you win, Bunker Hill HEB grocery sackers

won't someone please think of the children?

so shitty, it has to be intentional

We have a winner! In what has been an ongoing competition for shittiest job of sacking groceries at the Bunker Hill HEB, the young lady who bagged my stuff today is the grand champion. This comes after four-and-a-half years of going to this store every weekend and experiencing moderately shitty to super shitty grocery bagging on the regular.

It’s gotten so frustrating that last weekend I felt moved to state the obvious to the young man who was about to bag my stuff. I said, “Please put the cold stuff in the blue cooler,” to which he snarkily replied, “Yeah, I KNOW how to do my job.” I didn’t blame him for being insulted (it’s so obvious, right?). I let him know that not all of his coworkers share in that knowledge. His look of surprise suggested he must not spend much time in the employee breakroom.

There’s a lot to like about this HEB. It’s clean, the shelves are well-stocked, prices are affordable and the staff is always friendly. On the weekends, you can usually spot at least a couple of manager-types facing labels and keeping things tidy. These are the reasons I come back each and every week instead of going to Kroger, Whole Foods, H Mart or any of the other grocery stores that are nearby. I also like supporting a Texas company.

But here’s the thing: the last contact I have with the store is the checker/sacker combo. So even if I have a great experience while shopping, if I feel like I got dumped on right after forking over a couple hundred bucks, I leave with a bad taste in my mouth. It might serve HEB well to keep that in mind and invest in training their staff instead of making the only requirements for the position be four intact limbs and active respiration. There are plenty of online tutorials, and I’d wager that at least a few of the checkers and managers started out sacking and can provide some good advice.

As for today’s experience, where to begin… You’ll see my blue soft-sided cooler in the photo. At the bottom of the bag is an unused bag that I brought, which could have replaced the plastic bag the sacker felt like she needed to use. On top of my unused bag: dog food, soap, a box of pasta and a frozen pizza. The bag just north of the cooler, the one with the 2-liter of Topo Chico? Guess what’s at the bottom of that one. Yep, eggs. Eggs on the bottom, then bread, then a heavy bottle of water. Bread was smushed, eggs were fine. The rest of the bags were similarly populated. In fact, she did such a shitty job, it felt like it had to have been intentional. You have to work hard to get cold stuff into four different bags. And that means I have to work hard to put my groceries away when I get home.

Since we’re moving in a few weeks, I only have a couple more trips to the Bunker Hill HEB. I’m hoping to get the condescending sacker on the last trip. He may be bitchy, but at least he knows to put cold stuff in the cooler.

the top 5 reasons I hate lists

1. Lists are lazy writing. It takes effort to write something that flows forth from a central idea and has segues and transitions. It’s much easier to come up with a slideshow about “The Top Ten Reasons We Don’t Miss 80s’ Fashion” with a pithy sentence or two for each image and call it journalism.

2. Lists make for lazy reading. When you can just click-click-click through something, only stopping at the bright and shiny pieces, it’s the equivalent of eating candy for dinner. Candy’s dandy, but you need some vitamins, vegetables and protein up in this bitch. Also: liquor’s quicker.

3. Lists are taking over like a fungus. Weeklies like Houston Press and dailies like Houston Chronicle are turning into slideshow repositories sprinkled with a few news stories. And, in the case of the Chronicle, a third or more of a given story’s real estate is a photo or slideshow, with the written part of the story only taking up a few paragraphs. At this rate, news will soon be delivered in a series of images, like a child’s picture book.

4. Lists lack meaning. When you’re just getting little nuggets in list form, it’s likely you’re not getting a whole lot of substance. Granted, the less said about popped collars, Z Cavaricci and glacier glasses the better. But in the time it takes to fart out five listicles, a writer could instead write one story with a bit more substance. But they aren’t allowed to do that because… (see number 5).

5. Lists are all about page views. Page views are all about advertisers. Lists aren’t being created for you, the reader. They’re being created so you’ll click 10 or 20 times on the same “story,” which translates to 9 or 19 more page views than a traditional story would bring. This, in turn, makes it seem to advertisers that a site is getting a lot more traffic than it really is.

