The Curious American Fascination With Royalty, and Other Strange Vestigialities

Queen Elizabeth I

Is that a weasel or a ferret?

I never knew Queen Elizabeth I was enamored of weasels or ferrets, (the creature on her arm is an ermine- a polite name for a variety of weasel) but in Elizabethan times I’m sure a lone member of the Mustelidae family wouldn’t have added much to the general pestilence of the court. Bathing wasn’t terribly high on the priorities of most Elizabethans.  Royalty did bathe more often than the peasantry, who I would assume would only get a good douching in a rainstorm.  I think the royals did bathe relatively often- once a week or so- and they did have access to perfumes and soap.  I shudder to think about toileting arrangements for the masses and their livestock back then though.  No wonder all those people died from typhoid and cholera.  Not to mention the plague, which has recently been identified in a squirrel population in California.  Too bad it’s the wrong kind of squirrel population.

squirrel-9

These aren’t the squirrels to which I refer.

I’ve always thought it a bit strange that Americans still seem to be enamored of British royals.  Truth be told today’s royal family- the Windsors– (or should I say Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) are probably more German by ancestry than anything.  The name change to Windsor was in response to anti-German sentiment surrounding WWI.

King George V

Germans with English names.  Sort of like Steve-o, who has an English name, but has more German ancestry than the rest of the family.

Today’s royalty are more or less figureheads with no political authority, but back in the days of the American Revolution, kings (and sometimes queens) held the power of life and death for their subjects.  Yeah, that kind of power would be kind of cool, but it could also lead to all kinds of witch hunting and cronyism and the mysterious disappearance of political opposition.  Oh, the Obama administration rings a bell, at least as far as the scandal and sleaze factors go.  What’s worse about  Obama is whatever privileges he thinks he deserves were usurped via dishonest means (i.e. only natural born American citizens are eligible to hold the office of the Presidency) as well as egregious voter fraud.  I haven’t forgotten about that- and I’m not going to either.  History will prove me right in the end.

The fascination some people have with today’s royals to me is a sort of a modern-day hold out of the fairy tale myth of the all-powerful ruler.  The closest thing America has to royalty (don’t even think the Obamas, even though they think and behave as if they have royal entitlements) is the Hollywood crowd.

I think the British royals to be far less sordid than Hollywood, and far more admirable than the Obamas.  The royals (unlike most of Hollywood) even have some redeeming features, such as sponsoring legitimate charities, and serving in the military.

I don’t see the Duchess of Cambridge out there screaming about “reproductive rights” (aka: abortion advocacy) while at the same time crying crocodile tears and telling everyone that eating meat is murder. I don’t hear of the Queen telling her subjects that she could have been Trayvon Martin 30 years ago either.  I can see where she might show some affinity for Elton John, as he and the Queen share similar taste in hats, but I can’t see her claiming Trayvon.

anthony weiner

Now this guy is back in the news.  Wiener. Wiener. Wiener.

I don’t think I would vote for this guy- except to piss off Hillary Clinton.  She probably has a bigger unit than him, so she shouldn’t be too upset.  If I really want to sausage-gaze I think there are better endowed specimens than Wiener (in spite of the name) to be found online.   Then again it’s one thing if women are requesting sausage shots from our friend Mr. Wiener, and quite another if the sausage shots are being sent unsolicited.   To me it wouldn’t be nearly as perverted if the women are asking for the pics.   Then at least they’re getting what they deserved.

Now, for a guy to just randomly send a portfolio of Mr. Happy to every female for whom he has contact information, either he’s a 13 year old pulling a rather sick prank, or that’s a cry for attention.

dancing-hot-dog

Am I the only one creeped out by dancing food? Especially dancing wieners.  Wiener. Wiener. Wiener.

Wiener. Wiener. Wiener. Wiener. It’s just fun to say wiener.

I’m not a snake.  I don’t prefer to consume my prey whilst it’s still alive. I don’t want my food to dance. Especially wieners.  I want my food to remain perfectly still until I decide to move it from the plate to my mouth, unless of course I’m eating Jello.

