Remember when I went to Las Vegas last spring
? I was visiting family friends, the husband of which was battling lymphoma. He's had a positively brutal course of complications since Christmas, and I just got word that he died a little while ago.
Even though I understood the gravity of his situation medically, and that this week in particular he was fighting for his life, I didn't really think he was going to die until last night when I had one of those awful premonitions. I was overcome with the feeling that he would be with my dad soon.
Now he is, and it sucks.
The Unbearable Cuteness of Toothy Tile
Defamer publishes their readers' celebrity sightings. This one
's classic and caused me to break out into a big smile:
Sunday at the dog park. My dog starts playing with a cute German shepherd that proceeds to hump him, without benefit of formal introduction or dinner. The owner and I intervene to restore civility and suddenly I'm confronted with sapphire blue orbs. Who else but Jake Gyllenhaal. Very sweet, drop dead hot, and very apologetic- although none was necessary. Our dogs just lived out my fantasy, by proxy. I say "WOOF".
Yesterday, I paid a stack of bills. I wanted them to get out right away, so I drove to the post office to stick them in the mailbox. Thing was, I noticed as I was walking away, I accidentally put them in the ExpressMail box instead of the regular mailbox. Moral of this story? Not to worry, I got an email from NetFlix today that they received the disc that was also in the pile of bills. Way to go, USPS!
Pictured is the wall of (Murano?) glass in the lobby of the Gaslamp Marriott in San Diego. It's yummy.
I've been busy but I wanted to slip a post in here. These two beauties are Rocco and Bella who belong to my brother and sister-in-law. They live with Ruby the chocolate lab puppy you've seen posted recently. Rocco, the black cat, is friends with Ruby; Bella, not so much. In Bella's defense, she's had some orthopedic problems and has been wearing a cast since Ruby joined their household, and mostly, Bella has been separated from the dog. Poor Bella has her last surgery this week (to get her pins removed), and the light in her medical tunnel is in view. She should be ready to start schooling the dog in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, Rocco is totally fearless and Ruby is learning to respect feline 'tude.
Off to See the Wizard
Please forgive my unappealingly back-lit photograph of the Gaslamp Quarter sign in front of the San Diego Convention Center. If you need me this weekend, this is where you can find me, selling knitting paraphernalia. Have a great weekend, all!
Why Did the Chicken Cross Abbey Road?
Thursday is my second-favorite day of the week, surpassed only by Friday. The reason I like Thursday so much is two-fold. First off, my work week begins on Sunday, so Thursday is my "Friday." Therefore, it's the beginning of my weekend, and that's a popular day in anybody's week. The second reason I love this day so much is Thursday night television. The Office, Scrubs, and Grey's Anatomy are all on tonight, three of my top five shows. Tonight marks the first new Grey's Anatomy in several weeks, and it's the first in a two-parter which promises to be intense and emotional, so don't call me between 9-10 tonight.
Anyway, my work day has been revised a little bit for the last month or so. The hospital finally broke down and provided us telecommuters with computers owned by them instead of forcing us to have all this crap on our own personal systems (our "system" is several pieces of software that interface, boring). So I've got these two machines lined-up side-by-side on my desk which allows me to listen to music from iTunes all day from one computer while I work on the other one. I was stunned at how much my productivity improved, although contributing to that little tidbit is the fact that I've stopped surfing while I'm working, limiting my Dlisted-and-other-blog-checking to before work, lunchtime, and after work only. I know, it sucks to limit myself to only 16 hours a day instead of 24, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice for the beefier paycheck.
So in the same vein as my last post, these are the tunes that kept me busy while I was working today:
Stevie Nicks - The Artists' Rights Concert
Pat Benatar - Best Shots
U2 - War
Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Sleeps with Angels
My Top 25 (see previous post)
Michael Penn - March
Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies
Beatles - Abbey Road
iTunes Top 25
I did something kind of revealing and interesting on my iTunes today. I took a look at my Top 25, and its diversity kind of surprised me. I think I was struck not only by the artists that were represented but by ones that didn't make the top 25. Of course, your top 25 changes all the time, so this is a fluid list. Nevertheless, I invite you to share your current top 25, either here in comments or in your own blog.
