Archive for March, 2005

Mar 31 2005

Protected: Lessons to be taught.

Published by under Introspection,Rants

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Mar 21 2005

Behold! The solution to your every need!

Published by under Stupidity

I just watched a commercial for some new Gilette Shave Gel. Maybe you’ve seen it. . . but even if you haven’t, you’ve seen the type before. Person opens up medicine cabinet, which turns out to be full of various brands of the same thing. Shave Gel. De-gasser. Stomach medicine. They then close the cabinet, open it again, and behold! There is now only one thing in it – the shave gel, de-gasser, or stomach medicine that is being advertised. The one that will work. The Holy Grail.

The best part of these commercials is the look on the actor’s face after they are confronted with the poor choices of their past, still hanging around to haunt them with their inefficiency. The look is “There. . . must be some mistake.” Then the look of satisfaction and joy when they try again and find the One True Product.

I wish I could get my medicine cabinet to do that. I have SO MUCH CRAP that I’ve bought and tried, only to shunt it to the back of some cupboard, half-used. I hate buying something that ends up not being Good Enough To Do Its Job. It’s such a waste of money and hope. Because that’s why you buy things – you hope they will fix whatever problem it is that you’re having, whether it be gas, stubbly face, dry skin, or pimples. Then, when they let you down, you feel so betrayed.

Is all that’s required to pull the Magic Medicine Cabinet trick a bewildered look and the willingness to open the cabinet twice? I can do that. I do that every time I open up the cupboard that holds my Vast Array of Beauty Product Mistakes. I do the little widening of the eyes. I do the little rueful head shake. My very demeanor communicates “Oh no. I didn’t mean to see all of YOU. YOU ALL SUCK.”

Do I need a special key? Perhaps it has to be the right cupboard? Whatever it is, I will get it. I want the magic power to get the right product for my need just by being disappointed in everything I’ve tried before.

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Mar 17 2005

Not hot at all.

Published by under Life and Living It

Since I’m housebound for most weekdays (until Chris gets home, anyhow), I’ve been doing a lot of eBay surfing, which is a really good way for someone like me to get into trouble. I love jewelry, and I love deals, and eBay is full of both things. Today, I bought myself a 2.5 carat yellow topaz pendant set in 14k white gold. The description claims that such a piece retails for $1950.00 US. I paid $50.00 (plus shipping).

Fifty. Dollars.

I have the uncanny feeling that this piece is not all that the seller claims it is, and I’m waiting anxiously to have it in my hands. I’m seriously considering taking it to a local jeweler to have them look at it. It would almost be worth having it be fake because then I’d get to do two things I’ve never done before (and I am ALL ABOUT new experiences!): Leave negative feedback on eBay and initiate action with eBay and Paypal to get the seller reprimanded and get my money back.

The other item I’m currently “watching” is a pair of sapphire stud earrings. They are currently listed at 98 cents. How do people make any MONEY on eBay? Seriously! Less than a buck for a pair of sapphire earrings? Fifty dollars for a two thousand dollar item? Is this for real? Do these people not understand basic economics? It calls to mind a certain Order of the Stick that made me laugh when I read it, but now that I’m actually living it makes me sort of uncomfortable. Did this stuff fall off the back of a truck?

In other news, I got my infomercial thigh trainer out again this week and noticed something that righteously PISSED ME OFF. The thing has a lever near the base so you can set how much resistance you want it to have, and I set it all the way over to the “high” end. I noticed that as I go through my workout, it seems to get easier and easier for me to do the stepping portion, and for the first couple of days I felt really POWERFUL, because obviously, I was bulking up mid-workout and my new muscles were kicking in. But today, I paid attention to what was happening and I realized that the lever slowly slides down to the “low” end as I use the thing. After about ten minutes, the lever has worked its way down to the middle, and another five minutes and it’s all the way down to low. This really, really, really makes me angry. It’s a cheesy little contraption anyway, it doesn’t work any of the muscle groups that it claims to work, and now it won’t even let me have the level of resistance I want?  THAT’S GARBAGE, SISTER!

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Mar 11 2005

Michigan Works, but I don’t.

Published by under Pets,Work

Apparently, Michigan won’t allow me to just sit at home and collect unemployment.  They want me to do things like post my resumé on their job search web site, and then go out and try to find another job.  Oh, the humanity.

So, I posted my resumé on the damn web site, and I recalled how much I hate trying to explain everything that I did in my last job in a comprehensive manner.  Not that I really CARE one way or the other, mind you, but I figure if you’ve got to do something, you might as well do it right.  The problem is that I did so much in my last job that I come off as babbling.  I imagine I’m not alone in that.  I notice that people rarely have a single “job” anymore – they have a collection of random tasks that fall under an ambiguous job title.  I lucked out.  When people hear “trainer”, they assume you’re going to be doing things like standing up in a classroom and boring people, and I did my fair share of that.  It’s also a fair assumption that you created materials to aid you in your efforts of boring people, and I did that, too.  But then I start going on and on about maintaining online knowledge bases, and handling developmental training, and creating programs for those who Were Tired Of Being Bored To Death and so on and so forth and before I know it I’m figuratively frothing at the mouth and prospective employers are going “Okay. . . this one has obviously spent too much time staring into the bright light of the LCD projector.  Next!”

