Coping Mechanisms, Dark Pragmatism and More Postmortem Pics

hearts and flowers

I did draw hatchets, skulls and heavy metal band logos in my extensive high school boredom doodlings. This is why I know not to do it now.

When I get bored, I scribble and doodle.  Sometimes I do it in a more figurative sense- typing is so much faster than writing long hand, at least for me- but drawing can only really be done the old fashioned way, with pens and pencils and markers.

The psychologists and guidance counselors had a field day with me in middle school and high school because of my rather dark themed scribblings and doodlings. When your primary emotion is “terror,” the secondary is almost always “rage.”  (Repressed anger, anyone?- and this was decades before Columbine.)  I would buy plain notebooks (even better if they had a canvas finish) and then I would draw macabre scenes all over them in a variety of colors.  If the discussion went too slow or I got bored in class (pretty much every day) then I would write little snippets of prose or poetry along with whatever notes I was pretending to take inside the notebook.  I didn’t have the advantage of having a laptop or a tablet or a smart phone in school. I graduated in 1986, when the entire school had three computers, all of which had a cassette player serving as a hard drive.  By comparison, the Note 3 smart phone I have today would have been a supercomputer.

I should have learned my lesson regarding concealing incriminating evidence of my twisted thought life when I was in 8th grade. One of the boys decided to appropriate one of my more risqué notebooks and share its contents with the other boys.  This was Not a Good Thing.  The notebook got confiscated by a nosy teacher who wondered what the boys were laughing about.  I ended up in an extremely awkward and embarrassing meeting with the guidance counselor that led to  several months of camping out in the psychologist’s office every Tuesday afternoon.  Since my mother worked for the school system and knew every single one of the teachers and staff, the repercussions of that indiscretion really sucked.

I still kept my funky notebooks with the outlandish scribbles on them, but I was more careful about what I wrote in them in high school, just in case someone would dare to screw with them.  No one ever dared to.  In high school, I found that when I ended up with large friends, who took a special delight in beating the daylights out of people who screwed with me, that my confidential items remained that way.   I didn’t receive any unauthorized touching, spindling or mutilation to my person either, not after one unfortunate thug got her head shaved for spitting Skoal in my hair.  The Skoal Incident- which took place toward the end of my freshman year in high school- marked the end of many years of harassment and beatings from my cohorts in school.

cat fight

Some of my friends liked to fight.  I didn’t.  But by the time I had a car and smokes, I didn’t have to fight.

Granted, I was probably buying friends, (often with cigarettes) which isn’t a healthy thing to do, but it did save me from more than one ass-thumping, I’m sure.   I was in survival mode back then, and it was refreshing to be able to go to school without being dumped head-first into garbage cans, having my hair set on fire, or being shoved up the stairs.  The thought of being shoved up the stairs (concrete stairs with metal caps on the edges) makes my knee caps hurt even now.

Survival is what it is.

I probably shouldn’t have such a fascination for postmortem pics and/or the plight of the unfortunates of Walmart, but I do.

dead family

Pictures are expensive- sooooo- jump right on in there with the stiff!

really creepy dead kid

She doesn’t look terribly fresh, but then again, she’s DEAD.  How fast can the photographer get there on a horse?

The Victorians did pathos and high drama in a way that we just can’t stomach today, but as I’ve said before, back in the times before flush toilets and Clorox, death was in your living room.  Death was your bunkie in more ways than one.

Maybe I should consider it an improvement in my emotional health that my primary emotion is “fear” opposed to “terror.”  That might just be the mitigating effect of Prozac.  I’ve noticed that my secondary emotion- “rage” – has sort of settled into a pragmatic anger.  I try not to get angry unless that anger will do some good, but there are times when I just plain get pissed for no apparent reason.

I actually have some ivory tower time scheduled, although it seems sort of shitty that I have to schedule it in advance rather than just being able to drop off the planet for awhile, unannounced.  This time I hope Jerry leaves me alone for at least a day or two.  I could really use some peace and quiet with just Clara as company for a few days (months…yeah right) but I know Jerry too well.  If I go to the campground he will feel compelled to follow me so I can fetch beer and make trips into town for KFC and so forth.

chicken bucket

Man, that sounds good.

Nuts! No Nuts, No Clue, and Screw You Too

good nuts

Naturally good nuts.  That’s good, because we wouldn’t want artificial nuts.

neuticles1

Unless you’re the owner of a neutered male dog, and you take his loss of sexual potency way too personally.  There are, believe it or not, artificial nuts for neutered dogs.

I’ve never owned a male dog.  I’m of the opinion that female dogs generally are smarter, live longer and have fewer overall health problems- even though spaying a female is a lot more expensive and involved than neutering a male.  I have encountered more than a few male dogs that would make me hesitate to consider a male dog,  but in fairness I’ve also encountered a few that I really liked.  I find it really hard to dislike any dog, with the exception of my cousins’ psycho Chihuahua, Andy- but Andy’s been dead for nearly 40 years.   If anything, poor Andy was an argument against incessant inbreeding.

GoodbyeTesticles

You didn’t need them anyway.

