Stuff I Could Care Less About, The Perennial DD, and a Sober Eye on the Festivities

Ah, the joy of carting the drunk and stupid from one destination to another.  I am so grateful Jerry and his former friend and “drunk and stupid enhancer” Terry had their falling out a couple of years ago. These two guys had the potential to be plenty drunk and stupid by themselves, but get them together and the drunk and stupid and just plain annoying factor increased by a factor of 100.  One night when Terry was staying with us he got incredibly shit-faced, wandered into Steve-o’s room, pulled up the edge of his mattress and proceeded to whiz all over the Christmas presents I had at the end of the bed as well as all over Steve-o and his sheets. I was so pissed I threw Terry out and was rid of him for all of about a month, when Jerry begged me to let him come back over again.  Somehow it just doesn’t seem right to let a “guest” return to your home after pissing all over your kid and your family’s Christmas presents, but what the hey?  When I had to ferry them both back and forth to the campground for Saturday night poker it was occasionally a real nightmare.  One evening they got into a punching match in the car.  Another time, Jerry thought it funny to yank the car out of gear and grab at the steering wheel when he was having a drunk and stupid argument with Terry and Steve-o.   That is not funny at all on the freeway when you’re doing 70 miles an hour.  I do not look forward to shuttling the alcohol impaired, regardless of who is involved. 

Then there is always the potential of the drunk and stupid individual puking in the car.  I remember narrowly avoiding having my 72 Super Beetle spewed in.  Dawne’s sister had been going on with the rot gut whiskey and God only knows what other downers and assorted drugs.  She was notorious for getting drunk and stoned pretty much constantly back then.  I was nice enough to get her a ride home before she ended up getting in a fight, but as we pulled up near Dawne’s apartment, she started to hurl.  Instinctively I reached over her, opened the passenger’s side door from the inside and shoved her out.  Puke smell does not come out of car interiors.  I had to do the same thing to Jerry one night when he got Jagermeister confused with Formula 44.  He narrowly missed spewing all over the inside of my 94 truck.  Of course the Jagermeister Incident should have been more than enough to convince a sane person that drinking to excess is a bad idea, but Jerry isn’t a sane person.

After I had shoved Jerry out of the truck he spewed all over the parking lot and most of the way through the courtyard behind the apartment we lived in at the time.  Somehow I got him up the porch steps and in the door, then he flopped over on the dining room floor, while ranting unintelligibly.  The bathroom of this apartment was upstairs.  The apartment building was built in the late 19th century by German immigrants.  Germans must not have been very tall then, because anyone over 5’9″ would bash their head on the ceiling of the staircase if they failed to duck.  The staircase was also narrow and steep, so much so that the only way to fit a full size bed upstairs would have been to either cut the box spring so it would bend, or to procure two twin-size box springs  and two twin size mattresses and install them on a king size frame.  We put our full size bed in what should have been the living room to avoid this conundrum. 

Anyway, I wanted Jerry upstairs in the spare room (which had a small roll-away bed in it) so he would be close to the bathroom, and so I would be able to try to sleep a little further away from the incoherent moaning, screaming and various noises I knew he would be emitting.  So,  I endeavored to remove his very drunk carcass from the dining room floor and proceeded to more or less drag him up the stairs.  How I got 180# of dead weight up that hideously steep flight of stairs I still wonder, but I do know he ended up with not a little rug burn from the carpet on the stairs.

When Jerry gets to a certain very drunk and very stupid plateau, he doesn’t just pass out like a normal drunk.  That would be too easy.  I got him into the spare room and on to the roll-away bed, only to hear, “Where’sssss my billow, bittcchhhhh?”

I retrieved a pillow from the bed downstairs, opened the door and threw it at his drunk ass and slammed the door.  He had a three day hangover from that little bender. 

I learned my lesson regarding drunk and stupid drinking at age 23.  Waking up in a bathtub full of cold water in a motel room with a half-eaten Domino’s pizza on the ledge has a way of putting one off the liquor.

The New Year’s holiday brings two of my least favorite celebratory activities: drinking (which even if I wanted to, my health really doesn’t permit it) and football, which of course, can be a good babysitter, but it gets old when it seems as if Jerry is going to get bedsores from lounging about in the bed doing nothing but watching football games.  I will find something else to watch or I may take a road trip up to Mom and Dad’s to bring him some beans (gotta love pinto beans and ham) and some pork and kraut.  Perhaps that is not a kind thing to do to senior citizens- bringing them farty food- but I don’t have to stick around long enough to smell it.

I do like the pork and kraut tradition.  I was lucky to find a lovely pork roast (not always easy because there are a lot of people of German ancestry in Central Ohio who do the pork and kraut thing for New Year’s)  so that roast will be wafting its tantalizing aroma throughout my kitchen tomorrow.  The bad thing about pork and kraut is that as far as fart-worthiness, it’s every bit as explosive as pinto beans or White Castles or boiled eggs and beer.

Mmmmm, pork and kraut.  With mashed potatoes and Bean-o.

Next week we return to normal.

Modern Etiquette, The Year in Review, and Just When You Think You’ve Reached the Bottom…

I’m not against the Second Amendment by any means.  In fact, I believe there would be a lot less crime if it could be assumed everyone is packing heat.  I’ve told Steve-o many times to be careful flying the one finger salute when he’s road raging.  You never know who is out there with an M16 and an attitude.  The main problem with readily accessible firearms is that the people who seem to have them are exactly the people who shouldn’t have them.  I know better than to own a firearm because I know full well that I have a hair trigger temper, and I have a tendency toward depressive illness.   However, there are nutjobs out there -who make me look sane by comparison -who have an entire arsenal at their disposal.  I do tend to assume the worst about humanity.  It works for me.  If one observes human behavior for any length of time, one will quickly discover that a.) Murphy’s Law is alive and well.  What can go wrong does go wrong, and where more than one person is involved the failure is usually spectacular,  and b.) Human nature is such that the twin aims of life are to seek pleasure and avoid pain.  I don’t have high expectations for any of my fellow human beings.  I am pleasantly surprised when fellow human beings do perform well or achieve objectives, but  I don’t expect it.   The Bible even warns us: “put not your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save.”  (Psalm 146:3)  I am not trusting at all by nature so it’s not difficult for me to keep a wary eye. I tend to assume the worst until I have proof to the contrary.  The only one I can expect anything from is God Himself.  For everyone else, including myself, it’s “trust but verify.”

