grrgoyl: (Bad Jesus!  Very Bad!)
My, my, my I've been quiet. TOO quiet. Which is good news for everyone, because instead of writing a hugely epically long post, I'm forced to reduce it to key highlights from sheer lack of memory. So I have those, plus a large number of mini-movie reviews.

First, to wrap up the Parade of Homes 2011! I've been back to MyFriendDeb's to go on an unrelated outing. She wasn't exactly ready when I arrived, however, her pace of preparing to leave could be described as "hustling" if not "frantic," and we walked out the door five minutes later rather than twenty. If you knew Deb like I know Deb, that right there is as good as an apology, my friends.

In fact, Ryan was supposed to join us that day, but bailed at the last minute because he was spending the previous night with John (translation: drinking). While I'm not thrilled he's regressed back to him after more than a year's break, hey, whatev, I'm not his mother. But as I told Deb, I just knew it would be followed by a Facebook pity party about how much his life sucks and bemoaning being surrounded by losers all the time.

Sure enough, that night Tery was checking her page when she read it to me: "Last day off for 8 weeks and I didn't even do anything fun -- laundry and Facebook. Yippee." My first impulse was to comment "Awww, too bad you don't have cool friends that invite you out to an awesome day in the mountains." But I knew he was probably hoping for/expecting something from me, so I gave him stony silence instead. Because I'm done. And if you know me, it takes a lot for me to be done, but I'm there.

~*~

Tery FINALLY gets mountain biking. She lowered her saddle by two inches, and that has made all the difference between feeling like she was in control and feeling like she was going to pitch over the handlebars any minute. It also helped her feet reach the ground for dabbing, something she couldn't do before and something I was unaware she couldn't do. I wish I could take credit as her mentor, but the suggestion was made by an older woman hiker on the trail who noticed Tery sitting too high. Consequently we returned to Little Scraggy and, as predicted, she loved it--though probably wouldn't have without the adjustment. She is putting together a little video of our adventures that might be published here. Turns out she's quite the Steven Spielberg, because there wasn't much to work with.

~*~

Oh right, so I'm on the pill! Which still sounds weird to say a week later. I'm happy to say it was simply a matter of going to the clinic and asking for it: No intrusive questions about why I wanted it or lectures on the moral implications, etc. (Of course I did go to Planned Parenthood which might have had something to do with it). Didn't even have to lie about only wanting it until November and that was all, just "how many packs would you like?"

Tery's first reaction to the news was "Great. You're free to sleep with guys now," as if her only objection was with unwanted pregnancy (it certainly is not).

I spent the second day researching possible side effects, which include headaches, nausea, breast enlargement (PLEASE GOD NO), weight gain and mood swings. This last one worried me the most (not helped by [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana's reassuring "You're about to turn into Queen Megabitch") -- I'm unsettled by the thought my mood can be artificially affected (control issues), and I spent the day imagining that a mood swing was gestating inside me like a chestburster alien. Tery isn't concerned about it; she thinks it's not something I would consciously notice, and anyway she's holding out hope that I'll be nicer, as if I'm so mean now there's nowhere to go but up (I really don't think I am).

There was one incident when we realized twenty minutes too late that the new "Office" wasn't recording, but I'd like to think that would have happened with or without chemicals. Other than that I've experienced a few episodes of random and extremely intense horniness, which I might blame on the medication. But if that's the worst that happens, I can certainly live with it.

~*~

In biking news, I think I've seen the guy whose picture you find when you look up the word "dickhead."

On my route I have to cross traffic three times, which is only a big deal during rush hour, as I've stated before when people don't care about anything but getting to work (or home) and God help anyone that gets in their way. One of these intersections is by far the worst, and that is where our story is set.

In fact this was afternoon, so the traffic was (mostly) returning home. I waited on the curb with a fellow lady biker and a male pedestrian. At one point the traffic cleared, no cars coming, so we all started across (it wasn't just me taking liberties here). We had almost made it to the opposite curb when traffic started coming over the hill. Let me explain that from the top of this hill drivers have clear visibility all the way to the intersection, a good 100 yards or so. Plus there were three of us in a big cluster, not one lone hard-to-see person. In theory, should be plenty safe for everyone, right?

As we were all just about to reach the opposite curb, the guy whose lane we were crossing (an SUV. Act surprised) suddenly slammed on his brakes so they would let out a dramatic ear-splitting squeal, as if it was a blind turn and he had just noticed us and came within inches of hitting us. You know damn well he saw us from the top of the hill, and you know damn well he deliberately avoided braking until getting right on top of us (in fact might have even accelerated a little) just so he could do that. Really? You want to be That Guy? Because no one likes That Guy.

Dick. Head.

I've found forums about traffic laws featuring bitter arguments in the comments over who the bigger idiots are, cyclists or motorists. Obviously it's a case-by-case basis, but I think motorists are by far more careless and dangerous -- most of the time they barely notice each other, let alone someone not driving two tons of death-dealing steel. And I include myself in this category: I'll admit I've almost hit people in the crosswalk because I wasn't paying attention. And conversely I'll admit I've done some stupid things on a bike because I made an incorrect split-second decision. But a cyclist's bad judgment will get themselves hurt more often than a motorist, whereas the converse isn't true.

I think one solution would be a mandatory day on a bike for everyone (I'd actually love a week, but let's be realistic), so they can get a tiny taste of how scary it is trying to negotiate traffic with people who either don't see you or who don't think you deserve to be on the road. And I nominate That Guy to take the first shift.

~*~

Now, movies! Oodles and oodles of movies! So many that these are mostly mini reviews. No spoilers really, except maybe for one or two you've never heard of/couldn't care less about. I've bolded all the titles so you can skim easily. Behind the cut: 127 Hours, Wrecked, The Reef, Trollhunter, Shiver, Piranha (1978 and 2010), Insidious, The Last Airbender, and Paul.

::I have too much free time:: )
grrgoyl: (Muscles not motors)
I hadn't planned on a work rant, but I just have to get this off my chest.

Last weekend someone had written on the message board a big list of "Please don't"s. Unfortunately that same night it had once again become relevant for me to add my $.02 about not dumping food in the sink.

Maybe I shouldn't have written "(27th time asking)," except it was, and as most parents raising children will hopefully back me up, I'm getting pretty fucking tired of repeating myself. Maybe I shouldn't have written that garbage cans don't get backed up and require expensive plumber visits, but I hoped that, like with children, if I provided the rationale behind the request (even though I feel it should be fairly obvious) it would drive the point home finally.

For whatever reason, the following night I got the phone call from my day shift liaison (I'm hesitant to call anyone "friend" anymore in this place) about whether or not I was needed to come in, and to my surprise she asked if there were any problems the prior night. When I said no, she launched into a laundry list of complaints from the staff about things they thought I hadn't done, each more petty than the last. Coincidence? I doubt it.

The one that stuck in my craw was the accusation that the cats' water bowls were empty. It was also empty for me, which is why I put an extra one in the cage. So a) you expect me to believe the cats drained two bowls in the space of two hours between shifts? b) even if they did (they didn't), what the animals do after I leave is hardly in my control, and c) even if they did (they didn't), isn't the point of giving them water for them to drink it? It's not a decorative measure.

I made sure to set her straight on this point, but she didn't sound convinced. So why were all the other "please don't"s fine but mine pushed them over the edge? Probably because I made them feel stupid. Well, I'm sorry, but they're a little stupid, and not likely to get smarter by coddling and tiptoeing around their porcelain feelings. I firmly believe there would be a bit less stupidity in the world if more people were taken to task for it. This is just my public service.

~*~

In Tery's news, she ran her second triathlon a few weekends ago. It went much better for her, in part because she knew what to expect, in bigger part because we arrived much earlier so she had more time to get settled in.

No, the two big highlights of the race were MyFriendDeb came to keep me company, except when I asked her to videotape Tery running she refused, stating "people waste so much time with a camera stuck to their face they miss the actual event right there in front of them." It was only much later I thought of the comeback I should have made: That we weren't there for ourselves, we were there for Tery, and perhaps she'd like to see herself in the race. Whatevs. Next year I just won't ask her.

More exciting, Tery has decided now that she's "officially" a triathlete to get a tattoo to commemorate. I can't let her have all the fun, so I'm getting one too -- a bike chainring on my left inner forearm, because the only thing I love more than biking is tattoos with circular motifs. We still have to find a parlor and extra money, so it won't happen for awhile yet. I'm just thrilled Tery wants one too.

~*~

Biking, biking, biking. Probably no one else cares, but I do so here we are. I'll hide it behind a cut because I'm nice that way and I fully expect no one to read it. But feel free to prove me wrong. But since (practically) no one is going to read it anyway, I might as well put it here as anywhere.

::Don't you dare come in here...:: )

~*~

Last but certainly not least, [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk drew me ♥ Severus Snape ♥! (reposted with permission):


"I know you're up to something, Potter!"


She's made of all kinds of awesome.


COMING SOON: Parade of Homes 2011 and my review of The Room
grrgoyl: (firefly take me sir)
Yes indeedy (Tery has a Facebook friend who begins every post with "So....," an in medias res kind of thing. I say it's a sign of deep-seated insecurity, wanting to make sure she's got people's attention before speaking, but let's see if it works for me).

Remember my New Year's resolution to save money? It's been going well, actually. My savings has been building up steadily, which feels great. But all this overtime I've been working combined with a sweet tax refund, and something had to give. I deserved a treat.

Don't get me wrong, this decision didn't come easily. I had so ruthlessly trained myself to avoid buying anything that it took a week to talk myself into a $20 Banksy T-shirt (have you heard of Banksy? We just watched Exit Through the Gift Shop and he's my new favorite artist).

So you can imagine the agonizing hours that went into rationalizing what I really wanted, what I've been eyeing for a long time now, a portable Blu-ray player. Because when Tery and I both have a day off, she needs the TV to watch her favorite show, men driving in circles (Nascar, nearly as mind-numbing as golf), and I retreat to the bedroom. It would be nice to have a way to watch my favorite, including my other treat to myself, the next two Harry Potter Ultimate Edition Blu-rays (I know. I fell off the wagon hard. Because I also threw a new Wii guitar controller in. Stop me before I shop again!).

For the most part players are ridonculously expensive, until I came across a deal for a 10-inch RCA model under $200 on eBay and Amazon. After four days of raging internal debate, I went with an eBay Buy-It-Now of $189 with free Priority shipping.

Since I had paid for it on Friday, my hopes weren't high for a very speedy delivery (I'm never sure if Saturday counts as a shipping day). But I didn't think it should take longer than Tuesday. Thus when Wednesday rolled around with no sign of it, I sent a polite email to the seller, while quietly (unless you're Tery) fuming about eBayers who promise "Priority" and then sit on their ass for a few days before getting it out. When I sell stuff, the minute I get the notification of payment it's like a ticking time bomb in my head -- "Gotta get it out, gotta get it out, gotta get it out." Not all sellers are as conscientious as me, sadly.

Then Thursday for the helluvit I took a peek at my seller's feedback, and was astonished and alarmed to find about five negatives, all within the last three days, all reporting not receiving their items. More popped up as the day wore on. Figures. My seller's rating, which was 100% positive when I sent him my money, was now plummeting with every refresh of the page. Serves me right for falling off the wagon. I found myself suddenly yearning for the days when my only concern was whether or not it was being shipped Priority.

I shouldn't complain, I suppose. Some of these people had tried to buy some mighty big ticket items from dupreeks508: $600 iPads and $400 Dell laptops. My case was small potatoes in comparison. Tery's theory is he was selling stolen goods and was now in jail.

Now, my dilemma -- give him a chance to make good (which was looking increasingly unlikely with each passing hour), or go ahead and try to find a second deal? Because I'm happy to say at this point my savings is built up sufficiently that my first concern wasn't even being out $189 (which eBay is usually very good at refunding), but not having my toy. I reasoned that, worst-case scenario, I'd buy a second, the first would show up and I could always resell it; they're obviously a pretty hot item, especially at such a low price.

With encouragement from my sister Amy, whose spending habits are every bit as terrible as mine (used to be), I went with this option. From a third-party seller on Amazon I found one in "used very good" condition, same price but the next model up, which had better reviews, so maybe it will work out for the best after all.

