Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I was watching the CEOs of America's Big Three automakers beg for money last night in front of the House Financial Services Committee (because that's how I do) and was slightly disappointed that no one brought up the issue of Kleenex in the rear windows of Lincoln Town Cars. I guess that's not what the meeting was about, but it has always sort of bothered me.

Has anyone ever sat behind a Lincoln Town Car at a red light and NOT seen a box of tissues in the rear window?

Seriously. Anyone?

I want to start a photo collection of different Town Cars I see with tissues in the rear window and call the collection, "I'm Driving And I Need A Tissue But I Can't Reach Because I Drive A Lincoln Town Car And The Box Is In My Rear Window."

I'll need to work on the title.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As Seen On TV.

"If any of you are looking for any last minute gift ideas..."

The Aqua Globe. This is something you fill with water and stick into your plants to keep them watered. Right. That seems like an extra step I wouldn't be willing to pay for. You still have to remember to water something. Plus, having to hear, "Did you water the Aqua Globe?" would probably send me into a rant about the Aqua Globe every time.

Debbie Meyer Green Bags. These magic bags keep your fresh produce "fresh" for weeks. Few questions here. Why is Debbie Meyer buying so much fresh produce if she knows she won't be eating it for 18 days? Why not just buy a fresh green pepper when you need one? What is running through Debbie Meyer's head at the market? "Oh, cucumbers. I might want one of those in three to four weeks. Better buy 12 of them now." The commercial for these bags says, "Here are baby carrots after 26 days!" Maybe Debbie doesn't like baby carrots as much as she thinks she does.

The Slanket. Don't even get me started. All I'll say is that in all honesty, without exaggeration, I am afraid of this thing.

And on Sunday I saw a commercial where the man from the Oxiclean ads was selling a health insurance plan. That seems like a sound choice. Medical coverage from a man who feels compelled to throw red wine and ink on everything he sees. Why not refinance your mortgage through the ShamWOW! guy, or apply for a student loan with the people who brought us Kinoki Foot Pads?

Call now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Productive Day.

Gloomy weather is good for me when it comes to getting things done. I have a ton of stuff to take care of and so far I've put a pretty nice dent in the list.

1) Dance around to Janelle Monae's "Many Moons" for 5 minutes, or an hour. Check.

2) Brainstorm ideas for an online cooking show called Pinscher of Salt where Stella makes sandwiches. Check.

3) Stare at things. Check.

I should be a life coach.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Work In A Bikini!

That was the actual title for a job posting on Craigslist. "Work In a Bikini!"

The exclamation point kills me. I usually don't even wear a bikini to the beach, but gosh, I never thought about showing up to work in midtown in a bikini. That might be pretty exciting! And winter is right around the corner! Working in a bikini in the winter! Cool!

I read the ad merely out of curiosity (I'm not qualified. I get it.) and it turns out it's to work as a food server in a restaurant. I shouldn't be surprised I guess. This economic downturn has caused most other people who work in their bikinis to lose their jobs. Just this morning CNBC was talking about the spike in unemployment rates for bikini-clad accountants and the Detroit area is losing bikini-wearing auto manufacturing jobs left and right. I recently read that the entire law firm of Mono, Micro, Tankini & String folded, leaving associates there wondering what to do next.

The ad for the Craigslist posting described the ideal candidate for the position as "fit, attractive, experienced in restaurant and bar operations, and comfortable working in a Bikini." Makes sense. They also asked job applicants to show up to the interview with "heels and a bikini." That makes sense too. No mention of a cover letter or résumé, but I assume that goes without saying.

"So I see here you've had experience working in a bikini before?"
"Yes, that's right. After getting my degree in Swimwear Studies, I worked for Beach For America for two years in Chicago and then went on to work as a molecular/cell biology Research Assistant at a university here in the city."
"Oh, but that wasn't in a bikini?"
"Well, the job didn't call for it, no. But I do prefer to work in a bikini and I ALWAYS do research in a bikini."
"O.K. good."

Because I have issues with restaurant cleanliness, it's particularly upsetting to me that bikini jobs are limited to working in food and beverage. You'd have to be a pretty big perv to overlook the fact that people are serving you food in their underwear. It's gross. I'd be like, "Could you do us a solid and throw some pants on before you bring out our appetizer sampler? That'd be great, thanks."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting To Know You.

Helping D setup an online payment system for an account this morning, it occurred to me how much you need to know about yourself to fill in the security questions. I remember when the only question was "What was your High School Mascot?" or "What is your mother's middle name?" and even trying to answer those questions took five seconds of serious thought. But now there are multiple questions. So many in fact, that she had to write down the answers and file them. That seems insane to me. That security questions about oneself are now so wide in scope that a person needs to keep a "me" cheat sheet in their filing cabinet. "My favorite band? I started this account online in the 90's, I have no effing clue. Let's see, what was my favorite band in 1998? Aqua? That can't be right."

