Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Environmental Enrichment Required

I seem to have a dearth of material now that I’m retired, unless Nick were to kidnap me and take me on some horrible Adventure, I suppose. After all, how often do you need to read my opinion of holiday decorations?

BUT YOU’RE GOING TO HEAR IT ANYWAY

‘Tis the season for gag-inducing cinnamon candles at the dollar store, the candle they would make me burn in Hell. Especially since they’ve had problems with the glass in their candles exploding when it gets hot. I bet all glass in Hell explodes when it gets hot.

OK, I guess candle-burning in Hell is an interesting topic.

HARKING BACK TO YE DAYS OF YORE WHEN I DID HAVE MATERIAL

On I guess March 21 2013 (I don’t know what time zone WordPress is in, but it sure ain’t mine, so all their dating is suspect), I reported a caller saying that someone needed to be “cemented” (they meant “committed”), and a caller saying, “There’s been a suicide….I’m the victim.”

HARKING BACK TO YON DAYS OF YORE EVEN FURTHER

Astrology for ’75:

Taurus woman/Cancer man: “He’ll lick your belly button when you’re not looking.” I don’t advise anyone to lick my belly button. Even if I am looking.

Taurus woman/Leo man: “Wear emotional sunglasses to avoid burns.” Where do you get those glasses?

Secret Wish for Aquarius: “Having a tall, silvery humanoid/astronaut go to the moon and back to prove his devotion to you, having him proclaim his love for you on network TV.”

ANOTHER DISSATISFIED CUSTOMER

The guy in front of me at McDonald’s was making a complaint. The manager said, “I’ll replace your entire order, sir.” He said, “I don’t want my order replaced!” (I’m thinking, Shut up, let them replace your order, and let us all get on with our lives and lunches.) Then he said, “Where’s the dude I talked to on the phone?” Ah, the Dude I Talked To On The Phone. I used to work with him.

McRib is back! Tastes like a weiner, shaped like a bone!

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This Blog Won’t Write Itself

…as I realized earlier today.

THE SAGA OF THE CASHMERE TWINSET

I once read that “every woman should have a cashmere sweater in her signature color.” My signature color is periwinkle, so the closest choices were either Lilac or Paradise Blue Heather, and only the latter came in size L, so that’s the one I got. Ssso soft….

THE WORK ETHIC IN ACTION

…well, aside from expecting the blog to write itself.

The woman in front of me on the bus started her phone conversation with, “They can’t get mad at me for not coming in today.” I’m betting they can, especially when she continued with, “I need to get someone to call my work on Tuesday and act like my kids are sick and it’s an emergency, so I can leave work at noon. I gotta go trick-or-treating with my kids.” Because you shouldn’t let your job get in the way of the traditional trick-or-treat hour of NOON. She finished up with, “This job is gonna get me in trouble.” No, you’re doing that quite well on your own.

Commercial: “It’s the Halloween weekend!” There is no Halloween weekend. This ain’t Labor Day. This year Halloween isn’t even contiguous to a weekend. Wonder what they’ll say when it falls on a Wednesday.

I suppose I shouldn’t expect Walgreen’s to be anatomically correct, but not only do they have skeletons of spiders, but the things that do have skeletons–dogs, cats, rats–all have skeleton ears. I thought it was for cuteness’ sake, but the inclusion of rats suggests they did it so that people would know what it was a skeleton of.

What does it mean when the “Scary Witch Hair” wig looks suspiciously like mine? WELL?

THE WAR ON PARTS OF SPEECH CONTINUES

“Tell us how you burger.”  Or just point and grunt.

STAB FROM THE PAST

My first post from March ’13 marked the first mention of Nick as a beast, and the introduction of “Theater of Cruelty” to describe our interactions. I excoriated him for referring to me as “abominable” on Facebook, and for misspelling “abominable.”

ASTROLOGY ’74

Beauty for Taurus: “Tuck a rose in your cleavage.” Ouch.

Favorite Fantasy for Cancer: “Having him carry you off to the bedroom while the steak burns.” Um, shouldn’t you do something about that fire first?

Passionate Setting for Capricorn: “At the base of a gnarled oak tree in a bed of daisies.” I can actually provide that in my front yard, if any Capricorns want to get in touch with me.

