Monday, November 2, 2009

Two words.

When will people learn that 'a lot' is two words? If you don't already know this, consider this your lesson, America.

That's all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Pot To Piss In

So, my building has been undergoing a wonderful pipe-lining project. Run by chimpanzees. The project entails cutting large holes in the wall, scratching one's head confusedly, and then leaving taped up holes in the wall for the cat to investigate.

Oh, and did I mention that they couldn't figure out how to open the door to my deck so they chose to jump through the window, Dukes of Hazzard style? Awesome!

The project was supposed to consist of lining the pipes with some space-age polymer that would prevent pinhole leaks. This was supposed to be completed with a minimal amount of wall holeage, dust, damage and the like. The first few rooms went as planned, save for replacing my washer and dryer right justified, so that I couldn't open my dryer.

Anyhow, when they reached master bathroom, a little snag was encountered. Namely, the pipes, they weren't there, where they thought they were, because, you know, RESEARCH? Not their strong suit. So, another chunk of wall was removed, and taped over, for decorative effect, and then they left, for, oh, let's say, three weeks or so.

When they returned, the seasons had changed, and so had my temper. Needless to say, I was not amused by the clown college sent in to fix my bathroom. Reassured by the building manager, they set about their job, speaking to "El Gato" in Spanish, who entertained them by running back and forth at top speed and trying to sleep in the bathtub while they were working. They also spent an inordinate amount of time attempting to chat me up while I was attempting to work. Hello? See the multiple laptops and files strewn about? This means I have a JOB.

In the afternoon, I was called in to glance at their handiwork, they turned on the faucets and I was sent away. Satisfied, I hurried back to work, not noticing what lurked in the shower. When I returned to clean later that weekend, I noticed that the spigot looked a kilter, perhaps....more like....three sheets to the wind. It was decidedly listing to the left. Poking at it, it MOVED. That ain't right. That's when I noticed a GAPING HOLE under it. about the size of a piece of Trident Gum. Yes, large enough for plenty of water flow. Visible. Also around the plate surrounding the handle was a cracked tile and a small gap. NIIIIIICCCEEE.

CLOWNS HAD INSTALLED MY SHOWER PLUMBING. I think *I* could have done a better job with some gum and some wet sand. Seriously.

So we get that repaired, and then the following Monday, the building engineer appears at my door, to let me know that my batty underneath neighbor's bathroom has flooded. HOORAY!

MY TOILET BROKE. The one in the same bathroom, where Team Chimp has recently hooked up some hoses. Coincidence? I think not!

So now, no pot to piss in for the master bathroom for a couple of days! WOOT!

Monday, October 12, 2009

General Kvetchery

Things that are bothering me today:
  1. Supermarionation. Beyond creepy. One day, I will be released from my torment when God wipes away all vestiges of this unnatural and wrong television technique.
  2. ETS. They have such a racket going. I need to PAY them to take a test for graduate school, that won't accurately predict my acumen for graduate school, but rather will add stress to my life while I try to remember math I never really understood in the first place. And of course I can't use the LSAT for grad school because then they would be out the $150 I have to pay for the GRE.
  3. People who can't write cursive. Speaking of the LSAT, we had to write a pledge at the end of that test in cursive. Hands flying up when this is read because these are college graduates who DO NOT KNOW HOW TO WRITE CURSIVE. I know it's really not the most useful thing to know if our texting/Twitter/Facebook/IM society, but how do they sign their names? I love cursive personally. My notes written in cursive are now going to by cryptologically secure. I'm like a code talker.
  4. X8, X3 buses. Why don't you ever come? I should NEVER have to go onto the Next Bus site and see that the next bus is in 87 minutes during rush hour. And the B2? You come every 3.7 minutes, a lot of times two at once. But the X3 can only come every 80 minutes?
  5. WMATA's Trip Planner. Thank you WMATA for having a trip planner. However, stop telling me to take the B2 bus the 10 feet to the end of my street, even when I use the advanced options and tell you I am willing to walk almost a mile. Is the B2 bus like PHARMA to WMATAs Congress?
  6. Congress. The President gave you the bill. Mandates without fines? No public option? This was your chance to restore American's faith in our government. A chance for me to start believing that I am represented in government and that reelection prospects and big corporation lobbies come second to what the American people want. That was the dream. And it has been defecated on. And can you PLEASE stop putting Abstinence clauses on everything? Get a grip, you know that is just going to delay everything more. Let's just work on healthcare so that Americans can stop going bankrupt and that we can maybe move above Easter Bloc countries in terms of health care spending v quality of healthcare (and would you look at that? it's the same with education and taxes in general - we are spending tons of citizen money and getting nothing for it - do you see a pattern yet?)
  7. Seven Corners. WTF. The population density of your area is 12,773.2 per square mile. And each person owns a car and drives around Seven Corners 24 hours a day. Can you PLEASE vote for someone who will give NoVA more than three roads and possibly even another bridge and possibly some metro access? I understand that you don't want to pay more taxes, but you only have three roads and 100 billion cars. If you don't, then Virginians have no right to complain about traffic any more. I have decreed this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Perhaps This Will Explain Why I Kvetch

So, my Grandfather, he is 92 years old. Interestingly, he has ALWAYS been this cantankerous, as far as I can tell. We cannot blame the following story on age.

