Strange Song Lyrics, Walmart, Livestock, and Back to 1981 (or not)

Guillotine-Names

I was just thinking what an interesting world it would be if I wrote trivia questions for money. I have stored away too much esoteric and ephemeral knowledge for my own good over the years. Making it multiple guess would be too easy.  I go for fill in the blanks, which at least requires some thought and/or creativity.

The first question I came up with? It’s a real blast from the past.

Name a song with the word “guillotine” in it.

I am sure there are more than one, but the one I am thinking of is, “Bastille Day” by Rush.

Even cooler is the rest of the phrase: “the guillotine will claim her bloody prize.”

Beheaded

At least I used a cartoon. Lighten up.

Imagine the lyrics police on that one today, although it’s better than all the sister raping and cop killing in rap music. If you could understand the lyrics in rap music, that is.

I am dating myself in saying that, especially knowing that rap has been around since before Blondie and her song “Rapture,” and that dates back to 1981, when Reagan was President, Steve Perry was the hottest thing in Spandex, and all was right with the world, except that the cars sucked.

steve-perry

Some things really suck about getting old. Since my car was trashed almost 3 months ago (yes I am pleased with the new Corolla, but still residually pissed about the perfectly fine 2014 Corolla that got trashed) I am finally feeling somewhat normal again.  Therapy for my shoulder did actually work, which I am glad about even though I have had to fight the other guy’s insurance for bloody everything and I am still hashing over various things.  I didn’t ask to get rear ended by some moron with a history of seizures who should have known better than to be driving.  I didn’t ask to deal with four or five full blown arthritis flares along the way either.  Thanks, asshole.

Maybe I should have gotten a lawyer, but I hate the legal profession even more than the medical industry. I refuse to refer to the medical industry as “health care.” They don’t care, and the last thing they want for their pocket books is for anyone to actually be healthy. The legal profession, insurance companies and the medical industry are all rip-offs, and all are in cahoots.  Follow the money trail.

Yesterday I saw another one of those displays of cross stitch patterns that are a bit on the dark side. I love cross stitch, but haven’t done it in a long time.  I would like to indulge in a nice cross stitch piece with a dark saying or two.  I saw one that had a cactus, then underneath it the word, “prick.” That one is funny. I am considering designing a simple one about being a sweetie and wiping the seatie if you sprinkle when you tinkle.  Then again, maybe a subtle DON’T PISS ON MY TOILET SEAT would serve me better.

field-of-f-cks

It’s been enjoyable being able to cook again- real food like beef and noodles or rotisserie Cornish hens, or grilled meat. Jerry was never pleased with anything I cooked, except sometimes bacon, and toward the end about the only thing I could get him to eat were chocolate covered mini-donuts. It was sad but there wasn’t anything I could do, and I felt like everything I did do was wrong.

I have said it before, and maybe it’s cruel to see someone’s passing as a relief, but Jerry’s truly was. He had been unhappy and ill and suffering for many years, and I bore much of the weight of his frustration and pain and sorrow.  When I see people who I’ve not seen in awhile and have to explain what happened I can’t pretend to be all grief stricken and weepy.  It’s not my personality anyway to be emotional and maudlin – yes, autistics get emotional, but not on cue, and not usually in any kind of “normal” appearing way.  I strive to keep my emotions private and sometimes I am so good at it I convince myself I don’t have any at all.  Then something taps the latch and the floodgate springs open at the most inopportune time.

I’ve had a few freaky dreams lately. The one about hanging out in a pen with a bull- yes, as in bovine-was especially weird.  Why was I the only one he would be docile around? Everyone else would just aggravate him and make him aggressive, but I could do anything with him.  Maybe it’s about boundaries or control issues- both are things at which I completely suck in the real world.  Being the bull master in dreams- not really the stuff power trips and fantasies are made of- but I guess I have to take whatever power I can get.

