Scary Bad Parenting, “Functional” is Not the Same as “Normal,” and Don’t Stifle My Creativity

Just blow that second-hand smoke all over your child’s developing lungs!

I have to admit, nothing contributes to the desire to chain smoke more than dealing with infants and toddlers, unless it’s dealing with automotive technicians.  At one time I had to contend with both, though in the end, chain smoking just feeds the nervous tension.  Thankfully I had taken a three-year hiatus from smoking, beginning a year and a half before the illustrious offspring arrived until about a year and a half after the illustrious offspring arrived. At least I didn’t knowingly contaminate the child whilst he was in the womb- mostly because I feared giving birth to a drooling slack-jawed cretin should I indulge in an aspartame-laden Diet Dr. Pepper, or a hit off a cigarette, or God forbid, a cup of coffee.  He’s potty trained, literate and gainfully employed, and he can pick his nose with his tongue!

I blame the tongue thing on the Sudafed.  One stinking Sudafed in week 3 of gestation, and the kid’s born tongue-tied.  Let that be a lesson.

Lávese las manos!  In NC, the obligatory employee bathroom instructions are only in English. In some parts of Ohio there’s 14 different languages on the sign – and there’s still millions of crusty people who don’t wash their hands in the bathroom.

I always wondered, since there’s dippy pictorial signs everywhere, either for the illiterate or the non-English speaking or both, why not a universal “wash your hands after using the crapper sign? ”  My art skills are pretty rudimentary, but here’s a thought:

Here’s my contribution for the betterment of humanity.  Enjoy, and wash your damned hands!

The cigarette jones is a strong compulsion, though. I know what possessed me to pick them back up.  I was stressed, sleep deprived, working a very shitty job with very shitty pay after I’d been promised all kinds of things that never materialized, and in the process of getting a divorce.  I was driving back from some backwater town running titles (which wasn’t what I was hired to do, but getting out is getting out) and happened to stop at a gas station for more coffee when I saw the Marlboro sign.  After three years of no smoking at all- from 1989-92, I bought a pack of Marlboro Menthol Light 100s and hot-boxed half the pack on the way back home.  I was a two-pack a day smoker for the next ten years, sometimes lighting one right off of the butt of the one I’d just smoked.  I apologize to Steve-o for letting him think that smoking was OK.  Strangely enough, he took them up three years after I’d quit (God willing for good) in 2002.  But he won’t smoke his cigs in that high faluting Audi, because he doesn’t want to “stink up the leather.”

No smoking in the Steve-o ride.  It might make the leather stink.

I’ll never make any sort of claim that I’m “normal.”  Functional, yes, but that’s not quite the same thing.  Rednecks piece together machinery and devices that are functional, but not exactly in the ways the designers had originally intended.

I don’t need no stinkin’ latches!  Though I think the bungees are holding the decklid and the rear fascia on too.

The Marion Walmart never disappoints as far as the panoply of redneck engineered motor vehicles in the parking lot.  Sadly this poor Pontiac is 1.) likely totalled and/or the one who hit it had no insurance or 2.) the one driving it when it was hit had no insurance, and making a police report would have cost him/her his/her license. Or, 3.) the driver of said Pontiac took the insurance settlement and spent it on crack.   If I were a betting person (which I’m not) I would wager on #3.  Perhaps it’s mean of me to photograph others’ misfortune, but it’s funny in a tragic sort of way.  I’ve driven my share of shitty cars, but that was in the days before digital photography made the disasters so easy to share.

What I don’t get about this 70’s Midol ad is the guys deserve some of the aggravation right back at them.  Especially Jerry.

Another thing I discovered about menopause is that you don’t need Aunt Flo as an excuse to channel your inner bitch.  I can be bitchy all month long AND wear white pants while I’m bitchy, even when I’m sitting in the freezer.  The hot flash thing isn’t nearly as bad as it was a year or two ago, but it’s still bad when I’m watching polar bears on TV and at times I wish I was hanging out on the icebergs with them.   I don’t think I’ve worn a sweater for years, or more PJs than light PJ pants and a t-shirt.  I would probably be smothering to death if I had long hair.  Now I know why old women have short hair.  It’s easier to color, yes, but it’s also a hell of a lot cooler.

