For the Love of Ephemera, Victorian Fashion Torture, and I Want My Car Back

Ok, for the second bloody time now.  Why, oh, why did this damned thing zap the whole body of this post?   I am glad I don’t have to wear clothing like this.  I like the prices and I like the coverage, but I need a waist a tad bit larger than the circumference of my spine.   Corsets had to be nasty things to wear.

Now I know why these women died young.  They couldn’t breathe.

So, should I choose to design my own fashion,  to achieve the goals of comfort and coverage, and not rely on today’s dismal offerings from gay fashion designers who manage to only come up with clothes suitable for those with an exhibition fetish and the proportions of a 12 year old boy, I would have to come up with something like this ensemble:

The illustrious Steve-o has my car this week, which sucks.  He only has it because no one else had a reliable vehicle for him to drive whilst the infinitesimal intermittent miss he claims to hear in his Audi-  when a laundry list of conditions are met- is being checked out by his high-faluting buddies down in Cinci.  So I’m driving Dad’s nasty ’92 Mazda van that does, to its credit, have nice cold A/C, but I’m having my doubts about the ball joints, tie rods and that rather disturbing lifter noise.  Steve-o is the most anal dude on the planet (and I’ve seen some very anal car enthusiasts in my time) when it comes to his own car.  I just hope that he doesn’t think that because he’s using my car- for free- that it’s party time.

It’s not a Mazerati, but it does have nice cold A/C, a decent stereo and 5 on the floor.  Damn, I miss my car.

I feel sort of sorry for Dad.  He’s stuck in that nursing home rehab center, and the food is just plain frightening.  What’s worse is he’s going to get enough scary food when he goes home and Mom attempts to cook.  On the plus side he is losing weight, but it’s sort of sad to lose weight just because you can’t identify what’s on your plate and you’re afraid to eat it.  Dad wanted me to drive his van- he can’t drive at all for at least another three weeks while his sternum heals- rather than Steve-o driving it, because Steve-o has a 40 mile drive through the middle of nowhere to get to work.  I can get retrieved a little easier should Dad’s ancient Mazda decide not to start, or if the steering and/or suspension fails.  I hope it holds together, but I can always commandeer Jerry’s Tacoma, and probably should anyway.  The Tacoma has a manual transmission and Jerry hasn’t managed to blow the speakers in it.  The Mazda would have a good stereo- if not for all the speakers being blown to hell.

Better living through chemicals, especially when they’re in pastries!

Creative Parenting, Culture Shock, and a Wardrobe Malfunction

I didn’t think the yellow rose would bloom this year- but it’s doing pretty well.

Oh, where do I begin?  The past week and a half has been absolutely insane, especially with all the stuff going on with Dad.  I have been trying to distract myself from the medical mayhem as much as I can- partially because I’ve already spent way too much time in medical facilities and hospitals due to my own laundry lists of ailments, and partially because it’s really difficult to see him incapacitated in that way.  My sympathies to the people at the rehab center- especially if he gets pissed or starts feeling a little too frisky- but I am very thankful he’s doing well.  Of course, because of Dad’s illness and surgery, I have been spending a lot more time up north, which is always a bit disquieting even when everyone is healthy and things are hunky-dory.  Things move a lot slower in a small town, and that’s different enough, but there are more subtleties for the vigilant eye to observe .  I don’t think I’ve seen white landscapers since the late ’80s. 

I thought only Jerry after a six pack or more, (or Mexicans) could get these things to run.

Here’s a solid case against the sale of multi-colored duct tape, and a caution against painting green moustaches on lame mid 90s GM sedans. Acck.  And this piece of work was sitting in the hospital parking lot. 

Along with the slower pace of life, one encounters a few things in rural areas that aren’t nearly as common (or perhaps as easily overlooked.)   I’ve seen some unholy pieces of attempts at do it yourself automotive body work, though to be fair, it’s more typically trucks that are customized in this fashion. 

It’s really scary that there’s someone out there who thinks the “General Lee’s” color scheme looks cool on an old lawn mower.