I shot off an obligatory email to dupreeks508 halfheartedly asking again, finishing with a subtle threat to file a claim against him, which I went ahead and did anyway a few hours later because the negative feedbacks were mounting up impressively. He has a week to respond, and then hopefully eBay will just refund my money (don't remember, it's been a long time since I've had to go through the process). At this point I suspect eBay Central is saying, "Oh, here's another one for dupreeks. Add it to the pile." I know they must know something's up as he suddenly has no more listings.

I find it a bit amusing that the Banksy shirt I bought pictures a rat holding up a sign that reads "You lie." I didn't know what it meant at the time, just liked the design, but now it's relevant in a wholly unexpected way.


Dupreeks508 lies


~*~

Work, work, work, work, work. Don't get me wrong, I love the OT paychecks, but I'm getting a little tired.

Which is perhaps why I have less patience than normal with the MT board I go to for help with reports occasionally. For the most part I only have to search the archives for answers, but unfortunately from time to time I'm forced to ask a question, which I hate doing because it seems more often than not the simplest of exchanges erupt into a flame war on that site. You aren't likely to find a touchier, more easily offended pack of hyenas itching for a fight anywhere else on the web (although I'll bet mommy forums come close. Given the nature of my job, I'm sure there's more than a fair bit of overlap between the two).

I have an account that doesn't allow the patient name in the report (extremely common, though there are rare exceptions -- doctors don't care and insist on dictating them anyway, so I have to pay close attention). In this particular report, the doctor started rattling off the names of all the patient's children as well. I couldn't find any reference for or against typing them, so I turned to my fellow MTs. Briefly explained the situation, ending with "I tend to think I shouldn't."

I had two people come forward and agree with me; there was a chance, however slim, of identifying the patient through the children, so no. Since I was almost done with the rest of it and had to move on, I thanked them and said, "Just making sure."

Well. Then someone else wrote, "Every client is different. Seriously. For instance, I have one account that wants this, this and this but not that, that and that."

My first reaction was, how the hell does knowing your client's profile help me in the slightest, given that, as you say, every client is different? But what really stuck in my craw was that word "Seriously." It seemed like an unnecessarily vehement and perhaps a bit condescending emphasis, especially since anyone who's been transcribing for more than a month would certainly have noticed that every client is different, and I've been doing this for close to ten years. So I guess I'm just as touchy as the hyenas.

I couldn't resist responding, "Seriously? I'm leaving them off to be safe, they aren't relevant to the patient's care anyway."

OMG. You can see where this is going. That person sniffed, "Just trying to help. Hmmm." Then the piggy pile began. Someone else, "Why do you bother asking a question when you just want confirmation for what you've already decided?" And another, "LOL. 'Just making sure' based on two people's responses." Okay, a) one of those people was actually the board moderator, who is generally regarded as having a high degree of knowledge in the field, and b) plenty of times I've had questions not get answered at all, so there's no way of knowing how many more responses are coming, and Christ, the report wasn't that long and I can't hang around all day waiting to find out.

But from long experience on this board, I know all too well the more you try to defend and justify yourself to people, the more sharks show up to tear off a piece. So I just closed the window and went on my way. It amuses me to think of them working themselves into a frenzy, and then eventually looking around and realizing I was long gone. I'm the anti-troll; I stir up trouble and then never look at the thread again. Seriously.
grrgoyl: (Default)
I've decided I'm running for office. And the only item on my agenda will be putting some kind of cap on these political TV ads. I'M SICK TO DEATH OF THEM. And I suspect I'm not the only one.

I can't stand the smear campaigns. Just because your opponent may or may not have done these horrible things you claim is not a reason to vote for you.

Our local news has a "truth test" you can read on their website to learn what is truth and what is exagerration (or outright lie). As you'd expect, every statement has a little bit of truth to it, but most are just taken out of context.

My point is, if we need a third party "truth test" to know what to believe, how on earth can we trust any of these people in Washington?

~*~

So what's new? I'm still biking, which isn't NEW, I suppose. I've gotten so hard core that not only do I swallow bugs now, I chew first. I think of it as a little protein bite (these are very tiny bugs, like gnats. I'm not talking horseflies). The good news is with the colder weather, the protein bites have become much fewer and further between.

I never thought of myself as a rage fanatic, but I've noticed I can't seem to leave the house without making at least one enemy. Mostly these are pedestrians, or even other bikers, who simply can't grasp the concept of using only one side of the path. I have stories that could fill hours, but no one wants to hear them I'm sure.

Occasionally my warpath extends to motorists. Not often, since my contact with them is limited to crossing one intersection to get to the park. But sometimes that 100-foot stretch is all I need.

One morning I had had a perfectly lovely ride (on Thursdays I don't start work until 10 a.m., so I get to go out early and be all smug in front of the poor schleps commuting to their 9-5). I was waiting to cross the intersection to head home. The light turned red, when suddenly this huge ass pickup truck literally screeched to a halt in a full straddle across the crosswalk. As the light was solidly red 10 seconds before he arrived, I can only wonder what the hell he was doing that he didn't notice. I'm willing to bet texting illegally.

I crossed, giving him a sarcastic little salute. That was all I was planning on doing, I swear, until my reptile brain took over, turned my vision white, and lifted my hand to smack the front of his vehicle as I passed.

I've done this once before. It was also a huge ass pickup (universally shitty drivers?) but that one had the sense to realize he was in the wrong and do nothing. This guy, however, laid on his horn and didn't stop until I was out of sight (I stopped to flip him my middle finger before moving on). Perhaps he thought his big, manly truck could be damaged by a girl slapping it?

I know I can't claim total innocence here. Like I said, I honestly wasn't planning on doing anything more than wave angrily. But it just isn't right. If someone came to a stop stretched diagonally across two lanes, people would get a little upset (they just wouldn't have the luxury of acting on it like I did). Cyclists get to use a very tiny percentage of the road as it is, and even that isn't safe from assholes like this guy.

But I've put two and two together. The one thing shared in common between everyone who angers me, be it pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, other shoppers in a store, neighbors, movie theater audiences, is this: They act inconsiderately, like they're the only ones on the planet. Ironically as our population explosion continues, people are behaving more selfishly, not less. It's about courtesy. It's about manners. It's about civility. These are becoming quaint antique concepts, like brunch and cotillions. Perhaps I was born in the wrong time. Perhaps I should be living on a remote mountainside. Perhaps I will someday.

~*~

Speaking of remote mountainsides (ha!), I went biking this weekend again with Gerry after a very long hiatus (his schedule, not mine). I thought I was done for the season, but he asked and I couldn't resist.

We went to Green Mountain trail, which is as unremote as you can get and still be in the "mountains" (technically the foothills). It's a popular spot for quick rides because it's close to civilization and a fairly short loop (about 10 miles, though you have to work for it in places).

It was a lot of work going up, since Gerry insisted on ignoring all the easy-looking sloping singletrack and sticking to doubletrack strewn with loose, exceedingly treacherous rocks (where the term "rockdonculous" was coined). Bleah. But we went the long way around the hill on the way back, down some crazy fun hard-packed singletrack that propelled this trail straight to the top of my list of favorites (well, before the list consisted solely of the Audubon Loop, so take that for what it's worth).

The two highlights were first coming across a scenic overlook where a memorial plaque sat, dedicated to "Anita Salazar: For cancer warriors and warriors of all dibilitating diseases." Yep, "debilitating" was misspelled. I don't know which broke my heart more, the mistake or not having a camera to show y'all. It's okay, I will certainly return to this trail again.

The second highlight was when a snake crossed our path. Gerry spotted it first, and he must have the eyes of a hawk because it was only about 9 inches long, very tiny. He told me to get it off the trail before someone else ran over it. I was going to, but as soon as it noticed me it turned and coiled threateningly, and it was then I saw the teeny tiny rattle. My first rattler!

I really didn't want to risk it, but Gerry took off his glove and shooed it off. It tried to strike at him -- little guy meant business. But didn't succeed, fortunately, because I've since turned up literature online that says baby rattlers are more dangerous than full-grown snakes because they haven't learned how to control their venom and release it all in one dose (though it's probably less venom than an adult).

Next trip will hopefully be Lair o' the Bear, cuz that trail will hang over my head until I finally get to do it.

~*~

Last but not least, a fairly quickie movie review. ::Ghost Writer:: )

I didn't even bother checking out the bonus features, which normally means I'll be purchasing it and saving them for later, but not in this case. I'm not so far gone with Ewan love to buy everything he does anymore. Not since Phantom Menace.

~*~

Coming soon: Halloween, and my truly kick-ass costume
grrgoyl: (Pilgrim Thunk)
Wahey, a bonus post this week! And still no mention of biking. Enjoy it while it lasts.

I'm writing to tell everyone about the games Comcast plays. I use them for my high-speed internet and nothing else. And for the record, THEY were the ones who started messing with my bill, not me.

I was perfectly happy with my service for a couple of years. Then out of the blue they called to offer me bundled cable. Despite my insistence that we had satellite and were quite satisfied with it, they offered to bump me up to slightly better internet, and the bundled cost would be about what I was currently paying.

Just to get the guy off the phone, I agreed. Idiotically.

We've used the cable a total of about three times, hardly worth it. And in the past six months I've seen the bill slowly going up and up. From a reasonable $56 a month to now $68 a month. Just for internet! (and cable that I never wanted to begin with.)

So I got into an online chat with Comcast to get the cable removed. After waiting so long for them to "access my information" I thought they were walking to another building to get to it, they came back with another offer to keep the cable but "upgrade" to "Blast Internet" for only $29.99 a month (for six months). I don't know what the deal is with their cable, but they're apparently desperate to get you to keep it.

I fell for it. I figured I'd just downgrade after six months, while living off the pure profit of only paying $30 in the meanwhile. I was so young, so naive. The sea looked warm to me, and the sky looked blue.

I did nothing for a month. Then I logged on to pay my bill, only to discover it still hovering at the $68 mark. For "Blast Internet" (which frankly didn't seem worth even $30 -- Tery railed at me daily for how much slower it moved. Which pleased me, as I was afraid of getting hooked on blazingly fast internet and not wanting to return to plain old high-speed internet).

I called to clear it up. The first person I talked to ("first" is the key word here) said, "Huh. It looks like they didn't finalize the order." What, they forgot to hit enter? She assured me the change would be made.

So I checked back online a few days later. No change. So I called back. The second person I talked to removed "that Blast Internet that I didn't need," offering me instead plain old high-speed for a promo price of $19.99 a month. Well. Even better! Or so I thought.

A few days later. No change. By this point, you can imagine, I was getting pretty irked. Was this just a case of complete (and universal) employee incompetence, or a secret company policy to mess with the customer? I wasn't sure which answer would make me feel better.

Instead of jumping on the phone on the spot to open a can of whup-ass, I instead did some online research into other customers' experience with trying to change their bills.

There's a whole site called comcastmustdie.com dedicated exclusively to customer complaints, so large it had to be broken down into categories, and then eventually branched out into a sister site. Not good.

I learned a couple of things: First, that I really couldn't complain. There were people who have spent months, even years, trying to fight their bill down from the hundreds of dollars a month it had blossomed into, or even trying to convince a collections agency that they had canceled their account and no longer owed Comcast anything.

Second, that even if Comcast DID get me onto the special promo price, they have a way with jacking with it monthly, sneaking on hidden fees, etc. so it's usually more headache than the little bit of savings is worth.

The other puzzling thing is this: every time I call, I have to go through the automated menu, including a stop to hear my account balance. And every time I call, it goes down without me paying a cent. The first time it was down to $60. The second, down to $54, which ironically is the price I just wanted to get back to when I started this madness.

I don't know why the phone balance and the online balance don't match. I don't know what will happen if I just pay that phone balance, don't say a word. Will they come back claiming I owe them the additional $14? Can I then come back and point out I SHOULD be paying $34 less? Stupidly, I haven't recorded any dates of these conversations, let alone the conversations themselves. It would be my word against Comcast's, I suppose, and they've proven themselves to be less than honorable.

I've got another week before the bill is actually due. I'm mildly curious to see how much further it will go down. It's like playing the plane ticket guessing game, which I've never really enjoyed.

The last thing to know is that, unfortunately, Comcast pretty much has a monopoly in Denver on high-speed internet. Qwest offers DSL, which I've heard nothing but bad about (much slower). AT&T and Verizon FIOS aren't available for my zip. So canceling isn't an option, even if they didn't make your life more of a living hell if you try to.

