Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Park on this.

I started to reply to Lorna’s comment on the post below, about my outrage at the “Preferred Parking for Alternative Fuel Vehicles.” It got so long that I decided to make it into its own post. Lorna, no disrespect taken! From you? NEVER! But here’s the answer. The reasons I got so bent out of shape are many, but the gist is sorta this: Some unseen person, out there somewhere, is deciding who is ultimately deserving of better parking. The shadowy Parking Tsar, sorting out the wrongthinkers. Helping the public to judge me by my CAR! I completely understand that certain parking designations must be made.

Handicapped parking: Absolutely necessary, and often abused by truly insensitive jerks.

Parking for new mothers: OK, whatever. I'll abide by that. It's a valid thing. Even though I'm not entirely sure that the difficulties associated with being a new mommy are greater than a myriad of other concerns. Like a sudden attack of your chronic IBS compelling you to get into the store as quickly as humanly possible. Or a sore ankle. But still. OK.

But now? Parking for alternative fuel vehicles? NO.


First of all, define "alternative fuel". That could mean anything. A horse-drawn carriage is certainly one alternative, and not a very “green” one. And why give them preferred parking? What makes them better? Many alternative fuels are dirtier and/or more expensive to produce than good ol' gasoline. The jury's still WAY out on this stuff, and I will not let a group of believers in dubious, hip science take away my right to park in a free, public lot. Is my money not as good as the poser's?

And let's say I DO give in on the alternative fuels parking. What's next? What kind of pecking order will finally be arranged for me in a free, public lot? And what will be my place in this future hierarchy of hipness?

Will there be:

Parking for Alternative Fuel Vehicles with Drivers who Remembered to Bring their Own Bags

Parking for people who would LIKE to buy an alternative fuel vehicle, but cannot afford it, due to some vague social injustice.

This Space Reserved for a Local. You may not park here if you drove in from the suburbs.

Parking for Green Party activists.

Parking for Obama supporters only.

Parking for Hillary supporters only. (That’s a little further away from the store than the Obama one, naturally.)

Parking for vegans.

Preferred Parking for gay people and Muslims (We’re not JUST tolerant! We prefer you!)

And finally, way, way, way in the back, in the pouring rain, six miles from the store, where all the bird poop lands, somewhere just a little closer to the store than Evangelical Christian parking:

Parking for Kristine, because she drives a Jeep 15 miles to get here once a week, and listens to conservative talk radio on the way. Even though she DID bring her own bags, and came here specifically to purchase organic and local veggies. While you're at it, Kristine, report to the Politburo for questioning.

“Please, comrade! Look! I wear really unattractive Birkenstocks and long, flowy skirts! I buy local! I recycle! I tolerate those energy-efficient light bulbs! For crying out loud, comrade! Look at my groceries! Tofu! TOFU!”

“NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Report to The Reprogramming Office, and then the Department of Random Additional Taxation.”


Am I over dramatic? ALWAYS. Overreacting? Maybe. But these little things get to me like annoying pinpricks. So, I suppose, I’m only angry because this is one example, one very small (but annoying) example, of the slippery slope that is political correctness. I see more and more of this mindless crap every day. I watch it as it trickles down from the top, little by little, taking away our freedoms of speech and parking. And so many people are just too afraid to protest it. I’m telling you, I don’t merely dislike this direction. It scares me.

And, for the record, I actually really do like alternative fuels, and John and I are actually looking into producing our own bio-diesel as a real alternative. It's surprisingly do-able. But I won't expect to be thrown some kind of cookie for it when I do.

Also for the record: I parked there anyway. And I will again.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What's next?

I took this picture with my cell phone in a Pittsburgh parking grarage on Thursday, and I have two words. Bull and shit.


Saturday, March 01, 2008



Friday, January 18, 2008

For the love of Pete, STOP!

***This post is rated P, for profanity.***

Will people PLEASE stop using the following expressions, like, EVERYWHERE?

  1. pwn : This is entirely meaningless and I will not allow it to creep into my vocabulary.
  2. Drinking the Kool-Aid : Every single person on talk radio says this every single day. Aside from being completely hackneyed at this point, it's also a really unsavory reference. Think about it! EW!
  3. Thinking outside the box : OK, the moment these words escape your lips, I write you off as completely vacuous, with no original thought, inside or outside of the so-called, alleged BOX. Anything that follows this is all pops and buzzers to my ears. I had a boss who liked to say it. She would say, "OK, people, we need to start thinking outside of the box." What I heard was, "OK, people, I got nothin', but I do love the sound of my own voice." This phrase, and other awful buzzphrases, come about because most people just talk WAY TOO DAMNED MUCH. Having something to say is no longer a requirement for talking, I suppose. For proof, see : Barack Obama.
  4. Chillax : Oh, dear God, but this is unacceptable. I heard somebody say this at the book store today. I had to suppress my violent urges.

Will people PLEASE stop doing the following?

