badstar: (ten of wands)
So the county fair thing didn't work out so well...I made it three out of five days. It was utter hell and on the fourth day, I decided not to go because I had almost no sleep the night before and it was Saturday. The way it went the previous three days on full sleep, I barely made it through and on no sleep, and knowing that it would be far more busy on a Saturday, I was either going to have a massive panic attack or haul off and rail someone in the first hour- both of which very nearly happened the day before. Not wanting to deal with a massive panic attack or assault charges (seriously, it was a matter of "when", not "if") I decided to forgo the last two days. I still made some money, I just can't put this on a resume.

How bad was it? Okay, I don't feel like going into all the details (maybe later, maybe not) butput it this way: I would rather do three months of black friday in retail...or a year's worth of tech support where Apple launched a new version of it's OS every day than another week of this.

I've had three interviews for jobs this week (woohoo) and I think that makes it six since I've gotten here- not counting the "interview" at Kelly Services which is absolutely useless. I call from time to time to check with them and it goes something like this:

Me: Hi, I was just calling to check and see if you have any positions available for which I'm qualified?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support work."

Me: "Okay, what about anyhting else that I might be able to do?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support positions."

Me: "Customer service? Data entry? I know technical support was the last thing I did but I am willing and able to do other things. Can I come in and take some of your assessments for Microsoft Office and other such software?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support work. Sorry. You can try calling back some other time if you want." *click*

(either that, or they tell me everyone's in a meeting and someone will call me back in an hour or so and I never hear from them.)

Then there's Office Team. They list jobs on some of the big sites like Career Builder, and they also have them on their own website. I call to ask about something that I found on Careerbuilder and get told that they hired for that position a week ago and that their web site is the most up to date source of information. But they don't get a lot of technical support work, so they might not be of much help to me. They get customer service work, but I've never done that so I wouldn't qualify for most positions.

I had to sit there and explain to the woman that I have done customer service work at my previous employer- it's there on my resume. And technical support IS customer service work. you know, someone calls up with a problem or a question and you help them with it. (What I didn't say was "Lady, listen, do you realize that tech support is just your basic customer service phone jockeying with about eleventy-eight times the headache?")

She says "Oh...okay, well I guess we can consider you for other call center positions then.

Yesterday I was looking over their job listings for the area. I didn't have a lot of luck finding anyhting until I just started clicking all the keywords to see what there was to see. I found three customer service jobs listed under "secretary-junior" I called in to ask about them and got a call back a few hours later...and am told that these jobs are all telemarketing positions (sadly, at this point, I would be willing to take a telemarketing job until I could find something else) but...they all want someone with immediate recent telemarketing experience. Which I don't have.

I point out that it's really difficult to tell what anything is supposed to be when a job titled "customer service" only shows up under the "secretary-junior" keyword and turns out to be a telemarketing position. The job descriptions mentioned nothing about telemarketing- in fact they specifically mentioned fielding inbound calls. I was told that this was because sometimes the employer changes their mind about what they want the position to be after the posting has already been made. It's your stupid website, you're telling me you can't be bothered to update it so people know what they're looking at?

*sigh*

On an amusing note, I was looking at the phone book this morning and saw that the local Yellow Pages have a heading for, of all things, yurts. There's a company in a nearby town that uh- sells? builds? yurts. This made both myself and Gavin happy. (Not that we particularly want a yurt. It just amused us.)
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To start off, let me be clear: I generally loathe politicians on an equal opportunity basis. Okay, maybe there's a slightly more special place of loathing in my heart for the Constitution Party, those folks are kinda scary. But otherwise, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian...whatever. I tend to be especially annoyed by party-line voters, be they constituents voting for candidates or politicians voting on...well, whatever they're voting on. Because party-line voting is pretty much synonymous with "I can't think for myself and don't really care about the people I represent" if you ask me. (Note: Just because one agrees with the party doesn't automatically make it party-line in my mind. Fine, blurry lines and all that.)

But right now, I have a general hatred towards Republicans. Read on.

That said...

So, as you might know, before we moved to Oregon, I talked to several people in Maryland's unemployment to verify that if I were to move, I would have continued eligibility, that leaving the state wasn't going to hurt me and all that. No, I was told. I would have continued eligibility. I just had to keep complying with the rules- you know, look for a job, file every two weeks, all that nonsense. And I was told not only that, but I was already approved to have unemployment eligibility through at least sometime in February- longer, if any more extensions were put into effect, but no less than that. Three different people told me this. Each time I asked, very carefully, if there was anyhting else I needed to take into account, was there anyhtign else that could affect or interrupt my unemployment eligibility?

I was told no, absolutely not. I would just need to remember that when I got notice of one tier of my extended unemployment ending, that I would need to call in and talk to them, whereupon they would hit a button in the system, and I would roll over to the next tier. Nothing else? Nope, that's it, good luck to you.

Except, they were wrong. You see, what all these fine people FAILED TO TELL ME was that my continued eligibility was dependent on congress periodically voting to renew the extension. Now, I saw a number of notices about this on the Maryland unemployment website, but until the most recent one, those things have been VERY misleadingly worded- there was nothing in any of the notices to make me think that they applied to anyone who has already even approved for the extended unemployment. What's there now is only slightly better- it's only obvious that it applies to you if it's already happened to you.

