Thursday, April 29, 2010

I don't think the ranger is going to like this, Yogi.

As I've mentioned before, I follow my hometown newspaper on Twitter. One of the headlines today was just...well, you'll see.

Pocono Record News: Wilkes-Barre man found guilty of baiting bear with pastries

At first, I thought they meant he was teasing the bear, but then I read the accompanying story, which gets even better:

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A man has been found guilty of using pastries to illegally bait the largest bear killed in the state during the 2009 season.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says 39-year-old Charles Olsen Jr. of Wilkes-Barre was found guilty Thursday and ordered to pay $6,800 in fines and restitution, plus court costs.

Game commission officials said Olsen admitted in November to using bait to kill the 707-pound bear.

Officials say he first raised suspicions when he was spotted a week before the hunting season driving a truck loaded with pastries through a heavily hunted area.

Wait, go back and read that sentence again. "Say, what's Charlie doing with all that danish?"

Olsen also faces the loss of hunting privileges for three years.

Oh, Pennsyltucky. I love you.

How I met my untimely demise

Somewhere along the line, someone has likely sent you one of those emails with ghetto prom pictures and chola portraits in which the ladies' penciled-on eyebrows are surpassed only by their dark-lined pale lips. No doubt you've wondered, "Who are these people? Where do they get portraits like that?" Well, I'm here to tell you the answer to that second question is a little portrait studio in the Westlake area near MacArthur Park.

Criss and I were walking today and just past Langer's, Criss stopped me, saying "Hold up. Check out these pictures." We backed up and lo, the treasure trove of bad portraiture we discovered on the windows of this photo shop. Ghetto-fabulous prom photos, dance troupe shots, couples portraits, and my personal favorite, a young scantily-clad chola sprawled on a black velvet mount with "_____'s Property" tattooed on her prominently-displayed thigh (name omitted for safety sake). We stood there pointing at photos and chuckling until Criss said, "Oh my God, we're going to get stabbed." And that's when I realized what a bad idea it is to stand and make fun of other people's bad portraits when you're actually in their neighborhood and they could see you.

[please note the proper use of italics, unlike those stupid Dos Equis billboards]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mercury, the moon, and probably gnomes.

Who decided having today was a good idea? I mean, I'd have been perfectly happy to avoid this day altogether and just skip right on over to Thursday. Starting yesterday, our company emails were not sending outside the company, nor were we receiving any outside emails. I wondered where all my Viagra spam had gone. At 5:00ish, they told everyone to shut down their computers for a complete reboot.

Well, this morning, the email was still down, the internet was down, I couldn't get the printers to work, we couldn't access the server at all, and oh, I couldn't find an extension cord to set up the projector for a training. We rebooted, logged on, rebooted again, and generally wasted a whole day trying to get things up again. On top of this, the boss is presenting at a conference tomorrow and has lots of things to tie up before leaving. But we can't do that because we can't get into the server. You see how may day went? Yeah, technology can suck it.

So, as I sit here waiting for the boss to finish an interview with a new IT guy (please, oh, please), I read the latest Superforest post (by the lovely Tricia) and discovered that Mercury is in retrograde. Mercury, you son of seasick sea serpent. (shakes fist skyward) THEN, I read my horoscope to find that Jupiter, my ruling planet, figures prominently in tonight's full moon. FULL MOON? And Mercury in retrograde? At the same time?? Shouldn't there be some kind of fail safe to assure that doesn't happen? Apparently, the universe hates me. Also, there may be gnomes messing with me because there was no reason the printers should not be printing my documents today. No reason whatsoever.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the wall

Who let me walk out of the house today looking like a hot ghetto mess? I know I'm on the bus (Jamie isn't fixed yet) but that doesn't mean I have to look homeless. I've decided that I need a really honest friend or a super queeny magic mirror at the front door to give me the once over and tell me to march back upstairs and change my shirt, which is too short, and fix my hair, which looks like Witch Hazel. And the bags under my eyes? If I were flying today they'd cost me an easy $50.

