Back to Nature, Hardware Salad, and “Mother” Does Not Start with “S”

Kids change a lot in the span of about ten years.  Ten year olds and (nearly) twenty year olds don’t really have much in common.  Ten years ago, Steve-o was collecting Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards. He slept with a night light until he was twelve because his evil biological grandmother decided he should sleep in a dark basement when he was four years old (that ended her visitations…) and that experience must have done something to traumatize him for a long, long time.  Admittedly my evil ex mother-in-law was pretty damned scary, even for adults.  I am glad she didn’t have life insurance on me and I didn’t have anything of any real value for her to inherit had I been stupid enough to put her in my will or make her executor of my estate.   No wonder her son turned out to be the poster child for OCD and all sorts of other psychological abnormalities.  (must…not…offend…Mother…)  I think she still has some pretty hefty life insurance policies on my ex and she would score big if he dropped dead.  She is probably still sitting on the million or so that she inherited when her various relatives all died- and left all their cash and other assets to her.  But enough about my evil ex  mother-in-law.  She is quite fine where she is, with her Hardware Salad and her measuring cup.

Today Steve-o is collecting Snap-On tools, various performance upgrade parts for his ’68 VW Bug, and empty Jagermeister bottles.  I think he has moved on from sleeping with a night light on to sleeping on compliant females, but even to this day he does not like to sleep either alone or in the dark.  Creepy.  I have to wonder if the old bat tried to make him eat Hardware Salad too.

I know I wanted to get off the subject of my ex mother-in-law, but Hardware Salad deserves a bit of an explanation.  I think she was trying to do Waldorf Salad or something of that nature, but Hardware Salad, as near as I can tell, included:

Pretzels

Carrot peelings

Apple pieces, core and seeds included

Red Grapes, including pits (I assume because non-pitted grapes are cheaper)

Assorted Nuts (nut assortments are cheaper than just walnuts)

Loads of greasy mayonnaise (acck, acck, acck, my throat is filling up with snot drainage just thinking about it)

Celery

Sauerkraut?  I swear that’s what it was- as a substitute for coconut???  I have no earthly idea.

Marshmallows (????WTF??)

Vinegar

All of the above is set in lime Jell-o, (???) and topped with a tiny teaspoon of watery, off-brand Cool Whip.

Between the grape pits and the pretzels and the occasional apple seed, (not to mention celery and I suspect sauerkraut,)  this had to be the most vile dessert ever known to man.  Thankfully on the rare occasion she invited you to dinner, she measured out portions with a measuring cup so that she could budget for every penny she spent on food.  It was only necessary to gag down precisely 1/2 cup of this stuff for politeness’ sake, and I’m assuming that one teaspoon more of it would induce projectile vomiting.  I only gagged it down because I was taught from earliest childhood that when you are a guest at someone’s home you eat what is served, even if it is lacquer thinner with bat turds in it. To do otherwise would be rude, and the Wicked Witch actually thought her Hardware Salad (I forget what she actually called it) was the best dessert ever.   I don’t puke easily, but that stuff was nasty.  I cringe to this day just thinking about it.  It’s sad that after all these years I can still see and actually taste this disaster of a dessert. Acck.  I hope poor Steve-o was never subjected to it.  The Graham crackers were bad enough.  It would have been OK if she’d had enough sense not to give a 20 month old toddler the entire box.

Steve-o looked a lot different before the Puberty Fairy  Demon hit too.  He had a pleasant soprano voice not unlike my own, complete with Central Ohio Newscaster Accent.  On the rare occasions when I would answer his phone (cruel, that, but fun in a mildly malicious sort of way) his buddies would mistake me for him.  Oh, the things his buddies would say to me until they realized it was not Steve-o, but Steve-o’s Mom, which brought about a distinct change in their subject matter and tone.   Then he woke up one morning six inches taller, with an unfamiliar and ominous sounding baritone voice, a hair style reminiscent of Robert Plant in 1971, 7/8″ earrings, back hair, a libido to rival Casa Nova, and an Attitude from hell.  That testosterone is pretty powerful stuff, apparently.

What an odd resemblance.  Above is Steve-o in the outhouse, below is Robert Plant sometime in the early 70’s.

There’s a long, long way between pic#1 and pic#2, believe that.  He parted with the Robert Plant hairstyle shortly after this pic was taken, although the earrings and the funky beard remain.

He looks better with short hair, and even maybe a little less evil.  If he does bother to read my blog, which I doubt, because he would have had a major tizzy fit about the Feces Fountain Incident being recorded for posterity, and for all to see, I’m sure he won’t like me using his Facebook pic.  Oh, well.  If you post your pic online without explicitly stating that no one else can use it, I guess you’re asking for it.  At least I didn’t Photo Shop it first and do something outrageous like put Boy George’s head on his body or something.

