Archive for July, 2005

I’m getting really fucking sick of receiving the response, “It should work…” whenever I tell someone that something (a process, piece of code, etc.) is not working. Yes, I am fully aware that it should work. In fact, if it did work, I wouldn’t be requesting some kind of information or assistance from you in order to proceed. Telling me what currently should or shouldn’t happen is an offensive waste of time. I am aware of the correct outcome, but right now, it’s incorrect and we need to fix it.

What exactly do people expect to accomplish by telling me, “It should work…”? Should I respond, “You know, you’re right! It should! Hey, that fixed it. It’s doing what it should do now because you said it should work! Thanks!”

No, because then instead of sounding like an annoyed bitch, I’d sound like a snide bitch.

Other than being a futile waste of words, that statement actually sets productivity back. When you respond to someone’s problem with “It should work…” you’re not only not helping the person (yes I’m using a double-negative; it’s a necessity for emphasis), but you’ve created another obstacle by appearing unwilling to admit that there’s even something wrong. That means the person with the problem has to double-back and re-explain the issue while having to unnecessarily convince you that it is problem to begin with.

None of the problems that have yielded such an asinine response are the end of the world (my badge isn’t working, something in the Help is broken and I was tasked with fixing it, etc). However, I feel like the people I’ve asked for assistance have given me a telling glimpse of their personalities. These models of dipshittery might as well wear signs that say, “Hi, I’m [name] and instead of just dealing with problems that are relatively small and easy to fix, I’d rather pretend they don’t exist.” It may not change things, but at least I’d know what I was getting myself into when I asked a simple question.

While I was eating my salad, one of the tines in my plastic fork broke off.

My first thought was, What the fuck is in this salad? But as I spit out the tine, I realized that it couldn’t be from the salad, as it had a texture unlike anything I’d ever accidentally imbibed. So now I’m eating a salad with a three-tined fork and it feels really weird.

Also, I saw a dead bird in the parking lot about a week ago.

I found it rather odd that not only were its guts torn out in a bloody mess, but its killer had also taken the head as a souvenier. I showed the picture to some people and they compared me to the guy in American Beauty. When I replied that I don’t film wind-swept bags with wide-eyed wonder, they insisted that he recorded images of dead birds as well. I know no one meant any offense, but I knew a guy that looked and acted a lot like the movie character in question, and he was one of the biggest asshats I’ll probably ever meet.

Despite having to part with my beloved canine, today was not entirely craptastic due to two good things:

1. There was some kind of celebration at work in which we received lots of tasty ice cream and toppings, in addition to a free hat.

2. I placed third in a sit-and-go multi-table online poker tournament and won $150. Although I am quite partial to winning money, I’m never going to enter one of these tournaments again. This is what tight limit players do when they want tournament practice because they’re scared of the huge regular and special tournaments. People were taking forever and playing like idiots. The play got better when it thinned out to the top five players (who were all going to finish in the money), but before that, I could almost see the hamster wheel rotating in some of my opponents’ moronic heads. I made several stupid and rather costly errors and I still placed third.

Okay, so that part about never entering one of those tournaments again is a lie. I’m going to enter another one tomorrow… with higher stakes.

Ever since Zoey’s unfortunate encounter with a neighborhood dog, following her unfortunate encounter in which she bit her playful roommate Woogie, I’ve been spending my free time trying to find a way to get her back to Austin. I feel so terrible that Zoey is letting her troubled past interfere with how she gets along with the nice dogs here. Even keeping her in my room all day while I’m at work didn’t help (I guess she can open doors). So Gus, who is the best boyfriend in the world, offered to take care of her in Austin while I finish my contract here.

I placed multitudes of Craig’s List ads and received many, many responses. People were going near Austin, through Austin, somewhere in the vicinity of Texas… but everyone had some stipulation. One offer was from a guy in Orange County, which is six hours from here. A couple who was moving to Florida would take her, but they needed $300 to mail all their stuff to make room for Zoey. Yet another guy was going to Austin… with another dog. Someone else responded to tell me that I could fly her in a temperature-controlled cabin on Continental for about $300. And thus, for the price of a round-trip ticket for myself, I flew my socially maladjusted dog back to Texas this morning.

Of course, you can’t just put a dog on a plane. I had to get her certificate of health yesterday, which was little more than time-consuming. I know the airline needs it to cover their asses, but waiting at the vet is akin to waiting at the doctor’s office (time spent waiting/4=time spent with doctor), and in this case, we were the only ones there!

