Thursday, October 28, 2010


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Phrases I Dislike Tremendously

We all have our pet peeves when it comes to the language we speak. Some of us are self-proclaimed "grammar Nazis" who, behind the mask of being lovers of the language, happily judge those who end sentences with prepositions, misuse 'I' in the place of 'me', or err grammatically in other ways. Others abhor contractions or recoil when met with slang. I believe one of the more common pet peeves is the dislike for certain phrases or words. Many people have agreed with me in the past that ophthalmology is an unattractive word. I, myself, like 'lackadaisical' and 'splendid'. 'Ointment' and 'salve' are terms that I've heard others concur on as being unpleasant. You get my point.

This post is my way of sharing my dislike for two phrases and one (new) term that is being bandied about in the office. Enjoy!

The first is "That's what she said." Am I really the only one who is tired of this? It didn't seem like that big a deal when it first started up but now people blurt it out at every possible opportunity. Am I really supposed to find it funny on any level whatsoever? Even if the speaker acknowledges how completely over-used this phrase is, I still don't feel that they are justified in using it at all.

And people really do use it whenever they can such as below:

I've literally had conversations about work-related minutia and had someone respond in this way. It doesn't even make sense! And yes, I know some would argue that this is the whole point but it just seems fucking stupid. It is also just a tad annoying when someone busts out with this outdated and ridiculous phrase when you are trying to have a serious conversation. Even worse, however, is if you are feeling ill or low, as you can see below.

I have a feeling that our friend there is none too pleased with the giggling cunt's response to his misery. If I were Hungover Harold, I'd punch giggling cunt in the mouth and then maybe throw up on her. Because I for one, do not like to hear nonsensical bullshit responses when I'm telling someone I do not feel well. "That's what she said" is probably the biggest offender in my mind just now.

But TWSS is not the only thing that grates on my nerves. I, like so many others, like to complain in multiples, so let's move on, shall we?

I'm not sure if this would be considered new, relatively new, or old, but I really dislike the phrase "I'm just sayin." It isn't meant in quite the same way as "no offense" but it is just as tacked on. I believe it is meant to excuse the speaker from any responsibility or consequence of what she or he has just said and I think it is cowardly. For instance, imagine if you were the painted up hussy below:

The brunette, Starla, is telling her friend, Jean, that she thinks too much make up is "trampy" (I bet you thought the blond would be Starla, but that is only because you stereotype people). Starla obviously realizes that she most certainly has offended her friend but she cannot unring the bell as they say so she adds "I'm just sayin'" as a way out. She doesn't say "no offense", which might make Jean feel better as she could assume that her make up is tasteful. Instead, Starla essentially looked at Jean and said "you look like a tramp in my opinion" but, because she said "I'm just sayin'", she is supposedly absolved of any guilty conscience. Because after all, we are all entitled to our opinions aren't we?

This is another phrase that is used in all sorts of situations. I think it is viewed as more common in casual chat, especially given that the 'g' is dropped from 'saying', but I have heard it used in multiple situations, which is part of why I despise it so much. If you are going to say something that you believe might be taken as inflammatory, think about it. If you truly believe in what you are about to say, then own it when you say it. If you don't feel you can communicate articulately and effectively enough so that your meaning is not misinterpreted, then zip it until you can express yourself more appropriately. For instance, take this douche bag:

Mr. Footless really believes in what he just said to Barbara. However, he realizes, mid thought, that what he is saying makes him sound like a douche because the idea is douchy. Hell, the fact that women really do make less money than men, the fact that pay inequality still exists in the 21st century, is a travesty. So what can Mr. Footless do other than trail off ineffectually? "I'm just sayin'" to the rescue! If I add "I'm just sayin'", then my audience will realize that this is just something that is coming out of my mouth and not necessarily what I believe! After all, I could say "I'm just sayin'" after I've read the ingredients off the box of Cheerios and I literally would have just been saying those things. In fact, I can say "Hitler was a guy who lived in Germany. I'm just sayin'" and no one could find any fault. Whew, that was close.

Hmm. I sound kind of passionate about IJS, don't I? Maybe that is the more grating of the two phrases. Maybe I should have them do battle until I can figure it out for sure.

Finally, there is a new term that is going around the higher ups in my office that I find ridiculous and totally unnecessary. This term is 'bandwidth' and from what I can decipher, refers to the resources a person needs to get their work done. Individuals are frequently referred to as the resource and you'll hear about "increasing Jodi's bandwidth" meaning "we'll give Jodi more hours for this project and remove her from less important things so that she can totally focus on this." It's stupid and unnecessary. Why couldn't they just say "we are going to give some of Jodi's less stressful task to others admins to allow her to focus more on this project"?

