Wednesday, December 18, 2013

To all riders of bicycles:

Dear bicycle riders,

Let's share the road.


Why?  Because "sharing the road" means we both have the same standards and privileges when we both ride on the road.  So sure, you can ride in the middle of the road even when cars are clearly trying so hard to pass-without-side-swiping-you, and you can hand signal your way across three lanes, and you can wait in the same line as the cars when you're stuck at the light...and when there's a stop sign, YOU HAVE TO STOP AT IT TOO. 

"Oh wait, I liked sharing the road better when it meant I got to choose rules that I followed and didn't."

I know, ass.  So does every four year old, but if someone's baby is riding a bike in front of me in the street, I'm going to call her mom. (wait what?)

Here's my deal: if you don't stop at stop signs, I will likely hit you with my car, and I'll be fine, and you'll die all over the road.  Then after you die, I'll carry around the guilt of killing you all my life, even though the only way I could have prevented your horrible death would have been to stop at the stop sign, like I did, then just stay stopped there for a while, because who effing knows when a bike may be coming and deciding that "sharing the road" means not actually sharing anything, but instead, doing whatever the hell s/he wants?

"But Shan, you clearly don't understand.  A bike is powered by my body, so if I had to stop at every stop sign, it would take so much energy and physical exertion!"

Uh yeah, you're riding a bike.  If expending energy is a problem for you, don't ride your bike.

"But Shan, riding a bike makes my carbon footprint so tiny."

So does walking. And people who walk always stop at stop signs, and I love them.

"But if I walk, I can't get to work fast enough."

Don't care don't care don't care.

"That's why I ride my bike--to reduce my carbon footprint and to get to work fast."

That's so great of and for you.  STOP AT THE STOP SIGNS.  That way, in addition to making the environment better and being punctual, you also decrease your chances of being run the hell over by 10000%*.

*science pending

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This toilet totally hates you

Dear people,

I'm the worst toilet ever, and I hate you.
You want to protect your hands from the germs that are all over my handle?  NO WAY BITCHES.  You either have to somehow manage a Karate-Kid-style flying crane kick in this 3x3 foot space that doesn't result in you falling into onto my very, very unsanitary floor, or you have to grab a bunch more toilet paper, wad it up, use it as a shield to pull that lever, then drop it in my bowl REAL fast, because if you miss that brief window, you'll have to pull, wad, flush and drop all over again, AND deal with everyone wondering just what you did in there to necessitate a double-flush.
Wearing a pencil skirt?  Try the Karate Kid kick.  Come on.  I dare you.
Oh, and here's another little surprise for you--there's pee drops all OVER my black seat, and you can't see them, because urine-yellow doesn't really stand out on black lacquer (blacquer [you're welcome]). 
"Oh, no problem, I'll notice the slowly spreading dots of suspicious liquid dampening my toilet seat cover when I carefully place it on the seat," you say.
Well joke's on you, jerks.  I don't offer toilet seat covers here, because the handy little space on the wall where it should be mounted is currently occupied by my TOWERING SKY-SCRAPER HANDLE.  So come on, have a seat, and only then feel someone else's cold pee on your ass-cheeks, when it's much too late to do anything about it.  Trust me, if they have the clap, you have it too.
At least my walls are really shiny, so you can watch yourself dealing with all of this.
So yeah, basically this isn't going to be a pleasant break for you.

Best wishes,
this toilet

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The least helpful live chat of all time

I know everyone is supposed to hate the California DMV, but honestly, I haven't had an issue with it.  It's busy, yeah, it's crowded, yeah, you have to wait, yeah, but you know it going in, so it's not like you can't prep for it.  Just bring a book.  I'm for sure that girl who, when people complain about the DMV, say things like "well maybe make an appointment next time," or "I've never had an issue with their customer service..."

Anyway, I was cool with the DMV until JUST now.

I need to renew my license (PS--aren't they supposed to send you something about that?  The only way I knew because some bouncer in Vegas was like "Wow, you just have a week left to renew."  Thanks, stranger who isn't the DMV.), so I went online, filled out a bunch of stuff, clicked "renew," and was told that I don't qualify for online renewal, and to file a mail renewal.


No reason why.

Whatever.  They don't owe me reasons.  I got your back, DMV.

