Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Boys of Summer

I haven't posted in a while, because, frankly, I haven't had much to kvetch about. I could complain about my crazy schedule, but it actually gives me a lot of time off. I could complain about the fact that I can't even make grass grow, but that could be less me than many years of lawn-neglect by previous owners. I could complain again about idiots blocking my driveway now that school is back in session, but that's just tired. So instead I'm pondering baseball and the lessons sport teaches.

I am working the rest of the weekend, so I'm currently watching my last Nationals game of the year. If you didn't know it by now, I'm a bit obsessed. The Nationals were expected to be not just the worst baseball team in the Major Leagues this year, but possibly the worst team of all time. Let me reiterate: OF ALL TIME.

That's a pretty significant standard to reach. The New York Mets in their first year had a record of 42-120. In baseball, no matter how bad your team is, it's almost impossible to lose more than 100 games. It happens rarely. It's just the nature of the sport that even if you suck, you'll have good days. The Nationals are winning tonight, and if they hold on, will have won 72 games, with three to go, leading to a record of 72-87. NOBODY predicted this. They have done it with a mix of unknowns, cast-offs, and never-again-will-bes. And one hell of a manager. I have been extremely pleased.

So I know that nobody else reading this cares very much about baseball. But this story is bigger than the sport. It shows the incredible positive power of drive and desire. Especially since very few of the players that have made this team what it is have much talent. You could explain their record if it was caused by rookies that exceeded expectations, or older players who magically found their old form. Neither of these things happened (with one exception of a player who had legal and substance-abuse problems who managed to turn things around). They just never gave up, and always fought to the last out. They had some really bad losses (a lot of them), but so many games that were close that they managed to win.

So this is a really long-winded analogy about something I lack: drive and desire. I have never been one to push myself as hard as I could. When I played baseball in high school, I had a modicum of talent, but I never did the things I needed to do to improve and continue to compete: lift weights to compensate for my fire-pole physique, learn how to throw a different pitch to throw off hitters, or do any number of other small things to increase my chance of continuing to play. Not that I ever would have played at a higher level than college rec-softball, because I didn't have THAT much talent, but I might have at least learned something about myself. Today I'm still a beanpole, but a beanpole with a paunch, because I still hate to work out. I don't bust my ass at work, because I have done very well for myself by putting out a normal level of effort. But where could I be now if I put in that extra effort?

So to conclude this long-winded sack of crap, what I admire in my beloved Nationals is what I lack in myself: Desire and Drive. Don't tell me sport doesn't imitate life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shocking Confession from a Confrontation-phobe

There were so many awesomely bloggable things that have happened recently. For instance:

  1. Scented section of Giant and all of the floral mixed with monkey butt fragrances contained within.
  2. My workout pants are too big and as I walked out of giant, they ended up completely below my butt, so I was mooning the pharmacist (who talked to me for 5 minutes about the afterlife), some elderly people and some children, who may never recover.
  3. How I am sick - AGAIN. At my doctor's office, I saw a picture of his daughter's wedding and asked him an inordinate amount of questions about it. Because I paid for it. Me and my craptacular immune system. Also because I'm obsessed with weddings, which is a whole other issue.

But what I am choosing to be the most upset about is the message board for my condo. There is an ongoing fight right now regarding parking spaces. Now, there is no parking near my building. This was definitely clear when purchasing said condo. There is a parking lot that is FREE on the weekends and not 500 feet away from the building. Apparently, this is intolerable. So the management put in four visitor spots and gave us all little placards of authority to use said spaces for our visitors. So now there is a massive fight going on about abuse of the visitor spaces. There is confrontation galore, which I lurk and read. And it is so bitchy that I sometimes am scared that they will somehow KNOW that I am lurking and start yelling at me (rational - thy name is me). Because I hate conflict.

Part of the reason is because, on the rare occassions when I get pissed enough, I get really angry and then I start with the lying. The best incidence of this was when some old people pulled up next to me on River Road and cursed me out. The rage came out and there may have been an accusation of a little dick, impotence, sex with farm animals, little boys and maybe they should not be allowed to drive because they are perhaps too old and maybe a hope that their internal organs would fail. But they started it.

Another reason is that I cry when I get mad. Like at Carmax and more recently, CVS. It's hard to be authoritative and scary when you are the crying lady. Embarrassing, so embarrassing.

