Scary Bad Parenting, “Functional” is Not the Same as “Normal,” and Don’t Stifle My Creativity

Just blow that second-hand smoke all over your child’s developing lungs!

I have to admit, nothing contributes to the desire to chain smoke more than dealing with infants and toddlers, unless it’s dealing with automotive technicians.  At one time I had to contend with both, though in the end, chain smoking just feeds the nervous tension.  Thankfully I had taken a three-year hiatus from smoking, beginning a year and a half before the illustrious offspring arrived until about a year and a half after the illustrious offspring arrived. At least I didn’t knowingly contaminate the child whilst he was in the womb- mostly because I feared giving birth to a drooling slack-jawed cretin should I indulge in an aspartame-laden Diet Dr. Pepper, or a hit off a cigarette, or God forbid, a cup of coffee.  He’s potty trained, literate and gainfully employed, and he can pick his nose with his tongue!

I blame the tongue thing on the Sudafed.  One stinking Sudafed in week 3 of gestation, and the kid’s born tongue-tied.  Let that be a lesson.

Lávese las manos!  In NC, the obligatory employee bathroom instructions are only in English. In some parts of Ohio there’s 14 different languages on the sign – and there’s still millions of crusty people who don’t wash their hands in the bathroom.

I always wondered, since there’s dippy pictorial signs everywhere, either for the illiterate or the non-English speaking or both, why not a universal “wash your hands after using the crapper sign? ”  My art skills are pretty rudimentary, but here’s a thought:

Here’s my contribution for the betterment of humanity.  Enjoy, and wash your damned hands!

The cigarette jones is a strong compulsion, though. I know what possessed me to pick them back up.  I was stressed, sleep deprived, working a very shitty job with very shitty pay after I’d been promised all kinds of things that never materialized, and in the process of getting a divorce.  I was driving back from some backwater town running titles (which wasn’t what I was hired to do, but getting out is getting out) and happened to stop at a gas station for more coffee when I saw the Marlboro sign.  After three years of no smoking at all- from 1989-92, I bought a pack of Marlboro Menthol Light 100s and hot-boxed half the pack on the way back home.  I was a two-pack a day smoker for the next ten years, sometimes lighting one right off of the butt of the one I’d just smoked.  I apologize to Steve-o for letting him think that smoking was OK.  Strangely enough, he took them up three years after I’d quit (God willing for good) in 2002.  But he won’t smoke his cigs in that high faluting Audi, because he doesn’t want to “stink up the leather.”

No smoking in the Steve-o ride.  It might make the leather stink.

I’ll never make any sort of claim that I’m “normal.”  Functional, yes, but that’s not quite the same thing.  Rednecks piece together machinery and devices that are functional, but not exactly in the ways the designers had originally intended.

I don’t need no stinkin’ latches!  Though I think the bungees are holding the decklid and the rear fascia on too.

The Marion Walmart never disappoints as far as the panoply of redneck engineered motor vehicles in the parking lot.  Sadly this poor Pontiac is 1.) likely totalled and/or the one who hit it had no insurance or 2.) the one driving it when it was hit had no insurance, and making a police report would have cost him/her his/her license. Or, 3.) the driver of said Pontiac took the insurance settlement and spent it on crack.   If I were a betting person (which I’m not) I would wager on #3.  Perhaps it’s mean of me to photograph others’ misfortune, but it’s funny in a tragic sort of way.  I’ve driven my share of shitty cars, but that was in the days before digital photography made the disasters so easy to share.

What I don’t get about this 70’s Midol ad is the guys deserve some of the aggravation right back at them.  Especially Jerry.

Another thing I discovered about menopause is that you don’t need Aunt Flo as an excuse to channel your inner bitch.  I can be bitchy all month long AND wear white pants while I’m bitchy, even when I’m sitting in the freezer.  The hot flash thing isn’t nearly as bad as it was a year or two ago, but it’s still bad when I’m watching polar bears on TV and at times I wish I was hanging out on the icebergs with them.   I don’t think I’ve worn a sweater for years, or more PJs than light PJ pants and a t-shirt.  I would probably be smothering to death if I had long hair.  Now I know why old women have short hair.  It’s easier to color, yes, but it’s also a hell of a lot cooler.

I have every right to keep on bitching!

Humor Me, Breathing is Fundamental, and Anytime is Naptime

I love it.  My granddaughter is already learning the art of the stink-eye.

I think gradually, ever so painfully slowly, my sorry carcass is beginning to get the picture that drowning me in snot is rather counterproductive.  I’ve been on the Allegras for a little over a week and they do seem to help- that along with the saline rinses (now there’s a really fun activity- spraying salt water up your nose to rinse out your sinuses) and the homeopathic nasal spray made from capsaicin (capsaicin is what makes hot peppers hot) that burns like hell right after you spray it-  but it is effective, and at $11 a bottle, I can afford that. So far it’s working better than the steroid sprays that cost $100 + per script and as an added bonus, can give you glaucoma.  I’ve used the steroid sprays before, and they are effective, but I can’t afford them, and since I’m already at risk for glaucoma, I think I’ll steer clear.

