Sunday, January 28, 2007

Random thoughts and links, part 100

Deep down I really love winter. I may bitch about the cold and the nasal problems, but there's one main reason I really love the freezing season.

I get to show off my ugly socks and tights collection.

I have a solid supply of your basic black tights, plus an assortment of other solid colors, but I also pride myself on the stripes, leopard print and other odd patterns I own.

I currently have 25 pairs of tights and about 30 pairs of strange socks.

That number went up recently with the addition of some wonderful purchases from this fine lady. I ordered them a week ago and got them yesterday. All the way from Oregon.

So this begs the question: After spending $530 on new tires, $360 on new struts, $120 for an oil change and radiator flush, and $105 on a new battery and installation, should I feel guilty about spending $75 on socks (6 pair tights, 3 pair socks)?

The Answer: Hell no.

Woo hoo! Crazy links!

The line "Oh dear lord, it's so beautiful. I am so proud to be an American right now cracks me up every time... Oh, dear Lord, BEES!

The number of crappers is quite amusing... Yay Apple!

They're not just for safe sex anymore... #9 shore is purdy.

Star Wars, the low-budget version... hand job.

Valentine's Day is coming up... Me Want!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I put a spell on you. WATCH OUT!

Stay away from me. I’m hexed.

I don’t know when it happened, how it happened, or who or what did the hexing. All I know is damn near everything I’ve touched in the past 24 hours has been fucked up.

It started with my phone.

I got a new cell phone last month. I’m very happy with the phone. Along with all the totally frivolous bells and whistles it has, it actually allows you to call people and you can talk to people when they call you. Amazing. They still make phones that you can make phone calls with.

Well, last night, in the middle of a phone call, it died. Just turned itself off. Battery was fine. I don’t get it either.

It did it again this morning. It was laying on my desk at work. No one had touched it, used it or even looked at it funny. It turned itself off again.

I took off the back cover, removed the battery, wiped everything down (just in case dust had gotten on the contacts) and slapped it back together. So far, so good. It’s still on.

But then the hex went to jewelry.

Do any of you people have temperamental ear lobes? Surely I can’t be the only one. My right one is amicable. I can wear anything in that one (old cheap earrings, rusty nails, safety pins, antique fishing lure) and never have any trouble. The left one, however, is quite surly. I’ve resorted to coating several pairs of earrings with clear fingernail polish to stop them from freaking out the left ear, but to no avail.

Usually I can get a few hours of wear in. Today the left ear lobe made it 5 hours before the insane itching started. Earrings had to go. This one particular pair is unusually bad, too. They’ll be seeing the inside of a trash can soon.

An hour of so later I feel something slide down my breast bone, followed by a tinkling sound. Damn necklace broken. Beads everywhere. Fuck. This is the second time this damn necklace has broke. I’m tired of fixing it. Plus, it’s cheaply made anyway. Necklace, meet earrings. Earrings, necklace. Have fun in the can, alright?

Once the jewelry stopped fleeing my body, the car started revolting next.

My beloved Focus was in need of an oil change. The guys at my chosen ‘oil change temple’ are very nice and thorough, although the sales pitches for other, often unnecessary, services gets a little old after a while. But this one time I decided to splurge a little on the Focus and added on a radiator flush. As far as I know it’s never been done to this car, and it IS seven years old so I’m sure it needed it. In fact, the oil change temple priests remind me of that every time I come in.

This one time, ONE TIME, I decide to treat my car to a little something extra, it goes hog wild with the credit card.

Upon doing all the other vehicular inspections, they notice my battery is dying a slow death. Guess that would explain why my automatic power locks haven’t been working, the fuel/mileage gauge has wonked out and that it’s been starting up kinda rough. Ok, fine, we need a new battery, no problem (just a little more money). Too bad the oil change temple priests don’t have mine in stock.

Total from oil change temple: $120 for oil change and cooling system flush.

From there it was on to the ‘car part spot’ to purchase a battery. Yay! They have mine in stock. Double yay! There’s a nice young man who will install it for me!

(Please note: I am now old enough to say ‘young man,’ especially considering this kid was way younger than me anyway.)

Well, there was much foam spray, and much pounding and much chiseling. One clamp refused to left go of the battery. And this poor kid is outside, in the cold (and it was cold today, folks - 35 degrees), with no coat, working on this non-budging battery cable clamp.

(There I go again, sounding like an old broad, all concerned about this kid in the cold with no coat.)

