Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Un-Intelligent Design

So I read this article this morning about how piles of money are shockingly not greatly improving the lives of lottery winners. Why ever might that be? Could it be that people who pay a dollar a week for a one in a billion chance at unearned riches are not amazing money managers?

The lottery is the only system of welfare paid for exclusively by the people who can least afford it. The lottery is wrong. Your lotto ticket buying grannies are subsidizing under-funded programs that should be paid for by funded state mandate. Supporting the lotto is encouraging our government to tax the poor for social programs designed to benefit the poor (while the rich buy yachts and pinch bottoms in St. Barts.) Furthermore, allowing the poor to elect one person to be rich obviously doesn’t benefit the community and also doesn’t benefit the newly moneyed individual. Most folks who have the capacity to earn reasonable wealth are doing so and are not spending money on the lotto.

Winning the lottery is kicking Darwin in the nuts. It’s setting up a survival of the least fit situation. I can give my dog a flux capacitor, but he’ll just piss on it; it takes a Doc Brown to stick it in a DeLorean and err… popularize rock and roll. Can we please stop giving these dogs flux capacitors? Can we please leave Darwin’s nuts alone?

Another example: warning labels. You mean I shouldn’t tip a soda machine onto myself? I shouldn’t drink Drain-o? Au contraire, I say. If I have the God given American right to be an asshole, I think I should have the right to accidentally kill myself, should I be a complete idiot. Think of the babies people say. What of it? When was that last time you saw a baby trying to jiggle a Snickers out of a candy machine. When was the last time you saw a baby reading Dostoevsky? How about a Goodnight Moon? No? Well then what are the stickers for? Adults. Stupid adults. Mr. Yuck stickers are for kids. ‘Don’t jump into lion’s enclosure’ signs are for their moron parents.

Let idiots be idiots; how about instead of granting million dollar settlements to people who spill coffee on themselves, and allowing legalized gambling to fund our schools, we ask everyone (including corporations) to contribute towards better schools and hospitals. This way we don't have to give any old idiot a million dollars to put up his nose for ten years before he's back in the government cheese line, just to partially fund full day kindergarten for a year.

Baby Beluga

After my sudden realization of the finite nature of life and my wasting of said life I came to the conclusion that I need to do more. Instead of laying about the house reading this weekend, I needed to do something. It seemed to me that the hole in my life could easily be filled with polar bears. I LOVE polar bears; they’re my favorite animal which could easily tear off my arm. (Favorite animal that won’t tear of my arm: the tapir.) After only a small amount of arm twisting even my tough guy 11 year old cousin will admit that they are the “cutie-est.”

I decided to take said cousin to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma to witness cutie-est-ness in action. Neither of us had ever been, and soon we’d persuaded my aunt and uncle to join us. It was a nice winter day- by Seattle standards- crisp, grey, and cool. Bundled in mittens and hats we traveled from area to area, giving each animal its own cartoon voice. Mostly, it seems that the animals are bored, and would also like to eat us- even the tapirs.

I’d been worried that because it is winter, there might not be much to see. It turns out there is a lot to see at this time of the year. A LOT. A lot of penises to see. Everywhere we went all the animals were going at it, like uhm… animals. “Oh look red wolves…” I would say. “Oh my,” I would say shortly thereafter.

The worst (and by that I mean the worst thing I have EVER seen in my entire life) were the beluga whales. It started out innocently enough with the two whales playing with a floating hoop. They played keep-away and swiftly swam around dragging the hoop and swimming through it halfway like bloated, albino, ballerinas. Cute, happy, bloated, albino, ballerinas. It was like he was smiling. I bet he was smiling, the pervert. After a while I decided to go into the observation room below the water level and there is was. The scariest thing I’ve ever seen. A beluga whale penis. It was terrifying in ways I refuse to describe. Let me just say that if I was a lady whale I’d beach myself.

