Sunday, April 4, 2010

God Save Me From the Self-Esteem Police

I have this friend -- acquaintance really -- who, when within earshot, you really can't say anything without it being grossly misconstrued.

It's not that she misinterprets everything. I can tell her, "hey, get me a cherry Pepsi," and she'll come back with a cherry Pepsi.

No, no, it's more pervasive than that. Picture this:

I remind myself to bring a pen to the meeting. At my desk, I pick up the pen and then somehow I still manage to forget my pen.

My response: "Jesus, I'm fucking retarded today!"

Invariably she will say, "Don't say that about yourself."

Dude, whatEVER!

Yes, yes I know. Power of positive thinking, blah blah, self actualizing language, yadda yadda you. As if I'm suddenly going to wake up one day with mental retardation because I actualized it by calling myself colloquially retarded.

You know what that makes me think? That makes me think SHE'S retarded.

So there!

Friday, February 12, 2010

From Bakersfield to Birmingham in a Single Leap

I might write a couple of posts today, call it making up for the fact that I haven't posted all month, or chalk it up to the idea that I have a few things on my mind (amazing!) call it whatever, it's my blog and I'll post what and when I damn well feel like it.

I miss Bakersfield. There, I said it. I grew up in Sacramento, spent some years in South San Francisco, loved living on the beach in Huntington and hanging out with my still good friends in Torrance and San Pedro, met my (ex) husband in San Diego and enjoyed living in all of those places but today, god damnit, I miss Bakersfield.

Don't get me wrong, Bakersfield *is* a total shithole and I always always always hated living there. The people are, for the most part, assholes, the scenery is FUgly and the nightlife,...well, that's populated by the aforementioned asshole people. I was never very happy there and I used to spend the vast majority of my summers down at my mother's house in San Juan Capistrano hanging out with my friends in San Pedro and Torrance, bumming at the beach, partying in the Torrance Honda warehouse and drinking at the coolest beer bar in the world: I don't remember the name. I think it was Capistrano something.

But, sitting here in Birmingham -- which is really an OK city, not great, not horrible, just OK -- waiting for the snow to fly (snow: still a novelty) I get to thinking about how much I really miss Bakersfield. Mind you, I don't miss Bakersfield proper, I miss Cow Flat; Last Chance Canyon; Greg, Gary, Bear, Dave, Judy, Dean, and Jeff; Rockhounding with Jason; The stars on a clear night; watching meteor showers in the Mojave; LOW HUMIDITY! Early springtime; The smell of orange orchards; Being able to sit outside without being a mosquito buffet; Swimming in the Kern; My medical marijuana card; Studying Geology; my kids (who now live in San Diego--lucky bastards). I miss it. I miss it all. The people I knew: I miss them all.

Note to self: I wish I could find Gary Berry. Send Greg (1501 P) a "hi."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh Goodie! Another War On the Horizon

Blah blah blah blah Iran, blah blah enriched uranium blah blah weapons of mass destruction blah blah make the world safe for democracy blah al Queda blah blah blah.

We are so totally screwed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Supreme Court Supremely Screwed US

I want to hate justice Kennedy for being the swing vote that allowed that corporations are a human and thus allowed them free speech, but after reading this article I really can't fault the guy. Hey, unlike his non-hearted compatriots, at least the dude wants to grant Gitmo detainees human rights and argues on the right side of racial school admissions. A free thinker, I like that, even if he is a doddering Reagan nominee.

Now, that's not to say that I think that a corporation should be granted constitutional rights, that sort of legislation is straight up bullshit and the American people are totally screwed now that this precedent has been set in Supreme Court Stone.

Fuck, I hate Republicans. Democrats suck but, Jesus-pissed-up-a-goddamned-rope, Republicans are just downright evil.

Soul Sucking Suck

In my last post, I appeared to be happy to get this upcoming opportunity. Sure it comes with shitty hours and a lot of stress but the money is...erm, unreliable. But when the money is there, it's damn good money. So why, almost 2 weeks before I start am I suddenly having panic attacks? I haven't even set foot in the place yet (to work) and already I'm at risk for a heart attack and/or stroke.

