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Married to the Office Gone Far

So imagine the following hypothetical…
Hypothetically speaking, a young associate is working late one night with a partner. The associate’s stomach growls around 6 pm sharp which coincides with the typical feeding time. Hypothetically the partner in a generous mood offers the bounty that his office affords.
Of course the associate is expecting the typical office drawer fare of chocolate, chips, perhaps some granola bars. As a result, the associate is poleaxed to discover the partner has 2 cans of soup, 2 cans of red beans and rice, at least 5 or 6 cans of tuna fish and a can of chicken breast, and last but not least ramen-like substance.
The partner proudly chortles, “I’ve got a store in here. If I ever get snowed in the office, I’ll be good for a while. So what do you want?”
The associate weakly replies, “I’ll have the beef soup.” Meanwhile the hapless adult thinks a few things that shall not be repeated in polite society. The associate breaks out of Alcatraz leaves at 7:45 pm planning to purchase a spouse and children (ASAP) so as not to end up with this same fate. It is no doubt supposed that the partner will sup either on the canned goods or polish off what was left of the office luncheon.
The associate decides to spring for an ejector seat on the partner’s next birthday.

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Six words you never want to hear

I didn’t have anything to write for today’s post, but then the following happened.
I pulled my car up to the local gas station on Saturday night. The gas attendant asked how much gas I wanted and took my card as usual. (Oh, in NJ it’s against the law to pump your own gas. It’s wonderful on freezing days let me tell you.)
I didn’t pay him any attention as he went to ring me up. I was thinking about uploading to my blog as I recall or maybe I was thinking about the time change or the new clothes I bought. Heck it may have been all three.
The attendant walk back to my car after servicing the vehicle in front of me and asked, “Did you give me this card?” He was holding a credit card, but in the dark I couldn’t see it. Six words guaranteed to put dread in anyone’s heart.
“Wh- what?” I stammered weakly.
“This is your card right. It’s, uh, Barbara?” For those of you who didn’t know, my first name is Brooke.
“What!!” I stated a little more firmly after recovering my composure. I guess the guy knew he was in or going to be in pretty big trouble. He hastily scrambled with the card looking for the name.
“Uh, Brooke?” He asked hopefully.
“Yes. That’s right.”
He began to stammer nervously, “I couldn’t remember whose card I had. The lady in front said she didn’t give me a card.” The pump clicked so he walked off to remove the nozzle.
I was left shaking my head. I always did wonder if gas attendants ever got the credit cards mixed up. But that was pure speculation on my part. I never really wanted to experience it myself. So what about the rest of you? Has any type of attendant taken your card and given you someone else’s?
Since you are here, I’ll like to remind you that the Blog Party starts on The Bluestocking Guide on March 20,2009 at midnight sharp. The party lasts a week. I’ve having 14 authors visit that week, and I believe there will be 9 book raffles, plus I will have a contest or two. Don’t forget!!!

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Asininity in C minor

This past Saturday, I attended a concert at church. It was a cello concert to be exact featuring cellist Anne Martindale Williams. If you were not aware, Anne is the Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1979. I won’t give you her biography as that’s not stranger than fiction.

The concert is open to the public. In the city of Philadelphia, many people are always on the alert for free entertainment. So there were casual passers by who decided to pop in for the concert. I did mention that this concert is in the church building right?

So anyway, I sat in the balcony as I usually do during a concert. I’m short so sitting on the ground floor means I can’t see a blessed thing. As the concert began, a college aged couple walked into the balcony. I didn’t pay them any attention. During the first half they listened quite attentively. But during the intermission, I think the guy must have been acting up, because I overheard another young man (whom I believe is a regular church attender) tell the usher about some “guy with blond hair.” But it could have been anyone, so I didn’t pay it any attention.

The second half started, and this couple changed seats. So now they were in my line of vision. Well they giggled and talked through the second half. As you can well imagine, I was a little pissed. So I began constructing a torpedo launcher out of my bulletin and prepared to launch one of the pew Bibles at their heads. I jest. I was about to go over their and teach them some “tough” love. Before I could do so, the man in front of them had had enough. Oh I forgot to mention, there are two tiers of seating in the balcony- a lower level and a set of box seats. These ignoramuses were sitting in the box. So the gentleman stood up and faced them. He was tall, really tall. He was able to put his face and arms on the edge of the box. (You can barely see my head if I were to do that; I’m 5’4”)It took the “love birds” a bit to pick up on the fact that they were being stared down. The man was nice about it. He told them to knock it off with a smile (which is not what I would have done). So he turned around and sat back down. The couple continued to giggle soundless. Then the guy, who is without a doubt the biggest jackass to walk the earth, gave the man the finger. Of course, he was too much of a coward to do it to the man’s face. They left shortly thereafter.