So anyway...I went to pick up my unemployment payment last week...and it wasn't there. I called Maryland, and found out that it was suspended because congress hadn't voted to extend it yet, but if they do, it will be released shortly. Did I mention that I never got a letter saying "Oh, by the way, they haven't renewed the bill so you're going to lose your benefits in a couple of weeks".

Was that too fucking much to ask? Well, I did get a letter- later the day that I found out that it was gone.

Long story short, we've got a bit of money saved so far. We ended up going and applying for food stamps. Gavin's disability overs our rent, so we didn't have a whole lot to worry about- but still, we had to worry about it.

Thankfully, it was passed earlier this week to renew the bill. I might not get my money for filed weeks until sometime next week, but hey, at least I'm going to get it.

Which brings me to the subject of my rant. See...I've been reading news articles about this now that I have the internet again, and I've seen clips of stuff in the news. The bill passed by what...one vote? Two? Because every single member of the Republican party, except for two voted against it.

Some of them have been in the news whining that they're being portrayed as heartless meanies and they don't understand why people are so upset. They only opposed the bill because they disagreed with the source of the unemployment funds.

Is that all it is now? Well gee whiz sparky, why in the fuck didn't you try to introduce your own bill suggesting that? Why don't you publicly denounce some of the shit your colleagues are saying?

Or are you completely clueless to the other members of your party who have been shown on the news saying things like...


Several Republicans have suggested that extending the benefits would give workers less cause to seek jobs. "Continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said earlier this spring.

(From here: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/taxes/democrats-unemployment-benefits/19561761/)

Some additional gems:

During a door-to-door tour of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County businesses today, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but that many people are purposely remaining unemployed, in order to collect benefits. He says he’s heard this from business owners across Pennsylvania. “One of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’’ He said. “They’re literally telling him, ‘I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.’ That’s becoming a problem.” Found here, complete with sound recording

And from Rand Paul (R-KY) "As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen." Here, again with recording.

And then there's Last Friday, Bauer told an audience in South Carolina that his grandmother told him "as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed."

He compared this to receiving assistance from the government, which he said is "facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
from Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina. He's since made some vague gestures that are supposed to look like an apology, I guess. It seems, Andre that people who are poor or unemployed really don't like being compared to animals who don't know any better. Shocker, that, eh? But you know, what should a rich asshole like you have to be surprised about when your comments aren't met favorably?

A clip from his apology is almost as good: "I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before...tying people to animals: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"

The fuck????? Sir, I hope you have no pets. Because if you do, and you can't reach the logical conclusion of getting someone to come and feed your cat, or boarding it at a kennel when you're going to be away, you should be immediately charged with endangering animals. Oh, and by the way, unemployment- it's like a pet-sitter. When you're out of work, unemployment feeds you while you look for work. See what I did there? I'd brag about out-clevering a politician, but that's not much to brag about.

In June, Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle said that "what has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job." She added: "They keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does."

Also from the same site:

Back in May, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that Congress needs to think twice about continuing unemployment benefits "because you're out of the recession, you're starting to see growth and you're clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it's important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you've got to acknowledge that we're not Europe." (Found here)

And from Tom DeLay: DeLay praised Bunning, and added that "there's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out."

Crowley pointed out that saying "people are unemployed because they want to be" is a "hard sell."

DeLay responded: "Well, it is the truth."
(Here, with video)

You know, it must be so nice to be so easily able to pass judgment on people's economic situation when you've never been there yourself. I know that not all American politicians are particularly rich, and some even come from a working class background but I also know that plenty of them have never had to work or wonder where their next meal, or next week's meals were going to come from.

I know that there are some people who take advantage of the system, but you know, things can be done about that. You can, say, require people to keep records of their job hunt in order to maintain benefits and verify them- to a certain extent anyway, employers only keep applications and resumes on file for so long, but, you know, spot-checking can go a long way to dealing with this. Requiring people to register with the states department of labor workforce development office- or whatever you call it in each state- and spend a certain amount of time in those offices, or on their website looking for suitable jobs is something else that can be done.

I'm also really pissed off about the ones who are all "You should just take a job, any job and shut up and get off unemployment!" you know, in Baltimore, I couldn't even apply for most jobs that I cam across because they didn't pay enough? Well I could have...if I wanted to live in a hole in the wall in Coppin Heights with no electricity. And I don't mean "I want more money!" I mean I wouldn't have been able to pay my rent and the few bills that Gavin and I have or buy groceries. And we don't have a car, or kids or credit cards or medical bills or any other extra expenses. Nevermind what other people may have. I can tell you that it's a different story now- Minimum wage in Oregon is higher and living expenses are lower, so there are a LOT more jobs that I can apply for- and am. Don't fucking assume that people aren't taking jobs because they just want more money.

And the crack about unemployment paying more than jobs- in a lot of cases, no, it really doesn't. How much you get is dependent on how much you've made in the last four fiscal quarters, with the highest quarter thrown out and the other three averaged out. Or something like that.

Don't you people even fucking know how this unemployment thing works? guess not.

