Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

The Gray Alien

Cat Jessie is a companionate sort, who thinks it is not good for Cat to be alone. So, after Rom has gotten up and gone outside, this is how my morning goes. (All this time, her sister Cat Carson is lurking under the bed.)

Jessie in hall outside bedroom, yowling loudly: HE WENT OUTSIDE AND CARSON IS UNDER THE BED AND I’M LONELY AND BORED!!!

Jumps up on bed and pokes me: Are you ready to get up yet? I shove her off the bed.

Two minutes later, jumps up again: Are you ready yet? I shove her off again.

7 minutes and 38 seconds later, jumps back up: I will ascertain your readiness to get up by tightroping up and down you. (I always sleep on my side.) I wriggle until she falls off.

16 minutes and 24 seconds later: Since you did not respond well to the tightroping technique, I will stand on your head. I shove her off–carefully, to avoid claws if she loses her balance suddenly–and pull the covers over my head.

Time ticks by, and I am slowly smothering. 28 minutes and 10 seconds go by. Surely she’s left by now, I think, and peer out of the covers. A PAIR OF BLACK ALIEN EYES STARE IN AT ME. (She’s basically gray, with a triangle-shaped face, and her eyes are almond-shaped and slightly slanted, so she does look like an alien.) Are you ready to get up yet? Now would be a good time. I like you. I will lick you.

I know better than to reinforce any of this behavior by actually getting up, so I push her off and remain there, even though by now I really need to pee. She gives up and goes back in the hall, informing me that he went outside and Carson is under the bed and she is lonely and bored.

P.S. As I’m typing all this, Jessie is beside me attacking the furniture, and tipping over a big cardboard box. Carson is hiding under the table and wondering what all the noise is about, but I’m sure she knows who’s responsible.

Hello World!

…was a sample title WordPress proffered, so here we go.


I emerge like a troll from under a bridge (as Nick once said on a similar occasion) to favor you with my opinion on mass shootings. I’m against them.

“The 4th of July shooter once posted a beheading video to a message board about death.”


Meanwhile, some impressive percentage of Republicans (I can’t remember the exact number, probably the same people who believe the election was stolen because Trump said so) say that “mass shootings are the price we pay to live in a free society.” Oh? What percentage of the population being shot will alter that cost/benefit analysis for you? And “free” to do what, besides shoot people?


And as a Radical Centrist, to the left wing I say: It’s not “pregnant people.” It’s not “menstruating people.” It’s not “people with uteruses.” It’s WOMEN. Come on, say it. WOMEN. It’s not a dirty word.


You need to know that, after the death of Cat Glamour at the age of 15 from hyperthyroidism/congestive heart failure (kept alive by Rom’s love and much medication for 3 years after diagnosis), we have adopted CAT JESSIE and CAT CARSON, a bonded pair of sisters. They are the same color (“dilute tortoiseshell tabby,” which means gray with buff blotches and faint striping), but completely opposite personalities. Jessie is the Platonic ideal of “extrovert,” and Carson the opposite. Their adventures will occasionally be featured here, if they have any. They have already acquired nicknames–Sparky and Smoky (by Rom) and Grub and Goblin (by me–the collective noun for both together is Grublin). They would be perfect subjects for a children’s book, if only I could illustrate.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I’m also against civilians being allowed to buy fireworks. I suspect lobbying by the fireworks industry is to blame. Oh well, lost fingers and frightened pets are the price we pay to live in a free society.

Scratchy Glitter–the world’s least-read blog. Too serious and too many quotation marks! Yeah, I made a New Year’s resolution to post more, and now it’s July. I avoid responsibility.

All Messed Up and No Place To Go

I now have my booster shot and flu shot under my sleeves. Continuing to be puzzled by the unvaccinated–to quote R.E.M., “Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline.” Also continuing to resent the unvaccinated. I don’t like masks–although I will wear one when required, without, say, making death threats–and resent STILL having to wear one on the bus, etc., because we can’t trust the unvaccinated to do the right thing. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Radical Centrist Update–Right-wingers, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT TRYING TO ENSLAVE YOU. Left-wingers, CORPORATIONS ARE NOT TRYING TO ENSLAVE YOU. When did paranoia become the default setting?

