Category Archives: life in general
When did we Chicagoans turn into a bunch of pansies when it comes to snow? It’s a disturbing trend that seems to worsen each year. Every single time it snows, the media plays it up so much that one would think the fucking end of the world was imminent. Up until a few years ago, the news broadcast would be something like, “Oh, and we’re probably going to get some snow tomorrow, so plan accordingly!” Now, each time the radar has a speck of white on it, they’re all, “OH MY GOD IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD SHUT THE STATE DOWN AND BEGIN STOCKING CANNED GOODS!! EMERGENCY!!!!” And like freaking sheep, we buy into it, nodding our heads, bemoaning the disaster to befall us the next day.
When did we forget that 90% of the time, the weather broadcasters are wrong? And barring that, when did we forget that we live in Chicago?? It’s the Midwest, everyone! We’re hearty people! Five inches of snow? Pssht. Shovel it out, throw a lawn chair in your parking spot, and head on into work. Unless there’s over a foot, the only thing that needs to be said is, “Eh, really coming down out there, huh?” This is why we keep shovels in our cars (well, obviously I don’t, but that’s because I’m woefully unprepared for pretty much any situation. Sometimes I forget to wear a coat,) bags of salt in our doorways, and have boots. Because we live in Chicago. And it fucking snows here. Occasionally, it snows a whole fucking lot. And we know this. Because it’s CHICAGO and that’s what happens in the winter.
That being said, here’s a couple things to help you keep in mind for the next “Snowpocalypse,” which will probably happen sometime around the second week in April.
Whilst Waiting for the Bus – Use Caution.
I was actually pretty happy it was snowing this morning. It was that big, pretty snow that just made the city look beautiful. And while it was coming down pretty hard by the time I left for work, it was relatively warm and I happily made my way to the bus stop, listening to Pandora and just generally enjoying my lovely, snow-covered city.
When I got to the corner where my stop is, I was the only one there and saw a bus coming from only about a block away. I learned quickly in my CTA adventures that if you are the only one at a bus stop, it’s necessary to make yourself visible as otherwise your transportation will go zooming past you without a second glance, leaving you standing on the sidewalk like a dolt with your bus card in your hand, all, “But, whaaa? Wait! You didn’t stop!” (This doesn’t make them come back for you, FYI.) So I was standing right up under the sign, trying to make eye contact with the yet-unseen driver, when a complete douchetard in a stupid car came flying down Chicago, going way too fast for conditions, I might add, spraying the giant pile of accumulated slush over my head in a manuever that probably should have been on YouTube. The first time this happened to me earlier this year, I laughed it off, saying I hope someone at least saw it so they had a good story. This time? Kind of wanted to throw baseball bats at his car. Added bonus? The aforementioned driver saw the whole thing and added insult to (wet) injury by remarking, “Pretty messy out here, huh?”
Pretty, Giant Snowflakes Can Cover Up Ugly, Giant Ice Patches.
If you live outside city limits, you probably don’t have to do a lot of walking in the snow. While this certainly presents its own challenges – namely, driving in stop and go traffic because everyone forgets how to operate an automobile the second cumulus clouds develop – having to travel on foot in snowy weather is a whole other bag of pain in the ass. Especially if one lives in a neighborhood where shoveling your sidewalk is not a priority. Which my neighborhood apparently is. Despite it being a relatively mild winter, what snow/ice that has accumulated has stayed right where it started and to put it bluntly, it’s slippery as all fuck outside. Which, if you have a short memory like yours truly, can pose a problem. As I stepped out, my enjoyment of the beautiful snow was quickly undercut as I stepped one foot into the alley and nearly snapped my leg in half trying to overcorrect after hitting a patch of ice the size of my dining room table. Use caution, folks. There’s evil underfoot in the form of solid ice posing as snow.
Don’t Log In to Facebook. I Promise. Just Don’t.
As I may have mentioned before, weather updates via Facebook make me kind of homicidal. Pictures of your backyard, kids/dog in the snow, a fabulous snowman? Bring it on. Love it. I get that. Got stuck for four and a half hours in traffic? Okay, I can understand that one. Posting statuses freaking out from 5PM the night before the impending doomstorm that may or may not actually happen? Stop it. Just stop it. Yes, it probably will take forever to get to work tomorrow. Yes, it probably will take forever to get HOME from work tomorrow. Yes, it probably will snow. Yes, it probably will be messy. Yes, drivers probably will be fucking morons. Yes, you probably will be one of them. STOP. IT.
Side note? I have to say this. Teachers? I do love you. You have a nearly impossible job, which is thankless, underpaid, underappreciated, and extraordinarily stressful. So please don’t misunderstand when I say if I see one more post about how you have a snow day BEFORE THERE IS ANY SNOW, I will kind of want to punch you. Also? To those few who didn’t get a snow day and took to social media whining and complaining about how you can’t believe your school is the one that didn’t give you a snow day and how dare they expect you to work – um, you’re pretty much part of the only profession that gets to not work due to weather. Every single other person in the Chicagoland area has to figure out how to get to work tomorrow - you can do it too! You’re a teacher! I have full confidence that you can navigate your way to school just like the rest of us have to navigate ourselves to work.
In a nutshell – stand back from the street, watch your step, and quit your bitching. Embrace the snow. Enjoy it. It’s a short few months before we’re all sticking to the seat of the car and sitting in front of box fans and complaining about our sunburns. And guess what? We’ll survive that too. Promise.