It would, however, be cool to be able to jump over cop cars like that.

Worse than the vehicles “pimped” by denizens of the trailer park, are the denizens of the trailer park themselves.  I had to have viewed at least as many bad tats just in the Wal Mart alone (though I admit I did not have the courage to get pics) as one would expect to see during Bike Week at Sturgis

Uh, I know this is your sixth margarita, but your pants are falling off…

I used to be a binge drinker, so I really shouldn’t make fun of the shitfaced, ’cause I’ve been there myself.  I really couldn’t help myself on this pic, though.  I was able to take this one relatively safely because with my good friend, digital zoom,  I could stay conveniently out of view.  Suffice to say the take home lesson from this tragic pic (and I cropped it so nobody can see her face or guess who it is) that if you’re going to get shitfaced with your buds, please wear pants that are going to stay up.  I’d even say wear suspenders if you think you can operate them seven or eight Kamikazes into it.  One would think it would be rather breezy with one’s cheek hanging out of one’s pants, but alcohol can hamper one’s ability to keep one’s drawers up- and it can obscure the knowledge that one’s drawers are dangerously low to begin with.  I get to see it all the time at home.

Now I know what to do with Jerry the next time he’s passed out.  Get creative with a red Sharpie.  Sure it’s not technically parenting, but I do have to manage a 55 year old toddler.  I need to have a little more fun with it.

I’ve always been one to practice creative parenting.  I discovered a long time ago that there are ways to keep your private things private.  Boys find certain things to be inherently mysterious and disgusting at the same time.  Nobody’s going to be looking for an extra $20 in the Summer’s Eve box, for example. 

A box no man will willingly open.  Even if he thinks there might be yuppie food stamps inside.

I found a creative way to hide perishables also.  I am not a huge fan of chicken gizzards, although I can prepare them in such a fashion that they are somewhat edible.  Though Jerry will look down at and refuse to eat dishes I might consider as delicacies, such as cocktail shrimp, Jerry and his buddy Bob adore gizzards whenever I can get them.  While hiding things in the gizzard container is not effective at all in deterring Jerry from investigating the contents, Steve-o would always steer clear of this:


Even better if I fill those containers with cocktail shrimp.

Crazy as Shithouse Rats, White Powder Madness, Nightmares from the Service Lane (Part II)

I have to say the 1990’s were the White Powder era, and I’m not talking about OxyClean.  Automotive people have always been somewhat notorious for substance abuse.  I remember a time when almost all technicians and salesmen were heavy smokers and heavy drinkers.  I knew a few techs who partook of  herbal enjoyment on a regular basis too, although this is not nearly as common today because most repair facilities and dealerships do routine- or at least random- drug testing these days.  The possibility of being singled out for the Piss Test has contributed to many people getting and staying clean these days, but drug testing was rare until the late 1990’s.  I’m not a technician, but I had to have similar training, and I worked closely with them.  I was a chain smoker and binge drinker too, but that’s about as bad as the substance abuse thing went with me. 

Unfortunately the upper-level managers (especially the ones acquired through nepotism- i.e. owners’ sons, brothers-in-law, etc.) could afford better drugs than us peons who would go out and have a few shots or maybe a toke or two on a joint.  White powder was a common scourge among salesmen, finance managers, sales managers, and general managers.  Occasionally one would see a parts or service manager who was into white powder too (I worked for two parts managers who were hard core coke heads) but it was less common.    I had the bad fortune to work in one dealership where both the parts manager (who was my direct boss) and the general manager were high as hell on coke just about every day. 

I’m plenty aware of drugs.  I’ve gotten to experience the rantings of the drunk, stoned and high for years.

