Talk About a Complete Outrage!

"I can't believe this is happening! It's a living nightmare! Why me? WHY ME?"
“I can’t believe this is happening! It’s a living nightmare! Why me? WHY ME?”

I’ve gotten lazy about posting – typically, I really need my dander to be gotten up to generate sufficient energy to bash out some screed. Well, today’s NY Times Style section – the section which typically gets me almost as riled as the Op-Ed and Business sections – really outdid itself, with this piece on the terrible scourge of people not receiving wedding gifts. I mean, sure, chemical warfare in Syria is pretty bad – but can you imagine not receiving a wedding gift? Have you no sense of decency?

For that matter, Ms. Kaas Boyle can also recall, in elaborate detail, which guests relished the five-course dinner at the ornate Rex Il Ristorante (now shuttered), and still failed to give a present.

Nineteen years later, it still irks her.

Nineteen years! NINETEEN YEARS! IN ELABORATE DETAIL! She is still holding a grudge because someone couldn’t buy her some tchotchke to gather dust in her house? I’m the first to admit to be being petty and mean-spirited – but this gal makes me feel like I’m the Dalai Lama!

And get this from Jodi R. R. Smith, an “etiquette expert in Marblehead, Mass., and consultant for the wedding industry” [Ed. note: “wedding industry” is a deeply depressing phrase for so many reasons]:

The way Ms. Smith sees it, it’s acceptable to confront those guests who have failed to send even a token. The best way to do so is with a delicate, in-person conversation. “You tell them that you’ve been writing your thank-you notes and realized that you haven’t written one to them: it’s an ‘I’ statement,” she said. “Then you let the other person talk. Either they’ll say: ‘What are you talking about? I gave you the serving platter off your registry.’ Computer glitches happen. You can then say, ‘I’m happy to follow up.’ If they look at you like deer in the headlights, count to the beat of three and move the conversation along to a totally different topic. Then you wait and see if the gift card shows up.”

She is no expert in etiquette if she thinks that “it’s acceptable to confront those guests who have failed to send even a token.” In fact, I’d venture to say that the word “confront” would never appear in any discussion of “etiquette.” And while it may indeed be customary to send a gift to newlyweds, it is never an obligation – NEVER. There is never any circumstance where one is required to provide someone with a gift. And to inquire as to why one hasn’t received a gift is possibly the grossest interpretation of etiquette I’ve ever heard.

Let’s take a lesson from actual etiquette expert, Judith Martin a.k.a. Miss Manners:

Etiquette is a little social contract we make that we well restrain some of our more provocative impulses in return for living more or less harmoniously in a community.

Of course, on top of just the all-around foulness of the whining greed-heads in the article, I can’t help but trot out the fact that most states in this country still outlaw same-sex marriage. My sister and her partner of over a decade just announced that they are headed to the Santa Fe County Clerk’s Office on Tuesday, now that a judge has found that discriminating against same-sex couples who wish to marry is, in fact, unconstitutional in New Mexico. Like most same-sex couples who have been waiting years, even decades, for the opportunity to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex married couples, I can state pretty much unequivocally that my sis and sis-in-law are not concerned in the slightest with from whom or even whether they receive any wedding gifts.

Now, not sending thank you notes? Well, that’s a different story…

I Feel Pretty! Oh So Pretty!

Another weekend, another bout of trying to ameliorate my singledom via the wonderful world of gay “social” apps. I was checking out dudes on one of said apps (not Grindr, because just no). Now, I will be the first to acknowledge that many of the users of this particular app are looking for interactions that are primarily physical and fleeting – which is fine, but not my cup of tea. Sap that I am, I’m actually looking to meet someone who might want to do something like go out for a drink, have some dinner or go for a bike ride. And I’ve had some limited success.

But anyhow, I saw some guy’s profile. He was a handsome sort and this was the extent of his description:


Now, I probably have only myself to blame here, given that of the seven photos included in his profile, six of them showed him shirtless. Far be it from me to generalize, but this is not typically an indicator of a person who is, for lack of a better phrase, my kind of people. But respond I did, thusly:


Not exactly Wilde-esque, I admit, but innocuous enough. Just a friendly hello, with a winky emoticon to keep it easy-breezy-beautiful. No “DTF?” or “Sup” or blatant sexual solicitation – a simple greeting. So, here’s his response:


Word to the wise: a sentence starting with the modifier “This will sound totally awful…” is a strong indicator that what is to follow might be best left unexpressed (this also applies to sentences starting with “I don’t mean to sound racist but…” and “Well, to be perfectly honest…”). Also, as a general rule, people do not take kindly to criticisms of their physical appearance from strangers. I know, it’s crazy! But people just don’t care for it!