  1. Talking on cell phones in restaurants. Shut your pie hole. Shut it NOW. This conversation about your tee time can wait until you're done with your x-treme fajitas. Take that fuckin' bluetooth garbage off your ear and talk to your dining companions, you self-important blowhard.
  2. Letting your children run wild in a restaurant. I'd like to inform you, Uhura-Looking-Earpiece Man, that your savage, chaos-worshipping children are not even slightly entertaining to me. In fact, they are giving me x-treme indigestion.
  3. Borrowing your grandma's handicapped parking permit. Some people really do need these spaces, you know. My mom is one of them, so learn to walk, you lazy slobs.
  4. Telling me that I "have to see this movie". No, I don't. "No, but you really do! You have to see it!" No, I don't. "Seriously, you have to see this movie." No, I really, really don't.
  5. Parking in front of my mailbox. (That one is just in case any of my neighbors are reading this.)

Better now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My New Hit Record

I am completely powerless to stop myself from participating in THIS meme, thanks to MCF. I have really crappy image editing software, so, this is about as much as I could do. I've GOT to find that Photoshop disk.

1. The first article title on the Wikipedia Random Articles page is the name of your band.

2. The last four words of the very last quotation on the Random Quotations page is the title of your album.

3. Any appropriate picture in Flickr's Creative Commons licensed photos will be your album cover.

4. Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result.

I hope you enjoy Artem Grigoriev's debut album, world must roll on.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Double Mangling

OK, so, ages ago, I wrote about how I'd mangled my finger. The short story is this: I was trying to fix my pool thermometer with a butter knife (have those words ever been written in that order before?) and the knife slipped, and I cut my left index finger straight to the bone, right across the joint. It hurt. Ever afraid of doctors and hospitals, I decided to effect repairs myself. Long story short: The top of my left index finger is still completely numb and I see stars every time I bump it too hard. And not the good stars, either. Last time, I saw Carrot Top in a negligee. But it is healed, anyway.

Not one to rest on my laurels, I decided to mangle another digit just before Halloween. I was making vegetable soup and had just opened a can of delicious roasted tomatoes. I concluded that the soup needed a bit of water added to it before the tomatoes made an entrance, so I sat the can down on the counter, motivated toward the faucet, and sliced open the ring finger of my right hand on the can lid. It hurt. It was absolutely grisly. Just a few minutes later, John came home to find me trying to effect repairs myself, as before. I showed him the finger and he insisted this one was too bad to avoid the ER.

We went to the ER, I got triaged. The nurse put a band-aid on my finger, told me to be sure I held it STRAIGHT, and told us to have a seat. We waited. And waited. And then we waited some more. Finally, two and a half hours later, I got called back to a room. We waited. Then a doctor came. I showed her my finger and asked her if this little cut REALLY warranted a trip to the ER. She said it most definitely did. Because I had waited in the aptly-named waiting room for so long, my cut had actually begun to heal, so she had to rip it back open again. That was fun. Then she gave several shots of novocaine into the spaces between my knuckles. That hurt. Then she gave me eight stitches and a goody bag of splints, gloves, the scissors and tweezers used for my stitches, and several rolls of tape and gauze, and I went home at 3AM with a grim trick-or-treat bag and a frankenfinger for the holiday. They wrapped my finger HUGE, and I mean HUGE with white gauze. I went home, drank some wine to help me sleep, and mused about two things:

  1. How funny it would have been if it had been my middle finger wrapped so big (oh, how I would have relished that).
  2. How long I would have to wait for a minor procedure if the Federal Government took over the hospitals. (My theory is I'd still be there now.)

And so THAT is the story of my double mangling. And I still have baseball-looking scar on my right hand, and it still kinda hurts when I bump it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Easing myself back into the blogging world... It's a New Year's resolution.

Here's my review of Pittsburgh, Starring Jeff Goldblum, as posted on one the IMDB message boards (in response to "Anyone from Pittsburgh watch this yet?"):

Lifelong Pittsburgher here. I just watched this film and must say, I was extremely disappointed. Very little actual 'Burgh, and the movie itself started to feel like a collection of random kibbles and bits from a cutting room floor. By the end, I was asking my husband if it seemed to him that Jeff got all his buds to join in this production of The Music Man just for the purpose of making this film. It was weird, I tell you.

The Netflix description said that the director was "blurring the line between reality and fiction". I'm a reasonably intelligent person from sound parentage, and I couldn't figure out where the line was. It got so that TRYING to find the line was just plain tedious. I didn't care.

Finally, I like Jeff Goldblum. I do, I guess. Or whatever. The Tall Guy is one of my favorite movies, so that's something. But I REALLY did not want to hear him speak of "elevating the production" one more time. As if Ed Begley Jr. is Pittsburgh's thespian savior. Uh, please. Saving us from our congenital Begleylessness, I guess? The void that only a heapin' helpin' of Begley can fill? Yeah, thanks so much, Ed, for slumming in Pittsburgh. It means the world to us. Pittsburgh theatre is forever altered by all yinz's greatness.

But they did show Kennywood!