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Rant in the Feels

I’m big into nostalgia.

Only, not my nostalgia.

I’m big into the nostalgia of times I never encountered, and times when the things that make you go SQUEE! with delight were past me and thoroughly engulfed my children. The latter nostalgic times are embraced, loved, fondled, and homaged by a terrifically gifted writer (and very young man..okay, I added the “very” part because old) by the name of Matt at his blog Dinosaur Dracula.

Matt’s take on everything from movies to food is a reminder that oftentimes things are much sweeter looking back.

For the things that take me back back, to a time I never encountered but wished I had, I read a Reader’s Digest publication called “Reminisce”.  It’s full of warm and wonderful recollections of times long gone, often told by the people who lived them. I have always said I was born of the wrong time, and when I read the magazine I feel it’s true.

But, not for the nostalgic way things were when women stayed home and baked bread, or washed clothes in a tub.

No, I’m too lazy to go back to those times.

What I miss is the simplicity of everyday life.  The lines between right and wrong were clear and definite. Home, family, children, marriage..these were sacred trusts.

Anymore, I don’t know what’s sacred except maybe the love of self.  With twitter pics of a naked Kardashian-West, and the glorifying of things I believe to be so wrong – like Caitlin Jenner – I long for a time when I wasn’t affronted on all fronts by the out in fronts.

Don’t misread…I am not totally judging, okay maybe I am judging a little bit, but mostly I’m saying I don’t care that Kim has “..nothing to wear..” or that Caitlin used to be Bruce.

I DON’T CARE, and I don’t want to celebrate that shit or any of the other piles of shit I’m constantly forced to see.  I also don’t want to be confronted with it every time I turn on the television, radio, open up Facebook (and thank the gods I don’t use Twitter other than to auto-send a new post, because I do not understand that at all..not one bit), or simply exist in this world.

If it’s Tuesday, Then Aliens Don’t Eat Pancakes

Walked into my office this morning and..

Sploosh…sploosh…SPLOOSH!

What the…?

The ancient building I work in had sprung a leak and the entire hallway was flooded.  Apparently, the roof drains clogged during last night’s monsoon (the first rain since 1947 I think), and with nowhere to go the water came inside.   An entire closet filled with paper products – letterhead, envelopes, notebooks, etc – was ruined.  And the floor and carpet were at least ten feet deep in cold water.  Good thing I wore my waterproof workboots this morning, and brought my life jacket. Some guys from maintenance came with a mini wet-vac and cleaned up the water, then turned the a/c on and down to 20 degrees to dry the carpets.

It’s 40 degrees outside, and the wind is howling at a sustained 140 mph, making the wind chill minus Kelvin.  So, of course turning on the air conditioner was the logical thing to do.

My hands were numb from the cold in a matter of minutes, and I believe I accidentally bit off a finger while eating my sammich at lunchtime.  I won’t know for sure until later when my eyeballs thaw and I can see properly again.

Later my phone rang and the following conversation ensued:

ME: HolyWattageBatmanCompany, this is ME

Irate Female Caller: Yeah, somebody called me from that number just now and cussed at me and called me a bitch, and I just wanted to know who it was.

ME: From here?

IFC: Yes, from this number. It’s on my caller I.D.

ME: Ma’am, this is a power company, no one…

IFC: YES..SOMEONE CALLED ME FROM THERE, SAID SOMETHING ABOUT A PAY DAY LOAN CONSOLIDATION, TOLD ME I WAS A BITCH AND HUNG UP ON ME.

ME: Ma’am, this is a power company. We make electricity. I think you have the wrong number.

IFC: Oh, okay *click*

It’s been a weird day.

Because…

….there’s never, ever, not ever, not for one minute…a dull moment in my life……..

Christmas went well.  It was a hunnert degrees outside, and Santa looked like he would melt inside his suit when he visited the gaggle of screaming grandchildren gathered to meet him on Christmas Eve.