I’ve had that effect on dogs and a few cats, but I generally avoid animals larger than dogs. I have a healthy respect for horses.  It’s been years since I’ve ridden a horse.  I like them, but they are harder to read than dogs and there is a lot less margin for error with them.  You cheese off a dog and you get a warning snarl or raised hackles or any number of other warning signals.  Dogs are good at body language, even to the point of getting an autistic person to get it. Dogs normally want to help.   Cheese off a horse, however, and you are like as not to get kicked across his stall with little or no warning.  Horses don’t have to be nice.  They are only nice if they respect you.

Of cattle, I know nothing.

I never really had to hang out with cattle, except in Newark, Ohio.

There were, and likely still are, some Really Fat Cows there. Even 20+ years ago there was a stampede of heifers sporting too much cleavage stuffed into too small bras, and the parade of big butts hanging out of leggings stretched beyond reasonable limits was on.  It was when I worked in Newark that I could buy “dinky sizes” such as 10 or 12 on the clearance rack at the discount store.  I could also find 38D bras marked down which never happened in less ample parts of the world. It was also in Newark that I learned there is such a thing as women’s size 20 underwear, and that they could also serve as a car cover for my Corolla with room to spare.

Granted, morbid obesity is a thing in rural Ohio and it’s almost as bad as heroin or crack. People don’t have much to do other than watch TV, play on the Internet, screw, and scarf those dreadful greasy $5 pizzas from Little Caesar’s, unless they’re shooting heroin, making meth or smoking crack, that is.

There is Wal-Mart though. Wal-Mart is an endless source of entertainment.

Sometimes I think it would be funny to strap on a Go Pro in Wal-Mart and just see how it goes. What kinds of weird shit would I encounter?

walmartian

Grief, a Primer, and We All Need New Frontiers

dream after dream

I haven’t been here in awhile.  Between moving (still can’t find most of my winter clothes) and tending to the dying, I am surprised I am still relatively calm and sane. Even so my absence here is ironic, because I’ve certainly had the need for catharsis and venting and a place to sort out all the conflicting emotions (there’s that dirty word – emotions– again) that have been rolling about in my head.  I’ve just been scattered so far and wide that I’ve not had the time.

Unfortunately I was right about Jerry in his illness, that he would not survive long once he couldn’t work any more.  He was deemed permanently disabled July 8th.  He died October 21st.  It was a hellish ride, and slowly suffocating to death is a cruel and shitty way to die.   Pulmonary fibrosis finally won out, and I emphasize, it is a very shitty way to die.

I am thankful that he didn’t die like his Dad did (also of pulmonary fibrosis)- after a week of poking, prodding and fruitless and painful interventions in intensive care.  Jerry was fortunate enough to die at home, I think, if only because of his determination to stay out of hospitals.  After witnessing his Dad’s horrible death in the hospital a only a week earlier, yeah, I’d want to stay the freak out of that mess too.  Especially when you have a terminal illness and death is the inevitable outcome.  Nothing that hospital could do was going to make him any better or move him toward any kind of recovery.

I am not going to pretend that our marriage was loving or happy.  Most of the time, with some brief exceptions, it wasn’t either one. Most of the time it was barely tolerable.  For me it was upholding a choice to do what I said I would, even if the decision I made was an ill-advised one.  Marry in haste, repent in leisure. Got it.

funny-bad-decisions

This isn’t to say that I didn’t love him or care, but that I’ve been worn down by many years of dealing with his alcoholism and weathering the emotional and verbal abuse that is part of that.   I can’t say that I was perfect or blameless either, and hindsight being 20/20 I still wonder if it would have been more admirable or noble for me to have left him quietly long ago.  Even though it came about in a fashion I would not wish on anyone, twenty one years later, that obligation is over.

This is the hard part that my family (as well as his family and some of our mutual friends)is having a hard time understanding.  I’ve been mourning for a very long time already.  I’ve been mourning the fact that I spent 20+ years of my life in a difficult and troubled marriage.  I’ve been mourning the reality of living with an alcoholic and riding that rollercoaster ride. I’ve been mourning witnessing someone I once loved suffering and dying in a most horrible way.  Mourning has been a way of life for me for way too long.

mourning-black

Even so, I’m not dead yet. I’m not getting any younger, either.  Excuse me if I want to live. I am not prostrate in grief.  Yes, I am sad that he suffered the way he did, and I miss him in some ways, but in most ways I’m relieved.  Relieved that his suffering is over, and that I am free to pursue my own life, whatever that might mean.

