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indulgence

Shame on me for indulging my more banal impulses- in a way.

Have I mentioned that I’m no paragon of virtue?

devilwoman

I should be more worried about any number of more important things, including various and sundry deadly contagious diseases.  I’ve never had any respect, love, admiration or anything but animosity toward the current Squatter-in-Chief aka: Obama the Ebola King, (all Hail to the Thief, heh-heh) but now I’m convinced that Obama really does have nothing but malice toward the American people.  Why in the flying hell have we been allowing flights to come in from Ebola-harboring locales?  Why in the flying hell haven’t our borders been secured a LONG time ago?  If B.O. thinks he can executive-order his way through governance, one would think that creating a no-fly list would be a no brainer.  Then again, B.O. doesn’t have much of a brain- or his aim is to destroy this country.

obama-inept-and-corrupt

If his aim is to trash this country, he’s doing a damned fine job of it.  The sad thing is that he’s not alone in his efforts.

The more I stew and steam about Obama’s extreme ineptitude (malice?!) and those in collaboration with him the more I realize that there’s not a damned thing I can do about it.  I can wish in one hand and shit in the other and we all know which one will fill up first.  All I can do is vote the right way and hope that the lame-ass Secretary of State and Attorney General of Ohio (both supposedly Republicans) have done something to prevent the rampant voter fraud (that I witnessed with my own two eyeballs, but that they both swear up and down didn’t happen in 2012) from happening again.

big nutz

Now that rant’s over, so I can start on the trivialities.

Such as my current favorite cartoon, Brickleberry. This is classic.

It’s probably not a good thing that I find the concept of farts that smell like Christmas funny, but it could be worse.

Malloy

I shouldn’t be so nice.

Nor should I confuse “nice” with “moral” or “Christian.”

But sometimes I do.

I had three days of much desperately needed vacation (sanity!!!) time scheduled.  So with my luck, according to Murphy’s Law, one of my co-workers had to leave and will be out the rest of the week because his Dad died. There went my Brickleberry DVR marathon and road trip to points TBA.

Brickleberry-post

I could literally watch these episodes all day. And I was going to.

 

Granted, death sucks, and realistically, you can’t expect someone to care about work in that situation, but mustering up sympathy is pretty hard for me when I’m stuck covering for this same guy through his kid’s endless sports events and various other frequent bullshit call-offs. It’s like crying wolf.

This is how I feel about this guy:
Now you have a valid reason to be gone, but you blew both your vacation time and my patience a long time ago. Save the calling off and pawning off your work on me for real emergencies – and maybe I’d be more understanding when you have an actual crisis.  Your kid’s ball games and your conflicts with Time Warner and your cable boxes, and whatever other stupid shit you come up with to get out of work shouldn’t be my problem.  Then again, I am not the boss.  If I were, there would be no calling off for bullshit- if you wish to remain employed.  It’s simply not fair to everyone else.

frustrated-face

Technically, I could have went ahead and taken my vacation- but it would have put other people in a bad spot as well as giving me a first class ticket on the guilt train.

But there is a bright side. If I’d decided to go ahead and take my vacation time, I’d have been trying to escape from Jerry and his endless to-do lists, and pain in the ass micromanagement- all while feeling miserable that other people have to do what I should be doing anyway.  Even so, I’m screwed again.

It’s almost sort of sad when one is better off just staying at work.  Then again, it beats running Jerry’s errands.  I’ve not forgotten the 20 mile (one way) road trip to score him KFC in the middle of the night whilst in the middle of nowhere, WV.  If only I could just get paid for it, but not actually take vacation time, that would be moderately OK with me.  Unless of course, I can take an actual solitary vacation, which I don’t see happening.

I know, forgive and forget, and know that I’d have been strongarmed into forgoing any attempts at rest and solitude anyway, and it was better to volunteer for the inevitable.  It either makes me look “nice” or just affirms that I’d rather avoid conflict than stand my ground.  Either way, the outcome would have been the same.

PuppetShowAndSpinalTap01

 

For those not familiar with the wisdom of Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap, he claims that his particular Marshall amplifiers are better because they “go up to eleven.”  I guess I need that “little extra push over the cliff” myself.

marshall amps

For what it’s worth, Marshall amplifiers are both classic and choice, for both guitar and bass.  Back in the dark ages when I played bass, I had a 400 watt full stack that pretty much never got turned up past three.  That’s probably more of a commentary on the fact that I never got very far in the rock and roll endeavor than the quality of the amplifier.  I had the power to play in large venues- but not the opportunity.  Success in the performance business is based on a number of factors, and actual talent isn’t terribly high on the list.  Stage presence, one’s connections, and just being in the right place at the right time matter more than how well one can play or sing.

I have no stage presence, I am not well connected, and when my ship comes in it’s guaranteed I’ll be at the airport.  I am not going to claim that I am or was the best thing in the world since sliced bread either.  I was a decent singer and a pretty good bass player, but who cares when you are female and have the body of a mutant troll?  It worked for Angus Young, but he was both British and a dude.  For women in performance and music it’s a “damn, she looks fine, but can’t sing a note,” world out there- and the staircase matters more than what’s upstairs and/or what kind of voice projects from said staircase.  There are plenty of talented people out there that the world will never see or hear.  Cronyism and nepotism remain alive and well in many spheres, and a pretty face trumps a good voice, musical talent and/or a brain every time.  Vapid, marginally talented (or even no-talented) beauties have far better odds of success in this world than talented homely people, which partially explains the Kardashians.

kardashian_sisters

Pretty, but a combined IQ of 12.