I Love My Flaming Type-A Personality, Deepening Sarcasm, and Welfare Day

Ok, I’m not ripping on the genuinely needy.  As someone who knows all too well what it’s like to choose between food or scripts and/or worry about having essential services cut off, I feel for those who are just trying to get by.  Even so, I should know better than to go anywhere near a grocery store on the first three or four days of the month.  All I do is end up coming home with half of what I needed to get (should I be lucky enough to find that) and a huge screaming headache.

I know not everyone on public assistance is raping the system.  For those who are, I’m paying for you, and it pisses me off.  It pisses me off even more when you are jamming your grocery cart (full of things I can’t afford) up my ass all the way through Kroger’s- after you have picked the store clean of such necessities as the toilet paper that would have been on sale had it been there, the fat-free cottage cheese, the store-brand longhorn Colby cheese, the Pantene Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair (?) and the Absolutely Zero Monsters, which would also (had they been there) been on sale.  There used to be a day when being on public assistance was considered humiliating. It was a necessary evil for the genuinely needy, that kept one from destitution and starvation.  Public assistance is supposed to be a safety net for those who have no other choice.  Now it’s almost “trendy” to shove your governmentally dependent self-righteous way through the grocery store (right over the poor saps who are paying for your sorry ass) like a bloated feeder hog at slop time.  To this I say, WTF?

Perhaps it’s enjoyable to sit back and relax while other people work their asses off to pay for you.  I would be ashamed to behave in such a way, but maybe I’m the one who’s wrong.  Perhaps I’m the stupid one for not figuring out how to milk the system and pursue my Fanny Feline lifestyle, since I’m too old to breed and I just don’t like the idea of smoking and/or dealing crack. (In Fanny’s defense, she’s a cat, and she does what cats are supposed to do.)

The Fanny Feline Lifestyle- not bad, except I’m not into eating meat by-products and having to lick my own butt.

My one quandary in this: if you’re not working, why in the hell do you need the Absolutely Zero Monsters?  To stay awake whilst doing nothing?  If I didn’t have to stay awake at work, my need for caffeine would be virtually nil.  If I had nothing better to do, I could get myself on the feline sleep schedule really quickly.  I think Fanny sleeps 18 hours a day.  That would be awesome.  I wouldn’t mind being Fanny, except being a cat, she has to eat catfood (which smells nasty enough) and she has to lick her own butt.

I am just glad they weren’t out of bacon.  I don’t generally eat bacon, but I do have to buy it.  Occasionally I might like a few bacon crumbles (the bacon bits in the can are good enough) in potato soup, but that’s as far as it gets. Grease and salt are two things my body doesn’t need much of.   But for Jerry, bacon- full fat, greasy, lardy bacon- is essential to maintain his well-being.  Jerry will eat bacon when he will not eat anything else.  It’s bad enough that he didn’t get his longhorn Colby cheese.  I will buy the store brand for $4.79 for an 8 ounce roll when it’s available, (even though that’s outrageous) but I refuse to pay $6 for 1/2 lb. of cheese, which is what the name brand cheese costs.  Call me cheap, but it’s a different world for those of us out there who have to pay for food with real money.

No high faluting fromage for you, Jerry.  It is, shall we say, trés beaucoup.

I did, however score a sale on American cheese slices before all the First of the Month Zombies scarfed them up. Not the plastic imitation ones, real American cheese made with real cow’s milk.  So, eat your grilled cheese and like it. It might be all you get.

Maybe it shouldn’t piss me off.  Usually I don’t give a rat’s ass about what other people have versus what I have or don’t have.  I don’t care about designer clothes.  I don’t care if I have the latest and greatest cell phone.  In spite of being a motorhead, I drive a Toyota Yaris.  My last performance car was the 2000 Celica which I still regret trading in.  I’ve never been an extravagant person.  Maybe that’s what pisses me off- working my ass off so other people can have what I can’t afford, for free.  I’ve never really aspired to having extravagant things, perhaps with the exceptions that I’ve always wanted to have an indoor pool, and I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise.

I wouldn’t mind finding him in my pool.  If I were to have an indoor pool, I would need a pool boy.

