creative writing, historical interest, misanthropy

Creative Use of Just About Everything, and Adventures in Eclectic Home Décor

 

warmandfuzzy

If Steve-o thought I had problems with the whole “warm and fuzzy” mommy bit, just wait until I try my hand at home décor- in his house.  That is just plain scary, given that my idea of decorating has much more to do with function than the aesthetic.  I still have the big Ohio State tapestry on the wall in my room that Jerry put there, for some inexplicable reason.  I’m not even that much of an Ohio State fan.  I like some hangings on the wall to break up the monotony, but I don’t really give décor much thought.  Unless, of course, it’s funny.

wpid-20150301_132111.jpg

For example, this is funny.  It will be even funnier when I get the outhouse next to it done.

For the most part, however, I can live without a whole lot of kitsch.

I already told Steve-o he will have his very own G T F O sign- since he doesn’t really get into cute little “Welcome” signs.

wpid-20150430_152240.jpg

Figure it out.. it’s not difficult.

Of course he will probably come up with his own unique flair:

bad lamp

I can imagine all the other funky things that being a man, he won’t mind, such as shall we say “dated” furniture, archaic bathroom fixtures and strangely colored kitchen appliances:

vintage-bathroom-crapper

70s kitchen

In all seriousness, Steve-o’s house has two full bathrooms.  Both of them have new plumbing and faucets, but the tubs, sinks and toilets are straight out of 1975.  One bathroom set is this horrible yellow (like the above kitchen) and the other one is a sort of medium brown.  On the plus side, the brown will probably hide a lot of stains.  Especially in the toilet bowl.

I envy him the 70’s non-low-flow toilets though.  Those things are industrial strength, heavy duty beauties that will flush down horse piles, and various and sundry objects up to as large as Jimmy Hoffa.  The way he shits, that’s going to be necessary.  I don’t know how many times he has had to run for the plunger not just in my house but in my parents’ house (Dad replaced the toilets in the early 2000s and they are awful) as well.

plunger

I’m still getting him a couple of plungers as housewarming gifts.  In fact, three- one for each toilet, and one for the sinks.

I’ll have to put together my list of crap you need when you move but don’t think about, and then work on collecting said items for him.

1. Drain cleaner.

2. Clorox.

3. Paper towels.

4. Cleaning rags and towels (cloth.)

5. Lysol and various spray air fresheners.

6. Mop and mop bucket- also Murphy’s Oil Soap and magic erasers.

7. Plungers.

8. Coffee- coffee pot, coffee filters, coffee cups.

9. Paper plates, Dixie cups, plastic silverware and napkins.

10. Toilet mints (the blue things you put in the toilets to keep the water blue and to keep dogs from drinking out of the bowl)

I’m sure I’ll come up with more. I have time.

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

Let’s Have a Riot! (Why?) and Historical Interest

riot

Why?  Ass pilots!

I am sorry but I have absolutely no pity, understanding or tolerance for ass pilots who drum up misdirected feline aggression toward “da man” because some criminal gets beaten up by cops, and then go off to destroy their own cities.  I don’t care what kind of rationalization gets cooked up to justify that sort of behavior.  Let’s face it: there are flaming idiots who go out and commit egregious crimes. Violence happens.  I don’t like those facts either, or that we humans are violent beasts, but the cure for violence generally is not cooking up more random violence and destruction to add to it.  That’s sort of counterintuitive.  The only sort of justifiable force is the force necessary to put a thug in his place.

Violence is more likely to happen when someone is in the process of breaking the law.  I don’t care if the law breaker in question is male, female, straight, gay, trans, black, white, green or turquoise.  When you break the law, you open yourself up to having the police- or even those who you are breaking the law against- beat the living shit out of you.  I’m not going to start it, but if you physically involve me I will finish it.  If the circumstances dictate, I may just cheer the arbiter of legitimate street justice right on along- but looting the 7-11 because you’re pissed that some thug got what was coming to him from the cops…that’s just plain stupid.

If you steal from me and I beat you senseless, you asked for it.

If you try to assault me or carjack me, and I put a .357 through your skull, (and in the proper circumstance I would not hesitate to do so) you bought and own that particular suicide-by-old-bitty.

taurus357

A last resort, but if it’s you or me…it’s gonna be you.

Leave me alone, you keep your stuff, I keep mine, you keep your hands to yourself, and I have no problem with you.

Why can’t we all just get along?

