Some Enchanted Dingleberry, Confessions of the Mildly Neurotic, and Everyone Needs a Hobby

Ah, dandelion season.  I don’t mind them (unless they are adding to my current allergic-to-all-those-things-out-in-nature that I can neither eliminate nor control nightmare hell), at least not from an aesthetic viewpoint.  I think they’re nature’s way of giving the big old one finger salute to the guys out there who are completely obsessed with the lawn.  You know who you are.  Golfers too.  I can relate to George Carlin’s opinion of golfers and golf courses

Three years of being a manager at an Infiniti dealership taught me all I ever wanted to know about golfers.  (Columbus, OH- Muirfield- the damned Memorial Tournament…every farking year…) By and large, the golfers I’ve had the bad luck to encounter were pompous bastards who spend a shitload of money on their golf stuff, but can’t seem to come off of the cash to maintain their luxury car, AND who also have the stones to whine and bitch and demand free shit from the dealer when said luxury car breaks down due to lack of maintenance.   I have absolutely no sympathy for some tool who buys a high dollar car and then has the audacity to throw a fit when they discover that the maintenance and repair of said luxury car costs three times as much as it did for the Corolla he traded in.  Dipshit.  Research it before you buy the high faluting ride with the V8 turbo, the tires that cost $1500 each, and the very sensitive electronic systems, you dingleberry. Drive like a sport, pay like a sport (wonder why I drive a Yaris?) and shut up.  Junior might have to skip a lacrosse lesson or two, or you might just have to suck it up and drink Natties instead of Anchor Steam for awhile.  Or just forget about the luxury ride altogether and save yourself both the prestige- and the expense.  Here’s how this ‘po woman spells Lexus- T-O-Y-O-T-A.  Just as reliable at less than half the cost, although I do forgo the V8 turbo, and the ass warmers in the seats. 

I guess golf keeps aging, balding, wanna-be-somebody yuppie types out of the brothels.  Or maybe not, if you’re talking about Tiger Woods.  I’m glad Jerry can’t afford to golf.  Gambling and drinking are bad enough.  Let’s not add social diseases or fashion violations.  

Everyone needs a hobby.  I like to do cross stitch and play games on the DS when I get a chance.  I’m low maintenance.  Jerry is very high maintenance, and he’s hyper and paranoid to boot.   He needs a hobby that tires him out and involves some sweating and getting dirty.  I don’t mind if he goes fishing (as long as I am not dragged along) or if he gets into picking dandelions out of the yard by hand.   I am grateful he can’t dress bad enough to be a golfer, and he’s too much of a redneck to give up his truck.

I know it’s not nice but every time I see Jerry traipsing about out front with that chemical sprayer hoochie spraying each and every visible dandelion I visualize a few different scenarios and none of them are pretty.  The first visual that comes to mind is Dale from King of the Hill.

Jerry shares more in common with the fictional Dale Gribble than I would like to admit.

I mean, Jerry drinks a lot of beer and smokes a lot of smokes.  He likes to spray chemicals at weeds.  He’s also paranoid like that too- thinking that the government has cameras on him and such.  I know the cops like to camp out in the Wonder outlet across the street and sit and watch Jerry when he’s crushing cans and drinking beer in the garage.  Apparently, local law enforcement is easily entertained.  I’m sure they’ve observed his mowing-while-somewhat-inebriated with a certain degree of…probably not concern…amusement, more likely.  I don’t think the state of Ohio has come up with any sort of statute concerning the legality of drunken mowing on a push mower- yet.  I would think “public intoxication” would cover it, but I’d have to assume that since the cops only observe from afar (and get some priceless video on the dash cam for later enjoyment no doubt,) that drunken mowing must still be OK as long as you’re not on a rider mower.

 

Observations of the Great Unwashed, and The Mind is the First Thing to Go

I’ve always been a bit scatterbrained.  My brain does not generally work like a flow chart.  Somehow I go from point A to point F and it usually ends up making sense in the end, but where I got the idea to skip all the points in between I don’t know.   I make some really strange connections that are logical to me but to no one else.  I wouldn’t call it ADHD, because I can truly focus and be detailed- perhaps too much so- when necessity calls for a high level of detail.   I get lost in details very easily if I’m not careful.  But in the normal course of life I have my own personal scribbled mental shorthand that serves as a sort of guide to daily activity. 

This tendency to skip ahead in the logical progression of things sometimes leads to forgetting and/or misplacing things.  I know I should probably slow down or write things down or something like that, but I am not a very good planner by nature.  I always have way too much to do and I wonder how I get any of it done.  I know how easily plans get screwed up and then you end up having to improvise anyway.  For good or for ill, most days I’m winging it.  I think Steve-o has inherited the same characteristic- forgetting those little details, like socks.  Few things are funnier than an adult male (with birdy narrow feet) in purple Hello Kitty socks:

At least someone had a spare pair of socks that didn’t smell like fermented cow shit like the ones he had worn the previous two days.