So I clicked the "Contact Us" link, and was given the option to call OR live chat with "an agent."

I'm not sure why I always go for the live chat, but every time it's offered, I try it first.  88/88 times, it just confuses the issue.  Here's the conversation that ensued:

Agent 13:
Good morning! Just trying to determine how I become eligible to renew my license online
Agent 13:
Your license for what??

*This was my favorite part of the conversation, because of the sheer incredulity that Agent 13 displays.  "WHO GAVE YOU A LICENSE?!"

Drivers' license
Agent 13:
Here is their website,

*It was at this point that I knew that Agent 13 was not, in fact, an auto-responding-robot, like I often face on these live chats.  No robot would end a website with a comma, and no robot would direct me to the website on which I was chatting with said robot.

I've filled out the form, but it told me I'm not eligible, so I'm wondering how to become eligible.
Agent 13:
And if you should have problems with their site you can contact DMV 1.800.777.0133.

*There was about a two minute lag here while I waited for the agent to get through my sentence, realizing that I did not have any trouble with the form.  Also...why is there a chat support option if the chat support's role is to direct me to the website, then the phone?

Agent 13:
Call their number.
So there's nothing you can do to direct me?
I'm at work, and unable to call.

*Half true...I am at work.  But seriously, Agent...if I wanted to call "them" (isn't it "our"??), I wouldn't have chatted you.

Agent 13:
Go to their website and click on contact us.
Agent 13:
And see where that leave you.
Ha ha that's how I got here!
Chat Session Ended, Goodbye. (5010)

*1--Take a moment to appreciate the grammatical prowess of "And see where that leave you."
2--Take another moment to appreciate that Agent 13, someone paid to represent customer service for a statewide organization, just told me to "see where that leave you."  Save time next time, and just lead with "I'm uninterested in trying to take a moment to find the answer to your question...figure it out."
3--Final moment to appreciate how I just got chat-hung-up-on.

Of all the bad customer services experiences I've  had, this is easily top five.  Thanks, DMV.  I'm now on board with people totally hating you.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I don't care that you're using cloth diapers.

JUST KIDDING.  I totally care.  I just really hate it.

Caveat:  This post has nothing to do with any of my actual friends who use cloth diapers.  You know me...I don't tell you your business.  You go, Glencoco...use those clothies, and I support you!  This is only directed to people all over Facebook who are judging people who use disposable diapers (smaller caveat--this is almost all based on posts on the business page I manage for work, so they're not even my Facebook friends. #safe).

Caveats over...let's begin.


I do not have kids, but if I do, I will be using disposable diapers.

"Umm, but do you know how many of them you use a day?"

Yeah.  That's not a surprise to anyone who isn't 16.

Here are my beefs (or can more than one issue still just be a singluar beef?  Tough call.) with cloth diapers.  These actually aren't in order of just have to guess which is more important to me.  Nail biter!

1--It's a big ol' waste of water.

Renewable resources: landfill space. Paper.
Non-renewable resources: fresh water. 
You cannot tell me that it's irresponsible to use disposable diapers without owning the fact that you're likely more than doubling the amount of laundry you're doing, unless you love letting shiz-soiled cloth sit around for days ("But it's in a container..." Gross.  Don't care.), which means your fresh water usage just jumped up uhhhbunch.  At worst, you're contributing to an impending drought that will wreck our homeland (check in with Al Gore).  At best, it's a total wash (pun intended) for moms who conserve water and use up paper and landfill space.  Stop judging.

2--Your hands are already all up in baby fluids all day.  Why add the additional risk of messing with adult fluids by getting super close to your toilet?

I KNOW there are little toilet hoses you can buy that make it easier, but I want to do as few things as possible that involve toilet water, dipping things into toilets...and pulling them back out. 

Sidenote: this is where the really judgmental moms say things like "Oh ho ho you have no idea!  Babies are much messier than you will ever know because you don't have one!  You will have spit up and pee and poo all over you all the time so get used to it, because you don't know at all!!!!!"  Yeah, turns out you also don't have to be a mom to get that.  And I still don't want to INCREASE that.  Let's leave it at regular day-to-day disasters, umkay?

"Oh, we use the cloth diapers with the disposable INSERTS--no toilet required!"
Yeah, then you're using disposable diapers.  Cheers. 

3--You're really limiting your babysitting list.