Anyhow, my grandparents are the sort that frequent those diners that have 1,000 items on the menu and have names like "The Nautilus" and the like. You know the sort of places of which I speak. Bland, non-offensive establishments that cater to the masses.

As of late, my grandad has switched between multiple diners for these reasons:

Left dining establishment #1 due to a 40% increase in the price of coffee, also known as 10 cent hike in price. Yes, over a DIME A CUP.

Left establishment #2 over ordering a pork chop sandwich, which was a BONE-IN pork chop sandwich (okay, yes, this IS a bit odd. You could BREAK A TOOTH here, people.) However, the real issue was that there was NOT ENOUGH SORROW ON THE PART OF THE OWNER.

Left establishment #3 as a lady patron, who eats at the same time as my grandparents, has the audacity to say hello and ask how my grandmother is doing. EVERY DAMN TIME THEY GO THERE.

So now they are returning to establishment #2, as it is under new management, who might express more sorrow. Because we all know it is ALL ABOUT THE SORROW.

This is also the same man that complained that a bratwurst he ordered had been "downsized."

And people wonder where I get all this rage from?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Apparently we're all slackers over here at KISTNB. Aside from Twinkie, that is. He can ALWAYS be assured of producing, at least when it comes to bodily fluids.

The other week, a horrific project known as Curaflo aka "PIPE LINING PROJECT OF DOOM THAT WILL CAUSE MASS DISRUPTION OF YOUR LIFE" began in the condo. Which meant Twinkie was shuttled off to Cat Camp (not to be confused with Fat Camp, as my parents chose to feed him about eleventy-twelve cans of cat food daily) so as not to cause mass havoc with the workers. Sadly, the project did not go as planned, and Twinkie returned before it was completed. But QD digresses.

Anyhow, Twinkie found cat camp to be ALL TOO MUCH for his sensitive digestive tract. From the HORROR OF HORRORS, neighboring cats, to the MASSIVE QUANTITIES OF GIBLETS consumed, it was just horribly disturbing.

That and god forbid, the litter boxes were, oh, twenty feet apart from one another, instead of their normal convenient side-by-side configuration. Can we all see where this is going?

So my parents leave town for a weekend, the same weekend that Paperpusher leaves town. Leaving yours truly to care for ALL CATS. In the confusion, Queen Dweeb forgets her own cat for a day. OH YES SHE DOES.

Have we mentioned this is a very productive cat? Sir poops-a-lot should not be forgotten, oh no. The next day, in a panic, racing over to the parental compound, heart beating rapidly in fear of what's to come, our faithful heroine cracks open the basement door....and the STENCH. OH HELLS NO.

You could smell it all the way up the stairs. Worse than the carvel cake/fish combination, a fetid, warm mix of cat turd and vomit wafted up the stairs. Trust me. Not a smell anyone wants to come home to. ESPECIALLY NOT MY CLEAN FREAK PARENTS.

Slowly, creeping down the stairs, as if, by taking smaller steps, one could will the incipient piles of puke away, finally, the corner is rounded. And the horror begins. Ever seen the Exorcist? Think Twinkie has.

Six piles of vomit. One lovely trail of puke, as if someone was TERRIFIED of the aforementioned vomitorium and attempted to escape, leaving said trail. THREE PILES OF POOP, RIGHT NEXT TO THE LITTERBOX (what? it's not good enough for you, pal?) and a nice trail o' whiz down the WALL where SOMEBODY MISSED THE BOX.

The other litterbox? Untouched. Sparkling clean, really.

Luckily, the carpet is getting replaced this week, so I wasn't too concerned with stains, but the REEK. THE FOUL AROMA. An entire bottle of oxyclean, 2 rolls of paper towels, one pitcher of hot water and 1 canister of lysol wipes later, the basement was satisfactorily disinfected. Only took AN HOUR OR SO.

Oh, Twinkie. No more cat camp for you. Twinkie was banished from the parental compound shortly thereafter.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

In Which I Relearn a Valuable Lesson

I am a slow learner.