Here is how I first heard about this term and my reaction to it.

What the hell? The guy who said this to me is someone who likes to drop terms and names with utmost nonchalance in hopes of impressing all and sundry. It is kind of funny when people try to impress me because I don't call them out, I don't sit in awe, I just go blank. But bandwidth threw me for a loop.

And kind of made me feel fat.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Evening

J surprised me this evening when we went out to dinner (at Bob Evan's; for some reason I didn't want to say that part but I don't know why so figured I'd better just go ahead or else risk becoming a snob). Earlier that day I'd asked him if he was going to watch the Phillies-Giants game and he said 'no.' I assumed he just had a lot of work to do, as usual. Over dinner I told him that I would be watching and he said "no you aren't" and pushed two tickets over the table. They read "An Evening with Matt Groening."

I was shocked. J picked the tickets up the day beofre and had it all planned that we would go to an auditorium at teh Wexner Center at 7PM to listen to this discussion with Matt Groening and Tom Gammill. He'd been trying to figure out how to surprise me with the tickets from the moment he'd picked them up so I think he was pretty relieved when he finally got an opening. He knows that I am frequently bored and unhappy with the lack of social interaction and fun in general in my life so he was very excited to surprise me.

And it was great. We arrived early as we are unaccustomed to doing things like this and wanted to ensure we'd get parking and get seats together. We got to the actual auditorium 45 minutes early and chose seats well in the back so that we could leave with minimal fuss if we decided to leave early (which we are always likely to do given our attention spans, discomfort amongst crowds, and neuroses in general).

The discussion was fun. It went back to Mr. Groening's cartoonist father, Homer, and covered Life in Hell, The Simpsons, and Futurama. J and I both enjoyed ourselves and laughed a lot. We took pictures of one another with my camera phone after J said "I think we should take pictures of one another. Have you ever noticed that people do things and go places and take pictures of each other and put them on Facebook? Maybe we should do that."

We left after an hour and a half, a bit before the QA portion, which we were not interested in. As we left the auditorium, we were both super stoked that we did something so normal, so usual for people our age. I always get really thrilled when we act in accordance with what I think people our age do. I know it isn't perfect since I actively appreciate our behaving normally, but when we do this sort of thing, I'm so proud of us for getting out of the house and engaging with the world like everyone else. It makes me feel less freakish.

Until, of course, I skip and sing about how I've done something normal, at which point I give myself away.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

End of Week Sob Story

Disclaimer: I know that other people have way worse lives than do I and that I should just be really grateful for all that I have. And I am, thank you very much. I am the first one to point out that I have a pretty damn good life and that I am very lucky. So go fuck yourself instead of linking me to sites with burned Iraqi children, OK?

Nice little disclaimer that was, huh? Moving on.

This week turned ugly on Wednesday, as you can see here. I'd had a physical in late June and gotten a renewed prescription for all of my medications ('all' sounds like I take 17; I don't, I only take 3) as well as a hand-out about proper nutrition because I weigh too much and admitted that I eat like a ten year-old. One of the prescriptions somehow got lost. I swear I dropped it off at the pharmacy with the others but they do not seem to have a record of it. I had a few refills left on the old one so I didn't realize this until I called last Sunday to refill the script. The robot man on the phone said that my script was expired and offered me the option of having the pharmacy call my physician.

And they did. But guess what? My fucking physician had not called back for the authorization by Wednesfuckingday and that meant I'd been off that particular medication for 5 days. The best part? The medication in question is an anti-anxiety drug that I've been taking for something like 6 years and as anyone who has taken even one generic psychopathology class can tell you, the rebound effects involved with withdrawal from anti-anxiety medications are sucky indeed. Fortunately, I work with 2 super-nice physicians and was able to get the general surgeon to call in a script for me.

The rest of my work day was kind of a wash with some minor irritations and frustrations that were magnified due to the above. So by the time I was leaving work and got to the pharmacy where I was told my script would be $50, I'd reached my limit. It has been a long time since I paid that much and I was shocked, especially because my bank account is LOW at the moment. I paid, of course, and as I pulled away from the drive through window, I promptly burst into tears. I wept for the entirety of my 30-minute drive home. When I got into the apartment and J saw me, he had the look of fear that would adorn the face of anyone who was met by a spouse with a red, blotchy face actively engaged in weeping. I knew he'd worry so when he asked what happened, I said what anyone would "nothing...gasp...I'm fine."