I  may end up with a male dog someday, but I wouldn’t consider having an intact male, even though neutering doesn’t guarantee placid behavior.  Uno, the one-brown, one-blue-eyed, twisted little Shih-Tsu, who used to belong to my mother-in-law, positively tormented poor Isabel (who was a five pound, spayed, elderly, black cat) by chasing her all over the house and attempting to hump her constantly.  He was neutered, but that didn’t seem to matter to Uno and his Red Rocket.  I was glad when we found that guy a good permanent home- away from Isabel.  He was a sweet dog, but humping the cat (aside from being counterproductive) is just plain creepy.

I’ve had three male cats, and they weren’t at all bothered about being nutless.  Other than reduced longevity, (and males are bigger) I really don’t see much difference between spayed female cats and neutered male cats.   I think the male cats I had were secretly relieved of being culled from the gene pool and therefore set free of the obligation to -well- screw like tomcats.

cats

Thought I was going to post a gratuitous pic of feline copulation, eh?

Since I’m on the subject of nuts, (for what reason I have no idea) I have to comment on the illustrious, nutless wonder who is squatting in the White House.  Normally, I can’t stand to listen to Obama speak, and if I feel I must find out what kind of garbage he’s spewing, I just read the transcript later. Unfortunately I was subjected to the Wanna-be-Imperial One’s press conference regarding the Ebola epidemic and his African summit while I was waiting on my car to get serviced at the Toyota dealership.  Hindsight being 20/20, I wish that I had remembered my headphones, or that I had decided to wait outside.

Since I sat through every infuriating minute of it, I thought I would offer the rational person’s Cliff’s Notes on this particular address:

Let’s send billions more dollars in “aid” to Africa that will not be (and never is) used to do anything to ameliorate squalor, disease and poverty, but will be squandered on funding terrorists, supporting regional warlords, and  empowering garden-variety thugs.  While we’re at it, we’re just going to open our borders to every terrorist, scumbag and non-English speaking, uneducated indigent who can manage to traipse on in.   Because terrorists need love too?  Then the Naked Emperor cries and whines and wonders out loud why American corporations are clamoring to incorporate in foreign countries to avoid the evil IRS and its labyrinthine and oppressive tax system. 

Oh, and we can’t send the Ebola medicine to Africa because it’s experimental…and they might die from it.  Even though they are almost certainly going to die from the Ebola, why should we try giving a drug that might help?  Someone might sue us or something.

Really?

I almost threw up all over the customer lounge.   Thankfully by that time, my tire rotation and car wash were done and the service advisor had come to retrieve me.  I just hope they torqued my lug nuts to 76 ft lbs. like the owner’s manual suggests.

no clue

On the way home I had a few insights on B.O.’s asinine rhetoric.

1. Why are we spending a red dime to support any terrorist harboring country? I don’t give a flying fart in a high wind what’s going on there.  It’s not our problem. In fact, as cruel as it sounds, perhaps some of these third world holes could use some thinning of the herd.  Especially when foreign aid never seems to get where it’s supposed to go, and the poverty and desolation persists no matter how many billions of dollars are thrown at it.

2. Why do veterans go without medical treatment, and American citizens are taxed so heavily they can’t afford their own healthcare (even though they work for a living) while our government pisses away our tax dollars to support terrorists and others who only want to kill us and send the world back to the Dark Ages?  Americans’ money could be better spent on our own infrastructure and military, and to secure our borders against the terrorists and thugs, but what do I know?

3. Why is this illegitimate president still squatting in our White House?

Let’s All Go to the Fair (‘Kay…) as If I Had Faith in Humanity to Begin With

 

 

not sexy

I think that might be a skunk on her right thigh.

One does encounter the frightening side of humanity at the Ohio State Fair- or any other public festival-type gathering.  It wasn’t as alarming as I have observed in years past, or perhaps I’m getting a bit jaded to the freak show.  The Marion Popcorn Festival is coming up, which makes the Fair look positively tame.  I’ve also found that it’s a lot easier to take pics with the Note 3 than with a traditional camera because people just think you’re texting or something when you are really taking pics. Maybe that’s mean of me, but I run even worse than I fight.

smokin red

Toasty tobacco flavor!

I wonder if Red here is disabled or if she just figured it was worth $10 to ride around in a Mart Cart all day.  I think she weighs less than 300#, so they probably don’t let her ride the cart in Walmart.  She is setting a lovely example for her (grand?) son though.  Even while she is lecturing another offspring (?) spousal unit (?) on the dangers of wearing just socks without shoes in public.

red with sox

Told ya ta wear some shoes, dumbass!

The dog had Barbie dolls with better hair than poor Red.  I say “the dog” because Suzie, the deranged Dachshund my parents had when I was little, appropriated certain of my sisters’ toys for her own personal use- when she was done eating their socks and underwear, that is.  Suzie didn’t like very many people, but she adored me.  Go figure.  I never had a problem with her, but my sisters couldn’t touch her, or get their toys back once Suzie decided she liked them.

I figured, with Suzie, possession was 9/10.   If Suzie wanted it who was I to stand in her way?  Although I could do anything with Suzie, including getting toys back from her, I wasn’t about to do that for either of my sisters.  I liked Suzie better than either of them.

shorts n boots

Shorts and cowboy boots?