I get a call from a friend of mine, saying that she thinks her relationship is ending. Lady is sad and upset, convinced that this relationship is leading nowhere. It's typical reasons that boil down to the fact that neither party is happy and that they are not compatible. No arguing that - you can't force something that isn't there. Sad and hard for those involved, but not an unheard of situation.

This is when I make my mistake. I join Lady in a tremendous bitch-fest about the Boy. Because there is nothing I love more than bitchfests. I know this is a mistake when it's happening, but I can't help it, the bitch just does itself. Not only is the bitching wrong and. . .bitchy, but its like McDonald's - satisfying at the time, but afterwards I feel sullied and greasy and hungry for more like 5 minutes later.

The thing is, I learned this lesson in high school. Here is a sample:

HS Girl: sobbing, "I hate him! He's so evil! We are breaking up!"
HS Me: supportive yet also gleefully abitching "Totally! He's a dumbass. He totally cheated on you and gets drunk with all his friends and pukes on people and I hate his stupid hair! He looks like an ape! Do it!"
HS Girl: "I will, he's so dumb. It's over! Totally! His hair is totally awful."
Two Weeks Later. . .
HS Girl: starry-eyed "I love him! He's so amazing! Doesn't he have the best hair? We will be together FOREVER!"
HS Me: stupidly sighs "Er. . . totally awesome. But. .. didn't he get drunk/puke on your mom/hook up with your sister/shoplift you gifts from Sears?"
HS Girl: slit-eyed "You are just jealous of us because we are so in love! Why did you try to break us up?"
HS Me: sighing and sarcastic, "Yes, you're right. I am jealous that my Prince hasn't come and that I, too, can't have sex in the back of his mom's Previa and get stolen items from Sears."
HS Girl: annoyingly, smugly "True love is unconditional - you'll find out someday*"
HS Me: apparently not learning valuable lesson

*let me point out here that my boyfriend in high school? Made a mix tape for me of all Mariah Carey songs and wrote me a poem using all the song lyrics. I started calling him GayBoyfriend after that. So maybe I didn't know from high school lurve.

So I know that agreeing with HS Girl is a bad idea, but I did it anyway. And took it to the next level. So when Lady came to me, I thought "we aren't in high school, she's committed to breaking up!"

Lady and Boy got back together. Of course. And the bitching? Bit me in the ass. This is the place where I could enumerate the 10,000 reasons why I was complaining, but I am learning my lesson. Though my brain is screaming at me to write these things down and am having a multiple personality bitchfest in my head, and now they are calling each other names. Anyway, she wrote me an e-mail about how I didn't understand love and she copied my husband. Appropriate.

In a fit of awesome, though, Husband wrote back and was all "My wife is not the only who thinks these things." Got my back, that one.

I do understand that by blogging about this, I am the one creating more drama. Because apparently I roll Blair Waldorf style, but without the awesome clothes.

So if you come to me with the fact that you are breaking up with your significant other, you will only hear murmurs and cliches from me.


Lady wrote me back and apologized (but didn't copy Husband on that e-mail). She also let drop that I was right. I would say that I told you so, but I lost two crazies masquerading as friends, so it's a little bittersweet.

Street Meat

This has been a very frustrating day- problems with my internet connection, the continuing inability of our HVAC company to keep our system working properly, and that flouride goo the dentist gives you had all put me in a bit of a mood. But all of that frustration has been lifted, due to the arrival at my doorstep of a guy trying to sell me meat out of a truck.

I had the front door open, as I'm watering a patch of hopefully soon-to-be grass on my front lawn, so I couldn't ignore the tap on the door. There was a guy standing there, and parked behind him on the street was a van that said "Capital Meats" on it and was fully covered in pictures of meat. This is approximately how this conversation went (with my snarky asides in parentheses):

Guy: Hi, I'm with Capital Meats. We've just sold some meat to one of your neighbors (my ass you did), and we have some left over that we're trying to get rid of. Do you and your family eat steak and seafood?

Me: We don't cook much meat ourselves, so I don't think we'd be interested.

Guy: (Looks at my t-shirt) Are you a Redskins fan? (No- I hate them, but I wear the t-shirt to confuse people)

Me: Yes.

Guy: We just signed Sellers (semi-obscure fullback for the Redskins) to endorse us. And one other player. (Calls to other guy walking up the street)- JIMBO! (I swear) This guy's a Redskins fan!

JIMBO: Awwww yeeeeeaaahhhh. Aren't we all?

Guy: Who's the other Redskin that endorsed us. Sellers and.... ?

JIMBO: Jason Campbell (nationally known quarterback)

Guy: Right, Jason Cambell (my thought- you remember the obscure fullback but not the QB?)

