Category Archives: annoying

Life as a wanted woman

This is the story of how I became Public Enemy #1.

Ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration: I think probably I’m lower on the list. Maybe Public Enemy #14, or something.

And a warning: just so you know, I am apparently a very suspicious character, and there’s a good chance, just in reading this, you might be exposing yourself to radical thoughts and ideas. I wouldn’t want to get anyone involved in whatever I’ve gotten myself into, so you have been warned! Turn back now!

Ok, what? You’re still here? You’re very brave. Total bravery points for you. Ding ding!

Here we go! The story of a social miscreant. One bad apple, if you will. And that bad apple is ME. (Can I be a Granny Smith? I really like those.)

On Wednesday afternoon, I noticed my wifi wasn’t working. Well, it was KIND of working, but not well. So I thought maybe it was just one of those things and I thought I’d check it that night when I got home. (It was working fine in the office, so I knew it was just my house.)

Now, I work nights and weekends, so I get home between 12:30am-1:15am most weeknights. I’ve gotten used to it. No worries. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. (I’ve always been a night owl. I’m ok with it. I love that I get to sleep in.)

When I got home, it still wasn’t working, and my cable company (good old Time Warner, voted least likely to satisfy anyone in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction index) has 24-hour customer service (that should probably be in sarcasm-quotes – “customer service.”) I wasn’t SO tired, so I thought I’d call them. I do so rely on my wifi.

First, I talked to…oh, I don’t remember anyone’s names. Let’s say Ben. I explained what was up to Ben. Ben kept me on the phone for about 45 minutes, trying this and that. One of the things he tried, fo no reason I could ascertain, was to reset my cable box. My cable has nothing to do with my wifi, other than the same company charges me an exorbitant charge to have them. When my cable box came back online, it was 4 hours off. So it said it was 5-something am. I don’t know why, either.

Ben was at a loss, and said “I guess the problem is that you’re going to have to have a code input into your modem, and I can’t do that, so I’m going to transfer you to someone the next level up.” At this point, I was exhausted and annoyed, but not SO mad.

Then I got transferred to…again, who knows what his name was. Claude. We’ll call him Claude. Claude looked over my file and said, “What did you and Maria discuss when she called you on December 20?”

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I didn’t speak to anyone named Maria from your company on December 20. I haven’t spoken to anyone in your company since August, when you screwed up my move so prodigiously that I have discounted services and free HBO from your company for the next two years.”

(Side note: this is a true story. I have deeply discounted Time Warner services and free HBO for two years because the company so deeply botched my move from Albany to Watertown that it took two full weeks to get things up and running here again. I don’t like being screwed with, and I made my displeasure very vocally known. They replied with discounts. I kind of wanted them to flog themselves in Public Square while crying “I HAVE FORGOTTEN THE FACE OF MY FATHER,” but you take what you can get, I suppose.)

“No,” replied Claude, “it says here you spoke to Maria on December 20 and she marked your account for suspicious activity.”

“OK, there are a lot of things here to reply to,” I said. “First, as I said, I haven’t spoken to anyone at your company since August, maybe early September. Second, ‘suspicious activity’? What does that mean?”

“Well…um…you know…suspicious…like…activity that is…suspicious…and indicates the user and their account need to be flagged…” he said, very carefully.

“Sir, are you telling me this Maria person thinks I’m a terrorist?” I asked Claude.

“We don’t like to use the word ‘terrorist,'” he replied.

“But are you SAYING Maria thinks I’m a terrorist?” I said.

“We really don’t like to refer to people in this situation as ‘terrorists,'” he said, very nervously.

“Um. OK. So you think I’m a terrorist, then, but you’re just using ‘suspicious activity’ instead. OK. Well. That’s fantastic. Claude, how exactly do I get off this watch list that Maria seems to have put me on?”

“I can’t take you off this list. Maria should have discussed your options with you when she talked to you.”

“And, as earlier mentioned, this conversation with Maria never occurred.”

“It’s all really strange,” said Claude. “Usually, there are detailed notes saying what exactly occured with the suspect. But all I have here is that Maria flagged your account, talked to you, and her phone number and extension are here. She wrote ‘December 20′ and a shut-off date of today.”

“Well, this suspect would like to know her options, Claude. Could you let me know if I get a phone call, or will I be read my Miranda rights, or…”

Claude wasn’t amused.

Eventually, Claude told me he would MOST DILIGENTLY continue working on the problem while I slept (and if I believed that, he probably had a bridge in Brooklyn he wanted to sell me, and I have always wanted to own real estate) and gave me a number BOTH for his supervisor the next day, and for the mysterious Maria. He also assured me that this wasn’t done in error; I was most definitely on some sort of watch list and a suspect in something. But he didn’t like to use the term “terrorist.” No, no, no. Well, who does? It’s such a loaded term.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

I cannot confirm or deny that this is me.

So I slept, and the next day I awoke to many messages from my friends (yes, of course I told Facebook I was a potential terrorist, wouldn’t you?) either saying “what?” or “ha ha!” or, my favorite, “I KNEW IT!”

First, I called Maria. Surprise! Maria’s phone went directly to voicemail.

Then I called the supervisor, who was very rude once he reviewed my file. “There’s nothing I can do until you talk to Maria,” said the supervisor. “Maria will call you back.”