What the hell would you do??

ADDENDUM: Haha, don't know if you can see my Rickman mood theme, but the icon for "aggravated" is, appropriately, him on the phone doing a facepalm.

Bike Snob

Jul. 5th, 2010 11:09 pm
grrgoyl: (Default)
It's happened. I've become a bike snob. It's because when you're out there pedaling, there isn't a lot to think about except your fellow bikers. It was just a matter of time before I started judging everyone I see out there.

Cut in case you don't want to read how everyone sucks but me.

::People who don't wear helmets:: )

::People who pass you who probably shouldn't:: )

::People who don't fit their bikes:: )

::People who insist on taking up the whole path:: )

Alright, I'm done being a bitch. I suspect it won't be long before I start snapping at people for making U-turns half a mile ahead of me.

We had the best Fourth of July ever, because it rained almost the entire day and night. Good because it discouraged most of the asshole backyard displays. Good because the ground was nice and wet so we didn't mind the ones that did go off so much. Bad because it means the asshole backyard displays have plenty of left-overs to use the rest of the month.

I had hoped to go to Deer Creek Canyon today, but I learned my lesson about rainy weekends and dirt trails at Barr Lake. Plus I didn't relish the thought of dealing with a bunch of people taking a three-day weekend and flocking to parks statewide.

I hit Cherry Creek instead, and at first thought I'd regret my decision to stay home -- until I reached the side where the wetlands are, and a spot where the path was completely submerged by a 2-inch deep puddle that stretched for about 500 feet. Before realizing how deep it was, the first two pedal strokes sprayed water straight up my back to my neck. By the time that puddle was done with me, my shoes were soaked through to the skin. Which helped me cool down at least, but I get worried about negative effects on Rogue Leader's chain, etc.

If this was what a paved trail looked like, I couldn't imagine what a dirt trail had going on; I absolutely think I made the right decision to avoid it. For once.
grrgoyl: (Dylan apoplectic)
EXTRA, EXTRA: Got a double feature today, because I was lazy and let all this stuff accumulate. But I'm breaking it into two posts, or I'll drown you all with my words, which neither of us want.

Whole lotta anger goin' on.


First, to my astonishment, the other day I spotted ex-neighbor Jennifer pulling into the parking lot. She was the hoarder with the five cats, thinking of getting a puppy, but thank god bought a house and moved away?

She was coming back to take her garden as the final stage of her moving out -- which is crazy talk to me, but I don't know a lot about gardening. She saw me and eagerly filled me in on all that was new with her (while throwing a bag of garbage in our bin, which I thought was a bit rude since she's not a resident anymore).

She then asked if I still went to the gym. I said no and started to tell her why (the mountain of hospital debt my money has to be spent on rather than luxuries like gym memberships), when literally she got distracted by the daisies that had started coming up and walked away from me.

I escaped back home without even saying goodbye, half relieved to get off so easily (conversations with her tend to suck large segments of time and for the most part usually focus on her -- kind of like talking to my family) but mostly really irritated at how unbelievably rude she is. I mean, "Me me me me me. What's new with you? Oh look...daisies!" Whatev. Thank god she moved.

I did make the observation, and Tery agrees, that it's pretty bizarre considering my unrelenting cynicism concerning people and their endless capacity for selfishness, that I'm simultaneously relentlessly optimistic and always surprised to be proven right.

~*~

BIG happenings in Tracey's world. She has a new neighbor under her, a woman named Nina, who is very outspoken and has no intention of taking any shit from her (literally, with Tracey's "balcony trained" dogs).

She's been here two weeks and is already fed up with her. She's prepared to go to the HOA, Animal Control, the police, President Obama himself to get her evicted. I didn't think eviction was an option, mainly because the HOA likes to paint itself as powerless against her, but Nina assures me it can be done.

I thought I hated Tracey, but compared to how Nina feels about her, I might as well be her Facebook friend. She is really, REALLY angry.

The problem is Nina's beef isn't with the barking during the day, but the galloping around at 3:30 a.m., which we can't exactly assist her with since (blessedly) we can't hear it. Plus she told me she still has urine dripping onto her balcony (EWWWW). "I don't think I've ever seen her walk the dogs," she told me. "Well why do you think you have urine on your balcony?" I asked her, lightheartedly because I get the impression Nina is someone whose good side you want to stay on.

She said there is an unbelievable amount of damage both to the balcony and the inside of the unit because of the dogs (and who knows what other activity), and Mary, the owner, is preparing a lawsuit. About bloody damn time. I've seen enough court TV shows to know she also has a good case for loss of rental income the way Tracey drives people out of there.

I really hope Nina stays, and that she's the final nail in the coffin. Just leave, Tracey. Have mommy and daddy buy you a house where no one will bother you, or at the least a ground floor unit somewhere. Anywhere else but here. We'll have a block party to celebrate your departure.

EDIT: Nina went to the HOA meeting, bringing with her a pal who runs the board at another complex. Two things of interest popped up: a) There seems to be the possibility that Tracey's (and when I say "Tracey" I mean "Tracey's mommy and daddy") insurance company never received full disclosure about the meth lab (or maybe she meant the dog situation. It doesn't seem possible that such a major detail as a felony arrest could be kept hidden). If they were to find out, Tracey might become uninsurable and lose the unit that way.

Also b) not just a possibility but a fact is that Tracey's mommy and daddy's names are on the title, not hers, which makes her in the eyes of the law a tenant and not a homeowner. Which makes her far less impervious to eviction.

(I have to wonder why this was all news to our own HOA and what the hell we're paying them for. It seems to me if I was going to run a property management company, one of the first things I'd like to learn about is how to deal with problem neighbors.)

Nina seems very excited about this, so we'll see. Christmas might come super early this year.

~*~

I was angry about a new policy at my transcription job whereby essentially we would be penalized financially because of ESL (English as second language) docs, but then they unexpectedly gave me a raise -- my first in two years, and I didn't even have to beg for it.

In case you'd like to know the details of the policy that makes me hate my job, in here you'll find a vile, obscenity-filled rant, only interesting to me and anyone curious about the seedy, dangerous underbelly of medical transcription.

::Proceed with caution:: )

Of course none of this stopped me from puckering up my lips to kiss some serious ass when, shortly after starting this program, they offered a $1000 gift card for the best 500 or less word essay about how great it is and how much it will help the company and the MTs. Four years as an English major left me with a bachelor's degree and some mad bullshitting skillz, at least on paper. Might as well see if they'll pay off.

~*~

Finally, this just in today: I was behind a woman whose car was covered in breast cancer ribbons and bumper stickers. Which I didn't have a problem with until I noticed a puff of cigarette smoke come out of her window. Really? Guess lung cancer is okay? If you ask me they both sound like rather unpleasant ways to die.
grrgoyl: (Office Poop)
Logan's new hang-out is the top of the ledge surrounding our kitchen. I searched the whole house for 15 minutes before I realized he was serenely perched watching me the whole time. Ah, cats. When he finally came down, he was covered in dust from slinking through every nook and cranny up there.

For a week we had noticed he smelled kind of perfumey, like a beauty salon -- a fragrance quite incongruous with his scrappy tomcat appearance. We eventually figured out it was because he was dragging his big tomcat tail through the incense diffuser oil and wafting it around as he walked.

This cat is a feather duster and an air freshener in one, making him twice as useful as most of the other creatures in this house, including the humans.

~*~

This is Tery's last weekend in the hoosgow (from the Spanish juzgado, as I learned when she made me look it up). The first weekend she was terrified. She wept almost the whole way there. I told her not to cry or they'd know she was fresh meat. I reassured her it was only fear of the unknown; once she knew what to expect it wouldn't be nearly as bad. I was right.

Her hard time started 8 am Saturday morning and ended 4 pm Sunday evening. She was in a pod system with 6 other women, some of whom were also "weekenders," others who were actual full-time inmates. The full-timers had a lot of resentment and contempt towards the weekenders, until Tery, bored out of her mind, picked up a broom to tidy up, earning their respect and friendship.

As you'd expect, the most punitive aspect of jail, unless you're in the general population, isn't the fear of getting shanked or avoiding daily riots, but pure boredom. Cell phones and personal books aren't allowed. They provide reading material, mostly of the popular culture, Danielle Steele variety. In fact, one woman brought in a self-help book which was confiscated. No bettering yourself in here! You're being punished!

That and the food. From her description I'd probably go hungry for two days. I'm a picky eater when the food is edible. The worst was corn bread that bizarrely seemed to revert back to raw dough as she chewed it.

The part I would be the most afraid of, the toilet arrangements, was actually a cubicle with a privacy curtain. We were both picturing a toilet seat stuck in the middle of the room for everyone to watch. Not so bad, except for pooping. But since I wouldn't be eating, that wouldn't be an issue either.

But her punishment has been my reward. The first weekend was hell because when I got home from the hospital after the animals had been alone all night, they were were wide awake and in full melee cage match mode. These past two weekends I wasn't needed on Saturday, giving me a luxurious night/morning all to myself at home (and much calmer animals).

This Saturday night wasn't quite so luxurious though, because after nearly two months of more or less behaving, Tracey's dogs made their unwelcome nighttime reappearance until 3:00 in the a.m. (Oh, I might not have mentioned: She finally had a hearing with the City, where presumably they explained to her about noise laws and how most people like to sleep at night, and how we weren't just being harpy bitches. We had hoped this would solve the problem forever. Nothing's forever, Virginia.)

I spent all that time composing my complaint to the HOA. Unbeknownst to me, someone else was even more upset. That someone for some reason came ringing MY doorbell at about 3:10 a.m.

"Is this Tracey that lives next to you?" she asked me. I had no idea how she knew her name but I'm not my sharpest at 3 a.m. so I didn't ask.

"Yes it is. As well as her dogs," I said slightly louder, as they were barking ferociously on the other side of the door at that moment.

"Can I come in and use your phone to call the police?" I explained it wouldn't do her any good, they wouldn't come (I've called before. They say it's a matter for Animal Control, who won't do anything until Monday morning). She didn't care though. "I'll go back and use my cell phone. I'm calling the police and telling them she's got a meth lab!" this last was said very loudly directly at Tracey's door.

Highly suspiciously, the dogs had gone silent, and in fact I didn't hear another peep for the rest of the night. This strongly suggests to me she was in there listening to our exchange, though why she let the dogs run rampant for so long into the night is anyone's guess. MY guess is either a.) she just didn't care or b.) she was doped up and passed out. Neither option makes me very happy.

Not helping her case is the fact we've noticed she now parks across the street in the strip plaza and hoofs it back and forth. Hard to imagine a reason for this other than she's trying to conceal her comings and goings. It's all verrrrrrry shifty.

~*~

Apparently someone else who is shifty is all of Tery's employees (I love me a good segue).

An elderly woman who Tery described as "a little unstable" (and not in the ambulatory sense of the word) brought her dog in. The dog was elderly too and needed significant assistance from staff to get it downstairs.

The problem started after she left. Her husband had died the month before, leaving her two pendants set with black opals or some other semi-precious, not terribly valuable stone. She had attached one of them to the dog's collar and after her visit noticed the stone was missing. She was inconsolable to Tery on the phone, threatening to bring in the police, etc, etc.

Let me tell you, if my husband had left me something of such high sentimental value, you know the last thing I would do with it? Stick it on a goddamn dog collar.

Tery, being the excellent manager she is, talked her down and promised to search for it. She spent the whole afternoon combing the parking lot, which unfortunately is lined with a lot of black gravel. She called the woman back with the news. She was a little more reasonable, but ended the conversation with a warning to Tery to keep a closer eye on her employees.

There are about five people downstairs at any given time, and believe me, it's not such a big place that someone prying loose a piece of costume jewelry is going to go unnoticed. Unless they were all in it and planned to split the profits. I made Tery laugh by imagining that scene: "Here's what we'll do -- we've got this sweet rock and we're gonna sell it, see? Then we'll allllll be rich and we can leave this joint once and for all, see?" (We amuse each other highly by talking like old-time gangsters from black and white films. We get bonus points if we manage to incorporate the phrase "get-away sticks" which we once heard someone call their legs.)

