Saturday, May 31, 2008

Confessions of a bag stalker

I'm a bagaholic. I admit it, really I do. I know I have a problem, but that problem isn't me, its the fact that bags look really great on dummies, then I get them home and find out that they were either horribly misrepresented or the dummies are gargantuan, or I'm incredibly tiny compared to most people.

I don't like purses, never have. I think this harkens back to the bad old days of jr high school. Back then young girls only started carrying purses because they got their periods. They had to, as back then (the dark ages) we didn't have tiny little tampons that fit in your front pocket, or sanitary napkins that had their own adhesive, oh no, we only had the humungous hammock sized sanitary napkins that required a belt, so not only did you have to carry around this huge pad thing, but the stupid belt. So, that meant carrying a purse, and the first day you walked into school carrying a purse, you were teased unmercifully because everyone knew you had your period. I guess that's why I don't like purses.

Ok, that and I have no shoulders. I have absolutely no shoulders, therefore all of the stylish shoulder bags most people carry simply will not stay on my shoulder. I am forever hiking that stupid thing back up on my shoulder, or bashing into things with it, like the latte I knocked over with a stylish shoulder bag that made me give up stylish shoulder bags completely. Perfectly good latte wasted on fashion, screw that.

I prefer messenger bags because I can heave them over my head and have it hang down and not have to deal with it until I need something. Then, when I need my wallet, or whatever else I cram in there, I just reach a hand in. No fuss, no muss, it just hangs there. I've tried many messenger bags and I keep resorting to one that I got on cafe press back when they had this one black metro bag and that gawd-awful humungous yellow monstrosity. I like the black bag, it has a shoulder pad on it so it doesn't fall off my other weenie shoulder when I haul it around. Not very stylish, but certainly functional.

I'm always on the lookout for new bags though. I thought a back pack would be the coolest. Yeah, not so much. Its great, out of the way, and you forget you even have it on... until you go pay for something and then its impossible to easily get to your wallet, you're swinging it around, knocking over stuff, and most counters at stores have so much crap piled up trying to entice you to buy something that there's no room to sit the thing down and dig to the bottom of the stupid thing and get your money out.

Ok, fine, backpacks suck, but what about a sling? I've seen some pretty cool, small ones that I liked, but tonight... ooooh tonight I saw the perfect one on someone at Borders. Yep, there I was tonight, stalking some poor woman at Borders who had on a really cool sling. It looked as though it even had a pouch on the strap that was in the front that would fit my iPhone. It was simple, had two zips in the back, and it was stylish and chic and really cool.

I spent a good 10 minutes following this poor woman around trying to act as though I wasn't trying to follow this poor woman around so I could figure out what kind of bag it was. I saw the little red cross thing that meant it was a swiss army thing. OOOH, then she turned around rather abruptly (I totally expected her to confront me and ask what my problem was) and headed for the sale section of the book bin. I saw the front that had the name: Victorinox!

Sweet, so for those of you who don't think an iPhone is cool, let me tell you, I was able to type that into my notes, then go online to ebags and yes, there it was. Ok, they didn't have the cool green color that she had, but they had a cool blue one. I waited until I got home before I ordered, I'm not THAT obsessive. So here it is:
except in blue. I should have spent the 10 bucks more and got quicker shipping as my new cool bag isn't going to arrive until next week. I shall pine every day until it is mine and my life will be great and easy and fun and stylish and... I'll probably hate it for some reason, like I do all bags I buy and yet can't bring myself to return.

I am a bagaholic.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Name on the Wall

I saw a name on a wall, it sounded familiar, but I hoped it wasn’t the person that I knew. Unfortunately it was.

Typically, having your name on a wall isn’t a good thing. Typically the only time a name ends up engraved in granite anywhere is when you are dead, and typically you are dead for a specific reason, hence the big granite stone with names on it of others that died specifically like you did.

This particular person has been dead for 13 years. I knew this person over 20 years ago. We weren’t best friends, just co-workers. We weren’t particularly close although I do dimly recall some drunken escapades. Its just kinda weird remembering those times and having hindsight wondering if there was something that would portend to the short life left for this person, or what strangeness made me see the name, recognize the name, confirm it was the same person, now feel oddly unsettled.

Its just funny (not funny ha ha, but funny strange) how things work out sometimes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

So, I dug up the downspout thing and fixed it.
I layed down paving stones (nearly herniating myself)
I put drainage rocks around the paving stones and near the downspout
I put poo on the drainage rocks around the paving stones to keep the dogs from digging up my hard work.

