Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: retirement

Freedom Day

I have been retired for a year today. Hmm, have I learned anything? And why do I feel like I should have learned something?

I am wearing the “My Work Number is 911” t-shirt, because it isn’t.

Today is National Donut Day, but I had no donuts. I guess I could rectify that tomorrow.

I am somewhat intoxicated.

Oh, Rom wants you to know, reference our anniversary lunch at Logan’s, that he did not, either, put both steak sauce and something else (ketchup?) on his burger. He used them to dip his fries in, which I personally don’t think is any better, and may be worse.

THE WEIRDEST AD I EVER SAW

This was an old magazine ad on Ebay, for some brand of lipstick. It said, “There’s a little bit of Satan in our satin-finish lipstick.” Because it’s devilishly sexy and stuff. It had a guy in a devil costume lurking behind the lipsticked model. I just can’t see that ad running today. Of course, we have an entire line of nail polish called Sinful Colors, so I could be wrong.

Oh, looking back on my decision to be a Writer (and the accompanying Hey! I might not need college!) decision I made in 8th grade–I didn’t, and don’t, doubt my ability to write, per se. I think I could have been entirely adequate in some magazine-staff or copy-writing position (that didn’t require me to go out and interview people). The doubts were/are about Creative Writing. After all, an agent once told me, “You don’t even understand the basic story-arc.” And how could an autistic person, who can’t understand how people tick, make characters come to life? OK, I haven’t Learned Something.

Speaking of which, the paper recently had something about The Danger of Self-Diagnosis, when it comes to autism. So have I been officially diagnosed? I have been half-diagnosed. I once said to my mother, “That nice lady you had me talk to in first grade was a child psychologist, right?” And she said, “Yes, she said you might be autistic, but we figured out it was just that we didn’t know your eyesight was so bad!” Yeah, that explains a lot. Not.

 

 

Birthday in Hell…

…it being a day of record-breaking heat. Of course, Rom broke the heat record on the actual day he was born, so no contest there. I think that was 91, too, which is even more remarkable in late April.

Thanks to all the well-wishers who included praise for the blog. I had been considering terminating it–I’ve sometimes felt I have nothing to write about now that I’ve retired–but thanks to you, IT SHALL CONTINUE.

COSMO ASTROLOGY ’82

Fashion for Taurus: “Elegant pajamas in sun yellow and navy stripes are exotic at night, especially when coupled with bright pink sandals.” Because yellow and navy blue just don’t clash enough.

Fashion for Gemini: “Smashing combination: red halter under a gray flannel jacket worn with pale peanut-colored pants or tucked into orange walking shorts.” Again–did we just forget how to combine colors in the 80’s?

Fashion for Virgo: “Pair a hand-painted short wrap shirt in peanut-glazed cotton with a forest green tightly-pleated skirt.” What is with all this peanut stuff?

Decorating for Scorpio: “Invest in a hanging fireplace.” Now, I don’t know much about such things, but how do you hang a fireplace, exactly? Seems like it would catch something on fire.

ROM & I GO TO GERST HAUS

My only observations (it was an enjoyable afternoon, and I do better at complaining):

–If your cornbread has hot peppers in it, you should mention that fact on the menu. Otherwise it is just a cruel practical joke.

–This is the only establishment I’ve visited that had, over the relevant area, the word TOILETS. We know what you really want!

Poor Nick was saved from forgetting my birthday only by my tender mercies in telling him yesterday, since he hasn’t found the part on Facebook that tells you all the upcoming ones for the whole year.

 

 

Thanks & Apologies

Thank you to the person who told me the first thing they do every morning is check to see if I’ve posted! Although maybe an apology would be more appropriate.

RANDOM STUFF I FORGOT LAST TIME BECAUSE ROM CAME IN AND GAVE ME FOOD IN MY SPECIAL BLUE BOWL

BEST NAME FOR A ROCK BAND EVER–(courtesy of a candy I saw at CVS): Sour Neon Crawlers. Let’s get that band started! I could write lyrics, I don’t sing any worse than some singer-songwriters, and Rom said I have the personality of an egotistical lead singer, so let’s go!

