More Central Ohio White Death, More Funky Victorian Pics, and Other Odds and Ends

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I’m still trying to figure out this Rube Goldberg device.

This contraption, which I think is some kind of spinal correction device (?) could also have afforded some tactical advantage when other kids are chasing you down to kick your ass.   I can see where it could be a sort of almost skateboard without the board.   I love Victorian ingenuity.  Strange thing is that even in the early 1980’s (and I’m not sure whether or not this is still being done in schools) all the girls had to get checked for scoliosis in 7th and 8th grade.

The scoliosis check was not what I’d call a good time.  All the 7th and 8th grade girls were herded into the gym, (wearing those hideous gym suits, or in my case, since I had a Doctor’s Note permanently freeing me from gym class, a t-shirt and shorts) lined up in alphabetical order, then we either had to unzip the gym suit or pull up our t-shirt and let (supposedly) a nurse trace our spines with her finger and verify that our spines were straight.

If you were found to have scoliosis (a couple of girls did have it) then you were sent to an orthopedist who would fit you with a full torso brace with metal stays and tie up straps that you had to wear 24/7 for two or three years unless you wanted to become a hideously deformed hunchback.

scoliosis brace

Imagine having to wear this continuously – all through high summer.  Oh, the stink!

I’m glad my spine stayed straight.

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This is one of the snow piles outside of Target.  It’s 5°.

But, as always, they set up the swimsuit racks the week after New Year’s!

The City of Columbus, I must say has been doing an abysmal job in clearing the snow.  ODOT got the freeways cleared right away, but the major through roads that are the city’s responsibility, by and large haven’t been touched.  I have to wonder what the hell they’re doing with all that income tax money, since the state and the surrounding localities are seeming to cope pretty well with snow removal.  I know that corruption and graft and union thuggery run amok in Mayor Coleman’s hizzy.  I’m surprised he didn’t ask for emergency money from his homeboy Obama to clear out Downtown.

It didn’t used to be that way, and it’s sad.   The illustrious Mayor-for-Life Coleman has ran the police department into the ground, presided over (and approved of) the corruption and vice and absolute lack of accountability in the schools, and now the city can’t seem to get the crews out to clear the freaking snow.  Coleman will keep on getting re-elected though, because a.) there’s no term limit, and b.) he kisses up to the gimme crowd.  While everyone (me included) who can moves to the freaking suburbs because of the uncontrolled druggies and rampant crime-but if you work in the city limits (I do) you still have to pay income tax so this gimme-appeaser and cronies can keep on subsidizing the gimme crowd.   The worst thing about living in the suburbs is that I can’t vote against this shyster when he runs for (and gets elected) mayor again.

So much for the Things-I-Can’t-Change.

I have been somewhat remiss as of late in not posting more of those postmortems that people just can’t help gawking at.  It’s bad that I am so bored that I’m trolling postmortems again, but it is February.  What else am I supposed to do?  February always makes me think about death.  Maybe it’s because I have to go to the BMV to get my car registration, and that’s always depressing.

dead sisters

The only way I’d ever been that close to either of my sisters, voluntarily, is if I’d been dead– which I think these two are.

Generally, if either of my sisters had been that close to me when I was a little kid, it was because they had me in a headlock, pounding me with whatever sort of pointy or heavy object that was handy.

I am surprised that I actually survived childhood with only minor scarring and disfigurement.  The psychological damage- well, the Prozac does help.

creepy old woman

Gam-Gam died in 1890, but those eyes are still watching you!

I know it’s morbid, but I think the postmortem pics are a forerunner of the Open Casket Funeral, which I find most distasteful in almost every instance.  I can’t get the images of my grandmothers in their coffins with badly done makeup, in those awful pink nighties out of my head, let alone the image of Aunt Ellen (the non-makeup wearing Pentecostal) slathered down with day-glo orange lipstick and all dolled up as if she were headed for the Oompa-Loompa Prom.

I told Steve-o to cremate me when I die, but knowing him (and I’ve said this before) he will have me taxidermied and made into a coffee table.

burning-bridge

“Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide”-  Pink Floyd, “High Hopes”

Perhaps it is true that one can never really go back home again, but in another sense it’s also true that one can never really leave.  It’s amazing how our society forgets the past so quickly, and repeats its mistakes so readily.  Memory, if anything, should serve as both a harbinger and a teacher.

