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: (Alan Alone)
Not too long ago I was talking about the sneaky way employers try to pretty up harder and more thankless responsibilities with impressive or exciting titles.

The newest one is that of the MME, or Master Medical Editor, and it's being offered to me pretty aggressively.

MASTER Medical Editor. Sounds very lofty. Sounds like someone who has studied diligently for decades as an Apprentice Medical Editor, developing hardened calluses on their hands from endless hours of training and discipline, to finally attain the right to be called Master.

It doesn't at all sound like something they would mention in passing, apropos of nothing, to a lowly transcriptionist asking questions about her latest feedback errors. Yet that's how it happened:

"Don't worry about the little mistakes! You're our top producer! We can't afford for you to slow down by overthinking things too much. By the way, have you considered applying for the MME position? I think you'd really be an excellent candidate! *hint hint*"

I found it mildly concerning that I was still the "top producer" despite all the faffing around I do on any given day, sometimes wasting up to a whole hour between LJ and Cracked.com. What the hell was everyone else doing during their shifts? Or did they just tell everyone they were the top producer?

Still, I wasn't jumping headfirst into anything without doing some modicum of research. The last time I accepted a promotion without thinking (to area manager for ultra-lame RGIS inventory) resulted in hands-down the worst, most stressful, most miserable year of my entire life -- and that includes the year our house burned down and I had an emergency appendectomy.

I asked some of my fellow MTs (on the same board I habitually avoid because flame wars pop up faster than California wildfires over there), and a lucky thing I did -- Master Medical Editor is the title given to the poor schlubs in QA (Quality Assurance); in other words, the people who try to fill in the MTs' blanks, typically from the most difficult, least English-speaking doctors. I can barely handle these reports when I get them sporadically -- to do nothing but all day would probably end in violence. The job offers more money, but since it's production-based (just like my current position), realistically I don't see it working out to nearly enough to compensate for all that added stress.

Because if there's one thing I've learned in my 40 years on this planet, a bit more money is nice, but having a job with minimal demands and a tolerable amount of responsibility that you enjoy doing is priceless (and if you can work in your pyjamas with a cat in your lap, all the better).

~*~

Speaking of tolerable responsibility, that couldn't be said of my weekend at the kennels. So intolerable that I'll be forced to take on a faint Southern accent in the telling.


See this dog right here? This dog is BATSHIT CRAZY.


This is Toby, a 6-month-old shepherd mix who done ate a baby pacifier and needed surgery. He probably would have been better off eating the baby, easier to digest.

He was there for me both nights, and believe me, neither of us were particularly happy to see the other Saturday after the night we had Friday. The difference was on Saturday he was on a fentanyl drip, which is a heavy-duty painkiller also used by humans. You'd think being all drugged up would quiet him down some, but he didn't really relax until I decided to take the cone off his head (most dogs HATE the cone, especially wearing it in a tight space).

Which brings us to this picture. This is just him sleeping. I swear I looked down and thought he had up and died on me. Yelling his name repeatedly produced no result. Touching his nose gingerly at least made his eyes roll back to the correct position, but apparently he was perfectly comfortable with his jaws clamped around the cage bars, giving him this freaky rictus that was very disturbing to look at.

Come morning I had to put the cone back on, else he would lick his incisions into a nice infection, and that's when the real problems started. He fought having that cone on again something fierce. Then I left him for five minutes to start walking the boarders when I heard an unearthly canine screaming that made my spine stand on end. I raced back to Recovery to find him rearing up on his hind legs, his IV line twisted firmly around his neck. I freed him and tried to calm him down before returning to the boarders.

Then as I was giving his final dose of antibiotics, sitting right there in the cage with him, he did it again -- started wailing and thrashing around so violently he was going to take me down with him. Then, as abruptly as it started, he suddenly collapsed, gave out a mighty sigh, and fell asleep. Bizarre doesn't begin to describe it. It almost seemed like a seizure to me. I called the doc, nervous about leaving him alone. She had me give an extra sedative and he seemed to be out cold, so I went home. I still don't know what became of him after I left.

It turns out fentanyl tends to have this effect on dogs, which is why it's used so rarely (but the doc was afraid minus the fentanyl he'd be even crazier). Whether it was the fentanyl that made him sleep in such an odd position I'm not sure. What I am sure of is if this little hospital visit doesn't screw him up for life, nothing will.

COMING SOON: A whole buttload of reviews for movies no one cares about
grrgoyl: (Spaced Mouspider)
Things have been kinda hectic in the medical transcription world. Every weekend for a month we've received desperate emails begging for help with gargantuan backlogs. Every weekend overtime has been approved and every weekend I've worked that overtime. Even worked two Mondays! My one day off a week. I am an overtime HUOOR.

Then we had to attend a mandatory conference call, where they unveiled their idea to put together a "S.W.A.T." team of transcriptionists who would be offered first crack at overtime work. They learned what other companies have long known -- if you want to get extra work out of your people, give them a job title that sounds exciting and a little dangerous. RGIS, my super lame inventory job, did it. The best of the best were called "Top Guns" and competed for trips to Hawaii (not as glamorous as it sounds; there's a chain of Hawaii-based stores that needed help every year and this was their sneaky way of providing it). Nowadays the fastest auditors are called "Prowlers," like the Battlestar: Galactica fighter jets, because the times are a-changing.

I have a strong suspicion that they're having a serious problem getting people to work their scheduled shifts (we get spanked on almost every call), evidenced by the constantly towering backlog we spend every weekend cleaning up, so what appeared to be a way to make us feel special was probably more likely an underhanded assurance that they would have a group of suckers to pick up the slack left by those more interested in enjoying their summer vacation. I didn't particularly care. No sooner had the call ended than I sent my email off volunteering (also inquiring if we would be issued bulletproof vests). My supervisor told me not only was I on the short list for the team (probably because I never turn down overtime), but I was also the top producer of our group (probably because I never turn down overtime).

You guessed it: I made the team (no sign of my vest yet). And I'm working OT every day this week.

It is with that fact that I justify this. I'll admit I've become sort of bored with the repetitive, endless motion of lifting weights (yes, [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana, another "look at me, I exercise 23 hours a day. What are you doing with your life?" post). As thrilled as I am that the gym membership has shown me more results than a lifetime of off-and-on Bowflex use (in fairness, more off than on), I thought it would be nice to have some variety.

At that particular moment, like a sign from Heaven, a commercial came on TV that I've seen twenty times and thought nothing of previously: The Wii Fit. I am forever turning to technology to solve my problems and enrich my life. Here was an opportunity to apply it to my workout as well. it was simple. I needed to buy a Wii.

Do you remember the enormous hype that surrounded the Wii's original release? How it was the hot new game that everyone had to have but no one could get their hands on? Here, Toby Turner says it better than me in his semi-original song, "Every Day (the Wii is gone)":



Let me tell you, nearly three years later, the Wii is still a pre-tty hot item. The difference is there are a lot more options if you don't mind going used (I don't). The trick is getting someone to respond to you.

I began my search where I always begin my searches, on eBay. Thousands to choose from, but about 95% of them were active auctions with tons of interest. Anything "Buy-It-Now" was almost assuredly a used item and almost equally assuredly with something missing or wrong with it. Here's how crazy it is: I started browsing the newest listings, hoping to get in on a deal before anyone else saw it. I found someone selling theirs "barely used and in excellent condition" for a BIN of $159. I bookmarked it and looked around for about ten more minutes before deciding it sounded pretty good. By that time, it had already been bought. TEN MINUTES. It was challenging not to become completely demoralized.

There was a seller in Canada selling a "newish" unit AND the Wii Fit (a $75 value on its own, I learned) for $250 plus shipping. When I sent an email asking for clarification of "newish" (technically not even a word, Canada) and whether it in fact included the console and the Fit (after I browsed a listing for the Fit all alone for $189 -- you can never be too sure with these auctions), I got what seemed to me the unnecessarily brusque and kind of snarky response, "Outlined in the product index." Canada was simply too busy to bother with my stupid little questions. Which would have been understandable back in 2006, when people were prostituting their kid sisters for a Wii. But you're not the only game in town, Canada, or even the best.

