Tags: rants

*gen - tiffany

"Do you mind? This is personal."

1. Today I took a deep breath and braved Publix for pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping. It wasn't too bad on Tuesday afternoon, but the portents of holiday insanity were visible. For the hell of it, I decided to attempt my first-ever pumpkin pie as a hostess gift for my friends. I bought supplies for two pies, so I can use the first as a trial run (even though I'm using the easiest recipe ever.) Oh, and I'm thrilled that Cool Whip now makes sugar-free whipped cream. Now I just have to clean out my refrigerator to make room for everything. Yikes.

2. Although I'm not particularly into soaps, I've been amusing myself with clips of James Franco's appearance today on General Hospital. The second video is absolutely priceless. I'm glad that the woman is snarking instead of simpering, even if Franco looks stoned. At least he seems to be having fun.

3. Speaking of women on TV... I also watched Oprah today because I was bored. It was one of her "heroes" episodes, and there was an Iowa HS cheerleading squad with developmentally delayed girls. Really neat! Another guest was, of course, Chesley Sullenberger, who I really like for how he always insists "I was just doing my job" and gives equal credit to his co-pilot. Would've been so easy to hog the spotlight, and there's something rather sad about how such humility is a surprise these days. (Oprah also brought out all the first responders from NYC, and while I know this is the reality, I was a bit dismayed that of the 20-odd people on stage, only one of them was a woman. Sigh.)

4. The horrors -- or just bad taste -- of the Ed Hardy craze have spread to our youth. Last week, one of my students showed up every day with fake tattoo sleeves. Yes, these are nylon armwarmers from wrist to armpit, printed with gaudy Hardy-style tattoos. I suppose I'd rather he have those than real tattoos at age 11, but still. Yikes. I finally had to confiscate them when he took them off and started snapping them like a wet towel.

5. asta77 was the first to embed, but now it seems like half the bloggers on my RSS readers have linked to The Muppets performing "Bohemian Rhapsody". That is the HD version, which is absolutely gorgeous quality. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a faster lo-def version. And when you're done watching that, check out good ol' "Mahna Mahna". When my toddler nephew visited a few weeks ago, he was obsessed with that song. He'd chirp "Mahna Mahna!", and we had to sing the rest. Very, very cute ... for the first ten times. ;)
*gen - tiffany

Road Rage

Things that really piss me off these days when I'm behind the wheel:

-- Driving too fast in parking lots and apartment driveways like mine. Bonus points if you're driving in the middle, so I have to swerve not to hit you head-on. There is absolutely no reason to go faster than 20mph.

-- Deliberately ignoring school zones. "I didn't see it" won't work if each end of the zone has a flashing light. Quite a few kids walk to my school, but people blithely continue going over 40mph past our parking lot. What's worse is when I see PARENTS pull out of the lot and peel down the road. Hey, their kids are already inside! Who cares about their classmates? I asked our campus officer to get a local police patrol car out there with radar once or twice. That would get the assholes' attention.

-- Pushing into my lane ahead of me (without much space between me and the previous car) just before you have to make a right-turn into a parking lot, then forcing me to slam on the brakes as you slow down to turn.

-- Making a left turn from a side street across my lane of traffic just because you see a small gap, thus forcing me again to brake hard ... even though you would've had NO cars behind me if you'd just waited ten fucking seconds.

-- Making a left turn from a parking lot, even though there's one of those curb thingies to prevent people from making left turns. So I have to sit behind your greedy ass for several minutes as you wait for oncoming traffic to clear. A corollary: if an intersection has a dedicated lane for people making right turns, then don't waste everyone else's time just so you can cut across three lanes of traffic to make a left turn a block down the road.

-- And an old classic: nobody wants to hear your favorite music while we're all stuck at the gas station. Roll up your goddamned windows or turn down the stereo. Especially if it's a really raunchy song while kids are nearby. Show some common decency, jackass.

Look, I'm far from a saint. I've narrowly avoided dozens of accidents over the years, and my going over the speed limit is more common than not. But I do obey the rules in situations like the above, where wilfully ignoring them is dangerous. If I cause an accident, I have to take responsibility for the financial and medical consequences. If my car ends up wrecked because of something you did, I still take a massive hit (that I cannot afford) despite having decent insurance. But few people give a damn anymore, huh? Everyone's just looking out for themselves, and if you don't like it, too darn bad. And I'm really sad about how that describes so many parts of our society these days -- not just behind the wheel.
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    irate irate
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*gen - tiffany

It's question time.