Gawds. As Gavin has said, even if Obama does everything else wrong for the rest of his presidency, I will be continually grateful that he made the assholes in congress go back and re-vote on this.

If you think this is unfounded and I'm just a republican-hating bleeding heart liberal whatever, please find me a democrat who's had shit like this to say. Please.
badstar: (Default)
So a couple of weeks ago I came across a book on Amazon, Apollo: The Great God by Gregory Zorzos. I ordered it a bit over a week ago and have been waiting for it since, including some stupidity on the delivery by the post office.

I just opened the box roughly three minutes ago and I can already tell anyone who wants to know more: Don't bother. It's self-published. I knew that before I ordered it. It doesn't mean the book is going to be bad- I have read books by other folks (on my friends list! Hi guys!) which are self-published and have no arguments about the quality of the writing.

Apparently, this is one example of the sort of self-published book that isn't of the greatest quality.

The book is 152 pages long. The cover is nice and shiny! The first three paragraphs of the book appear on the back cover. Pages 23-149 plus page 152 are noting but images- statuary, coins, renaissance-era paintings, modern day postage stamps. Including two images and the title "Apollo Secret Symbols" at the top- but no indication of where these symbols came from or how they are known to be "secret symbols". Basically, it seems that the guy did a google image search and pasted everything he found into a document and shipped it off to press.

The type is huge- 16 or 18-point maybe? Which I have to say- if you're visually impaired and want a book with some basic information on Apollo, here's one for you. The first four pages of the book are devoted to the author telling you how awesome he is- pictures, organizations he belongs to and awards he's won. There is a detailed, numbered list of every group that thinks he's awesome. (Or that he at least pays dues to) Apparently he's written more than 500 books, dvd's, cd-roms and board games on assorted ancient subjects. Five hundred???? I want to say that's an outrageous number, but if they're all like this book, I can totally believe it.

I have yet to carefully examine what little text there is, but so far as I can see, there is nothing contained in this book that can't be found on theoi.com

Also, the writing is rather awkward and clumsy. I can't decide if it was translated into English by a babelfish engine or if he used a rather sucky translating service. I'm assuming that some sort of translating service or the such was used, as the languages in which this book is available number in the double digits.

There is no bibliography, no explanation of any of the abbreviations used. Sadly, amazon provides no information to indicate that the book would be so useless.

I think I'm going to need to post a review.

ETA: Someone posted a discussion on the Author's Amazon page stating that he plagiarized her and other author's works. Awesome. Wish I had bothered to check this out before.

I think I am going to contact Amazon to see about the possibility of a return.
badstar: (Default)
For anyone who doesn't know...

http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/

It's a very limited area, and it just launched yesterday. Only running one route currently with two more on the way (no date given yet though). There are also two free water taxi connections.

It's free to use and the buses are supposed to be quiet and put out only half of the emissions produced by other buses. I'll be checking this out as soon as I can.


Speaking of public transportation...on a less happy note, I was kicked on a bus today. On the way to an appointment, I hopped on a 22 that was full of high school kids screaming, jumping around and wrestling in the aisles. There was one empty seat and a girl was sitting with her legs and feet all over tow seats, I asked if she'd mind moving so I could sit. She did, and immediately proceeded to start turning around, jumping on her seat, and in the process kicked me. She gave a very unapologetic "my bad" and I got up and moved towards the front of the bus, but I was still close enough to hear her commenting to the girls behind her that she "doesn't understand what that bitch's problem was". The screaming, of course continued even as I turned up my ipod loud enough that if I had left it too long, I would have damaged my hearing, the screaming of these high school idiots was still far, far louder- when I've got music that loud in my ears, and can barely hear it over the screaming of passengers, something is really, seriously fucking wrong.

You fucking kicked me, you inconsiderate little brat. You appear to be at least fourteen or fifteen- well beyond old enough to know that the fucking bus isn't a jungle gym.

Maybe next time, I'll just kick back.

When I got off the bus, I asked the driver why he let this all go on. His answer? A shrug and "Doesn't bother me." When I said that one of the jumping asstards kicked me, his reply was a too-unconcerned-to-qualiy-for-apathetic "Oh. Sorry about that."

I hate people. I hate the people in this fucking city. I hate the rampant lack of any shred of consideration for anyone. I hate the fact that asking someone not to scream in your ear or getting pissed off because someone just kicked you because they couldn't be bothered to sit in their gods-damned fucking seat is enough to warrant being called bitch, racist or any number of other names because no one can take a little responsibility for themselves or be bothered to give half a second's thought to the fact that they are not the only person on the fucking bus, and the world doesn't revolve around them and have a little courtesy for other people.

And everyone else just sits back and takes it. The next person to sit down beside that girl was a rather frail-looking older lady. She got kicked too, but as far as I could see, she didn't even flinch.

Rules are posted, but never enforced. Why do they bother? I mean seriously, why don't they put the ink and paper to better use? The rules of conduct are obviously meaningless and really just for show.

This is one of those things that makes me absolutely murderous. I can't tell you how close I was to punching someone. Yet another case of it being a really good thing that I have as much self-control as I do when it comes to my temper because if I didn't....bodies would be hurt and I'd probably be in jail.
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Dear Job Recruiter,

Yes, I am looking for a job. And I was certainly happy to receive your email asking if I would be interested in an interview for a position with your company. It sounds great, really and I am, of course, in need of gainful employment.

