Cammy Burning

I tried, I really did!

Knowing I was going to be outside today, I slathered on the sunblock as I have been trained to do since before I went to kindergarten (by that time, my grandmother and my mother had both had skin cancer. In the case of my grandmother, it was two rounds with melanoma).  I had the bottle with me for reapplication, and, after a couple of hours, I stopped, and slathered on more.  At the time I was patting myself on the back over my apparent victory against the sun since I wasn’t even starting to freckle!

Except for the part where I managed to miss a band around my upper arm, which is now lobster-esque.

Now, it’s not like I’ve never been burned because I missed a spot before–that’s happened.  I had a particularly obnoxious incident in which I missed spots down the back of my calves before going out to follow Dad around the golf course one day (there was no using the foot rest on the recliner that night–upholstery fabric + sensitive skin = bad).  But when that’s happened it’s generally been in a “single application of sunblock” scenario.  This is different.  This means I managed to miss the exact same spot.  Twice.


And I have to be outside again tomorrow to mow the damn lawn so I’m going to have to cover this spot for that, and no matter what I do it’s going to hurt and be irritating.

(If you imagined that sentence whined in the same voice as Luke’s infamous “But I was going to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters!” line in Star Wars, you would not be wrong.)

The Grammatical Standard

During a call to Kristy, I was venting on the failure of a particular manager o’ mine to grasp the basics of proper sentence structure.  No, this particular moron is not ESL.  English is his mother tongue.  Were it otherwise, I might be less apt to judge.

This led us to a discussion of the fact that both of us seem to harbor a kind of hierarchy of  grammar failures.  Some things are totally acceptable in my world.  For example, placement of commas is a subject that I’ve heard well-respected English teachers debate to a point where I was expecting violence to erupt.  I tend to rank those errors lower on the scale of offense since “reasonable” minds could differ.  Some errors I care less about in certain contexts.  For example, I tend to overlook one-off there/their/they’re errors in an e-mail partially because I am totally guilty of slamming out a message and, for reasons I’m still trying to understand, using the wrong “there” even though I know good and well the proper choice.

But Kristy and I both agreed that subject-verb agreement errors are something that ranks as highly unacceptable once you’re above a certain age (approximately 6 in my world).  I’ll forgive a verbal mix up that’s clearly born from one’s tongue going faster than one’s brain.  Even a written subject-verb agreement error may be understandable in those cases where the writing is informal and the sentence is one of those complex beasts with mixes of plurals and singulars (none of those, however, apply to the particular moron about whom I was venting).

I also have a slightly greater-than-average aversion to people who don’t know how to use “myself.”  I’ve noticed that this error is VERY common in cases where the speaker is both arrogant and ignorant (a dangerous cocktail).  Somewhere along the way, these people were yelled at for using “me” instead of “I” and they internalized this to mean that “me” is bad.  To make sure they sound suitably educated, they now refuse to use “me” and wind up substituting “myself” as if it means the same thing.  It doesn’t! (Side note:  usually, these people will also make the I/me error).  To the scores of people who don’t care much about grammar, maybe this sounds fantastic.  To me?  Fingernails on a chalk board.  I can’t help thinking less of people who do this.

So, ‘fess up, folks:  What grammar errors drive you batty?  Anything in particular that makes you want to strangle people (and feel free to point out the shit one which I consistently error out around here).

“I’m rooting for Zurich”

So, just about every morning this week, my TV has cut on at o-dark-thirty to one local news station or another.  And every morning, it’s been the same damn story:


Seriously?  All I can think of is the episode of The West Wing where Donna gets ahold of the NASA fax about a satellite falling from space.

A fax they get once a week.

Apparently, much like Donna, most of the rest of the media doesn’t know this either.  The only difference is, the current media had a chance to have watched The West Wing–Donna had nothing but Charlie’s hope that the Swiss would take the hit.

If I thought for a moment that we could get some destruction out of this falling space junk, I’d be hoping it would hit one of the fools who keep stirring up the masses with these stupid “news” reports.

As it is, you might get a nice light show and somewhere, there might be a charred little stone of something laying in a gutter along with some gravel and old cigarette filters.

Frustration of a Non-response.

I will not blog about work, I will not blog about work….WTF, I’ll blog about work!

In keeping with my usual habit of refraining from talking about the job I have to hold down for the sake of bills and such, this will be highly general.