Of course at this point, I should have just moved on – but if you note the time, you’ll realize that I was at the tail end of a bottle of my favorite moderately-priced Spanish rosé. And thus probably more loquacious than was appropriate. So I wrote back:


OK, yes, it was smart-ass response. And including a phrase en français may not have been the best choice (though both my Francophilia and pretension are well-known) – but it was, if you’ll (literally) pardon my French, le mot juste, non? I don’t think it was a particularly nasty reply – but it did call him out on being kind of dickish without actually using the word “dickish.” Plus, a smiley face! Easy-breezy!

Anyhoo, off to bed, didn’t give it a second thought, whatevs. But apparently he was still reflecting on things the next day and treated me to this charming response the following evening:


Oh man, there is a lot to parse here!

“The stylist inside of me” – well, the stylist inside of you seems to have an aversion to shirts, so I’m not fully on board with this stylist’s qualifications.

“if you’re interested in attracting a man like me…” – “which you are” Um, no.

“sans ink and jewelry” Oh, so you know French too? Formidable!

“(even though I LOVE it when it works)” Yes, I get it – it doesn’t work on me. You are a true master of subtlety.

“props and trinkets” Look, just because I was wearing my Mardi Gras beads and holding one of my Precious Moments™ figurines in my profile photo is no reason to judge me!

Anyway, it was awfully tempting to respond – but really what would be the point? Though with that being said, here are just a few of the responses that popped into my head:

  • Thanks for the advice! I’ll be sure to contact you again when I’ve remodeled my physical appearance to adhere to your standards.
  • My cat’s name is Mittens.
  • tl; dr
  • Dale Carnegie, I presume?
  • I’m also ugly on the inside!
  • Go fuck yourself.
  • Oh, you’re a stylist? How can you find the time to message me, what with your busy schedule dressing JLo?
  • Somebody hold my jewelry…
  • I can assure you unreservedly, I have no interest whatsoever in attracting a man like you.
  • My nipples explode with delight!
  • “If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it.” Were truer words ever spoken? I think not…
  • What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? And, no, the September issue of Vogue doesn’t count.

And while I suppose the fact that I’m posting this somewhat belies my claiming  to take the high road here, I think I do deserve a bit of credit for not posting this fellow’s photo or screen name. And, for the record, here’s the entirety of our interaction. I wouldn’t want to be accused of editing this to portray myself in a more favorable light!

Not Cool, FedEx Driver, Not Cool…

I was riding my bike home after work on Friday, June 13, using the marked bicycle lane on Howard St. here in SF. And, for the third day in a row, came across a FedEx delivery truck parked in front of 500 Howard thusly:

The white line on the left is the bike lane marker.
The white line on the left is the bike lane marker.
And here one can see that the driver had plenty of room to keep from blocking the bike lane.
And here one can see that the driver had plenty of room to keep from blocking the bike lane.

Now, as a regular recipient of packages from FedEx and UPS, I am not unsympathetic to drivers and their need to park their vehicles and keep to their schedule. But given that this fellow had plenty of room both in front of and behind his truck to park in this marked loading zone, his decision to completely block the bike lane is either rank incompetence or a big “fuck you” to cyclists. Frankly, the motivation doesn’t matter. He has created a situation that is dangerous for every cyclist using this heavily-traveled route – and right at the beginning of rush hour.

Howard St. is a one-way, four-lane artery to both the Bay Bridge and the 101 freeway – plus this location at 500 Howard is immediately after a traffic signal – meaning that this FedEx driver’s blocking of the bike lane virtually guarantees interaction between bikes and cars as the bikes are forced to merge into the traffic lane to go around the FedEx truck.

Unfortunately, the driver of the truck was not near his truck on Friday – but I can assure you the next time I come across this (and yes, I’m sure there’ll be a next time – like I said, this was the third day in a row that he’d parked like this) and he’s around, I’ll address it with him directly. But I certainly hope that someone at FedEx sees this post and takes some steps to ensure their drivers don’t engage in such blatant disregard for bicyclists and the CA vehicle code (section 21211, if you’re interested).

Oh for Fuck’s Sake

So, I came across this on Facebook recently, shared by one of my friends.


And, in the true spirit of the holidays, it really made me want to find the original poster and those who shared it and give them a huge “BAH HUMBUG!”

I know it will come as huge shock to those who know me, but I am one of those people who does not particularly care for this, the least wonderful time of the year. A too-busy schedule of social obligations that feel exactly like obligations. Commercials, billboards and storefronts constantly reminding all that if you’re not giving or getting a Lexus with a big red bow in the driveway and/or something jewel-encrusted for Christmas, well, then – you’re not really a very good person and no one will ever love you, because, as we all know, “expensive gifts = love.” The end of another year, a stark reminder of the inexorable march to the grave and the sad refrain of “is that all there is?” Having to listen, yet again, to the worst Christmas song of all time, bar none, “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney. Mindlessly stuffing one’s face with the surfeit of Harry & David Moose Munch and cheese logs delivered to the office.

