Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Plague Journal

person in black coat and hat with plague doctor mask

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Pexels.com

I was hoping to get a Plague Doctor photo, but didn’t really expect one. But this was the first thing to pop up! I’m easily pleased by small things.

Isn’t a lockdown just the perfect thing for someone who’s always at home anyway? You’d think I’d have gotten started, like, a month ago or something.

WAYS IN WHICH I COME OUT AHEAD

I have even more to brag about than Donald Trump does.

–Ooh, I have to stay home and read and listen to music! Although my opportunities for unhealthy food are limited to the convenience store down the street. It’s “essential” because it’s a gas station, but they can’t keep me from buying fried fish. Although a police officer did stop me and ask if my fountain drink was essential, but that was mainly because he wanted to know if I’m retired by now.

–Not being able to get my hair done makes no difference in my appearance. My hair is long and graying regardless.

–Since I “suspended” my Presidential campaign, no one can blame me for my lack of response to the crisis.

DOWNSIDES TO THE PANDEMIC

–No one can appreciate my nail polish. And speaking of drugstores, WHEN WILL YOU PEOPLE THINK IT’S OK TO STOP HOARDING TOILET PAPER?

FIRE BAD!

Speaking of first responders, I got off the bus the other day, glanced down the street, and saw clouds of black smoke. This was distressing because it seemed to be coming from the direction of my house. But it blew away in a moment, so I figured that wasn’t it. Besides, I heard no sirens, and surely if something had been burning, someone would have called. So I felt reassured. Until I heard sirens.

You think of all kinds of evil stuff when you’re hoping your house is not on fire. Like, Maybe it’s one of my neighbors’ houses that’s on fire. That would be bad, but not as bad as if it were mine. But a cluster of firetrucks were…in front of my address. And as I got closer, I saw…a fire hose going back into my yard.

One of

WE INTERRUPT THIS BORING POST TO BRING YOU A MESSAGE FROM SATAN!

Well, not from him, exactly, just sponsored by him.

I actually started this post a week ago, then realized that if I was boring myself EVEN THOUGH I WAS WRITING ABOUT A FIRE, it would bore readers also. But I had to come back to the keyboard because THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT!

Yes, I was killing time on Facebook waiting for my laundry to be done (Wednesday is Laundry Day, because 3 years ago I wanted to have all my clothes washed to begin my New Life in Retirement, and my first retired day was a Thursday, so I’ve done the wash on Wednesday ever since) (see how boring that was? how can I be trusted to handle a fire? especially because I’m now preoccupied with whether I should have capitalized the beginnings of these parenthetical clauses?) (By the way, retired life so far is pretty much the same as life before, minus the job.), suddenly an ad popped up from some entity calling itself Satan Lovers. They were offering to sell me a t-shirt that said, in cool Gothic letters, ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT…AND THERE WAS LIGHT” with a picture of the Notre Dame steeple on fire. Is it any wonder that I clicked on Facebook’s query, “Why am I seeing this ad?” And the answer was, “Your interests matched that of Satan Lovers.” Um, what? Perhaps a subsequent post will list the interests I have in common with Satan. I’ll have to think about it.

Nick’s Belated Birthday Present Post

fire match smoke flame

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Disclaimer: I promised Nick I would do this, but a fire somehow erupted on my property and I found that too distracting to do it in a timely manner. So let’s see what kind of a story I come up with now.

Another disclaimer: It’s hard to find a picture of a dragon in the Free Photo Library, apparently because they don’t actually exist. So I had to settle for fire instead. I picked the one with blue in it!

I was sitting at home the other day, doing my heroic patriotic part by remaining on the couch (I am but a humble foot soldier against the Invisible Enemy, but I’m doing my part), when I heard a snuffling at the door.

“Hey! Are you home?” I heard Nick say.

“No,” I replied.

“OK,” he said, then, “Wait a minute. I know better than that!”

“Not much better, obviously.”

“Let me in!”

“I can’t. Governor’s orders. No beasts allowed.” This isn’t, strictly speaking, true, but Nick can’t read anyway, so it’s worth a try.

“They said I can’t get the disease. I’m cold-blooded.” He snorted. “Just because I can’t breathe fire.”

“Why do you want to come in anyway?”

“I’m bored.”

“Well, you’re out of luck here. I’m boring.”

