A Friendly Little Dystopia, Somewhere in a Solitary Bower, and Dead Presidents

I’m more comfortable in my own little world.  Aren’t we all, I guess, unless you’re one of those people who thrives on being surrounded by the company of others.  I feel positively smothered in the midst of large gatherings. I can only take so much, no matter who it is or what kind of conversation is going on.   Most of my family are incorrigible extroverts (I understand the mentality, but acting as though I’m an extrovert positively wears me out) so they wonder why I don’t always answer the phone immediately or text back the minute I get a text.  Sometimes I simply have to turn all that stuff off or just ignore it if I have any hope of remaining sane functional.

It’s all good here in my own little dystopia.  I have old Journey songs on the MP3 player, iced tea (with lemon only, NO sweetener of any type) and a cougar pool, capacity: 1 old cougar, namely me.  The dogs don’t give a rat’s ass if I wish to engage them in conversation or not as long as they get their meals of processed, crunchy mutton and whatever else is in their dog food, and they get to go out from time to time to perform their bodily functions and run around in the grass.  Jerry will probably be going to the campground this weekend, so I get at least one quiet solitary overnight.  I may utilize some of said solitary time to enjoy some of my live Journey DVDs (cranked up, because I know Jerry is not a Journey fan) and/or finish reading a couple of books.  The one I just started – FDR’s Deadly Secret is proving most fascinating so far. The theory in this book is that FDR died from melanoma that spread to his brain, although he had a laundry list of medical conditions going on that could have killed him too.

I just finished another book – Florence Harding: The First Lady, the Jazz Age, and the Death of America’s Most Scandalous President which picked over quite a bit of formerly obscure Marion County history as well as some rather seedy dirty laundry involving Warren G. Harding.  Yes, Harding was a tomcat.  Yes, Harding had friends in low places, but as far as scandal goes, from today’s perspective, I would have to say Clinton far exceeded Harding in the area of tomcatting, and both Clinton and Obama have far exceeded Harding in having friends in low places, and in flat out scandalous and illegal behavior.  Since this book was written in 1998, before many of the Clinton scandals came to light, and Obama was probably still a “community organizer” somewhere in Kenya, I can forgive the author that.  This book was well-researched and documented, and (though long for most people) to me, a fascinating read.

I feel for Florence Harding.  I know all too well how difficult it is to be an intelligent woman stuck with carrying a man with a lot of issues.

I don’t personally think Harding was the worst president ever.  Obama takes the prize on that dubious distinction as the worst president ever hands down as far as I’m concerned, even when compared with Dick Nixon, (in his instance I will venture to speak ill of a fellow Republican,) Jimmy Carter and even Bill Clinton.  Many past presidents (JFK, FDR and LBJ to name a few- in the 20th century) were tomcats.  Almost every past president, including my personal favorite, Ronald Reagan, was involved in something that someone might construe to be scandalous.  It’s a necessity of the office.  Perhaps the most squeaky-clean of the 20th century presidents was Harry Truman- but his sort of Democrat is extinct today, believe that.

Even Reagan had his moments, but IMHO he would do better from the grave than the current squatter occupying the Oval Office.

Come on, answer my poll, and comment, even if you do think I’m a right wing nut job.  I’m not politically correct, and I’m not very easily offended.

History is an endlessly fascinating subject for me, especially 20th century history.  I don’t know where the fascination came from but for the past several years most of my reading has been historical non-fiction.  Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and I tend to get more engrossed in a story if I know it’s at least somewhat derived from historical fact.

It’s not entirely that I dislike people. Dislike isn’t really the right word. Dealing with people in most circumstances wears me out and sucks up what little energy I have to begin with. I do have my misanthropic tendencies- and I think people get on my nerves more than I should allow- but there are people I do adore.  The main problem I have is I can only take most people in very small doses and I can only take so much of even those who are dearest to me.  I need a lot of time alone, and when for whatever reason I don’t get it, I get very crispy around the edges.

Perhaps it’s the old school Catholic upbringing, but I feel guilty when I actually do put myself first.

In the event an airplane loses cabin pressure in flight, the flight attendant always instructs the adults to put their own oxygen mask on before masking their rugrat.  It makes sense- you have to cover yourself before you can have the resources to cover anyone else- but sometimes I get so preoccupied with other people’s wants and needs that I forget to do the things that re-energize me.

One of those things is simply turning off all the electronics and locking the doors.

 

 

Everyone Loves Dirty Laundry, Mystery Meats Revealed, and How’s That Diet Going?

See! I’m not a criminal, just a tomcat!

