February 05, 2013
September 04, 2012
OMFG A NEW FLAPJAM RANT
So, I'm moving. Yay. Everybody rejoice. Only I'm staying in the same building, so don't rejoice too much.
I moved into Chez Flapjam in the fall of 1999.
It is now 2012.
That's what I call staying power, people.
Anyhoo. A lot is involved in a move.
There is packing.
There is dusting.
There is trying to fool yourself into thinking you'll be able to wear those old clothes again one day. But sometimes even a fool knows when to say when. (I've already collected two bags of donations for the Salvation Army, and I'm sure there are a few more coming.)
And of course, there is the changing of address for magazines and utilities. I did the magazines first because let's face it, they're more important. Also, they don't give you a lot of guff when you call.
Let me tell you something. I'm old school. I'm so old school I still have a landline, even though I really only use it for the DSL Internet connection and maybe some local calls.
My local phone provider is none other than AT&T. I can't think of another dirty word that starts with T so I'm just going to forego the whole "or as I like to call them, A-holes, Twats, and Twits." Oh wait, that worked. Okay then.
First I went to the AT&T website. I thought it would be pretty simple to change my service online.
I can't remember everything that happened because, well, let's just say I've forgotten my reason for living over the past hour, but basically in order for me to do my thang online, I'd first need to create an account. No problem.
Except...they want to send you a confirmation code that you can use to log in to the account.
Except...since you want to access your home landline, they want to send the code to your home landline.
Except...I'm at work.
And I don't have voicemail.
Instead, being old school, I have a dilapidated, tapeless answering machine. And sure, I could call it and try to remember my passcode and then fast-forward through the 16 or so messages on there to try to get the code, but..
It is 2012, and I want my damned confirmation code e-mailed to me, okay?
Annoyed, I decided to go even more old school and call the Customer Service line. Surely they could help me with my simple request.
But since I'm posting on here, you probably surmised that that is not the case.
I called AT&T and listened to the a-hole automaton try to get info from me. Well, I don't like automatons and I don't like having to say things out loud at my desk. I do that all the time anyway but it's different when you're just saying stupid phrases in a monotone like, "Yes," "moving service," and the like. So I pushed zero and the automaton said something like, "It sounds like you want to speak to an agent. Is that correct?"
I thought about whispering, "YES, YOU ASSHOLE!!" but I didn't. Instead I just gritted my teeth and said, "Yes."
After I heard some musical interludes and a message saying that they were experiencing a heavy volume of calls, my wait time could be ten minutes, a man with some kind of accent picked up. I don't know what kind of accent. There was a ton of background noise (that I almost commented on, but didn't) and the guy struck me as maybe being from Senegal. Or some island in the Pacific. Eh.
It took forever for him to take the information I was giving him. I said I was moving, everything was going to be the same, I'd just have a new apartment number. 702 for those of you who know me in real life and want to send housewarming gifts. :D
He kept putting me on hold.
I kept answering work e-mails. Because I ain't no loafer.
He kept coming back and blah blah blah.
I told him my move date was September 15. For those of you who don't already know, that is a Saturday this year. And remember, I'm just moving into a different apartment in the same building. There is no need for a technician to come out. They just need to do a little flippy switcheroo. Or whatever.
But to make a long story short (because I need to visit the baño, I mean I was on hold for almost an hour, people), apparently AT&T doesn't do the flipping of switches on weekends.
The guy talked to his manager to see if he could do a manual override, but no dice.
I knew it wasn't Guy's fault. But I told Guy I wanted to speak to a manager so I could lodge a comment (that's right, I didn't say complaint). Because it is ridiculous that it took so long, that they can't do what I want, and when I mentioned the word "move" at the beginning, they should have said, "Hey just fyi, lady, we can't accommodate weekend dates." Like, just fucking tell me up front so I don't have to go through all the bullshit, k?
So, they are turning off my service on the 14th, and I'll get it back on the 17th.
In the meantime, I won't have Internet access via my computer. So there's that.
Also, I asked if they would prorate the dates I will be without service. I mean, right? I don't care if it's twelve cents, I'm not effing paying them for this crap.
WTF. It is 2012. WHY CAN'T THEY PROGRAM THEIR DAMNED COMPUTERS TO TURN MY PHONE OFF ON THE 14TH AND ON ON THE 15TH?
I looked at my electric company's website and fear the same thing will happen there, too. The weekend dates are blocked out. WTF. Are we living in the dark ages? (No pun intended.) Am I supposed to be in a place of worship all weekend? I dunno.
And, if that weren't enough, I'm still miffed about the attitude I got from pizza girl when I called for delivery last night. Maybe I'll bitch about that later. Right now, I gotta see a man about a horse. Or whatever ladies say when they go to water flowers.
In the meantime, I will seriously consider ditching my landline. :\
August 04, 2010
I'd write a suicide note, but
If you're interested, my favorite pen is the Focus LX (gel, black, .7mm). It was originally manufactured under the brand of "Flying Colors" (owned by JakksPacific), then they began using the "Pentech" brand.
