Category Archives: money

Take my picture by the pool, ’cause I’m the next big thing

I have totally made the big time you guys, no joke. I got an email today – well, here, I’ll show you, I can’t even describe it as well as this can show you. Show, don’t tell, don’t they teach you that in writing class or something? I don’t know, I was too busy daydreaming and staring out the window at the squirrels.

Here is your personal signup link for the Millionaire Society. Were very excited to welcome you into our exclusive club! 


I’m a little sad about the past-tense in the second sentence. I feel like I took too long to get back to them. Oh, wait, I think they’re missing an apostrophe in there and that’s supposed to be “we’re.” You’d think millionaires could afford ALL the apostrophes, right? Well, I should cut them some slack. I’m sure the millionaires didn’t write their own email inviting me into their very exclusive club. I’m sure they have someone do those things FOR them. Like, maybe a butler, or a valet, or a Designated Correspondence Lackey. Who is not very good at contractions.

True story: do a Google Image Search for "butler" and it thinks you mean Gerard Butler. Even if you don't. Worrisome!

True story: do a Google Image Search for “butler” and it thinks you mean Gerard Butler. Even if you don’t. Worrisome!

I don’t know why this email ended up in my spam folder. I mean, I am being INVITED into a very exclusive CLUB. Where I will be amongst my PEOPLE. The MILLIONAIRES.

Oh, wait, I just Googled this and it says it is NOT a super-fancy club of millionaires, but a money-making plan where I do online marketing from home. Well, now, this is not at all what I was picturing in my head. I thought it would be a wood-paneled room where men in tuxedos would be smoking expensive cee-gars and talking about polo, not some sort of pyramid scheme. MY HOPES ARE DASHED, DASHED I TELL YOU. Also, one of the sites I checked said it costs me $97 a month to be in the Millionaire Society. I don’t know that I want to be part of a society where I have to pay the equivalent of my cell phone bill every month to continue membership in order to bother people online. THIS IS VERY DISAPPOINTING INTERNETS. I am not at all pleased with the way this day is shaping up. I STARTED the day by thinking I was part of a society of rich people and now I find out that I’m just a schlub you’re tricking into joining some sort of sad-sack society. SIGH SIGH I AM VERY PUT-OUT.

Also, when exactly do they think I’m going to have time to do marketing from home? I don’t even have time to SLEEP or EAT or BLOG from home, I certainly don’t have time to MARKET from home. (Although there is now a Shoprite here, and you can LITERALLY market from home. THEY WILL BRING MY GROCERIES TO ME. I don’t even have to SHOP for them. I’m so looking into this. Although friend A. did it yesterday and they were an hour and a half late delivering them which meant friend K. didn’t get to come to the theater last night and I didn’t get to hug her, and I wanted to, so boo for making it so I couldn’t hug friend K. last night, Shoprite.)

SIDE NOTE. I just looked into Shoprite bringing me my groceries and it is VERY CONFUSING. I don’t understand the delivery schedule. So I don’t think I can use that. I think that only works if you are home 24 hours a day, and if I was home 24 hours a day, wouldn’t I use some of that time to, oh, I don’t know, go get my groceries? Hmm. Confusing confusing.

I am totally listening to my fancy American Idiot soundtrack right now. It took me like an hour to figure out how to turn off my shuffle. I usually love my shuffle because I don’t want to listen to my songs in alphabetical order, but when you want to listen to a cast recording, of course you want to listen to it in order. But it just KEPT SHUFFLING. You know who fixed it? Yahoo Answers. I know. That’s kind of embarrassing. But it totally did. Thanks, Yahoo Answers! Pretty much all I’m doing is repeating “Last Night on Earth” over and over because I am obsessive once I find something I like. Last night I just kept making YouTube play the video for me over and over while I did other things. And then this morning I kept singing it to the cat. He didn’t know what to make of that, mostly because I can’t sing. He made a very confused face and at one point went “mieuwwww?” which I think is polite cat-ese for “what, pray-tell, mumsy, is this noise you are making? Are you under the impression it is this thing you humans insist on calling ‘singing’? Because it is neither melodic nor pleasing to mine ears. Please stop, or I will shred you with my claws. Thanks ever so.”



LISTEN LISTEN. Today I found out that friends A. and R. might come to visit in two weeks. I can only assume that means Baby Ceevee will be with them, because what would they do, leave her in the car or something? That’d be pretty irresponsible, and totally unlike them. First, I might get to see friends A. and R., who I haven’t seen in…oh, my, well, it has to be three or four years now, I’m thinking? AND, you GUYS, I could totally see Baby Ceevee for the first time! And if I’m super-careful and wash my hands and put on my best non-crazy eyes and brush my hair, maybe they would let me HOLD her! She is the most beautiful baby. And the SMILIEST baby. You should SEE the smiles, you guys. She lights up a whole ROOM with the smiles. I am very bouncy with the prospect of this potential visitation!

ALSO, one of my internet people whose name I will not say because I don’t know that it’s general knowledge is HERE IN ALBANY and I MIGHT GET TO MEET HER IN REALLY REAL LIFE SOON which is totally exciting, yo. These next two months are just going to be the most exciting, aren’t they? Once I get some sleep? The answer to that question is YES.

This post is totally the most random but it’s the best I have in me because I have to leave for work now and also SNOWPOCALYPSE is coming RIGHT NOW so here I go. Wish me luck and/or fortitude. Happy weekend, all!

At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought.