And why is WordPress now cramming all these lines together?

Anyway, I now produce the promised fun–Cosmo’s Bedside Astrologer, 1970! I was in sophomore year of high school, a pimply girl with glasses and, let us say, a creative way of dressing.

Love for Aries: “You could find a ten-carat diamond under your Christmas tree.” Do they even make those?

Fashion for Aries: “You prefer casual clothes, like a mink Russian hat.” Yeah, there’s nothing more casual than mink.

Description of Taurus: “You love all the good things–like color TV–that money can bring.” Yay, color TV! Speaking of which, I wonder why some people say they “dream in color,” like that’s a rare ability. Why would we dream in black and white? It’s not like the world was in black and white when our species first evolved.

Travel for Taurus: “You’ll be drawn to Ireland, Iran, or somewhere in the Middle East (Istanbul would be a perfect choice).” So, anywhere that starts with an I.

Advice for Taurus: “if your eyes send too many melancholy messages, you’ll end up in Gloomsville–alone.” “In Gloomsville–alone” pretty much sums up sophomore year for me.

Beauty for Cancer: “Don’t be afraid to use a little nail polish.” Yeah, that nail polish can be pretty scary.

The Cancer man: “He may have fantasies of waltzing you, naked and draped with flowers, through elaborate fountains or waterfalls.” I don’t think that’s the kind of fantasy men have. I don’t even think that’s the kind of fantasy women have. Of course, I’m not a Cancer.

Love for Leo: “Men will literally disappear from under your eyes.” Literally?

May forecast for Leo: “Good investment for this month: a really see-through hostess ourfit.” Hey, that’s a good investment any month.

Beauty for Leo: “You can get away with beauty tricks that other signs wouldn’t dare try–rouge your earlobes.” Almost as scary as nail polish!

November forecast for Aquarius: “Accept the fix-up arranged by a friend…you won’t like your date much, but he’ll take you to a good party that’s crammed with good men!” Um, isn’t that called “using people”?

Fashion for Aquarius: “You can look smart in any style: beige silk blouse with a wide skirt of purple and magenta batik, sashed with a green-and-blue-dotted satin tie.” That doesn’t look smart; that looks like you just threw colors together randomly.

Love Potion for Pisces: “Clam juice.” Eww.

July forecast for Pisces: “Make up with that friend you’ve been mad at (she knows lots of men).” Again with the using people!

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

Stuff & Nonsense

There has been a small flurry of activity among readership (grading on a curve here), which has inspired me to Forge Onward.

Vision continues to improve, slowly. I will still need (prescription) reading glasses, but most of the time, they will be optional. Nick will finally get a chance to learn what color my eyes are.

I am trying not to pound the keys in my usual manner, because 10/6/21 (or, as I would have typed it at work, 100621) marked the first appearance of arthritis in the finger I dislocated several years ago. The doctor told me it would inevitably occur, but it was taking so long, I hoped I’d be the exception. Oddly, people pounding keys at work was something that annoyed me–DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE SO MUCH NOISE?! So I guess it’s poetic justice of a roundabout sort.


This is such a reliable topic that I typed it without having any content in mind, sure that something would occur to me.

—Oh–people in a commercial who think that bending over and shaking your hair constitutes dancing. Again, I blame TikTok. {Disclaimer: i don’t dance and have no interest in watching others do so, but isn’t that sort of thing what this blog is all about?}

–People who won’t walk a few steps to put something in a trash can. Gotcha, Woman Walking By My House Who Carefully Put Her Drink Cup On The Sidewalk Across The Street From My House.


Rock and roll hasn’t died yet! The Fall Festival (to which I was forced to resort {hundreds of unvaccinated idiots not being an optimal situation} because I had an eye appointment adjacent to it) had a soundtrack of classics. Of course, daytime is when the old folks are out. But I heard a young man at the Dollar Store listening to big band music the other day, so there always might be a survivor out there. Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself awaaaayyyy.…and I understand about indecision, but I don’t care if I get behind…. Well, yes and no on that one.