Now. I used to work a phone-based job; I know it’s the worst when people get mad at the operator when it’s not their fault. But Time Warner makes it really, really hard to be Miss Merry Sunshine. They hold the area in a total monopoly and just don’t care about their customers. Oh, you have no internet? Yeah, you have to keep paying for that, but we’ll fix it when we get around to it. Oh, your cable’s broken? Same deal.

“I’m sure she will, but it doesn’t seem a priority to her. I need the internet in my home; I use it for my job. My job at a newspaper. We’ve written quite a few articles recently about Time Warner and its low customer satisfaction rating and the alternatives people have in the area. I’ll want to talk to Maria to get to the bottom of this; I think they’ll find it very interesting over there that one of their employees was flagged for potential terrorist activities, don’t you?”

Rude McSnotterson got very quiet, and said, “I’ll have Maria call you back.”

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

You mention you work for a newspaper, apparently.

I waited half an hour, then I called the Land of Maria and got her voicemail again. This time I was tricky. I waited on the line and got transferred to the first available agent in Marialand. I explained my situation to him; he, again, told me I had to talk to Maria. He then checked and saw Maria was “out of the office…yeah, there’s no indication when she’ll return” (MARIA IS TOTALLY CIA, RIGHT?) and he was able to input this secret code to get my wifi back online. I guess he didn’t think I was a terrorist, I don’t know. Or maybe he doesn’t love MERKA! as much as Maria does.

Then he realized that both my modem and my cable box had blown up. Yes, that’s the technical term: “blown up.” So I’d have to take them to the Time Warner store and swap them out. “So,” I said, “first this mysterious Maria puts me on a watchlist, then both my cable box and my modem choose this exact day to blow up?”

He agreed, what are the odds? Hmm.

So. Off to the cable company. In blizzard white-out conditions. (Yeah, I had to run some other errands anyway…but I was pretty pissed I had to go all the way over there on the slipperiest roads ever to swap out boxes that just 24 hours ago were working fine. Even the sassy lady I like in the office over there was all, “BOTH stopped working? Girl, who’d YOU piss off?” I wanted to tell her Homeland Security, but I wisely kept my mouth shut.)

Then I almost died getting groceries and random other things (but DUDE did I get some clearance deals at the drugstore…sorry, sorry, tangent) and got home. Reinstalled everything. Crossed my fingers.

Nope. Nothing worked. Not the cable box, not the modem.

Called the help line again. This time, I got my man Dwayne. I don’t remember if this was his name, but he was from Maine and that rhymes. Dwayne had the most prodigious cold, and kept apologizing for his coughing. I apologized for being a terrorist, but I don’t think he was amused. He was polite enough, though; I didn’t even snap at him once.

Dwayne got my cable working. There was a dicey moment where the only channels I was getting were The Weather Channel, every sports channel known to man, and all the home shopping networks. I was all, “Dwayne, THIS WILL NOT STAND” and Dwayne agreed and set things to rights. Even with a cold, Dwayne was damn good at his job.

So, cable’s up and running. However, the modem? STILL FRIED. Come to find out, I have TWO MODEMS. The other one was what one of the millions of people told me was my router, so I didn’t bring it to swap it out. It was the second router that “blew up.” I looked outside. WORSE white out. Nope.

One of the people I’d talked to in the wee hours had a tech coming to my house Friday between 11-12, so I told Dwayne, “can you make sure the tech coming Friday brings a new modem?” and Dwayne said, “oh, I hate to add bad news to your bad news, but there’s no tech scheduled for Friday.”

WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER AT TIME WARNER.

Dwayne set up a tech for me for Friday afternoon who will be bringing me a modem in the NEXT snowstorm (we’re predicted to get 36″ by the end of the day on Saturday, and we already have 24″ or so on the ground from our last storm. Yeah, Watertown is…intense. The man on the news just said an “Alberta Clipper” is headed our way. AN ALBERTA CLIPPER! Well, what do you know about that? That’s like a ship FULL of snow, right? LOOK OUT!)

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

Look out! SHIP FULL OF SNOW!

In the meantime, Dwayne and I figured out that I could hook up an Ethernet cable to my modem and I could have internet again. AND I DO. Only it’s crazy-slow. But it’s only until tomorrow. I can handle that.

So. Here’s my mystery.

Why, exactly, am I a terrorist?

This mysterious Maria wrote I’d been flagged December 20. So what was I doing December 20? (I think it only matters what I was doing online, right? That’s what Maria seems to have taken objection to?)

It was a Saturday. So I was at work from 9:30am-8pm. (Yes, I have crazy weekend hours.)

I wrote two emails; one talking about a song I’d heard that I liked, one talking about a possible job for a friend to keep an eye on. (It probably bears mentioning that both of these emails were to people outside of the country. Dad’s quite sure that’s why I’m a terrorist. I have all these “Communist” friends, you see.) I wrote one Facebook message, to someone I used to work with, just checking in. I posted on Facebook about someone in my office listening to something that sounded very much like porn on his work computer (but it probably wasn’t…right? Urgh. DON’T DO THAT AT WORK.) Became Facebook friends with someone at work (but he’s like this all-American guy. He’s totally not terroristy.) Posted a bunch of things to our work Facebook account and work Twitter account, but if she’s going to call me a terrorist for reporting local news, I think probably something’s wrong here. Did one internet search – for my paper I work for, in the morning. (I have to post one post before I get in in the morning, which is why I did that.)