The spiders in my house, taking advantage of my no-kill policy, are holding an old-fashioned tent revival in the bathroom. The least they could do was give me heads up that I was less than presentable. I mean, it's the Christian thing to do.Instead, I had to spend the day looking like crap and a cracker. Thanks, rotten spiders. Let's see if you survive the week. I can just as easily start in with the Raid, ya know.

Friday, April 23, 2010

And now Max is going to be mad at me

I got paid last week and planned to take Jamie out to see her buddy Max for an oil change on Saturday. Well, I was lazy on Saturday and not feeling well, so I stayed inside in my jammies and read a book. On Sunday, I got up and decided to be productive. I went to EZ Lube for an oil change (because Max is closed), got a pedicure, went grocery shopping, all in all, fairly productive. While at the EZ Lube, they tried to see me on the air and cabin filters, as usual, but Max told me I didn't need them and to never agree to that so I said no. Then they told me I needed coolant, to which I replied, "Oh, I have a bottle in my trunk. I'll fill it." I guess they were surprised that I would have coolant in the trunk because I got a funny look, then he said something about the filter and said I'd be out of there in a few minutes. Fine.

When I got to the Target center a few blocks away, my coolant light came on. huh? I checked it and the coolant was completely empty. How did that happen? I filled it and continued about my day. That was Sunday.

Yesterday, on my way out of the parking garage at work, the coolant light came on again. True to the VW code of early warning system, which is to say NO early warning system as alarms only come on when you're truly screwed, the coolant ball thing was completely empty again. I filled it again and decided to skip knitting and just went home. I checked the level again when I got home and it was nearly below the minimum fill line again. How can it be completely empty in four days when it hasn't ever had a leak in five years? I'll tell you how. Those bastards at EZ Lube did something. I'm sure they didn't think a woman would question them when they said I needed my coolant filled. They always try to sell you on expensive extras. They tried to sell me a synthetic oil filter. I said, "What do you mean?" "Oh, it's made to filter synthetic oils." I said that a regular filter would be just fine with me. please. So, I know I should take it back to them because they're the ones who screwed it up, but I also know they'll try to claim it was something else and charge me an arm and a leg for something that wasn't broken before I went to them. So, I'll have to take Jamie to see Max for real this Saturday and listen to him lecture me on not ever taking her to EZ Lube again.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feeling strangely strange

It's a weird day. Not really weird, actually; just kind of out of sorts. No, that's not it either. Oh, I don't know how to describe it. I went to Smart & Final to get jelly beans today for the office (it is apparently Jelly Bean Day) and got lost trying to find Rampart. Really? It's right there...past Alvarado. But I ended up going down to Hobart, then up to Wilshire, and generally taking the longest route possible to Smart & Final on Beverly. From there, I was going to Starbucks at Wilshire and Union. I passed Alvarado and kept going east on Beverly. Criss, my traveling companion, said, "Hey, here's an idea. Why don't you continue on Beverly to Main Street, then loop around and come back up Olympic..." I may have called her a few things and told her to shut her yap while I found a new route to Starbucks. "I just want to go on record as saying that the old route was just fine," she said.
So, after I shoved Criss out of the moving vehicle and found my way to Starbucks, where Beardy McKerouac* was holding court again, I was fine. But then, I came back to work and realized I missed a one-on-one meeting with my leadership mentor (she's was fine with it). I muddled through a few tasks, sent some emails, then made copies and prepped for an afternoon meeting, which included making popcorn--the real kind, not microwaved. All the while, though, I felt like I was in a movie or something. Not like this was my job or my life. My boss finally said, "Are you having one of those days where you just feel like playing?" To which I replied, "Yes, that's it. I don't feel like working anymore. Where is my rich husband? This is not the life to which I intended to become accustomed." Surprisingly, she laughed. She also laughed at me when I said, "well, you're pretty...pretty technologically challenged." I also didn't get fired, which is a good thing.