So anyway, the last entry for the message boards was "I am calling the tow company right now! You better move your car!" My apartment complex should be renamed to the Bitchington. Why do people have to be so mean and petty? There will NEVER be enough spaces, deal with it. We live a BLOCK away from a metro and 500 feet away from ample free parking. Suck it, people.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another post related to personal behavior on public transit. Is this a theme from me?

Seriously, people.

I normally enjoy commuting, to a point. It's okay. If it weren't for the other people. the inconsiderate, smelly people, who emit odors. And not ones that they have no control over.

I write this because I was taking the escalator to the metro, as I am wont to do. This particular escalator goes up, because we live in P.G. county, and have elevated rail. The importance will be clear in a moment. I step on the escalator a few seconds after a well-dressed, relatively slight young woman. Anyone who rides an escalator regularly and has a basic grasp of timing and spatial relations will know where my head was, vis a vis this woman. And can see where I'm going with this.

For those who don't ride escalators, or don't care to work this challenging math problem out on paper or their heads, that means that my face was roughly at the same level as the woman's posterior. And maybe a foot and a half away. I don't know exactly. My mind subsequently became very clouded.

Because the slight young lady decided that the escalator was a perfect time to let loose with a silent, yet strong blast of flatulence. In my face. WHY? She had to know that there was a chance that people were behind her. Why would you do that? People are just evil.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Whereby my Expanding Waistline is Causing a Resemblence to Jabba the Hutt

I made the fatal error of stepping on the scale a few days ago when I couldn't button my jacket over my ever-burgeoning bustline. Dare I admit what that scale said? 139.8. I'm tipping the scales at nearly 140 pounds. Apparently the horomones are making me do more than grow new gazongas. They are making me grow another CHIN.

I've been hiding from this by purchasing new clothes, which conveniently come in a larger size than the ones residing in my closet. As my shopping has been brought to a screeching halt, and the seasons, they are a'changing, I dragged out my fall clothes. Which DO NOT FIT. I mean, I look like a sausage in the casing. And not the fancy-pants sausage. The crappy Jimmy Dean kind, that may or may not be made of snouts. And toes.

In all reality, all the horrormone does is make me hungry. If I could, say, learn to live with hunger, I would likely be a slightly more svelte version of myself. However, as everyone knows, I'm all about the instant gratification. Which means far more twinkies, ho-hos, ding-dongs and pop-tarts than anyone past the age of 5 should ingest. This coupled with my "office snack radar" means that I've packed on 10 pounds in the last 6 months. Awesome.

For fear of becoming a Hutt, I've decided to embark on a diet. Realizing that I already had dinner plans last night, I figured I'd go out with a bang. After dining at Rasika (HIGHLY recommend) and having 2 gimlets, we stopped by Indebleu where I polished off a Cheeky Monkey and a Creamsicle.

And then proceeded to go home at like 9 PM & pass out. Not consuming any water beforehand. Oh, but somehow, I did find room for a COOKIE on the way home from the metro, because, you know, nothing goes better with the spins then some LARD.

This morning I awaken and feel TERRIBLE. My head, it is the size of a hot-air balloon. No amount of coffee or motrin can stave off the agony. Looks like my plan worked, for I never want to touch the fire-water again. Or banana now & laters, since that's what my last beverage tasted like.

Now if I only I could find a similar way to get me off the pop-tarts. Any suggestions?

Also, please come to my office & confiscate my change. And tie me to my desk, so I can't cruise the office searching for birthday parties to crash.

And please, avert your eyes when gazing upon my babushka arms. I now know why all those russian old ladies look that way. SWEDISH FISH. The bane of babushkas everywhere.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Is taking the bus really environmentally friendly?

I have been reading a lot of books of late on the environment and nutrition. It's all interrelated and I am embarking on a mission to try to reduce my carbon footprint in minor ways. Since I live within walking distance of things, I choose to walk places (and sweat a lot).

Because of this, I know the answer to the above is a yes. Reducing my carbon footprint, learning how to be independent of my car, blah, blah. It's all very good. I thought moving from far flung suburbs to a place with a metro on the next block would be an improvement in bus service. Definitely up from standing on River Road for hours at night, dodging cars and waiting for a bus that never comes. Was I wrong?