BONUS: BEST NAME FOR A COUNTRY BAND EVER (courtesy of a sports team I saw on the news while waiting impatiently for Colbert to be on): Normal Cornbelters.

Billboard at Lloyd/St Joe–“Want to know how this works? Call us.” Yes, it’s a billboard advertising itself. And no thanks, I think I understand how they work.

TALKIN’ ‘BOUT MY G-G-GENERATION

An editorial in the paper recently noted disapprovingly that states have over-extended their pension obligations, “even offering retiree health insurance.” How dare I have health insurance! I should just do without, as punishment for working for the government for 32 years. (Well, 32 years for this government. I worked for 2 others before that.)

I am now in my third  month of pretending I’m independently wealthy and have inherited a small fortune (but only a small one, as befits my lower-upper-class upbringing). Of course, it’s easy to live cheaply when you don’t have a life, as it’s commonly defined.

HEY, WAIT, I GOT A NEW COMPLAINT

–stolen from Kurt Cobain, if I understood him correctly.

When did parts of speech become randomized? I hate to bring it up, since it makes me sound pedantic. Not to mention un-creative, which is the worst thing you could call me. (“Wait! Wait! I need to add this to my notes!” Nick says, jumping up and spilling his pink lemonade.) Yeah, I know, language evolves and stuff. But still…

“Enjoy the go.” (Well, that’s wrong for so many reasons, #1 being the idea that using the toilet would actually be pleasant as long as you had the right toilet paper.) (Did you know there’s a commercial out there that SHOWS A DIAGRAM OF TURDS MOVING THROUGH YOUR INTESTINE??! It’s a sign of the end. So to speak.)

“Each child schools differently.”

“Discover your awesome.”

“This is how you Sonic.”

“the big reveal” We already have a word for that–revelation.

I saw a woman on the bus with a t-shirt that said: “American Pride: ‘America’, adj., in or of America. ‘Pride’, noun, a highly opinion of oneself.” Bigly, I say.

Speaking of which, a clerk at Thornton’s complimented me on my tattoo and said, “Is that a cobra? You’re the last person I’d think would have that.” Time for the Blue Oyster Cult t-shirt, obviously.

OTHER PROBLEMS THAT I HAVE

I read that the autistic brain lacks the ability to automatically prioritize sensory input. I never thought of it that way before, but it makes so much sense. Everything comes at me at once, so no wonder I like to stick to the familiar. It’s mildly disorienting just to go to a McDonald’s location I haven’t been to before, and actual Travel is just overwhelming. (I remember a co-worker asked, “What will you do when you retire? Travel?” and I said, “NO!” with a loudness and vehemence she might have found odd.) Rom has an expression, “It’s like you get on moving day,” to express this state. You know how they say that someone “sees what has to be done and does it?” I have trouble seeing what has to be done. Just issue instructions, please. And hope I’ll follow them. (You can see why Rom has that expression.) The everything-at-once theory also explains why I get a lot of both “I can’t believe you noticed that!” and “I can’t believe you didn’t notice that.”

LET’S OBSERVE A MOMENT OF SILENCE 

…for the small spider that fell into my candle. I blew the candle out as a sign of respect, and it is  now entombed in rose-and-magnolia-scented wax.

THEATER OF CRUELTY UPDATE

We haven’t heard about a certain beast for awhile, have we? I heard that he’s gone rogue now that I’m no longer his handler, and was spotted in Orlando attacking Disney characters (now that there’s an app that helps you locate them). But he is no longer my concern, I suppose.

 

 

Day 24: Q-Tips

I knew I had other stuff to write about, but yesterday I was too busy cussing at equipment, so it slipped my mind.

Speaking of equipment, the other day someone asked, “Why is it always freezing in here?” and the supervisor replied, “Well, this room is full of electronics…”  Which are worth more than we are. Gotcha. At least it beats the more common supervisory response, which is to deny that it is, in fact, freezing.

