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A while back, I killed the Wild Hunt blog from my RSS feeds. I don't know why I ever subscribed to begin with. So much of the stuff on that blog is just....well, he takes things that are completely unrelated to paganism and does some sort of gymnatics to fit them in instead of just talking about them- I mean really, if you want to talk about an issue, do it. Don't throw in a random mention of paganism that has nothing to do with anything.

Like the time that he posted about someone being upset about the way airline security lines were doing rather invasive patdown checks of passengers, and as a rape victim it was particulrly upsetting to one particular person. And what did he just HAVE to point out? That she was a Wiccan. This had zero relevance whatsoever to the story. No doubt, had she been a Christian, that this would not have been worth reporting.

But that was a while ago. So today, don't ask me why, I decided to surf on over and have a look...and what is he bitching about now? Charlie fucking Sheen. A raving loony attention whore. Or so it seems. Supposedly, Sheen's lunatic ramblings are really offensive to paganism? I dunno, I look at the article multiple times and I can't figure out what he's talking about other than somehow Christian Day, who seems to be taking over Laurie Cabot's spot as the Official Attention Whore of Salem has something to do with this and wants to do a magical binding on Sheen and um....something? Then there was something later in the comments about Sheen's use of the word "goddess" to refer to some women he sleeps with being offensive.

What this has to do with pagans is beyond me. He's a raving lunatic who treats women like shit. To say that it's offensive in general is one thing, but pagans have no special reason to claim offense to their delicate little sensibilities.

I don't know why I ever wasted my time reading this blog.
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?


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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I've got temporary employment for this week. The Lane County fair is only about eight blocks from our place, and takes place this week. I'm going to be a ride operator.

Woohoo...employment, even if it is only for five days. I didn't really enjoy waiting in line for hours this morning to get in, but hey, they're gonna pay me...

Oh, and I had two interviews last week at a *grumble grumble* local fast food place. Sad, isn't it? It was a total waste of time too. Both times I walked in and talked to them, and every question that was asked, including my name, was on the application in their hands in front of me. Both times I waited fifteen minutes or more to talk to someone for less than two minutes (not an exaggeration). If they don't hire me, I'm seriously considering calling them up and demanding that they give me back the $6 that I spent on bus fare to get there and back twice.

And this is still better than I did in the entire time I was unemployed in Baltimore.
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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 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:

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: (ten of wands)
Probably bad: They're making a movie adaptation of Kerouac's On The Road.

Absolutely, positively, without a doubt in the world bad: That twit from the fucking sparkle-sparkle-weenie vampire movies is gonna be in it.


This will not end well.

I've read I think six of Kerouac's books, and with the exception of Maggie Cassidy which featured one of the most annoyingly boring main characters I can ever remember reading about, I loved them. For the record though, On the Road isn't my favorite of his books- it's The Town and The City, which I have been seriously considering rereading. I think that that one would make for a better film adaptation, but it would never happen- how many people have heard of on the Road? Yeah, now how many people have heard of the Town and The City?

(Of course, a film adaptation would probably still suck.)


Apr. 10th, 2010 12:15 am
badstar: (ten of wands)
I am again receiving emails from Tim, the Avon Lady, as of Wednesday.

I sent him an email demanding that he remove me from the list immediately and not send any more. He hasn't responded. Hopefully, I just won't get another email.

I was going to contact Avon directly, but when I tried to track down that information...well, they don't have a nice little contact form or anything ;ole that on their website. they have a snail mail address and phone number for their whole freakin' headquarters in Manhattan.

So I guess my next step will be to call them up and wade through the company directory until I get ahold of someone who can tell me who I need to talk to to get one of their representatives, with whom I have previously had problems with- to stop sending me promotional emails.
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Can't remember if I mentioned getting a summons a few weeks back, but I was called for jury duty. Joy!

It turned out to be a far cry less painful than I was afraid it might be. There were several rooms where they were showing movies- idiotic movies that should never have been made. Hello, Monster in Law. And there was a quiet room. I decided to take my chances there. Signs posted admonished against any speaking at all, and the um...jury candidate babysitters informed us that they were listening in on all rooms, so they would know what was going on. Not to mention security cameras and all that jazz.