Kids these days don't know how to use cloth diapers, and probably aren't gonna get it on the first try.  That means you're either specially training everyone who comes into contact with your kid or leaving your kid with someone who's gonna set them up to soil their crib.

"Oh we don't use a bed is MUCH better for bonding."

4--No one accuses disposable diaper mamas of being pretentious and judgmental. 

Just saying...I purposefully avoid certain bars just because of the pretentious hipsters that love it so much.  Why be any different with the diaper crowd?

5--From here on out, the place where you drop your clothing items will routinely have traces of baby fecal matter all up in it.

"Um no, the washer gets things clean, so the diaper business is all washed out."
You guys know how when you dye something in the wash, you have to run two empty cycles to get all of the leftover dye out?
Yeah, that.

The only time I won't judge you for using cloth diapers is if you're doing it to save money.  That's legit, America, so instead of telling new moms how they're for SURE going to ruin their kids' ass-skin, just tell them how much cheaper it is. 

I'm over mom guilt and I'm not even a mom.  

Back to Tuesday!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Unawkward things that I make awkward

First of all, TWO MONTHS.  Where the hell did June and July go?! 

I've been noticing, lately, that there are really normal, unawkward situations that, for some reason, I'm drawn to make very awkward.  I never feel like it's just happens.  Things are normal, things are normal, things are normal, things are weird.  I've noticed it most in the following areas:

1.  Walking in and out of doors when someone else is also walking in or out.

Up until about a year ago, I was pre-he-hetty good at entering and exiting buildings like a regular old gal.  Then, overnight, I became the worst person ever with whom to enter or exit a building.  

Whatever that internal sense that alerts you "Ok, you're both leaving, but Gina's on pace to leave slightly before you, so go ahead and let her take the lead," or "Looks like you are the half step in front, so go ahead and step out, then hold the door," I no longer have it.

Not sure why.

But here's the internal stress monologue it's led to: "Ok, you're both leaving, so go ahead and, oh, wait, oh sorry, shiz, ok, we're both in the doorway and I can't, oh man, damn it, um, oh man, stop she's right, ok go ahea, no wait..."

Pretty sure I've lost the respect of some good friends by either stepping on them while entering a building or completely cutting them off while exiting. 

To avoid this, I've taken to insisting on holding the door open for everyone, and making them, even with those annoying "No no no, after YOU" moments, go first.  

2.  Bathroom conversation.

WHY why WhYYyyYyyyy can't I just not talk to people in a public restroom?  It's like a force is drawing me...I see someone from my building, I know why they're there, they know why I'm there...there is NO good reason to being a conversation.  But inevitably, we'll make eye contact, I'll say hey, they'll say hey, and then I'm asking about their car, or kids, or how the phones have been treating them.  At the very least, one of us is holding it, so it's never good.  And there's no good way to end that conversation--"Well, gotta go ahead and pee now," or "Well looks like my stall is open, soo..."

What should be a completely normal "passing in the hall" is now a forced conversation.

3.  When a server takes my embarrassingly clean plate.

I am the first to admit that a lot of what I do is purely for my own entertainment.  No worries if you don't think it's funny...I think it's so funny, so I just keep onnnn doing it.  Generally, though, they're small things that don't really matter in life, like when someone changes their Facebook profile photo to a pic of their baby, I like to leave comments like "Wow--you look really different!"  Stupid...but come on...I have to.

Unfortunately, this drive for self-amusement has recently gone too far, and I completely  acknowledge it, and I can't seem to stop.

Here's how it goes in my mind:
After eating literally everything on my plate at a restaurant, which, let's be honest, happens OFTEN, the server comes back to the table to clear my plate.  Server reaches down...
Me: Oh, I'm not actually done yet.
Server: Oh...
Me: I'm just kidding.
Server and Me together: Ohhahhaahahahhahaha!

Get it? There's not one crumb on my plate, so of COURSE I'm done!  There's no way for me to not be done!  Laugh riot.

Here's how it's happened LITERALLY EVERY TIME. 
Server reaches down...
Me: Oh, I'm not actually done yet.
Server: Oh...
Me: I'm just kidding.
Server: Oh...uh...ok, so, uh, do you want to hang onto the plate?
Me: Oh no, I was just kidding...because I...I ate all of the much...
Server: Oh , ok, so I can take it?
Me: Yeah, for sure.

