I Don’t Seek Approval, Party Like It’s 1899, and Things that Don’t Suck

2013I usually don’t succumb to the lure of corny party kitsch, but the light up necklace was cute.

I’ve said before I don’t deal much in the currency of optimism, so I don’t see this year being much of an improvement over last.  In fact, I started today out rather depressed.  Today’s been one of those days where I’m actually trolling for things to cheer me up a bit.  I’m actively fighting against the urge to just concede to the Dark Funk and give up.  I guess the fact that I’m fighting the temptation to just give into hopelessness is either a good sign, or it’s just an unwillingness to face the reality that my life is pretty much hopeless.

The best way to give myself a reality check, I’ve discovered is to make three lists- Things that Suck that I Can’t Change, Things that Suck that I Can Change, and Things that Don’t Suck.

Things that Suck that I Can’t Change:

Obama.  ‘Nuff said.

Personal poverty/ not being financially independent

Being stuck in Ohio, especially in the winter

Health issues* (can mitigate but not eliminate- bad heredity and effects from past diseases/injuries suck)

Jerry – especially when he gets into his “bitch about everything and blame everything on me” mode

Things that Suck that I Can (*theoretically anyway) Change

My own reaction to things that suck

My neglect of friends that I should make an effort to see and communicate with more often

I already turn off the “mainstream” TV news (can’t handle the constant Obama worship) and I already avoid following garbage on TV such as anything Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashians are doing.  Admittedly I probably get into true crime shows (TruTV, Discovery ID, etc.) and the Military Channel way too much.  I should probably cut down on “World’s Dumbest” and “1000 Ways to Die” and get back into reading a lot more than I do now (although I read a lot by any standard) and maybe get into something a bit more uplifting than unsolved murders, people earning their Darwin Awards, and 20th century history.  I mean, how much is left unturned regarding WWII and Adolf Hitler?

Things that Don’t Suck


The dogs and cats

The vacuum cleaner when it gets clogged up with Tipsy McNumbNuts’ cigarette pack cellophanes (the irony of which is that it sucks when the vacuum cleaner doesn’t…)

vacuumThere is no vacuum cleaner made that I don’t have to unclog, tear apart and otherwise rework every time I use the damned thing.

2013 pic

Somehow the deer in the headlights look is a little too typical for me.

Now that I’ve determined that God and the dogs and cats don’t suck, then it should probably follow that I should spend my time in the company of Entities that Don’t Suck as much as I can.

not dead yetSince for now I do appear to be vertical and sucking up valuable oxygen, let’s be creative and try to enjoy it!

I rather enjoy Victorian ephemera- especially patent medicines and other creepy stuff from that era.  I’m surprised anyone survived being treated with the stuff they used as medicine back then, since most of it included either alcohol or opium or various poisons like arsenic, but even today there’s some pretty questionable stuff being used as medicine.

pain killer axe woundImagine the same scenario today, only the rednecks have chainsaws, and the little girl has a bottle of moonshine.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

That’s actually one of the few French phrases I remember from high school French class (Why in the hell did I take French?  Did I think I was going to be deported to Quebec?) and it means, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”  Yes, they do, and not always in a good way.

Mugwump VDI didn’t think Harry Potter had to worry about VD.  Or was that “mugworts?” That sounds like VD anyway.  Something like that.

I’m thinking “Bad Hump” would be a better name for a VD cure-all.  “Take this stuff for last week’s bad hump.”  Or you could just leave it to Dr. Butts:

butts_dispensaryI want to be cured via the US Postal Service.   By Dr. Butts. Yeah.

It’s really kind of scary considering that there really were no cures for VD in Victorian times, and if you got the syph or the clap it could kill you.   Sort of like AIDS today, and heaven only knows whatever other deadly STDs are lurking out there that nobody knows about yet.  Forced chastity might bite in a lot of ways, but I’m old enough to know that 1.) no man is worth a deadly disease, and 2.) there are such things as “meat substitutes” if you get my drift.  The advantage of the “meat substitute” is you don’t have to fix it dinner or unclog its cigarette pack cellophanes from the vacuum cleaner.   I only wish I’d figured that out 20 years ago. Just don’t run out of batteries.


Piles: Old time word for “hemorrhoid” – just an FYI

Why is it that back in the day being German cast some sort of legitimacy upon medical quackery?  And I find it hard to believe that a medical doctor would spend most of his life on a hemorrhoid cure, but then everyone needs a purpose.  I’ve still not figured out exactly why I’m still sucking up valuable oxygen, so I’m the last one to talk.

valium_bigThe 20th century wasn’t much better, but at least you could get a good night’s rest, forget about your hemorrhoids AND forget about your pathetic lack of self-esteem!

The Things We Do For “Health,” and the Scourge of Domestic Drudgery

Tapeworms, tapeworms, jolly jolly tapeworms, eat them up- YUM!