This year was sucky but not quite as sucky as last year.  There was a bit of improvement, but overall the gains and losses sort of evened out. 

Last January my 2008 Yaris was rear-ended and pretty well hosed.  But I ended up with a 2010 Yaris that has cruise and power, so that was sort of a wash.

I did get an actual vacation this year which kicked ass. 

I had to spend way too much money on taxes, insurances, scripts and Steve-o, all of which really bite.

On the positive side, I’ve managed to get through this year without too much serious physical injury.

Then again, Obama has yet to either be impeached or to resign.  Bummer.

I’ve also managed to get through this year without any deaths of family members or close friends- but I have to admit I’ve had a hard time with Grandma dying last year.  It still creeps me out that Dad is renting out her house although I couldn’t expect him to do anything else.  He needs the money, and renting it is better than selling it, even though it’s downright weird to have strange people living there. I still can’t even drive by there, which is a lot of what kept me from my Tacky Christmas foray into the west end of Marion.  I didn’t take any Tacky Christmas pics this year, not even in Cinci (and there were some outrageous displays down there, believe it.)  I hope I get back in the mood to do it next year.  It’s fun, but I have to admit I have not been too in tune with fun lately. 

I never want to assume that things are ever as bad as they can get.  They may be as good as they will ever get, but there is always the potential for things to get worse.  It is only by the grace of God that anything good happens- the default is disaster.  It may never get better, but it can always get worse.  Such is the condition of humanity since the Fall.  It’s NOT going uphill, trust me. 

I sincerely hope and pray that next year is better but I am not holding my breath.  Just when you think you’ve reached the bottom, there is always a lower level.  I should make it a point to read Dante’s Inferno again, if only to remind myself that hell has levels, and there is always a level of hell below the currently occupied one. 

I am not an optimist when my perspective is based on human nature and human activity. 

A good example of this is the current POTUS and his praise of Michael Vick.  Obama, of course, always does the polar opposite of what is moral and right, so I am not surprised.   I saw what Michael Vick did to those dogs.  It’s pretty hard to make restitution and redeem oneself for such atrocities, at least in this world.  He might not have personally pulled their teeth out or sic’d them on each other, but he sanctioned it.  He had to know what happens to the losers in a dog fight.  I am not a person who is squeamish or easily shocked, but the mutilation and suffering that goes on in dog fighting- a perfectly avoidable source of carnage- is appalling. As far as letting him own a dog, here’s the way I see it.  Do we let convicted child molesters get out of prison and then encourage them to become day care providers?  It is not unreasonable to restrict someone convicted of animal cruelty from having contact with animals.  Especially dogs.  It’s good the man is playing football. It’s better than drug dealing and other illicit pursuits, and is probably the only thing he can do to earn an honest living. Hopefully his football pursuits allow him to pay some sort of restitution to the shelters and foster homes who worked to rehab those poor dogs.  Even so, as far as I see it, letting this guy own a dog, ever, is on the same level as turning Chester the Molester out in the school playground.  

I know there are bleeding hearts out there who will defend this guy, and to a degree he has a right to a defense.  In the great scheme of things what we do is ultimately between us and God, and I freely admit I am just as bad if not a worse sinner than everyone else.  However, here on this earth, we have to suffer the temporal consequences of our actions.  Even if we repent, even if we make restitution, the consequences are still there. Child molesters should never be allowed in close proximity to children.  Those who have engaged in animal cruelty should be kept away from animals.  It’s not undue punishment, it’s common sense.

I sincerely hope that the new year brings some improvement in my life.  This is my prayer- that I will have enough to pay my way and keep my head above water (and that is a TALL order that WILL take an Act of God), but not so much that I forget to care about God and others.  As cynical as I can be about humanity, I still care about people.  I want to be useful.  I know I’m useful to my dogs, which is encouraging, but it can be so depressing worrying about where every dime is going to come from and how this and that are going to get done.  Only by the grace of God.

Texting Acronyms and Shorthand, aka Insults on the Fly, and More Fun

It seems that all the music Steve-o is into sounds like bad porno movie soundtracks.  I’ve never been a techno fan so maybe that’s a little unfair, but ewwww!  It’s not my age.  New music- even what the radio stations try to pass off as being rock and/or metal- does bite the big one.  For example, every time I hear the Five Finger Death Punch version of the song “Bad Company,” I want to projectile vomit.  They took a good song and made it suck.   I like the original version that was recorded by the real Bad Company.  Do me a favor and play the real song!  I generally despise modern remakes of good old songs, especially when mediocre bands attempt them.  Then again, with a lot of these mediocre new bands, their original stuff is a lot worse than their lame cover material.  I’m glad most of the old stuff that was really good and that I do like has been converted to MP3, so old farts can enjoy music worth listening to.

I am generally not too big on texting lingo as I get a bit confused by some of the acronyms and abbreviations.  There is a handy decoder site for said acronyms and abbreviations which is proving most useful.  I actually enjoy a few of them, such as:

BBFBBM: Body by Fisher, Brains by Mattel (why are the hot ones usually a little slow on the uptake?)

CINBA: Clad in Naught but Air (could be good or bad, depending upon the message sender)

CRD: Caucasian Rhythm Disorder (I know this one really well, being a sufferer and all!)

DIAF:  Die in a Fire  (isn’t that a lovely thing to wish on one’s enemies?)

FOL: Fond of Leather (again, depends upon the relative hotness of the sender)

GGP: Gotta Go Pee (that’s lame, because there’s no law against texting on the throne, yet!)