I went to visit my friend in Mt. Pleasant. Since it is just down 16th Street from my work, I decided to take the bus. There are no less than three buses that could take me there. Getting there was great - I only had to walk a few blocks and only got lost once and I didn't have to park. However, getting home was a ridiculous. I was waiting on 16th street for a bus to come, in the dark (no lights - totally safe, I'm sure). The sign, when I could make it out from passing headlights that did not belong to the bus, said that there was a bus coming at 9:45, 9:53, 10:00, 10:05, etc. There wasn't a real pattern, but I was like - no problem, I can wait for 10 minutes or so. On the other side of the street, no less than three buses stop. On my side, I am waiting in the dark and no buses are coming. I am getting annoyed - if the sign had said that there was half an hour between each bus, I would not be bothered. But no, it said that there would be ones coming presently. But the sign LIES.

I got to the stop at 9:44 - and no bus came until about 10:15. And the chord was pulled at EVERY STOP. Even places that were like completely deserted or only 10 feet away from the previous stop. I also had to listen to a girl, talking on her cell phone, about her friends upcoming wedding. This sounded like the most white trash affair - the girl looked about 12, she said "she has to get married on a weekend - she is going to have exams" and "I hope the baby doesn't come before the wedding" and "Rae Lynn can totally go to hell. Bobby Ray is coming to the wedding with me", etc., etc. Also, a very, very smelly man sat in front of me. And I didn't get home until about 11:00 pm. An hour and 15 minutes to get home - 5 miles, people.

So, FUCK THE BUS. I will give the bus another chance,and I'm sure WMATA is grateful to me (right, just like Comcast gives a shit that their cable never works - I am such a dreamer). But I guess I shouldn't complain for $1.25 (used a transfer on the way back - transfers are a crap shoot to me; I never know if they work, but I always try). Anyway, so I am rethinking being a mass transit babe. I mean, maybe it is better to drive and not want to beat people over the head? Possibly? Is it really better to take the bus?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My job a'splode!

For those of you who don't read the newspaper...or watch cnn...or listen to talk radio, you may have missed the wonderful world of mortgage lending implosion. Of which I am now a part of.

As of last week, Queen Dweeb has been relieved of her job. That's right, my company shuttered our office. The best part about this is that we're all continuing to work through the end of the month to help clean up for whomever takes over our pipeline. Awesome.

The real question is: what next? Unlike most people who get laid off, I have no industry left to continue in. Go check out Seriously, they're falling like dominoes. Or toy soldiers. Like Martika sang about back in '89.

So, I need a few suggestions. What should I do in my next life? As I see it, I can go join the circus with my new gazongas, or I can somehow get a show on talk radio and kvetch bitterly about everything in my life. Or perhaps I can actually avail myself of the company resources, re-write my resume and get another grown-up job.

What do you think of my job choices? Which should I shoot for?

A: Professional kvetcher
B: Suicide Girl (hmm...might need to draw fake tattoos on myself first)
C: Math
D: Unicorn Wrangler

Personally, I'm hoping for D, though I know that my fate lies with C. Because math means money. And dammit, I'm sick of returning all the pretty things I bought for myself this week (and yes, I'd like to thank Neiman Marcus for taking back some stuff I bought in June, and did not have a receipt for).

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Holders of the Poop Now Equals Two

*Names have been altered to change the weird

There are some conversations that end in total silence and awkwardness. The conversation I had with my sister, Gerardo* and myself was one such conversation (this is background for the story below, I swear). I have no idea how this came up - maybe we were talking about the PBS lineup, but here goes:

G: "It's like when you were little and pooped in your hand."
S & me: ". . ."
G: "Did you ever do that?"
S & me: ". . ."
Finally, I cobble together "Um, no. And why did you do that?"
G: "Well, I was watching Reading Rainbow in the family room, wanted to know how poop felt, had to poop, so pooped in my hand"

So for a very, very long time Gerardo was the only person I knew who had held poop. It was a dubious honor, but nonetheless, remarkable and unique. No longer, my friend. Here is how I joined the ranks of the poop holders:

I got to the boyfriend's house early and it was a beautiful night, so I decided to walk both of his dogs. I get in the house and leash them up and they BOLT out the door, pulling my arms nearly out of the sockets. I am trotting along with them, when nature calls and one of the dogs decides to take a dump. No worries, I use the plastic bag to pick it up and thus become the dog walker carrying the smelly poop in a bag. Oh, how I will wish for being that guy in a few minutes (foreshadowing, gentle reader).

Then we get to the park. The dogs love the park, but there was a soccer game in the park. The dogs were not happy to have their park usurped. The other one proceeds to take a massive dump in front of like 10 people. So I definitely have to pick it up. I use the bag and I am not sure what happened, but bag is gone and I just have poop in my hand. Lots of poop. Two dogs worth of poop IN MY HAND. I look around for a trashcan, but there is none. I am holding both the leashes in one hand, while they are being willfull and still pissed about the park. I drag the dogs around for another quarter of a mile until I find a dumpster and lob the poop into it. There is poop all over my hand, so I wipe it on some grass while trying not to get it on the dogs and my clothes.

