioned her. So…HALLE BERRY HALLE BERRY HALLE BERRY. That’ll triple my readership!

Glaring Omissions

Since I seem determined to tell my medical adventure in non-linear fashion…


No, I will not Google to find out how many feet it is.

Rom accompanied me (I was wobbly and cranky from lack of food and sleep) on the bus to St Mary’s. The Washington bus was crowded and lively. One woman in the front of the bus saw people she knew in the back, and hurried to join them. They were right behind us, and proceeded to catch each other up on their criminal activities. (I have dealt before with the fact that people seem to think this is as respectable as talking in public about one’s job.) The winner was a woman who declared:

“They sent a helicopter that shone a light in the window, and even though I came out then, the cops let the dog loose anyway, and it tore my pants leg right off.” The best part of this story is that our local police don’t have a helicopter. (Nick sulks.)  Must have been the drugs talking.


Did I, in fact, love the anesthetic? You be the judge:

They gave me oxygen to breathe while they got the IV going. I thought pure oxygen might give me superpowers, or at least get me high, but it had no effect that I could determine, other than smelling slightly sweet.

{Back again after finishing the bag of tortilla chips at work. Because somebody had to.}

{PSA: I just read that today is World Rabies Day. How do we celebrate, exactly?}


{No, I did not count the dots; why would you think so?}

There was then a brief burning sensation in the vein, which they told me was not unusual under the circumstances. I started getting groggy, and I thought, “When are they going to get started? I’m sleepy, but not really sleepy enough for them to do anything yet.” Then they said, “OK, you’re done!” I wasn’t falling asleep–I was waking up. So I rate the anesthetic as satisfactory.

Anesthetic is weird. It really is like losing an hour of your life. Of course, it’s an hour you wouldn’t want back.


Stop Flattering Me

There are currently 3 openings for supervisor. My name came up, along with a Certain Person’s. My name came up because–well, because there are 3 openings. Now a Certain Person, on the other hand, was a top-notch union steward for many years. Perhaps she should go over to the Dark Side. I also offered the job to Nick, who growled and told me to go away.


You may recall that I was once involved in a dispute with a bus driver over bringing a fountain drink on the bus. (If you don’t recall it, you can find it some hundred posts previously, and I can’t help you there.) At any rate, as Rom likes to say, the bus pulled over at Barker/Hillcrest to pick up a couple guys who appeared to have all their wordly belongings in 2 immense backpacks. They also had a case of beer between them, and had broken into said case and consumed quite a few already. (And I can only hope I don’t reek like those guys after I consume apple ale. Well, Rom has made no complaints.)

Well, considering how this driver was about my harmless not-even-caffeinated soft drink, you can imagine how she felt about beer in progress. A spirited argument developed, but she finally let them on after they poured out their open containers.

Bus driver: “I’m just trying to be nice, letting you on.” (She had also called her dispatcher, so I feared the police would be pursuing us any moment.)

Drunk Guy: “I’m glad you’re trying to be nice.” (with heavy sarcasm) “I’ve had a bad week.”

Bus Driver: “It can’t be that bad. You got a case of beer.”

D.G.: “It was that bad. I tried to kill myself last week. I put a plastic bag over my head and a rubber band around my neck. Luckily, I woke up before it was too late.” (I’m thinking that not being able to wait to break open your case of beer until you get home might be part of your problem.)

Leaving logistics aside (“You can’t kill yourself by holding your breath.”–Rom), since when is this something you tell complete strangers on the bus? People seem to have no sense of privacy anymore. It’s like when I hear people discussing their criminal activities, court dates, jail sentences, etc., in public. If I had a criminal record, you wouldn’t be hearing about it here. No, really. But I don’t, unless Nick manages to cite me for jaywalking. (“I’d arrest you for jaywalking,” he says, but he is living in a fantasy world.) And no, I didn’t call 911 and say, “I just heard a guy mention suicide!”


–Because a guy was looking in my windows downtown–on the 2nd floor. (Before you think I’m insane, there was an outside staircase.) He claimed he’d been taking a walk and climbed the flight of stairs “to rest.”

–Because I thought I heard someone inside the apartment downtown, which turned out to be a cat playing under the umbrella I’d left in the bathtub to dry.

