Sheena Loves Cops, and Other Tidbits Better Left “TMI”

Cops can also be creatures of habit.  I know a couple of them who love to park across the road and watch Jerry when he’s getting drunk and stupid out in the garage.

I’ve said before that my mentally challenged Husky mix, Sheena, has Issues.  One of Sheena’s passions is to escape the confines of our back yard (and it’s not that difficult considering it is surrounded by a rather elderly, oft-repaired fence) so that she can play with the kids at the Drunk and Domestic apartments behind the body shop.  Sheena has never met a human that I know of that she doesn’t like.

This mentality seems so foreign to me in a dog, especially because I am used to dogs being quite a bit more aloof.  Clara and Lilo have to be carefully introduced to new people and strange dogs.  You have to earn their trust.  Sheena is not like that at all.  She is a 75# galoot who will love you forever just for petting her.  This makes Sheena a bit more difficult to manage than the other two in some ways.  Unlike a normal dog she doesn’t really alert on strange people encroaching on her territory.  She only really barks when she wants to go out.

Jerry, as is typical for him, decided to get shitfaced last night.  Jerry being shitfaced is not news, but I was bound determined to get an early bedtime and at least try to get some sleep.

So I turned off the phone and shut the bedroom door at about 9PM, hoping at least for a quiet night.  I should know better.

Around 10:30 I hear incessant pounding on the front door.  Clara and Lilo start in going nuts barking and howling and wanting to eat whatever’s on the other side.  Jerry is running around with no shirt on babbling incoherently (thankfully he still had pants on) until I caught the word “cops” in the prattling.  So I put on enough clothing to be decent and go out to investigate.  Sure enough, there’s a cop car in the driveway, two cops on the porch, and Sheena’s sitting in the back seat of the cruiser sporting that shit-eating grin that only dim-witted dogs can completely pull off.

I apologized to the cops, (who must have really thought I was some kind of a nut job running outside in an old t-shirt and shorts with no makeup and my hair sticking straight up) thinking that either I’d be fined or otherwise in some kind of trouble, but they were cool about it.  They said Sheena was no problem at all, and she got in the car with them most willingly.  To their credit, they weren’t interested in making my life more difficult.  They just wanted to make sure Sheena got home safely.  They could have been dicks about it had they wanted to be- by rights, even though she is duly licensed, because technically she was neither confined nor leashed, they could have taken her down to the Dog Shelter and I’d had to gone to a rather unsavory part of town and paid $125 to retrieve her.  Yeah, it’s easier to just go around the corner and drop the dog off at home, because everyone at the D&Ds, and the cops, because of how often they are called out to the D&Ds, know whose dog it is.  Sheena is rather memorable if only because of her resemblance to the Abominable Snowman.

Close enough…

It’s a good thing Jerry generally doesn’t remember the nasty epithets that roll so easily off my tongue when I am rudely awakened- let alone rudely awakened and then left to deal with cops.   It’s also a good thing that Jerry had a shred of sentience back in that crude reptilian part of his brain that kept him from interacting with the cops, mouthing off, and getting his sorry butt carted off for drunk and disorderly.  In Ohio all it takes to get busted for drunk and disorderly, and to get to spend the night in the nearest correctional facility, is for a cop to see you shitfaced.  Jerry knows this from personal experience, and suffice to say that retrieving him from public custody would be far more expensive and unpleasant (and I would have to encounter a far more unsavory crowd) than trying to retrieve Sheena from the Dog Shelter.

Both Clara and Lilo are terrified of cops, especially two big burly ones like the ones who brought Sheena home, but Sheena seemed to like the attention.

I’m glad the cops had mercy on poor Sheena.  She’s had a rough enough life.  However, either Jerry needs to find Sheena’s current escape hole (not usually difficult as an uncoordinated 75# dog has to fit through it) and patch the fence (again,) or refrain from letting her out the front door (which considering how shitfaced he was last night is within the realm of possibility.)

White People Can’t Understand Racism (Oh, Yeah?)

Ok, I have a bit of what I would call an inciteful streak.  Sometimes I like to stir the shit for the sake of the smell.  Today is one of those days. Recently I perused a site developed by our friends in the ivory tower of academia (i.e.= people who don’t have to live in the real world) and it genuinely disturbed me.   According to UnFaircampaign.org, an “anti-racism” campaign brought to us by the University of Minnesota, white people are the problem. Apparently we just can’t understand racism because white people don’t experience racism.  Really?  I have to wonder about that.

