I suppose if you LIKE being depressed…..

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I like to be a contrarian sometimes. Sometimes? Oh hush.

The following four things receive HIGH HIGH HIGH Critical Acclaim. Oprah’s Book Club! Grammys! Oscars!

However, I will advise you that unless you WANT to run into the kitchen and swallow a bottle of anti-depressants with that bottle of vodka and slip away into the night…well….then you’d be doing yourself a favor to avoid them.

I’m fairly convinced that even the happiest, most plucky, glass ALWAYS full among us would be in danger of deep depression after exposure to what I think are the most soul sucking pieces of literary, film & musical drivel to be foisted on our senses.

Behold! Your sure fire cures for a severe case of joy:

Sarah McLachlan

There is no denying that she has a very lovely voice. Soothing perhaps….IF she used it for good. But, she uses it for evil. Depressing, go to sleep forever evil. In fairness, I *have* seen her live. And yes, she is JUST as bad on stage. Lordy girl – can you please sing/write SOMETHING with some pep? You can celebrate love and life you know.

Tell me you haven’t had your TV on sorta on auto-pilot, heard the opening strains of “In The Arms of An Angel”, seen the images of animals wasting away and though “GAH! No! Not AGAIN!” and wanted to gouge your eyes out?

Yeah, I don’t care WHAT she sings now. Like Pavlov’s dog, the sound of her voice makes me immediately feel sick in the pit of my stomach and tears well up. Thank you, but NO!

It’s a little easier to avoids books than it is to avoid music since radio stations can assault you and, as pointed out, TV commercials can jump up and bite you – but…..there is something about a depressing book that really insults you. First off – you all probably picked this one up thanks to Oprah, right? I know I did. That first year that she did her book club, I didn’t read anything unless she had recommended it. I was doing OK until this one popped up. What in the hell is appealing about a book where literally everyone dies at the end including the only couple of characters you might have liked? Or, if they are not literally dead, they might as well be because the way the ending is written it is clear that those still breathing wish quite deeply that they weren’t? Who writes this thinking a reader wants to spend several nights immersed in this? Isn’t a book supposed to be a way of ESCAPING reality? And a book takes time and EFFORT to read. A song is a mere 3 minutes of hell. A movie is over in 2-3 hours. A book? That’s usually several days of a few hours here and there depending on how long and how fast you read.

Of course, it is my own problem that I almost NEVER stop reading a really bad book. I stubbornly plug away to the end hoping against all evidence that things will turn around.

Yes, I *was* smart enough NOT to the movie adaptation of this horrible mess.

However, I was NOT smart enough to remember how Oprah had burned me. Because years later when I inherited Jacqueline’s collection of novels which included a fair amount of Oprah Book Club selections, I got suckered again:

Holy hell in a hand basket! First you spend over 100 pages reading about how FABULOUS this family thinks they are…then it all goes downhill from there and one by one they are all exposed to be the shells of human beings that they are. No hope. No learning. No growing. Just mind numbing depravity & self destruction. Again – why the ever loving heck did I read this until the end? Ok, read is generous – I skimmed. But…ugh!

As often as I have marveled at how amazing it is that JK Rowling walked around with the Harry Potter stories in her head, wafting around in her over-sized imaginary glands until she could get them all out on paper – I feel deeply SORRY for authors who carry around tales like those two! I mean, really, how did THEY get through life with the ability to even crack a half-assed smile?

But then – we come – to THE biggest waste of time EVER – which won it’s industry’s highest possible honor (WHY WHY WHY?):

To quote Elaine from Seinfeld : “That movie SUCKS!”

Pretty much, yep.

So in conclusion – if you find out that someone plans on watching The English Patient after spending the day reading The House of Sand and Fog and listening to Sarah McLachlan CD’s…..just go ahead and call the suicide hotline on their behalf. They will thank you later.

 

No common sense – none!

Aside

As I alluded to in an earlier post, there have been um…”issues” with the plumbing in the ladies rooms in the basement. I use the term “ladies” quite loosely. Toilets left un-flushed, or not completely flushed, toilet paper rolls almost never replaced (seriously, go in there after 3:30 and you will inevitable see two empty rolls while the new ones sit either unopened, or worse, unwrapped and left ON THE FLOOR!). Apparently some also flushed things that I thought EVERY WOMAN ON THE PLANET knew not to flush, but, apparently NOT because that’s why we all got an email about it last week and had to endure red tide quality smells. Yeesh!

