assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy, miscellaneous drivel

A Timely Technology Tutorial

headphones

There are wireless, waterproof headphones available that can help you to honor both my serenity and your listening pleasure.  They are not expensive.

Please consider buying a set.

Ok.  I admit I have a huge problem with having my personal space invaded.  That should come as no surprise to those who know me.  Even to the majority of the people I deal with everyday who have no idea that I am autistic (or who are even aware of what high-functioning autism is) it’s obvious I am not a warm and fuzzy grabby-kissy type.  I deal with people best sparingly, and at greater than arm’s length.  It’s not you.  It’s me.

When I go to the “Y” early in the morning (and by early morning, I mean 5:15 AM when the place opens) I have a few simple objectives- to swim laps, do strength training in the pool, shower, dress and get the hell on my way.  I like to do these things in as much peace and quiet as possible. I wear earplugs in the pool for two reasons- one, so I don’t get water in my ears, and two, because they play that odious pop radio station that is somehow considered “work appropriate” but has obnoxiously fake cheery DJs and is a constant reminder to me that yes, the 80’s had bad music too, and some people are still playing it.  Along with bad pop music from the 90’s and 2000’s as well.

Given that I am both autistic (which can make me sensitive to things other people don’t notice) and that I used to play music, I understand why I am a bit picky about what I choose to listen to. I don’t try to make it an issue, and I don’t impose my personal choices on others.  I am sure a solid majority of women would not like to be treated to Metallica’s Battery at full volume at 6:30AM in the shower, so please don’t subject me to The Chipmunks on Crack do Cindy Lauper’s Greatest Hits or whatever that horrible shit is- regardless of the time of day.

This being said, I think it is incredibly rude for people to randomly pollute the air with whatever dreck they find appealing, especially in public spaces- such as a public shower. That’s one place where playing Vomitrocious Hip Hop Dance Fiesta as rendered by Spanky Fartwhistle and the WTF Orchestra cranked up as high as your phone speakers will go is highly inappropriate.  I can’t account for your vapidity, tone deafness, or your bad taste, but I shouldn’t have to suffer for it either.

Yes, there are wireless waterproof headphones available for virtually any budget.  This piece of technology was developed precisely for you, oh, early morning connoisseurs of crappy music.  Please consider using them.

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assorted rants, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, miscellaneous drivel, theology

Gruß vom Krampus (Greetings from the Krampus)

Gruss_vom_Krampus

Krampus knows who is naughty.  Oh, yes he does.

When it comes to holiday mythology, Krampus is a blast from the Bavarian past.  Those pagans had some pretty weird myths that persist even to this day.

Today the common wisdom is we don’t want to scare little Jimmy or Janie around the holidays, and heaven forbid we use anything involving Christmas gifts (or the absence thereof) to bribe children into good behavior.  We wouldn’t want to give the little critters nightmares or saddle them with performance anxiety, now would we?  We just want everyone to get his or her 12th place trophy, so nobody has to endure any of the humiliation that is rightfully deserved when one’s performance completely sucks.  That goes right along with that old standby,”Stay behind with the rest of the class,” and all of that happy PC horseshit that has put most of the American educational system squarely in the shitter.

homeschool-domination

Because a parent with the motivation to home school won’t take your shit, or your excuses, kids.  If I had to do it over again…I would not have subjected my son to public schools (even though they weren’t quite as bad then.)

Heaven forbid we do any damage to his or her precious little self-esteem- even if by sheltering children we consign them to a life of mediocrity and allow them to become habitual freeloaders and whiners and just plain people who suck.

Back in the dark ages (rural Ohio in the 1970s…) it was more than OK to hang the fear of no Christmas gifts over children’s heads.  You could scare kids in any way imaginable  to make them behave, as long as it didn’t leave any marks, bruises or bleeding that would be visible in public.

He knows when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.

He knows when you’ve been bad or good…and he’s here for your soul to take!

Enter-Sandman-metallica-33942182-1271-613

Ok, so I may have confused Krampus with Freddy Krueger (I did have quite a thing for 80’s slasher flicks back in the day) but it’s sort of the same concept.