Apparently, Jakks bought Pentech some years ago, and I've just learned from the JP folks that they are moving away from their stationary (sic) line. Ok, I know they make toys and stuff, but people, if you're going to fucking PURCHASE a company that MANUFACTURES pens, goddammit, just stay the course. (I think they bought Pentech 10 years ago, but still.)
The customer service rep told me via email that limited quantities may still be available at the following places, but that they would indeed be hard to find. Oh hell, why don't you just read the sad sorry exchange for yourself:
To: Jakks Pacific Consumer Relations
Re: Focus LX pens still on the market?
I've been having trouble locating my favorite pen, the Flying Colors Focus LX (.7mm retractable gel pen (with cushioning)).
The last time I bought it, the name on the clip switched from "Flying Colors" to "Pentech" but it is still the Focus LX gel pen. (Not the stick pen.)
Can you please tell me if it is still being produced, and if so, at what stores I might find it?
I didn't see this information on your website, and my attempts to find it on Google and Yahoo! have not yielded any results.
Thanks very much; I really hope you still manufacture this pen.
I received the following within an hour of my inquiry. Gotta give the devil his due--at least they have good customer service, despite the fact that their R&D or decisionmakers are morons.
From: Jakks People
Subject: RE: Focus LX pens still on the market?
Thank you for contacting Consumer Relations,
We actually are moving away from our stationary line so, it will be more difficult to find. Your best bet to finding the pen would be at a discount type store such as K-Mart, Big Lots, Rite Aid, and CVS. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me.
Customer Service Person
Well, she invited it, right? I DID have further questions. So I felt free and contacted her. This is what I wrote:
Thanks for your reply, I'm very upset to hear this news since the Focus LX pen is great for someone who has carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. Do you know when the last shipment to stores went out?
And I don't suppose you have any for sale directly?
Lastly, I'm not sure what influenced the decision, but please tell your marketing or R&D folks that even in the computer age, people still want to use pens...maybe they can consider bringing it back.
Thanks again for the prompt reply,
Godfuckingdammit. I mean, really? REALLY??? On the heels of the Baskin Robbins French Vanilla retirement, this happens?
Now I have to find a good replacement. It won't be easy. Of that I am sure.
scribbledy fuckity doo.
PS: If any of my friends happens to be reading this - can you please check your local stores above and buy me these pens en masse? I will reimburse you! (Unless you want to call it a belated birthday present.) :)
July 17, 2010
So much for my eulogy...
I say hello to people in the hallways at work. I say 'good morning' and 'good night' to the security guards in the building. I hold the elevator for folks.
I never cut in line.
And if I mutter an obscenity about someone (under my breath), it's probably because they've provoked it.
What's this got to do with anything?
I don't know.
What I do know is that when one of the co-founders of Baskin-Robbins passed away in 2008, I made mention of it here.
Which means I care, right?
It means I have a vested interest in the death of someone who's brought so much goodness and yumminess (??) into my life and the lives of countless others.
And maybe I'm naive, but I thought they cared about me, too.
BUT OBVIOUSLY THEY DON'T.*
Add this to my fricking list, I guess. (Which btw also includes this.)
*I'm too upset to rant/vent/cry/moan about how this was my very favorite flavor for a hot fudge sundae. Effing jerks.
July 10, 2010
If ya didn't click the title link, here you go: Click me, please
February 22, 2010
YAGGGGHHH!!! (The Scream)
Pediatricians Want Redesign of Hot Dogs, Candy to Curb Kids' Choking
Let's see if any of your immediate knee-jerk responses match mine:
1. Hot dogs are an adult food.
2. Just don't feed your kids hot dogs.
3. If you're going to feed your kids hot dogs, how's about cutting them up into small bits to remove (or perhaps lessen) the choking hazard?
4. If you really want to choke your kids, there are better ways to do it.
5. Just ask Nancy Grace or any of her recent guests.
6. I'm not unsympathetic, but Jeebus Christ, what's next? Redesigning the donut? Because those effers are crumbly, and you know, powdered sugar can be dangerous if inhaled.
7. Are you effing kidding me??? Redesign the hot dog?? I already read last week that Sara Lee, maker of the tasty (and in my opinion, best) Ball Park hot dogs -- is going to be reducing sodium in its foods over the next few years. I believe Ball Park is on the list for sodium reduction. Now, I don't know if this means they're just going to offer a reduced-sodium version of el Ball Park hot dogs, or if they're just reducing the sodium across the board, but this worries me. Okay, I just found out more info on Sara Lee sodium reduction. It won't be 'heralded' on the labels and it will be done gradually so folks like me won't notice the change. Yeah right. I'm going to fucking notice the change. I noticed it when they changed the Rondele garlic & herbs cheese, and I could name a number of other foods that have been "improved" or "more healthfully designed with you and your family in mind" but this is the last f**king straw. Guess I better make sure to add more salt to the pot before I cook the hot dorgs.