Sunday I puked up peach yoghurt in my hair and lay in bed all day.

This morning I carried 5 forty pound bags of quikrete from the RAV and finally quikreted the big ass holes that the deck builders drilled into our concrete pad... only to discover they had drilled a foot too far to the left and had to drill more holes.

Then I mowed the back yard because the dogs were giving me nasty looks when grass tickled their butts when they pooped.

I threw some dishes into the dishwasher, took the dogs out back and supervised them (which consisted of me yelling at them to get out of the still soft concrete to no avail) and look at the house to see... yes, water leaking down the outside of the house. Grand, now what?

Oh yes, a pipe under our sink is leaking. Luckily the scrub sponges I had under there soaked up a majority of the water, but I can’t go relying on scrub sponges to soak up years worth of water for lack of fixing it. Made hubby get on the phone and call the plumber.

I have to say that All State plumbing in Maryland is wonderful. Not only do they have a handy book of prices so you know EXACTLY what it’ll cost you before they even start, but they work 24 hours a day and don’t charge more for nights and weekends, or holidays. They just arrive, fix, and leave after they get your check. I love them. They will be here sometime after 3 pm. Of course this means cha ching, more money gone, but that’s only because we got our income tax refund. This won’t nearly drain that money, oh no, I’m sure replacing the attic fan will do that, and when we get our economic stimulus thing (whenever that will be) I’m sure other things will break and take that money. Cuz that’s just how things happen around here. Get some money, something breaks or dies.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh for the love of Gah!

It could have been doing a whole bunch of yard work that required me to dig up a spout drain, fix it, bury it, move incredibly heavy large brick step things all over, lug around bags of stone, spread stone, level out earth, then keep the dogs from digging up everything that I did in 4 hours in just seconds and not eating all day (except for a tasty roast beef sandwich and venti iced 3 pump mocha) that caused me to wake up this morning, down three motrins for breakfast, lay down again and wish for death.

Having just written one of the world’s longest sentences, you can tell I’m not exactly 100% yet.

I have wasted an entire weekend day (a three day weekend day) laying in bed and wishing for sudden death. There was that lovely part where I threw up bits of Activia Peach poo inducing yogurt into the toilet... and my hair. Yeah, that really motivated me to want death even more. Note to self: while having a hair style that is all one length is pretty kick ass and cool looking, it does not bode well during situations where you are leaning into a toilet bowl and heaving up bits of peach yogurt. Heaving requires the use of two hands to keep from falling into the nasty ass toilet bowl that you kept telling yourself that you would actually clean one of these days, but it didn’t seem as important as it did until your head is leaning into it, therefore it never got done. The use of two hands to keep yourself from falling head first into said nasty ass toilet means no hands to keep the wonderful cool hairdo from falling into your face and into the direct line of Activia spew.

The worst part of all this was that I missed my annual Indy 500 ritual. That sucks.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The weekly rant

Because there just isn’t enough time to write up all of the stupidity of the U.S. during the week, I spend some of my fridays doing a recap of things that piss me off. After I rant, that’s when I discover more crap in my house that needs fixed (water draining into the basement from the rain, a cluttered back room etc.)

Gas Prices

The media is now trying to outdo each other with clever headlines or sayings about the high cost of gas. I’m sure they think that their cleverness will soothe our wallets as we pay $50 to fill up a lawnmower, but actually its making me more angry:
“Oil on the boil”
“Where the rubber meets the road”
“Car is king” (I have no idea WTF this was about)
and my all time fav:
“No drilling, just stop filling”

Ah, there we have it, yes... just as I suspected. Al “Big Head” Gore (who sold his soul to the devil, in case you hadn’t noticed) is pushing this whole global warming thing. Cars kill penguins, therefore if we make it so expensive to fill your car with gas, then nobody would drive and penguins would continue to poop wherever they are and life is wonderful.

Ben “I will die in congress” Cardin kept saying over and over and over and over (as he does because he truly does believe that if you say something over and over and over and over that eventually we’ll believe him) that instead of drilling for our own oil, we need to come up with “alternatives” to oil. This perpetuates that whole myth that gas companies have (for years) assassinated everyone that has tried to come up with an alternative to oil in order to rake in the dough. Actually, scientists (when they aren’t bitching about Intelligent Design) have tried coming up with alternatives. That whole corn ethanol thing doesn’t work for crap and actually pollutes the air and earth worse than oil (not to mention drives corn prices up so high that nobody can afford a box of flakes any more), and the battery/gas concept works pretty good, but still relies mainly on that whole pesky need for oil. If there WAS an alternative out there... I think the smart people would have come up with it already. There was an article recently on NBC (we edit our “news” the way we want it) about how people in Sweden are burning wood for energy. Um... I can’t burn leaves in my yard because of pollution, but a whole country is burning all of their trees. Nice one. Yeah, I totally buy that. If burning trees was a good energy alternative then why are we trying to put out the fires in Florida and California? Why aren’t we trying to harness that power???