(This listicle took less than 20 minutes to write. Man, if I wrote one of these each day, I could really up my readership…)

I gotcher flow right here, buddy

each of us is unique, like a snowflake or grain of sand (though most of us aren't as cool as fat little beach dogs)

each of us is unique, like a snowflake or grain of sand (though most of us aren’t as cool as fat little beach dogs)

The recommendation came from someone I know or someone whose blog I read. I don’t remember. The book is called Finding Flow, The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life.  I had a bit of a buzz when I ordered it. You know, holding a glass of wine in one hand, scrolling around on the internet with the other, reading about what a great book this is for getting shit done. “Hey! I need to get shit done,” I thought. “Maybe this book is just what I need.”

Two things.

One, here’s an excerpt from the book. You’re gonna love it.

Leaving aside those still relatively few career women whose primary identification is with their jobs, most women who work at clerical, service and even managerial occupations tend to think of their outside job as something they want to do rather than something they have to do. Work is more voluntary for many women; it is more like play, something that they could take or leave. Many of them feel that whatever happens on the job is not that important–and thus, paradoxically, they can enjoy it more. Even if things go wrong and they are laid off it will not hurt their self esteem. As opposed to men, their self image depends more heavily on what happens to their families.

I know what you’re thinking, that this book was written shortly after WWII. Nope. Copyright is 1997. Dude teaches psychology and education at University of Chicago and, presumably, works with a few women who don’t spend all their time clutching their pearls hoping they set the crock pot at the right temperature before venturing out into the big, scary world in their sweater set and pumps.

That excerpt came more than a third of the way in, so I wasn’t suprised by it. There had been earlier warning signs that my brain tripped over (and not in a good way), but I rarely ever abandon a book. Even if it’s shitty, I keep reading. Because maybe the good part happens later. Sometimes you have to give a thing some time to develop. But I should have known this was wasted effort when, early on, Mr. Flow compares the uniqueness of human beings to snowflakes. It was the equivalent of a stale fart coming off the page. And the fart lingered, my friend. It lingered.

I finally stopped reading the book shortly after the passage above. Not because I’m angry or insulted. Just because this cat obviously isn’t talking to me.

Two, and most important, the book reminded me of something I already knew but evidently needed to be reminded of: if you’re reading books about creating or being artistic or getting shit done, you’re doing none of the above. Period. So maybe it was worth $11 to get a little knock upside the head.

Oh–just thought of a third thing: I shouldn’t order shit off the internet when I’ve been drinking.

opinions are like assholes

Everybody has one. Except that poor fellow who was born without an asshole and had to poop through his elbow. Best we not talk about it.

Jimmy Carter said last night that he was in support of the legalization of marijuana. Or, specifically, he said: let’s see how it plays out in Washington and Colorado now that they’ve legalized it. If the dope smokers don’t leave the stove on and burn the place down or endanger the Cheeto supply, maybe other states can follow suit with a little more confidence.

Having been a bartender for a decade, I’ve seen people on all sorts of drugs. The most irritating were always the cokeheads (meth wasn’t around back then–I’m sure it would win by a landslide) (if for no other reason than the sores). Then came the drunks. The potheads were always the least irritating. What’s not to love about people smiling and laughing and talking about how great Phish is? In fact, I wish they’d dump THC in the water supply so some people would take a deep breath and calm the fuck down.

I have President Carter’s autograph. He did a book signing in Houston in the mid/late ’90s at a Barnes and Noble way out in the boonies. Somewhere (probably tucked safely in the book because I’m all organized and shit) I still have the slip of paper that was handed out before you got to the front of the line. I remember it said something about how he couldn’t accept gifts, and I’m pretty sure it mentioned cookies in particular. Which I get. Who wants to eat stranger cookies?

It’s impressive how socially and politically active Carter has remained since he left office. He’s the real deal. It would be fun to smoke some weed with him. While wearing sweaters and talking about turning the thermostat down a little.

(Point of clarification: A lot of people who are pro-legalization are not themselves pot smokers. They just think it’s ridiculous to put people in prison for a little wad of herb in their pocket. I would assume Mr. Carter is in that group and do not mean to suggest he puffs, passes or bogarts.)

no exit

My first mistake was not going to the gym after work. That’s what I’d planned to do. Had my gym clothes in the trunk and my iPod was fully charged. But when I left the office, I was distracted and got on the freeway instead of heading under it into downtown. As soon as I realized my mistake, it was too late. I was committed. No exit.

So I did what I often do on the drive home–I called my brother. I drive a stick (that’s what she said) and don’t like to tie one of my hands up with phone bidness, so I put in earbuds when I’m rolling.