Seriously, my blood pressure is through the roof! I have a headache, I cry at the drop of a hat, I'm having shooting pains in my left arm, heart palpitations and my heart and soul are screaming, "NnnnoooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

If I don't take this job I'll feel like a loser. If I do take this job... well, I already fucking hate it. Enough said there.

I honestly do not know what to do. But I just might follow my heart on this one. I just might.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Soul Sucking Sellout

Ok, I don't think my readers (haha) are stupid enough to take me literally, but just in case you are, in fact, completely retarded allow me to disclaimer: I did not make a pact with the Devil, per se. But the devil is in the details.

Birmingham has been good to me. I've been able to pay my bills on time, every month which, to me is freakin' awesome! What can I say? I'm a simple person with simple pleasures.

I don't really know anybody here. And, like millions of other citizens of the free world, my job prospects were becoming...erm...slim to none. Sure, we were making some money with our business, but it was subsidized by my unemployment, which is set to run out in May of this year. (Additional disclaimer for the assholes at the unemployment office: when I say "our business" I really mean "my mate's business" because I certainly don't hang drywall or set toilets so keep your greedy fucking paws off of my unemployment check!)

Not that I'll be needing it much longer.

Hey, man, I got a job! A good job. A kick-ass oh-my-god-I'll-never-have-to- worry-about-starving-to-death-ever-again job.

In a true "it's not what you know but whom" fashion, a hot shit friend of my mother's from California randomly moved to Birmingham to run the firm down the street.

Hell yes, I called him. Hell yes, he's a bit of a devil. Hell yes, I sold my soul.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Seismologists to Blame for Earthquake in Haiti

I love reading reader comments -- which is sort of sadly ironic since I personally don't have any -- reader comments demonstrate the pulse of society. I love to read a well-turned opinion (that saves me from having to craft a response of my own.) But truthfully, I like the stupid comments best of all. Nothing tickles my gigglebox faster than a partisan knee-jerk response drowning in its own illogic.

Yesterday was truly a red-letter day for stupid fucking comments.

"Haiti produces zip, zilch, nada, (implied: why should we help them?)" (um...Rush? I know your fat ass has heard of sugar.)

"Great, another SOCIALIST regime OBAMA can support with our TAXPAYER money!" (so, you're cool with the Defense Budget and blowing up light brown people, but humanitarian missions to save dark brown people are a no-no. PS Haiti is a Republic. Hint: banana)

And so on and so forth, I don't know how a person can politicize a random national tragedy, but there were plenty of American idiots (read: Republicans) on board the Insane Train yesterday.

But, the best (worst) comment I encountered yesterday (that wasn't something Pat Robertson said) went something along the lines of:

"Where were the SEISMOLOGISTS during all of this? Why weren't they DOING THEIR JOBS? What do we pay the SEISMOLOGISTS for anyway?"

Yes, exactly where were those lazy ass seismologists? Those no good sons of bitches! They were probably just sitting around in their UNDERGROUND SEISMOLOGY LAIR playing Bioshock 2 in their underwear when the Earthquake Early Warning/Psychic Prediction Alarm went off. I can picture it all now:

Seismologist #1: "Hey, the Earthquake thingie is beeping!"

Seismologist #2: "Fuck it, I'm almost to Level 4."

Seismologist #1: "The readout majobber says there'll be a HUGE Earthquake in Haiti next week."

Seismologist #2: "Haiti sucks anyway, hand me that bag of Cheetos."

Seismologist #1: "Move over, I wanna play!"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm Quitting Smoking

The reason I've phrased the title the way that I have is because I haven't quit smoking all the way, yet. But I've quit buying them, and I feel too guilty (and don't know enough people here) to mooch.

Here's my breakdown:

My mate and I smoke at least three packs a day between us.

Last January they shot from 9 bucks for 3 packs to 12.50 for 3 packs.
This January they rose to 14.50 for 3 packs.

That's a low average of $435.00 a month (!!!)

