Tuesday, September 30

Technical Difficulties

I've been offline since Saturday afternoon. I was in the middle of my Preventing Sexual Harassment training for work, because I don't have the "spare time" at work to do it, when it crapped out on me. I lost the last 20 pages I'd suffered through and was very blue. I ended up finishing it at work yesterday by putting on my Bose head set and waving co-workers off. I've found that mere earbuds don't work. People don't respect the earbuds, but throw on a honking pair of ear phones and the world steers clear. This also works on a plane. I assume it's because you look plain crazy.

Anyway, I've been relying upon the kindness of strangers for my wireless access for the past 6 months or so. It's been a patchy arrangement but my Airport seemed to be slowing down the desk top computer so we disabled it. I've gone a day or so without internet service in these past 6 months but, after 3 consecutive days of no service, I caved and re-connected it. Desktop computer be damned! So far it seems to be working. My laptop is happy again. Of course I'll have to reconfigure my Tivo which proved to be a long torturous ordeal last time around. I'll give it a go over the weekend when I have more energy.

So, what did I do while I was offline? I eventually completed the sexual harassment training. It's a shocking online course with some fantastic dialog. I was bombarded with one God awful scenario after another. All I kept thinking was 'This stuff is in here because some fool actually said/did this.' Man, are people stupid. I technically "Manage" people so I have to take the Manager's harassment training. It was new to me. The training took me through case after case that was dismissed in court then found it's way to the Supreme Court eventually becoming a landmark case. Let's just say I don't have much faith in the lower courts these days. I don't know who's more moronic, the sexual harassers or the lower courts dismissing so many cases.

I made the mistake of looking at my 401k yesterday. That sucked. The 10% of my salary that I've contributed, so far this year, is gone. Well, I'm exaggerating, I still have $100 of it! *sigh* Obviously I'm a little bummed out about it but I'm not panicking. God knows I'm not retiring for decades so the market has loads of time to recover before I need it. Still, it is a serious situation. I knew it was bad when I read off a CNN email alert to a colleague on the phone. She gasped then drifted off mumbling something like "What?! Oh... I... I've got to call my guy. No, seriously, I've gotta go. Bye." I've never known that to happen. Now all I'm hearing is that I'll never get a loan now. Can a girl catch a break? Mama needs a house! I seriously need all of the Wall Street a-holes to get their act together... pronto. If I can configure a wireless network shouldn't they be able to figure out how to not bankrupt the country? Is that too much to ask from the financial wizards of the US.

And speaking of the world, did you hear all of the world leaders telling off Bush and Congress today about not passing the bailout? If it wasn't all so depressing it might be funny.

Thursday, September 25


Far be it from me to give a crap about McCain, and his sidekick Bible Spice, but who the hell is advising them lately? Check out this fun clip.

Lesson learned? Don't fu@k with Dave. (Here is a longer series of highlights from the show, if you're interested.)

Wednesday, September 24

Let me count the ways

Why do I heart The Onion? Well, here's one reason.

Sunday, September 21

On a happier front

While I was incredibly annoyed during my movie outing this weekend, I did discover a favorite new tv show. Well, I didn't really discover it, and it's by no means new, but I do love it. My friend Heidi told me I should check out The Vicar of Dibley and I'm glad I did. It's a wildly popular BBC show that started back in the 90's. Unlike US shows that serve up 13 shows per season, and tend to go on and on long beyond their usefulness, the BBC offers an unpredictable number of shows and tends to produce them only as long as they are genuinely welcomed. From what I can gather, The Vicar of Dibley's first "season" was one made up of 6 episodes. Other seasons and some specials followed from 1994-2006.

I love TVOD because the humor is particularly British, which I adore, and it stars Dawn French who slays me. Because the show is from the UK it manages to get away with murder in terms of inappropriate gags, something I'm particularly fond of. I love the kooky characters in the village (Yippee... a village!) of Dibley and the I literally laugh out loud several times per episode, which is a rare thing for me. I think I can safely say that it's becoming a new comfort show for me (the ones you go to when times are tough). I own seasons of The Bob Newhart Show, Mary Tyler Moore and Northern Exposure. They are my current comfort shows but The Vicar of Dibley is right up there with them.