Hanging over my head was the specter of multiple auctions of approximately $200, all in vague unspecified states of used. I don't trust a seller that has ten identical listings. That means he's got them stacked in a warehouse or a storage unit and just picks whatever one is on top to ship to me. $200, which I could afford, but pigheaded me is always convinced I can do better, which is how the $159 dealio got away from me.

So I turned to Craigslist, and this is when my frustration REALLY began. Because on Craiglist it isn't as simple as settling on one to buy and clicking "buy." You have to email the seller and wait agonizingly for a response, not sure if the lack of one is because the seller is away from their computer, has received hundreds of emails and is sifting through them, or has already sold the item and is ignoring you. Oh, the uncertainty can drive you mad.

(Too many people don't bother to delete their listing after selling, and these people I say deserve to have their inbox inundated with replies. It's infuriating. Then when I was shopping once I came across an inexplicably enraged seller who wrote "DON'T ASK ME IF IT'S STILL AVAILABLE. IF THE LISTING IS UP, IT'S AVAILABLE!!!!!" You just can't win.)

The first day, not being too experienced with Craigslist, I sent out one inquiry and politely gave them 12 hours to respond. The second day I said to hell with polite and sent out about four requests. I had in fact given up on Craigslist and turned back to eBay, putting in a bid on one for $99 from a private seller that said in the very small print that it was actually more new than used, when I suddenly got a call from a Craigslist seller. "Andre" had received plenty of offers, all of which had fallen through for one reason or another. I confessed I had a bid on eBay and asked if I could get back to him in 30 minutes when I knew if I won or not. Andre was in a nightclub or somewhere very loud, and to further complicate matters couldn't receive incoming calls on his phone. He would call me back.

He also mentioned that his asking price was only $150 and that it was barely used. And of course there was the very appealing thought of having it this weekend, no waiting for shipping. I had never wished so hard to lose an auction before. And it worked! I got outbid and I immediately texted Andre (not sure if his phone had a similar ban on SMS messages) to seal the deal. He called me back and I agreed to meet him back at his apartment to pick it up before I went into work at the hospital. It was 8:00 at night.

It wasn't until I was on the highway that reality suddenly sliced through my buyer's euphoria. The directions he gave me put his apartment at the very extreme far north of Denver, in the alien wasteland of Thornton (it's not literally a wasteland, but definitely alien. I never have a reason to go to Thornton since putting my inventory days behind me). I knew nothing about this guy. He sounded nice enough on the phone, but it suddenly seemed just as likely that he was a serial killer luring people to his home, easy pickings, with the promise of a super cheap Wii. It would be the perfect plan. And stupid me didn't even think about bringing someone along as a safeguard. I was on my way to becoming the latest movie star in a snuff film, I was sure of it.

In a panic, first I ran through a short list of people who might not mind meeting me up there to watch my back. A very short list indeed, as realistically there were none. I even briefly considered giving it a miss and blowing him off. But dammit, that $150 Wii had an irresistible siren song.

I knew Tery had gone to the gym and left her phone at home, but I called anyway and left a message with the directions I had so far (which culminated in the very vague "Turn in there and I'll be looking for you" rather than an actual street address, which didn't much assuage my fears). I kept thinking of any kind of information that would be helpful in finding my murderer after I turned up missing. When I arrived at the apartment complex I texted her the address on the sign. When Andre called and apologized for running late, describing himself as driving a gray Passat, I texted that to her too. He had also mentioned previously that he was from Germany (while struggling with the term to describe his driveway) and I passed THAT along (and amended my fate to that of an international snuff film star). I'm sure when she returned home there was plenty on there to get her good and freaked out too. I mean it, I was well on my way to terrified.

The apartments looked really nice, borderline posh and classy. But then again, I consider our neighborhood nice yet there Tracey sits next door. I tried to devise a strategy: I could stay behind him, keep him in view at all times in case he tried any funny business. Which wouldn't help me if he had a friend waiting in a closet to ambush me. I would peek at his apartment from safely outside, and if anything seemed amiss I'd skedaddle -- as if serial killers routinely left their victims' entrails stuck to the walls of their front foyer. I had to face it: he had the home court advantage.

He finally turned up and was a smallish, lean, sort of attractive and bookish guy. He looked quiet and perfectly normal, but aren't those the ones you need to watch out for? He approached me in the parking lot and extended his hand warmly. As I followed him upstairs to his unit, I told him I hoped he wasn't a serial killer. He answered he thought the same of me! Disarming, for sure. His place was small but tastefully decorated, meticulously neat (not a stray metatarsal bone or spleen to be seen anywhere).

I watched as he fumbled to turn on the game so I could verify it worked properly. He explained he had played it once in Germany at a party with all his friends and had so much fun that he bought his own here in America, only to discover it wasn't quite so much fun playing alone. The demo process took what felt like forever, between having to change the remote batteries and him handling everything with delicate kid gloves (I don't think this was for my benefit, I think he just took really good care of his things. He even had the original receipt in the box. From Tarjhet!). After I insisted that I was satisfied, then came the painstaking process of carefully boxing it all up to manufacturer's specifications. I was an hour late for work. But like a gentleman he walked me down to my car again, and the deal was done!

I had a nearly new Wii in my front seat at a lower price than I ever expected. To make matters better, just then the new Muse came on the radio. Life was good.

Well, MY life was good. I thought of sad, lonely Andre's life. He worked in IT for the state, obviously doing well for himself, but it sounded like all his friends were back in the Motherland. I thought that but for Tery, that would be me (minus the tasteful decoration. I never thought much about furniture or decorating before meeting Tery, unless you count dorm posters). Kind of depressing, but I wasn't going to offer my hand in friendship. Not to someone who lives all the way the hell up in Thornton.

Also from now on I think I'll stick to eBay. Or at least conduct my transactions during the daytime.
grrgoyl: (Bad Jesus!  Very Bad!)
Updatey datey:

Working out is going well, now that Ryan and I uncrossed our signals. He had a membership with John that had lapsed. He wanted to renew but said he couldn't afford to. Assuming he went to a different location (even though he lives 5 minutes away from me), I sadly signed on for a one-club membership ($50 cheaper than all-club). We exchanged emails where he repeatedly expressed interest in renewing. I would say the same thing: "I can only use the one near me." He would say the same thing: "I would only ever use mine anyway." We seemed to be at an impasse, until the day he used slightly different wording to clarify that he was talking about my club the whole time. OH. I don't know why communication is so difficult with him.

So we've been working out every other day if not more. We've tackled the girlier weight machines (Nautilus, etc.) and the cardio (ellipticals). In the middle of the floor are the free weights, and beyond that are the massive circuit training frames where the ripped, tattooed bad-asses hang out. All the while Ryan will point out men who have his goal body type. Then he confessed he'd like to try the circuit training someday. "Ryan, no!" I whispered frantically, "Not the Prison Yard!" Those hulking monsters would eat scrawny little Ryan for breakfast.

So far my plan is working -- the days I don't work out I feel restless, like I can't wait to get back. I also don't want to push myself too hard, since I did last week and spent the entire weekend barely able to move my arms. That was a mistake. It definitely makes a difference having a friend there, and I think the benefit is mutual, as Ryan is having a rough time moving on from John.

~*~

Funny tale from the kennels: Last weekend I was washing dishes when I heard what sounded like a phone ringing, though not the hospital line, followed by what sounded like someone talking. My first reaction whenever I hear a strange noise is to freeze in place with my heart pounding in my ears. I eventually had to move though, and traced it to Rica, an African Grey boarding with us. This bird had a whole routine, impersonating first a ringing phone, then an answering machine beep, and finally a creepily uncanny human voice saying, "Hello?" I wanted to record it for possible posting, but she clammed up the minute she saw me. However, when I covered her cage for the night she said, again in that near-human voice, "Goodnight cuckoo." I would trade her for our stupid screaming Amazon any day.