Warning 1: I’m thinking of re-posting my Frederic Malle perfume reviews, so I can have them all together if I add to them. This will cause Nick to whine, but I have spoiled him too much already.

Warning 2: I realized that I never finished my Cosmopolitan Bedside Astrologer excerpts, so I’m going to repost and add to them as well, especially since we have new reader K8, my oldest friend, who I think will find them amusing.

So, if you don’t like either of these topics, too bad.

Bad Company

Well, you were waiting for the other eye to drop, weren’t you? I imagine the Superior Court is wondering if I have 3 eyes–I got 3 excuses from jury duty, since the 2nd surgery was rescheduled. Currently, I could technically serve, but can’t read very well. Just who you want on your jury, Mrs. Magoo. This post is brought to you courtesy of Rom’s reading glasses, which help some.

Since Nick skipped town and was unable to give me a ride this time, Rom accompanied me on the bus. We had to explain to the surgical staff–“No, he won’t be in a vehicle, he’ll just be hanging around outside.”

This time around, the surgeon and Dr. Feelgood were tickled by my praise for their classic rock radio. It made the during-surgery conversation more interesting, since they could discuss Montrose, Sammy Hagar, and Dr. Feelgood got to guess who did a song he hadn’t heard before–“It’s George, isn’t it?” (Thoroughgood–“One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer.”) I was–finally–not offering my opinion at that point, since Dr. Feelgood had asked me, “Are you feeling relaxed yet?” and I said, “Not really,” so he had to up the dosage a bit.

Now, four days in, my eye is at the most annoying, get-irritated-by-everything stage. The post-op instructions said, “You may experience blood-tinged tears,” which I think would be a good name for the Sour Neon Crawlers’ second album. The first one would, of course, be eponymous. Speaking of which, a brief digression–


Last night, Rom and I were watching a CNN special on the music of the 2000’s. They finished up with a statement about how pop music is now hip-hop, and no new rock & roll is really being produced, and we shouldn’t expect any more to be produced, because “sound-sequencing software has replaced the electric guitar.” I have always said that “Rock and roll will never die” is no more true than “Big bands will come back.” Rock and roll will die with us. The Sour Neon Crawlers will, of course, continue to play electric guitar, as long as they live on in my head.


My surgery and post-op appointments entailed 4 bus trips, so Rom was able to have a bit of the bus experience. Since I was on drugs, I’m not sure I remember very well, but…

You know how you’re waiting at the bus terminal, and there are some people there who you hope won’t end up getting on your bus, but then they all do? {Just play along, OK?} There were a couple women who kept talking about the people they knew who were in prison, and their own experiences with prison. Then a guy who was dressed like an extra from a documentary about the problems of the Incas started blowing on this plastic flute-like thing very loudly, at unpredictable intervals. He caught sight of a young woman walking away from the terminal, and started yelling “LALALALALA” at her. She ignored him. (If you’re a woman walking, you ignore a lot.)

This whole cavalcade got on the bus with us. The guy who had the flute sat behind us, and started singing “Bad Company” very loudly. “NOW THESE TOWNS, THEY ALL KNOW HER NAAAME. SIX-GUN SOUTH IS OUR CLAIM TO FAAAME. THAT’S WHY THEY CALL ME–BAD COMPANY, AND I DON’T DENY…”–dramatic pause–“BAD, BAD COMPANY, TILL THE DAY I DIEEEE!!!” I have no doubt the gentleman is and will be bad company till the day he dies, but I really wanted to turn around and correct him–“It’s ‘they all know our name,’ not her name, and it’s ‘six-gun SOUND.’ Six-gun south doesn’t even make sense!”

Plus, the prison women were sitting across from us, and ran into a guy they knew, or wanted to know, and so they had to tell him the prison experiences of all concerned.

Also, we shared the bus downtown with a middle-aged guy wearing an AC/DC t-shirt like the one Beavis or Butt-head wears, and on the bus back there was a different middle-aged guy in an AC/DC t-shirt. So if you’re wondering how Beavis & Butt-head turned out, now you know.

As far as my prognosis goes, the optometrist said I’ll probably won’t have to wear glasses full-time, but maybe I will, and the surgeon says I probably will have to wear glasses full-time, but maybe I won’t. So now we wait.