My only regret is that when I Netflix'd the show I inadvertently requested what seems to be the final two episodes. You'd think that title, A Holy Wholly Happy Ending, might have been a tip off, but no, I cluelessly popped the disc in and was soon a goner. How could I not love it? The finger in this clip alone will forever make me LOL. Not to mention, that it stars Richard Armitage who is adorable (have you seen North & South? It features yet another misunderstood dreamboat. *sigh*). I watched the two episodes back to back and immediately requested season 1. I'm starting from the beginning of the shows and am making my way through the entire series.

I hesitate to recommend it entirely only because so many people don't appreciate British humor as much as I do. I admit, the humor took me a while to appreciate. My Mom and brother would howl every Saturday night of my childhood while watching Monty Python's Flying Circus. I, on the other hand didn't get it. I eventually caught on and was sold by middle school. But if you enjoy that sort of quiet silly humor the Brits specialize in then you too may become a fan of Dibley. Try it on Netflix and let me know what you think. (Trooperdog, you of all people would probably get a kick out of how this fantastic Vicar handles her crazy flock. Here's a taste.)

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Yesterday, Mom and I saw Ghost Town. It made me laugh and was more poignant than I expected and Ricky Gervais was great. However, it would have been much better had the moron behind us not insisted on repeating every single joke line in the entire film. I've come across a lot of morons in theaters but this woman was truly remarkable. Her volume was incredible and her "insightful" comments, that often followed the repeated laugh lines, were about 30 minutes too late to be even remotely interesting. (Come to think of it, in my entire movie going career I've never heard somebody around me whisper something I hadn't figured out eons earlier. I'm no brainiac but the average movie goer is one dim bulb, let me tell you.) I finally turned around and asked her to keep it down. She did but, naturally, could not stop speaking. She whispered from then on but was still beyond annoying.

As a result, I've decided I want to open a theater chain that is bossy and teaches morons how to be proper movie goers. Theaters are far too polite to patrons. Movie goers are rude inconsiderate imbeciles who don't deserve tact. In my bossy theaters I would disable all electronic devices. By this I mean I'd like them all to become magically powerless and the only way to get them to work again is to leave the theater and walk into the lobby. That would save me the annoyance of seeing a lighthouse worthy beam shine up from the lower seats as some idiot decides to text a friend or check worthless messages. I would also have burly ushers, not those scrawny high school kids, on the sidelines who would rudely shout out at those deserving jackholes "Unless you're a Doctor on call, it can wait asshole!" then snatch the device from their hands.

My favorite idea for my fantasy theater chain is to install voice activated tasers into each seat. I would pay extra to go to a theater that shocked the living hell out of any jackass that uttered a word. That would be better than any movie ever made. I don't mind laughter, so the seats would have to recognize the difference between speaking and laughing but whatever... Details, details.

So there you have one of my little fantasies. Yup, I'm weird. Of course, I also dream of living in a log cabin, in a forest, all alone. Maybe I'm not weird, maybe I'm just a granny who hates the unwashed masses more and more every day.

Wednesday, September 17

Times are hard

Well, after seven years with my current employer, it finally happened, I had to visit Bentonville Arkansas for a day of big fat Wal-Mart meetings. Pretty much everyone I work with visits Bentonville at least once a month for business. Looks like I'll now be one of those folks. Here are my first impressions of Bentonville, AR:

First of all, as we drove the back roads to our hotel, I couldn't help but notice the absolutely enormous cluster of three crosses lit up and looming over a nearby church. I've never seen anything like it. Being the rude heathen that I am, I blurted out "Praise Jesus, stage right!" Inappropriate? Yes. Could I help myself? No.

Bentonville is remarkably built up considering the entire city revolves around one retailer but when that one retailer is the Wal-Mart it's not so hard to believe. I was traveling in a pack of eight women. We all agreed to grab some dinner in the hotel restaurant at 10:00 pm after we checked-in. The poor waiter and busboy handling our table seemed completely freaked out by so much estrogen at one table. The poor guy pouring our wine did so with shaking hands. I'm not sure why we were so scary but we were. With new eyes I looked around the table and for the first time realized I work with some very pretty woman. I honestly don't think about it but that poor kid seemed to be very aware. Of course, nobody seemed to bat an eye at the 2 dozen men around the bar and lounge watching Monday Night Football but my gang of alpha females was apparently quite terrifying. I guess I'm just used to them.

