assorted rants, cougardom, historical interest, misanthropy

Trucker Bombs, Overwork and Music Reviews

I should always remember to have my camera ready whilst driving down Morse Rd.  I find the most hilarious and out of place things. For those unfamiliar with the term “trucker bomb,” Urban Dictionary defines it as:

Trucker Bomb (n):
A plastic container that a truck driver pisses into inside the cab of his truck during daylight hours to be later pitched out usually on the side of the road. This practice has come about by the increasingly strict laws about indecent exposure. Years ago if a truck driver got caught pissing on the side of the road by the Po Po, he was given a ticket, end of story. But now if convicted of indecent exposure, you must register as a sexual predator where you live. Much safer to piss in a wide mouth bottle and a whole lot legally less complicated.
 
Billy Bob Big Rigger builds a trucker bomb every day on his run though Ohio. After dark when the bottle is full, out the window it goes to be later detonated by the poor dick that has to mow the shoulder.
 
Given that most truckers dispose of these while driving along on the Interstate (though I do also see them deposited regularly along the exit ramp from Northbound I-270 to Morse Rd.,) it was odd to see one at the intersection of Morse and Sunbury Rd.s, just catty corner from the UDF/Mobil aka: the Armed Robber’s Late Night Wet Dream.
 
I also found it a bit odd that in lieu of the typical 2 liter Mt. Dew bottle it was a Sobe bottle.  Either it was a New Age trucker, or perhaps a young punk out partying who just couldn’t wait to make it to the UDF crapper.
I have to envy dudes on this point.  If they absolutely can’t make it to the nearest comfort station, it is relatively easy for them to take a tinkle in an empty plastic bottle.  This does NOT happen for chicks.  I find it exceedingly difficult to cop a squat out in the woods (usually because you end up pissing all over your pants) and most likely impossible to go in a drinky cup or anything else that isn’t a toilet. If a woman has to make time on a road trip, I think Depends might be the only way to bypass the gas station toilet without making an unholy mess.
 
This morning (yes, Memorial Day) when I would normally be visiting my grandfather’s grave (he was a WWII Veteran)  and then taking a trip to whatever party or BBQ was going on, I was actually at work getting the month-end stuff finished.  While it did bother me that I wasn’t able to make that road trip today,  I don’t mind too much because a.) I’m getting paid for it, b.) I was done relatively early, and c.) I have tomorrow off when everyone else has to be at work.  I don’t mind working alone.  In many ways I prefer it because I get more done when nobody is pestering me. Even when I am duly compensated (and especially when I am duly compensated!) I have to be careful of getting caught in the cycle of overwork.  Working into oblivion can become an addiction for me.   It’s too easy for me to get lost in the task at hand and forget things like eating, sleeping, maintaining contact with family and friends, etc. and so on.
 
Even for the last two weeks that I’ve been more or less living at work, I have had some time for guilty pleasures.  I am a huge Journey fan from way, way back, and I have currently been enjoying their latest release, EclipseWorking alone is especially nice for cranking up tunes on the MP3 player while I work -it might seem like multitasking in a weird kind of way, but I get more done when I am listening to good music.

As much as I rave about Steve Perry in Spandex, that was then, and this is now.  I can’t go back to 1981, but I can appreciate something new if it’s good.  Eclipse is good, strikingly good, and that’s saying a lot from someone who really hasn’t kept in touch with the music scene since about 1985.  One of the things I like about Eclipse is that Neal Schon pretty much had his way and this is a beautiful thing.  Neal is probably one of the best, if not the best living rock guitarist today, and getting new stuff from him (even better yet, as part of Journey) is awesome. It warms my soul to know that not every new song coming out is boy-band tripe, cop-killer-sister-raping rap, or sappy-yucky songs about girls kissing on girls.
 
