July 7, 2007

Texting from the Social Security Administration while waiting to change my last name

Yesterday I took a trip downtown to take the first step in changing my last name, a visit to the Social Security office. Once my Social Security card says my new name, I can update my records at work, change my driver’s license information, and get the bank updated. Then I can change my credit cards, memberships, and who knows what else.

I figured the place would be deserted with so many people on family vacations for the 4th plus it was a Friday and most offices are slow on a Friday. I got there right when they opened though, just to be safe. But first, I had to have my purse and body scanned, and find the restroom. I walked into the office at just before 9:10, and saw about 8 people waiting. Not too bad. I walked to the kiosk and grabbed a number in the ‘C’ group. People in the C group had quickies. The C people only needed to change information on their Social Security card, like a name, for instance. Piece of cake, right?

Nope. Thankfully I had my Crackberry with me so I could read my Gmail, blogs, and text my husband.

9:09 am How am I number C300 when they are now serving #C397?
9:21 am Someone is clipping their nails in the Social Security office waiting room! Gross!
9: 32 am Well, there WERE 2 windows open. Now there is just 1. Sigh. I guess 20 minutes of work is enough for a break.
9:58 am Now they are not calling numbers in order, fuckers.
10:01 am I am about to give up.
10:04 am It is a waste of time. There are about 50 people waiting now and ONE window open.
10:08 am They have 7 windows closed.
10:13 am The lady next to me keeps nodding off and her head is hitting my shoulder.
10:21 am Standing room only now. Gotdamn lazy ass government.
10:23 am I’d better get an iPhone when I reach the window for this wait.
10:35 am We are up to three open windows now. But they are still skipping all numbers that start with C. Only calling As and Bs. This is moronic.
10:46 am My turn!
10:59 am I’m officially an E……!

The entire transaction took less than 10 minutes. The clerk was very nice and not grumpy, considering all the grumps he had to help before me. He said my new card (with four names) would arrive in a couple of weeks. But this time, when I sign my card, I will not have a pen of brown ink that smells like chocolate, like I did when I was 12. If my new last name had an i though, I would be so tempted to dot it with a heart.

Next up, the Department of Motor Vehicles! Does the fun ever stop?

July 4, 2007

“The greatest moment in the history of American sports”

Would occur if Joey Chestnut from San Jose, CA, wins the Nathan’s Famous International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest, according to one of the announcers.

Oh, and this would also make Joey Chestnut an American hero, on par with Abraham Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, and…Taylor Hicks. Taylor Hicks?

Another contestant dedicated his hot dog-eating to N!kk! H!lton, because she lives in the shadow of P@ris, and this contestant feels that he lives in the shadow of Joey Chestnut. Yes, perhaps N!kk! has not seen the quantity of ahem…”hot dogs” as her sister. Poor girl. But I am sure that she is flattered by the dedication.

All of this was on ESPNHD. HD? Do we really need to see people shoving frankfurters into their mouths in high definition? And then replayed in slow motion in the case of a photo finish?

Apparently we do, because I watched it. And Joey Chestnut did his country proud as he chowed 66 hot dogs. He defeated Kobayashi, who only guzzled 63.

Yes, people, the Mustard Belt is back in America, on this, the Nation’s birthday. Thank you, Joey Chestnut. You made San Jose proud. So readers, today when you are at your 4th of July BBQ or party, please, raise your weiner hot dog to Joey, American Hero.

Now it’s time for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in HD. Because you totally need high def to hear kids spell things like pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

June 28, 2007

Sting is hot. Stingers? Not.

This is on our patio right now. For the longest time, I thought it was a snail stuck to our wall. But then there was a wasp sitting on the snail, which seemed weird to me.

There is a wasp creeping over the top of the nest in the photo. Therefore, this is the last shot I took before running into the house with the heebie jeebies.

Maintenance is coming to remove the nest. I’m not a fan of the wasp…that particular wasp, or any of its friends or family. I have never been stung by one, and I’d like to keep it that way. (No offense, Mr. Wasp, or Mrs. Wasp, but I’m having your home demolished.)

May 11, 2007


Is this normal?

I walked into the restroom today at work and there was a woman at the sink washing her hands. I figured she was done with her Ladies Room ritual.

But, as I made my way into a stall and latched the door, I heard her do the same. I thought “weird that she washes before using the toilet, but whatever.”

We both went about our business. When she was finished, she exited her stall. Then she exited the restroom.

She washed her hands before going to the bathroom, but not after?

What is that about?

April 29, 2007

*This* guy is having a crappy day

Wow. Imagine if a mistake you made at work resulted in collapsing a Bay Area freeway.
The silver lining here is that it didn’t happen during commute time.

February 26, 2007

Sorority Purging Scandal (it’s not what you think)

A friend of mine e-mailed me a link to an article in the New York Times that reported a recent purging scandal at a college sorority. I figured it was about an eating disorder epidemic.

But that’s not the case.

