Saturday, May 28, 2005

Don't they know...

I went to lunch with my friend the other day and she asked what my holiday weekend plans were. I told her that I was just hanging out and packing (yes, still) this weekend. When I asked her, she said she had a "big Jehovah's Witness thing with my church this weekend."

She then replied with "Don't they know it's a holiday weekend?"

Still funny a day later.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Watching Disaster from a Window

So, it's the day before a holiday and one nice perk is that we get off of work at 3:30 on days before holidays. I was actually finished with all my work for the week about 45 minutes ago and was hoping to scoot out early.

However, because of an event next Tuesday, a statue had to be moved. A moving company showed up about an hour ago to move a 600 lb statue. Unfortunately, whatever volunteer conned them into moving the statue did not tell the company that a lift gate would be needed. What does that mean? It means that they've been trying for over an hour to haul that statue onto the truck with a dolly and a ramp.

Here's the real kicker: They're parked in front of my car. I can't leave until they succeed. Damn it!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

People who are More Motivated than I am

There are actually a vast number of people out there who are more motivated than I am, but I am only going to write about a couple of them that I know. Mostly because I'm 90% proud and 10% jealous.

Anyway, my friend started an online sock yarn store. She took the concept from idea to business plan to inventory and I have to say that I'm totally impressed with her. Anyone that can have an accountant and not snore through the meeting is impressive, let alone having to wade through the biblical text of commercialism to write a business plan.

So, SOCK KNITTERS COME HITHER!! There is a place for you on the web to get some great yarn at a great price. Or at least there will be in a week, but until then start bookmarking the Simply Sock Yarn Company Blog.

And since I'm in the way of making "shout outs," I want to congratulate my cosmo-swilling- "I'm never getting married" friend, Mika on her impending nuptials. She's gone to the dark side.

Speaking of dark sides, what does everyone think of the new Star Wars movie? Talk about people who are more motivated than I am. If you have a compound named after a character you created, perhaps you're doing okay. I kinda wish Lucas would go on a bender, learn to love gambling and become financially in need of doing more Star Wars. Damn him.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Where have all the young rulers gone?

So I was reading a little blurb that said on this date in 1787 that the Constitutional Congress started their convening. Of the 72 invited, only 54 showed up. Of those, only 4 were over age 60. Five were in their 20s.

If it was good enough to form the government, why isn't it good enough to sustain the government? When did running for office start entailing $1 billion campaigns? If the House of Representatives is supposed to be representative of the population, then why aren't there more people on there under 60? How about some minorities? Can we stop calling women a minority? Just because women have been treated like shit for years and years, doesn't mean we can't handle math. We know we actually out number men and there by aren't an actual minority.

If the government can enact affirmative action for private businesses, why doesn't it enact it for itself? Why can't it be mandated that there must be a representative from each age group on the ballot? If the young person is an idiot, then don't vote for him, but at least it might spark some interest in the political process. We need more choices, people.

Speaking of democracy in action, I plan on NOT watching the much talked-about American Idol finale. It's all about 'Lost' tonight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A Call from the Governor

The new fall lineups are out and I'm pleased to announce that Arrested Development has been saved!!! I was about to hate Fox for keeping the wretched Pamela Anderson sitcom, but as long as Arrested Development stays, I'll bite my tongue.

I was looking at other new shows on this fall and although I'm not a big fan of UPN, but they are bringing Chris Rock to the small screen. He's got a new show coming out called Everybody Hates Chris. He's not really on the screen, but doing a voiceover (ala Ron Howard on Arrested, but I digress). Apparently, it's getting great reviews and how could it not? Say whatever you want, you Oscar freaks, but he was HILARIOUS and so true.

By the way, I have to admit that I watched some of the Britney Spears reality show last week. It was pretty heinous. Like watching that girl in high school that was too stupid to see that her boyfriend was sleeping with the cheerleading squad or that having a nickname of "Dog" isn't really cute as it is telling. A coincidence that the title of the show is the same as the title of her new single? Nope. All I can say is that I can't handle the truth.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I've got a case of the Mondays

I dreaded picking up my feet and walking in the door of work this morning. Not that I'm usually chipper and excited to be crossing the threshold, but most days I don't shudder in dread and agony. I think that's telling me something.

Today is just one of those days when you feel like curling up into the fetal position and crying all day. Oh, did I mention that I'm coming off a three day weekend? Nothing motivates you less than an extra day off. However, at least another three day weekend is lurking in the wings.