Of course, you don’t need to know many particulars to understand the frustration involved, but here’s the run down:

I am working on a very important project (which isn’t saying much…in a world of MBAs–which, incidentally, stands for Massively Big Assholes–every potential for a dollar is like the cure for cancer….which would actually make them the most happy as they could totally charge for that…..).  It’s highly visible, yadda, yadda, yadda.  The whole world of my employer knows it’s huge, and apparently those of us stuck working on said project are allowed to ask for anything and everything we deem necessary, probably including ponies (but not including time off or a bigger paycheck).

Sweet.  So, I need certain information for said project.  I don’t have it, and I am not the best person to access it, and it’s essential and has all manner of muckity-muck people concerned until I get it.  So, on orders of muckity mucks, I had to A) write a report on what I knew about the data I needed B )identify who would be the best people to get this data and C) provide a go-forward plan for making sure that data stays updated and at my adorable fingertips.

Aye-aye, captain!

So, I do some research, write a very concise report in the form of a two page outline stating what the data should be, what I’ve found so far and what else I needed.  I also wrote up an action plan for who the best source was AND….I even made suggestions on where said source could start the inquiry to complete this whole picture and provide me with the awesomeness I’m seeking.  In reality, the source I tagged OUGHT to have all the information already, but that assumes the source was taking care of its actual job, which, pffffffffffft.  Ya.  Richtig.

Anyhow.  This little report got sent to the responsible source….and cc’d to muckity mucks….several weeks ago.

I have LITERALLY sent an e-mail asking for an update every. single. week.  since. then.

And if you guessed that I haven’t had jack shit back….you’d be almost right.  A couple of weeks ago I had a whole message of excuses (none of which held water….they were all issues either answered in my little summary report, or which they could have asked me for because it was intuitively obvious from the mere fact that I wrote the summary that I had the information they needed to get started doing this job).  Other than that, I’ve had nothing.  The muckity-mucks I’d CC’d got some messages promising information the next day….we’re not going to talk about how many weeks ago that “next day” was.  So, I wrote something no one bothered to read AND, I’m still without data that really should have been an easy pull for someone.

So, my blood pressure?  Kinda been on the uphill side of things.  Gonna have to eliminate salt to try and balance out the impact of the stress of being ignored.  I might also need to consider investing in a punching back to eliminate the potential for me being brought up on assault charges.

Is it really so difficult to at least acknowledge a request with a “We’re working on it?”  When someone asks you for an estimated date when you could have a finished or even mostly finished product (that’s right–this whole time?  My actual question has been “Please let me know when you think you might have an initial draft of the info.”), is it really so hard to say, “I think I might be able to get you something by next Tuesday, and I’ll let you know if that changes”?  Seriously, that’s all I needed!

WTF, yo.  Just, WTF!

Open Forum For Cold Cures

Okay people, for the, perhaps 2 of you still out there reading this, I am soliciting cold cures of the “my-grandma-always-said” variety.

I’m currently suffering from a summer cold.  In case you’ve never had the opportunity to distinguish, summer colds suck worse than winter colds.  In part this is because the weather is generally nicer and being down with a cold is more annoying in general.  Also, I’ve found that colds in the summer tend to be more stubborn, lingering beasts.  I’ve no real idea why, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the warm temperatures are just a little too conducive to icky things growing.

This particular instance started with the kind of sore throat that can only be attributed to post nasal drip.  Raw.  Burning.  Annoying as ever living shit.  I hoped (in vain) it might just be some sort of allergy flair up.  I main-lined hot tea, thinking I could just flush it out.

By 2 the following morning I awakened to the familiar ache of fever.  Shit.  I spent most of that day battling the temperature factor, but hey, the sore throat tapered off and aside from some minor sneezing and stuffy nose-age, I thought maybe I could clear this out quickly.

Even the day after the fever I thought maybe I’d luck out and limit this to some nose-blowing.

Then we hit day 4, I realized that I was not to be spared the chest congestion.  Fuck.  I HATE this part.  The heavy, congested feeling where you can’t breath right and you know there’s shit in your lungs and coughing is going to happen one way or another.

We are now on day 5.  I’ve had some  luck with sage/thyme tea working as an expectorant to loosen the shit, but not nearly enough.  I’ve had whiskey hot toddies, mint tea, green tea, jasmine tea, various and sundry other blends of tea (I spend a lot of time peeing).  I reek of Vick’s Vapo-rub because I literally have it from head to the bottoms of my feet.  I’ve taken baths with mint/eucalyptis bubble bath.  I was even willing to just take medicine, but wouldn’t you know?  The only cough medicine left in the house is an expectorant/suppressant.  No. If I’m going to loosen it up, I wanna cough it out–I haven’t had the kind of spasmodic coughing that really requires suppressant help.

