Friday, October 26, 2012

Alex Trabek is the Perfect Pronunciation Devil

While driving to work and cursing my fellow commuters this morning, I came to the (not at all) shocking conclusion that humanity sucks.  I feel the world is slowly degenerating into a heaping, flaming pile of poo and when the earth finally says, “Enough” and caves in on itself, it will probably be a blessing in disguise.  And it’s with these happy sentiments that I present another blog on all that’s wrong with this world.

1.  Keurig coffee makers.  Are people aware that you don’t HAVE to make an entire pot of coffee?  Do folks realize that all you need to do to make a cup of coffee is to add less water and less coffee to your coffee pot?  Why do we need individually-sized pieces of plastic to aid us with simple math in the morning?  Answer:  we $#&%ing don’t. 

2.  Alex Trabek pronouncing fancy words all…fancy-like.  I know you’ve hosted Jeopardy for going on 84 some odd years, and I’m sure you’ve gained multitudes of completely useless knowledge in your tenure, but do you have to say those words like you’re the greatest thing since pre-sliced cheese?  Answer:  you *#^%ing don’t.  And Giada De Laurentiis?  Don’t think you’re exempt from this rant, either.  You don’t think we notice that your Italian accent suddenly appears with that ball of mozzarella cheese?  Answer:  we *#&%ing do. 

3.  The fact that the steam cleaner I picked up off the side of the road doesn’t work.  Granted, I had a feeling that the reason my beloved steam cleaner appeared on the curb wasn’t that it worked perfectly, but a cash-strapped gal can hope, can’t she?  I had high hopes when I actually turned on, but after filling the water reservoir and adding (extremely freakin’ expensive) steam cleaner solution, I decided to try my hand at clean carpets.  The problem?  The water doesn’t come out, so you just wind up with soap-soaked carpets and no steam.  I’m now faced with the dilemma of putting the stupid thing BACK into my car and finding someone who will repair it, and I’m fairly certain those people are few and far between, thanks to the popular “it’s cheaper to just get a new one” mentality.  Sadness and dirty carpets:  I have them. 

4.  Looking at rich peoples’ houses.  People magazine has a penchant for running a “Houses of the Stars!” feature that makes me want to punch a baby.  Life sucks as it is and the last thing I need to see after attempting to steam-clean my carpets with a roadside steam cleaner is some rich assclown’s personal bowling alley/wine closet.  It’s like this:  wake up in a house you hate.  Go to a job that you may or may not hate.  Get paid.  Spend your entire paycheck on bills you hate.  And then sit down at the end of a hard week to get slapped in the face with, “We know the country’s in a recession and that you hate your life – but look at the awesome stuff these people have!”  I don’t give a flying rat’s dirty parts about a Kardashian’s custom-designed wading lake.  I just want my property taxes to stop increasing. 

5.  Increased property taxes.  Why my property taxes weren’t rolled into my mortgage payments from the get-go is a complete mystery to me, so imagine my surprise when I got a hefty bill the first year in my house labeled, “Property taxes!” (I may have added the exclamation point for effect.)  After that first slap in the face, I wisely thought, “I know.  I’ll put money away all year so when the property tax bill comes, I’ll actually have the money with which to pay said bill.”  Foresight – it’s a hell of a drug, I tell ya.  So imagine my surprise when I got this year’s property tax bill – and it was MUCH higher than its predecessors.  Deciding to exercise my right to call and bitch about things, I called our lovely tax folks and explained the fact that, if anything, our property values have hit the proverbial bottom and that I’m well-versed in this soul-crushing fact due to the whole “can’t sell my house for what I owe on it” situation we’re in currently.  I mentioned the foreclosures, the bank seizures, and the asinine prices of the abodes surrounding me and was told, “Those aren’t valid sales” when assessing property values.  OH REALLY?  Because they sure as hell matter when it comes to selling the house.  Interesting, Charlie Cardwell, metropolitan trustee.  Very, very interesting.  Assclown.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Happiness with a Side of Everything Sucks

So the house hasn’t sold yet, but I have had a chance to glare at truck driver neighbor and the neighbor who we’ve decided is selling her body on the street hasn’t been home in a few weeks – in other words, things could be worse.  Since my last “crap that doesn’t annoy me” post garnered us a showing, albeit a totally useless one, I’m trying this optimism thing on for size again just to see what the hell I have to do to unload this heap of wood.  Note:  while reading this, you very well may think to yourself, “These aren’t positive thoughts at all – this is just pessimism shrouded in a cloak of false happiness.”  And you’d be right.  People who are happy all the time should be handled with extreme care, as there is most definitely something wrong with them.  I’ve got things wrong with me, but at least I’m realistic enough to admit it. 