I’ve never been accused of being a girly-girl. While I had a deep-seated love for Cabbage Patch Kids and boy bands as a child, (and yeah, the boy band thing may not have gone away,) I dressed up as a hockey player in third grade when other girls were princesses. I was trying to play quarterback when my classmates were playing cheerleader. I panic at the thought of shopping, have to consciously stop myself from using the word ”fuck” while talking to co-workers and “new people,” as I call them, and some of my favorite jokes are ones that cannot be told in polite company. (Which is a good thing, given my choice of husband and friends.) (Seriously, we keep a list on our fridge of “Things That Have Never Been Said Before,” that actually have been said at my house. Most of them are not repeatable.)
Keeping the above in mind, I was ecstatic that Seth MacFarlane was hosting the Oscars. (My non-girliness does not extend to awards shows. I love awards shows. Fucking LOVE them. All the dresses and hair and the shoes and the red carpet and the excitement and the famous people. Can’t get enough.) I looked forward to them more than I had in years – because seriously? The hosts always try to make some jokes about the attendees, and they always seem to fall flat – Billy Crystal excepted – because everyone is so afraid of offending someone or stepping over the line. But Seth MacFarlane, who makes fun of everyone, exploits every weakness, and isn’t afraid to drop an f-bomb here or there? He would be fabulous!
And I thought he was. Sure, he teeter-tottered on that tightrope of offensiveness, but for the most part, I thought he did a great job of not going overboard while simultaneously keeping what’s normally a tedious couple of hours entertaining. So I was somewhat surprised at the backlash he received the following day, being called misogynistic, sexist, racist, and culminating in the “Worst Oscars Ever.” People? You all need to calm the fuck down. Seriously. Re-fucking-lax. Take a joke.
The Salma Hayek, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz joke.
While mentioning the above three, MacFarlane joked, ““We have no idea what they’re saying but we don’t care because they’re so attractive.” Um, hello? Every single time Penelope Cruz is on TV, I’m all, “What? What did she say?” I can’t understand her. Does it make her stupid? Absolutely not. Does it make her any less of a phenomenal actress? No. Does it take away from her award-winning performances? Negative. Same with Bardem and Hayek. All he did was find the possibility of a flaw in three of the most beautiful people on the planet and exploited it. Did anyone come after Ellen DeGeneres after this commercial where she tells Sofia Vergara, “That’s because no one can understand you.” NO. Why was this different?
The Abraham Lincoln Joke.
While talking about the film “Lincoln,” MacFarlane remarked, “This is interesting, Daniel Day-Lewis is not the first actor to be nominated for playing Lincoln. Raymond Massey portrayed him in 1940’s “Abe Lincoln In Illinois.” This is true. I would argue, however, that the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth.” Much of the audience waited a beat before groaning in disgust and I thought the host’s response of, “Is 150 years too soon?” was hilarious. C’mon, Hollywood. You’re going to gasp in disapproval and be all offended? You know if you were on your couch at home and not on the camera you would have laughed. It. Was. Funny. How many people do you think started to laugh and then when they heard the murmur of disapproval changed their minds and shook their heads? I bet it was a lot.
This is perhaps MacFarlane’s most maligned number of the night. Short version, he sang a song highlighting several women who have been topless in various films, and the reaction from some of those mentioned? Was not positive, to put it mildly. Um, ladies? We did see your boobs. You can call it art, you can call it acting, you can defend it in the name of your craft all you want. You still showed your tits in front of a camera, for millions of people to see. Does that mean it’s degrading, or not artistic, or distasteful? No. But you still showed your boobs. I promise you, Seth MacFarlane is not the only person that internally giggles when he sees you and thinks, all Beavis and Butthead style, “Heh. I’ve seen her boobs.” And if you didn’t consider that possibility, you’re kind of dumb. And the fact that these women, Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, and Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, actually took the time to write a letter to the academy, stating that MacFarlane’s jokes, “reduced our finest female actresses to caricatures and stereotypes, degrading women as a whole and the filmmaking industry itself,” makes me think that politicians in California? Probably need some more focus. Seriously, folks, these are Hollywood actresses. And please don’t get me wrong here – I’m honestly not downplaying their accomplishments or talents, or fabulous boobs, for that matter – but honestly? An enormous portion of these women’s collective success is based on their phenomenal looks. And I promise you, they got paid a substantial amount more for showing their knockers than if they’d refused. If you don’t want people to mention they’ve seen your boobs – don’t show your fucking boobs. It’s quite simple, really.
In short? Get over yourselves, Hollywood. You’re not classy anymore, and if we dig down deep enough, you really haven’t ever been. There’s always been scandals and sex tapes and cheating and mysterious deaths and tragic downfalls and profanity and nastiness and cover-ups. And if you don’t want that exposed on your big, shining, celebratory evening where you all act like you’re the bestest of friends and you wouldn’t stab your tablemate with a salad fork if you thought it would get you a better role? Don’t ask someone who has made their living saying what everyone else is too afraid to say to be your host for the evening.
Cheers to you, Seth MacFarlane. I thought you were great.
As anyone who has read this blog knows, a good portion of it is dedicated to venting about people that have shown some sort of incompetence. Whether it’s in line at the grocery store, on a crowded bus, or on my computer or television in the form of “news,” and “celebrities,” pretty much everyone I have any sort of contact with who isn’t one of my immediate friends or family is a fucktard in my mind.