Maybe I should start my own foundation to help me- a sort of Send a Cougar to Camp type concept- help the disadvantaged old bitty who’s tired of getting trampled in the grocery store.  People could feel sorry for me and donate $5, $10, $20 and more to my PayPal account until I get enough money to get that indoor pool and go on my cruise.  Only I’d have to say I was running for President or something outlandish like that.  It worked for John Edwards, didn’t it?  He got a free mistress and paid for his illegitimate child through the gratuities of others.  I think the only major problem with that is I’m too honest and straightforward to get away with it.  No one is going to throw money at a potential presidential candidate who would tell people how it is.  I am not a very good liar.

Yes, there are two Americas.  Either you are the poor sucker who gets mowed down by the feeder hogs in the store on Welfare day, or you are the feeder hog.

Simply Enchanting, Insect Apocalypse, and Solitude is Elusive

When I was a child I was terrified of almost everything- strange people, especially strange men, cops, other kids (because left to their own devices they generally beat the hell out of me,) strange places, being shoved and locked in closets, and I had an obsessive fear of being shot to death through the window, which considering the neighborhood we lived in until I was about 7 years old, wasn’t as irrational as it sounds.  People in that little slice of redneck heaven liked to get drunk and shoot off their shotguns in the middle of the night, so who’s to say?  But my most overwhelming childhood fear by far was of flying, stinging insects.

I still have a pretty hearty dislike for these bastards.

It didn’t help that my sisters (especially the oldest one, who was sadistic as hell) liked to toss live wasps in my hair.  There’s a number of reasons why I wear my hair very short today.  It is cooler, easier to color, and much easier to style, granted.  It is also easier to keep it insect-free.  It was bad enough to have live wasps tossed in one’s hair, but far worse when you have insanely thick hair that goes down to your waist.  I still really hate anyone or anything- besides me- touching my hair.  I’m weird about any kind of touching anyway.  Going to the hairdresser every month or so for a simple cut (I color my hair myself) is a necessary evil, but I can’t say I enjoy it.

Anyway, I found it most distressing to be informed that the insect apocalypse has arrived in what was my grandparents’ house.  Dad had rented Grandma’s old house out to a dude for the past two years who paid his rent and lived there without incident, but said dude died about three days after Dad landed in the hospital.  The dude’s girlfriend had been keeping a dog there and for some reason the electric had been turned off.  So she left the place- rotten food in the fridge, dog shit all over the floors, and unauthorized insect life- just as it was.  Poor Spencer went in to examine the disaster and ended up completely covered in flea bites. God only knows, but I’m sure in that neighborhood that the roaches are living high off the hog in there, and possibly bed bugs too.  There’s no way in hell I’m going anywhere near that.

Just call the exterminator, or the crime scene clean up people.  It’s not worth it to try cleaning up that nightmare without having the Extreme Prejudice to do it.

I still don’t like bugs.  Especially ones that leave welts.

So, I hope, when Dad is able to deal with his rentals, that he just gets the exterminator in there and lets them de-bug the place.  I do not envy anyone the task of cleaning out a rotten fridge in high summer, but I would want the bugs annihilated first.  Again, I think the crime-scene people are the way to go.

 Some things may not technically be considered HAZMAT, but should be.

I did attempt- with little success- to get some quality leave-me-alone-dammit time in over the weekend.  Mom calling me at 7:30 on Saturday just after I’d fed the dogs, let them out, got them back in, and then got Jerry out the door was a nice, annoying touch, since she usually never gets up any time before 10AM.  I was hoping to be left alone Saturday at least between 8AM and noon but that wasn’t happening.  It’s my own fault for forgetting to turn the damned phone off.  It would be one thing had she been calling me for emergency purposes, but she was pretty much only calling me to bitch at me because Steve-o was rude to her and it was a rant that could have waited until later in the day, or even a rant she could have saved for one of her nosy friends.

To make it worse, when she got off the phone with me, no sooner than I’d hung up,  and before I had the sentience of mind to turn the damned thing off, Steve-o called me with his own 37 minute rant on why he’s pissed that I’m not paying for his emergency room visit back in April.  I listened to him vent, but pretty much responded with,  “It’s called ‘you’re an adult now,’ so now you have to pay for your own shit.”  It sucks enough that he’s still on my farking health insurance so my deductible and my weekly premiums are even higher.  Needless to say, the cougar nap was out of the question Saturday morning, because I was so pissed by the time I got off the phone with him- after both his and Mom’s tirades- that I figured I might as well screw attempting to nap or read or even to put in a Journey DVD.  I decided I might as well work off some of my aggravation and start the day’s business early.

