Tag Archives: stupid people

Halloween Horror Story


So yesterday was Halloween, or if you are so inclined, “Hallowe’en,” and so we dutifully tarted the Collective Spawn up in costumes and allowed them to beg the neighbors for candy.  The costumes are what makes this different from an average evening.

The two older spawn decided they wanted to be rockstars, so we procured or scrounged up rockstar accoutrement such as spangly fingerless gloves, dollar-store hair extensions, inexpensive red lipstick, and eyeshadow in parrot-plumage colors.  Glittery pink-handled dollar-store microphones and peace-sign bling finished off the look.

I think the oldest was most excited about the makeup.  Eyeliner pencil, the eyeshadow, a touch of mascara, blush, and the red lipstick and suddenly my 8-year-old looked like a teenager.  I told her so and she got all excited.

If I wasn’t so lazy I’d get the better pictures off the camera but it’s been a long day.  Then you will see them all, and in focus too.

So we live in Suburgatory and for the most part it’s not a bad neighborhood, aside from the people in the rental house kittycorner to our backyard who decided it was a good idea to do a variety of interesting activities in the middle of the night recently.  It began with them pouring gasoline — I assume it was gasoline as it was being poured from a small red plastic gas can — onto their firepit fire, causing it to blaze up scarily.  Then, after lighting up their yard (and everyone else’s) with one of those super-bright hand-held spotlights,  they fired up a chainsaw and lopped a decent-sized limb off the entirely unassuming tree in their back yard.  After this they attacked the tree with, and I am not kidding, a machete, all the while laughing and talking loudly as though it were not a) midnight and b) a populated area.  We called the police twice, first during the chainsawing and then again when they disgorged a fire extinguisher on the firepit, filling the entire neighborhood with dense, smelly smoke.    It was therefore deeply satisfying to watch, Gladys-Kravitz-style from behind the patio grape arbor, the ensuing reverse-mayhem as they suddenly rushed into the house, after which one of them meekly returned to the back yard to turn off the light and quietly take a hose to the firepit.  There has been nary a peep from them since.

At any rate, it’s otherwise a quiet neighborhood and so it was especially disturbing when a teen a few houses down decided it would be fun to dress in a long black robe and scary skull mask and leap out from behind a box hedge and scare the living crap out of the children as we merrily Trick-or-Treated down the block.  Two of the five (we had extras with us) burst into tears.  I mean seriously!  Jump out of the bushes and scare other teens, but not the elementary crowd!  They’ll probably be scarred for life.  I’m surprised we didn’t have a bed full of children the next morning.

Okay, I’m not surprised, because I am a cranky old lady and cannot sleep with children in the bed.  They wiggle and snore and breathe on you.

They actually did all right, considering.  But next year I’m taking a can of Mace with me.  SCARE MY CHILDREN WILL YOU PUNK  *PSSSHHHHH*


La Fitness (It’s French!)


So I took a lengthy hiatus from the gym because I broke my foot.  And then I got busy and lazy and you know how it goes.  Shut up.

But I’m back, and today I went for a lap swim.

The pool at my gym is smallish and warmish, also shallow, because it’s trying to be a jack-of-all trades.  It has to be long enough to swim laps in, warm enough for the fragile old people to do their water aerobics in, and shallow enough so most people aren’t in danger of drowning.  There is no lifeguard.  While I’m not worried about the drowning thing,  I kind of wish there was a lifeguard just so people would be more inclined to follow those little social rules that apparently they don’t feel inclined to follow when no gym employee is in attendance.  I am speaking of the following three violations:

1. Some lady left her flip-flops right in the center of the stairs that lead down into the water.  Really?  Because this is your private pool and no one else will need to descend those steps, Your Majesty.

2. The guy sharing my lane would stand up at the end of the pool, splash water toward the drains that run around the perimeter of the pool about a foot from the edge, and then spit into the drain while continuing to splash it.  He did this at least five times while I was in the pool.  Kudos to you for at least flushing away your bodily excreta, but seriously.  Nobody else feels the need to spit on the drains.  People walk there.  If you can’t swim without spitting maybe you should take up a different hobby.