By the grace of God new frontiers are right in front of me, and in ways I couldn’t have imagined a year ago.  I’m living an ending and a beginning at the same time.  As truly bizarre as it might sound, I can’t help to stand back and feel blessed and in awe.

 

 

I Refuse to Stay Behind With the Rest of the Class, and More Passive-Aggressive Revenge

bizarrechildhood
The dirty birds of political correctness and feel-good leftism have come home to roost, and the results are grim as well as predictable.

I was fortunate enough in some ways to grow up in a sort of cultural backwater.  In the 1970s and 1980s the leftist devolution of American society hadn’t really taken hold in the tiny towns.  It was still OK to pray in school.  The whole town was scandalized when it became permissible for girls to wear pants to school if they chose (this was the late 1970s.)

icky plaid pants
Given the dreadful thick, itchy, badly patterned, hot polyester that was popular in the 1970s, it was almost better to wear a dress, but then you had to wear tights, which were almost as bad as these pants- they were hot, itchy, and didn’t stay up, so the crotch would be at your knees by the end of the day no matter what you did to try to keep them up.

tights

When I was in elementary school, kids were expected to say the Pledge in the morning, unless their parents sent them a note excusing them from it.  I remember one poor Jehovah’s Witness kid who had to sit out the Pledge in the hall, which made no sense because the principal always had a student of the day read it over the PA system for the whole school, including the halls, to hear. I don’t think he understood his parents’ objection to the Pledge any more than he enjoyed being teased for having to sit it out.

Now the kids in public schools have to endure the dreadful Common Core curriculum that teaches to standardized tests (forget about critical or analytical thinking, learning at one’s own pace, or learning subject matter that isn’t included in the pre-fabbed one-size-fits-none test box) and to the religion (and yes, it is a religion of sorts) of secular humanism.

religion

Even atheism, in its tenacious and oft irrational hanging onto a belief that there can be no God, is its own religion. Living under the assertion that there is no God may be a poor belief system, but it’s a belief system nonetheless.

I remember in third grade I was told to “stay behind with the rest of the class,” and I resent that directive to this day.  I absolutely hated it when the teacher would have the kids read a paragraph at a time out loud in class.  I’m hyperlexic, which means (among other things) that I speed read.  Constantly. Compulsively.  It is very difficult for me to stay awake– forget staying focused- when other people are reading aloud, painfully slowly, in a monotone voice.  By the time my turn would roll around I was usually three or four chapters ahead.

Usually I was a good enough multitasker to flip right back to the paragraph the class was currently reading in time to read my assigned lines without being noticed, but this particular day I was more scattered than normal, and the kids reading before me were even more tedious and hesitating and monotone than normal.  It took me a few seconds to scan back to the paragraph the teacher expected me to read, which didn’t sit well with her.

kids-reading-in-library

I think elementary school teachers really hated me for a number of reasons.  I didn’t fit into the box.  I didn’t adhere to the normal template of child development that they learned in college.  I freaked them out with my vocabulary. I alienated them with my avoidance of eye contact and repulsed them with my intense reactions to fear- but more than that, I simply didn’t follow the paradigm.  I couldn’t identify the paradigm, let alone follow it, and even at 47 I struggle with keeping up the semblance of “normal.”

When you’re a kid, autism kind of sucks- because you haven’t had a chance to learn the scripts that can help you navigate through the world  of “normal.”  Those scripts come naturally for most, but people like me have to learn and memorize and practice those social scripts until they become habit.  You know you’re different, they know you’re different, and until you learn how to play the social game to your advantage, you pay (dearly) for that nonconformity.

Of course at first, doing things differently than other people wasn’t a conscious choice.  I speed read. I have my own road map.  I am extremely pragmatic and rational in the way I approach life. There’s nothing I can (or want to) do about the way I’m wired, and I have come to the conclusion that staying behind is just not a viable option for me.

