Collecting More Eclectic Ephemera, and Someone Lost a Shoe on the Interstate

shoesonpowerlines

 

I don’t understand how shoes end up on the Interstate.  I have heard the urban legend that states that tying a pair of shoes together and tossing them over a power line indicates that someone nearby is selling the reefer, but I don’t think that the median of I-71 would be a good place to score some chronic.

Another theory I have is that the nimrods one sees on the freeway (usually teenage kids) who like to put their feet on the dashes and out car windows occasionally have a shoe blown off, which would constitute one of those “actions lead to consequences” sort of lessons.   As in, your mother is going to kick your butt sideways when she realizes you just lost one of a pair of $100 Reeboks.

Then there is always the prankster possibility- Jimmy’s sleeping like death in the back seat, so now’s the time to chuck his DCs out the moon roof.  Fun and laffs-laffs-laffs for everyone, except Jimmy, who will now have to wear his little sister’s Hello Kitty pink flip flops for the duration of the vacation.

hk sandalsOh so manly.  Not. But, not being a man, I wish they made these in adult women’s sizes.

 

I can also understand tossing footwear out the window when and if it smells like six week old rancid pork chops that have been marinating in horse piss and used cat litter. This actually happened on a road trip to North Carolina with my parents and my then teenaged son.  The POMC wears a bizarre size- 13 AA- so when he finally finds a pair of comfy shoes, they cost out the wazoo (and he is even more cheap than I am- except with his motor sport needs) and he wears them until they literally fall apart.   I remember these shoes all too well- a pair of highly distressed and duct-taped Etnies that I had once had to special order and paid $100 + for, but by that time they had been worn, used and abused until the very thinnest pieces of soles remained.

Etnies-Kingpin-Black-Lamy2

The Etnies were nice shoes when they were new- but not after 2 years of Steve-o abuse.

And they smelled.  Horrible.  I came much too close to paying a brief and intense visit with Cousin Ralph getting a whiff of that, and I have almost no sense of smell.  It had to be deadly for anyone with a normal sense of smell to be anywhere near that funk.

So when Steve-o decided, somewhere on I-71 in rural Kentucky, that it would be a good idea to remove the shoes, peel off the socks, and let his bird claws air out, a green and thick stench wafted through the Venture van like a malevolent, pasty sewage-y fog.

footsmell

 

I thought Mom was going to hurl right out the passenger side window.   It is only by a Miracle of God that she didn’t spew the Burrito Supreme and Taco Salad she’d just scarfed about an hour earlier at Taco Bell all down the side of the van.  The sight of used Taco Bell splattering down the side of the van and onto the freeway coupled with that evil green miasma that was permeating the interior of the van would have guaranteed a mass uprising of various stomach contents.

 

burrito supreme

I’m sure it doesn’t taste as good on the way back up.

Traveling alone does help one to avoid the hazards of traveling with others- noxious smells, dangerous driving, and the unappetizing visuals of  blood relatives who are dead to the world, open-mouthed and snoring like freight trains.

I rather enjoyed my solo road trip to NC last week.  The only thing I really didn’t like was all the rudeness and bad driving I encountered on the way home.  Apparently assholes are universal, or they were having a convention on I-75 northbound all through Kentucky.  I don’t know why everyone in the south seems to think they are NASCAR drivers or some crap.

I was also able to avoid tourist traps and kitschy restaurants by bringing my own chow and only stopping for gasoline and to get coffee and pee.  I didn’t encounter any worthy souvenirs this way, but then again I didn’t end up getting taken for various overpriced hillbilly swag.

fish finder

That was almost a sad thing, failing to bring back some sort of memento.  Next time I take a trip like that I should make it a point to stop off at some of those shops along the Interstate just to see if there is anything worth having other than homemade fudge, moonshine (now legal in Tennessee!) or shot glasses.

hillbilly moonshine

 

The World’s Still Here (Told You So) and the White Death Returneth

end-of-the-world snake food

The world obviously didn’t end on Friday, December 21, just like it didn’t end on May 11, 2011 or in 2000, or 1988 or 1986 or any of those other dates set by people who desperately look for meaning in the writing of the ancients and/or the scattered patterns of the skies.