Months of preparation and the entire gift-opening extravaganza was over in 12.4 minutes.

The adults at my house engage in a White Elephant gift exchange.  The concept, for those who don’t know, is to gather gawd-awful items you already have, wrap them prettily, and then every person gets a number and we pick packages based on if we’re first, second, and so on.  After the first pick, the next person can either ‘steal’ a person’s gift or get a new one from the stack.  And so it goes.

The idea is to give someone you love a hideous/disgusting gift.  It’s a Christmas Spirit thing.

Of course, there’s always that one relative who doesn’t get it.  That person invariably brings a truly magnificent gift.   This year, it was a giant bag filled with gorgeous household knick-knacks, wall hangers, and so on.  It was the FIRST gift picked, so you just knew the receiver wasn’t going to hang onto it.

Except the receiver, my youngest son, literally guarded his loot and threatened anyone who came near.  He looked like a dog guarding the food bowl as he’d place his body between the would-be thief and the bag…growling and giving the thief the stink-eye.

The kid’s got game when it comes to intimidating looks.

I thought we were going to have a brawl a time or two as shouts of “cheater!” and “That’s not how this game is played!” fell on son’s deaf ears.

For my part, I’ve got so many knick-knacks and crapola around already I’m thinking of changing my name to Pier One Kirkland’s (got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?), so I didn’t want a giant bag with more dust collectors.

In the end, son got to keep his big bag and I got a coloring book and crayons..perfect..no, really, perfect for when the grandkids come over.

I think we need to explain the White Elephant rules one. more. time.

Christmas Day is usually quiet and laid back at our house. I won’t get out of my jammies all day, unless we have company for dinner – which we did this year.  It was still quiet, as all the grandkids were occupied with their new stuff.

The very next day I came down with the latest version of norovirus.  This was the day we were supposed to start taking everything down because the day after that we were going to visit my mother some 700 miles away. Instead, I spent a day and a half praying to the porcelain gods and wishing I could sleep until it all passed. I mean, really…you get the pukes and a raging fever with body aches all at once.  Seriously?  ONE is bad enough, why oh why do we have to get both?  Then, I spent the next four days (three of which were at my mother’s house) with a come-and-go fever, cold sweats, and zero appetite. Good times.

But, it doesn’t end there…as we were preparing to leave on our long road trip (a day and a half behind schedule) – and let me tell you just how excited I was for that, having been so sick so recently – when my sister’s frantic calls and texts began.  Her husband was admitted to ICU with sepsis.  How he went from a healthy, cutthroat, corporate attorney to death’s door can be attributed to the medical profession.  He had a biopsy, it got infected, then it really pissed his body off and he wound up in the hospital for a solid week.  He’s home now, with a PICC line for antibiotics.  Out of the woods, be definitely still on the mend.

And that was just last week…hell, part of last week.  The rest, though, was anti-climactic after all that led up to it.

I even rang in 2016 asleep, on the couch at mom’s, for the first time since I was a child.

It was a hint for this year.  Keep it quiet, dude. I need my rest.

By This Time I Don’t Even Know What We Are Arguing About

It started with a statement from a MAJOR CARRIER, let’s call it FredFlex, asking why my company’s location hadn’t paid our bill for $100.

I haz  a confused.  I never see these bills.  They are paid by the guy in shipping on his company credit card.

I sent an e-mail to the guy who arranged the shipping.

He haz a confused.

He said the sender was paying.

The sender said the receiver was paying.

This was all e-mail and by this time I was caught in the ‘reply all’ loop, so I popped some corn to watch the tennis match.

But sender should pay…

No, receiver…

Well, I’m not paying….

Neither am I…….

It dawned on me that I’m technically the receiver, so I might need to pay attention.

Only by this time I wasn’t sure who was supposed to do what, so I kept munching on the popcorn.

We’re on hour six of the battle, and for a while it looked like sender had the lead.

Now I’m not so sure.

And, I don’t even remember the original argument any more.

Such is the excitement that is my life. And the stupidity I bear witness to once in a while.

Damn, I’m out of popcorn.

Well, That Was Interesting

No, no it wasn’t.

You know how sometimes you accidentally pause while channel-surfing on one of those “reality” shoes, based in the Deep South, where everyone is mad at everyone and the women get into shouting/shoving matches and they’re so angry you can’t make out the words even though you’re pretty sure “bitch” is used a lot?

Take that, and imagine it in your ear.

And imagine the person in your ear is your mother.

Further imagine this is a one-sided argument, and you spend most of your time trying to figure out what she’s talking about.

Add in the fact that your stepfather is currently in a locked psych unit, the real reason for your mother’s tirade is her fears and frustrations at what might happen to her husband of nearly fifty years.

And then remember that the screaming in your ear is still going on and you’re a fully-fecking-grown woman and dammit you will NOT be treated this way.

Then imagine the tirade abruptly ends before you get a chance to tell your mother that as she slams the phone down in your ear.

I didn’t get much sleep last night.

You Say Child, I See Science Experiment

I have an…shall we say ‘acquaintance’…who is a professional engineer.  His wife is a tutor and teacher.  They have one child, a son, on whom they can focus all of their energies.

Poor kid.

Since birth, I’ve gotten regular updates on the child (prodigy) with emphasis on milestones and achievements.

At 2, he was reading.  At 4, complex math. At 7, fluent in one foreign language and starting when he was 8 another language was added.

Every minute of this kid’s day is packed with precisely measured doses of education.

I honestly haven’t heard of a single incident involving bugs, mud, skinned knees, puppies, or a busted lip.

Recently, he was expected to be accepted into an accelerated program at one of the local magnet schools.  In order to properly prepare him, his parents altered his sleeping and eating schedule to “obtain optimum cognitive abilities” on testing day.

I’m worried about this kid.  I foresee a future with him snapping, and by ‘snapping’ I mean he’ll wear mis-matched argyle socks and his mother will faint.

I’ve met him several times, over the years, and he is poised, personable, handsome, and at 8 yrs. old he creeps me out.

He’s a Stepford child, I’m convinced.

Also, this cannot be common.  I refuse to believe this happens a lot to children who really should be spending at least some time every day getting dirty.

I’m really, reaaaaaaaaaaallly curious to see how puberty affects this child and wonder if he’ll just rebel and maybe ditch the khakis for some ripped jeans and a pair of Vans.

I don’t think his parents could survive that kind of shock to their systems, but me…I’ll be doing my inner “hells yeah” dance the day he does.

Because I’m Weird and Fascinated by Obscure and Bizarre Medical Stuff

I spend too much time in the rabbit hole (Internet) reading about strange home remedies of yore.

I started this some time ago when I found that, like me, many kids were subjected to the following from parents bent on murder:

  1. Turpentine (yes, as in paint thinner/remover) on sugar – to get rid of “worms”, and by “worms” I mean any intestinal distress or butt itching.
  2. Vicks – taken internally to get rid of a cold, sore throat, etc.
  3. Castor Oil – technically not a poison, but you’ll never convince me of it.

So, anyway, here’s a few others I found….umm…interesting:

Need relief from a stopped-up nose? Soak a cotton ball in cocaine (yes, as in coke) and shove it up there.

Got a sore throat? Then mix cocaine with warm water and olive oil, and drink.

To relieve eczema, soak cloths in laudanum and lead acetate.  Apply to the affected area.

Losing your hair? Well, just drink a tea of sage and whisky.

And, if you suffer from acne just mix cannabis with lard and apply liberally to the affected areas.

I have no idea if any of these worked, but I suspect no one really gave a shit after trying them either, because cannabis/coke/laudanum.

OMG! WTF!

This interwebby thing, or whatever it is that the kids are calling it these days, has its own language.  A slang term for nearly everything has been invented.

