Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: weather

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 25: I Resent Robot Restrooms

It’s beginning to look like you need to give me money if you expect me to show up regularly. (They caught onto that at my job.) But I gratefully thank hard-core FanBasers Nick, D., D.T., and of course Rom, for keeping me going. I suspect I’m not cut out for this writing business, not least because of the constant encouragement I apparently require.

But enough about me. Time to address the restroom at Bob Evans.

I have mentioned before my dislike of automated bathroom facilities, such as the new one at Thornton’s. I hadn’t been to Bob Evans for some time (it’s still freezing in there, though, whatever the weather–makes me feel like I’m at work), but now they’re part of the Brave New World of Bathrooms, too. They have a new twist (so to speak)–YOU CAN’T CONTROL THE %&*! WATER TEMPERATURE! There are no faucets, just a spout. At least they let you flush the toilet yourself, unlike Thornton’s. I’LL FLUSH WHEN I’M READY, OK? STOP SPLASHING ME!

STRANGE BELIEFS OF CHILDHOOD

Speaking of bathrooms and their main (non-bath) function–when I was a little kid, I used to think that when you flushed the toilet, the stuff you’d flushed went down to a big white porcelain-walled room, where it would make friends and socialize with all the stuff everybody else flushed. I also thought that people were hollow inside, and the food you ate went all the way down to your feet, and piled up inside you through the years. When it got up to your head, sometimes you puked when it reached your mouth, but it eventually piled up all the way up to the top of your head, and that’s when you died. I also thought the grown-ups turned into skeletons after I went to bed.

WHAT I SANG IN THE SHOWER TONIGHT

“She’s Not There,” because of the current Chanel commercial for Coco Mademoiselle perfume. It’s one of the rare instances where the commercial is actually making me want the product. I always liked the song, since I liked to think of myself as the kind of beautiful elusive bitch they were singing about. Apparently I am not alone in this, since Chanel is betting their vast advertising budget on it.

S.G.’S 25TH POST, 5/4/13: All the News That’s Fit to Eat

–There were 13″ of snow in May ’13 in NW Wisconsin, where my sister lives. I myself was born in SE Wisconsin, but even that is too snowy for me.

–May 2013 featured 27 posts–the most numerous month in S.G. history! Not only were posts longer in the early days, there were more of them. I guess I did peak too soon. The figures for the month were skewed by this idea I got that I needed to post every day of my vacation, which, as I recall, led to some boring posts. And yet now I’m doing it for a whole year, hmm…

After the Deluge

Nothing like being almost at work, juggling bag of food, 32oz drink (I wisely avoided the 44oz, which would have been even harder to juggle), and umbrella as it suddenly starts to pour–and then the wind starts to blow as well, rendering said umbrella useless. After two blocks, I looked as if I’d jumped in a swimming pool. (I’m guessing that’s what I looked like. I do not frequent swimming pools.) I arrived with soaked socks, squelchy shoes, and my chicken tenders had been dipped in my blackberry cobbler (and I am normally opposed to foods touching each other on my plate). There remained only a slow and lingering death by air conditioning. But an ANGEL OF MERCY, my co-worker Princess Carol, offered to run me back home to change clothes, which was approved by the Powers That Be. The only thing that wasn’t wet was my bra, so the umbrella wasn’t completely useless. (I believe sitting around in a wet bra causes you to get mildew.) Of course, it then took us an hour and a half to deal with (minor) emergencies brought about by, at most, five minutes of storm.

I STILL CAN’T KEEP MY CLOTHES DRY

The day before yesterday, I spilled cola on myself. Yesterday, I spilled banana malt on myself. I can’t wait to see what type of fluid today will bring. (“You had a banana malt? And I didn’t even get to eat dinner??” Nick says, and begins to wail. Well, most days he gets an undisturbed hour to eat, and I don’t get any dinner, and have to work while I eat if I do, so he can just suck it, or munch it, or whatever it is he does with his type of mouthparts.)

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS…DO ANY NUMBER OF THINGS

No sooner had I observed that “Everyone loves a smartass” yesterday, or whenever it was I last wrote–I saw a sentiment on Facebook to “Stop Hating Smartasses.” We supposedly perform some useful function in society. It finished with “Born With a Smirk. Smartass for Life.” (I’m inclined to substitute “Until Death,” since people want to wipe the smirk off our faces.) But I thought, What a cool statement! Nick & I can get matching tattoos! When I suggested this, he growled, “Not for all the ride-alongs in the world.” He is no fun. But he was just cranky because he didn’t have a banana malt like I had. I had a greasy cheeseburger, too. I’m sure I enjoyed consuming it more than he enjoyed escorting drunks to jail. Life is hard sometimes.