It would be easier that way, maybe, but I don’t really want my life any more scheduled than it has to be.  Routine is one thing, but scheduling all activities down to the minute is bullshit.  I can imagine that might be part of the reason why today’s kids are so apeshit.  I mean, most of them have to get up way early to go to the sitter before school, then spend all day at school with every second micromanaged, only to stay after school to play sport “A” and/or do activity “B” which is also micromanaged, and then come home to a late dinner and chores, fall asleep, and repeat the same noise the next day.

daily_schedule_prekinderThis would drive me apeshit as an adult, let alone as a freaking four year old!  I really can’t schedule my whiz times.

There’s not much room for any quiet contemplation in that kind of rat race.  I don’t respond to micromanagement well, and I don’t generally function well as a part of a group.   What if I want to stare at the wall when everyone else is dancing about the room? I would be royally screwed if I would have to adhere to a day care schedule, let along to be a middle school or high school kid today.  Granted, very few if any people share my need for copious quantities of solitude, but I’m sure that after awhile the lack of spontaneity and absence of breathing room would- given time- have to disturb even the most extroverted neurotypical.

It’s not that I’m so averse to having a schedule- as long as it’s mine and not one imposed upon me.  It’s one thing if I set aside time for an activity that I’m interested in doing, and quite another if it’s something someone else schedules for me that I’d rather not be doing.  There are also some things- like bodily functions- that just really don’t occur on a regular schedule, at least not for me.  I take a lot of blood pressure meds, I like my coffee, and I don’t have much bladder capacity.  I have to stay within reasonable proximity to a toilet.

I think that’s why holidays and so forth are so stressful for me- strange toilets.  In all seriousness, there are people I want to see and spend time with, and others I’d really rather avoid.  This Christmas I was pretty fortunate in that I spent most of the day with Steve-o (someone I did want to spend time with) and got to spend most of the day Sunday with my granddaughter (who I also wanted to spend time with) so I’m cool.  I don’t need and I certainly don’t enjoy big formal parties and such.

ballroom gown meAll dressed up, (and this looks itchy to boot) with nowhere to go.

As far as the End of the World, I say let that be a surprise.  There are some things I don’t think I really want to know about in advance.

Central Ohio is positioned in a sort of strange place in relation to weather fronts.  It’s far enough south of the lake that we don’t get the “lake effect snow” that Cleveland and other cities too far north for human habitation experience.  Columbus proper- or at least within the confines of I-270- sits in a bit of a valley.  It rains a lot and it floods easily, but we get far less snow than the hinterlands up north.  There’s a huge difference in snowfall just in going 15-20 miles further north.  Most of the really wicked weather fronts end up either staying north or sort of blowing around us.  So when forecasters say the White Death is coming to Central Ohio, I believe it when I see it.  Far too often we’re supposed to get some huge-ass storm, the mere mention of which sets everyone off raiding the grocery stores on their quests for Velveeta cheese and Marlboros, and instead of White Death of the Apocalypse we get either a shitload of rain (that’s the default for Central Ohio anyway) or a piddly dusting of snow that doesn’t even warrant me putting on boots.

Velveeta-cheese1marlborosRedneck priorities- screw the milk and bread- we need smokes, and Velveeta cheese is good all by itself!

Yesterday we actually had a substantial snow- about 4″ or so within I-270.  Despite the arrival of the White Death, I was quite able to get to work and get home in my nice little Hello Kitty Yaris.  I think the traction control light came on once.

Maybe I’m jaded because the snow situation is very different where I come from, even though it’s only about 50 miles away.  I remember one surprise storm up in the hinterlands all too well.  My sister and I ended up pulling cars out of ditches with her ’68 VW Bug and a tow rope.    She had snow tires on the back of it which came in handy.  I also remember off-roading in snow-covered cornfields with VW Rabbits.  They’re geared low and are fairly high off the ground, so they would go through a lot more than one would think by their size.