1. Bloody Mary - The Panic Channel
2. Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In - The 5th Dimension
3. Someday You Will Be Loved - Death Cab for Cutie
4. Ladylike - Storm and the Balls
5. I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor - Arctic Monkeys
6. Black Shoes - The Films (a band I found during my short time on MySpace, they rule)
7. Juicebox - The Strokes
8. Save Me - Aimee Mann
9. Writings on the Wall - The Album Leaf
10. Time Again - Asia
11. Ave Maria + Intro - Chris Cornell and Eleven
12. Skin and Bones - Foo Fighters
13. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
14. Handsome Devil - Jim Bianco
15. Death by 1000 Cuts - Joe Ongie
16. Firesign - Juke Kartel
17. Save Me - Juke Kartel
18. Throw It Away - Juke Kartel
19. Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair - Nina Simone
20. No One Knows - Queens of the Stone Age
21. Walking with a Ghost - Tegan and Sara
22. Mother Mother - Tracy Bonham
23. Starless - King Crimson
24. Woman - Wolfmother
25. I Hope I Die Before You Do - John Hoskinson
There are a few human attributes for which I have little to no patience. Some of these include neediness, whining, and narcissism, but the characteristic I'm going to focus on today is stupidity. And maybe it's Murphy's law, but it seems that despite my best efforts to avoid these people like Britney and Paris avoid panties, they find me nevertheless.
So I ask you. Does Petco get some kind of tax credit for hiring people with low IQ scores? Case in point:
When I approached the checkout with a 20-pound bag of cat food over my shoulder yesterday, there were two cashiers open, each helping one customer ahead of me. I got in line, and about 30 seconds later, the cashier told me he was closing. I turned to get in the other line, and discovered there was another customer behind me pushing a cart almost right into my back.
"He's closing," I said to the woman with a sour expression on her face. Side-stepping her cart, I proceeded to the adjacent line.
"Is this true? Are you closing?" she demanded of the cashier as she gesticulated angrily.
"Oh, I guess not," said the wimpy idiot as he let her move forward.
"Excuse me," I said, "I'm the one carrying the 30-pound bag of cat food, and I believe I was ahead of her."
The look of panic on Moron's face was priceless. He already had one wrathful woman in his line, and now by his own stupidity, he had managed to incite rage in another one, namely me.
I should add that this guy was in his 50s to 60s, not his teens to 20s. You'd think at his age, he'd know better. He didn't.
The second random act of idiocy imposed upon me recently was by my employer.
Heretofore, I have avoided writing too much about my workplace. That's because I've been telecommuting for the last few years, so my exposure to the antics in the office is limited. But trust me when I tell you, my office is rich with stories of craziness, packaged large and small, ranging from subtle to extreme. I was in-house for six years before the sublime gift of telecommuting was bestowed upon me, and I am here to tell you that if I were to pursue my education in psychology to the graduate level, I'd have only to do a case study on a small percentage of the madness in my workplace to be awarded a doctorate degree from any university of my choosing.
But I digress. This isn't an example of crazy, it's an example of stupid.
In order to telecommute, I use VPN (which some of you may know as SRA - secure remote access) to connect to my employer's mainframe. From there, I am able to do my job as well as retrieve my company email. So last night, IS (Information Services department) changed the VPN/SRA server, and today, no one's password worked because of the server change. We all had to call this 800# to get new passwords, blah blah blah. So once I finally got into the mainframe, I found an email from Dummy Supervisor with instructions on what to do because of the server change. Apparently, it didn't occur to Dummy that no one would be able to see her email before figuring out on their own how to get back into the mainframe to see her DUH email. (We have two supervisors, Dummy and Forgetful. Forgetful is fine except for that annoying memory deficit thing.)
Okay, raise your hand if you think I'm premenstrual.
Phoebe's a Slut
The Time-Warner guy just left. I ended up with a new modem, and so far, so good (fingers crossed). For anyone keeping track, my call on Tuesday yielded an appointment on Sunday. Six-day turnaround time. Wow, that's service.
Anyway, my cat Phoebe, who prefers men to women, flirted SHAMELESSLY with the repairman! She actually stood up on her back legs like a rabbit with excitement when she heard his voice. I actually kind of feel bad for her that I don't have a boyfriend, because she really comes alive in the presence of men. She saw my brother recently, too, and it was the same thing.