Arnel Pineda is not Steve Perry.  That’s OK.  Arnel has a great voice and a lot of fire and can stand on his own merit.  He has an extremely wide range that he uses well- which I enjoy (this is challenging vocal material- take it from a student of voice!)  I like listening to him.
Tomorrow’s adventure is getting the Cougar Pool up and running.  I have it, but now I have to figure out how to get it to stay up and hold the water in.
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creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, political commentary, theology

If the World Ended 2 Hours Ago, Why Am I Still Here?

I love black cats.  Isabel is quite sanguine today as usual.  None of the girls seemed to be tuned in to all the apocalyptic hoo-hah.

I figure the Lord is already here.  He’s been here eternally.  Even at the intersection of Morse Rd. and Cleveland Ave., (this billboard was up there last December) although I wouldn’t want to be there after dark.

Sheena did well at her vet appointment.  Her surgery is scheduled for June 22.  I am glad our regular Vet will be assessing her this time and will send the offending growth out for biopsy.  She seems to think these growths are benign, but that any strange mammary growth should be removed as a precaution.  I want it gone because of where it is.  Mammary cancer is not as frightening and deadly in dogs as it normally is in cats, but I’m not letting it get out of control- if that’s even what it is. With dogs, 50% of mammary growths are benign, and even those that are cancerous are usually not metastatic cancers.  Even so,  possible cancer is enough to be paranoid about.

I do believe what the Bible says about the End of Days.  I am not so confident in people who want to play with numerology, funky ancient calendars or manipulating Bible verses out of context to make them support outlandish claims.  The clearest thing in the Bible regarding the End of Days is that we can’t know when it’s going to occur, and we shouldn’t really try.  Any day might be my personal last, so all I can do is the best I can, and I’ll have to trust in the grace of God for anything and everything along the way.

I think it’s kind of funny how we went from annihilation by the Impending Ice Age to extinction via Global Warming in the span of less than thirty years.  It goes to show that science is not always right, and that the hubris of humanity is the third most plentiful element in the universe, right behind shit and stupidity.  Are we blatantly arrogant enough to think that the future existence of the planet is contingent upon whether we drive our cars or bury them?  The greenies haven’t made what I feel to be a coherent argument as to why I should exchange toilet paper for washable cloths either.

No human being is more than a slight electrical charge away from physical death at any given time anyway.  The only thing between me- or anyone else for that matter- and the Dirt Nap, is that spark that tells the heart to keep beating.  That’s a good reason not to put too much into this world and what it has to offer, because you’re going to spend a lot more time in the next.  Some things are for forever, but most things aren’t.  The challenge in this life is to learn the difference.

So we can hope people might put a lid on the doomsday soothsaying- at least until 12-21-12, that is.  Methinks barring personal calamity or God having different plans than mine for my sorry carcass, that I will wake up on 12-22-12 and  I’ll still have to get Christmas candy for my niece and nephew so that they can get (much to my sister’s distaste) their chocolate fix on Christmas Day.

I hate motorcycles.  I really do.  Clara is very disturbed by the bikers that tool up and down Stygler Rd. with their loud exhausts blaring.  I wish the bikers would stick their loud pipes where the sun don’t shine.  I don’t like things that disturb my dogs.

Not even Obama has done enough damage to bring on the apocalypse.  Yet.

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assorted rants, creative writing, dogs, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

The End of the World According to elysianhunter, aka: the Bucket List Condensed

Well, well, our friends the modern-day Millerites are here to tell us that the End of the World is upon us tomorrow, so I better get busy on that bucket list.  May as well go out on a limb and check out the street fair on Morse Rd.!  Go for a whirl on the “Ring of Fire.”  Snarf down greasy sausage and funnel cakes and chili-cheese fries, cholesterol and trans fat be damned!   Of course the odds of the date setters being right are pretty slim, so I think I will follow that self preservation instinct and stay away from the street fair.  If the cholesterol and trans fats from the greasy fair food or the hazards of riding on or standing near shoddily assembled rides that date back to the 1960’s don’t kill you, the drive-by shooters likely will in that area.

