Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: writing

Stress-Free Writing Experience

…switched to “Distraction-free writing mode” since I remarked upon it yesterday. Apparently they realized they could not promise to eliminate stress, in spite of the feverish sort of enjoyment I usually derive from this. Once I actually start. Anyway, all it meant was they hid the menus at the side, as if I had been stressed out by them before. As if.

Almost done with the second can of Wicked Apple Ale, thanks to wicked Nick, not to mention his wicked wife, who first gave me some to try, though it was the non-wicked type. I soon hit the harder stuff, to quote Bob Dylan.

Today is my 31st anniversary, and Trexa took me and Rom to Logan’s Roadhouse. My steak (medium-rare) and sweet potato (without cinnamon) (they also had cinnamon apples, eww) was very good. Rom had a burger done “medium-well,” which I guess means gray and flavorless without being actually burnt. No wonder he put both ketchup and steak sauce on it.

You know Logan’s serves lots of aging boomers, because the soundtrack when we entered was Bachman-Turner Overdrive and the Guess Who (involving some of the same personnel–they must need the money). Speaking of which, I saw a headline recently–“Millennials Now the Most Frequent Caregivers.” Why? Did Gen-X’ers get tired of our shit?

I must take issue with Logan’s restroom. It had a fake distressed-concrete floor, with real puddles of water in 3 out of the 4 stalls. It made me feel like I’d been kidnapped and taken to the basement of an abandoned warehouse. Well, except that I had a toilet instead of a pail to go in. And they gave me steak. Anyway, why would you want your bathroom floor to look like it was crumbling away after the fall of civilization?

1968 vs. 1984

It was 1968 when I decided I was going to be a writer. I was sitting in 8th grade English class, we were studying 1984, and it struck me–I could do this! Then I immediately started worrying about whether I could do it or not. This was against the background of recently discovering that my lack of math aptitude precluded a career as a scientist. Actually, my 2nd thought after my epiphany was, And I wouldn’t necessarily have to go to college! I suspected even then that I wouldn’t be able to make it through. This did not keep me from trying 3 times.


I’m Not F. Scott Fitzgerald

…as my writing professor once told me. I bet F. Scott Fitzgerald wouldn’t have gotten a B+ in his class, either.

This post is brought to you courtesy of K8, my best friend from high school, who encouraged me to have another can of ale.


Health for Taurus: “Eliminate junk food.” I did not do this.

Beauty for Taurus: “A minimum of makeup. All you really need is a light foundation, a dab of rosy rouge, and navy liner, mascara,  cranberry or expresso shadow for expressive eyes.” This doesn’t seem minimal to me. Plus, it’s “espresso.”

Speaking of which, I told Rom (a fellow Taurus) back when, after seeing a car model named the Scorpio, that, “They’ll never name a car Taurus. Just too dull.” Shows what I know. You know the zodiac sign that will never have a car named after it? Cancer.


You know who Trump should get on board as his adviser? Captain Obvious. He’s a military man, which Trump respects. Plus, when Trump is about to say something like, “If she wasn’t my daughter, I’d date her,” he can say, “It’s not cool to say that.” And Trump can say, “Thanks, Captain Obvious.”



Against Everything

“There’s an improved way to post on WordPress.” No, there isn’t, just a newer way. It is unfamiliar, therefore I fear it.

Faced with an expectant FanBase, I am forced to admit I do not have the cashmere sweaters in hand as yet, so no picture has been taken. I am also bemused by the varied reactions to my appearance in general. A guy who works at Thornton’s said, “You’re the last person I’d expect to have a snake tattoo,” while others seem to think a cashmere twinset is equally unlikely, so perhaps my personal style is not as well-defined as one would hope. Well, as would hope. I try.


I forgot to mention, reading my 4th post in Feb. ’13 (called “Trifecta” something, it’s all a blur)–I was basking in compliments as a new blogger (well, ASIDE from the fact that I invented the blog in 1990, and I’m going to keep mentioning that, so get used to it), and someone asked, Why am I not a newspaper columnist? The short answer is that the paper already has Jon Webb and Stan Levco. The long answer is that I’m autistic. (Doesn’t seem like a long answer? Watch me.) I actually had some professional connections in my youth, since my stepfather was in broadcasting, but I was no more able to network than I was able to fly through the air by flapping my arms. (To give you an idea–I worked at a factory for a couple years, and, after calling me into the office to ask if there were “any problems they should know about,” a question which baffled me, they moved me to a department where I could work by myself, since other people had been complaining about me, for reasons They wouldn’t reveal. And yes, I showered every day. So you can see how networking might be a problem.) I might have more of a clue now that I’m older, but I can’t guarantee it. How does one get started writing professionally these days?