He digests this silently, then, at a loss for a clever comeback, spreads his wings and takes off. Not, unfortunately, to fly away home. I hear a thud as he lands on the roof–like an oversized squirrel–then a mad scrabbling as he starts to slide down it. Then another thud as he lands on the ground, not having gotten his wings spread again in time.

I hear my neighbor yell–“Hey, that thing’s in the yard next door again!” His wife answers, “What thing?” and he says, “You know! The one with wings and a tail!”

“Go away, you’re annoying my neighbors,” I say. Without deigning to reply, and having failed at his aerial attack–and a good thing, too, since his attempts over the years are making my ceiling crack–he begins digging vigorously at the foundations of the house.

“Stop that!” I yell. Momentarily forgetting what he was there for, he begins rolling in the dirt he’s rucked up, which is quite a sight, I assure you.

“Look at that–is that thing in heat or something?” I hear my neighbor yell. Nick leaps to his feet, and a moment later I see his snaky tongue darting under the front door. My cat Glamour leaps on it.

“Hey, quit it!” Nick squawks. Laughing, I pick up the purring cat and open the door.

Nick is self-righteous and sullen. “Why do you keep those things, anyway?”

“To keep you away, obviously.”

“It won’t work forever,” he says darkly.

“It’s worked so far,” I point out. Glamour looks very pleased with herself.

“That one looks mighty meaty,” he observes. “Where’s the little skinny one?”

“Esmerelda? She…died last November.”

“She never liked me anyway,” he says dismissively, heading for the kitchen, where he begins crunching on Glamour’s food.

“Stop that! It’s…not a balanced diet for you.”

“You never want me to have fun.” He turns. “Hey, you have a new couch.” He pads over. “I can fit under this one–like this–” He squirms under it until the rump and tail stick out one end, and a wing tip out the side.  This gives me the opportunity to tickle the wing as he squirms and squawks, almost dumping me off the couch before he manages to scramble out.

“Are you still bored?”

“I–I’m existentially bored,” he answers loftily. I can always tell when he’s discovered a new word. “Anyway, you owe me a birthday present.”

“Do I now? And how old are you, exactly?”

“I..I–I’m existentially old. I’ve existed for eons.” That was his word of the week last week.

“I see,” I say, nodding wisely. “So you hatched from the egg–when, exactly?”

“I don’t know! Give me a present!” He lashes his tail frantically.

“So that’s what this is all about,” I muse. “I’m sorry, I’m kind of short on presents at the moment.”

“Not even candy? Candy is cheap!”

“Especially not candy.”

He looks at me grievously. “Not even one jelly bean?”

“Certainly not. Jelly beans are gross.”

“Not even…a single chocolate chip?” Drat. He must remember that I always have those on hand.

“Only…only if you sit up for it!”

“I suppose that’s OK,” he says glumly. Groaning as if with immense effort, he sits up on his back legs, bracing himself with his powerful tail and spreading out his wings for balance. Thanks to his snaky neck, he snatches it out of my hand with lightning speed, then drops down to all fours again. Then…”Hey! I shouldn’t have to sit up on my birthday!! No fair!”

“Life isn’t fair,” I observe.

“You’re…existential,” he growls, slinking away down my front walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Were You When the Plague Came?

woman wearing face mask

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

If being forced to resort to store-brand toilet paper is the worst that comes of this, all is well for my household.

You would think that we would all unite about a politically-indifferent infectious disease, but no–the right says “It’s media-hyped hysteria!” and the left says, “We’re all gonna die!” Of course, Trump will probably use it to suspend the elections. <—CONSPIRACY ALERT!

Overheard at McDonald’s: “He talked too much about stabbing people to keep working here.”

Overseen at the bus stop: An empty bottle of Calvin Klein Eternity cologne for men sitting on the bench, with puddles of cologne beside it. There’s got to be a story there, but I don’t know what it is.

I AM SUSPENDING MY PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, BECAUSE HEY, EVERYONE ELSE IS.

Notice that everyone just “suspends” their campaign now, instead of admitting they’re ending it? It’s like we never declare war anymore, and never call anything a “depression.”

 

 

 

 

 

Mildly Amusing Adventures: Everybody’s Traffic

Traffic light button

Traffic light button (Photo credit: martintom)

WARNING: THIS IS A COPY OF A POST FROM FEBRUARY 2013, MY FIRST YEAR OF OPERATION. I TOLD YOU I’D BE DOING THIS ON OCCASION. I PROMISE TO NOT REPEAT THE BORING ONES. I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT “BORING” IS.