An Army of Red and Green Laser Snowmen

…is what was promised in a commercial I saw today. “ACT NOW AND WE’LL THROW IN VAMPIRE BATS, ABSOLUTELY FREE!”

ASTROLOGICALLY CHALLENGED

Let’s continue our zodiac explorations…now for 1973.

Witchiest Makeup for Taurus: “Green shadow on eyelids, the merest dusting of same for the most intriguing earlobes in town.” Yeah, green earlobes would be the most intriguing in town, I’m pretty sure.

Interior decorating for Gemini: “Start a crystal collection–a disconcertingly placed bud vase with blue silk rose in the bathroom.” I guess a crystal bud vase in the bathroom would be disconcerting no matter where you placed it. I recommend the back of the toilet.

Favorite Aphrodisiac for Cancer: “Clam juice, with a frosting of Mediterranean sea salt, sprinkle of tarragon.” I’m glad I’m not a Cancer, so I don’t have to drink this.

THE OTHER DAY…

Rom saw a sour neon crawler on the sidewalk. This must be an omen. Of something.

SOUR NEON CRAWLERS PERSONNEL:

P.J. McBride–vocals and bass guitar. There’s a heartwarming story of how I learned to play bass even though I’m hampered by a previously-dislocated finger.

Romuald McBride III–drums. He learned to play drums to deal with quitting smoking.

Lead and rhythm guitars–two of my brothers-in-law. These guys are real musicians and I was impressed by their performance of Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” in my living room. It takes a lot for an acoustic performance to impress me.

Keyboards–my old friend Charles.

With luck (oh, and with work, and you know how that goes), I’ll come up with adventures for the Sour Neon Crawlers, similar to the stories my dear departed friend Suzy and I wrote about our favorite musicians in 8th grade (Bob Dylan, Donovan, Simon & Garfunkel). Yes, I’m regressing. This is what I do when I’m not giving snaky tongues to birds in my coloring book.

I am at war with my coloring book. Every time I turn a page, I think, YOU EXPECT ME TO COLOR ALL THESE THINGS? ARE YOU INSANE?? Then I scribble all over it.

AN ILLUSTRATION OF AMERICA’S FOREIGN POLICY

–Little boy playing with his dad at McDonald’s–“Give me back my missile! You are evil!”

MORE CHILDISH THINGS–THIS JUST IN

Archer (currently 6 years old) is an alien for Halloween. He told Rom that he’s called Extraterrestrial Highway. Rom said, “Is that how you got here?” and he said no, that’s his name. He also has a special way of holding his hands while running (even when he’s not an alien) because “it’s aerodynamic.”

I hope this post meets with the approval of Nick, who was bored by me earlier.

As it happens, my 6th and last post for Feb. ’13 was entitled “Tortured By Boredom,” and described NIMS training as “being waterboarded with words.” Those who have had this training will know whereof I speak.

 

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.

CONTINUING OUR CANNIBALIZATION PROGRAM

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

A SIMPLE PROP TO OCCUPY MY TIME…”

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.

 

 

No Title

MORE WAR ON WORDS

“This is how well gets done.”

TV AT OUR HOUSE

Commercial: “Us lives here.”

Me: “DID THEY JUST SAY ‘US LIVES HERE’?!”

Rom: “We be them.”

EASIEST-TO-UNDERSTAND COMPANY NAME

On tanker truck: “Evansville Water Transportation.” Well, now I don’t have to wonder what’s in the tank.

ASTROLOGY IN ’72!

Cancer woman with Scorpio man: “Be the milkmaid with a secret financial ability who wears a tiny silver chain around her waist in bed.” This may be my favorite sentence in the entire collection. Because, what?

Leo: “You could give a winter party for 500, insisting that everyone come in bikinis while you wrap yourself in furs. No one would bat an artificial lash–it’s your style.”

Leo woman with Pisces man: “He wants to run barefoot through your hair. But don’t wait for him to speak up.” Yeah, just say, “You wanna run barefoot through my hair?” It’s your style.

Aquarius: “You’ll spend your last dollars on a quadrophonic tuner even though few radio stations are equipped to broadcast quad.” I believe that is still the case.

AT LAST!

