Monday, October 29, 2007

There's no burning bridges in baseball

Here's what you do today.

Call in sleepy. Be at the airport by 3:30 when the Sox plan arrives.

Unless you have awoken from this fantasy on being a 25 year old boy for the past month and have to put your pumps on for work.

I really got nothin' else. I am tired. It's cold in here. The sun is just rising. And have a loom to run.

more later.

Congratulations fellas. I love you all.

Tough break, Rockies. if you can't run with the Dirt Dogs, you know... stay under the porch.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Game Seven

Let me open with by expressing my covetous feelings toward Karen, who is at the game -- Game 7 -- and will no doubt post her own reflections on it, unless she is swallowed by a Landsdowne Street riot. I said, "I'll watch for you." She said,"Yeh, if some guy next to me has a real cool sign..."

Pregame:I am flipping between the preshow (Jeanne Zelasko: discuss) and Fiddler on the Roof, which is on channel 16. because that's how we roll, son.

By the way, remind me to tell you sometime how I stumbled onto Sunday Best (the gospel American Idol competition). but I'll have to do that later.

Inning by Inning - a real weblog
1. Jacoby Ellsbury looks like that drawing of Henry Huggins, doesn't he?

And while we're at it, what about

2. So far I think Mike Lowell is doing all the work. Kevin Millar introduced him as the biggest eyebrows in baseball. well, thanks for drawing that to my attention. I like how he just stands there and people hit the ball to him.

Dodie called to ask if I had ever heard of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. I hadn't.

You can look it up on your own. I'll tease you with this sentence:"For example, a family pet, such as a dog, may appear the size of a mouse, or a normal car may look shrunk to scale. "

This has not one thing to do with baseball. Unless it explains Julio Lugo.
we hang up.

3. I decide to check out the open chat on 112 fans online are just as dull as any other chat room, and just as delayed behind the action. Remember when I couldn't understand why anyone would have their compuer and their TV in the same room? I also didn't have cable that year.

I reheat the pizza. You should see this room; it's a regular man palace. I finally cleared the beer bottles, because I needed table space for more pizza. The remotes are everywhere, as are the pillows and the extension cords. If I hadn't left my nail kit right there after buffing, you might really think it was a frat house.

4. ALCS commercials I am really tired of
4a: Philaware-pragacago - whatever phone service you are, you are off my list
4b: Taco Bell guy with the lapdog
4c: (not the official commercial of the Davis family) I do like knowing that Zantac can give me better clothes and a boyfriend, as well as curing my heartburn
4d: Dane Cook. entirely. why are you yelling at me?

Jason, I love you, but you are the most inelegant spitter in a game full of inelegant spitting. Speaking of spitting, I hate to imagine the floor between Terry Francona's feet.

A brief note to Alice and Jason, who have not selected a name for their expected son - consider Drubal. If you choose Johnny in the end, please put the H in the right place. Who are we kidding, you would never choose a Cleveland name. We'll stick with Jacoby.

5. See, here's the thing: I really like fielding and base running. So I enjoy these 2nd base skirmishes and doubleplays much more than pitchers' duels. And I enjoy watching the Indians work the infield. And Lofton may very well have been safe. ssshhhh.

Francona removes a wad of gum the size of a peach from his mouth. Call eBay.

This inning has dragged and I have resorted to looking for Yaz footage on You Tube, then queuing up Ken Burns' baseball on Netflix.

6. Enter Okajima.The color commentary guy continues to tell the same story about Okajima's head position on delivery rather than spend some of the past 2 weeks learning anything else about him. Like the way I have been watching this broadcast for a week without learning the name of the color commentary guy.

I busied myself making more separated at birth collages. Would you just look at this summina-hummina?!

I want to hang this in my locker. I have settled for my desktop.

Do you notice how distracted I get in the middle third?
What did they do to Westbrook in this third? He just brought Veritek to his knee. His bad knee, in fact, and this may be a plot twist.

7. Was I right about Lugo, or what? But a double-play of our own makes his goofy error irrelevant, and we can use the offense to cover it up. I say "we," because you know I will have something to do with it.