In better portents, the POMC- the Precious Only Male Child- has signed a contract on a house.  He has, from what I can see, done well for himself, even though I had some trepidation regarding the age of this place.  The main house (it has numerous additions, upgrades and renovations) was built in 1885.  I didn’t know if I was really comfortable with him buying some joint that’s 130 years old, but the basement is thick stone with a concrete floor and the foundation is solid. There are two huge full bathrooms, one upstairs and one downstairs. The joint even has a new dishwasher.  The wiring, water heater, furnace, plumbing, carpets, paint and pretty much all of those kinds of things that can be big problems in old houses are new.  The seller agreed to install the central air unit that goes with the furnace as part of the deal (why he did all those improvements without adding A/C is beyond me, but different strokes for different folks, I guess) so Steve-o will pretty much only have very minor things to deal with once he moves in.  The first call should be to the alarm company, then to the utility companies.

old house

Chez Steve-o is not this ornate, but almost this big.

He will need the alarm company.  He does not have dogs, and even though he is armed, guns don’t help if you sleep like death.  Someone could break into that place and steal him blind and he would sleep through it.

His days of waking up to the All-Catholic, all the time, channel are hopefully numbered.  Now he will probably be waking up to the tune of “Boats and Hoes.”

activities

 

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, theology

Short Attention Span Theatre, House Hunting, and Feminine Mystique?

house

I love old Victorian architecture, but not being “handy” – this would be a bad idea, at least for me.

 

Steve-o is finally bound and determined to buy a house.  It’s probably a good idea, since Mom is getting even nuttier than normal.  I know it’s getting bad for him when she leaves her TV on the EWTN (the 24/7 all-Catholic, all the time,) channel full blast all the time.  I know she’s trying to work the Catholic brownie point system- and the older she gets the more paranoid she gets about it- but Steve-o’s not Catholic.  If she’s looking for a conversion candidate so she can earn points for redeeming a heathen, I can think of much easier prey.

touching

If Mom only knew.  ALL guys do it.

All of his religious instruction took place in a Lutheran church (where “self abuse” and/or contraception are not generally considered sins), and even so, he’s not a particularly religious kind of guy.  Wigging him out on the more bizarre points of Catholicism, which you will get a real education on if you watch EWTN for very long, is NOT going to result in him converting to Catholicism and joining the priesthood.

catholic youth

Major Logo FAIL.  In So Many Ways…

I am surprised he’s not having nightmares similar to the ones I had as a child over some of the more bizarre teachings.  He likes women and the horizontal mambo way too much for that noise.  He is at a point in his life where he is really questioning the existence of God and there is nothing apart from the power of the Holy Spirit Himself that will be able to bring him to faith.  Even then, sincerely it would take an Act of God to get him to even consider going back to church- any Christian church.  Right now spiritually he is rather injured and cynical.  He’s at that difficult point of finding it hard to believe in God because he is thinking, “How can a good God let me down- and let me hurt so bad?”  He’s still getting over being rejected by his daughter’s mother, and even though he would never admit how much that crushed him, that was a really deep wound.

I know this because I have been there too, as far as being rejected and feeling as if God abandoned me.  I went through that doubt and angst for about seven years at one time. Steve-o is too authentic and too intellectual to “get it” about faith easily, or without perusing the evidence.  He’s going to have to be one of those seekers and knockers and askers (more like screamers at times…) like I was.  For him faith will be like it is for me- only by the hard way.  An unexamined faith, and a faith without doubts, is not faith at all.

atheism

Faith is vexing, but unbelief is illogical.

I don’t mean to bash Catholics, and frankly, I can go along with most of what the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) teaches.  I have the same problems with Catholicism that Martin Luther had- the primacy of the pope, the celibacy of priests,  the purchase of indulgences for the forgiveness of sins, and the whole concept of a brownie point system where forgiveness is earned in any way by what people do.  I’ve actually read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and according to their rules, if you don’t believe and go along with everything the Church teaches, then by definition, you can’t claim to be Catholic.   I have real intellectual problems with just accepting what some person (not God) or even some “esteemed group of people” says without being accorded any sort of space for analysis or debate.   That makes me Protestant by definition.  Just sayin’.

divine feminine

No, this is NOT me.