And the day before yesterday, I had to buy a crate. I got a used one, and found out soon after that crates that size (approx. 23x27x38 in.) are around $250 new. Pretty excessive for a large hunk of plastic with a cage door in front. Cost of materials is probably less than 1/10th of that.

I also found out last night when I was making the reservation that I needed food and water bowls that clip into the door of the crate. I went to the crustily crowded Wal-mart, the place to go for cheap plastic thingies. Of course, they didn’t have any for individual sale, and the customer service guy who told me this was a complete dousche. I actually considered stealing the bowls out of one of the crates for sale (I had already pulled them out to show the guy what I was looking for). I justified my deviant thoughts by reminding myself that Wal-mart has no problem with robbing their employees of a living wage along with robbing rural and suburban towns of their uniqueness. How would the largest grossing business to ever exist notice a couple of little plastic dog bowls? The smidgen of sense left in me decided that it would be difficult to pull off and it would be a nuisance whether or not they pressed charges. But still, if Wal-mart were human, I would smack him across the face, stab him in the heart 10,000 times, and dump him in a polluted lake. Even that treatment is too good.

I got the bowls for five bucks at Petsmart.

Anyway, bringing her to the airport this morning was really hard. Everyone at the Continental cargo office was really nice, and I’m sure Zoey will be fine, but I feel so bad sending her off like this. I’m sure she’ll be much happier by herself with full use of the house and backyard. I, however, will be much sadder. She was one of my best friends here. I just wish she liked dogs as much as she likes people.

According to aimfight.com, everyone’s jockin’ me like they know me. I “fought” a few of my buddies and scored win after win. It felt good, but I wasn’t sure why. Then, I found that your score is the result of how many people link to you, (and sequentially, how many people link to them) and it all made sense. I’ve been on AIM for awhile and use it regularly, so I’m bound to know some other people who know some other people, etc.

I’m just glad that in addition to HotOrNot, Friendster, and MySpace, a couple of bored programmers have created a brand new way for self-indulgent internet whores to reaffirm their social desirability via the indirect signs of approval from their peers. I mean, who wants to make themselves vulnerable by actually telling someone how much they value them? And how can you be cocky about the sheer amount of people who adore you without having the numbers to back it up?

At a whopping 6243, my ranking is below only those of the publisher and promotions guy of the now defunct Feedback Magazine. As well it should be. If I have a greater network of buddies than the guys who ran a bunch of large-scale events in Austin, then that city has a serious problem.

Looks like I can spend the rest of the afternoon happily basking in my own instant-messaging greatness… Surely, I am the most popular girl ever, which I must tell everyone in the chatrooms this Friday night as I play online poker in my dimly lit room wearing pajama pants while eating leftover spaghetti for four or five hours.

…and a splash of coke

…and a squeeze of lime

…and some ice.

:-/

I wouldn’t make a very good pirate, huh?

The slogan in this entry title is popular among cyclists, but whenever I have the unfortunate chagrin of getting stuck behind one, I often want to say the same thing to him. Just to be clear, I’m not one of those crazy assholes that tails cyclists, blasting her horn and shouting obscenities just to be a jerk. I love bikes. I think they’re a healthy, sometimes easy way to commute, and there’s no doubt that Mother Earth smiles upon the good folks who ride them.

But sometimes, cyclists can be just as irascible as the drivers they annoy. I had to deal with it in Austin more than I do here because there are fewer bike lines there. Some places in Austin were truly terrible. Cyclists would consume an entire lane of rush hour traffic, riding at half the pace of the posted speed limit, yet they expected to be treated as if they were in a car. When you’re caged in a five-ton hunk of metal that can move faster than me, I’ll treat you like you’re in a car. Until then, stay the hell out of my way.

Anyway, today, instead of sanctimoniously taking up an entire chunk of space in front of me, a cyclist did something really cool. The cyclist in front of me and I were approaching a red light. We both stop, and he is appropriately situated in the bike lane. I want to turn right, where the bike lane is. He wants to go straight so he was stopped. Seeing that I was behind him, he scooted over to the far edge of his lane so I could pass. I yelled my most chipper “thank you” as I passed (yes, some of us have to make an effort to be chipper) and he replied “you’re welcome.” Made my fuckin’ day.

Hey, it wasn’t my idea. Today’s Something Awful is a real treat. If Coke can remove rust from cars and stains from china, what do you think it’s doing to your intestines?