The traffic was more stop than go. I grabbed my buds out of the glovebox, stuck them in my ears and picked up my phone to call Tohner. How long does it take to glance down, wake the phone up, go to FAVORITES and hit a button? Maybe five seconds? I’ve never really paid attention because it’s never been an issue.

Just as the line started ringing, I heard honking behind me. Beep-beepbeepbeep-BEEP-beepbeep. I looked in my rearview to see what was up. Was my car on fire? Was a cow on the road? Did someone fall asleep at the wheel? (That last would have been hard to determine because we weren’t really moving.) Then I saw him. The smug fart-smeller in the car behind me (a Volkswagen with out-of-state plates). He was gesticulating my direction.

He did the two-finger thing, where you point at your eyes and then at someone else to let them know that YOU’RE WATCHING THEM. Then he made like he was texting on an invisible phone. He said, “I SAW YOU” and kept making the same movements. I think he may have been semi-erect, he was so excited.

Thing is, this self-righteous prig didn’t realize that I wasn’t, in fact, texting and was, in fact, doing what I could to minimize the impact of my phone on my driving. I considered responding to his shitty theatre with some of my own but decided to leave him in his misery. I mean, what kind of situation do you have to be living in to get such delight in acting like a little bitch?

Here’s a photo that sums up how I feel:

Hey! Fuck off!

PS – Tohner didn’t answer.

does anybody really know what time it is?

the fuck?

The yellow tag above was hanging on our door yesterday, alerting us to a water outage. They’re ripping up the two blocks that make up our little neighborhood, an endeavor they say will take nine months or more. Yippee! They begin each morning at 6:30, usually hammering something massive into the ground to rip up the asphalt. The noise and percussion wake me shortly before my alarm clock, and for a split second I think a giant is coming down the street. (This is actually less weird than most of the dreams I wake from, so in some ways it’s a nice break.)

If you look closely at the tag, you’ll see that our water is going to be out today from 10PM to 3AM. Did they mean 10AM to 3PM? That would make more sense, for it to be off while they’re here working. But then they list the times again, again putting 10PM as the start time. So maybe that’s what they really meant…wait. Now it says 3PM is the end time.

Are these walking giants also time travellers? Is that why our water bill is so high?

UPDATE: the water was off in the middle of the night and back on this morning – guess that answers that question

renewing my TDL, or the fifth circle

Yesterday I completed a rite of citizenry that I haven’t had to face in 12 years: renewal of my Texas driver license. My current license features a photo of me at 30. Not exactly accurate. Nor was my expectation regarding completion of this errand. I expected it would take, at most, an hour and a half. I was 50% correct – it actually took three hours. My phone couldn’t get a signal once I was inside (purgatory doesn’t have wifi), and I didn’t bring a book, so I wrote notes about the experience on my phone. Here ya go:

  • I’m wearing a tee shirt with writing on it – hope they don’t try to turn me away – if they do, I’ll flip that bitch inside out
  • why am I surprised that the two teenagers behind me are actually kind of smart and funny? is my faith in today’s youth really that lacking?
  • do rich people have to stand in this long ass line? I’m not seeing anyone who looks higher up the money chain than lower/middle middle class
  • there’s a guy sitting in his car right by where we’re all standing – it’s idling, and in addition to being able to enjoy the exhaust fumes, we’re also being treated to shitty ’80s dance music turned up too loud – he thinks he’s jamming – he is mistaken
  • almost to the door! only took 40 minutes…
  • four old people pushing walker/seat combos in front of them just cut to the front of the line – one of the women said “you’ll be old one day too” – I hope so, and I hope that I don’t have to cut in line at the DMV wearing orthopedic shoes and pushing a stroller for adults
  • fuck – inside now, and it looks like a refugee camp – there are easily 200 people crammed into this tiny room – hope license renewal goes quickly and these people are waiting to take a test or something
  • near the front of the line – at the one hour point now – the lone clerk just asked dude for his social security card – I thought all I needed to bring was my license
  • they took my thumbprint last time I did this – seems like my thumb should be an acceptable form of ID – if not, maybe middle finger will work?
  • whew – made it through checking in with no second ID required – now I wait
  • no longer worried about my shirt with writing on it – dude in here is wearing a tee shirt that features Brittny Spears (I think?) with no top on, holding two teddy bears over her tits – classy
  • indecipherable number system – I’m number 44 and they are currently serving people in the 900s and 600s – they do this to keep you confused – also keeps you from leaving this dank shithole with no wifi to sit out in the sunshine because you can’t tell where they are in the line up
  • holy cow – deaf girl sitting in row behind me just yelled at an old man to move over because she can’t see the board that tells you what number they’re serving – he’s confused and not sure what to do – she’s yelling (because she’s deaf) and he’s got no place to go – exchanging glances with surrounding people – we have reached silent pact to jump in if this gets any more intense
  • have made friends with tiny little old man with a strong accent whose number is 981 – we’re both confused but for different reasons