HBIC: Head Bitch in Charge (that would be me)

I&I: Intercourse and Inebriation (oh, bloody hell, not since 1993 or thereabouts)

IDGARA: I Don’t Give a Rat’s Ass (also known as the Cliff’s Notes’ commentary on possibly 95% of the crap I see in the news or on TV)

IJPMP: I Just Pissed My Pants (perhaps from a fit of explosive laughter or a severe coughing fit, but never a good thing)

KIPPERS: Kids in Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings (no shit! got one of those)

LOPSOD: Long on Promises, Short on Delivery (the Cliff’s Notes’ version of the Obama presidency!)

LORE: Learn Once, Repeat Everywhere (a toddler learning swear words, or a teen girl spreading gossip- same concept)

MTBF: Mean Time Before Failure (pessimistic, but often true)

NWAL: Nerd Without a Life (I certainly get this one.  When I start having conversations with my dogs on philosophical issues, for example.)

PBIAB: Payback is a Bitch (No shit!)

PFA: Pulled from Ass (could mean a lot of things, but not usually good)

POTATO: People Over Thirty Acting Twenty One (Jerry, when he’s partying, only it would be more like People Over Fifty Acting Three- go POFAT s~!)

RCI: Recto-Cranial Inversion (a nice way of saying someone has his/her head stuck up his/her ass.)

RTH: Release the Hounds (I can think of a number of people whose faces Clara might want to chew on, who richly deserve it too.)

SAIA: Stupid Asses In Action (Congress?)

WTHOW: White Trash Headline of the Week (Hot damn, WalMart’s havin’ a sale on ammo, Bubba!)

My son often communicates in text-speak which is a bit awkward for me.  Then again, when I learned to write, computers and word processing were expensive novelties.   We had to actually hand-write assignments, or type them on an old-time typewriter (more of a pain in the ass than actually writing them out long hand, in my opinion.)   Steve-o just writes everything in Word, saves it on his flash drive and prints it at school. 

I have to share this one because it reminds me of Jerry.  He throws a fit if he fails to receive flaming-hot french fries.  This guy in Sandusky had a real problem with his cold fries.

“…Police say they were called when the customer said he wouldn’t leave until he got different fries. He told officers a McDonald’s employee struck him with a mop.

The Sandusky Register reports that a witness said the worker acted only as though he was going to hit the man and said the customer called the employee a derogatory name.

No charges were filed. Police say the man got his money back and left without fries…”

I’m glad the McTeamMember got him with a mop.  I’m also glad Jerry hasn’t gone to Sandusky lately.

As I have said before, any employer who refers to employees as anything other than employees is generally going to be a shitty place to work for. Avoid such employers if you can.  “Team Member” is probably the worst term for employee out there. I particularly despise this euphemism, as firms who refer to their employees as “Team Members” tend also to employ managers who think in terms of sports metaphors (AACK!!!) and who go on and on about “team” this and “team” that. That type of manager means one thing by the dreadful “team” blather, as I have paraphrased here:  There is no “I” in “team,” but as far as I’m concerned, there is a “U”- as in, I expect “U” to do all my work…for the “team” of course.    If your firm refers to employees as “Associates,” the term might as well be abbreviated “Ass,” because you might as well bend over and expect a cornholing.

I think there should be truth in advertising, especially today when jobs are harder to come by.  Let your prospective recruits know that their job titles will reflect the nature of what they will be subjected to on the job.  “Assboy,” “Buttlick,” “Shameless Panderer,” etc. are Truth in Advertising  job descriptions, which, of course, no one would actually use.  I used to have to hire and fire people in better economic times, and then you had to try to sweeten the pot just to get them in for an interview.  I am sure that today the pickings are not quite as lean.  Your potential recruit may actually be interviewing for the position best described as “Toilet Licker,” but you present it to him as if he’s going to be the next POTUS.   Don’t, however, be surprised when he quits within the week, or the first time the technicians’ toilets back up, which ever comes first.  Very few people are accustomed to real work.

Remember: The toilet is not a diving platform.

Lost in the Translation, Christmas for ‘Po Folks, and Helpful Holiday Dos and Don’ts

I guess “don’t” number one would be: Don’t buy Japanese Christmas cards.  “Chimney” and “Hole” serve similar functions, but are not always interchangeable words.  The nuances of the English language are difficult enough for native speakers, let alone for those who attempt to translate other languages into English.  I know a few native Japanese whose English is at least as good if not better than most Midwestern rednecks’, but these are people who were taught English as well as Japanese from infancy.  However, the most hilarious bad English translations come from the Asian countries, as one may peruse on

I love the meaning behind the Christmas holiday, but I tend to loathe what our hedonistic society has turned it into.  How much useless crap can one buy for people who don’t need any more useless crap?  How much do I need to reiterate that I don’t need anyone to buy me any useless crap? Now I can use cash and/or Kroger’s or Target gift cards, (help with scripts and groceries is always welcome) but beyond that, it’s really, really OK to refrain from buying me anything.  I don’t need any decorative items, cooking utensils, instructional books, or really anything else that I haven’t already made it a point to acquire or that I can’t afford and therefore don’t need anyway.  I am fussy about clothing and prefer to choose my own.  Many years of wearing my sisters’ old clothes and of Mom picking clothes out for me have made me rather adamant in my clothing choices. I do dress for both economy and comfort, although I like things to fit, and I avoid colors that make me appear jaundiced and/or dead.  This is why I shudder when Mom tries to buy me clothes.  I am not ten years old.  I’m not planning on growing, so I don’t need clothing that’s five sizes too big, and I look hideous in brown, green, orange and/or yellow.  Mom tries, she really does, but sometimes I wonder what she’s thinking when she buys me stuff.  I am still trying to wrap my mind around my mother’s last well-meant, but horribly inappropriate gift to me.  Please don’t buy cookie cutters for a diabetic.  You might as well buy a double amputee a pair of stillettos, or a bra for a rooster.