As we left the restaurant to get some sleep, I noticed a sign at the end of the bar that said, simply "Times are hard, $2 beer helps". Amen.

While at breakfast a co-worker opened the paper to the weather section to check out the US map. "Where are we anyway?" she asked. I laughed and said "I know! I woke up this morning and realized I wasn't even sure where Arkansas was. It's over Louisiana, right?" Thank God I was right. The airport and news station kept referring to themselves as NorthWest Arkansas but I still have no real idea of where I was in terms of state lines. I'll have to look that up.

By the way, my favorite means of learning about a new city is to enjoy their local morning news crew. LA and NYC are very similar while most other markets are very relaxed and borderline goofy. They also tend to be hilarious although not always deliberately. It's always a great window into a place.

After going downstairs for my complementary breakfast (Fresh omelet bar? Sweet!) I returned to my room to change into my Spanx and business clothes. It was then that I had a terrible Paris Hilton variety thought. I was passing a rather large, scenic window when the sun hit my eyes. I thought, 'Sheesh! What's with that sun?!' as if I could actually be annoyed with the sun. What a bitch! It was, however, the brightest sun I've ever seen. It was then that I realized that Bentonville lacks the smoggy haze that diffuses my every day So Cal sun. It's bright people. Very bright. It almost blinded me.

Later, and armed with shades, a co-worker and I decided to visit a local Wal-Mart in preparation for our meeting. It was the best looking Wal-Mart I've ever seen. I can't begin to imagine the pressure on that store's Manager. It's within a few miles of Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters and was absolutely pristine. I was sort of in awe if it when my co-worker tugged on my shirt and said "Oh my God! Did you see that guy?!" I looked down the immaculate isle and saw a couple walking away. "They were both a little dirty but he had no upper teeth except for one big center buck tooth." I was so bummed that I missed that. I just mumbled something about it being the Ozark country (again...Bitch!). The same co-worker, while driving us off to our first meeting, stopped, pointed and said "Oh God... was that seriously a dead armadillo?" It was. I had been trying to ignore it.

All meetings and Wal-Mart store visits and meals were located somewhere off highway 540. I must say it makes getting around very simple. I was absolutely gobsmacked by the lack of traffic. While out and about at lunchtime we were stuck at a red light behind 5 cars when our sales guy said "What do you think of our traffic?" *sigh* I actually thought about what it might be like to move to a Bentonville-like city after I got a load of their highway traffic on the way to dinner. The highway was two lanes on either side and it looked about as busy as LA traffic at 4:00 am on a Sunday morning. Besides the jeep next to us, that was missing a door (don't worry the passenger was safely strapped in with a seat belt), there were only about a dozen or so other cars driving way ahead, behind and around us. I don't know if I'll ever get over that sight. It's a serious "pro" in the pro/con list. A friend and I discussed the pros and cons for living in a rural area and ultimately decided we'd always have to live within an hour of a Trader Joe's and a Laemmle theater to remain happy.

We had a very nice dinner at a great little place called the James at the Mill restaurant. The food was great and a good time was had by all. I even had some wine, which I never bother with.

So now I'm back at home and happy about it. All in all it was a good trip. My meetings went better than I'd dared hope and I'm feeling good about visiting again. Still, I'm torn about working with Wal-Mart. I've been boycotting them since 60 Minutes did a big expose on them about 20 years ago. I've been avoiding working on the Wal-Mart account for years but I can't avoid it anymore. The people are extraordinarily kind and smart I just have a problem with some of their controversial business practices. I realize this makes me a hypocrite and it bothers me but if I'm going to put on my big girl pants and succeed in my job I have to work with these guys. The power of Wal-Mart is a mighty thing indeed. I'm oddly fascinated by it. Sort of way I'd be drawn to Voldemort if ever confronted by him. It's weird.

This morning I met a friend downstairs and we stopped to get coffee for the road. She spotted a basket with political Beenie Babies. She picked up the blue donkey and squeezed it with a Oh how cute!" She then picked up the red elephant and pretended to kick it across the store and stomp it to a pulp. I, of course, cracked up but as we walked away I said :You know that check out girl thinks we're in league with the devil." My friend just shrugged.