After I got the meeting all squared away, I found this email in my non-work account that I had been purchased by one Shirley A. I didn't realize I was up for sale? Is that even legal? And, come on, I may not be much, but pound for pound I have to be worth more than $1563.
Thank God it's nearly quitting time and just a few hours closer to knitting time.

*Beardy McKerouac is this guy who sits at Starbucks in the back corner all day, every day, writing his manifesto, or poetry, or ABCs. He's there every time we go to Starbucks, no matter what time of day we go. Morning, he's there. Afternoon, he's there. He always has this soulful, world-weary look upon his face like he's seen some troubles and lived to tell...but he won't tell. That's his mystery. Oh, and he has a beard.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Administrative Professionals Day/ Week

My boss called this morning and asked what her schedule looked like. I gave her the rundown of early meetings and afternoon conference calls, then waited for the inevitable "I need you to reschedule...." that I love so much. But this time, I didn't mind so much. Why? Because she needed to reschedule things in order to take me to lunch. Yea! I even got to pick the restaurant. I chose Rock'n Fish at LA Live. It was that or The Yardhouse, but I really love the spicy Mac & Cheese at Rock'n Fish. She said I could even have an adult beverage. Woo Hoo! By the time we left, we had accumulated other guests (other directors and their assistants), so I wasn't so alone.

Lunch was delicious. I had the blackened Halibut, mac & cheese, sweet potato fries and a glass of red wine. I also split a bleu cheese wedge salad with the boss. We ordered a round of roasted artichokes for starters. All around, a good deal. Until I got back to the office. Something I ate did not agree with me in a hurry and I felt sick for the rest of the day. Yea, me! Everyone else was just fine, so I'm certainly not blaming the restaurant. Rock'n Fish does indeed rock. It's just my stupid stomach which has suddenly decided to become persnickety and make me sick after every meal. Oh, well. It's good for the weight loss efforts.

To all my secretarial friends out there (I'm looking at you, Ellen), I hope you had a great day and were shown some appreciation. To everyone else, I hope you showed some appreciation and respect to an administrative professional today or sometime this week. Remember, nobody sees the wizard without an appointment and guess who sets the appointments. (a fact that was sadly lost on several record company executives back in my Tower days)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Blame it on the rain*

Criss and I went to go on our lunchtime walk today. When we left the office, it was just a light drizzle. We were going to walk up to Starbucks for a hot beverage. When we got to the parking garage (to grab umbrellas) it was pouring like a bitch. We both stopped short and said a slow, "ohhh, noooo." So, we drove to Starbucks instead, where I got a venti Hot Chocolate. Yeah, I know.

So, I'm sitting here and falling asleep. My productivity level, which was banging earlier, has dropped significantly. Criss blames the sugar rush and subsequent blood sugar level drop. Like Milli Vanilli, I blame it on the rain. I always just want to sleep all day when it's rainy outside.

Today has been one of those days when you just have to go with it and don't think too hard about the logistics. You know, the boss presents you with a request so bizarre that you kind of wonder if she means it or is just messing with you. But then you realize she means it and you have to pull a rabbit out of your hat to make it happen because you're an administrative professional and that's what you do (damn it). I better see some flowers tomorrow. I've earned them.

*shamefully, I knew the lyrics when questioned about this song.

Friday, April 16, 2010

As I live and breathe

Hello All! Just wanted to let you know I'm still alive. I can't believe I have been away for two weeks. In all honesty, you didn't miss a thing. I've been crazy busy at work and nothing has been happening her at Chez Gingham. So, what can I tell you...

Frau News--I got cornered by Latina Gladys Kravitz Monday night and she said, "Oh, I have this for you." It was a flier from the Frau. "All Tenants: Trash Cans Must Be Brought To The Curb On Thursday Night & Removed ASAP Friday!" [All capitalization is Frau's.] I believe I've mentioned how my inconsiderate neighbors leave their trash cans out all week long, and recently, they've taken to leaving them in front of the driveway (the one that only Frau uses on those occasions when she visits). The city came to ask Gladys if she was the owner and told her there would be a fine if we didn't pull the cans in after pick up. Then, somebody threatened to sue Frau because one of the cans got tipped over and scratched a BMW paint job (whoever parks a Beemer in my neighborhood should understand the risk involved. I mean, people have sex on the street here). So, Frau did what she always does--the bare minimum. She wrote a flier. Thanks!