Although I spend a lot of time seething over other’s idiocy, rest assured, I’m hardly sitting on some high horse. I mean, this morning, I went to put on my rainboots as I was determined not to fall on my ass yet again and found a dollar bill, three bottle caps, and two crumpled up drawings of clowns that appeared to be in jail jammed in the foot. Despite not having children to blame this on, I wasn’t surprised. So believe me, my glass castle shattered some moons ago. Despite this, I still have no problem calling out the general public on their inadequacies and dumbfuckery at the grocery store or on the bus. However, I’ve had a few incidents in the past week or so which have me think that perhaps I’m being a tad judgmental. And that sometimes? I’m the fucktard.
Incident #1 – Dominicks.
Earlier this week, I made my daily stop to Dominicks after work. There appeared to be four thousand people in the store, and the lines were already about 15 deep. I got hit with a cart, blocked by a trio of elderly ladies debating the merits of their yogurt brands, accosted by someone posing as a medical professional who wanted to check my spine, and almost exploded from holding in profanity whilst waiting for the cutesy couple in front of me to figure out how to pull a produce bag off the roll. (Hint – it’s not by standing there and giggling, “OMG! I ripped another bag! You try!” “No, you try! You can do it!.” So very much hate.) By the time I got to the end of the line behind 17 people waiting for the self-checkout, I was already kind of crazy and spent the next 15 minutes in line cursing each and every one of my fellow shoppers. I was seething at the inefficiency and sheer stupidity of these folks who were holding up the line. Tapping my foot, rolling my eyes, sighing huffily – the whole nine yards.
Until I got my own dumb ass up there, scanned my container of soup (one of the main reasons I still frequent Dominicks is they have the most amazing baked potato soup on the planet,) a six-pack of Miller Lite, a roll of toilet paper, and some cat food. It was right about here that I realized I had eight singles in my purse, along with a whole mess of quarters. Now, not only am I that person holding up the line, but I’m paying for the saddest combination of items ever WITH CHANGE. And then? I ran out of quarters. So if I was looking for a lesson in humility, I certainly got it while digging for sixty more cents in my purse while everyone behind me tapped their feet in exasperation, rolled their eyes, and mentally called me a pathetic jackass in unison.
Incident #2 – CTA Part One.
The CTA has done everyone a big favor since the new year in raising their prices on one-day, three-day, and seven-day passes. And by “done everyone a favor,” I really mean bent them over without consent, lube, or dinner. Without going into all of the math, it is no longer economically efficient for me to buy a seven-day pass and instead makes more sense to buy ten dollar CTA cards every couple of days. Which means, of course, with me being me and whatnot, I occasionally find myself near running to (fucking) Dominick’s before work once a week because I forgot my pass is no longer valid. Earlier this week, I got on the bus, put in my card, and got the hateful message that there was only $.75 on my card. Once again finding myself digging around for change, I assumed the bus driver would do what every other bus driver does when the person is short, which is either wave them on or let other, better prepared folks board while I got my shit together.
But if that had happened, it wouldn’t be my life. So instead, the bus driver just sat there while I dug around frantically for my wallet – and isn’t it always the case that the more you’re in a panicked rush, the more shit you drop? Seriously, normally I can reach in my purse without looking and find my lighter, keys, and phone within seconds – leaving everyone waiting behind me in literal freezing rain. After I’d dropped my lunch on the floor, pulled out a tampon wrapped around my headphones, and mistook a quarter for a penny, I finally had enough to carry on and began walking through the near empty bus while other passengers boarded. And apparently said bus driver really had it in for me, because as soon as my last quarter passed through, everyone else jumped on the bus and she immediately slammed on the gas. At which point I dropped my lunch a-fucking-gain and was too afraid to bend over and pick it up while the bus was lurching to and fro, then caught my foot in the plastic bag it was in and nearly gave someone a very unwelcome lap dance.
Incident #3 – CTA Part Two.
I get out of work at 5:30 every night. From there I catch the Blue Line at Clark/Lake in order to catch my bus. For those unfamiliar, the Clark/Lake stop is a relatively busy one, as every other train line save the Red Line stops there. In addition, 5:30 is somewhat of a turning point – it’s not necessarily considered “rush hour,” anymore, so if you miss a train by 30 seconds, you may be stuck waiting for another 12 minutes listening to the guy play the buckets and desecrating some classic Temptations hits. The Blue Line train also runs to the airport, so quite often I’ve found myself behind some clueless tourists who are trying to pull their giant luggage through the turnstiles. (Another hint – it ALWAYS gets stuck. Always.) While I’ve certainly been frustrated by this, I will honestly say I never get mad at the tourists, because they don’t know any better and I do not forget that not long ago I was right there with them, terrified and confused by all of the people rushing by me.
That being said, I have often become apoplectic with the girls carrying giant gym bags, the sales guys in suits and backpacks standing at the turnstiles and just waving their wallet in front of the sensor despite it CLEARLY NOT RECOGNIZING THEIR CARD, the vagrants trying nine different cards that they’ve found on the ground, and the folks that get up to the turnstile and then begin searching for their pass, holding up the rest of the line for us savvy travelers. All of that being said, I have to wonder what names I was called today as I bopped up to the turnstiles with my headphones, singing along to Tiffany, when my card wasn’t accepted. No worries, I took it out, waited a beat, then tried to put it in again. No dice. Wouldn’t even go in the slot. Waited another moment – not noticing the security guard trying to get my attention as I was too involved in my music – and tried again. Nothing. Now, I’m irritated, and at the same time I look up to get the guard’s attention, he taps me on the shoulder. Exasperated, I turn around – with headphones still on, mind you – and make a “WHAT?” gesture. He points at my ear and I yank a headphone out, all, “Yes??” ”It’s upside down, ma’am.” Me. (And I’m embarrassed about this, honestly.) ”What? I can’t hear you.” ”Your card. You’re putting it in upside down.”
