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toddler-tantrum

Do your kids a favor- teach them to behave like civilized people- at least in public!

When I was growing up in the dark ages of the 1970s-early 1980s, acting out in public was a sure fire way to get yourself beaten into the next county by the next nearest adult.  If you were unfortunate enough to be beaten out in public by a non-parental adult, when one’s parents did find out, (and they always did)  you were beaten again- to make sure you were beaten good enough.  Now people are afraid to even say anything to someone else’s miscreant child, fearing the wrath and possible litigation by the parents.  That sucks.  There are a good number of kids I see out in public that could use a good old fashioned hiney-warming.  I’d do it… if I thought the parents would have the good sense to back me up.  I guess they would rather announce to the world that their children are being raised by wolves than to administer a bit of well placed correction.

There was no sparing the rod (or spoiling this child) in my family.  Believe that.

Mom (being the good Catholic mother she aspired to be) would beat the daylights out of you for messing up the Catholic Calisthenics during Mass.  Even if you were a toddler (sorry, NO nursery) you did not sit when the rest of the congregation kneeled, nor did you stand when the rest of the congregation sat.  You did not have a coloring book, crayons or Cheerios.  You sang every word to every hymn, and you did not fail to respond with the correct responses as printed in the Missal.

 

Missal

The word “Missal”- for those who were fortunate enough to have been raised in a Protestant tradition-isn’t a typo.  I am a bit of a spelling Nazi after all. “Missal” is sort of the Catholic how-to guide to Mass, and is never to be used as  a “missile,” as in a projectile to throw at an annoying sibling.  Even though my sisters did.

kid fight

Siblings fight.  So why do people have multiple children?  Especially if one of them just ends up being a punching bag?

As an adult I can appreciate liturgical worship- and I do- but it was baffling to me as a kid.

Sunday morning Mass sort of went like this:

Dad drops us off at church.  Dad did not do Mass.  Ever.  He would be back in about an hour or two.  Church wasn’t Dad’s cup of tea, especially in a church where, as he would say, “the preacher wears a dress.”

priest robes

Follow Mom up the steps and (unless you wanted dragged out by the hair and back handed within an inch of your life) don’t forget to bless yourself with holy water and genuflect (another foreign word for Protestants- kneel before you walk down the aisle to find a seat because you’re approaching the altar) before sitting in whatever seat she thinks you should sit in.  Mom liked to park us in the second or third pew from the very front- where the priest can be sure to give you the stink eye any time the word “hell” is mentioned.  Hope and pray that (as usual) I didn’t get sandwiched between both sisters and therefore was open to assault from both sides.

Find the Missal.  Follow the instructions to the letter even while being poked, prodded, pinched and wet willie’d from both sides.

Spend a few minutes wondering why Jesus chooses to live in the funky gold box where the communion wafers were stored-  when He’s not out and about looking for sins and finding reasons why you should go to hell, that is.

Sing the closing hymn and hope Mom didn’t decide to chit-chat with every single one of her old bitty friends on the way out, although it was inevitable that she would.

It’s a wonder – or should I say a gift of the Spirit- that I can set foot in church at all.  But that is a very long story.

cathedral-in-Milan-752811

I do appreciate the aesthetic of Gothic architecture, especially if we don’t try to jack it up by doing a “70s update” on a 19th century (or earlier) building.  The church I went to as a kid was one of those beautiful Gothic style churches- until someone decided the interior needed a cheesy 70s update that included green astroturf carpet, everything painted white and green (acck!) and just plain hokey furniture.  Either you want to go modern or have the Gothic aesthetic, but the two styles don’t mix.  It’s church, not steampunk (which is half ways tolerable, ’cause steampunk is cool) and definitely not the set of “The Price is Right,” which is what that hideous “renovation” reminded me of.

price is right

Just substitute green for red, and that was pretty much how tacky it looked.

Church would have been a bit more interesting with Bob Barker.  At least when I was a little kid.  Grandma loved “The Price is Right.” That was back when Bob Barker still dyed his hair.

I need a road trip but don’t really have anywhere I want to go or, should I say, can afford to go and have time to go.   I still want to go to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia and I’m going to have to figure out the logistics.  I have to go to my nephew’s graduation in NC next month, but that’s more of a “have to” than a recreational pursuit.  Not to mention Dad scares the living hell out of me with his need for speed while driving in the mountains.  I’ve never been comfortable with mountain driving- especially considering we will probably be in their Dodge minivan.   It will probably be my luck it will be rainy and windy too while he’s going 90MPH down a 6% grade.

The last time I let Dad drive on a road trip,  I closed my eyes and put the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” on repeat.  That helped.

I really, really need some quality ivory tower time, as in several days of being completely away from dealing with other humans.  The bad thing is that’s not going to happen.

 

Axl Rose

My son didn’t ask, but mothers are pretty good at unsolicited advice in life and love and all those things that are only somewhat discerned by merit of age and time.  If I were to try to explain to him why he should abandon the “friends with benefits” arrangement he’s got going on with the ex-stripper, it would go something like this:

The great theologian and philosopher Axl Rose (of Guns-N-Roses fame) once stated in his version of Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” that, “You don’t get out of life alive.”  I  also understand his point about both the bank and the mortician- the two inevitabilities of this life are death and taxes.  Nobody escapes either of those.  Nobody escapes the common human dilemma of finding one’s way through life and surviving in the process, either, though some do a better job of it than others.