8. My rant got interrupted.
9. If the physicians get their way, how is this going to affect Takeru Kobayashi and others like him?
10. The hot dog article above also says, "Other high-risk foods include hard candy, peanuts and nuts, even peanut butter." Hey - one of our former presidents choked on pretzels. Why aren't *they* on the list? Oh yeah, because he was an adult. (Discuss amongst yourselves.)
11. SERIOUSLY - WTF! Let's just fucking kid-proof life, okay? Hey Mikey, what do *you* think?
P.S. Btw, what the fuck are people feeding their kids candy for? That's an adult food, too. ;)
April 11, 2009
Bldg. Manager Lady's just back from vacation. She wasn't here for my radiator problems--which I drafted, but never published, in a post called "I Should Be Steamed"--so good for her. (And good for me, after a few misfires, leaks, and a midnight visit from Johnny the maintenance guy.) Anyhoo she's really into her work, because when she ran into me and this other guy, we welcomed her back, and she thanked us and then asked us how our apartments were. Ya gotta love that kind of dedication.
Speaking of dedication, I recently (September) made my 10-year service anniversary at my place of work. Clap, clap, go me. That's staying power. The workplace always holds a service anniversary luncheon for those who've managed to last 5 years or more. The party's only for those anniversaries that occur in increments of 5 years--5, 10, 15, up to 35...I guess they figure by 40 you're out the door, dead, or you've been asked to retire so you can quit accruing or adding more to pension or 401k or whatever*--so tough luck to you folks who've put in 4 years, your time will come. Maybe.
Each time you have an anniversary, more pages get added to your gift catalog. For people like me (read: indecisive), that's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, yay, more gifts to choose from. On the other hand, crap, more gifts to choose from. It's not like all of the options are great, and there are always some I can mark off as a 'nope' right away, though I *did* consider getting the shop vac for my mom. (But we bought a bigger one over Xmas so that pretty much negated that.) I was also intrigued by some char-smoker grill thingy, but since I live in an apt with not much ventilation, it didn't seem like a realistic option. I can just imagine what sort of damage I would do to this place if I had the char-smoker. I mean, in my many years here, I've managed to ruin the stovetop--guess that stone scouring stick wasn't my brightest idea--chip the drywall (dang laundry basket banged into the corner) and, well, you get the idea. I don't want to be responsible for smoking out half the residents, especially given my past complaints about folks who smoke in the hallway. (They still sometimes do, btw.)
And I still haven't used my 5-year gift either, an electric sandwich maker. I don't really see the point. I like cold sandwiches usually (unless we're talking hamburgers or hot dogs, and even then I don't really think of those so much as sandwiches, though I guess technically they are) and I am not a fan of the whole panini craze. Gah. Paninis, flatbreads, focaccia. What's next? Matzoh sandwiches in your grocer's freezer? (Good pesach btw to all my compadres.)
Anyhoo my choices this time around are between the Hamilton Beach DrinkMaster and some speaker amplifier docking thing for the iPod. Truthfully, the DrinkMaster won my vote early on, but I'm nothing if not a waffler. (They didn't have a waffle maker, and even if they did, it wouldn't make my shortlist. Not when I can buy frozen ones from my Aunt Jemima, anyway.)
The DrinkMaster is one of those weird machines that allows you to enjoy milkshakes and soda fountain drinks from the comfort of your own home.
I love milkshakes.
One of my fave treats growing up was a grilled cheese sammich and vanilla shake at the local pharmacy. In fact, I raved about it so much that my bro used to make fun of me. He'd mock my excited voice, saying "Ooh, phaaaaaaarmaaaacy name..it's..it's.." until I felt kinda membarrassed. (That's mad and embarrassed.)
Fortunately the membarrassment didn't last. (I just happen to remember it, is all.)
But seriously, I gotta wonder, given the Electric Kool-Aid, I mean Electric Sammich Maker, and how I've had thoughts of regifting it....will I really *use* the DrinkMaster? Or will I maybe make one shake, let the novelty wear off, and then cram it into a cabinet to sit collecting dust? (Probably.)
Which brings us to the iLive docking thing. Now, I recently purchased a tiny speaker set I can use with my iPod. The set's maybe a few inches long, and really, in a studio, I don't need to be blasting my music. (Hint hint to neighbors.) Plus, I'm not WhoAmUsAnyway, and my music needs are sated. :D
In the end, after pricing both options on the Internet and deciding what the hell, if I want the other later, I can buy it, I went for the DrinkMaster. I can play my 50s and 60s music, put my hair in a small ponytail (if there's any left after my cut on the 18th) and bop around my apt while drinking a vanilla shake through a blue-striped straw. Because for me, a service-anniversary gift is something I would like, but wouldn't normally buy for myself.
Speaking of things I wouldn't normally buy for myself...and back to the opening of the post, it seems my apt bldg is not feeling the effects of the recession. Or maybe we just have a funny way of showing it.
On Thursday, we got new washers and dryers! And they're front-loaders (yeah, yeah, good for the environment, but they don't seem to hold as much stuff) and oh yes, we have a new card system.
Instead of counting quarters and putting our pocket change to good use, now we're going to be bled dry courtesy of the new laundry machine card system.