Betancourt in/Westbrook out. 11pm.

HOME RUN PEDROIA! Things are looking very promising. I should have a mini-fridge moved in here.

8. Except that Okajima started slipping. Bring in the Goon!
In the middle, I file formal adoption papers for Jacoby Ellsbury.

Predicting series MVP: Beckett.

11:30pm - Cleveland starts to fall about, crashing into each other on the third base line. Their management, though, shows signs of actual strategy by loading the bases for Julio Let-me-Go.

It's all over but the car-tipping now, as we cruise 7 runs ahead. I realize this is bad baseball juju, but I figure I can delete it if I have to.

Jensen Lewis in to pitch to the last out. Not bloody likely!

9. 11:57. 11-2.
Game closed by a Keri Strugg move by Coco. Going to the show. It is snowing in Denver.
Instead of "I'm going to Disneyland, " Jason acknolwedges the excellence of the Cleveland Indians. Because that's how he rolls. Noble.

Good night everybody.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Real Corporate Drawing In

The subscribers of Real Corporate Email, many of whom also read this site (because I shamelessly promote it in my signature), have been encouraging me to plug

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

And so here you are, because I am out of material. Not completely out ("completely" out), because I have something churning ("Thinking is Writing," we used to say in the writing lab. And we did really say it, so I can quote it.)

Enjoy this blog. Blogger's photo upload is not functioning at the moment, so I cannot tease you with some of this week's submissions.

It is Found meets Engrish meets a little bit of PostSecret.

But I refuse to use the word Mash-up because it is silly branded slang for things we already have words for -- words like celebrity math and portmanteau.

The Quotation mark blog contains so many links to other blogs of this kind that I won't provide anymore. I'll just waste the rest of the evening reading them all.
Then I realized that RCE really does need a page of its own.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Never Overload the Autoclave

or... why you should be nice to your beauty therapist.

Here in the states, we say Aesthetician, but in the YOO-kay, I learned this evening, one is a Beauty Therapist. I learned this by recording from the Beauty Therapist textbook, and I want you to know, the ladies you pay to pluck your hair have to learn a lot more than you think they do.
This book was 580 pages long, plus another 20 of notes and bibliography, and everything that was in the back of your textbooks. It was also Level 2, which means there is a prerequisite.

And just because the chapter headings are "Wax," "Manicure," "Nail art," and the like, don't think there are not detailed explanations of anatomy, labor law, workplace safety, chemistry (talk about your side effects), and the like.

If this is what socialised (with an S) medicine (pronounced med-cine) will get you, I'm listening.

Publisher's statement:
Habia is the government approved standards setting body for hair, beauty, nails, spa therapy, barbering and African-Caribbean hair, and creates the standards that form the basis of all qualifications including NVQs, SVQs and Apprenticeships, as well as codes of practice.
Government approved standards.

This is not the kind of post that interests you much, I know, but it fascinates me, and you would probably never spend 11 years of your life reading textbooks for other people's professions.

1. Beauty Therapists speak Latin!
like Paronychia. Naevus vasculosis. Pediculus humanus capitis. that's head lice. See how much more musical the Latinates can be?

2. It's British!
Which gave me the opportunity to say, in my very American accent, "whilst," "in hospital," and "take exercise."

You are already wondering why someone in the states needs to get Habia-certified?
(You are also wondering about blind beauty therapists, but I am ignoring you...lalalalala....)
I have no idea. I just read.

So here's why you need to be nice to your beauty therapist:
- because I had just to describe impetigo, and I need to lie down. I don't have to look at it on others.
- because she just wanted to work in a salon; she didn't know she was going to have to learn about insurance liability.
- because she knows what an autoclave is, AND that there is a difference between sterilising (with an S) and disinfecting.

It's a pressure sterilizer. This is one.
But so is THIS.
If your beauty therapist has the 2nd one, check into another spa.
- because of where she touches you.
- because that book is heavy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Tinker Day

So it's Tinker Day, national holiday of my alma mater, one big community hookey day, with cake.