On the way to the airport our sales person pointed out an enormous Wal-Mart distribution center that is over a mile long and God only knows how wide. I've never seen anything like it. How's that for sticking it to the stuck up city slicker? It was a rather surprising trip. Arkansas is a very pretty place and one I won't mind visiting again.

Friday, September 12

Is that so wrong?

Is it a bad sign that the first thing I thought, when seeing this fabric pattern, over on Crazy Aunt Purl's Blog, was "Pillowcases!!!"

I'm serious. I really think my life will not be complete until I have a pillowcase featuring these beefcake firemen. Sweet dreams indeed.

OH! And I have an update on my nemesis Rick Sanchez. I was watching a bit of Hurricane Ike coverage last night and was thrilled to find that our buddy Rick has been relegated to jackass duty. Yup, he was standing in the storm, getting pelted by rain, about to get blown over and still he managed to be smug. I think my favorite moment was when they reduced him to a screen-in-screen shot and cut his mike, so the anchor could finally get a word in edgewise, and Rick just kept yammering on and on. It was awesome!

Tuesday, September 9

Such good stuff

I LOVE The Daily Show. I mostly love it because it's even handed. I can assure you that Dems were made fun of during their convention just as much as the Republicans were during there's. The only inequity is that the GOP offers so much more material and hypocrisy to work with.

Here is one of my favorite recent clips. Just copy and paste into your browser (I'd embed it but my computer isn't cooperating):


Oh, and to all of the whiners who freak out when anybody is less than reverent about McCain's military service, you might want to go back a few years and recall how the GOP treated John Kerry's service to our country. And while you're at it, feel free to kiss my big ol' liberal ass.

Friday, September 5


I'm sure I've mentioned it already but I'm especially busy at work these days. I don't think I spent more than 15 minutes at my desk in the last 3 days. We're transferring our old jobs to the new teams while taking on our new responsibilities. The crossover is painful. I've been in meetings pretty much from 9-7 every day. I try to go to my desk for a minute, to check my voicemail, and every time I walk in I see a fresh stack of paperwork with a sad little post it note waiting for me. I, naturally, have no time to look at the sad stack so I sweep it to the side and make my calls. I've even been forced to shoo away any poor soul who spots me entering my cubicle and attempts to ask a question. I feel like a monster but I just have wave and say "Sorry, can't talk." I then have to immediately pick up my notebook, Blackberry and a bottle of water and head off to another meeting. It's a drag.

Then, today, we had a big team bonding picnic event. It was actually very nice. When I heard about it my first thought was "that doesn't sound air conditioned", and I was right, but it was fun. It was very well planned too. There were ice breakers and lots of food and we got to see our top executives get wet in a dunking tank. I highly recommend this experience to one and all.

Earlier in the day I told my new boss, while we were in yet another meeting, that I could "no longer work at work". I told her I was dumping my ginormous stack of paperwork in a bag with my laptop and to-do list and heading home immediately after the picnic. She just looked at me and said "Good for you!" Thank God... she gets it.

I left the picnic around 2:00 and drove straight home. I quickly logged on to my work laptop and have only now logged off. I organized all of the dreaded paperwork, reviewed a ton of product and knocked things off my to-do list. Perhaps best of all, I whittled my email in-box down from around 500 emails to 15. I average about 100 a day but I'm hoping that will improve after the big transition. Why do I get so much anyway? I'm not that important.

Anyway, I'm feeling MUCH less stressed right about now. I got more work done in these past 5 hours than I have all week. Thank God and the Internets.

I have a bad habit of running though to-do lists in my head all night long when I'm stressed. Needless to say, I haven't slept much this week. My hope is that now that I've handled a bunch of work I'll be able to concentrate enough to read. I'd like to finish The Host this weekend so I can re-read Outlander. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 4

People Suck

I know it's silly, in the scheme of things, but this news made me very sad and disappointed today.

As mentioned in previous posts, I've recently become a big fan of the Twilight series. Most of the women I work with are fans as well. It's causing mid-crisis' all over the work place but mostly it's been a really good time. Today I learned that the author, Stephenie Meyer, posted an early draft of the next book on her website. She did this because it had already been leaked online. She figured she'd just make it easier for her fans and post it so they wouldn't have to guiltily search all over the net for it and, God forbid, pay for it.