Conspiracy Update

…but which conspiracy?

I have been reading up on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, which has been billed as “astrology for intellectuals.” I can sort of see that–one must keep in mind that A.) people can’t easily be pigeonholed into 16 categories, and B.) your results might change at different times in your life. It probably shouldn’t be used as a job-application test, as it has sometimes been used in the past. (Hmm, was that the psychological test used at my workplace? I was hired before that era.) However, I’ve taken the MBTI test several times over the years, and always came up with the same result–INTJ. It is so accurate that I laugh when I read the results. Besides, who wouldn’t want to learn that “the stock movie villain is patterned after this type”? Besides being a Criminal Mastermind, they also say that the INTJ woman wears black all the time (with occasional gray for variety, although INTJs don’t really believe that variety is the spice of life), and minimal makeup and jewelry. My makeup is minimal, but jewelry is not, and although I’m often tempted to just order all my clothes (actually physically going shopping? Why?) in blue-gray and have done with it, I have not so far done so.

Where I’m going with this (answering a perennial question for readers here) is that, because of INTJs’ tendency to see patterns in everything, they can be drawn to conspiracy theories, even though they’re supposed to be smart. In my defense, I offer that at least I make up my own conspiracies.

Long-time readers here (is there any other kind?) may remember my imaginary theory that the Dancing Union Suit (in fall/winter) and the Baby Corn (in spring/summer) are angling for world hegemony. But a new angle has been thrown into the mix, namely…


{Disclaimer: I am just figuring out how to use the bold/italic feature on the supposedly-improved WordPress site, so if the blog looks weird….oh, forget it. It is weird.}

Friday night, Rom & I got Jimmy John’s, and I ordered Diet Coke. But they gave me Mr. Pibb instead, which was disconcerting. Later in the week, I went to Taco John’s, and got a Diet Pepsi, and it was, you guessed it–Dr. Pepper. The second time, I got the drink myself, FROM THE DIET PEPSI NOZZLE. So the only explanation–CONSPIRACY! The only question remaining is, are Pepper and Pibb in league with the Union Suit, or opposed?


Today I went to the liquor store (last hurrah before Thursday, since alcohol and eye surgery don’t mix). When I entered, I heard the clerk was listening to some radio show. It sounded like one of those Bob & Tom things–two guys laffing it up. Then one of them said, “Well, why do you think Dr. Mengele did it?” Hearty laughter. I thought, Something’s wrong here–Dr. Mengele didn’t do anything funny. Then the one guy said, “You know, in every culture–every culture–they build pyramids. The Egyptians did it, the the Chinese did it, the Druids did it. Every culture. And when archaeologists dig it up, what do they always find? Children with their hearts cut out.” Umm….Then he said, “You know, Fauci’s name means ‘signal.'” At that point I knew I was on a one-way ticket to Crazytown. I was glad I was on the way out the door.

Only Half Insane

Well, turns out the eye can only be corrected to 20/40 with surgery, not the 20/25 they’d hoped, due to:

  1. I have a long eyeball.
  2. Because of same, the outer coating of the eye has stretched thin and created a bulge at the back, which screws things up further. This is called a “staphyloma,” which sounds cancerous but isn’t.
  3. My map/dot/fingerprint dystrophy creates an ever-changing irregularity on the surface of my eye, which makes for changes in my vision. (I keep thinking of this as “rock/paper/scissors” or “puppy/monkey/baby” dystrophy.)

All in all, it’s a perfect storm of astigmatism, and I should have chosen my ancestors more wisely.


Usually, as a Radical Centrist, it’s only during election season that I have to routinely hide Facebook posts from the Lunatic Fringe of either side, but apparently now it’s Lunatic Fringe Time all the time.


“They’re demonizing and discriminating against the unvaccinated!” Yeah, I am, and here’s some more of it. YOUR SO-CALLED FREEDOM DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO ENDANGER OTHERS. We will now have to revisit the legal cases of Your Waving Arm vs. My Nose, and Fire vs. Crowded Theater. As a wise t-shirt once said, “I can’t hear you over the sound of my freedom!”