I wonder how many people are telling stories about the dumb blonde they got stuck behind this week?
I really wanted to title this something more angry, (Three People That Should Be Shot Into the Sun was a frontrunner,) but I took a step back and tried to remember that one of the reasons I love my country so much is that we are all protected by the First Amendment and everyone is entitled to their opinion. No matter how much someone’s opinion makes me want to kick them in the shins, no matter how much I disagree, no matter how fucking wrong and ignorant they are, no matter how much they make me fear for humanity – they are entitled to their opinion. That being said? These people might want to reconsider theirs.
For the full perspective, please read the full article. It needs to be noted that the school itself, including its principal and administrators, are NOT in favor of this joke of a prom and instead welcome all students, regardless of sexual preference, to the actual dance and are not budging on the issue. This “Traditional Prom,” which would only include male/female couples and would ban homosexuals, has been developed by a select group of students, parents, and this fabulous teacher that everyone would obviously want to have. And by “everyone would want to have,” I mean OH SWEET BABY JESUS I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS WOMAN IS AN EDUCATOR. Ms. Medley has certainly come under the most fire for her comments, and I would almost feel sorry for her if she wasn’t such an idiot. In an interview, Ms. Medley compared her LGBT students to her special needs students, that she “cares” about her homosexual students despite not believing in homosexuality, and my personal favorite, responded “No,” to a question regarding whether homosexuals have a purpose.
Really? Are we not in 2013? I mean, I’m not a moron. I realize that we have a long way to go before there’s true equality and so on and so forth. But the fact that this woman, who is a teacher, who should be a CHAMPION of those that society shuns, can say with a straight face that she cares about all of her students while actively judging them astounds me. How much would you like to bet she also has strong opinions about her black students, about her overweight kids, about her goth kids, about her artistic students? I mean, she certainly SEEMS well rounded and not at all condescending, but – oh wait, no she doesn’t.
Despite a deep-seated love for both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, I haven’t yet seen “Identity Thief.” The movie itself might suck, I don’t know. But Mr. Reed’s comments about Melissa McCarthy are, in short, disgusting. The review seems to be an almost personal, vitriolic assault on McCarthy, calling her, “tractor-sized,” “a hippo,” and “obnoxious and obese.” I’m going to skip over the obvious, which could include things like, “Rex Reed is a complete dickhead,” “Rex Reed needs a fucking full-length mirror if he’s going to throw stones at people about their looks,” and “The females in Rex Reed’s life are probably super proud of him.” Instead, I say for one, I surely hope the fabulous Melissa is laughing all the way to the bank, as the movie was the highest-grossing yet this year and she has that whole Golden Globe/Oscar thing to fall back on. Two? I’m glad that the response has been overwhelmingly negative towards this narrow minded prick. I hope that the lesson that comes out of this is that, regardless of size, if you are awesome at what you do and work hard at it, you will be embraced in a positive manner and hopefully rewarded. I hope the other lesson is that if you’re a mean-spirited jerkface, people will eventually stop liking you. You’re losing the internet, Rex Reed.
So Pastor Alois Bell of the Almighty Church of Jerks that Shouldn’t Go Out To Eat, during a trip Applebees a few weeks ago, thought that if their large party split their check, they could sneak around the mandatory 18% gratuity on large parties. This is a common tactic among people that suck at going out to dinner, and as a former waitress is one of the several things that made me want to take a hostage after several hours of fetching water for a party of ten. Her waitress for the evening was not fooled by the ruse and added the 18% gratuity anyhow. Pastor Bell wasn’t having it, and scratched out the TWENTY NINE CENT tip, scribbling “I give God 10%, why do you get 18?”
Well, Ms. Bell, let me tell you. Because I? Have been running around like a fucking maid for you for the past two hours. I am in the position of depending on high and mighty jerks like you to pay for my rent and groceries. Which is why I ran around like a maid for you for the past two hours. I took all of your orders, I brought your drinks, I remembered who wanted medium and who wanted rare, I kept your glasses filled, I cleared your plates, I walked each and every person in your party through the menu because IT’S VERY CONFUSING, being Applebees and all, I explained your desserts, I found a vegan entree, I unearthed the special dipping sauce you like, I wiped up the sticky fucking mess the children in your party threw on the floor, I boxed up three bites of a cheeseburger for you to take home, I made fresh coffee because yours “tasted old,” I reheated your bread, and I split your fucking check eight different ways. And I did it all with a smile. For TWENTY NINE FUCKING CENTS. You know why? Because I take my job seriously, as demeaning and demoralizing as it can be. You can give God whatever you want, and bless you for it. But I’m pretty sure He would want you to give your waitress TWENTY NINE CENTS for waiting on you hand and foot all night. Also? If this is truly your belief, why are you angry and embarrassed about it now that someone other than your lowly waitress is aware of it?
