Sunday, June 25, 2017

Missing those sleepy summer afternoons

Source: ODOT

This is my second hometown, Marion, Ohio, on a lazy summer afternoon in the late 1960s.  If you went there today, you would find a six lane roadway, bumper to bumper cars heading to the Wal Mart that now stands on the far side of trees on the left hand side.

Welles (Explore the Wonder World of Welles!) is gone.  Kroger has moved twice and is building a Super Kroger.  The Clark station - as are all Clark Stations - is gone.  And of course, Minnie Pearl's buttermilk battered fried chicken is gone, too.

Back in the mid 1960's we had a bustling downtown and this was the far east side.  But Wal Mart and ODOT, combined with changed shopping habits, moved out town out this way about ten years ago.

Heroine has wounded the rest of the city, with blight spreading, even the streets that I used to bike through aren't as safe as they once were.

We all know about Ying and Yang, how the universe balances itself.  You gain something, you give something up.  You lose something, you find something else.

One of virtues of age is that you gain wisdom that is lost on the young.  One of the curses is that what you remember is gone forever.

Riding in the back seat of the convertible, my mother smoking a Kent, running errands for my grandparents, the relief of being hours away from my insane father - its all gone.  Left behind in a cloud of road dust and smoke.

Excuse me in my melancholy.  It embraces me today.

 

Friday, June 23, 2017

So what was that secret message about the other day?



The other day, in a post, I had message about saying goodbye to three friends.  Someone PM'd me and asked "Cookie, whats the deal with that third message?"

Since it sounded mean, it was.  Here is the scoop and the poop:

I have had this friend from my high school days and we used to hang out together in small town, Ohio.  I adored him.  I wanted to be his boyfriend, but, he was very, very closeted.  How closeted - he became a rabid Republican.   Talk about suppressing his inner self.

Anyhow, around 2006, he lost his job in DC, and came out with a vengeance.

Peter came out of the LGBTQA birth canal guns blazing and rainbow flags flying.  Everything with him was gay, Gay, GAY, So GAY GOD DAMN IT THAT I WILL NOT BE IGNORED gay.

The problem is he forgot that many of us had been out for a while, and had turned into actual people in our forties.

Not Peter.  Oh, no.

Peter became the worst person that Peter could become.

Instead of finding himself a nice guy, he finds himself these old men, sleeps with them, coo's sweet things, and they pay his way.  He'll admit it and see nothing wrong with it.   In other words, he's become whore.  Peter has slept his way to the middle.

He is "over" everything.

He hobnobs with celebrity wanna bee's and talking heads, and treats them like the are Washington Royalty.

"Of course I am a whore.  We're all whores," he's been known to say.  He says he's "getting back at all the Republicans" that used him politically in DC, and now he is using them in bed.

But he has also assembled quite a following of equally vapid toadies on line.  Facebook is great for that.  The problem is, Facebook isn't real life.  Its existence.   No one will ever remember him as a biting wit online, or as he was in our youth, young, good looking and genuinely funny.

Peter's problem was that he that he thinks of himself as Holly Golightly, when in fact he's really better than a Mag Whitfield.   He has become an insufferable boar, and more importantly, a dick.

Our mutual friend Carol said "He reminds me of the hangers on who went to Studio 54 on someone else's arm and lived liked the ropes were dropped for him and him alone."

The straw that broke the camel's back is that he showed up at his father's house in teeny tiny town, Ohio looking as if he was arriving in Milan.  According to his sister, he wasn't kind to his father, who is in late 80's and was a wonderful adopted Dad to all of us in our social group.  He called his child home a dump.  Two hours later he was "out of here" and left.  His father was heartbroken.

When his sister asked me to find out where was up with Peter.  "When Dad asked him to go pick up his prescription at Wal-Mart, Pete told him that he should have arranged for delivery.  Delivery from Wal-Mart? My brother is a douche bag."

So I sent him a message, and his response to me was flip, cold, and frankly something from a stranger telling me to butt-out.

Evidently all those perfectly tailors suits that his "mentor" pays for have cut off the circulation to his head.  It seems to have killed his heart years ago.

So, there comes a times in your life when you can't continue on the same path with someone.  You have to cut your losses.  I am tired of his drama.  I am tired of his abuse of our friendship and I am tired of being associated with the creep he has become.

In the coming weeks I will be going to the Ohio's for a reunion and will stop by and see Mac and do for him what his asshole son refused to - visit with him.

