All That Really Matters…

It’s that time of year again. Most of my life I have approached the holidays with a combination of dread and loathing. From my earliest memory I still can feel the disappointment and fear that comes from being a child in tough economic times – money, or more rightly the lack thereof- was guaranteed to get Mom and Dad at each other’s throats.

Christmas time was always a really turbulent time of the year. Dad, especially, always wanted to do the large and lavish holiday things but the money wasn’t there. So he would get bitter and depressed. If only he would have known that a quiet and frugal observance of the Incarnation and birth of Christ with sharing and love would have been so much better than just another series of money fights.

It was better to put up simple decorations and lights and to make homemade candy with Grandma than to dance around the tension at home.

I have gotten to the point where I can barely tolerate the retail bonanza that accompanies the holiday season. I love Advent and the religious observance of Christmas. I can even get into the decorations and baking, but no, I am not into buying tons of crap for people who (like me) do not need tons of crap.  Meaningful, needful and useful gifts are one thing, especially for someone you know is in need, but simply procuring a piece of vapid kitsch to wrap up so you can say you gave someone a gift is just not my thing.

Maybe that sounds sort of Scroogish but there’s no need to get me anything either. I do not need any bath sets, Walmart knockoffs of colognes that give me migraines, or socks and granny panties.  I don’t mind a good gag gift, a raunchy calendar or good theological books (that I would have to choose…)   The only things I really want are intangible anyway.

And off to the intangibles. I really want that one thing I have found to be so elusive- to be loved, to belong, to be accepted the way I am even though I wasn’t made for this world.

That’s a lot to ask, and maybe even wrong to ask, but who knows?

Still a Hot Mess, Nail Repair on the Fly and Mr. Murphy is Alive and Well…

I’m proud of myself, sorta. I broke off both my index and middle finger nails getting in the car this morning and couldn’t find the pieces to glue back.

Fanfreakingtastic… so I go back in and pack up new plastic tips, the fiberglass roll, scissors, glue, all the nail polishes I used on this full set- that was just completed Friday night. So in about 20 minutes here and there and in between, on the way to work and for a bit once I got here, I removed the last of the broken nails, put on new tips, re-did the fiberglass overlays, ground them down smooth, and painted them using the three different colors, glitter coat and top coat, so now they look like nothing ever happened. It’s good I could remember the color combo and sequence I used Friday. I’ve been doing acrylic nails for the better part of 20 years so I should be able to do it under pressure.

It’s a trivial and venial thing but I can’t stand my nails looking like shit.

Mr. Murphy is alive and well.

Next week I am supposed to go on vacation. I need it…desperately, but it’s hard for me to actually do it.

I don’t like leaving the dogs. Steve-o is going to look in on them as he is one of the few people who can come in the house without having Mr. BooBoo remove body parts. BooBoo only really likes a handful of people. He likes Mom, but he is 80# of dog. He is immaculately well behaved 99% of the time, but the rare behavior malfunction could happen. Steve-o can handle him if he decides to get unruly. Steve-o is also less likely to set off the alarm getting in the house to begin with.

No, he is not a “strange looking Labrador,” a Pitbull, or even a German Shorthaired Pointer. Brutus (aka BooBoo) is a Catahoula Leopard Dog. He is one I think of about -five- in all of Ohio. Strange breed…and the glass eyes take some getting used to, but he has been a most excellent dog. Not as excellent as Clara, but very, very close. Clara was the crown jewel of all Belgian Malinois, which are the very most excellent and intelligent of all dogs. There will never be another like her.

I am thankful that he is intelligent and healthy and just a good dog. A good dog is a priceless thing.  Lucy, of course is herself.

Lucy is queen of the resting bitch face, and of puking in the worst possible places on the hardest things to clean. Brutus loves her and does look after her. It’s not good for dogs to be alone. Especially Lucy, because she is stupid.

Lucy is 8 years old now which is amazing considering all the stupid things she has done. Dogs age so much faster than we do.  It sucks, even for the stupid dogs like Lucy.  She’s still endearing, just not very smart.

A lot has changed in the past three years. Mostly for the better, but I still manage to stay a hot mess. Always some kind of crisis. But life goes on.