***Edited: It appears I was incorrect in the tip amount; it was actually $6.29. Point remains the same.***
In short – yes, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and beliefs. And yes, I recognize the irony of writing an opinion piece on other people’s opinions. To quote one of my favorite movies ever, “Opinions are like assholes, honey. Everybody’s got one and everybody thinks everybody else’s stinks.”
Ever have one of those days where, right in the middle of something, your brain is all, “What in the fuck is WRONG with you? How do you even manage to remember to put on pants?” This can’t just be me, right? Other people have to have those moments where they think, “Hmm. I’m not sure what choices led me to this exact moment, but I definitely regret them at this particular juncture in my life.” I’m going to assume that this is true for everyone. However, it occurred to me when this thought jumped into my subconscious several times in the same evening that perhaps I need more adult supervision.
A Night in the Life of the Eternally Perplexed.
- First thought upon entering the house (and turning all of the lights on,) is “Dammit! I forgot cat food again.”
- Spend a few too many minutes wondering if cats can survive 12 more hours without food. Strongly consider filling the dish with treats and seeing what happens.
- Flash forward to trying to clean up cat vomit with toilet paper because I also forgot paper towels and head back to the store-that-shall-not-be-named.
- Ponder the effectiveness of “Stop Only if Pedestrians are Present,” signs in the middle of Chicago Ave.
- Decide with certainty signs are NOT effective after nearly being knocked airborne by a bitch on a scooter whilst crossing said street.
- Check weather report – you will not fool me tomorrow, Mother Nature!
- Seriously, who fucking loses a pair of winter boots? Especially someone who only owns one pair?
- Oh, remember when you didn’t feel like changing your shoes at work the last time it snowed and nearly lost your toes to frostbite? Check under your desk, smartypants.
- You will not fool me Mother Nature, but apparently you will win. Again.
- Hmm, what’s for dinner?
- Well, not whatever was in THAT container. Let’s just put that right back where we found it, shall we?
- Hey, leftover garlic shrimp and pasta! Surely my husband hasn’t been looking forward to this all night!
- Hmm. Not quite enough for the pastatravaganza I was hoping for. I know, I’ll add some more noodles and saute some garlic and onions to add!
- Let’s just move this plastic plate to this OTHER burner, out of the way.
- Singing along, “He was a Skater Boy, said see you later boy!”
- I miss Avril LaVigne.
- Wow, this onion’s taking a long time. Hope the garlic’s not burning.
- FIRE!! PLATE ON FIRE!!!
- Do we have a fire extinguisher?
- OF COURSE YOU DON’T YOU FUCKING IDIOT! YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A FLASHLIGHT!
- What’s that type of fire you can’t throw water on??!!! Is it a stove fire?
- I have flour! Should I throw flour on it?
- GREASE FIRE, DUMMY. THROW WATER ON IT.
- Hmm. That sort of worked.
- MOVE THE TOWEL.
- More water. It’s working!
- Holy shit, plastic burns quick.
- GET. A. BIGGER. RECEPTACLE.
- “The fire’s out, kitties! It’s safe now!”
- I loved that plate.
- Pretty sure those noodles are ruined. Let me just throw them in the leftovers anyway.
- Well, now everything you were going to eat is ruined. Dipshit.
After cleaning up all of the water I had tossed around the kitchen in my manic firefighting attempt, I had a beer and went to bed. Sometimes, you just have to give up and start over tomorrow.
I’m guessing it’s safe to say that tomorrow isn’t holding a lot of promise of normalcy, either, but I’m sure going to keep trying.
Not long ago, I was standing in my kitchen, cutting some plastic rings from an empty six-pack in half, when a friend asked me, “Um, what in the fuck are you doing?” Surprised at his surprise, I answered, “Well, I’m cutting these so the baby ducks don’t get strangled by them! Don’t you do that?” In response to his blank stare, I continued, “Seriously? Didn’t you ever see that horrible commercial where those poor ducks had these wrapped around their necks because they get in lakes and stuff from the garbage? They get stuck and DIE! It’s horrible! I always cut them.” After a longer, blanker, but markedly more concerned stare, I was all, “What? Why would you want baby ducks to die? It’s not hard. It only takes a minute and hey, I’ve saved a duck.”
After the above exchange – in which I learned everyone I know apparently doesn’t give a SHIT about baby ducks – I started thinking about other common courtesies I engage in that others apparently don’t. My conclusion? Either I’m too nice or everyone else is an asshole.
Holding a Door for the Person Behind Me.
As long as I can remember, this has pretty much been de riguer for any situation. If you open a door and someone is following, unless it’s a mugger, you hold the door. You don’t have to roll out a red carpet and bugle, but giving that person the option to not have a door slammed in their surprised face really is the polite thing to do.
Apologizing After Accidentally Injuring Someone.
I’m one of those idiots that will apologize to a door if I accidentally bump into it. If you body check me into a post trying to get on the train, the words “I’m sorry!” will jump out of my mouth faster than my brain can reconcile that I was not the one at fault. I do realize not everyone is like this. However, if the situation ever arises in which you accidentally (I hope) knock a can of Spaghettios onto someone’s head at the grocery store, I have to believe it should be the norm to apologize. (Yes, that happened to me. Yes, it really fucking hurt. And yes, I called the lady that did and then sauntered off a whole lot of bad, bad names. In my head.)
Be Responsible for Your Pets’ Behavior.