In the spirit of drawing-in, from the campus that brought you The Spinster (oh, yes, we did).... the sisterhood blogs about Tinker Day.

First-timer. Good intro for you outsider/co-ed types.

Shirker. In which we learn of a new residence hall we've never heard of. Who, or what, is Otaku?

Ho-um, we climb a mountain every day throw-away reference.

Parents made me come here

Nice photo album, but it is last year's.

I climbed the mountain 3 times. One year I am sure I was too cool, but I don't remember which year it was. Month before the Flood, I imagine. I realized I ate a fried chicken sandwich for lunch today -- a subliminal salute. No cake was served.

We talk about Tinker Cake like it is made of hash. Which, in the 80s, it might have been. It is standard chocolate sheet cake with chocolate frosting, but once you have reached that 3000 ft summit (up since 6am and high on Krispy Kremes) it will go down like the most amazing delicacy any cafeteria staff drove up a back road while you hauled your raw pie through the brush dressed in a sweater made out of mittens. shoutout Later we will serve it at weddings, and wistfully refer to it whenever we gather in groups.

enough linking for you?
wait till it's Miss Matty's Birthday

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How to not have a good time on a otherwise perfectly enjoyable hike

1. Arrive at the same time as a girl scout troop. Stand around studying the trail map as you wait to learn which direction they are headed.

2. Forget the extra roll of film.
2a. Be on frame #23 in your camera.

3. Convince yourself you left the coffee on. Seriously consider whether you should drive back to check.
(you didn't. either one)

4. Estimate how long you can spend in the woods before the house burns down. Whether the house actually will burn down. Whether the ADT payment should be put to good use for something.

5. Realize you have discovered this awesome first rate best ever trail system on probably the last perfect weekend of the year.

The red is what I walked today. The foliage is getting good -- it ain't the apples you move to central Mass for.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Overheard at the Country Cupboard

an essay in parentheticals.

This is the convenience store/Subway/beer grab/Keno Kasino located on the drive home (only "conveniently" if it is after 7, because you have to make a left across 117. We'll discuss some other time why in the world 117 needs a Wikipedia entry, and who bothered.)

So it's Game 1, ALCS, and I am stopping for beer and chips, (the makings of a Dream-Livin' Life of a Bachelor Man SAMMICH already procured) and there is a somewhat cute dad with 2 10-year old boys, stocking up on similar Bachelor Man supplies.

The boys are picking out sodas, and the dad hollers to them, "Let's get some crap for the game."

He really said crap. Which almost talked me out of what Andy calls "chick beer" (anything served with fruit). Almost. (It was Corona, in the end. But without the fruit, dammit. Spit - grab.)

That's not even the overheard I am reporting, because they lingered over the beef jerky ("do you guys like the teriaki?" "yeh! aaawwwesome!" in overlapping sit-com kidspeak). I am cashing out (which is another overheard, because my cashier says to her workmate, "I gotta go, people are coming to my house for dinner in, like, 5 minutes." And I said, "better tell them to bring it.") and the men-men-men are at the other cashier, now picking out Blowpops by the handful.

It is as I am shouldering out the door (with my beer/chip dinner) that one of the boys says, giddily, "My dad would NEVER do this!"

Happy post-season, all you weekend dads. It's one to grow on.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Let them eat lunch

It has taken me a while to settle on a blog name for the new Boss of Bosses, but I have settled on Dear Leader, after witnessing the way he has, within a month, turned the workforce into cooperative beasts through a (literal) Free Lunch program.

Readers of Real Corporate Email will recall the "I can use a little muscle" issue of 9/25 in which we hated to see something happen to that pretty little cafeteria you got there...

What's wrong with the soup line

in order of no-take-back-ability
1. Well, now you've done it.
Try stopping this train now. Certainly riots have occurred over the loss of lesser privileges.