The commercials on TV are downright disgusting.  Maybe if I woke up on Christmas morning to find a Lexus in my driveway with a big red bow on it, or if I were to unwrap some of that high faluting jewelry with real diamonds and gold that won’t turn me green, I might have a different take on the whole business, but the odds of me receiving either the Lexus or the diamond jewelry are about the same as if I were to wake up and discover that I had been transformed into Demi Moore overnight.  Anyone who knows me knows that the chances of anything listed above actually happening are slimmer than a snowball’s chance in hell.  Knowing Jerry, if he were ever to break down and buy me a Christmas or birthday gift it would probably be a twelve pack of beer, because he knows I don’t drink beer, and I would end up giving it back to him by default.

Radio this time of year is even worse than TV, as the local rock/metal station bombards us with daily ads for the local strip joint’s Christmas party, to be held all day on Christmas day.  It’s bad enough that there are pathetic jackoffs out there who are so morally bankrupt that they would make a conscious decision to spend Christmas day in a strip joint in the company of fellow perverts and strippers, but to make an occasion of it, and to hype it up on the radio, is even more pathetic.  One would think there could be one day for licentiousness to take a holiday, but I guess not.

“Don’t” number two would have to be: Don’t spend Christmas anywhere it is necessary to deposit money in anyone’s underwear in exchange for a lap dance.

Now that I’ve shared a couple of “don’ts,” I probably should include a couple of “dos” to at least sound more positive.  “Do” number one is: Avoid the in-laws.  I made the obligatory appearance at the family holiday party last Saturday night which should exempt me from making an appearance with my in-laws until the same time next year.

“Do” number two is: Do bring activities to occupy the idle hours when the relatives fall asleep.  I have a hard time falling asleep when I am not in my own bed.   Note to self: Bring the charger for the DS, as the battery only lasts four hours.  I already have the car charger for the MP3 player which is right handy as it’s a long drive to Cincinnati.

I haven’t done any Tacky Christmas trolling this year.  Shame on me.  I hope to do a bit down in Cinci- the upper crust does put on some spectacularly Griswoldian tableaux that are worthy of Tacky Christmas status just in the time, effort and dollar amount involved.  I don’t get it but then I’ve never been a person who has had the luxury of money to burn.

I still wish I could find the Bud Light cardboard bimbo display from the west end of Marion that I happened on years ago, but I am sure that after that Christmas (I think it was 2006) it ended up as some Bubba’s target practice or something.

Never leave home without the camera.  You never know what kind of hilarity you will find. (Let’s see if Steve-o ever bothers to read my blog…)

God Gave Us Neal Schon, Sanity is Relative, and We the Unwilling Doing the Impossible for the Ungrateful (Again)

No, I did not mean my commentary on Neal Schon being God’s gift in a blaspheming sort of way.  The guy has an incredible gift, OK, and for some reason I mellow out pretty good when I’m listening to old Journey stuff.  I needed a LOT of mellowing out this week- so I’ve been zoning out to old faves such as “Now You’re On Your Own,” “Of a Lifetime,” “Karma,” and so on.  There is something way therapeutic about that grandiose funky fusion rock of the 70’s.  It’s one of those clandestine pleasures that rates up right there with showering in the middle of the day when you can- for no logical reason, but just because you can.

I am trying not to succumb to the yearly holiday depression that coincides with Jerry’s bleak holiday despair.  It hasn’t been easy this year, especially with money being so stinking tight.  That is depressing even without drunk and stupid meanderings, but add that into the mix and even I get lonely and truly start wondering why I am still being permitted to suck up valuable oxygen.  It’s been so long since I’ve had a meaningful conversation with another adult that it’s almost pitiful.  To make things even worse, now that it’s winter, Jerry doesn’t go to the campground on the weekends, so he gets drunk and stupid at home and I have to deal with him.  One would think that in my loneliness I would appreciate the company, but there are few things more dreary and lonely than catering to a drunk all weekend.  The only conversation that comes from Jerry most of the time is his whining about what I’ve done wrong,  what I haven’t done, or what I can’t afford to do.  I don’t want to fix him breakfast and serve it to him in bed only to hear his dissatisfaction with normal breakfast fare and his lingering desire for Porterhouse steak.  I might be able to get the Porterhouse from time to time if you cut back on the beer and smokes and quit blowing your money on bullshit, but I dare not bring that up.   Logic does not generally compute with Jerry unless he can conform it to his point of view.  In his mind I should (somehow??) make more money to pay for him.

Perhaps I have vestiges of normal female desires to feel cherished and wanted by a member of the opposite gender, even though I know that for me that doesn’t happen save in my own imagination.  I don’t have any illusions regarding my awkwardness and plainness and just plain lack of any sort of carnal appeal. I’m thankful to have three hots and a cot as it were, and to expect anything more than bare necessity and survival is asking too much.  I was taught from my earliest memory that I am only as loved as I am useful, and here lately I haven’t felt terribly useful. Even so there are times when I would so enjoy an evening with a friend, conversation that doesn’t focus on everything I’ve done wrong, or everything someone else expects me to do for him.  When Jerry does speak coherently, I usually can’t wait for him to shut up and stop whining.

This morning he was whining about Sheena.  Sheena knows when the girls are supposed to go out in the morning.  She gets excited and starts woofing and whining to be let out.  I’m grateful that she is good about letting us know when she needs out.  So Jerry starts in with, “Spray that dog so she shuts her mouth,” and so on, but I have to admit I ignored him after that.  I’m getting good at tuning out the whining.  After I let the dogs out, I wandered back in with the spray bottle, pointed it at him, and replied, “I want to see.  Maybe if I spray you, you’ll stop your whining.”