Now if the woman had jewelry made of cheeseburgers and donuts, I'd say she might have a case.

~*~

Lastly, some very quick and nonspoilery movie reviews:

Observe and Report: Makes Paul Blart: Mall Cop look like an Oscar contender. In fact, I started out afraid it was going to be a direct rip-off of Blart. I finished wishing it were more like Blart. Paul Blart with F-bombs and Seth Rogen's voice which annoys the hell out of me. Although Patton Oswalt as a tyrannical little restaurant manager was kind of funny.

I Tivo'ed these next two movies and ended up liking the exact opposite of what I expected.

What Happens in Vegas had a very promising premise: Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher have a wild drunken night in Vegas, wake up married and realize they hate each other. Just as they storm off for a divorce, her slot machine (dirty) hits the jackpot of 3 millllllion dollars. Judge Dennis Miller sentences them to make the marriage work (in a highly overdue speech about how the sanctity of marriage isn't threatened by gays nearly as much as by Vegas fly-by-night weddings, loved it). The challenge becomes who can drive the other off first by being more intolerable. Unfortunately it goes down the road of predictable and banal: they end up falling in love for real (evidently after just one weekend work retreat), yeah, totz didn't see THAT coming.

On the other hand, Yes Man was a hit. Jim Carrey obeys life guru Terence Stamp and starts saying yes to everything. Wackiness ensues. But not the usual "Jim Carrey throwing himself against a wall for a laugh" wackiness, which is why I liked it. That and lovable Murray from "Flight of the Conchords" was his boss, which was a huge check in the plus column. Carrey's love interest was vacant-eyed Zoey Deschanel which would normally be a negative, but she wasn't that bad. And for once, a case where I can't say necessarily the book was better -- it was based on it (loosely) but of course more filmic and cohesive. The fact it had a Harry Potter theme party didn't influence my opinion in the slightest.
grrgoyl: (GQ fuck)
Last night was Tery's big big Christmas present, tickets to "Spring Awakening"! She bought the soundtrack ages ago. I knew little to nothing about the show, but I never miss a chance to attend the theeeetah.

I won't talk much about the show itself. It was pretty good, except I couldn't help comparing to "Equus."  This one was all "singing about sex, singing about our feelings, singing about our angst" SEX SCENE "singing about love, singing about getting pregnant, singing about our angst."  "Equus" was more "talk talk talk talk talk talk talk PENIS PENIS PENIS BLIND HORSES!"

Well, Act II had a boy touching moment that was worth the purchase price alone.


These guys totz made out


In my Harry Potter-obsessed imagination, I thought they looked like a young Lucius Malfoy and (a kind of silly and overdramatic) Snape.

My big complaint about the show was the peculiar speech patterns of all the actors, putting an unnatural-sounding emphasis on T's and D's. E.g. "WallenDa (I don't know anyone's names in the play), don'T you know I love you?" "Hossenfeffer, don'T be silly. You can'T possibly love me. We don'T even go to the same school!" "BuT you saiD thaT didn'T maTTer!" Oh, you get the idea. Tery blamed it on "theater talk," but I've seen my fair share of plays and have never heard this before.

Anyway the high (or low) point of the night were these 4 women who sat directly behind us about 5 minutes before the show started, who Tery dubbed "The Real Housewives of Denver."  It was almost immediately obvious they were kind of drunk.  They screeched and giggled and talked about getting more alcohol all the way to their seats, in their seats, and were even heard to say "I'll bet all these other people hate us!" 

One joke they never seemed to tire of was calling the intermission "half time." Oh my GOD, they thought that was witty.

I only mildly disliked them until it became apparent they had no plans to stop this behavior once the show started.  These weren't $10 movie tickets but $70 theater tickets.  I gave them to the chorus of the first song to notice they weren't in a strip club.  Then I politely and quietly shushed them, which they at first seemed offended by, but eventually calmed down. 

Then at half time (stop. My side hurts.) after we returned from the bathroom it became obvious they were talking about me.  I tried to tune them out, but heard things like "Oh, don't do that or you'll get shushed!" or occasionally one of them would let out a loud "SSSSSSHHHHHH!" followed by drunken laughter.  I decided someone should be the grown-up here and ignored them. 

You don't expect adults at a Broadway play to act like this.  I wondered if I would be within my rights to get an usher to intervene, or if I'd get better results if I just crawled over the seat into their laps and punched them repeatedly in the face (more satisfying, surely, although getting them kicked out would be a close second. I know which Rorschach would pick). 

They again continued into the beginning of Act II, until a guy to their left shushed them.  THANK YOU.  It's not just me being an unreasonable bitch.  This is how evil proliferates in the world, by the tacit permission of good people unwilling to step up and say "No, you may not act like third graders on your first field trip." Again there was a bit of a delayed response but they eventually calmed down.  I became obsessed with the idea that maybe they had stolen my keys out of my coat pocket that I left on the chair at intermission (they seemed plenty drunk enough that this might have seemed like a good idea) and really couldn't enjoy the second half before snaking my hand around and feeling them.  Lucky for them.

Tery and I talked about it the whole way home.  I said the irony is for those of us who are considerate and civilized human beings, the idea of shushing people like that is absolutely abhorrent, like we're crossing a line, when the rude ones ARE crossing a line and just don't care.  Tery said it's another case where you wonder if they're telling their story the next day, trying to paint themselves as the victims of injustice, to an audience who either feigns sympathy, has the balls to say "Well it sounds like you were being really rude" or is so much like them that they completely understand their side. 

One thing we agree on: The fact that in a full house of patrons we sit directly in front of the only troublemakers is proof positive that I must be an ASS MAGNET. Which I've long suspected anyway.

~*~

Just finished upgrading to Windows Professional 7 and installing my "virtual machine," and pleased to report it's working perfectly! Goodbye Grandpa PowerSpec! (or at least, go live in the closet as a backup machine)
grrgoyl: (GQ fuck)
Quick addendum to Boston

  • As we sat in traffic at a light, I saw a Cooper Mini that was somewhat reluctant to enter a particularly frenzied rotary. As I watched, the car behind it suddenly slid forward and tapped its bumper. "Holy crap!" I exclaimed, "That car totally just hit that Cooper!" Both drivers moved on though, and my sister replied blandly, "Sometimes you just gotta give 'em a nudge," as if this sort of thing happened all the time. When did honking the horn stop being good enough? Like I said, everyone is in such a big damn hurry.


  • I saw a flight attendant nearly come to blows with a passenger because he wasn't returning his seat back to its upright position quickly enough for her satisfaction. Meanwhile small children and infants are allowed to sit in parents' laps completely unrestrained. Has there ever been any scientific evidence supporting the life-saving properties of moving that extra 12 degrees forward in the event of a plane crash? Or is this just flight crews drunk with what little power they have?



It's like he's right in the room with me


Evidently my new Rickman desktop wallpaper is so lifelike my Schminky turned around, noticed it and meowed at him, mistaking him for an actual person.




Me too, Minky. Me too.



"Who the hell is this guy and why is he in every room?!?"


Tery's only comment on the new look: "It's awfully....Rickmany."



Coming soon: My review of Paranormal Activity
grrgoyl: (Snape clapping gif)
First, the matter of Friday's. I ended up doing nothing, and received in the mail $32 worth of coupons. Very nice. This is why I complain (with reason): most of the time you just get a letter of apology and meaningless ass-kissing. But sometimes you get a company that puts its money where its mouth is.

~*~

Neighbor troubles again, and this time I don't mean Tracey. The woman for whom I house-sat last year, the crazy one with five cats and highly dubious health standards in her home? She now has a sixth cat, a shy little girl, midnight black. That isn't the problem. The problem is she for god knows what reason is setting her sights on a puppy.

Her place is about the same size as ours. This is too many animals for a place that small. Who am I to point fingers? Well, the two ferrets in size and activity level equal just about one young cat. And one of our cats has three feet in the grave and essentially sleeps all day and night. Which just leaves the very manageable Kitten and the bird, who hangs out on the top of her cage. Six cats and a puppy is CRAZY TALK.

Again, really none of my business. Except she's a teacher with only about two weeks of vacation left to train this animal. And she asked me, because I work from home, if I would mind stopping in once a day to walk the puppy and play with it for 15 minutes. Of course I mind -- between working the hospital on the weekends and Tracey's fucking beasts, frankly I wouldn't mind never seeing another dog again as long as I live (except Babyface the greyhound. And Navi the I don't know what she is. And of course Beowulf).

But I didn't say that to her. I answered with a cheerful "Sure, no problem!" but I could feel my face telling a different story. Hopefully she read that story, or saw something shiny that took her mind off it, because it's been over a week and I haven't heard any more about it. It's enough to leave me in dread every time the doorbell rings though.

~*~

I finally saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Don't ever again say that I lack patience. Actually I was determined to see it in IMAX 3D, before realizing that meant waiting until July 29th. I can be patient, but I'm not SUPERHUMAN.

Especially considering how everyone in my HP circle was virtually fainting dead away at how Snape-centric the movie was. This surprised me -- I mean, Snape IS the Half-Blood Prince (see inside for my view on spoilers for this film), but I fully expected Warner Bros to gloss over this fact entirely in their ongoing campaign to ignore Rickman as long as possible.

So I compromised between going opening day and waiting until the 29th, and went Monday morning. Not a clever enough plan, it turns out, to avoid every asshole, but it could have been worse.

::What I thought:: )

The ending was a good setup to the final two films. It reminded me strongly of the end of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, sort of a "This was all well and good but we really need to start thinking about the next movie."

Despite going to a 10:30 a.m. showing (which still, with the help of 20 bloody minutes of trailers, consumed most of the day), I couldn't escape the assholes.

15 people in the theater, and a woman and her 20-something daughter (?) sat two seats away from me. Which wasn't a problem until we had barely arrived at Hogwarts and she flipped her phone open. She was trying to be discreet about it, shielding it in her purse, but that wasn't doing much to protect me from it.

I gamely gave her the few beats needed to check the time (but again, the movie had barely begun. If your schedule is this tight, what are you doing in a movie theater??) When she appeared to start scrolling through menus, etc. (just like the asshole in X-Men: Wolverine) I asked nicely, "Could you please not do that?" When she ignored me, I said louder, "You're being really rude."

At this her companion popped up on the other side of her and began whispering something angrily at me. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I really wonder what argument she came up with that she thought would make me say, "Sorry, my bad, don't let the movie interrupt you checking your Facebook." I put up with the mouth breathing. I put up with the constant pawing at your popcorn. Please, lady, give me just one tiny fucking break.

I'm getting to the point where I can see a future of avoiding movie theaters entirely. The stress of expectantly waiting for my fellow audience to become bored and restless is starting to outweigh any actual enjoyment of the movie. It makes me a little sad, because everyone should know by now that movies are my biggest joy in life. But the only solution that I can think of is to confiscate all phones at the door, and I don't see THAT going over well with everyone else.

Not that renting a movie at home is any guarantee of pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ::Lost Boys: The Tribe:: )

Not as terrible as you'd expect. Not as good as you'd hope. Probably better than the Lost Boys 3 that's threatened on IMDb.
grrgoyl: (Donnie frankLOL)
Soup:

In traffic on my way to the hospital my eye was caught by a GMC Jimmy with all of its doors off. Imagining itself to be a war-time Jeep? I'm not sure, but it looked pretty damn silly. I thought I'd give the driver the benefit of the doubt -- perhaps he'd lost them all in an accident. The way some SUV owners drive it wouldn't be impossible. Then he moved ahead of me and I saw he had one of those scrolling marquee signs over his license plate, reading "Show me your boobs!!" Oh, just an ass then. An ass mistaking Denver for Ft. Lauderdale.

~*~

Appetizer:

I realize how pathetic it sounds, but getting mail is the highlight of my day. This is why I compulsively order stuff online, so I have an almost constant flow of mail to look forward to.

So maybe you can appreciate why my world came crashing down Thursday when I realized the lock on our box was broken. The tab inside that latches it closed was missing the nut holding it on the bolt.

"No problem," I thought. "I'll just replace the nut." After fishing around I found one that seemed to fit, except wouldn't hand-tighten properly. "No problem," I thought. "I'll just get a ratchet wrench." It seemed to be going swimmingly until suddenly the whole damn bolt snapped right off in my hand. Okay, THAT was a problem.