I saw a number of people at the Fair wearing cowboy boots with shorts.  I don’t know why this particular fashion choice bugs me, but it does.  At least she’s not wearing Daisy Dukes. And she was nice enough to cover up her back fat, unlike this unfortunate girl:

gratuitous back fat

Girl, you need a rear view mirror.

Perhaps I am being a bit harsh on fashion choices- after all I dress for comfort most of the time, and especially so if I am going to be traipsing along outside in the heat.  It wasn’t as hot as it normally is which may have cut down on the freak factor this year.

smokey

The talking Smokey the Bear is freaky though.

When I was a little kid I always wondered about Smokey’s preoccupation with forest fires.  I knew too many kids who were only too happy to fry ants with magnifying glasses (yes, I did do that) or set stuff on fire with Zippos (Steve-o,,,)  I always wondered why Smokey talked about not playing with matches, but never mentioned Bics or Zippos or magnifying glasses.

Zippo_light

Not a flashlight substitute, either.

Then again, central Ohio is a swamp and it’s usually raining, or there’s some form of precipitation at least every other day or so,  so wildfires generally don’t happen, and when they do, they generally don’t spread much.  However, the perpetual dampness never stopped the slumlords from burning down non-profitable rental properties to the point that in certain locales it is expensive and well-near impossible to get home owner’s or business insurance.  There’s always accelerants, you know, if you really want something to burn.  Too bad the ass-pilots that use them usually have very little understanding of forensic science.  They can tell you doused the place with gasoline before you torched it.

Smokey seems a little quaint and outdated for these times.  Nobody wants to intentionally burn down forests, because you can’t get insurance on a random forest. Maybe Smokey should be talking about arson?  “Hey, kids, only you can decide not to burn down your non-profitable rental properties, ” or, better yet:  “Hey, kids, don’t drop your crack pipe and burn down your crack house!”  Especially if you just spilled gasoline on the floor.

Ponderous-Dachshund

Mi underwear – Su underwear?

Somehow, some things just aren’t meant to be shared.

I haven’t thought about poor Suzie in a long time.  She was always in fragile health and died at the relatively young age of 7 years. I believe her early demise was largely due to being willing to eat vast quantities of anything, including socks, underwear, marbles, Army men, and things my mother served that were sort of supposed to be food.  Mom’s cooking was rather disastrous a good deal of the time, so there was a lot of food left over to go with Suzie’s Chuck Wagon.

chuckwag70

On second thought, maybe we should have just eaten the Chuck Wagon.

mmmm…Meaty!  in a meat by-product-y sort of way…

 

People Are Frustrating and Vexing, but Solitude Brings a Strange Kind of Fun

  warmandfuzzy

I am not the poster child for things touchy-feely.  I loathe strange people touching me (even getting my hair cut is an adventure, though I endure it because I can’t cut my own hair with any degree of accuracy) and generally I’m not too thrilled about being groped by those I do know.  Unless they’re dogs, and that’s OK.  Why, I don’t know, but dogs are safe, at least for me.  Even when I was a little kid and was terrified of the world, from my sadistic oldest sister to unauthorized insect life, I had no problem climbing the fence and snuggling up to a 120# Rottweiler.

rottweiler

It’s not usually the big dogs you have to worry about.  Unless you’re up to mischief, that is.

The only dog I can remember having any kind of problem with was Andy the Chihuahua, but he was likely the product of many generations of inbreeding, and from the moment he was whelped he was certifiably messed up in the head.  He was my cousins’ dog, and even they couldn’t touch him.  It’s a good thing that pathetic little Andy, with his  high-pitched, constant and annoying yappy voice, severe underbite and thick cataracts,  (I think the wretched thing was born blind) didn’t live past the age of five. I’m surprised he lived as long as he did.   I think the only thing that saved him was that he was too evil for the cats to eat him.  He reminded me of a wind-up toy with an over-wound spring.  Such a toy will go like blue blazes- for a little while- then it just dies suddenly.  I think it was reported that poor Andy bit the big one mid-yap.  I don’t think he was very much missed.

psycho chihuahua

Andy the psycho Chihuahua is the exception, not the rule in the canine world.  Humanity is the exact opposite.

There is a sad irony that I feel safer with animals that technically are the same species as wolves (canis lupus familiaris is not far removed from canis lupus lupus after all) than I do with fellow humans.  But I do.

I’ve gathered from my own observations that “normal” people (begging the question, “Who defines ‘normal’?,” though I know I am most certainly anything but “normal”) generally have an easy time relating to other “normal” people.   While I’m usually looking for excuses to avoid excessive social interaction, as too much of playing that game wears me out, the “normals” blithely seek out more opportunities to be in each others’ faces.    I have to work at the communication game.  Really. Hard.  I have to consciously know which façade to pull out, and what (figurative) costume to wear for which occasion.

I have to pay attention to things that come instinctually to most, such as eye contact and body language and tone of voice. Otherwise, if I’m not paying attention, I just stare straight ahead and bellow out everything in a loud monotone.  I have acquired social skills- and over the years I’ve trained myself to practice them well- but that whole hoo-hah wears me down, just as the social dance energizes most people.

hermit

Sometimes I’d like to tell the whole world to bite me sideways and say screw it all, (and I would if I had the scratch to live as a recluse) but necessity dictates that I have to put up with other people and their shit.  Maybe it’s wrong or arrogant or selfish of me to see things that way, but that’s just the way it is.  That’s my reality-constant vigilance and constant anxiety, because I have to pay close attention to every word and every movement, at least when I am under others’ scrutiny.

