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: (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: (Sweeney time for song)

Don't glare at me like that. I didn't tear your family apart


At last, it is mine. A bit later than I would have liked. Tery gets irritated when I shop for myself a week before my birthday and/or Christmas. So this time I vowed to be good, no matter how much it hurt. She had assured me she wouldn't wait until my actual birthday (Apr 8) to give me this present. However, she also wasn't terribly keen on going out at the stroke of midnight to get it as soon as it was on sale, as I would have done (even if the tables were turned and it was her birthday). She used the excuse that she had to go into work a bit earlier in the morning or else she would, but I know damn well she was up watching Big Brother anyway.

Part of me hoped it was all a bluff, that she'd sneak out after I fell asleep and leave it at the foot of my bed as a surprise (which is what I would have done), but no. Then I hoped she would leave early, pretend to go to work, then pop over to the store and back to surprise me (something else I would have done, failing Plan A), but no. My point is, she had ample opportunity, but instead made me wait until she got home from work (late), when she of course wanted to watch baseball. At least she's going out tonight so I can have the TV.

I have the DVD propped up staring at me while I work, kind of like a carrot on a stick. It's full of juicy extras, all of which seem to be trying very hard to ignore the fact that Rickman is even in the movie. "Depp! Burton! Depp and Burton! Burton and Depp! And Bonham-Carter!" *sigh* My man will never get the recognition he deserves.

DreamWorks isn't the only company guilty of this. I was excited to see a small article in this week's "Entertainment Weekly" about the long-standing affair between Burton and Depp -- that is until the author started heaping lavish praise on Johnny's singing, even comparing him to David Bowie, then had the nerve to add, "Rickman can't sing a lick." No, Alyson Hanigan can't sing a lick (BtVS, "Once More with Feeling"). Cameron Diaz REALLY can't sing a lick (A Life Less Ordinary -- her singing actually causes physical pain). Alan can at least carry a tune without murdering it, and I sent in a letter to them pointing this out. Tery rolled her eyes at my passion. "You're the only one who feels that way." She really likes to imagine I'm the only one who cares about Alan. This is what gives her joy in life (that and baseball).

Anyway, tonight is all about the Sweeney, so Do Not Disturb.

~*~

Another chapter in the People are Asshats book: I left the house once yesterday to get some milk from the gas station across the street. The place was pretty busy around 5:30 pm, people coming home from work and whatnot. As I pulled in, this joker in an SUV (yeah, surprise!) started pulling away from the pump. The angle wasn't quite right, however, and if one of us didn't stop moving we were going to hit. As I was the one entering the lot and already in motion, as opposed to just starting from a parked position, I felt I had the right of way and kept on my course accordingly. He FINALLY gave in, but not without him and his passenger making lots of violent, where'd-you-learn-to-drive gestures in my direction. Maybe they were just testy after dropping $50 into their tank, but I half expected them to follow me inside to really start something.

This is why I can't stand leaving the house -- because every time I do I step into this Bizarro World where the rules of the road as I learned them have been replaced with some kind of Mad Maxian society where the asshole with the biggest axles must be deferred to.

~*~

Our mystery Christmas neighbors have reappeared. Tery had a confirmed sighting of them on their porch. Which isn't to say the unit has been restored to a post-holiday condition. The lights and wreath still hang, and it might be my imagination but I'm sure I can still see the silhouette of a tree in the window behind the blinds. No, they were outside to clean up all the doggie mess from their Rottweiler. Remember, this is one of the complaints leveled against Tracey and her "balcony-trained" mutts. I don't understand why people think it's acceptable to just let dogs do their thing on the balcony, especially if you live anywhere higher than the ground floor. Nasty. And if you can't be bothered to walk your dog properly, maybe you should consider not getting one. Radical thinking, I know.

Speaking of neighbors, The Alcoholic has finally bought a house and is moving. From the day she told me she was closing it was practically a matter of hours before the moving van showed up and she was gone. She REALLY couldn't wait to get out of here (into a "nice neighborhood" she smugly informed me. She hasn't lived many places if she doesn't think this is a nice neighborhood, meth labs notwithstanding). She told me her unit was bought by a nice woman, fresh out of a messy divorce and just as desperate to move, also a vet assistant. Which I thought would be really cool to have as a neighbor before Tery pointed out the chances of her having a dog that will spend all summer barking at our cats on the balcony. We shall see. Stay tuned.

