You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Gripe’ category.

  • My coffee cup from Dunkin’ Donuts this morning is red and green with the word Joy printed across the front. Although I do agree that coffee does give me some amount of joy in the mornings, the fact remains that it is still not Christmas yet.
  • On my commute there is a reading center called Wright to Read. This really bothers me.
  • There is an origami paper crane on my desk. I fold paper cranes when I get phone calls from telemarketers that won’t go away. I just let them talk, say “mmmm hhhhmmm,” and fold. I don’t really listen to what they are saying. Is that bad?
  • I am more nerdy than the Classical Radio Station. Sigh. So it has come to this. The other day the radio announcer said that the piece was played by flutist so-and-so, but I am pretty sure it should be flautist.
  • As I get older I am realizing more and more that I am becoming full fledge snob. But, I buy coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, and I like it, so I can’t be too far gone.  
  • Did you know the first recorded use of snob was in 1781?
  • Okay, I am stopping now.

My days have been full of unrest I tell you, WETA, the classical radio station here in DC, is having another pledge drive and my commute is fraught with John Chester telling me strange stories about his childhood and promises of the amazing adagio CD that can only be obtained with a monthly pledge of $10 for a year.

Source: via Trena on Pinterest


I really want that CD, I am almost ready to make the monthly pledge just so I can hear one of the pieces all the way through. Part of the strategy is to play portions of the CD and then encourage listeners to pledge so that the CD is theirs to listen to in its entirety. Very effective. I now spend my commute wondering if I can justify $120 for one CD. Of course its more than just the CD, it is also supporting the station, but I wish they would just sell the CD. I would totally pay $25 for it, and I bet a lot of other listeners would too.

Anyway, I am clearly a victim of first world problems.

I have developed a new pet peeve since starting to train for a 5k. (I am on week five and doing great, thanks! I can now run for a good portion of 5k, but there are still five more weeks in the program.) I like to take my routine to the GW Parkway where I can be distracted by the scenery while I count off the minutes till cool down. However, cyclists love the GW too.

I like cyclists, they are great people. But, they have this really annoying habit of yelling “on your left!” when they are coming up behind you and they are going to pass by. Why is it annoying? Well, let me tell you.

1) Of course cyclists are going to pass on the left, unless they are going to go off roading on the right in their fancy-smancy racing bike. Besides, this isn’t England. Americans always pass on the left, you don’t have to remind me. Finally, this is DC we have unwritten rules about leaving the left side of the escalator free so people can pass while slow pokes stand on the right. I am well aware that there is fast moving traffic to the left.

2) I am not deaf, I can hear you coming a mile off. Sound travels pretty quickly my friend, and despite your wickedly cool racing jersey, you are not going faster than the speed of sound. And if I don’t hear you, yelling at me when you are right behind me is a really bad idea. It scares me and I almost always jump, usually to the left because that is the last word I hear.

3) All the joggers, runners, walkers always stay on the right side of the path so you can pass us-its your job to look out for us, not the other way around. Esp. since you can actually see us and we can’t see you since you are behind us.

Now peeves are just that, peeves. Most of the time they are irrational. However, I suggest you try to go running on the GW between the hours of 5 and 7 and see how you feel about cyclists yelling ‘on your left!” every few seconds. It gets to you.

So what do I suggest? That cyclists use their bells. It’s not startling. It sounds nice. The sound carries farther, so I know you are back there a long way off.

I think a new commandment ought to be created: Thou shalt not murmur against the snow day, but cherish it for it is a free gift from the heavens. Yesterday flurries moved over the area, and a county to the west decided to close the schools in anticipation of potential snowfall. The showers were scheduled to start just before rush hour, and no one wants the kind of mess that happened last year during rush hour. But apparently some grown-ups-of-the-Captain-Hook-variety are rather upset about the isolated snow day to the west. Really? It’s a snow day! So what if it was only in anticipation! Enjoy it! Sleep in! Make hot chocolate, watch movies. Be safe. Take a day off work and live life for one day. It’s not going to kill you. And your kids aren’t going to kill you either—true story.