This was at 7 pm, so no hope of calling anyone. First thing Friday morning I called our post office and described my situation (leaving out my attempted DIY). His first (and second) question was did I know who did it? "No one did it, the bolt was really old and just snapped," I answered. Choice B was "I suppose if anyone 'did it' I did." Choice C was "Even if it was a criminal act, how the hell should I know? It's not like I monitor the mailbox (most of the time)."

Once I convinced him there were no suspects he could bring in for questioning, he said only, "Okay, I'll send Maintenance out today." Oh, cool. That was easy.

Except of course it wasn't, because I'm still me and they're still a government agency. After neither of us did anything more about it all day, I called again at the end of my shift to find out the deal. I spoke to someone else, who told me I had to come in, fill out a lock change form and pay a $25 fee. Huh. I wish I had known this 8 hours earlier. I also felt slightly less nervous about covering up my vandalism since I would be paying for it.

I rushed in before they closed to jump through their hoops. Fortunately the clerk was really friendly and funny, or it could have gotten ugly. As it was, I couldn't resist asking why guy #1 couldn't be bothered to give me correct information. "I hate to say it, but he was probably a supervisor. They don't know what's going on." I snorted. "So how did he get to be supervisor?" He shrugged. "If you can't do the job, you get promoted?" We both had a chuckle at The Man and I promised I wasn't taking his name or anything.

Nice guy told me 2-3 days, might even be done Monday. That wasn't bad, even if I had to suffer a weekend of essentially two Sundays.

Except it wasn't Monday. Or Tuesday. Wasn't in fact until Wednesday. But let's not be too hasty, I didn't actually get the call until this morning Thursday. I wish nice guy hadn't raised my hopes falsely. But hey, what's the point of complaining? It's not like I can threaten to go somewhere else to get my mail delivered.

~*~

Entree:

About two weeks ago Ryan invited me to a downtown thing, "La Piazza," some kind of pavement chalk art (I at first thought it was trompe l'oeil, but no); well, I should say he forwarded me the ad, and when I asked about inviting MyFriendDeb, he copied me on the email asking John permission (when if you ask me it should've been John begging us to be included. Thank god they broke up for good before we had to deal with THAT bit of awkwardness).

It took place this past weekend, and Ryan at the last minute sprang the idea of bringing Lucy along (you remember my pal Lucy?) It didn't thrill me, but I couldn't really say no.

I worked all night and got up to meet Deb about 10:30ish. Ryan texted me because he was having a hard time getting going, they'd be a little late, sorry. Whatever, Ryan, Deb and I were on the train halfway there already.

It turned out to be full of awesome:


Just after seeing this we passed a guy wearing a Max t-shirt in the crowd. We asked if he planned that. He laughed nervously because he hadn't seen the piece yet (then 15 seconds later put it together)


::More over here -- slightly bigger cuz they're purty:: )

We sort of regretted lingering respectfully over every little piece in the beginning, especially when it became obvious that the threatening rainstorm was no longer a question of "if" but "when." As big fat drops started plunking down, two guys with a ladder and a camera were dashing madly through the crowd, desperately trying to capture the masterpieces before they were washed away. Heartbreaking, but Deb assured me that was the point of the medium: the transient nature of beauty. (Deb's favorite was under a makeshift canopy so hopefully most of her survived.)

Did I say rainstorm? It began as a torrent and turned into hail. Kerrrazy. The kind of cool thing was the rain only washed away the loose chalk dust, leaving a subdued but perfect glassy image underneath:


Sad washed-away Bear.


We joked that such an event would be impossible in a place like Seattle, unless the pieces were all postage-stamp sized. I said a 4" x 6" piece would be the height of ambition. She laughed as I mimed frantically finishing a Polaroid-sized square before the rain hit.

Ryan never actually showed, instead bothering me with a stream of increasingly anxious texts asking about the weather and whether there was any point in them leaving the house. There wasn't, and I don't know if it was because I didn't have to see Lucy or because of my new self-protective, do-what-you-want attitude I've had to adopt towards Ryan, but I really wasn't that concerned.

Same thing with working out yesterday; Ryan teased me with an email asking if I minded if he rejoined me. Of course I didn't. Then he texted me all apologetic that he'd had a bad day and couldn't make it. Oh, Ryan, Ryan...I don't know what's sadder, the fact that you still think I'm actually counting on you for anything or the fact that I have to refuse to do so to avoid having my heart broken time and time again.

~*~

Dessert:

We've had just about all the foolishness from Tracey's dog(s) that we're going to take. Out there 24/7 barking their heads off at EV.RY.THING (which I grant you isn't as annoying as when they bark at NOTHING). Our only recourse is to keep fining her, and her only recourse is to keep paying the fines (presumably) and still not do anything about the underlying problem.

So I turned to Amazon, in search of a bark-stopping device you can put on your own property and not rely on your neighbor doing the right thing. It emits a painful (?) whistle only the dog can hear whenever they bark. The hope is that they're smart enough to make the association and think twice before barking again. Which is not at all a given here -- if these dogs had any trace of intelligence, surely they could learn after five years of watching the same people march back and forth twice a day that we aren't intruders or a threat (unless they can read our minds and see the murderous BB gun fantasies therein). But better get Board approval first -- they'd rather have a vicious dog barking at all hours than a bleeding eyesore of a radio device (it looks like a tiny birdhouse).

In addition to the numerous and occasionally humorous horror stories in the reviews that make us think maybe we don't have it that bad, there's a fair share of people expressing concern over punishing the animal when a bad owner is to blame. Fuck that. Until someone invents something that lets me inflict pain on Tracey without being prosecuted (voodoo doll? ski mask and a baseball bat? Doesn't need to be high-tech), I'll happily take it out on her dog(s).

Yes, I "love animals," but some animals need to work a little harder to earn it. Dogs most of all.

~*~

Aperitif:

I saw S. Darko. Being such a huge fan of Donnie, how could I not? Despite the massive online fan protest (which I wasn't aware of. Hell, I'd probably watch it even if I was).

Immediately afterward I had a detailed, thoughtful review planned out, most of which I have now forgotten. I'll cut anyway in case of inadvertent spoilage, and because after-dinner cocktails should be optional.

::What do you think God's farts taste like?:: )

In conclusion, it's obvious this was a labor of love (the screenplay was written by a guy who calls himself "Donnie's #1 fan"). But in his attempt to stay unswervingly true to the laws of Donnie's universe, he became too fearful to bring anything new to the table. I don't think it deserves the vitriol being heaped upon it by the faithful -- it should be seen by Donnie fans perhaps to satisfy their curiosity. Anyone else will probably leave hopelessly confused and wondering what all the fuss with the first movie was about.
grrgoyl: (UCB I'm not even here)
I'm experiencing a bit of a Rickman Renaissance, a Ricknaissance if you will. I realized that a lot of old titles that I watched casually back before my love was in full bloom are now available quite affordably on most sites. Specifically, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

I know, I know, I couldn't stand that movie. However. That was before I realized that the two-disc extended edition contained an extra 15 minutes, most of which evidently focus on Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham. "Interesting if you like that Richman guy, but doesn't add much to the movie" reviewers say on Amazon. Reviewers who no doubt resent any focus being dragged away from Kevin "no British accent for me" Costner. Add to that screencaps of Alan smiling and messing around from the bonus features on rickmanistareview.com (my new favorite site) and ownership of this is a no-brainer.

There's also a special edition of my second (or third) favorite Rickman flick (Rickflick? I'll stop), Galaxy Quest, on the horizon. It's all coming together nicely.

~*~

Of course I planned to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine, just not under such unpleasant circumstances.

Saturday night Ryan, after more than a week of blowing off our workout routine, swore to me up and down that Monday was the day. He was going to start up again, yesiree. A bike ride, the gym, he didn't care, he was there.

Then Monday came and it was a very different story. After giving Ryan ample opportunity to call me, I finally texted him, only to be told he had "overbooked" his day and was now too busy for me. When was he planning to let me know? Hard on the heels of this rather rude slight came his invitation to see the movie with "us." As Tery put it, the afterthought invite: my very favorite kind.

The problem is the "us." Ryan has a shiny new roommate, Lucy, a friend of John's. This was my first time meeting Lucy. My impression of her is she looks the way John would look if he were shorter, female and more butch -- if she isn't a lesbian, she'd certainly be on the short list to play one on TV. But Ryan insisted she wasn't much of a drinker, and she agreed that John was "disappointing," so I guess she was alright.

I was irked by Ryan putting me off, but was doing my best to keep a happy face on. Ryan sensed the turmoil beneath and repeatedly asked if everything was alright. Either he's super-intuitive or I wasn't hiding it as well as I thought I was.

I mentioned our neighbors going to Mexico in the middle of the flu scare (they've returned home with only a garden variety viral illness, fortunately). Lucy eagerly chimed in, "We had the swine flu last night!" Apparently some bar somewhere in Denver (I'm sure we aren't alone) is tasteless enough to have named an alcoholic beverage after a pandemic that has the country in an iron grip of terror. Whatever. I was reminded of Ryan's insistence that she wasn't a very big drinker.

We took our seats, the movie started, and Ryan and I had more or less returned to normal.

After the movie I tried one last time to get Ryan to join me at the gym, but he put me off until Tuesday. He did ask for some free passes for Lucy. Apparently our duo is about to become a trio. Meh.

Tuesday. Ryan texted me midday to beg off the gym, claiming severe depression. I'm being patient with him, but I did helpfully suggest that maybe exercise would help him snap out of it. No response.

So I opted for a bike ride. I've been having trouble with the bike ever since trying to attach a rear rack and mistakenly removing the back tire. I had no idea the back tire was a bit more complicated to reattach than the front. Consequently I've been having trouble with it refusing to stay attached. It's especially fond of coming off when I'm trying to pedal across a huge intersection one block from our house, when roughly 50 motorists are staring at me as I cross.

It had come off a couple of times on my ride, until the last time no matter how securely I thought I had it on, I couldn't pedal more than once before it popped off again. Admitting defeat, I resigned myself to walking home. It was about a mile and a half; it felt like ten. And I was afraid I wouldn't get a very good workout away from the gym.

I called Ryan hoping for some sympathy. I didn't expect his phone to be answered by a very drunk-sounding girl, presumably Lucy (you remember Lucy, the not very big drinker). Ryan came on and immediately said that he couldn't help me, he was downtown. Not too depressed to go out drinking, evidently.

I was too worried about my immediate plight to think much at the time, but I woke up the next morning pissed as hell. It was good to know that had I been in trouble, Ryan would have preferred to stay at the bar rather than help me. And he can get his own damn free passes for Lucy. I've since learned she's unemployed and living rent-free off Ryan's goodwill (he's got a real talent for attracting losers who for some reason mistake him for Mr. Moneybags Sugar Daddy), so I don't really see how 7 free days of gym usage is going to do her any good.

(Hopefully the bike problem is solved. I brought the bike back to the shop where they tightened the tire on really well. I don't know if I'll ever fully relax on it though.)

Wednesday. Ryan called in sick to work because he "wasn't feeling well." Which in Ryan-speak means hangover. Good thing Lucy isn't a very big drinker.

Anyway, ::the movie:: )

Overall a respectable addition to the franchise. Certainly better than Last Stand. Will most certainly be purchasing.

~*~

Last but not least, this is what my lazy postal carrier has come to in delivering my packages:


Hai. I live next to a drug addict. Please to not be leaving valuable things on my doorstep


Can anyone explain the point of draping the welcome mat halfway over it? The welcome mat that's full of big holes?
grrgoyl: (UCB titles)
To give you an idea of what Tery is up against at the hospital, she was working Reception alone the other night but knew it wasn't going to be enough.  One of the assistants would have to go home (and the only choice was a girl who'd already been sent home by Tery twice that week).  Tery, tired of always being the bad guy, phoned down to Dr. E. (the medical director) and asked her to "cut A. loose."  A few minutes later A. came upstairs and cheerfully informed Tery she was there to relieve her, thinking she was doing Tery a big favor by sending her home (Tery had worked like a 12-hour day). 

Later on the phone Tery pointed out Dr. E.'s mistake to her.  "Oh, THAT'S what you meant by 'cut her loose.'  We need to work on our code words."  What?  In what language does "cut her loose" mean anything besides "let her go"?  My god. 