~*~

"Battlestar Galactica" is over. I think it suffered from this new trend in TV shows, to ramp up to the end by suddenly beginning all these exciting, complex new storylines with only three episodes to go. It makes you wonder, "How on earth are they going to resolve all this in such a short period of time?" Answer: They aren't. The "finale" will have so many plot lines left hanging it will be the narrative equivalent of a threadbare shawl, all for the remote possibility of a mini-series or even a movie in the future which will be the REAL finale. I say this after being severely disappointed by both BSG and "The L Word." I'm starting to fear that no finale will ever top "6 Feet Under." 6FU has RUINED me for all other finales. Though I suspect even people who haven't seen 6FU will agree that these finales sucked balls.

~*~

I had another run-in the other day on the transcriptionist board I hate so much. I hate it so much but it's incredibly helpful at times, if you can avoid the flame wars that is.

I had a stupid, simple formatting question, I won't bore you with specifics. I had found the answer in my AAMT Book of Style, the problem was the wording of the rule for some reason sounded like it only applied to one number rather than all. So I asked what I knew might be a stupid question, but I also figured it would be simply and quickly answered -- which is the only kind of question I ever ask anymore because people are so freakin' touchy there.

The first two people gave me straightforward, sensible answers. The third was a very sarcastic, "Did it ever occur to you that the #4 was only an example?" There was just no call for that. If you can't keep a civil tongue in your head, you're better off just keeping your mouth shut, and on this board most of all so. I answered politely but coldly, "I wasn't sure, which is why I asked. Sarcasm isn't really appreciated." Never heard back from that one (to my knowledge. The board makes it far too easy to post anonymously).

Then someone else chimed in saying they'd always wondered the same thing. This was very soon after Ms. Snarky, so I responded to them, "I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who doesn't know it all : )." Please take note of the big smiley face because it's important.

Someone responded, "Wow. Unbelievable!" Someone else said something about "the rudeness" and "I'm glad I'm not you." Others trickled in to join the crowd. The way the page is set up it's really not clear who is responding to who exactly, which is why it took me about 15 minutes to slowly realize they were all castigating ME for my incredibly rude comment. What??

This is WHY I included a big smiley face, the only way to express friendliness or positive intentions. If I could dot my i's with hearts I would. Because this damn board is FULL of these people just WAITING for an excuse to take offense, whereupon everyone circles in like vultures to carrion, and like vultures will pick you dry until not a scrap of flesh remains. Even without the smiley face I didn't see how my comment could be so grossly misinterpreted, but there we are. An entire industry of internet users who haven't graduated AOL IM Etiquette 101.

I ignored all the Nosy Nellies and instead engaged the one person struggling to maintain civility, and eventually the original person I had supposedly slammed so harshly. I was able to clarify that I was grateful someone else shared my question and there was no insult or irony intended, hence my BIG SMILEY FACE. They were both glad to hear it and everything was peaceful again. Do you think any of those people who were so quick to swoop in to attack me bothered coming back to apologize? Nope, all suddenly too busy to waste time on a message board.

~*~

Tery Tivo'ed a documentary for me, "The Most Hated Family in America." You'd think it would be the Mansons, but no, it's Pastor Fred Phelps and his incestuous little clan. I've heard of them, but this was the first special I'd seen devoted exclusively to them.

They run the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS, and their favorite word in the entire world is "fag." As in GodHatesFags.com. As in "Fag Priest" and "Fag Soldier" and "Fag Jews" and "Fag Enablers." It's just about the worst insult they can imagine, thus they apply it to everything and everybody.

See if you can follow this logic: America supports and embraces homosexuality (bear with me). Hence America is going to hell. Hence US troops fighting in Iraq are all fags for defending fag-loving America, and deserve to die. In fact, any misfortune that happens to anyone, anywhere, is evidence of God striking them down because they love fags, and makes the Phelps satanically gleeful. Your grandmother is dying of leukemia? Good, she's a fag-lover. Your church was struck by lightning and burned to the ground? God obviously hates it. 9/11? The best thing that ever happened to America. If you think I'm exaggerating just check out their website.

Don't try to point out to them that, while America might be slowly becoming more permissive of homosexuality, we're still a long way away from feeling America's unconditional love. Don't try to tell them that Jesus, in addition to being a Jew himself, preached mostly about love and probably would take a dim view of the message they're sending out. In fact, don't try to argue with them at all; they're unshakeable in their belief that pretty much everyone who doesn't belong to their church is a fag (either in actuality or sympathetically) and is going to hell.

I'm telling you, even teh gays aren't as obsessed with homosexuality as these people.

They routinely picket military funerals because, well, the soldiers are all fags. They stand on a distant corner (court-ordered) with bright neon signs screaming how you are going to hell. People drive by and curse them, make rude gestures and even throw things (their small son was hit in the head with a soda cup -- no rejoicing when bad things happen to one of THEM, I noticed); the response rate is 100% in the negative, which they consider a success. It perplexes them why people are so mean, though -- doesn't everyone LIKE being told their souls are damned and God hates them?

What is most terrifying is their cult includes children, tiny children, and don't ask me where they come from because the ratio is about one man to ten women in their God-fearing, devout and completely insular society. Tiny children wearing GodHatesFags.com T-shirts. When asked if they know what the sign they're holding means, they smile shyly and hide their faces. No, they don't. The brainwashing (and alleged abuse) will begin in earnest at the earliest opportunity though.

It's totally infected Bekah, the 19ish-year-old who tells the documentarian that yes, even he is going to hell, following it with a completely inappropriate schoolgirl giggle. She also has no plans to marry, since "we're in the end of the end times" and she'll be far too busy serving the Lord to worry about things like the future and having a life of her own.

Meanwhile her mother's mature retort to the documentarian's attempt to get reason to penetrate her thick dogma was, I kid you not, "Not a chance, poopy pants."

The documentarian tried several times to get an interview with Grand-daddy Fred Phelps, each time being treated with open derision and hostility. He called Reverend Phelps "a wellspring of anger," and isn't anger one of the Big Seven?

Tery predicted the show would make my blood boil, but it really didn't, I think because these people are so insane and so extreme that no one takes them seriously. Much less dangerous than the moderate radicals whose equally homophobic (and less nonsensical) message is heard and believed by thousands. Mostly I just feel sorry for them, because I know from experience that hating someone, actively and with the passion these people feel, is exhausting. Imagine hating the entire world and how much energy THAT takes?

~*~

Time to wrap up the Kitten Mitten series, I think. ::In here, because I'm thoughtful:: )

Finally, perhaps my favorite thing about any cat:


The ability, at any given time, to look equally silly and regal


~*~

I won't cut this because it MUST be seen. OldFriendBear took my Strawberry Series to the next logical level:


If I had nightmares about fruit


::Artsy Photo #2 and a little surprise:: )
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: (Buffy Restless)
Very little happened this weekend. Well, I saw a couple of movies, both of which I loved (The Devil's Backbone and Goya's Ghosts). I might review them later, we'll see. Work was so slow I had time to do Tabby's job, because she's lately become too good to do it herself.

I had the funniest medical report though -- the patient was only 6 months old, yet the doctor felt the need to dictate this into the record: "The patient is completely dependent upon his mother and father for transportation to his appointments." Well, unless he's a very remarkable 6-month-old, I suspect he's dependent on them for a damn sight more than THAT. Alternate punchline: Tsk. Six months old and STILL making mommy and daddy drive him everywhere. Kids are taking longer and longer to become independent these days.

So. Thanks to the slow news week in my life, I thought I'd write an entry I've had percolating for a week or two, but put off because a.) it's very image- (and therefore preparation-) intensive, and b.) it will probably be extremely, extremely boring to all but the most desperate for new content from me. But the words won't leave me alone, so without further ado, I give you:

grrgoyl: (equus)
I simply don't understand it. I order things online all the time, partly because I can usually find them much, much cheaper than in stores, and partly because I enjoy having a steady stream of incoming mail. But it's uncanny how the most exciting packages consistently arrive on either Friday or Saturday (when I can at least enjoy them on Sunday), or more likely, on Monday afternoon when my weekend is mostly over. Consistently. I could order something on a Monday morning from one state over and it won't arrive until the following Monday.