What's the card system? Everyone's issued a card with a gold computer chip thing on it. We stick it into a machine and add money to it. Then we can do our laundry by inserting the card into the slot on the washer or dryer and watch as the money is deducted.
I'm sure this is probably good news for some -- not to mention we now have eight machines of each instead of six -- but my first thought was, "Aw shite, wtf am I gonna do with all my quarters now?!?"
I refuse to use Coinstar. I will NOT be charged money (8% last I checked) to convert my change into bucks. And I don't want their stupid, "We won't charge ya if you take your payment in the form of a gift certificate from Starbucks or Amazon."
FUCK YOU, COINSTAR! I don't need you to dictate how I'll spend my money.
And forget about going to my bank. They're closing my local branch on the 20th. And even if they weren't closing, they didn't have a coin counter last time I went. Note: I never did go to WaMu...good thing.
On the plus side (because let's face it, I'm not 100% negative), you can add money to the card by debit or credit or here's a twist, good ol' American cash!
I added 20 bucks to my card today and decided to do some laundry. Oh and by the way, they've upped the price. Used to be a buck twenny-five to wash and a buck to dry. Now it's a buck fifty to wash and a dollar twenty-five to dry.
But I need to do my sheets and stuff so what can I do.
There's also a new way to add detergent. Instead of just putting it in the machine, there's a slot compartment that you pull out that has three recesses. Two small squares to the left and a big rectangle to the right. Each machine has a sign taped to it warning against using too much detergent.
I scanned the directions but didn't see which hole I should pour my liquid All Free & Clear into. Would it make a difference? They're all holes.
I poured it into one of the tiny squares.
Then I noticed the diagram on the machine that said where shite's supposed to go:
Compartment A (upper square) - fabric softener
Compartment B (lower square) - bleach
Compartment C (Big Rex-tangle) - detergent.
Well fuck. I'd put my detergent in the bleach square.
I wondered if it was too late to do anything about it, so I pulled out the compartment and saw a bunch of bubbles frothing.
I shut it right away. Last thing I need is to fuck up the new machines and get the floor wet, though maybe it would be justice in light of the radiator problem. Nah.
I stayed for a bit to see the new machines at work. They have glass doors so you can see stuff going on, i.e., if the water will become soapy. While I was hunched down peering into the machines, a girl came in and asked this guy if one of the machines was broken. He appeared to have knowledge, which kind of surprised me. I mean today is Saturday and we only got these machines on Thursday (or was it Wed), so how many fricking times has he done laundry anyway??
He wasn't super helpful.
He left, she left, and then she came back with Bldg Manager Lady.
Apparently the dryer deducted money from her card but the machine wouldn't work.
Being nosy (I mean helpful), I moved closer and inserted myself into their conversation in an effort to help troubleshoot the problem. I had maybe 5 minutes' experience down there with the new system, so I wasn't going to be much help, but whatever, global community, you know?
In the end, BML told Girl that she needed to contact Coinmach to get her money back. The girl basically said it wasn't worth it, and I have to agree with her. I mean I tried getting money back from the soda machine and the vending machine one time. I called their number, got some raspy recording -- and by that I mean, not the voice on the recording, but static on the machine -- and was like, "Wtf kind of operation are they running?" so I abandoned it. They want all this info, like machine number, place of residence, apartment number, last time you were body cavity searched, so I just hung up. Maybe 20 years ago I'd have persisted but not anymore.
I asked the chick if she had enough money to put on her card and she said yeah so I left.
Then I came back upstairs to download some songs for the iPod -- damn, maybe I should have ordered the speakers...oh well--and turn my mattress. The box springs have been super squeaky of late. I barely move and it sounds like a carousel out of Something Wicked This Way Comes, except without the eerie music and with more creaking.
My other post, should I decide to follow through, is your basic Flapjam-style rant. (More fun to write, but taxing on the spirit, etc., to relive. But I already have a title, and really, that's the part I like best!)
Flapjam extra: New stuff on my iPod
- Here Comes My Baby - The Tremeloes
A boppy dippy song, at least the way they do it, but I prefer it to the Cat Stevens original.
- 1234 - Plain White T's
I heard this song in a cab the other day and looked it up cos it was catchy. So catchy, in fact, that it merited my .99 on iTunes. Now I feel all hip.
- A Well Respected Man - The Kinks
I've always liked this song, but they used it recently in an ep of Supernatural and so I thought it about time to download.
- I Go to Pieces - Peter and Gordon
I caught part of one of those shows on PBS recently that shows oldies and the folks performing them. I mistakenly thought it was going to be more of a video jukebox, but I was wrong, and man, have a lot of these guys lost it. It was sad, so I turned it off after a while. They did, however, show a few old videos, which almost made it worth it. Anyhoo, I saw Peter and Gordon on there and figured I should get another song of theirs. I already have "A World Without Love" and this is a good complement. Maybe because it sounds almost exactly like it. Heh, just kidding.
Oh and Happy E to anyone who celebrates it. May the bunny's chocolates be edible and in great supply.