The latest Lands’ End catalog has cashmere sweaters on the cover. I glanced at it and thought, “I’d like to have a cashmere sweater, but they’re so expensive.” Then I realized, don’t I have retirement-gift money I’ve been wondering what to do with? And with their current 40% off sale, I could buy a twinset! How classic of me! So I did. I promise to post a (rare and therefore valuable) picture of me on Facebook wearing my new sweaters. Yes, I should post it directly on the blog. No, I do not know how to do so, having no smartphone. Nick, shut up.

It Was a Very Good Year

ASTROLOGICAL UPDATE: 1971

Narcissistic Trip for Taurus: “Polish bowls, glasses with cloths steamed over lily-of-the-valley perfume dropped into boiling water.” Why does my narcissistic trip involve housework? Also, temperature extremes damage perfume, so don’t try this at home.

Monthly forecast for Taurus for May: “Hair, teeth, face–all are lovelier-looking now.” I don’t remember my teeth suddenly getting better-looking that month. Maybe I went to the dentist.

And for June: “If your beau’s married and can’t get a divorce, it may happen this summer.” Because your beau being married to someone else is just one of those things.

Gemini’s Fantasy Turn-On Trip: “You are the recipient of an intimate massage by a dozen disembodied hands.” Yikes!

Pisces’ Narcissistic Trip: “Put an orange studded with cloves over head of your shower so the water falls over the orange and you.”

Pisces’ Aphrodisiac: “Cloves, stuck in an orange for 24 hours, then slice and drink the juice.” Just recycle the orange you used in the shower.

Pisces’ Fantasy Turn-On Trip: “A group bath in underwater caves, with your dearest friends all singing.” I guess in a fantasy, people can sing underwater.

 

War on Words

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

Headline: “MILLENNIALS SAY EMOJIS ACTUALLY EXPRESS THEIR THOUGHTS BETTER THAN TRADITIONAL WORDS.” Ugh, as the saying goes. Where’s Devo when you need them?

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

A TEMPORARY NEW FEATURE!

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

Highlights from 1970

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NON-ASTROLOGICAL STUFF

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

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

FUN ON THE BUS

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

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

THE DAILY CANNIBAL FEAST

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

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

 

I Hate a Parade

Therefore, the festival parade got rained on.

Rom said, “You should post more frequently so you don’t forget stuff.” Yeah, good intentions, what the road to hell is paved with, etc. I’m inclined to think the road to hell is not well-marked, either.

The bus today was standing-room-only, thanks to a woman whose attitude was, “I can’t be expected to move over. I have a tote bag.”

A CUSTOMER WAS LESS-THAN-RIGHT AT MCDONALDS

Speaking of which, in that blessedly cool and quiet setting, a woman marched up to the counter with 2 orders of fries and said, “These are cold and nasty. And I want 3 orders back.” OK, if you paid for 3 orders but only got 2, fine. If someone in your party already ate one order even though they were cold, or you expect to get an additional, free order of fries as compensation, too bad. And try not to be such a bitch. See, if my fries aren’t hot, I consider it to be in the nature of fast food, and better luck next time.

This is why they never made me the supervisor of anything.

CANNIBALIZATION, continued

My 3rd post (“World Without End”) was about how I got religion, if anyone has been wondering. Trust me, I was not Likeliest To Attend Church when I started at Dispatch. In the interest of brevity, that post featured only why I became religious in the first place, not why I embraced any particular religion. So here’s that explanation:

After my initial ecstatic experience in March of ’95, I feverishly read up on various religions, but came to no firm conclusion. Then I decided that, if God really was trying to get in touch with me, surely guidance would be provided, so I prayed for that. Around dawn on a day in  June (those who know me at all will know I was staying up late, not getting up early), I was idly paging through an old Bible I still possessed, and my eye fell on the verse in Matthew that says Ask, and you shall receive. This felt like a Sign to me, and I started attending St Paul’s Episcopal church downtown (that being the denomination I was raised in). And yes, I am aware of the objection that I probably chose it just because it was familiar to me. I’m pretty much aware of any objections to faith that can be found.