Despite all this, knowing how people are in this city, I was afraid that I would end up in a room full of blathering idiots. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that people actually followed directions and shut the hell up. Woohoo! I took a backpack full of books with me, plus my ipod. Spent most of the day in a reasonably comfortable chair, listening to music in blissful quiet. Oh, and the guy sitting across from me looked like Topher Grace's long lost twin. That was a little weird.

The main irritations were people getting really noisy after lunch- I was just about to issue a general "Hey, don't you people read the signs? I and the rest of us came to this room for a reason" when they finally all shut up again. And a security guard telling me I was acting weird.

Wanna know why? I was looking up at a stained glass dome. See...the inside of the Baltimoe courthouse is really pretty. Three s a lot of gorgeous marble and granite carvings and Doric style columns and mosaic floors...and a stained glass domed ceiling above one of the marble stairways. During the lunch break, I was walking around a couple of the hallways (They told us where we were and were not allowed to be, so I wasn't in an off-limits area or anyhting like that.) A guard walking by asked what I was doing (As if it would be so hard to tell by the fact that I was standing by the steps (not in anyone's way), looking up at the elaborate stained glass work above my head) and I said just that, that I was looking at the dome and commented that architecture and art history interested me, and there was quite a bit to see in the building. He then informed me that since he had checked my bags when I came in, he knew I was there for jury duty and that I didn't have any weapons on me that I was going to do anything, but that I should be careful because it was weird and might arouse suspicion.

Sadly, this isn't the first time I've heard things like this- taking an interest in the aesthetics of a public building makes people think you're a terrorist or criminal or something.

The guard was rather sadly mistaken though when he said that they'd checked my bags so he knew I wasn't carrying anything I shouldn't be- I had a backpack with four zipper compartments and a couple of smaller inner pockets. They barely glanced into the main large compartment and saw some books. A weapon could easily have gotten in that building just by being stuck between the books or at the bottom of my bag or in a smaller pocket. They didn't even run the bags through the metal detector that everyone has to walk through- they take your bag on the counter, you walk through the detector, they glance in your bag and they hand it to you on the other side. When I left and came back at lunch they didn't even do that, just waved me around the detector.

Yeah, you're smart. And you're worried about how weird it seems that I was looking at a pretty ceiling? Oh, the idiocy. You don't really bother with the most basic of security measures, but you get all suspicious at someone's appreciation of a work of art. What the fuck is wrong with this?


Towards the end of the day, a large segment of the jury pool (yours truly included) were called in for selection. There were probably about a hundred and fifty of us there, and the woman sitting next to me kept saying every few seconds that the whole process should be over in five minutes and why the hell was it taking so long? Gah, why couldn't she just shut up. I was actually impressed that their system actually seemed to be going rather efficiently. Maybe not as well as I could imagine I would do, but hey, I couldn't find a whole lot to complain about, idiots sitting near me aside, of course. After the first few minutes, about the only thing keeping me from smacking her was the presence of so many witnesses, cameras and law enforcement officials in the room and even that was a pretty loose tether after a while.

I am reasonably sure that I was going to be one of the people picked for the jury- I was one of the few people that I noticed who didn't stand up to give a "yes" response to any of their weeding-out questions. But in the middle of all that, they suddenly dismissed everyone back to the playpens holding rooms without warning or explanation. After we got back there, someone said it was because the prosecuting attorney had pictures of the defendant at the crime scene sitting out in the open (did I mention, it was an attempted murder/assualt case? Yeah.) I actually saw one of the pictures, but it was just a big green blob. Looked like someone had pointed the camera straight down at a patch of grass and took the shot. But yeah, potentially biasing. So...we were all dismissed. Guess that trial won't be starting on the scheduled date.

So...jury duty. Yeah. I did some reading, began a little writing, spent most of the time being not bothered by all the people. Got paid fifteen bucks for my trouble.
badstar: (ten of wands)
I just found out that turning off Buzz in gmail does, in fact, not prevent your list of frequent contacts from being seen in your public Google profile.


If you want to turn it off, log into gmail, click settings and look for the Buzz tab. Then, under "Display following lists", select "do not show these lists in my public google profile."

You can also disable it altogether in the same tab- like, cut the cord altogether, it looks like.

Once again, fuck you Google.

More on the public, er, response here:
badstar: (i'm a genius)
I've made my views on things like this clear before- I hate Twitter. I mean really, truly loathe it beyond my ability to explain. Things like this are contributing to the crumbling of language, people's attention spans, privacy and social interaction. (and, as Gavin says, it goes against countless centuries of wisdom that tell us that your every single, solitary mere thought do not need to be given voice- and no one should have to be subjected to them.)