I can agree that keeping a child in a constant state of terror has its disadvantages, especially when one factors in stress-induced illnesses, but as far as behavior control goes, you can’t beat fear.  I spent most of my childhood scared shitless of virtually everything, but the upside was, I was quiet and didn’t cause trouble.  I was mortally afraid to cause trouble, because in my world even cutting a popcorn fart would bring down the Wrath of God.   In my mother’s economy farting was considered a sin that you had to bring to Confession.  Really. Farting.

The bad thing was that I got in trouble even for doing things most parents would consider “right” – such as hiding in a corner reading and trying to remain invisible so I wouldn’t get the shit beat out of me by my sisters and the neighborhood kids.  Most parents would be delighted if their children were quiet and unobtrusive to the point of blending into the wall.

Blending-into-Backgrounds-600x578

I got really good at making myself scarce. It is a valuable skill even today.  Especially today.

Of course, as in all things, balance and moderation is the key.  It disturbs me that the message to kids today is that no matter what you do, we just luv, luv, you anyway, and we think you’re fantastic and excellent and perfect, even if your only skill is sucking up valuable oxygen.  Nobody ever dares to tell a child his or her performance sucks even when it clearly does. When parents and teachers purvey the 12th place awards and all that feel good nonsense, it sends a message loud and clear that ending up being 40+ wearing Hello Kitty jammies and playing video games in your parents’ basement is a perfectly viable path to pursue.

My parents took the opposite extreme.  They took the noblesse oblige narrative to a level unheard of today.  I got the constant covert message that, “You suck even when you excel, because you can do better.”  I got grounded and lost basic privileges for “B” grades, for instance.

obsessed

Most of the time this works out for me.  Unless someone wants me to do something I utterly hate, or anything late at night.

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creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

The Nexus of the Crisis, and the Origin of Storms

hindenburg

I wish I would have thought of the title line, but it’s actually from a song by Blue Oyster Cult (later covered by Metallica) called “Astronomy.” It’s probably a good thing I don’t have (and I certainly don’t need, nor want) access to the psychotropic drugs that were available in the mid 1970s, but people came up with some hella cool song lyrics while stoned on that stuff.  Now it seems the pop stars and rappers are more worried about whether or not the words rhyme, and/or if cop-killing and sister-raping can be successfully included in the story line.  Apparently today’s drugs just don’t motivate good song lyrics.

I like that old psychedelic stuff.  The song lyrics, that is.

I found last Saturday’s short hiatus and respite to be most energizing.  I love it when I can turn off the world for awhile, and I need to do it a lot more often than I do.

Tonight I have to do something rather distasteful, although it does involve a short solitary road trip (that part of the adventure should be pretty good.)  I have probably at one time or another told the story of my grandmother’s twin sisters – the ones who, when my great-grandmother died, were about 70 years old. The both of them were rather eccentric, and their tastes were largely indulged, as they were both married to relatively wealthy men.  I never really liked either of them very much, but I acquired a little bit of contempt toward them when they got in a fist fight over my great-grandmother’s paltry belongings.

01351~Muffled-Screams-Posters

70 year old twins duking it out over a bunch of worthless old lady kitsch is a little bit over the top.   I’ve walked past better stuff at garage sales.  Great-Grandma was not a wealthy woman, and she didn’t need a lot of stuff.  None of her stuff was particularly valuable.  Neither of the twins needed any of that stuff.  It was about possession and control.  I was never close to either of my great-aunts, and after that I never really wanted to be.

Witnessing that little melee convinced me that I never want to fight over dead people’s stuff, even if it’s really good stuff.  My sisters will cannibalize my parents’ stuff, should they both outlive my parents, and they will fight over it, though the oldest one will ultimately end up with everything she wants.  If I am still alive, I won’t be there to stand back and watch.  They can have it all.  My Dad had to hide a lot of Grandma’s stuff- as well as all of Grandpa’s WWII medals and other memorabilia- to keep my oldest sister from taking everything.  What she wants, she takes.  Unless she can’t find it.

dropdead

The only reason I don’t drop dead is that I don’t think my son can stand the visual of my sisters fighting over my bras and underwear.