That was all I did ALL DAY online. Most of the day I was at work, so I wasn’t even using this account, and usually on the weekends when I get home, I’m wiped out and can barely do anything online (and hardly want to – so tired. And have been online all day, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is be MORE online.)

So, let’s guess, ladies and gentlemen. Dad thinks it’s my very shady ties to foreign countries that have made this woman flag me. Also, the blogging; he’s sure I’m on a government watch list for bloggery. (And it bears mentioning that my friend Chris tried to visit my blog on Wednesday and was told he could not, because it had “adult content.” Hee! “Doctor Who” was MUCH too adult for his computer!) What do YOU think has been my big transgression?

I suppose she could have flagged me for something I’d done BEFORE December 20, but what made December 20, a day I worked a 10.5 hour shift and came home and crashed because I had to be back at work the next morning at 9:30am, the day she decided I was Bonnie (or maybe Clyde?) And why did it take them almost three weeks to stop my subversive activities? I could have been doing ANYTHING in those three weeks. Causing a ruckus. Fomenting a revolution. Staging a sit-in.

I kind of feel like Arlo Guthrie in “Alice’s Restaurant.” I feel like maybe I’m going to be arrested for littering and this Maria person is Officer Obie.

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin'?

Obie, didja think I was going to hang myself for litterin’?

Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. I plan on calling our girl Maria a few more times in the next couple of weeks, see what’s going on. Would really like a glimpse into the world of Maria and how she internetually profiles those of us who are very terrory terror suspects.

UPDATE: I HAVE SPOKEN TO MARIA!

Sadly, the answer (which I have to wonder about) is a total letdown.

Maria actually picked up her phone right away, and when I said, “Hi, Maria, it’s me! Amy! Why’m I a terrorist, yo?” she looked into it and asked me to spell my name about 47 times and finally said, “Oh, I SEE” and I said, “you DO?” and she said my account number was one away from someone else with my exact name who lives on the east coast, and THAT Amy is a TOTAL TERRORIST! (No, ok, fine, she didn’t say that, she said that person was “the real problem.”) So my account was accidentally flagged. “But I don’t know why all of your boxes blew up,” she said. “I had nothing to do with that.”

“So that was a coincidence, this all happened at the same time?” I said.

“Ha ha!” said Maria. “Yes, just a total coincidence!”

I don’t know how much of that I believe.

Also, the tech was here. I have wifi again, and my cable’s fine, but he unhooked a bunch of other things like DVD players and such and now I can’t figure out how to hook them back up and I have a call in for him to come back, but nope. No one’s coming. So that’s nice, then. Thanks, Time Warner!

I guess now the moral of this story is, don’t have the same name as anyone else, and don’t be a very terroristy terrorist, and if you have an option to choose another cable company, I’d say choose anyone but Time Warner. Unless you like torture. I mean, who am I to judge, right?

Sayonara, my little jellybeans.


Breaking out is hard to do

I am in an abusive relationship, and I need it to stop.

We’ve been together for a long time. It showed up when I was about twelve, all excited about life and ready to start my teenagerdom, which I would, without a doubt, totally win. I was very much looking forward to this new adventure, which, I was sure, would bring a boyfriend, and the ability to fill out a tank top like no one’s business, and a new cutting-edge teenage attitude.

However, I woke up one morning with a huge red swelling to the right of my mouth. I’m not talking about some cute little blemish. No, sir! Not me! Everything about me has always been very go-big-or-go-home. So I’m talking about – well, have you seen those photoshopped photos, the “before” photos in the late-night acne product commercials? I mean, you can tell they’re photoshopped. The eyes always look like they’re on the wrong level, and the acne looks cartoonish. Well, I looked like one of the cartoonish acne before-photos on late-night television.

I have my doubts about Proactiv. I think if you need to market on television at 3 am, you probably aren't very good.

I have my doubts about Proactiv. I think if you need to market on television at 3 am, you probably aren’t very good.

Mom and Dad were all “uh-oh, sorry for the genetics, kiddo” because there are very few photos of them from high school, but the ones there are show a couple of pretty miserable teenagers with really rocky complexions.

Well! This was not acne’s only appearance. Oh, no! It decided once it arrived, it’d set up shop. It was like those disgusting phlegm-monsters in that cough medicine commercial that makes me disgusted. It packed little greasy suitcases and moved on in. My face was its resort town, and it decided to live it on up. No part of my face was exempt, either! Forehead and nose and chin and cheeks! Once, close enough to my lip so it swelled up as if I’d been stung by a bee! Sometimes, right on TOP of each other, like it was living in little apartment buildings! Sometimes? In my ears, so my ears would swell up like a boxer’s! And sometimes it’d take little vacations and move onto my back or chest! And it HURT. Imagine huge swellings on your face and back and chest, sometimes more than one in the same place, as if you’ve been stung by a number of angry wasps. OUCH.

Ugh, seriously, I hate these commercials. STOP MAKING MUCUS TALK.

Ugh, seriously, I hate these commercials. STOP MAKING MUCUS TALK.

It got so bad at one point, someone stopped me in the hallway at school and asked me what had happened. “With what?” I asked. “Were you in a fire?” he asked, in a hushed tone. In a fire! Well. Isn’t that nice! YOU MADE ME LOOK LIKE A THIRD-DEGREE BURN VICTIM, ACNE. What the hell did I ever do to you?