So, yes – not my favorite time of year. But I certainly realize that many folks, such as those described in the Facebook post, are having a much less happy holiday than I. And, having been unceremoniously dumped (does anyone ever get ceremoniously dumped – maybe royalty? “We, your sovereign and significant other do declare that we shan’t live with you anymore and have filled our royal coach with our half of the royal CD collection and that plant that I brought to the relationship. I shall depart presently for the Royal Efficiency Apartment behind the strip mall adjacent to the Winter Palace.” But I digress…) on the Sunday before Thanksgiving three years ago, I have a bit of experience with extraordinarily shitty holidays. I can therefore tell you with absolute assurance that copying and pasting a mindless bit of drivel about “caring thoughts and loving prayers” and “moral support” to your Facebook timeline will do not one whit to ameliorate the suffering of another person.

If you are, in fact, genuinely concerned about someone you know who’s lonely this holiday, call them up! Take them to a movie! Show up at their house on Christmas morning with a large bottle of bourbon and a stack of non-holiday-themed DVDs! Bring them a casserole! Worried about someone in poor health or coping with the illness of a family member? Clean their bathroom! Do a couple of loads of their laundry! Walk their dog! Bring them a casserole! Your jobless friend? Invite them for dinner – on you! Slip a C-note into their Christmas Card! Get ’em a Safeway gift card! Bring them a casserole!

But don’t post ridiculous b.s. on Facebook and then pat yourself on the back for being so thoughtful. Because, in addition to being useless and smacking of self-congratulatory smugness, it really brings out the worst in Grinch-types such as myself – who will then be forced to blog disparagingly about your annoying FB post.

So, happy holidays! And just fucking bring those casseroles.

Seriously, When Do We Start with the Pitchforks and Torches?

Christ, what an asshole

Heard this morning on CBS: Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs (you remember them? We taxpayers bailed them out to the tune of $10 billion…) demonstrating a breathtaking level of arrogance and willful stupidity.

Social Security wasn’t devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career.

What? The? Fuck? If a working career lasts 25 years, then I should have retired several years ago. And let’s not forget that full SS benefits don’t kick in until one is 67 – or that the average recipient of benefits collects for just over 16 years.

It’s really disgusting, these out-of-touch, multi-millionaire CEOs blaming the nation’s economic woes on retirees – most of whom worked for 45 years or longer. Never any mention of the home mortgage scam orchestrated by the big banks or the fact that the whole notion of “too big to fail” essentially guarantees that the insane financial risks these institutions take don’t actually expose them to any risk at all. If the investment doesn’t pay off and affects their bottom line sufficiently to endanger their existence – well, then, the government will step in to bail them out to ensure markets remain stable. In other words, the element of risk is no longer there – thus removing any incentive for these financial institutions to act with caution or even intelligence. They can’t lose.

Oh, also, Social Security is already well-funded and solvent for the next 20 years, so it’s not exactly crying to be “fixed.” Though if Mr. Blankfein is really concerned about its solvency, how about advocating for removal of the limit on income that is taxed for SS? Today, any income in excess of $110,000 is not assessed any SS taxes. Mr. Blankfein’s salary last year was $2 million (plus $3 million in bonus and $10 million in stock) – so only 5% of his salary was subject to SS taxes. And only 0.6% of his entire compensation. What a shocking coincidence…

And while I’m sure your blood is already boiling, just a final thought: Blankfein  bought his apartment on Central Park West for $26 million. He paid cash. I’m knitting his name into my sweater right now…

I Feel Doody-bound to Write About This…

So, this is a thing. Cottonelle is asking viewers of this commercial to come up with clever euphemisms for the combination of wiping your ass with both TP and “flushable wipes.” Gross.

Now, obviously, I could visit their site and add my own suggestions for this process. But I’m pretty sure that any entries with appropriate words like “shit,” “poop” and “excrement” will be filtered (heh) – not to mention, I don’t want Cottonelle showing up on my list of “Likes” on Facebook. So, here’s what I’ve come up with so far, presented without the stifling censorship of the Kimberly-Clark corporation. Feel free to drop (heh) your own suggestions in the comments section.

  • Crusty Crack Crap Crammer Combo
  • Dingleberr-E-radicator
  • Excrementary, Dear Watson a.k.a. No Shit, Sherlock
  • Bunghole Boogie-Woogie
  • Smears Johnny!
  • 50 Shades of Brown
  • The Origin of Feces
  • The Hole Shebang
  • Diarrhea-nother Day
  • Searching for Klingons on Uranus
  • Better Than a Corn Cob
  • The Number Two-Step
  • Rock, Paper, Shitters
  • From Shart Minds Come Shart Products
  • The Doody Free Shop
  • Shit’s About to Get Real
  • The Karl Rove

Also, just while on the subject of Cottonelle: their TP is the most dingleberry-inducing product I have ever used and it is banned from both my home and my bottom.

It’s not rocket science people…

So the bike racks in the parking lot at my office are of the “lowboy” variety – that is, the bike’s front wheel sits inside a pair of low profile metal loops that make up the rack. The racks are arranged in a single row with access available from either side.