3. There was a creepy looking guy in the hot tub who was probably just trying to put some hip muscle or another in the path of the water jet, but it looked rather sexual. I am in favor of maintaining a bare minimum standard of decorum in public places, and if what you’re doing looks a lot like having relations with a hot tub jet, maybe you should find some other way of addressing your problem.

Other than that it was a good swim.  I’m a lousy swimmer but it’s easy on the feets and you certainly get a workout.  Of course, Flip Flop Royalty Lady was getting dressed in the locker room when I got out of the shower and of course we both picked the same bay of lockers to put our stuff in so I had to be semi-unclothed in front of her.  This appeared to offend her tender sensibilities.  She looked at me like I was Jack the Ripper.  Apparently this is Her Majesty’s personal locker room as well.  She hurried out of there like she was on fire, which was fine with me.

Am I the only one who can’t make a rolled towel stay in place?  I feel incompetent in this regard.  Is this a skill mastered by teenaged girls the world over, and I’m just towel-impaired?  I always spend my time clutching desperately at my towel and hurriedly pulling on my clothes over my too-damp body.  Ugh.

Once I was dressed I pawed through my gym bag looking for vital necessities and did not find them.  The gym bag is a delight, a gift for Christmas from the children, and I love it, but it did not contain the three personal care items without which I cannot function: hairbrush, hair-taming product, and deodorant.  I have longish, curly hair that is prone to frizziness issues.  And although I am not usually smellier than most people (at least I hope so), it’s hot out.  I absolutely SWEAR that I saw these things in the bag when I was getting ready to leave.   What is wrong with me?

I had intended to stop at the grocery store on my way but I had no choice but to go straight home.  My finger-combed POW! hair would frighten people, and not having deodorant on is a guarantee that I will panic and generate a flop-sweat.  Whatever I thought I needed at the store will just have to wait until I am properly groomed.

But hey!  I went swimming!

Warranty Wars


So about a year ago we got fed up with our crappy minivan and bought a nicer one.  It was used but so much sexier than the old one, with the seats that fold into the floor and power doors and this thing in the stock which tells time.  We named it Moby Titanic (as it is large and white) and we love it so moishe.

When we test drove it, it did this alarming thing at freeway speeds wherein the entire vehicle swayed distressingly when the brakes were applied.  We told them that if they fixed that thing, we’d buy it.  They allegedly did, and we bought it along with a warranty.  Even our mechanics agreed that the warranty was a good one.  We were assured that we could use it at our preferred shop, the one with the aforementioned mechanics.  We’re quite loyal to this shop as they saw us through nursing school when we were Broke Ass Poor.  At that time we had my car which was/is pretty reliable, and then The Lovely Rhonda also had this extremely shitty Volkswagen Passat.

We called the Passat “Flopsy” due to the antenna that should have stuck proudly into the air at a jaunty angle from above the rear window.  It didn’t.  It was distressingly flaccid, so the car became Flopsy.  (We could not help ourselves.  Shut up.)  This phenomenally terrible car broke down, like, a lot, which was really difficult for us to manage given that we were so very BAP.  The very good people at Peterson Automotive did everything they could to keep us mobile at shockingly minimal costs, and for this we are fans for life.

Anyway, a few months after we purchased the minivan the brakes started doing that thing again.  We spoke some choice words to one another regarding the integrity of dealerships and then we took it to Peterson’s and they fixed it for real.  Except that a few months later it started doing it again.  We mentioned this to them at the most recent oil change and they were so apologetic.  They felt bad that they hadn’t fixed it right the first time, and told us that they would fix it correctly and charge us only for the parts by way of apology.  We were super cool with this and dropped it off last Wednesday, and that, my friends, is where the real fun began.

Once they got it all taken apart they found that the master cylinder was starting to go, and this was going to be a bigger repair than anyone anticipated.  It was time to invoke the Warranty.   We’d have to pay only a small deductible.  Yay for warranties!