The Man, on the other hand, has some totally useless job title that in no way expresses what he does with his day.  So, when people (like my family) want to know what he actually DOES, he usually says “I go to meetings and write reports.”  Basically, yes, that’s true, but would you put that on a resumé?  Not if you wanted to get hired anywhere.  Employers would take one look at that and say “We have 87 people right now who do that.  Next!”  Hence, the babbling.

Aside from their unreasonable demands that I try to get another job while collecting unemployment, the state has sent me an unintentionally hilarious booklet about being unemployed.  It is full of such good advice as “The longer you are unemployed, the more willing you should be to take a pay cut, change careers, or relocate.”  It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent four years learning how to be a electrician. . . if you are out of work for approximately 13 weeks, you should be starting to investigate a career change, possibly into the pay-cutting world of fast food in India.

I also had to go to the Michigan Works! office on Wednesday (you like how they add the exclamation point?  Doesn’t it just scream “WE CAN FIND YOU A JOB!”) so that someone could stamp a form saying I had posted my resumé on their web site.  Isn’t that efficient?  It kind of defeats the purpose of Internet registration, but I guess that’s what the kids call “the bureaucracy”. Anyway, it’s been a long time since I was in a place like that.  I don’t mean an unemployment office – I mean a high school computer lab.  That’s exactly what this place reminded me of.  There were lots of confused people hesitantly poking at keyboards, and one harried person running from station to station, trying to keep them all going.  When I printed off my resumé in less than three minutes, I was viewed with the utmost suspicion, as though I had cheated somehow because I knew how to use a computer.

IN OTHER NEWS

I have come to the conclusion that there is something about the tone of Destiny’s meow that bugs the holy shit out of me.  I don’t think it’s BECAUSE she is constantly meowing at me, because Fate does stuff like that too, sometimes, and it’s okay.  It’s something about the sonic waves of her PIERCING WHINY MEOW that bothers me a lot.  I can only take about 15 seconds of her talking at me before I start hollering.  “Shut up!  There’s nothing wrong with you!  Everything is fine!”  Of course, she answers this with more meowing.  She also trills while she walks.  At first, I thought maybe she was in pain or something, because every time she puts a foot down she makes her little “Prrt!” noise.  But after a thorough examination of her feet, and doing rudimentary checks of her joints, I’ve decided that she just likes to hear herself talk.  She will sometimes wake up out of a dead sleep just to run over and starting talking to me, and clawing my legs (which really adds to the whole experience, I totally recommend it).

I love my cat, but she is really, really annoying.

I checked my Diary-X stats today, which I rarely do because I just don’t care.  Someone got to my journal by searching for “Subliminal messages in the Catcher in the Rye” on Yahoo!.  I bet they were really disappointed when they found my entry on how Wuthering Heights sucks instead.

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Mar 08 2005

Live from my garage.

Published by under Friends,Photos,The Man

This is what happens in my garage every single Tuesday night.  Those of you who are also “D&D widows” can commiserate.  Those of you who actually play D&D can drool over the magnificence of The Man’s setup in our fine (heated!) garage.

LEADER OF THE PACK

The King Dork (aka The Man) sits on his Holy Throne of DMitude, with what Vicki calls his “dolls” behind him.  Can’t you hear his bellow of righteous indignation? “They’re miniatures!  MINIATURES!”

CHECK OUT ALL ITS MAJESTY

Behold.  I have been assured that this is the most awesome gaming table in existence.  The top is almost completely covered with scored dry-erase boards.  The part that isn’t dry erase board was once painted plywood, but I think is now held together with cigarette ash and spilled beer.  Please note the thoughtful addition of “rails” along the edge, so rogue 12-sided dice cannot escape and roll into oblivion.  The addition of those rails may represent the only time The Man and D– have thought about negative consequences in their lives.  The gaming group, which in this picture is nine dorks plus one King Dork, has at times numbered as many as twelve.  If many more people join, The Man is going to want to build a bigger table.  I don’t think there’s enough lumber in the world, personally.

I just have to reiterate, this is the most complex setup I have ever seen or heard of.  In this picture, you can see the extensive library on the far left, and the dry erase board on the wall behind The Man.  They need that board, because at any one time, they have three to five different games in play – the board lists each party as well as the name of the person who is acting as the DM for that group.  Under the board The Man has his dolls – I mean miniatures – stored in little plastic drawers.  He buys them by the CASE, which means he has about four billion miniatures right now.

MAYBE IT’S A LITTLE TOO MAJESTIC

Yes, that’s right, the table is so big that sometimes the guys have to STAND ON THEIR GODDAMN CHAIRS to reach their dolly. . . oops, I mean “miniature”.  Does this deter them?  No, it does not.  D–’s poor cousin was not aware I was taking a picture of his ass to post on the internet, but he’ll get over it.

MAKING THEIR FIRST PICTORIAL APPEARANCES

The Youngest Miller Boy and D– revel in the fate of some poor schmuck who “has no idea what he’s swinging at.”  I have no idea what’s going on, but that doesn’t stop me from standing around while smoking a cigarette and making suggestions such as “Maybe you should kill the troll or something.”

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