Unbelievably, my cousin didn’t even notice the 2 foot long erect whale penis. This is the same kid who at like 5 was watching Friends and turned to me and said, “What’s a condom?” I sat there for a second and then said, “I think those are for married people.” “What, so you don’t know,” he said giving me the look that said ‘you na├»ve, provincial thing.’ “Well, I’m not married yet. I think they’re for boys….” I said smugly going back to my reading.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fajita sleeves

Yesterday I was eating lunch at my desk. Happily eating a fajita in one hand and clacking away with the other. Suddenly I catch motion out of the corner of my left eye. A huge chunk of fajita was sliding down my arm. Stunned I watched it fall into my sleeve. I have little to no feeling in my left arm (due to the removal of a nerve tumor a few years back) so apparently a tiny fajita juice lake had been pooling in the elbow of my sweater.
Now if that isn’t sexy I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

You May Be Right, I May Be Crazy...

"Self-respect is the fruit of discipline."
Abraham Heschel

I've always been obsessed with this concept. It's as though I really believe that if I am disciplined and work hard, and do everything right, I can be perfect and safe. But where is this taking me?

A while ago I tried to make a list of 101 things that I wanted to accomplish in the next 1001 days; the list was infested with things like "look into further retirement preparation," "re-prioritize investments," "build additional savings," "organize recipes," "organize holiday materials," "pay off student loan." Shouldn't I have first thought, "paint pottery," "learn how to crochet," "go to France," "skydive."

"Build additional savings?" For what? Plastic bins for my Easter shit?! Furthermore, I could only come up with 16 things. How terrible is it that the majority of my goals involved alphabetization or Consumer Reports? This is what I want in my published list of personal goals, "research and purchase a dining room table?" For the love of God, I'm researching furniture. I think I am finally losing it!

And of course my journal this year lists "New Years Resolution: Lead a more disciplined life."

Can you get more disciplined than having a will at 25? I even have a Porn Buddy. A designated friend with keys to my apartment, so that in the event of my death she will remove a bag with items I would prefer my grandmother not think I possess. I have a file labeled "In the event of Quiana's death," inside it is my will, a sheet of paper with all my account numbers and companies that need to be dealt with (insurance, bank accounts, etc.), and a list of music not to be played under any circumstances at my funeral (mostly angel related music).

Shouldn't I be scrapbooking shit? Or arranging flowers, or something? Instead of making earthquake kits and lecturing my parents on the value of renter's insurance??

Is it possible to be too prepared or is being neurotic and morbid simply my idea of fun? Is it ok to enjoy preparing for the worst that life has to offer?

You tell me.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Horse Whimperer

This morning I was on the phone with Steve and I asked what his girlfriend and he had planned for the weekend. It turns out that his girlfriend has horseback riding lessons this Saturday. "Oh, riding lessons, cool. Is she learning western style or dressage?" I asked excitedly.
"Uhm... I don't know, I hate horses."
"How could you possibly hate horses?"
"Horses are vicious animals that will kill you on accident." said Steve.
"Hell Steve, I could kill you on accident."
"Well, you're not as big."
"But I bet I could still trample you to death."
"Probably not on accident."

Well, Steve I think that's the jury's job to decide.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Why should I change? He’s the one that sucks!