2. It doesn't solve a problem I have.
a. One thing I know for sure about the gossip chain down-the-mill is that if there had really been food poisoning, we would know who had it, what they ate, and what they looked like throwing it back up.
b. And if they did, how will we know it's "over"? How do we know these chafing dishes aren't equally as tainted?
c. In addition, there is nothing else in this town except the mill and 20 restaurants. in walking distance.
d. It's not as if we ate in that cafeteria for free. I've worked long and far too hard to distance myself from eating off free buffets and happy hours (this means you, Frogg Lane...)
3. It disrupts the work environment.
When the line is forming outside the meeting room I am in, in a building across a skybridge from the soup line, you have created a [non search matching euphemism]

4. It distracts Facilities.
When every time I pass a member of the facilities staff, they are discussing ziti, we have lost our persective.

5. It doesn't design product.
Which is what we really clocked in for.

6. Groupthink is creepy.

7. There go the bonuses.
Let's say you're getting it wholesale. Even at $5/day x 400 employees a day is $2000 a day. We are on day 20. You just bought a junior analyst.

8. You don't even work here.
And I am sure that on the days you do, Dear Leader, someone brings food to you.

9. The food... isn't very good.
Hot dog day was clever. I am sure no one ever got food poisoning from that.

10. I've made this speech on the grounds before, so save yourself the stealthy IP check. Just call me.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Scary Small Print

One of the ways I enjoy television advertising is spotting the small print (like "you can't really do this. This is not true.")

Today I saw a statement I just had to investigate.
The way Veramyst works is not entirely understood.

Never has a percentage point been so interesting to me. 75% understood? 95% 7%?

How do we know it works at all? Does it work better than a Neti pot? I have so many questions.....

The FDA aproved Veramyst this past April, and it has been available to the sniffling public since May. It is a "once-daily ...Nasal Spray to treat seasonal and year-round allergy symptoms..."

fluticasone furoate - my Latin teacher (pause for giggling) once had a job naming pharmaceuticals. She told us this to prove there was a future in learning Latin. but we aren't talking about her right now.

WebMD explains it this way: 'Fluticasone furoate was developed using the fluticasone backbone and includes a 17-α position furoate ester sidechain. "

[:02 PAUSE] Oh.

And because I took Latin, and not chemistry, I can not explain that any further, except that it is a steroid. So find out if it shows up in your company's drug test.

Veramyst is not made by my favorite pharma company. (I was going to link, but just search this blog for Merck). This mysterious elixir is brought to you by GlaxoSmith, who used to make Flonase, the patent of which they let expire in 2004 (and I bet that is a Real Corporate email). As we say in the cube-row, "Boo Friggin Hoo."

So - ok, Veramyst -- why...would you use the word MYSTERY in your own name? Was "Beats the Hell Outta Us" taken?
Snake Oil?

The name of this drug, even Mrs. Smallwood would tell you, means True Mystery.

Please buy some.
and blow it up your nose. THEN PUT IT UP YOUR 3 YEAR OLD'S NOSE.
I have come unglued.

The patient information is downloadable in a 5 page PDF. Don't confuse it for your doctor; they have small print about that too.

"VERAMYST contains ...a man-made (synthetic) corticosteroid. Corticosteroids are natural substances found in the body that reduce inflammation." But not in my body, Glaxo? Thank you so much for making them for me. Please go back to growing ears on mice. (that isn't really fair; I believe it is Genzyme who grows the ears on mice)

There are several bullet points about just how to take the drug: don't take too much, don't take too's like Leviticus, "stoppeth not at 3 sprays, thou, which is an abomination. But if thou continuest past the 1 spray, in the sight of your brother's wife, continue unto 3.."

Possible side effects (as I always ask myself - are the side effects the same as the symptom you are treating? such as..) nosebleeds and nasal sores

or WORSE, such as fungal infection, glaucoma, and stunted growth? Candida albicans. That's a yeast infection. yay! More nozzles and passages. Hooray!=

The pamphlet also includes a diagram of 2 Myst bottles greeting each other in a ritual handshake.
The bottle is made of glass. I expect because the chemical eats through plastic. Please, please, put this into the passage that reaches your brain.

Pg 9 of the prescription information contains a "Meh" statement that says, essentially, steroids shrink nasal membranes, which seems to help you breath. And we found there was a market for that, however it works. Drano may also do that. But we don't own the patent.