Oh no, said the warranty company.  The dealership has to release the van to allow it to be worked on somewhere other than the dealership.

No problem, we thought.  We talked about this when we bought it.  We’ll just give them a little call and all will be well again.

We were so naive.

It was almost comical how nobody would call us back.  For two solid days.  TLR spoke with every manager they had, and salespeople, and office ladies, and possibly the janitor.  She resorted to leaving voicemails for the owner of the dealership.  Everybody had to check with everybody else.  Nobody could give us an answer.  Finally TLR went down to the dealership and raised a wee ruckus.  I believe the F-bomb may have been dropped.  You know I don’t approve of such violence but people, by this time it had to be said.

One of the useless managers commented that the police could be called.  “Oh, that’s fine, I’ll dial the number,” said TLR, brandishing her cell phone with what I am sure was a flourish.  “They won’t arrest me.  All they will do is make it so I can’t come here.  And then you can’t fix my van here, so I win.”  That shut him up pretty comprehensively.

The only satisfaction won that day was that the dealership agreed to lend us a car off their used-cars lot so that we wouldn’t have to rent one, as by this time an easy repair that should have taken a couple of hours had now stretched into a three-day battle and it was now Friday.  Nothing would be resolved until the next week and we both had to work on Monday, in opposite directions from home.  We picked the car up on Sunday night.

Since we didn’t need to schlep any kids around I had opted for a sedan.  They lent us a virtually nondescript NissHonYota Narcoleptor 6000.  These are great cars that would run forever if only people could stay awake long enough to put miles on them.  Sadly they have the highest accident rate of any modern sedan, domestic or imported, because they are so mind-numbingly boring that drivers routinely fall asleep at the wheel and crash them into things.  It was Fugly Grey with an automatic transmission.  I think the seats might have been clad in Midwestern airport upholstery fabric, but I couldn’t muster the energy to care one way or the other so I can’t really recall at this point.  It’s a miracle I’m still alive.

Monday and Tuesday came and went with still no contact from the dealership, shocking I know, and as those are busy workdays for The Lovely Rhonda, Destroyer of Worlds, no progress was made.  Wednesday she was home and able to verbally harass them make polite inquiries by telephone, to no avail. This had been dragging along for a solid week.  We were starting to contemplate small-claims court as well as perhaps calling up the lesbian posse for some sliding-scale, child-care-provided fully accessible picketing.  Nobody does it old school like lesbians.

Yesterday she finally spoke to the one magical wizard of a manager at the dealership who reportedly had to all but throw acid in the owner’s face to get him to agree to release the warranty.   I received a text: “We win.”  The argument was made that we had been loyal customers and had even referred a friend there who bought a brand-new vehicle from them.  We were fighting this hard to be able to take our repair business to our favorite shop.  Did they really want to piss us (meaning TLR) off? Plus I think when the F-bomb is spoken in the hallowed halls of an auto dealership they have to perform elaborate cleansing rituals which probably gets expensive owing to the difficulty of finding virgins among the sales staff.

Thus we merrily skipped off to Peterson’s to collect our perfectly-repaired van, only to drive it directly to yet ANOTHER dealership for a recall repair on the ignition.

Brace yourselves, internets.

TLR called to check on the timeliness of the repair, as we had made it clear we had to get it back by a certain time.  Uh, that guy is at lunch and he’ll call  you back when he gets back around 2pm.   No, says TLR.  We need to pick it up at 2.  Oh.  Well uh that guy didn’t get a chance to let you know and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but now your key doesn’t work in the ignition we fixed so you have to pay $220.00 for a new key. 

At this point I blanked out a little because TLR’s head started to spin around on her neck and her voice dropped enough octaves that those whale microphones picked it up.  The guy could not get off the phone fast enough, and called us back a minute or two later to report that the dealership would cover the charge for the key and how soon could we come pick the van up?  You could hear him sweating through the tiny phone speaker.