Why do I find myself apologizing for being white?

I freely admit that I am as hopelessly white bread as they come, and a lot closer to the trailer park than I would like to claim.  I can trace my ancestry in this country on both sides back to the early 1700s when the USA was still the 13 colonies.  That and $4.50 will get you a Starbucks. My family tree is almost 100% comprised of northern European immigrants from England, Scotland and Germany- with the exception of one French Canadian and one Cherokee Indian that I know of.  Whoop de doo.  In that group of ancestors I know at least one was a rum-runner during Prohibition, and two died in insane asylums.  No one I know of in my family, with the exception of my oldest sister, could ever have remotely have been considered “wealthy,” and even she married into it.  I come from a long line of poverty and insanity.  Again, whoop de doo. I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth. So what?  What I do with the parameters I’ve been given is up to me.  I can feel sorry for myself, claim inferiority, and expect others to feel sorry for me and take care of me because of my shitty background and my overall abysmal luck in the cosmic lottery, or I can get off it and do the best I can with the tools I have.

I do have to opine that it would be racist to assume that simply by benefit of being white that I am “privileged,” “wealthy” or otherwise inherently superior to anyone else in any way.  It is also racist to assume that just by virtue of being non-white that one is “poor,” “disadvantaged” or “needy.”

Of course the slack-jawed rednecks of the various white supremacist movements are open to derision for a number of reasons.  They make all white people look bad, just as the thuggery of a few young black males who want to be “gangsta” causes me to instinctively hit the “lock” button on my car remote again should I  pass a group of young black males in the parking lot.  (Yes, it’s prejudiced, and yes, it’s unfair profiling and I shouldn’t do it- but I do.)   I don’t believe in white supremacism, largely because the slack-jawed rednecks who claim it are mostly inbred, poorly educated idiots who have no rational argument to stand on other than blatant racism.

Newsflash: Adolf Hitler is NOT a positive role model.

I say don’t bother sending this guy to prison.  Save the taxpayers’ money and drop him off in downtown Detroit, preferably in close proximity to a Church’s or Popeye’s, and see how long he lasts.

Now I wouldn’t be averse to a wee bit of white advocacy, but I find it amusing to think of how these fictional organizations would be taken the wrong way:

How about the NAAWP– the National Association for the Advancement of White PeopleI know my sorry ass could use some help. Especially with rhythm and dancing.

I also think that we need an Anglo-American Caucasian History Month, in which everyone is encouraged to celebrate the history of all the dead white men in American history who did really cool things like writing the Constitution, sending a man to the moon, and coming up with modern computers.

Oh, and near and dear to my heart- the Anglo-American College Fund, to help white students who are working their way through college and who are denied any government assistance with their education, because their parents (who have half or more of their paychecks eaten up in taxes and insurances) “make too much money.”

Just imagine the public outcry if anyone were to form organizations such as the fictional ones mentioned above.  “But white people don’t need any help!,” would be the outcry.  Really?  I know plenty of white people who could use a hand.  The question that I have, and this is a deeper issue, is, why does anybody think they’re entitled to anything based solely upon their ancestry or the color of their skin?  Who thought that fostering an entitlement mentality was a good idea?  (I can go into Lyndon Johnson and his  “War on Poverty” that has done nothing but subsidize more of the same for the past 40+ years, but that’s a week long diatribe in and of itself!)

“Affirmative Action” is nothing more than reverse racism.  The problem with giving any group a privileged status is that in doing so, equality goes out the window.  It’s not politically correct to say that, but it’s true.

It’s a rather interesting, yet hopeful, demographic trend that racial lines are becoming blurred.  If anything, I think this is a good thing for society because in time it will force people to look beyond ancestry or race.  It’s a little harder to blame “whitey” if you’re half white (unless you’re Obama, but he is his own piece of work) and it’s rather pointless to pin your woes on “the bros” if you’re half black.  Somewhere it has to come down to judging people by the content of their character- to quote Martin Luther King- and to stop the race baiting and division.

Don’t blame his white half, either.  Obama’s ineptitude and arrogance have nothing to do with his race or ancestry.  Ineptitude and arrogance are known to transcend racial, ancestral and cultural boundaries.