So I sit, waiting for two DVDs -- one of which I ordered on May 3rd, but since I opted for free shipping it went into the "take your own sweet time" bin at the post office. Oh, it exists. I'm sure of it.

Yet these have arrived, that were supposed to take 6-8 weeks and that I can't truly enjoy until Oct:



(So, [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk and [livejournal.com profile] minikitkatgirl: how about stimulating my economy, if you know what I mean? ::suggestive eyebrow waggle::)

Speaking of Equus (or, "that potter nudity thing" as it's been dubbed by Tery's brother), for one thrilling day I thought Ryan was actually going to come with me to see it. We spent a day frantically e-mailing back and forth, figuring plane fares and hotel rates, before it all came crashing down the following morning because John didn't want to go. John wants to go to Vegas, which will be there next year, whereas Equus is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Ah well. It's his prerogative, but I think he's crazy. Hopefully one day he'll learn what Tery and I are convinced is the secret to a successful relationship: That there's something to be said for some quality alone time. We've been together 15 years so I think we're onto something. Her idea of a fun night is drinking and watching football. Mine is watching Alan Rickman movies in an endlessly repeating cycle. Not really much room for compromise there, hence alone time. Thank god this extends to cross-country trips as well.

I think it's just as well. It would have been a logistical nightmare organizing things for the two of them, plus my sister coming down from Boston, plus Amy and Meisje, plus Tery's brother in there somewhere. Still, it would've been awfully fun with Ryan.

~*~

We have a new neighbor who is perhaps more mysterious than Tracey. He's in the building across from us one floor down, so we have a perfect view of his balcony/living room. He doesn't own a stick of furniture, unless you count the massive electric grill smoker he cooks with once a week, sending great billowing clouds of smoke up to us. Sometimes he has kids there that jump on an air mattress. Once he had a party, his guests sitting on folding lawn chairs in the living room. Once he had a black lab puppy. Now he has some sort of Akita mix, full grown, that barks at every blade of grass that's stirred by the wind. And not just a normal stupid-dog-barking-because-he-can bark, but a vicious, thundering, I'm-about-to-tear-your-throat-out kind of bark. My poor Mitten is afraid to go out onto our balcony with that murderous cacophony going on.

We'll just see about that. He's a renter, so the odds are on our side. Hopefully this dog will last as long as the black lab and the kids did.

~*~

Finally, I've about had it with my little transcription board, the one I go to for help with blanks in reports. The last two posts I made quickly devolved into people screaming at me for the stupidest little things.

Lemme 'splain. A lot of times people will ask for help for example with a medication, saying only "It sounds like 'chlamydia,' what do you think it could be?" In this case, and rightly so, people start yelling "CONTEXT!!" because yes, knowing what the patient is being seen for might provide some sort of clue to the medication.

I was doing an operative report, surgery involving the semitendinosus muscle. At one point the doctor started referring to the "semi-T's." I asked the board how to pluralize "semitendinosus" to try to spell it out. Well of course "semitendinosus" is an adjective and you can't pluralize adjectives, but that's beside the point. People started screaming at me, "CONTEXT!!! WHAT'S SO F-ING HARD ABOUT GIVING US CONTEXT???" I responded that I didn't think context would really help, but if you insist, the sentence is "I used #1 Vicryl to repair the semi-T's." There. Better??? I asked how many different uses of "semitendinosus" there could be, really, but by that point the insults were flying and no one was listening to reason. I had one soul who agreed with me that it was quite ridiculous and some people just wanted to create drama. I ducked out quietly, finished my report as best I could alone, and signed out for the day.

Then just yesterday I asked for help with a medication. It was in a list of allergies so I didn't think I had much context to provide there either. "_____ causes psoriasis" was the complete sentence. I also mentioned that the patient was diabetic, trying to be as helpful as possible. Miraculously, someone offered a suggestion that made sense when I researched it and discovered it to be an anti-hypertensive, and the patient did have a history of hypertension. Thinking I was being helpful in confirming the answer, I came back and said so.

BIG. MISTAKE.

"ARRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHH!!! HYPERTENSION IS CONTEXT!!!!!" they screamed. "WHY DID YOU SAY YOU HAD NO CONTEXT??????" I apologized profusely, but again it just got more and more out of hand. When I suggested that perhaps people were overreacting, I got called a "newbie" and was told that "maybe you don't belong in this profession." Why, because my head doesn't explode every time someone makes a mistake?

I was going to ask how people who work from home could be so freakin' tense, but I realized that not every MT works from home. And talking to my sister later that evening, I realized something else: most people go to work and are surrounded by co-workers that they backstab and stress about. These MT's working at home don't have that, so this board is their drama outlet. Personally I work from home precisely because I can't stand the drama and the cattiness, considered myself well quit of it when I realized I could support myself solely working from home (well, the vet hospital helps). I should have realized that where there are people, there is stress. I will never be free of it until I die.
grrgoyl: (Office Poop)

Shit-tooth Redux


It's months like this I wish I could see into the future. If I could, I woudn't have dropped $500 on my car (all of it maintenance work on a day I was feeling particularly affectionate towards my Honda, that never gives me a moment's trouble despite only receiving the cheapest gas I can find by way of service), if I knew my dental bridge was going to fall out this week.

Looking back, I know the exact moment it happened -- my lunch seemed a bit crunchier than it should have been. But it wasn't until I brushed my teeth before bed that I noticed the huge gap. "Oh, damn. Now I'VE got a shit tooth," I told Tery. I'd like to point out my reaction was substantially subdued compared to her total wig-out upon noticing her tooth missing ("You're not flying to see your family in the morning," she pointed out. I maintained that it made no difference, since even if I were my family would never notice it). Then she said, "I can't be married to a shit-tooth." Ouch. (Although if you look closely you'll see it's not really a shit-tooth so much as a cyborg plate inserted over a socket of completely dead nerve endings, not nearly so gross to look at.)

Thank god my dentist office still remembers me. I loved my dentist, whom I visited extensively back when I had insurance. I suspect I won't love him nearly so much when I go back sans coverage, but at least he still has my x-rays.

So that expense is hanging over my head. I shouldn't have been surprised then when Equus tickets went on sale this week. $150 for cheap seats, on top of $250 just to fly to New York. Suddenly the event I would have killed to attend last year is looking a lot more...optional. I simply can't justify it, despite Tery's attempts to talk me into it. Her brother lives in New York and probably would go with me. But a.) for that amount of money I want to go with someone who would be every bit as excited as me, b.) with my luck Daniel Radcliffe would be sick or something the night I went and, c.) the cheap seats look really far from the stage on the map. There are just too many things that could go wrong, and for that amount of money I'm not willing to risk it.

It's a source of irritation to me, not only that I have to miss such an exciting show, but that in general most Broadway plays aren't available on DVD. Some argue that ticket sales would drop if people knew they could just buy the DVD later. I disagree. I think a live performance is an entirely different experience and the people who can feasibly indulge will continue to. But in the absence of a commercially produced DVD, I will seek out a bootleg and give my money to someone not connected with the production. Is that right? I don't think it is, but what other choice do I have? As I read on someone's blog, for most of us Broadway isn't just a few stops away on the subway, and I highly doubt Dan Radcliffe will be touring in Denver.

