Friday, December 17, 2004

Note to self: Idjits

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Note to self: Keep everyone happy

Believe it or not, I do not enjoy pissing people off. I'm generally very uncomfortable knowing someone is angry with me. My discomfort is made even more so when I know the anger they're experiencing is justified.
I will do almost anything to make ammends. My acts of contrition always vary, depending upon the offense.
An inappropriate comment I make about weight gain or a late arrival at lunch usually warrant no more than a verbal apology.
More grievous slights such as forgetting to pick up a friend from the airport or missing their birthday or spacing out on feeding their dog while they spend a week in San Diego, all require a larger gesture.
I've been known to give handcrafted "I'm a Total Jerk" apology cards, purchase medium priced bottles of perfectly adequate wine and even offer cash compensation in an effort to make ammends.
If however, my efforts of atonement and restitution are ignored, thwarted or deemed inadequate, all bets are off.
Nothing bugs me more than people who hold a grudge or refuse to take steps toward forgiveness.
Keeping anger and resentment hot and fresh every day takes a lot of effort. You've got to let the offense percolate inside you day after day and you have to dedicate yourself to holding on tight to your self righteous indignation.
Forgiveness is easy compared to the effort it takes keeping outrage alive.
As I grow older I find I have less and less interest in keeping people happy all the time.
I'm always willing to admit a mistake and to offer a gracious apology. You just better be willing to accept it.

Note to self: Everyone's stupid but me.

Don't talk on your cell phone while you're "working out" at the gym. It makes you look like a dumbass and it's distracting to others. Same rule applies in restuarants and on nature trails. Quit watching Fear Factor. That stupid show is never going to get cancelled if people keep watching it. Same goes for The Swan and that wife swapping show. Stop saying "hot enough for ya?" and "wasssup?" It's annoying. Don't forward any more of those chain letter emails. Forwarding an email is not going to change your luck or turn your life around and I take perverse pleasure in just deleting them. Don't ask me if I've seen your keys. I haven't. Before you hop into an elevator, make sure it's going in the direction you want to go. If it isn't, there's no point announcing to everyone that you're in the wrong elevator. Just be quiet and keep riding. The bank drive-thru is for quick, non-complex banking issues. If you want to talk about your savings account interest rates or transferring stock from your Money Market account to your CD fund, do it inside or over the phone. Introduce your friend. It's polite. Say thank you. It's a common courtesy. Guys-if you're severely receding, get rid of the pony tail. Girls-those hip hugger jeans don't work for everyone. Everyone-quit retro'ing the past. It's the past for a reason.
OK. That's all for now.

Note to self: Not So Guilty Pleasures

  • Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup
  • Dirty martini's
  • Flannel sleep pants
  • Scaring the cats with the vacuum cleaner
  • A good verbal altercation
  • Sneaking out of work early to hit the gym
  • Telling a bill collector they have the wrong number
  • Finding an $80 Banana Republic shirt at Goodwill with a $2.99 price tag
  • Pepperoni
  • Finding a quarter on the car seat
  • Being right about everything

Friday, December 10, 2004

Note to self: P.U.litzer Awards

Note to self: Tom Tomorrow

Note to self: Only a Matter of Time

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Note to self: Update List

Compass Bank re: $35 NSF
Colin Powell re: 2000-2004
Low carb asstards
SUV's with "Support our Troops" and "BC '04" stickers
La Feria re: salad
Best Buy re: cost for Hoover WindTunnel vacuum belt
Condeleeza Rice re: "Historical document"
Downstairs neighbors re: all green Xmas lights?!
Metrosexuals - pick a side
Time Warner cable
Hartz flea spray
Bob Frist
NPR - liberal media my ass
Elton John

Security guard @ Motorola
Stevie Nicks
Continental Airlines
7/11 re: bagels
Betty White
My landlord re: late rent
My little brother - forgiven
Old Navy - excellent clearance negates over-priced sweater Oct. 2004
Mary Cheney re: VP dad
Colgate "White Strip" toothbrush
Waterloo Video re: 17th rental free

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Note to self: Cancel Compass Bank Account