Guy: Anyway, if you buy the steak, we'll throw in the seafood and chicken for FREE. (Wow- that must be top quality meat!- it's free!)

Me: Look, we just don't cook that much, so I'm not interested. Thanks though.

Guy: OK.

The guy walked away, and I took some pleasure in the fact that he had to walk through my sprinkler.

So that was an amusing enough interaction, but it only gets better. I called my wife, and while telling her about the street meat, I looked up Capital Meats on the web. The second listing on Google is a headline that says "don't buy from these people!" Here are a couple of excerpts from the complaint. I can't be nearly as funny as this person- and the emphases are mine:

"The men were in very baggy pants (enough that I could see their underwear) and they had gotten out of an old pick up truck with a freezer strapped to the back.

There is no way I would even buy meat from that shady looking pick-up truck- even if I did eat meat. The men proceeded to lay meat all over my porch (ew!!) and then he even tried to come in my house (even put his hand on the door and tried to open it) so he could see what kind of freezer I had. ...

I called their Baltimore office (where these salesman are from) to make a formal complaint. The lady who answered said she was the office manager... I asked about a policy of not ringing the bell of people who had a No Soliciting sign and she said she could not enforce that either because those signs are mostly for religious people.

What??? My sign is to deter annoying, relentless salesman! I told her if they stood outside of my door ringing and ringing again, that I would call the cops. She proceeded to just talk over me, telling me she wouldn't let me speak bad about a great company (Everyone on my street hates to see that nasty truck pull up!!) that she has worked for for 6 years and she told me I must have a miserable life and hung up on me...

If this is such a great company, then the least they could do is update their POS trucks with coolers strapped to the back..."

Laying meat on the porch? If I didn't want street meat, I certainly don't want porch meat. I'm taking suggestions for how to mess with them if they ever come around again.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Name That Cyst!

I'm taking entries into my contest for NAME THAT CYST!

As it turns out, that searing, burning pain in my right side? Holla! It the Three Amigos, my new pals, the ovarian cysts.

Since I'm going to be living with them, I'm taking entries into the contest. Winner and prize to be announced on July 1.

I'll update this thread with the names & entries, and yes, fellow bloggers, you are totally allowed to enter. People who have given me names outside of here are allowed as well, I'm tracking who gave me which names first.

Cookie O' Puke

The other day for my totally awesome roommate's birthday I purchased a Carvel cake. Sadly, not Cookie Puss. Or Fudgie the Whale. Giant is low rent, and only offers lame Carvel confections festooned with eleventy pounds of brightly colored confetti icing. Then again, CARVEL is low rent. Have you SEEN those commercials? Cookie O' Puss? Hug Me Bear? How much crack was that guy smoking? Anyhow, I digress...

However, it was still Carvel, and nothing says low-rent birthday like cheaply made ice cream cakes, no? Especially EXTRUDED ice cream cakes. Seriously. Go watch those commercials. The ice cream? It comes out of a TUBE. Like EAZY CHEEZ. After birthday festivities, and consumption of one shared piece (thanks Topamax!), cake sat in the freezer with only one shared piece consumed for about a week or so before it was deemed delicious enough to consume (a.k.a. all other gelatos and ice creams had been eaten and damn if we were going out for more).

Said cake was far too hard to slice up (because I am a wuss with no arm strength), so it was left out on the dining room table to soften. We all see where this is going, right? No. Actually, we DID manage to rescue it before Twinkie set his beady little eyes on it that time, and some cake was served onto plates. But Carvel cake is a bit much for any one person to actually manage an entire piece of, so perhaps the better portion of a slice of cake was left on a plate. And left on the table, while in an ADD fit, perhaps I wandered off to, you know, talk to myself. Or shop online. Or not pick my stuff up off the floor. Or do anything BUT put the cake away.

Yeah....with a cat. A large, CONSTANTLY HUNGRY cat. Who proceeded, the very SECOND that we turned our backs, to scarf down the better portion of a slice of chocolate and vanilla ice cream cake, purring in delight the ENTIRE TIME. Might I add that the cake was festooned with blue confetti icing? I think that added to his enjoyment. Did I try to stop this at the very end, once I realized what was going on? No, I was laughing too hard, and trying to find my camera, to perhaps film this for youtube. Because I am a GOOD CAT PARENT.

About fifteen minutes later, the fateful sound of retching. "TWINKIE, NO!" Roommate gagging as the carpet is now decorated with hot fish chunks and ice cream. Can I tell you? Is a PLEASURE, cleaning hot fish bits from the carpet (also, I must note that pink salmon bits with blue confettis, VERY distubring. and very tough to get out of pale green carpet). May have thrown up in my mouth a bit from this one. Oh, Twinkie.

