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.

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“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.

I Am the Anti-Tan, Screwy Things in the Name of “Beauty,” and the Joy of Being Inciteful

I’m no beauty queen, but this is SCARY.

All this hoo-hah about some very deranged woman who is accused of dragging her five year old into a tanning bed is really disturbing.  Tanning was trendy back in the ’80’s too, and back then the bulbs used in the beds would literally fry the hide off a person.  I don’t think today’s tanning beds use such intense bulbs, but it certainly can’t be healthy to voluntarily expose oneself to all that direct heat and radiation. Oh, and anyone who would drag a five year old into a tanning bed to be toasted like an English muffin should not be allowed to have custody of a kid.  Ever.  Then again, in a perfect world only certain people would be capable of breeding.  The fact that the fittest aren’t always the ones spawning sort of casts some doubts on Darwin’s theory.  The gene pool doesn’t really seem to be chlorinating itself.

Many of the girls I knew in high school went to those tanning beds like religion- and now they look like the California Raisins.  I am certainly no beauty and I am certainly not free of skin damage- most of mine is actually through burns, (especially one bad incident from taking a radiator cap off a bit too soon…) but I have more than enough stretch marks, and a plethora of assorted scars from everything from a horrid case of chicken pox to bug bites, to abrasions, to falling into the coffee table, and even one interesting scar from a claw mark given by a very frightened dog.  However, I don’t tan.  When my super white skin is exposed to the sun, the results are freckles, splotches and burns.   I have never even attempted tanning in a tanning bed in my life, and at 43 I don’t plan on starting it now.  I have seen the leathery, wrinkly visages of the tanned “beauties” of the ’80’s as they look today- and I don’t want to go there.  Ever.

In the summer I can barely leave the house without slathering on the Factor 50, and this is in Ohio, where there isn’t a whole lot of direct sunlight, and it is not exactly a tropical paradise.  Even so, I’ve been known to get sunburn in the car.  It does get hot in the summer here, but it seems hotter than it really is, because the humidity is usually somewhere around 100% most of the time.   I have been told that 88° in Columbus OH in high summer seems hotter than Phoenix AZ at 110°, but never having been to Phoenix, I really don’t know if this is true, at least not from my own experience. 

Throughout history women have done some pretty screwy things in the name of beauty.  Ancient Roman women used lead as face powder.  Chinese women bound their feet so they couldn’t walk.  Even today we color our hair, (I freely fess up to that one) pierce our ears (yeah I did that too) and pierce various other places (not really game for that) and get tattoos (I might consider getting eyeliner tattooed on, but that’s about it.)  I don’t know of any culture that regards excessive body hair on a woman to be attractive, so removing superfluous hair is a Big Deal too.  It’s one of my major battles- to avoid looking like Sasquatch at all costs.  As fast as the hair grows on my body in unauthorized places, remaining acceptably hairless requires constant vigilance.

I know I shouldn’t enjoy controversy as much as I do.  While part of me wants to hide out in the ivory tower, another part of me can be derisive and critical.  There is a fine line dividing healthy, rational debate and presenting the facts, versus rabid activism, and for my own sense of rationality and sanity I have to be careful not to cross it. 

As far as things political go, the easiest way for me to describe where I stand is, “just to the right of Reagan.”  I am more conservative (at least politically) than most, and I have my reasons, but my reasons should never keep me from listening (sometimes the “other side” is right) or from being so focused in my disagreement that I can’t see little bits of good in what I perceive to be an ocean of bad. 

Conservatism doesn’t mean closed-mindedness, (nor does it mean racism or bigotry) but it does mean keeping a bit of a skeptical eye- on both sides.  I may not like someone’s philosophy on certain things- and I am outspoken enough to say so- but at the end of the day my goal is to stay rational- and to remember that while some ideologies may be detrimental or even what I consider to be evil- other people have their reasons for holding them that may not be rooted in evil but because they came from different background and perspective than mine.

It’s going to be a long next few months for me, trying to remain somewhat civil, keeping from alienating dear friends who don’t have the same political outlook I do, and trying not to get caught up on rhetoric, even when I can base it on facts. There are few things that can ignite that tiny little emotional stub I have in place of a heart, but love of country is one of them.  I ran the streets at 11 years old- delighted that even at 11 years old I could volunteer- with campaign information for President Reagan.  So forgive me if I get caught up.  I need to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, it will be what it will be, and I can only do so much to bring about the world I would like to see.  Besides, beyond a bit of snarky satire here and there, what else am I good for?

Well, I can think of a few things.  I know more about things automotive than anyone other than a technician or an engineer would ever want to know.  I have a broad vocabulary. I can spell and define words such as catamite, hemorrhoidal inflammation, impunity, and gynecomastic.  Even better, I can use all these words and phrases in a sentence:

When Maurice, the gynecomastic catamite, came home from his boyfriend’s party, where he was taken advantage of by the others with impunity, he was suffering from severe hemorrhoidal inflammation.

Even if one doesn’t already know the definitions of these words, it’s possible to figure all but one of them out from the context clues.