However, I fail to understand why you would even begin to think that I may be right for the position for which you sent a description. It is located in Michigan. Perhaps you missed the fact that my Dice profile indicates that I am NOT interested in relocation. Okay, I forgive you. But there's also the fact that the description indicates that three years' experience with Cold Fusion and Apache and two years experience troubleshooting Linux and Novell servers are hard, unnegotiable "musts". Nowhere on my resumé do the words "Cold", "Fusion", "Apache", "Linux" or Novell" appear in any combination.

Even beyond that, the description indicates that you require a Master's Degree. A half-second glance just for that would tell you that I DON'T HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE AT ALL.

My only guess is that you just send your description to every new profile that you see on the site. Stop wasting my time.

No love,

Fuego
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http://www.redding.com/news/2009/dec/08/redding-womans-christmas-carol-initiative-picks/

Merry Hyatt has found allies in her quest to put an initiative on the ballot next year requiring public schools to play Christmas carols.

Hyatt, who moved to Redding four months ago, said she joined the Redding Tea Party Patriots and recruited several members to help her collect the 433,971 signatures needed by March 29.

Hyatt said she has partnered with a couple of churches in Redding and one in Wildomar in Southern California to collect signatures. All the signature pages must be turned in together to the Shasta County registrar, she said.

The initiative would require schools to provide children the opportunity to listen to or perform Christmas carols, and would subject the schools to litigation if the rule isn't followed.

Schools currently are allowed to offer Christmas music as long as it is used for academic purposes rather than devotional purposes and isn't used to promote a particular religious belief, according to an analysis by the California Legislative Analyst's Office.

"Bottom line is Christmas is about Christmas," said Erin Ryan, president of the Redding Tea Party Patriots. "That's why we have it. It's not about winter solstice or Kwanzaa. It's like, 'wow you guys, it's called Christmas for a reason.' "

Ryan said Hyatt's initiative falls under the umbrella of causes the group supports, which concern limited government, following the constitution and fiscal responsibility.

But some groups say the initiative represents quite the opposite.

"I have two words to say about Ms. Hyatt's proposal: blatantly unconstitutional," said Rob Boston, senior policy analyst for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which is based in Washington, D.C., and has a local chapter in Sacramento.

Boston said he heard about the initiative in the news, which isn't surprising considering national newspapers such as The New York Times have published articles on Hyatt's efforts.

"In the unlikely event she got enough signatures to put it on the ballot and the even more unlikely event California passed it, it would be struck down by the courts," Boston said. "The courts have been very clear that public schools aren't supposed to be in the business of promoting or advocating religion."

Boston said he thinks Hyatt's initiative represents a larger issue of religious conservatives being unhappy with the changes resulting from American society becoming more diverse.

"The frustration some religious conservatives have is they want a mythological religious America that probably never existed," he said.

Hyatt, a substitute teacher who moved to Redding from Riverside, said her motivation for the initiative was to help restore children's moral compasses by inviting Jesus to school Christmas parties.

"He's the prince of peace; he's the only one who can get these kids to stop being so violent," she said in November.

Hyatt said she believes it is Americans' First Amendment right to worship.

"It's our right to have freedom to worship," she said. "That's why we came to this country. They came to be Christians and they're trying to take that away. They're out of line; we're not."

Boston said he believes proponents of Hyatt's initiative have unrealistic expectations.

"They're looking to the public schools system or the government to provide them a religious experience at Christmas," he said. "If you want a full-throttle religious Christmas experience, it's at church ... there's no shortage of those."


If kids want to sing Christmas songs, assuming they're not disrupting normal school activity, by all means let them. But for fuck's sake, public schools are not church. I'm not terribly worried about this passing into law, but it still pisses me off that someone thinks that she has the right not only to shove her religion onto other people but that she can coerce a public institution to do the work for her.

Christmas is a specific holiday, it is called Christmas for a reason. Yes, just like they said- it is. But Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and the Winter Solstice are also called those things for a reason.

Things like this just tie me up with inability to express how stupid they are. No one's preventing anyone from celebrating Christmas, why the fuck is it such a big deal if some people want to do something different at the same time of year? And where the fuck do you get off shoving your activities down other people's throats? Just.....gah....Get the hell over it already. Go to church to sing religious songs or sing them in your own fucking home, or even in the town square if you really want to. I won't stop you. But don't try to force everyone else to do what you want to do.

AND READ THE FUCKING CONSTITUTION, PEOPLE. Keep in mind that it applies to EVERYONE, not just you and the people that agree with you.

I have a new theory: The so-called "War on Christmas" was invented by people who want to shove their stuff on everyone else as an imaginary threat against which they can "fight back". Who's with me?

Thank you to the majority of people who DON'T try to impose your winter holiday and your god and views thereof and what might prevent violence on others.

Incidentally, it's the religiously-themed Christmas songs that annoy me the least. Some of them I even like. (In small, seasonally-appropriate doses.)

Poor me...