Yes, my cats are assholes. Yes, they’ve sent a few folks to the hospital. However, I warn people that they are assholes. “Oh, cute kitties! Hi Kitty!” by newcomers receives the response of, “Yeah, she’s cute. But she bites. Hard. And scratches. Until she draws blood. Please don’t touch her.” If your dog gallumphs up to me, delightfully sniffing at my crotch, I’m going to assume he’s friendly. A simple, “He’s not really a people person!” or the like would be a fabulous warning that the cuteness my brain thinks is a nice doggy actually wants to eat my head should I try to pet him.
Letting Someone Cross the Street in a Torrential Downpour While You Are Cozy in your Vehicle.
I am perhaps a bit biased on this one, as Mother Nature is having some sort of bitchfit that she’s taking out on Chicago. There is simply no dressing appropriately for this bipolar attack of weather. Yesterday, I wore my big heavy rainboots and rain jacket and by the time I got home I was sweating like a whore in church and cursing everything I could think of. Today, I refused to be tricked and 45 seconds after I got off the bus, my toes were frozen and I was slip-sliding my way on a sheet of ice across the intersection. An intersection at which I had the right of way, I might add. So the multiple cars – at a stop sign – who honked at me as I skidded across the street were just being mean. You’re in a car, you jackhole. You think I wouldn’t rather be in a car than ice skating across Chicago Avenue? I bet it’s warm in there. I bet you wore socks. I bet snow didn’t just get in your contact and blind you midstep. (Bad, bad moment. I’ve feared for my life only a few times. This was one of them.) Long story short – your moment right now is MUCH BETTER than mine. No need to add insult to near-certain injury.
Thoughts? Am I naive to expect such things? It seems basic to me, but sometimes I wonder if there’s people out there all, “Look at this idiot who keeps smiling at everyone! Hey, Corky! Not everyone’s your friend!”
I guess it doesn’t matter. I’m probably not changing this late in the game. And to those that do think that – start being nicer. STOP KILLING BABY DUCKS.
I love the Facebook. Love. It. It’s where I get a disproportionate amount of my news, catch up with old friends, find out what my peeps are having for lunch, and find the best videos of cats. I am, without question, guilty of checking in most places I go as though no one can get through their day without knowing I’m at the Fifty/50 Club, overstating my cats’ importance in the universe, and occasionally posting pictures of my dinner. (Which I will defend. I challenge you to not see a picture of my fabulous pot roast without wanting some for yourself.)
That being said, waking up this morning to 57 updates about how cold it was kind of made me want to punch things. I know it’s cold. I live here too. So do 97% of your friends. They all woke up to the same weather outlook on their phones – hardly any need to post a picture reminding everyone how everything on your body is going to freeze immediately upon stepping outdoors. Yes, it’s zero degrees. If it were July, or perhaps we lived in Texas, this would be news. Being that we live in Chicago and it’s January, I feel as though telling everyone it’s cold is akin to posting, “Hey, it’s morning! The sun came up again.”
Those aren’t the posts that make me crazy though. (Mostly because it’s entirely possible I’ve done it in the past. But no more!) These are the ones that make me want to turn off the internet forever.
So Sad Right Now.
- Said status is usually followed by multiple inquiries as to the poster’s mental health and wellness, which is then followed by the original poster responding with something super cryptic that gives zero information. What?? What’s wrong? First of all, you’ve piqued my interest, which I have to believe was your intent. Now I want to know how to proceed. Do you need consolation? A hug? Thoughts and prayers? A swift kick in the ass? Do I need to send flowers? And most of all – WHAT HAPPENED, DAMMIT???
Great news!!! Can’t Tell Anyone Yet but Yay!!!
- You dick. Everyone thinks you’re pregnant, FYI. And when you aren’t, and you follow up with something like, “We’re moving!” we are disappointed. If you can’t tell your good news, it isn’t good news yet.
And Then I’m Going Here, and Then Here, and Then Here, and Finishing Up Here.
- My life is boring enough, thanks. I don’t need to follow along with your mundane-ass errands, each of which you will check in from. You made it to Whole Foods? Awesome! And here I was sitting on pins and needles wondering if the traffic was going to put a dent in your timeframe.
If This Page Gets 10,000 Likes, This Child Will Get to Ride a Unicorn. TO THE MOON.
- There is plenty of good that can come from Facebook viral campaigns and I do not mean to detract from that; I have surely been known to post something on the long shot it will make a difference. But snopes.com exists for a reason, folks. That girl Penny has been missing for like four years. It’s not an Amber Alert anymore. “Post this if you want to erase cancer! ABC Company will donate $1 for every like!” No, they won’t. But they now have 200,000 people following their page. Is there a word for slimy marketing? Because that’s what this is. Stop feeding the bear. Please.
Have I ever been guilty of irritating, irrelevant posts? Absolutely. I’m not excluding myself from the above criterion. But I’m relatively sure we can all agree that if you don’t care that I am on my way to grocery shop, chances are I don’t give a fuck that you are either. Let’s make a conscious effort, shall we? Saw someone tightrope walking an electrical wire across the street at 8AM? Pictures, please. On your way to the gym? Not interested.
What status updates make you want to quit the internet?
Well, the holidays have been over long enough that I feel comfortable dispensing with that holiday cheer goodness and going back to actively hoping folks twist an ankle when they’re being jerks. Here’s to the first 2013 installment of Friday Blast Off!! Who pissed you off this week?