AND, RABECCA. THE SHOES SPOKEN OF HERE FINALLY FELL OFF THE WIRE, BUT OTHER ONES REPLACED THEM.

In my effort to educate and inform, I call you all together, so sit down and shut up. Laurie, stop visiting with your neighbor. (Do teachers still say that? It was the formal version of “talking to the kid at the next desk.”) Nick, stop running around the room pretending you’re an airplane. NOW. Remember, bad boys get spanked.

**writing EVERYBODY’S TRAFFIC on old-timey green chalkboard**

You know how you go somewhere and when you get there, you complain about the traffic? “The traffic was terrible. All these people thought they had to be out on the road today.” Well, YOU WERE ONE OF THEM! “The roads are full of idiots/maniacs/@$$holes, they drive me crazy!” Well, didn’t you just tell us *you* were speeding/honking your horn at someone, etc.? So, you were someone else’s annoying traffic experience. Your Humble Narrator and other pedestrians are also Traffic in this sense. That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight, that’s me jaywalking. In front of a squad car. (They waved.)

The principle of Everybody’s Traffic works in all sorts of social situations. You have to go to a holiday dinner with your annoying and/or boring relatives? You may be someone else’s source of boredom or annoyance. (Hell, I might be boring and/or annoying my relatives at this moment! I know I was a bossy big sister.)

Remembering that everyone is someone else’s Traffic has helped me at least try to be a little less annoying. If I have to call a business for something, I try not to be the sort of caller I’d hate to get at work. (So far I have managed not to scream at anyone, but I haven’t always managed to suppress the Heavy Sigh, which I hate to hear from anyone else.)

I imagine by now you all are so tired of being lectured you’re ready to, oh, I don’t know, hit me over the head with something. So I will leave you with 2 observations unrelated to the above:

–Not Annoying: Tanya, thanks for the ride, and the helpful beverage management, since I apparently can’t handle a Thornton’s drink and a seatbelt at the same time.

–Not Boring: Rabecca, on said ride, I noticed a pair of shoes thrown over a wire, I forget exactly where. Remember when we read/heard that means you can buy drugs in that area? And we wondered how do you find the drugs, or let someone know you want to buy them? That probably explains the guy standing on the corner in a high-crime area.

I Am the Storm

photo of lightning

Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

Of course, I recognized this as a Blue Oyster Cult song title, but…

EVERY SO OFTEN, SOMETHING COMES ALONG THAT MAKES SPORT OF ALL ONE’S ATTEMPTS TO SATIRIZE IT, AND IN THAT SPIRIT, I BRING YOU…

Trumpy Bear.

I was watching reruns of The Office while Rom was making dinner, and a lengthy commercial came on, during which I waited in vain for the punchline.

“From the forest, a voice arises…’A storm is coming… You cannot defeat the storm.’ A voice is heard…’I am the storm.” The American Grizzly. The original plush grizzly–Trumpy Bear.”  OK, something plush is not scary. We don’t give our kids plush toys to scare them. But let’s continue…

“…the fearless, plush, super-grizzly–born on June 14th–Flag Day.” What’s wrong with this argument?

  1. An inanimate object, such as a plush toy, cannot be fearless.
  2. Trump is not fearless. He was afraid to go to war, he’s afraid of germs, and fearless people do not need to repeatedly tell others how fearless they are.
  3. I was born on May 14th, exactly one month before Flag Day. This surely has some significance, if you’re a conspiracy theorist. VOTE FOR ME INSTEAD!
  4. If there were in fact a “super-grizzly”–which there isn’t–it wouldn’t be a plush toy.

“Find the hidden zipper, and pull out the American flag blanket. Wrap yourself in comfort and warmth!” Ah, they’re innocently unaware that “wrapping yourself in the flag,” when applied to politicians, is not a good thing. By the way, “the first non-politician President,” as I once heard Trump described, is not only untrue, it wouldn’t be a good thing if it were. It just means you have no experience in the field in which you’re applying for a job. BUT VOTE FOR ME ANYWAY!

“Proudly display Trumpy Bear on American holidays. He can even honor your personal occasions!” They then show something which appears to be ancestor worship, with pictures of deceased loved ones and candles, and Trumpy Bear occupying a central location.

“I’m a Marine, and I’m proud to have Trumpy Bear ride with me. Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Trump was never a Marine.