BEAUTY TIP OF THE DAY

I recently noticed while combing my hair out in the morning (I shower at night) that I haven’t been losing near as many hairs as I normally do. (No, I don’t count them, I’m just approximating.) “What positive change in my life occurred a few weeks ago?” I asked myself. “Why, I made the decision to retire!” Yes, THIS JOB WAS MAKING ME LOSE MY HAIR. Not a lot, obviously, but this is my beauty tip: For thicker hair, don’t work at 911.

Seriously, it’s freezing in here. I have long sleeves, a fleece vest, and Security Blanket over the top of it. (There was a brief intermission during which I attempted to ascertain the exact shape of Security Blanket,  for the most effective draping. It appears to be a perfect square.) I am typing only intermittently so I can stick my hands in my pockets. I usually leave the room at the end of the shift with Security Blanket over my shoulders like a cape. Unsure what super-powers it would confer.

SPEAKING OF SUPER-POWERS

I was in the weird position the other day of dispatching a run on an autistic 14-year-old who’d run away from home. Weird because, you know, I am one. One officer was telling another, “He left after an argument with his mother, and said he was going to the library and he’d be back at 5:30. He’s high-functioning, but he is autistic, so he can’t be left by himself.” Well, everyone’s case is different, but if they’d decided I could never be left by myself, I’d curl into a spiny ball and never uncurl again. It’s making me feel a bit edgy just thinking about it.

ANOTHER ADVANTAGE OF RETIRING

Maybe I’ll be able to stop dreaming about crime. The other night I dreamed I was being killed by poison gas. Rom and I were at McDonald’s, and a robotic female voice said, “Q.Q.! Q.Q.! Exit the building by the available doors!” We went outside, and that’s where the poison gas was. I was so scared I woke up. The next night I dreamed someone shot a guy who was dressed as Colonel Sanders, and was about to shoot me too. And those are just the interesting ones. I can’t count the number of times I dreamed someone was trespassing on my lawn. And I wonder how long it will take after retirement for me to stop dreaming that I’m late to work. Maybe never.

911 ETIQUETTE–ENGRAVED INVITATIONS

Officer’s notes on a run: “Brian invited Jacob over to fight. Jacob took Brian up on his  offer. Brian called 911.”

Ambulance call: “Says she fell a few months ago, hit her head and spilled her brains.” That must have been why it took her a few months to call.

Deputy on the air: “Show me out with a toilet in the road.”

Narcotics complaint: “I want to be anonymous, because I know these people and they’ll revenge on you.”

I was telling Rom stories like these, and he said, “What’ll you do for fun after you retire? I know–you can go on ridealongs with Nick!” Right, Nick? “Of course,” he says, smiling thinly.

 

I have Security Blanket on inside-out. This troubles me, but I only have 1 more hour to be troubled in, so I’m not going to expose myself to the soul-sucking cold long enough to turn it around.

FASHION TIPS

Facebook article–“20 Fashions That Make You Look Older.” It’s illustrated with a photo of an old woman with a man’s tie tied around her head. That doesn’ t make you look older. It just makes you look wacky. I’m not going to click on that article.

OK, I had to click on that article. I’m doing at least half of those 20 things. People often say I don’ t look my age, but maybe they’re just being nice.

–“The only acceptable tights are black.” No, the only acceptable tights are ones that aren’t pretending to be pants.

–“Too much gaudy jewelry.” You can kiss my ancient ass.

–“Carrying a big ‘old lady’ handbag.” I carry a tote bag with tie-dye stripes on it. Could this be what they’re referring to? You can tell I’m hip! It’s tie-dye!

–“Wearing unflattering colors.” Well, this could apply to anyone. It’s not like, “Oh no, I’m 40–unflattering colors don’t flatter me any longer.”

–“Wearing chunky shoes.” Well, I actually have an old-lady reason for that–problem feet–but I had those when I was young, too. And I don’t even like the term “kitten heels.” It means you’re trying to be cutesy.

“You’re not wearing shapewear.” I’m not wearing something that squeezes me constantly, no. Since no one has dared tell me, “You’re obviously not being squeezed–you should do something about that,” well, see the ass-kissing part previously.