Suffice to say that I don’t have the pretty face.   I let the rock and roll dream go when my son was born because I had to get down to reality sooner rather than later.  It’s fun but (with the exception of a very elite few) it doesn’t pay the bills.  It was a lot of work and time and money that I didn’t have to spend.

On a brighter note, the POMC bought his very first new car Saturday.  He went to the dark side a long time ago (he’s enamored of the Germans, even when I won’t drive anything unless it’s built by Toyota) so I wasn’t surprised by his choice.  After endless research, test drives, perusing online reviews and three hours going back and forth with the poor finance guy at the dealership, he bought a loaded out 2014 VW Jetta- diesel.

2014-volkswagen-jetta_2

Black on black, very conservative…but still the German performance thing.

 

I can’t blame him at all for wanting the fuel economy.  50MPG+ is enticing, even with the knowledge that maintenance on a diesel is both more frequent and more costly than on a gasoline car.  The car doesn’t sound like a diesel and doesn’t stink like a diesel, but my frame of reference on diesel cars goes back to the old VW Rabbits from the early ’80s that rattled to beat hell and stunk to holy high heaven.  Over all he ended up with most of the same features as my Corolla (including the obligatory manual transmission), only I have a bit better navi unit and I have automatic climate control.  He has a cute little sunglass holder over the rear view mirror and a bigger trunk. He also ended up with about a $7000 higher price tag than the Corolla- but he has a turbo and more low end torque, which means his car has more power.  Then again, when the German stuff fails it does so in a blaze of expensive and inconvenient glory.  The Japanese stuff doesn’t have quite the performance edge, but it’s generally more reliable and easier to maintain over time.

As I told him, it’s about trade offs.  For me the Corolla has plenty of power.  After all, I live in Ohio.  I usually see at least three cops every morning just driving the three miles from my house to the Y.  I can’t afford to speed.

 ~”Not one state of the fifty has the death penalty for speeding . . . although I’m not so sure about Ohio!”- Brock Yates

Cannonball-Yates-Brock-9780760316337

Not me.  Not in a little black Corolla.  Not ever.

So when he was finally done torturing the finance people at the dealership and he was satisfied that it was OK to sign, we made a little road trip in the diesel beast to try it out.  On the WV turnpike, of course.  I must say in this car’s favor that this was the only time I’ve been down the WV turnpike without being scared shitless from Charleston to Beckley.  Even at 70 MPH there’s no body roll whatsoever on those curves and grades.  I have not driven the WV turnpike in the Corolla for comparison (yet) but the Corolla did surprisingly well on I-40 in Tennessee and NC with similar grades, curves and speed limits.

He’s happy with what he got and I’m happy with what I got.  Different strokes for different folks.  Now if he’d been eyeballing a Kia or a Hyundai, Mommy and the POMC would have had to have a sit-down heart-to-heart regarding why we don’t buy shitty cars, but he knows better.  Way better.

hearts and flowers

I did draw hatchets, skulls and heavy metal band logos in my extensive high school boredom doodlings. This is why I know not to do it now.

When I get bored, I scribble and doodle.  Sometimes I do it in a more figurative sense- typing is so much faster than writing long hand, at least for me- but drawing can only really be done the old fashioned way, with pens and pencils and markers.

The psychologists and guidance counselors had a field day with me in middle school and high school because of my rather dark themed scribblings and doodlings. When your primary emotion is “terror,” the secondary is almost always “rage.”  (Repressed anger, anyone?- and this was decades before Columbine.)  I would buy plain notebooks (even better if they had a canvas finish) and then I would draw macabre scenes all over them in a variety of colors.  If the discussion went too slow or I got bored in class (pretty much every day) then I would write little snippets of prose or poetry along with whatever notes I was pretending to take inside the notebook.  I didn’t have the advantage of having a laptop or a tablet or a smart phone in school. I graduated in 1986, when the entire school had three computers, all of which had a cassette player serving as a hard drive.  By comparison, the Note 3 smart phone I have today would have been a supercomputer.

I should have learned my lesson regarding concealing incriminating evidence of my twisted thought life when I was in 8th grade. One of the boys decided to appropriate one of my more risqué notebooks and share its contents with the other boys.  This was Not a Good Thing.  The notebook got confiscated by a nosy teacher who wondered what the boys were laughing about.  I ended up in an extremely awkward and embarrassing meeting with the guidance counselor that led to  several months of camping out in the psychologist’s office every Tuesday afternoon.  Since my mother worked for the school system and knew every single one of the teachers and staff, the repercussions of that indiscretion really sucked.