The Pain in the Arse Secretary Who Tried to Throw Me Under the Bus for Her Error:
What I Said: “I understand and I’m sorry for the miscommunication. But we do not have anything for your firm on our calendar today. I’m happy to send someone right over.”
What I Meant: “You know damn well this was your mistake, you dizzy cow. Do your job, I’ll do mine, and we’ll all live happily ever after. Everybody makes mistakes; it’s okay. Didn’t you read that book? Oh, wait, that’s ‘Everybody Poops.’ I bet yours doesn’t stink, am I right?”
My Downstairs Neighbor Who Insists Upon Galloping Up and Down the Stairs and Slamming Doors When I’m Home Alone:
What I Said: ****Mute with terror. The murderer has finally come and my last moments are going to spent with these stupid cats.****
What I Meant: “Hey! Jackhole with the heavy feet! KNOCK. IT. OFF. I’ve seen you – there is no way you’re in a hurry to go anywhere, nor are you rushing home to a loved one. Please respect your neighbors by not stomping around like a fucking rhinocerous on crack. Some of us have relatively severe low-grade anxiety and you are not helping to dissuade their fears. While I’m at it – stop taking your dogs out at 5AM and standing right below my bedroom window while you yell for them at top volume.”
Overly Zealous and Angry Gentleman Demanding Spare Change Who Called Me a Bitch:
What I Said: “I’m sorry, I don’t have anything to spare.”
What I Meant: ”Listen, fuck, you’re wearing a fur coat. You have on a gold watch, a hat I know costs at least 30 bucks, and brand-new gym shoes. My coat doesn’t zip and I’m buying a single serve Kraft Mac and Cheese with the three dollars I have on me. I don’t even have a fucking watch. Or a hat, for that matter. Give me that.”
Person in “Wheelchair” Who Totally Pretended Not to Notice The 40 Person Line Behind Her and Then Yelled at the Cashier to Come Scan Her Purchases:
What I Said: “That’s fine, please, go ahead.”
What I Meant: “Hey! HEY!!! What the fuck?? No. No, you cannot go ahead of everyone. That’s a store-issue wheelchair and I saw you literally VAULT out of it to grab the last DiGiornio pizza from an unsuspecting hipster. So I know for a fact that you could lean over enough at the self-checkout to scan your pizza and 40 oz. of beer. You, ma’am, are an asshole and your only disability is laziness. You are disrespecting your fellow shoppers, baby Jesus, and people with actual disabilities. Stop it and wheel your ass to the back of the line.”
Happy Friday Everyone! Feel free to post your comebacks to the folks who made you want to punch something this week…..
When I sat down to write this, my original plan was to write about songs with grievous grammatical errors. However, less than three minutes into my research I was ready to kick puppies in frustration. (FYI – Beyonce? “Conversate” is not a word. SMASH.) So, for the sake of my sanity, I abandoned that project.
While browsing the internet, I was listening to oldies on Pandora, and a song that has long disturbed me began playing, prompting me to revisit some other songs that with some lyrics that have always caused me to stop and think, ”Wait a minute….that’s actually all sorts of wrong.” Here’s my top five – feel free to play along at home.
The Temptations/Supremes – “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me.”
- “And every night, every day, I’m gonna say, I’m gonna get you…….I’m gonna make you love me.”
Remember that little cartoon girl who squeezed that innocent cat nearly to death while chanting, “I’m gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever?” That’s what this reminds me of.
The Police – “Every Breath You Take.”
- “Every breath you take, every move you make, I’ll be watching you.”
Oh, so sweet! He wants to always be with me! No, miss, he does not. He has a telescope trained on your apartment and is planning to wear your skin as a coat after he’s done stalking you.
Edwin McCain – “I’ll Be.”
- “I’ll hang from your lips.”
Whaaaaa? Ew, right? I always loved this song until I figured out this is actually the correct lyric, and now every time I hear it I can’t help but picture some dude flailing on a fish hook hanging from his girlfriend’s mouth.
Alanis Morissette – “Ironic.”
- I can’t list them all. Here’s the lyrics.
You know what’s ironic to me, Alanis? The fact that someone wrote a song titled “Ironic,” despite not having a clear grasp of the definition of the word. This song should be called, “Aren’t You Fucking Unlucky.” Don’t you think?
Neil Diamond – “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon.”
- “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon, Soon, You’ll Need a Man.”
Excuse me, Uncle Chester? Can you get the fuck out of my room, freak? When I do come of age, you can bet your ass I’m running as far as I can from you. Also, it must be mentioned that the B side of this album was called, “You’ll Forget.” Awesome, you’re handing out roofies too? Get away from me, you dirty creepster.
There has to be hundreds more – what are the songs that freak you out?
Here’s my question. What the fuck happened to customer service? You know, customer service – that whole “customer is always right even when they’re so stupid they should be kicked in the head to save everyone else the trouble of talking to them.” In the past week, I’ve found myself in several lines in different venues, completely dumb-fucking-founded at the lack of efficiency in operations.
I’ll put a caveat here as anyone who knows me is aware that I am possibly the least efficient person on the planet. As I’m writing this, I’m mentally calculating how many times I may need to pee in the next few hours and whether I can hold off on going to the store for toilet paper because I forgot to buy some. (Again.) I am the queen of, “Eh, I know we’re at the store now, but I don’t need that until TOMORROW. I’ll just come back then.” (And yes, when tomorrow comes, I’m inevitably calling the me of yesterday a complete asshole.) I’m famous for only putting enough gas in the car to get where I’m going at that particular moment, putting a bottle of pop with three sips left in it back in the refrigerator, and ignoring the bag of garbage on the porch despite the fact that I am going right past the garbage cans when I leave the house.