I have mixed feelings about the news. On one hand... HOLY CRAP, A NEW Twilight BOOK IS SUDDENLY AVAILABLE?! But on the other hand it's unfinished and not even close to being what the author wanted it to be when fans saw it. I feel really bad for this woman. Oh sure, she's rolling in dough and most won't feel bad for her but I really do. It must seriously suck to have an early, messy, draft of your eagerly anticipated book leaked online. As disappointed as the author is, the publishers must be sitting in a corner in the fetal position sucking their thumbs thinking of all of the lost revenue. There goes fiscal year 2011!

Ms. Meyer is indefinitely shelving the whole project now as a result of the leak. I hate whoever leaked it. Why do people have to suck so badly?

I'm going back to Outlander. I can't take this teen-aged angst. I'm going back to the land of grown ups. I'm going back to the land with characters who actually hop in the sack frequently, enthusiastically and unapologetically, and are featured in a yet-to-be-green-lit movie version, a movie that has yet to be optioned because nobody can agree on the proper handling of the story and, most importantly, the casting of the incredibly hot and dreamy leading man. Yeah, that's a world I know. That's a world I can live with.

Tuesday, September 2

Suggestions please

Since I've been taking a stab at writing I've become curious about different genres. In terms of my reading preferences I tend to stick to the mainstream. I like fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction and classics. My "have read" list comes almost entirely from those categories. I think it's time to branch out. I'd like to dip my toe in the less serious end of the literary genre pool. I'd like to try some books from categories I've never even considered before. I'm therefore looking for your suggestions. To begin with I'd like solid suggestions for the following genres: Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Romance, Mystery/Detective novels. By "solid" I mean picks that are reasonably well written. (I have some terrible memories of giving Danielle Steele a try back in college. I found myself compulsively editing her. It was awful.) I suppose the Twilight and Outlander series are considered "romance" by many. Oh, and there was that Nora Robert trilogy I got sucked into. Shoot! Maybe I've already covered the romance category. Maybe I shouldn't press my luck. I mean it can't possibly get better than Outlander, right? Or maybe I should deliberately seek out the really trashy stuff. I don't know...

Anyway, I plan to reserve judgement until I give some of these genres a try. I won't, for example, giggle when I read the following description on Amazon: "being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day." Ahem... I'm being brave here people. Please don't judge.

I've never had an interest in any of these literary flavors before but I think it's time to stop being a snob. For all I know I adore those romance novels with buff guys on the covers. Or maybe those new age-y looking sci-fi books will curl my toes. I just don't know, but I think it's time to open my mind and give new (to me) genres a chance.

I tried doing a search online for "Good sci-fi" and "Decent Romance" with little luck. I looked through some Amazon reviews but I rarely trust those. I did, however, learn that the test of a good romance story is being able to read a love scene, out loud, without snickering. That could be a hilarious test.

I'm clueless about these types of books so I need your help. If you have any fun books to suggest, please do. Don't feel you even have to stay within those genres listed above. If you feel strongly about some other category let me know. I'm guessing all genres have an upper echelon so I'm looking for those.

I realize I don't have a vast readership here but I'm hoping those who do stop by will offer some suggestions. I'd especially love to hear about any long closeted guilty pleasures hidden on your bookshelves.

Don't be shy, speak up!


P.S. While looking for a fun book cover pic to include in this post, I stumbled upon this site. I will not snicker... I will not snicker... *biting inside of cheek* I will not snicker...


I heard back from CNN. Turns out they send viewer emails directly to the anchors. Awkward! Oh well, Rick should hear he's being a jackhole. I'm just sorry that I used my work email that includes my full name and place of business. Bummer.

Oh well, I can take that wiener. I meant every word I said I'm just sorry I called him a "blow hard" twice. It's hard to edit in a tiny comment box! Anyway, here is the CNN email reply:

Thank you for the comment you sent for Rick Sanchez.