I still kept my funky notebooks with the outlandish scribbles on them, but I was more careful about what I wrote in them in high school, just in case someone would dare to screw with them.  No one ever dared to.  In high school, I found that when I ended up with large friends, who took a special delight in beating the daylights out of people who screwed with me, that my confidential items remained that way.   I didn’t receive any unauthorized touching, spindling or mutilation to my person either, not after one unfortunate thug got her head shaved for spitting Skoal in my hair.  The Skoal Incident- which took place toward the end of my freshman year in high school- marked the end of many years of harassment and beatings from my cohorts in school.

cat fight

Some of my friends liked to fight.  I didn’t.  But by the time I had a car and smokes, I didn’t have to fight.

Granted, I was probably buying friends, (often with cigarettes) which isn’t a healthy thing to do, but it did save me from more than one ass-thumping, I’m sure.   I was in survival mode back then, and it was refreshing to be able to go to school without being dumped head-first into garbage cans, having my hair set on fire, or being shoved up the stairs.  The thought of being shoved up the stairs (concrete stairs with metal caps on the edges) makes my knee caps hurt even now.

Survival is what it is.

I probably shouldn’t have such a fascination for postmortem pics and/or the plight of the unfortunates of Walmart, but I do.

dead family

Pictures are expensive- sooooo- jump right on in there with the stiff!

really creepy dead kid

She doesn’t look terribly fresh, but then again, she’s DEAD.  How fast can the photographer get there on a horse?

The Victorians did pathos and high drama in a way that we just can’t stomach today, but as I’ve said before, back in the times before flush toilets and Clorox, death was in your living room.  Death was your bunkie in more ways than one.

Maybe I should consider it an improvement in my emotional health that my primary emotion is “fear” opposed to “terror.”  That might just be the mitigating effect of Prozac.  I’ve noticed that my secondary emotion- “rage” – has sort of settled into a pragmatic anger.  I try not to get angry unless that anger will do some good, but there are times when I just plain get pissed for no apparent reason.

I actually have some ivory tower time scheduled, although it seems sort of shitty that I have to schedule it in advance rather than just being able to drop off the planet for awhile, unannounced.  This time I hope Jerry leaves me alone for at least a day or two.  I could really use some peace and quiet with just Clara as company for a few days (months…yeah right) but I know Jerry too well.  If I go to the campground he will feel compelled to follow me so I can fetch beer and make trips into town for KFC and so forth.

chicken bucket

Man, that sounds good.

 

 

doing it wrong

You’re doing it wrong…

I can’t really portray myself as the “typical poster child” for people with autism.  Even after 10 years of knowing that my strange wiring has a name (whether you call it Asperger’s Syndrome or High Functioning Autism or just plain Being Screwy,) I have a hard time wrapping my head around those descriptives.  I don’t want to be labeled, and I don’t want to use a label as an excuse.  I hate to admit weakness or vulnerability.  My standards are higher than that- but reality is what it is all the same.  I have to find ways to cope with the anxiety, the emotional disconnects, and the physical ineptitude that comes with the package.  Some days are better than others, but it does get a bit easier with age and time- and by being around those who tolerate my eccentricities.

Most people who know me aren’t really aware that I’m HFA, or have Asperger’s Syndrome, or whatever you want to call it.  I’m fine with that, because I have spent decades of my life trying to navigate and function in the “normal” world.  Most of the time I can play the “normal” role pretty well, and I’ve learned to either avoid the things that make me look awkward or find ways to deal with them.  I also blend into the scenery very well, and if I don’t want to be noticed, I’m not going to be.

albert-einstein-2

Many people associate autism spectrum disorders with the cognitively challenged or with “idiot savants.”  While one may be both cognitively challenged and autistic, one can be autistic and not cognitively challenged at all.  (Think Albert Einstein or Thomas Edison here, both brilliant innovators and thinkers who were most likely somewhere on the spectrum.)  People with high functioning autism can (and often) do things that the “normals” do-get educated, hold gainful employment, have and raise children, and integrate into the rest of society.   We might appear to be eccentric or odd or awkward, (and we might even fall down a lot,) but we can and do function.  My road map for getting around in this world looks a lot different than yours, but I can make it to the same destinations.  Sometimes I can get there faster, but other times I have to take the scenic route.  I have to navigate with the map I’ve been given, because it’s the only map I have.

Common knowledge paints a  bleak picture of autism- the non-verbal child rocking back and forth, unaware of the world around him or her, rather than the tech geek who might not be a huge fan of socializing but who can design and program and get lost in virtual worlds.  Sometimes society sees autism as the image of the “Rainman” character, or as the guy who can play Mozart from memory but can’t control his bowels.  The key here is that autism is a spectrum. Some people with autism have incredibly high IQs and extreme cognitive ability.  Others are more in the “normal” intelligence range, and some are profoundly mentally challenged.  No two people on the spectrum are alike.

All I can say to parents of an autistic child is that there is good life to be had past that diagnosis, and a lot of that good life is what you create it to be.  It’s not the end of the world, especially when you refuse to accept excuses and when you think outside the label.  In some ways I think my parents’ ignorance of autism worked in my favor, because I was not indulged, mollycoddled or otherwise given a pass on acquiring necessary life skills.  I was actually held to a higher standard in most things when compared with my “normal” sisters because I was a voracious reader, had a broad vocabulary, and was capable of academic achievement in many areas.

read all day

My parents didn’t know anything about autism, but they knew there were things wrong with me: I could read- anything and everything- before my second birthday, without any coaching or lessons.  They didn’t know about hyperlexia- and why should they, when hyperlexia affects 1 in about 50,000 children, and 75% of those are male. They were dealing with one in 200,000.  Hyperlexia is a condition exclusive to HFA children, which is another fact they had no way of knowing back in the early 1970s.