What is disturbing to me about collective education is that teaching to a group discourages individual excellence.  I understand that teaching to a norm is going to reach the greatest percentage of kids, but what about those that deviate from the mean?  Much has been done- in fact too much- to address those who can’t or won’t meet the basic standards.  Lowering the standard is not a good answer, although for funding and other reasons, lower standards seem to make politicians happier.

The kids who are capable of excellence generally do what I did.  I coasted.  I partied, though very clandestinely.  I multitasked, and I read a lot of Mad magazines as well as Stephen King novels, history and scientific non-fiction, and not a few books that would have been porn had they been illustrated.  I read a lot of extra curricular material in study halls as well as in class.  I was quiet and did well on tests, so I was pretty much left alone, even though some days- I admit it, I was stoned or hung over or both.  By that time the teachers had better things to worry about than the weird loner in the corner who aces tests but doesn’t talk much.

Even with my somewhat laissez-faire approach in high school, I graduated with a 4.1 average, thanks to taking some weighted courses to offset my rather average mathematical aptitude.  For the life of me, higher math, or at least the way it was taught, simply didn’t make much sense.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Domestic Insanity and Drunk-n-Stupid Meet Passive-Aggressive Revenge

I know better.  I really do.

I’ve been somewhat ambivalent about taking Mom and Dad down to NC this Saturday.  I really doubt if Dad should be travelling this far this soon after open heart surgery, and I am freaky about taking him down in places where medical assistance is either not available or, if it is, it is, shall we say, primitive.  My sister lives in the middle of nowhere, and you have to drive through 12 hours of mostly nowhere to get there.  On the positive side Dad goes to his Dr. again tomorrow, and I will know for sure then if he will be OK to go, at least on a medical evaluation.

Another thing about this potential road trip that kind of freaks me is that I’m still having exactly the same issues I ended up in the ER for back in June.  Still have the heart palpitations and chest pain and all that mess, but according to the Dr.s I’ve seen including my family Dr., it’s nothing that’s going to kill me.  Yet.  I am still a wee bit apprehensive about driving continuously for 12 hours- Dad is allowed to drive, and probably will at least part of the way down, (Mom won’t be driving at all because she can’t drive manual shift,) but I’m coming back by myself since they’re staying all week. My sister or my nephew will be bringing them back.

I can’t die yet, because I don’t want to vote Democrat.  Ever.

Maybe I’m already on Obama’s death list and I just don’t know it yet.  Maybe there’s a little note in my medical records that says, “let this one die, so we can have more money to buy more pecker pumps for geezers and pay for birth control for people who should be keeping their legs together to begin with.”  I don’t think having heart palpitations constantly and up to the point of barely being able to catch one’s breath is “normal.”  But what the hell do I know?

Or maybe not?  Who knows?

I do know that I don’t want to go back to the same hospital where they called me Mildred and asked about my (non-existent) diarrhea,  put me in the same room with a howler monkey, and then told me that the reason why I have heart palpitations is because I don’t get enough sleep.  Then I go for the sleep study, get told I have sleep apnea, but not to the point where I need to be on a machine…I’m frustrated on that point.  I still don’t sleep for shit, haven’t for years.  I have to sleep at about a 45° angle to keep from drowning on the snot that drains down the back of my throat.   I don’t think I’ve had a really good night’s sleep since before I was pregnant with Steve-o- and he’s 21.  It doesn’t help that I have Tipsy McNumbNuts, who smokes like a chimney, screams like a banchee after a 12 pack or so, and has a taste for bad country music in the middle of the night, conspiring against my nightly repose.

Drunks should come with warning labels.

Jerry was on a roll last night even for a Monday.  I hope the boys at the shop are enjoying Tuesday Hangover Jerry today, ’cause it’s going to be a good one.  I hope they’re at least as loud and obnoxious as he was last night.