My conversion to Catholicism was more of an intellectual decision. I had been reading church history, and was troubled by all the divisions that had arisen, from the Orthodox split in 1054 to the Protestant Reformation. Jesus is on record saying that Christians should all be one, and we Episcopalians prayed for unity at every service, but we were part of the problem! So on Ash Wednesday 2002 at St Paul’s, I was gazing out the stained glass window that had been refurbished thanks to my contribution that year, and thinking, “Too bad that window has my name on a plaque, since I’ll be a Catholic now.” Since I hadn’t consciously made the decision yet, I was a bit unsettled by that thought. But I got my ashes and headed for the bus stop to go home, and prayed, “God, if I ought to  become a Catholic, let someone ask me if the ashes on my forehead mean that I’m Catholic.” In the past, comments on my ashes were either “You have some dirt on your face,” or, “Are you in a cult?” (Seriously.) When I got on the bus, a guy pointed to my face and said, “Are you a Roman Catholic?” So there you have it.

 

Sarcastic Shorts: Festival Report

It’s the Fall Festival, when you carefully plan the fashion statement you then deny intending. Rom referred to “hipsters with sarcastic plaid Bermuda shorts.” He actually owns some, but I gave them to him as a gag gift.

FESTIVAL SIGHTINGS AND CONVERSATIONS OVERHEARD

–Preppy guy hurrying to catch up with his friends: “This vodka is great! And this is my 3rd bottle today!” Dude, you have a problem. Ironically, he then filled his empty vodka flask from a can of Mountain Dew he’d just bought. “No, officer, this is just Mountain Dew!”

This is the year of man-buns and leggings as pants.

“It’s just gloop! It was gross!” Could have been referring to any number of Festival atrocities.

“Mom! Look at that guy!” Ditto.

I have so far been there 3 times. On Wednesday, I went with Rom and we got separated, but were far too grown-up to, you know, go to the Lost & Found and resolve our problem immediately. Not everyone was that grown-up–when I went today, there was a continuing litany of “Firstname Lastname, please report to Eleventh & Franklin.” Where the person you lost track of will yell at you.

Spotted on pavement: pile of vomit, or maybe it was some food item that looked like vomit.

: splash of blood, or maybe it was ketchup.

 

Glitterized

Remember my whining about lack of material? (“Which time?” they inquire.) Well, I have been informed by a former co-worker (I guess all my co-workers are “former” now) that Nick got involved in a situation on patrol that would make a good story. And so it shall, once I figure out how to Glitterize it. Did it occur to me to ask my (former) colleagues to send me good stories they encounter? No, it did not. “I fear no blogger,” Nick says, but maybe he should.

I CANNOT BE GOTTEN RID OF

still dream I show up at work, and then realize, “Hey, I don’t have to be here! I’ll just stay and eat donuts.”

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR

Time to use both boldface and italics? No, time to criticize holiday decorations. Not that I object to the idea of a spider skeleton. It just makes me wonder how many people think spiders actually have skeletons. “Well, I saw it at Walgreen’s, it must be true.”

SPEAKING OF DRUGSTORES….

I never did tell you what I spent my retirement gift cards on.

–Walgreen’s card from Ms. Tragically-Hip–red nail polish, base/top coat for same

–card from Noelle–gave CVS a turn and got a vat of body wash, one of those mesh puffy things (I normally use a washcloth, so I’m Trying New Things), and a tub of sugar scrub. I will be slicker than owl droppings, as Rom so poetically says, although I don’t think that substance is actually known for slickness.

The jury, by which I mean me, is still out on what to spend the rest of the retirement cash on. The longer I wait, the more ideas I get. How about a bright pink pantsuit? Rom will probably try to talk me out of that one. I think I’d look quite sixth-Rolling-Stone, with the addition of my black t-shirt. The ad for the suit says, “You can’t go wrong with slim-leg pants.” You can if you have big feet.

SONG-LYRIC ANALYSIS

“I’m goin’ away, baby, and I won’t be back ’till fall

If I find me a good-lookin’ woman, I won’t be back at all”

I detect a lack of commitment to this relationship.

CANNIBALIZATION

Post #2, “How I Got Beaten Up At Work,” (Feb. 2013) is self-explanatory. I see that one person re-read it, so they could envision it taking place at a massage parlor. Make sure you envision it with mirrored walls and red and green shag carpeting. Oh, and 70’s hard-rock radio. “More Than a Feeling,” indeed.

 

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