The older twin (I think she was 98) finally went to the Great Beyond last Saturday, and the calling hours are tonight.  I can’t take off work tomorrow to go to the funeral (OK by me) but I at least have to show up at the calling hours to keep my mother from having a coronary, and so Dad might have one sane person to talk to.  Mom’s relatives are downright weird, and they are the huggy-kissy type which is positively nauseating to me.  But politeness dictates.. so I will show up.  Briefly.  Very briefly.

I wish funeral homes had drive-thrus.  I don’t think the idea would catch on in Ohio, where people make a really big deal out of funerals and wakes, but I wish that at least that the one I have to go to tonight had a drive-thru.  Sign the book and get the hell out…

drive thru funeral

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, misanthropy, miscellaneous drivel, political commentary

Deep and Philosophical Questions- Or Not!

spongebob tampon

I just about spit coffee out my nose when I saw this meme.

twinkie

Which one will last longer?  My carcass or an unopened Twinkie?

It is fabled that Twinkies will last over thirty years if unwrapped, but the official word from the Hostess company is that they only have a shelf life of 45 days.  I may only have a shelf life of 45 days. Who knows?

Jerry has a thing for Twinkies right now, which is good because at least there is something he will eat.  I’ve never seen anyone as picky about food in my life.  I shouldn’t lose my patience so easily with him because I know he is dealing with chronic pain and illness, but sometimes he can really get on my last nerve.  I don’t play well with others to begin with, so I have to cut him some slack.  It helps if I get a bit of ivory tower time so I can recharge and don’t have to be constantly on guard.  That’s my particular weakness- I can only deal with the rest of humanity in very small doses.  Age and time is not improving that peculiarity of mine at all. If anything I need more time alone to simply stay sane, and that is a disturbing trend.

stfu!

I  don’t know it all.  But shutting up is usually a default for me.  I’m really good at the silent treatment.

Jerry went to the campground and won’t be back until tomorrow.  So I am enjoying a little secret pleasure of blasting some Metallica (which he can’t stand.)  Normally I am not a hard core metal head- but I have my moments.  I’ll probably switch back to some Journey or some of Neal Schon’s solo stuff in awhile to mellow out.  But for now, I am having some fun with James Hetfield asking the question, “Am I Evil?”  Yes.  Humanity is evil.  There you go.

jameshetfield

James Hetfield can actually sing rather than scream.

meow

littering and

Smokin’ the Reefer…

I think weed should not only be legal, they should just hand it out randomly.  Pass it around like the junk mail circulars one gets in the mail every day. Why?  Do potheads go out and commit random crime?  Hell no. They get mellow, call the pizza dude, eat everything in the fridge and then blissfully pass out.  Nice and mellow and thank God, quiet.  Potheads aren’t out there doing violent crime.  They’re on the couch, laughing their ass off to whatever History Channel documentary (the all- Hitler-all-the-time-network, I think sometimes) or whatever Monty Python flick they can find on Netflix.  Until they pass out at about 8 or 9 pm.  That’s my kind of partier.

I can’t wait for the state of Ohio to get with the 21st century and legalize pot.  I don’t care for pot at all- it makes me tired and hungry and depressed.  I’ve not bothered with pot since I was in college back in the 80s.  I have a hard enough time staying awake without smoking something that puts me to sleep.  I never enjoyed the pot buzz, but I can clearly see the advantages of smoking pot for people like Jerry who are both hyper and deal with chronic pain. It could even help with him chronically being an asshole late at night.  Smoking a nice big bowl of ganga might be enough for him to settle down and shut up and pass out early so I can get some sleep.  I don’t do late nights worth a shit, and I’m really tired of getting woke up at all hours of the night listening to him whine and bitch- and play Eminem.

legalize-medical-marijuana

Reason #11-

So Jerry can get high, pass out early and I can get some mother effing sleep!