The general manager I speak of (I am omitting names to protect the guilty) was about 5’3″ high and about 5’3″ wide.  He taught me one good lesson: Crown Royal is not an acceptable breakfast choice, unless you’re planning on staying in bed all day.  Mr. Roly Poly (who just about wore the Avalon he drove) came in the service drive one morning with some pretty bad scrapes on the front cover of the new Avalon he was driving.  God only knows what he hit- or how many things he hit- on the way to work, but there were some nice bright white scrapes on that all black car. He opened the door, unbuckled his seat belt, and pretty much rolled out of said Avalon onto the concrete.  If I had to guess, I’d say he was at least 40 proof.  At 7 AM.  Since the whole shop was afraid of this guy nobody had the guts to mention the obvious even as he staggered across the shop and somehow dragged himself into his office, where he probably locked the door and finished the bottle of Crown Royal he had stashed in his desk.

This dude was a certifiable psycho even when he wasn’t drunk and/or high, but when he was plastered (and chumming it up with the parts manager- an obnoxious buddy of his, not the guy who hired me, and who I also couldn’t stand) he was a class A douche.  He hated women working in automotive and was rather vocal about it.  Whenever he saw me behind the counter- which was often because I worked the retail counter back then- he would make comments about how he’d rather have one of the guys help him since I couldn’t possibly know anything, etc. and so on.  One day he read me the riot act about not wearing my name tag (neither did anyone else, but I was the only one harassed about it) even though if I did wear it, he would still call me “Tina,” even though that’s not my name.  He called all the women who worked in that dealership “Tina” for some bizarre reason.

Tina?  The only time I’ve ever had remotely red hair in my life was one time in high school when I (most erroneously) thought henna would make it darker…but I had my typical Nice-n-Easy 124 (Natural Blue Black) going on when this joker called me Tina.

I did get the satisfaction of witnessing the big blowup the owner had with both of these bozos- in the middle of the service department in front of the techs- when the owner happened to drop in right as these jerkoffs came back from the titty bar- drunk and high and out of their minds.  Needless to say, it was their last day.  I generally don’t like to see people get fired, but I couldn’t have been more overjoyed to see these two festering assholes go.  I was even more delighted when I learned, shortly after their unplanned departure, that both of them had gotten social diseases.  So they had to explain to their wives- a.) I got fired for coming back from lunch drunk and high, and b.) you’re going to need to go to the Dr. because, guess what, I gave you the clap!

I worked as a parts manager in another dealership where white powder was rampant among the salesmen.  I’ve only met two car salesmen in my life that I didn’t want to instinctively strangle on sight- one is a dear friend, the other I’ve lost touch with, but both were ex-military and very down to earth people. 

Most car salesmen are egotistical pricks who think the world revolves around them, and while they generally don’t know jack squat about what they’re selling, they are condescending to those who do actually know the product- the techs, advisors, and parts personnel.  That’s just plain grating.  My good friend was working at this dealership selling cars among the coke heads (he was not a coke user, thankfully.)  This guy was about 6’4″ and a good 250#, and he had been in the Army for 20+ years as a drill sergeant.  My friend had walked into the men’s while this other guy (who was an obnoxious little prick if I say so myself) was snorting up a line- right there in the men’s room.   Big mistake.  The next time I saw Mr. Obnoxious Prick he had a black eye, a broken arm, and pretty much looked like he’d been run over by a truck.  He was also amazingly quiet, and ever so polite when he was asking me about an order for one of his customer’s cars, so much so, that I had to ask him what the hell happened.  Maybe there was something I needed to know about keeping these guys in line.

His answer was, “I fell down.”

I thought that a bit fishy, because Mr. Obnoxious Prick was beat up pretty bad to have just fallen down.  Later that afternoon, I asked my friend, who had to work with this guy, what exactly happened.  He told me Mr. Obnoxious Prick did fall down, but he had a little help, as in, “What happened to Dinkus*,?” to which my friend replied,

“I happened to him.  He had a little help falling down. I caught him snorting a line in the men’s room.” 

*not his real name, but should have been…

I understand R. Lee Ermey is a Marine (and the movie Full Metal Jacket totally kicks ass,) but apparently, messing with a retired Army drill sergeant isn’t a very good idea either.