Maybe that was where Shakespeare got the notion that all the world’s a stage.  Performing is hard work, and sometimes I just don’t wanna.

I don’t have to play the game with dogs- or even cats for that matter.   With them I can just be.

There are times I do enjoy the relational hoo-hah and find it a strange kind of fun, but it’s fun that I really only need in small doses, and even when I do enjoy it, it wears me out.  Right now I’m exhausted, and in a way I wish I could beg off human contact for a few months or so.

14corolla

What I really need is a nice, long solitary road trip.

I could use one of those trips where I leave, go somewhere randomly, do whatever, and then come back.  The last time I really did that was back in 1987, and I caught hell for it.  Of course, going 500 miles out with $150,  in a car that had no air conditioning, leaked oil horribly, had 4 balding (different sizes and treads) tires and a top speed of 45 MPH wasn’t a good idea and I wouldn’t dream of trying it today, especially without a phone, but those were different times.   Cell phones were expensive toys hard mounted in expensive cars back in 1987.  I was a young punk and wanted to do what I wanted to do, even if I didn’t have much scratch and my car was a very distressed, high mileage ’79 Subaru DL.   Today I would be afraid of being raped and robbed (well, in my case, probably just robbed and shot) if I would happen to get stranded.  Today I have plastic (though I am quite loath to use it) a modern car, a phone, GPS, roadside assistance and a (always loaded) .357 Magnum.

I’m not nearly as trusting as I used to be.

Jerry would have nine kinds of fits if I did something like that.  He would accuse me of being out trysting with some smoking hot young stud even though he (especially) should know I have the sex appeal of stale saltines and wet socks.    In reality he would miss subjecting me to his tirades, and would miss me fetching his food and beer.

Yes, a solitary road trip would be most delicious.  Even a day trip would be good.

God Loves a Hot Mess, and the Devil Is in the Details

hot_mess_shirt-

 

All I can think is that God must love a hot mess, which is good news for me.  The past two weeks have been rather crazy.  I’ve had to make some difficult decisions, two of them in saying no to things and situations that would have been desirable- except that the devil is in the details.

I did get to say yes to the car, which I had been mulling about for awhile, and the pieces came together fortuitously on that one.

But I had to turn down taking in a beautiful black Malinois (still a bit despondent over that one) because Jerry insisted on taking in Lucy last October.  I couldn’t say no to that, especially since we had lost Sheena last May.

Lucy, while she is a sweet dog, is definitely not a Malinois.  Lucy is a hot mess of a willful, disobedient and destructive Beagle mixed with English Bulldog (why, oh why would someone interbreed that combo on purpose?)  Clara, my (1/2 Malinois) sweet pleaser, obeys hand commands and head nods (she’s that intuitive) and Lilo, just knows and follows the routine.  I am still carrying Lucy to her crate in the mornings. She does not go to the crate of her own volition even though she knows she is going to end up there one way or another.

Lucy sleeping

In the words of the philosopher/theologian Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want/You can try sometimes/You just might find/You get what you need.”

Sometimes what I want and what I need are two completely different things.

I discovered last week that even though I’ve been away from the automotive dealer scene for almost fifteen years, just how easy it would be for me to go right back to where I was before (different place, same type of job.)  I was given the opportunity to do that.  I really, really wanted to, but again, the devil is in the details.  Thankfully I came to my senses and realized that 1. working straight commission is no way to live, because you end up living at work, and 2. it would be so easy to go back to that work-as-a-drug power trip euphoria.

The problem with that is when I live that way my entire identity becomes what (and how well) I’m doing versus who I am being.  And that is some scary shit.  That’s what landed me in my doctor’s office with ischemic attacks, bleeds in the scleras of both eyes and uncontrolled high blood pressure. That’s what got me the lecture from my doctor (when I was 30) that I wouldn’t live to see 35 unless I changed my lifestyle.

I made it to 45, so I must be doing something right, but in a rather unexpected and unsolicited job offer I learned something about myself that I don’t particularly like.

I like being in control. I really like it, and if I’m honest with myself I find that’s what’s been pissing me off for so long.  I don’t like being talked down to.  I don’t like having to work within inefficient processes and inane policies that I don’t have the authority to change.  I don’t like being held responsible for bad outcomes that I had no hand in creating- and that I don’t have the authority to fix.  I don’t like being controlled by people who shouldn’t be in the positions they’re in.  I don’t like being in a position where challenging the status quo is an exercise in futility.

The bad thing is that in any environment where one has to deal with people, all of the noxious roadblocks to harmonious living, good business, and successful outcomes listed above are right there, wherever one may go.  So it’s better to deal with the devil you know than to buy into a whole ‘nother demon who may be even worse.

Red_Guy_1

I remember reading somewhere that the devil can be in all the things you really, really want.  It sort of reminds me of when Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world- that somehow selling your soul is worth all the stuff you get in exchange.