I think we do ourselves a disservice when we neglect the study of history.  It may not be a good idea to continually live in the past, and I have to guard against this, but to deliberately seek a sort of live-in-the-now amnesia isn’t very healthy either.

I’ve learned to be careful which bridges to burn and which ones to leave standing, although I can’t say I’ve mastered the art of moving forward, or of knowing which pieces of the past are worth holding on to, and which pieces are things I need to let go.

hitler empty seat

I’ll have to remember to check the empty seats in my car for Hitler before I go.

nerve pills

I think I’d be hella nervous if I were approached by a giant talking frog. But I’m paranoid like that.

Selected Splenetic Ravings, The Man-Speedo Paradox, and Anger Management

tantrum

splenetic: adj. irritable; peevish; spiteful

I’m not always a quiet, mellow, little ray of sunshine.  Sometimes, in spite of myself, I get pissed.  The bad thing about me being pissed off is, being wired the way I am, I typically ignore a lot of things that would send other people (especially women) over the edge.  I try to live with a bit of an intentionally narrow focus, otherwise the sensory overload would drive me apeshit.  So over time I have developed the self preservatory art of selective attention, and I’m good at it.  I can sort out and discard a lot of bullshit that way.  Usually I’m pretty good at keeping from majoring in the minors, but not here lately.

It seems like the slightest things are really getting on my nerves, and my sensitivity level is almost discernible.  I don’t like that.  Not at all.

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The bad thing is, that when something does manage to get stuck in my craw, and I’m really cheesed, it usually takes a good while for the anger to brew, and even longer for it to dissipate.  I’m the queen of the delayed reaction, which I know is unhealthy, and quite illogical to the (largely) innocent recipients of my wrath.

I checked most of the logical reasons for being so peevish and easily annoyed-

1. Aunt Flo- but I’ve not seen her since the hysterectomy, which was in 2009.  Can’t say I miss that noise.

2. Yes, I did remember to put the Prozacs in the pill box, and I’ve not missed any pills this week.

3. The weather does suck, but it’s Ohio and that’s normal.

4. Long ago, I got rid of any itchy or binding clothing I had.

5. Jerry, but he’s always a pain in the ass.

6. Sinus mess and its attendant sleep deprivation.  Now I might be getting somewhere.

7. People being dumbasses and just plain jerks because they get some kind of power trip from taking out their frustration on low-level pissants like me who generally don’t deserve it, but can’t do anything about it.

Sounds like a combination of #6 and #7, with an extra heavy dose of #5, just to make it even more shitty.

Jerk-Zone1

Maybe I should bring my thoughts around to summer, and dudes in swim attire.  That might keep me from wanting to throttle the next asshole who tries to unload on me.

I’ve observed something I call the Man-Speedo Paradox.  Buff young dudes who would be positive eye candy in a tight little banana hammock/ thong style bathing suit or the briefest of Speedos, end up in swim garb like this:

skinny dude bermuda trunks

C’mon, sugar, be brave, you know you’d look hot in a banana hammock!

Unfortunately I don’t get to see too many hot, buff young pups, Bermuda shorts or not.  Here’s the visual I usually get treated to at the pool:

fat man in speedo

Not sexy.  Not on any level. At any time. Ever.

I guess that the Man-Speedo Paradox can be summed up as: the surface area of the dude is directly inversely proportional to the surface area of the swim attire.  To make it simple: The hot young skinny dude is going to wear Bermuda short type swim trunks that took yards of boxer-short material to manufacture.  If the wind blows just right, skinny dude could be flown like a kite.

In contrast, the big, fat whale dude is going to be wearing a banana hammock that contains about a postage stamp size square of Spandex.  I’m going to get to see much that should remain unseen forever.

When Steve-o was about 7 or 8 I took him to a public pool.  I spotted a very large dude who appeared to be naked, and I was afraid Steve-o would make a scene about it should he catch the visual, (and he would) so I tried to tiptoe away quietly to report Big Bare Bubba to the manager.  Just as I turned around to tip-toe to the manager’s office, BBB bent over, and when he was bent over, I could see a very thin strained strip of bright red Spandex.  Steve-o apparently saw it too, because at that very moment he exclaimed,”Hey, Mom, why is that fat guy flossing his ass?”  My son does not know the gentle charm of subtlety.  Ever.