I just didn't want him to think I'd gotten fired or crashed my car or anything. That was Wednesday. I know this post has the potential to be epic, but don't worry, Thursday and Friday aren't as involved.

So, Thursday. I'd taken my beloved drug and the placebo effect was already making me feel better. Work was what it was and I was taking it all in stride until a physician called about payment and it was uncovered that I've sent contracts out to numerous physicians with an incorrect payment schedule. This cost the department over a grand thus far and my first thought was "this is all my fault, I fucking fucked up bad and oh my god I'm worthless and they are going to fire me for sure and look at how incompetent I am. I. Am. A. Failure."

Within 30 minutes I discovered that I was not the only person at fault as the language in the contract was taken from past contracts going back to 2007 and it had been approved by someone high up on the chain of command. But, as I told my boss, that didn't make me feel any better. I was still frustrated and upset and just sick about not having caught the mistake. I must have looked pretty rough indeed as a friend in another department, who came over to talk to me about something, rubbed my back and told me not to worry too much when I just told her that I had fucked up. She also brought me a gift of mini-fruit roll-ups and a lean pocket the next day (she comforts with food and I love me some fruit roll-ups).

At the end of the day my boss came to my desk and said "I'm not here tomorrow so have a Starbucks on me" and gave me a $5 gift card*. I said "is this what I get for fucking up and feeling bad?" to which she responded "it's because I don't want you to feel bad." She, too, rubbed my back in a maternal fashion and told me that she knew how I felt but that all we could do was damage control.

That was Thursday. See, like Wednesday, it ended pretty well.

Friday was pretty good for the most part. I got to work early to help the general surgeon set up the training room for a presentation he was giving and sat through the first hour of it to run the projector. I worked and caught up on mind-numbing boring stuff and looked forward to the weekend.

Then I started my car and was reminded of something I'd meant to e-mail J about in the morning. My low coolant light was on. Again. A few weeks or a month ago, this scary light came on and J came to my work to fill my coolant dealy and everything seemed fine. I closely monitored the heat gauge on my ride home and during my commute to a meeting the next day. Things were fine up until yesterday and, since I forgot in the morning to tell J, I had to pull over into a park and J to direct me what to do. I put what coolant I had left into the dealy and then drove home gripping the steering wheel and muttering "please, please, please, please" over and over. I about lost it when I got stuck at a railroad crossing.

But I made it to the repair shop where I dropped off the car and walked home.

So my week was trying but each day ended fairly well all things considered. And even when the crummy things were happening, there were moments when I stepped out of myself and just thought "wow, this is so shitty that it seems pretty absurd." As the week progressed, I would continue to think "wow, really? More? Well, OK I guess." I appreciated, in a weird way, the level of shittyness that was my week. But that doesn't mean that I'm not super thrilled that it is finally Saturday.

*My boss and I love each other and we both really like Starbucks. At least twice a month, I'll stop on my way to work on Friday and pick her up her favorite when I get myself a grande non-fat latte. Her daughter, who does not like Starbucks, gets gift cards all the time from people and gives them to her mom. Thus, my $5 bonus on Thursday.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


In the company of assholes


Disclaimer: I know that not all individuals who file worker's compensations claims are necessarily lazy and fraudulent; however, those honest individuals who follow their physician's orders and return to the work force with or without any impairment after four to six weeks are far less funny.

Disclaimer 2: If you are easily offended, this is not the blog for you.

An Open Letter to Sleep

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Math of My Day

First Time for Everything (RE: This Blog)

Someone suggested that I start posting the crappy/goofy comics that I draw at work and home to a blog, so here we are. This is the last one I drew at work today after a meeting in which a guy I work with was kind of condescending to me. He is usually an OK guy but he is incredibly full of himself and tries to impress me all the time with things like "I had drinks with the Lieutenant Governor last night" and "so I had just opened this lovely bottle of Margeaux from 1978..." That is, of course, when he isn't trying to act like he can commiserate with me about finances when I comment that I'm eating Ramen because Husband is a student and not making a lot just now.

I drew this to vent my frustration and to make myself giggle, which is far better than stewing and plotting in revenge (in my opinion).

So this is post 1. We'll see how I do with this. This isn't a very good post and you can't see what the characters are saying very well but t'is a start.

Someone suggested that I start posting the goofy comics I draw at work and home to a blog so what the hell. Here is one from today.