Sheena’s Saga, Historical Lessons, and More Trolling for Ephemera

Sheena is to canine intelligence as Larry, Moe and Curly are to rocket science.

Suffice to say that I am an incorrigible dog lover, and I regard my dogs in higher esteem than a lot of people I know.  That doesn’t speak well for a good portion of humanity, though it does speak well for dogs.  Even when I was a little kid I could get along with dogs just fine but I had a lot harder time dealing with the little bastards that used to chase me down and beat the hell out of me.   When the neighborhood kids used to chase me, if I could make it there in time, and I could climb the fence fast enough, I would hide out in the neighbor’s Rottie’s run.  The only thing I had to worry about from Rex (the Rottie) was being slobbered on and maybe a flea bite or two.   He was probably a 120# dog, and he scared the living bejeezus out of most of the kids, but I could sit down on the ground with him and play with him.  He had a big, thick rope with knots on the end in his run and he loved a good game of tug.  Sometimes he would let me win.

Dad caught me hiding out in the dog run one day and just about flipped out.  Rex didn’t like Dad too much, but I could do anything with him (Rex, that is.)

While Rottweilers look formidable, most Rotties are slobbery big babies- as long as you’re not intimidated by them, that is.

Sheena is a genuine charity case though.   She has Issues.   However, like Rex the Rottie, she’s large (75#) and looks intimidating (the kids in the Drunk & Domestic apartments behind the body shop think she’s a wolf, which is fine with me) but Sheena is not a dog I would consider to be a threat.   She generally regards humans as non-threatening, and she is all about making friends and getting food.  Even though Sheena is generally a dog I would put in the “harmless” category, I have to quantify the danger factor when I talk about dogs.  Their taxonomic name: canis lupus familiaris (= “house wolf”) says it all.  Domestic dogs- with all their variations in size, color, coat and demeanor- are merely a subspecies of the grey wolf (canis lupus lupus) and even after 15,000 years of domestication, we forget this fact to our peril.  Even the most non-threatening dog can be dangerous or even deadly given the right situation- but Sheena is a dog I would consider to be a very low risk to humans.

Sheena has nubbins for canine teeth and her incisors are worn to the bone from cage biting.  Her previous slack-jaw redneck idiot owners kept her in a 6X6 chain link pen and used her as a breeding machine.  By rights she should hate people, but she’s remarkably mellow. Strange people could break into my house, and Sheena would sit back and quietly observe the other two dogs tearing the invaders to shreds.  Clara and Lilo do not like unauthorized visitors, and either Jerry or I have to carefully introduce them to new people.  They are polite with people as long as either Jerry or I am around to supervise them, even if they don’t particularly like that person.  Even so, the only person we allow in the house if we aren’t there is Steve-o, because Clara and Lilo like him and will tolerate him in “their” house.   It’s a funny thing but I swear having him watch the dogs last year while I was in NC is part of the reason why I have my granddaughter. (I left them movies, but go figure…)  I can take any of my dogs to be boarded- Clara and Lilo are surprisingly compliant when they aren’t in their own territory, and all three of the girls have been perfect angels when they have had to stay at the Vet, but at $25 per day per dog…that ain’t happening in my world.  I don’t spend $75 a day on my own frigging motel room on the rare occasions I travel.   Usually I can find a good deal on a Days Inn on one of those travel websites, but it’s been awhile since I’ve had the luxury of pleasure travel.

Spot the Similarities: Boston, 1852 vs Arizona, 2012!

I  understand that people get their undies in a bunch about illegal immigration, and in these times of economic shittiness, as well as considering we have a presidential administration that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about preventing terrorism or upholding national security, I have to agree.  It is a matter of national security to keep terrorists, criminals and others who are a danger to society and a burden on the economy out of this country.  The American Patriot issue above from 1852 is disturbingly anti-Catholic, (I don’t necessarily go along with Catholicism in its entirety, but I have no problem with Catholics) but given that a good number of immigrants in 1852 were either Irish or Italian, the fact that they were foreign, that they were competing with local workers for jobs, that there were criminal elements involved and  they adhered to a “strange” religion didn’t help their cause.  Today, it doesn’t help the cause of Islam or the acceptance of Muslims that the perpetrators of 9-11 adhered to an extreme form of Islam.

I bet most of today’s high school students couldn’t pass the course offered at the Ford English School.