Scantily Clad Large People, Strange Affections, and Assorted Moral Decrepitude

 

eat assThe things I see while driving to work on US23…

I have been many things in my life, but “prude” is generally not one of them.  I may be modest according to today’s standards, where apparently it’s OK for drag queens to read stories to children while wearing wigs, makeup and a little more than a strip of Saran Wrap over their bits, but I grew up in automotive shops around technicians.  Salty language and plenty of sexual innuendo, I get.  Gender bending, not so much.

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Having pervs hang out with kids…again not so much. I probably would have been terrified by Drag Queen Story Hour as a child.  I was terrified of everyone- with the exception of a precious few blood relatives- when I was a child. Then again, I could read for myself.

I sought out quiet corners of the library to read on my own at my own pace, and if anyone even thought of touching me at all, in any kind of way, I would have screamed like a banchee. It was my only defense.  The library was a safe place because it was public, (so my sisters and other kids couldn’t torment me there) quiet, and people left me alone.  As far as I was concerned when I was a child, all touching was bad touching.  I realize not all kids are hypersensitive to physical touch, but any pedophile who would have dared to try anything with me – and they probably would not have been able to get close enough- would have either slit my throat quickly, or dropped and ran quickly because there would have been blood curdling screams.

I know not everyone who likes to do drag is necessarily a perv,  but why confuse kids?  Maybe I am speaking from my own childhood, which was a hot mess to put it mildly- more like the seventh circle of hell from Dante’s Inferno to be more accurate, but I think it’s on the adults to make sure kids have some sort of reason and stability.  It would also be helpful to teach kids critical thinking and logic skills, but maybe that’s too much to ask from the Tide Pod eating generation.

As a parent, it’s not always prudent to trust your kids with other adults. I played hell trusting my son with anyone. My son made it a lot easier in some ways as he was always very outspoken and he is very good at reading people. If he was creeped out by someone then I could be confident that he was usually right.  My default is distrust.  I am not a trusting soul by any stretch.

I am glad that the hottest month of the year is behind me.  July in Ohio brings out the Scantily Clad Large People.

fat man in speedoI don’t know what is worse, fat dudes in Speedos or the Daisy Duke crowd.

I have neighbors around me with pools.  It’s scary.

 

 

 

 

 

Men in …Dresses?, and Other Bad 1970s Clothing, Nasty Things in Jell-O, and Lingerie Musings

 

kaftans-386x699What self-respecting non-terrorist dude would wear these nighties? These outfits call for an immediate forfeiture of one’s Man Card, and/or enlistment in ISIS.

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Maybe this explains rappers? Maybe the lace-up pants with the waistline at the titty nipples explain the sagger trend of the 90s and beyond?  Never again will we have BATHROOM SITUATIONS!  You know, the bathroom situations that ensue when nature calls and one cannot drop one’s pants quickly enough to direct the shit shower cleanly into the toilet bowl.  The opposite problem is equally disturbing though.  I don’t want a grown man shitting himself because he can’t untie his pants fast enough, but I also don’t want to see a grown man’s hairy crack because his waistband is under his ass cheeks.

I must say platform shoes for men are actually not a bad idea, at least for short men.  Dad’s only 5’6″ and he used to have some platform shoes, back in maybe 1976, until the dog decided her happy ass needed something to chew on. Then again, that dog was an inbred ankle biter who lived to be 16 (though blind and toothless and probably quite senile at the end.) Sad to say no one knows of her exact demise except that Dad let her out one night and she never came back.  If I know the redneck nation here in Marion, I would assume someone was driving around drunk and or stoned and hit the poor old thing as she wandered around in the middle of the road and didn’t know it.  She was probably all of about fifteen pounds and had the IQ of paint.  I love dogs, but this one was not the sharpest tool in the shed.

As far as the shoes, though their life was short, they did help keep him from getting Jackie smacked – like Benny Hill would smack poor Jackie- all the time.

jackie benny hill

Man, I loved Benny Hill.  I love British humor (or should I spell it humour) precisely because of the innuendo and double entendre.  I guess I can be easily entertained.

gross jello salad

1950s food was surprisingly dismal, at least from some of the pictures and recipes I’ve found.  I think I understand why people back in the day were so bloody thin.  Putting nasty things like celery (gag) and olives stuffed with pimentos that look like demented eyeballs (barf) and what looks to be squares of cheddar cheese (? good on their own, but not in this context) in lime Jell-O and then garnishing it with tomato wedges (the only thing that looks remotely edible here) and wilty lettuce is just plain gross. I would lose a lot of weight if this were the only thing I were permitted to eat.  I could probably even wear one of those June Cleaver dresses that also requires wearing a long line bra and girdle- and still be able to breathe- if I could only eat nasty stuff like this.