I've even tried to combo the joke and say "Oh, I'm not actually done yet just kidding," with not even a little pause.  Same results, but sometimes with the additional "I'm sorry, what?" from the server.

This joke has never, ever gone over, even a little bit.  Not like "oh, I think this will be funnier with the right server," like "Oh wow, that was so unnerving for them that I'm going to get bad service from here on out, because they don't want to come back to my table."

But for some effing reason, I say it every time I clean my plate.

Again, often.  See above.

I see the words coming, and my brain is like "Nooo donnn't stopppp you knowww how this is gonna gggggoooo," and my heart is like "Seriously, don't!  This is only bad for us!" and then my mouth is like "Oh I'm not actually done yet."

People who eat with me often have literally started frantically shaking their heads at me when they see it coming.

I'm sorry world.  My mouth is committed to that joke, and nothing can stop him/her. 

Sidenote--is the mouth automatically the same gender as the rest of the body?  Sub-question--is it sexist to assume one way or the other?

Last question--why does my brain really drag things out when it talks to me, but my heart is super succinct? 

If I had a mic, I'd totally drop it RIGHT HERE.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is it because "spam" is in the blog entry's title?!

The irony of these spam comments being posted on my spam blog all about spam is not lost on me.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "More e-spam...OR...I'm about to get RICH": :

What i don't understood is actually how you're now not actually much more neatly-liked than you may be right
now. You are very intelligent. You understand therefore significantly on the subject of this subject, made me
personally imagine it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like women and men are not fascinated except it is one thing to
accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always handle it up!

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Dear Anonymous,

Ah, you're too, too kind.  I have also often wondered: how am I now not actually much more neatly-liked than I may be right now?  I mean, I'm neatly-liked to some extent right now, but I would love to be neatly-liked even more than that.  I've had enough of the regular-like...much too sloppy.

I do agree with you on my areas of expertise as well--I understand this subject's subject so well, and why not understand therefore significantly if not to get my dear readers to personally imagine it--it, of course, being the subject of this blog entry, which is, of course, getting spammed via email by some Albanian mobsters, one of whom speaks good English, and the other who speaks very, very poor English--from a lot of numerous angles.  More specifically, I was hoping you'd be able to imagine it from these angles:

--what would I do if it was MY Uncle Williams (first name) who had passed away? 
--am I about to get RICH?
--how much time can one spend replying to e-scammers before one is, herself, considered an e-spammer?
--do you guys like Dateline?


Your own stuffs nice too, Anonymous.  I really think that about all of your stuffs.

Always handle it up,

P.S. would someone out there please tell me why the hell spammers are so invested in my jumping height?!  Seriously.  I'm actually interested.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Facebook Vague-ing (vaguebooking?) and how I hope to end it forever.

When I say "end it forever," I know that even in the BEST case scenario, I'd just lessen it in my own Facebook feed, but what can I say...I'm hopeful.

Vague-ing [vay-geeng] 
a non-word word to describe Facebook statuses that are emotionally charged, intentionally vague, and seem to be solely for attention and sympathy.  
see also: "vaguebooking," and "easier way to say 'vaguebooking'"

I tried to go with "vaguing", but that proved to just be more confusing.  "What's vag-wing?"  Yeah yeah.  It's something totally different...ask your mom.

Anyway, I HATE vague-ing for the following reasons:
  • I hate most things done solely for attention, so I especially hate those things done for attention in an intentionally public forum.
  • I hate that it's so damn evident that it's intentional.  It's SO much harder to talk around an issue than it is to just be up front.
  • I hate that people use vague-ing to seem as though they AREN'T doing either of the above.  "No no, I won't say it...I don't want to burden you all with my trouble." 
 I've been trying to combat vague-ing lately, but the explicit ways seem to fail.  You can't just ask people what's going on, because then you seem super lame for not knowing ("aren't they supposed to be friends?  I can't believe she doesn't know!"), and they typically answer per above ("No no, it's not your struggle! Don't worry!").  You can't be equally vague because it just feeds into what they're doing, and then someone else writes this blog post about you.  You can't delete them because it's just
to get frustrated to this level about something that matters so little...and really, we just all want to know what the hell they're talking about. 

