Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thoughts on Wi-Fi and Rubbernecking

I am an avowed rubbernecker. I'll bitch about the traffic as much as the next driver, but if I've been waiting in line for 10 minutes, or an hour, or whatever, I damn well want to take the look I've been waiting for.

Today, there was a slightly unusual backup on the southbound Fairfax County Parkway around 6:30 p.m. When I got to the front of the line, I stared openly. On the side of the road was a BMW with a flat tire. And on the knoll next to the road was the driver of the BMW, sitting with his laptop open in his lap.

No doubt he was using his aircard to google "how to change a flat tire."

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Tale of Many Sticks

This morning I went in to the fertility clinic for a beta test to confirm what I already knew -- that I was not pregnant. I was annoyed that I even had to go, but figured I'd follow protocol in spite of the three home pregnancy tests that turned up negative over the last few days.

So I went in, and there was a new woman behind the needle. I got an insecure vibe from the start, and it made me nervous. I have very small veins, and things can go very wrong very fast for me in the blood-taking department. Sure enough, the first stick went in, and then I felt it moving around. I looked, and Bad Needle Nurse was literally sweeping it around under my skin trying to find my vein. She did this for at least 10 seconds, until I stopped trying to look away and stared at her in shock. "I don't like to fish around," Bad Needle Nurse said. "Your vein keeps moving from side to side." She pulled it out and tried again. Same result -- more fishing under the skin. At this point, I was feeling really queasy and a bit faint. Bad Needle Nurse finally asked, "am I hurting you?" and, hoping that an affirmative answer would end the amateurish prodding, I abandoned my usual stoicism and announced, "yes!" This woman then accused me of not drinking enough water. "It's not usually a problem," I replied ... and silently finished the thought: "when the nurse knows what she is doing." Bad Needle Nurse then called in Competent Nurse, who got it on the first stick, as usual. My arm hurt like a bitch. Part of me wanted to go punch Bad Needle Nurse in the neck, but I wasn't feeling so well at that point so I couldn't quite muster up my usual fierce animosity toward those who injure me or who injure people I love.

I was dismissed and wandered out to the billing/appointments lady. I was so woozy that I made no sense when discussing my next appointment. In fact, Billing Lady asked when my next appointment was supposed to be, and I said, "I have to wait until Day 1 and call." She looked confused and I confused her further by actually stating, "I already know the test is negative because I peed on a stick even though we aren't supposed to." Billing Lady looked really confused, but just said, kindly, "ok, you give us a call."

It was only after I left that I realized the POAS acronym doesn't really work when spelled out in real-life conversation with someone who doesn't spend much time on TTC message boards. D'oh!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Musings on XM 65 The Rhyme

I've been listening lately to XM 65 The Rhyme -- the old school rap channel -- in an effort to broaden my hiphop horizons and give West Coast rap more of a chance. (I was always an East Coast fan.) I can't quite get into Tupac, because his songs seem to be way too serious, about a 12-year-old girl having a baby that she throws in a trashcan, and things like that. But I have become a fan of the late Eazy E ("We Want Eazy!").

One morning last week, a song called "Nika" by Vicious rolled up on the playlist, and it sounded really familiar. I realized after a few measures that it had a really similar foundation sound to B.I.G's Big Poppa. I looked it up, and it looks like Nika was released a few months before Big Poppa. I scanned the internets ;) and found nothing about the correlation between the two. But I know I'm not crazy. Anybody know the connection?

Listen for yourself:
Big Poppa

Thus passed another 21 mile commute to work up the Fairfax County Parkway.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Eggs Don't Go There! Glory Days' New Featured Menu Item

I am taking the day off today (mental health day -- no Mogwai allowed) and was perusing my home email when I saw that Glory Days Grill, a local chain with a restaurant near our house, was announcing new menu items. We eat there from time to time so I opened the email. I found myself failing to comprehend the vision -- nay, the nightmare -- that filled my screen. Note the photo.


What the hell was that? Apparently this is called the Glory Burger. The menu describes it thusly:
Our fresh seasoned and grilled burger, zesty
BBQ sauce, fried onion straws, bacon and cheddar
cheese. Topped with a fried egg. 8.99

Why? Why top it with a fried egg? Who is going to order this? What is WRONG with them? And do you notice how they just sort of slip the egg part in there at the end? Don't you think that should be the first thing they mention? I'd write it this way:

Topped with a fried egg, this burger is not for the
faint of heart, nor for those with cholesterol counts
over 200.
Beneath the egg you will find our fresh
seasoned and grilled burger, zesty
BBQ sauce,
fried onion straws, bacon and cheddar

cheese. 8.99

That would be more appropriate, in my opinion, for full disclosure.

There were several other new menu items too, including a Cobb Salad and a Salmon Dinner. They all sounded fairly tasty and normal. I might even order the salmon one of these days. And yet they chose to feature this monstrosity, this crime of a meal that should not occur in nature.

If the goal was to get people to say "WTF?" and click to see what that thing was, I suppose they achieved that. But I can't say I'm thinking "Glory Days" and "mouth-watering" at the same time right now.

I think I'll go eat some fruit.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Mogwai Are Restless

I had a terrible week last week with the Mogwai client. We spent about 16 hours in "writing meetings" during which no writing took place. Instead, one of the head Mogwais pontificated on his Very Bad Ideas for hours at a time.

At one point, he said the following: "The problem is, we have bears and elephants. We need to have all elephants." Knowing his idea was a poor one, I followed up with, "but how can you turn bears into elephants?" And he replied, to my utter dismay: "EXACTLY!"


Because no writing took place in the writing meetings, the writing had to take place this weekend. For this, I am resentful. But I didn't bear the brunt of it -- I just did the edit. Another colleague had to write the first draft. It was his birthday yesterday.

What kind of life is this?

I need to get off this project.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Taking Sexy Back on the Road

The other morning I was driving to work, pondering the little mcmansions nestled in a tiny pocket between an interstate and a parkway. So commutable, and so soulless. And then, at a light, I noticed something odd about the license plate on the Honda in front of me. Someone had taken a label maker, typed "OH SO SEXY," and pasted the label across the license plate under the tag number.

At first I thought maybe someone did it as a joke, but when he turned the corner I got a good look at him and his sideways baseball cap. He kind of looked like he knew it was on there.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Client Work: In Support of Mogwai

I never talk about work on here because I think it's generally a boring topic, and it also seems like a great way to get fired. But I've recently started working on a project that is having some assorted "challenges," and as a result, the team I'm working with has instituted a number of hard-and-fast rules. The team was informed of these rules during an anti-motivational meeting in which the manager's finger pointed at us all numerous times. (Thankfully, it was quite uncharacteristic of my experiences to date in this particular career.)

I don't remember all the rules verbatim, but I'll try to give you an idea of them here.
  • This task and no other must be a priority
  • Do not announce yourself on conference calls
  • Do not allow too many of your team members to attend the same meeting
  • The client may joke around with you, but you do NOT joke around with the client
  • Keep it out of bright light
  • Never get it wet
  • Never, ever, ever feed it after midnight