So you know how I’m obsessed with my stats, right? Shut up, all you other bloggers are, too. Don’t even pretend you’re not. You might be all “oh, I blog just for FUN and I’m really just writing for ME” but you totally dig into that stats page and see how many people are reading and where they’re coming from and how they found your blog just like the rest of us. Just like you people that say you don’t stalk Facebook profiles. EVERYONE DOES THIS. That’s what they’re FOR. That’s why you should LOCK YOUR SHIT DOWN, YO. Unless you want EVERYONE to know what you’ve been doing since you joined Facebook, including potential enemies and people who are checking out their competition and also maybe killers. Do you WANT to be stalked by killers? No, not THE Killers, as in the BAND, I’m sure The Killers have better things to do. REAL LIFE KILLERS. If you don’t, LOCK YOUR SHIT DOWN. I mean, I don’t LIKE it when I go to stalk someone’s page and it’s locked down, but I grudgingly RESPECT them and I don’t think they’re a MORON. Or at least as MUCH of a moron.

That’s tangenty and not at all why we’re here today. Oh, stop making fake shock-faces, you love my tangents. I don’t think that’s a euphemism. Unless you’re a mathematician, I guess. Ken’ll know for sure, I suppose. You know how on Jeopardy when Alex is all, “we’ll have to ask the judges?” That’s how I feel with euphemisms. I have to be all, “Ken? Final ruling, here?” (Hint: it’s a safe bet Ken will rule yes on the euphemism. He usually does.)

So the other day, I was poking around in my stats and like five people had come here from some blog that looked real and not spammy (lately I’ve been getting a lot of random hits from male enhancement sites and also real estate sites? Cut that out, I mean, I appreciate the traffic but what the hell) and so I clicked on it.

Then I was promptly confused as to why these people wanted anything to do with me.

So it’s this site that’s all about economics? But yo, this is a SMART SITE, you guys. This guy is NOT DICKING AROUND. And it’s not that false-intelligent stuff? It’s REAL intelligent stuff. Like, you’d read this in a magazine and then if you were me you’d probably be all “where’s the Entertainment Weekly, I didn’t understand a word of this.” (Also, check out his about page. He’s totally like a musician and Australian and shit. I like this guy a lot.)

Now, I think you’ll all give me the benefit of the doubt when I tell you I am an intelligent woman. I have three degrees, graduated valedictorian from my high school, and don’t even say “yo” or “ZOMG” in real life. I KNOW. Try to contain your shock, please. I’m actually QUITE intelligent. More so than I come across here.

But economics (and to a lesser extent, politics) goes right over my head. Don’t get it. Not even a little bit. And if I were to attempt to talk about it I would be like Billy Madison when he tried to talk about the Industrial Revolution and compared it to the Puppy Who Lost His Way and everyone was dumber having heard his response. (Oh, shush, it’s only like the funniest movie EVER, you guys.)


I took an economics class in high school. Want to know what I remember from it? Here, I’ll tell you.

  • The teacher was a dreamboat. TOTAL DREAMBOAT. He was right out of college and had the blackest curly hair and the bluest eyes that crinkled when he laughed. I just stared at him in awe of his perfection, sincerely.
  • We did this thing where we had imaginary money and we had to purchase stocks and then over the course of the semester see how they did. Dad was all, “Buy McDonald’s, everyone loves burgers.” So I did. I think I made like $5 overall and I felt like Scrooge McDuck swimming through his silo of money.


That is all I know about economics. I know we’re having multiple fiscal crises all over the world but have no idea WHY or how we’re going to go about FIXING them. I only know the exchange rate of Canadian dollars and pounds and Euro because I grew up near Canada and because I have people in Europe and the U.K. and sometimes out of curiosity I like to Google that shit. (For your information: one Euro = $1.32 MERKAN dollars; one Canadian dollar = $1.01 MERKAN dollars; one pound = $1.62 MERKAN dollars. So you’re worst off if you go to London and best off if you go to London, Ontario, if you are from MERKA.)

Also, can I just bitch for a minute? Why is MERKAN money so boring? Foreign money is SO PRETTY.

Also, can I just bitch for a minute? Why is MERKAN money so boring? Foreign money is SO PRETTY.

So that’s what I know about economics. Nothing.

So this is the post I was getting hits from. So I scrolled through it (I attempted to read it, but it was like Charlie Brown’s teacher to me…wah, wah, wah…and I felt bad, because it’s really well-written, you guys. Like, this guy can WRITE. It’s just…written in another language. The language of SMART people who talk about SMART things) and then I started scrolling through the comments and someone mentioned “he’s like Lucy with the Football” and I thought “oh. Oh, shit. I am getting hits from this because THEY PROBABLY GOOGLED ME AND ARE MOCKING ME BECAUSE I SCREW AROUND ON HERE AND AM NOT THE SMART PEOPLE” but they TOTALLY did not. They were VERY NICE. See?

I like that whatever the “MNE brand and community” is could learn a thing or two from me. YEAH BOYYYYY! Wait, is this a good thing? *Googling* No idea, that Google search was fruitless. I’m going to just assume it’s a good thing. It SEEMS good therefore it IS good. In your FACE, MNE brand and community!

Also, I like new internet friends. So I totally commented and told them I would write them a post but I know nothing about economics and also would go off on tangents and I think one person was happy and one person was trepidacious.

One was tentatively impressed with my Kevin Smith love. Well! We will get along JUST FINE, then.

One was tentatively impressed with my Kevin Smith love. Well! We will get along JUST FINE, then.


(Are you all so impressed with my use of the word “monetization” there? I know, right? I don’t know if I used it CORRECTLY but don’t even tell the smart people that.)

Dear smart economicy people: I know a lot about the following things. Theater, wasting large amounts of time on the interwebs, interspecies animal friends, writing long emails and being ferociously protective to people I love, how to make people laugh, the correct use of semicolons, blogging daily, my very unintelligent but loveable cat, how scary clowns are, how much I like chocolate but dislike garlic, and all things Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon.