Nobody’s Fault But Mine

I left the house in a hurry today–as much of a hurry as I could muster, as my driveway has frozen into a river of glass, with a tributary extending up my front walk. But I was getting a ride, so I quickly collected my stuff, got to my destination, stuck my hand in my pocket and…discovered I forgot my phone. Not that anyone ever calls me–the phone functions mostly as a walkie-talkie between me and Rom–but not having it means that I don’t know what time it is, since I’m one of those modern tech-savvy individuals who no longer wears a watch. (I was glad to give up watch-wearing, because the feel of something rubbing against my wrists {or ankles, or cuticles} is extremely irritating.)

Oh well, I thought, there are clocks between here and there (“here” and “there” being, respectively, McDonald’s and the bus stop). So I finished my lunch (and there is nothing more gross than underdone McNuggets–I actually bought another sandwich to eat, without complaining, lest they ask me to define “underdone” in this context), stuck my hand in my other pocket and…discovered I’d forgotten my gloves, which I’d left on the table at home to dry after being out yesterday. And it was 29 degrees out, and decidedly raw.

Well, I thought, I will just get more at Walgreen’s, since the thought of being out all afternoon without was disheartening, to say the least.

I cornered a manager and inquired where gloves were to be found. “If we still have any, they’re in the clearance section.” Oh no! What if there aren’t any? Luckily, there were many. I devoted as much time to my final selection as if it didn’t involve a piece of cheap crap I’d probably only wear once before forgetting I owned them.

After picking up many other items (yet more decisions to be carefully made–Could I pull off crimson lip gloss? Would pale pink nail polish go on streaky? Hey, live dangerously! They have a generous return policy!), I paid for said items and headed for Thornton’s. I was overheated from being in the store so long and making such momentous decisions, so I didn’t bother with gloves until after I’d bought my fountain drink. I reached into my bag and pulled out my new gloves…and discovered that THEY WERE ATTACHED TOGETHER BY ONE OF THOSE UNBREAKABLE PLASTIC THINGIES, AND I HAD NOTHING TO CUT IT WITH. I could just imagine Nick laughing at this point. (And at this point, I’d remind him of the quart of water spilled on the floor of the squad car, not to mention the Case of the Missing Handcuffs.)

I trudged back to Walgreen’s, cursing quietly. I figured I’d say, “I just bought these gloves–look, I have the receipt!–and do you have a scissors?” But there was a long-ass line, and one of the people ahead of me wanted to argue about an expired coupon, and the other one was getting ready to pay with a check that he hadn’t filled out yet, and a woman in the other line glared at me like “Don’t even think about cutting in here,” and time was a wastin’ before the bus got here.

So I trudged to the bus stop in the hellish cold, cursing all the way. The woman already waiting at the stop didn’t even feel she needed a winter coat, for some reason. One can only assume that drugs were involved. I set my stuff down so I could stuff  my hands in my pockets, and wondered where was a squad car when I needed one. Trust me, if Nick & Sam had pulled up, I would not have mentioned my desperately glove-less state, or who knows what he might have done. Because he’s just That Way.

I stopped off at the $ General, there being a crying need of toilet paper at my establishment. Got home, pondered how best to approach the house–see River of Glass notation above–decided my arms were too full for the degree of balance one wants to have in situations such as this, decided to chuck the package of toilet paper up on the porch. Missed by a mile, it landed in the middle of the ice floe, and I had to lean dangerously over the slicker-than-snot guard rail (ironically, more dangerous at this point than not using a guard rail at all) to retrieve it. I considered leaving it there until the next thaw.

So I’m stuck with a pair of cheap gloves I’ll probably never wear–but hey! Generous return policy!

I hope today is the last really cold day.

Scratchy Glitter–writing more about less than anyone who’s not being paid by the word!

Splendid Isolation

Why have I not posted? If I got nothing to say, my lips are sealed, as David Byrne so wisely tells us in “Psycho Killer.”

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

–I am implacably opposed to this weather. I prefer not to worry about slipping and getting killed every time I venture out the door. Every day is an adventure, and you know how I feel about those.