*I don't profess to know anything about the pension or 401k beyond the fact that I stick money towards/will get money from both or whatever.
March 22, 2009
It just erased all my goddamned post. I hate rewriting. I hate my computer. HATE HATE HATE.
Ahem. Let's see if I can recall any of this, but I doubt it, since it's always stream-of-consciousness and I never remember what I say. Or what anyone else says for that matter. It's not because I don't listen to folks, it's just my retention has waned considerably over the past 10 years. I don't know why. I can't really blame drugs, unless it's the over-the-counter kind like Sleepinal. But I haven't had any lately so who knows. Anyhoo.
I used to love the movie Xanadu back in the day. I don't know if it's because I saw it for free--my best friend's family owned/managed movie theaters--or if it was during my "I heart Olivia Newton-John" phase (thank you Grease) or if it was the soundtrack.
The soundtrack, at least the ELO part of it, was awesome. I remember buying the album at Heck's, a local discount house somewhat like K-Mart, only much better in my opinion. Heck's used to have a snack bar that served the best cheeseburgers ever. I loved those cheeseburgers. What a treat it was to order one, watch it fry on the grill, then hold it snug in its little wax-paper wrapper and savor each delicious bite. You could also buy a cup of ice for a nickel, too. Why bother buying a soda when you could chomp on ice for cheaper, right? Heck's closed many years ago, but before they did, they took out the snack bar. A little part of me died that day, and it wasn't as much fun to shop there anymore. I still can't drive by there without feeling sad. I think there's some stupid sporting goods store there now, but who knows.
So I saw Xanadu on ABC Family the other night. I hate ABC Family because they just canceled Kyle XY, and are populating the schedule with a bunch of crap that doesn't deserve to be on the airwaves, in my biased opinion. So fuck them.
If you haven't seen Xanadu, you may be better off for it. As a child, I loved the flick, and I could even bear watching it as recently as 11 or 12 years ago. But last night, as I got sucked in, I found myself wondering WTF was going on. The plot, if there is one, could be summed up as: Muse (Olivia Newton-John) drops down to Los Angeles to inspire suffering artist (Michael Beck) and help him realize another man's (Gene Kelly) dream of opening a club. She sort of falls in love with Michael Beck's Sonny (not sure why, he's kind of a jerk) but they can't be together because, well, she's a muse.
The movie is basically a musical that makes no sense. Or is that redundant. There's even a wacked-out scene where the Michael Beck and Olivia characters suddenly morph into crappy animated figures to the tune of "Don't Walk Away" (ELO). WTF? Seriously? Why?
Because it's 1980, there is a lot of roller skating, too. In fact, everyone roller skates, even Gene Kelly. (I have to admit he's better than I ever was.) The club Xanadu ends up being some weird place where people just roller-skate around a small stage. There's a bar, but I don't know if they serve food. They don't delve into those types of particulars. They don't really delve into anything. And heinous outfits abound.
Mainly, I feel bad for Gene Kelly. Sure, he's danced with cartoons before, but making the man endure this is just horrific. Try not to cringe when you watch it.
I'm usually fine with cheesetastic stuff--sometimes you gotta revel in cheese--but this movie is beyond craptastic. I don't really understand the ending of it, and I can't believe it even got greenlit. I wonder if the person responsible lost his job. (I also can't believe they recently staged a musical of it, either.)
Kenny Ortega, one of the choreographers, went on to better things, if High School Musical is any indication. I've never seen any of those HSM movies, but they can't possibly be as bad as Xanadu. A pleasure dome it ain't.
March 19, 2009
Be still my heart
It has long been my dream to go to the Greenbrier. Not only because it's in West Virginia and looks very pretty surrounded by rolling green hills, but also because it's darned fancy, has an interesting history, and used to be the hidey place of important government folks. When I think of the Greenbrier, I think of pleasant summer afternoons, cool breezes, lemonade, and cool marbled hallways. I think of ladies in hats holding parasols and gentlemen checking their pocketwatches. I think of times gone by and croquet and badminton. And sometimes I even think of what it might be like to get married there.
If the Greenbrier is sold to the Marriott Corporation, who's to say what will change, if anything. Maybe nothing will. But it won't seem independent, and it may be a while before I can let my pipedream go.
The Greenbrier: Defining Luxury Since 1778.
February 22, 2009
The so not Write Stuff
Now, I didn't read further than that -- mostly cos it was actually a video link, and if you think I'm going to tax my poor ol' computer trying to open that effer, well, you're just plain outta luck, but also becos, I don't need to read that damned story to know it's probably gonna say something like, "Yeah, cos kiddies are learning computer skillz at a way earlier age."
I could be wrong, but in the event I'm not, I'm going to continue my rant.
First of all, WTF. I'm sorry, but learning handwriting is a fucking -- oops, there's a form of fuck, which as you know = ire of Flapjam -- basic skill that every goddanged person needs to know. I mean, sure, we're all turning into 'bots and everything, but what about the day when we're all plunged into some kind of nuclear holocaust (ok, not nuclear, too extreme, but you get the idea) and we revert back to the days before the digital age was upon us? When we had to scrawl our math homework on the back of a shovel with a piece of chalk or talc or something? Or (gasp) use a number 2 pencil to color in a blob on a standardized test? What then? If all our kiddies know is how to get carpal tunnel syndrome by banging away on a fricking keyboard, whatever will they do?