I could only sit there in amazement. First off who goes to a classical concert and giggles and talks their way through it? Come on, you had to know from the way that people were dressed it wasn’t a Grateful Dead concert! Second, you flipped someone off in the House of God. What are you asking to be struck by lightening? Perhaps you’d like a side of leprosy to go with that? What idiots! I really wondered at the scruples of that girl. Why on earth would anyone find a guy that is that much of a nitwit cute? It never ceases to amaze me how many people my and younger have no manners, no couth, and absolutely no sense of propriety whatsoever. Fortunately for them, they didn’t visit for church on Sunday; I may not have been able to bite my tongue.

So tell me about a time you attended a nice function only to have a jerk act out.

P.S. Asininity is the noun form of the word “asinine” which means extremely stupid or foolish.

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It was $6.99

I drive an SUV- a compact one to be sure, but nevertheless an SUV. It’s a Mazda Tribute if you must know. On one hand SUV’s make you a lot more visible on the road. But the downside is that it has some blind spots-serious blind spots. For instance when you are backing, if a relatively short person or child is behind the car, you won’t be able to see them. It’s my greatest fear that I will back over someone. So any time I go to the store or mall, I look for a pull-through parking space or I go ahead and back in the space.

Several months ago I was getting my 3,000 mile oil change at this quick lube place, and I noticed that they had this little “back up” noise thingamabob for $6.99. Basically, you stick it to one of your backing lights. The sound is light activated. So when you put the car in reverse, the backing light causes it to start beeping. Oddly enough, I didn’t buy it until a couple of weeks ago.

So I slapped that baby on the back of my car and prepared to feel all powerful. Oh! It was sweet. I gave it a test go in my driveway. I sighed in relief knowing that I wouldn’t have to fear backing over a pedestrian.

The next day, I drove to church. As I can to a stop light, I thought I heard high pitched beeping like that thingamabob on my car. I looked around, but I didn’t see anyone else out (I have to leave for church 8 am; I’m one of the Sunday school teachers in the 2 year old room). So I rolled down my window and sure enough it was beeping. It was really cold out, so I thought maybe the freezing temperatures were messing with it. So I pulled into a parking lot I was passing. The noise stopped. I got out and inspected, but no noise. So I got back on the road. It started beeping again. Later on down the road I stopped at Panera to get my usual pre-church breakfast and the noise stopped.

But when I got back in the car, I noticed something odd. The thingamabob started beeping when I drove in sunlight. Anytime I passed through shadow, it stopped. Surely not, I thought. But, it surely was. I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at the lights on the back of the car, but there is this reflective material around the bulb. So as the sun shone on my car’s derriere, it was bouncing off that reflective material and through the little hole on the thingamabob and therefore activating it. Oh I don’t think I mentioned it but I live 29 miles away from my church–due west. So in the morning my car’s backside is to the sun the whole way there. Yes, other drivers could indeed here this beeping. On the way back from church, the sun has travelled to the point that my car’s backside is still exposed to the sun. So I just beep.

It was quite embarrassing. Did I mention my job is due west of my house. It was a mess. Every time I came to a stop light, I kept pretending that I couldn’t here it. Additionally, it got confusing since it beeps when I was backing (like it should). So February 1st, I yanked it off my car. These days when I back, I just keep honking my horn. Well- it was only $6.99. I guess I really couldn’t expect more.

So what about all of you. Have any of you bought a cheap contraption that had some unforeseen issues? Let’s here it. Oh, if this post inspires you to write your own post, put the link in the comments so I can visit. Oh html doesn’t work. Just type the url, iWeb can handle longer strands without breaking.

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I’ve Been Conscripted

I’d been thinking of doing a series of just plain odd things that happen in everyday life. You know fiction has to make sense. There are all these rules and regulations about what can and can’t happen in a given story. There must be a certain amount of logic. If there isn’t than people will not read your book.