fifties girdlesI think I’d almost rather die than be corseted like this, even though it does make dresses look a hell of a lot better.  My grandmother used to be a lingerie buyer for a swanky department store.  She sold this stuff.  Wore this stuff.  Fitted people for this stuff.  I have worn this stuff only on special occasions and it’s hard to ward off both hypoxia and heat stroke wearing this stuff.  It’s hot and you can’t breathe worth a damn, let alone move. And the likelihood of having BATHROOM SITUATIONS is just as bad as with the lace-up pants, or with Levi’s 501s, which have button flies.  Yay.  Not to mention it’s hell on my nails.

At my age I need to be able to get to the crapper and drop my drawers with a minimum of pomp and circumstance.

 

Deliver Me from the Kia of Death, Making Sarcasm Out of Pretty Much Everything…

2003 Kia OptimaI could only wish that the unfortunate 2003 Kia across the street were in this good of condition.  Someone recently decided to use its roof as a trampoline, and in the process broke out the back glass – which can’t be replaced because the roof rail is bent- so the back glass consists of that plastic people use in the winter if they don’t have storm windows, and duct tape.  Lots of duct tape.  I feel sorry for her for having to drive it.  The only cure for this thing is C4. Then again, when I see the volume of Natty cans in the yard and around their fire pit on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I understand.  All. Too. Well. She’s living la vida drunksitter.  Both her husband and her father-in-law make Jerry look like an amateur at drunk-n-stupid random destruction. Jerry destroyed stuff, yes, but even in his drunken stupidity, deep in that primal, reptilian part of his brain, he knew that trashing my car was a Really Bad Idea.  Apparently this tipsy redneck has discovered, the hard way, that if you want to go car surfing, you need something with a sturdier roof than an aged Kia Optima.  I hope she kicked his ass. She is twice his size.

put_up_the_pool_januaryThis is the same guy who put up the pool on January 5.  FYI: Central Ohio’s average January high temperature is 23°. Yes. Fahrenheit.  Then again this is the same rocket scientist, in the same pool,  who passed out on a floatie in the middle of the pool , surrounded by empty Natty cans, in the heat of the day, on a 90° (also Fahrenheit) day in the middle of July for a few hours. When all was said and done,  he was just about this RED.

I know when the Kia of death starts up.  It does actually start and run consistently which must be considered a plus if it’s the only thing one has to drive. It gets fired up at 5:55 AM every morning, just as I am about to get the Corolla out of the garage and get on my way.  It has a cracked exhaust manifold (and yes, I have been around things automotive long enough to know that sound) and makes about as much noise as something with a four cylinder engine possibly can. It could wake the dead.  It’s even louder than the old man’s Harley, and that’s saying a lot considering he can usually be spotted sporting t-shirts that have such pithy sayings as, “Loud Pipes Save Lives,” or “Gas, Grass or Ass, No One Rides for Free.”

I really don’t mind my redneck neighbors too much as long as they leave me alone and don’t repeat the shower of bottle rockets on my roof when the 4th of July rolls around. I don’t care if you burn down your house- after all, arson is sort of a tradition on the west side- but don’t burn mine down.  I do have homeowner’s insurance (and it’s not cheap, because of all you firebugs out there) but I don’t want to have to use it.  I hate moving and I have sworn not to do it again, Lord willing.

I don’t find much humor in the drunk and stupid episodes even though I am not the one living that nightmare anymore.  I might have a twinge of schadenfreude when I see the poor woman across the street dragging her man in off the front lawn when he’s passed out, but it’s more like a thankfulness that this time it’s not me cleaning up the mess and doing the dragging.

We are fast approaching Sun’s Out Guns Out season.  This means large, pasty white people are going to be wandering about outside in scandalous states of un- and ill- dress.

walmartShe has some nice tats. I have tats too, so I shouldn’t talk. Just no names, and no poorly drawn Pitbulls…

 

 

The Dismality of February, and This Will All Thaw Someday

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Oh, the dismality of February yet again.  There is a reason why February only has 28 days (at least for three out of four years,) and that’s to put a lid on the number of people who die in February.  If February were 30 or 31 days, half the damn population would die in February, and that would just be weird.  We have to spread the death throughout the year better.  Not that everyone should die from heat stroke in July, but jeez.  I can understand losing the will to live when it is 90° and 100% humidity if there’s no air conditioning, perhaps a bit more than most, because I am not at all equipped for high temperatures.  I can abide cold a far sight better than extreme heat.