As far as the wisdom of the concepts of “not getting out of life alive,” and “you can’t take it with you,” go, both sort of go along with the Biblical admonition to give one’s life as an offering. You were created to have a purpose in this life, even if it’s simply one of being an example of what not to do,  or serving to expand others’ vocabularies.  We all came into the world naked and not having any stuff, and we all go out the same way, so what are you going to do with the time in-between?

coffin

We all know that our physical bodies are going to become worm food.  There are a few things worth sacrificing and fighting for, precisely because we cannot preserve youth and health and wholeness in these physical bodies, or for that matter, youth and health and wholeness in any aspect of our lives.  Entropy WILL win.  Systems all eventually break down, if you want to frame the inevitability of entropy in tech geek terms.  Life in this world is a finite proposition.

The question is, what do you do with the finite resources you have been given, that you can acquire, that you can pool with others?

gold-bars

It’s great if you can amass all kinds of wealth and get all the best stuff, and prepare for every possible contingency, but in the end, what do you do on that night when your life is required of you? (I’m referring to what Jesus said in Luke 12:13-21.)

If you don’t get what really matters, then who cares about money or power or prestige or stuff?

I’m not going to go on a morality-chastity-clean living rant, because I am no poster child for any of the aforementioned.  I have never been a paragon of virtue.  I am a Christian, but that is only by the grace of God.  He left me to my rebellion and own devices for awhile (about seven years’ worth) so I could see just how much trouble I could get into out there in the pig pen. I got a rather nasty taste of how nasty and depraved I can be apart from a relationship with God.  Finally, I realized, again, by the grace of God, like C.S. Lewis did, that if I were going to be sane and worth anything to myself and others, that it was and is Christ or nothing.

That realization does not make me more virtuous or more moral or  more prudy. It does not make me less human or  less fallible.  It does make me all the more aware that anything good anyone sees in me is not my inherent goodness, but the goodness of God. I fail a lot, but apart from Him I fail and screw up a lot more.

hypocrisy

 

Yes, Christians are hypocrites. Get over it.  So is everyone else.  I can say that, but for the grace of God, I would be a LOT worse.  I need God precisely because I know how depraved and hopeless I am without Him.

All these theological and philosophical observations being said, and back to the assertion that one of my purposes in life is to serve as an example of what not to do, I will give you a heartfelt admonition.

If you are one of those people who are blessed enough to find true love in this life, don’t let it go.  I know that it can and does happen, even if it is too late for me.

true love

Part of the reason why I can be so cynical and snarky when I consider matters of the heart is because true love has always eluded me.  I’ve been used, abandoned, exploited and deeply damaged by people who claimed to “love” me.   My wiring is such that I don’t understand or communicate very well in the emotional realm.  To add insult to injury, most men are intimidated by intelligent women, and most men are not terribly thrilled with plain and frumpy looking women.   I blend in to the wall pretty well.  It’s a survival mechanism.  At no time in my life were dudes ever banging down my door.   If they did talk to me it was to get my phone number- so they could call my sisters.  I was even voted, “Least Likely to Get Laid” in my (unofficial) high school senior will.  So I felt like I had to take what I could get, even if it meant settling for minimum standards such as, “vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen.”

Minimum_Standards

Hair and teeth optional, especially at my age.

I hate to admit it, but all I can say about my own marriage is that at best it’s a symbiotic relationship, but a good deal of the time it’s more like a parasite vs. host relationship.  Maybe it’s harsh to call Jerry a parasite, but he can and does suck the life out of me with his incessant whining and infantile demands.  He didn’t need a wife, he needed a mommy.  And I’m not all that great at playing the mommy role, but it’s all I have to offer.  I haven’t gotten a better offer, and even if I did, I would be morally obligated to decline it.  In Jerry’s defense, he has put up with me for all of these years, as frumpy and plain looking as I am, and as eccentric as I am.  That says something- although in Jerry’s mind it’s probably, “there’s someone in this world who will fetch my beer and smokes for me.”

But if you find true love, that indescribable and blissful universe of two, understand what it is.  Hold it, cherish it, fight for it, and never let it go.  Otherwise you will find yourself in the same predicament I am- either completely alone, or bound by a sense of duty(?) pity (?) desperation (?) to someone who only cares about you as long as you’re useful to them.

unique-not-useful

I guess I’m good for as long as I can fetch beer and smokes.

I will tell you that expediency and usefulness are not the same as love.  Sex doesn’t necessarily equate to love either.  It’s easy to get caught up in hormones and horniness (been there done that) but when the excitement and lust die down, what do you have?  From my own experience I can say that following the hormones and horniness path has led to a lot of guilt, embarrassment and shattered dreams.  It’s not worth it.  I’m thankful that my past indiscretions didn’t wreak as much havoc as they could have.

Don’t follow in my path.  Don’t let a chance at true love go because of fear or because you need to hold on to perceived obligations.  It sounds trite, but love will find a way.  Unless you’re an eccentric old bat who’s proportioned like a mutant troll.