Thanks for the reminder, helpful sign!

Thanks for the reminder, helpful sign!

My parents, who’d suffered through the same thing, finally were grossed out enough that they brought me to a dermatologist, who visibly recoiled when I walked through the door. Nothing ups the self-esteem like having a doctor who DEALS with such things for a LIVING recoil as if you’re Frankenstein’s MONSTER.

BACK! BACK I SAY CHILD OF SATAN! Oh, it's my next patient, come on in, then.

BACK! BACK I SAY CHILD OF SATAN! Oh, it’s my next patient, come on in, then.

Back in the late 80s, if you had terrible skin, they prescribed you Retin-A. I don’t know if they still do such a thing. (Apparently they do, but don’t have babies while using it, or their skulls will be too soft, and I assume babies with Play-Doh skulls are bad. Also don’t get waxed, or it will PULL YOUR TOP LAYER OF SKIN OFF. Good grief.) I also got this…I don’t know, alcohol solution I had to dab onto my face. These things had to happen every morning and every night after I washed my face. Also, I wasn’t allowed to go out in the sun, or if I HAD to go out in the sun, I had to wear like SPF 1,000 sunscreen. (Retin-A thins the top layer of your skin. Somehow this stops your acne. I am not a doctor. I don’t know how that works. But this skin-thinning thing also makes you burn in the sun, and you can’t get waxed, and your face gets really, really red when you first start using it.)

Good grief, it still looks the same 20 years later. Who's your PR person, Retin-A? Time for a packaging overhaul!

Good grief, it still looks the same 20 years later. Who’s your PR person, Retin-A? Time for a packaging overhaul!

I was somewhat skeptical, but at that point, I would pretty much try anything.

Well! Come to find out, RETIN-A WAS MADE OF MAGIC. I don’t remember how long it took, but one day I woke up and although my face was a little red (and I had to hide in the shadows like a vampire-person) I HAD NO ACNE. All the acne had taken off for sunnier climes. I LOOKED LIKE A HUMAN AGAIN. At one point, I even got a – GASP! – BOYFRIEND. (A few of them, actually. Well, not at the same TIME, I wasn’t a teenage WHORE. They were nothing to write home about, in retrospect, but at the time I felt like this was the BEST THING EVER.) One of my mom’s friends, when she and my mom were talking about my skin problems one day, said, “Amy has skin problems? You’d never know! I was just saying to my husband the other day she has just the most beautiful complexion!”

I HAD WON! I HAD BEATEN ACNE!

Yes, I looked JUST LIKE THIS! Oh, wait, no, Retin-A doesn't turn you into a model. Sorry. Sorry.

Yes, I looked JUST LIKE THIS! Oh, wait, no, Retin-A doesn’t turn you into a model. Sorry. Sorry.

I stopped using the medication in college – my doctor didn’t think I needed it anymore, and it was very expensive on our prescription plan – and all was well for quite some time.

Until probably four or five years ago.

Acne! YOU TRICKED ME! What IS this shit?

Apparently, what this shit is, is ADULT acne. It is ACNE that appears when you are an ADULT. It is the ghost of terrible complexions past COMING BACK TO HAUNT YOU.

Oh, stop. I had to.

Oh, stop. I had to.

It’s not as bad as it was when I was younger – oh, thank goodness – but it’s very hard to be almost 40 years old and have the occasional breakouts of a teenage face. It’s very embarrassing. I mean, yes. Odds are good that people aren’t going to make fun of you now (what kind of asshole mocks you for breakouts when you’re an adult? we know better now) and you know (hopefully, at least, if you’re female, although I’m sure men can use cover stick if they want to) tricks with makeup to downplay the fact you’ve got a gigantic blemish on your chin or your cheek or whatever.

And NOW, adult acne, you complete wanker, you have decided to pop up OVER ONE OF MY EYES and I’m waking up with ONE EYE SWOLLEN SHUT EVERY MORNING BECAUSE OF YOU and it takes like TWO HOURS for that swelling to go down and I LOOK LIKE SOMEONE BEAT ME UP or maybe THE ELEPHANT MAN. Dude, I have to go out in PUBLIC like this. SOMEONE IS GOING TO ASK ME WHAT IS WRONG. “Oh, just a gigantic pimple above my eye, like normal almost-middle-aged women get all the time,” is a thing I will not love to say at all.

I look a little like Rick from the Walking Dead after he got all beat up, which is nice, right? Very classy.

I look a little like Rick from the Walking Dead after he got all beat up, which is nice, right? Very classy.

My mother’s still getting you adult acne. SHE IS IN HER 60s. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. Somehow, my dad avoided this and his torment ended when he was in his late teens, but me and my mom? We’re still sporting the skin of teens. Sad, sad teens who don’t get asked to the prom.

Acne, you’re going to have to take a hike. I think I’m too old for Retin-A (and at this point in my life, if I don’t get waxed, I’d have a whole other problem to deal with, called My Eyebrows Have a Mind of Their Own and Would Make Me Look Like a Yeti) but there must be another solution. And I’m calling a dermatologist. Tomorrow.

You don’t get to win, bub. I have an excellent prescription plan this time, and I’m a lot angrier than I was when I was a teenager. If you’re not going to leave, I’m going to kick you out. I’m changing the damn LOCKS this time, acne! I am not going to my grave with you still in my life!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go figure out the best eyeshadow to go with one normal eye, and one eye swollen 3/4 of the way shut. I’m thinking a kicky bejeweled eyepatch. Arr, matey. Walk the plank.