I was born in fragile health and had a litany of respiratory and other health problems in early childhood.  I was also born as the third child in as many years.  Too-close birth spacing, and poor health in infancy and early childhood are associated with an increased likelihood of autism spectrum disorders.  It probably didn’t help matters much that my oldest sister (who wasn’t quite three years old at the time) tried to suffocate me with a pillow the day I came home from the hospital.  (There are more than one reasons that my son is an only child.)

My parents knew my gross motor skills were abysmal, and even sent me to physical therapy for quite some time.  I have very poor balance, as well as severe myopia, and even with vision correction I still have a difficult time with visual-spatial tasks that involve gross motor skills.  I was eight years old before I could balance well enough to ride a bicycle.

kids_on_diamondback_bicycles

My parents knew I was deathly afraid of almost everything- a change in routine, strange people, flying insects, you name it, except for dogs.  Why I was so comfortable with dogs I’ll never know, but I’m still more comfortable with dogs than with people.

I was prone to panic attacks, and I was taunted and beaten daily by other children (especially my oldest sister) and pretty much was a basket case spaz most of the time- when I wasn’t buried in a book.  I had my obsessions with different and often unusual subjects- dogs, murder mysteries, rock and heavy metal music, classical music, all things automotive, and 20th century history.

Though there were bright spots, for the most part, between the anxiety and (later) depression, my childhood was scary as hell.

Deer-in-the-Headlights

 

Even though the tendency to live as a perpetual deer in the headlights becomes less and less marked as I age, anxiety and fear still dominate and define my emotional life.  That may sound bleak, but I am not a person who is dominated by emotions.   I am governed much more by what I think than by what I feel, which is probably the only reason why I can get out of bed in the morning and step out the door and function without completely freaking out.  I do have emotions, but they have to be filtered through and processed through my mind before I can deal with them.  Out of necessity this makes me a delayed reactor.  I can get through a loved one’s death and funeral and all that and not appear to be fazed by it- but a week or a month or even 20 years later the emotions pour out- some trigger or event or visual sets off the process and I find myself mourning a long ago passing or reliving a long ago trauma.  That sucks, but I don’t wear my emotions out for the world to see.  I have a hard enough time figuring them out for myself.

I don’t like being physically touched, especially without warning or by strangers.   I am not in any way a “hugger.”  I will hug when it is socially necessary, but I’m not going to be the one starting it, and the person I’m hugging better be an immediate family member or a very close friend.  My discomfort with physical contact might go back to my sisters and their friends’ constantly tormenting me because they knew if they did poke, prod, grab or otherwise contact my person that they would elicit a response.  I had a most overpowering and piercing scream that was loud, but not quite loud enough to overpower Mom turning the TV up all the way.

old lady tv

 

Having live, stinging insects thrown in my hair didn’t help alleviate my disdain of human contact either.  I’m not sure if my distaste for physical touch came first or if that distaste was created by the indignities of getting punched, slapped, stepped on and/or the challenge of removing live wasps from my hair without getting stung.   I had very long, very thick hair as a child, which made removing foreign objects from it challenging at best.  That’s part of the reason why my hair is cut short today.  It’s easier to color and it survives my early morning swimming much better too.  It’s worth the temporary distress every month or so to keep my hair short.  Even now, a routine hair cut or Dr. exam is not my idea of a good time, although I know both are harmless, temporary and necessary.

I have a difficult time with eye contact also.  In a way it’s good that I stopped wearing contacts a few years ago and I had to go back to glasses.  I never liked the coke bottle thick glasses I had to wear as a kid, but the glasses available today with the plastics aren’t nearly as funky looking.  Glasses give me a little something to hide behind.  I am awkward at best with eye contact because it does not come naturally for me.  Neither does body language.  I have to consciously think about those things and what  non-verbal messages I’m sending when I’m carrying on a conversation out in public.  I don’t always get it right.  I don’t get it right a lot of the time, even at my age.  “Normal” people get non-verbal communication instinctively, but it’s a mystery to me.  Non-verbals are one reason why I prefer to communicate in writing.  I am much more comfortable staying in the dimension of verbal language.

The Written Word

 

I love Cliff’s Notes.  Yes, I read the books too, but sometimes highlights are great as a refresher.  If I were to write a sort of user’s guide to dealing with me and not being too perplexed while doing so, the Cliff’s Notes version would go sort of like this:

If I’m not looking you in the eye, it’s probably because I forgot I needed to.

I trip and fall easily, so if you notice me hanging onto the rail, or avoiding activities that require balance and coordination, remember, my gross motor skills are rather poor.

Don’t touch me without fair warning- including lint picking and tag stuffing.  I would like to be enlightened that I have a tag sticking out, or dog hair on my sleeve, but please let me fix it or remove it.

Don’t be alarmed when I fall off the planet from time to time.  I don’t need to be connected to the rest of the world 24/7, and I do disengage from time to time to help preserve my sanity.