In the event that you can't remember your password, which is highly likely because it often must include 3 digits and an umlaut, these security questions are meant to help verify that you're you. But what if you can't even verify it? Trying to recall the answer to a question you filled out seven years ago is difficult, but if the question concerned something about personal taste at the time, it's nearly impossible. My nightmare would be having to call customer service and run through a list of possible answers I might have given to security questions.
-We're sorry that you're having trouble accessing your account. Can you remember how you answered the "What did you want to be when you grew up" question?
-Um, was there another question?
-Well, we have to start on this one.
-Oh. Um, did I say teacher?
-Let me check. No, that wasn't the answer given.
-Um, MacGdkjfhds?
-Um, Macfrummsblerg?
-Miss Martin, I can't understand you.
-Did I type MacGyver?
-Yes, okay. And now I just need to verify your social.

I let D pick her questions and fill out her answers and afterward she agreed that they were ridiculous.
"One of the questions asked me to name my greatest fear."
"Really? What is your greatest fear?"
"I don't know. I said choking."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

It's A Common Sense Thing.

Imagine you're out to eat when the waiter announces your order to the entire restaurant. "Excuse me ladies and gentleman, she said she wants tonight's special. Yea or Nay?" And then by a show of hands, the entire dining room votes on your meal. "I'm sorry, the other customers think you should have a salad."

It'd be totally ridiculous, right?

But the gay marriage ban that passed in three states on election night isn't so far removed from this restaurant scenario.

Entire states were asked to walk into a voting booth, close the curtain, and decide whether or not a gay person should be allowed to marry someone they love. A majority of voters in California, Arizona and Florida decided they should not be allowed that right. I don't remember being asked to vote before any of my straight friends and family members got married.

I've never been cryptic about my views on marriage, but I am deeply concerned with actions taken to limit rights and the use of bigotry to hold a nation back from achieving equality. And that's what this is all about--equality. The idea that gay people are somehow different, or deserve an altered set of rules to exist in America is insulting and dangerous. It creates an idea of "the other" and is a breeding ground for injustice. What worries me is that this is not really an issue of marriage (as long as it's between consenting adults, does anyone honestly care who anyone marries?) but more of a device used to spread intolerance.

There are suggestions that gay marriage leads to the destruction of the family (huh?) but I like Ellen's response to these claims:

"I don't know what people are scared of. Maybe they think that their children will be influenced. And I gotta say, I was raised by two heterosexuals. I was surrounded by heterosexuals. Just everywhere I looked, heterosexuals. And they did not influence-- I mean, I had dabbled in high school, who didn't? But I think people are going to be who they're going to be. And we need to learn to love them for who they are and let them love who they want to love."

Note: The blog has taken a political turn as of late. Back to reporting on the absurdities of life soon. But on some level, I think the political posts qualify.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

That's What I'm Talking About!

Obama's win last night was America's win. "This is your victory" he said. And because the coverage kept showing Oprah so many times throughout his speech, I really thought America was going to win her favorite things as well. "Can we give everyone in this great nation a Weber Grill? Yes We Can! Oh, okay. I've just received word that no, no we can't."

But unlike other victories where the enthusiasm fades away awkwardly, with the camera zooming in on some fan with a slowly waving foam finger, Obama's/America's win last night resonates. If anything, it feels more like victory today. To actually feel inspired by a political leader, to see the results of grassroots efforts and to watch a nation come together as a nation, you start to think, holy crap, we really can. It's huge. (But it's still a no on those grills-- I checked.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Vote Tomorrow!

Well, it's about that time, people. (Finally.) So many things have happened during this election that I decided to put together a little list of the highs and lows. But lists can be boring, so please sing this list aloud to yourself to the tune of "We Didn't Start The Fire."

Freddy Mac, Fannie Mae, Fundamentals A-Okay
Town Halls, Live Debates, Can I Call You Joe?

Joe Six-pack, party division, automakers, television
Oil prices, polling devices, The Rachel Maddow Show.

(Instrumental Break)

Colbert runs as "favorite son," superdelegates overdone,
Fred Thompson's presidential run called Law and Order: WTF?

Socialism, skepticism, idealism, optimism,
Health care, warfare, Kucinich's wife.


Robocalls, op-ed pieces, talking heads, rally speeches,
Flag pins, middle names, snowmachining spouse.

Troopergate, swing states, pig and lipstick, interest rates,
Wal-Mart moms, Neiman's spree, Russia's by my house.

Tim Russert, SNL, Mitt Romney ( told ya pal).
Katie Couric, Late-Night Diss, NYTimes, Maverickyness.

Brokaw played clock-referee, weird touch screen map thing on TV, Hillary, Tina Fey, what else do I have to say?

OK, you get it.