Lowboy bike rack

Now, it is obvious to me and to any right thinking person that the only appropriate way to park one’s bike in this particular arrangement is to alternate loops on each side. In other words, if Bike A parks in slot 1, entering on the west side of the rack, then Bike B parks in slot 2, entering on the east side, Bike C parks in slot 3, etc.  This provides easy ingress and egress for all bicycles; minimizes pedals, handlebars, baskets and other equipment from getting all smashed up and tangled; and leaves some room to attach the lock to the bike and rack.

Like this, dummies

Instead, of course, people just park all willy-nilly, with nary a care nor a thought for their fellow cyclists. When I arrived this morning, slot 1 and slot 4 were both being used by east-facing bikes! Whether I properly park in slot 2 or 3, the remaining slot will now either be out of commission or some jackass will just cram his shitty bike in there, making it a big production for me to simply retrieve my bike. IDIOTS. It’s really the moral equivalent of taking up two parking spaces.

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, someone (who shows up to work earlier than I – presumably solely out of spite) has AGAIN parked his bike in slot 1 – which as everyone should be well-aware is MY spot that I have been using for ages. Why must my life be such a trial? The sole consolation is that my bike is still far-and-away the best bike on the rack….

Fuck you, NBC

Here is a list of all the  disciplines of sport that make up the current Olympic Summer Games:

  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • BMX
  • Boxing
  • Canoe/kayak (slalom)
  • Canoe/kayak (sprint)
  • Diving
  • Equestrian (Dressage)
  • Equestrian (Eventing)
  • Equestrian (Jumping)
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Gymnastics (Artistic)
  • Gymnastics (Rhythmic)
  • Gymnastics (Trampoline)
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Modern pentathlon
  • Mountain biking
  • Road cycling
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized swimming
  • Table tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Track cycling
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball (beach)
  • Volleyball (indoor)
  • Water polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling (Freestyle)
  • Wrestling (Greco-Roman)

Here is a list of the sports I have seen on NBC prime-time over the past six days (many hours after the competitions have completed and results reported not only by every online, broadcast and print news organization, but frequently by NBC itself during its own promos):

  • Diving
  • Gymnastics (Artistic)
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball (beach)
  • Volleyball (indoor)

Oh, and I don’t suppose I need to add, the only competitions NBC was gracious enough to air were those in which Americans participated. Don’t even get me started on the jingoistic nature of the coverage. We were treated to hour after hour of the U.S. men’s gymnastic team having a terrible time in the team competition – yet we saw virtually none of their competitors’ (i.e. the winners!) routines. The rings exercises were not shown once. It’s really disgraceful. And I haven’t even mentioned the valuable airtime wasted with Ryan Seacrest (RYAN SEACREST!) “reporting” on which athletes are trending on Twitter. AAAUUUGGGGGHHH! The worst.

Here’s an interesting piece about the whole debacle. The sad part is, ratings are through the roof apparently. So we can expect more of the same in 2016 and 2020. I think at this point I ought to spend two weeks in London for every Olympics, just so I can enjoy the apparently marvelous BBC broadcast.

Keep Smiling, Keep Shining…

Drat – I realized I forgot to reattach my beam rack and trunk to my bike this morning. Meaning that despite packing my gym togs in my backpack, I don’t have my sneakers or padlock with me – thus being forced to skip the gym (again!) and instead spend the evening comparing the various models of Hoverounds and Jazzy Chairs to determine which is most appropriate for my active lifestyle*.

But, lucky for me, I’ve got friends who’ll help out. Or should I say, “lucky” for me, I’ve got “friends” who’ll “help out.”

Me: UGH. I forgot half my stuff for the gym, so now I can’t go. Actually, I have my clothes, but not my padlock. OH WELL – guess I’ll have to go home and finish off the Freixenet before it goes flat…

Compulsive gym-goer pal: I’ve got a lock. Here.

Me: Oh… Um, yeah. Thanks. But I’ll never remember the combination.

CGP: It’s (easily remembered 3-character alpha-numeric combo).

Me: Oh… Um… Well, I don’t have my flip-flops to wear in the shower. And my toenail is kinda effed up right now, so I’m sure I’d get a fungal infection immediately. It’s a total cootie vector.

CGP: I’ve got some extra flip-flops. Here.

Me: …

Me: …

Me: ALL RIGHT! I’LL GO! Jesus…

CGP: Have a great weekend!

That’s what friends are for!

Oh, and she also implied that I’m fat – which is actually an improvement. She usually just states it unequivocally. Also, her name rhymes with Shmemily.

Why, Hoosiers?

Yes, it was delicious

Memorial Day and I had a craving for a carnitas burrito – specifically, a carnitas burrito from Gordo Taqueria. The sun was shining (though there was a stiff breeze), so onto my bike and off to the Sunset. I figure the 8-mile round trip ride would counteract a goodly portion of the pork-cooked-in-lard-which-therefore-makes-it-extra-delicious burrito.