Oh, don’t even get me started here. Just think of all the cases where the Emperor having no clothes could be applied. I will just start “identifying” as a famous writer, and see where that gets me.

Having annoyed everyone, let’s just move on to…


“Choose Alabama for your next staycation.” BY DEFINITION, A STAYCATION INVOLVES NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

A pox upon TikTok, which has caused a rash of commercials with groups of amateurs dancing. Why would you want to see people not dancing well?


I give up. Leggings are pants after all, because they identified as pants. The final straw–L.L.Bean now has leggings. This is made possible by the fact that no one wears socks anymore. Why they want cold ankles in the winter, I don’t know. I guess they don’t walk as much as I do.


I cannot resist adding–the music in the operating room was Black Sabbath. “War Pigs,” to be exact.

I Have a Magic Eye

…like Mad-Eye Moody in Harry Potter!

My ride to the surgery center was courtesy of a certain Nick, whom you may have heard of. Being a mere beast, he was not allowed in the surgery center, but had to remain in the parking lot. His actions while there are unknown to me, and I cannot be held responsible for them.

The entire experience involved more sitting around than actually being operated on. I started by sitting around waiting for an ocean of eyedrops to take effect–dilating drops and more of the brilliant-yellow numbing drops. Then I was taken through the labyrinthine building back to the office area, so the surgeon could do “marking,” because of the special astigmatism lenses. I read up on these–they have marks around the edges, and the surgeon rotates them after insertion so those marks line up with the marks he makes on my eye. Yes. He drew on my eye. It just felt cool, as if someone were painting with watercolors on my arm. I was hoping to get to see how my eye looked with drawing on it, but the marks were gone by the time I took a look at home.

The person I was most anxious to see was the anesthesiologist, or Dr. Feelgood, as I thought of him. He explained that his magic IV solution would take a few minutes to work, and then “you just won’t care.” Good to know.

The nurse put a shower cap over my hair. She had to explain, “Hold your hair up, as if you were putting it up,” but since I never put my hair up, I had trouble understanding. Or maybe Dr. Feelgood’s solution had already started to work. She also put shower caps over my shoes, and then led me to the operating room.

By now I was experiencing a great lack of caring. I had read up on the procedure beforehand–“You’ll just see a bright light,” everyone said, but even so, I didn’t understand how I could keep from moving around, since I’m a fidgety person. But this was not a problem–lying there and looking straight in front of me was the easiest thing to do, so that’s what I did. I actually saw several colors of bright lights, but I didn’t know what they were, and I didn’t care. I could hear the conversation of the surgical team, which was about the vacation plans of a mutual acquaintance. They didn’t say anything about what was going on, except once Dr. Feelgood said, “Her blood pressure’s good,” and I thought, “Of course it is! It’s always good!” Just as I was idly wondering if they’d be done soon, the IV was being pulled out, and the nurse was helping me sit up.

Theoretically, I then spent half an hour in recovery, but my time sense at that point was unreliable. Eventually I was brought back out to Nick, with a plastic cover taped to my eye, which I didn’t remember anyone putting on me.

I’ve spent 10 days with an itchy and scratchy eye. It was creepily red the first day, but that cleared up quickly. It feels fine now.

I hate the filthiness that goes with medical problems–there’s always something you can’t wash, or can’t wash properly, in this case my face–especially since I’ve got adhesive from the tape on my face. But now I have 4 days off from all that stuff, until it starts again with the other eye.

I did have an amusing moment–the first day I went out after the surgery, a blind guy with a cane was waiting to cross the street at Franklin/St Joe, and I was able to tell him, “We’ve got the light!” I followed him across the street, with my Ray Charles sunglasses on, and thought, “Hey, it’s the blind leading the blind!” Unlike in Scripture, however, we did not both fall into a pit.

And my vision? At this point, it’s better than the other eye without glasses, but worse than that eye with glasses. (Not counting brightness and colors, which are unquestionably better. Did you know that a gray sky is actually blue-gray? I was absurdly thrilled with this fact.) Maybe it would get better faster if I didn’t read so much–or write, for that matter. “You may as well stop now,” Nick growls, “you’re boring everyone but me,” but he is huddled in the corner with his tail over his eyes, and may safely be disregarded.