Consequently yours truly needed to make some sacrifices on the weekend, which I'm normally happy to do.  Friday night was actually pretty busy with patients so I had to stay the whole shift.  Saturday I had one patient, a small, bony, shivery chihuahua Parvo puppy, who only required two shots of antibiotics from me -- one at 9 pm and one at 5 am.  I had to stay a full night just waiting to give the dog one stupid shot.  Tery was desperate and asked me to give up three hours, but of course I still had to stay to give the shot.  True, I slept most of the time, but the only thing worse than giving up three hours from your shift is giving them up and having to "work" them anyway (which I realize is technically illegal, but like I said, I wasn't exactly the paragon of industry during that time, and in fact rarely am after midnight).  She promised to ask her doctors to give a little more thought to the med schedule in such a situation.

However, this was my first weekend with the new hours, sleeping in until noonish or so on Saturday, and it was HEAVENLY.  Almost like a proper weekend.  Meandered out into the living room whenever I damn well felt like it, watched a little TV with Tery, enjoyed a luxurious breakfast.  All lovely.  And it turns out the four hours on Sunday night pass so quickly (evidently Sunday always has a huge workload so I actually get to spend the whole shift on just one account, as opposed to the weekdays when I'm bounced all over the place) it's barely like working at all.

~*~

Last weekend I got pulled over on my way home from the hospital.  The cop looked exactly like Matt Lauer, and said he got me doing 50 in a 40.  I found all my documents except my insurance card, which it turned out he didn't ask for a second time, fortunately. 

I knew damn well why he picked me out of a herd of other vehicles that was leaving me in the dust even before his lights came on.  Because a few miles earlier there's a place where the road crests into a big hill, and just below the edge of it you can see the top of a building that has always made me insanely curious.  The roof is shaped into a series of four sequential domes, each of which has a ceiling fan lit from below.  A fancy parking garage?  A greenhouse?  I had to know, and that night I drove down there to find out.  It turned out to be not nearly so interesting from below -- only one discernible entrance with a soda machine next to it, and no windows at ground level.  A group home of some sort, I surmised.  But I noticed an SUV skulking around behind me, approaching on the side street I would be turning onto to get back on the main road, and slowing down to a crawl to obviously let me go in front of it.  I have a strong suspicion it was this cop. 

Sure, my detour probably looked a little suspect.  The building was on a dead-end, so I really had no other reason to be down there.  It wasn't exactly the nicest part of town either.  He pulled me over, saw I was harmless, and then made up an excuse about speeding (he didn't ticket me or even give me a warning).    Since I don't always think the most clearly at 5 am, I stutteringly asked if this was about my explorations, and tried to explain my curiosity -- evidently not very well, because then he asked if I'd been drinking.  I of course pooh-poohed that idea, but I often worry about being given a sobriety test after working all night, if I would fail it out of fatigue (one would hope they'd use a Breathalyzer as well). 

But my real point is, where are these johnny-on-the-spot cops when I've got some asshole climbing into my backseat despite there being two other lanes to pass me?  Or when some dick needs to get into my lane WHATEVER THE COST and cuts me off, despite there being five empty car lengths behind me?  Nowhere to be found, that's where.  But pull ME over because I stopped to check out some unique architecture.  Yeah, I know.

Since I no longer need to hurry up and sleep, I now take my very leisurely time getting home (which drives the tailgaters round the twist -- yet they refuse to pass me, making me think it's less about being in an actual hurry and more about forcing me to go faster.  I don't take kindly to people trying to force their will on me) and NO detours. 

~*~

A few days ago I was completely harangued by a doctor in a dictation.  He started the report by saying, "I want you to call your supervisor right now before typing this report.  You people have been messing up my reports for years and I'm tired of it." 

Naturally that took me a little aback, but I wasn't about to call the supervisor without having an actual problem, and certainly not just because this guy told me to.  And for the record, I'd never done a report for this man in my life, so he wasn't talking about me specifically anyway.

Some dictators have what are called "standards," which are templates we can pull in for sections that are common to all their reports.  Most of the time these standards are numbered or otherwise easily identified.  This guy asked for one of his standards; he had six (three for each eye, right or left), and the broad, vague titles and very limited information that he gave made it virtually impossible to tell which one he wanted.  I eliminated one because he said, "NOT the one that uses this drug and this drug," and that was where his helpfulness ended. 

He provided a few more bits that would have fit into any of the standards, then signed off with "I hope you don't screw it up because you people are really getting on my nerves."

Do you know what's getting on MY nerves?  Slaving away for tuppence a day listening to doctors who apparently think we're all mind-readers, therefore it's not necessary to bother opening their mouths when they speak, or slow down instead of vomiting the report up in a single breathless stream of syllables that would make an auctioneer say "What was that again?", or stop chewing their lunch, or put some distance between themselves and the gaggle of shrieking, laughing nurses in the breakroom, or use a phone that doesn't cut out every third word, or not dispense portions of the report in between taking other calls while I sit and wait, making NO MONEY AT ALL, etc. etc.  THAT'S what's getting on my nerves. 

But I can't say that to him.  So I called my supervisor, explained the situation and his attitude, and asked her to please make sure I was using the correct standard.  She came to the same conclusion I did and okayed it, then said, "We've been dealing with this guy for years.  He's impossible."  She listened to the beginning of the dictation and sighed heavily.  "We've asked him to try to be more helpful and maybe number his standards, but he's apparently happier wasting five minutes lecturing us with every report." 

On a funny note, I did some reports by Dr. Shirley Nurse.  Dr. Nurse!  Sounds like Dr. Girlfriend from Venture Bros.  I need little moments like that to counteract Dr. Dipshit there (note:  not his real name).

~*~

I've got a whole saga about trying to buy an iClone, but since there are a few more chapters still waiting to develop, I think I'll wait.  Hope the suspense doesn't kill anyone.
grrgoyl: (amelie dog)
Pushing Daisies has arrived from Netflix. This isn't news to [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk (whose deafening squeeing is what forced me to add it to my queue in the first place), but the show is right up my alley: With influences seemingly ranging from Amelie to Tim Burton to Arrested Development (everyone steals from AD without admitting it), including voice-over narration (I am SUCH a sucker for anything using this) and executive produced by Barry Sonnenfeld (The Tick), what's not to like? The entire cast is perfect, but so far (after three episodes) my favorite is Chi McBride (Emerson Cod). Has all the best lines and facial expressions.

Unfortunately, for all these reasons above Tery wasn't nearly so instantly enamored (I think we lost her the minute the show's premise involved bringing people back from the dead). Which is why I'm glad we have alone time away from each other.

The DVD set (standard as well as high definition) is shamefully bereft of extras. Perhaps I'll wait a bit, see if another version is released. I'm not sure if it's meant as a joke or not, but disc 1 has the FBI warning in 33 different languages (I counted), including Arabic and possibly Sanskrit. Funny!

~*~

I went grocery shopping tonight. The skinny little 16-year-old girl bagging my purchases managed to fit everything into my canvas bags except my douche (I douche sometimes. Deal with it). This she handed to me with a scrunched-up look of disgust on her face, as if it had already been used. In my head I said, "Oh, get over yourself sweetie. I didn't douche when I was 16 either. But someday, believe it or not, there's going to come a time when you feel not-so-fresh."

I instructed her to put my two gallons of milk together in one bag (they were made for me by my sister and are extremely sturdy). After doing so, she then gingerly filled the other bags with two or three items each, like cheese, vitamins and peanut butter in one and frozen pizza and shampoo in the other, staring helplessly at the rest of my items in bewilderment. Honey, the bags can hold two milk gallons. What makes you think you can't load them up with other stuff that isn't milk?

Am I well on my way to being a grouchy senior citizen or what?

~*~

Finally, another quickie movie review. Scenes of a Sexual Nature caught my eye on Netflix because Ewan McGregor is in it, and I somehow was not notified of this. It's a little piece about four or five different relationships that all play out on London's Hampstead Heath. It's like Love, Actually on a tenth of the budget and a sixteenth of the star power.

I just take exception to the title. A more misleading title you're not likely to ever find. There aren't any scenes of a REMOTELY sexual nature in this film. Plenty of talking about it, thinking about it, implying it. Even earned itself a thoroughly undeserved R rating for "sexual content." Bah. Apart from Ewan playing a flirtatious and adorable gay man who, mid eye-batting, starts discussing adoption with his longtime partner, and one pair ALMOST getting it on before the woman comes to her senses and rejects him, it's LIES, ALL LIES. Might have been salvaged with a small part for Rickman, but as there wasn't one, avoid, avoid, avoid.
grrgoyl: (civil rights)
I've been toying with the idea of this post ever since hearing the news about Prop 8 passing in California. I've put off writing about it mainly because I know it would be preaching to the converted. I know everyone on my F-list already supports gay marriage, and if you don't and somehow have been faking it up to now, well, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out, because I'm afraid it simply wouldn't work out between us.

My initial reaction to the news, after disbelief, was of course anger. A simmering, festering rage which pretty closely resembled my general reaction to injustice of any sort. I spent a lot of time on Daily Kos, because I knew I would find many people who agreed with me. There seemed to be a lot of fingers being pointed there, so many to blame: The anemic, inadequate advertising of the anti-Prop 8 people, the complacency of liberal voters who just assumed everything would be fine without their input, worse still people somehow confused by the wording and thinking they were voting "yes" on gay marriage, of course the LDS who started the whole thing, but most disturbingly the African-American voters who evidently approved it to the tune of 70%.

This issue bothered me most of all, that the same people weeping in the streets after overcoming generations of discrimination would turn around and pass that oppression onto another group. Obviously I voted for Obama, not because he's black, but because I felt he was the far superior choice. But thinking about those black voters turning out in record numbers to deny gay people their rights tinged Barack's victory with an ugly shade of bitterness.

Which of course is utterly unfair. It's as absurd to say all blacks are homophobic as it is to say all Republicans are racist. I prefer to see the statistic as a function of religion, in that blacks tend to be bigger church-goers, hence more religiously conservative.

Who I blame most of all now is the stupid Californians who elected to give voters the power to amend their constitution by popular vote. THAT is the stupidest thing I've ever heard (in hindsight). This is why we have elected officials. Kay puts it best in Men in Black: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals. Yes, yes they are, and they shouldn't be given such direct power, without any checks and balances, over such an important document as a constitution. As someone put it on the Kos, the purpose of a constitution is to protect everyone's rights, especially minorities who don't have the numbers to stand up to the majority in a vote. To allow a majority to deny people's rights in it subverts the entire spirit of the document, an argument I devoutly hope will be heard in many a California courtroom in attempts to reverse this appalling event.

The thing is, I know the war isn't over. As much as these religious hysterics wish the gay community would just give up and disappear forever, it's never going to happen. I know with absolute certainty that one day there will be marriage equality. What I'm not so sure about is whether it will happen in my lifetime. I hope Tery and I aren't finally making vows as shriveled, arthritic but inspirational 100-year-olds, but it's entirely possible. On that day I suppose we'll turn around and vote against people marrying their dogs, which seems to be the next logical step in the twisted minds of these religious types. Bigotry: pass it down.

I just wish, and I'm sure that I'm not alone, that I could sit everyone opposed to gay marriage down in a room, gag them (since that's the only way to get them to shut up) and make them put on their "listening ears," as Judge Judy puts it. In fact, I'd let Judge Judy deliver the lesson.

Lesson #1: IT'S NOT A CHOICE. Or I suppose it is a choice, inasmuch as people choose to act on their homosexual urges, just as others choose to pursue a heterosexual relationship. We can choose our partners intellectually, but it's our hearts and bodies that tell us who we're drawn to.

I never gave homosexuality a single thought until college. I remember having a schoolgirl crush on my preschool teacher (Vivian -- she was beautiful, I think we all did) as well as Leslie, a cute blond I would sit with on the bus every day and quietly adore (I can't begin to guess what she thought of it. We never talked at all, that I remember). Then from about second grade through high school I was all about the boys, 100% (apart from the occasional inappropriate but unrecognized tingling I sometimes got on sleepovers with my best friend Lisa).

