Monday, January 31, 2005

Mr. Lubie was my prom date

I think I watched a little too much Sex & The City this weekend. I look back on yesterday's posting and wonder if my constant questioning was due to a prolonged Carrie Bradshaw moment of inquisitiveness. Nonetheless I'm over it.

I think Jiffy Lube is out to screw me in an unpleasant way. The first time I went, I was desperate to get my oil changed and they lubed me up, but not before spending 15 minutes trying to upsell me. Better oil, more brake fluid, transmission washes, blah blah blah. No, no, no. Oh, yes, they did try to the dreaded "Look how dirty your air filter is" trick too. Nonetheless I persevered and vowed not to go back.

I went back. Same tricks this time, but I caught them in a lie. The last time I was there, they did point out one thing that I wanted and that was a replacement bulb for one of my brake lights. However, they did not have the bulb in stock and gave me the burned out bulb which I placed in my wallet. This time they claimed to have the bulb and claimed to have replaced it. Yet, when I left, the indicator of a burnt out light was still on. I pulled over and ah ha! They had NOT replaced the bulb that had been removed months earlier.

I went back to Jiffy Lube, demanded they replace the bulb they had said they would originally. They claimed that they replaced the bulb that was out. I produced the bulb from my wallet and asked them if they had replaced the bulb that was MISSING. I asked for my money back, but just ended up with another bulb and a stronger vow to never go to Jiffy Lube again.

That's a long way for me to say this: If you have to have your oil change, don't go to Jiffy Lube. Perhaps a place like Mr. Lubie would be better. And if you can't turn this entry into something less than PG, you aren't my friends because I tossed oil, lube and screwed into one story.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

To bitch or not to bitch

Why is it that women always seem to bitch about the ones they love most? Not their family or other girlfriends as much as their lovers, boyfriends or husbands. To our co-workers, our friends and even the occasional person on the street, we bitch.

It doesn't start out that way. We start a relationship and endlessly praise every little thing that's done right. The small things we don't like get overlooked until that magic comfort level is hit and we begin to bitch. When is that magic bitching point? When the first fart slips out?

We bitch about the little things, the big things and the strange things no one else understands. Do we need to reason our argument out loud to make it valid? Do we feel if we can defend ourselves to another, then we can surely defend our argument to our significant others?

Unfortunately, the bitching has a side effect of making our loved ones seem so much worse on paper than they are in person. We don't stop to praise the little things to our friends that happen every day. In fact, my friend's husband even says to her after he's done something that merits her voice being raised "Oh God. Your friends are going to hear about this one now." Should fear really motivate us to behave unlike ourselves?

I'm making a conscientious effort to bitch less this year. Except about work and the people that piss me off there, because unlike my friends and others in my life, I didn't choose to get to know them. I just have to put up with it. And occasionally piss them off in return to even things out.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Technology's little joke

Has anyone else had one of those days when it seems like the electronic mafia has banned together and fitted you for your concrete booties? Everything I touch that has current running through it (this computer, included. Actually, ESPECIALLY this computer) has shunned me like Amish woman with a vibrator. I'm left to wonder. What did I do that was so wrong?

The electronic mafia started out with the hair dryer. The plastic button that controls the head fell right off. Then my curling iron had the on and off buttons actually retract inside it's casing. It left me to power it up with a pair of tweezers and a prayer.

The best had to be that my computer malfunctioned for all 9 1/2 hours that I was at work today. Every minute of the working day was spent starting and restarting this wretched machine. Each time the microsoft start-up jingle blared, I held my breath and then let out a streaming audio file of cuss words.

The boyfriend called and he has a new computer that he wants me to help set up. I think I'll wait until tomorrow to touch it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Obviously Redundant

Why is it that there is always at least one person that holds things up? One person that is so obviously redundant and clueless in nearly every endeavor. Take for instance the one person on a conference call that continually asks questions that were already covered. Or the person in a national meeting that starts off a "pseudoask," or faux question, with "In my market...." and ends up talking about themselves for five minutes before wrapping up with a question so specific that it applies to no one else.

I know things will only get worse as I get older. There will be the parent that brags about their child on Parent-Teacher night and then asks if their child can win a Nobel prize for the ashtray they created. Then there will be me, in the corner, loudly saying "Your kid made an ashtray? Don't they know anything about the hazards of smoking? What kind of parent are you?"

If you can't pick out this person on the next call, in the next meeting, or in the next classroom-like setting you're in, it could be you. Don't be that person.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Domestic Incidences

The Lakes of Bellevue was kind enough to send out a letter in response to the shooting at the complex last week. It was a euphemism smorgasbord with the following phrases sprinkled in for ultimate liability protection:

"We apologize for the inconvenience (read: the mere 5 hour stand off) of the domestic incident (read: a crazy guy going to kill his wife). We assure you that the Nashville Metro Police Department has taken care of the situation (read: by killing the aforementioned crazy guy)."
Got to love the lengths to which a place will go to to euphemize their way out of something in this litiguous society.