Oct. 28th, 2009 11:24 am
badstar: (ten of wands)
Bleh. Yesterday, I woke up and went to stumble forth from the bedroom. We have light-blocking blinds and black curtains, so even at high noon our room is pretty dark- you can imagine how it might look at 645 on a rainy morning- that's right, kids- pitch black.

We've taken to using our cell phones as flashlights (hell, the external screen on my phone is bright enough to keep me from accidentally killing myself) since the light switch is on the other side of the room from the bed, we keep forgetting to pick up a lamp, oh, and it's a lot less of a shock to the poor eyes that have been light-deprived for the last eight hours.

The main downside is that the backlight on a cell phone eventually goes off. I know some of them have timer control. Sadly mine doesn't, it only last a few seconds- I really should learn and just use my ipod, which has brightness control (your retinas don't want to be hit by that thing at 100% in a dark room) and can get up to six minutes at a shot. But I digress...

So I initially had light to see by and then it went out. Before I could hit a button for more light, I started to lose my balance. I put out a hand to grab the wall, but it turned out I was a bit farther from the wall than I thought I was...I eventually got the wall, but I ended up falling and landing on the air conditioner that I had pulled out of the window the other week, one cold rainy morning in order to be able to close off the air leaks, and put down next to the bed because I was really tired and didn't feel like carrying it elsewhere. Between the crashing and my screaming, I think I scared poor [livejournal.com profile] chironcentaur half to death, and straight out of her sleep.

Unfortunately, I ended up getting scraped up pretty good- I've got all these big, puffy scratches across my lower back, as well as a few on my left calf and a bit of a knot, plus I landed on my left wrist and it's still quite sore.

Words to the wise, kids...move your air conditioners!
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Okay, all my friends in Baltimore, has this ever happened to you, or am I just a crazy magnet?

Yet again, I am a racist because I committed the crime against humanity that is asking someone not to scream into their cell phone less than a foot from my fucking ear. Am I doing something wrong? Are there some bigoted connotations to "Excuse me but could you please lower your voice, you're right next to my ear?" that I'm not aware of? If so, someone do, please, fill me in on all the details so that I can avoid being so insensitive in the future.

For serious people, I am fucking sick of getting my head bitten off when I ask someone not to scream when they're less than an arm's length from my eardrums. Why in the fucking hell is this so unreasonable??? Seriously, just lower your fucking voice a little, that's all I'm asking. I'm not talking about people being a little enthusiastic about their conversation, I'm talking full-out yelling.

But no, we can't do that in this city, we continue to make a spectacle and a headache of ourselves and accuse those who would rather not spend the day with ringing ears of hating black people. Dammit, do you really think I'd just sit there and smile if you were white???
badstar: (ten of wands)
Okay...so there's this pizza place near me- close enough to see it from my bedroom window. (No, I won't say which place it is because that would be publicizing information a bit too close to my home address. If I know you and you know whereabouts I live and want to know what place it is so you can avoid it or whatever, feel free to message me)

So this place...their pizza is really good. Their subs are good too, but their pizza is some of my favorite. And they're open late. So it's good and convenient. Oh, and pretty cheap too.

Well, in theory. See, they seem to have a problem with sticking to the advertized pricing. I swear, they try to charge me a different price every time I get a pizza- and we almost always get the same thing. Sometimes they charge full price to get a topping on half the pizza, sometimes they charge half price. Sometimes the price includes one topping, sometimes it doesn't. Doesn't seem to matter what the menu, or the signs in the window say, it all seems to be at the whim of whoever's taking the money.

Today I called up to order a pizza to pick up. I thought the price before 330 was 6.99 for a large cheese with toppings extra- that's what the sign in the window says anyway. They tell me it's 7.99...but that includes one topping. Okay, fair enough, includes one topping and the sign in the window does give the pricing for a *cheese* pizza. So I ask for a sausage pizza with half tomato and half onion. I'm expecting about ten dollars with tax.

I go to get the pizza and the person running the register- who is the same person who took my order- tries to charge me like $16 for the freakin' pizza. She breaks it down- 8.99 for the pizza, $3 each for the onions and tomatoes.

Ummm...excuse me?

1. You told me that the sausage pizza before any extra toppings was 7.99. Also, this is what your menu says, for a large pizza picked up before midnight, cheese plus one topping.

2. Your price for toppings is...well, clearly you pulled this from your ass. Because event chargign me full price for both toppings, that should be $3 total, according to your menu which says that an additional topping on a large pizza is 1.50....this is completely in addition to the fact that I'm getting those toppings on half the pizza and you can never seem to make up your mind if you're charging full or half price for a half-pizza topping.

When I call her on all this, she tells me that she'll reduce the base price of the pizza to 7.99 as if she's making some grand concession. No, bitch, you're going to charge me what you told me the price was originally, which is what is printed on your menu. And if absolutely nothing else, you are going to charge me the menu price for those toppings. She then, again as if it were such a grand concession, said that she would charge me $1 each for the toppings.

Oh my god. These people. It's insane.