Then, freshman year of college, walking to class I passed a girl who gave me a small, shy smile unexpectedly that rocked my world, pardon the cliché. It turned out my boyfriend at the time, Dan, knew her, had gone to high school with her, and introduced us. It wasn't long thereafter that I ditched Dan (he was a psycho anyway) and hooked up with Alice, my first girlfriend. It was thrilling, despite the fact we were both too shy to do more than kiss and hold hands. It wasn't until meeting my sister's roommate, Old Friend Bear, that I fell hard for a girl, but that's a whole other story.

So. I could have chosen to ignore my feelings of excitement when I looked at Alice. I could have kept dating Dan the bipolar nutjob (though I doubt for much longer). Would my life have turned out differently? I might never have met Tery, who I have not the slightest doubt is my soulmate and will be my life partner, legally sanctioned or not. On the other hand, perhaps I would have met someone else who gave me tingles, like Old Friend Bear, and if not her someone else. I might have spent my whole life denying what my heart and body was telling me. Many do. But when happiness, let alone of the lifelong variety, is so hard to find, why would anyone make that choice?

Lesson #2: GAYS HAVE NO INTEREST IN RECRUITING OR MOLESTING YOUR CHILDREN, OR FORCING THEIR BELIEFS ON CHILDREN OR ANYONE. We just want to live our lives and be happy, like anyone. I know it's hard to imagine, people not trying to control other people's lives, but we're out here. If what makes you happy doesn't hurt anyone or anything else, then that's all I care about. Try it sometime.

Lesson #3: MARRIAGE IS NOT THE EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF RELIGION. This cannot be repeated enough. Atheists can get married. Non-practicing Christians can get married. Drunk people in Vegas can get married with Elvis presiding. Why aren't religious types getting up in arms about these shenanigans? And if it really were all about the "sanctity of marriage," why aren't they working harder to persecute people getting divorced? And if people get divorced, THEN it falls squarely into the legal realm. What's that all about?

Because all they care about is what goes on in the bedroom and "one man and one woman," which is pretty damn funny when you think these people tolerated and even promoted polygamy at one time in their own history. But social attitudes change, and the church that wants to survive changes with them. Unless we're talking about the Bible, which is really all they do. Which brings me to the next lesson.

Lesson #4: STOP CHERRYPICKING THE BIBLE. We've all heard this argument, even I'm sure the Bible thumpers, but they choose to be willfully ignorant. An endless parade of Bible scholars has proven that the translation "abomination" carried very different connotations than it does today, ones that aren't nearly so grimly condemning, a crucial fact that isn't raised nearly enough. Someone once explained that basically any non-procreative sex was labeled that way back then, when the earth had a population of only 100 or so.

But even putting that aside, they also ignore the long list of other "abominations" in the Bible, such as eating lobster, shellfish, birds and even anything that walks on four feet. And a score of other forbidden activities that seem ridiculous nowadays, like not wearing polyblends or shaving a certain way. THOSE passages aren't meant to be taken literally, clearly, but the ones that suit their argument are.

It's a little like arguing with a ferret. Or a very petulant child.

Lesson #5: JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED. These people scream on sidewalks that gays are going to hell. If this is true, then it's our business, and getting hostile about it isn't going to change our minds. However, I prefer to fantasize about fundamentalists dying and standing outside their version of the Pearly Gates, only to be told that there's no place for hateful bigots in Paradise. So sorry.

Lesson #6: BE HONEST, GAY MARRIAGE REALLY DOESN'T DIRECTLY AFFECT ANYONE ELSE'S MARRIAGE. HONESTLY. The minute someone gives me a rational, cogent, true example of how gays (or for that matter, anyone else) getting married affects their own relationship negatively, I'll respectfully concede the argument. Unless a lesbian has stolen the affections of your wife and they get married, that might be something. But then gay marriage would make everyone else work a little harder on their own relationships, and how can that be a bad thing?

I'm out of steam. My solution would be to label marriage as "A binding contract recognized for all legal purposes between two consenting, unrelated adults." Full stop. I didn't even throw love into it, how about that? That simple phrasing eliminates incest, marrying a minor, and bestiality. Can we all be happy with that? Probably not, since it will still allow teh horrible, horrible buttsex, and we all know that's what this really all boils down to. Those religious folks are right pervs, aren't they?

I'll leave you with this Harvey Milk video, which I defy you not to at least tear up at:

grrgoyl: (Dylan parka)
This weekend at the kennels, I had not one but TWO dogs infested with maggots.  It was pretty horrifying, so that's all I'm going to say about it, and obviously no pics.  You're welcome.

~*~

Small bit of justice in the matter of Tracey FCW and her illegally parked trailer.  I don't know when it happened, however I noticed Saturday morning that her car was parked in a different spot, the trailer was nowhere to be seen, and a large chunk was missing from her back panel -- I mean like the entire left half was completely ripped off, I prefer to assume from being towed.  Oh, revenge is sweet, and made all the sweeter by the fact that I didn't have to lift a finger to see right prevail. 

I wanted to take a picture for my journal, but I can't be sure she doesn't still have her spycam pointed at the parking lot.  Tery thought I could pass it off as me dialing my phone while casually pointing it at her car -- as if I stroll around outside making phone calls all the time (she must be confusing me with Reggie).  So we'll all have to be content with the mental image of her car being severely damaged as a result of her insistence in flouting the law.

We have other neighbors, behind us in the same building, who are fond of talking loud and long, naturally with their windows wide open, far into the night.  Sunday morning I was awoken by the sound of them arguing, although "arguing" seems like far too mild a term for the hysterical, screeching caterwauling I could hear clearly in my bedroom.    Like "I'm this close to pulling a gun on you" kind of arguing.  They would go a few rounds, quiet down for 30 minutes or so, then start in again at exactly the same "red alert" level. 

So it went, off and on, for the entire day.  "I can't stand you, but I can't stay away from you either" seemed to be the mindset.  We did hear the word "alimony" bandied about.  That was reassuring, the thought that these people at each other's throats shared a child.    Tery and I listened in disbelief.  "This is the day the Lord has made!" Tery exclaimed repeatedly (her favorite phrase on Sunday, which always seems to be the least peaceful day of the weekend).  We debated calling the police.  I mean, how do you determine if this is a prelude to actual violence and when is it your duty as a bystander to act?  Tones of Kitty Genovese haunted us. 

We did nothing, and they both lived to argue another day.  Um, whew?

~*~

Time again for some humorous anecdotes from the world of medical transcription!

I had a patient that I assumed was a gay man throughout the report, although it was never stated -- HIV positive (I know, stereotypes), mysterious vague allusions to "significant others" (I know, could mean anything), but then the doctor stated that he had had 10 partners in 30 days (huoor) and had "been a top with them." 

"A-HA!"  I thought.  Two years of reading slash fiction had paid off.  I sent the report in with smug confidence.  But then I got it back the following day from QA, where they had changed the phrase to "had been ON top with them."  I pictured some matronly old transcriptionist proofreading my work, completely unfamiliar with gay sex terminology.  I decided to protest the change and emailed my quality supervisor -- who I'm pleased to say agreed with me completely, that it was a very specific description of an activity and very relevant to the patient's medical record.  And I'll bet she's never read a single Snarry in her life.

Secondly, I had a psychiatric patient, and those are always fun.  This woman, the doc said, "still believed her family engaged in religious rituals involving human sacrifice, but has come to accept the fact that she has no control over the religious freedom of others."  Wow, what a breakthrough!  Let's not rain on her parade by pointing out that most of us might draw the "religious freedom" line at killing people.  No sense clouding the issue for her.

~*~

Lastly, a couple of movie reviews.

First, the new.  ::WALL-E: Cut for heavy spoilers:: )

In short, much, much better than I expected.  Will probably end up in my collection, if for no other reason than the animation is so good I forgot I was watching an animated film. 

Detractors at IMDb.com whine that they weren't expecting a "message movie."    Really?  The title character's entire reason for being is to clean up the planet, and you didn't expect a message of any kind?  These people must just see "Pixar.  Disney.  Kid movie." and don't bother looking for any further information.

Yes, it's a very clear message movie.  And it's a very important message, one that needs even more repetition for some people with thicker skulls than others -- like the woman in the comments who still believes global warming is just liberal dogma, and doesn't appreciate her children being "indoctrinated" without her permission into thinking otherwise.  Oh, shut up.  Indoctrinated.  Like Pixar is some kind of al Queda organization.  Thanks to Pixar, now her children won't have quite so much of a rude awakening when they have to clean up the mess we're leaving.

Okay, enough about that.  I was going to also review another Horrorfest, Lake Dead, but it's already stolen enough of my life.  Trust me when I say it's trite and predictable, and not even worth a rental.  Simply awful.
grrgoyl: (jayne calm)
Ahhh, July Fourth...the holiday when everyone in America but me (and [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk) get the day off to celebrate the birth of our country, and when the stupider Americans lose various digits after buying illegal explosives that shouldn't by right be sold to anyone but professional event coordinators.

Normally Independence Day is only a source of moderate irritation to me. But that was when I didn't have to work the kennels. This year the Fourth fell squarely onto my shift. Imagine taking care of 16 dogs. Now imagine doing it in Baghdad.

I could see a few public displays far off in the distance. These were not the problem. The problem was at least two neighbors behind the hospital setting off large (and quite illegal) shows of their own, only a few blocks away, not to mention still more across the street at the Taco Junior. I watched a few rockets with trepidation, as they seemed likely to land right on top of me.

Some dogs were completely unfazed by the noise, like this monster of a Bassett hound, Waylon Elvis.


Bassett-zilla


Others didn't play it so cool, like Sharkey, a standard Schnauzer who attempted to climb on top of my head in terror. Or Sissy the chihuahua, who needed desperately to pee but had to do so while running back down the stairs. Poor things.

As much as I pride myself on having mastered the attitude of calm assertiveness preached by Cesar "Dog Whisperer" Milan necessary to be a pack leader (actually had it even before we started watching him), that only takes you so far when you're essentially a complete stranger to the dog, unfortunately.

I hustled through everybody as fast as I could, promising to make it up to them in the morning. Back inside, I followed Tery's advice and set up a radio in the ward to play soothing music for the dogs, although it took the better part of a quarter hour for us all to agree on a station. Finally I found the auditory equivalent of Xanax (lite jazz) and went about my work.

There seemed to be an abnormally high amount of emergency traffic whizzing by all night. As each one passed, I made a silent prayer that it represented another idiot mutilated beyond recognition. The air inside the hospital had the metallic stink of gunpowder even with all the windows shut.

By about 11 p.m. it seemed to be mostly over. I poked my head in the ward and actually heard some dogs gently snoring over the sound of the radio. Well, that wasn't TOO bad, I thought.

In the morning I got a bit of a headstart, looking forward to giving the dogs some extra quality outdoor time after our hectic evening schedule. My plan was working well until about 4 a.m., when, to my complete incredulity, the people behind us decided it was the perfect time to set off some residual mortars they had left over. Setting off personal fireworks at dusk on the Fourth of July is annoying, but at least in the celebratory spirit of things. Doing it at 4 in the morning is just you being a douchebag.

"God DAMMIT!!" I screamed at them, but they either didn't hear or didn't care. So, whereas I tried not to rush the dogs through as I had done previously, they still had to perform under a certain amount of duress. Why can't I work at a cat hospital?

But there was good to all this: A) At least I was making time and a half holiday pay. B) At least Honus, the beagle who makes my life hell even without a good reason and who had been boarding just the weekend before, had gone home. And C) I had my favorite dog, the dog I would steal if I thought Tery wouldn't notice, Baby Face the greyhound, who chatters her teeth when she sees me, stretches like a cat and just wants me to wrap my arms around her in a big hug. I love her so.


This is her idea of posing


I also had this pair, Megan and Morgan:


Cerberus sans a head


They're Rottweiler/German shepherd mixes (how many different guard dogs can we squeeze into one body?) and obviously twins. The only difference between them is 3 pounds and the color of their collars, with no indication anywhere of which is which. Smart, huh? They snarled and barked quite savagely at me the first weekend they arrived, but now we're best of friends.