And what’s with the “oil reserve” thing that we apparently are always filling? I just went up on Wikipedia (so I’m now an expert) and discovered that the “reserve” isn’t really a big vat where we store oil, its just a wild ass guess as to how much oil we have here in the states that hasn’t actually been drilled yet. You’ll also notice something very interesting in that the little map that shows the world and has red marked as “countries with the most oil” the US apparently has NONE. Um, ok, then how do you explain that we have enough oil to fuel ourselves for three years if we don’t get oil from anywhere else?

The thing that concerns me the most about this whole gas crisis thing is that we tell OPEC (congress wants to sue them) that THEY need to step up production and make more oil, and yet we don’t do a damn thing to drill in our own country. Why don’t we drill? Well, because we can’t hurt the penguin habitat. I saw that if these penguins are so damn important, then put them on treadmills to generate electricity! Make them work for their habitat.

Frankly, I’m hoping that it gets to the point where nobody has gas, then I won’t have a job to drive to and I can just stay at home like everyone else. How’s that for contributing to helping stop global warming. At the very least, nobody will come and take away all of my junk or take my house because they won’t have a way to drag all of my crap away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our Half Assed Government

Paper money has been around since... well it was around when I was a kid, so it been around for longer than 40 something years.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by our government in 1990. Since then, the government has been very diligent about making sure that every business, building, parking lot, and place has handicapped parking, ramps, and bathroom stalls wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Frankly, I’d like to thank them for this, as it allows me to change clothes in a stall without risking a shirt or something falling into the toilet. Hey, shut up, I’d vacate the stall if someone in a wheelchair rolled up!

So, the government has been all up in everyone else’s business about making sure handicapped people (is that what they like to be called nowadays? Disabled Americans? I missed the PC term of the week, so forgive me) have access to everything they need, is it any surprise that its taken a lawsuit for the GOVERNMENT to actually comply with a law THEY voted in?

I’ve always wondered how blind people could use money. I always wondered if there was some secret way they could tell what denomination those same sized, shaped, feeling bills were. I thought there was some trick to it, but apparently not. Apparently they are all the same and blind people can’t tell if they’ve paid for that candy bar with a $1.00 bill or a $100.00 bill except for the kindness of the merchant, and frankly nowadays there are probably some totally ripped off blind people, as “merchants” are the same buttheads that cross three lanes of traffic at the last minute to get to an exit they almost missed.

So I have to totally agree that money does need to be changed so that the blind can better function in life. I’m sure there are some businesses that are totally sweating about what decision will be made on how to make the different denominations... different. Of course, the easy solution would be to simply add some brail on the bills to tell the person what denomination it was. But this is the government we’re talking about, so everything must be the hardest, most difficult and most expensive “solution” there is. It will involve consultants and meetings, and working groups, and white papers, and well, you get the picture. I'm sure the "sure thing" solution would be to change the size.

If you change the size, then what about the cost of changing vending machines, change machines, token machines, etc. What about cash registers that hold this newly sized money? I’m always up for shopping, so buying a new wallet that will hold the money will be fun, except if the money is some gargantuan size, then I’ll just fold it and stuff it in my already really cool wallet.

Of course, this lawsuit was brewing for a while, as a matter of fact its been brewing through the whole process of the “new” bills that are hideously ugly and “impossible” to counterfeit (unless you have a halfway decent printer), but I guess nobody stopped and said “hey, we could save a bunch of money on lawsuits if we just implement something in these new hideous bills”.

Yep, our government in action.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Dead Kennedys (Well, not yet)

Most of today was filled with Ted Kennedy eulogies. Oh wait, he’s not dead yet, but from the outpouring of people who think they are important gushing memories of valiant, brave, courageous, hard working, honest Ted Kennedy in front of media cameras that would break from “regular news” in a heartbeat the moment anyone got in front of a microphone to even mention the name “Ted Kennedy” Um, we are talking about TED Chappaquiddick, drunk, bloated, wants to take your guns by force if we have a natural disaster Kennedy.