1983-volkswagen-rabbit-gti1983- when Reagan was president, the air was dirty but sex was clean, and Steve Perry wore Spandex.  Damn, I should not have sold my ’83 GTI.

I’m Not Running the Train, Which is Fine With Me, and Crap-n-Go

I’m not sure who wrote this little piece of poetry, but the railroad analogy is fitting.

When I was about four years old, Dad had a friend who was into amateur photography.  Given that this was 1973 (long, long before the days of digital photography) and having any kind of pictures taken was expensive, Dad jumped on the chance to take me and my sisters to this guy’s house to have our pictures taken.  Joy and rapture.

I don’t remember a whole lot about it other than having to wear a purple polyester pantsuit that was hotter than hell and itched something fierce and even worse, matched the ones my sisters were wearing.  Grandma had made these pantsuits.  They were ghastly according to today’s standards, but would have been fashionable in 1973.  They would have been a lot more comfortable had they been made of a breathable fabric, but sorry about my luck. To make it even less comfortable, we also had to wear these little black patent mary janes (not rubber-soled, of course) with itchy white lace socks.   I ended up with a nasty heat rash from wearing this ensemble, I do remember that.

Anyway, the guy with the high faluting camera also had another high faluting toy out in his yard for his own kids- an electric train on tracks that kids could ride on.  We were poor kids, and whatever good toys we had access to were immediately commandeered by my sadistic oldest sister.  I got toys after she and my other sister and usually the dog too, had destroyed them.  I had never seen any kids’ toy as cool as that train, ever.

My sisters were more worried about chasing down and beating up the two boys who lived there, which meant I had the train all to my own happy self.  Since I was none too thrilled about a.) wearing this horrifically hot and itchy pantsuit in the middle of August,  b.) having my picture taken, c.) having to be around both strange people and my sisters, I decided to stay on the train.  That was fun- and there was a bit of a breeze.  Suffice to say that Mom and Dad both had their hands full with peeling my sisters off those poor boys, so I got a good bit of time on the train.  So much so that the guy took quite a few pics of me on the train.  No, I’ve not bothered to scan the pics. I don’t want to ask Mom to borrow them long enough to scan them.  Even at four years old I was awkward and geeky and nearsighted as well as horribly dressed. It was the ’70’s after all.  I think I am permanently allergic to polyester after that.  I break out in heat rash just thinking about it.

That was the last time I technically got to run the train.  That’s fine with me.  It was fun while it lasted.

It could be worse.  Perhaps this is a creative way of selling a colonoscopy.  $999 would be a discount.

I have to wonder why sweepstakes and drawings are usually for something nobody really needs anyway.  Money, that’s cool, or even the $5000 Target gift card that I keep doing the surveys to get a chance to win.  But who really wants a lot of the crap that’s given away?

Coffee mugs are useful, but I’ve used the same one at home for 30 years.

Here’s some interesting marketing.  Looks like this guy’s selling an item that most people wouldn’t want to touch even if it has been soaked in Clorox for a month.

I live in the Midwest, where those of us who are into things like hot pink rubber fists tend to be a bit more discreet about it, so I don’t see ads like this every day.  It is a bit disturbing that a few of the phone number tags are missing, meaning that at least a few people entertained the idea of inquiring on this item.  I can just imagine an inquiring caller’s conversation regarding this lovely artifact:

“Hi, I’m Bruce, and I’d like to know more about your fabulous rubber fist!”

“Oh, yes, it’s just super!  But I have three others just like it and I really don’t need a fourth, you know. I only have so much room.”

Which brings me back to the movie, Borat.  The guys inquiring on the fist might have amputee friends back home. “I’ll find you a new arm in America!”

At least I didn’t actively encourage my son to eat whilst sitting on the john. I wouldn’t put it past him, but I didn’t encourage it either.