So I've come up with a new solution that I hope will lead to the best of all worlds:

I call it de-vague-ing.

For example:

Your Your De-Vague-ing Comment: I am so sorry...I am sure your carburetor will start running better soon!!  I have some great mechanic recommendations if you need them--just say the word!

Your De-Vague-ing Comment: You can't be mad at a cat for having an accident.  Sometimes, even if you've litter box trained them, they will pee on the floor.  It's not his fault...he's just getting old.  I hope things get easier for you guys!

Your De-Vague-ing Comment: It totally is!  My advice is to start treatment NOW.  The longer you leave things untreated, the more likely they are to get worse, which will make it even harder to treat in the future!

Your De-Vague-ing Comment: No matter what, know that bees serve a really important purpose.  I hate them too, but without them, no pollination, no flowers, no honey...we need them!  Don't lose hope--even if you get stung, know you're serving a greater purpose!

BOOM.  You just got de-vagued!

What I hope this accomplishes:
  • Vaguers having to acknowledge that their status was so overwhelmingly vague that my comment, while it (hopefully?) doesn't apply, easily could apply
  • Vaguers having to explain what they're really bitching about, in order to make sure people don't believe it's actually what I said.
  • Vaguers feeling just a liiiittle douchey.

What this will actually accomplish:
  • My comments getting deleted
  • Me getting unfriended

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Truth in comments

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Advertise Rules I Just Came Up With":

While you may make a sale every now and then by employing these safelists, it is not enough to really make  it worth your while. Totally humble, simply wanted to be a friend, and I knew he'd the missing part - the musicality. The good thing about this format is the fact that other than writing, you do not require any special skill to train on a Word or Notepad program.

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Dearest Anonymous,

Thank you, so much, for reading back to 2010 on my blog.  It means a lot to me that blog posts that only make sense to the people in my office have grown to be so far reaching!  What a treat.  Honestly, I'm blushing right now.

Or it may just be my skin flushing--sometimes I get red for no reason.  Tough to tell if it's that or the blushing from the attention you've lavished on 2010's entries.

What I really appreciate about this comment, though, is how you bring it back to what really matters: the musicality.  When I was writing this post that outlines guidelines that should be considered for posting to our internal advertise list, you know what wasn't on my mind?  The musicality.  And I really think that's what's lacking here.  I'd never considered that "he" (who's "he" again?) was so humble, and trying so hard to be my friend.  If only I'd known--the Advertise rules would have made so much more sense to me, and to my four readers.

But back to the format--you nailed it, Anonymous.  The fact that I haven't had to be trained in the special skills required to use Notepad or Word is the reason I'm doing this.  In fact, I usually write all of my documents and emails in Blogger before I send them, because, as you said, no training required!!

Back to the heart of the matter, though, because we M-U-S-T keep things consistent.  I MUST have a mailer, but I'm concerned that my credit is too high, and I'm concerned about the cost!  Do you happen to have any mailer solutions for me that REQUIRE a credit check, but cost nothing?  I haven't worked this hard to maintain good credit just to have it not checked for free things!!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Fage yogurt

Hey guys-

No matter how many times you say it on your commercials, no one is going to actually pronounce the brand of your yogurt as "fah-gee."

No one.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One more reply for this May Day

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":

An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your site.

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Dear Anonymous,

Thank you so much!  I am so pleased that your coworker has been researching Albanian (?) mafia (??) spam emails concerning deceased relatives' fortunes.  It's a lucrative field, and one upon which not enough has been written!
What a jovial office you work in--find a blog entry documenting my exchange with a scammer and get lunch!  Let ME reword this--where's MY meal?  Ha!
All in all, Anonymous, I wanted to say this:  you're welcome.  You're welcome for spending some time to talk about this matter here on my site. 
The fact that we connected like this really makes me trust you.  I'm going to click that link to your web---site, and I'm going to book a room at the bed and breakfast.  If you know me well enough to tap into my desire for more academic writing on e-scams, you know me well enough to know my sleeping arrangement preferences.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

An entry to reply to my many, many, very relevant blog comments

I just can't believe all of the action my blog has been getting lately.  Each morning, I awaken to email alerts of comments galore.  It's just been a little overwhelming, so I decided to take a moment and reply to them all right here.  Thank you so much for your insight, faithful readers!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Dear Dollar Rent-a-Car,":

6 or above, it's remarkably minor in the grand scheme of things. We suspect that amount would be slightly lower if we'd spent a bit more unweildy.
Though it's launching initially on 6. This is the way the iPhone 3 GS, they won't help you genie bra pads either.