I really don’t want to make deals with the devil.

While it’s not good for me to be the one in charge, it’s also not good for me to play the whipping post.  If only I could avoid either extreme.  I’ve been doing “whipping post” for way too long, which is what made my out of the blue offer look so attractive.

whipping post

Maybe somewhere along the line I went from brash hard ass to completely losing my voice (in a figurative way) and that’s another vexing place to be.

Happy Lupercalia! Which is So Appropriate Because…

wolf- lupercalia

Roadkill: It’s What’s for Dinner!

Valentine’s Day as a holiday has always sort of given me the creeps.  It’s named after a Christian martyr who according to legend was killed by having his heart cut out.  So we make nice little chocolates and cookies with hearts on them to commemorate this why?  As far as celebrating holidays that have bizarre origins, it would be more fun to commemorate Bastille Day with scale model guillotines and flying Dennis Rodman doll  action figure heads, but I’m weird that way.

dennis rodman

The doll action figure came with two heads.

Valentine’s Day wasn’t always Valentine’s day.  It actually began as a co-opting of a popular pagan holiday that was celebrated around the middle of February- Lupercalia.  Basically it was “The Wolf Festival.”  Along with a lot of drinking and fertility rites, that is.  What makes this different from The-Game-We-Cannot-Name Sunday or any other redneck beer drinking holiday, except that even rednecks frown upon animal sacrifice?  Perhaps the main distinction is that in redneck fornication, procreation generally is not the primary goal.  Hence the importance of the Trojan Man.

trojan man

Because this is all that stands between you and 18+ years of child support.

I don’t believe in romantic love.  Not one bit.  If Jerry buys me something it’s usually because it’s something he wants.  The last thing he bought me was a Stoeger Condor Competition 20 gauge over/under shotgun.  It is a sweet shotgun, but I think he enjoys shooting it (and bragging to the guys at the club what a great deal he got on it) more than I do.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good shotgun, but it’s not exactly the gift that screams “hot teenage lust.”  Not that “hot teenage lust” was ever on my agenda to begin with.

A holiday for dogs, on the other hand, isn’t a bad idea.  The interesting thing about a “wolf festival” is that dogs are wolves.  Literally.

Grey wolf taxonomic classification: Canis lupus lupus

Domestic dog (all breeds): Canis lupus familiaris

doggie daycare

All the same species as the grey wolf.  Even the ankle biters.

I’ve also said it before that since dogs are a subspecies of wolf, it’s imperative to respect that.   If dogs are improperly treated and/or we humans don’t pay attention to their signals and body language, they can be deadly.  Correctly handled and respected, they can become amazing companions, protectors and friends.  I trust my dogs more than people, and with good reason.

bag of trouble

Not to mention AIDS, chlamydia, genital warts and herpes!

The only thing that disturbs me about those old-time VD warnings is that they always showed women as being carriers of VD.  Dudes spread it too.  How do you think the women got it?

I always thought Valentine’s Day, with all the insinuation of love being in the air, as a perfect opportunity to warn against Venereal Disease.  Here’s a little song from 1969, just in case anyone needs some VD awareness.  It’s called “VD is for Everybody” and has a cute little video that goes with it.  Just doing my duty to further public health.

Speaking of public health, as I was trolling along, I found another holiday worth celebrating:

world rabies day

I have some questions about Rabies Day.

1. Is this about getting rabies?  If so, this could be a very painful and drawn out form of population control.  I can think of much easier ways to “cull the herd,” such as leaving the stupid to their own devices, to earn their Darwin Awards without any interference from others.

2. Is this about getting rabies shots and/or preventing rabies?  I can stand behind that.  I definitely don’t want to get the rabies.

I don’t want to get the cholera either:

cholera

“Beware of Drunkenness- nothing is so likely to bring on Disease.”  Amazing.  Public health authorities knew this back in the 1830’s, that being drunk  and dirty could bring on disease.  I would like to know where you find hot lime, though.

I think there should be more public campaigns to advocate personal hygiene and cleanliness.  It seems that being clean and well groomed is more of an exception than a rule, and then you wonder why you’re surrounded with the hacking, coughing, chronically ill masses.

Of course, as more and more of the people in this country are growing up raised by wolves, what can one expect?

raisedbywolves

SSDD, and If You Have to Ask, I Don’t Have Time to Explain

SSDD

Depression sucks.

Same shit, different day.

I could of course, attribute my unshakable malaise by chalking it up to the horrible weather or the interminable dark that pervades this time of year.  Usually my mood improves when the holidays are over, at least a little bit, and then goes back in the toilet around mid-February until about May.

Maybe it’s because my life is pretty much lived stuffing ten pounds of shit into a five pound bag.  The worst part of that is that it’s usually ten pounds of other people’s shit that I allow to be unloaded on me.

despair corners

The sucky part of that is that one of my closest friends (who I really need to have a nice, long conversation with again, and sometime soon) once told me that life boils down to what you cause and what you allow.  I allow other people’s dumb shit to go on and on without telling them to piss off, and that’s my own damned fault.  I hear a lot of bitching through the course of a day, and a lot of it is in regard to things that either I can’t control or can’t change.  Hearing all that day in and day out tends to make me feel pretty discouraged and hopeless.