It’s not a crime to be large, but dress accordingly.  Nobody wants to see a 300# she-behemoth in a thong either.  Steve-o has a rule about women which sort of makes sense.  “If your pants are bigger than mine, I’m not getting in them.”  He’s not limiting himself to wraith-thin little flowers, either.  He’s 6’1″ and somewhere between 190 and 200#.  Steve-o also wouldn’t be caught dead in a banana hammock or a Speedo.  He is clearly a Bermuda short trunk dude, when one can get him in the pool, which means convincing him that nobody can really see his back hair, and he doesn’t have moobs.

back hair

Now this calls for the RAZORBA!

I’m not a big fan of hairy anything, except dogs.  Dudes should not have back fur any more than women should have moustaches and sideburns.  But I can see why Mr. Gorilla-Back would want to stay out of the pool.  That’s just nasty.  But there is a solution:

razorba

Or you could get that spray-on NAIR:

spray on nair

Steve-o, your birthday is coming up.

I see a gift idea right here!

I don’t see how anyone could shave his own back.  And if you tried, you might end up getting nicks and cuts in places where it’s pretty inconvenient to bleed.

License to Annoy, I Hate the Holidays #584, and The Drippy Winter Funk

Ok, so I am a brunette by virtue of hair dye.  I’m also over 40.  Cut me some slack.

Oh, yes, this brunette remembers way too much, especially in regard to others’ drunk and stupid antics.   Jerry is attempting to stay sober so he can get good and liquored up for the OSU/Michigan game Saturday.  Joy and rapture.  The game is at noon, which means I can forget my Saturday morning cougar nap.  Jerry will be raring to go by 8AM if not earlier.  I wish he had the same enthusiasm for waking up on work days.  I don’t care for football on a good day, but dealing with Jerry when the beer drinking begins at noon (or earlier) is going to be hell on wheels. I can just imagine dragging him in the car to go home after the game.   It’s almost enough to make me wish I could drink to forget.   Right now I’m not in a particularly social mood either and I’m sure I will be even less inclined toward interacting with other humans after dealing with my relatives on Thursday.

No, I won’t have to eat this.  But in the end, I don’t know if eating humble pie is worth a high class meal.  I’d rather be home alone eating White Castles, truth be told.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so despondent.  I do have a family.  I get along with my parents for the most part and am at least on speaking terms with my sisters.  But these get togethers serve to sort of rub my failure in my face.  I’ve never really done anything worthwhile other than somehow manage not to either starve to death or become a victim of a spree killer, and being around my sisters only underscores the point.

I know it’s been a long time, but a tortured childhood is a gift that keeps on giving!

Steve-o has managed to thoroughly piss off my granddaughter’s mother- so much so that I would be pleasantly surprised if I will be able to have any interaction with my granddaughter again.  He’s actually at the point of wanting to do what the male contributor of his DNA did- signing off his parental rights- which will in effect make me a stranger on the street.  Yeah, I know, the whole biz with relationships and so forth- and I am a cynical one.  I have to admit I pretty much anticipated this, though I am thoroughly disgusted with the POMC and the way he’s handling things. It breaks my heart.  When it comes to kids in Ohio courts fathers have no rights except to pay up.   I’m pissed at him- because I warned him not to be such a dick to her- but I also understand the futility of him trying to maintain any kind of meaningful relationship with his daughter when her mother won’t speak to or deal with him for whatever reason.   The courts always side with mothers in this state, unless they’re crack heads or serial killers and sometimes even then.  She is a good mother, and her relationship to Steve-o or to any of the rest of the family is not an issue there.    If she doesn’t want him or any of us around her kid, she can and will get her way.

This is reason enough for me to avoid the forced family togetherness this week.  I’m pissed at my own son, won’t get to see my granddaughter, and have to deal with my parents and my two sisters.  Damn, I wish I could have a nice, stiff drink.  Or twelve.