–I overheard a guy on the bus saying, “I’m going to decorate my bathroom all in Packers. I already ordered my toilet seat cover and night light.” Sports Teams–Helping People Decide On Decorating Schemes For…oh, I don’t know know how long. I’m just tickled there’s a night light available.

–I was at Walgreen’s, getting Rom’s Valentine’s Day presents (the theme this year is A Bunch of Cheap Crap–but carefully-chosen cheap crap!), and overheard a song that said, “My hands are bleeding and my knees are raw, ’cause I never met a girl like you!” Sounds like just another day of me dispatching, right, Nick? It does what it’s told, as the old saying goes.

Speaking of police officers and what they must endure, Nick & Sam dealt with a crazy guy who kept saying he was a six-star general in the Russian army. They must be running out of stars over there.

Also speaking of officers and what they have to put up with, I saw a sentiment on Facebook to the effect that, “If you followed a police officer for one day {first off, stop following them, it’s very annoying!}, you would be amazed by the depressing and upsetting things they see. You probably wouldn’t want to follow them for a second day {especially since  they’d start getting suspicious by that point}.” Certainly this is often true (although there are also days when the most depressing and upsetting thing they see all day is the interior of the squad car and their partner’s face), but the strange thing is, there are all kinds of people (scratch that–there’s only one kind of person, namely, adrenaline junkies) who volunteer to ride along with them. How crazy is that?

Also speaking of officers and poking them with a sharp stick…

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LET’S GET SERIOUS! (cue the stampede for the exits)

The police chief recently wrote an article in the department’s in-house newsletter, concerning the body cameras that officers will shortly be wearing. He pointed out that officers tend to complain about innovations, but eventually adjust, and then can’t imagine doing the job without said innovations. I have noticed that when the computer goes down. I have also noticed it among my own co-workers. When we first got computers, the people who complained about them most bitterly eventually became the ones who complained most bitterly if they had to work without them. (For the record, Your Humble Narrator was one of the complainers, but I wasn’t in the “most bitterly” category. I had other topics to complain about, like how having to wear a uniform would impede my right to express my individuality through fashion.) And, now that I think about it, you can see this about people in general. When Lloyd Expressway has to be closed for some reason, people whine and cry as if they’ve forgotten any other way to get across town. And speaking of highways we once did without, I would like to personally remove 164. Its only function, as far as I can determine, is to provide an opportunity for people to slide off when the weather is bad.

Have I gone on long enough yet? I was planning to finish off strong with something amusing, but nothing more comes to mind, so you’re on your own.

 

 

Some Interesting Stuff I Dug Up

…well, not literally.

SPANK ME, WHUP ME, MAKE ME WRITE BAD CHECKS

Just a reminder that my proposition to ignore you for cash still stands–and isn’t being ignored by me worth a little money? This offer is open to everyone but Nick, who would rather take a beating than be ignored, so we’ll just go with that.

THE LIVE-CRAB VENDING MACHINE!

Yes, you heard me right. Sounds like a 60’s psychedelic garage band, doesn’t it? Rom read an article about advanced vending machine technology that has provided custom-built burritos in, I think, Mexico (that would make sense, wouldn’t it?), some other kind of elaborate food in some other exotic place I can’t remember, and live crabs in China (Live Crabs in China–the first album by the Live-Crab Vending Machine. Followed by their live album, Live-Crab Vending Machine Live in China). I find the logistics here fascinating. Are the crabs just hanging out in one big chamber inside the machine, or does each have his/her own separate slot? Can you specify different kinds of crab? And, most important of all, DO THE CHINESE EAT THEM LIVE?

HOW DUMB DO THEY THINK WE ARE?

–Sign on a bus: THIS VEHICLE MAKES FREQUENT STOPS. Addressed, I suppose, to those who just fell off a melon truck and don’t know how buses operate.

–Headline: VECTREN SAYS HARSH WINTER MAY LEAD TO HIGHER HEATING BILLS. Ya think?

The Channel 14 weather blog points out that we’re only a third of the way through said winter. I was better off not knowing that.

WORLD LEADER EDICTS

–Happy New Year signs may remain up for the entire month of January, but no longer. As of February, the year is no longer new. I will grudgingly allow Valentine decorations to go up in mid-January, although it makes you look desperate for a holiday.

 

 

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