If You Can't Say Something Nice...

If You Can't Say Something Nice...
Say Something Vague

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Hey, Blink 182! There's no such thing as a YED.

I get so irritated by the new Blink song that is played constantly on KROQ. First of all, the lead 'singer' has a terrible voice. This is not unique to this song (or many bands, actually), but still notable. Anyway, in the song, he talks about the Voices in [his] Yed. Where, exactly, is the yed located? I think I need an anatomy lesson.

[sigh] I know that this is supposed to be a running together of 'my head', but it's such a self-conscious and deliberate creation of a word, that it drives me crazy. "...voices in my yed" --Bah!-- It's not like someone with an accent who is saying it correctly and it just sounds that way. No. It's an annoying band trying to further annoy people by purposely making up words. And it sounds stupid, too!

Just needed to get that off my chest. Thank you.

|| Stephanie 9:47 AM

Monday, December 29, 2003

I have a lot to do, so just a few comments:

I hope everyone had a great Christmas--or other similar winter holiday. Mine was lovely. My little sisters got an 8-in-1 game table, and we spent a great deal of time playing air hockey and foosball. Even going so far as making the little kids sit out a couple of games so that the boy and I could challenge each other to foosball. Heh.

Naturally we were all spoiled beyond all reason. I received the Charles Wysocki address book I longed for and two copies of Anne Lamott's Joe Jones (which simply means I get another title when I return one--yippee). I received a gift certificate from the boy for a pea coat, which I'm WAY excited about. We're supposed to go to Burlington Coat Factory soon, because if I get a discount one, I also get a scarf and mittens. I love winter clothing! Let's see...I also received a beautiful necklace/earring set from my sister and bro-in-law from 1928 jewelry. My stocking was chock-full of silly things like the Battle of the Sexes card game and leopard-print fuzzy dice for my car. We all ODd on pistachios and got oodles of chocolates. And I got Bend It Like Beckham, which I've been driving everyone crazy about since I first saw it in October. We also got a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean, which I am also very excited about. Love that Johnny Depp! So, as you can see, spoiled beyond all reason. :)

Finally, I will finish with a cute Christmas morning story about Pirates of the Caribbean. We came out from the guest room at my mom's house to watch my three little sisters ooh and aah over their Santa gifts. I saw that in the Christmas tree was placed a DVD of POC. I assumed that this was for my mom's house. My mom said, "I see something in the Christmas tree for you." I told her about my assumption that it was for her house. She said, "Not all THREE of them." So I started to smile. Then my sister Rachel (8), noticed POC in the tree. "OOh! Pirates of the Caribbean! And look Nikki, there are THREE of them, one for you, one for me, and one for Lexi!" We all started cracking up. My mom had to intervene and point out to Rachel that maybe Santa meant one to be for their house, one for mine and one for our other sister Heather's. :) Little kids are so cute and self-interested.

|| Stephanie 11:18 AM

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

I don't know how long this will last, but if you go to Google and type in Miserable Failure in the search box, check out your #1 result. Hee!

|| Stephanie 10:11 AM

As Kathryn mentions on her blog, today's the day where we all go to work and socialize, play games and count down the hours until the boss sends us home early (1 p.m. in my case).

My blog comments section is doing something weird. If someone responds to my blog, and I try to respond back, it won't let me. The type comes out in this enormous font and then it tells me that I have exceeded my total character count for that section. For instance, I tried to respond to something that Jenny said with something brilliant and pithy like "you said it", which is 11 characters long, counting spaces. And backblog told me that it was 432 characters long and couldn't be posted. So I cut and cut and cut till it says "i" and it tells me that it still can't be posted because it is 421 characters long. Whaaaa??? Do they have Jeb Bush counting?? Makes no sense. This has been going on for, like, a week.

I'm still wearing my sunglasses at work for residual migraine pain. I'm such a dork. People are probably wondering what is up with me, but everyone's too polite to ask. Yeah, I'm just too cool for Marketing.

Today I'm wearing this fuzzy turtleneck sweater that I love (and Jenny would hate because it's chenille). The problem with it is that it sheds little chenille fuzzballs everywhere I go. Especially the car. And my desk chair. And all the air surrounding me anywhere I go.

Well, enough babbling for today; I need to work on a product sheet (fascinating, trust me).

Merry Christmas (or Happy Alternative Holiday of your choosing) to you all!

|| Stephanie 8:57 AM

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Let me tell you about unfair. As I mentioned in my last blog, I had a migraine start on Saturday, and then I spent all day Sunday in bed suffering with it. By yesterday it was tolerable (although still there). Today I wake up, and it has shifted to the right side of my head and increased in pain back to Sunday's levels. !!!