I don’t have a problem with legal immigration.  Henry Ford had a good model for that.  Learn English.  Assimilate into the prevailing culture.  Work and contribute to society.  Abide by the law.  The problem is that there is no set model for those who wish to come to this country and become legal citizens to follow.  There is no requirement for immigrants to learn the language or become gainfully employed.  When foreigners are allowed over here, they’re often given generous benefits for housing, starting businesses and other perks that are denied to the native-born.  Yeah, there’s a lot of resentment and fear toward illegals, a disdain for immigrants in general, and to a degree rightfully so.  Either follow the rules or go back to your third world hole.  Don’t bring the third world hole to us like Bill Clinton did when he brought half of Mogadishu to Central Ohio.

 

Sadly, weak leadership never leads anywhere good.  If only we would learn from the (bad) examples of former presidents Pierce and Buchanan.

I have bemoaned the fact for years that people have failed to learn from history.  Right now it would behoove the American public to learn from the weak leadership and atrocious policy making of the Pierce and Buchanan administrations of the 1850’s.  What people don’t understand is their poor leadership was a contributing factor to the Civil War.  Then again, most people have a very poor knowledge of 20th century history, let alone of the 19th century and earlier.

Granted, this country is not so much geographically divided as it is ideologically divided.   Weak (or should I say irresponsible and inept) leadership is exacerbating long standing ideological differences and creating a divide in this country every bit as venomous and as the ideological (and geographical) conflicts that lead to the Civil War.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, indeed.

2001 Redux, Things I Do Not Wish to Repeat, the Good, the Bad and the Indifferent

I finally decided (Thursday) to call my Dr.s office about my heart palpitations and other funkiness and I got the answer that I pretty much assumed I would get.

Hang up, call 911 and let the squad take you to the ER.

Yay.  But I did follow instructions, mostly because I knew they weren’t just going to set me up to see a cardiologist in a week or two.  They wanted me to get that cardiac workup one way or another that I’d been denying I needed to get and that I’d put off for a few years.

The plus side of the fun 5 mile ride in the squad was the view.  Hate to admit it, but the one paramedic was maybe early 30s or so, and very easy on the eyes.  Shame on me for noticing, but I’m not dead yet.  Maybe I should have just told them that since I could still ascertain that the one guy was rather hot even while he’s putting electrodes all over me and getting an IV started in my arm, that it would be cool to just let me out.  However, I don’t think they would be allowed to just drop me off somewhere along I270, no matter how awkward it was that I was thinking some rather randy thoughts.

Yes, I watched the Emergency! TV reruns all through the 80s.  They were hot, except for the 80’s hair, which was considered hot then too.

When I get to the hospital (which was the one hospital where I really didn’t want to go, but they have to take you to the closest one that has room) then I get put in one of those exam rooms and get questioned as to what’s been going on and how long, etc.  Another interesting aside- in the ER all the nurses and techs I encountered were young men.  How distracting, but I’m not complaining.  I feel sorry for them for being forced to have to view my old saggy chest to wire me up.  I’m sure they’ve seen worse and they’re not there for the view, but still.

What was really scary (and why I wanted to go to a different hospital, because this one is notorious for its poor record keeping) was that as I was being put in the ER bay one of the techs looks at the computer and says, “Hi, Mildred, how’s your diarrhea?”

Dahlink, I thought you would never ask!

Mildred, apparently was the woman who was just being released from that room before I was assigned to it.  I heard the physician assistant almost screaming at this poor lady who must have been at least 95, to drink lots of water and have her son stop at the CVS to get her some Imodium, before they wheeled her out.  I looked over and asked the guy if I looked like a “Mildred,” to which I got a sort of puzzled look, then he asked me my name and what they brought me in for.  I didn’t bother to tell him that “Mildred” was old enough to be my grandmother, and I know full well what to do about the shits without going to the ER, but when you’re as old as that lady was even a good case of the shits can kill you.

So I sit and stew for about half an hour, when Jerry finally showed up (doing God knows what with my car) and, after a few phone calls and not a little bit of under the breath profanity, the nurses were finally able to find my information in the computer.  They were fortunate enough to catch some of the palpitation incidents on the monitor, which was enough for the physician assistant (who was the only woman I saw working in the ER) to decide to confer with her boss about admitting me for the night.   Just don’t call me Mildred or ask me about my diarrhea and we will get along OK.

