Saturday, October 24, 2015

Boulevard of Broken Pumpkins

This was originally written October 24, 2009. It popped up on Facebook's "On This Day" feature. 

Today is Saturday and next Saturday is Halloween. I requested the day off. It wasn't really necessary since my son is 15 and no longer dresses up and sets out as a beggar for the night pleading for candy. Those days of knocking on doors and holding out your bag (in my case a pillow case) seem to be dwindling. Because of the lack of porch stomping, costumed children I make certain to buy candy we like. Left overs must be pleasing. 

It's a shame that the children of today have to miss out on the random hijinx of days gone by. Maybe I'm off base and the kids from less fortunate areas are taking a charter bus to the affluent neighborhoods. I know we weren't above that. We'd convince someone's parent or, more likely an older sibling who could drive, to take us out where it was rumored that full size candy bars were being handed out.

The last year I took to the streets on October 31 was my 8th grade year. I dressed as a girl from the '50s. I had borrowed an authentic poodle skirt years prior from a neighbor and failed to return it. So, that became the article of clothing that I would build my costume around. We always used whatever we had to dress up. If we purchased anything it meant a trip to the local Salvation Army Store. Very little money was spent on costumes. That is with the exception of my friend Renee'. She was an only child and always had top of the line everything. She set out with my 'hood friends and I that final Halloween. Renee' had long moved out to the budding suburban sprawl of Bourbonnais -- a town that has the French pronunciation phonetically spelled out on it's welcome sign. Ya know, so you realize it's fancy. Anyway, Renee' in all her traditionalism insisted on carrying her blasted freakin' orange pumpkin bucket she'd carried since she started trick or treating.

 My junior high friends and I were toting the respectable pillow cases. We were just slightly embarrassed to be strolling along with plastic orange pumpkin girl. It wasn't even a gigantic pumpkin. It was less than average sized and incapable of carrying the hefty load we intended to gather. Knowing this would be our final year to ring doorbells for free candy, we were determined to make it bigger and better than ever. No house would go un-treated. Not a porch we would not occupy (briefly). Pillow cases would be filled, dropped off and dumped only for us to set out again to collect more more more. Curfews? Bah!! It was a shop til you drop moment, baby.

Or so we thought.

Trailing a few steps behind we heard the whines of a pumpkin toting princess... "I'm tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired." She was my guest! What the hell was I to do? I couldn't tell her to go wait at my house while I finished conquering the neighborhood and plotted to get a ride to another neighborhood. Doing my best sales pitch, I convinced Renee' that the end was near. She reluctantly followed but continued to lag behind.

Then. it happened. Like a lion attacking the weakest member of the herd, two boys came running from the darkness and ripped that little pumpkin from Renee's grasp. CANDY SNATCHERS!!!!!!! We all started screaming for help and Renee' was in tears. Not for the candy lost, but the single piece of her Halloween nostalgia. It was as if her childhood had been violently stolen from her hands. Her little pumpkin was gone. 

Sans a white steed and horns of triumph bellowing, a man came bolting from his house and a foot chase ensued down the dark street. A ruckus could be heard. Then, moments later a figure emerged from the shadows. The stranger was carrying a slightly tattered orange pumpkin. There was no consoling her. We thanked the man for his kindness. Rather than continue our quest for confections, the hero of the night safely escorted us back to our homes. Cradling the pumpkin now with a broken handle, Renee' called her mom to retrieve her.

We never did trod back out into the night. It seemed wrong even though our fun had been hampered by the less than enthusiastic Renee'. After we cut her loose we very easily could have taken our pillow cases back out for refills, but it was clear that our Halloween days were over.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dirty Laundry and What's that Smell?

No. The Rapier household does not have a washer and dryer yet. The water that comes into my house is rusty. I don't want discolored whites. Orange, in this case, is not the new black. The plumbing and water heater are all relatively new. The pipes from the main water line to the house, however, is as old as running water, I am told. So, with that in mind, I do not invest in the modern convenience of having the units in my rental home. And no, I don't want to buy additional laundry additives that takes the rust out of the wash water. I did that when we lived in the country and it ruined my cottons. Sheesh.

For your viewing pleasure. He was not
at the laundromat today. He's on loan
from LovingMaleModels on
Today was a much needed laundry day. The idea of spending my first weekend off in over six weeks (last weekend) in a laundromat held absolutely zero appeal. Additionally, the weekends are the busiest time of the week to visit said laund-O-rama. Being there during a busy period takes a lot of patience. While I do enjoy people watching, watching people in close quarters while they allow their children to treat the facility as a playground tests what minuscule level of patience and tolerance that I possess.

Without mincing words, I had a shit-ton of laundry to do. The one thing a person without a washer & dryer knows is that you must own a minimum of a month's worth of underpants. The worst or most uncomfortable pairs are reserved for those has-it-really-been-a-month-since-we-went-to-the-laundromat occasions. Those crack invading, nearly thread bare skivvies are shoved to the back of the drawer or possibly cohabitating with the weird socks you bought for a holiday but have only worn once because when you did they made your feet smell like Limburger cheese. Thank the undergarment gods that the underwear do not have the same effect.

Speaking of smells. Upon entering the 'mat, a whiff of poo-gas invaded my nostrils. There were three women folding and fluffing in the area of the offensive stench. One of them was guilty of over fluffing her SBDs. Ugh. Talk about nasty. Even after walking in an out the automatic sliding door the fog of flesh melting stink remained. To find relief, I stuck my face in the box of Purex dryer sheets that is kept on hand in case I forget to add Downy to the wash. To avoid the eye watering essence, I moved to the opposite end of the facility. That, however, didn't prevent the possibility of crop dusting.