Anchor and correspondent e-mails are forwarded to their personal e-mail boxes (when possible), however, Viewer Communications Management receives and acknowledges e-mails on behalf of them. While neither the anchors nor Viewer Communications Management can reply personally to every e-mail, your comments are important to us and we do read each and every one. Viewer Communications Management replies on behalf of the anchors when possible, and also incorporates viewer opinions into the weekly anchor reports that are provided to senior management.

If you have mistakenly submitted a question through this comments section, please allow time for it to be tagged as such and routed to the appropriate persons for handling.

Again, thank you for contacting us, and please visit the attached links for more information on our anchors, programs and schedules:

If I disappear... blame Rick.

Monday, September 1


Here is the email I sent to CNN:

"For the first time ever I've been forced to abandon CNN for the greener pastures of MSNBC. Why am I leaving? I'm leaving because I literally can't stomach that blow hard Rick Sanchez another minute. His cringe worthy "reporting" makes me ill. The man is a rude blow hard who makes anchoring look as hard as it must be. Last night he had the nerve to offer advise to Anderson Cooper on how to report from a hurricane. That's hilarious, Rick!

I'll flip past CNN to see if Anderson Cooper is anywhere to be found but if that jackhole Rick is on camera, I'm outta there. I don't think I'm alone in my preference for reporters with at least some knowledge of what they are reporting on and at least an ounce of empathy. Mr. Sanchez just casually sits around with his sleeves rolled up (give me a break!) reading off comments from his fanclub on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Where is the reporting on CNN?"


I hate Rick

Ok, first of all, I have to say... abstinence rocks!

Ok, now that I've got that out of the way allow me to move on to my annoyance with this new jackhole from CNN. Have you seen this guy Rick Sanchez? I can't stand the guy and can't believe he's got the prime time slot for CNN. I have a feeling he fills CNN's vague attempt to diversify their anchor base. Surely there are better choices out there.

I don't spend a lot of time watching CNN but when there is a developing story (Gustav and the convention) I may have it on on the background. I knew I didn't like this Rick character when I saw that night after night he was sitting around in an air-conditioned studio with his sleeves rolled up as if he were really suffering through the evacuation. I tried to give him a chance but I quickly realized I find him to be blow hard with a tendency to speak too loudly and condescendingly. He’s such a jerk! When asked if he recalled the Exxon Valdez disaster he dismissively replied “Oh yeah, the one in Alaska.” *Doh!* He clearly doesn't know what he’s talking about on almost every subject yet he has mysteriously become CNN’s go-to guy for the past few days of Gustav coverage. What could they possibly be thinking? Shouldn't they be relying on somebody with at least a glimmer of empathy?

Meanwhile, I’ve been wondering where in the world Anderson Cooper has been. I figured he was on his way to New Orleans and, as it turns out, I was right. Last night I watched that terrible Rick Sanchez speak with Anderson who was reporting live from the French Quarter. Rick had the nerve to give Anderson Cooper advise on how to report from a storm! Are you kidding me, Rick?! Here's some news for ya Rick, it may be news to you but Anderson Cooper knows how to report from terrible scenes and manages to do it with some empathy. You should try it some time, Rick.

I'm now officially begging CNN to please keep the aging USC frat boy types out of my face. Rick Sanchez keeps cutting reporters off and has spent the last few days checking his ridiculous Facebook page for comments on live television. If I wanted to know what folks on chat rooms had to say, I’d go there myself. I just can’t imagine any other legitimate reporter wasting time on Facebook at a time like this. Since when is hanging out in a chat room considered reporting?
Rick Sanchez has also been talking about MySpace and Twitter as well. **Sigh** Whatever happened to real reporting? Nowadays it seems sitting around in a studio reading off emails and talking to fools on the phone is as thorough as it gets. It’s so depressing.

As a result I’ve been forced to entirely abandon CNN for the seemingly greener pastures of MSNBC. At least the anchors there are respectfully wearing suits and matching somber moods. They're even attempting to explain the dynamics of the storm and following the evacuation from knowledgeable sources.

I’ll flip past CNN to see what Anderson has to say but if I see that jackhole Rick on the screen I’m outta there.

Also, a quick check online indicates that I'm not the only Rick hater out there. He is apparently despised by many. Will I be emailing CNN about this? you better believe it!

Anderson, I’m afraid it’s all up to you my friend.