In the meanwhile I’m just lying back on the cot while they wait to put me in a room.  Then another squad brings a lady in from a nursing home who won’t stop screaming.  After awhile they wheel her off and it gets a bit quiet.  Then the transport guy shows up to take me upstairs.  I’d been under the impression I’d end up in one of the cardiac observation rooms which are private, but all those rooms were full, so I end up sharing a room with the howler monkey from the ER.   Wonderful.  To make it worse from the time the squad brought me in- 3:30- until I landed in the room- 10:30- I’d had absolutely nothing to eat.  One of the aides was kind enough to dig me up a sandwich, and the nurse was finally able to find and give me my evening meds so I thought I could go to sleep.

Then Howler Monkey Woman’s sedation must have worn off because she kept setting off the bed alarm, and crapping the bed, so that the nurses and aides were over there hosing her down half the night.  The plus side of this is at least I had the toilet all to myself.  I might have slept an hour or two but I doubt it.

Yesterday morning (Friday) I finally got to talk to the cardiologist, who decided to do both a stress test and an echocardiogram to rule out any really serious stuff since I’d not had a heart attack but I wasn’t exactly “normal” either.  Suffice to say that the chemical stress test is not a pleasant experience and neither is the sort of reverse rotisserie machine they take pictures of you with. I was so glad to get out of there last night I immediately took a shower and went to bed.  It’s better to be home.

The conclusion so far?  I got referred to a pulmonologist for a sleep study as the cardiologist seems to think that my irregular heart rhythm and palpitations are caused by sleep apnea.

To me it sounds like 2001 all over again.  At least I’m not dead yet.  But I already know I don’t sleep for shit.  What I didn’t know is that not sleeping for shit can eventually kill you, which is sort of sad in a way.

Repression is How I Roll, (Not to Mention Denial), and Stuff I Gotta Do

Focus on the cute dogs…

People like me to be around when they have a crisis, which sort of sucks for me, because I have enough crises without any external help.  Why?  Probably because I don’t let pesky emotions get in the way of what needs to be done.  I am, of course, the queen of the delayed reaction, which usually comes unbidden at the least convenient of times when nobody sees, nobody cares, and frankly, emotions are things I very seldom wish to share anyway.  I don’t feel a damned thing during a crisis.  I simply fly on adrenaline and the advice of my rational mind.  The problem is when that runs out and I am left to process what happened, be it a day later, a week later, or as normally the case, ten to twenty years later.  That’s when I go to the zoo.

Lately I’ve been completely fried and I can’t really explain why.  I know the whole business of Dad having heart surgery was rather disconcerting, but all through the process he has done extremely well with very few complications, so I really don’t have any reason to be a basket case about it.  I was afraid that he might develop cognitive deficiencies (which can and does happen to some people following open heart surgery- I’ve known people who this has happened to- it’s rather obvious and disturbing to witness) but so far I’ve not seen him have any memory lapses or any kind of strange behavior that could be attributed to hypoxic episodes (there’s a lot of medical jargon in the preceding link, and it is a bit dated, being from 2003, but it’s understandable enough to scare the holy bejeezus out of me.)  Suffice to say that hypoxia is the condition of not having sufficent oxygen to the brain or other essential organs, and it’s a common complication of heart surgery.  I’m infinitely grateful that Dad seems to be with it upstairs.  He’s been managing his shop affairs from the day after his surgery via phone and hasn’t missed much.  If I know him, since he got sprung from the rehab last week, he will go up there and at least do his own paperwork and administrative hoo-hah.  Today he will probably be released to drive again- let the mischief begin, although it will be several months before he will be able to actually work on cars again.  It’s only been 5 weeks since his surgery.  I’ve had major surgeries, but both of mine were abdominal (I didn’t have my sternum cut in half and wired back together,) and I wasn’t 66 years old.   I am delighted to see him getting around so well after a relatively short amount of time.  This being said, after both of my surgeries (especially after the hysterectomy) it took me at least a year to actually feel somewhat normal, like everything was actually healed and so forth.

The main difference between me and my mother is I try to deny having anything wrong, while she tries to make up even more stuff. As if I need any help.