Oh my freakin' GOD!!

I'm not paying black market prices for something I used to buy when I was 12 for .65 cents. The government CAN'T HAVE THAT MUCH OF MY MONEY!!!!! I QUIT!!!!

So here's how I'm doing it.

I spent some time and saved up a bunch of old butts and put them in a can. The past week, I've been re-rolling these old butts (gross!) and as a consequence intaking less and less nicotine. Less cigarettes per hour, smaller cigarettes.

Truth be told, we've bought one pack this week, on Tuesday morning. (Those we're $5.30)

Like I said, we haven't quit all the way yet, we're working up to it. Thinking about it constantly. Laying out our plan. Talking about how we can't afford to throw $400+ away every month. Drinking coffee without cigarettes now so we can overcome that particular coffee/cigarettes habitual association that makes or breaks addictions.

When the can runs out (very soon), we're done. I understand it will be three days of pretty intense detox. Whee.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Single People Solo For a Reason

I don't think I have any readers yet, but if I did this disclaimer is for you: this article isn't about people in their teens and twenties, you guys are expected to be single. This article is also not about single people who avidly choose to be single, you guys know your personal limitations and embrace them, hooray for you!

No, this particular post is about adult single people who wish they weren't single. And I'm gonna lay it right out for you in plain English: you're single because there's something fundamentally wrong with your personality.

Let's get this straight: you're not single because you're fat. Or flat chested. Or too short. Or can't cook. Or have a bad job. Or have children. Sure, you might not get as many dates because of the above "flaws" but they really have no bearing on your inability to snag a mate. Really.

You're single because, in short, you're impossible to put up with. You smell like the 15 cats you love to sleep with. You say one thing and do another. You're hypercritical. You are an obnoxious drunk. You are manipulative. You are a terrible lay. You punch people in the face. You have prima dona personal crises over a broken fingernail. You don't wash your ass -- or your sheets -- often enough. You whine too much. You tell people that you're manic depressive. I could go on.

All that charm plus, too many limitations on what other people can be; i.e: "I like him but his hair is thinning and he's 2 centimeters too short." Or: "she laughs at my jokes and loves baseball but her ass jiggles and what would my douchebag friends think if I didn't date a Playboy model?" Jesus pissed up a rope, look in the fucking mirror you unattractive excuse for a human being, and then let the brunt of the physical limitations you put on other people go already, you don't have to date Quasimodo but get a sense of proportion already. Think of it this way, if the relationship is a success you're both going to be wrinkled up, balding, jiggly-assed short people. Duh.

And lastly, many singles believe that there's the PERFECT SOMEONE out there for them, and it will be them+they=TLA (heart heart). Bullshit, ok? Bullshit. Love grows. What there is out there are varying degrees of people you can tolerate. Or not. Singles are often of the latter variety.

That's why I never want to lose the relationship that I'm in: I'll be stuck having to sort through the insipid psychos that nobody else wants*. Heaven-fucking-forbid! Either that or become a nun.

All things considered, Jesus is starting to look pretty damn good.

*Helpful Dating Tip: date widow[er]s.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Snag in Detroit's Urban Farming Experiment

As I've mentioned before, I think Detroit's idea to create an urban farming area is a brilliant stroke of creativity. But, given that the dwindling population in the once huge city is somewhat scattered, it stands to reason that some people are still living in the largely abandoned areas and thus the problem becomes one of displacement: where will the farm be located and who will be displaced because of it?

In a perfect world, city planners would select the most abandoned area that lends itself to farming renewal and give anyone who has to relocate a new house in another, presumably more desirable, area. Win-win. Of course, the world (read: government) doesn't work that way and I'm sure that somewhere there's a banker or two plotting on potential profits on the backs of the displaced.

But let's go back to that perfect world again. The one where people sacrifice for the greater good and no one gets made homeless or shafted with rising real estate prices in the face of being displaced from their homes. Let's envision the concept that a rising tide lifts all boats. Can we do this? Is it in us?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Books I Haven't Read, Either

I just came across an amusing article detailing a list of unread books and the author's justification for not having read them yet.