Gavin- Next time I want pizza, please, please PLEASE remind me not to go there. The pizza at Michelangelo's and at the crack wings place is just as good. So we'll have to wait for delivery...I'll live. I don't want to deal with these people anymore.
badstar: (Default)
If you actually read this post (and I won't blame you at all if you don't), please, I beg of you, do not try to address my issue of figuring out the ADF stuff with respect to what's going on in my own brain, that's not what I'm writing about here, and for reasons you will see below, I am liable to knee-jerk and rip your head off. Nothing personal but people have really aggravated me today.

In reference to this post: http://community.livejournal.com/adf/143425.html

So recently, in my attempts to figure out why I'm waffling so much on ADF and the IP for the last year, it finally dawned on me how much my experience with getting my DP approved has bothered me. I know I bitched about it plenty. I know I've said it made me mad, but I don't think I've really realized just how much until now. There is another person on my friends list, who shall remain anonymous unless he chooses to identify himself, who has been having communications issues with the clergy training program and has been writing about it on occasion. I've followed these writings wit interest. And after knowing other people who have had issues in the higher study programs too, one of the big issues in my mind is that I pretty much know that it's going to be the DP over again and on a grander scale- since the DP was one big submission, but the IP is multiple segments submitted separately. It's a lot more writing, so a lot more potential for repeat performances.

Finally, last night I got it in my head to make a post to [livejournal.com profile] adf. Now...I think I did a reasonable job of being very clear that I did not expect the impossible and that I understand that this is all volunteer-based. I also think I did a decent enough job of making it perfectly clear that The issue that I was posting about was the *only* question that I could not answer for myself.

So I express concern about such points as:

Having submitted my work already approved, but when it got re-reviewed (which to my understanding was just to be a once-over to make sure that everything was okay since I was the first DP for Caryn to review), the reviewer (Whose name I don't know and after this debacle, don't expect I ever will) had questions about my work but didn't bother to ask me- who wrote it all in the first place- or Caryn- who okayed it but took it to Raven Mann who also didn't bother to ask me or Caryn, but took it to the clergy council- well, took the questions, but not the actual work being questioned.)

Once I submitted my DP for review yet again for the CTP, I was asked to do some additional work on three essays, but no specifics given, basically just "add to this kthxbye". On the first two, I guess I got lucky, they were accepted without question on re-submission. The third, however, came back to me three times. The first two times, no specifics were given and it was weeks between sending them off and hearing back, never even got a "Received your essay, will review it as soon as possible" notice. Finally, on the third try, I was told what was wanted.

Now, for running on volunteer power, you'd think people would want to be as efficient as possible right? I mean, wouldn't it make sense to have added the one additional sentence to the first request for additional work on the essay so I could get right to the point to begin with? There would be a couple of times that they wouldn't have had to reread the essay, a couple of times that they wouldn't have had to think about it, a coupe of times where they wouldn't have to email it back to me. But no, they wasted their time and mine, and at the time, because of this one essay and the crappy communication, I was ready to give up. If I wasn't accepted wen I was, that would have been it.

I don't want to go through this again. I know someone working on the CTP who would submit her work and not hear anything for months, and get no reply when she emailed asking for a status update. I know someone working on it who gets his work rejected with no explaination why when it is comparable to other work that was accepted. I don't want to be in this spot.

So I made the post linked above, and the reaction is to blast me over the volunteer issue, to lecture me about how people have their own lives and how they can only do so much. Bitch, please. I don't expect a volunteer to work miracles. I expect that if I'm doing a study program and someone has volunteered to review my work that they will at the very least acknowledge when they receive it and let me know that they will be getting to it. I expect that if something happens to delay things, that they will have the courtesy to let me know. A two-sentence email "Hey, I was going to sit down with this last night but my kid got sick, I'll need a few more days" takes roughly thirty seconds to write (at least as I type) and lets me know that they're not ignoring me. Hey, if something comes up, I understand, but where my work is concerned, I expect to be kept in the loop.

This is not unreasonable. This isn't brain surgery, people. Hell, it isn't even rocket science.

Then there were several people who asked me what it was that I wanted out of ADF anyway. This was completely beside the point. I don't need help figuring that out. I mentioned my questioning of what I'm doing to give an idea of why I was posing what I did.

Another individual...and this one really pissed me off, came back with "Oh, maybe you just had a bad personal experience" and proceeded to tell me about her own experience and how she had to wait, but hew reviewer actually bothered to COMMUNICATE with her and ASK her the questions that they had oh my god someone was doing their fucking job, even if it was a little slow. Well golly geee yee fucking ha it must be nice! Oh, and it was a learning experience for you, it made you think. Well then I guess you're just a better dedicant than me. Here, please have a fucking cookie, would you prefer snickerdoodle or chocolate fucking chip?

Another person accused me of being antagonistic. Listen, if you have a better way to describe my experience and express concern about how many other people are having similar experiences and about the possibility of going through it all again than please...do feel free to rewrite my post with sunshine and butterflies and send it to me so I can repost it to your liking. Because I can't think of a better way to say what I had to say. I was very clear that I understand that people have lives to deal with and all that. I was very clear as to what my concerns are. I was very calm and civil and I even went back and edited myself several times to make sure that I wasn't sounding like I intended to rip people up for this.