~*~

Lastly, this is what Cadbury has reduced me to by not selling their irresistible Creme Eggs year-round:


Every day is Easter now


This, my friends, is a box I salvaged from the 50% off cart. I plan to freeze them to tide me over until next Easter. I chose my checkout line carefully, trying to find a big, fat clerk who wouldn't judge me. Unfortunately, the woman I selected naturally went on break literally just as I got to the head of the line, being replaced by a petite teenager who probably weighed about 75 pounds soaking wet. She was just happy I had counted the eggs while waiting in line rather than making her do it. Hey, I'm an ex-inventory specialist. I still got the skillz.
grrgoyl: (Buffy Giles headache)
Weekend at the kennels would've been damn near perfect if not for Star. Star is a teacup poodle whose owner, elderly and probably a shut-in judging from Star, died recently, leaving the dog to her unfortunate daughter. Now there isn't enough attention on the planet to make this dog happy. She expresses her loneliness in a screeching, wailing bark that sounds like a combination newborn infant and the neediest, whiniest dog you can possibly imagine -- my two favorite things in the world. It would have been more merciful for all of us if she'd been buried with her owner, Egyptian style. I felt bad thinking these things, until Tery told me Monday that another employee, who generally has no problems with dogs whatsoever, was thinking similar canicidal thoughts after a few hours with little Star.

I had another teacup poodle (Nikko), much quieter than Star, and two standard poodles, Paris and Marseilles (I wish I were kidding). Paris and Marseilles were more vicious and aggressive than any German shepherd I've ever had, barking and snarling at me from the moment I walked downstairs. "Fine," I thought. "We'll just see who doesn't get to go pee tonight." I did my usual trick of saving them for last, giving them a chance to see all the other well-behaved dogs go out with me so they could learn the way of things in my kennel kingdom. Sure enough, by the time I got back to them they had calmed down and trotted straight out with no guff whatsoever. Getting them back in was a bit trickier, as they both sat staring at me, moving only from one end of the hallway to the other like a cow herd of two and refusing to go anywhere near their kennel. I finally figured out leashing Paris (who was a lot more easygoing of the two) got Marseilles to follow. Score Elaine:1 Canines: Nil.

~*~

We have a neighbor in our complex who still has their Christmas lights on, February practically gone. I first noticed in the mornings when I returned home that their string of porch lights and tree were still lit. Now it appears the porch string has died but the tree blazes on. Furthermore it's on 24 hours a day, leading me to wild speculation. Are they dead inside? Were they dragged off to prison with so little warning that they couldn't turn off their tree? Should someone be called regarding this? If so, why are none of their closer neighbors concerned?

~*~

Tery left today, back to Connecticut for a whole week. That means I get to have a clean house for a whole week. I told her, it's not that I wish we weren't together; I just wish she didn't live with me. Clutter has a way of accumulating when she's home, which is odd considering all she does is watch TV in her free time.

Anyway, she had a bit of an anxiety attack Sunday night. She said she felt some foreboding about this trip, that something bad was going to happen. She was also depressed about the fact that the trip had to end, even though she hadn't packed her bags yet. I did my best to calm her down and we went to sleep.

Monday she felt better. She was ready to pack and feeling good about things. We watched the last episode of Lost on the disc to get it back to Netflix and she started packing. Suddenly I heard cries of distress from the bathroom. Her tooth had broken off. This isn't as surprising as it sounds; she had her first root canal last week and was scheduled to get this one worked on as soon as she got back. But here it was, 9:00 at night and we were supposed to leave at 7 a.m. to catch her plane. I was skeptical anything could be done.

She was flipping out, however. She wasn't in any pain, but it had left a large, obvious gap just behind her canine on that side. She kept going on about how her family couldn't see her like that. I couldn't determine if she was more upset about the prospect of pain or the psychological damage that would be caused by her family's apparently merciless teasing. As someone who has had three root canals and once lost a filling at work that resulted in instant agony so profound I couldn't even open my mouth, I probably was less sympathetic than I should have been. "I told you something bad was going to happen! I TOLD YOU." Yes, well given the choice between losing a bad tooth and her plane falling out of the sky, I'll take the gap in her mouth.