This was a prelude of what was to come. 36 hours later, toilets for all! Luckily for me, I have the digestive tract of DOOM, and everything runs through me at roughly the speed of light. Whilst agonizing in nature (nothing like laying in the bathroom wishing you were dead), hella fast. My roommate, however: "pooping like a goose." HAHAHAHA.

Thanks, Carvel! You brought down two people and one cat with one cake. AWESOME.

So You Look Like You're 12

I'm in the middle of a two-week leadership class, where I'm learning all about how to sell a vision of your office to your employees, how to "encourage the heart", blah blah blah.  I have picked up a few things that I can apply to my office, but for the most part it's been a bit more touchy-feely than I like.  However, as has been the case with my career since I came out of college ten years ago, I'm the youngest person in the room.  Not only that, but I look like I should still be in college, as a recent interaction with a trash-collector showed.  I've always been sensitive to this, and have become known in the class as the guy who jumps on anyone who makes sweeping generalizations about these "young kids" coming in to our agency.  

On Friday we had a discussion about generations at work.  I think this is a crucial discussion to have, as there are great differences between the life experiences that have shaped different groups of people.  For example, the "veteran" generation is strongly influenced by World War II, and we Xers are influenced by the roaring 80s and the rapid development of technology.  OK, great.  This stuff is good to know.  But we were then presented with a list of how each generation likes to be treated.  This is where I started to lose my cool.  How can anyone make such gross generalizations about how individuals prefer to be treated?  Gen Xers apparently love status symbols like first-class upgrades and going on fancy retreats.  Really?  And apparently, veterans don't like public recognition.  So thanking them in public isn't appreciated?  Aren't these rather broad categories?  How on earth can they be lumping 20 years worth of births into one group with exactly the same preferences for rewards and motivations?

As the discussion concluded, I made my point that I didn't want to be typecast into any of these roles.  There was actually appplause from the rest of the room (public validation!  I like that!  But wait, Gen Y needs public validation, not X!  We just need fancy travel mugs!).  But if much of the room felt the same way, how do we teach this sticky subject?  I talked to the instructor after the discussion, and he said that they had tried four or five different ways of addressing this issue, none of which did they feel accurately depicts the problems.  Of course, since I complained about it, he then asked for my advice.  After doing a little research on the web...   I've got nothing.  Apparently this is the accepted way to teach generational differences.  Ugh.

So I ask the readers of this forum, who I know from personal experience can also pass for a few years younger than they are- have you had issues with this sort of type-casting in the past?  Any thoughts on how to better address this in the workplace?  I'd love to have some suggestions to make this a better discussion in future classes.  I don't want to be that guy who complains about everything and has no solutions.  But all I can fall back on is, don't look at my baby-face, listen to what I say.  Not much of a discussion.  Man, trying to improve things is hard work.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rewelcoming Home Ownership

So, this isn't really a kvetch. Though I have much to kvetch about (low flying planes for photo opps! Swine flu frenzy!). HK and I bought a house (with all the awesomeness and scarededness and work that entails). Once we move in, we will be sans-Congressional representation (I will tell you what it's like, JL! I bet it's AWESOME). We are also moving to an area that borders a really nice neighborhood on three sides and . . .another neighborhood on the other side. HK calls it "real" and "urban." I call it "crack-heads" and "boarded-up buildings" and "Murray's is not that far away!." But anyway, we are excited. I can metro to work (red line, baby) and Brian can metro or drive. And it won't take him hours to get home anymore. So he can come home and see how many Gilmore Girls repeats I can watch in a row and question his love for me.

It's a 100-year-old row house. To suburban dwellers, would be considered small. To those people, houses with rooms aren't a big deal. And yards? The only question is SHOULD I GET A RIDING MOWER? To us, the pseudo-city-dwelling-wannabes, though, these things are new and shiny to us. To us, this tiny row house is palatial. I might have made references to Bill Gates when we looked at it. Because it has ROOMS and STAIRS and a YARD! Even a driveway for the complainers that don't like walking the 500 ft from the parking garage to our condo (whatever, just because you are carrying boxes and have small children who are running into the street and have a broken leg and our condo is a MAZE of despair, I still judge) (just kidding) (sort of). The inspection found nothing major, so we can feel assured that the house will not fall down around us while we sleep.

A word about the previous owners. They have a WALL of degrees. They both graduated from the AF Academy, they both have more than one masters (including things like electrical engineering and finance - that's just the husband) and the wife is now a doctor. I am hoping that the high achievement and intelligence genes infuse future children so that they can support us in our old age. Otherwise I am looking into hiring Future Children out as chimney sweeps and possibly give them a Cockney accent so I can retire.