I’m sort of pissed off that I lost my Skullcandy headphones that I’ve had for about 3 years (a record for me and headphones, as I lose them often) and I had to buy a new set.  The new ones are nice- but I have no freaking clue where in the hell my other set ended up. 

Then there’s the Fanny incident.  I know Fanny tries to get out, and I usually have no problem keeping her in because she’s both big and slow.   Yes, I was sleep-deprived in a bad way and just plain crispy Thursday night, but it’s no excuse.  My ineptitude and oversight  is not worth a dead cat. I know the next time I go to the pet food joint (probably tomorrow) that I am going to have to get her a collar and tag- with a bell- and she will wear it even though I know she hates collars and I will get several weeks’ worth of stink-eye over it.  Cats are vindictive creatures, and Fanny is no exception.  If she were like the other two cats who have absolutely no interest in the World Beyond the Door, then I wouldn’t need to do it.  Perhaps with a bell on I will be able to hear as well as see her.

Sometimes I go digging either in my room or in my purse and I find stuff I didn’t realize I had.  That’s just plain wrong.  I don’t know if I am becoming forgetful simply because I have been  chronically sleep-deprived and constantly running at full bore for such a long time, or because senility is setting in.  I don’t sleep well and haven’t for years because my sinuses drain 24/7.  I have to sleep on a 45° angle (picture a large wedge pillow, because this is what I have to use) to keep from choking to death on my own snot.  It’s better to live with the constant drainage, because if they don’t drain, they get infected and inflamed and I can’t breathe at all. 

NNo one should ever have to worry about choking to death on snot, but I have to.

I guess choking on snot would be a better way to go than ODing and croaking on the crapper like Elvis, or ODing on dog anesthetic like Michael Jackson (Propofol is actually one of the better dog anesthetics because it is metabolized quickly, and can be used on dogs that are sensitive to other anesthetic agents, BUT, even in dogs respiration has to be strictly monitored because one of Propofol’s side effects is that it can stop breathing) or ODing and drowning in the bathwater like Whitney Houston, but I really don’t want to go that way.   I don’t think I’ll be ODing on anything voluntarily, but one of my deepest and most primal fears is being suffocated to death.  I blame my sadistic oldest sister for that one, as well as for my inability to eat or drink after other people- especially blood relatives.  No I will not take a bite off the fork that you stuck in your filthy mouth and slobbered all over.  Not until it has been duly sanitized.   To this day if you take a swig off of my pop bottle, you own it.  I don’t  want it back.  Ever.  Even if you swear you don’t backwash.  I refuse to consciously swap saliva (and whatever else is in the backwash you leave behind) with anyone.  Not the old man, not my son, and probably not even Steve Perry, should he ever have the opportunity to hijack my Diet Dr. Pepper. 

At least I am not as OCD as Mom.  She is one of those people who refuses to touch the inside door handle in a public bathroom, and she still believes you can get VD from a toilet seat.

Maybe not so much VD, but let’s hope that is some sturdy plastic going on there.

I had to take a picture of this sign the other day. It was sort of depressing though, because as I thought about it, no I can’t remember when the last time was, and I am not talking about flowers.  I’m not sure if Clinton or Bush II was President.   I am a pathetic specimen for sure.

I Have My Fanny Back!, Transcendental Redneck Moments, and a Beer (in a tree…)

I love double entendre, but no, I’ve not managed to misplace my ass.  Yet.

Fanny, for the occasional reader, is my 15# silver tabby and white cat.  I named her whilst listening to a classic song by Queen: “Fat Bottomed Girls.”  Fanny was only a 12 week old kitten when I rescued her from the side of the road in rural Fairfield County, (way out in BFE)  and I didn’t think her to be terribly large at that time, but the name took on a life of its own as Fanny grew.  It seems rural barn cat type cats grow really well on premium cat food and relaxed, climate-controlled indoor living.  By the time she was old enough to be spayed, even the Vet commented, “This is going to be a BIG cat.” 

One of the reasons I like our Vet is that she is very seldom wrong.  She was not at all wrong about Fanny being a behemoth.  I wish she were wrong about how difficult it is to treat Lilo’s (our crosseyed and bowlegged GSD/Chow mix) allergies.  Lilo absolutely hates the baths in the special shampoo, but it does help keep her skin from getting all nasty and crusty.  Seborrhea really sucks.  It is manageable with good diet and frequent baths (and occasional cycles of Prednisone) but I wouldn’t wish it on any poor dog.  Especially Lilo, because she is very sweet.