But Twitter at least has one thing going for it- it didn't sign me up by a default setting of its mere existence.

Google Buzz, on the other hand, did. I've turned it off.

When Google chat was introduced, it wasn't forced on me- I was asked if I wanted to enable it. When Google Wave came out a few months back, it asked if I wanted to try it- I never did, and it never tried to force me either (whatever happened to Google Wave, by the way? Never took off I guess?)

But I logged in the other day, saw something about Google Buzz and noticed that lo, it was enabled by default on my email account. I checked the settings and couldn't find any immediately noticeable way yo turn it off. So I went poking around a bit and found this blog post:

This post informs us:

However, it didn’t take me more than 20 minutes of having Buzz plugged into my email to realize: I DON’T WANT THIS SHIT. I may not be alone. Despite the claim to help me: ‘to start conversations about the things you find interesting,’ it does nothing of the sort. Instead, it adds in any ’stuff’ that people it has decided I am following put into their Buzz (a bit like Twitter) along with any other accounts that Google has linked via their profiles such as Flickr, Twitter, Google Reader, assorted blogs….the list goes on. In other words it is aggregating a pile of stuff and lobbing it over the wall into my GMail.

Additionally linked from that post was this:

Which informs us that...

The problem is that -- by default -- the people you follow and the people that follow you are made public to anyone who looks at your profile.

In other words, before you change any settings in Google Buzz, someone could go into your profile and see the people you email and chat with most.

A Google spokesperson asked us to phrase this claim differently. Like this: "In other words, after you create your profile in Buzz, if you don't edit any of the default settings, someone could visit your profile and see the people you email and chat with most (provided you didn't edit this list during profile creation)."

And there's the part that, if you choose to use Buzz, informs us that they don't let you know that this information is all made public by default:

If a user notices the box, it might help users "catch" that they might be following people they don't want the world to know they're following. But you don't have to close the box to use Buzz. Closing the box does not trigger a warning or anything else that alerts the user they've agreed to publish a list of the people they email and chat with most.

(It all makes more sense if you read the rest of the post- I'm not copying the entire thing here. There are pictures to show you what they're talking about too.)

They also point out:

The good news for Google is that this is a very easy problem to fix. Google must either shut off auto-following, or it must make follower lists private by default as soon as possible.

But at least for now, it seems that Google doesn't agree with that.

If you want to know how to change your settings for privacy and whatnot, both posts include instructions on how to change them.

If you just want to turn off the fucking thing, log into gmail, scroll down to the very bottom of the screen where the tiny print is and you should see a link that says "turn off Buzz"- it's right next to "turn off chat".

you may need a magnifying glass and a tour guide...but it's there. *sigh*

Every day, I loathe technology a little more. Technology is supposed to make your life better, not more vapid, empty and lacking of any substance whatsoever.

You're not gonna convince me that this will in any way better my life. I see shit like this and I think more and more that the Amish have the right idea.
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For anyone who doesn't know...

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,

badstar: (Default)

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.)
badstar: (Default)
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: (seven of swords)
So I'm at work...Matt called in sick, so they asked if I wanted to take his shift for overtime. I did but had to go back home and feed/water the cats- I left them with enough food/water that they'd be okay til I got home around midnight, so when they asked if I wanted to stay another nine hours, I said I'd have to go home and feed the cats, since Gavin's not home and thee's no one else who can do it.

So I'm here, and just wanting to throttle yet another coworker who does nothing but sleep- and snore, loudly. Oh my god, why don't they fire this guy? So he comes in, pulls up a filing cabinet near his chair, takes his shoes off and drapes his legs over the cabinet as if the whole setup was his living room recliner at home...what's next, bath robes and boxer shorts?

If this guy's still sleeping at eight AM, I will be SO tempted to go find chuck and let him know.

But...anyway...overtime. More money for me. Yay!


On Monday, I came into work to find an email in my box informing me that the former administrators of our health savings accounts had tried to mail me a check but it was returned, saying that they had the wrong address. They asked me to look at the address and verify or correct- oddly enough, they had the address correct. So they said they'd send it out again.