Maybe the part of this that is bumming me out- and it shouldn’t- is knowing that I’m not getting any better.  It actually pisses me off, because I don’t like to admit it when I’m not well- my physical infirmities underscore my weakness and I really hate that.  I need to go back to the Dr., but I am loathe to because I know I’m going to have to go through the process again.  The heart palpitations are back with a vengeance and they’re not sporadic anymore. They’re pretty much constant.  Part of the reason I couldn’t sleep at all Monday night (and spent all day yesterday in bed, as much as I absolutely hate calling off for any reason) was that every time I laid down to sleep my heart would pound and pound and I’d struggle to catch my breath.  I felt so bad Monday night that I toyed around with calling the squad on myself, but the only thing that kept me from it was knowing that Jerry was butt drunk and he would probably end up getting a nice little ride in a cop car for being drunk and disorderly and/or interfering with emergency personnel.   So I figured either I would feel better or die.  So far- not dead- but not even close to being OK either.  I know I have two damaged heart valves and irregular rhythm (rheumatic fever, the gift that keeps on giving) but either a.) my blood pressure meds are not adjusted right or b.) something has gotten worse since the echocardiogram in 2001, or c.) both.

Supposedly my mitral and aortic valves both leak.  At least they did in 2001.

Yes, I need to call for a Dr. appt. The only thing I fear is that when I describe this messed up shit to them they will tell me to go to the ER.  I want to wait until my appt. in August and then see if I can get back in to the cardiologist and deal with it then, but as shitty as I feel right now, August is a long, long way away.  The bad thing is I know he will want to do the monitor and the echocardiogram, etc. again and I don’t want to waste his time if it’s the same shit from 2001 all over again.  Yes I feel a lot worse than I did in 2001, even though back then my blood pressure was sky high (190/120 or thereabouts most of the time) and they played hell getting it down to a reasonable level.  I hate going to the ER, and I will really hate it if they tell me it’s something stupid, that I’m a nutzoid hypochondriac, and I wasted my time.  I don’t like sitting in those nasty plastic chairs surrounded by the contagions of humanity.  The pisser is, I really hate not sleeping worth a shit and feeling like I can’t breathe, and that weird creepy tightness like something is sitting on my chest, and the feeling that my heart just plain isn’t working right.  I also wonder just how weird it is for my blood pressure (which is generally high and notoriously hard to control) to be running with numbers like this morning’s-  97/61.  I usually struggle to keep my blood pressure down in the 140/90 range so something is really bizarre here. That’s why I sort of suspect my blood pressure meds, but the Dr. only upped the dosage ever so slightly on one of the six meds I take for that.  The effect should not be that dramatic.

Even though I am feeling genuinely physical effects, and I’m still tired as hell even after sleeping all day yesterday, I don’t want to go through all the medical hoo-hah and then have some wise ass tell me it’s all in my head.  But if I have another night from hell like Monday night, I will sit out front and call a frigging cab to take me to the ER.  Unless of course, Jerry is sober.  Then I will call the squad, because he can’t drive for shit at night.

Nuptial Nuttery, Don’t Wanna Be a Bridesmaid, Don’t Wanna Be a Bride(zilla)

At least someone’s getting some.

Nothing gets young twenty-and-thirty something women’s undies in a bunch like a wedding- especially their own, or God forbid, that of a family member or close friend.  I got railroaded into that mess exactly three times- once for my first ill-fated wedding, mostly courtesy of my mother, and twice for my sisters’ weddings- and I refuse to go through that noise again.  As far as I’m concerned if you must get married, then have the sentience of mind to just go the courthouse and let the Justice of the Peace du jour do it.  You can clue me in about it after the deed is done and I might be nice enough to score you a Target gift card or a free pizza or something.

  According to Steve-o, “If your pants are bigger than mine, I’m not getting in them.” If you see something like this on your wedding day, run like hell. Need I say more?

I wore a tie-dyed Toyota t-shirt, black shorts and shower shoes for wedding #2.  I’m glad I didn’t blow the scratch for high faluting clothes.  It was August and it was bloody hot.  I sincerely hope that the illustrious Steve-o and his daughter’s mother do actually get married- that would be nice- but I hope that they have the good taste to keep it simple and tasteful and most importantly, frugal.  Everyone knows it’s extremely rare these days for anyone to make it to his/her wedding day with his/her virginity intact, but let’s just say it would be a bit on the tacky side for the bride to blow all kinds of money on a bright white gown and to force her friends to buy fugly dresses they’ll only wear once, especially when the couple’s kid’s a year old or more.