Pretty sure everyone would just think it was a fashion statement and not ask me what was going on, right? Right.

Pretty sure everyone would just think it was a fashion statement and not ask me what was going on, right? Right.


…the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it.

sj alerted me to this and I do not approve. (Of the story, not of sj. I approve of sj most wholeheartedly.)

Apparently, there is a website called WND. I didn’t know it existed, either. Don’t feel bad. “WND” stands for World Net Daily. They find news and then tell you about it from a conservative viewpoint. Oh, I know about this! It’s called Fox News. Dad fills me in on this every day. I’m totally up on the conservative viewpoint and the mockery thereof. It’s both fair AND balanced, you guys.

So WND (I keep wanting to call it WWD and wonder where the fashion is, yo) decided the latest person they hated is – ready for this? Neil Patrick Harris.

NO NO NO. That is NOT ALLOWED.

See, I don’t know if you’re aware? But NPH is gay. YES IT IS TRUE FACTS! He is married to a lovely man and they have adorable twins.

He’s also a talented actor, onstage and in movies and on television, and seems, in interviews, to be a very well-spoken, intelligent, and interesting person. He also sings and dances beautifully and is very, very funny. Seriously, his hosting stint on Saturday Night Live made me laugh until I almost choked. If stupid nbc.com played nice with WordPress I would show you. Instead, here’s a link. And another. (First link is NPH doing this Doogie Howser musical thing – I can’t even explain. Roommate C. and I were in TEARS of laughter. And second link is NPH doing a Broadway skit. Both are worth the click, promise.)

PLUS, come ON, how many actors are happy to make fun of themselves in a stoner movie?

“Yeah. It was a total dick move on my part. That’s why I’m paying for your burgers.”

AND AND AND! Come on. JUST COME ON. He was in the BEST INTERNET MUSICAL EVER!

“Did you notice that he threw you in the garbage?”

THE MAN IS A NATIONAL TREASURE.

So anyway, NPH did the following ad for the Superbowl:

And WND said NO NO NO! This is EVIL! HE IS MOCKING OUR HERO, LORD, and SAVIOR!

I have nothing against Tim Tebow, but apparently the Christian right has decided he’s their spokesperson? Worrisome. I think you already HAVE a spokesperson. JESUS. My mom told me that and I have to believe her, as she is my mom.

So! By wearing this crap on his face with the dates on it (apparently this is called “eyeblack”, who knew) NPH is “…pushing a gay agenda …and…mocking Christians at the same time.”

OH! Is THAT what he’s doing! Well. Isn’t THAT a whole bunch of things to be doing all at once like that, how very multitasky!

(Also, if you want to see a cross-section of super-awesome humans? Read the comments on the WND post. OH MY OH NO. “REPENT REPENT!” says the very first one. Um. You repent for gaybashing, I’ll repent for whatever it is you’re judging me for, bub.)

Shit. Well, if NPH is too gay for the Superbowl, then so am I. I AM SPARTACUS. I’m totally boycotting it this year.

What’s that? I boycott it every year because I refuse to watch it because it’s sports and I hate sports and this is really not a BOYCOTT, per se, if I’m doing something I would do ANYWAY and just SAYING it’s a political statement?

Well. Aren’t YOU judgey. That’s very rude of you. Huff, huff.

(For the record, guess who can enjoy sports? Gay people. Straight people. People with no legs. People with two heads. People with red hair. People who wear too many gold chains. People who like their pizza with black olives. People with penises. People without penises. People with both penises AND vaginas. Tall people. Short people. Fat people. Skinny people. People who wear sweaters with kittens on the front. People who like dairy. People who are lactose-intolerant. In short: ANYONE AT ALL.)

There’s no gay agenda. Well, no, I take that back. There’s totally a gay agenda. The gays (yes, I’ve talked to all of them) would like the following:

  • to be treated like productive members of society, no matter who they love
  • to be given the same rights as everyone else
  • to not be beaten up for who they love (or called names on the street, or given dirty looks, or be made to feel unsafe in any way)

That’s pretty much it. I don’t know if three bullet points make an “agenda.” I mean, I’m on a board of directors. We have more bullet points than that on our monthly board meeting agendas.

Listen. I don’t care about a lot of things. But if you don’t like NPH, at least a little, I think your heart might be dead. He is just pure joy, this guy. He isn’t furthering ANYTHING. He’s the star of one of the biggest shows on his network. I bet half or more of the people who watch his show don’t even KNOW he’s gay. He doesn’t even play someone gay ON the show. And the photo above is from a promo clip on his network, who would be stupid not to use one of their most recognizable faces for publicity purposes.

That’s it. That’s the agenda. His network wants people to watch the Superbowl; they used one of their resources to get people to do so. I don’t think they were mocking Tebow. Little known fact: people were using that eyeblack shit before Tebow came along. IT IS TRUE.

Dear WND: please to be getting a life. You make me sad and also angry. You are small-minded and hateful people and at some point you have forgotten that we’re all human on this rock in space and there’s no room for that kind of thinking because it’s 2013 and we don’t need to put up with it anymore.

In short, WND, feel most free to bite me. Grow the hell up.