I can handle canine vocalizations, but Jerry’s incessant whining- mostly regarding things I have no ability to change or improve- has already gotten on my last nerve.  Sheena is a headstrong dog, but she’s infinitely more trainable than Jerry. Sheena also whines a lot less.  Sort of on the same subject are some old 70’s movies for “trainables.”  This one is long, but from today’s point of view horribly politically incorrect, and therefore, hilarious.  I almost forgot there were so many different slang terms for the male member.

We the unwilling, doing the impossible, for the ungrateful.  This is my life in synopsis, the extreme Cliff’s Notes version. If I were to opt for traditional burial I would insist this be inscribed on my tombstone, but since I am going to be cremated I guess it doesn’t matter. 

I am thankful for the Prozac, believe that.

I Need a Video Camera (if only for my own entertainment) and Why Dogs are Better Than Men

I have a very rude pic of Jerry experiencing the aftermath of a particularly stupid drunk and stupid episode, but I have enough decency to keep that in my own private collection.  I thought about posting it for a moment, but that’s a little worse than my usual passive-aggressive revenge.  That borders on aggressive-aggressive revenge, which I’m a little too soft hearted to engage in even when I know there is little chance of getting caught. There is no actual nudity involved, but he is down to his whitey tighties, and I figure nobody needs that visual.  Nor do they need to see the reason why I spend so much time getting intimately acquainted with the rug shampooer.  Suffice to say that the dogs are housebroken, so unless they have an attack of Montezuma’s Revenge, it’s not the dogs.

I spend a lot of time among members of the species canis lupus familiaris, and even though I trust my dogs more than I trust any fellow humans, it’s good to remember that as far as taxonomy goes (the naming and classification of species) the domestic dog is a subspecies of canis lupus– the grey wolf.   Dogs can be dangerous if they are ill-treated and/or one fails to respect their strength (a 65# dog can easily take down a 250# man, for example) and the potential lethality of their bites.  More humans die as a result of dog attacks than from snake bites.  Even so, I believe the trust I have in my own dogs is warranted.  There is no love more sincere than the love of a good dog.

It’s fascinating that one species can have so many differences in its members.  I am not the reigning expert in scientific matters by a long shot, but the current theory is that dogs have such a high rate of mutations due to what are called tandem repeatssequences of DNA that repeat themselves multiple times.  Of course we humans have made some genetic diseases in dogs worse by limiting the gene pools (i.e. line breeding.)  I don’t have any purebred dogs at this time- but both of our now departed purebred GSDs, Kayla and Heidi, ended up having to be put down due to rear limb ataxia that progressed to near paralysis due to probable degenerative myelopathy.  This is a genetic disease in GSDs and I am sure that it is more prevalent than is reported.  Since DM doesn’t show up until a dog is 7-14 years old, no one would know if a breeding pair are carriers until they have already reached the end of their reproductive life.  Today there is a genetic test, but not all individuals who carry the gene develop full blown DM.    Even Lilo and Sheena, who are crossbreeds, have hip dysplasia, which is primarily a genetic disease as well.  Most dogs, purebred or crossbreed, carry at least one genetic defect.  Lovely Clara, who is an ideal canine specimen in many ways- and actually has good hips- was born with an umbilical hernia, which would have automatically made her unsuitable for breeding (though she would have been unsuitable for breeding anyway as she is a crossbreed.)

Despite the capricious nature of canine inheritance, and the potential that dogs have to be dangerous if ill-handled, I prefer the company of dogs to humans.  Maybe that’s a bad thing to admit, but dogs are better than men for a number of reasons.

Dogs (generally) don’t drink beer.

Dogs don’t smoke.

Dogs generally don’t dirty up laundry.

Dogs will eat what they are served.

Dogs are always happy to see me.

Dogs don’t care what I look like.

Dogs are always great listeners.

After this morning I am tempted to embark on a bit of aggressive-aggressive revenge on Jerry.  I have threatened for years to video record his drunk and stupid incidents for his review (also for sharing with friends and pretty much most of the free world via You Tube) but I haven’t wanted to come off of the $$ for a video camera.  If I have any tax money left over (yeah right) I may contemplate planting a couple of Jerry-cams in strategic areas.  I will have to have audio too because the comments, as well as the thuds and crashes of drunk and stupid fallings down, are half of the fun.

I am not one of those people who buys the common wisdom of  “alcoholism is a disease.”  What a crock of shit.  I used to be a binge drinker myself.  Drunkenness is a decision.  You either decide to suck down those beers (or in my instance, liquor and/or wine- I never could stand beer) or you decide you are going to stay sober.  If habitual drunkenness is a “disease” then why isn’t smoking considered a “disease?”  Nobody feels sorry for smokers (nor should they- even though smoking is a LOT harder to get free of than drinking) and society makes no provision for the smoker to indulge his/her habit.  Why don’t we treat drunkenness like smoking and just stop tolerating it and making excuses for it?   In my world, as I was growing up, bad behavior carried consequences.  You make a bad choice you pay the consequences.  Get shitfaced and act stupid, then end up as a worldwide laughing stock on You Tube.  I’m thinking about it but will probably be too tender hearted to carry it out.

Still Sucking Up Valuable Oxygen, the Beauty of a Lean Christmas, and Being the Stealth Cougar

This morning I was reminded that God must have some purpose for me as I’m still sucking up valuable oxygen.  Perhaps it is to keep on depositing money in Steve-o’s account.   It’s always creepy to hear of a person near my own age with no known health issues to simply drop dead for what appears to be no reason.  In a way- though I’ve been warned I probably won’t make it to old age-it makes me wonder if I am going to end up one of those people who still have a mind but their body goes all to hell.  My great-grandmother (who died at age 94 and was more mentally sound than I am now until she had the stroke that killed her) had a plethora of bodily ailments- rheumatoid arthritis, heart issues, lung cancer (she was a hard core smoker for 40+ years,) breast cancer, you name it -but until the last two weeks of her life her mind was all there.  Then you have the old people whose bodies seem to hang in there just fine but their minds are gone and they turn crazy as a shithouse rat.  If I were prone to wagering, which I am generally not, I would say my body will go before my mind does.  I can’t say which is worse.  It would suck to lose your mind, but as they say, “ignorance is bliss.”  Some of the happiest people I’ve seen are mentally challenged, and I’ve seen some people with genuinely brilliant intellects who are emotional and spiritual shipwrecks.  Perhaps the wisest answer is to trust that God will get you through with the hand He deals you.  Now I know why I don’t play poker.