So, gentle readers, as long as I’m feeling experimental here, hit me with your best old wives tale, whacky recipe, sure fire cure….assuming I have the ingredients in stock (I can’t get out of the house right now because A) the stupid fucking neighbors have turned the street into a war zone of  exploding objects making auto travel dangerous and B) the whiskey hot toddy was consumed a little too recently).

Talk back, people.

I Knew I’d See It Eventually

I hate, loathe and despise those stupid wheeled shoes that kids go zipping around in.  One too many times I’ve been clipped as one of the little rug-rats zipped around me at the store without paying attention.  Honestly, I have enough trouble not taking these kids out with a buggy when they’re NOT zooming right out in front of me on those damned things.

I also hate that I watch these kids hurl their center of balance backward to  utilize these wheels.  It has never, ever seemed like a good idea.  And with so little clearance between the sole of the shoe and the floor when kids are rolling around on these things, it only takes something small to catch them and bring them to an abrupt halt, which, with that imbalance, results in a kid on the floor–likely going straight back since that’s the way they’re leaning.

Until today, I hadn’t actually seen it happen.

I stopped at the grocery store for a few items.  Somewhere between the broccoli and the yellow squash in the produce section, a buzz-cut boy approximately 9 years old, comes sailing past me with those damned wheeled shoes.  He actually bumps into a mid-40s guy who was reaching for a bag of carrots.  It being Friday and my work week having been less than stellar, I came close to just chewing the kid out on principle.  But I realized that I didn’t want to deal with an angry and over-protective mother, so I sucked it up and headed for the beer section.

All was well until I was coming back to the register area.  I glanced down one of the freezer aisles just in time to see the zippy kid, coming down the aisle, swerving between other customers like a barrel racer, when suddenly, something caught and before you know it, “WHACK!”  Head on floor.

I cringed hard at that one.  Chaos ensued and I decided not to rubber neck.  I did see that the kid was at least in good enough shape that he sat up on his own.

I’d take a bit more delight in the kid getting what he deserved for darting around like that, but, unfortunately, now I’ve seen what I’ve been dreading.  My fear about seeing kids crack their heads on floors because of those shoes has been legitimized.  It’s going to be that much harder to stop myself from stopping them.

Another Rant on a Trivial Subject

I know, I’m full of rants lately.  Maybe it’s the heat?  I’d much rather bring the funny than the ranty, but the funny isn’t coming.  Sad.

Today’s rant is on Facebook posts.

Now not to sound snotty and superior, but I’ve been a facebook member since way back.  Ironically, it was Cammy who coerced me into joining.  Back in the day when it was just college students.  (We were both in grad school and didn’t know a whole lot of other college students).  This is ironic, because Cammy is now afraid of facebook.  Unlike Cammy, I still log in regularly.  But I use it to keep in touch with people and to feed my unfortunate voyeurism streak.  I do not play games, tend virtual farms or use it to support political causes.  I realize different people have different uses for facebook and they have every right to that.

But here’s what drives me absolutely nuts:  The number of rational, intelligent, educated adults I know who think nothing of reposting something just because they saw it on facebook.  Or joining a group just because it sounds good without actually looking into what it’s supporting.  Seriously people?  Back in the day when this particular brand of stupidity manifested in email forwards I spent a lot of time responding with Snopes links.  Now I’ve given up.  I just shake my head and weep for humanity.

Back when I used to teach English Composition to college freshmen I used to insist that they back up all their claims through hard evidence from legitimate sources.  Most of my friends have gone far beyond the level of college freshmen.  So why is it they are unable to live up to the standards I hold my students to?  Particularly in this day and age where researching such things can be done in a second.

The truth is, they could.  They just don’t see that their behavior is unacceptable.  Why should they have to do their own fact checking rather than having information spoon fed?   Google is a wonderful and simple tool people.  So is a brain.

Time Vampire of the Week….Click for America

This is a short one because it’s very, very simple.

Click a button.  A lot.  Country with the most clicks wins bragging rights in very sad circles.

It’s an international competition for lamest of the lame.  FWIW, the USA is in 9th:

Sounds stupid?  It is.  But the combination of simplistic activity and pure competitive drive is potent.