I like this page, where you sign up for "free information," like our class action suit.

For proof that the Internet world will flame each other over anything, enjoy this bulletin board.

$85 on Make sure you take it every day, now, y'hear?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Got Books (dot-com)

I saw the ad for "Got Books?" in our local paper, and the first thing I thought was... "how did 'Got' whatever even catch on?" Then I looked into what this was all about.

Who are they? - Not entirely clear, but seems like organized hoarders with real estate.

Really? How much real estate?
Also not entirely clear, but it is a warehouse in North Reading, MA, and it is at least this big.
Say, is that the Old Frugal Fannie's location?
It may very well be -- would you let me finish, please?

Honestly, boldface, just let me get through this.

Anywaaay... Got Books describes itself as a "for-profit professional fundraiser" -- the more common term being "consignment shop" or "used bookstore."

How does it----oops.

It works like this: Your charitable organization -- let's say, the High School Drama Club -- arranges to do a book donation fundraiser. Your group collects the books, Got Books will come get them if necessary, hold your sale for you, and give you 50% of what they bring in.Upcoming recipients can be found on their website, arranged by month.

Ok. what?

I can donate my books the same way to them? Or do I have to give them to a charity? You can give directly to Got Books. This will have the same effect as donating them to AmVets, Goodwill, Salvation Army, or another consignment service with (2) major exceptions for you:
1. Got Books really will come get them, and for some of us, this is key
2. Your donation is not tax deductible, as they are not a charity themselves
(and 3.. you don't get 50% o' nothin')

Can I shop there?
We do not condone your continued hoarding, but yes you may shop there Fridays and Saturdays 9-4.

Is it tidy? or like shopping in the book room I already have shut off from visitors in my own home? Photos on the website show it to be categorized, labeled, and browsable.

What's the catch?Got Books proudly proclaims they turn no book away (with the exception of encyclopedias) but there is some web chat warning donors that in fact, most of the donations are "recycled," (read that to mean dumped) as not in good enough condition to resell. And this may very well be true, the poster writes, but thinks that people who believe they are donating some valuable treasure to a charity should know it is likely being thrown away in favor of something with re-sell value.

Or as Otto said recently, as we browsed through Barely Read, "Finally. A copy of Fear of Flying."

So. in sum:
want to unload - they come get
want to sell - not for you
want to shop - Fridays and Saturdays. No info on price range
want to raise cash for your group - iffy. Convenient, and creative, but perhaps not more lucrative than a bake sale. They will not sell everything you collect, the prices will be low, and you will get half. You might prefer to run the book sale yourselves.
want to donate books to a group in need - that's not what this is.
But if you work the system right, you can buy books there and donate them right back. Or you could support your local library.

Monday, October 1, 2007

First Monday in October

...aka Nina Totenberg day.

What a delight to be Nina Totenberg, NPR's fly-on-the-wall inside the Supreme Court. For over 20 years, Totenberg has had the enviable job of reporting on the nation's highest court by re-enacting the proceedings "Bazooka Joe Theatre" style -- that is, by acting out all the parts.

Here's an example in which Totenberg plays the Justices in the midst of making the sausage. (3 mins in)

Did she think this up herself? Was she watching the sketch artist, thinking, "why paraphrase all this? Why not just repeat it?" No, wait, I should say...

Totenberg: "Why paraphrase? I can just repeat it. It's more fun anyway."
O'Connor: "Sssh. It echoes in here."
Seigel: "Ain't I...folksy."
Schorr: "I'm incomprehensible!"
Here's a non-sequitor Supreme Court gag called "Justice Ginsberg Extreme Makeover." After making the graphic, I couldn't take that gag anywhere.

Did Totenberg ever think her beat would cross paths with Anna Nicole Smith? Doubtful.
On the other hand, in looking for an audio clip to link, I have to say I found a surprising number of cases featuring defendents from Alabama. So maybe she should have.

Don't you wish an acronym like SCOTUS was used throughout the course of your work day?

Incidentally, my local station is offering the "Nina Totin'bag" in return for a minor pledge.
never drink and blog. I regret this already