 See what I mean about fugly dresses?  However, these may gain a second life, either as curtains, the covers for cushions that go in the dog crates, or upholstery of some tacky sort.

I don’t mind being the spectator and making commentary on the frightening (not to mention bloody expensive) fashion faux-pas I observe from others’ weddings.  That’s fun, as long as I don’t have to be involved in the party planning, I don’t have to make an extended road trip to be there, and I’m not stuck buying a fugly dress I’ll only wear once.

 This is not a fugly dress, however, this is not my mutant-troll proportioned body either.  My face is about 14 shades whiter than the model’s too.

I don’t believe in fairy tales and princess brides and all that happy horseshit.  I don’t think I bought that line of crap as a kid either, if only because I was awkward, ugly and proportioned like a mutant troll as a child too.   Plus ça change, plus c’est la méme chose…

Anyway, watching other people’s elaborate weddings fail to go according to plan does have some entertainment value, which is sad.  There’s a bit of the schadenfreude element there too, as I can’t help but to enjoy seeing the beautiful people get screwed over.  I get screwed over every day. That’s my “normal,” so I do enjoy a little bit of that sinister glee in observing a high dollar outdoor wedding getting rained out, or someone’s wedding pics suddenly taking on a whole different dimension when complimented by dog humping.   But I fail to see the wisdom in thinking that it is actually possible to engineer a “perfect day.”  The only person guaranteed to show up at your wedding is the one person who you’d never dream of sending an invitation: Mr. Murphy.

Any kind of staged event, from a graduation to a speech, to a concert, to a play- anything that involves a number of people and processes that have to work together correctly- is a guarantee that somewhere in that process Mr. Murphy will show up.  Murphy’s Law is alive and well, and nothing contributes to Murphy’s Law playing out than a number of people and processes that have to come together at the right time and in the right way.

Then there are people who are just plain touched in the brain.  I like venison as much asmost other rednecks, and I admit with some trepidation that I do know how to make deer meat taste good, but this cake draws the line:

Something in my visual cortex will not allow me to eat this cake.  That, and knowing what cake and sweets do to my blood sugar- I’ll have to pass.

I have to wonder about a wedding in which the bride is doing a keg stand too.  I know people get drunk and stupid at weddings, but one would think the happy couple would stay sober long enough to do the nasty later?

Sometimes we need to see the guys through beer goggles too!

I can’t really say I ever had any better luck getting lucky back in the day when I did indulge in a lot of binge drinking.  The last time I ever really got shitfaced, as in forgetting what planet I was on, etc. I woke up in a motel room alone.  That’s not a terribly good commentary  on my self-control, but at least I didn’t get friendly with the toothless truckers who were trying to hit on me earlier in the evening.

For some reason when I used to enjoy going to bars (?) which seems completely foreign to me now because I don’t like crowds and I can’t drink due to medical issues, the fugliest dude in the place always seemed to be compelled to talk to me.  I’ve tried to figure this out but can only come to two conclusions:

I was a target because I was just as fugly as the toothless truckers and/or lard assed bald dudes, and/or I was a target because the only things they picked up on were my boobs, as in boobs=female, usually.

One of the beautiful things about being my age is that there are no more worries about the “biological clock”- ’cause that dude’s been dead for a number of years now, and by the time a woman hits 40 she (should have) come to the blissful realization that while men are enjoyable, you don’t need one, and you don’t need to take their shit.

So Easily Entertained, Laments of the 13%, and Country Music IS Noise Pollution

Those of us in the automotive industry aren’t exactly noted for being paragons of virtue, sad to say.

Last night I realized just how easily entertained I can be, and it’s sort of sad.  Jerry has been complaining about the slight vibration in the front end of his truck since the tires were rotated, so I had to follow him over to the dealership last night so their service department can tell him the same things I told him.  1. You have a 4WD truck.  It’s not going to ride like a car. 2. I personally don’t care much for Dunlop tires- at least not the ones Toyota uses as factory equipment tires.  They are OK if you drive the vehicle every day, but we are talking about a 2010 Tacoma with 9,000 miles on it.  When these tires sit, they cup.  When tires cup, you get vibration.  I had to deal with complaints about Dunlop tires (granted these weren’t the same exact model tires) 20 years ago when they were original equipment on Camrys- and the ones who bitched about them always had low mileage cars that would sit for long periods of time.   Most people aren’t fussy enough to even notice a slight vibration like that in a truck, but Jerry is sensitive enough to smell the fart someone just cut up in Moose Dick, Alaska (which is a hell of a long way from beautiful Central Ohio, for those ill-acquainted with geography.)  He notices anything even slightly off with that truck, even if it is well within the realm of normal tolerance.  I pity the service advisor who’s dealing with him.