“Everyone knows Trumpy Bear loves to go to the golf course.” Yeah, and remember when he said that he wouldn’t go there once he was President, unlike Obama?

“Trumpy Bear has made my golf game great again!” So either Trump himself, or the plush toy–excuse me, super-grizzly–associated with him has magical powers?

“Just style his trademark hair…” OK, so now hiding baldness is a “trademark.”

“Buy Trumpy Bear for 2 payments of $19.95 each.” Death on the installment plan.

“Own the most fearless bear ever.” See above.

 

 

Hello World!

adorable animal animal world cat

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

WordPress had that as a sample title, and since I couldn’t think of a title, and tend to become paralyzed until I do, I took it. Why typing “world” into the Free Photo Library gave me a cat picture, I don’t know. Maybe it’s that the cat seems to be retreating from the world.

PRODUCT NEWS, NEW OR OTHERWISE

Perfume ad: “Musc Ravageur. An unapologetically sexy perfume.” Good, because otherwise I’d be saying, “Sorry I’m so sexy.”

The Post Office is almost out of stamps. I asked why, and they said, “I dunno. Guess someone forgot to order them.” Guess everyone is ordering them online, so the post office doesn’t need to keep them on hand. I resist doing so, because USPS wants your password to be as elaborate as if you were trying to access the gold reserves in Fort Knox. I didn’t retire so that I could be bedeviled with password rules like I used to have for the state/FBI computer at work: “You have to change it every 3 months, and if it’s anything you could possibly remember, it’s not acceptable.” True Confession: I USED TO DEFY THEM AND WRITE IT DOWN. I was a loose cannon.

 

 

 

 

 

Experiments With Time Travel

round analog clock

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

OK, I couldn’t tell this was a weird astrology clock until it was inserted and enlarged. I was merely looking for a weird clock, but ’tis enough, ’twill serve.

I had noted for some time that there is a button saying “Reprint a previous post,” and thought, Why would you do that? But sometimes I look through old posts and see old work-related stuff and think, I’d forgotten that! That was funny! Actually, usually it was just bizarre, but thought it was funny. So I may start including some of those here. Hopefully there is some feature allowing me to insert a warning that it’s a rerun, to avoid confusion. As opposed to my more usual promoting confusion.

THERE’S NO PLEASING SOME PEOPLE

…by which I mean me.

Commercial jingle:

“I’ve been needing a break

And I’m thinking ’bout the weekend…” How original of you.

I am currently recovering from a cold, feeling gross and diseased. At these times, I always think of an ancient Egyptian inscription (as one does):

“Begone, thou cold, son of a cold

Fall out on the floor and stink, stink, stink!”

And why do they call it the “common cold”? Is there an uncommon kind?

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Plunging boldly into politics…Why do the Trumpers in Congress complain that they couldn’t call witnesses during the investigatory phase–which is not the proper time to call witnesses–and then, when it gets to the Senate, which is the proper time, they don’t want any witnesses? And then they blame the Democrats for not having any witness testimony, when they were the ones who blocked said testimony? Just asking, but it sounds Kafkaesque.

VOTE FOR ME, I DON’T HAVE TO GO TO THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS. OR TO IOWA, OR INDEED ANYWHERE.

SORT-OF-NEW PRODUCT NEWS

McDonalds’ drink lids now have uplifting slogans printed on them, such as “Drinking of You” (sounds like someone drove you to drink), “Thirst Stands No Chance,” “Jump for Joy” (make me!). Just think, someone has to come up with these, and can call themselves a professional writer. Of course, the tragic truth is that no one probably notices what’s written on their drink lid.

Disclaimer: I have intended to write about this topic since I first noticed it, oh, maybe last year, and have just now actually done so.\

 

 

 

Cool But Not Hip

…is my assessment of my personal style. If I were hip, I’d be wearing leggings, or the leggings-inspired pants that make women’s legs look like drumsticks. There is a forest of drumsticks wherever I go.

NEW PRODUCT NEWS

–Courtesy of Stephen Colbert, a workplace toilet that has a 30-degree slant “to cause increased strain on the legs, because long bathroom breaks can decrease workplace productivity.” OR LONG BATHROOM BREAKS CAN BE YOUR ONLY CHANCE TO TAKE A BREATH BY YOURSELF DURING YOUR STRESSFUL WORKDAY, YOU MONSTERS. Just wait until  someone sues because the increased strain on the legs gives them arthritis.