Of course, as always, I have a sick sense of humor, even though it has been temporarily stifled by misery and fatigue.  I hate being so tired, but the word “tired” does not capture the depth of the sloggingly slow, painfully apathetic state I’ve been in.  The snots have subsided enough to allow me at least some sleep- but no matter how much sleep I manage to get I feel like I can always use more.  I hate dragging my ass through life.  I would love to wake up hyper- in a good way- with something fun to do that I actually have the energy for.  Maybe I’ve just been sleep deprived for so long that there’s no possible way for me to catch up. 

I do have to go next week and get my blood drawn for labs.  I wonder if yet again something is out of line with my funky-assed body chemistry. In the past I’ve had fatigue caused by low iron (that shouldn’t be an issue since the hysterectomy,) and low potassium (I have to take a supplement for that.)  I’ve had my thyroid stuff checked in the past and it’s been normal, but Grandpa had low thyroid, and he was virtually narcoleptic over it until the Drs found it and started medicating him for it.  Maybe my thyroid has gone south.  It would not surprise me.  I am the repository for most of my family’s genetically transmitted diseases after all.  I can only hope that if that is what’s making me want to sleep 24/7 that they actually run a thyroid test on my blood.  I have no idea which blood panels my new Dr. is going to run.  If I were him I would run everything known to man, because Murphy’s Law would indicate that I have a greater chance than most of having obscure and bizarre anomalies and diseases, especially if they are inherited. 

As a kid it always pissed me off that the world “wastes” so much time sleeping.  Back in the day I could run on four or five hours’ sleep and be wide awake and ready to go.  Now I can sleep on and off for 10-12 hours and still be dead tired.   Perhaps it is a bit of cosmic justice for being so wired as a kid, or punishment for all those years of chugging coffee, chain-smoking and taking all that mail order speed.  Pseudoephedrine and caffeine pills were easily obtained back in the 80’s and 90’s.  I could stay awake for days. Now I wish I could sleep for days, but even then I’d still wake up dead tired.

Maybe I don’t have enough excitement in my life.  Maybe I had too much excitement earlier on, and I’m so jaded I can’t get enthused about very much.  Then again, the odds of waking up with a hot young stud in my bed are next to none.  I wake up with dogs in my bed, but that’s not quite the same.

Clara manages to get herself in the smallest of spaces to sleep- while the other two dogs like to take up as much surface area as possible.

Here’s Lilo- all stretched out as usual.

Sheena doesn’t even try to get into the beds with her bad hips- but she can sleep on the couch- and just about anywhere else.

I force myself to exercise- 30 minutes a day of strenuous cardio most days- and supposedly that’s supposed to make one more energetic.  It’s done wonders for my upper and lower body strength- but not a damned thing for my energy level.  I can go through a workout and then turn right around and go back to sleep.  I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way but it does for me, and some days it takes everything I have to get through 30 minutes.

I think someone could make a killing if they could find a way for people to workout while they sleep.  Just hook me up to the marathon running machine while I’m sleeping.  If I could sleep and run a marathon at the same time, then I would be well on my way to a buff bod.

I’ve always liked the idea of stealth exercise.  Swimming is the closest I’ve ever gotten to it.  You feel great while you’re swimming laps, but don’t realize how much energy you’ve burned up until you get out of the pool.  Unfortunately I don’t have easy access to an indoor pool.  It was nice when I had the “Y” membership but Jerry whined and cried about it every time I went to the “Y,” because every minute I was at the pool was a minute I wasn’t available to fetch beer or otherwise cater to His Nibs. 

To hear him talk about it, I think somewhere back in the reptilian part of his brain he might have thought that other guys were “looking at” me in a bathing suit.  I think it’s funny he assumes that because I’m female that my partially clad body would cause other males to lust, (??? I’m not really lustworthy material by any standard????!!!!) but he fails to realize two very important truths- 1.) I purchase swim attire that affords me the most coverage I can get,  because 2.) there are laws in this country against cruel and unusual punishment.  Subjecting others to the visual of my incredibly pale, scarred skin is just plain nasty- nobody wants to see my stretch marks, surgical scars, varicose veins, burn marks, etc.  If I could find a swim top with sleeves I’d wear that too, so nobody would have to get an eyeful of my meaty arms.  As far as I can see, the visual of me in a bathing suit would motivate projectile vomiting rather than provide fodder for a hand party.