On another note, my birthday is coming up on Saturday and while I realize that all birthdays after 21 are meaningless to those who aren't having them, I have to also say that I'm a little hurt. The AHA sends out a list of birthdays every month to help everyone remember. Well, my birthday was ommitted and when I called to tell the HR person, her response was "Are you new?" My reply: "No, I'm not new. You're new. I've worked here almost 4 years."

Friday, January 21, 2005

Soundtracks to Life

I'm not much of a music fan. Anyone who knows my taste in music knows that's true. However, I've come to find that there are particular moments in life when songs creep and have the desired effect. Take for instance, today, when riding in a car with the boyfriend. After having a "discussion" about something, Janet Jackson's "What have you done for me lately" came on the radio. I wasn't paying attention until he looked over and said "Well, now that song made me feel like S*%$." Desired effect narrowed down in a 30 second snippet of a song. Sometimes things make sense.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

We're No. 2!

I've spent all morning dealing not with the press, but with people who've read the news that heart disease is the number 2 killer of those under 85--overtaken by cancer. Suddenly people want to know if the American Heart Association is mad that it's become second.

Hello? Am I the only one that read the mission statement? It says something about reducing death and disability from heart disease and stroke. Isn't this proof that the message is working? In the spirit of this news, here's a list of things that I wouldn't want to be at the top of:
  • Porn Fluffer: all that work and no action
  • Cult leader's right hand man: you know you'd be the first to die and what if no one else followed?
  • Body Odor: although I do know a few nominees...
  • Foot fetish: Feet look like big mounds of flesh with little worms coming out the end

However, despite the news, I don't feel a big threat to my job security. I doubt that our McDonald's-loving, exercise-loathing, TV-watching, nicotine-inhaling nation will become healthy overnight.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Haz-Mat is a broom?

While on my way home this morning, I saw something I don't normally see at the gigantic trash drop-off at the front of my apartment complex: policemen. Lots of them. About 4 huddled around a spot at the base of the trash area. If I could actually see what they were huddled around, this would be more interesting, however, I couldn't slow up enough to look inconspicuous.

Within the hour that I was home, three police cars and one "Technical Investigation" vehicle made it's way around the complex. On my way out of the complex, at the spot of the engrossed policemen, was a Hazardous Materials truck with one guy. He wasn't dressed in the full-body spaceman suit that I'd come to expect from watching ET too many times, but merely in a coat and officer's uniform. Despite material so hazardous it apparently warranted a whole truck, the man was using a mortal's tool to clean it up: a broom.

It wasn't until four hours later when my boyfriend called me at work that I found out what actually happened. A man died there. Well, died might be too passive a verb for the situation. More like was violently shot to death when he pointed his fun, not the machete he was also carrying, at a cop. It was a domestic violence situation that now has me a little more cautious around the white trash couple upstairs.

On a sidenote of things that are furry and not worth cleaning up: Jonathan and Victoria were FINALLY eliminated from the Amazing Race. My joy cannot be contained.

Here's a tip for you: ketchup packets don't last longer than 6 months. After that, the ketchup inside becomes this odd cocktail / barbeque sauce hybrid.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Indulging in my own delusions

My blogging experience is beginning through a friend from my writer's group that innocently asked: Do you blog? That alone would not normally be enough to sway me to do something. The mere asking if I participated in something. That's like saying: Do you participate in the occult? And then suddenly have the urge to pick up some chanting candles and wiccan paraphrenalia.

However, this person did the unimaginable in encouragement and followed up the "Do you blog?" with "You're so funny. You really should do it." That was enough to get me to start this. Some women like to hear how beautiful they are and are charmed. For me, it's the funny factor. I like to be funny. Almost in the dire way that comedians describe the need for approval. Less so since entering the "corporate world." Funny doesn't really help matters on most occasions.

So, I bust out the title --or actually a form of the title that fit in the allotted character space-- of what will someday become my autobiography: Flashes of Brilliance Amidst Long Stretches of Mediocrity. I think my flashes have become fewer and farther between since leaving any kind of academic world, but they happen nonetheless.

More likely than not, I'll use this blog to voice some opinions, work some phrases out in my head and just generally kick start my brain to work on writing. My graduation from the last program to keep my writing on track has forced me to think about other tricks and ways to stay involved and spending a couple of minutes rattling on when I'm supposed to be devising marketing plans to keep people from smoking, drinking, or eating and to start exercising. At least we don't have to prevent people from having sex. That's some other non-profit's job.

Read or not. This is my spot to write, so I'm gonna.


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