Ok, some of you may be saying “gee, that’s a bit harsh, goofing on someone with a brain tumor”. Well, yes it is, but I why on earth would my views change about someone simply because they have a tooomer. Does having a tumor mean all of your sins are forgiven and we only remember the good (if there is any) of people? No, if you lived a good life and did the best that you could and didn’t have people goofing on you while you were healthy, then they won’t do it when you have a tumor now will they?

Ok, so this isn’t as much as a rant about Ted, its more of a rant about our MEDIA. Please note that I refuse to call them “news media” because what the media does now isn’t the news. They call it news, but it really isn’t. What they do is guess, then report it as truth. The Kennedy tumor is a very good example of how “news” is “reported” by the MEDIA.

I’m happy to report that this isn’t limited to just one network, it seems to be the common practice of all networks, they just spin it a different way depending on if they are left leaners or left leaners pretending to be right leaners. Of course, if you are NBC, then you just edit everything out that you don’t want other people to hear.

Initial report: Ted Kennedy has a brain tumor
Next report: Ted Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor
Next report: where exactly the tumor was, using this model of the brain
Next report: Dr. Michael Baden (a forensic pathologist) explains what the tumor is, where it is, what it affects.
Next report: That the treatments are: radiation and chemo
Next report: Another doctor looking at a cat scan and saying that it was a very big tumor, but then being told that the cat scan wasn’t actually Ted’s brain, so the doctor sat and looked confused
Next report: Another doctor saying “hey, there’s actually three types of treatment, the third being surgery, but if Ted’s doctor didn’t mention surgery then maybe its an inoperable tumor.
Next Report: a reporter standing in front of the hospital saying that the doctors didn’t mention surgery as an alternative so therefore his tumor was inoperable.
Next report: Another doctor saying that since the tumor was inoperable then Ted only has 1 - 5 years to live, if that long.

Gosh, I love the entertaining MEDIA.

The only thing I'm dreading right now is his actual demise, since we'll be bombarded with "Memories of Ted" which will highlight all of his good deeds and good work (that should take all of 15 minutes) and then his elaborate and probably tax payer money doled out funeral extravaganza.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm a Little Tea Pot

The one good thing about the Internet is that you get to learn new things.
The one bad thing about the internet is that you get to learn new things.

I don’t know what category (good or bad) to put this little discovery in yet. I’m repulsed, yet fascinated. Nauseous, and yet curious.

This little gem (that until today I had never heard of) is called a Neti Pot. If you are like me, you said to yourself... WTF is a Neti Pot? Well, a simple Google and tah dah! Yep, there’s a Wikipedia entry that discusses the Neti Pot and what its used for. Of course, seeing how Wikipedia is populated by the input of a gazillion people, not all of whom are experts in any field and quite probably total idiots, and yet much more reliable in the accuracy of their posts than the average paid news media person who simply rely on the age old adage: “if someone said it, it must be the truth”, I confirmed this with other totally reliable web sources, because the Web is always right (unlike the media).

Anyhoo, I was still a bit confused as to how a person would use a tea pot to clean their sinuses. Being a rational thinker (except during certain times of the month), I figured that either:
1.) the person brewed themselves a sort of medicinal tea in the pot that would clear their sinuses or
2.) The person would brew themselves a sort of medicinal tea and then stick their nose near the top of the pot so that the steaming medicinal junk would waft up their nose, thus clearing their sinuses.

Undaunted by my guess (unlike the media), I decided to see if there were instructions on how to use this medicinal sinus clearing magical pot, and therefore I turned to the only reliable source for seeing how something (literally anything) worked, I went to Youtube.

There, I got to see an actual Neti Pot in action, and EUW! Ok, not EUW OHMYFREAKINGAH!!!

Are you kidding me? People actually do that? Hello, there’s stuff called Saline spray that you can squirt up your nose! There’s really no need to tip a tea pot in your nostril and have it come out the other side. I mean, I didn’t even know that was possible, that’s totally disgusting!

What if you had a guest come over, what if they found that little nose pot and didn’t know what it was and used it to make tea? That’s almost as disgusting as burning a candle in your ear to get rid of an earache (it doesn’t work and physicians in the 20th century say not to do that, as you could... oh, set fire to your head or suffer severe burns from the wax or lose your hearing).

What’s with everyone going back to these medieval times remedies for what ails ya? Sure there may be some stock in some of them, but there’s probably a reason why most aren’t performed today and that’s mainly because THEY DON’T WORK! Leeches anyone? Headache, how about a nice bleeding. Anyone for some nose tea?

Friday, May 16, 2008

How Long?