Settlement is in a month and then we shall officially shed our state residencies and become residents of our constitutionally-appointed district of taxation and the only representation being strongly worded oppositions that are summarily dismissed. But we are less than two miles from where we are not represented. We can also welcome repairs that we both didn't miss at all from previous homeowning - shoveling, raking, cutting grass (well, we could do it with big scissors at this place, but still), gutters and all the rest.

Just talking about paint colors is stressing me out. But the house must be painted. The highly educated people we bought the house from have painted it in what I call "festive" and what HK calls "ow my EYES! the searing PAIN! SOB." Once this is accomplished, we may have more than two people over at a time! And be social!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Random Annoyances

So we've all kind of slacked on the kvetching lately.  In my case, it's not because I'm not angry about things, I guess I just haven't had anything frustrating enough happen to me.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Apparently I Have the Worst Taste in Music in ALL THE LAND

So, every time I find a music station I like anywhere, it gets discontinued.

Yeah. 99.1, gone. WAVA, LONG GONE. (anyone else remember when it was all awesome and played rockin' 80's hits, way back in the day? Am I dating myself?) Hell, even the "crappic rock" stations are gone. 94.7 just turned into more lame pop hits.

FRED, GONE. Turned into 1st Wave, which is LAME LAME LAME. Seriously, why can't they just go back to the "All Depeche Mode, all the time, and when we grow weary of that, we'll taunt your ears with the Cure, or maybe some Joy Division" station that I HEART? Oh, 1st Wave, with your chatty, personable DJs, how I loathe thee. I want bitter, and I want it now.

The other day I was cruising through the music channels on my television, and found Retro Active, which was yet another 80's alternative station. Fabulous. Just enough of the cheesy retro hits for me, and no Taylor Dane or Debbie Gibson earworms. Perfect.

Today, when I turn on my television, what do I find? Some lame Alt Rock station. With PEARL JAM. Where is my Joy Division, I ask? Or my Flock of Seagulls? Flannel shirts and unwashed hair are a far cry from boys in eyeliner and an entire can of Aqua Net. Dag, yo. At the rate this is going, satellite radio will be cancelled entirely by the end of the year or something.

Sigh. Off to "Singers and Swingers" for me. At least the soothing tones of big band music can keep me from poking my eyes out. Of course, it HAS led to me Charleston-ing around the cat, by myself at various points. Not so condusive to a productive day.

Why must I have the worst taste in music in all the land? Oh wait, maybe it's because I'm TONE DEAF.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I am taking swimming lessons in an attempt to become intermediate. I aspire to mediocrity. And while I knew how to swim, I wanted to refine the strokes that I knew so that I could not freak out the lifeguards with my flailing. Except the lifeguard at my gym who wears a big fur lined parka with the hood pulled up and totally deals drugs out of there (allegedly) - he wouldn't notice. Hence, swim classes at the local Y. Some definitions:

My swim instructor: blond, Johnny from The Karate Kid (who was not the guy in One Crazy Summer, nor is he the guy in Revenge of the Nerds. . .there are a lot of '80's movies rife with evil blond men - I thought it was all the same guy. . .who knew). Anyway, he says "bro" (pronounced br-AH), possibly has popped collars when not swimming, and is about 16.

Me: old, tired, crotchety, has the soul of a 93-year-old, manages to fall over in pool.

Johnny is under some sort of delusion that I am Michael Phelps. First, he makes me swim lots and lots of laps. In a row. Without a rest. Which is HARD. And makes me do my strokes right, which gives my brain mini-aneurisms because I have to change my rhythm and start inhaling under water in my confusion. But these things are to be expected, because I need to learn. And get some stamina and endurance so that the old lady with the flower swim cap doing sidestroke will not school me. So these are not the reasons why Johnny is so very evil. For this, he is only a little evil. Like Emilio Estevez in Breakfast Club. A sort of boring tool with the potential for evil.

But the evil escalated last class, because next on the agenda? Butterfly. What is up with that? Am I going to the Olympics? Well, in my head, I am (also am hilarious, a novelist and have won a Grammy). But in real life where it requires work, talent and determination? I have not these things, Sensei.

But he says no worries, after Butterfly, I will learn flip turns. Apparently he wants me to die.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Contract THIS

There are many wonderful things about owning a home.  You know, there's that "every man's home is his castle" shit.  It's cool to have a castle.  But what they don't tell you is that castles need work.  And since "you" were raised by a laywer and a psychologist (and a wicked stepmother- it's a wonder "you" are even remotely sane), you don't have a fucking clue about home improvement.   Sure, you learn little things, like how to paint, and how to replace a dimmer switch, but for the real stuff- drywall, windows, insulation- you have to hire someone.