Then I go home and get to hear Jerry bitch about things that he should just deal with himself if they bother him that much.  This is the same guy who has no problem spotting shit or puke or some unfortunate object that Lucy has reduced to smithereens- but who does have nine kinds of excuses for why he can’t clean it up.

clean poop

Really? I so need this amazing shit-shoveling gnome in my house!

That, and my left arm is killing me right around the place where I broke it.  I think that might be because of the cold (it’s a balmy 1°F out there today) and low barometer, but it hurts something fierce today.  I dug out the big black brace I had to use for awhile after they took my cast off, and put it on, which seems to help.   Then there’s always the gift that keeps on giving- all my joints are rather creaky and stiff today- thanks to the lingering repercussions of rheumatic fever.   The good news is that I was one of about three people in the pool this morning.  I’d be much worse off today, at least as far as mobility goes, had I not gone to the pool.  The pool, opposed to the outside world, is usually somewhere around 80°, which is quite nice.

fantasy pool

If money were no object, this would be my personal indoor pool.

pool boy

And here would be a suitable personal pool boy.

Maybe not so blond, but the bod is right on.  Nice pecs.

It would be a total blast to lounge about in a lovely pool surrounded by buff young dudes, if I had the means, but as the old saying goes, “Wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first.”

Of course the fantasy would only be complete if I could have a big screen TV in my pool room showing Journey’s Greatest Hits Live 1981:

journey greatest hits 1981

Play ALL.  All night long.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually done a fairly decent job of cheering myself up. For now.

Please, Lord, don’t let me come home to a massive debris field left in the wake of the “Mouth of the South” (aka Lucy) because Jerry was too lazy to put the dogs back in their crates after lunch…

Or to a to-do list of Jerry’s errands to be ran (outside of course,) in sub-zero temperatures…

Give a poor white woman a break for a change, eh?  A quiet night with maybe a few military documentaries, or even a showing of Hot Fuzz or Super Troopers?  It doesn’t even have to be a cop-themed movie- Borat would do just fine… something funny, something light?

An Argument for Psycho Control- and Workouts for Kids

gun control

One (very rare, may I add) positive to come out of the Obama administration was that his ineptitude and usurpation of Americans’ rights made me very much more aware of my both my first and second amendment rights.  I never dreamed five years ago that I would ever want to own a gun, let alone apply for concealed carry.

Times have changed.

gun-control-compensating-poster

I don’t feel safe going anywhere after dark.  That’s not necessarily Obama’s fault, because the neighborhood where I work has been going downhill for years, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt on that one. I don’t feel safe going out after dark because there are crazy people out there. If the crazy people have guns, then why do I want to be unarmed?  Doesn’t it make more sense not only for me to be armed, but also for me to know how to use a firearm correctly?

This morning there was a shootout just down the road– in the WalMart I’m afraid to set foot in, no less.  The shooter shot a little kid, a woman while she was sitting in the dentist’s chair, (?) and a cop.  Shooting the cop got him killed- and saved the taxpayers some money- at any rate.  I don’t like to see people get killed, but shooting a cop is just plain asking for it.

I don’t blame the firearm, or even the fact that this guy had access to one.  I blame him and him alone.  Triggers don’t pull themselves.

Gun control is holding on with both hands.  Psycho control is what we need in this world, and unfortunately in the trees of civilization, there are more than a few fruits and nuts.

fat-kids1

Really?  Where’s your mother?  In the rhino cage?  That explains it!

When I was growing up (in a rural, poor area…) there were no fat kids, except one.  That was Scottie-Scottie Two By Four.  You know the rest of the rhyme- “couldn’t get through the bathroom door/so he did it on the floor/licked it up and did some more/Fatty-Fatty two-by-four”  In middle school he was well over 200#.  This poor kid was harassed so relentlessly that the summer between seventh and eighth grade he went to football camp, as well as he went on a crash diet and lost well near 7o#.  By the beginning of eighth grade he was still big, but it wasn’t fat any more.  The coaches had ran it all off of him.  His parents were lard asses, which probably explains how he got so large- Daddy was about 400# and Mommy wasn’t far behind.  Yes, the kids made some serious jokes about Scottie’s Mom and Dad having to do the wild thing on a steel reinforced mattress.   There was also much speculation that they had to go out in the garage to do it because the floors in their house couldn’t take it.  I don’t know if that was true or not.  Some things are just not worth finding out.

 fat_people_08

The apple usually doesn’t fall far from the tree.

But most of us kids were thin according to today’s standards.  Even though I was never allowed to play organized sports after I had rheumatic fever, (and nobody wanted me to before, because I sucked,) I still got lots of exercise.  Self preservation is a good workout motivator.

My Mom liked to lock us outside and turn up the TV when she’d had enough, or just when she was spaz, which was a good deal of the time.  Although I was never a fast runner, I was good at hiding. I had to work to avoid getting my ass kicked.

ignore your kids

One of my favorite hiding places was with the Rottweiler down the street.  I wasn’t afraid of him, even though he wasn’t always terribly clean, and his fleas had no problem biting me too.  The other kids were terrified of him.  Ass kicking or flea bites?  Most of the time I took my chances with the unauthorized insect life.  Mom really didn’t like it when I came home eaten to death with flea bites, and smelling like dog shit, but at least it wasn’t blood and broken bones. I did manage to get through childhood without breaking anything.  I did get blood poisoning from scrapes, cuts, splinters and so forth, a few times though.

old bike

You put it together with whatever pieces you could scrounge.