I am trying to decide which annual plants to put in my flower beds.  I think I will stick with wave petunias- they did well the last couple of times I bothered to plant flowers.  The rose bushes have a lot of buds on them and I am looking forward to the roses blooming.  That’s as close to nature as I like to get.  Flowers- and the Cougar Pool when it gets here. I am looking forward to that.

I Need a Video Camera (if only for my own entertainment) and Why Dogs are Better Than Men

I have a very rude pic of Jerry experiencing the aftermath of a particularly stupid drunk and stupid episode, but I have enough decency to keep that in my own private collection.  I thought about posting it for a moment, but that’s a little worse than my usual passive-aggressive revenge.  That borders on aggressive-aggressive revenge, which I’m a little too soft hearted to engage in even when I know there is little chance of getting caught. There is no actual nudity involved, but he is down to his whitey tighties, and I figure nobody needs that visual.  Nor do they need to see the reason why I spend so much time getting intimately acquainted with the rug shampooer.  Suffice to say that the dogs are housebroken, so unless they have an attack of Montezuma’s Revenge, it’s not the dogs.

I spend a lot of time among members of the species canis lupus familiaris, and even though I trust my dogs more than I trust any fellow humans, it’s good to remember that as far as taxonomy goes (the naming and classification of species) the domestic dog is a subspecies of canis lupus– the grey wolf.   Dogs can be dangerous if they are ill-treated and/or one fails to respect their strength (a 65# dog can easily take down a 250# man, for example) and the potential lethality of their bites.  More humans die as a result of dog attacks than from snake bites.  Even so, I believe the trust I have in my own dogs is warranted.  There is no love more sincere than the love of a good dog.

It’s fascinating that one species can have so many differences in its members.  I am not the reigning expert in scientific matters by a long shot, but the current theory is that dogs have such a high rate of mutations due to what are called tandem repeatssequences of DNA that repeat themselves multiple times.  Of course we humans have made some genetic diseases in dogs worse by limiting the gene pools (i.e. line breeding.)  I don’t have any purebred dogs at this time- but both of our now departed purebred GSDs, Kayla and Heidi, ended up having to be put down due to rear limb ataxia that progressed to near paralysis due to probable degenerative myelopathy.  This is a genetic disease in GSDs and I am sure that it is more prevalent than is reported.  Since DM doesn’t show up until a dog is 7-14 years old, no one would know if a breeding pair are carriers until they have already reached the end of their reproductive life.  Today there is a genetic test, but not all individuals who carry the gene develop full blown DM.    Even Lilo and Sheena, who are crossbreeds, have hip dysplasia, which is primarily a genetic disease as well.  Most dogs, purebred or crossbreed, carry at least one genetic defect.  Lovely Clara, who is an ideal canine specimen in many ways- and actually has good hips- was born with an umbilical hernia, which would have automatically made her unsuitable for breeding (though she would have been unsuitable for breeding anyway as she is a crossbreed.)

Despite the capricious nature of canine inheritance, and the potential that dogs have to be dangerous if ill-handled, I prefer the company of dogs to humans.  Maybe that’s a bad thing to admit, but dogs are better than men for a number of reasons.

Dogs (generally) don’t drink beer.

Dogs don’t smoke.

Dogs generally don’t dirty up laundry.

Dogs will eat what they are served.

Dogs are always happy to see me.

Dogs don’t care what I look like.

Dogs are always great listeners.

After this morning I am tempted to embark on a bit of aggressive-aggressive revenge on Jerry.  I have threatened for years to video record his drunk and stupid incidents for his review (also for sharing with friends and pretty much most of the free world via You Tube) but I haven’t wanted to come off of the $$ for a video camera.  If I have any tax money left over (yeah right) I may contemplate planting a couple of Jerry-cams in strategic areas.  I will have to have audio too because the comments, as well as the thuds and crashes of drunk and stupid fallings down, are half of the fun.

I am not one of those people who buys the common wisdom of  “alcoholism is a disease.”  What a crock of shit.  I used to be a binge drinker myself.  Drunkenness is a decision.  You either decide to suck down those beers (or in my instance, liquor and/or wine- I never could stand beer) or you decide you are going to stay sober.  If habitual drunkenness is a “disease” then why isn’t smoking considered a “disease?”  Nobody feels sorry for smokers (nor should they- even though smoking is a LOT harder to get free of than drinking) and society makes no provision for the smoker to indulge his/her habit.  Why don’t we treat drunkenness like smoking and just stop tolerating it and making excuses for it?   In my world, as I was growing up, bad behavior carried consequences.  You make a bad choice you pay the consequences.  Get shitfaced and act stupid, then end up as a worldwide laughing stock on You Tube.  I’m thinking about it but will probably be too tender hearted to carry it out.