So we head back to the house and are about 100 yards away when I realize that my keys are missing. They were with me when I left. At this point, I figure that boyfriend will be home soon, I can leave the dogs with him and look for my keys. So I sit on the front stoop and wait. The dogs don't understand this lame game and they definitely don't understand why I smell like poop. They are trying to get upwind of me when boyfriend comes back to see smelly girlfriend sitting on his steps with dogs. Luckily, I have the nicest boyfriend in the whole world who was happy to see me despite the poop smears and the smell.

We walk for a while, with our eyes glued to the ground, when a little girl approaches us and asks us if we are looking for keys. She said that they were in the street, so she picked them up and was guarding them so they wouldn't get run over. She was awesome; I wanted to give her a dog or two.

Verizon: Big Brother is Sucking- Edited

OK, I posted this once, and when I was tired and cranky. I am a bit embarassed about the quality of the previous post. Ms. Eagleton would have slapped me around for the lack of organization and, you know, the ranting. So I have decided that, since everything on the internet is available to everyone, and if some future employer happens to find this blog and someone see through my screen name, I won't have something this drivel-like available to be trashed. So below, please find a more thoughtful, more organized, and hopefully more amusing piece of drivel than the last post, which has now been mercifully put out of its misery. Feel free not to read this, as it is LONG, but I had to get it out there:

So, if you recall I posted on August 1st that I was having problems with Verizon. The problems were as follows:

- From the date of installation, March 30th, I was being billed for two DVR set-top boxes, and one standard set-top box. My configuration includes one DVR and two standard set-top boxes. For this I was being charged an extra $7 per month

- My old VOIP phone company, Sunrocket, decided to implode one day with no warning. As having Verizon TV and internet service with no Verizon phone caused all sorts of consternation with their service and billing departments, we decided to just get a Verizon landline, rather than go with another VOIP company that might also decide to implode. As it turns out, they have a nice bundle package, anyway, so it wouldn't cost much more than our current bill. A little more, but not much.

I noticed the billing error very quickly, and tried to get it corrected. The first time I called, they simply didn't do anything about it, so I called back. They stated that they would put in an "order" which would reinitiate my service from March 30th, which would then cause my bill to be corrected. This was on May 30th. The next time I got my bill, it was not corrected, so I used their online chat to talk to someone, since my lack of a phone number with my account usually routed my phone calls to Verizon's telephone division. The woman who helped me said that there was an order in the system (apparently that first order) but that the software was being upgraded and that it would take care of itself when the upgrade was complete. In retrospect, how I could possibly have believed that bullshit is a mystery greater than why anyone fricking cares about Nicole Richie's baby. But I digress...

So in late July, Sunrocket went tits up. I signed on with a company called Teleblend, which was apparently Sunrocket reconstituted, but without debt (gotta love bankruptcy), so that I could still have service until I figured out what to do. However, Teleblend's service was horrendous, frequently cutting out and not allowing incoming calls. So we thought we'd go for Verizon.

I called Verizon to order phone service, and the nice man went through the whole nonsense, and told me I would get $50 in credits for "porting" my number from Sunrocket. Yay! However, after 45 minutes on the phone I got cut off before I got to the "third-party verification." So I called back, and put in the whole fricking order again. This time I got through, and was told I'd have service on August 7th, because they needed time to port the number over. Meanwhile, I'm still calling to try and resolve the "order" with the TV service, which for some unexplainable reason is impossible to process. During one of these calls, I asked the technician about the status of my phone order. He doesn't see such an order. Apparently, if there is an existing order in the system, you can't put a new order in and it DISAPPEARS. Apparently, Verizon's computer systems contain a singularity that attracts all orders that are not properly placed, sucking them into the ether.

To make a very long story a tad shorter, I had to call at least 8 times to get this order completed. Nobody knew how to complete it. Finally I got a guy who managed to do something, and said that the order was completed. He sent me to another person who set me up for phone service, and he stated it would be installed on August 21st. This was the Tuesday before our trip to California.

