Archive for May, 2009

Ode to Southwest Airlines

Dear Southwest Airlines,

How do I love thee? Let me excessively list the ways:

In the money saving column, your airline tops the U.S. books. Not only do you offer low prices, but you have the courtesy to ignore this new trend of checked baggage fees, allowing not one, but two free checked bags.

For this I love thee.

Your customer representatives are in perpetually cheerful moods. Never once has any check-in person been anything less than kind, and more often than not they’re downright jovial. Are your employees provided a free supply of Prozac to work there? Really, I’m curious.

For this I love thee.

Your flight crews are made up of goofballs. Even when I’m tired and cranky at 6am, that go-the-extra-mile stuff works, and their lame jokes about smoking on the wings and shameless attempts to play matchmaker to the single flight attendant never fail to bring at least a reluctant smile to my face.

For this I love thee.

Children are always treated extra-super-duper special, as if you are making up for the fact that you are unable to give them all a free ice cream cone and puppy during the flight. It’s like you realize that happy children make for much more enjoyable flights or something.

For this I love thee.

And lastly, of course, as of this upcoming summer, your newly expanded destinations finally fly to the places I need to go to! Not that I don’t love flying into Long Island’s ISP airport, but… you know… it sort of ruins the whole cheap flight thing when you have to take the 2 hour commute on the somewhat pricey LIRR into the city.

For all these I love thee.


Thank you, and keep on keepin’ on.

One of your fawning fans,



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Ultimate Irony

Tonight, while packing for a flight tomorrow, I suddenly realized I was missing a semi-important piece of paper I’d forgotten about.  The forgetting in itself wasn’t such a big deal, it’s not an incredibly time-sensitive item.  What was a big deal was that the last remembered handling it was about, oh, 7 months ago, which means it could be floating in the vast abyss of Galaxy #4819384Q by now for all I know.

As I naturally do whilst procrastinating things such as packing, I decided that I must find this paper Right! This! Minute! and began my frantic search.  Now, over the past, oh, 9 or 10 months, I’ve slowly amassed a large… well, I title it my, “I Will Go Through This Later When I Have Time and Inclination” pile. But “shit” would work nicely as a title as well.

Therefore, the obvious place to find said missing paper would be somewhere near the bottom of this pile. And as I shuffled through random statements, fliers, x-rays, reusable grocery bags, and a neglected pedometer, after about 5 minutes I did not find the missing sheet of paper… but I did happen across a book.

Curious as to what book I would have tossed so carelessly into the “Ignore and it will file itself” pile, I paused my search long enough to peruse the title, and immediately burst out laughing.

The book was lent to me several months ago by my sister and was titled:

I Hate Filing: Everything You Need to Get Organized for Success and Sanity at Home, on the Run and in the Office.

Organization FAIL

Organization FAIL

<Insert Maniacal Laughing here>


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Things that are just plain stupid

I consider myself to be a fan of bicycling.  I’m not perhaps the most hard-core messenger-criticalmass-mountain-biker, but as I don’t own a car and have a love/hate relationship with the Chicago bus system, I biked to work on a regular basis into December this past year.  But… well, then it was winter. In Chicago. And I’m just not that bad ass.

That being said, the birds are now chirping and the month of May has brought around the beginning of summer in Chicago like a fresh cup of coffee that slowly awakens the morning. That’s a terrible metaphor, but go with it, I’m tired (hence the coffee imagery).  And so, with summer, come the return of the bikers!

“Hurray!” says the environment!  “Bloody shit,” say thousands of drivers.

Now, I say this as a bike-lover myself… sometimes the bikers in Chicago make no sense.  Most cyclists are fine, but the ones who aren’t stand out and give a bad name to the rest of us.  For instance: Any biker who rides on Ashland Avenue. WTF? Why? Way to bike someplace where there is not only no bike lane, but there’s barely room for two cars, so that people have to swerve into other lanes to go around you. Oh, and way to do it at rush hour.

But fine. Sure. Mostly it’s just asinine nitpicky things that different bikers see different ways.  But one thing I just find plain damn stupid:

Where the FUCK is your helmet???

Honestly, driving to work this morning, I counted the cyclists I passed – of the 18 I passed, only 6 of them were wearing helmets.  And 4 of them were obviously a family biking to school.

One woman had her helmet with her, not on her head, but naturally instead in her bike basket.




For realz.  This is just plain damn stupid.

All I can say is:

Helmets are hot

Helmets are hot

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Things I should be doing

Things I should be doing:

1) Writing articles and doing formatting for 3 different newsletters

2) Doing stuff for reimbursement so our company actually gets paid by the government to clean up environmentally shitty sites

3) Researching scholarships

4) Applying for said scholarships

5) Budgeting my life for when I have to live pathetically off loans and be in massive debt.

6) Finishing the office recipe book I’ve avoided for 3 months.

Things I am actually doing:

1) Google image searching the following things: HIMYM stuff (see picture below), the word ‘soapy’ (DIRTY!), the word ‘yuck’, puppies in buckets, and Costa Rica

Awesome Gland

Awesome Gland

2) Emailing my coworker who sits 2 feet away from me… mostly with evidence of the above.