After all that – just to further prove that common sense is a lost art, today the bathroom sink is clogged. Why? Because someone keeps dumping coffee grounds in there. Why? Who knows? It’s not like there is an actual KITCHEN just a few yards down the hall with a real SINK with a GARBAGE DISPOSAL, or hey, how about those enormous TRASH CANS???

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Complaints, I have a few

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  • Unfinished or poorly designed or broken websites. Really, it’s 2011 and if your online storefront is not your #1 priority then you are doing it wrong. I’m planning the upcoming August Moms gathering here next weekend and I spent yesterday surfing around restaurant websites and nothing irritated me more than trying to open a menu page and finding….nothing!  NEXT!
  • Facebook changes – no, I am not one of the multitudes screaming bloody murder about them. I adjust and adapt and block new things as needed, BUT, since a lot of people ARE bugged beyond belief about it, some of them are packing it in and moving to Google + – which means I have to maintain two accounts because I now have friends who I WANT to stay connected to who love/hate one or the other and refuse to dance with one or the other. ARGH! I blame Facebook since they were there first and if they hadn’t been so stupid with rolling out their updates which drove people away then I could just live the simple life in one place. I mean, why can’t Facebook just please all of the people all of the time eh? That’s not so hard, is it? ;->>
  • People who copy/paste those Facebook statuses daring you NOT to copy/paste the same one into yours. You know the ones, right? They insinuate that if you DON”T act like a lemming and show your support for the cause that EVERYONE MUST SUPPORT then puppies and babies will die (or something similarly dire) and then you will be the PARIAH OF THE UNIVERSE (or at least the social media world). Well, me = pariah because I REFUSE. I can come up with my own statuses thank you very much and no, I don’t need to declare my hatred for cancer because, well, why in the bloody hell would you think I SUPPORT it?
  • People who don’t respond to emails – personal or professional. So rude.
  • Children (like both of mine were/are) who think reading and doing homework is akin to a daily root canal. GAWD! I just don’t get it and I absolutely hate it that I have to pester and nag and cajole and then STILL see those farking red boxes where assignment grades should be! Do I really need to haggle through 3 more years of this?

All right, that should make it easier for me to get through the week – what’s bugging you?

1 wrong does not make 50 wrongs

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Last week an email went out at work admonishing the ladies of the basement about flushing items they shouldn’t. Specifically, it was plastic applicators (apology for the slight TMI there). I knew because I heard the maintenance employee talking about it. I immediately felt defensive because hey – I’m a woman in the basement! But, I have also complained plenty on my own about some of the less than respectful bathroom habits down here so, I can’t defend too loudly!

But really, what bothered me is that ONE careless person made all fifty of us down here look bad. We all need to use the bathroom, and we all need to respect each other and use it properly and not leave it in a state of…well..ICK! Because one person can ruin it for the other 49. Now the maintenance group thinks we are all pigs..which we aren’t..there’s just ONE, but we get painted with the broader brush.

Yesterday a gal who works in said basement posted on her facebook page that she was tired of going in to work, especially because she felt like she was working just to support people on welfare who are lazy and don’t bother working.

Yeah, let that sink in.

How many ways is that logic flawed eh? I mean, be unhappy in your own job for your own reasons, but..um..you are blaming welfare recipients for your NEED to work? No honey, you need to work to feed YOU. The .05 per paycheck or heck..let’s say $1 that you might be contributing to the welfare system is really not going to make or break that system!

So yeah, she was tad off base in her overall rant. But that started a real time discussion about the merits of welfare (of course!) with some comments about how people who ask for handouts need to just “try harder” and “find a job!” and the usual cries of how relying on the govt for a handout creates lazy people.

Well, yes..in any pool of people receiving assistance there will be that percentage who are gaming the system.

The ones who don’t respect what is available to them, misuse it and waste resources. Of course those examples are extremely frustrating and can make people who are working hard very very angry and resentful.

But again, it’s just those examples.

That’s not ALL of them. It’s not even a majority of them. The majority who do need help, really NEED help, and are more thrilled than anyone else when they get themselves back on their feet and no longer need that help.