Don’t we all just love a juicy scandal?  Even though John Edwards didn’t technically commit a crime, you still kind of feel like the guy is a sociopathic, horny scumbag.  I feel most sorry for his kids, especially the youngest one.   Yeah, the media did have a bit of a field day with Edwards, and in a way rightfully so, but how many people cheat on their spouses in equally egregious fashion and never get caught?  If the truth were to be told there are plenty of men (and women) out there harboring various paramours and breeding unplanned children.   I know even though I shouldn’t follow scandals, sometimes I just can’t resist the temptation.  I think humans are hardwired with an insatiable desire to stop and gawk at others’ mistakes and tragedies.  Comedy is, after all, the flipside of tragedy.  No wonder I enjoy watching shows like World’s Dumbest or Most Shocking.  It feeds that primal desire to slow down and stare at the three car pileup in the opposite side of the freeway.  Worse yet, for me, as far as car accidents on the freeway, is the morbid curiosity I have to determine how badly the cars are damaged.

I find it interesting how one person’s fine dining is another’s barf fest.  In some places sheep heads are considered a delicacy .

One nice thing about the sheep head recipe is they provide the very handy information that one head serves two people, so I guess you’re supposed to bisect the head with a hacksaw or something before you serve it. Sort of like pigs’ feet.  Yummy.  I sort of hope cannibals don’t do head eating like this:

I find it hard to imagine that there’s much meat in either a sheep head or a human head.

However, most of us have (even if it be unwittingly) eaten meat that could once be found on the heads of animals.  Chorizo (Mexican hot sausage) is made from hog jowls including the salivary glands- even so- I adore chorizo in my hot chili.  Many old-time European sausages also contain some pretty gross stuff:

Blutwurst (the French call it Boudin Noir- “black sausage,” while the English call it blood pudding) has got to be one of the grossest sounding foods going, but it’s not terribly popular here in the States.

Head cheese Which is really much more gross than it sounds.

Not dairy cheese.  Not even really made from heads.  Just leftover bits and pieces congealed into this sort of gelatinous mystery meat mass.

Lamb Fries– made famous in the movie Funny Farm – that’s something I don’t plan on trying.  Something about eating testicles-even if they’re just the leftovers from neutering sheep or pigs- is just plain wrong.

Not eggs. Not at all.  Tasty testicles..mmm, mmm good!

There are times I wish I were one of those people who are easily grossed out. While it may be inconvenient to be an impulse puker, I have to be dehydrated-deathly-ill-time-to-go-to-the-ER sick before I can puke.  I can discuss all sorts of macabre things over dinner and not bat an eyelash, I can cut up whole chickens or turkeys without flinching, and I have no problem cleaning and filleting fish.  I’ve skinned and cleaned rabbits and squirrels too, no big deal.   It may help that I have a very limited sense of smell and I had an extreme passion for ’80’s slasher flicks back in the day.  I can’t see myself ever being a bulimic either.  Very few things cause me to lose my appetite, which sort of sucks when you’re one of those people who has to dole out every sip, every bite, every carb, and count every calorie to prevent my ass from being the same size as the front end of my car.

I wish that I naturally had the appetite of someone like Calista Flockhart and could survive for weeks on Diet Rockstar and lettuce, but that is not my destiny.  Better yet to be one of those lucky bastards that can eat like a feeder hog and not gain an ounce.  I used to work with a guy like that.  He was 6’2″ and about 80#- a walking freaking skeleton- who pounded down Big Macs, fries, chocolate shakes, greasy pizza, Bahama Mamas, chips, pastries, etc. you name it, all day long.  For awhile I thought he might be a puker, but bulimia is uncommon among dudes and I don’t think he really liked being that skinny.  So I asked him how he could eat like a Sumo wrestler all day, every day, and be that god-awful thin, to which he replied, “If I don’t eat like this, I lose weight.”

Bastard.  I wish a plague of Richard Simmons on him.

It’s just not fair.  I could run 20 miles a day, and eat nothing but lettuce and Diet Rockstar and probably would still have meaty arms and that nasty leftover skin flap from abdominal surgeries.   I got the shit end of the stick in the metabolic lottery,  just like almost everything else.  But I did get straight teeth- somehow.

The Cougar Pool- Finally! and With a Name Like That…

Ah, the seasons of Central Ohio.  It seems that we have made the yearly sudden move from Monsoon Season into Stygian Heat without missing a beat.  For those unfamiliar with the seasons of Central Ohio, they go as follows:

Winter.  Cold. Windy.  Lots of precipitation- snow, rain, freezing rain, sleet- and it’s always dark. Lasts from about Halloween until mid-February.

Snowbooger Grey.  Cold, lots of rain, but not quite cold enough to freeze, leaving depressing grey snowboogers, discarded clothing items, assorted trash, dead Christmas trees and other detritus everywhere.  Windy. Dismal.  Still dark.  Lasts from mid-February until early April, but seems to last six months at least. The absolute worst season of the year.

Monsoon Season. Rain. Rain for days at a time without seeing a glint of sunlight.  Windy.  Sort of cold.  Lasts from early April until late May or early June.