I thank the people who actually had constructive and understanding things to say, or who will when they're able to respond. It's good to know that some people are actually bothering to read what I've said and respond to that, not what they've imagined it to be in their little brains.
badstar: (i'm a genius)
For anyone who might remember the nightmare I had shopping for jeans a few weeks ago...which resulted in me leaving the store tragically empty-handed but knowing what size I needed in the bizarro world of Lane Bryant jeans because the only ones that they had available at the time in the size, cut, color and length that I wanted were bell bottoms big enough to stick an elephant's foot through...

I went back to get a pair this weekend. This time they had the right combination- six red average boot cut in several shades of blue. Grabbed a pair and decided to try them on *just to be sure*.

Big mistake. Well, in a way. They didn't fit anymore. I guess I've lost weight- they were too big, too loose in the waist and legs, they just didn't fit right.

At first, it seemed like it was both the cut and the waist size...so I went to grab another pair in a size down and different cut...big mistake. I was intercepted. ....eeegh you know what, screw it. I don't feel like typing out the whole saga. It took about half an hour to get it straightened out because every time I or Gavin would try to get another pair of jeans from the shelf, the sales lady would practically throw herself in front of us to prevent us from getting in reaching distance of the precious precious jeans. OMG, the people in this store are insane. She kept insisting that we didn't know the sizing system (Well geez, what do you expect? It's a cryptic system of numbers, colors and shapes that the FBI probably couldn't crack. But we've got it figured out. Oh yes we do. Well, I know what I need anyway. For this week at least) and she knew better. Whatever happened to giving the customer what they ask for? (Seriously, I'm not talking about unreasonable entitlement here, I'm talking about a pair of jeans that fucking fit my body. Something that the store sells.) Finally, it turned out that I needed the same cut, just a size down. These fit me like the previous ones did. Yay. I have my first pair of new blue (I've bought brown and khaki colored jeans) since roughly 2000. I'm not kidding. I should have grabbed a couple more pairs, but uhg...they're expensive.

When I realized these fit me, I pulled them off and said "Let's get them now before these are too big for me too!" And quickly looked at a couple of shirts. Finding nothing that I wanted, I went to the register, only to find the ridiculously irritating chick from the lsat time who had insisted that I needed petite jeans in the wrong cut so big that they fell off me when I took my hands off the waistband. Turns out that annoying chick was none too bright. when she asked if I wanted to sign up for the mailing list (despite all the headache, I actually did. I've been on it before, they send really good coupons that I would use) so I gave her my email address and name...spelled the name out phonetically for her, when she showed me the screen to make sure the information was correct, it didn't even remotely resemble my name, I had to spell it out a couple more times for me. Then she forgot to give me my change and almost threw it in the bag. Then she handed me my change, but no bag. Then she forget to give me my receipt and had to go back to the counter where the bags were to get it for me. It was more than a little painful.

After that, stopping at Mandala, where the little Asian girls that work there are so happy to try and show you everything in the store and "Do you like this? Do you think this is cute? Do you want to try this on?" was a picnic. Hell, they only tried to show me one or two skirts, as if they somehow knew that I had just been through shopping hell. They had a bunch of new skirts there that I really liked, I tried the first one that caught my eye, it fit me like it should. I love wrap skirts, you just thread the tie through the loop and pull til it's as tight as it needs to be and tie it. If I lost fifty percent of my body weight they'd still fit me. (I'd be dead, but I could still wear them.) No mysterious sizing cryptograms. Why can't everything be so simple and elegant as that?

For anyone else who might be tempted to suggest that I try men's jeans...I've been there done that, can't do it. They're just not comfortable for me.
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Okay, just got a callback from one of the administrators at the eye doctor, from how it sounds, she's going to take the complaint to the doctor in question and the clinical director immediately. This is good. She also said that she'd put a note in my file about allergic reactions to fluoricine in case I did ever come back to them.

She said that it was likely not the actual fluorescent component that caused the allergic reaction- apparently that usually causes a reaction that requires eye washing, and still lasts for quite a while, it doesn't go away in a short time like my reaction did, so it was likely something else in the drops that I'm allergic to, so I should keep a watch for similar reactions to other drops in the future. She also said that the allergic reaction was a bit more severe, probably because they use a higher concentration for LASIK exams than for your garden-variety doctor visit.

She also couldn't figure out why on earth he'd numbed my eyes to dilate them. They did the air puff test, not the eyeball-pokey test for glaucoma. (At LASIK plus, they numbed and dilated my eyes, but they actually did an eye-poke test. Should I ever need to have my eyes poked again, I think I will just request that it be done without numbing if at all possible. Something flat and blunt tapping at my eyeball doesn't really bother me that much, especially compared to the alternative.)
badstar: (Default)
Short story, I can't get the surgery done.

So in essence, what should have happened is that I should have walked in, they should have looked at my prescription and said "Sorry, can't do it." That's what I was told in the end.

But no, I went in, I filled out the paperwork, I went through all their screenings and testings...including a numbing and dilation- the technician who did everything told me very specifically that they determine eligibility for procedure before getting on to the dilation part.

so there was all kinds of flower speech bout how unbelievably healthy my eyes are for the severity of my vision deficiency. and then that LASIK wasn't the right procedure for me, but PRK is what I'm best suited for- it's a similar procedure, laser only yada yada and they have a few different lasers for the procedure and the doctor would come and fetch me in a minute to discuss the different laser options and which one they would actually use if I had the PRK done.