I had to get a laugh out of this- a woman parking her twins on kiddy potties in the middle of a McD’s or other fast food joint somewhere in Utah.  I am not the squeamish type, and the seats in most fast food joints are probably just as germy as the kiddy potties to begin with, but having your kids sit on the crapper pretty much in the nude, dropping a deuce through lunch is a bit much.   This is all the more motivation for me to do what I normally do on the rare occasion I dine of fast food.  I normally eat in the relative quiet and cleanliness of my own car.

The only time I go into a fast food joint is if I’m traveling and have to use the ladies’ as well as score some chow.  I am not a huge fan of public bathrooms, but if you gotta go, any crapper with a door will do.  Guys have the advantage here because most of them can keep a two-liter drink bottle for the purposes of whizzing on the go (make your own trucker bomb) but that’s just not practical for chicks.   I am not going to drop my drawers along the side of the Interstate to whiz for some jackwagon to take pics and plaster them all over creation.  I will concede that the public restroom is only one notch above the public fitting room (and I do NOT try on clothes in public fitting rooms ever) as far as creep factor, but sometimes necessity rules.  I don’t see myself going to adult diapers any time soon.

Far be it from me to judge another’s fetish but the “adult baby” fetish is just plain gross.  This dude looks like he should be on one of those sex offender/predator lists, no?

Black and Blue (Not Fun to Do) and My Crappy Attitude

Some days this is a lot easier said than done because I’m feeling a bit– ok- a lot- battered today.

I’ll say it now- I’m going to have a bit of a rant today.  Lord have mercy.  I need it.

No, I am not enduring any sort of domestic violence.  Jerry is pretty much confined to getting drunk and stupid.  He will say stupid things and do stupid things, but even Jerry has that little glimmer of self preservation instinct deep with in the reptilian part of his brain that restrains him from being stupid enough to get physically violent with me. I’m not inclined toward physical contact- especially fighting- and I generally avoid him when he’s drunk.  So we have a sort of détenté.  When he’s wasted, I’m in my own room, usually with the dogs.

Yesterday I went to the matinee showing of 2016 with Steve-o.  I’ve always appreciated Dinesh D’Souza’s commentary, and there were a number of facts brought up in the movie that I had not been aware of.  It was sort of preaching to the choir as far as I’m concerned, though.  The people who really need to see this movie are the people who are ill-informed or deceived enough to seriously entertain the thought of voting for Obama.   I already know better than to do that.  I knew better in 2008.  The only bad thing about going to the movie was my abysmal coordination.  Steve-o wanted to sit up toward the back, and as I was climbing the steps (which are uneven in a movie theatre) I bashed my foot on the step, and of course went down.

Thankfully I’d decided against the $7.00 Diet Coke.  I detest watered-down fountain drinks anyway, but I’d been really pissed if I’d nearly face planted (I came close to it) and then ended up wearing an over priced watered down fountain drink to add insult to my injury.  So now my left foot looks like someone bashed it with a hammer.  I’d be surprised if my big toe isn’t broken.  Even if it is, the ER can’t do anything for it other then to tell me to take Naproxen and put ice on it which I’ve already been doing.  Now I’m just waiting to see how far the bruise will spread and how many colors it will turn.  I’m rather easily amused.

Sort of an angry dark purple today, but it’s not too bad, if I refrain from bending it or bumping into anything.  Yeah.  I’m that coordinated. Had I been coordinated I’d not done this in the first place.

In spite of my rather unfortunate genetic grab bag, there are times I wish I’d been able to have more kids.  Then I remember I’m still paying for the POMC, and then I’m thankful that the Hand of Providence only allowed me one.

I don’t see how anyone can afford more than one rug rat- my condolences on anyone paying for one child especially today.  I don’t know how people do it with multiple mouths.  Of course I will be paying back all the $$$ I had to borrow to get the POMC through school, for the next ten years, so I’m just a skoche miffed about that.  If a person is considered an adult at age 18, then why the flying eff  is he considered my “dependent” for the purposes of the student loan machine- even though I can’t claim him as a tax deduction- because he has been living independently and working since he was 18?  Why do I get stuck with him on my insurance ’till he’s 26- (thanks Obama, for that shitty little provision) even though he works and has his own kid to support- and I end up with half of his student loans?????