I’ve never been terribly impressed by armchair eschatology.  End of the world prognostications have been going on since the beginning of time.  I’ve come to the conclusion that regardless of when the world ends nothing I’m going to do will change the timing.  So if it’s The End across the board, or just my personal end, it really doesn’t matter.  The number one rule of humanity is that death is inevitable.  Physical death is part of the package.  Whether I expire all by myself, or in a blaze of glory with the rest of the world, is immaterial at that point.

It smacks of hubris to claim you know the day and time the world’s going to end when Jesus Himself said He didn’t know.

(Jesus said:) “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36 (NIV)

I really don’t think it’s a good idea to claim you know more than Jesus does.  Just saying.

I asked Clara her opinion, and all I got from her was her WTF glare.  Malinois are probably one of the most intelligent dog breeds, but she’s still a dog.  She licks her own butt- and she’s not above crotch sniffing, but I will give her credit for knowing her limitations.

Movies with the apocalyptic theme are ever-popular, whether they be based on the 2012 Mayan calendar hoo-hah, deadly plagues, alien invasions, or asteroids.  That genre is getting a bit tired, although I did enjoy the book version of The Stand.  Personally, if I want to be scared by a movie, give me an old ’80’s slasher, or dig out the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Tomorrow I am not going to do anything differently.  I need to take Sheena to the Vet (not looking forward to that) and get Steve-o’s tags for his dune buggy (the BMV on a Saturday- joy!) Then my plan is to come back home, do more laundry, and possibly watch the Journey Live in Houston 1981 DVD and crank it up really loud because Jerry won’t be home.

If the world would happen to end and the last thing I see is Steve Perry in 1981, at least it would end on a pleasant visual for me.


Just watching the wheels go ’round.  I wish I could.  At least if the merry-go-round collapses nobody should go airborne.

Here lately I have been busier than I care to be at work.  I like being busy and I like the overtime, but I really don’t like coming in on Sundays.  Thing is, if I don’t get something accomplished over the weekend I will be so buried by Monday that I will never catch up.

If there is a Monday (he-he.)

Murphy’s Law will almost guarantee it.  The world won’t end at a convenient time, and the apocalypse won’t be some sort of deus ex machina that will magically aspirate my carcass out of the latest shit pit.  If the End comes during my lifetime, Murphy’s Law would dictate that I would be in the middle of something either pleasurable or interesting.

Examples:

Coming and going at the same time (as if I would be lucky enough to get lucky…)

The world ends suddenly upon receipt of the winning $5,000 Target gift card up for grabs in the sweepstakes I enter probably three times a week.

The world ends suddenly upon the discovery of an affordable and effective method to permanently remove superfluous body hair.

The Apocalypse will likely not occur when I’m already being tortured and sudden death would be a preferable option.

I can assume the End will not commence whilst I am:

At the BMV

At the Dr.’s office

Enduring one of Jerry’s drunk and stupid late night rampages

When I’m getting chewed out (deserved or undeserved)

No deus ex machina for me.

BTW- don’t cancel your plans for Memorial Day Weekend just yet.

Lilo is watching you.

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assorted rants, cougardom, creative writing, dogs, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy

Torrential Rain, Self Evaluations, and Other Unpleasantries

I like self-evaluations about as much as a one legged man likes being invited to an ass kicking contest.  Usually our esteemed fearless leader forgets about the yearly evaluations that are supposed to occur in June (fine with me) until the last minute and then he hastily goes over the paperwork and signs off on it.  I like it when he puts as much thought into our performance evaluations as I do into football season.  I am not a terribly big fan of the scrutiny of others, especially if they are going to compare their scrutiny of my performance alongside my own.

This year by some stroke of bad luck he actually remembered evaluation time in May which is unprecedented.  So we have all had plenty of time to peruse the self-evaluation portion of this yearly torture, and he will have plenty of time to grill us all to see how closely our version of our performance evaluation lines up with his.

I don’t know where to land.  On one side it’s not good to come across as a braggart tooting on your own horn, but on the other it’s not good to be so self depreciating that it’s the intellectual equivalent of donning a hair shirt.  I may not be the greatest thing since Steve Perry in Spandex, but I am good at what I do, even when people get on my nerves.