I have gotten some use out of my new eye–I was able to say, “O Magic Eye, what kind of bus change do I have in my coin purse?” Before, I could only tell if it was silver or copper.

None So Blind As Cannot See

At Trexa’s request, I am posting about my upcoming cataract surgery. She thought I could find something humorous in it, so we’ll see.

My initial evaluation appointment was to last “up to 3 hours.” As it turned out, it was a mere 2 hours and 15 minutes. The first humorous thing was on my walk from the bus stop, where a sign on Vine Street said “SIDEWALK CLOSED.” I’ve been a pedestrian all my life and never seen a “Sidewalk Closed” sign before. I took their word for it, though.

My optometrist had referred me upon discovering that I couldn’t read even the top line of the eye chart, WITH MY GLASSES ON. I was a little nervous about whether I was bad enough off to qualify for insurance coverage, but that turned out not to be a problem. You know you have bad vision when two different eye doctors say, “Wow, that’s a strong prescription!”

I had to sit by a table that was a literal Lazy Susan of Eye Tests–they push the table around to bring a series of machines to you. I have no idea what any of them were measuring, since they all involved shining lights in my eyes. The most interesting one for sheer weirdness involved special numbing eye drops, because the technician was going to roll a lighted thing ON MY EYE. I didn’t feel a thing. However, they were having difficulty getting whatever reading they were after, so someone had to be called over to assist, and that person sent me to yet another machine which involved, you guessed it, shining a light in my eyes.

My technician then explained what they were going to do, and informed me that I have such bad astigmatism that I would still have to wear glasses full-time. My heart sank.

A bit of background–like Rom, I’ve worn glasses since I was eight years old. Rom had the cataract surgery back in ’05, and since they implant a new synthetic lens in your eye after they remove your old cataracted one, they were able to correct his vision enough that he only needs glasses for reading now. I was looking forward to being likewise liberated.

My face must have fallen along with my heart sinking, because the technician quickly explained that they have implantable lenses to correct astigmatism too, but insurance won’t cover them, because they’re considered “cosmetic.” So I went ahead and paid for the special lenses. Let’s just say that not needing glasses was worth a substantial sum to me–and paid up-front, too, since they won’t be able to catch me and repossess the lenses once they’re in my eyes.

Finally they were through with that, and sent me into a different room, where an optometrist with an eccentric fashion sense–bow tie and weird socks–took over. He was excited about my terrible vision, and how much it would be corrected with the special lenses. He said they can probably get me to 20/25. (I’m guessing I’m at 20/400 now, or some number similarly grotesque.) He also informed me I have something called “dot-map-fingerprint dystrophy,” which I’ve never heard of and which is causing me no symptoms (although it could if it progresses). The two outer layers of my eye, which should lie smooth and flat against each other, are actually kind of bumpy. The disease has the weird name because the irregularities look like dots, continents on a map, or fingerprints on their scan. Turns out that was the reason why that one test was giving them trouble. It’s an inherited condition, and if it was too far progressed, it would have to be treated before the surgery, which, he informed me, “simply” means the surgeon cauterizes my eyes in some way, and then it heals smooth. Which surely isn’t really as horrible as it sounds. At any rate, “dot-map-fingerprint dystrophy” makes me think of rock-scissors-paper. So there, I found at least one humorous thing.

He left, and the technician came back in, and did something which required different numbing drops, and these were brilliant yellow, which I also found amusing. She verified that I couldn’t read any eye chart, even with glasses, and was forced to resort to, “Well, how many fingers am I holding up?” I did OK with the left eye, but with the right, I just didn’t know.

Then the surgeon came in, with the brusque no-nonsense manner surgeons have, and remarked on my terrible vision, and warned me against moving around on the operating table. He finished with The Brightest of All Lights, shining it into my eyes while he had me move them all around, which I’m sure was to see if my rock-paper-scissors dystrophy was too bad, but it wasn’t.

So the actual surgery on the first eye will take place tomorrow. Hopefully I will be too groggy to be witty about it, but you never know.

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