Monday, January 30, 2006


Jacqueline tends to watch the award shows, and I happened to be watching when it came time for us all to roll our eyes at yet another exposure of the hideously overexposed Dakota Fanning. But then she started to speak, and -- I have to hand it to her. She spoke, as opposed to reading cue cards, and she did so much, much more articulately than any of the adult ac-tors.

Friday, January 27, 2006

NOT THAT I should admit going to Subway, but ...

Do all the customers have to treat the "toppings" process as though they
just won big on "Wheel of Fortune"?

"Uh, mayonnaise ... lettuce ... tomatoes ... onions ... mustard, green
peppers, oregano, hot peppers, yellow peppers, parmesan cheese,
olives, pickles, spinach ..."

Would you like the rest on account, or in Spicy Southwest Chipotle Sauce?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

WE DIDN'T HAVE a real Christmas tree this year. Between the deaths in the family and the bathroom renovation, the energy just wasn't there. But, lo and behold, we do have three discarded Christmas trees piled in front of our house!

You see, we are the lucky custodians of the Magic Garbage Tree. Not to compare the neighbors to hygienically questionable household pets or anything, but, like dogs looking for a place to piss, our neighbors look for a tree to set their trash next to, and we have a tree out front. It's really quite amazing -- at one point last year, neighbors carried yard waste from three doors down to put it in front of our house instead of in front of theirs.

This is separate from the issue of the dog walkers who gift our trash bins with their mutts' droppings. That might be OK if the trash collectors actually collected the trash in the bins, but, no, they collect only the gift-wrapped trash -- and the dog shit is never gift-wrapped. So the dog owners may, maybe, think they're doing something good when they throw the crap into a receptacle, but no. They're just throwing it in my lap. Same with the 7-Eleven, Subway and Burger King patrons.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I RECEIVED A FEW huge DVD box sets for my Very Atheist Christmas (yes, I believe -- in Santa! Chew on that, Bill O'Reilly!). In one of them, one little disc is defective. I knew how this story was going to end, of course, but the discs themselves cost, what, a nickel to produce? And so I tracked down an e-mail address and a phone number for Sony Home Entertainment, the maker of said box set.

Sony didn't reply to either of my two e-mails, and so I went looking for a telephone number. Eventually I found one, and -- miracle of miracles -- one of the voice-mail options involved defective DVDs. That's where my luck ran out: The recording named two titles for which Sony was offering specific action, and then it said that for any other DVD I had to return it to the store.

I left a message anyway, explaining that I was doing them a favor (why replace a dozen DVDs and all the packaging and all the souvenir tchotchkes when you could make things good for a nickel and the price of a stamp?) and asking that they please return my call even if the answer was no. Well, miracle of miracles, they did return my call, but the answer was still no.

"We don't even have the individual discs," the nice man said.

I stopped myself from reciting the "Five Easy Pieces" scene, but I did mention the title. (Distributor: Sony!)

I'm not about to make a gift-giver feel bad about not saving the receipt, and so I guess I'll box up my discs and tchotchkes and become one of those people I hate and march into a random retail establishment and lie about their selling me a defective product.

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