~*~

Finally, I weep for our educational system. I'd like to make it clear that I'm not exactly a geography wiz. But it still pained me when someone on the transcription board the other day asked "Are Japanese and Asian the same thing?" (the doc had used both terms to describe the same patient) Are you kidding me? I answered, a tad snarkily, "Ummmmm, Japan's a country and Asia is the continent that includes Japan, so yes." No response. A few others tried rephrasing it, but it wasn't until someone wrote "All Japanese are Asian, but not all Asian are Japanese" that this Einstein replied, "Thank you! That was confusing me below." Did the word "continent" throw you off? It frightens me that this person is responsible for medical documents.
grrgoyl: (UCB I'm not even here)
So before I bid you all adieu for the weekend, I thought I'd offer this little update on my raise situation, along with a bonus quiz!

I asked Shannon (casually, so as not to create animosity this early in our burgeoning relationship) where we stood with my raise. She asked me when it was approved, because all raises had been "placed on hold" since June. I got the word from Felicia that I had passed my review on June 30, so I guess that hold applies to me. Unless you consider that I had to pester her for a couple of weeks before getting that far, and indeed might have asked sooner if I had noticed before then that it was getting to be that time again. I had been turned down the previous year on the basis of failing my review (just barely), making it now 2 years since my last raise.

I think I have reason to be angry. Is it fair that I had missed this narrow window (that I didn't even know existed) because my supervisor had her head up her ass and didn't care about doing her job properly? I don't feel that it is. And intended to say as much after giving Shannon a fair chance to do right by me.

But here's the thing: I started doing the speech recognition reports today, and they're nothing like what I expected. I assumed I'd be listening to a doctor and repeating his words into recognition software on my computer, but of course that's silly. Instead some of the doctors have been (unknowingly) switched to ASR and I get the reports to proofread and edit, giving me a dual job title of Medical Editor. I LOVE this work. It's what I was born to do. As an English major, spelling errors are already highlighted in flashing red in my brain anyway, and I've often wished for a giant pencil that would let me edit the world. Consequently I breeze through these reports quickly and effortlessly, which enabled me today to finish right around my usual line count, and I could conceivably get much higher as I get more proficient with the editing techniques (they've sort of anticipated that though; after a 60-day break-in period, ASR reports will pay 30% less than typed ones, taking into account at least a 30% increase in productivity). Today I had so many ASR reports that the few times I DID have to stop and type were a stone drag.

So here we go, poll time:

[Poll #1062956]

Just a quick word about the ASR training while I'm here -- I'm pretty isolated working from home, so it's always kind of a surprise to me when I realize what idiots some of my co-workers are. The training was a combination conference call and online virtual classroom. It was me and 6 other girls. One of the girls admitted right off the bat that she wasn't terribly computer-literate (how/why did she get a job telecommuting then??), and by about halfway through was floundering so hopelessly she sounded on the verge of tears. The bulk of the course was teaching us keyboard commands to move around text quickly, highlight, copy and paste it, plus the crucial application of tags to hide misrecognized or stammered phrases. The instructor whipped through these pretty rapidly, and I had asked early on if we could continue using our mouse until we picked the many commands up. The answer was yes. Then at the end of the course, one of the girls said, "I feel a little overwhelmed by all these commands. Is it okay if I use my mouse at first?" Umm, is it okay if you paid attention to other people's questions to avoid asking the same ones? I rolled my eyes but the instructor had infinite patience and acted like it was a brand new question.

Then after covering the basics she was trying to move us along to more advanced material. In her haste, she used some keyboard commands too sloppily and left a period in the middle of a phrase where it obviously didn't belong. I kept silent, but I knew, I just KNEW someone was going to mention it. Sure enough, after we had gotten two paragraphs down, someone interrupted, "I'm sorry. Is there a reason you left that period in that sentence up there?" The reason is of course that we weren't there to learn basic punctuation, but again the instructor was ever patient and professional. "Ahaha, you're a natural editor!" she gushed. It seems to me the more valuable editing skill is knowing what's important and germane to the task at hand.

Not to mention throughout the entire 2-1/2 hour course, every time the instructor would stop and ask if we were clear or had any questions, no one else made a peep, so I ended up speaking for the entire class (because if I were the instructor, that would drive me crazy).

Yes, I'm being very harsh. But I just assume everyone doing this job is at least as smart as me.

Adieu!
grrgoyl: (UCB titles)
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


This here is Jerky. Yes, that's actually his name, not my nickname, and it turns out to be pretty apt. Jerky had a big old "Will Bite" sticker on his cage, which as I've said before I usually only half respect. It's not difficult to mistrust my co-workers' judgment when they're sticking that red flag on kittens.

I cleaned Jerky's box and refilled his bowls as he regarded me with supreme boredom. I scritched his head tentatively, which elicited neither pleasure nor aggression. Then as I shut his door, giving it an extra push to make sure it latched, he lazily stuck a paw through and IMPALED my thumb with one enormous talon. Hooked it into my flesh, and pinned it there firmly for 10 seconds or so, like a true sociopath his heart rate never going above 140. I finally wrenched free and sucked the blood off, giving him a comically (from his standpoint) wounded look and said, "OW! That HURT, you...you...JERK." He just looked at me, still with that silent apathy, as if to say, "Well, you WERE warned about me."

But I still prefer cats to dogs.

~*~

I thought I was through bitching about my job, I really did, but then Saturday night I received another offer of an "incentive bonus" for Sunday. They do this whenever accounts start falling seriously behind, since we promise our doctors a 24-hour turnaround time. The letter starts off all "team effort" and "dedication to our clients" and "ra, ra, ra," but then eventually we cut to the chase. Their idea of an "incentive bonus" amounts to literally an extra $2.50 for an 8-hour shift. That's before taxes and that's total. The sad thing is this is also their idea of a holiday bonus. Sure, you're missing out on quality time with your loved ones, but here's an extra two bucks to sweeten the deal! Even more than a year after enjoying a solid two days off a week every week, my days off are still more priceless than gold to me. And if I WERE to put a price on them, it would be a damn sight more than $2.50.

Once upon a time I replied to these emails with outrage, explaining what a slap in the face they were (at that time they had the nerve to call it an "appreciation bonus"). These missives were treated much the same as all my mail, in other words summarily ignored. Well, ignorance can work both ways, my friend, and that's exactly how I treated this one. I'm all for being a team player, but every once in awhile it would be kind of nice if the team would do something in return for me (still waiting for word on my raise). Maybe that's not the strict definition of "team player", but it's still how I feel.
grrgoyl: (UCB Dance for me boy)
Now, for another in my exciting Frustration Series. I hate turning my journal into a bitchfest, because negativity never got anyone anywhere, but I think this should be the last of it.

England: Only after returning and receiving my paycheck did I realize that I only got paid for half the days I took off. Yeeeeeouuuuuuuch. Damn that hurt. Though granted I'd rather not have known while on my trip, it would have made it much more difficult to enjoy myself. But still. I've been with this company for 5, probably damn near 6 years, "full time" (if you consider 40 hours a week full time -- they have a clever job classification that defines "full time" only as producing an impossibly high line count -- well, impossibly high if you work two jobs like I do), and the best I get is 5 fucking paid days off a year? Actually I shouldn't complain, before last year PTO was but an unattainable fantasy. "So go work for someone else" you're probably saying. Well, contrary to what the ads say, medical transcriptionists aren't in high demand, we're a dime a dozen.

I tried to argue my PTO. I could've sworn I read in an interoffice memo somewhere that we would be allowed to borrow PTO before earning it, which made great sense to me -- did they want everyone saving their time until December, then taking vacation en masse, leaving a month's worth of reports falling behind? Evidently, because the schedule supervisor had no idea what I was talking about. I'm reasonably sure I didn't pull it out of my ass. It's not like I dream about the fine print in PTO policies. Stupid. Stupid and nonsensical. However, careful review of the policy revealed that time could be carried over to the next year, while I distinctly remember being told last year to "use it or lose it" (of course, I also distinctly remembered the borrowing clause). We'll see. I consider this matter FAR from over.

