Creative Use of Free Speech and Feminine Hygiene Items!

Every time I go up north I get some kind of culture shock, whether it be the chick in the 5X snowman print jammies (with the thong strap hanging out) attempting to single-mouthedly devour an entire Taco Bell, or the dude in the Walmart with a face full of piercings, and arms covered in various white supremacist tats that I wish I had been able to get a picture of but I didn’t have the courage.  I always get to see the cutting edge of redneck culture when I visit my parents, and this weekend did not disappoint. 

Dad did wonder why I wanted a picture of that, until I blew it up and he could read what was written on the Kotex.  Then he had to acknowledge that it was funny, and worth taking a pic.  I am glad that Steve-o never put Sharpie + maxi pad together when he was going through his Puberty Demon visitation.  I am sure he would have left Kotex commentary everywhere.   I know he covered one of his buddy’s cars in them once, but they must not have had a Sharpie handy.

I can think of better pranks, but this one is fairly harmless.

One of my favorite things about digital cameras is just how easy it is to point, click, upload and share.  I know the guys at work have been begging me to get a video camera for the longest time so they can observe Jerry’s antics, but I can’t dig it up in that little emotional stub I have in place of a heart to do it.  Just because it is potential YouTube gold doesn’t mean it’s very nice to film it.  Admittedly, after last night’s oat opera episode I did feel like getting some sweet, sweet revenge, but I plugged in the Skullcandys (they have some really nice noise cancelling headphones) and enjoyed some favorites from the 80s instead.  I don’t know why, but when Jerry gets into his “I wanna crank up bad country music” mode, he goes for the twangiest, most god-awful country station in the area.  Even when I used to get shitfaced (and this was years and years ago)  I can’t think of a time when I was ever shitfaced enough to enjoy Boxcar Willie- or Willie Nelson for that matter. 

Fanny, my behemoth wandering feline, is adjusting much better to her collar, bell and ID tag than I thought she would.  I did get a few days’ worth of stink-eye out of it (and cats are masters of the stink-eye) but once it got through her head that the collar wasn’t coming off she has gone into normal Fanny mode which is, “aw, what the hell, as long as I get food.”  I should also say catnip, because she goes apeshit over that.  Every cat I’ve ever had except Forrest (and he had major Issues) has positively adored the stuff.  Isabel rolls and thrashes in it, as does Fluffy-Butt, but Fanny (who normally is not a fighter) will swat the other two away and actually attempt to box them.  It’s hilarious to watch.

It’s almost sad that I’m reminded of poor Forrest.  He was half-Siamese and had the most beautiful blue eyes.  However, the poor guy also had feline herpes, and had been kicked in the face by his previous owner, so he had a broken jaw that never healed right, and most of his teeth were missing.  Feline herpes is not a social disease in the way we think of social diseases in humans.  It is a disease that can be prevented with a vaccine, but the vaccine has to be given before the cat gets herpes for it to be effective.  The herpes infection is present in many cats that never show symptoms, but for some cats, like Forrest, it weakens their immune systems and predisposes them to wicked eye and respiratory infections.  The first time he got sick he was dehydrated, blowing snot, had to get sub-cu fluids (this is not a fun process) and had to be force fed with a syringe.  Then he had to take the l-lysine supplement for the rest of his life, which did give him several years until he got sick again and he died almost as soon as he got sick the second time.  Poor guy was only 12, which isn’t all that old for a cat, but he had suffered a lot before we got him, and he had a weak constitution.

Oh, well.  Poor Forrest.  And yes, he was named after Forrest Gump, because when we first got him he was terrified of everything and it seemed all he did was run.

Putting the “SH” in IT, Central Ohio Winter, (Behold the White Death,) and Nasty ’70’s Cars

Why is it that technical people (and being a techie type I have to include myself in this critique also) can be so dour?  Computer professionals, especially, seem to have especially shitty attitudes.  I can’t blame them based on the capricious nature of IT in general, but a joke?  A smile, maybe?   Perhaps it has to do with being emotionally stunted or having an undue emphasis on the life of the mind versus the life of the heart.  It’s just not a balanced way to live, and sometimes the emotional demons break through at the most inopportune and irrational times.   I trust my mind most of the time- it keeps me on the steadfast and staid (though often boring) path of reliability and predictability.  When I “follow my heart” it almost always leads me to trouble- although the path to trouble often includes some intrigue and adventure.  Though it defies my sense of rationality and order, a little unpredictability and intrigue is essential for mental health.  So from time to time even I have to go off the deep end, even as much as I despise maudlin displays of emotion. 

I think it’s interesting that it’s occasionally necessary to simply take a mental vacation (especially when a physical vacation isn’t feasible) and just do something goofy for the hell of it.  Perhaps this is the logic behind the human need for humor.  All work and no play makes me even more boring than I am already.  Lately I find myself so boring I put myself to sleep- so I have had to find a few irrational pursuits.

Target had some novelty fart putty cups for $1 apiece in their discount section.  Of course I couldn’t pass up something this crude and sophomoric at such a discount price. Fart noises are always funny, so I have periodically been annoying my coworkers with fake flatulence.  Everyone needs a hobby.

Vacation is one of my favorite movies.  The car is a modified (tackily, but that’s the point) Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon.  Mom actually had one of these (without the modifications.)  I think that was the last V8 Dad let Mom have.  It was a typical old Ford in that the steering was horrid (the wheel had about 2 inches at least of play in it) and the suspension was spongy- but it would go like a bat out of hell in a straight line.  I think Mom got the 95-in-a-25 violation in the ’77 LTD sedan, but both the ’75 station wagon and the ’77 sedan had the 351 Windsor engine that Dad liked.  Both cars were horribly fugly, a handling nightmare, and did good to get 12MPG- if you kept your foot out of it.  I think Dad disengaged the secondary advance on the ’77 after Mom got busted in it, which is sort of like closing the barn door once the horse has run away.

70’s domestic cars were most abysmal.  FYI: The “wood grain” was actually adhesive stickers.

Mom actually had a 70’s car worse than the LTDs.  At least the LTDs would start and run.  The Dodge Aspen wagon generally wouldn’t even do that if the temperature dropped below 60 degrees F, which is quite often in beautiful Central Ohio.  If it got hotter than about 70 degrees, the thermostat would stick shut and it would overheat and/or the fuel pump would vapor lock.  I can’t remember how many times Dad had this POS towed, or how many fuel pumps, carburetors and thermostats he put on it, but when all was said and done I think he wanted to fire bomb it.  It was simply a piece of really shitty engineering.  The plus side of the Aspen, at least as far as Mom’s driving record went, when it did run, is it was a very underpowered 4 cylinder.  If you were lucky enough to get it up to 60MPH it would shake and shimmy like nobody’s business, then it would sputter and die.

Fugly, and not terribly functional.  The 1977 Dodge Aspen Wagon.  Now you know why I drive Toyotas.

These things, by comparison at least, made a beat up old VW Rabbit look like (and perform like) a freaking sports car.

Today we are supposed to get some snow and freezing rain.  I’ll believe it when I see it, but I am sure that the local redneck population will be clearing the stores out of Velveeta cheese and Marlboros before the end of the day.  Some things never change.

At least the cop got HIS smokes.

I sincerely thank God I don’t smoke anymore.  And I already have Velveeta cheese.