Which brings me to point number 2, which, as you probably surmised, is personal.
My name is Flapjam, and I have carpal tunnel syndrome. We're not getting into the specifics of just how this occurred, but I gotta say, when I know that kiddies are being trained on computers uber-early, it irks me. Sure, sure, they're going to have to know how to use them at some point, but do we really want to send them down that road so soon? Well maybe we do. I dunno.
But the point is, all this fricking typing on keyboards is bad for everyone's health. I've said it before...sitting at a computer all day, staring at a monitor and typing away is going to cause some bumps in our evolution.
First off, we're paving the way to the compound eye. I mean, I never saw "The Fly" (not a bug fan), but I don't think any of us wants our descendants to look so damned wacky. How will they romance each other? It won't be, "Baby, I am losing myself in your blue eyes." It'll be more like, "Baby, I can't look deep into your soul, but damned if my reflection(s) ain't fiiiiiine!" Plus, can you imagine the glasses they'll have to wear?
Next, folks will have shortened torsos and realllly long arms, a la Plastic Man. (Or is that Plasticman.) Or Dhalsim from Street Fighter. (Except his torso didn't look that short to me and he was awesome at giving noogies.) Actually being like Dhalsim would rock. Beats Blanka, anyway.
I seem to have drifted away from my original thought. Hm.
Well, you get the idea. Teach the kids to write, goddammit. I'm miffed that I can barely hold a pen, and I am especially miffed that it hurts to write a note by hand. I used to enjoy scrawling notes and letters, and now it's painful. My hands cramp up and my handwriting, which was never *that* great, deteriorates the more I write. I know that some cultures don't even have written languages, so everything's passed down orally, but that ain't what we're talking about here. We're talking about my fear that handwriting is going bye-bye, and I just ain't down with that.
I could rant more about computers and spellcheck and shite like that, but why bother. And just cos I'm ranting doesn't mean I don't use computers. So don't call me a hypocrite.
Now, wouldn't it be funny if that video said they were straying from cursive to focus more on print lettering? :D This is what happens when you only read headlines. I don't recommend it, but it's not like I'm writing a thesis here. Besides, I need to take a nap. I will dream of classrooms where the Aa Bb Cc still frame the blackboard, and kiddies learn how to connect one letter to the next. I'll also ponder why the capital G and Z cursive letters are so weird (but kinda fun to make)!
Thoughts? It's ok if you type 'em. After all, we are blogging here...
February 06, 2009
George Washington Carver would not be pleased...
The Peanut Corp. is a dirty, dirty company, in all senses of the word. Read about salmonella, how the company shipped tainted products knowingly, and other things that will make you gasp. Shameful.
Don't recall much about George Washington Carver (or as I like to call him, The Original Mr. Peanut)? Get some learnin' here!
Mr. Peanut says, "Don't blame me, this isn't my company. I belong to Kraft, and I'm still safe to eat!"
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
February 01, 2009
Caveat Emptor or This post brought to you by...
Taco Bell rules. I mean, when I was younger, I was not a huge fan of Mexican food (yes, yes, it's Mexican), and I still enjoy tacos sans lettuce, but I gotta give Taco Bell its props when it comes to advertising. They have almost always come up with snappy ad campaigns, whether it's the little chihuahua proclaiming, "Yo quiero Taco Bell!" or the Taco Bell lions (a la Ricardo Montalban), or even the original song about Taco Bell. Check out these memorable spots:
McDonald's also scored big with me for their "Mac Tonight" commercials in the mid-80s. Granted, I am not a Big Mac person--I'll take a double cheese, plain, that way you know it's made fresh--but any ad that riffs off a Bobby Darin song and has a likely blind moon pianist gets my vote. The following is a compilation of a bunch of Mac Tonight ads. (I didn't watch them all, but the 2nd and 3rd ones are particularly enjoyable.) Those huge burgers are making me hungry for Mickey D's! (Ok, I just watched them all. Apparently the last one is a special ad for Singapore Mickey D's..they're open 24 hours, awesome!!)
You know, it seems to me that the most creative, fun ads are for beer, drinks, and food. Eat, drink, be merry and all that. Which brings me to my next faves for Dos Equis beer.
I don't drink beer, but I am a sucker for a hilarious ad with great voiceover. "The Most Interesting Man in the World" series gets a thumbs-up from me. I particularly enjoy what the guy says by way of promoting the beer. Now that's an endorsement.
And there are even more to be found, too, not to mention a nifty website.
That's my shortlist, mostly because I'm still sick and need to lie down. :(
In the meantime, do you have any fave ads? Let's hear about 'em!
Back by popular demand!
(One request = popular demand in my book, k?)
VW Jetta's ad "Synchronicity" - supercoolio, right?