I am holding fast to my vow to avoid buying people a bunch of crap they don’t need and that I can’t afford.  I am enjoying the simplicity of my Charlie Brown disaster tree although I did take the time to fix the lights so that they all light and they blink when they’re supposed to, at least for now.  I will buy the nieces and nephews loads of candy- since they are still young enough to be able to enjoy it- and that will be about it.  Anyone who doesn’t like that is cordially invited to send Steve-o money to free my finances up so I can spend money on something other than him, taxes, insurance or scripts.

I have to admit I still enjoy the eye candy and I really don’t think the young dudes realize it.  I just look old enough to be your Mom.  I know, I’m harmless enough, but in a way it’s sort of depressing.  Most guys my age and older don’t offer much of an appealing visual.  There are some notable exceptions (Mike Rowe…) but what woman wouldn’t find him fine to look at?  I guess for safety’s sake I should only be looking at dudes from afar because I know just how easy I can be tempted should an opportunity arise.  The good thing is my frumpy looks and rather boring appearance are good for keeping me chaste if nothing else.  The bottom line is I don’t get offers, which is probably a good thing.  This old white chick is extremely low mileage, probably for the same reason Ford Edsels weren’t particularly popular.  Even though they ran, they were ugly and awkward and not terribly fun to drive.  Such is my fate.

I had the opportunity to embarrass the snot out of Jerry Saturday night.  One of his buddies from the shop wanted Jerry to procure him an Asian porno flick.  I’m not terribly impressed by porn- most of the time it’s just plain gross, the music is horrible and the plots are contrived- but what the hey, we were out on Morse Rd. anyway.  So I took him to the Lion’s Den.  The couple who manage the store were very gregarious, displaying toys and telling him which movies were on sale and so forth.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him turn such a bright shade of red.  I could tell he was trying to look away as I was casually perusing the “toy” section.  We got the movie and got out fairly quickly but I have to say I enjoyed seeing him so embarrassed.  He didn’t offer to buy me any toys while we were there, which was kind of lame, since nature has dealt him a rather crappy hand in that department.    Let’s just say for politeness sake I tolerate involuntary celibacy, but I don’t enjoy it.  I really shouldn’t blame nature for his ED either- beers don’t drink themselves and cigarettes don’t smoke themselves-and drinking and smoking both are linked to ED.  As I said, he could at least procure me some battery operated substitutes, but go figure. 

I am reminded of a medical joke: A little old man goes to the Dr. for a complete physical. The Dr. asks the little old man to show him his sex organs.  The little old man wiggles his index finger and sticks out his tongue. 

Perhaps he doesn’t want to enhance my fantasy life any more than I do on my own.  It’s truly not funny although I try my best to find humor in it, lest his ED problem become yet more fodder to feed my discontent and depression.  Living with Mr. High Maintenance would be a lot easier if we had any kind of a sex life.  It’s particularly frustrating that he refuses to seek medical help or to even to try alternative kinds of bedroom fun (i.e. toys,).  And he wonders why I sleep in a separate room, in my own bed.  Part of it is because I have to sleep on an incline due to my constantly draining sinuses- to keep me from drowning in my own snot- and that’s the official answer I give, but the real answer is I see little point in the inconvenience of sharing a bed (with a snoring smoker no less) unless there’s a some action going on every once in awhile. 

I have to move forward from this subject (I almost used the phrase “get off,” then thought better of it,) before I go from slight melancholy to full blown depression.

Suffice to say that for some reason the Good Lord is keeping  me breathing, even with my laundry list of  physical defects and medical issues, when others who appear perfectly healthy drop dead for no apparent cause.  No matter how much I may speculate and think it unfair that those who have so much to live for are taken out of the world in a seemingly untimely manner, and people like me who basically are just sucking up valuable oxygen and waiting to die linger on for no readily apparent reason, it’s not my judgment call.  Go figure.  I’m not in control and that’s a very good thing.  Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

Survival of the Mentally Fittest (or at least the craftiest) and Understanding Man Logic (or is that an oxymoron?)

I learned to be covert at a very young age as a necessary survival mechanism.  I am hideously ill-coordinated, and I was a weak and sickly child to boot, so physical fighting was almost always a losing proposition for me.  Avoidance was always the best strategy to prevent as many beatings as possible.  I found lots of interesting places to hide- closets, high up in trees, behind furniture, etc.  There were many places I could go to see but remain unseen.  Keeping under the radar- or above the situation- kept me from beatings more than once, and as I got older, guaranteed me much juicy fodder for blackmail opportunities.  I caught my sisters engaging in all sorts of illicit activities that would have gotten them in loads of trouble had I chose to nark on them.  Usually I didn’t nark if they spared me a beating -or at least stayed out of my stuff.  Knowledge is power in more ways than one. 

Even though I am not living under the threat of continual physical beatings, I still enjoy making detached ivory tower observations.    In some ways this is a bittersweet pursuit because I am haunted by a number of old ghosts who live in my dreams, ghosts who I can’t help but to come face to face with when I am confronted with places from my past.  When I’ve been out of a particular sphere for a long time viewing the residuals as they appear today can be disquieting. 

Last night I had a rather noteworthy dream in that it was a new scene- nothing remotely connected with past places or events which alone was refreshing.  I enjoyed the old metal bridges (late 19th/early 20th century) that one seldom sees anymore even out in the hinterlands.  Better than that there was a lovely waterfall that had been created that flowed over an embankment paved with red bricks into a free flowing river where people were swimming (nobody in their right mind would actually do that in most Ohio rivers these days.)  I don’t know why the bridges and the river stuck in my mind.  The scenery itself was new but it’s an old theme.  One of my favorite places to hide out and smoke when I was in high school was by the Scioto River just outside of Green Camp.  Back then there was an abandoned railroad trestle (since demolished for the scrap metal) one could walk out and sit on, comfortably out of view.  In summer no one would find you if you parked behind the trees.  It was a lovely hideout.