Your bike was your transportation.  Mom didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 12 years old, and even though the state of Ohio thinks she’s cool to drive, I’ll beg to differ.  Riding a bike was safer on many levels than riding with Mom, even though there is a good deal of comic relief to be gleaned from her chronic road rage.

It’s sad but true- my son learned how to fly the one finger salute (age 5) by watching my mother road rage.

one finger

Thanks, Mom!

Now people don’t let kids ride their bikes unless they have so much protective gear on that they look like the freaking Transformers.  And then they can only ride their bikes on the designated bike path, never on makeshift BMX trails in the woods or back along where the railroad tracks used to be.

bike gear

Welcome to the Thunderdome!  Oh, I was just riding my bike down to the carry out?  Really?

I think part of the reason why kids of my generation got plenty of exercise is that we were pretty much left outside to fend for ourselves most of the time.  Most of our families were poor.  Most of our families had two or more kids, so if one went missing, it’s one less mouth to feed.  Oh, well.   Now people treat their kids in much the same way as some of the poor dogs I see in the vet’s office.   They mollycoddle, indulge and literally “love” them to death.

fat_dog_006

It is cruel to let a dog get this fat.

Science is on my side here: obesity kills dogs.  It’s a proven fact, and since a dog lives about 15 years give or take, it’s easy to see what happens when dogs are allowed to be hugely fat.  But there are people out there who just can’t see the correlation, that overfeeding and under-exercising their dogs takes years off their dogs’ lives.  Every time I take one of my girls to the vet’s office, I see obese dogs suffering from preventable health problems.  The vet sees it too and it has to really bother her.

Perhaps people are viewing their kids not as liabilities or money pits, but as pampered pets.  I don’t know which mindset is worse- leaving kids to their own devices and out to the wolves, or mollycoddling and indulging them.

Kids have to get out and get dirty.  Kids have to have limits.  One Klondike bar once a week is fine.  Three after dinner is way too much.

Maybe if we could worry less about the psychos in our midst, we could let kids go out and play and be kids and not feel as if we have to indulge their every whim.

A Healthy Dose of Irony, Harmony In the Dissonance, and Dennis Rodman

nixon-agnew

Hell, Dick Nixon was a freaking paragon of virtue compared to the current squatter in the Oval Office!

I should have gotten a pic of it, but to my delight, I saw one of these old stickers firmly planted on a Toyota Venza in the Costco parking lot today.   I immediately saw the irony and found it hilarious- the way I took it is that Dick Nixon and company would be a damned sight better than the train wreck of a presidential administration that’s currently defiling the White House.

I know we’re in real trouble when I start seeing these on cars:

carter-mondale

I bet Jimmy Carter has already sent Obama a heartfelt thank-you card.   If he hasn’t, he should.  I have a suggestion:

jimmy carter thank you card

History will have to be kinder to Jimmy Carter after Obama – as well as Clinton, Nixon, LBJ, Harding, and even Woodrow Wilson- after Obama gets done defiling the office.

I love those sappy old Victorian cards.

to my queen

Just what I always wanted- disembodied hearts- in the mail!

I know I don’t see things the way the rest of the world does most of the time.  In the past my alternate perception caused me quite a bit of cognitive dissonance, though as I grow older and ostensibly, wiser, I’m discovering three disturbing truths:  I’m OK, the rest of the world is screwed up, and I can’t change that.

It really doesn’t help to know when you’re right if everyone else is hell bent on being wrong.  I might try to explain to the lemmings why following everyone else over the cliff is a bad idea, but they’ll dive right over it anyway.

That’s not to say that I’m always right or that I’m infallible.  I’m certainly fallible, and I make a fair share of mistakes.  The bad part of that is I usually screw up when I go against my better judgment and follow the crowd anyway.

Ultimately history is written not by who was right, but by the winners.  Popular opinion may win out today, but in the long run?  Hindsight is 20/20.

I find it interesting that one of the big “kid arguments” is, “But Mom, everyone else is doing it!”  Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right or good.  Sometimes what the rest of the crowd is doing is funny, though.

RODMAN

When he was 7 or 8 or so, Steve-o begged me and begged me for a Dennis Rodman doll action figure (if it’s for a boy you can never call it a doll, it’s always an action figure, even though a girl would refer to it as a doll) and I got it for him, interchangeable heads and all, against my better judgment.  I think that was the sickest toy I was ever conned into buying, even including having his ear pierced and getting him the entire series of DOOM games.  Steve-o didn’t stay interested in it for long, (mostly because his friends mocked him for playing with a doll.) I think eventually poor Dennis and both of his heads fell victim to either Clara or Lilo’s early adult/final puppy stage compulsion to chew up things.

It was probably Lilo.  She still destroys her toys, and she’s 10 years old.  Clara isn’t nearly as enamored of destroying stuff- unless it’s a bone with peanut butter in it.