The tapeworm diet was featured on an episode of 1000 Ways to Die not too long ago I know I probably shouldn’t watch that show so much, but it is entertaining in a dark way to see the convoluted manners in which some people have managed to earn their Darwin Awards. While the thought of going from a size 12 to a size 2 in a few weeks is tempting, the thought of flatworms burrowing through my vital organs and feeding on my blood and other important stuff gives me serious pause.  If we give dogs a monthly de-wormer (essentially this is what Heartgard and other products that contain Ivermectin do- kill off any worm larvae that end up in a dog’s bloodstream or intestinal tract) to prevent them from getting tapeworms, heartworms, and other assorted wormy life forms because they’re harmful to dogs, then it would stand to reason that it’s not healthy to harbor tapeworms in one’s innards.

It’s interesting to note that dogs are always susceptible to worms because of the rooting around and scavenging that they do in the course of their daily activity. There are even worms that are spread by fleas and other disgusting insect life, which is yet another reason to avoid insect infestations.  Dogs’ preoccupation with all things feces also predisposes them to exposure to all sorts of nasty things (sort of like little kids.)  The difference with dogs is that they seem to have much hardier immune systems than humans- at least in regard to infectious disease- and digestive systems that can metabolize almost anything.

Lilo (and every other dog on the planet) might consider cat poop to be the highest of rare delicacies, but she won’t eat lettuce.  Unless it’s soaked in Ranch dressing, that is.

I wonder if the health “benefit” one would gain by losing weight on the tapeworm diet would be negated by the effect of the tapeworms munching on stuff they shouldn’t be munching on.  It’s one thing if they’re sharing that chili dog you had for lunch, but quite another if they are making a meal out of your liver, or your brain.  I guess the bottom line on weight loss by parasite is that it’s probably ill advised.

As far as burning up calories the old fashioned way, a rousing round of housecleaning can do that.  Even though it can count as exercise, I hate cleaning.  I consider exercise to be a necessary evil also. I don’t like it, but I also don’t like the prospect of my ass being as big as the front end of my car.  I don’t want to be the one trolling through the Newark WalMart in search of size 20 underwear.

These could also be a car cover for my Yaris.  Just sayin’.

The problem with cleaning, in my house, is that it is an ongoing effort in futility.  Jerry can destroy hours’ worth of scrubbing and cleaning in one drunk-n-stupid episode, as was evidenced last night.  All he has to do is get good and besnookered, go out to “water the garden” at dusk, and then traipse back on in the house, flopping about, soaking wet with dog shit caked on his shoes.

Let me fling poo on your linoleum!  YAY!!

Yes!  My purpose in life has been fulfilled- scraping dog shit off of the linoleum in the foyer, and then in the kitchen (thank God I got to him before he made it to the carpet, which I had also just scrubbed and cleaned Saturday) and then getting to (joy and rapture) scrape the dog shit off his old-man velcro shoes and hose them down.  Then I got to peel his wet and dirty clothes off the bathroom floor, and had to clean the floor up too.  Never mind that I had scrubbed down and mopped the foyer, the kitchen and the bathroom on Saturday.  Apparently I needed to do it again.

I would hire cleaning people.  If I could afford them- and if I wouldn’t be embarrassed at what they might encounter.

I have found beer cans in places where beer cans should never go.  Beer cans next to the toilet (why not just eliminate the middle man and pour the Natties right on down the john?)  Beer cans in his underwear drawer.  Once I even found a beer can in the litter box, which is making me wonder if Jerry is going down there (the cat boxes are in the basement) and helping the dogs sample the recycled feline buffet.  If it were only beer cans, it wouldn’t be so bad, but Jerry’s filth parade goes far beyond beer cans.

Jerry is also an incorrigible smoker.  If he removes a cellophane from a cig pack, it ends up where it lands- on the table, on the floor, in a house with a mouse- wherever, as long as it’s not in the trash.  The cellophanes are just the tip of the iceberg, not to mention the bane of all vacuum cleaners, especially when encountered in combination with copious amounts of dog hair.   Jerry also has essential tremor, so the world is his ashtray, literally.  That’s part of the reason why it pisses me off so much when he smokes in my car.  I don’t think he can actually make the ashes land in the ashtray, (in the car or at home) and I’m doing good when he actually puts the butts out in the ashtray instead of (acck, acck, acck) the toilet (bad enough) or in the sink.  Removing nicotine stains from porcelain is just so much fun.  I need just such a hobby.

It’s just depressing to spend an entire Saturday cleaning and the place is trashed again by Monday night.

Some more enlightened souls may ask, “Doesn’t Jerry do his share of the cleaning?” I know that there are some men who understand the importance of helping with errands, cleaning and stuff like that when their wives also work.  However, the fact that I don’t have 24/7 to fetch stuff for, clean up after, and cook for His Nibs does not register with Jerry.   Not at all.  He was raised by wolves.  He willingly wallows in squalor as long as it means he doesn’t have to think about where the beer cans, cig pack cellophanes, or dog shit lands.

So forgive me if I’m no Martha Stewart.

I can cook, but you can leave the decorating and cleaning to people who don’t live with Jerry.

Welcome to the Private Cougar Pool, Living With Other Humans, and Related Aggravation

Of course my private cougar pool won’t be this nice, (like I can afford that) but the key word is private, as in capacity: one old cougar, namely me. 