Both of these bridges are long gone which is sad in a way but even I must admit they were dangerous to go wandering out on.  I remember driving over the first one, and it scared the hell out of me even in my little Subaru DL, the way it would creak and moan under its slight weight. That old iron bridge once spanned the Olentangy River.  Though I found its design and its dedication plaque intriguing, I generally tried to avoid actually driving over it.  The second is the railroad trestle where we used to sit and watch the river flow by.  One would not dare swim or wade in the Scioto River up in Marion County even today as it is polluted with creosote and Lord only knows what else, but it was peaceful to simply sit and observe the world going by- as long as there was enough of a breeze to keep the bugs off.  I wonder how many others wandered on those bridges- were they secluded places for lovers’ trysts or set aside for drunken toasts and late night rages against the dark?  How many trains passed over that majestic iron trestle carrying their loads of coal or grain or armaments- or bodies of the fallen dead?  If only the bridges could speak their secrets what stories they might have, yet they stood in somber silence until need or greed came to take their obsolescence away.

I can really get into a bit of a dark mood when my mind goes wandering in such directions.  I believe that we humans very seldom choose the best course we should take. It does disturb me that the past holds echoes of a future that could have been much brighter than today- a future that never was- either as a result of our insolence or ignorance or a combination of both. 

On a lighter note, I have been contemplating the great oxymoron that is man logic.  Last night I watched a show obviously geared toward twenty-something men called “Manswers,” in which puerile young men try to explain the secrets of the universe.  Yes, enlighten me on all the things I really need to know- such as the logistics of having sex while sky-diving.  Then it occurred to me that the probability of me enjoying either of those activities, together or separately is approximately the same as the probability of snow storms in hell.  Sky-diving is an activity that I highly doubt I could muster the courage to engage in.  Sex is an activity I would like to engage in but that nobody else (who qualifies and meets my standards) wants to muster up the courage to engage in with me.  I don’t think I’ll watch that show again.  It was too depressing the more I started thinking about it.

When Jerry loses something he expects me to find it.  If I lose something it is my own tough luck and my business to find it as it should be.  I just hate the double standard.  It also seems that Jerry needs to find whatever object he lost when I am sleeping, eating, “taking the Obamas to the pool,” or bathing, and he expects me to drop the activity at hand to find the item he lost.  Few things can bring me to a seething head of anger faster than having my activities interrupted so that I may go fix someone else’s negligence and/or stupidity, but this seems to be the story of my life. 

That’s depressing too.   I have enough problems without anyone else contributing to them.

Helpful Hints I’m Glad I Don’t Need, a Geezer-Friendly World, and I Just Need Some Cheese!


Since I knew pretty much from the start that the illustrious Steve-o was going to be an only child, I gave my maternity clothes away as soon as I could fit back into regular clothes.   This is a good thing not only because the thought of enduring pregnancy and/or childbirth at my age (fortunately for me a moot point since the hysterectomy- yay!) is absolutely abominable, and because I can visualize Jerry as the “don’t” illustration in the instructional pic.  It’s fortunate I was not able to have any children with Jerry as he is worse than a toddler himself and he would have been absolutely no help.   I will grant that for some women a hysterectomy is a tragic event.  I have all the sympathy in the world for someone who has to have one because of cancer or trauma, or who has to have a hysterectomy in spite of wanting more children, or someone who ends up having to have a hysterectomy at a very young age.  But each individual is different, and for me the hysterectomy was one of the best things I’ve ever done to preserve my sanity and improve my health.  Had I known what I know now I’d have insisted on having it done 15 years ago or so as the repair work after my c-section was completely messed up (hindsight of course is 20/20)  rather than suffering through years of interminable miserable visits from “Aunt Flo” along with pretty much constant pelvic pain.  Also remembering hindsight is 20/20, I’d been better off had my c-section turned into a c-section and hysterectomy at the same time. Even if I had ever wanted to get pregnant again it would have been pretty much impossible given the way I was pieced back together after the c-section.  I spent 18 years in accumulating and intensifying misery and there are no words to describe my relief at not having to endure the pain and the infernal mess.  So for me- at age 40- the hysterectomy was a happy event.   I wasn’t using it any more anyway. 

I do have a lot of empathy for pregnant women though.  I would not want to have to deal with all that noise today- the expense, the car seat hassles, the late night squalling, all that.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m old or because I’ve been through it before or a combination of both, but kids are fine as long as they aren’t mine- and their parents exert some sort of discipline and control over them in public.  I absolutely despise people who let their rugrats scream all the way through Target or run around like they are being raised by wolves or something.  Perhaps that’s the problem right there.   Steve-o is at least past two major hurdles- he is potty trained and literate- but we need to work on the “gainfully employed” part of the adulthood equation.  All in due time I guess, but I really hate society and government’s cute little expectations that we should extend adolescence far beyond the teen years.  If  kid is supposed to be an adult at age 18, then why does the government think parents should pay for extended schooling and health insurance until they’re 26? What the hell is Congress smoking? Obama, granted, is a Marxist nut job, but come on!  When I was 26 I was working 12 hour days and trying to support my four year old son.  The government sure as hell didn’t help me with that- nor did I expect them to.

I do notice that more and more this is becoming  a geezer friendly world and it’s a bit disquieting.  Every time I turn around there’s all these commercials trying to entice seniors to change their Medicare coverage.  Now there’s even a delightful little device for those too lazy to wash their feet which I find hilarious.  I also get a catalog full of all kinds of medical and other notion type things marketed toward the over-sixty set. 