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But at least in July there is sunlight, and Ohio winters are notoriously dark and sunless. I can go all week without seeing sunlight save for maybe a ray or two on the weekend-  unless there is a damned blizzard going on.  And even if the damned blizzard is going on and it’s 4° below, Target still has nothing but bathing suits, tank tops, sandals and sleeveless dresses on display.  If I need a parka, I will have to wait until July when they put them back out.

Here in central Ohio we have been enduring a rather harsher than normal winter.  Oh, yippee skippy, because I just adore driving in ice and snow.  I’m all about those below zero temperatures too.  There is simply nothing like one’s ass freezing to the toilet seat unless I break down and turn on the space heater in the bathroom.

“Spring” will arrive someday. Probably sometime in May there will come a day when my back yard will transform from frozen tundra into Dog Shit Lake overnight.  Oh, the smell of Spring in the air.  Temperatures will go from -4° to 90° and 100% humidity within the span of about 12 hours.  There is really no Spring in Ohio. There is just arctic cold and wind, followed by stygian heat, usually accompanied by torrential rain.

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This is Brutus, the Catahoula^ (Catahoula Bed Hog Dog)

clara520

This was Clara^ (God rest her sweet soul) the Malinois

Note to self: the 80# Catahoula shits according to his size.  For those unaccustomed to dogs, for an example, a 65# Malinois has the strength to overpower a 300# man.  The 65# Malinois consumes, and disposes of about the same number of calories as a 300# man every day. Imagine that kind of waste load deposited in your back yard every day for six months from October until the May Thaw arrives.

In all fairness, since a Malinois is an ultra high energy, high metabolism dog, a 65# Malinois and an 80# Catahoula are pretty much identical in strength, energy consumed, and waste put down.  My paradigms have been pretty much the same for awhile.

There’s going to be a lot of dog shit to deal with.

Finding Ephemera, and Joy In the Morning?

butts_dispensary

I have been trolling about online for 19th century ads for patent medicine and other assorted ephemera as well as car ads for vintage Toyotas, and I might consider some 1970s era ads for hygiene products and/or clothing (because that shit is hilarious) and various other weird things to transform into wall art for my house.

It’s my house. I’m the only one who lives there.  So my décor is entirely up to me. If I wanted to paint every wall in the house hot pink that is my prerogative.  I haven’t done that, mostly because a.) I don’t have time, and b.) hot pink would look weird on paneling.  This being said, eclectic is the only word I have to describe what I want.  If I like it, it goes up.

68toyotacoronacoupe                                   (but they didn’t synchronize reverse until the 2000’s)

There might be some that think I am being heartless or a bit callous in the transitions I’m making in my life.  The precious only male child is more than a little incensed that I have had the truck detailed (and that I am letting a friend in need borrow the truck for awhile) yet he never claimed that he wanted it or cared what I did with it before.  I know everyone handles grief differently, but why he would want me to let the truck sit in the garage and rot (and reek of old cigarettes and various food wrappers) is beyond me.

The difficult thing is that I have been waiting for years to be able to “get on with my life-” to be able to go have a good time if I feel like it, and to participate at church and in other activities.  No, it’s not about partying like a rock star (way too old) or anything debauched, just being able to do what I want, when I want, within reason.  I feel sort of bad because Mom and Dad both think that because I live back in town and I live alone that I am going to want to spend all my time away from work with them.  The idea here is not to ignore them, but I do have people I want to be around, and things I would like to do that don’t involve them.

activities

It has felt good to be able to go have dinner with a friend, to go out to malls and such, or to sit and watch old Journey concerts on You Tube.  And I am not going to feign being the “grieving widow” because I’m not feeling it. I spent too many years dealing with Jerry and his tirades and demands.  I am prone to depression, and if I really wanted to fall into that mess I probably could, but I’ve spent too much time there already.  Life is short, and I’ve already wasted enough of it being used and worn out and depressed.

And to be frank about it, 12 years of involuntary chastity was not exactly what I signed up for either.  I am certainly not easy or a slut (otherwise, I don’t see going 12 years without, married or not) but should the right opportunity (and I emphasize the word right) arise to remedy that situation, I am not going to refuse.  I am a free woman now.