Anyway, have you ever gotten to where you weren't really into your work. I know that in reality the majority of us could care less about our day jobs, but there is a noticeable change in attitude and appearance when apathy is involved. Like the time it takes you to return phone calls doubles. Perhaps not noticeable to others, but noticeable to you.

Ugh. Only four more days until another three day weekend. Thank you, Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Friends Don't Die, they just get memorialized on a pick-up truck

Has anyone else noticed the trend of putting a memorial to a loved on the back windshield of cars? It's nice that you remember Bobby Jay's death on May 20, 2003 and that he was born on Febtober 12, 1980, but does the world need to be bummed out?

What really gets me is that the person being memorialized usually died from a car accident. Isn't that taunting? It's not like naming a cancer treatment center after a cancer victim, because the treatment center is designed to help people. The memorial decals are causing people, like me, to stop and read them. Thereby altering our driving habits and making us more susceptible to accidents. And then the memorial decal cycle begins again.

CASE IN POINT: Man sits in the bed of his truck after placing a memorial decal on the rear window. Man has turned his truck into a memorial in memory of Carl Lanham, a friend who died in a traffic accident. Photo by John Dunham, Courtesy of the Owensboro Messenger Inquirer
Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 15, 2005

How to Die a Little Every Day in Birmingham without even trying

There's something to be said about going to a work function and wanting nothing more than to have a different job. There's also the realization that three days of your life are being sucked away on what could essentially be accomplished on a conference call. Here are some notable highlights:
  • Being told by boss's boss that I need to doctor a picture being sent to the press during a break from ethics training. Nothing like defrauding the media to make you feel ethical.
  • Learning about Diversity in a town not especially known for its tolerance. I'm sitting with a group that refers to people as "the gays" and thinking about nothing other than church bombing, race riots and segregation. Perhaps a day trip to the Civil Rights Museum would have been more effective.
  • Listening to a motivational speaker who only motivates you to brainstorm other places that you could work that don't bring in motivational speakers.
  • Being lectured on healthcare and the lack of insurance coverage of certain medical tests by a co-worker and realizing that your own company's insurance wouldn't cover those tests either.
Oh the joys of the business trip, where the place you stay is determined by the free breakfast offerings and the days stretch deep into the night with free dinners that aren't actually free, because they steal your soul.

It's nice to be back.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Happy Birthday Pill!

On May 9, 1960, the FDA approved the birth control pill. The pill has not done nearly what people predicted it would do. It hasn't eradicated overpopulation. It hasn't done away with unwanted pregnancies. In fact, here's a frightening thought for all you out there. Fifty percent of today's pregnancies are still unplanned.

However, the number of unplanned pregnancies prevented by the pill cannot be measured. Still, 45 years after it came on the market, there are still controversies that surround the pill. Pharmacists are refusing to fill prescriptions to the pill because it goes against their morals and religious views. One pharmacist in Wisconsin even refused to give the woman her prescription back or transfer it to another pharmacy. Good thing condoms are over the counter.

It was bound to happen eventually. The market was clamoring for a better contraceptive. Within the first two years after the pill was released, more than 1.2 million women had a prescription for it. Eight years after it's release, there were more than 12 million women on the pill. Today it's estimated that more than 80 percent of all women have been on or are on the pill in their life. That's a lot of pills.

On another note, a co-worker of mine asked another co-worker if we, in Nashville, were North or South of Birmingham, Al. Apparently knowledge of geography was not a requirement for the job.

Quiz: Is Alabama North or South of Tennessee? Posted by Hello

Friday, May 06, 2005

Goin' Down to South Park

It's Friday, which means that there's probably more than a little time to surf the web. Yesterday, I found this great site that lets you design yourself as a South Park character. You just pick your hair, skin, etc and VOILA! You look like you should be killing Kenny. It's fun. Check it out. Once you've done yours send it to me. I want to see what the group looks like in crappy animation.

Me as a South Park character. Posted by Hello

Other than that, I'm gearing up to go to Alabama. Woo hoo! I'm in Birmingham from Tuesday to Thursday. I'd almost rather be going to Atlanta. We've had our meetings in Birmingham for three or four times in a row. I think I've seen all I need to see now. There's not much left to look at. My friend's husband and family runs the amusement park down there, but dammit, it won't be open. This sucks. Any Birmingham suggestions out there?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Financial Advising

It's one thing to know that you don't make the most money in the world. It's another thing to have someone else look at you and tell you that.

I went to see a financial advisor today. Why? Because during my free lunchin' a couple of weeks ago, the advisor sounded optimistic and helpful and I thought... hey? What could be the worst thing that could happen?