Crazy as Shithouse Rats, and Nightmares from the Service Lane (Part I)

I was sort of mulling over in my head the weird people and bizarre incidents that I’ve experienced in 25 years in the automotive industry.  I’ve always been in what the dealers call the “fixed operations” part of it- parts and service as opposed to selling entire vehicles.  I’m more of a techie type than an emotional, “I wanna sell you stuff ” type- so I’m not going to be good on selling someone on the pretty blue paint job and all the bright, shiny chrome.  I can tell you what a timing belt is, though, and why you are in deep shit trouble if it breaks out in the middle of the freeway. (especially if you own an older Honda with an interference engine, but I digress.)

Generally I try not to use much automotive terminology here,  because most people have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about, unless they’re motorheads too.

Most people are not motorheads and don’t understand the terminology, and I’m not into long and drawn out explanations.  Anyone who drives should know a few basic things (yes, I’ve coordinated car care seminars and I’ve gone through the New Car Checklist with hundreds – salesmen are supposed to do that- but are often too busy ignorant to do so.)  One of the most tragic customers I’ve ever encountered was a college student who had bought an ’87 Tercel (which, admittedly, that year and model was one of the very few of Toyota’s four cylinder cars I would NOT recommend) and was in tears when I had to inform her that the engine was blown and not repairable (when there’s a connecting rod blown clean through the block, the only fix is to replace the entire engine.)  She looked up at me and in all wide-eyed seriousness said, “But I didn’t even put 30,000 miles on it.”  The poor girl had run this car for 15,000 miles without changing the oil, because she thought it was only necessary to change the oil every 30,000 miles.  What was left of the motor oil in this car was a clumpy, burnt-up, coagulated mess stuck to the bottom of the oil pan.  I’m surprised it ran as long as it did before it blew up.  Oh, and decimal places are important.  Just so you know, although most manufacturers have since gone from a 3,000 mile to a 5,000 mile maintenance interval.

I had another guy who contributed to a catastrophic failure on his own car by assuming that just because it’s red and it’s a fluid that it’s automatic transmission fluid.  Had he called me (and he was a good customer of mine) I would have told him that while the stuff that comes out of a Toyota cooling system is red, it’s NOT ATF, and putting ATF in your cooling system is a Very Bad Idea.   That mistake cost him about four grand.   Our tech had to flush his entire cooling system, replace the water pump, head gasket, and power wash just about everything in the entire engine and cooling system that comes in contact with coolant.   All because he was too cheap to pay us to do a $79.95 coolant drain and fill- and that would have included the Toyota Red coolant.  Penny wise (no, not the clown) and pound foolish, no?

This is red.  It goes in your Toyota’s  engine cooling system.

This is also red, but does NOT go in the engine cooling system.  Ever.

Certain vehicles are very prone to acquiring foreign objects in the air intake systems.  I loved the older Camrys, but so did vermin, especially in rural areas.  I don’t know how many air filters we discovered torn to hell and stuffed with dog food.  We also encountered a few blower fans (squirrel cages) that ended up being nesting areas for mice.

Mice and blower fans are not a very good combination.

I worked with a particularly obnoxious primadouche technician one time- well two times, at two different dealerships. Lucky me.  He was a gifted tech, and I would definitely trust him to work on my car, but he was a festering asshole of a human being.  He did have a very glaring weakness for one who works with heavy machinery and sharp things though. He could not stand the sight of blood.   He was working on an older Camry on which the customer complaint was “a rubbing sound when you turn on the blower motor.”  As he pulled the squirrel cage out, to his horror, was a nest of chopped up baby mice- which he dropped on the floor as he ran over to the nearest trash bucket and began projectile vomiting.