I just went over to read Google news and found this:
Yep, Google feels it necessary to include (Burma) in their little toolbar of news. Apparently there are so many stories about Myanmar (Burma) that it now has its own little place in the news toolbar, and because so many people are incredibly stupid, the feel the need to add (Burma) in there. Hate to tell you Google, but people are so incredibly stupid that you should also put a link to your Google map to SHOW people exactly where Myanmar (Burma) is because I'd say about 95% of them either don't have a clue or don't give a rat's back end.

How long must we suffer through the (Burma) stage before people actually "get" that Myanmar was called (Burma) but is now called Myanmar. Its not like they'll put up China (Zhongguo) for those old enough (we're talking 6th Century BCE) to be confused about what land we're actually talking about.

I'm sure that map makers did the dance of happiness when the "Former Soviet Union" split up into its different little pieces that they keep trying to get back, and we suffered through Chechnya (the former soviet union) for a gazillion years until the map transfer. Up until then, everything pretty much stayed the same forever and China was China and Burma was Burma and nobody could find either on a map unless that map had big letters that said CHINA on it. Do maps now come with Myanmar (Burma) on it I wonder? After the whole new naming conventions, map makers actually had something to do, renaming each and every little new named country.

I have to wonder if consultants are to blame for all of these "new" country names popping up. Are governments spending billions of dollars to pay these suit wearing slicky people to come up with new and exciting names that fit the branding of the country while their populations starve? Probably. I'm still waiting to be a citizen of the United, but culturally diverse States of Americanasiafrica. I'd hate to be the one that has to come up with a new anthem for that.

The MOST important news

Hundreds of thousands dying in a Cyclone in Myanmar (Burma).
Earthquake in China killing more hundreds of thousands.
Tornados wreak havoc in the mid-west U.S.
Fires wreak havoc in Florida.

Pfft, who cares about that, what we want to know is what's up with Mischa Barton's BUTT???

A tabloid photographer snapped a pic of Ms. Barton after sunbathing on a balcony (in full public view) and she is now screaming that the evil EVIL photographer photoshopped the pics to add (as one FOX pundit called it) HORRIBLE HORRIBLE CELLULITE on her butt!

This scandal is certainly worthy of "reporters" and "experts" spending about 15 minutes debating how a 22 year old girl could possibly have cellulite. This from a news group that reports daily on the obesity problem in America and shows fat people (from the head down to protect their identity and protect the news group from a lawsuit) sauntering around in all their bulky glory while they rant and scream about how we need to stop the epidemic of obesity. In case you were in a cave all these years, apparently you can catch obesity much like a plague or a cancer. If you don't get that statement, go look up the definition of "epidemic". For the lazy, I even linked it for you.

So, lets take a look at Ms. Barton's butt in the picture. Of course, since the picture is copyrighted, I can't simply put it here or else I'll get sued, so here is my artist's representation of the picture:

As you can clearly see in the picture, Ms. Barton does have dimples on her butt (see the dimple arrows). There is also a towel laying on the chaise lounge that she had just gotten up from (see towel arrow) so conceivably, the dimples COULD have come from laying on a towel and will go away after she gets some blood flow going. This has happened to us all, sitting on something and then retaining that pattern in our skin. It could be that Ms. Barton's butt simply transfered all of the wrinkles and creases of the towel onto her butt.

Of course, she would need enough skin down there to retain the towel prints in the first place, so chances are... she's got some loose butt skin issues going on.

Ms. Barton is screaming that these blatantly fraudulent pictures of her will hurt her career. After all, she does nothing but look pretty for a living and makes a ton of dough just to look pretty. My, what a rough life she has, and for this photographer to show the world that she's got some butt flab going on, well, that just takes away from her "pretty" career. Flab = no money for Mischa.

I think that if Ms. Barton is correct, and she doesn't have flab on the butt, then all it would take is for her to call a press conference (which I'm sure all news media would preempt their reports on the carnage of Myanmar and China to cover) stand on a stage in clear view and drop her drawers. I don't think this would be anything that she hasn't already done in her past or in her career, I mean its not like we're asking her to stand on a stage and explain Quantum Physics or even how to make change from a dollar. She was photographed in public in a tiny bikini and all, so just drop your drawers and show us your butt Ms. Barton. If there's no flab or cellulite there, then sure you were right and this photographer photoshopped your butt. We can all get on with our lives without wondering, there will be no more mystery to this and we can continue to ponder the Loch Ness Monster or other mysteries of equal importance.

Now, if there is flab and dimples, I think we should all sue her for fraud. After all, she markets herself as a thin, perfect little waif and we can't have that if she's got the butt dimples.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stop the Hand Basket to Hell, I want off

Its madness, madness I tell you!