Dear Anonymous, 
You know what?  You're right.  If it's below 6, then it warrants my attention.  6 or higher?  I'm over it, because it just doesn't matter.  I have to focus on more important things, like eating and discouraging teen pregnancy.
I'm not too sure what about my Dollar Rent-a-Car post led you to believe that my experience warranted a numerical value, but I like it, and I do agree--just spend a little more unweildy.  If only everyone would follow that advice!
UGH you could not be more right about the iPhone 3 GS!  I have been like "Hey iPhone 3 me genie bra pads already!" and they've been like "We won't!  We will not help."  So frustrating!  But you totally stepped in where iPhone 3 GS left off by linking me to a blog about a bra, but also, somehow, about Israel.  I don't see the connection yet, but I trust you!

Best of luck to you as you pursue that illusive 5 or below!

Gerald555able has left a new comment on your post "More e-spam...OR...I'm about to get RICH":
You have noted that "al" is the country domain extension of...Albania.
So you were being subject to attempted robbery from the Alabanian mafia (well known for much worse doings).

I actually really appreciate this info, because I assumed this came from Nigeria, because that's the world area that all of the Dateline specials on e-spam have focused on.  I'm thankful for the info, and subtle reminder (threat?) that things could have been worse for me.

Cheers, and best as you continue to spread Albanian awareness!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) D...":

Profits of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group for $41
a share, more than paphos car hire could use in
over a century, so the mystery continues. The Cypriot Foreign Ministry expedited
the process of learning to read in Greek-English bilingual children learn to read is different in Spain, be sure to try the delicious haloumi cheese and grilled meat kebabs.  Lagondas could not be a need to know before you plan on seeing for recommendations of reputable car services in India.

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Dear Anonymous, 

Wow--they mystery DOES continue!  First of all, I'm like "If Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group is bringing in $41 a share, how is Paphos car hire making it?!"  Share the wealth already, please, like any responsible company would!  
And then to hear about learning to read in Greek-English bilingual, but how that's different in Spain...I'm like "WHY?"  What's the point, when Paphos is barely making it, of teaching kids to learn in Greek-English bilingual if it's not even going to carry over to Spain?"  Do I need to get in touch with Spain in this blog or what?
Whew--food break!  You called it.  I gotta get my hands on some halmoumi cheese and grilled meats.  A little confused though--would those be available to me here in California, or do I need to make a trip over to Greece or Spain?  Either way, pretty sure I know where I'll be finding the kids who read Greek-English bilingual (not Spain!)!
One last thing--was thinking about getting over to India, but need a recommendation for a reputable car service.  Would you know how I could get more info about that?

Thank you SO much for this info--Greece, Spain, India or Dollar--you know what's best!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Confession":
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I
would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

kliknij po szczegółowe informacje,

Dear Anonymous, 

I really appreciate you expressing concern over the complexity of the issue with the Magic Bullet, and I have to concur!  Despite your accolades that my three-to-four line "presentation" makes it seem easy, I can easily see how it could be something outside of anyone's realm of understanding, and you know what?  It's my fault.
I went into this blog assuming that my faithful readers would understand what I meant without even including a photo, definition, product review, testimonial...anything!  That's not only presumptuous of me, it's likely racist.  For that, Anonymous, I ask your forgiveness (if you are affected by racism, as opposed to, like me, not seeing race when you look into someone's beautiful face). 
I only hope that you weren't too disappointed when you find that not only was my next post NOT a further explanation of what a Magic Bullet truly is, that I will actually never, ever post more about it.
You did lose me a little at the end there--not sure if it's just an angry "hitting of the keys" or some sort of hex, but I am a little concerned.  Do you work for Dollar and/or Albania?

Begging for forgiveness,

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":

I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!
! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…
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Dear Anonymous, 

You have made my day!  Thank you for referring to my blog entry that was a long, long copy/paste of emails I'd received as a "wonderful read."  YOU are a wonderful read!!  How many bits of it would you say you loved, if you were being specific?
Just wondering.
Quick question though--I'm not really a jumper, and don't really love the idea of becoming one.  Was there something in my copy/paste of emails between myself and the Albanian mafia that made you think I was looking to become a better jumper?  