Always the inciteful person in the shop, (with my iron guts and the gleeful assumption that I’d found Mr. Primadouche’s Achilles heel,)  I wandered on over to see if he’s just being a pussy, or if I really needed to call the squad.   Being that it was the former rather than the latter, I picked up the squirrel cage, dismembered mouse parts and all, dumped it out in a trash bucket that wasn’t being puked in, and then proceeded to power wash the rest of the guts out in the wash bay.  When Mr. Primadouche was done blowing chunks, I calmly laid the squeaky clean squirrel cage on top of his workbench and went back to checking in my stock order.  The rest of the guys in the shop were rolling on the floor with laughter, that the “parts bitch” had- yet again- shown up Mr. Primadouche.

This was the same douchebag who tossed a Celica exhaust (yep, not just the muffler-this unit was complete from the cat back) across the shop at me because he was pissed that he got the wrong one.  He gave me the wrong information when he ordered it.  I know, I should have made him give me a VIN, and from that moment on, I did exactly that anytime he wanted me to special order anything for him or any of his buddies ever again.  I’m just glad he missed, because that son of a bitch would have left  a mark.

I got a little bit of revenge when he and the washboy were smoking their lunch one fine afternoon.  I never understood why he would sit in his truck and smoke the reefer at lunch when there was a highway patrol station next door, but these two would get high out there every day.  This truck looked like something that belonged in a Cheech and Chong movie.  It was a jacked up fugly old Dodge 4X4 that looked like it had narrowly survived the apocalypse.

The belt molding (where the bottom of the window meets the door frame) was just above my head.  So Cheech and Chong couldn’t see me (though I could clearly see that fine skunkweed smoke billowing out of the cowl panel) as I took a rubber hammer, banged on the driver’s side door, and at the top of my voice screamed, “POLICE!  OUT OF THE TRUCK NOW!!”   As I was running across the lot after the two had fallen out of the truck, I looked back and sort of felt bad because Primadouche had been so scared he wet his pants.

To be continued…

Everyone Has a Purpose, Apparently Mine Involves Graciously Accepting Others’ Shit

Suffice to say I’m not in a terribly great mood today.  The pragmatic side of me says that Jerry was a bit overdue for a drunk-n-stupid episode- it’s been almost a week- so I should be happy with conveniently being out of town and missing the Monday Night drunk-n-stupid.  The only problem with that was I got the Wednesday Night make-up round complete with two of the three elements I hate about the drunk-n-stupids.  One, he started in about money, blissfully ignorant of how much I just plain pay out for his skank ass, and also blissfully ignorant that when you sell crap on E-Bay you have to pay a fee on it, and you have to pay to ship it.  Explaining anything involving money or expenses to him when he’s trashed is like nailing Jell-o to a tree.  I should have just nodded my head and agreed with him- because when he’s shitfaced (even more than when he’s sober) he thinks any crazy shit that pops up in his head is Gospel truth, but I was stupid and decided to set him straight on a few things.  Mistake.   

So I got the oat opera torture until midnight and an attempt at drunken groping that was not only futile but just plain disgusting.  The problem is the only time he even gets horny is when he’s shitfaced, and the only thing he can do about it is slobber all over me and wave his nasty cigarettes around and spill beer all over everything.  Blecch.  My standards admittedly are low, but that’s just plain nasty.  There are a few things that can put an old cougar off doing the wild thing with the quickness:

Cigarettes.  Even back in the day when I smoked, I had the common courtesy to wait until AFTER the deed was done to light up.  Now that I haven’t smoked for years, just smelling cig smoke is enough to make me gag- without waving the damn thing in my face, ashing all over the place, and getting way too close to putting burn holes in my sheets and my skin.

Few people are more passionate about their hatred of smoking than ex-smokers.  Believe it.

Being shitfaced.  Natty Lite is not good for the breath.  Especially when you’re belching up used Natties in my face.  Waving the half-full beer can around in my bed, and possibly even spilling some of that embalming fluid swill in my bed sheets while doing so, does not earn any points for charm either.  Go back to your own hole and be shitfaced by yourself.

If you drink your dinner, do the world a favor- sleep alone.

Country music.  Country music has to be the #1 anaphrodisiac for me, save for extreme body odor.  Being that I am nothing to look at, and am proportioned like a mutant troll I can’t be terribly picky.  But start playing that awful song about saving a horse and riding a cowboy and you might as well understand that you’re not getting any action from me until you turn that torture off. 