I’m already sick of the non-stop Myamar (it used to be Burma... yeah, like school kids who don’t even know where Idaho is will smack themselves on the head and go “OH BURMA”) ranting about how their OWN GOVERNMENT won’t help the gazillions of suffering people, so we need to go in there and save them. Um, we haven’t helped those affected by Katrina, we’ve got whole cities devastated by tornados, wild fires, and now flooding (and yes, that whole flooding thing affected me, as the road I drive to work was totally under water so I had to detour) and Time magazine is suggesting we just go in and take over Myamar (formerly Burma) to help those people (I’m too lazy to find the link, just google that one yourselves).

Ok, let me get this straight... we went into Somalia to feed the starving people and got our asses kicked and people are still starving there. We sent a butt load of money and supplies to that place that got plastered by the Tsunami (and like most people, a week after it happened I forgot exactly WHERE that occurred), and they’re still without homes, and OOOH look a horrible 7.8 earthquake just hit China, now we need to go there and help out. Oh, this just in, according to Fox it was actually a 7.9 earthquake, much worse than originally reported. Does .1 more make it doubly worse as they seem to infer? BUT, going into Iraq, where the people were being tortured and the Kurds were being annihilated by toxic weapons wasn’t ok when we didn’t find weapons of mass destruction?

It seems that the U.S. is really big on this whole “let’s save the world when natural disasters strike” by swooping in, plopping down all kinds of food, water, and medical supplies, then swooping out. We don’t bother to hang out and help them rebuild their infrastructures, or even one freakin house. Its like we’re just giving them enough to live, and then leaving them there in the squalor to think “Holy shit, I’d rather be dead than live among the debris, rats, and smell of dead relatives.”

Call me crazy, but I really do think that we need to help out own people in our own nation before we send one stinking dime to another country. Where, on my tax form, is the little checkbox that says “I want my tax dollars to go toward rebuilding and helping out those in our own country first”? Better yes, how about they go with a flat tax and that way I might have some money left over after I pay for gas to get to work to donate to the causes that I feel are worthy?

Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering why I think the world is going to Hell in a hand basket... I saw a commercial today for health insurance... Billy (Oxyclean, Samurai Shark Sharpner) Mays, is hawking health insurance. And if you act now... on top of your medical benefits, we’ll throw in this Putty and all you have to do is pay for shipping!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Day In Merryland

Hubby and I drove to Wally World (aka: Walmart) for the elusive shoe strings. Rumor had it that the megalomaniacal all purpose chain might just have some brown shoe laces, so we girded our loins and headed to the magical land of mark downs.

Frankly, I ONLY go to Walmart when there is absolutely, positively NO other place on this earth that carries the thing that I need. Frankly, after today I'm thinking that nothing short of an actual functioning organ would be so important to ever go there... EVER AGAIN.

First of all, the circus is in town. Well, a mini strip mall version circus that is, and its parked in part of the vacant lot near the discount mall that really isn't a discount mall (no discount mall could possibly include Sachs 5th Ave and call themselves "discount", but I digress). How did we know the circus was in town? Well, there are the mini "big" tops, and the sideshow trailers and the elephants grazing in a pen. Of course, we didn't notice these things until we nearly plowed into the back of a mini van that had stopped IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY to look at the elephants.

You see, that's one of the quaint traditions of Maryland. People just randomly, and sometimes for no reason, stop on a highway. Sometimes they stop to read a map. Sometimes they stop, then back up on the fast lane because they missed their exit. If backing up wasn't enough, they generally then shoot across three lanes of traffic to get to the exit. This idiot saw elephants, and instead of saying "hey, why don't I pull off into the vacant lot, where I won't be endangering the lives of those drivers behind me" oh no, that probably didn't even occur to the moron. He just slams on the brakes and looks at the elephants.

That being said, you can imagine that when we finally did get to Wally World... we were in a wonderful mood. The mood got even better when we discovered that a new law must have been passed that said "It is now legal for anyone driving a car with handicapped plates to run over pedestrians". Had we known this, we foolishly wouldn't have been walking in the cross walk toward the store when the chucklehead in the minivan came careening around the corner, and even though he saw us walking (my face was only about 2 inches from his), he continued turning, causing us to leap for our lives. I hurled some rather biting sarcasm at the moron, knowing that even if he challenged me to a fight, I could probably tip his chair over and run if it got too out of hand.