1.  Boxed wine.  A co-worker of mine turned me on to this wondrous delight and I’ve yet to look back since.  Using a shopping cart in a liquor store makes one look like an alcoholic, but when you have the ability to shove 4 bottles of wine into one box, the judgmental looks decrease exponentially.  I’ve found that hanging the spigot into the kitchen sink reduces the amount of drippage you get down the front of your white cabinets.  I’ve also found that sipping this beverage out of a jelly jar will yield several comments about your level of classiness.  (Not to worry, these comments will roll off your back much easier after a couple more jars of wine.)  Finally, there’s nothing like an entire box of wine to make you forget about the fact that your house has been on the market for 2 ½ achingly miserable years.  So go ahead – have another box. It's not like you're going anywhere.  Cheers! (Note:  I don't know who this guy in the picture is, but doesn't he too look excited about the prospect of a BOX OF WINE?)  

2.   The show “Nashville.”  This over-acted soap opera of a show may be a bit cheesy and I don’t care one bit.  The sweeping shots of the skyline are only affirmations of the tattoo I have of our lovely city, plus it’s great fun to say, “I’ve totally been there!” and “Music Row isn’t really walking distance to the pedestrian bridge” or “That’s totally not the actual WSM studio.”  I think the real reason I love the show is that it gives me an excuse to watch totally trashy television under the guise that I’m “doing it for the city.”  I AM doing it for Nashville, but the show’s also filling a guilty-pleasure-shaped void in my rhinestone lovin’ heart, so croon on Rayna Jaymes.*  Croon on.
*I do have to point out that the only other people with that many “y’s” in their name are porn stars.  Possibly a back-up plan once the country music gig dries up?    

3.  Peanut butter.  Another co-worker once said, “I’m only using this apple as a vehicle to get peanut butter in my mouth.”  I realized that I eat a lot of things just for the excuse of shoveling peanut butter down my gullet – rice cakes?  Blah.  Rice cakes with crunchy peanut butter?  BREAKFAST!  And sure, apples are great this time of year, but why not kick that Granny Smith up a notch and slather it in peanut butter?  The one downfall of peanut butter is actually buying it.  I don’t know if you’ve taken a gander at the PB aisle lately, but the possibilities are mind-boggling.  Crunchy and smooth used to be the only options, but now there’s reduced fat!  There’s peanut butter with chocolate swirls (note:  ugh.) and then there’s the peanut butter with the jelly already mixed in (another note:  really?  How lazy can we get?)  However, once you figure out that the jar you’re holding is your sought-after plain ole, run of the mill crunchy, you can escape the peanut butter black hole on aisle 5 and get down to the business of slathering everything you can think of in a glorious paste of peanut mash. 

4.  Dumpster diving.  I will say that the one “perk” of living in the equivalent of a bathtub filled with Krytonite is being close enough to the dumpster to scavenge what our neighbors have deemed unfit for their own bathtubs of superhero downfalls.  I’ve gotten a set of water and food dishes for the cats, a couple of books, two picture frames, and my keys out of the dumpster during my tenure on Timberway Circle (of Hell) and that’s just the stuff I’m willing to admit to on the Internet.  And yes, I did throw away my keys once.  It was sometime in the month of July and it took several frantic minutes of cursing, learning WAY too much about my neighbors, and searching through refuse with a broom handle before I liberated my keys (attached to my all-too-important Suntan City card) from the box o’ trash and returned to work with a completely different outfit and a greater appreciation for our trash guys. 

5.  The idea of losing somewhere around $10,000 (roughly.)  Why is this pleasing?  Because when we DO sell our house for an absolutely devastating loss, I will no longer actually be living in that house.  And for that, I’ll gladly give whoever will take it a large sum of my hard-earned money.  Because there are unused towels in the bathrooms, unfilled fancy soap dispensers on the sink, a permanently-set kitchen table, complete with fake fruit, and all of our cool shit is in storage.  In order to get rid of ALL of this in my life, I would probably carry out a hit on someone’s wife just to get some relief from the anxiety of living in a staged house.  At least my property taxes wouldn’t inexplicably increase on my 8x10 piece of Metro-owned penitentiary. 
(Note:  This is what I imagine I would look like as a professional assassin.  A fairly accurate depiction, I'd say, save for the egregious lack of curly hair.)  

So there you have it.  Things that kind of make me happy but probably shouldn’t.  Bring on the good karma, universe.  Because I still think everything sucks.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Society Columns and Skinny Jeans

So dawns upon us another hump day here in Nashville, TN and while the weather may be changing, I can assure you that I’m just as angry and bitter as ever (isn’t it nice to have a constant in this world of turmoil?)  And so here’s yet another list of things that I hate, things that I sort of like, and at least one subject on which I’m just completely icked out. 
1.  Let’s talk about society columns for a minute.  I realize in an age of dwindling newspaper numbers, these aren’t quite as prevalent, but really.  Who gets a copy of their local paper to go to page 4 of the Living section, only to be met with a grainy photo of some half-drunk socialite at a random ball that’s thrown to raise money for some charity, some politician, or some politician’s charity?  The half-drunk socialite and her other semi-sober friends, that’s who.  You know the philosophy that people only like pictures of themselves, celebrities, or cute animals?  (If not, it’s because I just fabricated that little bit of knowledge.  But come on – you nodded your head.)  It’s true.  And you, Mrs. Annabelle Snubface, are none of those and therefore the only time I will get enjoyment about of the society pages is when a picture is featured showcasing the attendees’ lack of proper undergarments or making out with the kitchen staff. 
An addendum to this:  overly-detailed wedding announcements.  When we got married, we got the flyer from the paper telling us all the different avenues one may take to shout to the greater Metro area, “WE GOT F’ING MARRIED, Y’ALL!”  Announcing you got married?  Totally fine.  Taking out an full-page, color ad in the Sunday paper to detail the crappy bridesmaid dresses you forced your friends into and the “sweetheart neckline on the bride’s custom-made dress” is stupid.  No one cares that you gave your guests purple bells as a wedding favor (Note:  this is NOT fabricated.  This came from a real wedding announcement I read years ago…and have made fun of ever since.)  If you’re gonna go into details, let’s talk about the half-drunk socialite making out with the bartender and the fact that one of the groomsmen lost his shoe in the Cheekwood koi pond.  That I would read.
2.  Now, let’s examine skinny jeans.  For the majority of my life, I’ve always thought skinny jeans referred to that one pair of jeans you could only wear after two weeks of eating nothing but broccoli and vodka sodas.  But now that trend has expanded so to include jeggings, and the very worst?  Skinny jeans for dudes.  I can handle a girl rocking the SJ’s, especially with the advent of boot season upon us, but dudes in skinny jeans look like a set of uncomfortably bundled genitalia balanced precariously upon the legs of an anemic chicken.  And you know what’s sexy about that last sentence?  Absolutely nothing.   
3.  Speaking of hipsters, can y’all just let off the Mason jar craze?  I know they’re awesome – I’ve been using them for the past 30 years because that’s what you do when your kitchen is full of tomatoes and has been set up as a home canning station for the entire summer.  I’m also aware they’re great drink receptacles due to the lovely ribbing along with rim (helps you not drop your beverage when you’re a bit tipsy…or making out with that bartender.)   However, pretty soon everyone’s going to figure out just how freakin’ awesome these things are and this craze, as they tend to do, will inflate the price of the craze’s object du jour and make them scarce in the marketplace.  Now, my Mason jars come from my family’s home canning station and when I receive them they’re filled with a variety of relish, sauerkraut, or pickles that are so good they will make you want to bitch slap the Queen of England.  If the Mason jar supplies dry up, I’m afraid my home-canned food supply will be cut off, and I, for one, would really like to give Queen Elizabeth the what’s up every once in a while. 
So I lied and I’m not writing about anything that makes me happy in this edition of “Stuff You’re Probably Not Reading” because I’ve rambled on long enough and I really want to get to the part of the prose where I talk about something that just gives me the icks:  hugging.
Here’s the deal – I don’t mind hugging people that are supposed to be hugged.  This group includes family members and close friends you haven’t seen in ages.  And that’s about it.  It’s not that I’m anti-social, I just don’t like touching people.  I’ve never been a touchy person and when Patrick Swayze announced in Dirty Dancing, “This is my dance space.  This is your dance space.  I don’t go into yours, you don’t go into mine” I thought I was in love.  Finally, someone with the same personal space issues!!  Now, I’m not saying that people who are “huggers” annoy me.  They only annoy me if they know I’m not a hugger and still persist with trying to get that elusive hug.  That’s just an idiotic mistake, and one that very well may end with you stapled to the Community Events bulletin board at the local Mapco.
Stay tuned for the next edition of rage and hatred to build on the hugging portion of this one – people who stand too close to me in stores.  Casual acquaintances attempting to touch me?  I can handle that.  Total strangers trying to grope their way over me to get to the cereal aisle?  Absolutely not gonna happen, my friend.  Get your Honey Nuts off my Cheerios, eh?