I guess it’s my fault he’s white (minorities can get grants, but never whitey) and since the govt. has taken over student loans and financial aid, the kids get no help at all if their parents earn a (barely…) subsistence wage, even if the kid doesn’t live with his/her parents, which is majorly effed up.

Of course if I were on welfare and/or he belonged to ______ minority group, his education would have been free.  If he had any kind of athletic prowess (though I’m glad he actually got a brain instead) he’d be playing some sport and get a free ride which baffles my mind.  How many football players have an IQ higher than pond scum?  I have said it many, many times.  The football teams make schools like OSU and others a LOT of money.  Hire guys to play football, understand the football jocks are NOT scholars, and if you’re going to give scholarships, give them to people with the intellect to do something with the education they’re offered.  Of course that will never happen.

It is also a fact that if you’re female, AND white, you might as well understand there’s no scholarships and precious few grants for you to go to school no matter how poor you are.  It also doesn’t matter high your IQ and/or your GPA is.  A white female might as well just understand that if she wants an education, she’s going to have to pay for it (as well as for all the freeloaders) herself.

The lesson in this?  Apparently white people shouldn’t breed.  We just get stuck doing all the work- and then paying for everyone else who belongs to some “special group” anyway!

If you want an education, girls, better be prepared to learn on your own.

To put the turd on the icing of that little cake not only am I paying for my own kid (that, I don’t like, but I do understand) but I also get to pay for all the “special” ones who don’t have to pay too, probably even including the jocks who can’t spell their own names, but because they can run with a football, they get free rides.  These are guys whose academic pursuits include such edifying courses as, “Connecting With Your Inner Child Through Sports” and “The Joys of Basket Weaving.”  Maybe that’s why paying for my kid costs so damned much- because I’m not just paying for him but I’m also paying for the “freebie” kids.  Is this why health insurance is so outrageous too- because everyone who has insurance is paying for everyone who doesn’t for whatever reason?  I think it’s the same mentality going on, and it pisses me off.

Jerry might.  The dogs do.  I still use the toilet.

Absolute Authority, Colonel of the Urinal, and Which Circle of Hell is This?

I can’t say I envied her death by guillotine, but she had an awesome wardrobe for a time, whatever that’s worth.

(Just imagine all the lice in that wig…)

Today I am reminded of Lord Acton’s Dictum: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  This being said, I don’t want to be in charge of anything more lofty than getting Jerry’s AV equipment working for him.  It’s a TV and cable box, (God forbid he wants to figure out how to play a DVD at 6:30 AM) but for him, the TV remote might as well be Mission Control at NASA.

We have achieved ignition!  The TV is on!  Now Jerry can watch the news, and I can get on with getting my own shit done.

I know I shouldn’t pander to Jerry’s ever-present Helplessman mode.  I know he wants attention, otherwise he wouldn’t have unplugged all that crap a couple of weeks ago, forcing me to contort my body into positions it was never meant to assume in order to plug all of it back in and get it working again.  I couldn’t do Kama Sutra positions when I was younger and actually had sex every now and again.  Why the hell should I suffer like that knowing that sex is just a distant memory, and all I’ll get out of it now is dirty and pissed off?

Now that he knows I really hate the contortionist bullshit I have to go through to plug everything in again, it follows that when he whines about not being able to operate the TV, I will just turn the box on and leave the box on, and set the power button so the power button only works the TV.  If you turn off the box, then you have to turn the power button on, then turn the box on, then hit the power button again and then hit the TV button, which is just too many steps for Jerry.  If he would just leave the damned thing alone except for turning the TV on and off with the power button, it would work just fine, but he has to jack around with things he doesn’t understand.   Guess who gets to fix that mess?

