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Posts Tagged ‘Rant’

Christmas Shopping

December 16th, 2009 No comments

I drove over to the local mall during lunch today, and as soon as I hit the parking lot I knew I had made a terrible mistake. As expected the traffic in the parking lot was bad, but that anticipated nightmare was compounded by the ingeniously positioned four-way stop near the entrance that, for whatever reason, people simply can not handle. When encountering such an obstacle it seems as if most people lose their minds and find it impossible to properly negotiate their way through.

Once past the intersection I had to find a parking spot. Thinking I’d be smart, I headed to the usually deserted upper deck of the parking structure, but was disheartened to discover that I wasn’t the only one taking this tact. It was so crowded that even the handi-capable people were parking up here and slowly ambling their way down the steep arterial decline that spills them to heart the mall.

Twenty minutes later I finally succeeded in locating a spot between a BMW with a fraternity sticker on the rear window, and what appeard to be a monster truck jacked up on steroids with mud flaps emblazoned with silhouettes of naked angel & devil women (what’s up with these anyway? Why do I see them all over nowadays?).

What happened next, as far as I can recall, was a blurry haze of frenzied shoppers, aggressive kiosk owners, dirty/greasy smells from the food court, overpriced crap far out of my budget, people standing in the middle of the aisles talking on their cell phones (are you idiots not aware of your surroundings?), hastily thrown together pop-up stores, cat calendars, near-subliminal advertising passively seeping through the overhead speakers, faded holiday decorations recycled from years past hanging in storefront windows, and an aching feeling in my bones that I’m simply being taking for another overhyped holiday joyride ride again.

And it seems, for yet another year, that I’m complaining about this.  Pitiful…

Forgive me…I just had to vent.  I think I’ll crack open a beer and settle down to a viewing of Inglorious Basterds.  That should cheer me up and set me right.

Categories: Blu-ray, holiday, Rant Tags: , ,

New Releases: An Affront To Corporate?

December 3rd, 2009 2 comments

I swung by Fry’s during lunch today to pick up Terminator: Salvation, and noticed that the ‘New Releases’ blu-ray section was missing.  Walking around for minute thinking that they might have moved it to another location, I quickly came to realize that I didn’t overlook it.  It was simply…gone.

An employee must have seen me wandering around doe-eyed and slack-jawed like an abandoned Alzheimer’s patient off his meds, and he cautiously snuck up on me from downwind, using the bright overhead halogen warehouse lights as cover.  Silently sidestepping into my field of vision, he opened his mouth, and this was our exact conversation:

Fry: “Can I help you find something?”
Me: “You used to have a section for ‘New Releases’…”
Fry (nodding his head): “Yep.”
Me: “Did you move it?”
Fry: “No.  We’re not allowed to have it anymore.”
Me (confused): “Why is that?”
Fry (shrugs his shoulders): “We just can’t.”

Strange.  Having a ‘New Releases’ section helps customers identify (surprise!) new movies that have come out.  Why would Fry’s not allow such an obvious helpful service to its customers?  What kind of mail order college graduate makes these stupid decisions?  Does the mob have a corner on the ‘New Releases’ market, and will break your kneecaps and make you “sleep with the fishes” if they discover that you’re telling customers what the new movies of the week are?  Is this some sort of new rule Corporate came up with, or is this practice much more widespread than that?

Categories: Movies, Rant Tags: ,

Dog Sitting For An Emotional Wreck

November 24th, 2009 6 comments

The wife and I recently had the distinct displeasure of volunteering our services to dog sit for a neighbor who was traveling out of state.  As we were being walked though the daily routine of two of the most coddled and pampered animals this side of a PeTA afternoon luncheon, my mind began to go numb as the requirements of these two dogs became more maniacal and obtuse than the assembly instructions for the Large Hadron Collider.  As the tour of house and home came to a close we were handed three pages of hand written instructions, a portion of which reads as follows (with the emphases typed in as written):

  • Margee gets fed at 8am and 5pm sharp.  Her food bowls can be found in the laundry room.  Margee gets one part dry & one part wet food.  Cut and mix in tripe found in the fridge.
  • Margee likes to be talked to while she eats.  You can talk about anything, but speak softly.
  • Angee gets fed at 7:30am and 4:30pm sharp!  I can’t emphasis this enough!  Angee gets extremely jealous if she sees Margee eating before her.  Margee’s bowls are under the coffee table in the living room. 
  • Angee gets two parts wet and one part dry food.  Pour in a half cup of chicken stock, which can be found in the refrigerator door.  Angee tends to get overexcited and pees when she sees you preparing her food.  Just clean up after her with the paper towels under the sink.
  • Walk both dogs at 11am.  Again, I can’t stress this enough!  A walk around the neighborhood is the perfect distance.  When you get back home, Angee will not walk back into the house.  You’ll have to pick her up and carry her to her bed.  Do not put her down on the floor!  Put her down in her bed!
  • Playtime is at 3pm.  Again, Angee tends to get excited when it’s playtime.  Again, just clean up after her with the paper towels.
  • Angee plays with the tug-o-rope.  Never let her lose or you’ll have a sad dog on your hands!
  • Margee plays with the rubber ring.  Don’t let Angee play with the rubber ring or Margee will bite you.
  • Put Angee and Margee in their kennels at 8pm.  Margee gets the blue blanket, Angee the green.
  • Wash the blankets on Mon/Wed/Fri.  Use the special fabric softener in the laundry room.
  • Turn on the radio.  It’s tuned to a station that both Angee and Margee like.  Do not change the station!  If you change it then Angee and Margee will toss and turn all night.