What? Sex on the street?--I know you read that line and did a double take, didn't you. Yeah, last week sometime I went out to my car in the morning and dropped my keys. I bent to pick them up and saw [Ew Factor Warning!] a used condom on the street right where I was about to step. Thank God my keys didn't fall there because I would still be disinfecting them. So I straighten up and say "ew ew ew ew" about a hundred times, when I notice a distinct ass print in the dirt on my car door. Yeah, not only did they have sex in front of my house, they did it UP AGAINST MY CAR!!!! Say it with me, "ewwwwww, ew ew ew ew ew ew."

Here's a question for the masses: Do you consider someone fluent in English if English is their first language, even though they may speak in a ghetto dialect? Or, must someone speak properly all the time in order to be considered fluent? Sound off in the comments, please. It's an argument I've been having with a friend for a week now. I say if English is the person's primary language, they are fluent. The second statement would mean that rednecks and such, people with local dialects, are not fluent in English. That's just silly. What do you think?

Monday, April 05, 2010

I feel pretty, Oh so pretty

I feel pretty and witty and bright. I really do. Did you ever have one of those days? Everything is just right?

I went to bed at a decent hour because I didn't feel like watching TV last night, so I read one of the six books I picked up at Borders this weekend. Yes, Six Books! I had a 30% off coupon and then I found a gift card in an old Christmas card that never got sent to a person with whom I don't speak very often but who may read this blog--I'm sorry! I may have a little book problem.

Anywho, I went to bed earlier than usual, read about half a book, then settled in for a good night's sleep. I didn't wake up at 3am for the first time in who knows how long. I did wake up with my alarm and didn't hit snooze for an hour. On top of that, I look good today. My hair dried nicely, with the curls turning just right, and my hazel eyes, which fluctuate from dark gray to sea green, are a lovely olive green today, the golden-brown around the pupil adding just the right hint of accent.

And I'm having an awesome day. The boss is back and all is well. I've been ridiculously productive. The boys are flirtier than usual (especially the guy who took the lunch order over the phone and told me he could talk to me all day). Why, even Mother Nature took one look at me and changed her outlook from gray and rainy to sunny and wild. To quote Udo Kier in "For Love or Money"--"I'm enjoying positive humors today."* How was your Monday? I hope it was at least half as good as mine.

*"I'll take obscure movie quotes for $1000, Alex."

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Really, people?

On April Fool's day, someone told me to check out the accident outside my window. It was someone who works in a part of the office without windows and it was April Fool's day so I was skeptical, especially because I did not hear any screeching tires or obvious accident sounds, like sirens, etc. But it was no joke. There was a big accident at the corner of Olympic and Burlington. See.
You can see the mini van, with the firefighters working to free the driver, has taken out the hydrant all together. The car next to it was also involved and they were somehow wedged together with the spouting water bubbling up and over their hoods. I'll bet their engines are super clean, though.

Okay, my point here is not to say "Look! Firetrucks!" It's to marvel (although at my age I don't know why) at the stupidity of drivers. Here's the wider angle of the scene.Notice the two large red firetrucks? The cones? The obvious signs of an accident or some other emergency necessitating the closing of the eastbound lane? Because a whole group of cars did not. They were driving into the westbound lane, around the cones and the other firetruck to continue down Olympic. One of those accordion buses did it first and then everyone else in that lane followed. I didn't get a photo of it happening, but at one point it was a total free-for-all in the westbound lane. You couldn't tell which cars were coming or going. What part of two firetrucks and four traffic cones did not give these people the idea that they should go another way? Honestly!

In other news, I got my new glasses. Yea! However, the photos I took in the ladies room were taken late in the day so my hair was a mess and my face was flushed. They were not some of my best shots. You'll have to wait to see the new specs.