True Love Quotes and Pictures (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV FALL FROM GRACE

Perhaps old Fred got the real point in the end.

In a twist of cosmic irony, Fred Phelps was actually excommunicated from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church that he founded, so maybe there is hope for him after all.

I don’t wish damnation on anyone- even Obama (although I hope that  in some way he pays for all the pain he’s inflicted on millions of Americans)- believe that or not.  But other people’s salvation or damnation is far beyond my judgment and well outside my sphere.  I think Clint Eastwood (in Heartbreak Ridge? - it’s been awhile since I’ve watched any Eastwood flicks)  put it as, “Kill ‘em all and let God sort them out.”  God’s going to sort them out anyway, so I’m not making that my business.

heartbreak-ridge

I enjoy the creativity behind the use of acronyms and certain logistical metaphors used in certain industries.  Medicine is particularly macabre- even more so than automotive.   I can say I probably have :

APD – Acute Prozac Deficiency (depression) at times

HIVI – Husband Is Village Idiot

I freely admit to those.

However, there’s a lot more other goodies on this list:

FUBAR – Fucked up beyond all repair/recognition

FURB – Funny, Unusual, Rectal Blockage (people who use inappropriate objects as butt-plugs)

GOK – God Only Knows

PBOO – Pine Box On Order

SBLEO – (pronounced S-B-Leo) Suicide By Law Enforcement Officer

SBOD – Stupid bitch/bastard on drugs

SHA – Ship His Ass (when patients refuse to be discharged).

SHAD – Syphilitic, Hypochondriac, Alcoholic Degenerate

TTJ -Transfer to Jesus
 
TTOAST – Take Them Out and Shoot Them

TTR – (US) Tattoo-to-Tooth Ratio (Dirtbag Ratio)T Sign – Tattoo-to-Teeth Sign: survival indicator; those who are tattooed and toothless will survive major injuries

Automotive people are almost always vindictive and snarky by nature, but we usually don’t get into gross.   We don’t deal with death (usually, though I have seen some totaled cars in body shop lots that people have died in that had skin and hair and guts and blood everywhere) every day.  Another plus is we seldom have to deal with bodily effluvia or offensive odors.  I don’t think I could handle body odor and shit and puke on a daily basis.

The times when we do get to see gory, gross or just plain bizarre stuff, are quite memorable.  The (new off the showroom floor at the time) ’89 Caprice that flashpointed with only 125 miles on it was pretty cool.  This was what I got to see the second day I worked in a dealership.  It was a completely charbroiled wanna-be cop car.  The owner smelled something funky, got out, and as soon as he shut the driver’s side door, it went down in a blaze of glory.

car-fire-low-res

For those who don’t know what flashpoint is, it’s sort of a combination of a fire and an explosion all at one time.  Usually there is an accelerant involved (i.e. gasoline) and the fire is hot and heavy, but it doesn’t last long.  Older, carbureted cars like that Caprice were more prone to it, but even then it was rare.  The dude obviously got a lucky break.  He had a second to get out of the car.  I don’t know why I think of flashpoint when I hear of (alleged?) spontaneous human combustion.  Cars have lots of places where sparks can occur, as well as plenty of accelerant in the fuel system.  Internal combustion itself is simply a series of contained, controlled explosions. (How do you think that crankshaft turns?)  I’m surprised that more cars don’t catch on fire and/or explode- but I’ve been trained and conditioned to look for what can go wrong with automotive systems.   I’ve witnessed many bizarre automotive failures over the years- but I’ve only personally seen one flashpoint, and then only after the fact.

How-Internal-Combustion-Engines-Work

Just a series of controlled explosions, folks!

I think it would be a lot harder for something that’s 70% water to catch fire, (i.e. a human body) especially without any overwhelming presence of accelerants.  Some people argue that the body does produce acetone- which is flammable- but I would argue, not in sufficient enough quantity to sustain any kind of burn.

This guy, though, seemed to have sizzled everything but the loafers.

spontaneoushumancombustion

You could almost still wear the loafers.

The only thing is, was there really a dude in the pile before it ignited (I’m assuming a dude, because no self respecting woman would wear brown dude’s loafers) or was it just a pile of newspapers, a broken wine bottle, and an old pair of loafers to begin with?

 

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I don’t own any green clothes.  I don’t like the idea of weirdos trying to pinch me, either.

St. Patty’s Day isn’t really high on my radar of secular holidays.  I don’t drink beer, and even if I did, it wouldn’t be green.

It’s sort of depressing that someone took the guy who brought Christianity to the heathens in Ireland and turned his festival day into a drinking holiday.  I still think green beer and leprechauns would be more suitable if we were celebrating Benny Hill’s birthday, but maybe that’s just me.

I guess it’s a good thing leprechauns are white.  Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to make fun of them.  Or get creeped out by them.  I always looked at leprechauns as sort of creepy mini-trolls.

leprechaun

At least it’s not Hans Strudel.

hans strudel

When did German=Fruity?