I do NOT know a lot about the following things. Economics, politics, war, building things without an instruction sheet that comes in the box, what makes a car work, why people insist on doing very stupid things even though they are very intelligent otherwise, and sports.

Except "The Mighty Ducks" movies. I know a lot about these. What, they're totally inspirational, bite me.

Except “The Mighty Ducks” movies. I know a lot about these. What, they’re totally inspirational, bite me.

However, in a STROKE OF FATE AND OR KISMET AND OR MAGIC!, secret-sibling Ken sent me this secret searchy game-like thing the other day because he wanted me to investigate this person because he thought I would find him intriguing and also it was the most fun until it got frustrating and I couldn’t solve it because my Google-fu totally failed me because it’s very HARD to search things in LANGUAGES that you don’t SPEAK, yo, and come to find out THE GUY WAS A VERY FAMOUS ECONOMIST. On the same DAY! How does that even HAPPEN, I ask you? I didn’t even TELL Ken about this blog of new friends who are now probably so embarrassed they even accidentally found my FAQ! Ken is filled with magic. Utterly stuffed. (Yes, yes. Euphemism, Ken. Euphemism.)

So now I know about this person named Albert O. Hirschman who died last week and was VERY IMPRESSIVE. Seriously, you guys, he wrote like a kabillion books – all of which, I’m sure, were I to attempt to read them, would read like Charlie Brown’s teacher to me, because economics = TOO CONFUSING. But ALSO, he was German, and went to school at the Sorbonne and other fancy places, and then – GET THIS – fought in the Spanish Civil War! How bon vivanty is THAT? And – AND – check THIS out that I found on Wikipedia: “After France surrendered to the Nazis, he worked with Varian Fry to help many of Europe’s leading artists and intellectuals to escape to the United States.” Well! THAT is exciting, right? We have movies about that board game Battleship and we don’t have a movie about this?

He then taught at U.C. Berkeley, Yale, Columbia, Harvard, and the “Institute for Advanced Study,” whatever that is.

Listen, this guy sounds both fancy AND bon vivanty. I can see why Ken was impressed. (Also, little known fact? Along with being bon vivanty, Ken’s super-smart about things like politics and economics. I bet he could read that blog and totally understand ALL of it. Good, Ken, do that and give me an Econ for Dummies recap or something, ok? Thanks, you’re the best, I’ll repay you with…um…teaching you about…shit, I’m pretty sure anything I know anything about you’re already pretty schooled on. Sorry.)

So, there! See how I know like ONE THING about economics? Impressed? Yep. Thought you might be.

New friends, I am glad to have you here. Please do not be put off by the ZOMGs or the yo-ing. Sometimes we talk about other things. Like…um…Helper Mules, and…sciency stuff…and sex…and…


Bye, new friends. It was nice knowing you for like three whole days.

(If you are at all into economics, I totally do recommend the blog. It might sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to me, but I know good writing when I see it, and it is written very well. I suppose if you know things about economics, it’s probably the best thing.)

If I’m only charging a nickel, I think I need a new business model, seriously.

Before we start anything else, we need to have a moment of silence for one of my very best friends and a bastion of my sanity: my television. Which, when I turned it on this morning, has no picture. It has sound, but no picture. And there’s a weird electronic burning smell happening around it. And a line through the black screen. I think a line through a black screen with no picture, only sound, is the same as cartoon characters with Xs over their eyes.

I think my television set, which I got for free from friends when I moved, has died. However, I cannot swap it out with the bedroom television because it is too heavy and almost gave my dad a hernia when he moved it in here. He will be SO PLEASED he gets to move it again when he comes up on Sunday. SO SO PLEASED. And before you ask, yes, I already tried banging on the sides of it really hard with my hands. That’s how I fix a lot of things at work. And turning it on and off. And unplugging it and plugging it back in. None of these things worked. I then realized I had spent forty-five minutes that I don’t even have to spend because I have to leave for work soon banging on the stupid television and also I think I broke the dustbuster because it fell on the floor with a crunching sound, so I gave up. And now I am sitting in silence which is DEAFENING. I don’t care for this at all. I like my television to provide background noise for me. I think I’m going to have to go to the bedroom where there is actually television because this is making me itchy.

It wasn’t even as pretty as this. Just one thin line and some sound. And then when I turned it back on, NOTHING. Just a burning smell.

OK, so, because I am IMPRESSIVE, I remembered I have a television set the size of a teeny tiny computer monitor from college in the back of my closet so I SWAPPED THEM OUT. But it’s so old my universal remote doesn’t recognize it so I can’t control the volume, or turn it on or off, unless I get up to do so. So THINK of all the exercise I will be getting! ALL the exercise. Up and down and up and down. AND, yes, I totally picked up the heavy hernia-inducing television set that smelled like burning ALL BY MYSELF. I didn’t move it far. It’s just on the floor. But ALL BY MYSELF! I’m thinking in 14 years I’ll be able to afford a new television set so that’ll be nice. Something to look forward to. (Also, yes, no worries, I unplugged the electric burny-smell television, Andreas. I don’t want an electrical fire. I learned my lesson from your scary fire. I live on the second floor and don’t want to have to jump off the porch.)

NO, it’s not this small. (Dad totally had one of these when I was little!)