Yes, he was raised by wolves, and his childhood sucked, and he didn’t get enough attention from Mommy, and all that psychological clap trap, but by the time you’re 55 one would think you would have learned to let it go and just deal.  Maybe I just took my own dysfunctional childhood the other direction and became insanely self-sufficient out of necessity and also out of recognition that if I want something done, it’s on me to get it done.

Depending on the charity or beneficence of others is sort of like wishing in one hand and taking a big juicy crap in the other.  We all know which one is going to fill up first.  Either I do it myself, or pay someone else if it’s something I can’t do myself. I don’t expect anyone to do my laundry, or hook up my TV, or fix my meals.

It’s well to remember that before the mid-20th century, most Americans were rednecks raised by wolves, bathing twice a year whether they needed it or not, and using the facility in the woods along with the bears.

I wish we had another working toilet.  There is a toilet in the basement, but it doesn’t work.  It’s some kind of weird electric (?) flush up type thing, but it’s permanently out of order unless Jerry can find someone to fix it or replace it or something.  Plumbing is a skilled trade- that I know absolutely nothing about.

All I know is that it cost $250 for the plumber to re-do the kitchen sink drain after Jerry tried to put a catfish head down the kitchen sink disposal.  The bad part about sharing a bathroom (and even though Jerry’s as filthy as a  horde of hogs, I would rather share a bathroom with a dude than a woman any day) is that it seems he has to take his place on the throne at the same time I need to brush my teeth and put on enough makeup to avoid traumatizing small children and dogs.

“Shit with a Hint of Mint” is not a flavor I think the product developers at Colgate had in mind, but more often than not, that’s the experience in my world.

This one would be flying off the shelves… not!

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so sensitive.  I should be more thankful that I don’t have much of a sense of smell.   If it stinks to me, it positively has to reek to the rest of the world.

I’m also thankful for the MP3 player, as the abysmal selections of country music being played by others in my vicinity seem to get worse every day.  I don’t care about saving horses and riding cowboys, nor do I give a hang about some hillbilly’s alcohol problem. I have realized that being exposed to country music- constantly and against my will, especially- only makes me loathe it more.  That’s OK.  I’m listening to the live version of Journey’s “Line of Fire,” which is drowning out the oat opera quite nicely.  I don’t want to be rude, but I would like to tell both the oat opera offenders where they can shove their damned radios and how high.  Those things have headphone jacks…please for the love of God use them!

I miss Reagan even more after the current Obfuscater in Chief sent out yet another misguided apology yesterday.

Back to our friend Lord Acton and his Dictum.  One person or one misguided group of people holding all the power is a very dangerous thing.  Humans are evil by nature, and without checks and balances- just imagine a five year old left alone in a car with a very expensive interior with nothing but his imagination and a Sharpie.  I’ve seen it.  It’s not pretty.  Neither is what has happened to the current government of this country.

I think if anything the system that we have to fear in this country isn’t so much Marxism or socialism or communism, but government by oligarchy.  The good ol’ boy system is nothing new, which is why the Framers of the Constitution tried to design safeguards into our system of government to help prevent one person- or even one ideological group- from getting too much power.  Obama on his own- he’s not that bright.  But the self-appointed “elites” who run things behind the scenes know exactly what they’re doing to this country and by proxy to the entire world.

Some pigs are more equal than others, as Orwell pointed out.  Al Gore might preach to the world to “mind their carbon footprint” and “wipe with reusable cloths,” or to “bury your car,” but this jackwagon is riding about in private jets and SUVs and sucking down more fossil fuels in a weekend than some entire countries do in a year.  You can bet there’s no Charmin shortage at Chez Gore either

Let them eat Big Macs!

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!

Suffer the Old Cougar, Sheena’s Special Needs, and the Things on My Memory Card

I don’t have too many strange little pieces of kitsch lying around, but this is one of them.  I even know where it should have been at one time.

This is a ’69 Cougar.  The emblem, above, that I happened upon in some yard sale crap box, is the same as the one on the LF fender.