The Irish have always been sort of “people who get picked on.”  Maybe it’s because a lot of them are Catholic.  Maybe it’s because they like to get drunk and fight.  But the same descriptives also apply to Italians, and nobody bothers them.

thrifty scotsman

Then there’s the Thrifty Scotsman, which is a stereotype I can understand.  My grandmother’s father immigrated (legally, may I add- Dad has his documentation) from Scotland.  My great grandfather died long before I was born, but my grandmother was one of the most thrifty people I ever knew- cutting coupons, hitting the sales, stocking up on dozens of three-pound cans of Folger’s when it was cheap,  and so forth.  That might have been because she was half Scots (her mother was German) but it might have been because she grew up in the Depression, too.

folgers-coffee-in-a-can

Grandma always had a few extra cans of Folger’s.

I don’t think I’ve had green clothes since I was old enough to buy my own clothes.  Almost everything I have is either pink, black or jeans.

drug-our-kids2

I have a few new words of wisdom for my adult son (the Precious Only Male Child.)  I thought they were so good, I just had to share.

The path to perdition is paved by the prick.  So stop thinking with yours and start using the big head up top.

Good places to meet intelligent women:  Church. The Library. The “Y.”

Bad places to meet women: Bars that play country music. Any establishment where the center of attraction is a vertical pole, and patrons are encouraged to deposit dollar bills in G-strings.  Any establishment that plays The Village People, the clientele is all male, and they’re all wearing leather.

Steve-o knows better than to join the sausage fest, and I don’t see him as the featured dance partner at the Blue Oyster, so he doesn’t really need a warning about the guys in the tight leather pants and stiletto heels.  He does need a warning regarding avoiding women of loose morals and open legs as it were.  It’s lovely that your girlfriend (or tonight’s bed partner) is willing to show you a good time.  It’s not so lovely that she’s probably been providing the same services for every other male under the age of 25- in a three county area.

Digital image

If this van’s a rockin’, someone’s sharing an STD or two…

I still remember the movie we got to see in health class back in 1982.  It was called “VD is Nothing to Clap About.” It was narrated by of all people- Dick Cavett.  It included some most unforgettable cartoons of cartoon hippies giving some cartoon VW Transporter suspensions a real workout.  It was the summer of love indeed- or at least the film offered the imagination some gratuitous behind-the-Transporter-door cartoon sex.  Even though this film was mandatory in health class, it was blow-snot-out-your  nose hilarious.  I still remember the cautions given about sleeping around and getting the clap, or syphilis, or crabs.  I’d really, really like to know if anyone has uploaded a copy of that film. I would love, love, love to have the link to it should anyone have thought to preserve such a meaningful piece of 1960′s ephemera.

Apparently the clap, syphilis and crabs were the only STDs that were known to science in 1968, which is when that most comprehensive educational film was produced.  Today’s STDs are a lot more deadly and usually a lot more permanent than just a case of the crabs or even a dose of the clap, but hey, it was 1968- when the air was dirty but sex was (relatively) clean.   Today’s dating scene provides a wide and varied STD smorgasbord.  Your stripper ho was great for a night, but herpes is forever.

rooster

Even Dad had to weigh in on Steve-o’s last skank du jour.  I was surprised to get such a pithy insight from Dad, as he is usually very conservative when discussing potentially off-color subject material, but he is becoming a bit more brash in his older age.  He speaks the truth though:

You know what a skank and a rooster have in common?

A rooster says “cock-a-doodle-doo.”  The common street skank says, “Any cock will do.”

Ewww.

snow

I don’t think this winter will ever end.

I think we finally have started a path toward the Central Ohio season of Snowbooger Grey.  At least on my car.

I can’t recall a winter here that seems to linger on so long, or that has been quite as cold..  The snow started in November and hasn’t really gone away for more than a few days or so since.  That’s unusual for this area.  It’s usually just overcast, moderately cold (but not below freezing) and raining this time of year, until about the end of May.

Al Gore can bite me sideways with the man-made global warming tripe.  The weather cycle has turned back to “mostly cold.”  In 20 years it will turn back to “mostly hot.”  Whoop de doo.  We humans are pretty damned arrogant- and just plain silly- if we think a little bit of car exhaust and a few cow farts are going to turn the tundra into a tropical paradise.

Dear Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth.

While You’re at it, take away Obama’s phone and pen and put him in a rubber room for the duration.

prayer

All joking aside- sometimes that’s all that keeps me from strangling the daylights out of those who richly deserve it.

I know I shouldn’t be such a wisenheimer on Ash Wednesday, when I’m supposed to be contemplating my own mortality.  I have thought of a few things that Steve-o might want to share after I commence to take the Dirt Nap at my funeral before he has me taxidermied and turned into a coffee table.

Don’t look at it as if I’m dead.  I’ve just been returned to the Master Craftsman for extensive cleaning and repair.

If you present my stiff carcass in an itchy pink nightie and bad makeup for viewing in an open casket so Mom’s friends can file by and exclaim, “She looks soooo gooood!”  I will haunt you forever.

Pop Tarts, Mountain Dew and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos do not comprise a balanced diet.

Techno music is appropriate for porn movie sound tracks.  If you want to listen to some good music, download the collection on my SD card in my phone to your computer.

wolf- lupercalia

Roadkill: It’s What’s for Dinner!