Don’t take offense when I take things literally.  I appreciate sarcasm as an art form, and I have a wicked twisted sense of humor, but please don’t intentionally make yourself hard to read. 

Remember that I’m very poor with non-verbal language, both sending and translating.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Don’t be surprised when I go down a different tangent.  My wiring is different, and sometimes I can associate completely bizarre and different things (that make perfect sense to me) but that don’t make sense to other people.

Please give me some respite from screaming kids, demanding people, and from constantly being “on stage.” I can cope with the “normals,” and I navigate better than I probably should in the “normal” world, but I am still a traveler, not a native.

My primary emotion is “fear.”  Thirty years ago it used to be “terror,” so this is improving, but still…thank God for Prozac.

pills

There’s a pill for that…maybe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newborn_human_child

I admit I’m biased in favor of life.  Especially when I hear of freaks like this.  I don’t have sympathy for women who treat their newborns like trash, (or their unborn children, for that matter) especially if they live in states that allow you to turn in a newborn at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked.  You might not want the kid, but someone else does.  More importantly, that kid deserves some sort of a chance.  There are millions of people who can’t have kids of their own for whatever reason who would be delighted to take your “unwanted” child in as their own.

All I can say to that is- unless she is profoundly mentally challenged, or suffering from an extreme mental illness- : selfish bitch.

aliciaenglert

So you were afraid your parents might think you’re a slut? I can almost understand that mentality from a 12 year old, but from someone who’s 23?  Besides, I’d rather my parents think I’m a slut than for them to discover that I’m an attempted murderer.

I was 22 when my son was born.  Yes I was (at the time) married to the sperm donor.  However, my son was not planned, and the timing was awkward at best.  Even so, it wasn’t a difficult choice- my son’s life and well-being took precedence over mine, and my son’s life and well-being definitely took precedence over my sorry excuse of an ex as well as said ex’s mother.  That’s a long story and I am not entirely without fault, but even as a rather emotionally impaired specimen, I have some sense of when to do what’s right rather than what appears to be expedient- or even logical.

I’m not even one of those people who is thrilled about being around kids.  One on one is OK, but not a whole gang of kids at one time.  I have no clue what a normal childhood is supposed to look like other than what I gleaned from the child development charts and so forth that I pored over in the hopes that my child might possibly turn out to be normal- or at least gainfully employed, and not a serial killer.   So far- and solely by the grace of God- my sorry parenting seems to have worked out.  He does have a job and as far as I know he hasn’t killed anyone.  As far as being normal, well, at least he is a good conversationalist, and he has good hygiene.  Then again, the same could be said of Ted Bundy, so you never know.

306418-ted-bundy

Ted looked normal, but then, sociopaths usually do.

Even though I could never categorize myself as a warm-and-fuzzy mommy, I tried.  My son, the precious only male child, did thank me for being a hard ass.  That was probably the most rewarding thing he has ever said to me. It’s easy to just capitulate and give your kids what they want and attempt to shelter them from anything that might bruise their precious, fragile self-esteem.  It’s hard to say no, to set boundaries, to instill a work ethic, and to adhere to certain moral absolutes, but your kid isn’t supposed to be your “buddy.”  Maybe when they’re adults, but not when they are still kids and are still discovering why shampooing one’s hair and brushing one’s teeth daily are essential, mandatory life practices.

brush teeth

Mandatory: not negotiable, and NOT optional!

Our current societal mentality is all about what’s comfortable, what’s easy and what’s disposable.  Raising a child is not comfortable, not easy, (not cheap either) and 23 years later, he still “needs mommy” but, thankfully, not in the same way he did as a toddler.  I don’t have to bathe him or change shitty diapers, which is definitely a plus.

I don’t think the Roe v. Wade decision did much to make people see that children are valuable, but as heinous as the idea of killing innocent children for convenience sake is, it’s a symptom of a larger, age old problem.

It’s all about the pervasive view that, “It’s all about me,”- the temptation of the Garden.  “I can have it all,” or as the serpent in the story tempts Eve- “you will be like God.” (Genesis 3:5)

German_Adam_and_Eve

It won’t make you God, but it will make your life a lot more complicated.

But isn’t hindsight 20/20?

Oh, yeah, we humans want to be our own gods. Believe that.  Call it “original sin,” or “the depravity of man,” but that desire is the root and the essence of what’s wrong with humanity and society, and we can’t fix that longing because that’s written into who we are.

I know even though I find certain human actions to be reprehensible, that I am every bit as much a sinner and a violator as anyone else.  I don’t have the authority to pass judgment on other people, and I don’t want that authority either.  I know all too well that I don’t have much empathy, and I don’t have a high tolerance for stupid behavior.  I will comment on the actions of others- and I do have the authority to condemn certain actions, even though I have no way of discerning the thought processes and motives behind those actions.

The only answer I have for that is: Kyrie elaison – God have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Have mercy on us all.