Once inside the store, our mood only got better when we were assailed by the smell of what could only be vomit. I'm not sure why all Walmarts smell like someone just hurled in them, but they do, at least to me. You would think with all the discount air fresheners they sell, they could get rid of that smell of sweat, urine, and vomit that permeates their stores. Why does it smell like that? Has anyone else noticed that or is it just stores in Maryland?

Anyway, we actually DID find shoelaces... black ones. AAAAH oh wait, over on the other side, here is the brown shoe laces. Fine, grabbed two of them and ran for the card department, grabbed a box of "thank you" cards and kept running, made it to checkout.

For some reason I find the carousel of bags very disturbing. Does it actually speed up the process to have the carousel of plastic bags? How many items do people lose in an average day because they didn't realize that a bag had been trapped on the wheel of bags? I'm also glad to see that Walmart doesn't require you to actually show ID when you use a credit card, but I did have to put my zip code in. Yeah, there's security for you. That should be implemented at banks to keep our money safe, cuz nobody gonna know my zip code after stealing my wallet with my FREAKING DRIVERS LICENSE IN IT! Sigh...

We ran about of Wally World.

The only thing I'll say about Circuit City (other than "gee, what a shock they're going out of business") is: TURN THE FREAKIN MUSIC IN THE STORE DOWN SO I CAN HEAR MYSELF THINK ABOUT WHAT A CRAPPY STORE THIS IS!

And then we went home.

Coincidence or what?

Last night before I went to bed I was reading this story about a small town in Oklahoma called Picher. Apparently once a booming lead mining town, its all but abandoned because of toxic lead waste, mines collapsing, and no work there. Its now a superfund site, slated for cleanup (who knows when) and the people that grew up there, generation after generation, who always thought they’d live there forever, and now faced with either moving out, or living in a ghost town. The government only giving them “fair market value” for their houses, leaving little to start a new life somewhere else.

I thought last night, as I read the piece, of how sad it would be to live someplace your whole life and be forced to move out, simply because its now polluted from the very thing that brought it prosperity back in the day. I felt sorry for those people that had to find a new home, leaving those many generations of memories behind, and for those choosing to stay and dealing with very little support.

This morning I woke up to find that a number of Tornados had struck the Oklahoma and Missouri area. I know some people in both those areas, and thankfully except for losing power and damage around them, they are safe. I checked out CNN to read more about where the tornados hit, and the by-line of the main story just hit me in the forehead. PICHER. The tornado hit that small, dying town where only a handful (800 or so) residents were still there.

The story mentions the town’s troubles, and how more would most likely be dead had the government buy-outs not happened in the superfund site town. How eerie is it that a story about this town was written, about its slow death, the decisions residents had to make (stay/leave) and how some said “I’ll go before I leave this town”... I wonder how they feel now. Was it a sign? Was it a warning? Was it the last straw for some that wanted to stay, or just another excuse to rebuild and stay.

I just thought it very odd that I read this late last night, one of those, “oh, let me read this even though I’m not that interested in the subject” sort of scans before going to bed... and then the tornados came. Will those that stayed and now have no home still be offered the government buy-out? Will insurance companies give them the money they need to rebuild if their property is on a superfund site? Is this the very end of Picher?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Commercial Violence

Ok, so I didn’t have a problem back when people hit themselves in the forehead when they realized that they could have had a V8. Sure, nutrition is important to your overall health, but I really didn’t think that smacking yourself in the head was necessary, but its your head, you can hit it if you want.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed that strangers and loved ones are now smacking people in the forehead for forgetting or neglecting 3 of their daily vegetable servings? Are they really trying to tell us that its our responsibility for insuring that people get their daily vegetable servings? Are we suppose to become the daily vegetable serving police? Its bad enough that dogs are getting banned just for their breeds, but now the commercial is showing dogs using their paws to smack people in the head when they don’t eat their vegetables. Apparently dogs can smack humans for not eating vegetables, but mauling them is right out.

So, if pornography causes rape, and video games cause people to murder, are we now going to see gangs of people smacking non-vegans upside the head in the streets? Is this just a small movement that will grow into a total vegan culture based out of fear and bodily harm? What message are we sending to the children by showing such violence?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Shoe Laces... WTF?

Funny title for a blog... unless you’ve tried to buy shoe laces (shoe strings depending on your locale) lately. Have you tried buying them lately? Really? Where did you get them, because apparently in the state of Maryland YOU CAN’T F’ING FIND THEM IN STORES!!!!!!