Valentine’s Day as a holiday has always sort of given me the creeps.  It’s named after a Christian martyr who according to legend was killed by having his heart cut out.  So we make nice little chocolates and cookies with hearts on them to commemorate this why?  As far as celebrating holidays that have bizarre origins, it would be more fun to commemorate Bastille Day with scale model guillotines and flying Dennis Rodman doll  action figure heads, but I’m weird that way.

dennis rodman

The doll action figure came with two heads.

Valentine’s Day wasn’t always Valentine’s day.  It actually began as a co-opting of a popular pagan holiday that was celebrated around the middle of February- Lupercalia.  Basically it was “The Wolf Festival.”  Along with a lot of drinking and fertility rites, that is.  What makes this different from The-Game-We-Cannot-Name Sunday or any other redneck beer drinking holiday, except that even rednecks frown upon animal sacrifice?  Perhaps the main distinction is that in redneck fornication, procreation generally is not the primary goal.  Hence the importance of the Trojan Man.

trojan man

Because this is all that stands between you and 18+ years of child support.

I don’t believe in romantic love.  Not one bit.  If Jerry buys me something it’s usually because it’s something he wants.  The last thing he bought me was a Stoeger Condor Competition 20 gauge over/under shotgun.  It is a sweet shotgun, but I think he enjoys shooting it (and bragging to the guys at the club what a great deal he got on it) more than I do.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good shotgun, but it’s not exactly the gift that screams “hot teenage lust.”  Not that “hot teenage lust” was ever on my agenda to begin with.

A holiday for dogs, on the other hand, isn’t a bad idea.  The interesting thing about a “wolf festival” is that dogs are wolves.  Literally.

Grey wolf taxonomic classification: Canis lupus lupus

Domestic dog (all breeds): Canis lupus familiaris

doggie daycare

All the same species as the grey wolf.  Even the ankle biters.

I’ve also said it before that since dogs are a subspecies of wolf, it’s imperative to respect that.   If dogs are improperly treated and/or we humans don’t pay attention to their signals and body language, they can be deadly.  Correctly handled and respected, they can become amazing companions, protectors and friends.  I trust my dogs more than people, and with good reason.

bag of trouble

Not to mention AIDS, chlamydia, genital warts and herpes!

The only thing that disturbs me about those old-time VD warnings is that they always showed women as being carriers of VD.  Dudes spread it too.  How do you think the women got it?

I always thought Valentine’s Day, with all the insinuation of love being in the air, as a perfect opportunity to warn against Venereal Disease.  Here’s a little song from 1969, just in case anyone needs some VD awareness.  It’s called “VD is for Everybody” and has a cute little video that goes with it.  Just doing my duty to further public health.

Speaking of public health, as I was trolling along, I found another holiday worth celebrating:

world rabies day

I have some questions about Rabies Day.

1. Is this about getting rabies?  If so, this could be a very painful and drawn out form of population control.  I can think of much easier ways to “cull the herd,” such as leaving the stupid to their own devices, to earn their Darwin Awards without any interference from others.

2. Is this about getting rabies shots and/or preventing rabies?  I can stand behind that.  I definitely don’t want to get the rabies.

I don’t want to get the cholera either:

cholera

“Beware of Drunkenness- nothing is so likely to bring on Disease.”  Amazing.  Public health authorities knew this back in the 1830′s, that being drunk  and dirty could bring on disease.  I would like to know where you find hot lime, though.

I think there should be more public campaigns to advocate personal hygiene and cleanliness.  It seems that being clean and well groomed is more of an exception than a rule, and then you wonder why you’re surrounded with the hacking, coughing, chronically ill masses.

Of course, as more and more of the people in this country are growing up raised by wolves, what can one expect?

raisedbywolves

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I’m still trying to figure out this Rube Goldberg device.

This contraption, which I think is some kind of spinal correction device (?) could also have afforded some tactical advantage when other kids are chasing you down to kick your ass.   I can see where it could be a sort of almost skateboard without the board.   I love Victorian ingenuity.  Strange thing is that even in the early 1980′s (and I’m not sure whether or not this is still being done in schools) all the girls had to get checked for scoliosis in 7th and 8th grade.

The scoliosis check was not what I’d call a good time.  All the 7th and 8th grade girls were herded into the gym, (wearing those hideous gym suits, or in my case, since I had a Doctor’s Note permanently freeing me from gym class, a t-shirt and shorts) lined up in alphabetical order, then we either had to unzip the gym suit or pull up our t-shirt and let (supposedly) a nurse trace our spines with her finger and verify that our spines were straight.

If you were found to have scoliosis (a couple of girls did have it) then you were sent to an orthopedist who would fit you with a full torso brace with metal stays and tie up straps that you had to wear 24/7 for two or three years unless you wanted to become a hideously deformed hunchback.

scoliosis brace

Imagine having to wear this continuously – all through high summer.  Oh, the stink!

I’m glad my spine stayed straight.

wpid-20140205_180200.jpg

This is one of the snow piles outside of Target.  It’s 5°.

But, as always, they set up the swimsuit racks the week after New Year’s!