But hiring someone is a gigantic pain in the ass.  First, who do you trust?  How do you know that this smelly guy is telling you the truth, when the other smelly guy (why does EVERY contractor smoke?) tells you something different?  Second, why does the guy you want to give an estimate for attic insulation insist on trying to sell you windows?  When he can't even fit his gigantic ass through the attic access to give you an accurate quote for the insulation?  And why the FUCK does one guy NOT EVEN SHOW UP without a even PHONE CALL?

On top of all of that, this shit costs MONEY.  Serious cash.  Where does one come up with said moola?  Ah, one "works."  Or more accurately, one sits all day in a littler, shittier box, and similarly fumes about other perceived slights.  All to own his own "castle."  I don't remember the castle needing attic insulation, do you?  Fuck cliches too.  Contract THIS.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oh! My Nose!

So, you know the episode of the Brady Bunch where Marcia Brady gets hit in the face with a football, and they keep replaying the scene over and over, with Marcia squeaking "Oh! My NOSE!"?

Well, imagine something similar, only it involved a cat. And he didn't get HURLED at my nose per se, more like my brother scared his lardy ass, and he jumped up with all of the grace of a freight train, directly into my schnozz. Awesome.

Which resulted in the aforementioned, "OH! MY NOSE!"

Also, much laughter. And QueenDweeb retching into her mom's new fancy kitchen sink in pain. While DweebBrother attempted (poorly) to contain his mirth, and mom applied ice packs to said schnozz in the attempt to stop any swelling.

Mind you, all of this transpired whilst watching "Team America: World Police," no less. America, FUCK YEAH, indeed. Perhaps that is what frightened Twinkie, and not the PILLOW (god forbid it get too close, with its squishy comfort and plush insides). Yes, a PILLOW. Cat+Pillow+Face=DOOOOOOOOMMM.

So, ice pack in place, glasses held aloft (for extra classiness), the minor bleeding was staunched, the nose declared "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, IT'S NOT BROKEN. YOUR FACE LOOKS FINE. WOULD YOU QUIT LOOKING AT YOURSELF" and DweebBrother's mirth (poorly) contained. Though he did say, about ten times, that he really wished he had captured that on video, to post on youtube. Because nothing says holiday fun like MOCKING YOUR SISTER'S AGONIZING, PAIN AND HUMILIATION.

Five days later, when the glasses still hurt, an appointment is made with the doctor. Who, of course, reminds our faithful heroine of Marcia Brady. And laughs at her plight. And declares her cartilage cracked. So, no tackle football for QueenDweeb. AND, YES, MY CAT BROKE MY FACE.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

UPDATE: More ingratitude for LOW RENT MAJOR AWARD

So here are some places where I could use my LRMA:
  1. - I can get LIVE LOBSTERS delivered to my house
  2. Shari's Gourmet Dining - fine dining in Auburn, MI
  3. Ultratainment - can get a card to use at over 500 restaurants in Arizona
  4. Keg Steakhouse & Bar - with many locations in Vancouver, BC

I don't think that I have to mention that we don't have offices in any of these places, either. Road trip to Vancouver anyone? I am getting no end of entertainment from this, people. Bear with me. And also? Some people may be getting Jiffy Lube gift cards next holiday season. . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

How I am an ingrate for my low rent MAJOR AWARD

This is going to be a little tense, trying to tell this story without revealing my employer to the interwebs search engines. Despite the ungrateful tone of this entry, I do actually mostly like my job and want to keep it. So I can buy nutritious foods and watch cable (the order of importance is actually reversed).

A little background: I work for a corporation. It's like any normal corporation, it's got it's good and bad points. The corporate bullshit has been ever increasing, especially in regards to anything involving compensating employees for their work. When my employer does not want to give people raises or promote them, they take to giving them one time awards. The awards used to be part of the pay, but they would get taxed at the bonus rate, so one would end up with like $15.43 and it was hardly worth anything (except for maybe an awesome run at Taco Bell - I mean, that's like 47ty thousand bean burritos or something). But they decided to update the process, and make it MUCH more cumbersome by adding a third party and gift cards.

So my boss writes me an e-mail last week that I have won an award. A "Guppy"* award. Well, color me wowed. It's an award for going above and beyond and doing great things, etc., etc. So I dub this my MAJOR AWARD and quickly imagine receiving a leg lamp in the mail. But really, the recognition is wonderful - because my job is a thankless one and most people think it involves being a pain in their ass. Which it does. So it's very nice to be recognized and to maybe get a plaque that I can put in my cube to validate myself. And $15.43 will now be MINE.