The good news is, there was practically no traffic on the 405 today. I got on and off the freeway in 4 minutes. 4 MINUTES! It usually takes me more like 45 minutes to go that whopping 5 or so miles. I got to go 65mph today, instead of the usual 15. Soooo nice.

I'm seriously thinking about designer eye patches for these migraine days so that I can work without having to squint and glare at the computer screen (it's so bright). Usually the migraine seems to be pulsing behind one eye, and what hurts is having the eye open and exposed to light. It started out as a joke when Jason told me that he was going to get me an eye patch so that I could still function in public (at home I wear a sleep mask). Then I decided that if I got one, it was going to have to be a little fancier than a pirate's patch--maybe spruced up with lace or embroidery. I had decided that this would be my new business, because this was probably an untapped market. Then I found this website yesterday. Guess I've been beaten to it. The ones that I like best are the cats and the art deco design. Too bad it's too late to put them on my Christmas list.

|| Stephanie 8:32 AM

Monday, December 22, 2003

I saw Return of the King on Saturday. What can I say that hasn't been said ad nauseum? It's great, of course. I know that I've heard complaints that it seems like it's going to end a couple of times but then keeps going. My response, though, is what do people expect when there are so many storylines to wrap up?! I would like to go see it again when a) it's not a million degrees inside the theatre, b) I've had a chance to re-watch the other two first, and c) I don't have a MIGRAINE.

I started to develop a migraine right before the movie started and by the end it was full blown. Ugh! I ended up in bed with the migraine most of yesterday, feeling like if I could only push my eye out of its socket through the back of my head I could make the pain stop. Not such a good feeling, as it turns out. So I definitely have to go back when I'm not focused so much on trying to keep my left eye closed and watching the movie with only my right eye.

I only have one complaint about the film, and I would like to couch it in such a way as to not give anything about the film away. There is a point in the movie at which Sam and Frodo need to find some clothes to wear. They find some stuff and began the last leg of their journey to Mount Doom. And for the next few scenes they are wearing this borrowed stuff. Then suddenly, when they are shown again, they are both in full hobbit gear: short pants with suspenders, peasant blouse-like shirts. Huh?? Where did they get those? That bugged me for the rest of the movie. I know it's not important, but it irritated me.

And I cried at the end. It was a good cry, though. For a touching scene with the King and his friends. That's all I'll say. See it!

|| Stephanie 9:12 AM

Friday, December 19, 2003

Sometimes when people at work ask me what I do here, I want to say contract killer instead of contract writer, just to see their reaction.

|| Stephanie 8:52 AM

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Why Aragorn rocks

"Everyone thinks [Aragorn] is the man for the job, because he has humility, a concern with the consequences of his actions and words on others, and an interest in finding common ground with other people. All are qualities which I wish there were more of in real life in our modern-day leaders. There's an unfortunate lack of humility and overabundance of arrogance." -- Viggo Mortenson, frequent critic of the Bush administration and actor playing Aragorn in the film versions of J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I knew I liked him for a reason.

|| Stephanie 2:40 PM

I have a bone to pick with the jeans-making industry. I am SO tired of women's jeans only being made to accommodate those women with the bodies of 12-year-old boys. Do they even make jeans anymore for women with hips and butts?

Granted, I was trying on Levi's, and I know that there are some more specialty shops that address the size/shape thing in their jeans, but all the cool looking jeans I could find last night seemed to be made for short, shapeless wispy creatures--not real women. I must have tried on 20 pairs of jeans. And then we wonder why so many girls/women end up with self-esteem or eating disorders. Hel-lo! They can't find jeans that they can wear with their normal human-sized assets!!

Thinking about writing this up this morning got me thinking about something else too. Cliches. What do they even mean? For instance: 'I have a bone to pick...' That doesn't make sense. If this were a phrase from olden times, then wouldn't it be a positive thing? 'Come, share with me as I pick the remaining meat from this bone'. Or what about: 'I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop'. What makes falling shoes equivalent to bad things happening? Unless the shoes are raining down from the sky or something--in that case a stiletto dropping might be bad.

|| Stephanie 8:28 AM

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

When I moved I gave my dad my old CD player (because he hadn't yet moved into the 20th century, let alone the 21st). Then it dawned on me that he probably wasn't getting a whole lot of use out of it since he didn't own any CDs and was unclear about how to buy them (don't ask me--seems pretty clear to me, too). Anyway, I gave him a Beatles CD for his birthday, but that's the only thing he has to listen to. So Jason and I decided to copy a bunch of '60s music CDs his mom has, and give those to my dad for Christmas. But we don't have any CD burning software. Can any of y'all recommend an effective and CHEAP software? I found Roxio Easy CD Creator on SoftwareOutlet.com for $5, and shipping to get it here in the next couple of days would make the whole thing about $14--which really doesn't seem bad. It's a stripped down version, but we don't need to create a sound studio, just perform basic burning functions. If you are a friend of mine and wouldn't mind giving me some suggestions, please leave them in the comments section. If you work for the RIAA, ha ha, this is just a joke.