I got her to call her dentist and leave a message with the answering service, who promised a "call-back" from the "on-call doctor." This call never came. What kind of company dangles the promise of an after-hours doctor that doesn't exist? (Perfect Teeth, that's who)

On her mother's advice we got her a flight later in the afternoon, for a mere $100 ticket change fee. Thanks, Northwest. Thanks for punishing her for having a medical emergency. Like she's changing her plans just for shits and giggles. Like it isn't bad enough she'll be wasting an entire day traveling instead of only half a day.

Once the new game plan was in place, she started to calm down. From there it was a short step to insisting I take photos and video of her "shit tooth" (a term coined by my sister, who once went to a strip club and saw an exotic dancer who thought she was all that, but had a disgusting shit tooth).

She showed up on her dentist's doorstep as soon as they opened (they may be liars about their after-hour care, but they're still the only doctor her lame insurance will let her see) and they had her fixed in less than an hour. When she returned all smiles, I rubbed it in. "I TOLD you everything would be fine. You didn't believe me." "Yes I did," she protested, "except...." "Except you didn't. You don't think I know anything." Score Elaine: 1 Tery: Nil.

Before and after pictures at Tery's request, in case anyone else doesn't know about the marvelous advances made in dental technology over the last 20 years:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us
~*~

Then on the way to the airport I switched lanes from the middle to the left, using my indicator to give plenty of warning. I saw the fucking SUV coming up behind me but didn't realize he was going, like, 100. He didn't even slow down, just swerved into the breakdown lane, missing me by inches, the same margin by which he missed the cop who had pulled someone else over into the breakdown lane. I don't know how the cop could have not seen that highly illegal maneuver performed at a highly illegal speed, but the fucker got away. Anyone else care to defend the poor, unfairly maligned SUV drivers?

~*~

On a less angry note, Run Fatboy Run with Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran is coming to US theaters March 28th. It came out on DVD in the UK two days ago. Guess who isn't sitting around waiting for stupid American theaters to get with the times?

grrgoyl: (jayne calm)
I don't like to say "I told you so"...well, actually yes I do. Show me the person who says they DON'T like to and I'll show you a big fat liar.

This past weekend I was hit by a motherfucking fat ass SUV. I was in the thru-way part of the parking lot in front of 24-Hour Fitness furthest from the building. (Let me insert a sidenote here about 24-Hour Fitness: why does everyone fight to park so close to the building? Wouldn't the extra walking time from your car just be a free little mini-warmup?) Anyway. I was on the main road part of the lot, if you will, when I saw this big gray Rav-4 approaching me from the side. She wasn't going fast, but she was also not stopping at the intersection where I clearly had the right of way. I lay on my horn and, unbelievably, she kept coming (though I'm not sure why "unbelievably" when you're as cynical as I am). Maybe she looked around to see the source of that annoying honking noise and skimmed right over me, since I wasn't eye level with her. She was going slowly enough to make me think that she might be about to stop, but too fast to react in time to the sluggish command from her brain to hit the brake.

*CRUNCH*

She pulled over immediately, profusely apologetic. I was furious until I saw that she had only inflicted a (large) scratch, not a dent. She went to retrieve her insurance information while I examined it and calmed down. It was really more the carelessness of another SUV driver than the actual damage that upset me. She came back and I told her to forget about it. Honestly, my car has enough scrapes, dings and missing paint (I consider it the most affordable deterrent to car thieves) that to go to a body shop and say "How much to fix this scratch here, no, not that one, just this one" seemed ludicrous. Sure, I could've got the whole fender fixed on her tab, but there's what's right and there's what's right, and my parents raised me to know the difference.

"Are you sure?" she asked in disbelief, "Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Yes. Be more careful in the future." Preachy? Believe me, she got off light. Then, because my parents also raised me to be considerate, I asked, "Is your car okay?"

She looked at me with every inch of puzzlement such a question deserved. "If there's a problem, it's my fault so I'll deal with it." Right. I decided to get out of there before I offered to pay for her repairs, or perhaps buff them out myself.

Had I not just made a big sale on eBay (the shipping of which was my whole reason to be out of the house), this might have gone very differently, but I was riding a wave of monetary euphoria. Yes, it could have just as easily been a compact Toyota that hit me. But it wasn't, it was a fucking SUV. I told you so.

~*~

My anger at being hit was as nothing compared to what I experienced last weekend at the kennels. Friday night as I made my customary upstairs sweep, to my astonishment the back door swung open unlocked (I'm not sure why "astonishment" when you're as cynical as I am). The alarm was on at the time and the sirens started howling. Seconds later the monitoring company called to check on me, just like they do in the commercials. I commiserated with them briefly about what idiots my co-workers were (okay, all I said was that I didn't trust them to lock up properly, and the fact that we were even having a conversation supported my opinion) and they bade me a good night.