Still Sucking Up Valuable Oxygen, the Beauty of a Lean Christmas, and Being the Stealth Cougar

This morning I was reminded that God must have some purpose for me as I’m still sucking up valuable oxygen.  Perhaps it is to keep on depositing money in Steve-o’s account.   It’s always creepy to hear of a person near my own age with no known health issues to simply drop dead for what appears to be no reason.  In a way- though I’ve been warned I probably won’t make it to old age-it makes me wonder if I am going to end up one of those people who still have a mind but their body goes all to hell.  My great-grandmother (who died at age 94 and was more mentally sound than I am now until she had the stroke that killed her) had a plethora of bodily ailments- rheumatoid arthritis, heart issues, lung cancer (she was a hard core smoker for 40+ years,) breast cancer, you name it -but until the last two weeks of her life her mind was all there.  Then you have the old people whose bodies seem to hang in there just fine but their minds are gone and they turn crazy as a shithouse rat.  If I were prone to wagering, which I am generally not, I would say my body will go before my mind does.  I can’t say which is worse.  It would suck to lose your mind, but as they say, “ignorance is bliss.”  Some of the happiest people I’ve seen are mentally challenged, and I’ve seen some people with genuinely brilliant intellects who are emotional and spiritual shipwrecks.  Perhaps the wisest answer is to trust that God will get you through with the hand He deals you.  Now I know why I don’t play poker.

I am holding fast to my vow to avoid buying people a bunch of crap they don’t need and that I can’t afford.  I am enjoying the simplicity of my Charlie Brown disaster tree although I did take the time to fix the lights so that they all light and they blink when they’re supposed to, at least for now.  I will buy the nieces and nephews loads of candy- since they are still young enough to be able to enjoy it- and that will be about it.  Anyone who doesn’t like that is cordially invited to send Steve-o money to free my finances up so I can spend money on something other than him, taxes, insurance or scripts.

I have to admit I still enjoy the eye candy and I really don’t think the young dudes realize it.  I just look old enough to be your Mom.  I know, I’m harmless enough, but in a way it’s sort of depressing.  Most guys my age and older don’t offer much of an appealing visual.  There are some notable exceptions (Mike Rowe…) but what woman wouldn’t find him fine to look at?  I guess for safety’s sake I should only be looking at dudes from afar because I know just how easy I can be tempted should an opportunity arise.  The good thing is my frumpy looks and rather boring appearance are good for keeping me chaste if nothing else.  The bottom line is I don’t get offers, which is probably a good thing.  This old white chick is extremely low mileage, probably for the same reason Ford Edsels weren’t particularly popular.  Even though they ran, they were ugly and awkward and not terribly fun to drive.  Such is my fate.

I had the opportunity to embarrass the snot out of Jerry Saturday night.  One of his buddies from the shop wanted Jerry to procure him an Asian porno flick.  I’m not terribly impressed by porn- most of the time it’s just plain gross, the music is horrible and the plots are contrived- but what the hey, we were out on Morse Rd. anyway.  So I took him to the Lion’s Den.  The couple who manage the store were very gregarious, displaying toys and telling him which movies were on sale and so forth.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him turn such a bright shade of red.  I could tell he was trying to look away as I was casually perusing the “toy” section.  We got the movie and got out fairly quickly but I have to say I enjoyed seeing him so embarrassed.  He didn’t offer to buy me any toys while we were there, which was kind of lame, since nature has dealt him a rather crappy hand in that department.    Let’s just say for politeness sake I tolerate involuntary celibacy, but I don’t enjoy it.  I really shouldn’t blame nature for his ED either- beers don’t drink themselves and cigarettes don’t smoke themselves-and drinking and smoking both are linked to ED.  As I said, he could at least procure me some battery operated substitutes, but go figure. 

I am reminded of a medical joke: A little old man goes to the Dr. for a complete physical. The Dr. asks the little old man to show him his sex organs.  The little old man wiggles his index finger and sticks out his tongue. 

Perhaps he doesn’t want to enhance my fantasy life any more than I do on my own.  It’s truly not funny although I try my best to find humor in it, lest his ED problem become yet more fodder to feed my discontent and depression.  Living with Mr. High Maintenance would be a lot easier if we had any kind of a sex life.  It’s particularly frustrating that he refuses to seek medical help or to even to try alternative kinds of bedroom fun (i.e. toys,).  And he wonders why I sleep in a separate room, in my own bed.  Part of it is because I have to sleep on an incline due to my constantly draining sinuses- to keep me from drowning in my own snot- and that’s the official answer I give, but the real answer is I see little point in the inconvenience of sharing a bed (with a snoring smoker no less) unless there’s a some action going on every once in awhile. 

I have to move forward from this subject (I almost used the phrase “get off,” then thought better of it,) before I go from slight melancholy to full blown depression.

Suffice to say that for some reason the Good Lord is keeping  me breathing, even with my laundry list of  physical defects and medical issues, when others who appear perfectly healthy drop dead for no apparent cause.  No matter how much I may speculate and think it unfair that those who have so much to live for are taken out of the world in a seemingly untimely manner, and people like me who basically are just sucking up valuable oxygen and waiting to die linger on for no readily apparent reason, it’s not my judgment call.  Go figure.  I’m not in control and that’s a very good thing.  Ask not for whom the bell tolls.