Let’s see, what’s up in Amyville. Well, it’s night-shift week. Yesterday, a racist called and said naughty racist words to one of our operators. No, I’m not even kidding. He called back later to apologize but I feel that was only because he realized he wasn’t going to get a call back because the on-call tech was all “nope, not calling THAT guy back, I think he’s unhinged.” We get things like that, once. Ooh, I totally have a story about that. Once, when I first started there and I didn’t realize you could hang up on people who were scary and harassing you (I mean, we don’t hang up on people often, but if they’re being terrible, you can say, “sir/ma’am, if you continue speaking to me in that fashion, I have no recourse but to hang up the phone,” or something) I was answering for some account where the owner was out, but you had to say he was on the other line. We have a few of those – they don’t want the callers to know they’re using an answering service, so you white-lie the callers. I hate that, but what can you do. So I told the caller, “he’s on the other line, let me take a message and he’ll call you back when he’s done.” And he was all, “I’ll hold.” And THEN what do you do? He can’t hold. You’re not in the office. So I was all “Um. No, I’m sorry, sir, I’m not able to have you hold, if I could just take a message…” and he was like, “I said I’d HOLD” and I was like “I’m sorry, sir, we’re really unable to do that here,” and then, THEN, he was all, “You are a dirty nickel whore. Do you like it dirty, you whore? How do you like it. Do you like it…” then he started DESCRIBING ALL THE WAYS A DIRTY NICKEL WHORE MIGHT LIKE IT.

“No, sir. I can’t go lower than a nickel. I’m sorry. I have to pay my rent somehow.”

And I’d only been there a month or two and wasn’t aware that there are ways to deal with such things, so I was all “…” and kind of making a fish-face while he RANTED and then I waved over a supervisor and muted him and was like, “this guy? He is describing all the things a nickel whore like me might like? What do I do?” and she was all SHOCK-FACED and said, “you can HANG UP. No no NO.” So I got off the phone and she was all, “I’m sorry you had to deal with that,” and I could think of nothing to say but “I…didn’t even know that there WERE whores who worked for a nickel. That seems like…not enough money, at all. For a whore. Even a dirty one.” Then I kind of laugh-cried. BUT! I have gotten much better at dealing with such people, and now I use SARCASTIC HUMOR. And I actually made one dirty whore-shouter cry because I asked him if he would call his mother or his sister those names, and he was all “weep weep YOU ARE SO MEAN!” (PS I don’t recommend anyone do this; it was a long day, and that particular caller had called approximately 50 times and had harassed a ton of my lower-level operators and now that I’m supervisor there is very little in the world I dislike more than a caller who harasses beginning-level employees. I don’t like bullies, and he was being a bully. He was also drunk and an asshole, but that’s neither here nor there. Don’t call my beginning operators and harass them. Don’t even. I am very mama-bear protective of them. They shouldn’t have to put up with that shit. They don’t get paid enough to get dirty-talked to. We’re not phone-sex operators, for the love of Pete. If we were, we’d probably be getting paid more. We would, right? How much do phone sex operators get paid, anyway? Not that I’m INTERESTED. I’m asking out of CURIOSITY. I would be TERRIBLE at that. I’d get the giggles. “Oh. What am I wearing? Um. A red…negligee…and…um…I’m sorry. I just can’t. Sweatpants with a spaghetti-sauce stain. I can’t do this. Please call your mom, you’re making me sad.”)

Oh. Um. This…wow. This is who’s answering the phone-sex lines, fellas. IT COULD BE YOUR MOM. In a CARDIGAN.

Oh, quick Dad-story and then I’m outta here like…shit, I don’t know. Something speedy-fast. Speedy Gonzalez, maybe. The roadrunner. The level of my bank account.

Called Dad today. Missed him yesterday. Night-shift and talking to Dad don’t always mix.

Me: I MISSED YOU YESTERDAY! Is it because you hate me?
Dad: Some might say that. Some would be wrong, but they might say that.
Me: Aw. That’s nice.
Dad: I wasn’t home yesterday because I was KILLING TURKEYS.
Me: Is that a euphemism?
Dad: No. There were turkeys, and I killed them.

Me: Were they charging you? Why the turkey-murder?
Dad: SO I CAN EAT THEM. No, they weren’t charging me. I wasn’t in a turkey-store. Ha! GET IT?
Me: Good one, Dad. OK, so that’s kind of awesome, but also sad, because I like turkeys. They make funny underwater gobbling noises.
Dad: You might be the weirdest daughter I have.
Me: Pretty sure I am.
Dad: I killed two turkeys with one bullet, so that’s efficient. They were lined right up.
Me: Imagine if four turkeys were lined up. That’d probably be a world record.
Dad: And illegal. You can only kill two turkeys in the fall and two in the spring.
Me: I like the strange rules that get put on the turkey-slaughter.
Dad: Oh, I killed that wall-mouse, too.
Me: I hope you didn’t shoot it. Mom doesn’t like guns going off in the house.
Dad: No. With a TRAP.
Me: Did you find the trap that the wall-bear stole?
Dad: No. That’s still missing. Probably that wall-bear-monster still has it.
Me: Jim says you have a pigfishbear in your walls.
Dad: I don’t think I do. What’s a pigfishbear.
Me: Something from a nuclear test site, I think.


Dad: Oh, like a mutant. Huh.
Me: You have to kill it with fire.
Dad: I don’t want to burn down my house to kill a pigfishbear. There’s no nuclears here.
Me: Ok, probably just a bear, then.
Dad: Wait, who’s Jim. Is Jim the one who shunned us in Florida?
Me: I told you he didn’t shun us.
Dad: HE IS DEAD TO ME. I don’t want to talk about him anymore.
Me: Man, you are a formidable enemy to have.
Dad: I really am. People should be more scared. Why aren’t people more scared?
Me: I don’t know. Maybe you should grow a big beard and wear a biker-jacket or something.
Dad: I’m not a HELL’S ANGEL. Those are all killers.

Dad*! (*Not really Dad.)

Me: I don’t think all. Just some.
Dad: All. I saw it on the news.

OK, off to work, my little Hostess cupcakes. Have a happy Friday! Almost the weekend, hooray!