To say I was livid would be a staggering understatement. Frothing at the mouth, more like. Unfortunately the only person I could take my anger out on was Tery -- she won't let me talk to the day shift personally, even though I could absolutely guarantee that such a mistake would never, ever be made again when I was through with them. I guess she doesn't want me making her people cry.

Then Saturday night the doors were locked (hooray!) but the alarm wasn't set. These people have the attention span of chinchillas, I swear. How hard is it to lock the doors and set the alarm???? I called Tery again, twice as angry as the night before. She promised to take care of it on Monday. "DEFINITIVELY." I demanded.

On Tuesday she had me call her in late and I got one of her problem children, M. M. has a whole host of issues, most of them psychological, but Tery's biggest complaint about her is that she's too thorough. A simple call from a client asking a quote for vaccines stretches into a 30-minute affair in M.'s hands. She also spends entirely too much time doing everyone else's jobs rather than her own.

I delivered Tery's message briefly, but M. had her own agenda. "I heard about the door being unlocked this weekend. I completely understand the situation and how upset you must have been." I thanked her for being on my side, but there was more. "There was one night a few weeks ago when I happened to notice the gate out back wasn't locked. I made sure everyone realized how important it was to lock that gate." She was referring to the gate on the exercise yard, which is "locked" with a broken carabiner slipped through the latch. Again I thanked her, but added that I didn't consider the gate a very serious obstacle to anyone who really wanted to get in. Tery herself explained during my orientation it was really more to keep dogs in than people out.

"How about the flood lights? Would you like us to turn those on for you when we leave?" See what I mean about thorough? She's obviously given my plight a lot of thought. I told her that sure, I had a long wishlist of things that would be nice to have done, but at the BARE MINIMUM all I really want is the doors locked and the alarm set. I'm forever getting notes apologizing for a mess left for me. I want to say, "I don't care if the walls are smeared with shit. As long as the doors are locked and the alarm is set, I'm happy." I've learned the same lesson Tery's known for years: you have to choose your battles very wisely with these people, because they have the attention span of chinchillas.

~*~

This weekend sort of made up for it though. Saturday night I didn't have a single canine in the building. Not one. Three cats in Recovery, but when I realized I didn't have to unlock the back door all night, I felt a glorious freedom. Such freedom that I'm petitioning the governor to make this happen every night I work. Tery just rolls her eyes and says nothing.
grrgoyl: (Default)
So...we are at war with Iraq and, consequently, most of the world, George W. is at war with homosexuals, and things in general are extremely fucked up. And what do I choose to go on about? SUVs.

SUVs. The scourge of my existence (apart from George W. And reality TV, see below.) If I chose, my rants about adventures in driving would be a daily feature in my journal, and probably stultifyingly boring, so I thought I would put most of it in one entertaining entry.

I hate SUVs. Right up there alongside this is an equal hatred for SUV drivers. Living in Colorado, we have plenty of both (well they do tend to go hand-in-hand), though I don't really understand why: most of our roads have been paved for at least the 8 years I have lived here, and I'm guessing probably even longer than that. The only off-road action most of these vehicles ever see is when they end up in a ditch in the winter due to drivers who assume they're invincible (the sight of which never fails to fill me with immense, spiteful glee).

SUV drivers as a rule make me nervous, because I figure anyone who voluntarily purchases a vehicle that only gets 15 miles to the gallon can't be the sharpest tool in the shed anyway. Putting them in control (I use the term loosely) of 4,000 pounds of American-built, death-dealing steel just doesn't strike me as a wise idea. It has also been my objective observation that SUV drivers as a group have very poor depth perception, as evidenced by their tendency to drive with their front tires stuck in my backseat. (Of course, I could compose a rant all unto itself on tailgaters. I simply don't believe that being one carlength closer to your destination at the expense of safety has ever made a significant improvement in anyone's day.)