The article is about a sorority house at DePauw University in Indiana that, in an attempt to increase membership, weeded out the girls they did not deem appropriate as a face of the sorority. Members who were Asian, Black, or overweight received letters from the sorority’s national chapter, offering them early alumna status. The classically beautiful girls, the slim ones, and those that were popular with the fraternity boys, did not receive such letters. A mere twelve girls remained in the house after the downsizing. Six of those dozen, quit. Amen, sisters. What the hell is wrong with the other six?

I am appalled and disgusted to hear about this discrimination and assholery (I think I just made up that word). But I am also angry and terribly sad. The sorority in question is the same one I was a member of when I attended a state college in California.

Had this happened at my chapter, two of my best friends would have been asked to leave. In fact, if the article is not exaggerating the facts, I would have been invited to take early alumnaship as well. I was one of the “fatter” girls in the house and I doubt there is one fraternity guy from my university (1986 to 1991) who would know who I was, either by name or face. Last I checked, sororities were a place to make friends, lifelong friends who would be there at your wedding, at your kids’ graduations, and sadly, at your funeral. It wasn’t about making friends with beautiful, rich, popular white people, it was about finding kidred spirits. I did not join a sorority to be popular with boys, or get shit-faced in musty rooms and pass out in my own puke. I’m not saying all sorority girls do, or even that any of them do, I’m just saying that those types of activities did not appeal to me. I did drink, and I did get drunk, but it was with my GDI (god damn independent) boyfriend and our friends. I didn’t join the sorority to do all that. I joined because my closest high school friends all spread out, and I missed that closeness when I attended a commuter school for college.

I was not considered pretty by anyone. Cute, maybe, but in the way a pot-bellied pig is cute. My daddy was not rich and he didn’t work in a fancy office where he dressed in a suit and tie. I didn’t drive a fancy car, but an orange 1976 Chevy Monza with doors that had been dinged repeatedly. During rush week, I was asked to park my car somewhere other than in the front of the sorority house. Well, duh. The Jag obviously gave the house a better image, even though most of the girls drove beat-up hand-me-down cars. (The Jag owner was gorgeous, by the way. And genuinely nice too.)

I am so furious with this organization that I am considering yanking my alumna status with them. Why do I want to be associated with a group like this? Racial discrimination is vile and hateful and wait…isn’t this 2007? What the hell? But the most idiotic thing about this is that they ousted the exact types of girls that drew me (and probably many of the DePauw girls) to join the sorority in the first place. Back in 1987, I visited all the campus sororities during rush week and at more than one, I encountered cookie-cutter Barbies with several carats of sparkly diamonds in their ears, but dull personalities. (Oh, but their boyfriend was captain of the football team! and This one over here was Miss Pageant Winner of 1986!) I chose my house because I was comfortable the minute I walked in. The girls were normal looking, approachable and fun. They were short, tall, skinny, chubby, and, I fit in there.

The girls at the Depauw University sorority house who are looking to increase their membership numbers are going to have a bit of trouble finding enough appropriate recruits to make their quota, as it is. But this negative publicity they’re getting will make it even more difficult. Maybe they’ll even have to close that chapter due to missed quotas. Good.

To the girls who were asked to leave, I am terribly sorry. I am sorry that something that used to be so near and dear to me, has hurt you. You do not deserve to be treated that way.

February 13, 2007

Why, Comcast? WHY???

I don’t get to see a lot of Kentucky Wildcat basketball here in California, and as this is California, we don’t get a lot of sports news about Kentucky either. So when I saw Big Blue would play the Tennessee Volunteers, and would air today, I set the DVR to record it. In high-definition, no less. I watched part of the game while it recorded, then went out to see my boyfriend Joe (Trader Joe, that is), confident that my magic box would record the rest of the game for me to watch when I returned.

I arrived home from TJ’s, put away my groceries, popped a frozen Thai green curry entree into the microwave, and turned on the TV and Comcast DVR to watch the recorded game.

I fast-forwarded to the end of the part I had already watched and listened to the game while feeding the cats as my dinner spun around in the microwave. Suddenly, Kentucky was down by 3 and the game was almost over. Whoa.

Just as I started to head to the TV to rewind what had just happened, I heard…nothing. Silence. What? Where did it go? Momentary satellite loss? No picture either. Just dark. Then, just as quickly, the audio and video both came back on, but the channel had switched to the local news coverage. Wha? Who changed the channel? I was the only one home. The remote was on the coffeetable, and the cats were in the kitchen, their heads shoved into their food receptacles.

Why? What? Huh?

I ferociously pushed buttons on the remote to take me to the DVR screen that showed my recordings and fast-forwarded through the game to nearly the end. I hit play and watched as the clock ticked down. There it was, 84 to 81, Tennessee. And then? This:

Comcast strikes again.

It just STOPPED recording after 112 minutes. WHILE THE GAME WAS STILL PLAYING IN REGULATION. Mind you, the game was on the Comcast schedule from 4 pm to 6 pm. That means 120 minutes (I’m not good at math, but I think that’s right). Yet, the recorder let me down. Instead of living up to its promise of 2 hours, it decided to stop 8 minutes early. Just when there was a mere 29.5 seconds left, and the ‘Cats were down by three points.

I am very disappointed in you, Comcast.

Kentucky lost, by the way (sigh).

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