I’ve seen larger cats- somehow our Vet ends up with the same sturdy barn cat types like Fanny, and she’s had some males that have been over 20#, but female cats tend to be smaller than males.  Fanny is probably in the 90th percentile of cat size.  She is large-framed, but she does have some big meat on those big bones too. 

One thing Fanny likes to do from time to time is to sneak out the door when the dogs go out.  Usually I catch her- she’s not a fast runner by any stretch- but if I don’t see her slip out I can’t catch her.  Thursday night I have to admit I was not at my most aware.  Between camping out at Children’s Hospital with the kids and a very sick baby girl, and trying to keep up with the end of the month rush at work, I was pretty strung out at 11PM.  I’d been up and running since 4AM.  I remember letting the dogs out.  Friday morning I realized Fanny must have sneaked out with them as she wasn’t readily available to suck down her morning portion of wet food.   Fanny does not normally miss out any sort of feeding opportunity, and has been known to shove dogs out of the way to get what she has coming.  Fanny backs down to no dog.

I was so preoccupied with my granddaughter that I really didn’t get too worked up about poor Fanny.  By the time the baby was released from the hospital Saturday I was an exhausted mess, and such a sorry sack of shit that I didn’t even go out to try to find Fanny.  I did make some excursions out back Sunday but was unsuccessful.  By yesterday (Monday) I was really getting frantic that she hadn’t appeared at the back door acting as if she were starving to death, so I made yet another foray into the back lot behind the fence under the junk truck and in the middle of the burr bushes.  Finally I heard a weak little mew (for a large cat Fanny has a very tiny voice) and saw her pointy little head peek out from under the truck.   She simply hunched down and let me scoop her up.  So I am delighted to get her back even though I was covered with those damned burrs.

I think I’m going to have to collar and microchip that cat even though she despises a collar. I don’t know where her head is at getting out- there’s no food, the ferals absolutely hate her, and they chase her off before she can even get to the food scraps we throw out for them. 

Just a transient thought- I hate pompous assholes who think they know it all and their shit doesn’t stink, but who go to great lengths to rub other people’s noses in their mistakes.  Never mind that the person who is getting ripped on is the one who actually does something other than fart off and run their mouth about sports and other stupid shit.  The only reason people like that don’t appear to screw up is because the only things they bother to do is showboat, nitpick those who are doing their jobs for them (because they’re either too lazy or  too stupid to do their own work) and bitch about what other people are doing and nosing about in their business.  These same people who seem to be first to make a mountain out of a molehill are always willing to let me do their work as well as my own while they fart off and get into some stupid assed discussion about sports or gambling or other stupid shit.  I really, really, really hate that- although I won’t mention any names.  I would like to engage in some passive-aggressive revenge, but even that’s not worth it.  Those sorts of people are just not worth the effort or the aggravation. 

I know, I know, the best thing I can do is ignore such commentary, and usually I do.  I can take criticism a lot better from those who aren’t lazy snobs who are obsessed with sports, and who admit that from time to time they screw up too.  Dad always said if you never screw up it’s because you aren’t doing anything.  No shit.  Maybe it’s my own fault because I never got interested in sports, but I don’t have the attention span for such bullshit. It’s just too much of a waste of time.  I do really want to throttle the pompous asshole who I am being kind enough not to name….must…think…of…something….else.

On a brighter note, The Bob and Doug McKenzie version of the 12 Days of Christmas has got to be one of my favorite holiday themed songs.  And a beer in a tree indeed.   I love the visual:

Must…not…strangle…pompous….assholes….

The Shitty Service Discount (A Walmart Critique) and No Way to Spend a Weekend

I admit I’ve never been a Walmart fan.  While I am cheap and I like saving money, I don’t like standing in line for hours (or trying to find a cashier when all the checkout lanes are closed) and I don’t like surly help.  I see their side of the issue- either you want it cheap or you want it with a smile, but you can’t have both.

I don’t blame the Team Members at Walmart.  Minimum wage with no benefits really sucks and is only one step up from being homeless and living under the bridge.  That I do understand, and it bites.  My only counter to that predicament would be that one will never get out of the minimum wage, part-time no benefits hole unless you do what’s completely counterintuitive.  Smile and be the best freaking Walmart stockboy you can be.  Or at least, learn English.