January 28, 2009
Rebirth of the Deathblog: Kim Manners
You may not have heard of Kim Manners, but if you've ever seen X-Files or Supernatural (and scads of other shows), you've likely seen and enjoyed his work. (I mean, he even directed the pilot of 21 Jump Street. That one's not my bag, but it shows his range.) I have been a fan of Kim's for years, and was shocked to learn of his demise. He was only 58, after all, and I hadn't even known he was sick.
Read more about the life and works of Kim Manners here:
RIP, Mr. Manners. Your life's work will continue to inspire and entertain. (But I'm still very sad we've lost you.)
December 06, 2008
(Un)pack your troubles (come on, get flappy)
I used to hate unpacking too, but I was quickly cured of that. Said cure took place in my sweltering New Orleans apartment in June of 1994. I'd just gotten back from Finland/Sweden -- the only time I've ever been out of the country, btw -- and dumped my one huge suitcase on the floor, thinking, "I'll just unpack this when I get home from work tomorrow." Yeah. However, had I remembered that I'd packed some fancy delicious European chocolates to bring home, sort of a little souvenir, then maybe I would have just bitten the bullet, unpacked everything, and blah blah blah.
But I didn't.
Because I'm stoopid.
Because you know what happens when chocolate is in a sweltering New Orleans apartment?
It sort of undergoes this chemical reaction whereby it changes from solid form to liquid.
Yep, that's right.
It fricking melts.
Which maybe wouldn't have been so bad, except melted chocolate + heat + New Orleans + my apartment = onslaught of hymenopteran creatures. (Because I just can't bring myself to type the word aunts minus the u.)
I am not really going to go into it, but...I really don't like bugs. They creep me out, okay? ESPECIALLY ones that look like a freaking huge organism, when there are soooo many of them being all social or whatever that they look like one big gigantic unworldly ungodly being. YAAAGH!
Ahem. So that's what cured me of my "Gee, I shore do hate unpacking" problem. Now when I get home or wherever the heck my bag has taken me? I unpack right away.
Anyhoo, the other week I was prepping for a jaunt back to the motherland -- that's the land where my mother lives -- or WV in case you didn't know. I took the suitcasey thing out the night before, and the next morning before the flight, I packed.
It is hard packing these days because you have to have a little baggie for your stupid liquid things, you know, ever since that shoe bomber guy and everything happened. So I always have my little Hefty bag ready to go. Its contents usually include:
- a tiny Purell for those sanitizing moments
- a blue pot of Blistex lip balm
- Afrin -- for use before takeoff if you're prone to sinus and headache probs. (Thanks for the tip, Dr. W.!)
- Saline nasal spray -- for use inflight, but truthfully, I never use it.
- eye drops -- is it just me or is everyone experiencing dry eye? I blame computers. And overheated buildings.
- Lipstick -- maybe a tube, maybe not.
Anyhoo, I packed, got a cab, and went to the airport. It's one of the world's busiest airports, but I have to say, it wasn't all that bad the day I was there. Now maybe that's cos it was the Monday of Thanksgiving week, and people don't usually fly until the next day or even later. But in any case, when I went through Security, there was no line. I mean no one was behind me, and maybe there was one person in front of me. Yay!
For some reason, the A-hole who waves you to walk through the scanner held his hand up at me and told me stand aside, I would need to be patted down.
I was confused. I mean, sure, I've been picked for the random frisk before, but this time I was worried that there was something about me or on my person that had caused me to be singled out.
They told me to step inside this cordoned-off area and wait for a lady to get there to frisk me. Meanwhile, I saw my carry-on bag, my purse, and my little Hefty baggy going through the X-ray thing.
The lady finally got there and told me to hold my arms out and keep looking at my bags.
It disconcerted me.
It also tickled me. I mean she wasn't using a wand, people. She was actually patting me down with her hands. It was rather unpleasant. I asked her if I had been picked because maybe there was a bobby pin in my pocket, but she said no.
When she was done, I was told I could leave and get my crap. Blah blah blah. Disconcerted, discombobulated, and distressed, I gathered my stuff and went to my concourse.
I bought some water for the trip -- Dr. W. says you lose a lot of water when you fly, so you gotta keep drinking it to stay hydrated or whatever -- and checked out the bookstore. I had my iPod but didn't feel like listening to music. I ended up buying The Bell Jar because I've never read it before, not because the patdown set me off or anything.
Then I went to Mickey D's. It smelled really bad there. Like burning meat, and not in a good way. It was noxious and there was lots of smoke, but apparently I'm stoopid so I stood in line anyway and ordered a double cheeseburger plain and a small Coke.
When I finally got my victuals, I went to my favorite place to sit down in the airport. It's like this little secret place that few people know about, and so I can't tell you exactly where it is, sorry.
I sat down and prepped to eat my delicious burger. But when I went to grab my Purell from the Hefty baggie, I noticed it wasn't there.
Panicked, I rummaged through the carry-on a few times, then took everything out --there wasn't much...some puzzle books, The Bell Jar, and my iPod -- and nope, the baggie was still missing.