Speaking of compliments, I was discussing the tooth fairy with Nick. Aside from the fact that inflation will get us all (I only got a dime or a quarter from the tooth fairy–something silvery and disc-shaped, at any rate), I remarked that kids must sleep more soundly than adults, since someone sticking their hand under my pillow now would probably wake me up. He said, “Probably not. I’m sure you sleep suspended from the ceiling upside down, wrapped in a cocoon of your own wings.”

And speaking of that ancient post–I really regret the demise of the WordPress feature that would recommend illustrations based on words you typed. (Well, except when my post title was “Spiders and Dead Bodies.”) You can sign up for illustration services, but they work by sending hundreds of pictures to your email inbox, and who has time to sift through those? Not me, I’m almost famous.

And speaking of fame (the title of this post should have been “Raging Segues”), the soundtrack at McDonald’s today included “The One I Love” by R.E.M., a song which proves that people only listen to the first 2 lines of anything. This is a popular romantic request number on radio stations, BUT–

“This one goes out to the one I love

This one goes out to the one I left behind


Anyone see a problem with that? It’s about casual sex on the road, hard though it may be to imagine R.E.M. engaging in the practice. Unlike, say, the Sour Neon Crawlers, with their army of groupies.



Lorem Ipsum

Does anyone else think lorem ipsum is creepy? I first encountered it when visiting the website of a commercial enterprise I’d never visited before, and thought OH NO, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PLACE, IT LOOKS LIKE LATIN BUT IT MAKES NO SENSE, and someone said, oh yeah, that’s just lorem ipsum, it means the site is still under construction and they just use it as a placeholder until they add actual text, because it doesn’t distract them from the graphics. Well, I found it distracting, but I guess I’m insufficiently graphics-oriented.  I was also offended when I found out the Stones and R.E.M. come up with the music of a song first instead of, you know, words. Who could imagine that musicians would be primarily concerned with music?

Speaking of non-word stuff, turns out the video for the last post didn’t work after all. I don’t know why that one didn’t and the previous one did, since they both came from YouTube, from which all things of that nature come, as far as I’m concerned.


“Archer, don’t whack that bee.”

“No, don’t whack that other bee, either.”

I’d just rather not be standing next to a bee-whacker.


Alien Finger now has permission to be unwrapped when I’m safely at home.


A.F.: “Don’t put me under that weird-temperature water, as if I were a real finger!”

ME: “You think all temperatures are weird. Now shut up and finish washing my hair.”

Currently, Alien Finger is saying, “Don’t make me type the letter C!” I never knew it was possible to feel queasy in a finger.



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.

S.G. Is 3 Years Old, For What It’s Worth


It has been a month since my last confession, I mean post. I was attempting to have a period of, shall we say, discernment, because I discerned that I seemed to be repeating myself, and feared I was running out of stuff to write about. But how can this be, as long as there is…


Drug store clerk reporting a theft:

“The guy’s been in here before, and he always takes liquor bottles into the bathroom, and empties them into a container he brings with him. He’s thin, has a mullet and missing teeth, and always brings his wife who’s in a wheelchair, but I’m not sure she really needs it.” Could he be more perfectly-suited to his crime? All he needs is a tattoo that says “100% Honky” (there are actually several people in this town who have that tattoo, although they disagree on the spelling of “honky”) and a car with flames painted on the sides. We can only hope he has a meth lab waiting for him when he gets home.

Anyway, I am trying to find ways to make this blog a little less, well, impaired, but, y’know….Interestingly (or not–YOU BE THE JUDGE), no one’s dared to nag me for not posting this time around. Maybe you’ve abandoned hope, or perhaps you feared it would lead to whining.


Everyone says, “Life isn’t fair,” but WHY ISN’T IT? We all agree that it ought to be, so what gives?


There is software you can get (well, you can–I have a special old-folks computer {to go with my special old-folks phone} which keeps things uncomplicated so it’s not overwhelming, and I therefore can’t add software) which will delete your work if you don’t keep writing regularly. That’s supposed to be motivational. I guess it would be, in the same way that someone smacking you if you didn’t write would be–I’m not sure if I’d actually write more, or just curl up in a spiny ball of despair.


“Subject has Asperger’s syndrome, cannot make eye contact, and may become violent when touched.” Since when is it a law that one has to make eye contact? Also, I think that not being touched by police sounds like a pretty good deal. Hey, I’m un-arrestable! It’s like another alert I had to give–“Subject is barred from jail property.” Score!!



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!


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.


“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…

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.

Be Very Quiet

…shhhh….no one has been here since the 22nd. I myself haven’t been here for 2 weeks, although it seems like a lot longer. I guess blog time isn’t the same as time on the outside.