Neighbors: I work from home, which is bliss. But unfortunately, some people take the opportunity thinking no one else is home to engage in very noisy activities. One of my neighbors ran a circular saw every day for about a week. Then yesterday I heard what sounded like a different saw, which I suspect was being used by Tracey's boyfriend (I traced the first one to the ground floor unit across the way). It could be worse I guess: A circular saw is a hell of a lot more annoying at, say, 9:00 at night than 1:00 in the afternoon. They could run them simultaneously, which would probably make me a leettle homicidal. But it's almost uncanny how I'll put up with it, and put up with it, and put up with it, and finally close my window. Then they'll stop. After a few hours I'll figure it's safe, open the window, and almost IMMEDIATELY they'll start in again. Oh, COME ON.

There's a new noise that I find almost as intolerable as the angry whine of the saw(s). Someone (impossible to determine who) has a squeak toy which they are unhealthily fond of. Whether it's a dog, or a baby, or an emotionally disturbed adult, I have no idea. But they will squeak this thing for a ridiculously long time. Picture it.

SqueakySqueakySqueaky....SqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueaky....Squeaky....Squeaky.... SqueakySqueakySqueakySqueaky.... SqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueaky... SqueakySqueakySqueaky. SQUEAKY! SQUEAKY! SqueakySqueakySqueakySqueaky...SqueakySqueakySqueaky...SqueakySqueaky...SQUEAKY!! SqueakySqueakySqueakySqueakySqueaky...SqueakySqueaky....Squeaky....Squeaky...SqueakySqueakySqueakySqueaky...SQUEAKYSQUEAKYSQUEAKYSQUEAKY!!! SqueakySqueaky...

After about 15 minutes, I snapped. "ENOUGH WITH THE GODDAMN SQUEAK TOY!!!!!" I screamed out the window (to be heard over it, you understand). Instant, complete silence, which was enormously satisfying to finally be obeyed.

Ogre. Destroyer of Fun. Sucker of Joy. These names and many others were used by Tery in reference to me. All true. But godDAMN. A circular saw is one thing. You're fixing up your place, building something, you need to use a saw. Fine. Squeak toy? Totally optional. Do you not have ANY other toys? Or, I don't know, CLOSE YOUR DAMN DOOR AND MAKE ALL THE NOISE YOU WANT INSIDE YOUR OWN HOME???

Tery also theorized that it was a squeaky circular saw.

~*~

After having it in our possession for an extremely long period of time (borrowed from Tery's friend), we finally broke down and watched ::The Departed:: )

It was enjoyable enough, if you like your movies bloody (Tery's favorite scene was Nicholson coming out of a bar backroom up to the elbows in gore, delivering his lines, then issuing the order as he disappears again, "Jimmy, bring a mop.....and a pail!"), twisty and turny. I can't count how many times I had to pause it to make sure I wasn't left hopelessly behind. Tery will not be buying it, proclaiming Goodfellas' title to be safe. Still, if you're sober and feeling up to the challenge, it's worth your while. 4 out of 5

In other movie news, after watching 20 minutes of Ultraviolet before leaving for work, I can't decide which is more incredibly bad, the dialogue or Milla Jovovich's delivery of the dialogue. I mean really, REALLY bad. I enjoyed her performance more when she didn't speak any English in Fifth Element.

Finally, I forgot how very, very funny the Upright Citizens Brigade is (Halloween costume potential: High). Dance for me boy, like your mama used to.
grrgoyl: (Dylan parka)
I'm dealing with new frustration in my life, that actually isn't all that new. This is about my MT work and I promise that it will be of interest to no one, but I do like to document such things for potential court hearings.

Some might remember the problems I had awhile back with my MT Supervisor Yerica (here's a helpful reminder). Yerica just couldn't be bothered with answering my constant, nagging questions about my raise status, account formatting, new company policies, etc. even though it was, you know, HER JOB. I remember the relief I felt when I heard I'd be reporting to someone new, Felicia. I remember how well Felicia and I got on at first. Not you-must-come-to-Thanksgiving-dinner well, but she didn't answer my emails with palpable resentment.

Then somewhere my relationship with Felicia soured. She started going weeks without responding to my emails, and often not at all. Most people probably have figured out by now that few things get my Irish up faster than being ignored, especially when I'm only trying to improve my work performance for the benefit of all involved. I also do my best not to bother people I perceive to be busy with trivial issues, so if I'm sending you a question, it's something that I feel probably needs attention soon (again, in the context of work. None of this applies to casual emails).

So Felicia's sudden ignoring of my emails recently didn't REALLY bother me until I received her order to sign up for ASR training (before she disappeared back into exile). ASR stands for Automated Speech Recognition, three words that strike terror into the heart of medical transcriptionists. MTs are probably more afraid of losing their jobs to this software than they are to off-shore companies. I've never given it much thought, but faced with requiring to learn it I took an optimistic view in that apparently my employer wants to switch over to it, but wants to incorporate it into my job, so I won't be laid off due to it. I also thought it might boost my productivity through the roof (some days my fingers just refuse to work properly on the keyboard) so this might even be an improvement in my work conditions. I've done some Googling though, particularly one website that seems to be full of thousands of disgruntled MedQuist employees, who complain that the company wants to pay half as much for ASR reports even though fixing the software's typos takes just as long as typing the report. Not good, but either way it's not up to me and if I'm required to be trained on this, I'd better get trained.

Easier said than done. I emailed Felicia numerous times over the course of several weeks, finally finishing with a "Why do you hate me?" message. Echoes of Yerica abounded. I broke down and turned to voicemail, truly a last resort because I HATE talking to people. That, too, was ignored, but just as I was about to go over her head (something else I hate doing), I received an email from Shannon announcing that she would be my new Supervisor. Was Felicia laid off due to communication incompetence, or was her incompetence due to being laid off? Either way, was it fair that she was dragging all her little MT charges down with her? And what became of my latest promised raise almost 2 months ago, another casualty of Felicia's crash-and-burn?

I emailed Shannon immediately, explaining my attempts to sign up for training (the "deadline" was at this point 2 weeks behind us). She promised to do so and that I should receive a confirmation from the ASR Coordinator (I snidely hinted at Felicia's poor performance but she refused to take the bait). That was now a week ago and still no confirmation, so again I'm getting nervous.

I tried going directly to the Coordinator, no more middle man, first leaving a voicemail with Shannon's boss (Shannon is out of the office for a week) trying to locate her and then finally getting connected to the Coordinator's voicemail, which is where I sit today. It's like I'm working for a ghost company that has all these names and voicemails set up that all look very impressive, but in reality there's one person running around doing everything, trying to maintain the appearance of a large business.

I'm frustrated. Frustrated and more than a little fed up with this shit, maybe fed up enough to think about leaving. Which is saying a lot, I'm not one to jump from job to job willy-nilly. It takes A LOT of dissatisfaction to make me move. We'll see.
grrgoyl: (firefly spend an hour with him)
I've been noticing the Alcoholic lately staying home all day, her computer screen clearly visible through our kitchen window. I got cornered into a conversation when we both stepped out onto our balconies for some fresh air, and it turns out she got laid off and has been "networking" for a new job. "I'm so poor!" she lamented to me. I'll bet she is. I myself haven't been without a job for longer than two weeks since approximately 1985, with the exception of my freshman year in college. After a month of unsuccessful "networking" my next step would be the good old-fashioned pounding the pavement, but I'm guessing they don't look kindly on drinking beer in the unemployment line. If I seem unsympathetic, it's because there are always jobs out there if you aren't too fussy. Like Judge Judy says, go work at McDonald's. It isn't like you'll be stuck there for life. But if you're going to be picky and proud, don't bitch to me about how poor you are.

Not that my jobs are the greatest. I received an email last week warning that a glitch in the system had caused some employees to be paid twice for some reports, and they would notify us how they planned to deal with this. My last check was $100 higher than usual, but I had also worked exceptionally hard and got a lot of lines in. Today the notice came in the mail: I had been overpaid in the amount of $4 and now had to send the company a check to repay it. No, that's not a typo -- 4 (four) dollars. Are you KIDDING me? I could send a check or send the form authorizing it to be deducted from my next check. Either way I would be using the prepaid envelope included, which means the company would only be recouping $3.59 from me. Should I be nervous that my employer needs to go to these lengths to collect $3.59? Meanwhile I've been waiting weeks for word on whether or not I'll get a raise this year. My hopes aren't too high after this development.