I have every right to keep on bitching!

Satire is Not a New Art Form, Anti-Smoking, and More Victorian Death Ephemera

This is as good as anti-smoking propaganda gets- from 1870, no less.

Smoking was just as nasty then, it’s just everyone died from other stuff before they could live long enough for smoking to kill ’em.

The longer I’ve been an ex-smoker I absolutely hate the smell of tobacco smoke.  I don’t have much of a sense of smell, and I’m surprised I have that. Even so, the one thing I can always smell is cig smoke, even from far-off, which sucks.  Why can’t I smell peonies and lilacs in May, but I can always smell some inconsiderate bastard’s cigarette?

Perhaps it is cosmic payback for back in the day when I used to smoke at my desk- and it was perfectly cool to be inside, at work and hot-boxing smokes at the same time.   I’m sure I had to annoy someone with my two-pack-a-day habit of hot boxing 120 menthols down to the filters.  My car ended up smelling like a dragon’s colon- because the first thing I would do when I got in the car was light up.  The first thing I did when I quit smoking was pay the detail guys- dearly- to get the cig smell out of my Celica.  It was nasty, and the inside of the glass on a 2000 Celica is not the easiest in the world to get clean- especially the back glass.

She just might be Hitler in drag, spreading the clap.  You never know.  Had to throw that in there. Public service announcement from 1943.

Yes, I am still fascinated with Victorian death art which is macabre, and I should find another hobby, but there is so much cool stuff out there – and not always dealing with the subject of death- which is public domain and is a lot better artwork than I could ever come up with.  I can scribble with Sharpies and that’s about it.  But the Victorians not only did some awesome artwork, there was some pathos there.  It was more grandiose than it should have been, and just plain treacly sweet, which made it cool.

You could get in trouble big time for displaying this in a public school.  You could offend the Muslims, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the militant atheists, the Hare Krishnas, and who knows who else.

The irony here is that kids can go to public school and have this kind of drivel shoved in their faces and that’s perfectly okee-dokie:

As long as it’s not “Christian” or “Moral” in any kind of way, then we tolerate it, kids!

Then again, “tolerance” (especially as it’s defined in regard to political correctness and its associated idiocy) is the wrong word.  Tolerating something doesn’t mean we like it, and it doesn’t mean we encourage it.  I used to tolerate long-assed car rides in 70’s era cars (with no A/C, mind you) pinned in the center of the back seat between two sadistic siblings for hundreds of miles.  I didn’t like it.  I certainly didn’t encourage it.  But, being too weak to end up with any other position besides squashed in the middle, I had to tolerate it.

Tolerance- as it’s framed today- is actually appeasement, which is a very different concept.  Appeasement is the wussy position.   It’s the equivalent of feeding alligators.  No matter how much you feed the alligator he will always be hungry.  Just see how well it worked for Neville Chamberlain.  My oldest sister didn’t stop harassing me and stealing my stuff and kicking my ass just because I sat back and let her keep doing it.  She just did it all the more, until one fine day,  she took my car without permission and ran it out of gasoline and ran it low on oil.  I saw red, and took 17 years of retribution out on her in five minutes.  I don’t approve of physical violence, but something had to give somewhere, and I couldn’t keep on appeasing her any more.   Appeasement just let her know it was OK to keep on kicking my ass and stealing my stuff.  Kicking her ass taught her that it wasn’t OK anymore.

I bet Hitler got a lot of rides back in the day, at least in a figurative way. Carpooling still is a creepy thought though.  It would be my luck I’d end up with a serial killer or someone who insists on cranking up the country music. At least Hitler liked opera.

Hitler wasn’t a role model by any means, but he did have a taste for Wagnerian opera, and I can appreciate that.  I can’t say I approve of Nazism, genocide, or anti-Semitism, but Wagner did write some cool operas.  The only thing difficult about opera is that there aren’t too many operas written in English.  If you plan on going to an opera, or even plan on listening to a recording or watching a DVD, if you can get your mitts on a translation of the libretto first it makes a lot more sense.

I found a Victorian death card (these are common, and I will need to troll for some more good ones) that lent itself quite well to shall we say, electronic embellishment:

Should our current president fail to be re-elected, I’ll be printing these out and passing them out like party favors.