So I worked the night of the 20th, and was scheduled to work the night of the 21st. So I really wanted to sleep. But of course I had to be available for the Verizon guy. Unfortunately, he decided not to show up, despite the fact that their automated phone system said that we were still scheduled. So I called the next morning, and managed to get someone to actually call me back and explain that there was a problem but that a tech would be out that day. Again, I had to work so I tried to sleep, without much success. Finally the dude comes, but we can't ge t a dial tone. He says it should take 30 minutes or so, and leaves. Needless to say, we never got a dial tone. But later that day, I got a message from Verizon asking if my service is working well! Apparently they have no idea when their service is working or not. This added to my confidence-level with them.

Fast-forward to the next Tuesday (while we are having lunch in Sausalito), when I got a call from an actual person at Verizon who had been working my issue. She said that the problem was that they could not "port" the number from Sunrocket because I'm not in the same zone as that number should be. So they have to give us a new number. At this point, I'll take anything, but I can't help but wonder why it took SIX WEEKS for someone to figure that out. Insanity. But, she says, service will be installed the next day. At this point, I'll take that.

So we get home from our trip, and have phone service! Miracles do happen. There just remain two things to do: make sure that the set-top box issue is really resolved, and call in to get all these services combined into one bill. I have no earthly idea why they couldn't do this without me calling back, but such was the case. So I called the billing department. The combining of the bills into the bundle package was no problem. But then I asked about the status of the DVR credits. The guy was quite terse with me, saying that I had been credited, but saying that it wouldn't be on my statements. I told him that I had had a lot of problems and wanted to see the credits on my bill, but that I hadn't received a bill. He couldn't explain why that was and was quite rude about my questioning. And he also told me that I'm not going to get my $50 credit because we didn't successfully port my number. No matter that it was promised to me and that they screwed it up. His exact words were "I can't give you that credit." No apology, no nothing, despite the fact that he can see all the notes in my account for all the problems I've had. Apparently when you talk to billing, they train them to be assholes, because actual money is involved. All the customer service people, though totally incapable of resolving my problem, were very nice about it. So hopefully one day I will receive a bill that shows all this, though I'm sure there will be more calls involved.

The two big things I have learned about Verizon (you ask, couldn't I have gotten to this point sooner?):

- their customer service system is set up so that their representatives have no personal responsibility to the customer. They work in call centers and you can never reach the same person twice. Even their supervisors do not have direct lines. All I wanted was one person to say "I will fix this problem, and if it isn't fixed, call me at X number and we'll work on it." With no ability to do that, there is no personal responsibility. I wish my job was like that. Someone calls me and asks for some piece of analysis, and I just say "sure, I'll call you back with that" and go have a donut. Sounds like a nice job.

- Verizon is the current verson of Big Brother. Yes, you can get some other crappy company's phone service, but they are just leasing part of Verizon's lines, so you're still beholden to them. I have their TV service because Cox Cable blows, too, and satellite TV leaves me short of phone and internet which I'd still have to get through Verizon. Breaking up the AT&T monopoly in the 80s really hasn't changed anything. Next thing you know, their set-top boxes will have little cameras in them that the FBI will subpoena so they can watch me blog from in front of my tv. Verizon as thought police. It could happen.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

This is your kvetch on drugs...any questions?

As I've posted, I'm being treated for Endometriosis. In our last post, our heroine had somehow fought off the wonder drug known as Depo-Provera, and had been prescribed Lybrel, a birth-control pill. What most of our readers didn't know is my prior history with the pill, in many formats.

The pill tends to make me a wee bit...well, insane. For some reason, when fake estrogen is assimilated into my body, I tend to over-produce the crazy horomones. Which is amusing for NO ONE ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET. My moods shift from cranky to murderous at the drop of a hat. There are no good emotions. Only anger. And glaring. For some reason, horomones cause to me glare balefully at everyone in my path.

However, being the good sport that I am, I agreed to try this new-fangled pill forumulation. Perhaps my age would allow a modicum of mood control. Perhaps my friend Xanax would assist me through this journey.

Alas, this is not to be. After a mere 7 days on the drug, I have become everything I hate about stereotypical PMS'ing women. Moody, hysterical, volatile, agressive, angry...the list goes on. I blame everyone but myself for my mood, though logically I know that it's me...or at least a drugged version of myself. I don't feel human. I don't feel in control of anything, least of all myself.

The answer, of course, is to take myself off of these drugs, but that's going against medical advice. So what's a girl to do? Is the treatment worse than the disease? I'm not sure, but I know I'm not going to live like this. Come Tuesday, I'm calling my doctor. Again. There has to be a better way.