But lo, we have a new system. I have to log on to a site called "ShloboForce"* and retrieve my gift card from one of thousands of "global merchants." I quickly notify one of my cobloggers and merriment ensues about the craptitude of the aforementioned "global merchants."

So I get 4 e-mails from SchloboForce this morning. . .4 of them. Because they do it in increments, so they sent me 4 separate e-mails with a different tracking number for a portion of the monetary award. Which possibly could be handled better, but whatever. The whole point of the exercise was about making the process as cumbersome as possible. Because they could have just given us American Express Gift Cards. But that would have required ONE step rather than 60. So now I have to go online and choose a merchant for my gift cards.

The first store that came up: AJ Wright. In case you are unfamiliar with this store, here is the website with a picture: AJ Wright's website shows a mob assembling outside a closed AJ Wright, waiting to get inside for its gloriousness. The only locations for this store are in Oxon Hill, to which I have never been (it being in PG County and all). The mob in front of the store did not look promising. I mean, why didn't they show the inside of the store? Or is it open and the people can't figure out how to get in? I am sad for these people who cannot get into the store. I spend some time thinking about the sadness that is in the land of the Hills of the misspelled Oxen.

However, I don't know if there will be a plaque. I want a plaque. So I may have to use some of my SchloboForce gift card for a plaque in my honor. Or a lot of newspapers to make myself a papier mache guppy to put in my cube.

Some other stores on the list: Jiffy Lube & CVS

Recognition = good. AJ Wrights = sad place. Me = ingrate.

*I am disguising the name of the award, even though it's part of the awesomeness. I mean, they have a theme and as you go up, the award gets more important. So the lower one is a Guppy, then there is a shark, then a whale, only not an aquatic theme. Which made me wonder, if you suck, do you get a Mariana Trench award for sucking the life out of the seabed and causing instability and chaos in the oceans?

*I am also cleverly disguising the name of the company who is the third party handler.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

And Here I Thought We Were Supposed to Be Supporting the Economy...

So the other day, my mother and I set foot into Macy's to embark on a short jaunt of post-xmas shopping. Also known as "hell." As everything was cheap, and we were armed with coupons, we thought this might be "fun."

My father drove us to Montgomery Mall, with one instruction. Find him some slippers. Namely, some "Franks." Yes, like the hot dogs. Or old men. Whichever you prefer. Armed with aforementioned coupons, we strode purposefully to the men's shoes, and found the ONLY PAIR of FRANKS in dad's size. Mom set out to argue with the clerks, for apparently, they mark UP the price, only to mark it right back down, so that you cannot use the magic holiday coupons (seriously, Macy's, what gives? You, sir, are no Hecht's). We were informed that the FRANKS were a "special buy" and NO COUPONS for you Ma'am. NO. SPECIAL BUY. Uh, whatever. Just give us the damn FRANKS so we can shop.

Mind you, the entire time, my dad is endlessly circling the parking lot or something, as it is the day after xmas, and all through the land, suburban people are fighting over cheaply made clothing at Macy's, and lo, there are no parking spots to be had.

So, off to the ladies section we march, where I try on eleventy-twelve articles of clothing, of which all are too long, as usual, as I am the torsoless-wonder. Save for one shirt. Which has NO TAG. Dag, yo. We know what this means.

My mother, never one to be daunted, rises to the occasion, and tries the nearest counter, where the clerk informs her that the item cannot be sold to us. In fact, it was accidentally returned to Macy's (nevermind that it is a brand that Macy's carries), and will be DESTROYED. We try to have them allow us to make an offer, but no dice. Sneakily, we walk away with our quarry, and try another counter. In a DIFFERENT ladies department. Again, we are told that the FOUL, EVIL SHIRT MUST BE DESTROYED. Apparently, this one shirt can singlehandedly bring down the entire Macy's empire with it's flawed return policy. Who knew? Was it made of KRYPTONITE? For crissake, was it like imbued with smallpox or something? I was a little scared of the shirt by the time we finally gave up and left WITHOUT BUYING A DAMN THING ASIDE FROM THE FREAKING FRANKS.

Now here's what I don't get. Macy's had a chance to make back some of the money they lost on this item that they mistakenly took back. Someone actually wanted this bizarrely sized teeny-tiny sized 8 that really is a size 2 shirt. So why not sell it to us? Or just "destroy" it right into our bag or something. Hell if I know what Macy's is thinking. All I know is that I really miss Hecht's. Also, riddle me this: why does the junior's department at the Montgomery Mall Macy's always smell like B.O.?