Golden Gate Park was surprisingly quiet for a holiday, so I was somewhat displeased to find Gordo’s to be very crowded. But the line wasn’t too long and I managed to get the last little table.

But wait, what’s going on here? It finally became clear why the place was so crowded. Of the ten tables in the place, fully half were occupied by a group of 16 or so rubes tourists from Indiana (judging by the plethora of apparel emblazoned with their state’s name – I guess in case they get lost?).

Now, I get that tourism is a huge part of the SF economy. And I applaud these folks for finding there way to a really excellent taqueria rather than lining up at the Cheesecake Factory. But…

First of all, that’s too large of a party to take to such a small place. Imagine the poor schmuck behind them who has to wait in line while all 16 of them hem and haw and ask questions and panic over the salsa being too spicy and deciding who’s paying for whom. All he wanted was his usual “regular carnitas with cheese and guacamole, spicy”  and now he’ll have to wait 20 minutes just to order it.

Second of all, if you are going to show up at a tiny place like this with your inappropriately large party, you need to get that shit to go. You’re literally half a block from Golden Gate Park. Have a picnic! Eat and walk! Anything other than pushing tables together, moving chairs around and hogging up half the space in the tiny establishment!

Third of all, if you do selfishly decide to take up half the tables in the place, you need to eat those burritos stat and the get the fuck out. Don’t sit around, sipping your sodas and shootin’ the breeze, deciding where you ought to go next. You’re not in a cafe in Paris – you’re in a very small and busy taqueria that is frequented largely by couples and Mary Ann Singleton’s who just want to sit, wolf down a burrito and get on with their lives.

Fourth of all, when you do finally clear out, be sure to leave the tables and chairs that you’ve rearranged all willy-nilly all over the place and don’t bus your tables or throw away your trash. Let someone else take care of that for you…

Fifth of all, Jesus H. Christ!

But, to end on a happy note, here’s a photo of my sweet ride. Je t’aime, ma belle bicyclette!

Perche, Olive Garden?

I’m not a particular fan of chain restaurants – but I realize that they serve a purpose. I have even eaten in more than one – though typically in places like Honolulu, Dallas or the Cancun airport, where dining options are not on par with places like SF or NYC.  So, while they may not be to my taste, I don’t bear them any particular ill-will.

Save, that is, for the Olive Garden. I just hate them so much. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten in one – though I am quite confident that the food is lousy. But that’s not why I hate them.

I can’t stand that they portray themselves as serving food that is in some way authentically Italian. They crow about their “Tuscan cooking school,” which I was shocked (shocked!) to learn is fictitious. But one need look no further than what they actually serve to know that this food is the opposite of Italian cuisine, which often relies on fresh and simple ingredients – not factory-prepared, fat-laden, reheated gut-bombs.

Their latest “specialty” is something they call “pastachettis” – cheese-encrusted, cheese-stuffed pasta, served with sausage covered in a “sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce” (whatever the fuck that is) and then topped with mozzarella. This single entree contains over 75% of the calories that an adult should eat in an entire day – and twice the fat. And don’t even get me started on the concepts of primi piatti and secondi piatti.

So, yeah, that’s all gross and annoying – but what chaps my hide the most is the pronunciation of “pastachetti.” Obviously, it’s just a made-up name (like an “enchirito” from Taco Bell) – but if they really want to stick to their ruse of “authenticity,” Olive Garden needs to at least learn the language!

As spelled, “pastachetti” should be pronounced with a hard “c”. In Italian, “ch” followed by an “e” or an “i” is pronounced like the “k” sound in English. But Olive Garden is pronouncing “ch” phonetically, following the rules of English. In Italian, a “c” followed by an “e” or an “i” is pronounced “ch” – for example, La Cenerentola, fettucini, ciao. (And as long I’m ranting, to all who order bruschetta in public, it takes a hard “c” due to the presence of the “h” after the “c” – “brooshetta” is not a thing.)

Also, to pluralize an Italian word, one adds “i” or “e” (depending on the gender of the word) – not “s”. So calling this grossness “pastachettis” is nonsensical – it is already pluralized.

Finally, the slogan, “When you’re here, you’re family” makes me hurl. Especially in extra-creepy scenarios like this one in which the mom seems to be hitting on her son…

How to Avoid Weeping and/or Murderous Rage When Reading the News

Hey America! Pull my finger...

Every time I hear King Carrot Tangerine’s surname pronounced “BAYNER,” my eyes roll into the back of my head. Just like in poem, floes, roe and woe, in English (a.k.a. AMERICAN!), “oe” does not have a long A sound. His name is pronounced “BONER.” I swear it’s almost as bad as Raymond Luxury Yacht

Anyway, keep the correct pronunciation in mind as you read any given day’s headlines. It goes a long way toward preventing the gnashing of teeth and the screaming of obscenities. To wit:

Risks to Boehner in Debt-Ceiling Brinkmanship

Boehner Presses Obama on Libya Action

Are they drifting apart? Rumors swirl that Boehner and Cantor are less than cozy

Boehner Breaks Down Again

Boehner Is Monstrous Orange Prick; Also Horrible Douchebag

OK, I made that last one up. Though it is true.