The City of Columbus, I must say has been doing an abysmal job in clearing the snow.  ODOT got the freeways cleared right away, but the major through roads that are the city’s responsibility, by and large haven’t been touched.  I have to wonder what the hell they’re doing with all that income tax money, since the state and the surrounding localities are seeming to cope pretty well with snow removal.  I know that corruption and graft and union thuggery run amok in Mayor Coleman’s hizzy.  I’m surprised he didn’t ask for emergency money from his homeboy Obama to clear out Downtown.

It didn’t used to be that way, and it’s sad.   The illustrious Mayor-for-Life Coleman has ran the police department into the ground, presided over (and approved of) the corruption and vice and absolute lack of accountability in the schools, and now the city can’t seem to get the crews out to clear the freaking snow.  Coleman will keep on getting re-elected though, because a.) there’s no term limit, and b.) he kisses up to the gimme crowd.  While everyone (me included) who can moves to the freaking suburbs because of the uncontrolled druggies and rampant crime-but if you work in the city limits (I do) you still have to pay income tax so this gimme-appeaser and cronies can keep on subsidizing the gimme crowd.   The worst thing about living in the suburbs is that I can’t vote against this shyster when he runs for (and gets elected) mayor again.

So much for the Things-I-Can’t-Change.

I have been somewhat remiss as of late in not posting more of those postmortems that people just can’t help gawking at.  It’s bad that I am so bored that I’m trolling postmortems again, but it is February.  What else am I supposed to do?  February always makes me think about death.  Maybe it’s because I have to go to the BMV to get my car registration, and that’s always depressing.

dead sisters

The only way I’d ever been that close to either of my sisters, voluntarily, is if I’d been dead- which I think these two are.

Generally, if either of my sisters had been that close to me when I was a little kid, it was because they had me in a headlock, pounding me with whatever sort of pointy or heavy object that was handy.

I am surprised that I actually survived childhood with only minor scarring and disfigurement.  The psychological damage- well, the Prozac does help.

creepy old woman

Gam-Gam died in 1890, but those eyes are still watching you!

I know it’s morbid, but I think the postmortem pics are a forerunner of the Open Casket Funeral, which I find most distasteful in almost every instance.  I can’t get the images of my grandmothers in their coffins with badly done makeup, in those awful pink nighties out of my head, let alone the image of Aunt Ellen (the non-makeup wearing Pentecostal) slathered down with day-glo orange lipstick and all dolled up as if she were headed for the Oompa-Loompa Prom.

I told Steve-o to cremate me when I die, but knowing him (and I’ve said this before) he will have me taxidermied and made into a coffee table.

burning-bridge

“Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide”-  Pink Floyd, “High Hopes”

Perhaps it is true that one can never really go back home again, but in another sense it’s also true that one can never really leave.  It’s amazing how our society forgets the past so quickly, and repeats its mistakes so readily.  Memory, if anything, should serve as both a harbinger and a teacher.

I think we do ourselves a disservice when we neglect the study of history.  It may not be a good idea to continually live in the past, and I have to guard against this, but to deliberately seek a sort of live-in-the-now amnesia isn’t very healthy either.

I’ve learned to be careful which bridges to burn and which ones to leave standing, although I can’t say I’ve mastered the art of moving forward, or of knowing which pieces of the past are worth holding on to, and which pieces are things I need to let go.

hitler empty seat

I’ll have to remember to check the empty seats in my car for Hitler before I go.

nerve pills

I think I’d be hella nervous if I were approached by a giant talking frog. But I’m paranoid like that.

snot monster

I hate snot.  Green snot, clear snot, yellow snot, brown snot, bloody snot.  Snot out the nose.  Snot out the mouth.  Snot down the back of my throat.  I’ve had it forever with snot.

Yet for the past four days, excessive snot, in all its disgusting, messy, and inconvenient forms, has been my sad reality.

Sunday I was tempted to grab a big piece of cardboard and a Sharpie and just write on it : CAN’T TALK / GO AWAY.  When I’m feeling crappy I want to be left alone.  Let me snot and sneeze and choke and spray snot chunks in relative peace.  If I need something That Bad, I’ll go get it.  Leave me alone to my vast stash of Nyquil and related patent remedies, so I can drift off to restless and strange dreams of swallowing aluminum cans, climbing mountains, and hanging out with the dude from Survivorman.  That is not a good show to fall asleep to.  Especially considering the dude eats bugs.  That is not normal.

Eating-Insects_photo_medium

I know, lean protein, but ewwwwwwwwww!

I know that someone like me who is highly prone to a surplus of bodily effluvia of the mucoid kind should probably sell everything and move to the desert.  The only problems with that are: 1.) Even if I sold everything I own, it wouldn’t get me much further than about Illinois, which is even worse than Ohio- worse climate, worse economically, etc. and so on.  2.) The desert, while dry, is HOT.  I don’t do heat worth a tinker’s damn, especially since the Menopause Fairy has come to stay.  I still get the wayward hot flash, even in below-freezing Central Ohio winter.