The happy little form we have to use sucks, too.   I would prefer a modern, on-line form because my writing has devolved into an almost shorthand scribble type script, and I am pretty much the only one who can read it.  It didn’t used to be that way, but I can type three times faster than I can scribble.  Efficiency, you know?  The other benefit of typing is that it’s harder to see the frustration and angst in typewritten fonts than what is angrily reflected in my scrawling.

Oh, to find a happy medium on that one!

I never knew Michael Jackson owned a Honda dealership in Wisconsin.  WTF was Michael doing in Wisconsin, where it’s cold and there’s nothing but snow and cheese and the Green Bay Packers- where Liz Taylor wouldn’t have been caught dead (even before she really was dead)?  Dude sure got around.  I saw this unfortunate Honda CRV on Morse Rd. the other day and just had to get a pic of it. I should have gotten a pic of the dead deer right next to the Stabbing and/or Shooting Weekly UDF & Mobil Station  on the corner of Morse and Sunbury Rd.s too, and the abandoned clothes and shoes in the turn lane across from the Goo-Goo Car Wash.

I can’t believe some of the names I’ve seen plastered all over dealerships.  Some of them sound like social diseases rather than places you would want to plunk down thousands of dollars to buy a new car.  If my last name were Fagnilli or Butts, or some other double-entendre type sounding moniker, I certainly wouldn’t advertise it, let alone use it to promote my business!

I know May is still Monsoon Season here in Central Ohio but come on!  It’s supposed to rain all freaking week again which sucks, especially if you’re a large dog who wants to go outside.

The illustrious Miss Sheena will almost inevitably be in for another surgery which also sucks.  I found another small mammary growth that I’m having the Vet check out Saturday.  I know what her answer is going to be.   The growth will have to be removed and biopsied at the very least.  My personal preference- if I am given one- is since she has had mammary growths before it would probably be more prudent to remove the mammary chains and associated lymph nodes as a precaution and also to avoid future surgery.  My fear is if the growth is removed and biopsied and if it is something serious, then the mammary chains and nodes will still have to be removed later, requiring a second surgery and another episode of anesthetic.  I will have to trust the Vet’s judgment, but if I am given the choice, my gut feeling is to do the radical surgery now, get it over with, and only put her under anesthetic once.  Large dogs have a higher risk of anesthetic complications, and mammary cancer is very common in dogs, especially ones like Sheena who had several litters of pups and were spayed after two years of age.

The SOS clinic said she did well with anesthetic for the spay and partial mastectomy surgery back in December, which is good- and our Vet had no problems with Clara and anesthetic, which is amazing given that Malinois are notorious for being difficult under anesthetics.  I am still nervous about it though.

Poor Steve-o.  In a way, maybe.  He freaks out so easy over the weirdest stuff.  Today he calls me freaking out over $10  because he thought Mom wrote him a check for $35 instead of $25 (her writing is painful to read too) which I thought was a major crisis- until I discovered he hadn’t bounced any checks or anything really sucky like that.  It’s still a good day if your bank balance is positive, but he’s not old enough to have the life experience to know that yet.  My son has lived a sheltered life indeed.  The POMC strikes again.

So Saturday is not going to be much fun- shlepping Sheena to the Vet and inevitably making her surgery appointment, getting the sticker for Steve-o’s rail buggy (more money down the drain) so he can have his summer fun.   It makes me almost wish I could get drunk.

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assorted rants, cougardom, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy

Deus Ex Machina, Alternative Forms of Entertainment, and What Customer Service?

I have seen some very screwy dealership and car lot names in my life, but who came up with Blue Knob? Are they trying to attract ED and/or frostbite sufferers?  It just doesn’t invoke a feel-good message to me, and I’m a chick.