The article struck me because I too have a library full of books I've bought with the best of intentions but have never gotten around to for whatever reason. Mostly because they're either too dense, or, um, yeah, too dense.

In fact, there is only one book on the author's list that I've tackled. Well, that's a half truth, because while I've started Anna Karenina, I certainly haven't finished it yet, so I'll go ahead and start at the entire list of this author's haven't reads and add a few more of my own:

  • Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Karamazov Brothers. I tried to read this book, I really did, but all the Russian names made this book harder to get into than Dune. Someone told me once that I merely had a difficult translation, and to get the other version. Maybe someday...but it makes me wonder if Dune has an easier translation where the Kwisatz Haderach is merely called "The Dude."

  • Joseph Heller's Catch 22. I want to read this book, I really do, I just never buy it. I guess I keep hoping it'll magically appear on my bookshelves, or that perhaps a friend will have it on their shelf and let me "borrow" it (a euphemism for keep.) I don't know what I'm waiting for but this book is definitely high on my actually-want-to-read-it list.

  • An Introduction to Meteorology. List this as Author Unknown because I'm not going out into my cold ass library to check to see who wrote it. The point is that I've devoured just about ever college-ology 101 book out there, why can't I crack this tome and get my climate learn on?

  • Edward Abbey's Hayduke Lives! I'm a major Abbey fan. I'd read his freakin' shopping list. I've read lackluster reviews regarding Hayduke Lives! and I don't really care. Of course it won't stack up to his epitome of genius A Fool's Progress, I don't expect it to. If you haven't read A Fool's Progress, then you should definitely put it on your list. A Fool's Progress is so good that my husband refuses to read anything else by Abbey so as not to taint the memory of the Fool.

  • Stephen King's Danse Macabre. I've literally read everything else by King, but I can't seem to give a shit about Danse Macabre. But I can't say I don't like it if I haven't tried it. Too bad, I'm saying it anyway: I don't like it.

  • Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. I've tried to like Hemingway, I really have, but to me his writing is boring and disjointed. I always feel confused somehow, who is talking to whom....and about what? And I always find myself having to re-read passages just to get a bearing on the characters and the action. I'll give Hemingway one more chance with Bell but it better be fucking good, damn it! Or at least palatable.

  • Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. I mean, c'mon, the conservative political party fashioned just about their entire philosophy around this book. It must be seething with machinating evil villains bent on world domination, right? Good stuff. Like Sun Tzu says, know your enemy.

As for the author's list scratch Moby Dick off my list. I refuse. But I'll totally someday read War and Peace. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Losing It at Deathstar Inc.

I used to work for AT&T. I had never worked for a large corporation before (or since!) and given how many times I was suspended/expelled from various schools for being sarcastic I'm fairly certain that I'm inherently not a "good corporate fit."

So they fired me. I was very good at my job. I approached it with the attitude that we were AT and fucking T, we could accomplish anything! And I could, too. I was that friendly/funny/smart customer service agent who could fix all sorts of crazy non-SOP problems. I shared information, I was pleasant to work with, kept everyone around me upbeat and informed and I was on the national sales revenue leaderboard for 7 months straight.

Not the kind of employee a company would want to keep, right?

One day, I was having a tachycardiac episode when my bosses' boss Peter jumped across my co-workers desk like the proverbial rabbit of his namesake and began pounding violently on my desk. No, he wasn't trying to normalize my heartbeat using shock therapy. He just didn't like the way my conversation was going with the quasi customer on the phone. I wasn't being aggressively obnoxious enough for his tastes (recall that I was a national sales leader.) After the call terminated he called into my line to berate me for having not pushed the caller into buying. Of course, the caller wasn't technically the account holder and FCC rules state that no one but the account holder can make purchases on the account. But, stupid me, I wasn't DOING MY JOB! I didn't TRY TO SELL HIM ANYTHING! I should have OFFERED TO CALL HIS MOTHER (the account holder) AT CHURCH and TRIED TO SELL HER SOMETHING! I should have asked for his COUSIN'S FRIEND'S WIFE'S DOCTOR'S DAUGHTER NAME AND NUMBER, I should have CALLED EVERYONE HE KNEW in a RELENTLESS QUEST for a $9.99 add-a-line!!! I could have made three whole dollars more on my next paycheck!!!