In a way it was a bit fortuitous that on my last visit to Walmart- the 6AM Quest for Pennzoil- my receipt included a survey/ sweepstakes entry.  I don’t think I will win their $1000 gift card, especially if they toss out all of the unfavorable surveys.  However, I don’t see that Walmart location ever getting a favorable survey.   I simply told the truth.  The place wasn’t clean.  The Team Members I encountered were downright surly. I don’t care if it’s 6AM, if you’re a 24 hour joint you at least have to have one or two people at the register, preferably somewhat motivated English speaking people.  The only ones who would remotely consider rating it favorably likely can’t understand enough English to complete the survey.  Maybe they would have liked it better if I had scribbled it out in crayon on a page from a Hello Kitty coloring book instead of submitting it online.  I know I would never give me the option to fill in the blank and comment on a survey.  That’s just asking for me to give it to you with both barrels.  Case in point- here is my commentary I gave on the Walmart survey when asked, “How may we serve you better?”

I have to say my visit to Walmart was highly disappointing.  I made the mistake of thinking I could avoid the rush by shopping at 6AM since you are a 24 hour establishment.  I understand that 6AM is not the busiest time of the day, but it might help if some of your team members on duty actually spoke the English language- that is, the ones that I can find who aren’t actively ignoring me.  It would be nice if I could buy a jug of Pennzoil in less than 45 minutes, 40 of which were spent trying to find a cashier available and willing to check me out so I could finally pay you and leave. 

On a brighter note, while Martha Stewart might not have approved of the general squalor in your establishment, I am glad that I didn’t discover any feces or corpses on the floor, which was a plus. Then again, I didn’t look very hard for those either.  Perhaps the dead bodies and dookie are back in the grocery section or something.

 Given my usual irreverence, I thought, for my own amusement, that I’d conduct a little non-scientific Walmart survey of my own.

 

Usually when I get surveys of any sort I try to be honest and I try to be complimentary if the compliments are due.  I remember all too well how seriously Toyota takes their dealer surveys.  If a Toyota dealer gets even a neutral survey, the district rep will be in the dealership and on the “offending” department like white on rice wondering what you did to make so-and-so’s experience anything less than “completely satisfying.”  If Walmart takes their surveys as seriously as Toyota does, (which I have to doubt,) someone there is in serious shit, and in my humble opinion the whole damned place should be.  It’s one thing to offer discounts on virtually everything, (I understand there’s a big difference between Nordstrom’s and Walmart,) but there’s no excuse for a complete lack of customer service to the point of not having one available cashier during business hours.

Now I should be reprimanding myself for being so derisive.  I have to admit not all Walmarts are this dismal, and I should know better than to think anyone has anything but illiterate and comatose help at 6AM.  I am grateful that my weekend didn’t end as badly as it started. 

I have spent more time than most people in hospitals and Dr.s offices.  While I don’t enjoy it , I do have a certain comfort level in medical facilities that most people don’t have.  I understand a good bit of the terminology.  I know a good bit about common procedures- how they’re done and why.  I have to remember that poor Steve-o is not nearly as acclimated to such things and he freaks easily.  So when they had to take the baby to Children’s last Wednesday he was climbing the walls.

I have to admit that it was most unsettling to me Wednesday night to hear that my month-old granddaughter was barely responding, was dehydrated, had a high fever and had just been transferred to Children’s.  What Steve-o in his distress didn’t understand was that her mother and other grandmother took exactly the correct steps and got her immediate treatment.  If not for their quick thinking and fast action I shudder to think of the consequences.  Because she got treatment immediately – the cultures revealed that somehow she had gotten salmonella poisoning- she will recover completely and be quite fine.  Even so she was in the hospital from Wednesday night until Saturday afternoon.  Very few things are more distressing than such a tiny little one having to undergo IVs, blood draws, and worst of all, a spinal tap.  I never went through anything this serious with Steve-o.  He had a bad ear infection when he was 6 months old, chicken pox when he was a year old, and strep throat when he was 7, and that was about the worst of his infectious diseases.

Apparently salmonella is fairly common in the general environment and most adults have some immunity to it, but infants and small children don’t.  Even a very tiny bit of contamination would have been enough.  They threw out all her bottles and nipples and whatever formula and bought all new.  I hope that was sufficient to keep this from coming back.  I don’t like doing the hospital thing with adults,but there are few things more pathetic than a nine pound newborn strapped to an IV.   The good thing is she won’t remember a thing.  The bad thing is that I will.  I’m one of those people who does what needs to be done and for good or ill deals with the attending emotions later.  I stayed with her through the blood draw and helped keep her still and distracted enough to let the nurses do their job.  I never knew that the only way to find a newborn’s veins is with a bright red light shined under the arm.  Weird.

Yesterday I pretty much came home from church and the grocery and slept the rest of the day.  I hope next weekend that everyone is well -and that I can stay out of Walmart.