Step one for a nice, solitary day: turn this son of a bitch OFF!!!

Admittedly since Dad’s surgery and stay at the rehab I have been loathe to turn the phone off just in case there is some sort of emergency.  The sad thing is that I have no way of knowing the difference between a bullshit/nuisance call and an emergency call.  Mom will call me for the most banally stupid things- usually when I am not in a good position to waste an hour listening to her vent about how she’s pissed that the WalMart messed up her scripts, or how much Dad whines about the food at the rehab place.  Believe me, she is going to hear his whining about the quality and quantity of food available to him even worse when he gets home.  He knows how to cook.  I would suggest to him that as part of his rehab and recovery that he get really good at preparing his own meals.

Steve-o will whine and cry to me about virtually everything from how much he can’t stand how hot it gets at work, to how much he doesn’t like having to get up with his daughter in the middle of the night when he’s home, to how torqued he is that he can’t spend every dime of what he earns on playing with his cars.  That gets old too.  I feel for him as he does have a grueling schedule right now, but he sort of brought a lot of that on himself.

There’s no rest for the wicked.  I ended up most of Saturday in WalMart with Mom (I don’t believe in purgatory, but dammit, that comes close- she’s slow and she knows everyone she sees) though I did get about half an hour in the Cougar Pool when I got home.  Sunday I ended up going back up there and spending most of the day with Dad at the rehab.  I hope he gets out this week, because I am going to stay home and in bed at least for a little while this weekend.  Unless I have to bring him food he can actually eat.

I think we all know how to prevent these- but I love antique posters and such.  This one is from WWI.

Not very politically correct, but it sure gets the message across.

’80’s Nostalgia, Humor in Suffering, and Things I Never Thought I’d See in a Museum

I thought it was weird when I saw the 1981 Reagan Limousine on display four years ago.  It was on display when I took Steve-o and his woman du jour to the Henry Ford Museum, lined up along with the Kennedy Assassination Limo and a string of other Presidential limos dating back to Roosevelt.  I need to make it a point to take a trip up there again soon, even though I absolutely hate the crappy roads in Detroit, and the Dearborn area is rather frightening even in the daytime.

Granted, this is a historical car- and technically it does belong in a museum- but the fact that the props (ok, artifacts) from events I remember as if they were yesterday are in museums is a bit disquieting.  As far as I’m concerned (yes, I know he died in 2004) Reagan should still be President, riding around in that limo.  I bet Reagan is spinning in his grave at the antics of his successors (Bill Clinton was bad enough- and a tomcat- but even though as far as anyone knows, he keeps his pants on, Obama is far worse) and that’s sad.   We could really use someone like Reagan today.  To quote a bumper sticker that I would put on the HK Yaris if I had enough room:

In the 80’s we had Bob Hope, Johnny Cash and President Reagan. Today we have No Hope, No Cash and President Obama.

I also like this one:

Put the Constitution on His Teleprompter!

I’m sure Obama could use some fresh new reading. 

The statement comparing the 80’s to today almost makes me depressed.  It makes me want to vote for Donald Trump, even though he’s no Reagan.  I like him better than the same old tired milquetoasts that have been dominating the Republican mainstream the past few years. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are just plain too lame.  Like him, or hate him, The Donald has balls.  We need a President with balls. Obama has none.  I believe if he’s not directly in cahoots with terrorist nations and organizations, he’s not doing anything to stop them or even mitigate their actions.  He’s complicit with Black genocide in supporting abortion “rights” that are NOT the state’s to give and are clearly morally wrong.  Reagan was the last one who had the courage to call evil what it is and to do what was right even when it wasn’t popular.  I don’t know if Trump is in that league, but I think he is more aware of the right course for this country, at least in regard to economics and foreign policy, than Obama ever could be.  