Anyway, to Time-Warner's credit, the guy they sent was really helpful. Let's hope this fix sticks. Time to work. I'm now four hours late in starting.
Longing for Adelphia
I had Adelphia high-speed internet until Time Warner took over a couple months ago and migrated my service to Road Runner. My cable television has been okay since the change, but so far, my internet service with Time Warner has sucked hard.
I work from home, online. When my internet service goes down, I can't work. Yesterday, it went down at 10:30 am. It took 30 minutes to get through to customer service just to report the problem. I waited another hour before giving up on Time Warner, and then I went into the office to finish my work day. When I got home from the office at about 7:30 pm, the cable was back up. It was a long day, but I was glad my internet was working again.
Today, I was happily working away when I noticed I was no longer connected to the mainframe at work. Yes, you guessed it, my internet was down again. I looked at the clock, and sure enough, it was 10:30 am again. Fired up, I called Time Warner customer service again, spent another
30 minutes waiting in their fucking queue, listening to obnoxious prerecorded sales pitches, before a moron answered and told me they were getting a lot of calls from my area. Duh. I told her that the service went down exactly at the same time today as it had yesterday, and that I thought that was important information to pass on to someone in charge, especially someone in charge of FIXING IT. It took her a few times, but after several repetitions of the information, she was finally able to grasp the concept. (I think.)
In the meantime, I've played an exceptional number of spider solitaire games in the last couple of days since that's what I do when 1) I'm on the telephone, and 2) I have no internet access.
I'm typing this post out on WordPad, probably a little ambitiously hopeful that my internet service will be restored any time soon. So far, the lights on the modem are still blinking, except for the magical ONLINE light which remains elusively dark.
Thankfully, text messaging on my cell phone is not affected by Road Runner. My sister is trying to donate her old car (she was forced to get a new one over the holidays when her old one died a painful death), and the towing service was supposed to pick it up yesterday. They didn't show up. If they don't tow it today, it will sit in front of her house tomorrow, street-sweeping day, and she will get a ticket. Needless to say, she and I have been commiserating via text message on the fact that, if we are both competent at our jobs, why shouldn't we expect the same from the internet provider and towing companies? V-e-r-y frustrating.
For all you Lindsey Buckingham fans out there, my main man will be on the Jimmy Kimmel show Thursday night, ABC. I guess technically it's Friday morning, but I suggest you stay up Thursday night to watch it.
Later, 2:30 pm - Since I'm not working, I've been watching Gerald Ford's funeral on television. Poor Betty Ford. I couldn't help but think how hard this whole thing must be on her. Not only is she in her 80s, mourning her husband of 58 years; but she's also had to travel nonstop, attending four separate services for him over the past week. That would exhaust a person in their physical prime, let alone a woman her age. She looked so frail and sad. Really, I've always liked the Fords. Gerald Ford was a good man. Betty had the courage to be flawed under the microscope, and I've always really respected her for that.
Anyway, in watching the funeral, it got me thinking. I don't know a lot about military protocol, so maybe someone knows the answer to the following query. Do the musicians in the military have other duties or is their sole job that of a musician? I'm not being glib (curse you, Tom Cruise, for making that perfectly appropriate word a cultural joke), I'm legitimately curious about this. I also wonder how they select the pall bearers and other military attendants to serve in a president's funeral.
Later still, 6:30 pm - Still no fucking cable! OMG, I'm so pissed! I hate you, Time Warner! On a happier side note, I can report that my sister's car was picked up by the towing service.
8:30 - Internet service just came back up. Ten hours.
Is That Your Zebra?
I was just watching television when a Weight Watchers ad came on. To my absolute delight, I noticed the background music was Sam Phillips' song "Is That Your Zebra?" You can get a little taste of it here
Happy New Year
As an update to my last post in 2006, here are my picks for death pool 2007.
My choices reflect consideration for either terminal disease, advanced age, and/or risky lifestyle choices.
Without further ado, here they are.
1. Fidel Castro
2. Betty Ford
3. Pete Doherty
4. Lindsay Lohan
5. Mary Traverse
6. Jack Kevorkian
7. John Forsythe
8. Roger Ebert
9. Farrah Fawcett
10. Ariel Sharon
11. Joe Eszterhas
12. Brooke Astor
13. Geraldine Ferraro
Happy new year!