Life is a horse of a different color. There is no rhyme, reason, or logic behind some of the things that happen. You know what I’m talking about- those times when things happen, and you wonder whether or not you’re being punked! This will most likely not be a weekly thing. I will post the stories on a Wednesday, but I’ll post them as they happen. So on to the story.

No doubt you are all aware of social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace- not unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years. You know the drill. You sign up for an account, have the site email everyone you know, then friend people, change your status, add photos (that have no business being anywhere on the internet), message your friends, etc. Of course on Facebook, you have all the annoying applications that your friends keep sending you.

For good or ill, these sites are here to stay. The one redeeming quality about these sites is that they are VOLUNTARY. Even if your friend has Facebook send you an invite, it is still up to you whether you want to join. Neither application signs you up.

But there’s a new kid on the block who apparently thinks that they are so important that they have the right to not only sign you up with an account, but choose at least one friend for you. Who would dare, you ask. None other than the Leaky Cauldron.

So Harry Potter, as much as I enjoyed the series, was a fad- a lucrative one- but still a fad. Some fansites made a boat load of money by being super fans. Mugglenet and the Leaky Cauldron being two of the largest. Emerson Spartz, the webmaster of Mugglenet, was quoted in a magazine article as saying that he made six figures off his website. I’m not sure if this was per year or not. I can only imagine that Leaky Cauldron was equally lucrative. These sites may have had sponsors, but they primarily made their money through Pay Per Impression Ads. So basically, you didn’t have to click on the ad, they made a certain percentage for each page load.

Anyway, since Deathly Hallows has been published, the Harry Potter fandom has been drying up. So profits have been steadily declining on both sites. Oh the WB/JKR vs. RDR books probably gave the sites a boost, but once that was done there really isn’t much else to talk about. In an effort to stave off the inevitable, the Leaky Cauldron created MyLeaky, which is basically Harry Potter myspace. Here’s the kicker, instead of Ms. Anelli announcing it and letting people register, she in her “wisdom” hath seen fit to create accounts for the hapless fans who created accounts in years past without their permission. She’s also rigged it so that she is your friend. Oh did I mention that you can’t un-friend her. Yeah, I tried- repeatedly. The worst bit is that since she is your “friend” if you have the great misfortune to log into your site, you have to read about her daily exploits on MyLeaky. Allow me to subject you to illustrate the Purgatory delights to which I am daily treated.


“OK, mom, you just made a parchment post without my help. I am loving this.”

Melissa Anelli just added her wand to her profile. You should too!

“This is my sister, everyone. :D”

“Now everyone tell me John and Frak didn’t do something amazing work right here. LOL. I busted a gut this morning laughing. “

“How can it be cheating when there was never a rule in place.” The ones who sent it to themselves were cheating; the ones who sent out the invites legitimately were not. However, to make it fair to the 99.999999% of people who use the site, who DID NOT cheat, “everyone” was limited to their 10 invites. If it affects everyone, then the very real cheating that did go on doesn’t disadvantage anyone. If no one had cheated, we wouldn’t have had to do anything, but it’s far more unfair for one out of thousands to benefit, than for an even rule to unfortunately deduce some points from those who didn’t. In the future we’re going to have a better way of measuring referrals, and will be able to take off the limit.”

I’ll stop there. If I had her life, I’d kill myself. I’m sorry, I know that it’s mean. But I didn’t ask to be given an account; I didn’t ask to be friended. I know on Facebook you have to read about the minutae of other people’s lives, but I chose that.

I am upset. Just because I signed up to participate in a discussion forum does not me that I consent to have the forum create a glorified Myspace account in my name. What, are we in a Communist state where we are forced to do someone’s bidding? Just because a website is desperate for more traffic doesn’t give those running it the right to invade people’s privacy in this fashion.

Worse still, Ms. Anelli claims on when she announced the unveiling of this misery, that there were already 75,000 members. Of course she failed to mention that she conscripted greater than 90% of the membership. Oh did I mention that Pay Per Impression Ads generally require that you have a certain amount of web traffic? Did I mention that Harry Potter fandom is bleeding members? Yup that 75,000 looks a lot better than the 100 or so die hards who actually hang around the site.

Clearly Ms. Anelli is not familiar with the works of Aesop. There’s a fable entitled “The Butcher and His Customers.” The moral of that fable is that prevarication often amounts to lying.

So wish me luck. I’m trying to find out a way to delete this unwanted account. I will let you know if and when I succeed.

So what about you? Has anyone signed you up for an unwanted social networking account?