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.

Job interview day! I have/had two interviews today WHOO. Just got home from one and have another this afternoon. I am ALL DRESSED UP. Which means while I’m sitting here waiting to get back on the road for round two of “like me like me LIKE ME,” Dumbcat wants to crawl all over me and get me all furry. NO NO NO DUMBCAT. I don’t think job interviewers would be overly impressed by my skirt being covered in Dumbcat-fur. Well, they MIGHT. But it’s totally doubtful.

ZEE OH EMM GEE. I don’t…WHAT IS THIS. Dumbcat says, “Please do note maek craftes out of meh furres, moMMy, grohss.”

Anyway, the interview this morning seemed to go well, and I’m kind of keen on it, so fingers are crossed. As they have been for over a month now. I would kind of like to un-cross ’em at some point. SOMEONE OFFER ME A STUPID JOB ALREADY SHEESH. I’m going to get finger-cramps. Or, hey, I’ll also take a non-stupid job! A nice job. A very nice job. That pays money that I can spend on things. LISTEN. The first thing I’m buying as soon as I get a real paycheck? CHINESE FOOD. I am DYING for food that costs more than the store-brand and is TERRIBLE for me. And a bottle of wine. SIGH SIGH YUM WANT.

I’m seriously drooling at the moment. I WANT DUMPLINGS.

Job interview two was NOT as good. Let me tell you why. I showed up and it was CREEPY there. Like, I didn’t want to sit down in the office because I thought I would catch MRSA. (I’m not going to say where it was because that’s rude.) Then the first thing the interview lady said (she didn’t even introduce herself, odd) was, “This is a part-time position. Sorry it didn’t say that online. Also, we only pay minimum wage. Still want to continue with the interview?” Um. You couldn’t have CALLED ME AND TOLD ME THAT? (I got the interview after filling out an application online, and through a series of emails, no phone calls. Neither the online job listing or the subsequent emails said anything about it being part-time or how much the job paid.) So I nicely said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I wasn’t aware it was part-time, I really need a full-time position, I’m sorry to have wasted your time,” and she was all “no, whatever, the job listing’s wrong, whatever, see ya.” That was a waste of time, gas, and pantyhose, yo. Although, listen, it’s for the best. Because who wants to get MRSA? Also, I haven’t gotten minimum wage since college. I couldn’t live on it then and I wasn’t paying rent then, I was living in the dorm. I sure as hell couldn’t live on it now. I make almost twice that at my part-time job, come on! I feel TERRIBLE for whoever ends up taking that job, what with the minimum and the MRSA!

This is where the MRSA lives.

Here is a story. BFF works in HR. (Hi, BFF!) BFF said I should periodically check Craig’s List for job listings, because there are sometimes good jobs on there. And he’s right; there are. But also, there are SHADY things on there. That send you emails like “Oh we totally want to hier you click this lienk HERE” (yes, there are actual typos in the emails they send you, very classy) and the link when you hover over it is porn. Thank you, tricksters, for capitalizing on those of us who are not employed and are sad and desperate and trying to become less-so by sending us spammy porn-links and assuming we’re too stupid to know better than to click.

Today, there was a posting that said the following:

$12.50 base-appt.
Conditions apply – 17 w/ diploma is required

So the first thing I thought, of course, was that this was for prostitutes. Or at least those girls that work phone-sex lines.

Looking for a job has made me jaded and bitter. But I still randomly laugh at things like job postings that I think are for sex-industry workers.

Anyway, this is not ALL about jobs! No no no. Well, I guess the following is kind 0f job related. Someone’s doing a job and getting paid for it, all nefarious-like.

The amazing sj, my master musicologist and all-around kickass friend, alerted me to this story the other day.

Apparently, Todd Jason Rutherford runs a company where self-published authors can pay him for reviews. For $99, he’ll write you a review. For $499, he’ll write you 20. For $999, he’ll write you 50. Well, he won’t. He has a whole stable of people he pays $15 a pop to write glowing reviews of books they haven’t read for authors whose books aren’t good enough to get a good review on their own.

Or maybe they are. Think about it, seriously. Who’s buying these reviews? Who publishes a book, thinking it’s not good enough to get reviews on its own? Do you write a book KNOWING it’s terrible? Why would you do this? No one does this. Or do you write a book, and then it fails to get good reviews, and you realize it’s not going to sell any copies without them so you spend some of your hard-earned money on lies? Also, ALSO, who the HELL is spending $1000 on fifty reviews? If you’re doing this, you have the following problem, which is a saying my dad says a lot, and I got from him: “That guy’s got more MONEY than BRAINS!”

This is a very bad book; I think anyone could tell JUST FROM THE TITLE. ZOMG, what IS this? (Also, I don’t think you can still say “midget.” I don’t think it’s PC anymore.)

How far do reviews go, anyway? I think anyone with half a brain takes reviews with a grain of salt, especially if they’re written by someone you don’t know. The New York Times article with the SHOCKING REVEAL of this practice says about a third of all reviews written online are fake. People seem surprised by this. I was more surprised by people’s surprise, to be honest. I assume most reviews on public sites are one of two things: a., fake (written by a friend/family member, someone with an axe to grind, either pro or con, etc.) or b., biased. Aren’t all reviews biased, anyway? What works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else, whether you’re reading reviews for books, makeup, food, or lady-pens. (Please click this link; it’ll make your whole day. BIC! You made PENS for WOMEN? What the hell are you thinking? Our delicate fingers can’t handle a NORMAL pen? Our delicate eyes can’t handle all those bright whites and blues of typical pens? This is ridiculous. This link makes it a little better. My personal favorite is the tampon one.)