His TV, cable box, DVD player and stereo have been carefully configured (by me, he can’t figure out electronic anything) to be very simple to operate.  There is one button on the remote that turns the TV and cable box on and off.  It’s very simple.  Push the power button, TV and cable box turn on simultaneously.  Push the power button again and the TV and cable box turn off.  It’s not rocket science.  It is, however awkward at best to plug all this stuff in so that it works correctly.  I know what plugs in where, but I’m not particularly fond of the gymnastic feats I have to attempt to get the right things plugged into the right places.

It’s too hard for some people.

For some reason only known to God and maybe another drunk, finding the power button on the remote was too difficult for Jerry last night.  He wanted the TV off. So he unplugged everything- even unscrewed the freaking coax off the back of the TV and unplugged the AV leads from the DVD player for some bizarre reason.  Hey, kids, alcohol kills brain cells, just so you know!

Then to make it all the more entertaining, after prattling on all night last night on various rants and assorted nonsense, he’s sitting in the bed whining this morning that “the TV won’t turn on.”  Well, no shit, Sherlock, you unplugged every single wire you could unplug from every single AV device you have…

“Well, I need to watch the news,” he pouts, (insert Eric Cartman voice here) “and if I can’t watch it in here I’ll just use your TV.”

Oh, no you won’t.

Suffice to say as Jerry is a smoker with essential tremor, the world is Jerry’s ashtray.  To top that off, not only do I not want my bed to be full of stale beer farts and cigarette ashes, he doesn’t know how to operate my TV either, and I don’t need that screwed up too.  If he wants his little hole to be a fetid filth den, fine by me, but I like clean, fresh-smelling, burn-hole free sheets and a TV that works.

So at 6:30 this morning I’m back in the filth hole smoking lounge that is his room, behind the dresser, untangling wiring, plugging everything back in and moving the various electronics back to their proper places.  20 minutes later he was watching the stinking news on his own TV.  I could have wrung his neck.  Maybe it wasn’t nice of me to keep on muttering “dumb ass,” but it’s not as if Jerry being a dumb ass is a secret or anything.

I call ’em as I see ’em.  Then again, I’m fully aware he was raised by wolves.

I know he’s pissed at me for volunteering to take Mom and Dad to NC this weekend instead of frying my patoot off at the campground (I like going down there, but not when it’s supposed to be 95° and hotter all weekend.)  He’s pissed because he will have to remain sober so he can go back home Saturday night to take care of the dogs.  So all week long it will be passive-aggressive revenge (and as much drunk-n-stupid hijinks as he can stand to perpetrate) just so I know how much he will be “suffering” in his weekend sobriety.

Fanny, Fanny Fat Cat, Vintage VWs, and Pithy Remarks

Fanny’s attempt at making me stay home from work

Fanny has always been a large cat.  Even when I first found her as a kitten beside a rural road out in Fairfield County, Fanny was, shall we say, solid.  When I took her to the Vet to have her checked out and then spayed, the Vet’s comment was “That’s going to be a BIG cat.”  That’s sort of how she got her name- once the Vet had verified she was female.  It is somewhat difficult to discern the gender of young kittens- males don’t have their pee-pee half way up their bellies like dogs, and they don’t grow visible balls until they’re several months old.   I once had a female cat I originally thought was male so (before I was aware of her true gender) I named her “Bill.”   So now I don’t name a kitten until I have the Vet verify the gender.  I had been playing the song “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen, and once it had been determined she was female, the name Fanny just sort of fit.

Our Vet is very familiar with barn cats.  Usually those are the kind of cats that end up as her office cats.  In this area most barn cats are large, silver tabby cats.  One of her office cats- Fat Albert- is almost two of Fanny (male cats are generally larger than females) even though Fanny would be large compared to most male cats.  Apparently if a quasi-feral barn cat is spayed or neutered, taken inside, treated to a temperature controlled environment free of most predators, and fed a decent quality catfood, they grow very large.