Maybe I’m just easily entertained.  One of the things that I used to like to do as a kid was to watch the train cars as they would go by.  One of the realities of my childhood, living in a town criss-crossed by several railroad lines, was that you had to wait on trains.  Today, on the rare occasion one does have to wait on a train, there’s not much to see besides endless coal cars and tankers full of chemicals or vegetable oil, but back in the day a lot of interesting things were shipped by rail. 

Cars are still shipped by rail, but today, because of vandals, the train cars are covered so you can’t see the cars inside.  One used to be able to clearly view the cars as they went by.  You could try to identify the models being transported which was always interesting, at least to me.  Heavy equipment was also shipped by rail, and that was interesting to watch too- excavators, road graters, bulldozers and so forth, tied down to flat cars, going to who knows where. 

If I didn’t have anything better to do and I lived in the vicinity, I would love to watch ships being unloaded, but the only port in Columbus is the airport. While it is interesting to watch the planes take off and land, the parking garage isn’t cheap, and I always worry that someone might think we are some kind of weird stalkers for just hanging out to watch the planes.  I keep thinking about the incident the last time we went to Niagara Falls (2004.)   Getting in to Canada was no problem (this is before passports were required) but getting back in to the States was not quite so easy.  As we were going back to the States from Niagara Falls (in Jerry’s 99 Tacoma with Ohio plates…) the border crossing official asked me where we had been, how long we had been in Canada, and to where we were heading back.  I gave her the applicable information and both of our drivers’ licenses.  Then she looked over at Jerry with a serious case of stink-eye, and said, “I need to hear you talk.” 

Fortunately the only language Jerry knows is English, complete with the Central Ohio Newscaster Accent.  Therefore it wasn’t really possible for him to be a wise-ass like I know Steve-o would be.  If  Steve-o were asked his national origin, he would probably make it a point to  cuss them out in German just to be arbitrary, but Jerry does not have that ability, thankfully.   He informs her that yes, his name really is Jerry, and he really is going back to beautiful Central Ohio.   Then she laughs a bit nervously, and tells us that she thought he may be of Middle Eastern descent, and that they were supposed to watch out for illegal immigrants from the Middle East trying to get into the States from Canada.  Steve-o, with his rather pale complexion and mousy brown hair, probably would not have been questioned.  Personally, I can understand the reasons behind racial profiling, even if I can tell the difference between someone from the Middle East and a Native American.  After 9/11, better safe than sorry.  If I were airport security, and I saw Jerry from a distance watching planes from the top of the parking garage, I would be pretty wary too.  How am I supposed to know he’s not a Middle Eastern terrorist, but a redneck whose family are mostly Cherokees from West Virginia, and who has lived in Central Ohio his whole life? 

I am still waiting on the Cougar Pool.  I know, I just ordered it Monday, but it’s starting to get hot around here.  The season of Stygian Heat is right around the corner, and I want to be floating about in the Cougar Pool, drinking iced tea and chilling in it soon.  Jerry is going to Lancaster tomorrow night, so I have my fingers crossed that I might be lucky enough to get it today or tomorrow so I can set it up Saturday. 

Last night I got my flowers and mulch for the front flower beds.  I got a flat each of petunias and impatiens, and they look quite lovely around the rose bushes.  I can’t say I was impressed with the experience of buying these items though.  Now I know why I avoid home improvement stores, which I will be polite enough not to name.  I found the flower flats I wanted, after wandering about a bit.  That wasn’t so bad, but when I went to check out, first of all there was only one lane open and about four people ahead of me in line.  Then that guy suddenly decides it’s time to go on break, so another guy comes up.  I had not been able to find the mulch, so when it was finally my turn to check out, I ask the guy.  He sells me (unbeknownst to me at the time) the absolutely most expensive black mulch they have, then tells me to pull around to the side of the building for another guy to load me up. 

What he forgets to tell me is there are about nine people ahead of me waiting for this one guy to load them up first.  I did not have time for that, and when I pulled around to the side I could see where the mulch was stacked, and how much it cost.   Sooooo, I find the item number on my receipt, get my happy hiney out of the car, and load up the two very expensive bags of mulch that I just paid for.  The saddest part about this is that nobody noticed.  I could have loaded up fourteen bags, if they would have fit in the trunk of my Yaris, and I still bet no one would have noticed.