Going Up! My Blood Pressure, That Is

Not to go all Jerry Seinfeld, but what’s the deal with entering and exiting elevators these days? When the elevator arrives, one stands to either side of the door to allow passengers alighting from the car to exit quickly and without impediment. Isn’t this both a rule and the most basic common sense?

Why then do I constantly have to push my way past some jackass standing in the door and blocking my egress from the car? I mean, I’m the first to admit that I sometimes become overly-engrossed in reading something on my PDA or lost in some reverie related to lying on a tropical beach and/or smiting my enemies – and that this can result in my inadvertently blocking the doors of the elevator. But I immediately mutter “pardon me” and get the fuck out of the way. I don’t stand there slack-jawed and cow-eyed, still as a statue, thus forcing the disembarking passengers to squeeze past my inert and blobby self. And I certainly don’t just push my way onto the elevator before others have exited.

Yet I experience these behaviors from others multiple times every day at my office! Seriously. The doors open, and some blivet has planted him or herself squarely in the center of the exit, immobile and staring blankly into some indeterminate point on the horizon. I really don’t understand it. And the really sad part is that elevators are the only option for moving between floors – there are no accessible stairs between floors.

Also, I am eagerly awaiting the day when Otis decides to replace those cushy rubber bumpers on the doors with giant razor blades. Maybe then people would think twice before thrusting their hand into the nearly-closed doors of a crowded elevator, just so they can save themselves the 10 to 15 seconds they would’ve had to wait for another elevator to arrive.

Ugh. Fuckers.

Why, grown-ups?

I went to see the matinee showing of “Toy Story 3” today – and it was really excellent…  As with every Pixar movie, I was all weepy at the end.

Of course, the problem with going to see kids movies is that there are lots of kids in the audience. I mean, I steel myself for this – I get that kids haven’t yet fully developed and may not hew to established norms for behavior in a movie theater.  As I should know to expect by now, however, the kids are generally fine – especially when movie is as good as this one.  The story, for the most part, manages to keep them rapt with attention…  Sadly, the same cannot be said for their parents…

I knew the couple behind me was going to be trouble even before the movie started – complaining loudly and ad nauseum about the number of previews.  Then, once the movie started, out came the sugary snacks they’d smuggled in, encased in the most crinkly and loudest cellophane ever.  And they’d been thoughtful enough to bring a movie-length supply of whatever it was they were cramming down their gaping maws…

Of course, they were also quite busy talking and exclaiming throughout the film.  Every time some reference was made to the plot line of an earlier installment, they’d loudly pronounce, “Awwwwwwww…”

And can someone please explain to me the compulsion to repeat aloud the punchlines of jokes delivered in the movie, followed by a guffaw as if they’d just made the joke themselves?  For the life of me, I’ll never understand this.  We all got the gag, folks!  That’s why we’re all laughing – we don’t need you to explain it to us.

It should come as no surprise that when one of their kids asked a question about the plot, the response was not the appropriate (and delivered in a stage whisper), “Honey, there’s other people trying to watch the show – remember you have to be quiet so they can enjoy the story too.” It was, instead, an intricate recap of the last 20 minutes of the film to bring the poor kid up to speed…

The thing I wonder is whether this is unique to a movie auditorium – or do they teach their kids to act like selfish jackasses in any circumstance?

“Mooommm! The line for ice cream is too long!”

“Oh, that’s OK, dear…  Just go up to the front of the line and cut… We’re more important than everyone else…”

“Daaaaddd! I want a dolly like hers!”

“Well, why don’t you just go over and knock her down and take it from her?  Remember, the world revolves around us…”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that these particular parents appeared to be the exception to the rule.  And kudos to those of you teaching your kids some manners – but I really do prefer to tar you all with the same brush…  Just makes things easier.

Why, Whole Foods?

My expression was the opposite of this...

With all the rain and gross weather over the last month or so, I haven’t been riding my bike – which also means I’ve been skipping my usual after-work visits to Whole Foods on 4th and Harrison.  But I’m back in the saddle and back to stopping off for groceries most evenings.

Now let me tell you, I generally like this particular location.  Granted, the male staff at the Franklin St. location is typically much hotter looking, but the market itself is cramped and filled with pushy, self-entitled d’bags who won’t get out of my goddamn way.  The 4th Street branch is definitely mellower and seems to serve a more diverse group of customers.  And the layout, while a bit quirky, is less prone to bottlenecks.