*chugs a bottle of Gatorade and continues practicing dance moves*

This crazy tangental rant also got me thinking, Is KMFDM even a band anymore? So I went to KMFDM DOT KOM and not only are they still around, they’re touring… in places I don’t go, like Canada and Europe. It seemed to me like industrial died awhile ago, but if these places are keeping it alive by packing big concert halls to see KMFDM, perhaps I should move.

1. Someone pointed me to a cute letter to the Kansas School Board regarding whether they’ll allow the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classes. While the writer promoted the teaching of the Flying Spaghetti Monster creationist theory, in which I do not believe at this time, I applaud him for his aspiration to creatively question the system.

2. I went to the store and bought Guittard French Vanilla Chocolate. Not ice cream, not “flavored” anything, just a big ol’ chocolate chunk of the French vanilla variety. If someone were to ask, “What’s the opposite of chocolate?” I think most of us would reply, “Vanilla.” So what’s this oxymoronic food about? Tastiness. That’s what.

3. I was invited to another work-people gathering, despite my growing reputation as a shitfaced lunatic (from the South!).

Or maybe that’s why I was invited…

I did it. I cracked under the pressure of my growing waistline and copious amounts of free time and joined the gym nearby. I don’t like public gyms. I think they charge too much and bank on the fact that most of the people who sign up won’t stick with it.

Having received two phone calls from gym personnel before I even set foot in there, I knew they were going to be pushy. I knew they were going to try to set me up with the most expensive plan possible. I knew I would have to be firm in what I was willing to pay and possibly haggle a bit. I went in there like I was buying a car from a dealership. I don’t like those either.

I was greeted by your standard gym meathead who showed me every part of the facility I could ever possibly want to see. I believe I can count on two hands the number of times I said, “I just want to use the treadmill.” I let him lead me around anyway, pretending to be interested in the lap pool and aerobics classes.

Then we went back into a little office to discuss terms. He had this cute little binder with all of these shiny laminated pages bearing numbers that made me laugh when I looked at them. Oh, the fun we had! When the amusement portion of our discussion was over, I explained once again that I am a contractor and will probably only be in town for another two months and I just need a place to run, so I’m not looking to spend a lot. They had a deal on the internet that I liked, if I could change the terms from three to two months and pay 2/3 of the price. Deal.

In addition to my tour and haggling, I also got to answer some fun questions in which my host could make me feel like an important individual with special needs and goals that his facility would be happy to accomodate, while at the same time he could gather information about me and see how much I was likely to spend to feel good about myself.

What he asked: Which body type/work out regime best describes you? (From a choice of four categories.)
What he meant: How high is your self-confidence?

What he asked: What are your goals for working out here?
What he meant: I really hope you need some help with goal-setting because we have a staff of personal trainers here who will try to give you some (for a fee, of course).

What he asked: Have you ever worked with a personal trainer before?
What he meant: You should totally work with a personal trainer!

What he asked: How is your diet? Do you take any vitamins?
What he meant: Are you going to pass out from malnutrition on one of our machines and sue us for a lot of money? Should we expect to hear you purging in the locker room before working out for four hours at a time?

What he asked: What made you come in today? (As opposed to last week or yesterday.)
What he meant: What triggered your sudden desire to work out? Do you clothes not fit you anymore? Did your boyfriend call you fat?

What he asked: What do you do for a living?
What he meant: How much money do you make?

I love telling salespeople I’m a tech writer because they don’t know what to make of it. I said “tech,” so it could be a lucrative field, but I also said “writer” and they’re a dime a dozen and usually don’t make jack. I’m glad he was too proud to ask me what I write because I really hate getting into that with people who aren’t in the tech industry.

Anyway, after doing three miles on the elliptical (oh, how I’ve missed you!) and a mile and a half on the treadmill, I was pretty well spent. I had left my credit card at Subway yesterday, so I walked there, retrieved it after some language difficulties (Mexifornia in effect!), and went back to pay my membership fee. Then I walked to Safeway to get some healthy food. Then I went home only so FongFong could ask me to buy some carpet cleaner because one of the dogs peed in the living room and she was out. So, I heeled it over to Target to make use of that awesome gift card that Aunt Carol gave me for Christmas. When I finally returned home, I was able to relax, eat some food, and play cards, at which I am currently sucking.

All in all, I feel like I got a lot done today, even if it meant spending money I didn’t want to and cleaning up dog pee.