The sad thing is back in the 90’s I didn’t think it could get any worse than Bill Clinton.  I was absolutely shocked at the dress-stain incident even though Clinton’s foreign policy (or the lack thereof) was even more devastating to the country than the shame he brought to the Oval Office.   Even so, if someone were to compare Clinton vs. Obama, I hate to say it, but I would take Bill Clinton in a heartbeat (which is disturbing clear down to my conservative Republican soul.)  If there is worse than Obama, and given human nature there is (even though we have not seen it in an American President, and I hope we never do) but- humanity gave us Stalin, Mao and Hitler after all.  I hope people aren’t dumb enough to vote for him/her.

One thing I also noted on our trip to the Henry Ford Museum was an exhibit on 80’s ephemera in which there was a Marlboro Lights 100’s pack, (now I don’t see that as historically worthy, but I smoked my share back then, so maybe so) and a collection of old vinyl records to die for by- Boston, Foreigner, The Police, Iron Maiden, Journey, and many other good ones.  The album art was so much better back then.  Someone actually had to draw them instead of just getting into some computer program and playing with it to make some funky design.   I still say the Journey Departure cover is one of the best:

We thought Defender was a “futuristic” video game.  Then again, we actually took quarters and went to the arcade to play video games and pinball. 

I still think it would be a much better world if Reagan were in the White House, and Neal Schon still had his fro.

Makes me wish it were 1981 again…only not as a geeky 12 year old who got beat up every day.  If it were 1981 and I knew what I do now it would be interesting.  I could have a lot of fun with that.

Speaking of Journey, I decided to go ahead and get my ticket for the show on August 5, even though it is at Crew Stadium (outside.)  I don’t generally like to go to outside shows because of the lack of A/C, but it starts at 7PM, so at least it’s not in the heat of the day.  Journey only makes it to Columbus every couple of years or so, and they aren’t getting any younger.  Neal Schon is pushing 60, Jonathan and Ross are over 60, and Arnel and Deen are both over 40, and given the lifespans of rock musicians, that’s not a comforting thought.  I should take any opportunity to see them that I can get. Foreigner and Night Ranger (also very good bands live) are opening for them, so this is a show worth having to contend with stygian heat and/or the prospect of torrential rain. The nice thing about this show is that it will be an older crowd.  Usually the over 40 set is not into throwing things, fighting or stealing stuff- and it’s reserved seats- so barring weather extremes, it should be a pleasant evening. 

Jerry has been on yet another trip on the self-pity express.  I don’t feel sorry for him.  He brings his own misery upon himself.  I do try to find the humor in it, otherwise I’d have to throttle him. 

Last night he decided to go to the hell hole again.  He staggered in around 10PM which was nice.  I had a quiet evening until he came home.  The best thing for me to do is to pretend I’m asleep.  He knows better than to try to wake me up- even when he’s shitfaced, usually- because I am rather nasty when I’m disturbed late at night.  If he sees that I’m awake he will torment me, and I’ll never get to bed, but if I stay under the radar he will usually prattle on to the walls (or Isabel if she is in view) about various unintelligible nonsense for an hour or so until he passes out.  I got lucky last night.  He was sprawled across the bed, pants down, snoring and near comatose before 11. 

Jerry has had many shitfaced conversations with poor Isabel.  According to him, she’s the only one who understands him when he’s shitfaced.  I never knew that cats could understand the ramblings of the insanely drunk. 

I should put a collar on Isabel with a speaker in it.  When Jerry’s shitfaced and talks to her, I could have her reply through her collar speaker.  It would be a hoot.

Jerry: “Whaats aff? Gotta pith…”  (falling over something)

Isabel: “Go to bed, shit head!”

Jerry: “Where’s foooooooooood?”

Isabel: “Shut up, or it’s gonna be up your ass.” 

That could be funny.  Isabel can out run him, and she always has the option of disappearing down the cat hole (there’s a cat-sized hole in the basement door for cat access so they can use the litter box, but the dogs can’t get to the litter box and use it as a snack bar) when she’s had enough of his “conversation.”

Dear God: I like to be lazy and watch tv and eat food

 

 

 

This kid’s prayer is positively hilarious, which is why I had to pass it along:

I like to be lazy and watch tv and eat food.

Oh, Steve-o… are you sure this lady didn’t get your sermon note by mistake?