Old Lady Catalogs, Changing Times, and Old Thunder Thighs

Don’t click on this page of the old lady catalog if you are a prude, and don’t click on it unless you are away from prying eyes. This is definitely an “over 18” type of page.

It’s amazing what’s available in the magical world of Internet ordering.  One used to have to go to the Lion’s Den or a similar establishment to buy such merchandise, risking embarrassment should someone see one’s car in the parking lot.  Now you can send massagers, other “over 18” items, etc. effortlessly and anonymously to friends and enemies alike.

I admit there was a time when I had a pretty evil streak, and I’ve not entirely lost my appetite for being petty and vindictive in certain situations.

When I was working at a local Toyota dealership (same place where the coke junkie tried to strangle me) they hired a woman to sell cars.  It’s not unusual today for women to sell cars, and some of the best sales people out there today are women, but back then it was quite unusual. 

This particular woman was not very well suited for selling cars- or doing much else outside of dropping her drawers- for that matter.  I’m all for women being in non-traditional career fields (I’ve been in automotive pretty much my entire life) but with one very important disclaimer.  If you think you are going to play the “token” card, or worse, prostitute yourself to get ahead, instead of getting ahead the old fashioned way- by becoming the most skilled and qualified person out there through hard work and merit- I have absolutely no use for you.  I will undermine you and expose you for the fraud you are, every chance I get.

This being said, at first I really tried to help this chick out when I could.  She was very dingy and very clueless, but I did try to help her out and keep her from getting into too much trouble even when she promised customers extra stuff without making sure she had it written into the deal, when she misrepresented either the product or the dealership’s services, and other dumb-assed mistakes.   However, when she made it a point to go back in the shop and bend over while wearing a very short skirt and a very low cut shirt in front of the technicians, I started to wonder what the bloody hell she was thinking.  The techs got a good laugh out of it- because even had she been attractive, her strutting and posing in front of them would have been in poor taste. 

I found out after awhile that she was actually sleeping with guys to get them to buy cars which was sad on many levels.  First of all, she was probably the same age I am now- cougar aged at least- but she dressed like a 17 year old hooker trying to pick up soldiers on leave at the bus station.  I know my cougar aged butt needs coverage and lots of it.  Hers certainly did too, and her dress and her behavior combined to create a most ridiculous spectacle.  Who wants to observe some paunchy, wrinkly old bitty with cottage-cheesy looking bare legs tottering about perched on stiletto sandals, with all her middle-age spread stuffed into a sleeveless low-cut dress which made her torso appear as if she had stuffed too much sausage into a too small casing?  To add insult to injury she wasn’t very good at matching.  Bold patterns and bright colors are fine- I wear a lot of them- but wearing one print on the shirt and a conflicting one on the skirt is not flattering.  Neither are bare legs and sandals when you’re at least 35 and more than a little on the portly side. 

It is no crime to be old or large (and she was both) but dress accordingly.  Coverage is the key word here, ladies. Especially when you work surrounded by men who will make commentary on your attire.

Thunder Thighs was starting to try my patience not only because she didn’t have a clue how to do her job, but she simply oozed sleaze.  She exemplified every bad stereotype regarding women in the workplace.  It was gross enough the way she flirted with customers.  Perhaps twenty years earlier she could have gotten away with her dress and behavior, but it really got nasty when she would come back to the shop and annoy the techs.  At first it was almost funny but it eventually got to be rather pathetic to watch her scatting about like a cat in heat.

Anyway, after she had cursed us with her presence for about six months or so, I had gotten wind that she had decided to take off and shack up with a client or something of that nature (in all honesty I don’t trust rumor mills, so who really knows why she quit, I’m just glad she got away from me) so I simply had to get her a parting gift.  I’m not into flowers or Tupperware or hinky stuff like that.  As an example, I once bought a particularly annoying service advisor an inflatable pig and put it right on top of his computer monitor on his last day.  It was well-deserved, and therefore, hilarious.

I bought her something I figured she could get a lot of use out of, and that the guys up front would enjoy seeing her open up.

There’s a chain of stores in Columbus and vicinity called Waterbeds ‘n Stuff, which is sort of like Lion’s Den, but with more of an emphasis on gag gifts and cards and trinkets, though they have a formidable “over 18″ section.   It’s the place where I found the inflatable pig.  Waterbeds ‘n Stuff was the perfect place to find this sleazy old cougar a parting present she- and the guys at the shop- would never forget.

$37 later I got Johnson.  Johnson is, well, a 24” johnson.  I had it all boxed up and ready to go, only to discover that Thunder Thighs had cleaned out her desk and beat feet without even bothering to formally say goodbye.

Good riddance.  The bad part of the story is that almost 20 years later I still have Johnson.  I should have put it in one of the techs’ tool boxes or something, but back then $37 was quite a chunk of change.

Oh, well.  In retrospect it would have been a rather cruel, though appropriate, prank.