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

A Clockwork Heart, Burned Out, and Possibly Quite Nuts

clockwork heart

I’ve always admired the art of clockwork.

I was a holdout on analog watches (watches with actual moving pieces inside them- and imagine it- hands!) for a long time.  I wore an old windy-type analog watch (and that old Timex from 1970-whatever still works) for many years even when digital watches were easy to get.  I still have a nice Fossil analog watch I wear on occasion, although it has a quartz battery movement which has fewer moving pieces and is more accurate than traditional clockwork, and doesn’t need winding.

There’s something to be said for the representation of time as movement, because time does move.  A metronome moves (at least the traditional ones do) back and forth keeping time as it moves, and as the rhythm of music moves it keeps time.  There’s something about that tick-tick-tick of a conventional metronome that is comforting and maddening at the same time.

Metronome

Even with my bad coordination I could play music.  As a bass player – and this has been a very long time ago- it was infinitely important to feel the rhythm and play along with the drummer.  Drummers are generally sort of weird people- but perhaps that’s because they are in tune with natural rhythm more than most.  I don’t claim to understand it, but regardless of the instrument, the rhythm has to be there first, a skeleton to clothe with the melodies and harmonies and chords.

Although I did enjoy playing bass, it got to be too painful for my hands and wrists and shoulders with the joint damage I have.  I am a singer- the voice is still there- though I don’t use it much anymore.  I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t matter if a woman has a good voice if she doesn’t have the body or the stage presence to go along with it.  I might enjoy singing, but there’s no way in hell I could ever make a living doing it.  There’s no visual to go along with the auditory.  I gave up on that a long time ago too.  I can sing in church.  That’s good enough, and it keeps me out of trouble.

metallica

Dudes do metal better than chicks anyway.

The coolness of Metallica aside, right now I’m fried.  Fried in so very many ways that I can’t see daylight.

burnout1

I don’t like admitting weakness, but it’s harder and harder to keep up that “iron guts” faςade these days.

I’ve been reading a book (The Joshua Code by O. S. Hawkins) that gives some commentary and encourages one to memorize a Bible verse per week in each of its 52 chapters.  This week’s verse is John 11:35, which is the shortest verse in the Bible-  “Jesus wept.”

There are times that for the love of God I wish I could weep.  Sometimes I think the reason why I find it so incredibly difficult to cry is that I’m afraid once I get started that the tears won’t stop.  I may be an emotional desert, but when it does rain it pours.  Worse yet for me, the tears come largely unbidden, without any kind of reason, and  are virtually impossible to control.

As if control were everything?  As if I have control over anything?

It’s curious that in my own personal economy, showing emotion=weakness.  I don’t like to be seen as fragile, human or vulnerable even though I know good and damned well I am all of the above.

Maybe that’s why I’d rather sing.  It’s sort of a stealthy way of showing emotion, after all- unless I’m singing something that for some reason sets off the tears- and that happens too.

corolla

Oh, and my new ride just came in.  2014 Corolla S Plus.  Black metallic, black interior…

I wasn’t going to do it.  Until I discovered just how feasible it is.  It helps not having a credit rating that’s in the toilet. I’m going tonight to drive it and hopefully get paperwork, etc. done.  There’s nothing wrong with my Yaris (and getting a new car wasn’t entirely my idea) but having pretty much the same drivetrain I had in my Celica (which was a 1.8L 5 speed manual) in a sedan is going to be fun.  Especially because this is a VVTi 1.8L 6 speed manual, which to the non-techie means I gain about 40 HP over what I have in the Yaris (Cliff’s notes- more power!).  With every possible toy known to man, except for the automatic, which I absolutely don’t want anyway.  From what I see on the build sheet this car was custom built for the 13%.

* 13% of American drivers prefer manual transmissions, which means we generally don’t get many options when compared with the 87% who for some whacked out reason don’t like to shift when they drive.