Tuna-Sandwichestabtwinkie

 

Navin Johnson’s (Steve Martin’s character in the iconic film, The Jerk ) meal that his adopted mother served him on his birthday was a tuna sandwich wrapped in cellophane, a Tab and a Twinkie.  Most of my favorite things are like that- simple, cheap and uncomplicated.  I  share Navin’s enthusiasm for Tab, and I like a good tuna melt from time to time, although I’ve not had a Twinkie in at least ten years.

classy

I’d like to admit to complicated tastes, as in: oh, yeah, I sit around drinking vintage Cabernets and imported cheese while conversing about world history and literature with influential and erudite people.   I study some rather obscure and esoteric subjects (have you seen my collection of 19th century postmortem pics, for instance) from time to time, but in social circles, I’m not that good of a performer. I’m not that pretentious. Since I am pathetically socially inept, and not at all well connected, my evenings are usually spent watching Jerry empty out the Natties, go from just a little drunk, to full-on fall-over shitfaced drunk, as he attempts to argue philosophy with the dogs.  Jerry is not an eloquent conversationalist even when he’s stone cold sober.  Alcohol does not enhance his verbal communication skills.

Natty

FYI: Natty does NOT make you an enchanting conversationalist.  Ever.

Jerry isn’t the greatest company, but he is predictable at least.  He tolerates my eccentricities, which is saying a lot. It’s easier that way, and I don’t have to worry about what to wear or whether or not I am avoiding eye contact again.   To him, I’m just the tepid body that pays the cable bill and medical bills, buys food, and wanders around cleaning up the beer cans.  He’s doing good to refrain from calling me Mildred and asking me about my diarrhea, but that’s OK.  I’ve been married to him for 19 years and neither one of us has succeeded in killing each other or making good on threats made in the heat of anger to leave,  so it must be all good.

I don’t know what to make of current events.  Robin Williams committing suicide was just plain bizarre, although I can certainly attest to the truth that comedy is the flipside of tragedy.  We shouldn’t really be surprised that comedians invariably suffer with depression and all the psychological baggage that goes along with it.  Humor is a defense mechanism. Usually the funnier a person comes across, the more tragedy that person has endured. Most of the time I try to laugh to keep from crying- or to fill that awkward void when I just don’t have the words or when that proper, polished façade just doesn’t materialize when I need it to.

man in pink tank

This dude must have had some pretty serious childhood trauma to try to rock the Daisy Dukes AND the crop top.

Perhaps it is better to elevate sarcasm to an art form than to take out one’s pain and hurt and anger in more destructive ways.  I don’t want to hurt anyone, especially in the ways that I have been.  It might be a bit mean-spirited to show pics of people who have made unfortunate fashion/life choices, but hey, you set yourself up for those.  If I appeared in public looking like a crack ho, or morbidly obese and/or otherwise badly dressed, then someone posting my sorry ass pic online should be a wake up call, a sort of, “Get your shit together, bi-atch!” statement.  I would be asking for it.

Now, going as a Twinkie for Halloween might actually be funny, but I don’t think that was this chick’s intent.

twinkie

Sort of like a Twinkie, anyway.

baby cradle

I wonder- sleeping? dead? doll?

There is something just not right, something incomplete and unfair, in an untimely death.

A good friend of ours, who claimed at one point to be an atheist, died Saturday night.  It was not a pretty death (if there is such a thing) nor was it a quick or painless death.  The poor man had dealt with cancer for the past four years- a bout of colon cancer that almost killed him back in 2010, and the stage 4 lung cancer he was diagnosed with back in April that finally spread throughout his body and slowly, painfully and agonizingly did him in.  To greatly summarize the gory story, this guy spent the past month jacked up on every narcotic known to man, and was almost always straight out of his mind due to the cancer spreading to his brain.  Nothing could quiet the unimaginable pain associated with cancer spreading like wildfire, not even the Tramadol and morphine and whatever other heavy duty drugs that the hospice people have at their disposal.   Cancer is a pretty shitty way to die by all accounts.  I don’t say that to trivialize his pain or the pain that his widow is still going through and reliving all those horrors, but words just can’t paint an accurate enough picture.  I pray to God that I don’t die that way, and that I would be spared the awful reality of being a primary caretaker of a loved one dying that way, because I don’t have that kind of courage or strength.

Since everyone has to die, I could only ask to go the way my maternal grandmother did- suddenly, via a massive stroke that took her from walking, talking and being completely normal to being pretty much dead as a doornail in an instant.  It really sucked for the rest of the family, but it actually gives me some peace knowing that she didn’t linger around and suffer for months or years, slowly and painfully deteriorating until she was unrecognizable.

Stephen King said it in his book Pet Sematary: Sometimes dead is better.

pet sematary

I am not in any hurry to take the Dirt Nap- nor am I in any hurry for anyone else I care about to bite the big one either- but I still have a really hard time with suffering, and watching people sort of fade and melt away before my eyes.

Maybe that’s what that whole “mid-life crisis” thing is- understanding that personal mortality is about more than just the Dirt Nap- it’s the little bites of decay and loss and downhill slide of entropy that we endure every day.  Things like the realization that my eyes don’t adjust to close vision when I have my glasses on, or that the people I went to high school with look like my Dad’s friends- and that a good number of my Dad’s friends are dead.