Today I attended a training entitled “Working with Difficult Behaviors (Including Your Own).” Yes kids, sensitivity training. Nice.
While I can’t fathom why I would like to learn to aid and abet assholes by tacitly agreeing that I don’t deserve to be treated with respect or professional behavior, I was quite curious as to what would be said about dealing with one’s own assholic attitudes. Also, the training was required.
I knew there would be trouble when I entered to find that the very very ethnic-y sounding named lady that would be leading the course was in fact one of those white people who’ve forgotten that every culture (including the various pale ones) have interesting aspects and provocative histories, thus have adopted whichever (though possibly a jumble of several) “Eastern” culture is readily available. She had a gong (hey onomatopoeia) and a Chinese printed Nehru jacket.
BONG! It begins.
Of course in the obligatory opening remarks we got down to the business of making shit up about feelings. We were told to always use “I Statements.”
Example of an “I Statement:” I feel bad when crazy-ass bitches yell at me over the phone because they failed to correctly complete and return their paperwork, despite numerous messages and emails before the deadline, which they’ve known about for literally 5 years.
Here’s an even better “I Statement:” I have a hard time taking my presenters seriously after they use the phrase “don’t let your life-fire die.” May I mention that the only thing burning inside me is the desire for Joaquin Phoenix and some Reflux Disorder symptoms.
Speaking of throwing up in my mouth…
First exercise of the day: write down the advantages to learning to more skillfully work with difficult behaviors. A good translation: how will taking it in the ass and learning to pretend that you like it improve your life at work?
Which leads me to this thought: the ENTIRE purpose of the meeting was to forcibly remove any expectation of personal or professional accountability from our peers.
Ok, I know you’ve all heard this a million times from me, but where the hell did accountability go?
Example of lack of accountability when negatively enforced:
I left my apartment a few weeks ago and as I walked to my car (parked on a quite narrow one-way street) I overheard two gentlemen talking. Gentleman #1 was saying to his friend, “I can’t believe some asshole hit my truck! They didn’t even leave a note with insurance information or anything!” Gentlemen #2, “What the hell is wrong with people these days?” I should mention that the man’s huge truck was a good 3.5-4 feet from the curb. Of course it did not occur to either gentleman that perhaps his truck got hit because it was parked in the middle of the fucking road! Why should someone stop to pay for damage that was caused to a vehicle illegally parked in the damn road? I might also mention that this road is the main access to the old folks home, tap studio, and architect studio on my street. I suppose the fact that customers, deliveries, and, oh say, emergency vehicles may need to, oh say, drive right there never occurred to this guy. While he was completely clueless as to the fact that his truck was likely hit due to his own stupidity, perhaps next time he will park closer to the curb.
Example of lack of accountability when positively enforced:
My cousin works for a very large luxury retail boutique corporation. She works the complaint line. (Her life must rock.) Anyway, one day she gets a call from some guy who parked at one of the locations and when he returned to his brand new Jaguar (HELLLLLLLOOOOOOO you just paid 50 grand for a FORD) someone has backed into it causing a rather steep garage bill and he “wants to know what VLLRBC is going to do about it?” He actually expected them to pay for damage that his car sustained from a non-employee while parked in their parking lot. Well, she tells him to go to hell, as nicely as possible. Well later this guy calls back, gets her boss on the line and VLLRBC agrees to pay for his car repairs and sends him a $150 gift card. What does this tell him? I yell, you pay.
Ah, the American Way.
Why should I positively reinforce abusive behavior, by being conciliatory and perky towards people who casually trample societal mores, office rules, and the law? Screw that, when people call me and start abusing, I have no compunction in interrupting to demand an email cc’d to both of our supervisors. Shaming people into appropriate behavior was your mama’s job, but if she couldn’t manage it I’m always happy to help.

What Would Tyler Durden Do?

Check out this website, it's my newest favorite.
Actual quote:
[Britney,] what the hell does it take for you to snap, to get angry and stun KFed in the side of the head with a cider jug and then strangle him with your rope belt. I promise you, no one is gonna care. Cops hate wiggers like dogs hate cats.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Insult + Injury

Last week I was very sternly instructed to stay home Friday and stay off my stupid foot all weekend. So I stayed home Friday; but I was in my apartment from Thursday at 6 until Saturday morning and I felt that if I sat in my apartment for even one more moment I would actually die.
Pajama clad, on crutches, in pig-tales and a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy hoodie, I began my two block pilgrimage. I made it all the way to my beloved Albertsons (which was closing it's doors for good that very day) and I gazed upon it's beautiful convenience. Sighing, I turned towards the street, and put my hands in my hoodie pouch to get my netflix returns and letter to Charles. There in front of me was a completely empty patch of dirt. Let me clarify. In highschool, there was a mailbox there; in college, also a mailbox; last Wednesday, a mailbox; Saturday, a patch of dirt. Was my mailbox stolen? Did high school kids show up and throw it the back of their truck? Were they, at that very moment, watching people's netflix and reading their birthday cards? Did the Post Office show up and just remove it because Albertsons was moving? Surely mailbox locations are not contingent to Albertsons locations.
I was standing there staring at the ground when a beautiful young fellow came jogging past. Slowing to a stop he said, "Are you ok?" I said, "Yes, but my fucking mailbox is completely gone." As opposed to partially gone. Good job Q! "Oh, well I guess you can mail it at home." Here I am in Underdog jammy pants and a hoodie, on CRUTCHES, what does he think I'm on my morning constitutional?