I went to my appointment fully expecting to see my lunch-guru only to find out he had gone back to Georgia a few weeks earlier. This made me upset for two reasons: 1) The reason I even signed up for financial planning was because the guy had a degree in English. Yes, I know that seems weird, but he had moved to Colorado to work for an environmental group and ski. It was there that he started e-trading to start working less and skiing more. I like the idea of having a hippie- who-knows-finances handle my account. 2) I was pissed that I had made the appointment about three weeks before and no one there told me that the guy had left or even called to reschedule my appointment. Something.

So, today I went and found out that I don't make enough money for them to normally be concerned with. Half of me thought this could actually be true. I began to wonder where people like me go for financial help, aside from their parents. This could be a lucrative business if someone wanted to start it. A financial advising firm that would NOT be a debt-consolidation firm, but some that would genuinely help those in the in-between stages of their life.

Anyway, half of me bought it. The other half of me thought it was a great sales pitch for the advisor to make me feel special. Like he was going to go over my finances for free and out of the goodness of his heart.

However, the idea of taking control and saving money is something that I like and would like to do more of. Dammit, I want to get to Europe and get a new car without having to go on The Price is Right. Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I'm a Bitch

We've had a bunch of new people start recently at work. Some of them permanent, some of them temporary, but the one thing they all have in common is that I'm not nice to them.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not mean to them. I'm more indifferent in nature. We've had so many temps and so many people that don't stay very long, I almost make a new employee prove their longevity before I'll waste my time in getting to know them. Selfish? Yes. Effective? Yes.

Since I've been here, a mere four years, we have more than 32 employees leave their positions in this office. There are only 30 people in this office. So in theory, that means that every position in here has been changed in less than four years. Of course, in actuality some positions have been turned over a couple times, but you get my drift. There is no reason that at age 26 I should be the 5th most senior person on our staff.

Non-profit work is decidedly fickle. There are people that think the moral superiority of working for a cause will outweigh the discrepancies in pay between non-profit and for-profit jobs. They last as long as their enthusiasm and transmissions (or other costly item) hold out. Double or even triple that length of time for people who have a spouse that makes more than they do and there are no kids involved. Usually once a child pops out, the money becomes an issue again.

There are also people that are used to working for large corporations for years and years and plan on using non-profit work to transistion them into retirement. This works until they realize they only get reimbursed $50 on their $500 cell phone bill. Or they have to go through 20-year olds to have their expense reports approved.

And lastly, there are the right from college kids who get a job working for a non-profit before heading into the more lucrative field of pharmaceutical sales. They use the sales experience to build their resume and medical contacts before moving on.

Of course there are people that break all of those molds. That's me. I'm the one who's too lazy to leave.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Not the Shitty Shrimp!

Have you ever had one of those days when you just can't seem to get out of a bad mood? I've tried all my usual remedies:
  • chocolate (do Pop-Tarts count?)
  • looking at people who've got it worse (which quite honestly was most of America, if I were to be truthful)
  • remembering that work sucks for everyone and that there's no need to get stressed about something that just plain sucks
  • punching and throwing things in an empty room to release the frustration
  • hugging a friend until it gets awkward

The only things I haven't tried are drugs, liquor and the batting cages. I must try at least one of those when I get home.

Anyway, I wanted to take a second to introduce something that's actually good, easy and won't bitch to you. Igive is a web site that gives money to charity for shopping. I've sent out an email about this, but I wanted to spread the word a little more. You sign up, pick a charity and just remember to use the Igive home page to get to all the places you'd normally shop. There are about 300 online stores on there including Barnes & Noble, Circuit City, Amazon, Lands' End, Gap and on and on.

You click the link from the Igive page and when you purchase something you would've bought anyway, the vendor will donate a percentage of your purchase to your chosen charity. You don't pay anything additional at all! I did most of my Christmas shopping this way and earned more than $30 for my charity just on that.

What charity?, you ask. Not the one you probably think. A friend of mine and her husband in Nashville had two children within 2 years of each other. Both of the children were born with the same congenital heart disease and both of the children did not live past 10 months. Well, Carisa (my friend) set up an organization, the Kaylen Foundation, that raises money for children's heart research and also gives car packages to families who have children that are at Vanderbilt's Children's Hospital. It's a great cause, and if you don't have a participating charity at Igive, feel free to click here and sign up to raise money for the Kaylen Foundation.

Okay, I'm starting to feel better already. Maybe it'll just take a beer and a kiss to get me better instead of the black tar heroin I was planning on.


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