Some times, the cancer can't be treated.  Sometimes, you have to cut the cancer out.  Peter is out of my life.  I wish him well. And I wish him a long life.  What comes around goes around, Pete.  Remember - you are 56 and the hunter.  By the time you hit 60, you'll be the old man and the hunted by the type of hangers on that you once were.  Such a waste.

Pete, grow a pair.  Grow up.  Do something for someone because its the right thing to do, not because you want something out of it.

And THAT was what that comment was about.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"It looks like a clear sack, filled with yellow cheese"



So last week there was no posting because I was off my game, as the week got off the a somewhat strange start.

The Husband, handsome as he is, had this thing, a lipoma, in his left facial cheek.  Having had one in my arm when I was younger, I knew it was nothing. These things usually start of off as a hard ball of fatty tissue that forms, and the older you get, the body isolates it in a sack filled with fat.   Over time, the fat continues to grow, and at some point, it becomes unsightly.   I had mine removed.  The doctor let me see it.  It wasn't pretty, but hey, it was my creation, so to speak.

Well, his was more or less the same over the last thirty five years that I have known him, but after our trip to Salt Lake in February, it grew much larger.

So I pestered him into seeing the doctor, he did.  He gave him the name of a dermatologist, called for an appointment the soonest one was in June.  In the next five months, I swear the damned thing got bigger.

Finally, two weeks before the appointment, the dermatologist's office calls to cancel the appointment because the doctor himself needed hip replacement surgery.  Referrals were given and a plastic surgeon got him right in.

Apparently the guy walked in, looked at Husband, said "Yeah, let's get that out this coming Monday.  See my scheduler."

In the meantime, he had an appointment with the Endodontist for a follow up after a procedure.  Endodontist walks in, looks at husband, looks at the chart and says "Did I do that you?"  Husband explained, and then opened up for the examine, but Endodontist was less about doing the checkup on the gum surgery and started to poke around the Lipoma, which according to the Husband.  Evidently Endodontist found the thing fascinating.

"I would love to see the pathology report on it after its removed."

So last Monday morning Husband shaved off his chin whiskers and off we went.  And an hour after getting there, he was done.

"Well," he starts to tell me, "they had me lay on my side, they covered my head with a blue sterile cloth and..."

I wanted to cut to the chase.  Get to the meat of the issue.  You know, dig in and find out what it looks like.

"They didn't show it to me."

What do you mean?

"They took it away."

Didn't you demand to see it?

"No.  The doctor didn't think it was anymore than what he thought..."

Damn it man: WHAT DID IT LOOK LIKE?

"He said it was larger that I would have imagined, a clear sack filled with what looked like yellow cheese," said the husband.

See, if were me, I would have made it clear that I would have wanted to see the damn thing because it was mine to begin with.   But the husband and his family tend to take people at their word, and they lack the morbid curiosity that our family has.  I mean, I have my great grandmothers gall stones in a box from 1920.

Or so I thought.

That night we called Husband's Sister and Brother.  After the hello's and how do you do's, Husband said that he had the surgery, and...

"Did you see it?" Asked my sister in law.

No says my husband, to which she responds "What do you mean you didn't see it.  I would have wanted to see it."

The Brother walks in and asks if Husband had the surgery, and sister in law says "Yes, but he didn't see it after it was out."

"Why didn't you see it?  I would have wanted to know what it looks like," say brother in law.

Husband tells them the description - a clear sack filled with what looked like yellow cheese.  Brother in Law says "And you didn't ask to see that?  I would have wanted to see that."

Needless to say, it had to be sent to the lab, so we didn't get to take it home in a jar.  It was probably incinerated.  A perfectly good lipoma, turned to dust.

We had the same "Did you get to see it," discussion with a couple of the neighbors.  Their reactions were just like mine.   Actually one went a bit further.

"I would have demanded it back and had it encased in acrylic for a paperweight."

Anyway, the husband is fine, and the doctor did beautiful work.  The stitches come out first of next week.
If you are feeling ghoulish, here is a brief video of how the procedure was handled and what came out.

But the husband's was larger than this one.   Never mind me, just bragging.

But yeah, I would have liked to have seen it.  

And I bet Endodontist will be disappointed, too. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Our civic duty



Sunday was our civic association's annual meeting.  In the past, these have been miserable hours, spent in a sweltering church auditorium, and they were always scheduled for the hottest, most uncomfortable day of the year.  