The odd thing about Fanny’s size is that while she is over 15# which is too fat (and yes, I have to try to do something about that) she is also large-framed, so at least the fat is sort of spread out.  Fluffy-Butt (or FB as our tortoise-shell Angora is usually called) is about seven pounds and is a “normal sized” cat.  She eats more than Fanny.  Isabel, who is elderly, and has always been tiny (right around five pounds) eats more than either Fanny or FB, and I’ve been supplementing her with high-faluting old-cat food and wet food in the mornings to keep her from losing weight (the other cats just get plain old Cat Chow.)

Metabolism is a funky thing.  I wish I had Isabel’s.

I’ve also been somewhat neglectful in sharing pics from last Saturday’s VW show- there were indeed some tasty cars and I took a load of pics (if you are into classic VWs, the share site is here.)   There was one car there that was a dead ringer for the 83 GTI I had once.  I am still kicking myself in the ass for trading off that ride:

I had an ’83.  This is an ’84, which was the identical model.  Black car, blue interior.

Yes, it was for sale, but I don’t have five grand to blow on a car to play with. 😦

The name “Honda Killer” is very much deserved on the first generation GTI, because the cars were heavy (compared to most front wheel drive econoboxes) and geared low, and had the advantage over the Civics of that day because Civics still had carburetors and 1.6 engines.  The GTI had a crude form of electronic ignition- no more distributor points- yay!- as well as the Bosch CIS fuel injection (mechanical, and still required idle adjustments from time to time, but it was a port fuel injection) as well as a larger 1.8 engine with a higher compression ratio than any of the Japanese stuff.

I should have never sold that car.

Anyway, I was delighted at the number of old transporters and split windows at the show.  This particular show is one of the largest in the Midwest- but the Midwest is not particularly kind to the preservation of vintage cars of any type.

Got to love the old Transporters- but you should be a technician if you plan on owning one.

The ’47 was not only rare, but very tastefully restored.

This ’67 Ghia has a very sweet engine compartment.

I would like to have a Karmann Ghia myself. Dad has a very tasty ’69, but he took his ’77 Convertible to this show because the Ghia needs some touch ups on its restoration (it was restored almost 20 years ago.)

It’s pretty much straight stock, except for the paint colors.

Hopefully this weekend will be quiet and peaceful.  It would be nice, but probably won’t happen.   I know I’m already being railroaded into going with Jerry to the campground with two dogs tonight (though Sheena staying at home will be a reason for me to scoot out before he gets too drunk.)  Clara enjoys going to the campground, and she’s easy to handle.  Lilo is easy enough to handle too.  Sheena isn’t bad on a leash, but she doesn’t listen as well as the other two, and she’s not at all compliant with Jerry.  So Sheena will stay home tonight and I will make it to the car and escape, hopefully before he’s shitfaced.

It does bother me that here lately I’ve been at the point where human interaction is wearing on me really heavily.  That’s a warning signal that I need solitude and that I’d better arrange (somehow) to get it.  Last night poor Steve-o, who is rightfully excited about his upcoming opportunities, called to chat and was going on and on for almost an hour.  Usually I enjoy discussion on all things automotive, especially with other motorheads, but even he was wearing on my patience.   I was trying to finish laundry and was in the process of stewing tomatoes- stewing and freezing is how I preserve them so they don’t go to waste- and I’m just at the point where I need to get away from people for a little while.  I’m not nice when I’m crispy around the edges.  I have some new books I’d like to read without being interrupted and all that.

This world is not geared toward the introverted soul who needs a little contemplation and quiet now and again to stay sane.

I’d almost like to arrange a couple of days where I can stay at the campground- during the week when it’s quiet.  Jerry goes down there for the social factor on the weekends, to get wasted and hang out with his friends.  I would go down there so I could turn everything off and keep from interacting with anyone except maybe Clara.

Dogs have them too, but still.  Why can’t they put something in Mountain Dew that will clean the young punks’ teeth instead of rotting them?

A good argument for parallel universes?

It always cracks me up when I observe vegans who own cats.

Cats are obligatory carnivores.

So if you own a cat, you’re feeding it catfood, which has to contain at least some meat.

Victorian Death, Memento Mori, and the Stop and Gawk Factor

I don’t know about “useful” or “reliable,” at least not today, but I’m sure fascinating would be an appropriate adjective.