See, thing is, I was really confused. I hadn't filed any reimbursements in almost a month, and I'd received all the reimbursements that I've filed. So I try to find out. Over the course of the next two days, I talk to the account administrators and there's nothing in the system about an outstanding check...but in the meantime, I recieve an email back saying that they've resent the check.

So yesterday morning, I finally grabbed the HR person to try to ask her what was up with that. Apparently, this was a $40 check from early March, not just a week or so ago as the email had said.

So when they opened, I tried to call in, asked them to check farther back and sure enough there was a check on its way for $40.

See, here's the thing, I know what that $40 was from, and I also know that I have received that reimbursement, and an extra $40 has not been taken out of my balance. I mention this, and am promptly given a "Well isn't that lucky for you? We're not your administrators anymore so we can't do anyhting about it and when this happens, the money is yours."

Huh. Okay. $40.

So this afternoon on my way back to work, I checked the mail and sure enough, there was an envelope in the box from them.

I opened it. The check wasn't for $40 but for $72.49.

I remember filing that reimbursement. I also remember depositing that check into my bank account. But I got another one.

But anyway...between that and the overtime that will be on my next paycheck, a nice unexpected chunk of change.

Hail Hermes!

But on the other hand...our HSA is now being administered directly by the bank that owns the accounts. supposedly this was going to make our fees and whatnot go down.

I'm having some trouble seeing where this is the case. The former administrator offered a debit card, direct deposit, and didn't charge to issue a check. Oh, and there was no monthly fee.

The bank now charges us $2.75/month. They also offer a debit card. They also offer checks (you have to pay for them) you can get reimbursement by writing yourself one of their checks (but you have to pay for the checks), at an ATM with the debit card (there's a $2 fee) by requesting a check (there's a $10 fee) or scheduling an electronic bank transfer or going to the bank with the debit card and requesting a cash advance (I'm sure that costs something but there's no fee given in the brochure). As far as I can see, they don't offer direct deposit.

Now...explain to me how our fees were supposed to go down?

Great. So I can't get reimbursement for the last couple of appointments with the therapist until I at the very least get the debit card- though I should have that soon but still...what to do with receipts? are you telling me I have to hold onto them *just in case* they're asked for? Great, more clutter to hang onto instead of just faxing the receipts in where they're verified and kept digitally.

Where the fuck is the logic?

I am so happy that Gavin's coming home today. It's just not the same without her here to agree with me as to how everyone sucks.
badstar: (Default)
Arright, so...

If you were afraid of the idea of gun bans and wanted to retain your freedom to own firearms, what do you think is the logical way to proceed?

A. Be a model law-abiding, gun-owning citizen and find a way to work peacefully for the right to own guns.


B. Create a domestic disturbance and then kill and severely injure a bunch of cops in the most fatal day for law enforcement workers since September 11th 2001.

Call me crazy, but logic says to me that shooting 'em up isn't really a good way to ensure that you're gonna get to keep your guns.

My prayers to those who were killed or injured and their loved ones and colleagues. May people learn to be more intelligent about their freedoms...
badstar: (fixing to do somethgn stupid)
So on the way back to the office this afternoon, I was sitting there in the car minding my own business when a woman went up to the intercom and started trying to get ahold of the driver.

After a minute or so, she finally asked all and sundry if the intercoms work because there was a guy up in the front of the car masturbating.

How nice. She was getting off the train at that stop, and there were no MTA cops in sight, so I meandered up towards the front of the car, keeping my eyes as straight ahead as I could and still figure out who it was- sure enough, there he was with it hanging out for the world to see- made a note of his description as best as I could while avoiding looking directly at the guy and hopped off at the next stop and onto the front car to tell the driver.

When I got off the car, he was sitting there in the seat, not looking like he was interested in going anywhere- I would almost describe his posture as lounging, from what I could see out of the corner of my eye. From the time that I got off the one car and onto the other, and the driver closed the doors, only a few seconds had passed, so I figured he would still be on the train.

Let the driver know, she radioed someone who told her to not go anywhere and to keep the doors closed and that the police would be on the way.

Took the police forever to get there- almost twenty minutes, but they eventually showed up, asked me to come back to the car and identify the guy.

He wasn't sitting in the seat where I had seen him. Walked to the end of the car...the guy must have made a quick exit, because he wasn't there. There were only a few people there and the one detail I had made sure to make a note of because I could see it from the back and without having to get a direct view of his er, activities, was his shirt- it had a fairly distinctively-colored plaid pattern. There had only been a very few other people on the car before -maybe five of them, and I recognized all of them, he was gone, so the police left for the train to continue.