In related news, CVS put a mural in their bathroom of poppies, and above them it said, “Choose Joy.” That seemed an odd sentiment in a restroom, and apparently they agreed, because now they’ve painted over that part. The ballpoint-ink exhortation to “Clean Me,” with an arrow pointing to the toilet, was not, however, so easily eliminated. Even though the toilet was long-since cleaned.

This bathroom-themed post is dedicated to Nick, who took me out to lunch in an attempt to induce me to post more frequently, or at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ramblings of a Basement Blogger

author blog create creative

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Photo selected because my hands look a lot like this, including the current nail polish (Rocky Rose by Essie). (They do not give me money or free nail polish for this endorsement.)

After some weeks of being galvanized into inaction, I could not help being stirred to its opposite by Trump’s communications director (who has yet to do her job and hold a press briefing) commenting that the impeachment investigation resembles “the ramblings of a basement blogger.” On behalf of all basement bloggers, I must object. Actually, I don’t have a basement. I have a crawlspace. But this is not coming to you from the crawlspace, but from my office, if you can call it that. It has as many spiderwebs as a crawlspace, though. ANYWAY, it seems to me that the people who are “rambling” are the ones who keep spouting debunked conspiracy theories, and that would be the Republicans.

VOTE FOR ME! I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, BECAUSE I’M NOT ACTUALLY IN IT!

I WILL NEVER STOP FIGHTING THE PARTS OF SPEECH WAR

“Want to brain better? Take our supplement!” If your supplement worked, you’d realize that “brain” is not a verb.

“What happy tastes like.” HappiNESS.

In other advertising news, “Try our Christmas pancakes, covered with elf sprinkles!” makes me think that elves leave their droppings there. They’re round and red and green.

LET’S GET SERIOUS

I am mourning the loss of my beloved Briar Rose and Service Cat, Esmerelda, gone too soon from kidney disease. Black and white, introverted but intense, she had weaning issues and suckled on my hand several times a day for all of her 11 years.

She was the one who chose me at the shelter, and that’s hard to get over.

On her last day, she had catnip in the sun.

As Rom wrote in his elegy for her, she was the “harlequin companion we treasured for awhile.”

 

 

 

Curl Up in a Perfume Bottle: L’Eau d’Hiver

full frame shot of snowflakes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

…by Jean-Claude Ellena

Top note: bergamot

Base notes: iris, hedione, hawthorn, heliotrope

L’Eau d’Hiver (“winter water”) may be the most comforting fragrance there is.

Almondy scents, like heliotrope blossom and almond extract itself, have a uniquely comforting effect on me–aromatherapy, if you will. I’m not quite sure why. I could say “Grandma’s baking,” or maybe Grandma’s cherry-almond Jergens lotion, that iconic scent of boomer childhoods. At any rate, I love the smell. And I’m in particular need of comfort now, due to the sooner-than-expected loss of my beloved cat Esmerelda, done in by kidney disease at the age of 11. And I can say with confidence that Ez would have approved of today’s review. She once came nosing around while I was sampling a candied-almond fragrance (L’Artisan’s Jour de Fete, for those keeping score at home), sniffed the sample vial, and burst into purring. I’ve never had a cat react that positively to a perfume before. (This was not Ez’s only assistance with perfume sampling. When I was sniffing Annick Goutal’s citrusy Eau du Sud, she raced up, grabbed the sample card, tossed it up in the air, and raced away.)

So. On to L’Eau d’Hiver. Winter is my least favorite season, so I approached this scent with some trepidation. Would it have a chilling effect? There is a breath of freshness at first, due to the bergamot (a particularly fresh form of citrus) and hedione (an aromachemical used to impart radiance to fragrances). The opening is cool and delicate, like a thin rind of ice, but the body of the scent is warm. The heliotrope (also known as “cherry-pie flower” because of its scent) gives it that almond quality I love, but the scent is still delicate, not doughy or cloying. For some reason, this scent smells “periwinkle” to me, a pale lavender-blue. Which happens to be my favorite color. So, all in all, this is a winner for me.

Let’s do our 3 Criteria (remember them?? Seems like a long time since I did a perfume review. Or any post, for that matter.)

Personality: I’m not sure it’s exactly “me,” since it’s such a pastel scent. But it has such a personal effect on me, it might qualify for that reason alone.

Preferences: Love.

Comfort level: Comfort in a bottle.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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