We win.

Hey how about those __________


So I don’t post anything specific about work, and I’m not going to start now, because a girl could way get fired that way and then who’s going to pay for all the debauchery around here?

But I’m just going to say: gosh darn it some people are difficult to work with.  And I’m not even talking about the people we serve.  Or my coworkers, who are almost without exception a pretty exceptional bunch.  (See what I did there?)  I’d narrow it down more but that might give something away, and like I said, I enjoy being employed.

But if everyone around you has to watch their back and you have a certain reputation for being difficult, well, chances are good at least some of the blame (*cough cough or maybe just about all of it cough cough*) lies on your own shoulders.  Just sayin’.

There are some days, thankfully quite few and far between, where I come home nearly giddy from relief at just not being at work anymore.  I had one of those recently.  And I was glad that I could go home and leave the stress at work where it belongs.  The rest of my evening was such pure absence of the difficult person that it was like being in heaven, if heaven looks like sitting on my living room couch watching sitcoms and playing stupid games on my phone.

Please let me never be someone’s difficult person.



So, we’ve been attending a different church lately.  It’s the same type of church, just smaller and closer to our home.  I have mixed feelings about possibly leaving the church I’ve attended since Delia was a month old.  But that’s far too serious a topic for this blog!

At any rate, the long-awaited Christmas Pageant is tomorrow.  My kid is rather noncommittal about participating in it.  Last year we attended the old church’s pageant and Delia was a sheep, a role she feels is perfect in that it a) involves wearing a totes adorbs sheep costume, and b) has no pesky dialogue to get in the way of her art.  So, this year she opted out in fear that she may have to be something other than livestock, or perhaps speak publicly.

The other children, however, have embraced this pageant with their entire beings, if you pro-rate that to a 4- and6-year-old level.  They even demonstrated the level of their commitment by sitting through a rather lengthy, and, by the exacting standards of the under-7 set, boring rehearsal.  Until the 4-year-old broke ranks and raced around with the other 4-year-old, but that is to be expected.

The Lovely Rhonda is working this weekend, which means that I alone will be shepherding (ha!) the youngsters to and fro.  And photographing them in action.  O the joys!  I fully expect one or both of them to vomit/sneeze/urinate copiously on their costume(s) and perhaps on the Baby Jesus himself.  Really, we can expect nothing less.

In other news, I made my triumphant return to the gym today after a week of feeling crummy with a crappy head cold.  I expected the DeathMaster to kick my ass since I’ve been indolent and congested, but it went quite well.  This may be in part because I loaded Nirvana “Nevermind” onto my phone.  I like to listen to such things and watch people try to figure out the various weight machines while I mindlessly wander up the mechanical stairs for twenty minutes.  It’s oddly soothing.

I also braved a shopping mall this evening for reasons that cannot be disclosed at this time.  It was packed with a generous cross-section of society, with a particularly heavy concentration of stroller-bound toddlers who had reached the end of their abilities to cope with the mall.  They expressed their displeasure by screaming and kicking, something we all wish we could do at such times.  This is quite familiar to me and rather than become irritated by it, I found that I was so grateful not to be pushing a toddler around in a stroller myself that I was quite indulgently tolerant of the whole thing.

Also I saw several examples of people carrying tiny dogs around.  Generally these were women, surprisingly youngish and often heavily made up.  And, in case you thought “bros” only existed in Jersey, I saw several of these as well.  They are remarkable for their startling plumage and intricate mating rituals, which seem to involve shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch and bathing in cologne.  Also, they seem to appear only in pairs.  It was all I could do not to whip out my cellphone and snap some pictures, but my arms were pinned firmly to my sides by the crowds.  Besides, they can become violent and stampede if offended and who wants to die a senseless bro-related death in a mall?

What to do with credit card offers.


The Lovely Rhonda received a credit card offer today.  YOU’RE PRE-APPROVED!  It said.  And the interest rate?  Well, the introductory rate was halfway reasonable.  For a period of time.  After which it shot into the stratosphere.