A man and woman sitting in the car asked what it was about, I told them. The woman initially freaked out and started yelling about how gross it was and asked if the guy was still on th car- I informed her that he was gone, which was why the police left. The man asked me if that was all it was about, some guy whacking off on the train. I said that was what it was about, and this guy had a fit and started yelling at me about making him late for work and how I sholdn't be such a prude and I should just turn my head and not watch and let the guy have his fun.

Uhhh...excuse me???? I yelled right back at him that I was going to work too, and that I was late so don't bitch at me about being late for work, and no I wasn't just going to turn my head because what if the guy decided to do more than just sit there and play with his dick? The guy just kept going on about how I made him late for work and I'm such a prude bitch who should just mind her own business and he wasn't hurting anyone so what do I have to complain about?

Seriously, the guy was probably just getting his jollies on being seen in public, but you never know. A few years ago, I remember an incident on a bus where a guy suddenly started doing much the same thing- except he kept it in his pants, but he was clearly handling himself by way of his pockets- and then he stood up and started rubbing up against people who were standing. The guy ran before police could be called.

Yeah, I'm not going to wait for something like that- or worse- to happen.
badstar: (ten of wands) 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)
Arright folks, never mind all the other, logical, rational, legitimate political reasons for which I find Sarah Palin absolutely stomach-turning, even if it weren't for all that, I could never in good consciousness vote for her.

She has given birth to children and pinned them with such awful names as Track and Trig.

WTF, does she harbor a secret desperate yearning to go back and teach high school or something? (Not that Piper, Bristol or Willow are such great names either. But Track and Trig. Geez.)
badstar: (Default)
Yes, classical artwork. It's horrifically indecent. Sends dirty messages to impressionable little children. Boobs are bad and should be done away with.

Oh yeah, and if you ever serve as president, your spouse's ability to later serve as president should fall within the confines of your term limits, not be counted separately.

Washington is a town filled with boobs.

They're everywhere, from the bare-breasted ladies who decorate the fountain at Dupont Circle to the peekaboo statue in the Justice Department's Great Hall to the countless nudes in our museums. But while those of us who live here hardly blink at the public nudity, it can shock some of our visitors. Such was the case for Robert Hurt, who last week tried to add the issue of artistic indecency in the nation's capital to the platform of the Texas GOP.

"You don't have nude art on your front porch," the Dallas Morning News quoted the delegate as telling the platform committee at the state party convention. "So why is it important to have that in the common places of Washington, D.C.?"

Hurt, 54, a Kerrville, Tex., rancher and father of 14, told us in a phone interview he first came to Washington a decade ago for a gathering of the evangelical Promise Keepers on the Mall. "It was probably not much different than 'The Beverly Hillbillies' going to Beverly Hills," he joked. At the National Gallery, he was appalled to see statues of unclothed people. "I found it very inappropriate," he said. Returning a few years later, he discovered Arlington Memorial Bridge, flanked by the bare-chested figures of Valor and Sacrifice.

"The Lady Godiva thing -- that's what it conjured up, and that's not what our country's about," he said.

Hurt notified his elected officials of his concerns but believes nothing was done. While he said he respects free speech, "I believe art affects a country indirectly. I have been studying the decline of morals in this country. It's sending the wrong message to children that nudity is fine, that nakedness is fine. . . . There are degrees of vulgarity, and it opens up the door for the other stuff."

The platform committee did not adopt Hurt's recommendation on Washington nudity (nor his proposal to extend the 22nd Amendment -- presidential term limits -- to spouses). But Hurt said he'll pursue the issue, possibly with another trip here to videotape the evidence. "I'm not going to stop until I succeed. I'm prepared for a long fight."

Hmmm....looks like he's anti-birth control too.

*sigh* Well, it's good to know that he's gotten nowhere with this so far. Let's hope it stays that way. The very existence of stuff like this makes my brain trickle out my ears.
badstar: (Default)
"Close to Hopkins" as the only location information. that the main university campus? The hospital?

Hell, I just got an email back from one, turns out it's near the freakin' Peabody.

Really, people would it kill you to specify? We're talking completely different parts of the city here.


badstar: (Default)

July 2013



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