As a book reviewer sometimes, it makes me sad that some of us are actually READING these books and giving them HONEST reviews while some people are getting PAID to LIE. Sure, that’s annoying. But we don’t live in the most honest society. People lie. Is this so shocking? Is it really? Does anyone read the reviews on Amazon and think, “OH THIS WILL BE AWESOME” when confronted with a shit-ton of five-stars for a book about alien swampmonsters?

Here’s my thought. Take it as you will. Let’s say you’re looking for a new book to read, and you’re scanning through Amazon. (I don’t know that anyone really does that when looking for a new book – at least among my friends, we all have to-be-read lists as long as our whole LIVES. I have a pile of books to be read that will take up probably the next six months of my life.) If you want to read the reviews of a book – well, great. You can. But first, try this. Read the blurb. Look at the cover art. Read a little about the author. Does it seem like something you might be interested in? Well, great. You can give it a shot, if you want. If you want to do further research, blogs tend to be a little less biased (well, if you find a good blog) than Amazon reviews. (And I find that Goodreads reviews are also less biasy than Amazon reviews – there’s still bias there, but Goodreads readers tend to be, for the most part, pretty intelligent, booky people. I like to read their reviews. I do scan the star-system over at Goodreads when I’m thinking about a new book, sometimes. I like to see how other readers have rated it. It doesn’t change my mind, but I’m curious about it. (Bonus points if my friends have read/rated it.)

Trust the reviews written by the people you know and trust. I trust that Susie and sj aren’t going to steer me wrong. They know what type of books I really enjoy, and they know what I hate, and they are my friends, and we have similar taste (well, we don’t always like the same things, but we have high standards in what we like, and that goes a long way.) I have a handful of other review blogs that I read and make me add books to my pile – I don’t want to list them all here, because if I leave someone out, well, I don’t want to hurt feelings. But there are probably 7-10 blogs that I read that I know write consistently intelligent, well-thought-out reviews. I still read them to see if the book is something I’ll be interested in – I’m still not going to be interested in a book about, say, golf, or boxing, or something (well, unless it’s REALLY well written, I don’t rule anything out in the world, life’s too short) but if they give it a good review, and it’s something I’ll be interested in? Odds are good that’ll make it onto my to-be-read list. My friends C and R also know when I’ll like a book and I trust their recommendations. BFF has similar taste and recommends me books (I’ve lost count of the times I’ve mentioned “I’m reading (whatever)” and he’ll say, “ME TOO!” This also works for television shows. We’re well-matched, me and my BFF.)

So, yes, I listen to the people I know and trust. Here’s a secret, though, ready? Guess who I know and trust most? Me. I 99% of the time know, going into a book, if it’s going to be up my alley or not. Not whether or not it’s going to be the book that CHANGES MY LIFE or whatever, but I know if it’s got all the hallmarks of being something I’ll enjoy. An author who’s written other things I like, or subject matter I like, or published by a publisher I know and trust – I trust my judgment, and I don’t pick a ton of terrible books. (I’ve also gotten better at just stopping when they’re so so bad. Again, life’s too short and my TBR list is too long for bad books.)

Would it surprise you at all that I have this on a teeshirt? Because I do.

So! There is CHICANERY in the book-review world! I totally thought, for a minute, “huh, I could use $15 a review.” I AM POOR GIVE ME A BREAK. Then I decided, nah. My good name and being able to sleep at night is worth more than $15. (Although, listen, I don’t hate the guy who started this service. He’s apparently making $28,000 a year month (THANK YOU SJ! You know, I meant to say month? But I think I couldn’t wrap my mind around that kind of money, considering I’m living on store-brand Cheerios at the moment.) And people are paying him to provide this service. He’s not the asshole here. The authors who are paying someone to lie up their book? Those are the assholes. Sorry, authors, it’s true. If you wrote a shitty book no one can/will write a good review for? That’s on you. WRITE BETTER BOOKS.)

(The title is a Nietzsche quote. I’m not really all that upset. Don’t fret. I didn’t believe most of the reviews to begin with.)

Follow not; I’ll have no speaking: I will have my bond.

It’s Random Crap Thursday, now with politics, work shenanigans, and deep piles of debt! Wait, where are you going, get back here, you. This is going to be AWESOME. OK, fine, maybe your definition of awesome and mine are completely different. It’s going to be…informative? At least you’ll know why I was in such a shitty mood while writing this? FINE. Thank you for coming back. You can have a cookie. NO, I don’t know what kind of cookie. Something with chocolate in it? Good, fine, here you go. Happy now? Great.

I just took a very scientific quiz that told me I agree with Obama on 92% of the issues in the upcoming election. I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t tell Dad about my results on this quiz. In hilarious news, the second-most person I agreed with? Jimmy “THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH” McMillan. YES. This is quite impressive.


Mostly what I agree with about Mr. McMillan is his sense of STYLE. He has a lot of panache. Also, he talks in ALL-CAPS. I like that. Also, he’s a crazy. I like crazies a great deal, as long as they’re not, oh, I don’t know, running the country or following me around singing to me or saying things to me on public transportation. I don’t care for that at all. (Also, he’s still running for president? Why do people do these things? Where does the money come from? Use that money for something more productive, like buying food for poor people or buying me a pony. Dummies.) The person I agreed with on LEAST of the issues, so, therefore, my ENEMY? Romney. Ahem. No comment.

In news of the ill-conceived, I somehow was chosen to train two people for two and a half hours at work tomorrow. Well, by the time you read this it will have come and gone. Sorry. Timeline’s still out of whack over here at the old Football. Still trying to be ahead with LIFE. I had to make up a training sheet, and I have a conference room all checked out for me, and this is all very confusing. OK, so you (probably, I mean, you’re here, aren’t you?) read my blog. You know how I’m kind of all over the place and you probably think some days that I have ADD? I just took ANOTHER very scientific quiz and here’s what it says. (Apparently you can’t take JUST an ADD quiz, it’s ADHD or nothing. When did this happen? ANNOYING.) 