However. HOWEVER. At work -where are there are consequences for being lazy far more stringent than being told, “You dick. Take. the. garbage. out,” I am the epitome of efficiency. My desk is spotless, my emails are categorized, my pending folder is cleaned out every Friday, and my inbox is empty each night. You know why? Because I am being paid for my time. My employers expect me to live up to the promises I made while terror-sweating through my interview and they expect me to provide the service that they are paying me produce on a daily basis. Other reasons would include being brought up in a household where I was taught that you receive a paycheck for an honest day’s work, that you should take pride in your work, and, oh yeah, that you shouldn’t be a complete douchcanoe.
Which is why I found myself internally screaming, “Do your job, you lazy cow!” several times this week at the following people.
Kohl’s Employee with Zero Concept of “If the Customer has a Coupon, They Expect to Pay Less.”
I returned a Christmas gift at this fine establishment, and, receiving store credit, decided to buy myself an electric sweeper. Without going into the math, I had more on the store credit than said (fabulous) sweeper cost. In addition, I had a coupon for 10% off. Excited about my bargain hunting, I handed over the coupon, and we started to sled downhill. “Well, ma’am, it shows this isn’t valid.” Me. “Okay. Why?” Person Who’s Super Good At Her Job. “Um. There was a return on it?” Me. “What now?” PWSGAHJ. “I’m not sure. It just says return.” Me. “I don’t understand.” PWSGAHJ, with a big smile, “Me neither!” Me. “So, you’ll take the 10% off?” PWSGAHJ, bewildered now, “Oh, you still want that?” Me, in my head, “No, you dizzy bitch. I’d prefer to spend 10% more than I owe you because you don’t know how to do your damn job.” Me, in reality. “Yes. Yes, actually I would. If you can tell me why the coupon isn’t valid, that’s fine, but if not, then yes, I would prefer to spend 10% less.” PWSGAHJ, with an exaggerated eye-roll, “Well, okay, ma’am. I guess we can honor this.” Really? Do people actually just say, “Okay, no, I would prefer not to save eight dollars!” and just hand it over?
All Arby’s Employees at the Thompson Center.
When I was in high school and college, I worked at the movie theater in my hometown. At the time, it was a second-run theater, charging $2.25 for movies that had been out for a few weeks and were no longer available at the big name theaters. As this was before Netflix and OnDemand, it was a pretty good deal. Add to that fact that Elk Grove had to hire extra security when the Krispy Kreme opened, you can imagine this particular theater did a relatively brisk business. I can remember rushing around behind the counter, slipping on (real) butter, covered in popcorn grease and syrup from the pop boxes, doing everything I could to make the customers’ experience better and their wait shorter. Which may be part of the reason it makes me batshit crazy when I am in a line of seven people on my lunch hour and wait longer for a premade BLT sandwich than it would take me to cook a fucking steak. The waiting isn’t what makes me want to eat my own head – it’s the seven employees languishing behind the counter, moving at the pace of drugged snails, that makes me nuts. Seriously – I’ve walked faster on my way into a gynecologist appointment, and let’s face it, no one’s really rushing into that office. These folks will hear the timer go off and lumber off in the general direction of the fryer, stopping to talk to their co-workers who are doing absolutely nothing, and occasionally to check their phone. One time, an employee particularly hell bent on making me want to take a hostage leaned over and retied her shoes before handing me my order. It goes without saying that she didn’t wash her hands first. Is there no lack of urgency anymore?? If I had tried that back at the theater I would’ve been out on my ass before the 9:30 showing of Pulp Fiction.
Management at Dominicks on Chicago and Damen.
I know, I know. I’ve beat this horse nearly to death and have clearly expressed my distaste for the clientele and employees involved in each experience. However, my visit tonight enforced my belief that the problem clearly lies at the top of this pyramid of morons. Picture, if you will, a crowded metropolis of thousands of people living in a four-square mile radius. Then place one solitary grocery store in the middle. Now, explain to me why, on a Friday night at 6PM, you would only plan to have four cashiers available. Then, explain to me why only one of these cashiers is over the age of 21 and therefore able to scan adult beverage purchases, which is approximately 75% of your sales at this particular interval. After that, please – fucking please – enlighten me as to why you would allow the aforementioned only adult employee to sit on the goddamn phone at the end of the self-checkout, where she used the word “Motherfucker,” no less than four times, while every single line in the store had increasingly irritated customers waiting to have their booze purchases scanned and the lines continued to expand all the way to the produce aisle. It’s called forecasting, people. Fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s quite basic, really.
Am I the only that wants to simply start screaming in these situations? How is it possible that so very many people have zero pride in their jobs? I can understand feeling you aren’t appreciated; I can understand feeling that the job you do isn’t important or worthy of your talents. As a college graduate who spent two years waiting tables and catching terrified lobsters out of a tank on Saturday nights for delighted diners, all while wearing a FUCKING BOWTIE, believe me, I understand. But for me, that’s a life lesson. If you want a roof over your head and appreciate electricity, nothing is beneath you, my friend. You take that job and you do the best you can at it. And you do it with a (fucking) smile.