Why Dennis Rodman reminds me of Obama, I’ll never know, but I sort of like the concept of popping off and changing out his action figure’s head, for what it’s worth.  Maybe somewhere there’s a sane head that can replace Obama’s goofy one?  Just pop off the goofy one and pop on the rational one?

Obama-pink rodman head resign

One Dog Down the Cat Hole, and One Against the Thugocracy

SAMSUNG

It’s easy for me to forget that Lucy is substantially smaller than the other two dogs.  I thought that since Lucy has a rather large head for her size, that she was too large for the cat hole.  I have since realized that Fanny can get through a smaller hole than previously thought possible, and Lucy can get through a much smaller hole than I’d ever imagined.

Let me explain the logic behind the cat hole.

SAMSUNG

The New Improved Cat Hole: Just big enough for 17# Fanny to fit through…and nothing bigger- I hope!

Dogs absolutely lust over cat food, and most dogs are inexplicably enamored of snacking on cat shit as well.  Neither cat food (too high in fat and protein for a dog’s metabolism) nor cat shit (well, it’s shit, ’nuff said) is healthy for dogs to consume in any kind of quantity.  It’s sort of like humans living on bacon and candy- it might taste good at the moment, but it’s just plain unhealthy, and such a diet can lead to serious disease. Dogs are not the best arbiters of healthy eating, and they really shouldn’t be left to free-forage.  As George Carlin once wisely pointed out regarding “gourmet” cat food, “How many gourmets lick their ass?”

Since we have four cats and three dogs, the cats need a safe place to hide when the dogs get on their nerves, as well as a safe place to eat and crap.  The dogs need to be kept out of cat food and kept out of cat shit.  In our house, the dog-free zone is the basement.  There’s a roughly cat-sized hole cut in the basement door that (in theory) keeps dogs out while letting cats move freely in and out.

bff

Big Fat Fanny- that’s what I get for naming the cat while listening to Queen.  The dreadful 70’s linoleum- not really my choice.

The original oversize cat hole worked just fine for Clara and Lilo, who have long since realized that they aren’t going to get to go downstairs to munch.  Clara is slender but even so, she’s still 65#.  Lilo is about 55#, and not terribly motivated to pursue anything that doesn’t afford her easy access.  Lucy, at a comparatively tiny 45#, however, decided to use her thick skull to worm her way through the cat hole.

The cat hole was a bit oversize because Fanny is a bit oversize.  Our cats range in size from 4 1/2# Jezebel to 17# Fanny.  Isabel is just slightly bigger than Jezebel at right around 5#, and F.B. is about 8#.    I have four cats and only one is “normal” sized.  Go figure, and I have no idea why the two black ones are so tiny.  Jezebel eats more than any of the other cats, but she’s still the smallest.  Her (Jezebel’s) feral relatives that live on the body shop lot are all petite cats as well.  Perhaps city cats have some sort of advantage in smaller size vs. farm cats who tend to be large like Fanny.  Isabel and Jezebel were both city ferals at one time.  Fanny was from out in farm country, and I have no idea where F.B. came from before we took her in when her first owner died.

As long as Fanny fits, and Lucy keeps from ramming it, the reduced size cat hole should keep cats and dogs in their proper places.

detroit again

If Obama gets his way, the rest of the country will be just like Detroit.

I’ve tried to keep my mouth somewhat shut about the political rancor and just plain stupidity going on in Washington right now, but I can’t understand why there are still dimwits out there who don’t get it about Obama.  Including Jerry’s Dad, the former Klan member. 

kkk

“Take a shower!”  or was that “White powder?”  Ass pilot.

I can’t say I condone the Klan, but frankly I’m tired of any racial or ethnic group demanding preferential treatment.  The white supremacists are just as stupid as the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons and Muslim extremist crazies of the world, believe that.  But Jerry’s Dad seems to have done a 180° to think Obama’s the best thing ever, and I really don’t understand why or how he would.  Maybe he’s gone senile and he’s feeling guilty for 70+ years of unabashed racism?  Or maybe he’s just batshit crazy.  I tend to believe suggestion #2.

kill whitey

This guy is a nut, too.

The thing is, I can feel bad over injustices committed against black people – or any other oppressed group-in the past without feeling a need to offer a free pass to Obama’s present ineptitude, incompetence and malice.  Equal opportunity includes the obligation to own up to your own epic failures.  If you can’t run with the big dogs, I don’t care what color, gender, ethnicity or whatever you are.  Stay the flying flip on the porch.

Instead of working together with others in government toward responsible leadership, Obama has established a thugocracy- a culture in which there is one central premise: that big government knows what’s good for you, and we’ll take what you have by force, ostensibly in the name of “the common good.”  In reality it is about big government feeding itself at the cost of those who work, produce and create.  Communism / socialism didn’t work in the (former) Soviet Union and it doesn’t work now.

I don’t know who came up with this summary but it’s pretty good:

Socialism: Moochers electing looters to steal from producers.

walmart-black-friday-2012-tvs-5-am-2

Joy and rapture.  Welfare day at Walmart.  I think I’ll wait until the second week of the month to do my shopping.

I’m just hoping Lucy doesn’t get downstairs to dine on the magical dog candy again.