Stygian Heat.  Hot, hot, humid and hot. Lots of thunderstorms and rain in between the hot, hot, hot, to raise the humidity and make you swear it’s even hotter than it is.  Imagine living in a greenhouse.  Lasts from early June to late August.

Fall Monsoon.  Just like the Monsoon Season of April-May, only there’s falling leaves to go with the rain, wind and cold. Lasts from early September to Halloween.

So we really have five distinct seasons here as opposed to the traditional four seasons.  The constant?  Precipitation, and lots of it.  It’s interesting to live in a (nominally) drained swamp.

I am glad that the successful installation of the Cougar Pool has coincided with the onslaught of Stygian Heat.  It was most enjoyable to float around on my floatie yesterday when it was 90+ with the usual 100% humidity.  I could have used some more interesting entertainment besides watching Jerry picking weeds, chugging Natties and listening to his whining about the bug spray.  If it’s safe for cats, it should work OK on him, unless he starts foaming at the mouth or licking his balls or something.  Then I might have to revisit the cat bug spray option, but those kinds of side effects may be mildly entertaining, and therefore an added advantage.  The cat bug spray was a lot cheaper and probably works better than the high dollar bug repellent anyway, but I’m going to have to get him the regular stuff because he won’t stop whining until I do. 

I did play hell getting the Cougar Pool set up, and I discovered that the only place level enough for it to work was up on the porch.  I should have done that initially instead of trying to set it up in the yard, but I figured Jerry would be more upset if I put it on the porch.  He didn’t seem to protest nearly as much as I thought he would.  I think it would be funny to see him actually get in it but I highly doubt he will try.  Yesterday he said the water was too cold.  I thought it was rather nice, especially considering how hot it was.  Now all I need is a DVD player out there- and maybe a Super Soaker just for fun.

I find it a tad bit hilarious that a guy with the last name Weiner (damned funny in its own regard, especially for a politician) is in trouble for tweeting pics of his Vienna sausage to some young college girl.  When I see this guy on TV, several things hit me about him, and none of them are good.

He’s a Democrat.  Strike one.  Hailing from the party of William J. (Oral Sex is Not Sex) Clinton and Teddy (I Didn’t Know She Couldn’t Swim) Kennedy does not inspire confidence in one’s integrity or one’s ability to refrain from behaving like a back alley tomcat.   However, lest I appear to be too forgiving of the other side of the aisle, I understand many Republicans have made poor behavioral choices in this arena as well.  The difference is that it seems for Republicans lewdness is a liability, whilst tomcattery seems a simple rite of passage- and a way to gain valuable name recognition- for Democrats. 

He’s a whiny little twit.  Strike two.  Would I really want to see his teeny-weeny-weenie?  If you’re going to tweet a pic, make it a good one.  If you’re going to send pics of a package, Ron Jeremy would be a better model than say, Mickey Mouse.

His efforts to molehill-ize his mountain are only adding fuel to the fire.  Dude, the more you protest your innocence, the guiltier (and nuttier) you look.

He has bad hair, a whiny voice, and an extremely huge nose- not necessarily detriments when considered as single elements, but when added to the overall “package” (pun intended) they add to the just plain blecch factor of this guy.

If I had a name like “Weiner” (granted, it’s hard to forget) maybe I’d either change it to something less, uh, giggle worthy, or consider becoming a stripper.  Although I can see where the name “Weiner” would be great as far as name recognition goes, it’s not exactly name recognition in a positive way.  For instance, if I were to name a feminine hygiene product “Pu**y Fresh” the name would be memorable, but not in a good way.  It would be sort of like naming your kid “Adolf” so he stands out in his class.  He will stand out, but not in a positive way.  

I do wonder, however, how many of Rep. Weiner’s constituents voted for him simply because of his name- either out of pity or just because it’s funny.  I can hear this conversation in someone’s head whilst in the voting booth:

“Check it out.  Dude’s name is ‘Weiner.'”

“I gotta vote for him…heh-heh…heh-heh…” (internal Beavis and Butthead laugh)

Or maybe some people just break out into mental song (to the tune of “I Wish I Were an Oscar Meyer Weiner”):

“Oh, I gotta go vote for the weirdo guy named ‘Weiner’, ’cause that is what I’d truly like to be…”

-or-

“Oh, I gotta go vote for the weirdo guy named ‘Weiner’, ’cause Weiner’s what I’d truly like to see…”

Now that song is going to be going through my head the rest of the day. I know I am dating myself, but I am sure there are those out there who remember the Oscar Meyer Weiner Song.  Not too many people wish themselves to be hot dogs these days, but the ’70’s and ’80’s were more innocent times.  When the air was dirty, and sex was clean, or at least safely confined to the privacy of the brothel or bedroom, that is.

And we wonder what’s happened to this country.

Must have been the same stoners who voted for Obama. 

I just thought of a great public service announcement:  “Don’t Toke and Vote!”