I have no problem with a couple of forty pound bags of mulch, but come on, people.  I was honest about it.  I got two of the exact item number I ordered and paid for, and if I’d been asked for my receipt they would have been able to see that- but how many people have ripped them off?

There comes a point in time when businesses are going to experience an economic fact, which is the law of diminishing returns. One person can only do so much, and you are going to lose business if you try to spread one person too thin.  There is a point of balance where you have exactly the right number of people and resources to serve your customers and be profitable.  It’s my sneaking suspicion that too many businesses are trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon, and it’s affecting their bottom line. 

Apparently, the ghost in the machine is supposed to do it somehow.  Literally translated, deus ex machina, means “god in the machine,” and it refers to a literary mechanism in which the protagonist in a play is magically scooped up out of impossible circumstances to win the day.  Film makers still use it today in action flicks.  We all know in the world of the action flick, nothing is going to happen to the good guy that doesn’t work out in the end.  The problem is, in real life it’s not so simple.  The eleventh-hour save is not always a given, and not every old bitty is going to just go ahead and get her own mulch!

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assorted rants, cougardom, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy, miscellaneous drivel

Back to Nature, Hardware Salad, and “Mother” Does Not Start with “S”

Kids change a lot in the span of about ten years.  Ten year olds and (nearly) twenty year olds don’t really have much in common.  Ten years ago, Steve-o was collecting Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards. He slept with a night light until he was twelve because his evil biological grandmother decided he should sleep in a dark basement when he was four years old (that ended her visitations…) and that experience must have done something to traumatize him for a long, long time.  Admittedly my evil ex mother-in-law was pretty damned scary, even for adults.  I am glad she didn’t have life insurance on me and I didn’t have anything of any real value for her to inherit had I been stupid enough to put her in my will or make her executor of my estate.   No wonder her son turned out to be the poster child for OCD and all sorts of other psychological abnormalities.  (must…not…offend…Mother…)  I think she still has some pretty hefty life insurance policies on my ex and she would score big if he dropped dead.  She is probably still sitting on the million or so that she inherited when her various relatives all died- and left all their cash and other assets to her.  But enough about my evil ex  mother-in-law.  She is quite fine where she is, with her Hardware Salad and her measuring cup.

Today Steve-o is collecting Snap-On tools, various performance upgrade parts for his ’68 VW Bug, and empty Jagermeister bottles.  I think he has moved on from sleeping with a night light on to sleeping on compliant females, but even to this day he does not like to sleep either alone or in the dark.  Creepy.  I have to wonder if the old bat tried to make him eat Hardware Salad too.

I know I wanted to get off the subject of my ex mother-in-law, but Hardware Salad deserves a bit of an explanation.  I think she was trying to do Waldorf Salad or something of that nature, but Hardware Salad, as near as I can tell, included:

Pretzels

Carrot peelings

Apple pieces, core and seeds included

Red Grapes, including pits (I assume because non-pitted grapes are cheaper)

Assorted Nuts (nut assortments are cheaper than just walnuts)

Loads of greasy mayonnaise (acck, acck, acck, my throat is filling up with snot drainage just thinking about it)

Celery

Sauerkraut?  I swear that’s what it was- as a substitute for coconut???  I have no earthly idea.

Marshmallows (????WTF??)

Vinegar

All of the above is set in lime Jell-o, (???) and topped with a tiny teaspoon of watery, off-brand Cool Whip.

Between the grape pits and the pretzels and the occasional apple seed, (not to mention celery and I suspect sauerkraut,)  this had to be the most vile dessert ever known to man.  Thankfully on the rare occasion she invited you to dinner, she measured out portions with a measuring cup so that she could budget for every penny she spent on food.  It was only necessary to gag down precisely 1/2 cup of this stuff for politeness’ sake, and I’m assuming that one teaspoon more of it would induce projectile vomiting.  I only gagged it down because I was taught from earliest childhood that when you are a guest at someone’s home you eat what is served, even if it is lacquer thinner with bat turds in it. To do otherwise would be rude, and the Wicked Witch actually thought her Hardware Salad (I forget what she actually called it) was the best dessert ever.   I don’t puke easily, but that stuff was nasty.  I cringe to this day just thinking about it.  It’s sad that after all these years I can still see and actually taste this disaster of a dessert. Acck.  I hope poor Steve-o was never subjected to it.  The Graham crackers were bad enough.  It would have been OK if she’d had enough sense not to give a 20 month old toddler the entire box.

Steve-o looked a lot different before the Puberty Fairy  Demon hit too.  He had a pleasant soprano voice not unlike my own, complete with Central Ohio Newscaster Accent.  On the rare occasions when I would answer his phone (cruel, that, but fun in a mildly malicious sort of way) his buddies would mistake me for him.  Oh, the things his buddies would say to me until they realized it was not Steve-o, but Steve-o’s Mom, which brought about a distinct change in their subject matter and tone.   Then he woke up one morning six inches taller, with an unfamiliar and ominous sounding baritone voice, a hair style reminiscent of Robert Plant in 1971, 7/8″ earrings, back hair, a libido to rival Casa Nova, and an Attitude from hell.  That testosterone is pretty powerful stuff, apparently.

What an odd resemblance.  Above is Steve-o in the outhouse, below is Robert Plant sometime in the early 70’s.

There’s a long, long way between pic#1 and pic#2, believe that.  He parted with the Robert Plant hairstyle shortly after this pic was taken, although the earrings and the funky beard remain.

He looks better with short hair, and even maybe a little less evil.  If he does bother to read my blog, which I doubt, because he would have had a major tizzy fit about the Feces Fountain Incident being recorded for posterity, and for all to see, I’m sure he won’t like me using his Facebook pic.  Oh, well.  If you post your pic online without explicitly stating that no one else can use it, I guess you’re asking for it.  At least I didn’t Photo Shop it first and do something outrageous like put Boy George’s head on his body or something.

I am trying to decide which annual plants to put in my flower beds.  I think I will stick with wave petunias- they did well the last couple of times I bothered to plant flowers.  The rose bushes have a lot of buds on them and I am looking forward to the roses blooming.  That’s as close to nature as I like to get.  Flowers- and the Cougar Pool when it gets here. I am looking forward to that.

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assorted rants, cougardom, creative writing, dogs, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy, miscellaneous drivel

Welcome to the Private Cougar Pool, Living With Other Humans, and Related Aggravation

Of course my private cougar pool won’t be this nice, (like I can afford that) but the key word is private, as in capacity: one old cougar, namely me. 

I had contemplated actually either getting a summer pool membership or joining the “Y” again, but when I saw the newspaper article saying that more and more people are buying pool memberships and staying home rather than going on vacations, I decided the only redneck stay-cation option for me was one of those small backyard pools. It’s 10′ in diameter and 30″ deep- nothing huge, and sadly, no diving board, but it’s enough for one old cougar in a floatie chair.   It would really torque me if I paid big bucks to either join the “Y” or get a pool membership, and then discover the pools to be  continually overrun with loud and rowdy rugrats to the point of it being more aggravating to go to the pool than to stay home.   The redneck backyard pool was cheaper than a pool membership,  there will be no screaming kids, and the most delicious part- it’s private.

I am a bit concerned about Jerry.  I’m always concerned about him because of his fragile emotional state, his taste for Natty Lites, and his remarkable ability to screw things up.  I’m almost confident it will piss him off to have a pool on the patio- because it’s not specifically for him.  There’s no fish in it, and it’s too small to fit a boat in it.  Jerry’s interests in water activities end with fishing and boating, so I doubt he will show much interest other than to complain about it.   I don’t mind if he wants to use it, (I don’t see it happening,)  but I do worry about two things if he does.  One, I don’t want him earning his Darwin Award by getting shitfaced and drowning in a 2 ft. pool, (imagine that featured on 1,000 Ways to Die,) and two, I don’t want him destroying it in one way or another- pissing in it, somehow cutting it, draining it or otherwise mutilating it.  One of the benefits of having a private pool is being able to keep out things you don’t want in it, such as piss, dirt, grass pieces, bugs, and shitfaced drunks.

My major concern of course is that no matter where I put the pool- whether I decide to put it in the yard, or on the patio which is closer to the electrical plug where I will need to plug in the filter and pump- he’s not going to like it.  He will whine about me using the patio even though all that’s on it right now is the grill (can be moved to the other side) and a crappy old table that needs to be thrown away anyway.  The patio is probably the best option because it won’t kill his precious grass or take up any dog-shitting area from the girls.  But knowing Jerry, if I put it on the patio, he will ask why I didn’t put it in the grass, and if I put it in the grass he will ask why I didn’t put it on the patio.  When we first moved in there was an old hot tub on the patio that was about the same size as the pool, so I know it will fit and it should work very well there.  There’s also more shade on the patio, so my super-white carcass won’t have to be exposed to too much sun.  I’ll still need the Factor 50, but I need that just to step outside in high summer anyway.

Sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness than to beg for permission.  This is one of those times.   The pool’s not moving once it’s filled up.  He will be in Lancaster this weekend, so if the pool arrives on time, this should be perfect timing for me to power-clean the patio, and get my redneck getaway underway.

Part of the problem of communal living is that other people do gross things that they don’t think are gross, but that in reality, are positively disgusting.  I gave up on bar soap many years ago for this reason, (few things are nastier than bathing with other people’s stray body hair) and that is a major advantage of body wash and/or liquid hand soap.  No one else has been fingering the body wash or the liquid hand soap, and there are no curlies in it.  Jerry can leave as many curlies as he wants hopelessly embedded in the surface of the soap bar, because it’s his soap.  I’m not using it, so it’s OK!

Maybe the thing with stray human hair bothers me because I am not a big fan of excessive body hair to begin with, and there’s just something gross about the thought of washing with someone else’s pubes.  It’s just counterintuitive.  I’ve washed, but with something that used to be attached to someone’s balls. Why bother washing if you’re just washing in used ball hair?    Then again, I could be becoming my mother and getting her OCD, but I doubt it, because OCDers can not stand to be around dogs because of the risk of getting dog hair on them.   I think Mom went nuts with the lint-grabber for an hour after spending less than five minutes with Sheena.  Granted, Sheena’s white hair against a background of black pants is not a flattering look.  Even so, dog hair doesn’t really phase me that much.  Dogs come with hair, and that’s just part of the reality.   It’s wicked to get dog hair out of the car, off my clothes and worst of all off the floor- my adventures with poorly sucking vacuum cleaners are both legendary and frequent, but compared with the aggravation and mess of living with fellow humans, dog hair is a really minor issue. 

Speaking of vacuum cleaners, Jerry thought he got a really good one when he got an ancient, but barely used, Hoover upright at an estate sale.  It works great- when it works- but the last time I tried to vacuum with it I ended up breaking two belts and pissing myself off enough to go back to using the other one which by some miracle has lasted two and a half years.  I have to constantly pull it apart and unclog it, but I think that’s going to happen regardless of what kind of vacuum cleaner I try. 

The vacuum cleaner is the only thing I can think of that sucks when it doesn’t suck.

I can also see myself if I live to be old- surrounded by dogs and cats.  Aunt Frances didn’t care much for people either, (except for maybe Jimmy Swaggart,) but she had thirty-odd cats in and out of her house at any given time.  I don’t think she liked dogs either, so for her it was just cats until she broke her hip and ended up in the nursing home.  That was actually sad, because then all she had to look forward to was Jimmy Swaggart. 

I think I’d much rather have had the cats.

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