I just found out that one of my favorite art prints has been made into an address book, and now I want it something awful! I had a really pretty Monet address book with all of my friends' addresses, phone #s and email addresses, and it magically disappeared when I moved. Maybe the OC was using some kind of cosmic power to make sure that I no longer had friends outside its purview. Whatever the case, I now need a new address book so that I can actually contact my friends on occasion. Anyway, I love Charles Wysocki's cats, especially Frederick the Literate. And they've turned Frederick the Literate into an address book. Unfortunately I can't include a direct link to the image because their website is made up of stupid frames. Blah.

Man, I love the Fugees version of Killing Me Softly. They play it every once in awhile on KBIG (soft rock for the office--yes, I'm old). That and the Simply Red version of Sunrise are, like, two of my absolute favorite songs right now. Maybe if we get this CD-burning software all hooked up, I'll buy them off iTunes. You know, help out Steve Jobs, cuz that poor sucker is goin' nowhere!

|| Stephanie 10:24 AM

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I have to echo a comment from Kathryn about this whole Hussein being captured thing. While it is undoubtedly a good thing, since he was a horrible tyrant and everything, how does his capture erase all of the bad things that Bush has done since taking office?! I truly don't understand how the capture of an Iraqi dictator will make the U.S. economy rebound, give us all jobs, cancel out the deficit and make the world like us again. Maybe it's just me.

Also, way to go patting yourself on the back Senor Bushy. It kills me how the Bush administration is constantly rewriting history--even when it's still happening. They invade Iraq to find WMDs that threaten the immediate safety of Americans (from all the way over in the Middle East). They never find those, but in the meanwhile they overthrow a dictator. Then they lose him. For a looooong time. Then they find him. And now they say that the mission has been accomplished: the U.S. overthrew and captured Saddam. Uh...what?? That was not the reason that we were given for the invasion. It's not the reason that was given to all of our Senators and Congresspeople who voted for war, despite the loud and angry protests of a large portion of the public. Grrr.

Uh...and where is bin Laden, who actually DID attack the U.S.? Have we forgotten about him?

I am so tired of hearing the Bush administration tout that "The president reiterated that his administration supports a strong dollar". Was that in doubt? Do all Democratic administrations or challengers to the Bush throne lobby for a weak dollar? What does that even mean? Does he know?

Lastly, did you know that the Bush administration has found a common ground with the Saddam Hussein regime? Both are extremely anti-labor and outlawed Unions in Iraq? My guess is that this is something that Bush would LOVE to do in the U.S. but can't, so the next best thing is to implement it in his other autocracy. I mean, democracy. Freudian slip!

|| Stephanie 11:12 AM

Monday, December 15, 2003

So my sister Heather tells me that Jenny Smith (foolishly) has an advent calendar made of paper and involving real live candles with real live fire to signify each day in the big countdown. Anyone who knows me is probably fairly aware of my fire phobia and so I say--Jenny crazy!

I also wanted to comment on the coffee machine that they have here where I'm doing contract writing through the end of January. The first day I was here I saw these little plastic do-hickeys in a display on the wall. They said things like Swiss Chocolate Almond, French Vanilla and Irish Cream. I thought to myself, "Self, you're not a big coffee fan, but you are a mighty big fan of flavored creams to go in the coffee." So I decided to have some coffee with Irish cream in it. Yum. So I grabbed the little plastic dealy thing and tried to rip off the foil cover. And tried and tried and tried. Finally I was able to punch a little whole in it and out fell...coffee grounds. In consternation I looked at the Keurig coffee machine and suddenly realized that there was no coffee pot. Hmmm. What could this mean? So finally I read the instructions on the display thing for the little plastic do-hickeys. Get this: each of the little plastic dealies is an individual one-cup serving of coffee. You put the sealed coffee thingy into a little pull-out basket, push a button and it makes you one cup of coffee--whatever your flavor preference. A-may-zing. There are some perks to technology after all. Now I drink at least one cup of coffee each day. I still don't really like it, but it's fun to play with the machine and try all the different flavors.

