25 June 2006

We Don't Need no Water...

My family has been aflutter with planning my fantastic older sister's wedding, especially during the last few weeks, when she took an extended trip home to make crucial decisions (What color tablecloths? What color?!?) and stuff guest welcome bags in the manner of the political prisoner of a dictatorship fiercly dedicated to the cause of ribbon, tulle, and the color blue.

At one point, finding themselves with time to kill between appointments with the caterer and cake dude (and he really is a dude -- a classic mountain-town burnout who happens to be a genius with pastry), she and our parents decided to drive by the cabin her also-fantastic fiancé had reserved for the wedding night, and found ... a smoking ruin. The rental agency just hadn't bothered to notify the couple that the unit had burned to the ground and their reservation had been transferred to a different one.

Now, this was kind of a shock to my sister and our parents, and, as my sister the attorney possesses truly masterful angry-phone-call skills, I imagine it was also a shock to the unfortunate CSR at the rental agency who had to explain the situation, and yet I have been giggling about it ever since I found out.

22 June 2006


(from threadbared.com)

Is it weird that I would be totally tempted to make one of these dresses for myself?

13 June 2006

I'll Take the Stairs, Thanks

The facilities maintenance people on campus have a standard flier that they post when they will be doing construction work, filling in the appropriate location on the form to alert people with offices in that area that things are about to be extremely unpleasant.

Because I am easily entertained, I was delighted to come across such a sign posted outside the department office earlier today, reading:

"Attention: Occupants and visitors to stairwells and elevator cab ..."

"What're you up to?" "Not much, just popping in to see the stairwell for lunch."
"Hey, where's your office these days?" "I'm in the elevator cab."

I'm not sure what they're doing to the stairs, or why they have the stairs and elevator torn up simultaneously, but presumably, this means that they are fixing the elevator so that the door opens not only to let you board the elevator, but also to let you out on the appropriate floor. I kid you not, getting stuck in an elevator is such a common occurrence in our buildings that my officemate always uses the bathroom and has a drink of water before taking the elevator, just in case.

11 June 2006

Subject: Condolences

My primary boss's cat had to be put to sleep this week, which led to a surprisingly complex workplace etiquette dilemma: clearly, I didn't want to be all business-as-usual, but at the same time, she and I are not what you'd call confidantes, so I didn't want to be intrusive, all, "Hi! It's possible that you would prefer to mourn privately, but I will nonetheless bring up your recent loss in a professional setting! I heard your cat died! That really blows!". I thought a minimally intrusive sympathy card would probably be best, but that would take awhile to get to her (she's out of town), which would leave the business-as-usual e-mail I'd sent 30 minutes before hearing about the cat (but about two hours after the cat actually went) just hanging out there making me look like a callous asshole for several days. Emergency action was required, i.e.:

1. Frantic composition of sympathy e-mail; that the subject line was "Condolences" really tells you everything you need to know about how hilariously awkward and inadequate it was.

2. Hasty excursion in search of a reasonably sympathetic, yet professional card; no reflection on the fantastic Changing Hands Bookstore -- I think the range of available sympathy cards is just uniformly bad -- but it took me about 45 minutes to decide among some really deplorable choices:
a. Outside: Watercolor cat on cloud with halo and wings. Inside: Some kind of tear-jerking sentimental poem about loss. Sure, if my goal was to make her cry more.
b. Outside: Night sky with cat-shaped constellation. Inside: "Heaven is a little bit brighter now". Sweet dancing Christ.
c. Blank card with pen-and-ink drawings of frolicking cats. Relatively inoffensive, but will depiction of happy cats make her feel worse?
d. Blank card with black-and-white photo of sleeping cat. But does sleeping cat have unpleasant visual associations with dead cat?

... and so on. I ended up with a pretty good one with a simple non-cat design and a positive message about having a good life, but it was a tightrope ... a fucking tightrope.

09 June 2006

Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K

Dear Keanu Reeves,

Your newfound desire for a family and a stable life are very endearing, and I have had a soft spot for you ever since Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. As a result, it is with great regret that I inform you that, while I agree that beards are pretty sweet, if yours is still patchy when you are 41, you should accept that you will never achieve full coverage. Please consider a different facial hair conformation. Perhaps a moustache; that, at least, is looking pretty solid, and I understand from their sudden presence on random hipster dudes-about-town that they're totally happening right now.

Hearts & rainbows,

P.S. The internet has failed to yield a link directly related to The State sketch "The Bearded Men of Space Station 11". I'm not angry with you, interweb -- just very, very disappointed.

05 June 2006

The Extreme Have no Need for Spellcheck

Nearby Fort McDowell Casino is advertising "Rage in the Cage"--an "Xtreme!" fight championship, naturally--as "closed fist", among other details that didn't really register with me, not being a big fight aficionado. But not being a big fight aficionado, the closed fist thing raised a question: why do they need to specify this? Are there really prize fights that are open fist? Wouldn't that just be a slap fight? Ooh, is the fact that it's not a slap fight what makes it "Xtreme!"?

Man, just so you know, there are no good pictures of slap fights on the internet. Google images has failed me. My world is all ahoo.

01 June 2006

Monument to Inefficiency

It's good to see that although they lack the wherewithal to provide prescription coverage for students, ASU is committed to making minor bureaucracies as labyrinthe as possible.

Today I received notification that a book I'd requested from Interlibrary Loan for my ultimate boss had arrived. Fantastic! When I went to collect the book, ILL guy told me that I had a $10 charge for a previous overdue ILL item that would need to be paid before I could check this one out, and sent me to billing. Billing lady told me that I could only pay cash for the fine, and sent me to the library ATM. Library ATM told me I could not withdraw any money. I told billing lady that I would get cash at the student union. Student union ATM gave me cash, and Starbucks barista gave me a refreshing coffee beverage. Back at the library, billing lady told me I would need exact change to pay my $10, and sent me to the copy center. Copy center guy could only give me fives and ones as change. I foisted off the ones on billing lady and got my receipt showing that I was back in the library's good graces. Back at ILL, ILL guy couldn't check out my book because my patron record was still open over in billing, so he had to pop over and ask them to close it. Then I finally got to walk out of the place with my book.

To recap: ILL, billing, ATM, billing, student union, billing, copy center, billing, ILL. I can hardly believe that they hate overdue-book-hoarders that much. Is this what the library employees do to entertain themselves on slow days? Seriously, is this some kind of joke?