Dumbcat is a Luddite and other revelations

I have three things to say and then I have to go because I got my new Kindle and all I want to do is behold it. It is GORGEOUS, you guys. And so much bigger than I thought it would be. And so SHINY. And I want to add all the apps to it and see if it really plays TV shows and start reading books on it because sj showed me how to use my laptop to put books on it (seriously, she is like a GURU, if I ever have questions, I just say, “sj, how do I do…” and she ALWAYS KNOWS and she never even laughs at me when the questions are foolish, and I love her the most) and I have ALL THE BOOKS waiting for me and I am SO EFFING EXCITED and I feel like I am a Jetson. Right now it is charging and also looking at me like, “why aren’t you playing with me why? I am so pretty. I want you to play with me right now, because of my prettiness.”

So let’s talk about three things and then I’m going to tap tap tap away on my pretty screen. Also I totally got a burnt orange cover for it and it was a very good choice. It’s both flashy and retro. I love it irrationally.

Amazon calls this "persimmon" but it's orange, yo, don't be gettin' fancy on me, Amazon.

Amazon calls this “persimmon” but it’s orange, yo, don’t be gettin’ fancy on me, Amazon.

First: the mystery of the cable and the phone.

So I still have a house phone. If all goes well and I get my new phone later in the week and it has unlimited minutes and I get good coverage in my house and I can change my home number to my cell number (because I’ve had the same home number for ten years, I don’t want to change it, I don’t like change, I FEAR IT) then maybe I’ll think about getting rid of the home number. ANYWAY, my cable and my phone are controlled by the same little box under my television set. My internet is controlled by a different box, that one’s in my bedroom. Anyway, last night when I got home from hangin’ with The Nephew, I noticed that the merry green lights (there are usually 6) were down to two, and they were flashing all irregularly on the cable box. Sometimes my cable goes all wonky, and I wasn’t planning on watching television last night anyway. My phone was still working. So I was all, meh, it’ll be fine tomorrow.

It looks like this, but longer and skinnier. I don't know what it is. I'm not a cable tech, sheesh.

It looks like this, but longer and skinnier. I don’t know what it is. I’m not a cable tech, sheesh.

When I got home TONIGHT, there were NO GREEN LIGHTS. And my phone didn’t work so I had to call Dad on my cell phone and he HATES that because he doesn’t recognize the number in his caller ID so he thinks I’m a killer or a telemarketer. So then I called the cable company and apparently they were having problems with the cable guide. “If you are experiencing problems with your cable guide, please be patient, it’ll be back soon,” said the recorded lady. “If you have ANOTHER problem, please hold. The current wait time is TEN TO FIFTEEN MINUTES.” Eff. EFF. That was annoying. So I settled in for a long winter’s wait and decided for the hell of it I’d unplug the cable box and then plug it back in because one time that worked and I’m a sucker for doing things that worked one time.

I went behind the cable box and unplugged the phone cord thingy and plugged it back in. Nothing. Unscrewed the thick cord, no idea what that’s called, screwed it back in. Nothing. Sighed deeply. Then I thought, wait a minute, where’s the power in this thing coming from?

Yeah. From the power cord. That was sticking up behind it. Unplugged from it.

Sigh.

Sigh.

I plugged it back in and all the green lights immediately came back and now I have cable and phone again and I hung up on the cable company where I still had at least 10-12 minutes of wait time left.

Who’s the culprit? I mean, cords don’t just come unplugged.

The answer is, DUMBCAT.

He loves to sleep on top of the cable box. LOVES. It’s warm and it’s a little space because my TV stand is an old desk so the cable box and related things are in the little hidey-hole that goes to the right of your legs if you’re sitting at a desk. There’s JUST enough room above them for a chubby cat if he squeezes himself in there and then he’s all warm and secure and purry. A couple of days ago, he fell out of there. His claws got caught on the top of the cable box. So he tumbled out and gave that hidey-hole a very dirty look for tricking him like that. The cable box was poking out of the hole when he was done. I poked it back in and laughed a little.

ZOMG radiator-bed. Dumbcat would LOVE this. Although he would squish out the ends. He's a chubby little monkey.

ZOMG radiator-bed. Dumbcat would LOVE this. Although he would squish out the ends. He’s a chubby little monkey.

Apparently when he did that, he unplugged the cable box.

Oh, Dumbcat. You plus electronics = not compatible. I still love you the most, though. (He is currently curled up on my leg purring like a maniac. He doesn’t even care that he turned off the cable and phone. DOES. NOT. CARE. He’s like a furry kind unintelligent honey badger in that way. He also might hate technology.)

Story the second: the mystery package.

So I got my Kindle, and in a separate package (because Amazon is nothing if not wasteful) I got the charger (that I had to buy separately – way to make extra money, there, Amazon, because you KNOW people are going to buy chargers, otherwise, their Kindles won’t work) and something else I bought separately in another box. When I got to my door, there was ANOTHER package. “Huh,” said I. “I didn’t order anything else.” (Well, I DID, but it’s not coming until next Wednesday.) So I manhandled all these packages upstairs (the third package was HEAVY) and when I got it upstairs and looked at it, it was for someone named Brad who lives in another building and another apartment which is NOWHERE NEAR MINE and not even CLOSE and nothing about his address has anything to do with mine. Way to GO, UPS! This poor guy is waiting for his package (it’s some sort of electronics; if I wasn’t such an honest person, I’d totally open it up and steal it, wouldn’t I?) and I have it. I don’t know this guy, or even where his building is, to be honest – this is a big place – so I’m going to bring it to the office tomorrow night and let them take care of this situation, I’m sure they have a phone number for him or something. But listen! This poor guy! He’s probably waiting for whatever this heavy thing is, and if he tracks it, it’ll say it was delivered, and it WAS, but not to HIM, to ME. And also, what if I was a thief? This makes me nervous about ordering things, honestly, UPS. You should be more careful.