I’m stuck here, although I don’t refer to Central Ohio as the Armpit of North America any more.  Not since I’ve been to Detroit.  I’m not Catholic and I don’t believe in Purgatory, but if there were such a thing as Beezelbub’s Waiting Room, it would be located somewhere on 8 Mile Road.  The greater Columbus area is paradise when compared to Detroit, or even Cleveland.

detroit-house

Clark Griswold wants to know: “Hey, kids, you see all this urban blight?”

Hint: It’s what happens when the gimme crowd takes over.

Not being able to talk has its advantages- once people get it that your voice has taken a hiatus they tend to leave you alone- but it has disadvantages as well.

It wasn’t very fun trying to communicate in the Sprint store on Saturday.  My phone (admittedly it had gone long beyond its intended lifespan) bricked (bricked (v.) – to stop functioning, i.e. to effectively become a “brick.”) so I was more or less compelled to go to the Sprint store to get another phone so that communication with my son and other family members would still be possible.  Even if I can’t talk, I can still text.  If I have a working phone!!!

Even though the poor girl in the Sprint store probably had a hell of a time understanding me, she understood me well enough to retrieve my SD card from the old phone and transfer as much of my data as possible between the card and what I’d saved on Google.  My old phone was old, but it was still an Android phone. It had some of the new amenities. Even so, now I know to save ALL my contacts to Google and not just here and there.

Thankfully (and with a much lighter wallet) I left with a working phone that I can text on and play my MP3s with.  Well, a bit more than that.  OK, so I let the tech geek in me have a bit of fun and I got the Note 3 that Steve-o was raving on and on about.  I can draw pictures on it, and the camera’s better than my actual camera.  I like it a lot, so far.

galaxy-note-3-renderR-5-369041-13

At least I can text…and then some.

I’ve been so choked up with snot that I’ve been without a voice pretty much since Saturday morning until this morning, and what little bit I have, is a little bit.  I was able to drag my carcass in to work today which is a plus.  I don’t like to call off on Mondays, but there’s no sense in coming in if I can’t talk to anyone and I’m blowing snot chunks all over them to boot.  There’s also no sense in spreading whatever freaking germs are lurking in all that superfluous snot, although this time of year is a veritable germ smorgasbord no matter where you go or what you do.  At least I wasn’t on the SS Montezuma’s Revenge like all those poor suckers who paid out the wazoo for cruises.  I got good and infected right here at home, for free!

Cruise_Ship

Which is worse?  Shits or snots?

Even though I generally don’t get to pick, I think I can live with the shits better than the snots.  Although neither are to be envied.

assholeinground

As long as we have this clear.

There is a classic scene from one of my favorite, and timeless movies, The Jerk, where Navin Johnson’s Dad explains to him the difference between shit and Shinola.  For those who may not be aware, Shinola was a waxy shoe polish that was popular in the beginning of the 20th century.   I know that sometimes I have a sophomoric obsession with things scatological, but it seems that many people in this world are having a hard time telling the difference.

I can go on and on about entropy and devolution- especially after perusing the illegitimate president’s mostly plagiarized speech (lots of tidbits lifted from the State of the Union address given by President G.W. Bush, 2007) and realizing that this despot is hell-bent on ruling by executive fiat, but there isn’t much I can do about that.  Obama is pretty much beyond rationality, and the only course for rational people is to do what they can to mitigate his nonsense and attempt to block his unconstitutional actions for the next three years.   Nothing productive or positive will get done in government as long as the Imperial BO is still squatting in the Oval Office, but hopefully by the grace of God (and a gridlocked Congress) some of the potential damage can be thwarted.

king obama

Let’s just say I wasn’t surprised by the last blast of hot air to come from Washington.  Obama makes me want to puke.

Sometimes I think that if there is such a thing as parallel universes and/or if there is a universe for every possible combination of actions and decisions, that I got dropped in one of the more insane sets of possibilities. There are physicists who say that everything boils down to one big long complex equation.  It probably does.  Just don’t ask me to explain it.

Standard_Model_Equation

I was doing good to pass high school algebra.

The really scary thing that I’ve come to realize is that the “powers that be” who have all sorts of high faluting expensive pieces of paper from supposedly prestigious institutions of learning, are proving themselves to be rank imbeciles.  Maybe I’m just cynical, (and largely self-educated,) but I think these supposedly prestigious institutions care about two things: the money, and where the money’s coming from.

Maybe I’m being negative and fatalistic, but I am beginning to believe that higher education has been hijacked, and that the “powers that be” are presiding over a continual dumbing down of the populace.  Sadly, such a theory makes sense.  If you want to remain in power, and acquire more power, it might be in your best interests to keep your subjects stupid.  That was the mindset behind the Romans’ free bread and circuses.  Keep the people fat and sassy and uninformed, and they won’t care if you strip them of their rights.

bread and circuses

Americans don’t even need the Olympics to be distracted.  The Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo are enough.

honey-boo-boo-

See what I mean?

There isn’t much that I can do.  I can try to find the humor in popular culture, but even that is a sort of bittersweet adventure.  Some things are funny and some things are just plain sad.  Why do the media care about people who dress up little girls to look like street walkers- and why do they follow around adult women who already look like street walkers who have nothing better to do than spend money on stupid things and cavort around with gangsta rappers? Are we obsessed with such bizarre families and weird behavior because the circus freak shows of days gone by have become politically incorrect?  Instead of “Let’s go to the carnival to see the bearded lady, ” it’s “Let’s watch Mama June?”