This is definitely a Dude Prayer. No female would write a prayer like this, especially one raised by an old school Catholic mother who made you feel guilty for not being thankful for day old tuna casserole served over burnt mashed potatoes with big black flakes in them.  (How many times did I hear,”You should thank God you HAVE food!” and Mom meant it.)  No female I know would have written this prayer, regardless of age, not even a girl raised in a more “Jesus loves me” type Protestant tradition.  

I remember if you were doing an assignment on prayer for CCD- first you would go with the standard rote prayers such as the Our Father and Hail Mary.  Those were Safe Prayers.  If you had to make up your own prayers, you pretty much came up with the obligatory prayers for the conversion of heathens (i.e. Protestants…) and for starving children in Africa.  If you had the gall to write a prayer asking God for a pony, or a prayer asking God to send your sadistic older siblings to Africa with the starving kids, then Sister Mary Refrigerator Perry (and I think she was actually bigger than the football player and a lot more ugly) would call your Mom and you would be dragged to Confession so you could tell Father Whoever Was Hearing Confessions That Day how evil and selfish you were.   

Father Furey was the only priest with a sense of humor.  Everyone wanted to get Father Furey at Confession time.  He would usually laugh and tell you to pray to the Holy Spirit to help you do better. I think if Jesus had been a priest He would have been like Father Furey.  He had a lot of compassion for human frailty, especially kids’.  The other priests weren’t usually as forgiving, and one in particular would go on and on about all the stuff you have to do to cut down your time in purgatory.  (I became a Lutheran in high school, BTW…Martin Luther had a point- 95 of them, to be specific!)

I would never have written out a prayer as an assignment in CCD that would make any insinuation that I might be proud of the fact that I occasionally indulge in any of the Seven Deadly Sins (Pride, Greed, Envy, Anger, Lust, Gluttony and Sloth), let alone both gluttony and sloth.  I did not want Mom to get a phone call from Sister Mary Refrigerator Perry (the director of Religious Education,) for any reason, and I tried to avoid going to Confession any more than the one time a month when Mom made us go.   My childhood prayers mostly consisted of asking God to forgive the sins I couldn’t remember doing so I wouldn’t die and go straight to hell, and asking Him not to send me to hell for wishing my sisters would either run away or drop dead.   I remember when I was reminded to pray, thanking God for puppies and kittens, and thanking Him for those few and far between days when my sisters didn’t have the opportunity to beat the hell out of me.  Hell was quite the ongoing theme in my childhood.  Prayer, and religion in general, to my childhood mind, was all about avoiding hell.

There is so much more to Christianity than avoiding hell.  I appreciate the kid’s honesty though.  Who doesn’t want to watch TV and eat? 

Jesus told the disciples to let the little children come to Him- not to scare them away with hellfire.  I believe there is a literal hell, and Jesus Himself said that apart from Him that’s where I would be headed,  but there is so much more to God and life and relating than simply avoiding hell.  I would rather come to Jesus just like this little boy did- honestly.  I am one of those people who has done a lot of theological questioning over the years.  Mom was none too thrilled when I joined the ranks of the “heathens” (to be fair, Catholics now refer to Protestants as “separated brethren,” which is a little nicer sounding than “heathen”) but I had to be honest with my own heart, my own relationship with God and how He is helping me understand it.  There were too many things specifically in Catholicism that I couldn’t reconcile in my heart and mind to honestly profess to be Roman Catholic.  I’m certainly not the model Christian by any stretch of the imagination, but my upbringing forced me to ask questions- to “seek, knock and ask” because I saw so many apparent contradictions between my very old school Vatican I Catholic mother and my very fundamental old time Baptist grandmother.  I come to find out that neither “side” is completely “right” or completely “wrong.”  They share far more in common than most people realize.  No one “side” has a corner on the truth- and the starting point is that of the little child.  Honesty.  The little child doesn’t get the starving kids in Africa.  I know I did wish a lot of evil on both of my sisters.  I liked eating and watching TV as much as the next person.  The cool part about this is God already knows that, but He wants to love and work through us anyway.  We come to Him as we are and then HE makes us what He created us to be.

Now that’s an honest prayer!