I think I deserve one if for no other reason than I went out on my own and bought a used cheapie-cheap Gateway computer on eBay just as a backup so I won't get caught again like I was last week. If that's not dedication to my employer, I don't know what is.

I could really use a raise. Air fares just aren't getting any cheaper. I've noticed that even if the fare is lowered dramatically, the fees and taxes they tack on are raised to bring it right back up around $1000. MyFriendDeb tells me it's the airlines who determine the taxes (not the government as I had assumed) and that they try to lure you in with the reduced rate before hitting you with all the fees. Clever trick, airlines, but it will only work on people with no grasp of basic arithmetic. You can lure me into going to your website with your cheap fare, but the fees show up before I give my credit card number.

Today I was going to buckle down and search for a low rate departing from any major city, then find a discount ticket to get me to that city from another airline if necessary. But the airlines are too quick for that ploy. New York to London is only $772, but Denver to New York is $300+. Damn you, airlines. Damn you to hell.

My friend Jeffy thinks I'm doomed any way I go about it, since I'm traveling during the peak season. Shooting for a different time of year is fruitless because he only gets vacation as a teacher during the peak seasons. I don't think he'll be on-board for my Plan C, him switching careers so he can get vacation during the off-season. So it's either grow accustomed to the idea of spending $1000 just to get over there, or disown him as a friend. Some observations: It's funny how the closer you get to $1000, the more insignificant $100 and $200 give or take starts to seem. You'd also be surprised how many websites that sell plane tickets don't have the correct tools to simplify searching for dates. What I mean is, when I select Aug 12 for my departure date, the arrival calendar doesn't update to show me only post-Aug 12 dates, so I could select June 13 as my arrival date. Get it together, American Airlines.

Another funny, completely unrelated observation: On the side of the Arm & Hammer kitty litter I just bought is the statement "Safe for use around pets." Good to know.

Hot Fuzz has FINALLY arrived (only [livejournal.com profile] swankyfunk will know why "finally" exists in that sentence and with such emphasis. Please don't pester her no matter how many nights of sleep you lose from unbearable curiosity). I was able to impress Ryan and his new roommate Megan (watch this space for a possible post concerning her) with my trans-Atlantic connections delivering movies a month and a half before they're released in America. Sadly, everything else conspired against their enjoyment of the movie. Ryan was very tired and barely able to stay awake, the sound was kept low to avoid bothering the neighbors so much of the dialogue and jokes were missed, and halfway through the disc started hiccuping and skipping consistently enough to be seriously annoying (faulty player, not disc). *sigh* But I still love it and am looking forward to the many, many bonus features the disc offers.
grrgoyl: (silver and cold)
Subject the First: Got to see X3. ::Cutting so I can spoiler to my heart's content:: )

In summary, "Last Stand"? Perhaps. Unless you stick around for the very important, very Holy! Shit! scene that comes after the credits. I'll admit I'd be a lot happier with a fourth chapter if only Storm had died in this one, cuz baby, I've had all the Storm I'm a'gonna take.

Not as good as 1 and 2, but I'll still be buying it (I may, however, find it easier to resist X-Men 3.5). 4 out of 5

Subject the Second, which is actually related to the First: I saw the movie with Rebecca, a co-worker I'm trying to trick into becoming my friend. We have a lot in common, taste in movies and books, loner tendencies, childhoods spent as outcasts and general disdain for most human beings. We certainly have a lot more in common than I do with MyFriendDeb, or even Tery, sad to say. I just want someone to hang out with sometimes, and I have to face the fact that Tery will never, ever enjoy watching the same movies I do. I informed Rebecca when I invited her that I was auditioning her to be my new best friend. She seemed pleased with the idea, although she is somewhat inscrutable. She had already seen X3 once and was willing to go again with me, so I guess that's saying something.

There were three people sitting in the back row of the theater when we arrived. We sat close to the center, and minutes later 6 more showed up and clustered around us in a tight little nucleus. WTF???? I asked her if we could move, as I saw no need to put up with being surrounded by people in an empty theater. She understood and agreed. This is why I think we'd get along so famously.

I enjoyed seeing it with her, especially the lengthy discussion we had in the car on the way home. This is exactly what I want sometimes -- just someone to talk to. We debated what would be the coolest mutant power to have. I personally ranked being able to remove Wolvie's belt with my mind as pretty damn high on the list. As I navigated rush hour traffic, I said my mutant power was being able to tell when someone wanted my lane (this is actually true. I predict it correctly so often I swear it's a sixth sense. And no, it's not just automatically assuming that EVERYONE does, you skeptics out there). I think she also enjoyed our talk because the first time she saw it with her brother (the co-worker mentioned in my review), who has read all the comics and tore the movie to shreds based on his excessive knowledge of the history. Fanboys, some advice: The rest of us mortals are not impressed that you know all this stuff. Like Becca said, she wanted to ask him why Xavier is in a wheelchair, but she was afraid she'd be subjected to an hour-long discourse about it. Sure enough, I worked with him last night and mentioned very casually that I liked the movie, and the conversation rapidly took a turn toward the waters of way-more-information-than-I-ever-needed.

Tery, ever the comedian, asked if I tried to hold Rebecca's hand during the movie (I didn't. I did let her eat the popcorn I brought home to Tery though).

Subject the Third: I think YouTube.com will be my undoing. I spend way too much time there. Tery often tells anyone who'll listen how much she admires my self-discipline, getting up and going to work at the computer every day. However, some days I'm definitely less admirable than others. A lot of factors go into my concentration level, like if I've worked the previous night or if I have to work that night, if I'm getting lots of difficult doctors who seem to be dictating in Arabic with their hand over the mouthpiece, or like lately if it's so fucking hot my monitor looks like a desert mirage. Or if there's a really good Judge Judy on. I just can't resist Judy when she gets so angry she's spitting. I've noticed that my workdays can be classified into three distraction levels, unimaginatively labeled:

Green: All systems go. The caffeine has entered my bloodstream, I've got a string of good reports and I'm so in the zone I forget there's such a thing as LJ or e-mail for up to an hour at a time. I hate to tear myself away even to feed the cats. Obviously my ideal work state (the cats might see it differently).

Amber: I'm getting work done, but I'm checking LJ and email every 15 minutes or so, perhaps reading a Snarry if it's short, or surfing for porn or new Snarry (or both. Bonus!) Usually I can make a comeback in the last couple hours of my day and no one's the wiser.

Red: Might as well not even bother punching in. I'm refreshing my LJ and email compulsively, reading chapter-length Snarry, making icons, downloading music, shopping eBay, updating my journal, calling my sister to catch up with the week since we last spoke; you get the picture. Fortunately days like these happen only when I'm very, very, very tired.

I believe it was a Red day when I started heavily using the YouTube. At first it was just to find fan-made Snarry videos, then fan-made Snape videos. I hadn't yet grasped the enormous possibilities of the site. There is so much stuff to watch there, practically anything you can think of. Funny European commercials, live concert footage, MTV music videos, even whole episodes of TV shows (I watched the pilot ep of Simon Pegg's "Spaced." Too cool).

It was YouTube who got me into my new quasi-favorite band, AFI (not TOTALLY obsessed. Yet). I had been reading [livejournal.com profile] jade1x2's Javey fics for months with only a passing interest, until I actually watched the band perform. Davey is sooo beautiful, and I could easily picture him with Jade. It was kind of weird though, like seeing old classmates suddenly becoming celebrities, I felt I knew them so well from the fics. I watched every video I could find (most of them many, many times), and even bought a CD thanks to all the exposure.