I may be poor and white and mostly self-educated, but my family tree does actually fork.

Needless to say, even though he hasn’t had a woody since Bill Clinton was president (and probably never will again), last night was not the time to try to resurrect the dead.  It was certainly not a good time to start in pawing and slobbering on me.

Normally his drunk-n-stupids are just part of life, but last night’s really got on my nerves.  Dad is in the intensive care up north awaiting bypass surgery on Monday.  I spent most of the day Tuesday with Mom while the Dr.s were trying to figure out what was going on with him and what to do.   Now that they know what’s going on and what they’re going to do, they’re pretty much just watching him and trying to get his sugar and sinus infection under control before then. I decided he can watch History Channel just fine in the meanwhile without me sitting around up there not getting anything done except exposing myself to exotic germs and various funky assed diseases- whilst sticking to the god-awful uncomfortable vinyl hospital chair. 

Even so, I’m worn out and freaking out at the prospects of Dad having to have open heart surgery and all that, so I don’t need a ditzy assed drunk keeping me awake and being an obnoxious little titty baby.  Granted, I know that Jerry is both a ditzy assed drunk and a titty baby- he is truly helpless -which is aggravating as hell to me.

Shit: one of the most common elements in the universe.  Stupidity is the other.

This is a guy that if one of the dogs gets a case of the shits and unloads on the floor (fortunately the girls are trained, and this does not happen often) the first thing he will announce when I come in the door is, “Somebody shit on the floor and you need to clean it up!”

Oh, how many times I have wanted to rub his nose in it.  I don’t expect him to get the rug cleaner out, but at least make an attempt.  Scrape it into a bag or something.  It’s just shit.  As long as you don’t eat it, it shouldn’t kill you.

I know he was raised by wolves, but come on.

Ineptitude is Possible, and the Obfuscater in Chief!


Ineptitude is Possible!  I love pragmatic slogans.  This one would be a good one for the Obama campaign, although in my opinion, framing Obama as being “inept” would be akin to saying, “Obama might be a socialist,” or, “Hitler sort of disliked Jewish people.”   

“Incompetence and Apathy” would probably be a more accurate assessment of the Obama regime, though in all fairness, he’s been perfectly competent when it comes to obfuscating.*    Obfuscation is Obama’s number two skill, right behind deception, which is closely related.  I’ll give him credit: It’s easier to lie, cheat and otherwise deceive the American public once the smokescreen is in place. 

*obfuscate: (verb) To confuse someone or to obscure the meaning of something. To make so confused or opaque as to be difficult to perceive or understand.

I know that I am very clearly politically biased, so yes, anything I say politically is almost always going to be at least a bit right-leaning.  I do find it a slight bit justifying that Bill Clinton (not exactly a paragon of economic conservatism, but he does tend a bit more to the center than BO and crew) has called Obama out on his economic policies.  The problem is, Obama isn’t going to listen to critique from the left anymore than he gives a rat’s ass about anyone on the right, or anyone who actually has to work for a living.  He’s going for the gay activists’ and (as a natural progression, Hollywood’s)bank roll, and setting up a nice, thick smokescreen for the rest of us at the same time.

In all honesty I don’t consider gay marriage to be a civil rights issue any more than it’s a civil right to do the nasty with your car like that dude on TLC.  Discriminating against someone because of their race is a civil rights issue, but failing to make provisions for those who indulge in unorthodox behavior is not.  Should furries get a special dispensation to dress up like Secret Squirrel at work?  What about their civil right to be whatever woodland creature their heart desires?

I don’t care what people do to get their jollies.  Generally if you’re not hurting someone else, then the government really shouldn’t mess with you, even if you are a nut job.  I would even go so far as to say there would be a lot less drug abuse (and a LOT less of the associated crime) if that crap were all legal and inexpensive to obtain.  The gene pool would necessarily chlorinate itself- the dealers would go out of business quickly as the junkies OD and die off. I find it sad that we have not learned a lesson from Prohibition.   No demand, no supply.  Make it easy to get and the illegal suppliers go out of business overnight.  Problem solved.