Maybe I should not take sadistic enjoyment in tormenting car salesmen, especially when buying a new car is about the furthest thing from my mind, but I couldn’t resist wandering the new car lot as I’m waiting for Jerry to drop off his Tacoma with yet another whiny diatribe about the Dunlop tires.  I’m sure he thinks if he whines enough they’ll give him a free set of Bridgestones of his choice, but I highly, highly doubt it.  They’re not a safety issue or even a wear issue.  You have a bit of a vibration at 70 MPH.  Whoop de doo.

Just buy yourself a new set of tires if you are that damned fussy.  I told you to make them swap them out for Bridgestones before you took delivery of the truck…

Anyway, I didn’t even really get a chance to peruse the first two three-door Yarises- other than to glance and keep on walking because they were automatics- on the lot before a thin, sort of ferret-faced salesman starts chasing me down.  That’s what I get for perusing a new car lot on a weeknight.  The first thing I tell him is that I’m just checking out the new cars while I’m waiting on the old man to drop off his truck and that I’m not looking for a new car.  But of course, he persists, so I ask him if they have any (Scion) XDs or 5 door Yarises with manual transmissions.  Mr. Ferret gives me a sort of a weird look and asks, “You aren’t interested in an automatic?”

Ok, so ferrets are cute.  This guy wasn’t, but you get what I mean.

Hell, no, I think to myself, but then I have to wonder how many of the 13% he has actually encountered, and if he has had the rare opportunity to encounter one of the 13% who happens to be female. So I decide to take it easy on him.

“Sorry, but I only drive manual transmissions.  I won’t buy an automatic, which I know sort of narrows down my choices,” I replied, thinking that might make him give up right there.

It must have been a slow night, because the poor guy was running around all over the lot to see if they had any XDs or 5 door Yarises with manual transmissions.  They didn’t, but he did insist on getting my phone number (I gave the home number that I never answer) and e-mail. I don’t entirely want to piss these guys off because I’ve bought my last 4 new cars there.  Even though I pretty much despise car salesmen, I don’t want to be that much of a bitch.  I’m not interested in a new car right now- especially because Toyota isn’t building the Yaris sedan which is what I already have, and am perfectly OK with- anymore.  The XD is intriguing and even though it is a hatchback, that might cross my mind, but good luck finding one of those with 5 on the floor.

Yes, the manual trans is available, but have fun finding one with it!

I hope that I don’t have to resign to driving a farking Volkswagen just so I can get a sedan with a manual transmission the next time I buy a car.  It’s not that I dislike Volkswagen- as far as performance goes there’s no one like the Germans, and VW’s recent models (especially the Jetta and Passat) are interesting- but they are more expensive, and from what I’ve seen in the past, much less reliable than Toyotas.  Who got the farking idea that people who drive manual transmissions only like hatchbacks?   Who got the idea that everyone who likes a manual transmission can afford a European car, even if it does end up being a Volkswagen?  I know it’s hard to cater to the 13%, and I don’t mind that most of the available vehicles are econoboxes, but dammit, there is a market there!

The Jetta GLI could be fun, but I still wonder- how reliable?

I’m not enthralled with buying any car that isn’t made by Toyota, and I’m not buying an automatic anything, even if it means I drive my current Yaris until I drop dead.  So there.

I’m also wondering who around here is getting such a taste for oat opera.  Unless I put my headphones on, I am accosted to a rather foul auditory garbage dump of twangy tunes that make me think I’ve died and gone to redneck hell.  I try to be polite and use headphones if I want to listen to music outside of the privacy of my own car, because I understand that not everyone wants to hear Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung” cranked up.  It’s a cool song but sort of gross when you think about it.  I know I have unusual tastes in music and don’t aspire to inflict them on others.   But why do others think I want my auditory channels violated by Conway Twitty or Shania Twain?

Please, please spare me from bad country music- and most of it is IMO, incredibly bad- unless you want me to start playing David Allan Coe.