All told, I was in and out in three hours. When the chick took my photo, she said, “I’m going to take your picture. You can smile or not.” Yeah lady, I know I can smile or not. Texas hasn’t started trying to regulate my facial muscles. Yet.

spell check, mofos

Were my driving and photography skills better able to coexist, the photo above would have captured what I wanted to show you. Instead, you’ll have to take my word for it.

That electronic sign there on the right is supposed to let people know that, since the 45 N exit is closed, they should use the Heights exit. Only it says Heigths instead. And it has been misspelled since Friday last week. Either they don’t know, don’t show or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.

(insert pithy segue) I’m glad Valentine’s Day is over. Facebook was intolerable yesterday. I kept waiting to see a photo of a chick with a bouquet of flowers poking out of her ass, an ugly tennis bracelet blinging on her arm and a row of chocolate stained teeth grinning wide with the comment, “OMG! BEST BOYFRIEND EVER!! I LUV U BOO♥” underneath it. These are usually the same chicks who are masters of passive-aggressive facebook commentary the rest of the year. You know, things like, “Well that’s the LAST time I’m going out of my way to do something nice for someone WHO OBVIOUSLY DOESN’T CARE enough to say thank you.” I’m glad guys don’t feel the need to wax poetic about the blow job or oil change gift certificate or tie or whatever they get on VD.

Here’s a nice thought. Tomorrow (hopefully) I’m going to announce the next book giveaway on this blog. Watch this space. Tomorrow. Or maybe Friday. But soon.

And Happy Valentine’s Day. I may not have sent flowers you could show off to your bitter coworkers, but I did send sweet thoughts. To most of you.

gusto hurts

Let it not be said that I don’t do things with gusto.

Thursday morning, I was leaving for work with my hands full. Backpack, lunch bag, notebook and large water bottle in a one-handed juggle as I used the other hand to close the front door. As I stepped through the threshold, I was taken for a moment by the blueness of the sky. We’ve had a lot of gray days, and though I don’t suffer from seasonal affective disorder (except around August when I’m depressed about how hot I’ve been for so many months in a row), I was happy to see a bright, clear sky. So happy, in fact, that I paid little attention to what my right hand was doing as I thought to myself, “What a beautiful fucking day.”

Our front door has been sticking since we got that huge dose of rain a few weeks back. The sticking has required a decent amount of force to open and shut the door. In addition, our doorknob is about an inch closer to the door jamb than it should be. I’ve (gently) knocked my hand on the threshold a number of times over the two plus years we’ve lived here. I don’t know who built this place, but I think the builder was on whatever the ’50s version of crack was. A lot of things about this house are a little…off. Wall sockets are crooked, the floors slope (though I think that relates to a jacked foundation), there are phantom light switches that don’t seem to control anything in the house. Coupled with what we assume is a dog’s grave in the backyard, it just adds to the charm.

Now you have the back story. Hands full, distractingly beautiful morning, door doesn’t shut unless you jerk it hard. All of this leads to me pulling the door shut with not a little bit of torque, effectively slamming my hand in the jamb. It hurt so badly, my knees went weak. I stumbled back into the house to drop the load I was carrying and whimper. But no tears. The only thing that makes me cry is emotional pain.

The gash in my hand is healing and the entire thing is an ugly blue-green, but all my digits are still able to digitize (as evidenced by this blog post), so I think everything will be okay. I just need to slow my roll on the multi-tasking in the morning.

don’t make me put my bra on, or why Russo’s NY Coal-Fired Pizzeria can suck it

My first clue that this wasn’t going to end well was the fact that Russo’s NY Coal-Fired Pizzeria is located in the following states: Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Arkansas. Nothing makes me think of NYC pizza more than Texas, Tennessee, Florida and Arkansas. I ignored this blinking warning sign and forged ahead with my delivery order. Why? Because Russo’s offers gluten-free pizza, and I’m off the wheat. Plus, it’s good to try new places. Right?