I never was a true believer in old Detroit iron.  I’m still a bit of a car snob- I love, but can’t afford and don’t want to deal with the high maintenance on the European stuff, so I am happy with a utilitarian Toyota that is easy to maintain, reliable and efficient and I leave it at that for now.  Unless I come into money and can buy that ’69 FJ40, the ’69 Karmann Ghia and the ’83 GTI I’d like to have to play with.

Even back in the ’80’s when all the other motorheads were into Camaros or Mustangs or (heaven forbid) anything Mopar, I was playing with VW Rabbits and air-cooled VW rail buggies.  However, if you are/were into old muscle cars, the ’69 and ’70 Mercury Cougars were somewhat rare, and are aesthetically very cool.  Mom actually had a ’70 Cougar, with a 351 Windsor no less- the one she sold way too cheap because my cat, LeRoy, decided to take a leak all over the back seat.  As part of the same eliminatory session, LeRoy also left a huge dump right on the driver’s seat.  That’s why you never leave the window down.  Leaving windows down on any unattended car in Ohio is a bad idea for a number of reasons.  First, it can get jacked that way.  Second, it can rain anytime, regardless of what the “forecast” indicates.  Third, outdoor cats may mistake your ride for an upholstered toilet.  No matter what she tried, the piss smell just wouldn’t come out.  LeRoy lived outside because he wasn’t neutered (I was only a little kid and couldn’t afford to get the poor cat’s nuts cut so he could live in the house) and now I know why neutering a tomcat is pretty important if you want him to live inside.  Male cat urine does not ever come out of upholstery.  “Little Trees” don’t help, either.  The dude who bought that old Cougar freely admitted to having no sense of smell. He smelled worse than the interior of the car to begin with, so I understand why he could have cared less. It was a good match.

LeRoy looked like Morris the 9Lives cat, but Dad hates cats, so LeRoy it was, since that’s Dad’s middle name.

LeRoy (in spite of having my Dad’s rather unfortunate middle name- Grandma sure had a sense of humor) was a really cool cat.  He was about Fanny sized- 16#-17#, and I could do anything with him, up to and including putting him in doll clothes and walking him around in a doll stroller.  He actually was a street cat, but he knew where the food was (I did bring him food) and he was one of those twisted big cats that liked little kids picking him up and playing with him.  Leave to me to attract the neighborhood misfits and strays.

Speaking of misfits and strays, we have discovered why Sheena is so difficult and seemingly incorrigible.  On top of all her other issues, Sheena is deaf.

No wonder she doesn’t listen.  She’s deaf as a post.

I don’t know why we didn’t figure it out before.  She follows the other dogs and will usually do what they do- but when there’s no other dog to watch and she can’t see a human, she’s lost. She does not respond to anyone if they’re behind her and she can’t see them. You can’t wake her from sleep unless you touch or shake her- sounds do not wake her up. I had thought she was just an incredibly sound sleeper, but that is not normal dog behavior.  A dog that can hear will be roused from sleep by a loud noise close by.  She is also much more intent on being able to see everything than a normal dog.  Jerry is having a dog trainer come out to evaluate her tonight to see if she might be able to learn sign language since she is so visually focused.  I have found some information that deaf dogs can learn commands in ASL, which would be a good learning experience for the other two dogs also.   In a way I feel bad because we simply thought she was mentally off, but for being deaf and having to navigate that way she compensates amazingly well.  Fortunately she already has some things working to her advantage.  She is able to follow the other dogs and work off their visual cues and body language, which is beneficial for a deaf dog, and in some instances (case in point) a deaf dog living with hearing dogs can cue in on their behavior and adapt so well that no one can tell they’re deaf.  Sheena has no fear of humans and she’s very trusting- probably because she knows that the humans have the food.  I am anxious to see what the trainer has to say when he works with her.

I took this pic whilst getting Jerry’s lottery tickets at the Speedway (gas station) last night.  Getting stoned in a Mom van.  Go figure.

I do find some funky things to photograph.  I wish there had been digital cameras back in the ’80’s.  Then again, maybe not.

The boy can sleep- and drool- anywhere.

Like father, like daughter- they were both napping.