Plus ςa change, plus c’est la même chose.

I enjoy perusing ads for Victorian patent medicines and other nostrums that were popular in the mid-to late 19th century.  You just want to believe they would work even though most of the “medicines” were comprised of heroin, alcohol or a healthy combination of both.

parkers tonic

You might not be “cured,” but you’ll be too stoned to care.

I also find humor in some of the 19th century euphemisms for ED (which is itself, a euphemism, but it’s just not nice to say “he has a limp dick.”)

self abuse

Certain parts of the body enlarged…hmm?  And exactly what is a tansy?

Now if I could get my hands on this and if it actually worked, I would be a most delighted old bitty.

save the drunkard

I thought that was what that “Anabuse” pill was for – to make you puke every time you take a drink.

monster zit

It has taken on a life of its own…

Thankfully this face crater is not on my face.  I have enough problems.  Unfortunately it’s on the POMC’s face, which really sucks for him.  Nasty.  The worst part of it is that if the antibiotics don’t kill it off he might have to go to a plastic surgeon and have it cut out.  Joy and rapture- and this for a guy who almost lost it over a simple blood draw.  I had my quarterly required blood draw yesterday.  Big deal. I really don’t even notice it, but then the phlebotomists at the lab draw blood all day long.  It’s simply what they do, and they’re good at it.  The POMC, on the other hand, I hate to see what kind of anguish he might experience over a minor surgery that will (while still being minor) have a bit more to it than a simple blood draw.

I had to have a funky growth taken off the side of my head about 15 years ago.  I was worried about losing hair over it, but they didn’t even shave that section of my head.  The actual surgery was about five minutes, and it wasn’t that bad except for the surgeon was a little rough with the Lidocaine.  Getting to surgery was the problem.  I was scheduled for 7:30 AM, but didn’t get taken in until almost 2:30 PM.  The guy who was scheduled for surgery right before me picked a really inconvenient time to Bite the Big One- as in, he commenced to take the Dirt Nap while he was on the operating table getting an ingrown toenail or something cut out.

Dead_Body_Man_by_MrMotts

Eventually, the Morgue Cart comes for us all.

So I had to wait around while they brought the code team in to try to get him jumpstarted.  That was an effort in futility.  Once they were satisfied that the guy was completely dead, and there was no revival going to happen, then I had to wait for the medical examiner’s team to come in and take notes and clean up and do the paperwork necessary to send the poor dude down to the morgue.  Then the cleaning crew had to come in and hose everything down so it would smell nice and disinfectant-y, presumably in the hope that maybe I wouldn’t get too freaked that some guy just died in there while getting a minor surgical procedure on somewhat of the same scale of what I was having.

disinfectant_gal

Yeah, the scent of shit-and-piss hosed down with disinfectant spray and Clorox doesn’t remind me of my own mortality and impending death. Not at all.  ‘Kay…  What made the whole experience even more fun is that the surgeon was a big burly guy with a very German name and a rather morbid sense of humor.

mad_scientist

I was rather pissed by the time they were finally getting me rolled in to surgery.  I had spent most of the day starving, sifting through stacks of distressed, inane and aged periodicals, and enduring such drivel on TV as Montel and other various daytime “Who Be My Baby Daddy” sorts of shows.  Even so, in spite of my angst, curiosity got the best of me, and I asked some of the nurses and orderlies what sort of disaster went down, and why it was cause for my very minor surgery to be so delayed. They were more than happy to give me the low down on why my surgery was delayed for seven hours.

I also had to find it funny when the surgeon comes loping in the operating room, syringe full of Lidocaine, saying, “Hey don’t die on me here- that’s what happened to the last guy.  It’s bad for business.”  At least the surgery was quick, and he didn’t do any damage to the facial nerve the growth was right on top of.  I can still eat without drooling and can enunciate when I speak, (these are good things.)  Also a good thing, according to the path lab, the growth was benign. It never came back.

Getting a new driver’s license and a registration renewal at the BMV is faster than processing a dead dude to go to the morgue, apparently.  Shit happens.  Sometimes the timing just sucks.

bmv

The BMV: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here!

Of course the weather here in beautiful Central Ohio is absolutely frozen- right now it’s 9º.  Of course when it is that cold here, that cold is always accompanied by gale force winds that make it feel like it’s 20° below.  Just walking out to the car is being outside too much in this weather.

1880-1910-HillsGenuineMagneticAnti-HeadacheCap-LC-USZ62-47346

I wish there actually were something like this device, and that it actually worked.

There is something a bit creepy about wearing batteries on your head.  There is also something a bit creepy about having a constant, splitting headache that feels like someone is trying to break out my hard palate from the inside with a crowbar, and to take the same crowbar and poke my right eye clean out of the socket from the inside too.

I’d duct tape some nine-volts to my noggin if that would make this shit go away, damn tootin’.

Unfortunately I think it’s just another reaction to stress and the stupidity that surrounds me.

weak-men-ad

I don’t think this would do much of anything.

wash away fat

I wish this one would work, but we all know better than that.

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