I’m still struggling with the concept of the feminine image of God and the importance of beauty in God’s view that we have been going over in our study.  Maybe that whole concept sort of pisses me off in a way, because I’ve never seen myself as beautiful, and I’ve never really been regarded as much more than a Fetcher of Beer, or someone to whine at about food, or someone to clean up when there’s dog shit on the floor.   From my earliest memory I’ve been defined by what I can or can’t do, (and by how epic my failures are) but I’ve never felt as if anyone saw me as having any sort of native, intrinsic value.

I know that I talk the talk and I get it, at least intellectually, that salvation is a gift of grace- nothing that I can earn or deserve- but deep in my heart of hearts I am still that pathetic, geeky little girl who the other kids threw mud and bugs at.  I’m still the awkward kid who doesn’t belong, still the girl the guys approached to get her phone number- so they could call her sisters.  I was never anyone’s first choice, and was doing good to be a consolation prize.

I’m still sticking with the study even though it’s tearing open some really old wounds.  Heart is a LOT harder to reach than Mind.

short attention span

That’s what continuous multitasking will do for you.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t enjoy multitasking.  I don’t like being interrupted at all.  When I’m doing what I want to be doing I don’t get distracted…until someone else bugs me and nags me about doing something else or doing something in addition to what I’m doing.

Sometimes I just need to tell the rest of the world to bite me sideways.

biteitsideways

 

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

Femininity, Autism and Faith- Hitting on a Few Nerves

smarter

While intelligence has its own rewards-

Unfortunately, most men are not attracted by intellect.

I should know that I should be more involved in my women’s Bible study group’s study choices before I decide to get into the study.   I probably would not have suggested our current study-even though it involves areas where I really need work, because it is hitting on some sore nerves.  This go-round it’s a book called Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldridge.

The study starts off with asking those touchy-feely questions about feeling desirable as a woman, and by going on with definitions of femininity.  I’ve pretty much assumed that I was haphazardly plopped into a female body and pretty much had to make do with being hopelessly uncoordinated and proportioned like a mutant troll.

I never really gave the whole idea of femininity much rational thought (much less to relate being feminine to spirituality)  other than to know, a.) I am a woman, b.) I am physically attracted to men, and c.) It’s hard to be successful at fishing when you really don’t have bait.

bad-day-fishing

I’ve said before that I consciously choose to be involved in a women’s group precisely because I am generally not comfortable in friendships with other women.  It is a challenge for me to muster up the courage to dredge up and analyze and discuss anything to do with feelings- especially with women.  I get along better with men as long as the conversation stays on things concrete and/or technical, and with them it usually does.

When I have conversation with men, I am not subjected to someone going on and on about horrible fictional TV dramas, or being told how to do my makeup or hair, or having to care about what the Kardashians are doing.  Of course, the guys never really look at me as a woman either, until they are dateless and desperate and are scouting about for a twisted Ann Landers to give them some advice.  Asking me for relationship advice is about as ill-advised as taking driver’s ed from Ted Kennedy, but hey, you asked me.

It’s confusing and awkward enough to be wired the way I am- with the disconnect I have between having emotions and being able to express them- but even more so to be female with that disconnect.  Everyone expects women to be all emotional and touchy-feely, which I most assuredly am not.  I am definitely female, and a straight one, but not an emotional one.  From what I can see being wired to think more like a man than to emote like a woman is an odd conundrum, but then, I’ve never been “normal,” and really don’t know apart from observation what “normal” is like.

meyers briggs

This is an interesting test.  Mine came out as INTP…surprise?  Not!

There are “thinking-dominant” women-people for whom thought is more natural than feeling- out there (even some who are not autistic) but most women tend to be “feeling-dominant,” where feeling is a more natural process than thinking.    According to the Myers-Briggs assessment, I am most definitely thinking-dominant.  I get (intellectually at least) that some people are feeling-dominant, but I don’t get that. It doesn’t make sense. For me “heart” doesn’t even enter the scene until “mind” has had a chance to process things first- and not always then.  I miss a lot of subtle nuances of expression because I just plain don’t see them unless someone points them out.

There are feeling-dominant men too.  Jerry is one, which might be the only reason why I put up with him.  He has that reptilian gut instinct about things and people that I absolutely don’t have.  I can only go with what I observe and with what makes rational sense.

sensitive man

So this study into “being made in the feminine image of God” is proving to be more than a bit uncomfortable.  I’ve always felt sort of inadequate and inferior as a woman because I am neither physically attractive nor emotionally attuned.  Then there’s always that nagging, ongoing tension of thinking it necessary to validate my existence at all times, even though I know that’s if nothing else, bad theology.