Be that as it may, there’ve been a couple of incidents this week and last.  I went last Wednesday evening, looking forward to a little sushi from the sushi bar – just some tekka maki, kappa maki and maybe California roll.  But all the boxes were nine piece servings, all of the same variety.  Where are the little four or six piece boxes?  Hmmm…  Annoying.  So, I just settled for a tamale and some enchilada from the hot bar – and of course my apples managed to smash through the box on bike ride home, so it was like eating an ax murder (visually that is – it tasted fine. Oh, and I certainly don’t blame Whole Foods for the apple/enchilada mash-up…  The perils of shopping by bike…)

At any rate, I returned on Friday, still intent on having sushi – and the same scene replayed.  All nine-piece boxes of a single variety.  What gives?  When I asked the gentleman behind the counter, he indicated, “We’re a new company” with no further explanation as to why they chose to package their sushi in such unworkable quantities.  Apparently this company hates us Mary-Ann-Singleton-types and thus only packages their sushi for the happily married rather than sad, cat-owning spinsters such as myself.

Then, last night, knowing I couldn’t get sushi, but not feeling like cooking, I decided I’d just get a sandwich – turkey with roasted peppers and pesto-mayo, my favorite!  I went right up to the deli counter (no line – yay!) and was submitting my order when I was advised that they were out of meat.  Not out of  turkey – they were out of every variety of meat.

I took the liberty of looking up “deli” – it is short for “delicatessen,”  an “operation offering foods intended for immediate consumption. The main product line is normally luncheon meats and cheeses.” (emphasis added by me)  So, Whole Foods, please hew a little more closely to the definition of deli – providing meat is really key to the deli experience. KTHXBYE.

Why, Annoying Lady on Muni?

Rain this morning, so no biking to work.  Caught the 2-Clement just after I walked out the front door of my place, which was quite convenient… or was it?

The bus itself was pretty mobbed, but I was both surprised and pleased to see that people had in fact moved all the way to the back and made room so more passengers could board.  This is a semi-typical scene during commute hours – we’re all miserable about being crammed into the tiny bus, but let’s do what we can to keep things civil and keep things moving along.

Of course, the glaring exception was the gal who’d gotten on at my stop just before me.  As we approached the next stop, the driver encouraged people to move back, since there were more office drones waiting to be transported to work.  The driver indicated he was forbidden by law from operating the vehicle if passengers were not behind the yellow line.  To which Miss Lady grumbled, “This is what happens when they cut bus service…”  And you know what?  That is totally true!

But do you know what else?  You are a self-centered, annoying twat!  I’d had to push my way past you when we boarded – there was plenty of room further back, but no – you were doing the old statue routine, rooted motionless in your spot.  You had your spot – why should you move, just so more people can board?  I’ve got mine and no one’s taking it away from me!

Oh, and the suitcase-sized purse you’re carrying?  Take it off your shoulder and carry it like a pocketbook! You’re blocking the aisle just the same as if you were wearing an enormous backpack (also, it was an ugly knockoff, so get over yourself).  See, I wear a backpack – but not on the bus!  I take it off and carry it, because I am not a huge asshole (at least when it comes to wearing a backpack on Muni).  I made a point of smashing her bag as vigorously as possible as I shoved on back (as did the three other passengers who’d boarded after her).  And I was quite tempted to politely point out that perhaps she could carry her cheaply-made designer-impostor satchel in her hand to make more room for her fellow passengers –  but knowing that I’d probably wind up screaming, “Get that motherfucking bag off of your goddamn shoulder, you stupid, stupid woman!  What the fuckety-fuck is wrong with you? Also, you should really do something about that hair! It is extremely unflattering!” And since she’s a regular at my stop, that would’ve been totally awkward…  So I just clammed up and retreated to the blessed anonymity of the internet to air my grievances…

Just when I think I’ve seen it all…

Saw a guy in the locker room at the Y (natch).  He was nude, save for a dress shirt (and I should point out that wearing only a shirt and nothing else is always way pervier than strutting around nude), perched on one of the communal stools (with full-contact between the seat and his twig-and-berries, taint and b-hole), one foot on the floor, the other perched on the edge of the seat – so he could clip his toenails…

Trying to decide whether this was more or less bizarre than the time I saw a guy in front of the sinks in the locker room coloring his hair – complete with plastic gloves and easy-application tube of shoe-polish brown (Miss Clairol No. 47, I think…)

Also, I will never, ever, ever understand the members at the Y who wait for the interminably slow elevator, only to ride up one floor to the workout floor and then climb onto the StairMaster… “Unclear on the concept” doesn’t even begin to describe it…

Christ-on-his-throne – what the hell is wrong with people?