But the ONES, ruin the system for the MANY and give a bad reputation to the whole thing.

Should the system be more controlled so that less people can game it? Hell yeah. but…not to the point where it begins to deny assistant to the many with real need.

And if you think that your job is so awful and you hate going to it so much and that you are only doing it to support people on the dole, well then – quit working! Clearly you don’t appreciate how awesome it is in today’s economy to even HAVE a job. Stop contributing to “the system”! That’ll teach ‘em!

Let me know how long you last without a job before you have to ask for help. And hey, given your apparent history of not appreciating what you have, I am SURE you would NEVER take any help you might get from family, friends or (gulp), the government for granted, right?

Never.

I’m also sure you are NOT the one misusing the bathroom.

TOTALLY sure.

 

 

 

What happened to Ebay?

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I am going to sound like such an old fuss bucket, but, remember when Ebay was..well..EBAY?! When it was FUN? When it was EASY? When it was…well..CHEAP?! When Ebay first launched it was the Internets very own garage sale site. Just folks in their pajamas like me, cleaning out their closets & garages to sell the inevitable accumulation of crap. Oh sure, some of it was not crap at all. There was good stuff out there! Lord knows I wouldn’t even own a pair of Uggs if not for Ebay! Wait, people consider Uggs as crap now, don’t they? Well, they were HOT! when I bought my pair which I do (yes!) still wear when it’s cold. (Shut up! It does TOO get cold here!)

The thing is, back then it was a great little site. No professionals. No “stores”. No “Buy It Now!” Not all those categories. And certainly it was easy as pie to list something yourself if you wanted to sell! In early 2006 I made my first foray into selling after finally deciding to thin out my purse pile. Some women are shoe whores, I’m a purse whore. And I had some very nice ones too. And I took care of them. I wiped them down with leather treatment whenever I was putting them away in their little sleeping bags after use. Kept them all warm and dry and snug in there. So they were in awesome condition and I remember each one sold for more than I had expected. I know I paid a percentage back to Ebay of course, but I also remember that listing the item was free – wasn’t it? Surely I was not limited to only one free photo?

Flash forward to yesterday when I’ve decided to clear out some more stuff. A few remaining purses & wallets that I haven’t used in over a year for sure and also venturing into selling some sports memorabilia, programs & maybe my record collection?

Well, one of the first things you notice when you sit down to do a little research into selling your item is that HOLY CRAP THERE”S A LOT OF STUFF OUT THERE!! Everyone on the planet is Ebay-ing now! No longer is it good enough to take a couple of pics of your item. No, you need to STAGE it to get it noticed. Those purses better be placed on a pure silk cloth with diamond encrusted lettering announcing it’s brand. The lighting better be model runway quality. I mean, these items need to be prepped like super stars for their photos! So at 10am yesterday I get started. Ninety minutes and dozens of photos AND several photo edits later and I think I am ready to load them into a listing. So I sign on to Ebay. Click on the Seller Tips section first to see if have a chance of getting my items seen in all the din. Ah – the Shipping tip section – excellent! I was wondering how much to charge for shipping.  Of course they recommend that I offer FREE shipping to attract buyers, but um..NO…I’m not a professional or a Power Seller and I need my $5 for shipping dammit! Then I see an option to order free shipping boxes from the USPS. OK, that will save time & money so I surf on over to their site and spend 20 minutes signing up and choosing the right sized boxes. Then I hop on over to Paypal to make sure that account is updated/connected to Ebay/USPS for printing shipping labels. Now it’s lunch time so I take a break to eat a sandwich and check out some more listings to get an idea on pricing.