Blah blah blah blah…this went on and on for pages.   For Gawd’s sake, these are dogs, not children.  Dogs live to please their master, not the other way around.  Honestly, this was more trouble than it was worth.  There was no way I was going to baby these animals, cooing to them while they ate and congratulating them for piddling on my shoes whenever I walked through the door.  

On the fourth day we simply fed them dry dog food, played catch with them in the back yard, and made sure they had fresh water.  And you know what, they were fine and appeared to enjoy themselves like dogs are supposed to.  This experience really gave me a window into my neighbor’s soul that I rather wish would have remained shuttered.

Man, some people have their priorities all out of whack and fail to understand when simple dog ownership becomes a target for misplaced emotions.  And people wonder why I’m a cat person.

Which reminds me, don’t get me started on cat people…

Those Damned Driving White Collar Bastards

November 13th, 2009 9 comments

I’ve railed against bad drivers in the past, and even when I’m actively berating the behavior of my fellow cagers I find the whole activity of pointing out bad driving habits clichéd and redundant. But…two things happened to me on the road today that I’m at a loss to understand.

Incident #1: Driving into work this morning I’m coasting down the road going 45 when a car pulls out in front of me from a side street and guns it, his straining engine spitting grey smoke from its trembling tailpipe.  Okay, whatever.  No big deal.  I tap the brakes a bit to avoid getting too close, and proceed to follow him for several miles, never getting within two seconds of him.  He eventually pulls over into a right turning lane, then sticks his arm out of his open window and flips me off.  I’m still trying to understand why he did this.  Did I offend him in another life or something?

Incident #2: I’m backing out of my parking stall at work, and am two-thirds out when a car squeezes past me from behind, narrowly missing hitting my car by inches, then honks his horn at me.  WTF?  I’m inching my way out in my S2000, trying to see around the Ford F150 that’s blocking my view, and this brain stem decides to blow past me?  How could he have not seen that I was slowly inching out from a blind spot?  I wasn’t moving like a bunny, and couldn’t have possibly have surprised him with my creeping speed.

Now, I know that this is a blanket statement, but I still have to ask, “What the frak is wrong with drivers nowadays?“  Why the lack of basic courtesy?  The give and take and the Share The Road mentality?  Are people so mentally removed and insulated from others while driving in their cars that they fail to understand the simple fact that there are other human beings on the road with them?  Where’s the common sense?  Where’s the humanity?

Lets take these situations and place them into different circumstances;  would you flip someone off at the “10 Items Or Less” checkout line at the grocery store if they had 11 items?  Would you scream at a blind man for crossing your path, even though you saw him slowly inch his way down the sidewalk from 100 feet away?

I’m at a loss to describe this sort of behavior, and wonder if these people replay these fleeting moments in time in their heads and ask themselves, “Why did I do that?”

Illegal Alien Costume

October 21st, 2009 2 comments

There’s been quite a bit of talk these past few days regarding a halloween costume called “Illegal Alien Adult Costume”, manufactured by Forum novelties.  Frankly, I don’t see what all the fuss is about:

Apparently the immigration activists are up in arms about this costume, strutting around in feigned exasperation and anger, because they perceive this costume as an attempt to mock illegal immigrants.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but this costume appears to be of an extraterrestrial in an orange jumpsuit.  On the jumpsuit of this extraterrestrial are the stenciled words “Illegal Alien”.

Get it?  Extraterrestrial.  Alien.  Hence, “Illegal Alien”.

How is this a swipe at terrestrial illegal aliens?

I think that the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the people most “offended” by this costume, lack a sense of humor.  Honestly, if they want to play this game, let’s be fair across the board and demand that stores stop selling other tasteless, inflammatory, and offensive costumes such as:

The Indian snake charmer costume

The African-American costume

The Japanese sumo wrestler

and the ugly America tourist costume.

Where is the “anger” and “frustration” from any activist group regarding these costumes?  Each and every one of them takes a condescending, disparaging dig at stereotypes, belittling a wide swath of the American populace, yet I don’t hear word one from any so-call activist group demanding that these costumes be removed from any and all stores immediately, and that a public formal apology be offered to anybody who might have been offended by these vulgar, objectionable costumes.

Come on, guys.  It’s either all or nothing.  Where do the activists stand on this?  Do they at all?  Or is this a case of them cherry picking a “so called” controversy to drum up support for their pet cause?  What if this alien costume was trying to bring to light the issue of German, Swedish, or Samoan illegal immigration?  Why does the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles automatically assume that this costume is poking fun at Mexican illegal aliens?  I wonder…

Categories: holiday, Politics, Rant Tags: , ,