Doctor comes, doctor fetches me and sits me down and immediately informs me that they would not work on a patient with the severity of prescription that I have- my prescription is around a -12, they stop at -10.

They could do it, and would likely correct it to 20/20, the problem is that I would eventually need to have it done again due to natural deterioration (which would be included in their lifetime guarantee)...but the amount of tissue they'd need to remove from my corneas would leave them unable to do any further work in the future- and again, I would definitely eventually need it.

Well...I'm glad that the doctor was honest with me in letting me know that there was no question I'd eventually need the procedure again. And I'm glad that they weren't willing to do it now and leave me screwed in the future- no doubt there are less honest doctors who would have done it anyway.

But I am thoroughly pissed with the technician who should have took one look at my prescription and told me I was done there. I would have been disappointed, but not in the least bit surprised. But I went through all the tests, I had my eyes numbed and dilated, and was told that I would be able to have my vision corrected...and then...sorry, we won't touch you.

What did irritate me about the doctor was when she suggested that I go to another doctor (for a minute, I thought she was going to say "but this doctor will still do the procedure if you want!")...this doctor specializes in something called an implanted lens which apparently they recommend to a lot of people who can't have the laser correction.

Basically, they implant an artificial lens behind your cornea. Oh, joy. The thought was terrifying, I was sitting there, gripping the arm of the chair, stammering, and her response was "Don't worry about cost, I'm sure they also have financing!" (She was rather scarily chipper)

I managed to get out that I hadn't even got as far as thinking about cost, it was the idea of having something stuck into my eye.

"Oh, it's almost identical to cataract surgery!" she says.

"Uh, I don't know a thing about cataract surgery." So, she explains and I'm just like "Uh...I dunno, I'll have to really think about that." and I got up and left.

At this point, I'm just going to leave it right there. Implanted lens is a much newer procedure, and really not something I want to even think about let alone have done.

The other thing that happened that really pisses me off...I now know that I need to file a complaint about the doctor over at Katzen- he wasn't just an ass, he completely brushed off what was actually an allergic reaction.

So I had my eyes numbed- I have to say this is partially my fault because I missed it when the technician said that she was going to use a numbing drop until she was putting them in my eyes, and the same thing happened as before- I immediately felt like I was smacked in the head with a blunt object, and then the sinus pressure settled in, and my face got very red. and I suddenly felt like a dumbass.

This all happened the last time too- though, the red face and headache, I thought was a reaction to me being so mad at the doctor for his attitude, that it exacerbated the actual reaction. Guess not. Well apparently this time i got really pale for a minute there- she made me sit back in the chair with an ice pack on my neck for a little while, and I started to get dizzy this time- that didn't happen last time. Thankfully, the reaction passed quickly, I was okay in about ten or fifteen minutes.

So, I now know that I'm allergic to fluoricine which is particularly distinctive because it's a rather disturbing neon yellow color.

So if anyone ever has their eyes numbed and has a reaction like that...you know what it is.

But anyway, I had an allergic reaction, and the doctor told me that it was all in my head because I never would have known he had given me numbing drops if he hadn't told me- never mind that I said that something was wrong before he told me they were numbing drops. So...IF I ever go back to Katzen (they're still supposed to be one of the better ones in the city), I'm going to have to make sure that I don't see him. Dr. Williams I think was his name...

I tried to call them today, but they were closed by the time I called. So...Monday. First thing. But I wanted to try right away- I wanted them to get the brunt of my ire.

Well, at least I know now.
badstar: (Default)
My sister is an idiot.

Seriously, do you have any idea how many headaches could have been avoided?

She told me that the dress matched her kitchen wall.

It doesn't. It's pink. Freakin' pale pink. I have a shirt in the same shade. Why on earth didn't she just say this?

But anyway, The dress is ok. We went shoe shopping. I got the first pair of shoes I looked at. I'm happy that Chelle didn't really care what shoes I got because they're technically sneakers...

The dress is floor-length, so they won't be seen, and I'd wear these again. And they were on sale for less than $20. And they're comfortable.

One thing did happen yesterday when we got up here...we went to Chelle's house, and at one point, I was standing with my back to her, she suddenly screeches "Holy shit!" loud enough to wake the dead in Zimbabwe.

Somehow "You know I have a tattoo across my shoulders and down my back." translated in her mind to "I'm going to be getting a tattoo sometime after the wedding."

Um...if I was doing it after the wedding, why would I have even bothered to discuss it with her?

So my mom's all "Couldn't you have waited until after the wedding?" And my response was "Hey, we discussed it, she said she didn't care."

And Chelle's was "Werll, you can't really remove it." Though I know that she was contemplating how she might devise a way to talk me into wearing makeup to cover it up.

And I just said "Oh well, it's there. People are gonna see it." And she said "Well, it'll give them somethign to talk about."

If all people can talk about at this wedding is my tattoo, there's something wrong.

Okay, while I'm still here, before I go over to York, I'm going to run down to the Red Rose Tasting Room and grab a bottle of wine.

Oh, My, God. I will NEVER have a beagle.

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