I never told Peter I was 10 seconds away from a heart attack that day he jumped on my fucking desk and screamed at me for five minutes like a rabid little black Napoleon. In fact, I didn't say anything at all because if I had opened my mouth, it would have been to say, "Get off my desk, you jackass." Or maybe, "Call 911." 'Cause it's totally hard to sell stuff when you're dead.

I was never so relieved to lose a job in my life.

If I changed the focus on this....

"Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!" shocked, I looked up from my computer screen.
Peter was standing on my desk, his face contorted with rage! What the fuck? My heart raced -- dangerously.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Can Farming Save Detroit? Hell Yes It Can!

I apparently have a "thing" for apocalyptic cities, because my imagination keeps trending in that direction. I liked living in post Katrina New Orleans. It was empty and you could find parking in the French Quarter. There were small signs of its rebirth all around: spontaneous jazz funerals, the man in the veggie truck singing over his loudspeaker, "I gotta fres' wattamelon, I gotta apples anna peas, .. ." the little army of kids who marched up and down Burgundy all summer practicing on their horns, "blat blat, blop, blat . . ."

New Orleans rocks.

Thing is, in New Orleans, even after the hurricane, it was never really financially accessible to me. I want property.

So I moved to an abandoning neighborhood in Birmingham. It's semi-apocalyptic here, if that makes any sense. After growing up in California and living in New Orleans Birmingham is sort of, . . . well, . . . sucky. I mean it's ok, whatever, but at this point I could live anywhere and feel as ambivalent.

So, I've been thinking about Detroit lately. Wow, Detroit, that city is fucked up!

But, have you seen the houses there? They're gorgeous!

- and they're selling them for a dollar.

It's a thousandaire's dream!

I picture Detroit eventually drawing a population full of community-oriented, self-employed, artsy-fartsy, urban-gardening, generations Millenial, Y and Xers who are finally able to get some property at un-usurious prices. Dudes! The infrastructure is totally already there!

Apparently, somebody else with a Hell of a lot more money than me pictures something fantastic for Detroit, too.

I'm down with it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

How To Turn an $800 Monthly Liability into a $2400 a Month Liability in Four EZ

I hate the government more and more these days. How is it that people who are so obviously, utterly retarded actually get paid to manage the welfare of society?

Speaking of fucking welfare, the Alabama department of Brain Dead Bitches in Charge of Employment and Other Stupid Shit has this to say:

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Dumbass and Alabama Department of Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Pantsy are urging Alabama’s employers to hire low income individuals. Employers who hire individuals who are part of DHR’s Family Assistance Program may be eligible to be reimbursed for 100% of gross wages paid to each qualifying individual for up to six months.

Seriously? How could this not go wrong? They might as well have said:

Hey, greedy corporate pigs! Hire you some losers and we'll pay you for that shit! Then after the six months is up, you can fire those dumb bitches and hire you some new ones and we'll pay for them, too!

I mean, am I the only one who sees the potential for further corporate malfeasance here? Is there any way that this doesn't constitute corporate welfare? Is there any way that this doesn't constitute a form of subsidized slavery? As a tax payer, I say just give the lazy little bitches and hos they money to sit at home and smoke weed and fuck. This welfare-to-work bullshit leaves entirely too many ghetto kids unattended as it is.

Fuck. I can't get a job and my stupid ass went to college. I shoulda went on da welfare, then at least I'd have a job . . . for six months, which is long enough to earn unemployment benefits . . . for six months, before I go back on the welfare. All this plus free labor for the corporations and Earned Income Credit tax refunds to boot!

BAM! Another financial crisis averted by the geniuses in charge. Now if we could only find a way for participating companies to be able to write this shit off on their taxes. . . .