Now it’s 1pm and I still haven’t listed anything! OK, get started. Sell My Item – YES! First, select a category. Five menus later and I think I’ve found one that fits, but I’m thinking it could fit in about three others. No problem according to the listing page. Just add a second category (for a small fee of course). Skip that. Moving on now to your headline description. Limited to 55 characters. You want a subtitle so you can write more? Sure! (for a small fee of course). Now choose the basics which are miraculously still free – brand, new/used, color, size, style. Awesome, now we are getting somewhere. OK, now load the photos. First one is free! Sure you can load more (for a small fee per photo of course). Want a larger version of your photo to pop up when someone views the listing? Sure (for a small fee of course). How about a listing theme? You know,because it the detailed listing needs a lovely border around it (for a small fee of course). Then you have a couple of more actually free items to fill in. What kind of visitor counter should be displayed (if any) and then your full listing description – which really can be quite long so that at least has not changed! Now it is on to pricing. What would you like your starting bid to be? It can be anything you like! (for a small fee of course). Yes, the starting bid costs you. Upon clicking on the detail there I learned why so many sellers have starting bids of .01-.99 even if the item they are selling is easily worth a ton more. I’d go on to explain more but the fee for insertion and pricing guide there is so complex that it made my head spin and I just picked a price and moved on! There are also fees for listing it with a Buy It Now option. Sigh. Now choose your preferred payment method and how much you are going to charge for shipping and whether or not you accept returns and how THOSE will be handled if you do. Then finally – FINALLY – you can hit submit….and you see that before anything has even happened to owe Ebay close to $5 before the dang thing has even sold (they are still going to take 9% once it does sell). Yeah, FREE SHIPPING my ass! At 4:45pm I hit submit on my last item of the day. SIX whole items.

Next time I’m just going to have an old fashioned garage sale.

Please! Stay HOME!

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‘Tis the season…yeah, for Christmas songs, lights & baking….but also for…ACHOO!! Winter flu and colds. Now, generally this time of year is about being TOGETHER. About SHARING and GIVING. But, um….not THAT PLEASE!

If you feel feverish and chills – STAY HOME! There is no amount of last minute anything that needs to be done that is worth getting OTHER people sick. Don’t shop. Don’t bake. And for the love of all that is Christmas Holy (or Holly), please do NOT go to school or work!!

Stay in bed. Watch TV. Sleep. Take Vitamin C. You have full permission to BE LAZY! Hoard. Be selfish. You, my friend, may keep those germs all to yourself, OK?

That’s MY spot

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Today started off crappy. And by crappy, I mean, really totally OK to all rational people.

I dropped off SB at school in plenty of time to miss the drop off line traffic.

I was happy because I had remembered in time that there was a breakfast special in the cafe that I wanted so I didn’t make breakfast at home.

And, I was pulling into the parking garage in plenty of time to get My Spot.

Only, that last part wasn’t true. Because that damn green Honda that I fight with every morning for My Spot had beat me there!

You see, like Sheldon on Big Bang Theory, I have a SPOT. Unlike Sheldon, it is not a space on a sofa.

Also unlike Shledon, I’ve not been able to successfully, officially claim it in any way so other employees would stay out of it. It’s an open parking garage with only two reserved spots and let’s just say that I am not even remotely important enough for one of those and never will be. So it’s otherwise all about timing. So my SPOT is a particular space in the parking garage. It is #66. You would think my spot would be my normally lucky #27, and I do like that one, but laziness has overcome number identification in this case. 66 is closer than 27 to the building entrance :-) Now, THAT makes sense right? Most of us have a natural tendency to look for the closest possible spot, right?

Well, then there is the *irrational* reason for liking this spot.

I work in a basement office area. One that is BELOW the parking garage. Yep, after parking my car, I go DOWN another floor. Ever since we moved here we’ve jokingly referred to it as the Cellar, the Subterranean Village, the Bomb Shelter etc etc. But we almost NEVER refer to it as the politically correct, OFFICIAL name – Lower Level. Yeah, no. It’s the basement. And, it kind of is like it’s own bomb or tornado shelter. Of course, those are not real threats here. Earthquakes ARE. And hey, in those you are supposed to take shelter under heavy objects, right? To prevent things from falling on your head? (I’m now getting to that irrational reason).

So….space #66…is right over my desk. You see, if I park my car there, I feel secure knowing that – should anything remarkably absurd happen and the building WERE to collapse on me…well…at least it would be my OWN CAR either protecting me, or..taking me out, right?

Yes, I know – irrational.

Still, I just get all perturbed when I see another car there as I pull around the corner in the morning. I have no real reason to be annoyed of course. That poor guy (I know the driver of the Honda & he’s a sweetheart) has no clue – he’s just taking the closest available spot when he pulls in with no idea how much that will irritate me. So of course I don’t hold a grudge against HIM. I just stare daggers at his CAR :-)

Thankfully though, my annoyance was easily dissipated. Did I mention the breakfast special?