Yes, I’m complaining about the Y again…

OK, I’m actually complaining about the patrons…  To wit:

  • The lady who was sitting in the middle of the highly-populated stretching area whilst reading a novel.  And, no, she was not stretching – just kicking back and gettin’ her read on.  I did my best to get my sweaty fumes wafting in her direction…
  • The guy who repeatedly spent ten minutes hunched over his Blackberry in front of the penny-lockers, constantly checking his what were sure-to-have-been very important text messages – presumably along the lines of “I’m working out – what about you?”  This was annoying in-and-of-itself – but he was also blocking my access to my preferred corner for stretching my scrawny arms….
  • The dude in the locker adjacent to mine, who required three stools and a four-foot radius to spread out his various towels, gym clothes, salves and unguents, while I daintily tried to squeeze past to doff my gear.
  • The pièce de résistance: the dread-locked fellow who emerged shiny and dripping from the steam room and then parked himself in the passage to the showers and vigorously and repeatedly whipped his head forward and back, spraying all and sundry (including yours truly) with the effluvia from his grimy braids.  Seriously, my gag reflex got quite the workout – I should’ve just puked on him.  Oh, he was also directly in front of the towel hooks, so all the poor saps who’d hung their towels whilst showering were treated to an unwitting rub down with his tonsorial essences.

I will never understand people…

Why, Hardware Store?

A beautiful Sunday here in SF – the sun is shining, my teeth aren’t chattering, windows flung open to air out the smell of old-man and stale booze…  And as the sunlight pours into my apartment, I say to myself, “Jesus Christ, what a dump! Time to do some heavy-duty cleaning…”

First order of business is obtaining a sponge-mop (someone else used to be in charge of cleaning the kitchen floor and relied on a scrub brush apparently…  And I must say, it’s amazing what I used to consider “clean” in this place…  I turned a blind-eye to so many things…  But I digress…)  So, off I head to the hardware store, a smile on face and a spring in my step…  Until of course I actually leave my apartment and must interact with humanity…  There’s the usual five-abreast-slow-walkers, reeling drunks, ambling tourists…  Nothing too out of the ordinary, so I’m only simmering at this point…

I arrive at the hardware store and, after a brief flirtation with the Rubbermaid mop (“60% more absorbent!”), I settle on the Roll-O-Matic, persuaded by the combination of both sponge and scrubby-thingy…  I head to the cashier, knowing from past experience that it will take longer than it should…  Oh, if only I knew…  There’re 6 people ahead of me – and one of the cashiers is in the midst of signing up his customer for the frequent shopper card, so they can take advantage of 5% off their $30 purchase…  “Name? Address?  Phone number? Birthday? Just the year and month! Oh, wait you don’t live in the United States?  That’s OK…  So just fill out here…  and here…  and here…  And what’s your phone number?”

Oh my god…  This goes on interminably as the line grows longer and longer and my blood pressure climbs higher and higher…  Finally, the transaction is complete – and the cashier takes off to get change for his one other extremely slow-moving colleague…  There are about 18 people in line at this point…  And the person being rung up has about 28 items… Grrr…

So, finally the other cashier returns, ready to assist the next customer, who also has about 30 items in his basket. “Do you have a frequent shopper card?  OK, let me look it up…  What’s your phone number?  And your last name?  Hmmm, I’m not finding you…  Do you want to sign up again?  OK, name?  Address?  Phone number?” etc., ad infinitum…

What the hell is with people?  I mean, I blame the cashier for not simply refraining from pushing the loyalty program sign-up when there are 20 other people fuming waiting in line – but I actually blame the d’bag of a customer most.  Did you really need a 5% rebate on your $25 purchase a year from now?  Was that $1.25 really worth pissing off all the people behind you?  And you’re actually buying “naval jelly”?  Freak…

From there, I went to the Container Store – things went pretty smoothly, save for having my path blocked by some woman who thought it was simply adorable to be teaching her toddler how to walk in the main aisle…  and I refrained from giving the little tyke a poke with my newly-purchased mop…  See, I’m not a knee-jerk children-in-public hater – but c’mon parents – keep ’em out of my path…

The usual obstacle path back home…  But then I powered up iTunes to get some gay disco pumping and went at that kitchen floor like nobody’s business…  And now you could eat off that floor…  Well, OK, you’d only eat off the floor if the food being served were on a plate that was sitting on the floor – but still…  And now, bathroom, here I come…  Sunday, bloody Sunday…

Why, Y?

Jeez, it’s only Tuesday and the patrons at the YMCA have already outdone themselves…  Yesterday’s highlights included somebody singing in the locker room; somebody else doing his elaborate stretching routine in the locker room; and some dude using the sink to rinse out the copious bodily excretions accumulated in his sauna suit…

And today, unbeknownst to me, was apparently “If You’re an Unattractive Homo Who Doesn’t Know How to Check Out Guys Discreetly, Then Be Sure to Molest Eric With Your Eyes While He Is Minding His Own Business and Just Trying to Finish His Lame-Ass Workout… And Also Be Sure to Get in His Way A Lot So He’ll Be Even More Irritated” Day. I wish they’d’ve put this on the calendar so I could’ve skipped it…

On the plus side though, I finally introduced myself to the cute guy who works there…  Regrettably, this did not result in being asked out on a date…  Nor did it take place in the showers while we were soaping each other up…  Maybe next time…