3) Thinking about how I’m mad I watched the stupid season finale of Grey’s (which I haven’t watched in over 2 years) and The Last King of Scotland instead of finishing the last 300 pages of Harry Potter 6 last night like I meant to.

4) Making this list comparison instead.

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Things that make me angry #5

I currently coach a 6th grade girls volleyball team, and have, throughout the past 10 years or so, coached (or assistant coached) everything from 5th grade to high school summer skills camps.

And never have I coached against a team whose players, playing style, and coaching, make me so furious.

Over the years, I’ve coached mostly with the same woman, and we try to teach the kids good skills and good volleyball in the beginning years, rather than just teaching them to win.  To be perfectly honest, especially at the 5th and 6th grade level, depending on the amount of practice and athletic abilities, teaching the kids to play good volleyball (ie, controlled bump-set-spike) often results in the kids losing more games.

It can be frustrating to have to reassure the team they played well, even though they lost, because they were trying for three hits while the other team just pounds it over on the first ball. And normally I can still appreciate the other team, despite sloppy form and differing ideologies.

This year, though… I found my Nemesis Team.

Our 6th grade team played in 2 leagues in which this other team also played, which meant I got to spend a lot of time watching our opponent.  I know their names, I know their playing styles, I know their coaches, heck, I even recognize many of their parents.

And I hate them.

I know. It’s not kosher to hate any team when you’re a coach, especially a 6th grade team.  I know. It’s horrible and uncooth, and uber-juvenile. I know.

But I hate them.

These girls are possibly the meanest team I have ever seen, including high school teams I’ve played against. And throughout the season, they got just worse. I watched their team captain (also the coaches daughter) yell at her own teammates whenever she made a mistake.  And three hits?  Screw that! I’m going to stick my butt out and pound the ball to the back, and if you don’t, I’ll roll my eyes at you.  Oh, and while I’m at it, I’ll make fun of the chubbier girl on the other team when we’re ahead.




But tonight took the cake.  I’ve never seen more eye rolling and bitchy attitudes on the court as during this game. At one point one of their girls passed the ball to the captain to set, but the captain ended up messing up her own set, and proceeded to g  l  a  r  e at the teammate until she apologized… for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Anytime the girls messed up they SLAMMED the ball under the net, one time almost hitting our setter in the nose.

But I think one moment sums up the entire 3 game experience:

On serve receive their backrow passer called the ball,  set herself up to pass, but the captain instead shuffled over, bumped into her, and Knocked. Her. Own. Teammate. Down. and tried to pass the ball.  And then got huffy with her teammate when she then messed up the pass anyways.

It wasn’t like this, with both players just reaching for the ball:

Nope, was most definitely a one-person-standing-still-and-one-sliding-over-to-knock-you-over-because-I’m-so-much-better play:

Bitchy Volleyball Smash

Bitchy Volleyball Smash

So after watching this Bitchfest-’09-Epic-Sportsmanship-FAIL for the past 3 months, you know the best part of my night?

When my 6th graders played their best controlled, three hits game and finally beat this team to win the championship!


Best irony of the night? On the way out, one of our players saw the other team’s captain and said, “Good game tonight!”  Her response?  A roll of the eyes and, “Yeah, whatever.”


Honestly?  Who teaches these girls that this behavior is okay?!?!

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Things that freak my shit out

Here’s the thing. I like to think – and I probably give myself too much credit – I’m fairly open about lifestyles.  Although admittedly, after a recent conversation, I have found that I do draw the line at beastiality, mostly because it’s just cruel to animals.

But there’s something that just pushes my buttons: THE DUGGAR FAMILY.

I’ve obsessively kept track of this family with gapers block-esque disbelief through TLC Specials/shows as their numbers have swelled from mid-teens to now the inconceivable number of 20 members. Every time I watch an episode of their show my “creeped-outness” meter explodes, and I usually yell out loud at the television at least once.  Plus, I inevitably have repeated flashbacks to that Harvey Danger lyric: “I’ve been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding.”

And then I feel guilty for not being open minded enough.

So if you’ve paid attention to the Duggar family at all (and I really hope you haven’t, but I commiserate with the I CAN’T TURN AWAY FROM THE TV feeling), you know they are an uber-religious family who has decided God is responsible for providing them with as many children as He wants them to have. Ergo, their 18 current.  To be honest, any sort of blind religious fanaticism like this somewhat irks my annoyance radar, but I understand I’m a product of a Dogma-Generation (read: In err, we’ve taken a set of good ideas and made a belief system), and most of the time I can accept such monomaniacal religious beliefs with a grain of salt.

Sidenote: my well-meaning but Born-Again Christian aunt just gave me a copy of The Shack for my birthday. Oh joy.