I have decided to self-identify as a writer. In spite of the fact that I only posted twice last month, and haven’t had anything published for money since 1995 (for a publication with a stated circulation of 200), and hadn’t had anything published before then since the early 80’s. Yes, I have been in government service since 1978. But I feel I have the brain of a writer, not to mention the wardrobe of one, so I expect everyone to refer to me as one from now on. {Disclaimer: I stole this idea from the Lucky Old Man, although his version of it is less charmless and peevish than this one.} 


My supervisor has recently reminded us that we can have one ridealong a year! But I would feel disloyal to Nick if I went with someone else, and aren’t you sorry you’re on third shift now, Nick? And that I’m not? More than one person has assured me that I would be ill-advised to go with him. Just look at him–lazing in the sun, rolling on his back, hoping the dazzling splendor of his snowy underparts will distract me from the wealth of claws and teeth he possesses.


First it was mascara designed to make you look like you’re wearing false lashes. But, because that wasn’t stupid enough, they have now come up with, I kid you not, mascara that creates a “sexy tangled look.” By which they mean, clumpy mascara. Yes, we’re now supposed to strive for that. Don’t take my word for it–go see it at CVS. They have an illustration and everything.


The convenience store at Claremont & Ray Becker now has fried chicken!

Time to pay a bill and go to bed.


“I Could Have Died Back There!”

Blue Öyster Cult (album)

Blue Öyster Cult (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to (well, I don’t have to, but I am nothing if not polite) thank Nick for the subject matter of this post. He is currently at Busch Stadium, and remarked on Facebook that it was hot, and when I hear Busch Stadium and heat mentioned in the same sentence, this story comes to mind. Of course, Nick is just watching a boring ball game, and from the looks of things, getting drunk. (It’s like a game–One of These Guys is Not Drunk. Guess Which One and Win a Prize!) But I had an actual adventure! Of sorts. And involving alcohol, in a roundabout and icky way, as you will see.

Rom and I, in our early days (literally–I think we’d been together a month at most) went to Busch Stadium to see SUPERJAM ’78!! (You have to say it with all-capital letters and multiple exclamation points, just like when you say MID-AMERICA RACEWAY!! THE DRAG-RACING CAPITAL OF MID-AMERICA!!, which I was also at in the even remoter past. Ideally, you should say it with reverb, but I don’t know how to indicate that in print.) We were not actually there to see SUPERJAM ’78!! per se, but to see Blue Oyster Cult, my favorite band in those pre-R.E.M. days. (I’m guessing there aren’t many people who love both of those bands.) I had a stalker sort of fascination with B.O.C., which led to me writing a bad short story about them. And I saw them every time they came to St Louis.

St Louis has the same weather we do here, being in the Lower Midwest (or Mideast, as it should be called, if you just look at a map of the U.S., and when I rule the world I shall make it so) and on a big river. So, since SUPERJAM ’78!! was, I believe, in August, it was broiling hot, except that if you were being broiled, it would be less humid. And we got to sit with the teeming rock & roll masses on the floor? ground? of the stadium, which had been considerately spread with plastic, to protect the astroturf from our happy asses. So…sitting on plastic, blazing sun, being steamed like crabs…all the creature comforts. And to get to our place…we joined a long line threading our way through groups of people to get to a relatively unsettled area. The line stopped suddenly, but we couldn’t see why. It jerked forward intermittently, and then we found out why. Some guy had started drinking early, or just drank his beer to keep from dying of thirst, and passed out in a puddle of puke. So crowded you can’t step around it, so wide you can’t jump over it–and you didn’t want to try, lest you miscalculate, slip and fall right into it. The expression of each person in line as they discovered the situation was priceless. So, yes, I waded through puke to see Blue Oyster Cult. If only I could tell them.

{DIGRESSION: This is one of my two good puke stories. The other: We attended a party where a guy had puked in the gazpacho. The beauty part here is that gazpacho looks like puke anyway, so someone had to be stationed there to warn everyone who came up to the table until they could get it cleared away. [Gazpacho looks like human puke. Burgoo looks like cat puke. You’re welcome!] YES, YOU GET 2 PUKE STORIES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! You’re welcome again!}

So, we were finally settled in a location free of vomit. Unfortunately, B.O.C. was next-to-last on the bill, and we had to suffer through various acts first, the only one I remember being Eddie Money, and I remember him because he, having stepped right out of air-conditioning, said, “Hey! Bet you all love this warm weather!” and we spoke of rushing the stage and killing him.

But B.O.C. finally came on, and they were supernal as always, and I surged toward the front of the stage, and lost track of Rom, and, well, was not as dutiful about finding him again as I was about being sure I could see the band really well. (Together for a month, and yeah, it’s a feeble excuse.) But he tracked me down, and loudly declaimed that “I could have died back there!” And I was embarrassed, although not as embarrassed as I’d have been if I’d passed out in some puke. And why it seemed to Rom that I was worth staying with in those days (hell, those first few years) is beyond me.

And they all lived happily ever after.

I would like to welcome Officer A.B., having been recommended to him by Nick, and can only hope I meet his expectations. Although I have my doubts, having just gone on at tiresome length about my semi-sleazy past life. And I can’t even say, Well, that’s not typical! Because, you know, it just is.

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