I apparently have something in the middle of these brains. Look how pretty a normal brain is! That brain is shooting out MIND BULLETS.

You appear to suffer from mild attention and concentration difficulties according to your responses to this self-report questionnaire. You should not take this as a diagnosis of any sort, or a recommendation for treatment. However, you may want to look into seeking further consultation with a trained mental health professional if you are experiencing any difficulties in daily functioning due to these difficulties or if you’d like a more in-depth answer. 

Oh, well, that’s nice. It’s only mild. Only MILD ADHD. (Mostly the questions I was like “nope” on were ones like “is your brain talking to you like a television set?” Um. No. No, it’s not. Do people who have ADHD’s brains talk to them like their brains are a television set? Is it tuned to a good channel? Because maybe I want that, after all. That’d be ok, wouldn’t it?)

I feel like this is the channel my brain would be tuned to most of the time. Or maybe cartoons. It could be cartoons. Or “Buffy.”

ANYWAY (is this proving my point I didn’t even make yet? YES) they want ME, who can’t even stick to the point in a BLOG POST, to train these people. I’m going to need a bigger boat, or in the very least, more than the 2.5 hours that’s been allotted to me. Here’s the thing. It’s kind of weird? OK, here are my issues with this training. 

  • I’ve never trained anyone at work before. At the theater, sure. But not at work. So I’m already all nervous. 
  • The people I’m training aren’t here to learn. I know, you’re all, WHAT? right now. Me, too. Here’s the scoop: we just merged with another company. They’re smaller than us, so we – I don’t know, what’s the term? Absorbed them, I guess? They’re in another town, so they’re staying there, but with our name on their office from now on. We don’t, however, want them to feel like we’re evil usurpers, so we’re not making them change the way they do anything (except we are making them change some of the software they use, so we can all be using the same software since we’re all on the same server now. At least I think it’s the server. Don’t ask in-depth questions about this, because that’s as technical as I can get. Me + computers = glassy eyes and confused stammering.) SO, the two administrative lackeys there, whose job is the same as mine here, are coming here to see how we do things here tomorrow. But they’re under no obligation to change what they do. So why are they coming? And why am I training them? And providing pretty handouts that I totally made up and they’re stapled and everything? If they’re not going to be changing to our system, I mean? I mean, yes, I guess if they like the way we do something here, they might WANT to change, but who likes change and submits happily to it? Like, no one. Everyone fights change. This is going to be all kinds of awkward. Also, does anyone else get the feeling these two women just want a paid day away from their office? Or am I just being suspicious for no reason? 

    Even my hot boyfriend Jake is suspicious.

  • My office, who thinks I’m all RAGEMONSTER (actually, only when I’m here, guys, there’s a direct correlation and it has to do with YOUR FACES) has told me fourteen times I need to be nice to these people. What the hell do they think I’m going to do, get them in a conference room and start screaming and throwing potted plants at them? And now that I’ve been told I can’t, it’s all I want to do. HULK ANGRY! HULK SMASH!  

    ME AT WORK. (Not really, but I’m pretty sure this is what they see when they look at me.)

    (I just took ANOTHER quiz and it says I’m probably going to have an anger-related meltdown: “A score of this type suggests that you are seriously prone to anger problems. Anger problems are likely causing difficulty in family, social and/or occupational settings. We strongly recommend that you seek out an anger management program – available through your EAP program at work or through local therapists – to help yourself learn better, more constructive ways to manage your anger.” WHAT THE HELL IS EAP THAT MAKES ME SO PISSED. Honestly, I’m really only FURIOUSLY ANGRY at work, and not ALL the time. Just when I have to talk to others, or do any work, or when I’m getting paid, or when I’m not. In my life, I’m about 75% non-stabby. I think that’s fine! I don’t think I’m going to strangle anyone, kitten or human or otherwise. CALM DOWN PEOPLE.) 

  • THEN, when the unnecessary training is done, I have to take these women out to lunch. I’m pretty low on the ladder, so am not sure how this works. Is the corporate world usually so full of wasted time, money and tomfoolery? If so, how does anyone get anything done? What’s that? They give all their work to people like me? Oh, OH, so THAT’S what’s going on! Things are so much CLEARER now! 

So this will be good times, won’t it? YES. Oh, one of my coworkers was supposed to help me with the training but she refuses to check her work email so she “doesn’t know what’s happening in the office.” Somehow she doesn’t get in trouble for this. If it was me, I’d have been pulled into a conference room full of management-types, had to sign a ton of paperwork, and be told QUITE STERNLY that MY INSUBORDINATION WILL NOT STAND and these signed documents will be going IN MY PERMANENT FILE. I mean. Hypothetically, of course. Who’s something like THAT ever happened to? Certainly not anyone writing this BLOG! Whoo! 

Insubordination! My favorite of all the nations.

Oh, let’s see, what else is kicking around my brain of braininess. Oh, so I owe a kabillion dollars in student loan debt? Like, that’s why I have to work the second job, just to pay INTEREST in it each month? And I never pay down any of the capital, not even a penny, and it keeps getting BIGGER and BIGGER and at this point, what are you going to do but laugh, right? Nothing. I can’t not pay it, or I think they’ll send goons, or possibly Men in Black. So I pay the minimum I can pay without them coming to kneecap me and watch the total go up every month and just think, meh, this is what happens if you make BAD LIFE CHOICES LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! 

I take a lot of rights.