It’s not your mama’s interwebby, that’s for sure, and for those of us who didn’t grow up all OMG and WTF, there’s a lot of catching up/on to be done.

Some things, though, I may never get.

You really don’t want to know how long it took me to figure out this one:

OIC

Or this;

ICU

And this one from a girls’ little makeup kit (which had a geisha on the lid and isn’t technically an IS, but it took me weeks to figure out):

Mih Soh Preetee

I still can’t remember what this one is sometimes:

FML

And I’ve finally gotten comfortable with using these:

SMH and SMDH

But, I still do not know what this means:

‘K

I send a loooooooooong text, and that’s what I get back? Does it mean ‘okay’, and ‘I’m too lazy to type the rest of the word’?  Or is it, ‘You’re not worth the time to write ‘okay’, so I’m just using one letter’?  Or is it, ‘This is symbolic of my passive-aggressive attitude towards your last text, and up yours?’

That’s one I may never know the answer to.

IDK

Apparently No One Keeps the Camaro

My car is a 2012 Chevy Impala, and lately it’s begun to do weird things.  Like refusing to budge, despite my politely placing it in gear and gently pressing on the gas pedal. It particularly likes to refuse my requests in reverse, or when turning, or when it’s cold.  Add to this the strange shuddering and grinding sounds it’s making, and my instincts tell me..something’s wrong.

I’m intuitive like that.

I just refuse to believe that a car, with only 40K miles on it, should be exhibiting such behavior. Especially since this is nearly identical behavior to what drove (heh..heh..see what I did there?) me to take it in last June, when they replaced all the fluglebinders (it’s an industry term) what made the wheels go round and round in front, under warranty.

So, yesterday I took the car to the dealership to drop it off and find out just what the feck is going on, again.

Consensus of opinion, from various shadetree mechanics I know, is that it’s the CV joint in the right front wheel.

Apparently, that’s bad.  As in, the car may just stop suddenly on the highway.  And by suddenly, I mean as if you’d hit an invisible wall…which would no doubt lead to actually hitting a wall, or being hit by something that feels akin to hitting a wall…at 60 mph.

I told my personal service advisor (*eyes roll*) the trouble, and “whew…am I glad that’s covered under the powertrain warranty..” to which he replied, “no it’s not…”  So, I looked it up on the Chevrolet’s website where it lists things like “Shit We Cover Under the 100K Powertrain Warranty, and Unicorns” and gollleeee, right there in black and white coverage it lists the CV joints.

I haven’t imparted that wisdom to my personal service advisor (*eyes roll…again*) yet, because I’m waiting to hear what he has to say.

All of which has nothing to do with the title of this post.

I’m getting to that part.

As I turned into the dealership, I had to pass the “Pre-Owned Sales” lot.  I saw a mid-40’s ish couple looking at a silver Camaro.

Then I noticed the red Camaro, the blue one, the other silver one, more reds and a few blacks.  The entire lot was damn-near door-to-midlife crisis-door with ‘pre-owned’ (what does that even mean?? It was owned before it was owned? Never understood that..) Camaros.  Most of them looked to be within a year or two of rolling off the assembly line.

It was a procession of shattered dreams and loves lost.  I could hear the sobs as I drove past them.

I went inside the service department, noting that not a single Camaro was in for service, and stood next to a lot of other dissatisfied GM-product owners.

One young lady struck up a conversation with me.

Hey, this is Texas, if you stand still in any line long enough you’ll hear someone’s life story.

She told me that she’d driven up from Houston that morning in her 2013 Equinox, only to have it break down near her destination.  It was doing the same thing my car is doing.

I looked at my personal service advisor (*eyes..okay, you get it*) and said, “I used to believe in GM products…I’m just sayin’”

Others in line snickered or nodded, grumbling ensued.

“Hey, now!” personal service advisor said.