It sounds cruel to say that, but I can’t think of a better deterrent to drug abuse and the associated crime than to witness what it does to people.   However, I don’t think it’s imperative for society to sanction and encourage irrational and dangerous behavior.  There’s a difference between permitting something to occur and encouraging it.  If two people of the same gender want to live together and share all their business it is possible to do all those things on a legal basis.  What two consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business too- and I am including straight people in this assessment.  Many homosexual practices spread diseases, but straight people can spread diseases and such too.   Admittedly observing strictly monogamous partnerships (regardless of orientation) would be healthier over all for everyone.  However, in practical application, strict monogamy, especially among straight people-  is a lofty goal. 

Be careful what you wish for.  It might really suck.

The benefit to society in the whole straight, monogamous marriage paradigm is that generally it’s better for children to be raised by two parents (one male, one female) and human reproduction still requires one male and one female to produce children in the first place.  I understand that there are geezers out there who are done with the whole breeding thing (me included) and there are people who for whatever reason do not wish to procreate.   Sometimes people of the same gender are attracted to each other even though that whole concept holds no charm for me.   Whatever floats your boat.   That’s fine.  Live together.  Do the horizontal mambo.  Share each other’s checking accounts and all that.  I don’t care.   But there is no benefit to the greater society in sanctioning or encouraging such relationships, and it is well to remember history.  Much of the reason for the downfall of both the Greek and Roman empires was the acceptance and popularity of homosexuality- the populations could not sustain themselves. 

The bottom line is as far as individuals go, do what you’re going to do.  I have no problem with “special friends” having a legal agreement that protects the other partner should the other die, or to have power-of-attorney for each other, or shared properties, etc. as if they were relatives, but those provisions (at least in Ohio) are already in the law.  Leave it be.  And truth be told, if every fairy princess on the planet decided to marry his boyfriend- or his Ford Escort for that matter- it truly wouldn’t matter all that much to me if I could afford my scripts.

Now that Obama has become the belle of the drag queen ball, it becomes easier for the media and people in general to forget about his dismal economic policies, Obamacare, the millions of people who are already paying a LOT more for their healthcare because of Obamacare, and his stonewalling on domestic energy development.  These are the real issues.  There will always be gay people.  There will always be gay people who want the greater society to celebrate their particular fancy, and who have deep pockets with which to buy liberal politicians.  However, that issue pales in comparison to the energy and economic failures that BO doesn’t want to talk about.  Those are the issues that should be front and center, not whether or not gay people are going to live together and have relationships, which they are going to do whether the state sanctions them or not.

In all seriousness, I sincerely hope people think before they vote.  Obama is not qualified to run the toilet paper roll in a porto-john, let alone the Oval Office, and the past 3 1/2 years have proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I am not an incredibly huge fan of Mitt Romney, but I’d take Bill Clinton again over Obama.  At least Bill Clinton was smart enough not to entirely rely upon the lunatic fringe.

Killing Me With Country Music, Bad Tats, and Civility is Dead

I am not a fan of country music.  Ironically, many country musicians espouse political and social views that are similar to mine, and for that reason alone I’d like to show their art a little love, but there’s something about that music genre in general that makes me want to projectile vomit, cry, and drive my car off a bridge all at the same time.

I don’t know if my loathing is born out of being trained in classical voice- it might be hard for some to imagine, but I enjoy opera and have actually performed a few arias in my time.  The most important part of classical training isn’t so much about style as it is control- learn the control and you can adapt to any style.    I also enjoy rock and heavy metal (especially the more orchestral types of rock/metal) and have been known to (long time ago) cover everything from Rush to the Scorpions to Stevie Nicks and even some Led Zeppelin.  I have a broad vocal range so I can get away with pretty much any style I want.  I actually enjoy most music (except for rap, which is simply loud drug-induced glorification of cop-killing and sister-raping) including some country-related genres such as bluegrass (as long as they don’t sing) and blues and jazz.  I even find David Allan Coe hilarious, mostly because his music is gloriously politically incorrect and he will lampoon anything, but start in with the “achy, breaky heart” stuff and you lost me.