Somebody shoot me if I get too lazy to bother to wash my feet.  I may not be perfect- by a long shot- but I do take some pride in my personal hygiene.

Last night I had to make a run to Target to get some cheese.  I had forgotten I didn’t have enough cheddar cheese for both Jerry’s tacos and the taco dip I am taking to the luncheon tomorrow.  Normally I would have gotten it at Kroger’s but Kroger’s is out of my way on the way home from work.  Target has shredded cheddar cheese and is on the way.  So does WalMart, but the WalMart on Morse Rd. is not suitable for civilized people to enter at any time, (that place is a freak show from hell) let alone after dark and during the holidays.  So, knowing that all the department stores are dens of insanity this time of year, I bravely enter the Target store on my quest for cheese. 

While Target’s clientele does not contain nearly as much of the criminal and/or governmentally dependent crowd as WalMart’s, the crowd last night was by no means a pleasure.  I truly wish people would either teach their rugrats how to behave in public or leave them at home.  Duct taping their big yaps shut is also an option.  It seemed as if I were playing dodge-em all the way through Target.  Why do people think the store is a place to stand around and socialize or worse, talk on the phone?  I am capable of walking and talking on a cellphone. If someone as ill-coordinated as I can do it then anyone can do it, I assure you. 

Some helpful hints for parents of toddlers/preschoolers:

Do NOT give your three or four year old any package to carry through the parking lot.  He/she will only drop it and then start screaming and stomping his/her feet.  Worse yet, they may decide to roll around in the greasy parking lot slush which is going to be nine kinds of hell getting out of their hair and clothes.

Do NOT let your child munch on items you haven’t paid for yet. That is sending your child the wrong message.  If Sammy or Sadie is going to get the munchies bring something from home.  Better yet, teach them to wait until scheduled meal times so that others don’t have to watch your kids smear used Oreo cookie all over the cart handle.

Do bring LOTS of Kleenex.  Nothing is more gross than looking over and seeing someone’s rugrat smearing copious gobs of snot all over his/her face, the cart handle, the stuff in the cart, etc. and so on.  Control the snot.  Nobody needs that visual.

All I needed was some cheese.

Ah, the Bouquet of a Fine Whine, Canine Conditioning, and Some Pragmatic Coping Strategies

Ok, the illustration is in French, but even with my very limited knowledge of francais from high school, I get the Alcohol Tree just fine.  Excessive use of alcohol screws one up royally and does a good bit of collateral damage at the same time.   Yeah, here’s my public service announcement for the day.  I haven’t gotten shitfaced since that legendary episode in 1993 when I found myself in a motel room bathtub- alone-  immersed in freezing cold water with a half-eaten Domino’s Pizza on the ledge.  Something about realizing what a total loser I was and that I’d have to go to work in a few hours wearing no makeup and yesterday’s clothes really put the damper on my drinking excursions. That’s probably a good thing because I was always a “forget it all” drunk, as in “how the hell did I get home last night?” or worse, “did I sleep with so-and-so?”   To my knowledge my conquest record while drunk is pretty much as lame as when I’m sober, which reassures me that I didn’t get any action I don’t remember.  Good thing I’m consistently pathetic in that pursuit as I would hated to have missed anything.  My drinking these days is limited to maybe a glass of wine every six months or so.  It lost its charm for me years ago.

Jerry, on the other hand, drinks enough for a freaking army all by himself.  This was my plight Thursday night into Friday morning (when I had to go in to work at 6:30, of course) – listening to him bouncing off the walls (literally) and blaring the local death metal station until 1AM or thereabouts.  At least it wasn’t the old-time country station, or I’d had to have sneaked downstairs to cut the breaker.  As long as I left the breaker for the furnace blower on it would have been OK.   I can tolerate death metal a lot better than Hank Williams Jr. or Willie Nelson, believe that.  I need to rig a kill switch for the stereo which I will do one of these days.   Saturday night was a most unnecessary drunk and stupid encore, though I got lucky in that he got too drunk to remember how to turn the stereo on.  I wish his so-called buddies would stop buying him twelve packs of beer, because he sees it as a challenge if there is more than one twelve pack in the house. 

Dogs on the other hand are far easier to condition.  As much as I hate to take a hard line with Sheena the water bottle is most effective.  Usually just the sight of the water bottle is enough to help her remember to choose to be a good dog.  It works really well to keep her out of the kitchen when I’m fixing food.  I know she has to learn better- hence the constant douching-  because having a dog trying to get her snoot into everything just isn’t conducive to being able to prepare meals.  I wish I had something like that for Jerry.  Maybe I should try the spray bottle on him and douche him a good one every time he picks up a damned beer can.  It’s a thought. I think Jerry would need something a bit stronger than water though- say vinegar, or Dave’s Insanity Sauce.  Yes, the dogs learn faster and with less effort.

Most of my dealing with drunk and stupid would fit into the “avoidance” category.  Usually out of sight with Jerry means out of mind, so if I hide in the corner of my room with the door closed and the light off he usually won’t go out of his way to pester me.  If he persists in annoying me then I have to ramp it up to “passive aggressive” repercussions.  One I’ve been toying with trying lately involves duct taping his ankles together.  I hate it when I think he’s passed out only to have him jump up and start raving and wandering again.  He usually does this after a quiet lull – and just when I think it’s safe to go to the bathroom he starts in because he sees me and then something deep in the reptilian part of his brain remembers he’s not annoying me so he needs to start in again.  I don’t mind being around Jerry when he’s sober, but it seems he only wants to hang on me like some twisted clingy alien when he’s drunk.  I absolutely detest that which is probably why he does it.

In his defense, Jerry has his good points, but they are nowhere to be found or even imagined when he’s shitfaced.  I know I have my vices so I probably shouldn’t be so critical.  But a word of advice for the drinking set- if you drink to excess, be assured that when you’re drunk you’re a dumb ass, and no one wants to be around you when you’re shitfaced.  Take it from someone who knows.