TIP FOR THE DAY

If you hear a robotic voice saying, “Q.Q.! Q.Q.!,” it can never be good.

 

 

What You’ve All Been Waiting For

BUT FIRST…

“What we’ve been waiting for is a damn post,” they interrupt testily. “Didn’t you say something about trying to write every day…again…”  Well, I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. “Then why didn’t you write about it?”  It never stops, nevernevernever stops…

Ahem. My birthday was Saturday, and featured a surprise VISIT FROM NICK, with his mate and pair of spawn in tow, all in red shirts. I don’t think that man knows how to dress unless some type of uniform is involved. (No, Nick, I will not take fashion advice from someone whose shoes fall apart.) I also got a SURPRISE HUG from the same individual, which mildly alarmed me, and a birthday card congratulating me on turning 85, which just goes to show that a beast can’t count. Seriously, I’ve always wished there were specific cards for all ages–“To A Special 37-Year-Old…” Did you know that Rom once thought he would die at 37? See, he’s not always right. I once dreamed I died at 83, on March 16 of whatever year that would be. (Now who can’t count?) I ought to sign up for one of those services that send you an email from yourself on a specified future date. On March 16 Whatever Year, I’d read “Have you died yet?” and promptly die of fright. I would die as I’d lived, namely, ironically.

Thornton’s gave me 10 cents off a gallon of gas for my birthday, showing a lamentable lack of knowledge of my buying habits. Lands’ End gave me a 20% off code, which I will not use to buy green gingham shorts, unless I happen to be drunk at the time.

A NATION IN CRISIS

Stephen Colbert informs us there is currently a national surplus of cheese. Rom & I are doing our best to address this, thanks to a recent shipment of Wisconsin cheese from my sister. You all need to help out and eat an extra 3 pounds of cheese a year, or the extra cheese will…get moldy, I guess. Moldier.

“BUT WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO EXPLAIN THE TITLE OF THIS POST?” THEY INTERJECT, GIVING ME AN EXCUSE TO USE ITALICS AND BOLDFACE SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Well.

In spite of my charming/disarming tell-all tone in this venue, it is my habit to keep my personal plans to myself, in case…well, in case someone uses the information against me, I suppose. It’s like when I’d go with colleagues to the FOP Club in the 90’s. I’d drink too much, turn sullen, then call a cab, slip out and wait for it on the corner, without telling anyone I was leaving. You know, being mysterious and stuff. Or the way I never want to tell my co-workers which shift I’m picking until the last minute, even though I always pick the same one anyway. SO, recently I caught myself thinking, “I wish I could tell my FanBase what I’ve been doing lately,” and realized, What’s stopping me? It’s my own blog, after all.

“…which nobody will be reading if you don’t get to the point,” they point out. 

So.

What I’m getting at is, when I turn 62 at this time next year, I’m planning on retiring. (I already feel panicky, like I should qualify that–I mean, it’s always possible that the numbers won’t add up like I think they will, since I’ve already proven I can’t do math.)

I went to one of the retirement workshops sponsored by our pension fund. I ran into someone I used to work with, which was kind of embarrassing, in that “Well, what are you doing at this whorehouse?” sort of way. I also picked up a magazine called “The New Retirement,” put out by AARP, who ought to know, I suppose. It included an article about financial planning, which mentioned that a professional financial planner can help you come up with a plan for your pension and Social Security. You mean, other than letting them send me a check every month? Because that was my plan.

So this will be the last year of the Crisis In Progress department. I will now be a lame-duck dispatcher. I’ll be doing a bunch of stuff at work for the Last Time, probably getting sentimental about stuff like being yelled at on the phone. “No one will ever say they’re paying my salary again!” Perhaps I will become dangerous and yell at them on the phone. I hope to have a drunken retirement party–if you play your cards right, you may get the “House of the Rising Sun” karaoke I’ve been threatening for years. And if I take up skydiving in retirement, you’ll be the first to know.

 

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.

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