I discovered that YouTube is a double-edged sword, however, and some bands are better off as only a voice. At the risk of sounding shallow: VNV Nation's Ronan is a fat bald man. Was happier before knowing that. Wolfsheim's singer, an oily German, wasn't as much of a surprise. But OMG The Faint's lead singer? As much as I despise this tired phrase, 1985 called and it wants its hair back. GAH. Guess it's true what they say: If you're ugly, the only way you'll get chicks is to be a good singer.

I'm really not going anywhere with all this. Deal with it.
grrgoyl: (kill bill)
I got an email from my neighbor the Alcoholic today asking what Tery and I were putting on our windows the other night. It was the coldest night of the year, 9 degrees with a -14 wind chill, and we finally broke down and installed plastic sheeting (not without a great deal of tension. The task is impossible for me to complete without large amounts of obscenity-inspiring frustration, so Tery was torn between insisting I help her and making me sit and do nothing while SHE did it all). The point is, how does this woman get to be in her 50's (60's?) without ever hearing of plastic sheeting? Before you think me too harsh, keep in mind this is the same person who couldn't understand how the Crankwhore was working in her unit after her electricity was shut off. When I told her she was using a lantern, she freaked, thinking she was going to burn the building down. It has somehow escaped her notice that a technological whiz has actually come up with a battery-operated lantern that runs with nary a drop of kerosene (we have one in our closet for blackouts).

This is the sad consequence of alcoholism that you never hear about. I think if she ever set foot in a store that didn't sell only liquor, she would drop dead of pure astonishment at the dazzling and wondrous array of new products out there. She might even feel like she's landed on some strange, futuristic planet.

I'm also going to bitch a bit about work. Working from home definitely has its disadvantages, among them having to maintain communication remotely with my employer. To facilitate this, my transcription company has assigned us to a "Transcription Coordinator," (henceforth known as TC) someone supposedly in place to answer questions or relay important information about our day-to-day work. Somehow I got off on the wrong foot with my TC, Yerica, and rapidly went downhill from there around the time when she mentioned I was eligible for a raise and then ignored every subsequent email from me on the topic for 2 straight months. My irritation with her escalated to full-blown disgust and fed-up...ness when I had an equally important question, important enough to make me go beyond emails to leaving voicemails for her, all of which similarly vanished into a void of silence. I hate being a nag, and I hate bothering people, but I was under the impression it was sort of her JOB to communicate with me. If she were getting paid extra for this responsibility, I really didn't feel she was doing anything to earn that money.

It finally came to a head when I sent an email pointing out that this was my fifth attempt to get an answer on the subject, and if she didn't know the answer could she please direct me to someone who did? In every one of my dealings with her I did my best to maintain civility, opting for brusqueness rather than outright anger, which anyone who has known me for longer than a month can tell you is worthy of a medal right there. I received back an email from another TC, Felicia, explaining that she would be dealing with me from now on. Attached to her letter was my forwarded letter along with Yerica's mail to HER, reading, "Can you answer her please?" I feel slightly vindicated in that even Tery read this with the implied exasperated emphasis of "Can YOU answer her please??!!!?!" This person whose entire job description is to communicate with the employees couldn't even be bothered to email me directly to say Felicia would be taking over.

I don't know if Yerica told Felicia what an enormous bitch on wheels I am, but so far things have been going quite well. Felicia answered my question within a day of first writing to me, and what's more adds things like smiley faces and exclamation points to her mail to make it more personable (which I respond with in kind). It's only because I have no idea how well she and Yerica get along together that I haven't offered my side of the story and talked all kinds of smack about her coworker. Or mentioned the fact that Yerica is sorely mistaken if she imagines for one minute that I'm not just as relieved to be rid of HER. Stupid, lazy, incompetent woman.

Finally, some movies. As much as it hurt me to forego a night curled up in front of the computer with my latest Snarry read, I've had Sin City from Netflix for a week now and knew I should get it out of the way. My excitement in seeing this dropped off sharply when I realized Tarentino had a hand in it. I really, really can't stand that man's movies. And his influence was certainly evident. I just don't know why he's so obsessed with dismembering people. Granted I've never read the original graphic novel so this could be all Frank Miller for all I know. Maybe Hollywood is contractually obligated to include Quentin in any project that calls for ultraviolence. Fortunately a bonus effect of the cool film noir black-and-white style was it cut down considerably on the gore. It did look just like a comic come to life, although the black and white gave me a headache after not too long. I also hate Mickey Rourke forever for being sexier to my ex-boyfriend than I was. Beneath all the flashy film effects and gratuitous bloodshed there was actually a fairly good story, coming full circle Pulp Fiction-style in the end. But still ultimately just a fanboy's wet dream. 3 out of 5.

Speaking of fanboy fantasies, I went directly from this to Matrix Revolutions, the only chapter I haven't seen yet. I saw Reloaded in the theater, and apart from the supercool traffic chase, I HATED this movie. HATED. With the white hot heat of a thousand suns I hated this movie. I also barely remember a word of it due to HATING it so passionately. I remember the chase scene, a pair of dreadlocked blonde twins, a pointlessly protracted scene with a French guy, and little else. Most of all I remember nonsensical, pretentious, cryptic dialogue, which was a very, very large part of why I hated it so much. They unfortunately brought it back again for this movie (as well as the ridiculous Frenchman), so we weren't off to a good start. It got a little better, i.e. more action-packed, later, though the battle with thousands of sentinels was immensely hard to follow, there was just too much happening on the screen. The infantry Transformer battle suits were cool, but highly impractical and a shameless rip-off of Aliens; so much so that I'm frankly surprised they got away with it. By the time the climactic fight with Agent Smith rolled around I could barely keep my eyes open (Tery was snoring energetically beside me, having lost interest fairly quickly after the bazooka-wielding lesbian got killed). I've never been more relieved to see a movie end (with the exception of Hidalgo, which I was only watching to make Tery's coworker happy). -5 out of 5 (a new low! Negative score points!) (though perhaps I'm being unusually vindictive because it took me away from Snarry)
grrgoyl: (Greg Egg)
Via [livejournal.com profile] anne_jumps, taking a brief break from her persistently depressing links about the advances conservative rightwingers are making in their quest to take over America.

Revolutionary Peep™ Surgery

As a medical transcriptionist, I especially appreciate the attention to medically-accurate jargon used to describe the groundbreaking procedure (warning: some photos may be too graphic for the Peep™-squeamish).

I also spent most of Sunday morning (i.e. 11 pm to roughly 6 am) going through my entire journal and adding subject headings to my entries, after discovering exactly how tricky it is to find a specific entry when they are all titled "no subject." Trust me, this is not something you want to wait until almost 2 years in to do (I am avoiding any references to "What a Long Strange Trip" yadda yadda yadda).
grrgoyl: (kitty fantastico)
So this is what I'm reading this week. An independent blogger who can be equally entertaining whether she is writing about adventures involving her two cats and a Roomba (easy) or about the FCC Saving Private Ryan ban (not so easy). Best of all she has archives of this stuff going back to 1997. I think I'm in love.

It's important to have distractions like this for when you are trying to type reports from Indian doctors who substitute "ca-RAC-ter" for "character," "shorne of breathing" for "shortness of breath" and "unnerstan able" for "understandable" (I think). I feel like I'm walking a preschooler through their first reading lesson.
grrgoyl: (Abyssinian)
The bad today: On my way to the post office I passed a tragic scene, the remains of a prairie dog struck down by a car. Even more tragic was that one of his buddies was standing next to him, sniffing the body. Strangely, though, on my return trip 10 minutes later the buddy and the body were gone. Had the buddy dragged off the body?

The good today: I was typing a letter for a neurosurgeon when his cell phone went off. It struck me as hilarious that his ring tones were the song "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz. Oh those wacky doctors!

Also cat lovers everywhere must go here at once and download the flash video. Be prepared to sing the silly little song accompanying it for the rest of the week.

One Quick Rant: If I go to the post office one more time and have to wait behind some stupid lazy fuck who expects the desk clerk to seal and address their package despite signs posted everywhere begging people to do it themselves, I swear I will "go postal."

-=Lainey=-

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