Archive for September, 2003

Sep 30 2003


Published by under The Fam

My mother called me last night at 9:00 PM, which is pretty unusual in and of itself. She never calls me that late. We made small talk for awhile and I noticed that she sounded a little subdued and quieter than usual. After we’d chatted for about 10 minutes she told me the real reason that she was calling.

She had just gotten off the phone with my Grandma and my sister before she called me. Grandma isn’t feeling too well — she told my mother that she’s tired all the time and she can’t get her hands and feet warm. That worries me. My Grandma is usually very up-and-at-em and if she does feel a bit run down she hardly ever mentions it to anyone. So, my feeling is that she must be feeling really poorly for her to mention it to my mom. I think Mom felt the same way because she asked me to go and check on Grandma today and make sure she was all right.

So, I’m taking the afternoon off and going out to Grandma’s to see how she is, and also to do some winterizing on her house. I need to put her storm window into her front door and close the vents in the foundation of her house. My sister said that she is going to go out there as well. I just hope we can fool Grandma into thinking we just stopped by because she’ll be pissed off if she found out that my Mom called us both and sent us over there.

But you know, I feel bad that I haven’t been back over there since last weekend. Now that I’m all worried about it, I realize that regardless of how energetic and tough my Grandma is, she’s still old. She’s healthy, but she’s old. My Grandpa died of lung cancer — we had a pretty good idea of when he was going to die so we could prepare. But I don’t think that will be what happens with Grandma. And that’s why I need to start spending more time with her. I don’t know how much time we could have left.

And isn’t that a cheerful thought? I don’t mean to sound like a Negative Nancy, just too worried about everything.

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Sep 27 2003

Stupid First Amendment

Published by under Current Events,Rants

So. . . some judge decided that the National “Do Not Call” Registry violated telemarketers’ First Amendment rights and blocked it from implementation. Now it’s got to go to another court and be debated or whatever. I’m not really sure which court it’s going to now and it doesn’t really matter to me.

The thing I have to say is “What the fuck?”

How does this violate anyone’s free speech? No one’s saying that telemarketers can’t talk about the benefits of aluminium siding or supplemental life insurance. But there are some people who don’t care to hear about those things, and that’s also their right. Basically, what this is saying is “If you have a telephone, you are therefore obligated to listen to any kind of tripe that anyone wants to call you and talk about, regardless of if you want to hear it or not.”

Oh, sure sure, you can still hang up, but if some private citizen called you 15 times a day, and you didn’t want to talk to this person, and you’d told them to leave you alone, and they refused, you could sue them for harassment. But telemarketers are exempt from that. If you tell a telemarketer not to call you anymore, and they do anyways, there’s really nothing you can do about that other than hang up on them.

Hence, the Do Not Call list. Now, if you’re on this list and they call you anyway, they get an $11,000 fine. For each call. I can see how that would put a little crimp in their business practices, but if you are an annoying git then you have to expect that people are not going to lay down for you for very long. No one wants to talk to these people. But at the same time, no one is telling them they can’t conduct business in this manner. . . if they can find someone willing to conduct business with them.

I mean, if you opened a store, and it was a crappy store and sold crappy stuff, and no one went into it, you wouldn’t be able to FORCE people to do business with you. People would laugh. They’d remind your dumb ass that they had a right to do business with whom they chose. But basically, this judge is saying that we have to at least WALK IN to the telemarketers’ crappy stores. We don’t have to buy anything if we don’t want to, but we are obligated to at least walk in the door and walk back out again.

And I think that’s a load of crap. There’s no “free speech” about it. It’s about how you do business. This telemarketing thing is annoying and people don’t like it. Well, when any other business does something annoying that people don’t like, they lose their customers. That’s the breaks. Cost of doing business. Some people will still deal with them, but the majority will move on because that’s how things work in a free economy.

People do not want to have their phones constantly ringing with advertisements on the other end, and they don’t want to be interrupted during the dinner hour by people who can’t take “No, thank you” for an answer. Some people don’t care, and they won’t put their names on the “Do Not Call” list. Go do business with them. You’re free to do so. You can call them up and try to sell them big steaming piles of shit if you want. But the rest of us have decided that you have a crappy store and your salespeople are surly and your products are shoddy and we’d rather just go shop at this nice clean place down the road that is well-lit and sells nice things. Deal with it.

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Sep 25 2003

A night with the Prodigal Friend

Published by under Friends,Moving/Real Estate,The Man

Going to look at two houses tonight — wish us luck!

And hey — go help Sars find Don!

Last night I went and hung out with The Prodigal at her parental units’ house. It was hella fun. Kind of time-warpish though, because it was just like we were back in high school and hanging out on a weekend. Sat on the couch and watched TV, cracked lame jokes, talked to her parents, and so on. Her mom fell into a few fits of giddiness because she hasn’t seen Prodigal in so long and she said — basically — that it was so nice to have her home and to have both of us sitting on the couch like no time had passed. And you know what? I have to agree with her. One of Prodigal’s brothers was even there, just like years ago when one of them would be home on break or whatever. I really wish she didn’t have to go back to Colorado. I miss having her around all the time, but she is a lot happier out there. Someone needs to get their ass in gear and perfect teleportation technology so that we can see each other whenever we want. I’m going to miss her, miss her, miss her when she goes back.

Anyone besides me notice that these penis enlargement spam mails have been getting really specific? I’ve gotten two today where the subject lines were like “Enlarge your penis musician” or “Enlarge your penis anne”. . . that last one really scares me. I don’t think Anne needs a bigger penis. I don’t think Anne should have a penis at all, but what do I know?