The places are either gone or drastically changed, and that’s not even been from the distant past.  I usually don’t have too many reasons to go downtown- save for the paper nightie appointment once a year- because I go to a different primary care Dr. and his office isn’t downtown.  Yesterday I decided to take my granddaughter to the art museum (which I must recommend, as they have lots of fun stuff for kids) and I was amazed on the way down High St. to take her back home at observing the OSU campus.  At least temporarily, campus has been de-skankified and yuppiefied almost beyond recognition.   I think they’re trying to overcome their reputation of being the Midwest’s #1 school to get robbed and raped.  Good luck with that.  Especially on the night of the Michigan game.  Leave your car- and yourself- at home.  Watch the game, if you must, on TV.

Of course, campus gets a makeover about once every 20 years.  It will take about a year or so for the current renovations to get trashed, and when you think it can’t get any nastier, some builders come in with bulldozers, raze most of it, and start again.

Maybe that’s what’s going on with me.  I could use a renovation.

renovation

Home improvement is nowhere to be found in my box of talents.  Believe that.

I would like to expand my education- not necessarily in a formal way, because, sadly, most so-called institutions of learning are all about the almighty dollar and/or all about filling young people’s heads with socialist/globalist garbage.  Even poor Steve-o had to take two courses that I believed were total politically correct garbage- one course in “cultural sensitivity” and another on “our global economy.”  The first course mostly informed him that as a white male he is/was responsible for all of the evils in the world today, from inequality in the workplace to global warming (both concepts are crocks of crap, IMO.)  The second was supposed to be on economics but it ended up being a formalized diatribe on how industrialized nations are victimizing tribal peoples in third world holes, and how we should bury our cars and wipe with reusable cloths.  That would have been sort of funny, except that his major was automotive science. 

I think I will embark upon a self-directed expansion of knowledge, even though I know that my biases will play into that.  It’s no worse than a tech school requiring my son to take courses in BS to graduate.

good nuts

Naturally good nuts.  That’s good, because we wouldn’t want artificial nuts.

neuticles1

Unless you’re the owner of a neutered male dog, and you take his loss of sexual potency way too personally.  There are, believe it or not, artificial nuts for neutered dogs.

I’ve never owned a male dog.  I’m of the opinion that female dogs generally are smarter, live longer and have fewer overall health problems- even though spaying a female is a lot more expensive and involved than neutering a male.  I have encountered more than a few male dogs that would make me hesitate to consider a male dog,  but in fairness I’ve also encountered a few that I really liked.  I find it really hard to dislike any dog, with the exception of my cousins’ psycho Chihuahua, Andy- but Andy’s been dead for nearly 40 years.   If anything, poor Andy was an argument against incessant inbreeding.

GoodbyeTesticles

You didn’t need them anyway.

I  may end up with a male dog someday, but I wouldn’t consider having an intact male, even though neutering doesn’t guarantee placid behavior.  Uno, the one-brown, one-blue-eyed, twisted little Shih-Tsu, who used to belong to my mother-in-law, positively tormented poor Isabel (who was a five pound, spayed, elderly, black cat) by chasing her all over the house and attempting to hump her constantly.  He was neutered, but that didn’t seem to matter to Uno and his Red Rocket.  I was glad when we found that guy a good permanent home- away from Isabel.  He was a sweet dog, but humping the cat (aside from being counterproductive) is just plain creepy.

I’ve had three male cats, and they weren’t at all bothered about being nutless.  Other than reduced longevity, (and males are bigger) I really don’t see much difference between spayed female cats and neutered male cats.   I think the male cats I had were secretly relieved of being culled from the gene pool and therefore set free of the obligation to -well- screw like tomcats.

cats

Thought I was going to post a gratuitous pic of feline copulation, eh?

Since I’m on the subject of nuts, (for what reason I have no idea) I have to comment on the illustrious, nutless wonder who is squatting in the White House.  Normally, I can’t stand to listen to Obama speak, and if I feel I must find out what kind of garbage he’s spewing, I just read the transcript later. Unfortunately I was subjected to the Wanna-be-Imperial One’s press conference regarding the Ebola epidemic and his African summit while I was waiting on my car to get serviced at the Toyota dealership.  Hindsight being 20/20, I wish that I had remembered my headphones, or that I had decided to wait outside.

Since I sat through every infuriating minute of it, I thought I would offer the rational person’s Cliff’s Notes on this particular address:

Let’s send billions more dollars in “aid” to Africa that will not be (and never is) used to do anything to ameliorate squalor, disease and poverty, but will be squandered on funding terrorists, supporting regional warlords, and  empowering garden-variety thugs.  While we’re at it, we’re just going to open our borders to every terrorist, scumbag and non-English speaking, uneducated indigent who can manage to traipse on in.   Because terrorists need love too?  Then the Naked Emperor cries and whines and wonders out loud why American corporations are clamoring to incorporate in foreign countries to avoid the evil IRS and its labyrinthine and oppressive tax system. 

Oh, and we can’t send the Ebola medicine to Africa because it’s experimental…and they might die from it.  Even though they are almost certainly going to die from the Ebola, why should we try giving a drug that might help?  Someone might sue us or something.

Really?