I’m almost considering feigning communicable illness to avoid the compulsory Thanksgiving roadtrip to my sister’s house, where I will have my poverty, marriage to a drunken redneck, and my painful lack of any sort of meaningful accomplishments rubbed in my face yet again.   Hello, punchbowl!  The turd has arrived!  That’s how I feel when I go to her house, and I have to drive 100 miles to do it.  Me in my Goodwill and Target discount rack clothes, driving a Toyota Yaris, showing up about as welcome as Cousin Eddy (remember Christmas Vacation) in this suburban wonderland of palatial homes and BMWs.  It’s depressing.  I don’t know why I even bother showing up, because I know my sisters are ashamed of me anyway.  I give them something to laugh at, or perhaps my saga serves as a cautionary tale for their offspring.  Even so, I don’t really think either one of them would give two shits in a baggie whether I showed up or not- except that, for whatever it’s worth, I do bring homemade pies.

I may be poor and not good for much, but I can cook.

There is a bright spot.  I have to work on Friday.  So I have a good excuse to beat feet quickly after dinner and not stay overnight at my sister’s.  Then I’d end up having to go through the hell of Black Friday shopping with the two of them and my Mom.  I think I’d rather slit my wrists with a rusty razor blade and slowly die of exsanguination.  The rusty razor blade would afford a far more pleasant death than traipsing through Nordstrom’s (there’s a place where I am definitely the turd in the punchbowl) while my sister runs around flashing her plastic and Mom’s gawking at all sorts of fugly high dollar kitsch she can’t afford.

I like mustard too, but NOBODY needs this!

I can’t get into the holidays.  I wish I could- but I have no money and no time to do any of the things that would make the holidays fun.   I thought I would at least be able to enjoy some time with my granddaughter, but I highly doubt that will happen either, thanks to my son and his abysmal relationship skills.

If I could avoid my entire family and all the holiday crud and come out sometime in March or April that would be OK with me.  But, alas, the drippy winter funk begins.  I know I have to deal.  Oh, and I have to remember to go to Target and get my scripts.  I don’t want to run out of Prozac anytime soon.

I’ll be armed with the camera for both my Thanksgiving Dinner in the Punchbowl and the OSU/Michigan Beer Drinking and Football Outing.  Comedy is the flipside of tragedy, and I’m going to be trolling for comedy this week for sure.  If I can get past the tears, that is.

Here we go again!

When Is Panic the Appropriate Response?, Views of the Macabre, and Wake-Up Songs

 

Perhaps as a person who has dealt with PTSD, major depression, and panic attacks, it would be helpful for me to know when panic is the appropriate response.  I have been known to vascillate from near catatonia and total apathy to going postal over a popcorn fart.  One thing that I have noticed after being on Prozac for the past six years, is that my reactions seem to be a lot more “middle of the road.”  I don’t freak out easily and for no apparent reason like I used to when I had panic attacks on a regular basis, but I don’t go into total apathy mode either.  I do notice and still care about all the things that are screwed up in my particular dystopia, but not to the point of losing sleep or climbing the walls.  This is a good thing, I think, unless I should be freaking out and just don’t realize it.

Jerry freaks out about the grass.  I don’t know if all middle-aged to elderly men have a thing about having a perfect lawn and freaking out if you don’t, but Jerry sure as hell has a lawn fetish.   He always thinks the grass needs mowed, especially if he can see any dandelions.  Personally, I like dandelions.  They are nature’s way of giving lawn freaks like Jerry the finger.  There are limits to what you can do with grass.  Our lawn is not a golf course.  There’s a bus stop in front of our house, so a lot of the time, as they wait on the bus, the freakazoids from the drunk and domestic apartments behind the body shop are tossing their cig packs, drinkie cups and various other detritus in the front yard.  I swear I picked up- with the shovel- a trucker bomb in the front yard the other day.  So as long as the height of the plant life in the front yard is compliant with city ordinances, I wouldn’t be too paranoid about it.  The back yard is the dogs’ shitter.  Do they care if they shit in dandelions?  Probably not.  George Carlin once asked (in reference to cats, but same principle) how many gourmets lick their asses.  How many dogs really care about the quality of the greenery they’re dropping a deuce in?