Have theft problem made me giggle. THEFT PROBLEM!

Have theft prob made me giggle. THEFT PROB!

Finally: let’s talk about my hatred of acronyms for a minute.

I don’t mind NORMAL acronyms. Like, if someone were to say “I went SCUBA diving” I wouldn’t want to stab with with a knitting needle. But the texting acronyms that have become pervasive in modern society make me want to punch someone in the brain-area.

I refuse to use LOL. UTTERLY REFUSE. If something makes me laugh out loud, I will tell them, “that made me laugh out loud.” I will SPELL THAT SHIT OUT. LOL annoys the PISS out of me. I know EVERYONE uses it, and it doesn’t bother me SO much when others use it, but I just won’t. Won’t won’t won’t. I worked with a guy who SAID it to me once. “That’s so funny, LOL,” he said. “Did you just say LOL to me? Instead of LAUGHING?” I said, with a disgusted look on my face. “Well, duh,” he replied. “If you think you’re saving time, you’re not. Laughing would have taken you like a second. And also you’d have looked like less of a tool.” He rolled his eyes. “You’re so old,” he said. “All the kids say LOL.” “They don’t SAY LOL, they WRITE LOL,” I said. He LOLed again only this time with his mouth. He was a good kid. I couldn’t hate him. He was a big goof. He meant no harm.

The latest ones that make me insane are “FML,” “SMH,” and “YOLO.” All three of these are the stupidest. Some of the sweetest people I know use FML quite often. And don’t seem to understand that it’s SO STUPID AND EMO AND OVER THE TOP. I always read it as the person is saying it with the back of their hand on their forehead like they’re swooning. “OH, EFF EMM ELL!” I imagine them gritting out, all sad and whiny. Listen. Are you breathing? Do you have food and a roof and a job and such? Then no. No, don’t say FML. It makes you sound like an asshole. The things they put in front of FML are never good enough to warrant it, either. “I can’t believe I have to get out of my warm bed today, FML.” “Ugh, mom’s serving mashed potatoes again, FML.” SERIOUSLY? Just once, I want someone to post “Oh, there are parasites in my drinking water again, I have to walk a mile each way to the well for fresh water today, FML” or something, because THEN it would be WARRANTED, dammit.

Yes. Eff your Ell, my dear. Eff it right in the A.

Yes. Eff your Ell, my dear. Eff it right in the A.

SMH just annoys me. (By the way, I didn’t know what any of these meant and had to look them all up online. I think probably the only one I use is BTW. Maybe others, I can’t think of any off the top of my head.) Again, people way overuse this. “Just saw someone paying for their purchase with pennies, SMH.” MAYBE HE WAS POOR AND IT WAS THE ONLY MONEY HE HAD AVAILABLE TO HIM, SERIOUSLY. Stop SYH and start being less of an asshole about shit.

Oh, good, look, you can get it as a button. In case you wanted to tell EVERYONE you're a goober.

Oh, good, look, you can get it as a button. In case you wanted to tell EVERYONE you’re a goober.

And YOLO? People are getting TATTOOS of this. You only live once, huh? Well, maybe try to make this life count, then, and stop effing it up with things like YOLOing. Also, this one reminds me of Rolos and I hate those, the caramel’s too chewy. I think I read somewhere that YOLO won the most hated word of the year award or something. GOOD. Let’s stop USING it, then. YOLO! And I’m going to cut it short because you keep SAYING YOLO! By stabbing you with nail scissors in the uvula!

Oh, Efron. Aren't YOU so cutting-edge? Sigh.

Oh, Efron. Aren’t YOU so cutting-edge? Sigh.

OK, that’s it, chickadees, I’ve got a Kindle that’s not going to play with itself. (NOT A EUPHEMISM.) Have a happy Thursday and I hope your aren’t SYH and nothing happens to make you say FML because YOLO, you know? LOL.

UGH. I want to cut my fingers off with pinking shears for typing that shit.


A comedy of errors, Christmas-style

Busy weekend coming up, jellybeans! Listen, I so haven’t even decorated for Christmas yet. I got out the Christmas box o’ stuff. That’s a whole thing in itself, really. It’s this HUGE CRATE. Like, you could put a dead person in this thing. (Or a live person, I suppose, if you want to be less morbid and more Christmassy or whatever.) It’s GIGANTIC. I have a lot of Christmas stuff. The tree isn’t even in there, either. The tree is elsewhere. THERE IS NO ROOM IN THERE FOR THE TREE. That’s how much stuff I have.

It looks very much like this. Very festive, yes?

It looks very much like this. Very festive, yes?