Said grown-ups-of-the-Captain-Hook-variety argued that the only reasons these schools took a snow day was because they haven’t had a chance to use one yet and they didn’t want to deal with the commute. And today they are gloating over the fact that there was no snow. “I bet they feel really foolish now!” They crow. Really? That’s all you’ve got? Wouldn’t you take a snow day if you had a reason to? Do you enjoy being stuck in a few hours of traffic, day, after day, after day? If you have scheduled a year to include a certain amount of snow days, why not use them? If you can avoid wasted time on the interstate, why not?

Snow days are magical. Our society has forgotten that we work to live, not live to work. If a snow day makes you turn pirate, you have serious issues. James Barrie said, “It is not real work unless you would rather be doing something else.” If you would prefer to be at work, then you are not living life properly, in my opinion. (Please don’t misinterpret me, I do feel that you should enjoy your work, but I also feel that you should recognize that there is a difference between work and leisure, and that leisure in moderation is something to be appreciated, not scorned.) Make the work more real and enjoy the snow, whether it be tangible or not.

That is all: I am stepping off the soapbox now.

Getting ready for hurricane, I can’t help thinking about a picture book my mom used to read to us as children called A Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey. I think this is one of those books that every family should have in their library.

The family in the story prepares for a hurricane during their summer vacation in Main. All the old fishermen say, “It’s a come’n.” And “She’s gonna blow.”

My own house already looks like a hurricane hit it because my landlord thought yesterday would be a good day to trim all the trees and leave the branches strewn all over the yard. And I do mean all over the yard. I am a little annoyed because its going to make one wet mess once it starts raining and blowing, and given his track record, I am going to be the one to clean it up. I come from a long line of if-you-make-a-mess-you-clean-it-up people, and seeing a mess this size without any attempt to tidy it up makes my blood boil. He at least could have attempted some sort of pile. Granted, I won’t have branches flying through my windows. . . so I thank him for that.

So to all you on the East Coast waiting or in the storm, good luck! Be safe and play lots of Pachisi.

This article is a good reminder of how insensitive the world can be towards the unborn; the designer Kenneth Cole brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “treated like a handbag.”

On that note, children are not accessories, their sole existence is not to make the parent/owner/bearer look good. (I run into this a lot working with schools, parents today expect their child to be perfect and do not allow for the harsh reality that not everyone has a gift for quantitative physics at the age of nine. But the shocking truth is, they don’t want the child to be good at quantitative physics because the child loves math and has a talent for it, but because they want a trophy child.)

Actually, it seems that Kenneth Cole makes an unborn child have even less status than a handbag. At least a handbag, when its owner chooses not to use it, gets dusted and put on a shelf, or given away to Goodwill to someone who wants it and would be happy to carry a pleather bag manufactured in Chinese sweatshop (sorry Kenneth, I call them as I see them, in my book you’ve always had a reputation for making cheap products despite your exorbitant prices).  Unborn children are just ripped to shreds and tossed in a bio-hazard container. How sick and twisted.

I acquired a new book bag/tote/grocery bag/metro bag. Anyway, its from a vintage book cover from The Great Gatsby! How cool is that? I like The Great Gatsby, what I hate is that everyone else likes it too. That sounds so snobby, but I feel like it is one of those books that actors and actresses like to say, “Oh, yes, The Great Gatsby is my favorite book of all time.” Now if they had said Tender is the Night, or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (both also by Fitzgerald), I would have had more respect. Or even if they indicated that they knew who wrote The Great Gatsby, or that they had read other things by Fitzgerald and they still preferred The Great Gatsby. But I end up thinking to myself, couldn’t you come up with a favorite book that is a little more original? Does your favorite book have to be the same as everyone in Hollywood? For a while there everyone was saying that they liked James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Sorry for the gripe. Here is my bag. I like it. Did you know that this is the original cover art for this book? It is by Francis Cugat and the title of the painting is Celestial Eyes. Here is more on the cover.  Apparently Hemingway also commented on the cover saying:  “Scott told me not to be put off by it, that it had to do with a billboard along a highway in Long Island that was important in the story. He said he had liked the jacket and now he didn’t like it.”