When we were kids and had abominable gas, my mother's response was to tell us to go poop. We also weren't permitted to call our gas farts. It was very Brady Bunchesque in that regard. Toots, stinkers, poots, but never ever farts. We couldn't say crap, either. To my mom it may as well have been the F-Bomb. My brother once had his mouth washed out with Joy dish washing liquid because he said dang it. He probably experienced a variety of soapy mouth washes before and after that, but it is the one time I recall. It is probably due to her strict policy on potty mouthiness that I cuss like Debra Morgan (Dexter-Showtime).Warning! that link is not meant for the faint of heart, children, grandparents, your mom or dad unless he was a salty sailor and definitely NSFW....put on your headset. Jeez, just don't click it. Well, don't click it unless you've seen Dexter. If you have seen the program then you get the reference and watching the video clip is unnecessary. 

So, yeah. I have clean clothes and another month's worth of clean underpants.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Shaving Duty

Razors are expensive. If you go to the drugstore or super store, they are in special dispensing shelving units. Some even go so far as having a lock on them. My guess is they are considered a high dollar item that is easily shoved in pockets.

Cheap razors delivered to your door are available from a couple different companies. The one that caught my attention is Dollar Shave Club. The original commercial was clever. The others that followed were equally humorous. I've been a member for a couple of years. The package I opt for is the four blade razor. That is only $6.00 per shipment. My body hair has never been wild and woolly. If I chose to, I could easily count the hairs on my legs. Ever since chemo, my underarm hair barely exists. Luckily, the hair on my head came back thicker! 

OK, so back to shaving. Monthly shipments are unnecessary since I'm far from wolfy. Each shipment received comes with a nifty bathroom reader called The Bathroom Minutes. It is like the Weekly Reader from grade school for adult toilet reading. If you sign up with the club you'll no longer need to bring your cell phone in the bathroom for entertainment while you take care of business. No more fecal matter on your handheld device. 

Last month's issue caught my attention today when I finally opened the package. Check out the back cover. 

"Being bad feels pretty good." - John Bender, The Breakfast Club
Cool, huh? There is a bunch of trivia, shaving tips, a word from the chairman. Overall, it is entertaining. For the record, I read it from my recliner in preparation of writing this post.

If you are tempted to become part of the club, tell them I sent you. In fact, follow this handy dandy link and I get credit! Who doesn't love free stuff? In fact, when you get your first shipment, you will receive samples of the other products DSC carries. You can choose the style of razor handle. They aren't fancy, pink or girly, but who the hell cares? You're in the shower shaving alone or maybe with a partner or three if you're freaky. Who am I to judge? Either way, no one will be noticing if your razor handle is like a fashion accessory.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Netflix Made Me Dirty

My house is a filth pit and I blame Netflix.

For years we have had a Netflix subscription. Long before streaming was available I paid $14.99 per month to have unlimited DVDs sent to my home. The only real reason I maintained my cable subscription was for my son who was a youngster. He needed entertainment between school, homework and video games. Anyway, it was all about the movies. If there were television series available I did not bother because it seemed such a, well, a bother.

Flash forward to the age of streaming video! It took me quite awhile to catch on. We accessed it through my son's Wii gaming system in the earlier days. If there wasn't a great movie available, I did not partake in what my $7.99 per month afforded. There was no original programming that I know of back then. When the makers of Arrested Development announced they would be creating a new season exclusively for Netflix I about doo-dooed my pants. It was then that I discovered a lot more was available on Netflix than my son's favorite anime and or the occasional movie.

Arrested Development seemed to be the beginning of amazing things. Orange is the New Black may have been my first official binge series. In two days I watched it and learned what it was like to suffer from withdrawals. I needed something else. Search after search ... Click the +MyList icon until my thumb was exhausted and the remote button was nearly worn off.

Last year I had a lumpectomy. With a month off from work what was I to do? Norco was managing my pain. Napping helped pass some boredom. The in-between periods when I was awake or sleepless at night from napping much of the day meant Netflix and I would be good buddies. Friends had loaned me series DVDs but what about all the seasons that followed those loaners? Binge-a-palooza, baby! It was crazy. Sam and Dean Winchester (Supernatural) became my best guy friends; I lived vicariously through Sydney Bristow on Alias. Zachary Levi brought me swooning and levity with his portrayal of Chuck. Oh, that was really a hard one to complete because it was such a great show and ended too soon even for someone who missed it on TV.

After returning to work for three weeks, my chemotherapy began. Once again, four and a half months off work had to be filled. Well, when I wasn't getting treatments or fighting nausea, that is. It was then that housework was sent to the back burner. My son was going to college full-time and did his best to keep the house tidy. The kitchen sink rarely had dishes sitting for long. Periodically, I'd get a burst of energy without nausea or intense heartburn. In that time, I would try to be social, do laundry or shop for groceries. Scrubbing the bathroom and kitchen didn't make the to-do list. Those times were rare. Binging was not. I couldn't help myself with House of Cards, Desperate Housewives (I didn't say all my choices were cerebral), Arrow, Twin Peaks, Broadchurch and a handful of films.

What Netflix has done is created a monster. I am in good company, though. You're probably insatiable, too. In fact, you're probably reading this while your next episode cues up.

Sigh. I guess I better get off this computer and light some fresh linen scented candles and spray the curtains with Febreze. Another season of Dexter is just beginning.