But I have a very very small place. There’s really no room for a body-locker of Christmas-stuff in here. So I have to put it way behind the bed in the corner for most of the year because there’s nowhere else to put it. But then when December rolls around, I have to get it OUT from behind the bed. This takes the following steps, which if someone were to videotape them, I’m quite sure would make it onto YouTube and I would be a SENSATION, I tell you:

  • First, I have to take the crate off from the top of the Christmas crate. That’s another crate. With other things in it. That has to go on the bed; there’s nowhere else to put it.

    And this is the smaller one on TOP of the bigger one. It's like a wee bebeh crate. But full of stuff. So HEAVY.

    And this is the smaller one on TOP of the bigger one. It’s like a wee bebeh crate. But full of stuff. So HEAVY.

  • Then I have to jimmy out the Christmas crate which is jammed between the bed and the wall. There might well be some cussing when this happens. OK FINE. There’s some cussing. Some definite cussing.
  • Once I get the Christmas crate out, I have to make room for THAT on the bed. It’s not like I have a big bed, yo. Why would I have a big bed? Dumbcat and I only need so much room.

    I have no idea what size mattress I have. Twin? Full? Which according to this is double? Maybe? No idea. I need a new one, though. This one's getting all weird and old.

    I have no idea what size mattress I have. Twin? Full? Which according to this is double? Maybe? No idea. I need a new one, though. This one’s getting all weird and old.

  • Then I have to throw the other crate in the place the Christmas crate evacuated. I might throw it a little more vehemently than necessary. And say things like “every YEAR I hate this shit.”
  • Then comes the fun part. There’s a huge armoire and bookcase blocking my bedroom door. Why? Because there’s nowhere else in my insanely small bedroom to put that armoire and bookcase and they’re where I keep things like bedding and pajamas and books and all the perfumes. The armoire and bookcase stop me from just carrying out the crate and bringing it into the living room where it belongs.

    The armoire kind of looks like this, only less stable. It's kind of falling apart. It's a hand-me-down, give me a break.

    The armoire kind of looks like this, only less stable. It’s kind of falling apart. It’s a hand-me-down, give me a break.

  • SO, what I have to DO, is lift up the Christmas crate and put it on TOP of the armoire. The armoire is about 6 feet tall. The crate weighs a kajillion pounds. (FINE, it doesn’t weigh that much. I can lift it over my head. But not without making noises like one of those Russian weightlifters on the Olympics.) So I HOIST it up over my head and put it on top of the armoire. There is more cussing. Out-of-breath cussing.
  • Then I take a break and think about my life and how things have gotten to this point and why EVERY YEAR I put myself through this and do I need a tree? Do I really? Am I SURE? And I sigh DEEPLY.

    ZOMG WHY DON'T I HAVE THIS TREE!?!?!?! A purple tree??? Come on. How awesome is THIS?

    ZOMG WHY DON’T I HAVE THIS TREE!?!?!?! A purple tree??? Come on. How awesome is THIS?

  • Then I get into the hallway and lever down the Christmas crate so that it pins me to the wall like a butterfly in that horrifying yet beautifully-written book about the man who keeps the girl in his basement. Then I have to kind of throw it OFF myself and onto the hallway floor and then clamber over it into the bathroom and then shove it back so I can get around it. It’s about the same width as the hallway, you see.

    Just like this, only less basement-confinement. I don't even have a basement.

    Just like this, only less basement-confinement. I don’t even have a basement.

  • Then I drag it into the dining room. Sorry, “dining room.” I don’t have a formal dining room, what am I, the Queen of England? I have a part of the living room where the table is, is what I have.
  • Then, because there’s no room to get it around the couch (have I not TOLD you guys I live in a place as small as one of those storage areas off the highway where they keep freezers full of shady meat and creepy dolls and rusty farm equipment and such?) I have to lift it up AGAIN and hoist it over the back of the couch and flop it onto the couch cushions. This is where Dumbcat usually is; if I don’t see him or warn him soon enough, he makes a noise like “MEEPMRRR!” because he sees something INCOMING!
  • Then I have to take another breather. This is not for the faint-of-heart, you guys. If you aren’t up to it, maybe you need to move into a bigger apartment and/or make more money and/or not decorate for Christmas.
  • Then I have to come around the couch, move the crate onto the floor in front of couch where it will live for a month or so, and collapse on the couch in a puddle of exhaustion and Christmas-fatigue.

Usually after all this I start decorating, but I haven’t had time yet this year. So the crate has been mocking me. I did open it to get out some wrapping paper earlier in the week, but that’s about it. I HAVE GOT TO GET THIS PLACE DECORATED. There are less than two weeks until Christmas and I have nothing hanging up in here. It’s really shameful.

Then – THEN – once Christmas is over – guess what I get to do?

PUT THE CHRISTMAS CRATE BACK BEHIND THE BED.

I get to do all those steps up there? But in REVERSE. I know. I KNOW. Even THINKING about it is making me tired. And angry. And a little sweaty. Pre-sweaty. Sweaty in advance. SIGH SIGH.

Does anyone want to come over here and decorate for Christmas for me and then when I come home tomorrow it’ll be all done? I really like to have the house all decorated but have no time to do it this year. It’s really the worst.

Ok, off I go – it’s what, Friday? Friday. I got last-minute asked to review a show tonight, so I’m off to the thee-ay-tah. The FANCY theater! A FANCY production! I know. I am kind of amazed and confused as to whose life I might be leading at the moment. I’m fairly sure it’s not mine. It can’t be mine, right?

Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you have the best weekends. Full of all the best things. You deserve it. Promise.


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