Evenin'. Not much to report tonight. The second day of work went well. I actually had to make myself leave at the end of the day, and I wasn't exhausted when I got home. Plus, I didn't have trouble sleeping last night or waking up (much earlier than last year) this morning. Pretty remarkable, given my usual insomnia. I just hate that I'm having to fill up my car much more often. :)

I do have a rant, though. We often have to attend presentations by consultants hired by the district. Yesterday's presenter stood in the auditorium for six hours (with breaks) and lectured, accompanied by a PowerPoint and handouts. Same thing this morning -- but a different woman and topic. These consultants are usually former teachers or principals who are chosen to share with us their expertise and amazing successes. They're quite knowledgeable and have interesting things to say. BUT. They fly in from other cities and are paid thousands of dollars to share new teaching strategies or ways to motivate students... yet they simply stand there, click through their .ppt, and talk for hours on end. If they're going to show us how to make learning interesting for middle schoolers, why do they expect us to sit quietly and take notes -- the polar opposite of what they want us to do in the classroom? I really liked the topics of both presentations, but by the end I was ready to scream. And I'm sure the same thing must happen in the business world. *sigh*

In lieu of anything else interesting in my life, here are a bunch of links.

-- Paris Hilton responds to McCain ad. Don't let that turn you off; this is surprisingly clever. ;) More oddness: Twinkie Experiments.
-- TV stuff: Salon asks how realistic is Secret Diary of a Call Girl? TV Squad interviews Larry Wilmore. And Blogging Project Runway is quite impressed by Terri.
-- A new novelist asks, Why won't you blurb me?" And another question: why do we capitalize the word "I"? All I know is that lack of capitalization drives me crazy!
-- Movie week at Mental Floss: they discuss the marvelous documentary Hoop Dreams and a pop-up video version of the Chuck-E-Cheese band performing "Love In This Club".
-- Vulture asks, Did Breaking Dawn ruin the Twilight series? I have absolutely no idea and don't really care, but I'm amused that they linked to Fandom Wank.
-- From the Times: Olympic gymnasts won't be able to earn a perfect "10". They also talk about the, uh, rise of zeppelins.
-- From Jezebel: hooray for small breasts! and a review of Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming. As a kid, I *loved* that novel.
-- And for my fellow Atlantans, an ode to The Varsity on its 80th birthday.
*gen - tiffany

Have a Nice Day!

1. Not sure whether I'm grumbly or cheerful today. At this point, it could go either way.

2. This weekend is the Atlanta Juggling Festival. I'm strangely intrigued and might go. Anyone want to join me on Saturday afternoon?

3. Katee has finally made Go Fug Yourself. Aww, our little girl has arrived! That shininess is a bit scary, though I'm giggling at the reappearance of the sparkly princess shoes from the S3 promo shots. (BTW, when the hell will we get the S4 ones? *sigh*)

4. Last night I was all excited to watch Lost, then realized that, whoops, it was a rerun. And I'm still a bit puzzled why media bloggers will not shut up about the premiere, yet I've hardly seen anyone here mention it. As I told txvoodoo in my similar post a few weeks ago, I guess it's just not a "fandomish" show - at least, not the type of fandom we usually see on LJ.

5. Here's an article/rant that made us laugh yesterday: Why are bank security questions so monstrously stupid? Amen. I especially hate the ones with subjective answers. Green and orange are equally my favorite colors. What happens if I submit "green" at sign-up, then later answer "orange"? Will I get locked out of my account? I don't even remember the names of ANY of my teachers (which is pretty sad given my career.) Yeah, I undersatnd that subjective questions offer greater security, but WOW, how annoying.

Okay, it's off to the salt mines. At least this year's still going GREAT, and the kids are working on projects all day. :)
*gen - tiffany

Bitch session.

Today has been rather frustrating. No energy whatsoever, plus what appears to be some type of stomach illness. Ugh! I ended up crawling back into bed for a large part of the early evening. Fortunately, the worst seems to have passed. I'm also quite cheered up by these photos of Jamie at a BAFTA party today (via dryope). Wow. When I saw them, he left me speechless.