I found out this morning that Compass Bank has an interesting corporate customer service policy.
They will only forgive 2 Insufficient Fund charges ($35) in the "lifetime" of your account. That "lifetime"terminology is theirs, not mine.
Let's think about this for a minute.
If you open a checking account with Compass Bank at the tender age of 18 and remain a loyal customer throughout the rest of your banking life...Say you spend 60 years paying checking account fees, early withdrawl penalties, ATM charges, interest rates, etc. etc., they will only forgive 2 mistakes.
Good God, anyone that makes only two mistakes in a lifetime of checkbook balancing is eligible for sainthood in my book. Just call the pope. I guarantee you even he's forgotten to deduct more than two Vatican ATM fees from his checking account.
I also discovered there is absolutely no negotiating this policy. "Jenny" my very own Customer Service rep was completely rigid in her response to my request for a little bit of leeway on this policy. I was tersely informed that neither she, nor her manager nor the manager's manager nor the president of the bank could possibly negate these fees. In fact, it was forbidden for her to even transfer or trouble any of the higher ups with calls of this (my) nature. Period. End of discussion. No negotiation.
I'm guessing this was one of the forgotten commandments Moses brought down from the mountain. The one that read, "Thou shalt not forgive more than 2 Insufficient Fund Fees in a banking customers lifetime"
I can understand why, in the old days, banks had to hit you with an "NSF" charge (I think it was $7) when you bounced a check. I mean, back then they had to pay some bank geek to load a microfiche and visually scan through data to determine account balances.
Plus, if you needed cash, there were no ATM's. You had to stand in line and deal with a bank teller who verified your identity and doled out your dough. That teller didn't work for free of course.
In 2004 however, with on-line banking, ATM's and ATM fees everywhere and funds electronically transferred in seconds, I have to seriously question the necessity of a $35 Insufficient Fund fee. It seems punitive and without any real justification. Like a really hard slap on the wrist (or punch in the throat actually).
Will this incident make me actually cancel my Compass checking account? Probably not. This account is a way too embedded part of my daily existence. My paycheck is direct deposited. My gym membership, cable and internet service fees and car note are all automatically withdrawn. It would be too time consuming and tedious for me to change all that.
Here's the big surprise. Compass bank knows this. They know very well what a bloody hassle it would be for me to cancel my "lifetime" account.
Banks get away with things like this because they can and right now I feel like I'm just another good little consumer lamb, braying into the wind with the rest of the sheep.

Note to self: Loopage

I am prone to song loopage.
There. I finally admitted it to myself and the world at large.
Any whistling chump on the street can introduce a song into my psyche and I will merrily play a snippet of it over and over again until I'm ready to climb the UT tower and mete out my own brand of frontier justice.
What's intriguing (to me anyway) is that the DJ in my brain is somewhat discerning when it comes to what he's willing to loop.
After years extensive research and lively debate with many of the top scholars in the field of psyche song study, I've managed to crack my own personal susceptibility code and develop a scientific ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Nevermind. These are things that I'm prone to loop:
*Jingles from laundry detergent commercials step to the front of the playlist.
*A song in which my knowledge of the lyrics is either incomplete or non-existence
*That stupid Counting Crows song
*Catchy and/or hypnotically rythmic car alarms.

Anyone know of a support group I could join?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Note to self: try to enjoy it this year...