And the agendas were long.  Dear mother in heaven were they long.  Blessedly this year, the rule of thumb was "be brief".  Kudos to our President for keeping it quick and lively.

We go to these meetings because Cookie loves to be in the know.  But we also go lest any get the bright idea to do something stupid, something that seems like a good idea at the time, but brings misery into the neighborhood.

There was a lot of that in Columbus, being so close to the University.  They were always coming up with cockamamie ideas to change traffic patterns, outlaw charcoal grilles, institute grass heights of yards and the such.

"I think we should use the lot at BlahBlah Street, where the meth lab house burned down, and turn it into a Zen Garden and improve its 'chi'."  Really?  Before or after the EPA comes in and does their thing?

The Zen Garden was ultimately built, and within weeks we noticed a lot of feral cats in the neighborhood - more than usual prowling about.  Late night brawls, howling, it was horrible.

It turned out that the Zen garden was drawing them in - a fifty by sixty foot litter box. The smell was unbearable.

Then it was a vegetable garden, although the city health department posted signs that food crops were not allowed because of the issue of fly ash, and residues from the fire, etc.

Here, we have relative calm.  The bat shit insanity of this place is limited to a few bad actors, for the most part.  In general this peaceable neighborhood, eccentricities and all.  And this year, the Church was air conditioned, so the hall was very nice.   And the business portion was conducted in an orderly fashion.

Missing from this year's meeting was the elderly man who would mishear something over the fans of previous years.  A police discussion about general crime was hijacked by the old gentleman after an update on a suspected house of prostitution in another neighborhood a couple miles away caused him to stand up and pledge his support for anyone who wanted to have a hen house on their property.

Also missing was his wife, who has never been the best health.  If you addressed the "body" with a concern, she would speak up, point at you and she would demand your name and address and state that "I'm keeping my eye on you."  She was our own Madame Dufarge.

The other person missing was the woman who took it upon herself to become the unofficial architecture committee who would demand that residents replace shutters, repaint their houses a more reserved palette and the like.  I got to put her in her place after doing some archival work, and finding that her house was not painted the color that was approved in 1926.  "How can you point a finger at other people when even you got it wrong.  Your house isn't "white with green blinds, is it?"

Well Missy?  If you are going to point a finger at others, better make sure that there is nothing anyone else can point at you, first.

She sat down.

Our only architecture issue is that we have a review process and one house failed to get their project cleared.  There was nothing wrong with the project, they just didn't make an adjustment for rainwater run off.  They are fixing it, problem solved.

The only kerfuffles that got brought up came from a woman who is distaff (wife) of a retired military officer wants to make us install speed bumps, to which there was a gigantic groan.  Then she insisted that we turn one street one way (second groan), and given the response, I think it will go no where faster than the cars on the street.  If she wants the bullshit that happens in Homeland, she needs to move to Homeland.  Guildford even, where they are all up your ass over the slightest thing, like changing your house numbers.  We don't live there for a reason, people.

Other than that, it's hot.  Ungodly hot.  So we'll be at home, behind the hum of the air conditioners.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Men with power tools.



So Cookie got a power washer, because, you know, we have this big ass house with a big ass deck and miles of sidewalks and that damned basketball half court.  I know, what in the name of God do we do with a half basketball court?

Its been two years and the only thing I can think of is set up a badminton net and invite the neighborhood kiddies to play pretend French Open.

Anyhow, I researched, I read and I went out and I bought what I thought was an adequate power washer that put out a stream of water like one of those European fountains of a cherub peeing than a real POWER WASHER should put out.

It was a bitter disappointment.  Consumer Reports lied, again.  And the Lesbians down the street laughed at Cookie and this piddling power washer.

"Get a new toy," they taunted.

Disgusted, I returned it, got in my car and went to Ace Hardware and said "I want a big honking manly power washer."

The butch woman helping me said "Are you sure you want the the BIG model?"

Yes.

And then I saw it.

And it was large.

So I bought it.

And I brought it home.

And I lugged it indoors.

And I assembled it.

And the husband walked in and said "What they fuck did that cost us?"

Well, says I, we just bought the biggest honking power washer for under $500, and it came with a second helping of manly dignity."

"Besides," says I "it's Pride Month, right?"

So we read the instructions, noted the number of times that the instructions said "WARNING: Using the HIGH INTENSITY settings can cause damage to flesh is subjected to the discharge of...."