“Good morning!” I cheerfully said to the neighbor as I tripped out the door this morning.

“You know they won’t pick that junk up unless you call them.” My neighbor hollered at me as I walked out the door to work. The hollering wasn’t necessary, I was about ten feet away. But then, I’ve noticed she yells at everyone, even her dogs. Maybe she is going deaf. . . quiet possible.

A week ago I had spent the better part to two hours hauling refuse left behind by inconsiderate repairmen and painters to the curb for pick-up. It had been hot, buggy, dirty work. I was attacked by ants at one point. My landlord isn’t the most thoughtful person and didn’t provide me with contact information for the workmen, I couldn’t call and complain to the foreman that his workers had left behind a mess that I had to clean up. I broke two nails despite wearing gloves and I got a huge bruise on my leg and a scratch on my elbow. And I had done it to make the yard look nicer and to please the neighbors.

“Oh, really.” I said,  “I was told by another neighbor to put things on the curb and the county would pick it up once a month, I’ve done it before. I don’t know which day it is, but I thought I would get it to the curb to be ready.”

“Well, they don’t.”

“Really, that’s funny, last time I tried it, it worked!”

“How long has that been sitting there?”

“Um, less than a week.”

“Ah, see, you have to call someone.”

“Um, but it comes once a month.” I said with a puzzled expression on my face.

So I switched to diplomatic mode, she was being difficult and I had a bus to catch: she brought it on herself. Diplomatic mode involves my voice getting a little softer and innocent, my eyes a little larger, I start talking with the hands, and I stand taller, and I put emphasis on certain words. “Do you really think you have to call? Perhaps the other neighbor was mistaken. But I can’t call, no one has ever given me any information to call. I’ve tried looking for a web-site, but I couldn’t find any specific information, I don’t think the site has been recently updated. Perhaps you have some information? What? You have that information? What a coincidence! How lovely. Well, perhaps you could give it to me, yes that would be nice, wouldn’t it. You can put it in the mailbox. Okay. Thank you so much! I really must be going now, I don’t want to miss my bus, have good morning!”

I had to hold my arm tight by my side to keep from doing the princess wave, that would have been overkill. Diplomatic mode usually leaves people stunned, they aren’t sure what to do because they were hoping you would blow up at them, and then they find themselves promising to give out valuable-top-secret-information, like trash numbers.

As I walked away I wondered if she knew about the stoned/drunk bum I found on sprawled on her lawn one night. He was screaming profanities on the top of his lungs at 10:00 p.m. And she didn’t do anything about it even though I know she was home and her dog wouldn’t stop barking. I called the police. At least my curb junk isn’t threatening her safety for what I can tell.

Then I looked down the street, other neighbors had hauled their huge piles of tree branches and lawn clippings, and random 2x4s to the curb. I sighed. At least I got a contact number for the county trash out of the incident.

I personally hate PowerPoint presentations. They are so dull and so pointless: if someone has gone through the process of putting all the information onto paper, why not hand me the paper and let me read it? Instead, people insist on reading what is presented before you. The presenter points at a slide  and then reads for you: “the next step is creating a strategic plan.” Thanks, I could have read that off the slide myself. You must have forgotten that I know how to read.

Another reason I hate PowerPoints is because the pictures and graphics are usually boring and horrific. Where do they find these stock photos? In my mind these words are going through my head: Are her bangs feathered? Where did you find someone with feathered bangs? Was this picture even digital? Did you scan something you found in a buried file?  Why is there a picture of a man holding a tape recorder, couldn’t he just use his phone? Seriously, why do the words have to spin around like that? Can’t they just appear when you move to the next slide?

So, the point of this whole gripe is. . . I was very happy to hear that Switzerland is going to outlaw PowerPoint. Well, I think I exaggerate a little, I am sure they are not going to storm into office buildings and check cars at the boarder for PowerPoint. Read all about it here! 

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