I’m only going to live once, and it’s not like it’s a Porsche.  It’s a Corolla…as in mom sedan, but with a bit of a twist.  If I’d really wanted to go over the edge I’d have gone for the Scion FR-S.  But I need the 4 doors, have a hard time seeing out of something that sits that low to the ground, and I don’t want to be cop bait.

fr-s

Tempting, but not very practical.

More on the new ride later- the Corolla- after I get to drive it.

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assorted rants, cougardom, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

Crappy Santa, My Awesome Playlists, and Whitey Tighties

santa toiletOk, this is just a little too “festive” for my house.

I wonder what Dr. Freud would have to say about this?  Is Santa a fecalphiliac?  This just screams, “Ho, Ho, Ho, come crap in my mouth!”

While this little toilet decorating set is cute in a sort of creepy way (my grandmother used to always put toilet seat covers and rugs and tank covers on her crapper) I don’t see it making it through Jerry and the Natty Splatters.  Poor Santa’s collar would be yellow in no time (because somebody can’t aim and won’t sit) and I have to have the plunger at the ready more than I would like to formally acknowledge.

I enjoy Christmas decorations, the kitschier, gaudier and tackier the better, but the bathroom is just an area in which the fixtures, let alone the decor, have a hard enough time surviving.  Jerry was raised by wolves, and his bathroom etiquette reflects his upbringing.  It is a rare day that I come home from work and the bathroom sink is not encrusted in face fur clippings and congealed toothpaste spittings.  It’s so much easier to clean the sink before that mess dries, but Jerry does not clean sinks.  I am doing good when he remembers to flush.

pigpenThankfully, though Jerry’s outward leavings might lead one to believe he’s a PigPen, his personal hygiene is impeccable.  He is just too lazy to clean up filth that does not directly touch his own body.

No good playlist is complete without some old, live Journey.  “Still They Ride” from the “Greatest Hits Live” album (1982-3) is pretty awesome.  Anything from the “Greatest Hits Live” album is pretty awesome, including “Mother, Father” and, well just all of it.  I am an incorrigible Journey fan and I admit it.  It’s my not so secret pleasure.  I’m still on the Jethro Tull kick lately too, as well as I’m enjoying The Babys “I’m Falling” and Rod Stewart’s “The First Cut is the Deepest.”

Then I’ll probably switch over to some Metallica (“Battery” and perhaps the “Unforgiven” trilogy) or maybe some Guns-n-Roses.  Or maybe Neal Schon’s “The Calling,” which I’ve been enjoying a lot as of late too.   He may have a creepy girlfriend, but Neal Schon is a hell of a guitar player.  I don’t understand his obsession with tall, anorexic thin creepy blonde chicks, but then he can afford anyone he really wants.  It’s sad, but frumpy old brunette women with the proportions of mutant trolls do not get significant others who buy them Bentleys, or who wine and dine them.  It’s hard to go fishing when you don’t have any bait.   Women like me are doing good to get a cranky old fart who screams about breakfast and the failing elastic in his whitey tighties, and whose only real purpose in life is to generate filth for me to clean up.  Someone has to do it, but it gets tedious, believe that.

All I can say to Jerry in response to the comment regarding failing elastic in the whitey tighties is, that if your balls really are scraping your knee caps, then it’s high time you cart your sorry ass over to Target (because I really loathe department stores anytime during the holidays, and I try to avoid them) and buy yourself a six pack or two of the Hanes whitey tighties you like.  It’s really possible for you to do that.

It is not against the law for men to buy whitey tighties for themselves, and it sure looks a hell of a lot less awkward for a dude to buy these than for me to go through the checkout at Target with a few packs of men’s skivvies.  I wonder how many cashiers have mistaken me for a she-male when I’ve replenished Jerry’s whitey tightie stash.  I mean, the guys at one dealership I worked for did have one of my technicians (granted, the tech I’m referring to is Chinese and he’s maybe 5’6″ and 100# soaking wet) convinced I used to be a man because I have big meaty man hands.  I do have big meaty man hands, even for an Anglo woman, so I can imagine my hands are really huge compared to an Asian woman.  But, I was born female and even had a child in (sort of) the normal way.  No Y chromosome action going on here.

whitey tightieNo, I can’t get him to wear boxers.  Pity.