Not just "yeah", but "FUCKING AYE! Molly Hatchet Aye!"

So this morning, we gassed it up - oh, yes - this thing has a ENGINE, no pissy plug in for us, and went to work on the sidewalks.

Now I normally advocate the gentlest cleaning methods available, but like Joan Crawford, I was not mad at Helga...


...I was mad at the dirt.  And wouldn't you know it, but like Steve Rubell to poppers, like moths to a flame, like drag queens to a pride parade, the Lesbians down the street heard a power tool sound and came out to have a look see.

We were half way down the walk and they cornered the husband to talk about pounds per inch and pump size while me and my chicken wing arms worked a square at a time.

They were impressed, but once started, the walk had to get done.

And frankly people, it was hard work.  A lot harder than one would think.

The husband and I took turns down the walk, filled the gas tank three times.

We now have the cleanest walks on the street.  Our arms, shoulders and backs are killing us, but damn it, those walks are clean.

________________________

In other news, I said goodbye this week to three friends.  Two of which I will miss very much, because I loved their sass.  They have found other employment, elsewhere.  Danielle and Christina - I wish you well.   I miss you madly.

The other friend, well, I just got tired of the bullshit and the constant need for approval and the imitation of life they are living.  Do something that matters.  Feed the poor, read to the blind, or invent a cure for something, write a book, do SOMETHING greater than yourself.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Assholery on Facebook



Cookie is not talking about political assholery on Facebook.

But in the groups.  The groups that are supposed to be fun.

Yes, we all seem to know that Facebook is a perfect place for people without a clue to act up and act out.

Here's the thing, when you are in a group that is a picture dump for say, "Fabulous 50s Interior Pictures" (which I am making up) it's pretty clear what the group is about.  Members post pictures of 1950s fabulous interior pictures.  The group moderator asks that the picture be copies of originals, and no duplicates.

It's not rocket ship science.

And while the group stays a manageable size, everything is copacetic.

THEN the group starts to grow and grow and grow in membership, and the more pictures that get posted, the harder it is to find the ones that haven't been shared.  Let's face it - unless you have access to an original source, sharing images that OTHER PEOPLE have uploaded and surface on Google image searches, Tumblr, et. al., start getting very hard to come by.

Members who have been looking for fabulous fifties interiors and want to be in on the joke start posting bullshit that isn't what the group is about.  They start posting shit pictures:
  • Turkish cozy corners from the 1890s.  
  • The Brady Bunch kitchen
  • Memes that are neither original in concept or in verbiage, etc.
  • Someone publishes the fake Pontiac ad.  You've seen it.  It's been around the block more often than an aging Himbo at a piano bar.  It was a real vintage photo from part of a 1956 Pontiac.  The woman is seated in the back seat of a fabulous four door hard top, featuring what Pontiac called the "off the shoulder" look in upholstery on the seats, and the man is standing outside the door, looking over her shoulder and smiling.  Then some "clever" person added in - in some 2000's cliche font that is supposed to mimic the 1950's - copy reading "Plenty of Room To Spread Your Legs In."  It wasn't funny the first time it got posted, and the 20th time someone posted it, it still wasn't funny.  
After all of the above, then the sex images from the 1950's start rolling in.   First they are flirtatious.  And from they they descend, first boobs, then the comments go lower, and then... 

The wheels come off the bus.

And the group ceases to have a reason for existing.

Try and remove the offending images and the person who posted it calls you an asshole.  Never mind that they are the ones at fault, you - according to them - are the one with the problem.  Then their friends call you an asshole, and so one and so on.

I have been called "Hitler".  I have had my personal safety threatened.

I have been told to "lighten up and stop ruining everyone else's good time" - a phrase used by people who have come too late to the party, don't give a damn about why there is party, and could care less about anything other than their own comfort.  

Remove the abuser, and then their friends take their place and continue the abuse.

Frankly, I am done.

When it gets to the point that the thrill is gone baby, as an administrator in such a group, you have two options.  a) You either shut the group down and dismantle it, which is a pain because you have to kick out all 3,000 members, then close it down, or you have to just have to hand the group over to someone else. b) You just walk away and let it turn into the wild west of the Cimarron territory.  

One of the groups moderated has always had a maximum number of members pinned at 250.  Never had a problem with the group.  A minor tweak, a once in an eight month caution to a member.

So Cookie is done with these picture dump groups as far as hosting them.

The Jump the Shark moment will be when people start acting like assholes, I am out of there.