Thankfully, yesterday, when he finally moved out of Tipsy McNumbnuts mode, Jerry decided to call his half-brother Ray Earl (oh, the joy of redneck names!) who repairs lawn mowers, to see if he would take a look at the one he trashed.  In the meanwhile, he managed to start one of the beat up old mowers he buys at yard sales to sell on Craig’s List, and he did quite fine last night mowing the grass with it.   Since he was sober and acting like he actually had half a brain for once, I decided to be nice and pick up all the visible dog shit in the back yard for him.  That was partially for my own benefit, because he always seems to either step in it (and then, of course, he will traipse it through the house so I get to clean it up off his shoes and the floors) or it gets mulched in the mower, so you step out the door and it smells like shit.  Neither alternative is pleasant, but  I was overjoyed to be spared a field trip through the seventh circle of hell with him in Sears or Home Depot.  Scooping up shit is not nearly as bad as following Jerry around in Home Depot.

I am not much of a shopper, especially for a woman.  I dislike crowds, and generally avoid stores altogether if I can buy what I want online.  But home improvement stores are Jerry’s equivalent of DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse- one of the hugest shoe stores in the Midwest-with locations all over beautiful Central Ohio.)  Jerry can spend hours looking at building supplies and tools and chain saws and trimmers and mowers and all the various crud available at home improvement stores for hours on end.  I find gawking at that stuff insanely boring unless I need a particular item to do a particular job, then I get what I need and get out.  It usually smells like fertilizer or paint in those places, and I really don’t want to linger. I don’t think I could spend as long in DSW as Jerry spends on his forays to Home Depot.   Ideally he would go to the home improvement store with Bob- they both know what they are after, they both like to gawk at things like varnish and caulk, and I don’t have a freaking clue.

I do try not to be one of those old geezers who bitch about really stupid things.  I don’t want to end up like the old bitty that lived across from Mom and Dad who complained about kids “stealing her snow.”  She was dead for four months before anyone realized it.  Her kids never bothered to visit her, and everyone who lived in the neighborhood avoided her because she was constantly calling the cops on everyone.  I don’t want to become so petty that I end up calling the cops over dogs barking or loud exhausts.  Usually I only bother law enforcement if there’s something dangerous going on, like people shooting off shotguns, or there’s a drunk guy passed out in the drunk and domestic apartments’ parking lot when it’s 20 degrees out, and he’ll freeze to death if nobody retrieves him.

I figure cops have better things to do than to hassle people about dogs barking or to give the young punks fits about the ass-nasty rap music they like to blare through their sub-woofers.  I’m not saying I like it when people let their dogs bark incessantly or when anyone plays rap music, but I’m sure I do things to annoy people too.   

Jerry got an interesting piece of junk mail yesterday- from a cemetery up in Lewis Center (a small town about 25 miles out) extolling the beauty (and quoting pricing and payment plans) of having your very own pre-paid grave plot

I hate to say it but I find such a thing a bit macabre.  It’s one thing to realize you eventually might need one, and go trolling for grave plots on your own, but it seems just a bit morbid for a cemetery to be sending out flyers with the ValPak coupons. 

I am planning on being cremated if for no other reasons than to save money and space.  I should consider buying my urn ahead of time. 

If I leave it up to Steve-o I’ll end up spending eternity either flushed down the toilet, or in an old Folger’s can that Steve-o will eventually mistake for an ashtray.

I am going to have to compile my CD of  “Songs to Wake Jerry Up” for use when he’s hungover because he was partying like a rockstar the night before.

Here’s a preliminary list:

“Stars and Stripes Forever” – John Philip Sousa (this is a wake-up classic!)

Ren and Stimpy’s “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” song

“Shiny Happy People”- REM (it can be a just plain annoying song)

“Dixie Highway”- Journey

“Rock and Roll”- Led Zeppelin

“Crazy Train”- Black Sabbath

“Bastille Day”- Rush

“Smells Like Teen Spirit”- Nirvana

“For Whom the Bell Tolls”- Metallica

I could have fun with this collection.  I will have to troll my MP3 collection tonight and see what I can find. 

Something tells me I really don’t want to know.  After Steve-o did the 7/8″ earrings in his earlobes, I didn’t have the courage to ask him what else he has pierced.  Some things are TMI, even for me.