James and I are busy all week–and often all weekend–so when we have the opportunity to just relax, we do it. For me, laid back weekends at home = avoiding unnecessary bra wearing. I don’t know if you gentlemen can appreciate this state of being, but there’s nothing finer than being cut loose from the bonds of propriety and just letting it all hang out. What I’m saying is, I was free-titting it tonight and loving it. But that was then.

I should back up. I ordered my gluten-free pizza from the Russo’s on Bunker Hill. I thought we were closer to the one located in the Marq-E, but they don’t deliver to our neighborhood.  The guy taking my order at the Bunker Hill location had a hard time understanding the name of my street. I said it slowly. I spelled it out. He spelled it back to me. Incorrectly. I tried again. It seemed we had reached some sort of accord, though I was worried he still hadn’t mastered my location. I gave him my credit card information and placed my order. He said it would be 45 minutes. He was wrong.

When we were at the hour and 15-minute mark and deep into hunger territory, I called the restaurant. The girl who answered the phone checked on my order for me. She said that the delivery dude was en route. Uh huh. I gave her our cross streets in case he called in because our street is very dark, and you can’t see numbers on any of the houses. In an effort to help the guy, James and I were even standing on our front porch at this point, ready to flag him down.

Another 30 minutes goes by. My slight irritation has blossomed into full-grown OH HELL NO. (I realize that there are lots of people on this twirling ball of rock who have horrible lives and deal with nastiness I can’t and don’t want to imagine. So my not getting my bullshit gluten-free pizza in a timely fashion sort of pales in comparison.) (But I’m still going to tell you my story.)

I call the restaurant. Thanks to the handy iPhone, I don’t have to look up the restaurant’s number because it’s in my recent calls (this is now my third time to call them). The young woman answers again. I introduce myself, again, and say that I’m calling to check on the status of my delivery, again, worried that if the driver was indeed en route last time I called (30 minutes ago), our pizza will be a congealed mess. She puts me on hold and an older woman answers “hello,” then promptly hangs up the phone. I stand there in my driveway, staring at my phone, pondering whether or not I need to drive to this restaurant to work it out in person, when my phone rings. It’s not the number for the restaurant. I answer.

There’s a lady on the other end of the phone who says that I just called her restaurant and asks what I want. I tell her my tale of pizza woe. She asks my name and address and (too quickly) tells me that they don’t have an order for me. Um, yeah you do, I say. The young lady confirmed my order 30 minutes ago and said it was on its way. “Oh, she must have not really looked up your order,” the woman tells me. Way to sell your staff down the river! “We have an order for…” At this point she starts rattling off the addresses of people they have orders pending for. None of the inappropriately shared addresses are mine.

“You didn’t place an order with us,” she again tells me. Yeah, I did, I say. I’ve called you three times now. “I don’t have your number in my caller ID,” she says. “You must have ordered with another location.” At this point, I hear the deep-voiced man who took my order talking in the background. She confabs with him for a moment and then FAKES A CALL to another Russo’s location, asking if they have an order for me there. She doesn’t say my name, nor does she completely state my address. She says something about a gluten-free pizza and the name of my street and then “hangs up” the other call. Doesn’t say good bye or thank you or that this bitch thinks she ordered from us when she ordered from you. Worst faked call ever.

She now tells me that I ordered my pizza from the Marq-E location. I already know the Marq-E location doesn’t deliver to my hood, plus I have her restaurant’s number in my phone, not the other location, plus I can hear the man with whom I placed my order talking in the background, so I let her know that she is incorrect. She then says, “they said your pizza is on the way, so I can’t help you.” OH HELL NO. She did NOT just blame her shitty service on another location! We are now at the two-hour mark. And she is gaslighting me.

Until this moment, James was going to be the point person for the transaction because I wasn’t dressed for company. Now imma get up in this business. I put on company-appropriate attire, get out $2 to give to the delivery driver for gas and prepare to send those pizzas back.

And nothing happens. Another hour has passed, so I think it’s safe to say that the pizzas, they aren’t coming.

It’s one thing to lose an order. Or maybe the delivery driver couldn’t find our house and returned with cold pizza. Mistakes happen, and most normal people are pretty reasonable if you apologize. But to argue with me about where I placed my order (and then lie to me that it’s on its way) is inexcusable.

I’m not sure which makes me the maddest – not having any dinner or having to put on a bra on a quiet Saturday night.

but he carried a little black bag

I'm ready to give you your exam, everybody

An 81-year-old man in Florida struck a deal with prosecutors to avoid trial in a case of door-to-door breast fondling. Seems the old coot went around an apartment complex offering “free breast exams.” One of the women who thought this was a great idea (yes, there was more than one) said that he was carrying a little black bag, so it seemed legit. Um, yeah, if you’re living in the 1880s and need a doctor to place some leeches on your forehead to suck the bad thoughts out so your crops will grow again and Paw’s dry socket will heal. The only people carrying black doctor bags these days are hipsters.

She smelled a rat when he fondled her breasts instead of “examining” them and his hands moved to other, non-breast, parts of her body. He was in another woman’s apartment by the time the cops came. Who knows how many women might have fallen for this had the first lady not called the po-po. How are there this many stupid people in one place? Was their apartment complex built on a nuclear waste dump?

When asked for comment after the deal was struck, one of the victims said, “I’m not really worried about what happens to that crusty old man. I was recently contacted by a prince in Africa who needs me to help him transfer a large sum of money. With the reward he’s offering, I’ll be sipping piña coladas by the beach for the rest of my life.”

Okay, that last thing didn’t happen, but the rest of it did. What a country. In communist Russia, you have to fondle doctor’s breasts.

liar liar pants on fire

This weekend I watched the 2007 documentary America’s Most Hated Family, which is about the Westboro Baptist cult. You know, the assholes who picket soldiers’ funerals (claiming that God is punishing America because of its acceptance of homosexuality) and hardware stores that carry Swedish vacuums (because, evidently, Swedish people like the gays) (plus, vacuums have that long sucker hose, taunting you to stick something in it against your better, Christian judgment, and then your wife walks in wondering why in the world you’d be vacuuming at 1 in the morning and she sees you, well, part of you inside the vacuum and you’re watching Chelsey Lately which is, well, come on, so she grabs the kids and goes to her mom’s house and her mom finally tells her that she always thought there was something a bit “off” about you ever since the wedding when you kissed the Hispanic man who brought the rented tables and chairs and you said it was because you were so happy but you didn’t kiss the woman who brought the flowers and she was way more attractive than the tables and chairs guy and then you have to get divorced so you just stay home and hang out with the vacuum but the vacuum eventually grows bored with your attention and spends most of its day looking out the window longingly).

What I’m saying is: vacuums are nothing but trouble.

Back to the documentary. In the minivan on the way to picket a soldier’s funeral, the documentarian, Louis Theroux of the BBC, asked Phelps’ daughter if it was possible the solider was a righteous man who didn’t deserve this sort of treatment. At this point in the film, Shirley has said a number of things that would be laughable if they weren’t so hateful, rage-filled and, frankly, insane. Shirley responds,  “Not a chance, poopie pants.”  She’s a character right out of a Stephen King novel.

Though her usage of such a childish retort was an odd juxtaposition to the bile she’s usually spewing, the mention of “poop” was on message. The Phelpses have a real poop and asshole fetish, claiming that various groups eat their own poop or that of others and are driven by “desires of the rectum.” Gramps Phelps needs to just go to the bathroom at an airport and pick up a nervous, tapping senator who’s also in the closet and quit worrying about other people’s assholes.

LINKS

  • Theroux revisited the family a few years later. He found his face on one of their signs.
  • God hates figs.
  • This is like The Onion of religious news. Read the article about Phelps and then click around a bit.

I’ll just wait for the fire department, thanks

I was reading a blog this morning in which the writer posted a quick entry about wanting to get HBO so she could watch Real Time with Bill Maher. One of her readers left a comment stating that if Maher were on fire, he “wouldn’t walk across the street to piss on him.”

Is that something that’s commonly done for the people you like? If one of this dude’s loved ones were across the street and on fire, would he rush over there with his wiener in his hand yelling, “I’m coming! I’m coming!”? Is this related to the little cartoon boy that pees on things and is found on the rear window of pick up trucks?

Unless you’re totally out of water, the only reason to piss on someone who is aflame would be to insult them. So it seems if you really hated someone and saw that they were, randomly, on fire and just across the street from you, one of the worst things you could do would be to run up to them, pee on them (careful not to douse the flames) and then laugh, point and watch them burn. Bonus points if you had asparagus for dinner the night before.

I guess what I’m saying is, people should find a better way to express their disdain for someone than claiming they wouldn’t pee on that person in a given set of circumstances.

I was merely acting, or save the drama for yo’ mama

I like it when the internet tells me about places like this

I unsubscribed from the Houston Chowhound list today. They won’t miss me – I was a lurker not a poster. The list hasn’t been fulfilling my needs for a while, so this was an overdue decision. I joined it because I wanted the skinny on good places to eat and liked hearing about new restaurants before they opened. But at some point over the past year, the list has gotten bogged down in stupid “controversies.”

Today’s controversy? Someone posted a link to one of those Hitler parody videos – there are lots, and they’re almost always funny, combining the vitriol and hatred of (an actor playing) Hitler with subtitles that are usually about something incredibly mundane and not worthy of such drama. The version posted on the chowhound list today is about Franklin Barbecue in Austin. Harmless. Funny. A couple of people responded that it made them laugh, but most of the messages discussed other good places to eat barbecue. Which is what the chowhound list is supposed to be about, of course.

Then one of the list members interrupted the delicious barbecue talk to let everyone know she was horrified, “outraged,” in fact, that someone had posted the video. She shared links to information about WWII and the Holocaust (from wikipedia, natch). Here’s a quote from one of her many messages about this topic:

Continue reading

suddenly, my faith in humanity was restored

Leaving work yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker on a car in our parking lot (a visitor’s car, not staff) that said:

Annoy a Liberal
Work, Succeed, Be Happy

I stood by the car for a moment, hoping the person would exit the building so I could ask if they really believe that “liberals” want non-liberals to be unemployed, unsuccessful and unhappy. Because, though I do hope that anyone who spurts hateful, divisive political rhetoric gets a bad case of explosive diarrhea and ass pimples, I don’t wish  unemployment, failure and misery on them. Or anyone else. And I think that most people, regardless of their political affiliation, generally hope that their fellow citizens have fruitful, happy lives.

The person didn’t exit the building (or saw me standing there and decided I wanted to make them unhappy) (which, now that you mention it, is sort of true), so I got in my ride and drove homeward (with my own bumper sticker on the back exhorting people to fight stupidization – I guess maybe that could be insulting to stupid people).

On the freeway, I saw a black Corvette with the license plate: bone md.

Then I stopped at Spec’s to get a bottle of wine. There were only two employees running registers, so each line had two or three people in it (the usual post-work rush). The guy in front of me wanted to pick out some cigars and a lighter, so my checker had to go open a case for him while he stood there trying to decide what he wanted. On the other register, there was an issue determining the price of an item. So both lines became backed up. And you would have thought that, in the midst of a famine, we’d been in the bread line for 8 hours and when we got to the front they said they were out of bread. The people behind me were sighing and bitching and moaning and rolling their eyes and stomping their feet like this was the worst fucking thing to happen to them in their lives. And all I could think was: REALLY?

In my usual yin/yang approach to things, the more irritated they became, the more at peace I became. And, this probably says something bad about me, but I sort of enjoyed how pissed they were getting. Because it was so ridiculous and unnecessary and melodramatic and American. I turned around and smiled at their scrunched up, angry faces. They didn’t smile back.

I walked back to my car (parked in the usual no ding zone), and there was a black Corvette parked next to me. It wasn’t the bone doctor, sadly. Because that would have been awesome.

Anyway, I was not impressed with my fellow citizens by the time I completed my 30 minute journey home. But today is a new day. When I arrived at my office this morning, there was a little surprise waiting for me.

two tastes that taste great together - the marriage of two of life's infinite pleasures

That would be chocolate covered bacon, handmade by my coworker Shannon. A little parcel of the stuff was dangling from the handle of my office door, wrapped in red cellophane–reminiscent of uncooked bacon–with a twisty silver star ribbon wrapped around it for that extra splash of panache. And just like that, my faith in humanity was restored. By surprise bacon and a thoughtful friend.

Yes, of course it was delicious. Do you even have to ask? The saltiness of the bacon was balanced by the sweetness of the chocolate. The bacon was thick and just a bit chewy and the chocolate was thin and smooth.

Is this a great country or what?