Now I'm reading the Ravelry boards, and someone started a thread about internet pet peeves. Most seem specific to message boards, but several struck a chord. Anyone in the mood for a venting session? Collapse )
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*gen - tiffany

*grumble*

Just a heads up that I'm a bit cranky today. Time for some self-indulgent whining.

Was awakened by the doorbell this morning, a full two hours earlier than I planned to get up. (Hey, it's summer. I'm allowed to sleep until noon. And now I hear all my friends singing, "Cry Me a River". Anyway.) I was, of course, in my sleepwear, so I stumbled to the front door and asked who it was without opening it. Maintenance, coming to check on some tiles. I told them to come back in a few minutes, giving me a chance to put on something more presentable than my nightshirt. They never showed up again, so I finally called the leasing office. Gee, turns out the guys had come to the wrong apartment. I let him know that I wasn't at all pleased that they woke me up, but he didn't seem to care. For the best, I suppose, because I'd been meaning to ask them to send someone out to fix my bathroom sink, which won't drain. And now I'm sitting here waiting for another maintenance guy, even though I'd rather grab a shower, take out the trash, go get some lunch, or just sleep.

I'm also frustrated by entertainment expenses! This week I need to buy my Dragon*Con badge for $70 (yeah, I know, should've gotten it months ago), and a Crowded House ticket for $45+insaneticketmastercharges. Then I found out this morning that The Decemberists are playing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Chastain this Friday. While I really want to go, my brain is shouting, "Yikes! Another forty bucks!" Not to mention the lack of reasonable parking options at Chastain, which is otherwise quite marvelous. If I do decide to shell out, any ATL friends want to join me?

Semi-OT: I uploaded some video of Crowded House performing at Live Earth, including my beloved "Weather with You". Easiest to just link to my YT profile. If you missed 'em, you can also find all of Katee's How I Married My High School Crush scenes there. :)

A bit of relief, though: I got the TiVo working again, so it looks like I'll be able to post the BSG preview tonight; if you haven't heard, they're airing a Very Special Promo for "Razor" during the season premiere of "Eureka" tonight at 9pm EDT.

Also on the plus side: my 4-month-old nephew can now appear on Fandom Wank, because he has his very own sockpuppet! Collapse )

While skimming fic in the alternafandom that I should really ditch, I found five different versions of the phrase, "She let out a breath she didn't realize she'd been holding." Gah. Can we please banish that sentence from ficdom? Yes, I know it's common in RL, and that it's meant to show a certain emotional reaction, but it's way too overused and becoming a cliche. And since I'm in a ranty mood today, I feel like opening this up for some venting and/or discussion: what other phrases should be abolished from fanfic?
*gen - tiffany

Things currently on my mind....

1. This posting-only-when-I-have-something-to-say thing is weird. I feel quite out of sorts.

2. Last night I watched Heroes... and I liked it. Wow. Maybe that is the real apocalypse. I decided to ignore all my problems with the writing, characters, and acting, and just watch it at surface value. Excellent decision, and I was entertained. (Doesn't help that 24 lost me a few weeks ago.)

3. For the first time in my life, I have jury duty next week. I find this quite amusing. Turns out teachers aren't exempt. The court's website doesn't say whether laptops are allowed, so I'll bring mine anyway. And I'll definitely get a lot of knitting done.

4. "Even when [this show] has a bad episode, it's still 99% better than anything else on TV." That always gets on my nerves, even if the show in question truly is excellent. I know quality is subjective, but for some reason that drives me crazy. And while I'm on the subject of annoying cliches, I hate when people say, "The weather in my town is so crazy! If it's sunny now, just wait five minutes and it'll change." Okay, maybe you have erratic weather, but guess what? So does nearly every place on the planet! Er, unless you live in the desert or Arctic.

5. I wish I were more nostalgic about things from my youth. PopCandy's latest podcast features an interview with the writers of the new book, How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time. I think I was 15 at the time, and I remember liking it but not looooooving it. Still, the interview and the responses are quite interesting, and it really was an excellent, refreshing teen mag.

6. I've been playing FreeCell way too much lately, even though I've never been much of a Solitaire person.

7. Indi and I have been talking about how to properly write Lee's voice in fic. She has made some *excellent* suggestions, but it's so damn tricky! Maybe I should stick with Kara, because I find her so much easier to write. How DO you really capture a character's narrative voice? ETA: indigo419 wrote an excellent post about POV in fic. Go check it out!