Perhaps I left it at the bookstore, or it fell out or something, I thought. So I ran back there and poked around and asked the clerk if he'd seen it, but alas, no dice.
Maybe you never picked it up after the frisk! It could still be at Security!
So I hauled myself all the way back to Security -- damn these huge airports, they're sure not like Yeager Airport in Charleston, where going back to Security is like less than 50 feet in some cases -- and asked this lady if anyone had found my baggie. She shrugged and went over to this group of scary-looking women who were all standing around laffing and chit-chatting and basically not doing their jobs. I mean I probably shouldn't cast stones or whatever because I do the occasional goofing off myself, but then again, my job isn't to ensure the safety of all the fricking passengers and flight crews and stuff, you know?
So she went over and timidly asked them (not in any great detail) about the baggie and they basically looked at her like, "If we were in high school, you would so be shoved into a locker," and said no.
I ran back to my hidey-spot but didn't much feel like eating the burger, so I went to this store and bought more Afrin, eye drops, and Purell. A big fat Purell, cos they didn't have any little ones.
The whole shebang cost me like 35 or 40 bucks.
On the upside, the flight was on time, early even, and the rest of the trip was uneventful.
I am fibbing.
The flight was on time, but the rest of the trip...well...let's see...
When mom and I got home from dinner that first night--a delicious repast at Long John Slithers--we noticed that the light over the garage was burned out. Bummer.
Except it wasn't burned out, there was no electricity. That's right. A power outage. Yay! A power outage in the winter is a lot of fun. Especially when it's raining like a mofo. Which it was.
When I got out of the car, I forgot my purse was unzipped and my glasses case went flying.
I found it easily enough (thank you cellphone flashlight) and went into the house.
But when I went to put on said glasses...they weren't in the case.
Which meant they were still outside.
In the downpour.
This is the sort of thing that happens to me. I mean, I wasn't wearing my specs because I didn't want them to get wet, and now...
I went back outside in the rain with a bigger flashlight and looked in the car, around the car, under the car. I was a little scared. I mean these are my GLASSES!
Finally, I saw them, nestled right in front of the right rear wheel. Which would have meant Crunch City had mom decided to pull up a bit more or put the car in the garage the next day or whatever.
I rescued the glasses and mom and I spent the evening in the cold dark house singing spirituals (Swing Low, Sweet Charrrriooooot) and playing dopey things like "The Geography Game" - you know, where I might say "Denmark" and then she has to say something like "Kentucky" and then I can say "Ypsilanti" and so on. We also went through the alphabet doing names and things. This must be what people did for fun before the advent of electricity or whatever.
Power was restored the following morning. Yay!
You know, I seem to have gotten away from the whole point of the post, which was to narrate my Thanksgiving tale. Well, here's the short version.
4. My bro's entire family got sick (w/the barfing flu) so we didn't see them at all,
5. Nor did we go up to his in-laws' place in Ohio for Thanksgiving.
6. Mom's basement was the equivalent of a swimming pool that refuses to be drained,
7. And much shop vac'ing was involved. But at least I got to meet the guy who comes over and does that sort of thing for her. (Plus I just found out that he thought I was cute, so that was nice to hear.)
8. My return flight back to the big city was cancelled, so I was stuck in WV for one more day.
On the upside...my new return flight wasn't full, which meant I could move away from my tuna-smelling seatmate and have a whole row to myself. I even sat near the window, which I don't usually like to do. (The aisle seat is important in terms of restroom usage and deplaning.)
I got a good cab driver on the way back to my place (translation: no radio, no weird smells, and no chitchat), and I unpacked right away. I even had the second pepperoni roll I'd purchased in Charleston for dinner.
All in all...an interesting trip.
Btw, I head back to Charleston later this month for a decent amount of time. I don't really know what to expect or what might transpire, so I remain hopeful.
December 04, 2008
Sung in the key of Gah!
Their noise I don't see quelling...
And since I've no place to go (for another 11 hours),
What a woe, what a woe, what a woe.
Let's change it up a bit, shall we? See if you can guess the tune to this little (seasonal) ditty.
Oh my head is aching now...
Can't my migraine take a bow?
Pain that sears into my brain...
Seems to make me (more) insane.
Neither meds nor the shower took...
My eyes won't let me read my book. :(
F*ck! The harried Flapjam thinks...
This damned migraine really stinks.
F*ck - why does the weather suck?
Guess I'm just plain out of luck.
In case you haven't gleaned it, I'm feeling rather ugh. I had started an entry today about something stupid, like which cat do you prefer, Heathcliff or Garfield, but didn't get around to posting it. I also have a tale about my Thanksgiving sojourn (such as it was). One of these days, I will get around to writing it. Hope you enjoyed the xmas songs above. (I'm not xmasy myself, and I prefer cartoon songs like Heat Miser. Never heard Heat Miser? Why, have yourself a listen! Consider it an early (and only) gift from me to you.)
Another Rankin-Bass classic! (The Year without a Santa Claus)
Heat Miser is second in the video. Snappy, aren't they? :D