Still horking and hacking and generally coughing up my tar-blackened lungs (thanks for that tar-and-mucus visual, Prodigal). I’d probably stop coughing a whole lot sooner if I would ease up on the sweet, sweet nicotine, but I’m young and foolish. So, I’ll be coughing for awhile yet. Too bad, because starting next week I’m going to be instructing again. I bet my students will really appreciate getting coughed on repeatedly.

I think I’m going to talk The Man into stopping into Starbucks to pick up some yummy flavoured coffee before we go look at these houses. Woo! Flavoured coffee! Let’s hear it for the corporate machine of Starbucks!

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Sep 23 2003

*hack* Happy Monday *cough*

Yeah well I’m still sick. My throat doesn’t hurt anymore, but I’m awfully congested — head and chest, a 2 for 1 combo illness. I feel so lucky. I’ve got these Robitussin gel caps and a supply of cough drops, but to tell you the truth, I still feel nasty. At least I have the minimum required amount of energy to get off the couch. The weekend was. . . rather stationary.

I went home sick on Friday because I just couldn’t deal with being miserable at work. It’s a thing I have. So, I went home and crashed on the couch but the phone wouldn’t stop ringing. The Man called once (more on that later), but the one that totally destroyed my disease-induced slumber was a call from Rock Star, needing some more details on the class I asked to be scheduled. Since I had to actually think, I had to wake up. After that, I watched stupid daytime cable programming until The Man came home and brought me cans of chicken noodle soup to eat.

OK. So, like I said, The Man called. The reason he called is because we are not going to be getting that house. Apparently, the seller’s real estate agent lied to Iris and told her there was no purchase agreement on the house. When she submitted our paperwork, the truth came out — there IS in fact a purchase agreement on the house. Why would someone lie about that? I don’t know. It’s annoying though.

Anyway, Saturday I seriously barely moved from the couch. It was impossible. My whole body ached and I was really low on energy. I got dizzy just standing up and doing something as strenuous as changing into clean pajamas wore me out. Not much to tell about Saturday.

Sunday is another story. On Sunday I had to get up, because Mom came over to Grandma’s and we were all having dinner together. So I dragged my sick butt over there, and tried to stay away from my sister, who gets sick if someone looks at her wrong. Dinner was good, conversation was good. I broke the news that the wedding will NOT be happening at the Inn that we had scheduled (appropriate gasps were heard when I told them how much they wanted to charge us).

After dinner, we went home and pretty soon the phone rang. Low and behold, it was the Prodigal. My long-lost Partner in Crime, who I’ve mentioned briefly in connection to The Miller Boys. She was home, and one mile from our house. So, I told her and her friend to come over, and we visited for about an hour or so. She’ll be in town for a few days and I hope to spend a lot more time with her.

Tonight I have class, and my first test. I think it will be okay as long as I remember to take my time and be careful with what I’m doing. When I’ve done the problems in the book, I would have gotten them all right, except for a few that I didn’t copy things down carefully enough — put a decimal point in the wrong place, or copied down the wrong number in an equation. . . stupid mistakes. I blame the illness. Yeah, that’s it.

Quick Update: I just took a Personality Disorder quiz. . . and I found the results both amusing and disturbing:

Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by a distrust of others and a constant suspicion that people around you have sinister motives. People with this disorder tend to have excessive trust in their own knowledge and abilities and usually avoid close relationships with others. They search for hidden meanings in everything and read hostile intentions into the actions of others. They are quick to challenge the loyalties of friends and loved ones and often appear cold and distant to others. They usually shift blame to others and tend to carry long grudges.

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Sep 20 2003

The countdown ends

Published by under Moving/Real Estate,The Man,Work

Well apparently this time I didn’t even have to wait for The Man to get better before I got sick. Last night my throat started to hurt, and this morning when I woke up it felt like I had been swallowing razor blades or something. So I took some Vicks 44M. . . now I’m hella groggy. So far, two people asked if I “was okay”, to which I could only respond slowly “I’m drugged”. It must be funny to watch me and listen to me talk because I can kind of realize what I’m doing — blinking really slowly, talking reallly quietly (and in a monotone, mostly), and moving as though I’m going to fall over any minute. So. . . I guess I look like I’m about to fall into a catatonic stupor, which is about how I feel anyways.

Last night our finance guy called and told us that he’d gotten us approved for an FHA loan. . . great and all except when we submitted the paperwork on the house we specified that we’d be going with a conventional loan. FHA would be much better for us (no down payment, closing costs built into the loan), but I don’t think the house is set up for FHA. So the financier was going to call Iris (he’s actually her son) and find out if the sellers would be willing to go FHA or not. We’re still waiting to hear about that, but I’m pretty sure that it’s not going to fly and we’re still going to have to cough up a lot of money. I’d be worried about it, but the drugs have numbed me to the point where I’m only aware that I’m awake and hungry. Anyway, if they agree to the FHA thingy we have to have an inspector come out (for free, thankfully) and look over the house to see what needs to be done to get it ready for FHA. In case you didn’t know, in order to qualify for FHA, the house has to be basically “finished” — it doesn’t matter how crappily it’s finished, it just needs to be done. This house looked done to me, but then again I’m not an inspector so I have no idea if it really is done or if the outbuildings need to be painted pink with teal shutters. Who knows? We’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, I’m fairly certain that I’m going to be leaving early today. I’m too dozy to be of any use to anyone and my work is pretty well caught up. I feel kind of crappy about leaving early, because I left early one week ago today. It’s funny to think that it’s only been a week since I heard about Bill’s death. Seems longer.

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