Generally speaking, I am not a “holly jolly, dashing through the snow, we wish you a Merry Christmas” kind of guy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scrooge-like in my attitude about the holiday, I just suffer from a mild bout of humbuggery. I think I can attribute it to an overall weariness with the whole “most wonderful time of the year” outlook everyone else seems to be expect from me. I try but it's difficult sometimes.
As a kid, I found the whole season very stressful. The pressure of someone watching me all the time, knowing when I was sleeping or awake, bad or good, etc. proved too much to bear.
(I also remain hopeful that with a few more years of therapy I'll one day be able to speak of the “I’m calling Santa at the North Pole right now if you don’t behave” threat and how it will forever affect my ability to pay my long distance bills on time).
I worried incessantly about how Santa would actually enter our chimney-less residence and secretly attached a note to the front door on Christmas Eve offering other options for gaining entrance into our humble abode.
I argued with my Mom over preferred reindeer food and debated the merits of my raw carrot theory versus my brother's corn on the cob principle.
I had a “best Christmas ever” scenario looping in my head from October 1st to December 24th. My own sappy little Disney-ish film that I wrote, directed and starred in and I played it right up until December 25th when reality would stick a pin in my big Christmas bubble.
My perfect Christmas movie always began with my brother and I waking from our long winter’s nap completely unaware that it is actually Christmas morning. Being the older, much wiser brother, I am the one who remembers and gleefully exclaims, “Hey! It’s Christmas!”
Shouting and laughing, we joyfully race down the stairs to the living room.
At the bottom of the steps we find our parents beckoning us into a toy filled wonderland of dancing ponies, juggling clowns, stockings overflowing with candy and gold coins and brightly wrapped presents stacked to the ceiling. Presents were opened. Fun was had.
My movie usually ended with our family holding hands around the Christmas tree singing “Little Drummer Boy” or “Silent night” followed by my gleeful exclamation, “this was the best Christmas ever”! My Christmas movie. The End.
OK. I was a weird kid and there were more than a few unrealistic expectations in my little imaginary film.
First of all, my brother and I never slept on Christmas Eve. We tossed and turned like drug addicts in withdrawl, crying out into the 2AM darkness, “can we open presents yet?” Our call was always answered with an angry “No! And if you ask again we're cancelling Christmas!”
Also, unlike the home in my scenario, we lived in a single story house. The only room we could have “rushed downstairs” into would have been the cellar.
There were however, always plenty of presents under the tree, even in our less than prosperous times. Our parents always got up early Christmas morning and while they didn’t exactly beckon us into a frenzy of gift opening mayhem, they never made us eat breakfast first.
I always felt sorry for my cousin who had to not only endure breakfast before presents, but also church!
Someone really should have reported that family to Child Protective Services.
OK, so I never got a dancing pony. Big deal. When I was 8, I got a pair of cowboy boots I really wanted. And if there were never any real gold coins in my stocking (which incidentally was hung by the TV with care rather than the chimney) there was always lots of candy and little toys like Slinkys and Silly Putty.
Also, I don’t recall us ever standing around the tree holding hands and singing “Little Drummer Boy” or “Silent Night” but we did put on the Nat King Cole Christmas album while we opened presents.
My perfect Christmas movie never matched my real life Christmas experience and that’s OK I guess.Who has room for a dancing pony and a juggling clown anyway?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Note to self: More Universal Truths

I pilphered these from my Sister Lori's blog. Most are true...

  • At the end of every party there is always a girl crying
  • One of the most awkward things that can happen in a bar is when your beer-to-toilet cycle gets synchronized with a complete stranger's.
  • You're never quite sure whether it's ok to eat green potato chips
  • Sharpening a pencil with a knife makes you feel really manly
  • Reading when you're drunk is horrible.
  • You're never quite sure whether it's against the law or not to have a fire in your backyard.
  • Nobody ever dares make cup-a-soup in a bowl.
  • You never know where to look when eating a banana
  • It's impossible to describe the smell of a wet cat.
  • Prodding a fire with a stick makes you feel manly.
  • Rummaging in an overgrown backyard will always turn up a bouncy ball.
  • You always feel a bit scared when petting horses.
  • Everyone always remembers the day a dog ran into their school.
  • The most embarrassing thing you can do as a schoolchild is to call your teacher mom or dad.
  • The smaller the monkey the more it looks like it would kill you at the first given opportunity.
  • Some days you see lots of people on crutches.
  • Every guy has at some stage while taking a pee, flushed halfway through and then raced against the flush.
  • Old women with mobile phones look wrong.
  • It's impossible to look cool while picking up a Frisbee.
  • Driving through a tunnel makes you feel excited.
  • Old ladies can eat more than you think.
  • You can't respect a man who carries a dog.
  • There's no panic like the panic you momentarily feel when you've got your hand or head stuck in something.
  • No one knows the origins of their metal coat hangers
  • You never run out of salt.
  • The most painful household incident is wearing socks and stepping on an upturned plug.
  • People who don't drive slam car doors too hard.
  • You've turned into your dad the day you put aside a thin piece of wood specifically to stir paint with.
  • Everyone had an uncle who tried to steal their nose.
  • Bricks are horrible to carry.
  • In every plate of french fries there is a bad fry.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad

Note to self: Pat Robertson is an idiot

So let me get this straight, if you want a mortgage, in-laws, health insurance, tax benefits and everything else that goes along with having a legally recognized partnership with someone you love then you are a selfish hedonist...But only if you're gay.
Got it.