He eventually declared defeat and suggested I try this one tire place down the road that has a staff of mechanics (garage priests) who could help me out.

‘Course now the Focus won’t start. Even after he hooked up the old, dying, now apparently dead, battery.

He drags out the Happy Car Jumper, gives me just enough juice to get me a couple of miles down the road and off I go... with one foot on the brake and the other on the gas. If I let up on the gas, the car is gonna stall.

Total from car part spot: $85 for battery and contacts.

I make it to the tire place, rush into the office (while my car is running outside - don’t want it to die) and explain the desperation of my situation. The guy says they’ll have to charge me a service fee since I didn’t buy the battery from them, but that’s ok. At this point I really don’t care. I’ve been trying to get home for 2 hours. I don’t want to have to call someone (especially on my questionable phone) to come and haul my sorry ass home.

While this ‘business transaction’ is going down, so is my car. By the time the grease monkey gets to it, it’s dead. Again.

But a half hour later the new battery is in. And it only cost me...

Total from tire place: $20.

Grand total: $225. And all I wanted was a lousy oil change.

You better enjoy all these treats, Focus. You’re not getting more until next Christmas. The phone in next in line for presents.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Polka Night on the Hell Bus

I’m gonna sound like that fat slag in “Office Space” when I say we’ve got a real case of the Mondays over here.

Fans of the now defunct comic “The Far Side” may remember this one particular strip. The top half shows people entering Heaven as St. Peter says, “Welcome to Heaven. Here’s your harp.” The bottom half shows people entering Hell as a guardian devil says, “Welcome to Hell. Here’s your accordion.”

Start up the bubble machine, Mr. Welk.

Winter weather is finally settling in over here in Loserville. I can tell NOT by the moisture on the windows, nor by the grey skies or even the ice that glazed our trees, deck and wires sprouting from the house. Oh, no. I know it’s winter by the onslought of nosebleeds.

The combination of extreme cold followed immediately by extreme dry heat turns my nasal passages into a war zone. I’m now constantly checking my nose to make sure I’m not oozing any kind of fluid, thereby looking like either a coke addict, a chronic nose-picker or some crazy bastard with obsessive/compulsive disorder.

This morning after doing thorough maintenance on my poor, victimized nose, I had the joy of cleaning up a fresh, hot, wet pile of cat vomit. On the carpet. Yay. Somebody up there likes me.

The combination of these two events must have done something to my thought patterns. The drive to work was uneventful and my arrival spurned no upheavals. I had been at my desk for about a half an hour when I decided to fuel up on some coffee. While standing at the sink, rinsing out the sludge from my last coffee fueling I happen to look up at the mirror and cried our in horror.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH MY EYES?! Holy shit! I forgot my mascara! FUCK! I didn’t even blend my eye shadow!!

I look like a raccoon with a hangover. I frantically start smearing, hoping no one will see me. Well, no one ELSE. Shit. I’ve already walked past or talked to at least 6 people so far AND NO ONE TOLD ME I LOOKED LIKE A FREAK! Not even my own damn husband! He stood right there this morning, gave me a hug and kiss goodbye and didn’t say a goddam thing!

After a fierce smudging, and a coffee fill-up, I hasten back to desk, ranting as I come.

“Ya know, I would expect the NEXT time I forget to blend my eye shadow one of you slobs would have the courtesy to TELL ME I look like a FREAK!”

My co-workers stare at me. “What? We didn’t notice anything. Hell, I haven’t even looked at you yet.”

Nice to know my presence is acknowledged with such detail.

One more little nugget of discouragement. I saw this item declaring today to bee the gloomiest day of the year.

Well, it certainly is looking that way, isn’t it? Thank you, science guys.

And I’m still waiting for my damn accordion.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The newest member of Irritating Co-Workers, Inc.

Regular riders of the Hell Bus remember my horrid adventures with Ajax, the King of Irritating Co-Workers. And yall should remember the joy and peace I celebrated on his leaving. And yall may remember a couple of brief encounters with the new co-worker, who shall now and forever be referred to as “Barb” (not her real name).

Altho Barb is nowhere NEAR the massive ball of irritation that Ajax ever was, she IS racking up some serious STFU points (STFU=Shut The Fuck Up for you noobs).

Barb chatters a lot. She LOVES to talk, often to herself. She talks ALL DAY. Her vocal endurance is legendary. The rest of us in our department quickly learned to re-install our selective hearing that had been discarded with Ajax. But even that doesn’t block out everything.