Anyway, so I was in this government consolidation thing up until a couple of weeks ago, where after paying religiously for 25 years, they wrote off whatever was left, Even if, by 25 years of not touching the capital, what you owe is enough to buy an deeeeeluxe apartment in the skyyyyyy. (You’re laughing right now, but what’s funnier is I AM NOT EXAGGERATING.) It’s written off! It’s gone! It’s called the Debt Forgiveness Program! (What’s humorous is, that year? I will have to pay income taxes on that amount, because it’s treated as income for that year only. HA HA HA! How will THAT work? I don’t know. It’ll look like I’m a ZILLIONAIRE! And I will never be able to pay those taxes, never. I guess whoever’s the president then will be able to buy a new jet with my taxes, though.) 

I’m sure the president will need another one of these. I WILL PROVIDE THAT FOR YOU MR. (or MRS.) PRESIDENT!

Anyway, I got a letter from the government a couple of weeks ago saying they’d SOLD MY LOAN to some shady-ass debt collector, see ya, so long, you’re a bad credit risk, you’re never going to fund our vacations to Maui paying only the minimum, Ms. Lucy’s Football. So I was IMMEDIATELY freaking the hell out because a., I can barely afford to pay what I’m paying now (sincerely, my minimum, which, as mentioned, doesn’t even TOUCH the capital) is almost as much as my rent each month, and b., what if the DEBT FORGIVENESS PROGRAM I’ve been hanging my hopes and dreams on each month is GONE now? The government never mentioned they could just sell my loan to some Loan Shark Larry. Grumble. 


(Before you’re all “AMY! You are a DEADBEAT! I will have paid off my whole debt probably twice over by the time I’m 65. It’s not my fault the interest is insane. I refuse to feel guilty for that.)

So yesterday I got a letter from them. What’s it say? Oh, nothing, hi, we’re your new lords and masters, you now owe TWICE AS MUCH A MONTH THAN YOU WERE PAYING. Twice! Twice as much!  

So after I took a nitroglycerine pill to stop my upcoming heart attack and had a cool beverage, I called them today to have a conversation. 

Listen, I was PREPARED FOR WAR. I had all documentation all spread out around me and my tax return saying that I make just a slight bit more than someone folding sweaters at the Gap makes and I was ready to get shouty. 

However? They were actually really nice. I think they’re getting a lot of panicky calls right now. They said I had to fax them a copy of my most recent tax return, they’d put my payments back where they were once they verified my income, and that the Debt Forgiveness Program is for everyone, not just through this government thing I was doing, and that it carries over, so when I started paying them off (I think it was about 7 years ago – I totally hid from my student loans for a while, because they couldn’t find me because I’d moved and hell, I knew I’d never be able to pay them back and they’d find me eventually, don’t judge unless you’ve been where I was at the time, eating people’s leftovers and ramen and sometimes living without electricity or phone for a couple weeks at a time because you couldn’t afford the bills and wondering, would it be so BAD to live in the car? Would it REALLY? Think of the extra cash you’d save, without having to pay rent!) was when the 25 year time-clock started ticking. So when I’m approximately 65, give or take a few years because I don’t remember the exact date I started paying? NO MORE STUDENT LOANS, BABY! I will celebrate by buying some Metamucil and new tennis balls for the footies of my walker. 

Aw, me when I’m ollllld!

However, I found it a tad bit shady that when I tried to send them my tax return, the fax number they gave me (and then the second one they gave me when I called all panicky) were invalid. Um. Not a good way to instill confidence, people. Also, I was on hold waiting for someone to help me for half an hour. After that, I was the asshole who kept punching “0” for operator. Enough waiting. I’m at work, for the love of Pete. And it was BUSY this morning. I mean, obviously it’s not NOW. But it was this morning! And I was all tied up talking to people about money I don’t have, which always makes me all panic-attacky! Anyway, they finally gave me an email to PDF the whole mess to, so we’ll see what happens. I’m choosing not to freak out until I get the letter telling me what my monthly payment is in the next month or so. (And honestly, probably not even then. You’ve heard the old “blood from a stone” saying, right? There’s only so much I can pay. Don’t fret, jellybeans. I’m not.)

Don’t squeeze me, bro. There’s only so much blood in there, and I need that. For LIFE.

Anyway, my advice, kids and kiddos, is probably don’t take out a million student loans? Or go to an out-of-state grad school relying completely on student loans? Because they are a huge scam. I mean, sure, it’s nice to get an education, but they’re not free money at all, even though you’re taking out these huge, life-altering loans at a time when money is not a real thing to you, because you’re just a kid and it doesn’t all seem real, like a credit card or Monopoly money. Or, if you do decide to take them out, plan on getting a really good job after college so you can pay them back? Because otherwise, they’re going to be hanging over your head until you’re of Social Security age. Also, if anyone’s wondering why I never have any money? There you go. I don’t have money because I have an EDUCATION. Which…well, isn’t doing me any good at all, actually. I could have learned everything I learned in college on my own. Sorry, but that’s totally true. I furthered both my English and my theater education with real-world experience and kept up my studying on my own by reading anything that looked interesting I could get my hands on, and I’m more educated now in both of the fields than I was as a bright-eyed bushy-tailed girl right out of college ready to take on the world. I shit you not. 

OK, so that was a TOTAL downer. Sorry. Um…in happier news, I saw the next-to-last edit of my book today? I had a couple changes to make, then I see the final edit, then it GOES TO PRESS. And copies get sent to the reviewers. And and and and I AM SO EXCITED. That’s my happiest thing today. That’s what I’m keeping my eye on. 

Off to a board meeting. I will attempt not to strangle anyone. I PROMISE I WILL ATTEMPT. I make no guarantees. 

%d bloggers like this: