Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And now I'm going to sing the doom song

Ah. Today is the last day of November, which means I will have officially have completed Nablopomo! But not until I talk about what's making me cranky today.



The world! With the TSAing and the John Boehnering and the Sarah Palining and DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

Alright people. I am not going to argue that the world has problems and we need to address them. HOWEVER. Throwing up your hands in despair and talking how you don't give a darn because the world is clearly too messed up to fix is not addressing the problem. That's the opposite of addressing the problem. Short of actually becoming Sarah Palin, it's probably the worst thing you can do, and totally contributes to the problem.

I know it's hard. I get "give-a-crap" fatigue and just need to curl up a blanket, a pillow and HGTV myself, sometimes.  I have definitely taken news hiatuses and been the better for them.

And the news definitely promotes the doomy doom way of thinking. From squirrels to flip flops to nuclear weapons, all of them are given the same "do you know the dangers that lurk?" treatment. Apparently, flip flops are bad for you feet and the squirrels have sold N. Korea plutonium, your children are going to get fat because you allowed them to have a pop that one time and everyone is committing suicide due to gay bullying. That's bullying of the gays, not by the gays. Kids! They're meaner than ever!


These things are serious issues. No one should be bullied, not for their sexual orientation or anything else. North Korea is kind of crazy. Flip flops have no support. Squirrels will someday rule the world. Except that they won't, because some people find them delicious. The first squirrel uprising will end in stew. And kids? Kids have always been brats.

The world is not worse than it used to be. There are still things that suck. There are always going to be things that suck. This is what we call reality. Not to be confused with the "reality" which can be found on various tv channels at any time and which comes with a script. The source of the suck may change, but its existence remains the same. Maybe, someday, all of these things will be untrue, and we'll live in a society where everyone can hold hands and sing kum bah ya. Until then, try not to panic. Turn off CNN, turn off MSNBC, heck, turn off the Daily Show. Pick an issue, write your senator, think about what you can do, and do it, and let the rest go.

And remember, by the time the second squirrel uprising comes, the world will probably be ruled by cats anyway.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Double Click This

Poorly designed websites. Especially for big companies. I want to give you my money. Make it easy on me. Don't make me hunt and click and look for help in order to find what I need to find. Make things clear and easy and make a place to see all the current promotions so it's clear and straight forward.

Also. Just so we're clear. The thing where a sparkly whatsit starts following the cursor around when I get to your webpage? Not only do I not want to give you money. I want to find you and make with the punching instead. Just FYI

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Oh crankiness. We are so close to the end of the month. Are you going to abandon me now? OF COURSE NOT.

So a brief word on the speed limit. Speeding can be dangerous and stupid. Going 20 miles below the speed limit can also be dangerous and stupid. Someday, they will invent a way to contact people car to car as you go down the road and I will be able to tell you that in real time. I look forward to that day. Also, you are already going 20 in a 55 mph zone. WHY ARE YOU BRAKING AT THE CURVES?

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Oh people. I had a different topic in mind, but someone has just made me very cranky.

Let's talk about faith. I am a Christian. In fact, I teach Sunday school. I am not anything like an expert, nor have I ever, EVER claimed to be.

I am not trying to convert anyone, or force my beliefs on them. I am just trying to live my life the best I can and set the best example as I can.


There are those amongst us who seem to be absolutely compelled to challenge and insult my faith. I am happy to talk about my faith and beliefs and explain my understanding as best I can. But there is a difference between asking me a question about my faith and questioning my faith. I have friends who would never say that they consider me stupid, but will say to my face that they think people who are religious are stupid. Well. Then how does that not mean that you think I'm stupid, folks?

Another issue is that they seem to show a lot more respect for other religions, and I KNOW that if I behaved towards other faiths the way they behave towards mine, these same people would jump all over me! What is that? It's not that I would ever deliberately treat anyone the way I get talked to, but it still seems like total bull malarky hypocrisy. Why is my faith somehow more deserving of this? No faith is deserving of this. It's total nonsense, people. Everyone's faith should be respected. Even mine. And even people who don't have one. If you are an atheist, I might disagree with you, but I don't think you're stupid. I don't get that. And frankly, this so totally goes beyond the issue of faith.

I have the good fortune to be friends with some very smart people, and they tend to get caught up in the idea that because they are SO smart that their ideas are the ones that are right and therefore, they are totally justified in challenging everyone else. And even if they have good intentions, they have a tendency to come across as ....belligerent, shall we say? And for the person put on the defense, this is so beyond a no win situation, because it's not about convincing them to your side, it's not even about them trying to sway you to their side, it's basically just about you being forced to defend yourself.

Anyway, respect each other and even if you don't agree, be respectful of other people's beliefs. And maybe then I won't be so cranky!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Actually, today turned out to be an excellent day and I got a mad deal  ($150 smackers!) on a KitchenAid stand mixer, which is basically the best thing that could happen short of the man of my dreams showing up on my porch to propose. For the record, if that was to happen, I would have preferred the mixer to a ring. And everyone was civil to everyone! There was one lady ahead of me in line who was doing a lot of the sighing and eye rolling to which I saw, clearly, I am dealing with an amateur here because I spend that much time in line on a Monday  night trying to buy milk.

But today what's making me cranky is the "best of" 2010 book list by the New York Times. The fiction list sounds SO boring. It's all coming of age and family drama and...you know what's interesting to me? Other than Jonathan Franzen, they aren't books people seem to be talking about. I'm really tired of being told that the best books are ones that sound like I'm supposed read them, rather than ones that sound actually interesting. Best of what? Not the bestsellers, I assume. Best of books that reference family drama and "coming of age"? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Also, people, 3-D movies. Sure, it's got some cool effects, but is that really necessary? The glasses are heavy, and uncomfortable, and not so hot over the glasses you're already wearing when you are nearsighted as crap. MEH!

But on a non-cranky note, Tangled was totally cute. Some of the best music Disney has had in a movie in a while.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

What am I cranky about today? Very little. Maybe an excess of sweets has given me a headache.

But that's small potatoes compared to the many things I have going for me, which includes this blog. I've really enjoyed doing this project this month, and I want to try and keep it up next month. Trying to decide whether I'm going to keep this blog cranky or try a different theme.

So Happy Thanksgiving, count your blessings. Be cranky about the fact that the whole day was spent gearing up for Christmas shopping, and know that  tomorrow...I'll be cranky about the fact that I totally got suckered into Black Friday shopping. Lowe's is having a helluva sale, and I've got some hard to shop for men on my list.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And also too....

I hate vacuuming, and I believe that carpet should be banned - BANNED I tell you! it looks so...bleh. blah. meh!

Also my team is kind of sicking it up tonight, and what the crap is that about, let's go, Wildcats!

Also, my elbows are already getting dry. It's gonna be a long dang winter if this is already happening. To say nothing of the hangnails I am getting. Ridiculous. The scaly patch between my eyes better not come back, that's all I have to say.

And also, apples don't work so fancy in bread. too wet. Darn it!

Also, sorting socks. That's another thing that makes me cranky. Like I kind of just want to get rid of all my socks and by new ones that are all the same so I don't have to match them anymore.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hey, not to be all Seinfeld about it, but what IS the deal with phonics? do they still teach that in school? And isn't it weird that they don't spell phonics phonetically?

So, people who don't read confuse me AND make me cranky. "I don't like books." What is that? That's like saying "I don't like music" or "I don't like movies." What? How can you just not like books? There are so many different kinds of books! You just...don't like them all? You have no interest? What is that? I wish someone would explain it to me, because it makes no sense.

 How many books are there in the world? How can you read one or two in high school and then just assume there is nothing out there you would like to read? That makes no sense. The Scarlet Letter sucked, people. Don't write off literature at large because Hawthorne had issues, ok? Moby Dick is like an extra 200 pages long because Melville felt compelled to write extensively about rope tying, and teenagers who needed to slam the door and yell "you don't understand me" are probably the only people who really loved Catcher in the Rye.  So step away from your high school reading list and read something awesome, read something trashy, read something that sounds like V.C. Andrews had a baby with Stephanie Meyers (they could call it ReDawnsme), but for the love of Pete, read! Go to the library, ask for a recommendation. They actually teach us to do this in library school. It's called Reader's Advisory. We have mad book skills! Get help, get a library card, get a book, get a clue.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Here is a question about being cranky: why do people keep doing the same stupid crap over and over. It makes it hard to blog about NEW CRANKINESS. When I am once again overtaken by the morons that absolutely insist on blocking the road so they can finish their conversation. They make me want to repeat myself and it hasn't even been a month yet.

So here is a new level of crankiness: I hate when people walk up to the copier, read the sign that says it's ten cents a copy, and then come and ask me to make copies for them and when I ask them for their money just smile sheepishly and shrug. Guess I'll be keeping these copies then! I know you know better!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Since I blogged twice yesterday, today's will be brief.

The thing that is making me most cranky today is my own lack of skill. There are things that I want to do that can't achieve and things that I am doing that I can't complete in the way I want to. I know the only way to improve is to keep working, but it feels so frustrating to work hard on something and not be totally satisfied with the end product.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The real beauty is between the covers.

I know I just posted but the cranky is burning within!

BOOKS ARE NOT DECORATIONS. Books ARE beautiful. And they smell good. The design of old books, the soft leather covers on some, the colorful boards of others are undoubtedly decorative. I have shelves and shelves full of the books and I consider them gorgeous.

That said. Books are for reading. If you are one of those people who sells, or heaven forbid, BUYS books by the foot, I would like to punch you. I just saw a listing on etsy for a "Dicken's book stack" that they described as "shabby chic" which is stupid in almost too many ways to count.

To choose a used book, I might choose the prettiest cover. This is true. But I would not buy a stack of Dicken's books because they are pretty unless they were also books I wanted to read. There are millions and millions of books in the world. Who has time to decorate with books they don't care to read? Who wants to keep a stack of books tied together with ribbon? WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?

I own a truly lovely copy of Hiawatha. It's smalller than average, just about the size of my palm. It's fat and colorful and altogether charming. I do not have it on display, and the only time other people have seen it is when I have taken it somewhere to read because it is the perfect size to fit into my bag.

Buy books to read them. But buying them to fill a space? You'd be better off to have left the shelves as empty as your head apparently is.

A is for Apple, R is for Respect

Children's lit! I love it. As previously noted, I went to the new Harry Potter movie last night, and while, in my opinion, all of the movies have been well-done, the books are better. Children's lit and Young adult lit make for great movies (and terrible movies, I am looking at you, all of you people who were involved in every Dr. Seuss adaptation that was not the original animated Grinch). People grow up reading and loving the same books their parents did, and the new books, like Harry Potter, come along and steal our hearts and sweep the world.

And yet. People scoff. People are dismissive. You read a YA book waiting in the doctor's office, and you get asked "why are you reading that? that's kid stuff."

Ah. Well. A good book is a good book. Children's authors create worlds the rest of us can't dream of, whether they're on Prince Edward Island or at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. We remember them for years, think of the characters as old friends. Hold on to copies to pass on to sons and daughters (and nieces and nephews).

So why oh why do they merit a sneer?

There are very few things that make me crankier than this. I'm not telling you that you have to limit yourself to "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" for the rest of your life. But these books stand the rest of time for a reason. They deserve to be read and reread with love and respect. Maybe you don't need to read Dr. Seuss on the subway, but don't  hide your Frances Hodgsen Burnett or Louisa May Alcott. Be out! Be proud! And the scoffers say "excuse me, I need to get back to my book. These characters are much more interesting than you."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turn off your phone and be quiet (and I won't hate you)

Tonight I am going to the movies. Like everyone else on the planet I am going to see the new Harry Potter. This is a good moment to talk about bad movie manners.

Turn off your phone. I don't just mean turn off the sound. I mean TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. We can see the glowing screen as you facebook and text and tweet about what you are doing and it is annoying. If you at the movies be at the movies. Short of waiting to hear about the birth or death of a loved one - it can wait. If you are tweeting about being at a movie while in the movie you are probably doing one of two things. Either posting spoilers (in which case, die) or you are repeatedly posting things like "omg this is so awesome" (in which case shut up). Turn the phone off.

And while I am telling you not to talk on your phone I would like to encourage you not to talk at all. This includes some of my friends who insist on talking to me which 1) I can't even hear them so it's pointless and 2) it's annoying to me and all the people around us. And if you aren't my friend then don't talk to your friends. Basically, whoever you are if the previews have started, shut it. (If you are one of my friends I say that with love.)

And finally. Harry Potter is a children's movie. But it is not appropriate for all ages. Please think about your kids and only take them to movies that they can hanle. And once you get them there enforce behavior standards. Your kid is cute but f they kick my seat, throw their food or scream all through the movie it doesn't matter how cute they are. I will dislike them and hate you.

Have some movie manners and no one needs to be cranky. But I probably will be anyway.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mary Mary Quite Contrary, that is a stupid argument and I want to punch you.

What is up with people who have to argue about EVERYTHING. Like. I am cranky. Crankiness is part of my essential nature. But I once had a guy argue with me about whether water had a taste. Does water from different sources taste different? THEN IT HAS A TASTE.

Today, that same guy was arguing (not with me, though I got drawn in just by walking into the room) about whether education has value. Or specifically, about whether having a degree has value. His opinion - it does not. When he had the tangible value of  say, assisting you in getting a job pointed out, he argued that that wasn't fair, and that they don't even check to see if you did well in your studies and that it's no replacement for experience. And...ok, but that doesn't mean having a degree doesn't apply. "I think it's unfair that having a degree might be more valuable than equivalent experience" is a different argument than "my degree has no practical value."

And it strikes me that these people...these contrarians who insist are on arguing about everything, are terrible at it. As much as they insist on turning everything into an argument, you'd think they'd be better at it. If you want to convince me that Macs are better than PCs, you have to explain to me how they meet MY needs better, not how they meet YOUR needs better. I'm not using a computer the way you are, so that's a bad argument. And also "because they're better and I like them better" is also a terrible argument. It is nt persuasive.

And also, these people tend to change their arguments midstream. If they can't persuade you, or if, worse yet, you manage to prove them wrong, they'll pretend that they were arguing the same point as you all along!

Sometimes! Facts are just facts. Reality is just reality. And if you want to disprove that? Practice your debate skills. because  "I am right because of this unrelated point" is  not going to make me agree with you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The itsy bitsy crankies went up the water spout, down came the rain and more cranky came out.

Some more small things to be cranky about:

People who tell terrible, racist/sexist/homophobic jokes, and then when you don't laugh, try to explain the joke. I understand the joke, it's just not funny. Explaining it doesn't make it funny.

When my milk goes bad before the expiration date. I am generally comfortable drinking a few days PAST the expiration date. Why is it going bad early? This is crap. I bet it was mislabeled or something. At any rate, it smells like cheese and tastes like puke.

The whole was Shakespeare really Shakespeare thing. How is this still a question. We know he was a guy. We know he wrote plays. So, why the question as to whether he wrote the plays attributed to him. And why the desire to attribute them to either Bacon or Marlowe? They were both famous authors in their own right, and Marlowe is still famous for his plays. If we have that much of a record for them, don't you think we'd know if they wrote these, or that some evidence would have appeared? I hate this theory. I think it's stupid and pointless.

The idea that women can't write good male characters and men can't write good female characters. Also stupid and pointless. Good writers write good characters.

Why hasn't anyone invented healthy fast food yet?  And PLEASE do not say Subway. Subway is the saddest freaking sandwiches on the planet, even if you do sometimes get a craving for them, you know the meat is just old enough to be shady and do you really trust the mayo? That crap isn't healthy. Low - calorie count is not the only requirement for health.

Ke$ha. I haven't heard any of her songs, but if she's so awful, maybe people should stop talking about her and then she wouldn't be famous anymore, maybe?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Naming names...

Well hello there. Yesterday's blog was rather confusing, wasn't it? I started it several times, didn't like what I wrote, and then got very sleepy, so it was basically the last thing I did before bed. Sorry about that.

Today's blog is much more focused, because this is something I have real opinions on. I read a lot of webcomics and I read a lot of blogs and I have noticed a tendency in these two groups to hand out attitude to the readers.

So I'm calling them out on this. Listen up. I realize that by providing your blog you are giving a service the readers. And that the same goes for those of you comic artists sharing your art on the web. We acknowledge and appreciate that service. But let me just lay a little factoid on the line for you. You need your readers. If you are making money? You need us. You need us to click on your ads, to buy your stuff, and for those of you paid by the click on your blogs, you need us to give you the page views.

Recently, over at Manolo for the Big Girl, the primary blogger, Plumcake declared that despite the fact that her readers liked the sales posts, she would no longer be doing them. Why? Because the clothes on most sites aren't nice enough for her. She then followed that up with a little snark on how low class some of the pieces were and snarked on her former co-blogger for doing "street level clothes which gave (Plumcake) room to put clothes that were actually tasteful and attractive (oh snap!)." Which attitude one can only hope is unrelated to the reasons that the former co-blogger is now...former.

I'm sure many of the readers, like myself, appreciated having the idea that our "street level" fashion was neither tasteful nor attractive. Other readers, however, commented that she should post whatever she wanted because they're not "paying for Manolo for the Big Girl." Which...is technically true, except how it's not. If no one read it, would "the Manolo" who heads the blogging network MftBG is part of keep paying Plumcake to write it?

Which brings us to webcomics. It is a technically true statement that readers are (typically) not paying for the privilege. However, readers buy your merchandise and click on your ads. So when you don't update for six weeks, and then post a belligerent note to the readers telling them to quit hassling you?

You suck.

Some (indeed, most) comic artists don't make their living off the strips, and...fair enough. you're not making your salary off your work, and that's a bummer. But if you ever want to? Try not actively insulting your readers.

And finally, not safe for work content. Questionable Content and Shortpacked tripped over this a few months back, Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell bumped into it last week. Ultimately, they have the right to post what they want, with or without warnings. But when they post NSFW content, people ARE going to get upset. In some cases, this generates a response of "Well then I guess you shouldn't be reading this comic (or blog) at work."

And...they're not wrong. You shouldn't be! But...you probably are. A good portion of the audience probably is. And if they want to brush it off with that response, ok. But...it's not very realistic, is it? People ARE going to read it at work and they ARE going to want a warning. I stopped reading the blogs for QC and Shortpacked as a result of their little brouhaha. I don't really feel like I'm missing anything, and I am sure they aren't missing me. I'm ok with that. But ultimately, if that attitude continued and carried on to the main pages? I'd stop reading those. And I'm sure I'm not alone. And they don't owe me anything, and there are plenty to take my place.

But...if youa re a blogger or a comic artist, a writer or a musician, take a moment to think about your work and your audience. You don't exist in a vacuum. Your audience may not be paying you per page view, but they do support you. The dismissive, snotty, I don't need you, if you don't like then leave attitude? It makes some of us very cranky.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It would be so cuddly....

Today I had a day off, so I was exposed to very few things that make me cranky, but I am experiencing some minor sewing related crankiness. I am in the process of making my first bathrobe ever (not the first one I've ever owned, but the first one I've ever made, yes) and let me just tell you. Problems galore. the fabric allowances were off. By almost three yards. That's a lot of yards, folks. The directions made no sense, and I had to call for backup on them. and I just put the binding on tonight only to find it is too short again, because of the incorrect fabric allowances. Now I have to decide whether to put in a patch at the bottom on both sides or whether to hem it shorter than I had originally intended. All because someone somewhere didn't bother to make sure the instructions were correct. This is a lot like assembling a piece of furniture and having parts left over. As far as you know, you did it correctly, but is it going to dump your TV on the floor when you turn your back because you couldn't figure out where the extra three screws went? Guess you'll just have to take your chances!

Is it so hard to fix these problems? COME ON, WORLD. I am experiencing a snuggly flannel delay due to poor instructions and that is just not right.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Won't you be my neighbor (instead of roadkill)?

First, if you have followed me, thanks! I don't know how to work that and can't figure out exactly how much information people would then get access to, and after the whole Google Buzz thing earlier, I don't really trust them. I should have just stayed on Livejournal, where I still don't trust them, but I know what I'm doing.

Anyway, on to the regularly scheduled cranky. As I may have mentioned previously, I work on a college campus, and there is on continual problem in this place of higher education, and that is stupid people.

I refer specifically to people so stupid they don't look both ways before they cross the street, run stop signs, pull out into traffic without looking, and complain about parking when they drove to building they could SEE from their dorm. Where there was plenty of parking.

Sadly, this stupid is not confined to the students. The dean of academics once ran out in front of me and came so close to being hit (good thing I have my brakes checked regularly!) that he patted my bumper and waved. Y'all.

Mr. Rogers taught you better. I understand that this is a small campus and you expect people to watch out for you, but if you walk out from behind a black SUV at night, wearing all dark clothes and ESPECIALLY if you aren't crossing at the designated crosswalks? Someone is going to hit you. It's going to happen. When we lay on the horn, what we are saying is "look out!" so please don't give us dirty looks. Ok, fine. What we are really saying is "how did you manage to graduate high school yo moron? Are you really so freaking stupid you don't know to look before crossing the street? Did your mama drop you on your head as a child? Get out of the dang road!"

Similarly, let me address the people who feel that once they are in the road, this is the time to meander. Pause for a conversation. Eat ice cream. Wave to people on the other side of the street. Text someone. NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE CORRECT THINGS TO THINK. There are sidewalks. Walk on them, and get out of my way before I give you a love tap with my front bumper.

Also, people who are driving down the road and stop to talk to someone who is either walking or driving in the other lane. I hate you. You are bad people, you should feel bad and you should be punished by having your cars taken away. You are officially too stupid to drive. You are the grain of sand in my oyster shell (I recently discovered I'm allergic to shellfish, by the way), but instead of a pearl, you are producing beautiful cranky posts. I would like to get out of the car and punch you in the nose, but then my car would be left in the middle of the road and that would be both stupid and inconsiderate.

People who do this in parking lots especially drive me crazy. It is a PARKING LOT! FOR THE LOVE OF BUTTERNUT SQUASH, PARK, THEN TALK! It's easy. I swear. And you'll save on gas when you don't idle in the middle of the turn in lane at Wal-Mart for 15 minutes while everyone you are blocking quietly wishes for your car to catch on fire.

And finally, on an only moderately related note. Don't drive a Hummer. They're stupid, and you're not in Desert Storm.

Smell like a man, man....

And not like you went swimming in a lake full of Aqua Velva.

Do they even still make Aqua Velva?

YES! They do. Huh. Dang I'm old.

In retrospect, this smells much worse than Aqua Velva. Must be Axe. Men, Axe is disgusting. Do not believe the commercials, women do not want you to smell like Axe, because Axe smells like tequila, rubbing alchohol and that cheap knockoff perfume all MIXED with Aqua Velva. It's not good. Quit it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oooooh. I'm going to be SO CRANKY...in the morning. When I'm not so sleepy. Hee.

However, a brief cranky moment. Today I went to a book fair and two of the major authors did not show up. No reason is given on either author's website for their absence (although one author's facebook mentions a reason that is the subject to a rant all its own). This makes me soooooooooooooo cranky. People traveled to see you. People wanted to see you. You  clearly agreed to be a featured author and were in all the advance advertising, and you can't even be bothered to so much as share an explanation? Way to be dismissive and rude.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's getting hot in here...

Maintenance! Today I am cranky about maintenance! Why is this blog coming in under the wire on the west coast? Because my smoke alarm started going off. There was no smoke, of course. There was a touch of steam from the kitchen, which was an entire floor away. It's been causing a little trouble. Every time I take a shower it goes off. Kind of a pain, but manageable until I could get around to calling maintenance. So what happened tonight? It started going off. I stopped it. It started going off. I stopped it. Aaaaaaaaand. Again and Again. So I called the after hours maintenance people. It took them over an hour to get here. And THEN when they came, they took the alarm down, declared that it needed replaced, took it away, and took ANOTHER hour for them to bring the new one. And before anyone posts comments about changing the battery...there are no batteries. My alarms are hardwired into the house.

AND! Another thing! I had taken the one closest to the kitchen down like a year ago cause it was so sensitive, and I mentioned it to the maintenance guy, and when he looked at it...the wires were GONE. Apparently, at some point, someone, probably also from maintenance came INTO MY HOUSE WITHOUT PERMISSION and INEXPLICABLY! removed the wires. They didn't fix the smoke alarm, no no. They just ripped the wires out, left a hole in the ceiling and .... that's it. I don't know how I missed it until this point. It hasn't been all that long, and it is so so so sooooooooooooooo creepy.

This is the downside of renting, people.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pile it On, Jezebels

Ah, Jezebel. I enjoy reading you. I find many of your articles interesting, educational, informative and funny. I also find them repetitive, strident, and hypocritical with all of your feel good, pro woman, anti-bodysnarking, let's pat ourselves on the back for our own progressiveness. you want to talk about how you support women and then you pick someone to pile on. It's Taylor Swift or Taylor Momsen or Gwyneth Paltrow and you post article after article about how they are overexposed or egotistical or shallow or blah blah blah. And then in the comments it's a pile on from the commenters, all falling over themselves to agree, and then you get "yes, Taylor Swift should just shut up" and "I hate Taylor Swift, her music is so shallow". or "Gwyneth Paltrow should just stop talking" and "She's so out of touch with reality." And then someone will post a .gif of either Anthony Hopkins or Heath Ledger as the Joker clapping and congratulations, you are SUPER CLEVER.

And then. Then you get one person who says "Also, I feel like Gwyneth Paltrow is too skinny" And suddenly there are 15 comments pointing the person to the "no body snarking policy" and while it's great that there is a no body snarking policy, it's hardly less anti-woman or less negative to regularly tell women that they should shut up, or that there experiences aren't valid because they are white and pretty, or to call them stupid or shallow. So you can keep patting yourself on the back, but don't delude yourself into thinking that making a policy that protects one aspect of women while allowing ever other part of them to be attacked, and then allowing your bloggers to lead the attack somehow elevates you to the most feminist group of bloggers on the web. It's completely disingenuous and the idea that you're setting some kind of standard is ridiculous.

Jezebel is hardly the only website to pull this crap. Oh No They Didn't has favorites that come and go and people who get slagged on for everything from their weight to the last movie they were in, but the primary difference is that ONTD isn't holding itself up like a beacon into the light. The internet is full of blogs who have a flavor of the week and then turn on them and find someone new to exalt. And while many of the blogs out there are total trash, (Perez Hilton and TMZ come to mind) and least they aren't pretending like taking trips down the path to social consciousness means that the stupid crap they pull is somehow negated. Get a grip. And a clue.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Forgive and Forget, Relive and Regret

So let's address the topic of forgiveness. And grudgeholding. And how sometimes you can forgive somebody while still being so totally mad at them. And by you, of course, I mean me.

The original title of this post was actually "Just because I've forgive you, doesn't mean I'm not still mad (so quit trying to hug me)." Everyone makes mistakes. I see and understand this as a fact. I myself, am terribly mistake prone. From major mistakes, like "should have checked my car's oil more often, because it started making noises and it turns out, there was no oil" to "curse my poor depth perception, I think I broke my toe." And sometimes I make mistakes regarding other people, and hurt someone's feelings (or feet) and then I have to apologize (even if I occasionally believe the real mistake is that they don't see that I am the one who is right).  And sometimes people do things that I consider mistakes and they apologize.

And so we come to a point that is both a character flaw and a PERFECTLY REASONABLE ATTITUDE. I can forgive you. I can reach down in my heart and acknowledge your apology. But that does not mean I am over whatever it is that you did (I am trying to stay generic. People I know IRL are reading this).

I appreciate your apology. And I will forgive you. But...my feelings may still be hurt. My temper may still be hot, I may be asking God for the strength to forgive you and also for the power to set you on fire with my mind. So please, give me time. Don't do something incredibly stupid and think that just because you've apologized, the issue has resolved itself. Don't think that because I've forgiven you, I've forgotten what you did to make me mad. Don't try to hug me and act like we are best friends when in reality, we're really just returning to borderline tolerance. Forgiveness is fine. One of the most valuable things we can give another person. But it doesn't wipe away the act that needed forgiveness in the first place, and depending on what happened, my relationship with you may never bounce back. And the more you act like nothing ever happened and let's hold hands and sing Kumbaya about it? Well, we're back to me trying to set things on fire with my mind.


I have a run in my stockings! In all my stockings! In every pair of pantyhose I own! I haven't worn them since last winter and apparently, last winter I totally destroyed EVERY PAIR I OWN. Today was too warm for tights. Too cold to go barelegged. I went through all my remaining pairs of hose, discarded most of them and pulled on the one pair I thought would make it through the day. I was SO, SO WRONG. Listen. I don't hate pantyhose. They make it possible to wear skirts year round. But why oh why oh why do they have to be SO POORLY MADE?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not that cranky

Today I am mostly cranky about the fact that some people in my life(people I would hug voluntarily!) are sad and there is nothing I can do to help them. Also, I am having some minor car problems. So instead of a post about something silly and cranky, I am going to skip it today. Instead, let's think about things that make us happy, like watching Sanctuary on the SyFy channel, and also the SyFy channels many terrible movies. I'm reading some excellent books, and my preordered copy of Robin McKinley's latest, Pegasus, finally came in. Let us set aside the crankiness for one night, and embrace the things that make us happy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What Can Brown do for me? Figure out my address, for starters.

Now, I am specifically cranky about UPS today. This is not to say that the USPS is better. And FedEx is only ahead of the game because hardly anyone ships with them. And what did UPS do to inspire my ire? Why, they delivered my packaged to the wrong house. My package full of my sister's rather spendy Christmas present. They left it on someone else's porch! Isn't that lovely?

This is not the first time this has happened. I frequently get packages for my neighbors. And speaking of Fed-Ex, one winter I was home sick with bronchitis, and a variety of infections in basically every part of my head, and I'm pretty sure the Fed-Ex guy stopped even trying to deliver things to my neighbors because he knew I would be home.

I understand that living in a row of townhouses can make the addresses confusing. And I understand that having small building numbers doesn't help the issue. But y'all, taking a wild guess and ditching the package at the first one you come to? IS NOT THE ANSWER. You are professional package deliverers! Figure it out! Stop someone and ask. Use your eyes and look around. But don't just ditch people's packages!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A litte bit cranky, a little bit....also cranky

A few cranky thoughts on things that are not what they pretend to be:

White Chocolate, you are not chocolate. You don't taste like chocolate. There is no cocoa in you. You are insufficiently delicious in comparison. You should find a new name. Like "white candy that tastes ok, I guess, sometimes, if you're in the mood for it."

Kleenex with Lotion, you are no Puffs Plus. I try to use you when I am sick, you do not sooth my nose, you make my nose sadder. You do not have enough of the lotions, and it makes me sad.

Country songs about how totally real and country you are. I love me some country music. And some songs about being country are awesome.

Some songs about how country you are are not awesome. That new song by the LoCash Cowboys. That's totally awful. ALSO, songs about how totally patriotic you are. Daryl Worley, I am totally looking at you. It can be done right! It can be done well. But that's probably not how you're doing it, so please, stop.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lead, Follow or Get out of my Way

Today I went fabric shopping. I am a novice sewer, and am just learning some of the most basic skills. I have made several skirts, a few aprons, and with great amounts of assistance, one fleece vest. I have decided that it is time to expand my repertoire, and with an expert assistant (my mom), I have set out to do just that. I am working on making a flannel bath robe (it's the snuggliest!), and am going to try making a pair of workout pants and a pair of dress pants. So today I visited Hancock's Fabrics and Hobby Lobby. Now, as far as it goes, these places are like crafty Nirvana. Michael's only wins me over with it's excellent bead selection. If they would suck it up and start selling fabric, they could have my heart forever. As it is, my loyalties are divided.

What none of these places has over the other, however, is decisive customers. I love a craft store. I can spend HOURS in a craft store. Next to a bookstore, they are my favorite kind of store. But once I'm in line, I know what I want. I do not get in line to have fabric cut and stand there dithering, holding up the line and watching it get longer when I try to decide just how much fabric I need. If I don't know, I hop out of line and reassess. Why? Because everyone in line may be smiling and being patient and sweet, but inside, we're hoping your fabric isn't flame retardant and that you use a lot of candles. MAKE A DECISION.

Don't wait until you're being rung up at the checkout to decide if you really need those 50% off candle holders. The person standing behind you is thinking about braining you with one. Miss Scarlet, in the (Hobby) Lobby, with the candle stick. That's your future.

Don't park your cart in the middle of the aisle while you dither over the pink ribbon versus the baby pink ribbon. Move to one side so that those of us who have a list and a clue can get in, get out and get on with our lives.

And finally, a call back to a previous post where I mention that patterns make me crazy...the one for the bathrobe? gave the wrong fabric allowance. Good times, everyone. Good times.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Not Everyone Wants to be Hugged.

World, it is time to talk about an important problem, and that is hugging. Why does everyone feel like they need to hug people nowadays? Listen. I don't know you that well. I don't need to come into close personal contact with you. It's not my thing. Quit trying to make hugs happen. I hate that. I hate the idea that I'm under some obligation to hug total strangers. I hate the idea that if I don't hug them, I'm somehow mean, or unkind. It's very nice to meet you, but how about we shake hands?

And whatever happened to hand shakes? Do people just not do that anymore? My Tupperware lady discovered I don't like hugging people I don't really know so she decided to fistbump me. I was totally confused. It was both hilarious and sad and so, so awkward. Really? A nice handshake wouldn't do it? A high five? Are we so confused by people having personal space boundaries that it turns into a last minute panic trying to find an alternative?

I hug people. People I like. People I know. People I am related to. People I have met one time? NO HUGS FOR YOU. And that bothers people. Why? Why do those people even want a hug? To enforce some imaginary level of intimacy that we haven't actually enjoyed? My personal space is valuable to me, and that means I don't want you all up in it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Mini Moment of Crankiness

The fifteen ho-diddly million side bends I did yesterday in aerobics = major pain tonight. I feel like I have a stitch in my side...from all the sitting, clearly. CURSE YOU, SIDE BENDS!

Are we still pretending thongs are comfortable?

Ok, folks. While we are on the subject of women's wear, let's talk about underpants. Men basically have three choices. Boxers, briefs, and for the adventurous, boxer briefs. Sure, I know there are man things and banana hammocks, but those are outliers. Most people dismiss them as only for the weirdest or skeeviest among us.

But ladies' underwear. Here is a partial list: Briefs. Modern Briefs. Cheekies. Bikini. Thong. Boyshorts. Hiphuggers. V -Strings. Hipster. G-String. Hi-Cut. I...I am a lady, and I don't know what some of these are. Granny panties are even on the list, so how do I know if I'm accidentally buying them. And by accidentally, I mean on purpose, because no one is going to see them, and they are totally the best. What is a V-String? And why...why...WHY are we still pretending that deliberately giving ourselves wedgies by wearing thongs is anything but uncomfortable?No one wants to see your thong peeking out of your jeans, and no one needs to know that you're so worried about panty lines that you've gone with a g-string (and just what is the difference between a G-String, a V-String and a thong, exactly?). You want to know how to avoid VPL? Wear the dreaded granny panty in a size that fits you correctly, and stop wearing your pants so tight they cut off circulation. Muffin top doesn't mean you're fat, it means your pants are too small, by the way. Just a thought.

And this isn't even addressing the issue of bras. Full coverage, half coverage, demi-cups, underwire, soft cups, padded cups, minimizers, WonderBras, push-ups, strapless, racer back...ARGH! Is it any wonder that something like 75% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? Who has time to worry about size when you can't figure out what KIND of bra to wear? And let us not forget about sports bras, the best of which are so oppressive that you can't breathe, and the worst of which are basically no different that wearing an extra tank top.

And if you're worrying about who else is going to be seeing your panties? Well, as long as they are clean, and not full of holes, does it matter? Because ladies, if the guy who are sleeping with looks at your underwear and changes his mind...he probably doesn't deserve to see it anyway (and is imaginary).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here (here being the fitting room, of course)

This weekend I am going to visit my mother and among the many other things we have planned, we are going fabric shopping. I am a novice sewer. I started with skirts, moved up to aprons, and now I have my eye on pants. Why not just buy these things, you might ask. Well, as far as skirts and aprons go, you can get way better fabric with cooler patterns when you are making your own stuff than you ever could if you were buying off the rack. As far as pants go....

Any woman can tell you that shopping for pants is like descending to the 7th circle of hell. Actually it's more like the 8th circle of hell, because by the time you've tried on five pairs of pants and none of them fit, you feel like all clothing makers are frauds and pants sizes are lies and what is the problem? I recently tried on five pairs of pants all of them from the same manufacturer and found an 18 to be too big, a 26 to be too small, and a 20 to fit right in the waist and be so big in the legs that I looked like I was wearing a diaper and you want to talk about CRANKY? THAT will make you cranky. It makes no sense. (The irony here is that they were called Right Fit pants.) If I shop in one store, I'm an entirely different size than if I shop in another store.

People chalk this up to vanity sizing. I disagree. Sure, that's an aspect of it (and a ridiculous one. Hey, if we didn't put so much emphasis on being a size two, you wouldn't have to vanity size the clothes. People be a size 12 or 14 without hating themselves. Just a thought.), but it's definitely not the be all end all. Clothing sizes are so inconsistent. Ok. You want to vanity size me? FINE! Just be consistent. Manufacturers should be held to some kind of standard size chart.

And it's not just pants, although pants are the worst. It's underwear and shirts and shoes and it's all RIDICULOUS. I now wear, in shoes, anywhere from a size 8.5 to a size 10! I understand fluctuating a half size, even a full size up. I could accept that. But where does it end? How does it go from telling the person in the shoe store "can you bring me an 8" to "bring me one of each, I have no idea what size I wear." We're making ourselves crazy. We're making people in the service industry crazy. Every time you go to buy a piece of clothing, you have to try it on, probably in three different sizes going in both directions until you find one that works. Then they have to fold and replace everything you don't buy, and sometimes I don't buy anything because I get so tired of trying on clothes that I give up. Even men's sizes don't run true anymore, and those are generally based on measurements! HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

All I ask for is pants that fit, and if I have, I'll make them myself. And talk about cranky? Wait til you find out how I feel about pattern instructions.

A brief political interlude

I had intended to make today's crankiness about yesterday's political tomfoolery.

I can't do it. Because RAND PAUL, people. I cannot address how incredibly crazy he is without losing my own mind. I will cuss and rave and froth and all for no reason, because you know what? We're stuck with him.

So instead. I will take a deep breath. Thank the people for electing Ben Chandler (d) and Jim Gray, Lexington's first opening gay mayor (it's progress!) and hope that this whole situation will finally light a fire under the democrats butts (or at least encourage them to grow a pair. seriously) and hope and pray for the best.

To those of you who voted, well done. To those of you who didn't? I strongly suggest you don't open your mouth to complain about politics of any nature for the next two years.

I'll be back later with a genuinely cranky post, folks.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thanksgiving gets the shaft

It is November 2nd, and the only remnants of Halloween are the signs for half-off a variety of pumpkin and/or fang shaped candy. Of course, Halloween was basically over on October 30th because that's when Trick or Treat was. What's that? Halloween was actually Sunday? Tell it to someone who doesn't live in the Bible Belt, and move along. Naturally, this meant that when I went to the store on Sunday, the Christmas decorations were up.

This is because Thanksgiving gets the shaft. IF stores are carrying any Thanksgiving products at all, it's normally two dish towels and a slightly smushed papier mache turkey. The spell check would like you to know that's not how you spell smushed. I would like you to know that the spell check is wrong. If you have the guts to venture all the way back the craft section of your local Super Wal-Mart (smaaaaall tooooown liiiiiiiife) you might be blessed by the discovery of one type of ribbon printed with Thanksgiving is sparkly script shoved in amongst all the generic fall stuff. But wait! I see a cornucopia! That kind of counts! You just have to dig through the vast mounds of  Christmas related tomfoolery to find it! Because Thanksgiving gets the shaft.

Some people, optimists, one might call them, like to say that this means that Thanksgiving is the last non-commercial holiday and we should embrace that time with our families as a day when the pressure to buy and give and spend! is off. Those people are not paying attention. Because Thanksgiving HAS been commercialized. In fact, Thanksgiving IS a commercial. It is one big advertisement for the day after Thanksgiving, also known as "You haven't finished your Christmas shopping? Better panic! Day" when every store in the area will put things on ridiculous mark down in the hopes of convincing you to do your shopping at 5 AM and risk being run over by someone who wants that Crock Pot just a little bit more than you do. The  last time I went shopping on Black Friday my sister and I went to Toys R Us and I stood in line while she shopped. It was an excellent strategy that allowed me to entertain myself by watching a woman climb the shelves to get to a Cabbage Patch Kid (note: I cannot believe they still sell those. My nieces still have mine from when I was a kid. They have not gotten less hideous. I mean, I loved mine, but...What was with their faces?). While she was up there, people started yelling for her to throw them down dolls. Which resulted in her hanging from the shelf yelling "who wants a black baby boy?" Kind of hilarious, but not exactly in the spirit of familial bonding, as my mom was home in bed, my sister was trying to fight her way back from the art section and security was on the loud speaker saying "we can see you ma'am, please get down" because the store was so crowded they couldn't get to her.

So no, Thanksgiving is not the last uncommercialized holiday. Those of you who still aren't buying my argument should try watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is  a treasured moment in my family and if they'd stop showing ads for Christmas shopping, you might get to see some of the balloons and floats. After the parade is over, you can argue over whether to watch football or the dog show. I argue for the dog show, because there will be plenty of time to nap AFTER the enormous meal is over. And really, football hasn't eve started at that point, it's just two hours of pregame in which you feel vaguely sorry for the Detroit Lions and wonder who the genius was who decided that they would have to play every single Thanksgiving and pregame actually the only thing more boring than actual game except maybe the postgame in which they talk about all the things that just happened that no one was actually watching because the sheer amounts of turkey, dressing and gravy has caused us to fall asleep.

Because Thanksgiving? Gets the shaft.

Monday, November 1, 2010

In which I am cranky about pictures on Etsy

I love Etsy. Now, you may think that that is a weak way for a blog about crankiness to begin it's NaBloPoMo journey, but you would be wrong, and your judginess is irritating me. There are many things that I love that make me cranky, including the SyFy channel and most if not all of my family.

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Etsy (and what rock have you been under?), it is a site that allows people to post their handmade crafts, their craft supplies (love the wool from the sheep your raised yourself, you crazy hippies) and their vintage items (vintage doesn't mean magic. Vintage doesn't even mean valuable, so dial it down on the $200 price tag for your grandma's salt and pepper shakers there, Antiques Roadshow.)

I love handcrafts, and I have purchased many things off of Etsy. I also love to window shop on the site. In order to do this, I need to look at pictures. And those pictures need to be good pictures. And by good, I don't mean "artsy" or "fartsy". Don't take the pictures with the Hipstamatic app on your iPhone. Don't take them from weird angles. Don't try to sell me a scarf by not wearing a shirt (and are you Michael Stipes? Wipe that crap off your face). The clothing sellers seem to be especially bad about it. If I am buying a skirt or dress, I need to know the length of the hem  and waist size and if it will make my butt look good. I do not need to know that it looks totally awesome when you lay draped all over a couch that probably came from Ikea or Goodwill. I appreciate that you have fabulous collar bones but that's not going to convince me to pay 78 dollars for that dress (although in fairness, nothing would convince me to pay 78 dollars for that dress). 

I want to know what I am getting. I am fairly sure I'm not going to get a skinny girl, Joan Holloway or your bra. And if all I come away with about the dress is that you look great in it? I'm not sold.