Unfortunately, Jerry adores the country music that I can tolerate the least- the really old time twangy, sad sap songs about dead dogs and Momma gettin’ drunk and Daddy beatin’ all the youngin’s.   He likes to crank it up when he’s wasted, which is usually at night when I’m at least attempting to get some sleep.   This is not the country music that is a bit less odious, the kind you can almost mistake for pop.  It’s the kind of music that if you play it backward you get your truck back, your old lady back, the train un-runs over Momma, and you end up with a fifth of Jack Daniel’s in the bargain.  I can’t stand it.  I’ve tried to make myself tolerate it, but the love’s just not there.  Maybe you have to get drunk to appreciate it.  The only way I can appreciate it is when it’s turned off.

Something about that “Achy, Breaky Heart” song makes my IQ drop just thinking about it.

When I worked in some of the rural dealerships I had a few techies who insisted on blaring that awful stuff out in the shop.  I responded by cutting the breaker to their power strips so their jamboxes wouldn’t work.   Once they figured that out, I came in early and re-tuned all their jamboxes to the classical station.  Classical music in general (but especially Mozart) is good for the analytical mind, and some of those six-fingered yokels could use a little help with that.  At least after my re-tuning the oat opera lovers decided that they would humor the old bitty and listen to the Oak Ridge Boys,  Hank Williams, and Boxcar Willie with headphones.

It seems that the only people group out there that is acceptable to lampoon these days is the Redneck Nation.  Perhaps my distaste of Waylon Jennings, et al is a way of distancing myself from my redneck heritage.  I have to admit though, that I’m not that far removed from the trailer park.  Poor white folks are poor white folks after all.  I may not care much for NASCAR, (stock car racing has to be the most inane “sport” ever) either, but at the end of the day, yeah, I still believe in God, the US Constitution, guns, and guts.  The alternatives to those aren’t panning out so well.

I also refuse to get tattooed.  I’ve played around with the thought of having eyeliner tattooed on but I don’t like the thought of someone getting that close to my eyeballs with a needle.  I have a lot of friends with tats, and as far as I’m concerned, to tat or not to tat is a personal decision.  I still envision those horrid monstrosities- really bad sailor’s tattoos- on my Grandpa’s forearms.  I can’t imagine they looked good when he had them done when he was 18 and in the Navy- in 1943.  In 2006, when he was in the assisted living center, right before he died, they were positively frightening.  I knew there was a reason why he wore long sleeved shirts, carefully buttoned at the wrists, even in high summer.  He was a railroad executive for many years after he had served in the Navy- and didn’t want anyone to know he had those horrid tats.    That would be my luck.  I would end up with something positively embarrassing and hideous, like my best friend in high school who had her boyfriend’s name (Ray) tattooed across her back in huge letters.  When she broke up with him, his name was still there, to remind God and everyone.  I suggested to her that she modify her back and add the letters BESTOS- and see if she can get paid to advertise brake pads.  That got me a punch in the arm.

I find it hard to imagine this dude ever finding gainful employment, unless he can wear a ski mask, or keep the bag on his head all day.

It used to be that people had some manners.  Not anymore.  I can play that game too, and in some ways I do.  The next time Jerry decides to drop a load when I’m brushing my teeth (we only have one bathroom- acck!) and neglects to flush and spray, so my toothpaste ends up tasting like “shit with a hint of mint,” I’m going to leave some dog bombs under the seat in his truck.  And I’ll set all the presets on the truck stereo from “Country Torture 105” to the classical station too, since he doesn’t know how to change them.

Country is to music like Homer Simpson in a muu-muu is to fashion.  Humorous and nauseating at the same time.