A short while ago when there was first talk of raising gas prices, to own an SUV or not to own an SUV briefly became a huge debate on the AOL chatboards. I wasted a goodly amount of time reading these arguments, and believe I saw most of the excuses people use to buy these ridiculous, useless automobiles. Here are some, in no particular order:

1.) "I need an SUV to accommodate my family": Oh, where do I start? We were a family of 4 who got along swimmingly with a Subaru hatchback growing up in the 80s. Which was, admittedly, an improvement over the Volkswagen Beetle we had in the 70s. No family of 4 absolutely needs a fucking Ford Excursion (a vehicle that practically needs its own zip code) to transport themselves comfortably. If you have more than two children in this day and age, look into global overpopulation and why it's a bad thing.

2.) "I love the feeling of safety I get from being so high up": I'm willing to bet that most SUV drivers (as I stated earlier, not a terribly thoughtful, perceptive bunch) never realize that they owe their lofty, clear lines of sight to us lowly cars. If everyone drove SUVs *shudder* then everyone would be the same height. There would be no choice but to design even taller, more inefficient vehicles. But that would be no good, they would compete with tractor trailers. What's the answer, then? There must be a way that we can ALL be high (and mighty. Face it. It's implied).

Part two of my problem with this excuse is that most SUV drivers seem to think this unobscured vision gives them enough of an extra safety margin to make it acceptable to abandon other more common sense driving practices that make the road safe for everyone, not just them. Like not veering into other people's lanes without even a hint of a turn signal. And leaving 5 or 6 inches behind the car ahead of them in case something sudden and unavoidable happens (although back when I learned to drive, the rule was one carlength for every 10 mph you're traveling. Oh, well, things change). And even really basic stuff, like not taking up a lane and a half regardless of the remaining half of the lane being occupied. I don't care how damn big you are, the SUV manufacturers at least have not sunk to the level of stupidity of creating vehicles wider than the established traffic lanes. Yet.

Case in point of this lack of concern for safety...a few days ago I was driving to work on a 6-lane road (not a highway, though you usually can't tell based on the average speed). I was in the passing lane because not only was I turning left ahead, but I was keeping up with traffic and not holding anyone up. Not good enough for the woman behind me in her Jeep Grand Cherokee, frantic to get that extra carlength ahead in her journey, despite the fact that I had about 10 people ahead of me going the exact same speed. Realizing she couldn't just plow over the top of me (though obviously dearly wishing she could), she tried to pass on the right, nearly wiping out an unsuspecting motorcyclist in the process. I made an exaggerated "what the hell is your problem?" gesture in my rear-view window, which she immediately returned, mystifyingly, as the only problem I had was with her. Most of the time when I get a nutcase like this behind me, I make a big show of flipping my rearview mirror up (I used to slam on my brakes until Tery convinced me the no-rearview ploy was safer). Out of sight, out of mind, problem solved. Though I really don't trust people of so little intelligence to realize that it does no good to tailgate someone if they can't see you doing it. If only this incident were unique, but it seems to happen on an almost daily basis.

3.) "I have money and it's my own damn business if I want a car that needs $50 worth of gas every week.": Spoken like a true American, I'm ashamed to say. This argument might work if you lived on your own planet like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. But you don't. You share a planet with a considerable number of other people (see global overpopulation above) and your overblown sense of entitlement is using up and destroying precious natural resources at a much faster rate. All so your family of 7 can enjoy a higher view as you sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic with other morons with a similar sense of entitlement. I think life would be better in general if everyone for just two minutes could think of someone else besides themselves. Frankly I'm surprised Bush doesn't add a constitutional amendment granting the Freedom of Choice of Automobiles as long as he's messing around in there, because most people act like he already has.

4.) "I'm a small business owner/farmer and I need a larger vehicle for my work.": This is the only excuse I can possibly accept. And there are plenty of farms in Colorado to support this argument. But judging by the number of SUVs on the road, each of those farms would have to be operating a small fleet that would make the Navy proud for them to account for all of them. And I have no statistics, but I'm willing to bet my next paycheck that almost none of them use a Lexus 470 or a Cadillac Escalade to get their farmwork done. These gleaming, gas-guzzling status symbols are barely allowed to get highway dirt on them, let alone do an honest day's work.

I think I've made my point (and then beat it into the ground). Naturally I'm not talking about ALL SUV drivers (just most of them). There are plenty of inconsiderate car drivers as well. But they seem to be a dying breed, slowly converting into more SUV drivers, so they can be inconsiderate on a much grander scale.

Needless to say, this will be my next car. So I can just drive under all those stupid SUVs while they're sitting in traffic.

-=Lainey=-

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December 2011

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