Seriously! You would think that shoe stores would sell them. NO, they sell shoes. Apparently their mad marketing skills told shoe store owners that selling shoe laces for $1.99 a pair isn’t the way to keep your store open, so don’t sell them and then people will be forced to simply buy a new pair of shoes when their cheap laces break. I kid you not, go into any of the conglomerate chain store shoe stores and I DARE YOU to find shoe laces (in the state of Maryland, that is). There are no shoe laces to be had in any shoe store in the ENTIRE FREAKING STATE OF MARYLAND!

Ok, FINE! We go to Men’s Wearhouse where we bought the stupid shoes... guess what? Yep, they don’t sell shoe laces. Are you FREAKIN kidding me! Oh yeah, you can probably get some tricked out expensive sneaker laces for your incredibly expensive you could buy a car for that price professional athlete hawked specialty shoes, but not plain brown stupid dress shoe laces. I suppose hubby could put a pair of pink neon fluorescent laces in his brown dress shoes, but really?

I came home and googled shoe laces. Guess who has them! No, really, guess! I insist that you guess. YES you can bid on shoe laces on e-bay! Are you serious? I have to buy freaking shoe laces on e-bay? Is that what the world has come to? Seriously? I can’t find local shoe laces so I’m forced to bid on shoe laces online.

Please tell me that Maryland is the only place where you have to waste $75.00 of gas to drive miles and miles to freakin find ONE PLACE that sells brown dress shoe shoe laces? Please tell me that there are other states that haven’t completely lost their sanity and you can actually walk into a shoe store and say “Do you have a pair of brown men’s dress shoe shoe laces?” and they don’t look at you as if you are suggesting they just shutter up their business and live on the streets or throw you out of the store because who in their right mind would break a shoe lace and expect to replace it for $1.99 when they can spend $150 on a new pair of mens’ dress shoes???? Is there such a place, because frankly if I could sell my house in this crap economy, and if I could afford to drive out of this state, I would do it... just so I could buy a pair of freakin brown shoe laces for no reason whatsoever.


Would You Like Crack With That?

I just don’t understand what the big hoopla is over the recent arrest of college students at San Diego State University.

Everyone knows that college tuition is extremely high, so I’m thinking that these brilliant future business leaders found a way to not only help ease the financial burden their parents were facing by putting them through college, but also exercising the educational muscle they were receiving through their education.

I mean, come on! Sure they forgot to write a business plan or file their new company with the state. I’m sure they also neglected to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS, but look at what they did do! Not only did they seemingly form a whole chain, almost an Amway-like upline of dealing their drugs, but they utilized technology to market their wares, offered sales (thus having an understanding of supply and demand economics), and worked with foreign dealers, which definitely shows that International flare for business dealings and importing.

I’d say they pretty much earned that degree with their extra credit activities! While people may scoff at the student, 1 month shy of receiving his degree in Homeland Security, being arrested, what better experience for a future agent than to experience first hand the illegal activities and ease at which drugs and potential terrorists can cross our borders! I say give him a job right now so we can learn from this eager young man’s experiences!

I think that the media and police officials need to relax about this whole “misunderstanding” and give these poor (well, ok, maybe poor is a bad choice of words) college students a break. After all, they’re just kids who are about to join the ranks of the gainly employed like the rest of us, and I can’t think of a better business associate than a drug dealer.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Common Courtesy Is Dead

So I'm sitting at the local Panera eating my tasty sourdough breadbowl of broccoli cheddar soup (my favorite) while hubby went to fill his cup with ice tea. Its a beautiful day, we just hit the Costco for bulk goodies, and now we were going to have a very nice lunch together and relax.

I'm vaguely aware of someone wandering around in front of me, then a female voice says loudly: "Do they bus the tables here?" I look up from my lunch and there is a woman standing in front of my table holding some trash items. She repeats: "Do they bus the tables here?" I say "um, over there (I point to the trash container), there's a trash container to throw your stuff in." To which the woman responds with "I'm from out of town." and she walks over to the trash and leaves.

Now, this has me very miffed for a myriad of reasons. I'm old enough to remember a time when people were courteous and had manners. Back in the "good old days" the conversation would have been something like this:

Woman stands up and can't see where to toss her trash. She approaches my table and says "Excuse me, but I'm from out of town and not familiar with how Panera works, is there someplace I should throw my trash, or do they bus the tables?" I look up and said "Over there (pointing) that's where you can throw your stuff". The woman looks at where I was pointing, then says "Oh, thank you" then leaves to throw her items away.

Is that so hard? Seriously, is that really so hard?

The problem with this is that nobody seems to remember those "good old days" and has forgotten how to behave in public, how to interact with other human beings, and just perpetuates rudeness throughout the land. We're doomed.