Sunday, June 28, 2009

Starting To Get Annoyed

For whatever reason, there are a couple of commercial campaigns right now which really play up the Scottish stereotype. First there's that motor oil one with a guy with a bad Scottish accent running around smacking people with a dip-stick and calling them all "Jimmy." I've never known any Scotsman to go around calling everyone "Jimmy."

And now there's one for a candy implying that it's a contradiction for the characters to be Scottish-Korean. Is that really any stranger than being Hawai'ian/Norwegian on one side and Scot on the other?

Is there some reason that the Scots are currently the fashionable ones to make fun of?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Only Way You're 'Special' Is 'Special Ed'

Yesterday as I was leaving work I encountered a most impressive pair of idiots.

At City Hall, there are two sets of doors. One is the general entrance, the other is the emergency/staff entrance. These entrances are on opposite sides of the building. Now, it's quite understandable that people occasionally go to the emergency/staff side when they're trying to enter the building. Since they can't actually get in there, they realize pretty quick that they have to go to the other door.

Coming out, however, there are big red and white signs which say "Emergency Exit Only - Alarm Will Sound". There is another door there with a black and white sign reading "Employee Exit Only". You have to use your ID badge with the little microchip in it to get the door to actually open, so it's pretty rare that other people even try to use that door.

Well, yesterday, I encountered a couple who clearly could not understand the afore mentioned simple signs. I walked out the employee door and carefully shut it behind me. Not five steps later, I hear - over the volume of my MP3 player - a klaxon type alarm going off. I turn back and there are two people walking out of one of the emergency doors. They look at me, with these kind of confused expressions, and promptly ask "Can we come out these doors?"

I carefully explain to them that, no, those are emergency and staff exits and that the public exit is on the other side of the building. As a I finish explaining this, she says "Oh, you mean the door we came in through, right?" And all the while, I'm thinking "How the fuck did you miss the big signs about 'Emergency Exit Only' and 'Alarm Will Sound'? Even if you missed the eye-level signs, you had to have seen the red and white striped stickers on the panic bar which also reads 'Emergency Exit Only - Alarm Will Sound.'"

Seriously, these are not exactly small signs on the doors - and there's a sign on each of the doors and each of the panic bars. If you can't understand these signs, how the fuck did you make to adulthood? And please tell me you haven't procreated - there are enough stupid people as it is; we don't need you actively adding to that number - it clear you're already doing more than your share on that count.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's All A Conspiracy

They all plotted against me - I know it.

Somehow, I ended being the only planner in the department most of this afternoon. One took the whole day off, another was only in from 10 to 12, and last left about 12:30, leaving just me there to handle all the planning related calls. Considering I'm a historian and preservationist, this is not the best situation. Nevertheless, I managed fine.

Then we had a fire drill.

And that's when I knew it was a conspiracy. They knew we were going to have a fire drill and they didn't tell me!

No, I'm not paranoid, why do you ask? You're only paranoid if they're not out to get you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Voice In My Head

So, it has been decided that my author wife is rubbing off on me. Since I made that comment a few days back about smelling the stale beer coming up from the sidewalk, I've had the voice of a hard-boiled detective going around in my head. And, as if often the case with Journey when characters are talking in her head, this will keeping going on until I put it down on paper - or in this case, on screen. So here we go (and please remember, most of my writing is non-fiction or personal rants, so this kind of thing is not exactly my forte).

It was one of those mornings that just makes you wish you had never bothered getting out of bed. Or, it would have been if you had ever actually made to your bed instead of passing out on top of the desk in your office with a mostly empty glass and an even emptier bottle of whiskey right beside you. I probably wouldn't have bothered waking up at all if it weren't for that damned phone and the voice on the other end.

"The Commissioner wants you down at 1st and Jefferson. Now." Detective Michael Bennett - the asshole.

"Mrph - why? What doya need me fer? I quit the force and went freelance. 'member?"

"Look, if it were up to me, the only contact you'd have with the Department would be when we haul your sorry drunk ass out of the gutter and throw it in a cell for the night. But it's not up to me, and it's not up to you either. Just get here." Like I said, an asshole. Must be bad though; usually he takes the time to enjoy telling me just how worthless he thinks I am. If he was distracted to the point that he kept it to a single "sorry drunk" reference and only threatened me with a night in the Tank, it meant that something serious had gone down last night - real serious.

Needless to say, I wasn't in the best of moods when I walked out the door. And the weather sure as shit wasn't helping. Not even eight o'clock in the morning it was already getting hot. And on top of that, it was humid, making you're clothes cling to you as soon as you walk out the door and you're sweating before you've gone half a block. It was the kind of humid that seems to make the city itself sweat and ooze. Walking past the basement dive a couple blocks from my office, you could smell years' worth of stale beer oozing out of the concrete.


The young, rich, and trendy have always taken a certain amount of pleasure slumming - they come to those places where the hard, broke, and broken seek to hide from the rest of the world and congratulate themselves on being "real" and "average". Of course, they congratulate themselves while drinking all of whatever passes for "top shelf" in the place, all the while taking great pains to remind everyone else in the place that they're only visiting. Everyone knows that when these kids have had their fill, they'll head back to the clubs or their pricey condos in the heart of town, leaving behind the dark smoke filled corners and sullen expressions. Is really any wonder than every so often one of these yuppie spawn says or does something to get shown the door - conscious or not.

So maybe a cliched, I know, but I had to write it down just to shut up the voice in my head. And while it's quite at the moment, I'm fairly sure it'll come back at some point and I'll have go through all this again.

Friday, June 12, 2009

No Class

I'm watching the NHL awards ceremony - and a bunch of the fuckin' Red Wings' fan are fucking booing! I'm sorry your team lost (only in a very generic sense, I'm always happy when the Red Wings lose), but this was game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Get over it, and give the Pens the respect they deserve.

Congratulations Boys

And thank you, oh so much, for doing it over the Red Wings. Enjoy Lord Stanley's Cup, Pens, you've earned it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


"It is wiser, before offering you mind to anyone, to make sure you have enough to spare."

From a particularly demented web comic I read.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

No, This Is What I Hate

I walk to work everyday. We live less than a mile from my job, and walking is good exercise (I've dropped 40-50 pounds since moving here) so walking to work makes far more sense than driving. Normally, I don't mind the walk as it gives me a bit of time to listen to music and just let my mind wander.

Every so often, when I get into the office and am waiting for the crappy elevators, someone will make some comment to me about the weather and walking in. It's usually something along the lines of "Boy, it's a bit chilly out there, isn't it?" They say this when it's in the low- to mid-50s. No, see, low- to mid-50s is perfect for walking to work. I walk fast enough that the cooler temperatures are really very nice.

It's days like today that I hate walking in. It was already in the high-60s, approaching 70, and was 98% humidity when I left the house. That sucks!

Yeah, I'll admit that walking in when it's below zero and windy isn't exactly a joy either, but in some ways I prefer that to days like this. At least one the really cold days, you're bundled up and you warm up as you move. Today, the only way to make it more bearable to be outside would have been to strip down completely - unfortunately, there are those annoying "public decency" laws. Thankfully, I followed through with my promise from a couple weeks back and actually did get a hair cut, so I don't have to worry about looking like someone from a 1970s disco. Unfortunately, that's not the only problem with humidity - there's also the whole showing up to work sweaty thing.