“Well, see…her car is doing the same thing as mine – it sounds like – and you know why?  Because the same worker assembled them, and he was hungover..both times.  His wife left him for that damned exotic dancer and he can’t let it go….”

The line erupted in laughter.

I was on a roll.

“I had an ’05 Impala, and it’s still running perfectly.  But that was before Homer’s wife left him. It was right after their second honeymoon to Cozumel..”

Everyone, including me, dissolved into fits of giggles.

My personal service advisor even joined in.

Finally, the Houston lady was given a loaner and sent on her way.  She’s in town till Friday, so they’ve got a couple of days to figure it out.

And I was given my loaner.  A 2015 Malibu with the most comfortable seats in a car I have ever sat in.  No lie, these things are amazing.

But, the car shuts off every time you come to a full stop.  Personal service advisor says it’s a “cool feature, that saves gas” and I heard, “weird shit that’ll break within a year, or if it doesn’t your engine will die a premature death from all the unnecessary starts”.

Also, at the post office yesterday I found out that if you bend your head down to text you exert the equivalent of 60 lbs. of pressure on your neck.

I told you this is Texas, and you learn a lot standing in line.

By the way, I know where you can probably get a Camaro, cheap.

I Must Have Taken the “W” Train

You know how we all kid when we’re talking about how before someone was born they missed the brain train, or looks train, or whatever?

Don’t read me in that tone, you know we’ve all done it.

Well, I took the W train where ‘W’ means weird.

Not that I’m weird.

Okay, I may be just a bit weird.

Alright, a LOT weird.

But, my body..my body is weird in so many ways.

Like the time everyone in the family got pink eye, except me.  I got cellulitis and the ophthalmologist treating me was so excited (giddy, actually) to see it he dragged out the huge book of “Eye Diseases: Things That Look Horrid and Can Kill” (I may have made up that title) to excitedly tell me that he’d heard of this in school, but never thought he’d see it.  It being the bacteria marching through my eye and headed to my brain (it stopped before the brain, thank God, or I’d be posting this from the hereafter).

Or the time I got strep throat, tested positive for it, and my tonsils had been gone for over 40 years. Or when I got mono, from one of my grandchildren, or when I got mumps twice, or when my skin turned green as a Martian and one side of my neck (lymph gland) looked like I’d swallowed a softball and it was lodged there, and NO ONE knew what was wrong with me..never figured it out, and no it wasn’t hepatitis.

Or the time I stopped breathing because the doctor gave me a shot of penicillin.  I was three, and sick, and that’s how sick three year olds were treated in the Stone Age.  That lead to a lifelong theory that I was deathly allergic to penicillin, until I did the penicillin challenge test, and yay! I’m not allergic to penicillin, but when I take it I get all puke-y, so I really didn’t gain anything.

I told the allergy doc about my weird body when I went to see her for my pineapple allergy.

Hmm…wassat?  You’ve never heard of a person being allergic to pineapples?

Neither had I, or she, until I ate pineapple one day – after years of enjoying this delicious fruit without incident – and immediately found breathing terribly difficult as my throat closed.

It wasn’t the first time it had happened, but it was the first time that pineapple was the only thing I’d eaten, so it was the first time I realized that I was allergic to pineapple and not the preservatives in trail mix.  You see, a few weeks before this I’d eaten a trail mix with dried fruit and nuts. It had pineapple in it and shortly after eating it my hands doubled in size and my arms, hands, neck, and face were covered in hives.

That was fun.

No, no it wasn’t, but I blamed the preservatives and swore off anything dried.

After the last episode I went to the allergy doctor and told her about the pineapple reaction.

She stared at me for at least a full minute before saying, “I’ve been doing this for over 15 years, and I’ve never heard of that.”

Of course she hadn’t, but then she hadn’t known me back then.

Rather than have me test the pineapple theory, to be sure I had the allergy, she gave me an Epi-Pen to carry around.

Because, PINEAPPLE and ninja PINEAPPLE are out there, people.