~*~

Our neighbors are still annoying, surprise surprise. Reggie has all but vanished since our little run-in, but occasionally we'll see Clarence, his father? older brother?...I don't know, but he's far less pleasant than Reggie and uses the balcony for EVERYTHING. He'll come home at midnight, get on the phone and carry on a conversation, you guessed it, out on the balcony. Tery told me he had a knock-down screaming fight with his girlfriend (?), on the balcony. It's like the 1000+ square feet of condo he's got behind the balcony simply doesn't provide the living space needed (despite being devoid of furniture). Thank god they're only renting -- if they owned, I wouldn't put it past them to stick the toilet out on the balcony just so he could feel a breeze up his ass when he takes a dump. Am I hostile? Sure. But some things are better not done in full view of all your neighbors, no matter how nice the air feels.

THIS JUST IN: Apparently they feel their balcony also makes an ideal staging ground for Roman candles. They set off two of them FROM THEIR BALCONY before Tery threatened to call the cops and they stopped. The city of Aurora won't even permit full-size barbecue grills on balconies, why on earth do they think it's okay to set off fireworks?? The HOA has been notified, I'm sure there will be a nice little fine in it for them. Neighborhood police, springing into action!

Then there's Tracey, our beloved FCW. We're still trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, even in the face of increasingly odd activity. Like the night Tery noticed she had filled the stairwell landings with computer monitors, so many Tery wouldn't have been able to leave if she needed to. Clunky old CRT monitors that she got from god knows where, to do god knows what with. Then Tery said 15 minutes later they had all been whisked inside her unit. Strange. Possibly suspicious.

She also has attached a little trailer to her Chevy sedan for transporting who knows what. Which wouldn't really bother me except when she isn't using it, she has it propped up between the curb and her car. Which also wouldn't bother me except that when she goes out she leaves it there so no one else can use that spot (our complex doesn't have assigned parking, which I thought was a good thing until now). And of course it isn't a spot out along the periphery of the lot where no one else ever parks, but a real primo spot practically in front of the mailbox. I guess she just isn't happy unless she's pushing legal boundaries somehow, though granted I prefer this parking infraction over the meth lab.

Tery tells me she noticed a towing company's ticket on her windshield, and although it apparently didn't do much in the way of immediately rectifying the problem, I feel better knowing someone else is stepping up to the plate. It's exhausting being the only stool pigeons in the complex.

~*~

Now, to finish on a happy note, I give you the boys:

grrgoyl: (ferrets attack)
More people-bitching, so look away. 

Tabby has always had a maddeningly anti-recycling outlook, which makes no sense when you consider she's about 18 years younger than me and the future of the planet will be a much more relevant problem in her lifetime than mine.  But she simply refuses to recycle, and worse treats with disdain anyone who does, i.e. Tery.

I couldn't be prouder of Tery.  She went from begrudgingly occasionally rinsing beer cans to carrying canvas tote bags to parties for ease of carting recyclables home, hers and everyone else's.  She even set up a recycling box in the breakroom at work, which Tabby of course sneers at.  She can't even be bothered to use it, despite sitting a foot away from the garbage can. 

"I just bought a Honda Civic!" she cries, which, to her credit, she chose based partly on its superior gas mileage.  "I've done my good deed for the world!"  As if changing one aspect of your lifestyle to green forgives you shitting all over Mother Earth in every other.

So in this respect she completely deserves Kay, who continues to be an ignorant, selfish cow.  Thank GOD I don't work with her anymore. 

At a recent party at their house to celebrate them finishing their basement, somehow guests started filtering out until it was down to me and a couple of vet techs from Kay's new hospital. 

Kay posed the question, "So, what do you guys think about me buying a bigger Jeep now that prices are so low?"  Yes.  Most American SUV owners are realizing they're driving a dinosaur and the meteors are falling, but Kay wants a BIGGER dinosaur.  Why?  Because her current Jeep Wrangler just isn't big enough to transport their dogs. 

I bowed out of the discussion right away, saying how much I hated SUVs.  The guy part of the tech couple shared my views, and presented all the rationales against SUVs.  The first of these was the fact that it's time to think about the rest of the world when making such decisions, not just our own personal desires -- to which Kay let out her guffawing horse laugh, and said, "Think about someone else?  Keep in mind who you're talking about here!"  I could've socked her in the face.

Other arguments against the global village:  Tabby thought it was okay to buy SUVs as long as you weren't doing it just to be "trendy" -- because everyone knows it's only the "trendy" ones that guzzle gas. 

Mrs. Tech's point was "Hel-LO.  We live in Colorado where it SNOWS.  We NEED SUVs!"  Okay, A.) Don't begin your logical debate with "Hel-LO," a catch phrase that should have been retired about 10 minutes after Friends finished its first run.  B.)  Yes, we live in Colorado, and it snows.  We also don't live in the mountains, which means the roads are plowed fairly regularly and when they aren't, snow melts all on its own within 24 hours.  C.)  Thousands of Denverites manage just fine driving cars in the winter.  How do you explain THAT anomaly, Chandler? 

I had to get out of there, especially after I asked Tabby if she were going to Pride the next day and Kay again guffawed, saying, "I have no idea what that is!"  I know, because you aren't gay (Kay is an Anne Heche lesbian, namely only for Tabby). 

Update:  Yesterday Kay drove her brand new Jeep to the hospital to show it off.  Tery says it looks bigger, but the interior seems the same size.  She wanted to spit.  I wonder if she's shown it to her one sensible co-worker yet?

I guess I'm done.

~*~

I'm slowly working my way through 2007's "Horrorfest:  8 Films to Die For" but have been keeping it to myself because, for the most part, they've been more silly than scary.  Another year, a little bit more jaded and bored.  A couple have had promise, namely "Mulberry Street" (New York sewer rats bite humans and transform them into bloodthirsty zombies man-rodents), and "The Deaths of Ian Stone" (a man is killed repeatedly by shadowy, nightmarish creatures.  Every time he resurrects he gets closer to piecing together the truth about his nature.  Might actually bear repeat viewing on something larger than a laptop). 

Then there's "Nightmare Man."

::The story is ludicrous. You can only imagine where it goes from here:: )

Why do I bother?  Why?
grrgoyl: (snape head like a hole)
Just to give us all a sense of closure (okay, give ME a sense of closure. I'm sure everyone else stopped caring about it long ago), here are the results of my fabulous movie quote meme:

3-way tie for first place: [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana, [livejournal.com profile] minikitkatgirl and [livejournal.com profile] velmaneuwirth. Well done indeed!

3-way tie for second place: [livejournal.com profile] bluemoon02, [livejournal.com profile] trappedinabay and [livejournal.com profile] vagynafondue. Not so well done, but I love you for participating at all.

No actual prizes, I'm afraid. Just the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you've made me very happy.

Oh, the answers no one got, if you haven't already gone to IMDb:

1. One of the ugliest bitches I've ever seen in my life rolled up, and I'm not one to call women ugly, but I think this woman was, because she had a penis. 200 Cigarettes. IMDb didn't have my favorite quote from Martha Plimpton, "What, are they all just walking the streets like zombies because it's too uncool to be prompt?" One of my top 20 favorite movies, even though it might be uncool to say so.


2. At the beep please leave your name, number and a brief justification for the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma and we'll get back to you. Reality Bites Another very guilty pleasure.


11. Philoméne likes the sound of the cat's bowl on the tiles. The cat likes overhearing children's stories. Amélie. Nothing guilty about it, this is one of the best movies I've ever seen.

~*~

Enough of that nonsense. Now for some neighbor bitching. Our neighbor with the murderous dog (Reggie, for the sake of future brevity), was having ANOTHER party this weekend. Never has so much entertaining been done with so little furniture. I've got nothing against parties, you can party like it's 1999, just don't make me listen to it.

As I was walking out to my car, I noticed him on his balcony chatting with a woman. Whatever she said must have been terribly exciting, because he suddenly turned towards the park and let out this very loud whooping "A-hooooooooooooo!!!" noise that echoed into the open space. He turned back in time to see my look of reproach before I continued on my way.

I don't understand people who make unnecessary noise. Moving furniture makes necessary noise. Drilling a hole or hammering makes necessary noise. Skydiving or riding a rollercoaster might inspire an impromptu "A-hooooooooooooo!!!" Standing and chatting with a friend, in my view, does not. I don't know if it's a guy thing or a Reggie thing, but it gets on my nerves something fierce. It's like he has to cause a disturbance to feel alive or something. This isn't an "A-hooooooooooooo!!!" neighborhood. You want to make noise like that for no good reason, go live on Colfax.

Tery told me the next day he approached her and assured her we wouldn't have any more noise problems from him. Sure, piss me off but apologize to Tery. I don't know why the change of heart. Perhaps he finally took a look around and realized he was the only party animal in the complex. We'll see.

~*~

My new big thing is recycling. I mean, I've alway recycled as much as possible, but recently I discovered the Shriners have recycling bins a couple of miles away from us that take nearly everything (i.e. glass, paperboard and junk mail), as opposed to Tery's work bin that only accepts cardboard, plastic and aluminum. So now about every two weeks I load up my back seat and drop it all off on my way home from work Sunday morning. I feel good doing it, and our trips to the garbage have been cut almost in half.

Recycling awareness is a double-edged sword, however. I'm happy to do what I can for Mother Earth, but at the same time the evidence of so many others who couldn't care less is all around. It's maddening. Even at the recycle bins, last week I saw someone had left an old, stained, torn up mattress by the bins. Okay, by whose definition is THAT recyclable? But since there's no regulating who comes and goes, people are free to do shit like that.

Which brings me to our own garbage bins. Every time I go out there they are full of cardboard boxes -- clean, new boxes that can easily be recycled. I pull them out as much as I can, but where does my responsibility end? Do I just do my part and not worry about anyone else? Because that's the precise attitude that got the boxes into the bin in the first place. Similarly I have a neighbor who once a month makes several trips to the bin carrying glass bottles (possibly beer, though who am I to assume?). I can hear them rattling around before being tossed in (none too quietly), and the noise is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Do I stomp out there and demand that he recycle? Where does my responsibility end?

I emailed our Homeowner's Association asking them to put something in the newsletter about the Shriners' bins, because it took a fair amount of internet work for me to learn about them. My request has been ignored as of this writing (this was 2 months ago).

However, there's a comical new set of rules posted on the bins now. About making sure bags are tied up tight so garbage doesn't fly around, and about breaking boxes down first. A.) No word about recycling the boxes, and B.) These monkeys can't be bothered to make sure trash ends up IN the bins. You really think a silly poster about rules is going to change anything?

Where does everyone else's responsibility begin?

~*~

Finally, my attempted foray back into Kung Fu. As I said last time, I really miss it, enough to try to find a DVD that would help me get back into it. The only one that looked halfway promising was by "Master Bob Klein." I decided to take a chance on it, despite Amazon reviews calling him a joke and the fact that he looked kind of like a porn star/internet predator on the cover.



It arrived this weekend. I skipped through it before heading to work to check it out.

I'm not sure I'll be able to use it, given that I won't be able to stop laughing.

Don't get me wrong: the things he says about reasons behind the moves and techniques sound familiar from my time with Jonas. And the moves look the same. The problem is the production values, which are basically nonexistent. His "studio" is a plywood floor that thumps hollowly with each step. In the first part his student is a chick from 1982, with fluffy hair, leg warmers and a Bedazzled sweater.

Even worse is when he moves outside for the actual "workout" section. In our classes with Jonas, most of us ranged from fairly normal to downright beautiful, graceful people. Then there was Chris. Chris was awkward, uncoordinated, stiff, and had a tendency to fart when he kicked. We all felt bad for Chris, of course no one made fun of him because we were all adults, but you could see the mortification written all over his face.

Apparently all Bob Klein had was a class full of Chrises; a tall drink of water who resembled Spike from Notting Hill (Rhys Ifans) who had the moves right, they just looked ridiculous on his beanpole physique, a shorter guy who tried to be too showy and was consequently forever overbalancing and stumbling everywhere, and a guy who looked like a wino they picked up off the street on the way over. The Master would explain the move, then they would all do it together repeatedly -- however, "together" in this instance does not mean "synchronized." As I puttered around getting ready for work, I'd glance at the TV and just burst out laughing. Not helping the situation was the soundtrack of cheesy synthesizer music that would have been more suitable for an episode of "Barney."

I hope the T'ai Chi DVD I ordered (NOT Master Bob Klein's) is better or this will all have been a waste of time.

Profile

grrgoyl: (Default)
grrgoyl

December 2011

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
1819202122 2324
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 08:42 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios