Everything I Like Causes Cancer

Where we've been convinced to write a new post on Dec. 2. Stay tuned!

The following exchange is an exact account of a real event.  The scene opens in a small but tastefully decorated office, and I've just placed a call . . .

Receptionist (played by a moron): “Dewey, Cheatem and Howe.”

Me: “Good morning. Is Dick Cheatem available?”

TM: “He’s not in the office.”


(See, this is the place where the moron answering the phone should offer me options, like voice mail or taking a message. BUT SHE DOESN’T. SHE JUST SITS THERE LIKE THE MORON SHE IS. I picture her drooling at her desk while I wait to see what she will do next.)

*if you can believe it, more crickets*

(I’ve been through this routine so many times that I revel in the uncomfortable silence. Usually they can’t take it and say something but this one was particularly thick-headed. I finally break.)

Me: “Okay.  What are my options?”

TM, all snotty now: “He’s out of the country.”

Me: “I get it.  He's not available. Are there alternatives to speaking with him?”

(What I really wanted to say: “Look you fucking moron, taking a message or offering me voice mail is your fucking job, and it isn’t a hard one. Your employer probably didn’t run off to parts unknown assuming that everyone who called his business while he was gone would be turned away.”)

TM: “Hold on.”

(This is where I whisper that she’s a fucking idiot while I’m on hold and hope that she hasn’t sneakily put me on speaker phone.)

TM, still snotty: “If you’re calling about a case you can talk to one of his associates.”

Me: “Now THAT’S an option. Yes, I would like that, please.”

And you know, I wouldn't have devoted 20 minutes of my life to writing out this little exchange and posting it here WITH ALL CAPS PARTS if this were an isolated incident.  It happens ALL THE TIME.  Really, how fucking hard is it to answer a phone, pleasantly communicate with the public, and helpfully transfer calls and take messages?  I assert that it is not hard at all and that exchanges like this should happen much less often than they do, if at all.

*shakes head and clicks publish*

My office recently moved from way the hell out in the suburbs to downtown so I started taking the bus to work again.  I like it.  It's easy and cheap.  And it gets me closer to the building than if I drove and paid for parking.  Bonus.

So last Tuesday on my way home I got into a touch of a scuffle with a particular driver.  I was standing at the stop and he blew right past me.  Didn't stop.  Didn't even pretend he might slow down.  Thankfully, the next stop is a busy one - lots of people on and off - so I was able to run and catch it.  While I was paying my fare I made sure he knew what he had done.  As I walked away he hollered after me that the stop I was at is a multi-bus stop and I should have raised my hand to indicate I wanted him to stop.  Now this is utter bull.  No other driver does it this way.  I argued that the stop is on his route and if there are people there, he needs to stop.  He told me that my attitude would get me kicked off.  I gave him a dismissive hand wave and we all moved on.  So I thought.

He was driving again tonight, first time I've seen him since.  I could tell it was him from down the street.  To be safe, I raised my hand to indicate I wanted him to stop.  He was all sunshine and giggles when I got on.  He actually laughed and was quite pleased with himself for "winning." Whatever.  I have no problem doing things your way when refusing will be a detriment to me.  Besides, I said my piece.

But.  You knew there was a but, right?  When he stopped to let me off the bus tonight?  The bastard made sure he stopped juuuust right so that I had to step into a pile of sand the exact width of the door to get off the bus.  

I hope he feels like a big man now.  And gets crabs.

Thanks, SkyDad! You're the cutest.


I only have this to say.

Posted by Gwen |

I arrived home late yesterday afternoon from a long-weekend road trip to the Nashville area exhausted.  I did my level best to stay awake, enjoying the serenity of my home and catching up on the TV I missed while away, but lost the battle with my eyelids and fell asleep on the couch at about 10 pm.  I woke at 3 am to find that US Navy Seals, at the direction of our President, had located and eliminated Osama Bin Laden.  While I understood my countrymen's jubilation, I was uncomfortable with some of the very ugly things that were being said and done.  My emotions were conflicting: pride, relief, joy, concern, sadness, disgust, shame.

This morning I watched news coverage, read blogs discussing the event, listened to Secretary of State Clinton's address . . . I spent six hours last night and this morning trying to reconcile my feelings and, in the end, posted this to Facebook:

The world breathes a sigh of relief that the foremost terrorist leader has been eliminated, and rightly so, but let's not lose sight of temperance and grace. This is far from over and the actions we take and the words we speak today will color what happens in the future.
Those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks and all of the sundry other world-wide attacks masterminded by Bin Laden have closure, and that is a great thing.  The leadership of this country set a goal and eventually accomplished it.  We should celebrate that.  But terror sects are designed to continue to thrive long after the head of the snake has been cut off.  The world is watching us to see how we react.  Let's do so with reason and compassion.


(Also the only ginger that I know of.)

Bring it on, Spring.  I'm ready.


You look like Eva Braun.

Posted by Gwen |

My friend Peabody came over Sunday afternoon to watch the pre-Oscars red carpet festivities and we began by watching the coverage on E! which was partially hosted by these two clowns.  (On the left, Giuliana Rancic; on the right, Kelly Osbourne.)

Trust me when I tell you that the poor quality of the picture does not make them look any worse than they actually did.

Anyway, later in the show - you know, when the real celebrities arrived - Ryan Seacrest interviewed Helena Bonham Carter.  The entire time Seacrest was doing his thing on the red carpet, Kelly was in the studio gushing profusely about how much she loves Helena: she loves her; she loves her style; she loves that HBC doesn't care what people think.  It was uncomfortable but HBC graciously thanked her and commented, "You've gone blonde."

But what I heard HBC say was, "You look like Eva Braun."  We had to rewind to be sure and I can't tell you how disappointed I was to find out I was wrong.