I had contemplated actually either getting a summer pool membership or joining the “Y” again, but when I saw the newspaper article saying that more and more people are buying pool memberships and staying home rather than going on vacations, I decided the only redneck stay-cation option for me was one of those small backyard pools. It’s 10′ in diameter and 30″ deep- nothing huge, and sadly, no diving board, but it’s enough for one old cougar in a floatie chair.   It would really torque me if I paid big bucks to either join the “Y” or get a pool membership, and then discover the pools to be  continually overrun with loud and rowdy rugrats to the point of it being more aggravating to go to the pool than to stay home.   The redneck backyard pool was cheaper than a pool membership,  there will be no screaming kids, and the most delicious part- it’s private.

I am a bit concerned about Jerry.  I’m always concerned about him because of his fragile emotional state, his taste for Natty Lites, and his remarkable ability to screw things up.  I’m almost confident it will piss him off to have a pool on the patio- because it’s not specifically for him.  There’s no fish in it, and it’s too small to fit a boat in it.  Jerry’s interests in water activities end with fishing and boating, so I doubt he will show much interest other than to complain about it.   I don’t mind if he wants to use it, (I don’t see it happening,)  but I do worry about two things if he does.  One, I don’t want him earning his Darwin Award by getting shitfaced and drowning in a 2 ft. pool, (imagine that featured on 1,000 Ways to Die,) and two, I don’t want him destroying it in one way or another- pissing in it, somehow cutting it, draining it or otherwise mutilating it.  One of the benefits of having a private pool is being able to keep out things you don’t want in it, such as piss, dirt, grass pieces, bugs, and shitfaced drunks.

My major concern of course is that no matter where I put the pool- whether I decide to put it in the yard, or on the patio which is closer to the electrical plug where I will need to plug in the filter and pump- he’s not going to like it.  He will whine about me using the patio even though all that’s on it right now is the grill (can be moved to the other side) and a crappy old table that needs to be thrown away anyway.  The patio is probably the best option because it won’t kill his precious grass or take up any dog-shitting area from the girls.  But knowing Jerry, if I put it on the patio, he will ask why I didn’t put it in the grass, and if I put it in the grass he will ask why I didn’t put it on the patio.  When we first moved in there was an old hot tub on the patio that was about the same size as the pool, so I know it will fit and it should work very well there.  There’s also more shade on the patio, so my super-white carcass won’t have to be exposed to too much sun.  I’ll still need the Factor 50, but I need that just to step outside in high summer anyway.

Sometimes it is better to ask forgiveness than to beg for permission.  This is one of those times.   The pool’s not moving once it’s filled up.  He will be in Lancaster this weekend, so if the pool arrives on time, this should be perfect timing for me to power-clean the patio, and get my redneck getaway underway.

Part of the problem of communal living is that other people do gross things that they don’t think are gross, but that in reality, are positively disgusting.  I gave up on bar soap many years ago for this reason, (few things are nastier than bathing with other people’s stray body hair) and that is a major advantage of body wash and/or liquid hand soap.  No one else has been fingering the body wash or the liquid hand soap, and there are no curlies in it.  Jerry can leave as many curlies as he wants hopelessly embedded in the surface of the soap bar, because it’s his soap.  I’m not using it, so it’s OK!

Maybe the thing with stray human hair bothers me because I am not a big fan of excessive body hair to begin with, and there’s just something gross about the thought of washing with someone else’s pubes.  It’s just counterintuitive.  I’ve washed, but with something that used to be attached to someone’s balls. Why bother washing if you’re just washing in used ball hair?    Then again, I could be becoming my mother and getting her OCD, but I doubt it, because OCDers can not stand to be around dogs because of the risk of getting dog hair on them.   I think Mom went nuts with the lint-grabber for an hour after spending less than five minutes with Sheena.  Granted, Sheena’s white hair against a background of black pants is not a flattering look.  Even so, dog hair doesn’t really phase me that much.  Dogs come with hair, and that’s just part of the reality.   It’s wicked to get dog hair out of the car, off my clothes and worst of all off the floor- my adventures with poorly sucking vacuum cleaners are both legendary and frequent, but compared with the aggravation and mess of living with fellow humans, dog hair is a really minor issue. 

Speaking of vacuum cleaners, Jerry thought he got a really good one when he got an ancient, but barely used, Hoover upright at an estate sale.  It works great- when it works- but the last time I tried to vacuum with it I ended up breaking two belts and pissing myself off enough to go back to using the other one which by some miracle has lasted two and a half years.  I have to constantly pull it apart and unclog it, but I think that’s going to happen regardless of what kind of vacuum cleaner I try. 

The vacuum cleaner is the only thing I can think of that sucks when it doesn’t suck.

I can also see myself if I live to be old- surrounded by dogs and cats.  Aunt Frances didn’t care much for people either, (except for maybe Jimmy Swaggart,) but she had thirty-odd cats in and out of her house at any given time.  I don’t think she liked dogs either, so for her it was just cats until she broke her hip and ended up in the nursing home.  That was actually sad, because then all she had to look forward to was Jimmy Swaggart. 

I think I’d much rather have had the cats.