So I keep on going.

drawing butts

I love sleeping.  I should be doing that, but my insomnia is getting the better of me tonight.

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assorted rants, cougardom, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

Victorian Death and Post-Mortem Photography, and Reworking the Wiring

I don’t know why, but I find post-mortem photography intriguing.  I know such a curiosity can be considered somewhat macabre- taking pictures of dead people is rather morbid and viewing them is even more so, but there is so much written in those pictures that is unsaid. 

Babies and children seem to be so over-represented in post-mortem pics, but the sad fact is that young children and infants routinely died of diseases that we either vaccinate against or that can be treated with antibiotics.  I’ve seen so many pics of bewildered looking mothers holding their dead babies for that final portrait.  It’s haunting even when one considers the high infant mortality rate of the time.  I’m sure the fact that it was a major accomplishment to get a child to live until his or her fifth birthday in those times did not make it any easier when infants died.

Today it is not as common to take pictures of dead people.  I took pics at Grandma’s funeral pretty much at Mom’s insistence (I will not post them) and more or less to remind myself why I do not want either the bad pink nightie treatment or an open casket funeral. Cremate my happy ass and put up a picture taken when I was still alive.  If anyone shows up, let them speculate on how nasty I looked at the hour of death or whether or not I looked better dead than alive.  Grandma, in spite of the funeral director’s art, did not “look good.”  Very few people do look good when they are laid out in a coffin getting ready to be sent off for the Big Sleep.  She died of either pancreatic cancer, liver failure, or congestive heart failure, or more likely, a combination of the effects of all three (she was 93, after all) and it was all the mortician could do to tone down the sick bright yellow glow of her skin.  They did a better job with Grandma than the funeral home who dolled up poor Aunt Ellen (I will never forget the Day-Glo orange lipstick,) but the restorative arts can only do so much.

I had to wonder about post-mortems where the dead dude (or chick) is standing.  The Victorians had a way around that too:

Sort of like a guitar stand for the dead.  This explains Keith Richards.  Screw the guitar, how about a stand to keep the guitarist vertical? Especially since he must be about 90 years old, and has probably been dead since 1980.

Now I know I am overworked and sleep deprived, but I like it like that.  I know better in a way, but today is the first day in a very long time that I actually came to work and wasn’t completely buried in more stuff than I can possibly get done.  Tomorrow will be different.  I should have asked to go home this PM since I really don’t have much to do, but the minute I do that, a.) I set a bad precedent for others, and b.) some sort of crisis will materialize that will turn into a full-blown cluster f— tomorrow.  Murphy’s Law is alive and well.

In all seriousness, I really do need to get a bit more balanced.  I have a really bad tendency to get focused on one thing and then I don’t really bother with anything else.  I’ve done that with overwork before and it wasn’t very good for my health.  Lately I’ve been living on Monsters and Subway and heavy metal which couldn’t be terribly good for a young kid, let alone a distressed old fossil such as me.  On the bright side, I am enjoying Metallica and Billy Squier and Queensryche and Led Zeppelin, so it can’t be all bad.

I’d like to get that EVO phone that Steve-o has been raving about that not only is Android-based, but has a camera in the front so you can have phone conversations and actually see who you’re talking to.  For the life of me I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would want to look at me on a phone screen, but to each his own.  I do want to be able to see my grandchild, which I think is the reason behind this logic.

The creepiest post-mortems are those where either the eyes are still open or the photographer paints them on later.  It’s pretty clear she’s dead, so what’s up with the open eyes and blank stare?

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, but this year I really haven’t had time to do anything fun.  I haven’t really had time to do anything fun all summer either, and now that winter is pretty much here I have to wonder where the time has gone.  I did get some time in the cougar pool and a couple of good road trips, so I should be satisfied with that.  However, I don’t see myself getting all hyped up for Christmas and all that as much as I would like to enjoy the season this year. 

I need to slow down, take a moment to simply be, and to repair the wiring, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

Too bad I had to take down the cougar pool.

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