I know that I’ve more than a passing interest in history- especially the Victorian era and the 1940’s- but as I was watching (yet another) documentary on Abraham Lincoln I learned where some of America’s most bizarre funerary traditions come from.  Being the curious sort that I can be (especially on the macabre or just plain weird) I decided to research a bit more.

Embalming is not a new science, and wasn’t a new science in Victorian times either.  The ancient Egyptians and some other desert cultures were into embalming due to their beliefs concerning the afterlife, but until the 19th century it was seldom practiced in European cultures.  In the US, embalming was a common practice during the Civil War (a whole industry sprung up around preserving dead soldiers so they could be sent home and buried) and even President Lincoln   was embalmed (the only way he would have survived the train ride back to Springfield in sort of one piece) but it fell out of favor here in the US until the early 20th century, when open casket funerals became popular.  Some of the chemicals used in 19th century embalming would certainly not be looked upon favorably by today’s regulatory agencies.  Arsenic was one of the more popular preservatives.

The Victorians were big on postmortem pictures too, which if nothing else, to the modern eye are nice little reminders of the concept of memento mori (remember your own mortality.)  It’s hard enough for us today to grasp the concept of mortality because most people die shoved off into a hospital or nursing home.  It would offend most modern sensibilities to go around taking pics of dead people.  Why the open casket funeral – a custom I find distasteful- is so popular in a culture that denies the reality of death, I’ll never know.  Jessica Mitford offered her insight on the subject in the book, The American Way of Death, which I highly recommend.

Most of us find the idea of taking pics of dead people to be creepy, but if you couldn’t afford to take a pic of your loved one when he/she was alive, you’d find the scratch to have someone take the pic when your loved one died, because that would be the only tangible memory left.  Hopefully the photographer would make it before the loved one started to rot.  Some photographers were very skillful in the art of “restoration”- retouching the pictures to make the subject look a little less dead, while others weren’t so good.

The eyes!!!!  Zombie Baby’s gonna eat me!

I think some photographers tried to feign “life likeness” by the angle of the shot, etc.  I can’t tell if this little girl is dead or not:

If she is alive, she’s not too thrilled about having her pic taken.

For me these kind of visuals are in the same category as the impulse to stop and gawk when driving by an accident on the freeway.  Everyone does it.  It’s not a phenomenon reserved for Central Ohio during rush hour.

I live just down the road from a Moose club, a VFW and two bars.  I get to witness DWI busts every freaking weekend (and sometimes during the week) from the comfort of my front porch.  Last week the cops nabbed some poor dude in a Chevy Cobalt who had gotten stuck in the small ditch just a few yards from my house.  Cobalt Dude was so blitzed he couldn’t touch his nose with his finger, (let alone walk the line) and upon inspection he had a pocket full of drug paraphenalia that was splayed across the decklid of the cruiser and photographed.  It was the same cop who, a few years ago, had dragged Steve-o in at 2AM- the one who’s about 6’8″, and I’d say a good 300#, and has a bit of an attitude.  So it was no surprise when Officer Titan asked this unfortunate lush and/or stoner to lean up against the cruiser, then to hold out his right hand (promptly cuffed) and then his left hand (brought together with the right and also promptly cuffed.)  Cobalt Dude not only got to ride in a police car, he got to go to jail too.

Arguing with Officer Titan is a Bad Idea.

I need a video camera, though I’ve not bothered to acquire one. The temptation to film Jerry in his oft-performed role as Tipsy Mc NumbNuts is irresistable, and if I had the camera I would do it.  Cruel and inhumane as it may sound, it would be a blast to record his incidents for posterity, as well as the DWI busts I get to witness right in front of my house.  My life is surrounded by YouTube gold.

Which reminds me, I need to try to find a replacement for the magazine tube for his .22 that he lost whilst attempting to clean it while completely effed up.   I tried to tell him that it’s not appropriate to attempt to clean one’s gun after chugging the better part of a NattyPack (30 twelve ounce beers) but what the hell do I know?

Drunks-n-guns: It never turns out good.