I heard once that an unscrupulous person might take the postage-paid envelope and put some of the literature that came with the offer into said envelope and put it in the mail.

Obviously one would not wish to place anything with one’s name on it in the envelope, but unscrupulous persons tend to be crafty that way and would already know this.

Why is the flag on my mailbox up?  Oh, no reason…

I’m still glad


Dear Staffing Agency,

I called you at ten o’clock this morning with every confidence that you could get my night shift covered for me.

And at 5:30pm I realized you had not called me back.  I phoned you once again and it was quite apparent by the way you went, “Uhhhh….” that you had dropped the ball.  “Let me make some more calls,” you said.  “I’ll call you back shortly.”

And at 8:30pm, having still received no return call, I gave up, took up the swing shift on her MORE than generous offer to split the shift with me, and went to bed.

At 2:00am my alarm went off, scaring the crap out of me, and I had no choice but to force my very unwilling body to get out of bed and drive — very carefully, obeying all speed limits and signaling each turn, for fatigue makes me paranoid — back to work.


Even though I hate you, Staffing Agency.

That is all.


A Rather Peevish (yet still grateful) Me.

You’d think I’d know better.


So I have this habit of picking at things: scabs, hangnails, chapped lips, you name it.

And in the winter I get rough, dry skin on my elbows, just perfect for picking at.

And I picked at my left elbow (because I’m right handed) and made it bleed a little.

Okay, no big, it happens.

And a few days later I’m noticing that my stupid elbow is hurting.

And it’s swollen and red and warm.

And I end up in urgent care and yes, it’s infected and here’s your antibiotics.

And don’t pick at things!

Stupid elbow.

The end.

An Open Letter to My Doctor’s Office


Specifically to the billing department:

Dear Useless Rude “Customer Service Representatives,”

I have this little thing called “health insurance.”  It pays a certain portion of my bills.

Each time I visit my doctor, you send me a statement in which the billing information is completely wrong.  Today, for instance, The Lovely Rhonda called you to inquire as to why you attempted to bill Medicare (for her bill) and Some Other Insurance Company (for mine).  Not surprisingly, both agencies had declined to pay up.

Just for the record, by the way, it may not be the best policy to inform your customers that you bill the insurance company “as a courtesy.”  This little “courtesy” is provided by virtually every medical office in the free world.  Getting all snappy about it when we become frustrated that you mess it up EVERY SINGLE TIME isn’t going to improve your track record, nor is it all that enticing for me as the customer.   Although there is something to be said for its entertainment value.

I am not sure that you realized how close to instant blistering death you came as you spoke with The Lovely Rhonda today.  She is currently affected by The PMS.  Perhaps I should have warned you that I brought her a nice bottle of Coppola Rosso and some chocolate this morning in anticipation of how my very survival depended on it she’d need them both before the day was through (the chocolate by early afternoon, the wine after 5pm as is civilized).

So anyway, imagine our surprise when we contacted the insurance company and found that both bills had been paid.  The Lovely Rhonda duly phoned you back to inform you of this and provided you with the draft number, the date it was paid, and the date it cleared.  And your response?  “Oh, okay.  Call us back in two weeks to verify that the payment has been applied to your account.”

I am truly shocked that she did not actually reach through the phone and throttle you, as I might have done.  Instead, she oh so gently informed you that she had done more than her part and that if your company couldn’t track its own accounts receivable, it was none of her affair.

I so look forward to further interactions with you, O Inept, Unhelpful Billing Department!  Truly it is an education in how not to conduct business.


The Lovely Rhonda’s Handler

A time and a place


Really, lady?  You aren’t maybe thinking that having your two drop-kick dogs on retractable leashes wandering all over the aisles at Home Improvement MegaStore ™ might somehow constitute a safety hazard?  Because I sure as hell am, and besides, if your precious angels can’t sit in the car for a half hour while you make your purchases, perhaps you should have considered leaving them at home.

Just sayin’.