I am not a believer in happily ever after, or fairy tales, or even that any man would ever look at me as more than a designated driver and/or Fetcher of Beer.  So I don’t know what good it might do me to pick open old wounds, but I guess I’ll find out.

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, political commentary

Orwell Was Right, (1984 Was Not Supposed to Be an Instruction Manual) and Adventures of the Inane

bigbrother

Every day, all the time.

When I got rear-ended in my 2008 Yaris, back in 2010, I had every single ambulance-chasing lawyer in Franklin County sending me all sorts of crap- in the postal mail, via e-mail and yes, even by calling and leaving obnoxious messages on my cell phone about how I need to contact their particular legal emporiums to get compensation for my non-existent “injuries.”  All I wanted was to get my car fixed.  Had I actually been injured, that would have been one thing, but I think had I been injured I’d been wise enough to seek out appropriate legal counsel without relying on ambulance chasers who solicit business by trolling the police reports.

lqtr1

That really sucked, but the car did what it was designed to do.  I was unscathed.

Of course it never seems like the Entities that Be know anything important about you if they really need to, as evidenced by the “How’s Your Diarrhea, Mildred” Incident of 2012.  I won’t claim that even at that time I looked “well preserved” for 43, but to be mistaken for a ninety-something named Mildred, well, that was both disarming and morbidly funny at the same time.  I guess it was a good thing I was lucid and verbal.  But if the health care industry (and business is what it’s all about, folks, it’s all about the MONEY,) really gave two farts in a high wind about something other than dollar signs, they might actually be more concerned with caring for people rather than being sure to collect beaucoup on every warm (or cold, for that matter) carcass that darkens their doors.

Health_Fraud-2

I have a great deal of cynicism toward the health care industry.  In large part the government is behind the incredibly inefficient and expensive health care fiasco in the United States.  It was bad before Obamacare, but with Obamacare it has become even more outrageously expensive, while the quality of care grows abysmally worse.  The problem is that the government butted into health care to begin with- and that there are way too many special interests who have wormed their way into the government so they can line their own pockets- at the taxpayers’ expense.  Nobody dares to address tort reform, which would lower health care costs by drastically restricting payouts to ambulance-chasing lawyers and their clients.  Nobody dares to embrace the free market and encourage competition in health care- instead- it is a governmentally driven oligarchy hell bent on feeding itself while providing lackluster, substandard care at grossly inflated prices.

If any other industry treated their clients as piss-poorly as the health care industry does, they would be out of business- but since health care providers are pretty much equally over priced and equally abysmal in their standards of care, where else can one go, because they will all suck equally bad?  You just have to put up with it, and keep writing those grossly inflated checks.

You would also think with all those bloody forms one has to fill out every freaking time one encounters a health care provider, that they might actually keep some of that crap on file.  If you can access my social security number and birthdate and location of my first-born to be sure to avail every possible opportunity to bill me and/or the insurance company, then why can’t you find my history with the same information?

vomiting-cartoon

Better yet, with all the technology out there, why has no one figured out a way to keep people from having to sit in a crowded, hot hole crammed in next to Typhoid Mary, Bad Body Odor Larry, and Gonorrhea Shaniqua- a crowded, hot hole with nothing to read besides last year’s Hemorrhoid Monthlys and Urology Digests, where there’s nothing on TV but the “who’s my baby daddy” tabloid type shows, while waiting for hours to get maybe three minutes of face time with some guy who (if you’re lucky) is simply going to write you a script and send you home?  If that’s all there is to the medical biz, and you’re going to rape me financially anyway, as long as nothing’s bleeding or broken, why can’t we just do it online and save my time?

camera

I am not a big fan of surveillance cameras.  Their indiscriminate use seems to violate the 4th Amendment as far as I’m concerned.

To the state of Ohio’s credit, they have ruled the red-light cameras unconstitutional, but any form of random surveillance (without probable cause) in the public sphere violates the 4th Amendment whether they’re trying to entrap criminals or not.

Since very few people bother to actually read the Constitution, here’s the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I do consider constant surveillance to be a violation because who really has the right (or should have the right) to watch your comings and goings?  There are “traffic flow” cameras all over the intersection not even a block from my house.  Where is there probable cause for anyone other than me to know where my particular black Corolla is at any particular time?  Maybe I could see it if the cops knew I was out committing crimes, or if I had a history of crime, but what makes random surveillance any better?  Just because they’re watching everyone it makes watching one person OK?  Is random search a condition of using public roadways paid for in part by my taxes?  That doesn’t seem quite right.