I almost threw up all over the customer lounge.   Thankfully by that time, my tire rotation and car wash were done and the service advisor had come to retrieve me.  I just hope they torqued my lug nuts to 76 ft lbs. like the owner’s manual suggests.

no clue

On the way home I had a few insights on B.O.’s asinine rhetoric.

1. Why are we spending a red dime to support any terrorist harboring country? I don’t give a flying fart in a high wind what’s going on there.  It’s not our problem. In fact, as cruel as it sounds, perhaps some of these third world holes could use some thinning of the herd.  Especially when foreign aid never seems to get where it’s supposed to go, and the poverty and desolation persists no matter how many billions of dollars are thrown at it.

2. Why do veterans go without medical treatment, and American citizens are taxed so heavily they can’t afford their own healthcare (even though they work for a living) while our government pisses away our tax dollars to support terrorists and others who only want to kill us and send the world back to the Dark Ages?  Americans’ money could be better spent on our own infrastructure and military, and to secure our borders against the terrorists and thugs, but what do I know?

3. Why is this illegitimate president still squatting in our White House?

 

 

not sexy

I think that might be a skunk on her right thigh.

One does encounter the frightening side of humanity at the Ohio State Fair- or any other public festival-type gathering.  It wasn’t as alarming as I have observed in years past, or perhaps I’m getting a bit jaded to the freak show.  The Marion Popcorn Festival is coming up, which makes the Fair look positively tame.  I’ve also found that it’s a lot easier to take pics with the Note 3 than with a traditional camera because people just think you’re texting or something when you are really taking pics. Maybe that’s mean of me, but I run even worse than I fight.

smokin red

Toasty tobacco flavor!

I wonder if Red here is disabled or if she just figured it was worth $10 to ride around in a Mart Cart all day.  I think she weighs less than 300#, so they probably don’t let her ride the cart in Walmart.  She is setting a lovely example for her (grand?) son though.  Even while she is lecturing another offspring (?) spousal unit (?) on the dangers of wearing just socks without shoes in public.

red with sox

Told ya ta wear some shoes, dumbass!

The dog had Barbie dolls with better hair than poor Red.  I say “the dog” because Suzie, the deranged Dachshund my parents had when I was little, appropriated certain of my sisters’ toys for her own personal use- when she was done eating their socks and underwear, that is.  Suzie didn’t like very many people, but she adored me.  Go figure.  I never had a problem with her, but my sisters couldn’t touch her, or get their toys back once Suzie decided she liked them.

I figured, with Suzie, possession was 9/10.   If Suzie wanted it who was I to stand in her way?  Although I could do anything with Suzie, including getting toys back from her, I wasn’t about to do that for either of my sisters.  I liked Suzie better than either of them.

shorts n boots

Shorts and cowboy boots?

I saw a number of people at the Fair wearing cowboy boots with shorts.  I don’t know why this particular fashion choice bugs me, but it does.  At least she’s not wearing Daisy Dukes. And she was nice enough to cover up her back fat, unlike this unfortunate girl:

gratuitous back fat

Girl, you need a rear view mirror.

Perhaps I am being a bit harsh on fashion choices- after all I dress for comfort most of the time, and especially so if I am going to be traipsing along outside in the heat.  It wasn’t as hot as it normally is which may have cut down on the freak factor this year.

smokey

The talking Smokey the Bear is freaky though.

When I was a little kid I always wondered about Smokey’s preoccupation with forest fires.  I knew too many kids who were only too happy to fry ants with magnifying glasses (yes, I did do that) or set stuff on fire with Zippos (Steve-o,,,)  I always wondered why Smokey talked about not playing with matches, but never mentioned Bics or Zippos or magnifying glasses.

Zippo_light

Not a flashlight substitute, either.

Then again, central Ohio is a swamp and it’s usually raining, or there’s some form of precipitation at least every other day or so,  so wildfires generally don’t happen, and when they do, they generally don’t spread much.  However, the perpetual dampness never stopped the slumlords from burning down non-profitable rental properties to the point that in certain locales it is expensive and well-near impossible to get home owner’s or business insurance.  There’s always accelerants, you know, if you really want something to burn.  Too bad the ass-pilots that use them usually have very little understanding of forensic science.  They can tell you doused the place with gasoline before you torched it.

Smokey seems a little quaint and outdated for these times.  Nobody wants to intentionally burn down forests, because you can’t get insurance on a random forest. Maybe Smokey should be talking about arson?  “Hey, kids, only you can decide not to burn down your non-profitable rental properties, ” or, better yet:  “Hey, kids, don’t drop your crack pipe and burn down your crack house!”  Especially if you just spilled gasoline on the floor.

Ponderous-Dachshund

Mi underwear – Su underwear?

Somehow, some things just aren’t meant to be shared.

I haven’t thought about poor Suzie in a long time.  She was always in fragile health and died at the relatively young age of 7 years. I believe her early demise was largely due to being willing to eat vast quantities of anything, including socks, underwear, marbles, Army men, and things my mother served that were sort of supposed to be food.  Mom’s cooking was rather disastrous a good deal of the time, so there was a lot of food left over to go with Suzie’s Chuck Wagon.

chuckwag70

On second thought, maybe we should have just eaten the Chuck Wagon.

mmmm…Meaty!  in a meat by-product-y sort of way…

 

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