Anyways, my recent freak-my-shit-out moment with the Duggars occurred when the eldest son, Josh Duggar, married the girl he was ‘courting,’ Anna.  As a feminist and member of the 21st century, I resent the paternalistic and condescending implications of any “courting,” especially in the brain-washed way the episode portrays it.  According to the Duggars and the Kellers (Anna’s family don’t judge that I know her last name pleasethanks), after one is engaged, they may officially begin to go out in public together, but must have chaperons any time they are together so they don’t GIVE INTO THEIR OVERWHELMING DESIRES AND GODFORBID KISS BEFORE THEIR WEDDING GAAAAAAASP.

Now, I know several friends and couples who have chosen not to have sex before marriage. I admire and appreciate their reasoning, religiously and otherwised based, for that decision.  And I can almost handle the whole Duggar-Keller not-kissing thing… if it wasn’t so fucking Children-of-the-Damned-like on the show. The internet tells me there’s (surprisingly, to me) a decently-sized movement to this No-Kissing thing (admittedly I know 2 people who have decided to save their first kiss for their wedding day).  But the true zombieosity of this concept meant it took me a long time to process through and accept.

Yet, after several months and more internet time & research wasted than should have been, I’ve come to peace with it.

But there is one thing I just cannot handle or understand.

Dear Josh and Anna Duggar:
Although I disagree with you, I respect your choices regarding life, marriage and child-rearing. But there’s one thing I need you to answer.  WHY THE FUCK DO YOU ALWAYS DRESS ALIKE????? TERRIFIED MINDS WANT TO KNOW!!!
Terrified Minds

No, seriously, someone explain this shit to me, because, in a rare moment, the internet fucking fails to provide me even a fake answer:

Brown Stripies!

Brown Stripies!



White and Kakhis!

White and Kakhis!

I promise you, although I can find no further pictures to post, this penchant for twin-dressing is the norm when they are on screen.  Seriously… why? I want to know. I could understand it if you were siblings being dressed by your parents.  BUT YOU’RE NOT.  You [claim you] are adults, so why must you wear the exact. same. striped. shirts?

Help. Someone. Please.  Shed light. Please.

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Things that make me not-so-much “angry” as much as “sad”

Setting: Office, sunny Monday afternoon.

Miguel: Incompetent oaf
Me: Diligent office worker with currently less-than-diligent knee, which is bandaged and propped up on desk


Miguel:  Oh, hey, I see your knee is wrapped up and elevated there, what happened?

Me: I was playing volleyball last Thursday, I sprained my MCL in my left knee.

Miguel: Oh, wow, that’s what I hurt, too!

Me: Yeah, you mean with your 5th Workers’ Comp claim injury? When you jumped off the truck?

Miguel: Yeah, that’s the one.  So did you go get it checked out?

Me: Yup. I went to the hospital and got it checked out that night. They said that I sprained my MCL and probably pulled my hamstrings, too.  I pinched something on that side when I came down and it was pretty painful.

Miguel:  Wow, I’m surprised you can put your leg stretched up like that after only a couple of days; I couldn’t do that.

Me: Well, didn’t you tear your MCL?

Miguel: Uuuh, well, the doctor said that it’s only a  really small, tiny tear actually.

Me: Uh, wait, didn’t you miss like, 3 or 4 weeks of work because of that?

Miguel: Well, yeah, ‘cuz I had to get an MRI done and stuff.

Me: But if it’s a small MCL tear that doesn’t need surgery, that usually only takes about 2 weeks to heal,?  Err… I thought?  Well. Um, oookaaayy… well, yeah, usually a sprain is not as bad as a tear though, so I guess I got off easy.

Miguel: But you said it hurt, like, a lot, right? Wow, I still can’t believe your leg is able to stretch and bend like that.

Me: Well.. uh, yeah.  I mean, I had crutches for a few days, and I’m still icing and elevating it, but I’m trying to make sure it doesn’t get too stiff and then bending it when I can. You know.

Miguel: Still, wow.  I couldn’t stretch like that when my knee was hurt.

Me: Well, firstly, different injuries. Secondly, you couldn’t stretch like that before your damn injury.

Miguel: Huh?  Well, I’m doing rehab on it now, but… I guess no rehab for you?

Me: No, not really… I’m just trying to be smart about using it.

Miguel: And you’re at work?

Me: Yes,  because you see, some people can put a brace on their knee AND work at the same time.  I guess I’m just really talented, huh?

Miguel: I guess. It sucks though, I haven’t gotten paid yet for my time missed.

Me: That does suck… but it’s because you have barely tried to contact the Workers’ Comp people because you think someone else will do it for you… even though Sienna has told you about 37 times that you need to call them yourself and take care of it because they need confirmation.  But you haven’t done that yet.

Miguel: Durrr?  Sorry, I missed that.  I was spinning in circles and  ran into a wall. I think I need to go file another Workers’ Comp claim.

Me: Well, you can’t, because our coverage got cancelled thanks to your 5 damn claims.

Miguel: [long pause]  Nooooooooooooo!!!! What will I do when I stupidly injure myself from now on!?!

Me: Quit and file for Disability, once more screwing the system meant to protect you?

Miguel: Heeeeeey now…



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