Does anyone remember that I already told those 2 stories in a previous post long ago? I wonder if I did a better job then.

And the times I called from the house I currently occupy–I can’t remember if I already mentioned these or not. All bets are off. {“Maybe you should re-read your previous posts and check,” they whisper. “That would be the responsible thing to do.”}

–To report a stray beagle at my back door.

–To report a tortoiseshell cat, who responded to my affectionate overtures by bolting into the street and getting hit by a car. I still feel bad about that. She was no longer on the scene when Animal Control arrived, and her fate remains unknown.

–To report a car fire across the street, which turned out to be merely an overheated radiator.

–To report a fire in the house next door, which turned out to be steam escaping from the basement windows. Apparently I have a problem distinguishing smoke from steam.

As we see, my record for reporting emergencies is not good.



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.


Additions, Corrections, Explanations

–A couple posts ago, when I referred to the perilous condition of the safety strips on the bus, I referred to it as being “today.” That day was actually a Sunday, on which buses do not run. I do not, however, remember the actual day of occurrence.

–Alert readers may ask, “How could Nick engage in needle-related activities? Isn’t he covered in armor plate?” Well, for the rabies vaccination, a skilled veterinarian can actually insert a fine needle between the scales. And the tattoo can be engraved directly on the scales. I’ve been assured that the process is almost painless.

In the course of not begging me to come to 3rd shift, Nick remarked that “You’ll never change a thing.” It now occurs to me–Did he mean just schedule-wise, or that I’ll never change a thing about my life in general? Perhaps he (or I) should consult Rom for deeper wisdom on this matter (a fringe benefit of my “living with Gandalf,” as Nick puts it. Or, to quote from “The Mists of Avalon,” If I think the Merlin so wise, why am I not willing to do his will?) It also occurs to me that Nick’s seeming indifference to my schedule plans may be a primitive form of reverse psychology. Of course, if anyone fell for all his ploys, he’d be living in idleness, being fed cookies and hot chocolate. Oh, wait a minute…

“Are you going to be done thinking aloud anytime soon?” they inquire. Would you prefer photos of “The 25 Most Terrifying Spiders On Earth?” Because I have that at my disposal. “Yeah, if you can figure out how to link to it,” Nick observes.

O Sweet Mystery of Life

…a Crisis in Progress production.

–“There’s a can of paint missing from my house.”

–“Do you know who took it?”

–“This guy who’s staying with me.”

–“How do you know? Did you actually see him take it?”

–“This other guy who’s staying with me told me.”

The mystery here is, why do you have two people staying with you whom you neither like nor trust? Huh? It’s like “I need the police because my friend just hit me.”


“A couple of us are working late, and we just found wet footsteps–large, male footsteps–going from the front door to the seventh floor.” As of this writing, the mystery remains unsolved. Maybe it was Bigfoot.


“I’ve been sitting here for two hours, and the bus passed me by twice. I’ll never get to work at this rate.”

“You need to call the bus service.”

“I can’t, my phone has no minutes. I can only call 911.” Little does she know that I can tell by looking at the screen that she’s lying.

“Is there some reason why they would pass you by?”

“I’ve never ridden the bus before, but this lady told me all I have to do is sit out in front of my house and the bus would pick me up.”

“Are you actually at a bus stop?”

“Yes! There’s a sign here saying to just call the bus service if I have problems.” Rub it in, why don’t you?

“So you–”

“I was just sitting here reading, and the bus drove right by me. Twice.”

So Yours Truly, who actually rides the bus regularly, had to do bus counseling and tell her that she had to actually indicate to the driver in some way that she wanted the bus, rather than keeping her nose stuck in a book. One has to wonder how committed she was to that whole get-to-work idea.


Like unto the woman who wanted me to call the bus people and complain for her is the case of the officer who says to me, “Call Officer So-and-So and tell him…” and then I do so, and Officer S & S wants me to “call the other officer back, and tell him…” Let me just give you his number, OK? I actually had an officer–who was off-duty–call in and say, “I need a tow truck, and tell them that…” I said, “Here’s the number to the towing service,” and was rewarded with a heavy sigh.


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