Better yet, I must say to the various and sundry government entities with the cameras: “Why are you randomly searching me?”

warrant

I bet this bumper sticker would arouse the attention of law enforcement.

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, theology

I Am Well Aware, and Resolution Deferred

imnotliketheothergirls

I don’t like to think about “autism awareness” a whole lot, because a lot of the “autism awareness” hype is exactly that.  I’ve been aware of autism my entire life.  I just didn’t know what it was called until 11 years ago, and even then I had a hard time accepting that description as belonging to me.  I rationalized that diagnosis every way I knew how.  I couldn’t be “autistic-” hell, I’d just spent the previous however many years playing the normal game- academic achievement, professional achievement, raising a child.  Don’t people with autism just sit and rock in a chair, non-communicative, sitting in their own shitty diapers all day? How could someone like me- addicted to overwork, obsessed with professional achievement, possibly be autistic?

funkyfunctional

I’m not asocial. I function in social situations.  I get through.  I come off OK.  Even when I’m scared as hell.  Even though I will probably never get the whole business with eye contact or how to give and receive non-verbals with any kind of accuracy. Even when at times I’ve just had too much and I have to flip into a bathroom stall or pull the car over to freak out.  Even when I get emotional and lose all ability to find or use words.  Even when I know that everyone around me thinks I’m a spaz and a freakazoid.

difficult1

Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and we are merely players.”  I learned to be a damned good actress, most of the time- partially out of self preservation, and partially out of a determination to prove that I can out-normal the normals.

But by the time I was 30 and my physical health took a dramatic nosedive, I began to realize just how high a price I was paying for the semblance of normality, which was really just a hollow caricature.  It was hypernormality.  I had to be super-normal to hide the fact that I was anything but- and by my mid-thirties, that illusion was falling apart.

I wanted to believe that whatever was missing or wrong with me had an easy fix.  It doesn’t. There is no fix.  It’s hard wired. It’s just the way I am.  I will never be “normal,” and that’s the way it is.

different toy

I’m aware that I don’t fit in.  I’ve always been aware that I’m the “one of these things that’s not like the others” – even before the kids’ TV show made a game of spotting the oddball.

That being said, the way I’m wired is not an excuse.  If anything my wiring has served as an impetus for others to impose their notions of noblesse oblige upon me- and for me to gladly embrace that position of noblesse oblige, with the hidden motive that if I do enough, well enough, I might just validate my own existenceI have some interesting abilities for what it’s worth, such as speed reading, technical knowledge, and so forth.

“You can, therefore, you must.”  OK., whatever, if you promise to leave me alone when I’m done. Only they never do.

guidance

I have to wonder about that too.  Most of the ones I encountered were asshats.

Maybe overwork and overachievement are coping mechanisms.  Or maybe they are just ways to keep myself occupied so I don’t have to stop and think- and freak.

In music there is a concept of dissonance and resolution.  A dissonant chord sounds tense and unfinished until the chord is resolved.  Sometimes I feel like I live in that tension and unresolved dissonance like that, just hanging in the air waiting for resolution.

I have to admit that I am afraid to just step back and be, as weird as that sounds.  I’ve always been more concerned with what I can do (as though I can actually prove my own worthiness to suck up valuable oxygen) as opposed to having intrinsic value for just being. I’ve never been a fan of psychological systems that propose to validate one for doing nothing, and maybe that’s just my own defense mechanism.  I don’t believe in giving prizes to the 12th place loser, even on those occasions when I am the 12th place loser.  I still have something that screams out, “I may be defective, but I can still serve some kind of purpose!”

 stealidentity

Today being Good Friday, among more awesome truths to ponder, I am challenged to see the Biblical perspective on life and vocation and purpose, and when I look at life that way I find I’ve pretty much been chasing after wind.  Ultimately I have to accept the facts that: I can’t earn or attain justification or validity, I am deeply and inherently flawed in many ways, and there is nothing I can do to change that.  I have to accept that only in the death and resurrection of Christ does anything have any purpose or meaning.  I don’t completely get that, but on its most basic level it means that I am free to be what God created me to be, whatever that is, and I’m still trying to figure that out.

I would add the caveat that salvation is not license, but among other things it is permission not to confuse doing with being.  Still working through that one, complete with fear and trembling.

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