8. Eighteen more days of school. :)
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    House on the TiVo
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*gen - tiffany

Powerless. Literally.

I woke up this morning, packed my tiny suitcase, cuddled my even tinier nephew one last time, then got in my mother's car for the trip to the airport.

I left my laptop's power cord on my sister's kitchen counter. *headdesk*

And yes, I actually checked online to see if any local stores stock Toshiba power adapters, but I'm not shameless enough to pay a hundred bucks for a very quick fix. Fortunately, my laptop has a reeeeeeally great 5-hour battery, though I currently only have an hour and a half left on the charge. Also fortunately, I have two other computers here at home. They're not great, but they'll do for a couple of days until my brother-in-law fedexes me the power cord.

Y'know, there are some things that are so typically ME. Leaving a laptop power cord in another state would be one of them. And this icon of my new nephew bawling his eyes out feels quite appropriate right now. ;)

ETA1: Friday Night Lights won a Peabody! As did Ugly Betty, The Office, Good Eats, and ... Scrubs? (Three seasons ago? Sure.)

ETA2: NBC has renewed 30 Rock! Given that Kevin Reilly said he expected to renew either 30 Rock or FNL -- and hopefully both -- I'm crossing my fingers extra-hard for my Dillon Panthers.
  • Current Music
    banging my head against the wall.
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*gen - tiffany

Opening the window.

Time to vent, thanks to the idiots at my optometrist's office. Collapse )

While I'm ranting... I'm getting annoyed with Matt Roush over at TV Guide. Apparently, true fans don't nitpick, visit message boards, or read spoilers. Collapse )

Ah, venting. I feel better already. My style has always been to get it out there, stew for a little while, then move on. Years ago, I read something about how people are inherently predisposed to being naturally cheerful or naturally serious. I definitely fall into the first category. My bad moods seldom last long. "Cheerful" is the keyword, though: I'm not always happy, but I'm usually in an upbeat mood. And being a naturally serious person is not a bad thing, either. Might even be better in some ways. No idea where I'm going with this, but the above brought it to mind. :)

While out-and-about earlier, I spotted an Obama '08 bumper sticker, and I thought about getting one to replace my faded-and-peeling Kerry/Edwards sticker that has seen better days, both literally and figuratively. Collapse )

Anyway! Enough politics -- I seldom like talking about them on LJ -- so I'll just toss in some links....

-- I spent part of the afternoon reading the site for the new documentary Helvetica. This sounds really, really cool, especially if you're into typography and design.

-- The Emmys have created yet another new set of rules for nominations. At first, I thought the "250-word essay from each nominee" was a joke, but apparently not. Next summer I'll have to run an essay contest for all my faves. ;)

-- This NYT profile of the comedian Jim Gaffigan sent me to his website to watch some clips. Very cool that he's adamant about not taking his fans for granted, and that he eschews profanity in his routines; I'm far from puritanical, but the lack of four-letter words is strangely refreshing. His official site has some fun video clips, and I love this joke from the article: “I’m from Indiana. I know what you’re thinking. Indiana. Mafia.” Hee!

-- Slate attempts to understand the appeal of American Apparel. The writers' memories of her own early '80s wardrobe was very familiar to me. AmAp is supposedly the new wave in mass-market fashion, but I find all their stuff just plain *ugly*.

-- EW has another parent column, this time about Laurie Berkner and music for the preschool set. (It made me grin for reasons only my sister and daera23 will understand. Ah, Richardson. ;)
*gen - tiffany

If sleep is for the weak, then I must be Hercules.

Since I started back to work four weeks ago, I've had really horrible insomnia. It's driving me crazy, and maybe y'all can help.

First, some background. I've always been a late-night person; my productivity and mood increase along with the hours on the clock. For years, my routine has been to nap for a few hours after work, then actually sleep from around 2am to 8am (I don't have to leave for work until 8:30, and my morning routine is very efficient.) Plus, I'm still getting eight hours daily, though not in one stretch. Sounds bizarre, but I really prefer that routine. Unfortunately, it's not working anymore; when I finally get in bed and turn off the light, I *can't* fall asleep. I've tried various methods, but nothing seems to help. Last night I went to bed at the usual time, then stared at the ceiling for an hour until I gave up and scrubbed the bathroom, worked on school stuff, and even did some yoga. Finally drifted off at 4am, and now I feel like hell. I'm at my wits' end. Collapse )