I got my Christmas tree on Friday. I wish I could take a picture to show you. It's about 2-1/2' tall and sparse. Cost an arm and a leg for something so small and insignificant, but hey, The Boy was buying! I spent about 15 minutes decorating it (well, I dragged it out a bit) and now it looks cute. Sort of like something that Jim and Della would have had in their home in The Gift of the Magi.

I have to have my picture taken for work today and I am working on a whitepaper, so I suppose I should get back to it.

|| Stephanie 9:52 AM

Friday, December 12, 2003

So very, very tired. Got up at 5:30 so that I could leave at 6:30 and get to work at 7:15. As anyone who knows me is well aware, I am allergic to mornings. Until we reach double digits in the a.m., there is just no point. I have been doing the nod off for awhile now. I almost crashed face first into the keyboard when my eyes drifted closed and I swayed forward. Caught myself just in time!

Is it just me or is traffic a zillion times worse than it was just a year ago? The 405 is hideous. I'm going just a few miles and it can take anywhere from 35-55 minutes. I know that it's a notorious freeway, but it seems worse somehow.

Where has this month gone?? I haven't even gotten my decorations up yet, and Christmas is less than two weeks away. I'm famous for overdoing it on the decorations front. I'll be getting my tree and decorating tonight. Those of you familiar with my penchant for getting 7' trees into little tiny apartments will be dismayed to know that I'm planning to get a dwarf pine, probably only slightly more grand than Charlie Brown's tree. The reasons are three-fold: small trees cost much less; there are only two weeks till Christmas; I just don't have the energy to wrestle with a tree that is taller and fuller than me just now.

I'm telling you, the American workforce just doesn't get it. Where is our siesta time? I need my naps! I'm either child-like or old, not sure which. On the Ellen DeGeneres show last week, she was talking about how sad it is that children are in such a rush to grow up when they've truly got it made. She said that children are little emperors--how true! 'Get me a sandwich! Bring me juice! Mine!' If we do that nowadays we are labeled 'difficult' or 'crotchety', when really, we're just trying to relive our youth.

|| Stephanie 10:20 AM

Thursday, December 11, 2003

This comment will undoubtedly come as no surprise to anyone who knows me but here goes: How lame is the Bush administration!!

They are further promoting the whole "If you ain't fer us, yer agin us" philosophy with this ridiculous pronouncement that any country that didn't back the unprompted and unjustified US invasion of Iraq will not be allowed to have any contracts there. And they try to cover it up by saying that it's to protect the American people and their tax dollars. If they really wanted to protect the American people and their tax dollars, we wouldn't have gone in there in the first place, and we certainly wouldn't have given Bush an additional $87 billion (and counting)!

All that this is about is proving that the US really doesn't play fair. It's yet another example of the juvenile 'justice' meted out by this administration. We can have contracts there, but you can't. Nanny nanny boo boo.

Oh, puh-leeze!

|| Stephanie 1:52 PM

Friday, December 05, 2003

I was wondering this morning, just how sentient is my cat? Do cats think that humans are big hairless cats who happen to only walk on their hind legs? OR do cats think that they (the cats) are small, furry humans who happen to walk on their legs and arms?

I haven't blogged in....oh, forever, but that's because I really don't have anything interesting to say. My life is pretty darn uneventful just now. Because I am poor, I am making Christmas presents for some of my friends and family, so I'm working on those. Ad nauseum. It's amazing how quickly the day can go when you're not actually doing anything.

I am now a regular watcher of The Ellen DeGeneres show--which I maintain is in no way unhealthy or couch potato-ish. The boy, however, thinks that this is a slippery slope that will ultimately lead to breathless anticipation of the next episode of every soap on TV. I ask you!

I may be getting some contract work, which would be VERY nice, as it would mean money. I got a call from a company that I interviewed with in February or March of this year (!!). They are restructuring their Marketing a bit because of a new MCO (yeah, it's amazing what you can be Chief Officer of these days; in this case Marketing, but I'm thinking of calling myself CCO--Couch Chief Officer, or COB--Chief officer of boredom). Anyhow, they need someone to write Marketing materials, and the HR person immediately thought of me! From my interview, like, 9 months ago. Apparently I made such a good impression, that she's been wanting to get me in there all along. That was awfully nice to hear! Besides, it ultimately came down to hiring me or this other person way back in March, and they hired the other person, and the HR gal (Karen) has always felt bad about this. Anyway, they won't be interviewing for this position till mid-January, but they still need work done, so Karen has suggested that they create a contract position for me until then. Nice! So, we'll see how that goes. The MCO wants me to do a sample collateral piece for her based on a whitepaper they're supposed to email me, but I haven't gotten anything yet.

Other than that, things are pretty quiet. I hope you are all having more fun than me!

|| Stephanie 1:09 PM