Barb will also repeat stories. A lot. How much, you ask? Well, there’s this one story about her last vacation... trouble with the plane on the way home... blah blah blah. I’ll be merciful and spare you the details, even tho I know them by rote because she’s told this story TEN times. And, no, I am NOT making that up. I’m keeping count. The ninth time was about 2 weeks ago. The tenth time was Monday. Every time a new person swings by our department, Barb feels her story is entertaining enough to retell... again.

Yesterday Barb, fellow worker and humorous partner-in-crime “T,” and I were working in bindery, putting together some spiral-bound books. With all the cutting and stitching going on there was a real mess of scraps on the floor, most of which were snippets of the spiral ring binders. The area we were working in is a crossroads of sorts. Several departments kinda merge in this one area and there’s a lot of traffic. Sales people, pressmen, customer service, they all come thru this area frequently.

At one point one of the press guys came thru, noticed the small spring scraps on the floor and said, “Better watch out on these things. They could put a SPRING in your step!”

At this point we all gave our best nerdy laugh: “Har har har! Yuk yuk yuk!”

Being the goofball humorist that I am, I snapped back with, “Well, ya know, if you put on of these things in a glass of water, you’ll have yourself some... SPRING water!”

Insert nerdy laugh here: “Har har har! Yuk yuk yuk!”

Yeah, it was bad, but our work was tedious and we had to break the monotony somehow. What I didn’t know was that Barb leached onto that rotten joke like a hungry tick to a dog.

A few moments later a sales guy walked thru, asked how we were doing and Barb barks out, “Hey ____, you know if you put one of these in a glass of water, you’ll have spring water!” The sales guy chuckled (politely) since he hadn’t heard it yet. But T and I glanced at each other, mortified.

Oh dear god, please tell me she it NOT gonna ride this one into the ground.

Fuck. She is.

Several minutes later another person came thru our area. “Hey guys, how are yall doin’?”

“Oh, hi ____. Hey ____, you know if you put one of these in a glass of water, you’ll have spring water!”

(Polite snickering from new person, evil looks shot between T and myself. Steam is slowly starting to escape from ears.)

I’m sure yall can guess what happened later, can’t ya? Yeah, I’m not kidding. A third time. Yup. Another new person strolling thru, another violent raping of my lame joke. Some serious self control kept me from telling Barb to STFU already.

Once our work was done in bindery, T went back to his desk. I arrived a little later to overhear him telling our supervisor what had happened back there. I catch the words “spring water” as I see my supervisor look up at me with an expression that said, “Are you serious?!”

I groaned nodded sadly.

T and I are still ranting about it this morning. And eagerly waiting to see what story, joke or phrase Barb is going to ass-rape and run into the ground next.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Welcome aboard. Have a seat...

Many moons ago I got into this whole blogging thing over at Spymac. 'Course, that's when Spymac was just a Mac Fanatic hangout. I've watched it go thru changes over the years and each change has brought some disappointment. I saw favorite things and favorite people leave. A lot of people leave.

I stuck it out for as long as I could, but the newest changes are not just for me anymore. Plus I haven't logged in the site since before Christmas. And I haven't really had much inspiration to blog anyway.

But I seem to be getting the writting itch back. And some of you (well, at least a few of you) seem somewhat interested in what goes on round these here parts.

Just a brief history...

Still doing graphic design at the same workplace for the past 5 years. Still doing the Haunted House thing every fall. Still managing the current one. Still married. Still one cat.

The spouse (Argon Man) got a new car. Yup, the piece-of-Buick finally fucking died. Took it forever, and lots of our money in numerous repairs, but that fucker is dead. Gone. Outta here. So Argon is driving a 2004 Honda Accord. He is most happy.

I'm still driving the Focus wagon, but that's ok. Me and Focus are doing just fine.

I got away from the computer during the holidays and caught up on some reading. Tore thru a bunch of books. Some of them good, some not. Despite his notorious reputation, Marquis de Sade is a terrible writer. Awful. He is stuff is about %20 good, one-handed porno reading material. The rest is a mix of really torturous (and I mean that in every sense of the word) plot and badly-placed, long-winded political diabtribe. Dreadful.

I also rediscovered why I don't like D.H Lawrence either. He's great at slowly buidling tension, but his endings are as flat as a year-old 2-litre of soda.

But anyway, wrapping things up, yes. I'm here now. Hopefully I'll be posting more often. The Random Thoughts and Links will return. Along with the usual snide bitter social observations.

Thanx to everyone for stopping by and keeping me close to your heart and at the top of your bookmarks.