Thanks for the insight!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Amazing things here. I'm very glad to look your article. Thanks so much and I'm taking a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

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Dear Anonymous, 

Thank you so much for looking my article!  It means a lot to me.  I have to be up front with you though...I don't really want to be touched by you.  It's nothing personal--I just don't know you, and I'm not really into being touched by people I don't know.
I suppose I could think about it, if you're really serious--maybe a little pat of the back, or handshake to start things off?  Let me know what you think by dropping me a mail back.
I can tell you right now, though--I don't really want more info about jumping.  I just don't care about jumping, and don't think anyone should have any site devoted to it. 

Your effort and concern are appreciated!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site
is great, as well as the content!

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Wow--thank you!!  It's so kind of you to compliment my blog layout.  I spent less than one minute on it, and am actually not at all sure how to update it, so it's been the same since day one!  
Despite your compliments, though, I have to protest you constantly pushing your vertical jumping program on me.  I AM NOT INTERESTED IN JUMPING BETTER.  I feel like my jumps are fine, and don't need work.  The only times I jump are a--when there is a bug on me, b--when I am near a trampoline, or c--no other times.  I don't need help with the jumping.  Please stop asking.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

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Dear Anonymous, 

This is getting frustrating for me.  I have a feeling this might be an issue caused a fact  referenced earlier: were you raised in Greece, but then moved to Spain?  I feel like we're having trouble understanding each other, and perhaps the reason is that you were raised with something called Greek-English bilingual, but then moved to Spain, where things are different.  
That makes things really hard.  Here's what I am trying to say: I don't jump often, and I don't want to learn anything about jumping.  NO JUMP!  I think that's the same in any language, probably.  
I am starting to think that you're only complimenting me in order to get me to look at your website that somehow seems to be entirely about jumping.
But either way, I don't really know what widgets are.  Spacely Sprokets?


dokan sam has left a new comment on your post "I do not use toilet seat covers, however...":
Seat covers is a protector that provides beautiful looking from any seat. It is also protected form the suns uv rays, food and drink spills, sliding in and out of your vehicle, etc. Our company provides many kinds of beautiful seat covers. I am totally impressed with this article and the information you have posted on here is really helpful and informative. Thanks admin.
Seat Covers Unlimited

Dear Dokan Sam, 

Your comment is so, so appreciated, but I think we've had a little miscommunication.  First of all, please, call me Shannon!  Admin is so formal! 
Second, not sure where you're from, but here, toilet seat covers are actually different from the traditional "seat cover" you seem to be referencing.  They're typically just thin, disposable paper rings that are meant to (but do not actually) protect you from germs while you're sitting on the toilet.  While on the toilet, one doesn't often worry about UV rays, food/drink, or vehicles.  
If I've misunderstood, please forgive me!  If your company is truly in the business of providing beautiful toilet seat covers, I am very interested to see how they do.  However, I am not interested in purchasing one for many, many reasons.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Dear Dollar Rent-a-Car,":
Google Sniper isn't stopping and it is going up for this new Google Sniper 2. So if you are looking for an easy and effective way of supplementing your income on just a couple of hours per website, consider what is Google Sniper today and see just how successful you could become. 0 is the ability to create the websites using step by step guidelines, just once.

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Dear Anonymous, 

UGH RIGHT?  It's like, Google Sniper one, Google Sniper two...what's next?  Google Sniper three?  
I'm not really trying to supplement my income, though--what gave you that idea?  Would that require Google Sniper one, two or three (in my/your dreams!)? 
I'm really thankful that the ability to create the websites using step by step guidelines, just once, is zero.  I totally have zero.

Thank you again!

 Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) D...":
On the other hand, the deep orthography of English makes the role of the phonological code in word recognition than would be the first of three fine courses we played on paphos car hire.
A little something a bit more flexibility with your accounts. The 70-year-old is accused of shooting Ivan Granchev, a 34-year-old Bulgarian on the doorstep of the villas receive.
Feel free to surf to my web-site ... car rental Paphos reviews

Dear Anonymous, 

I think you may have misunderstood my post--it was just about a caffeine overload, not actually about shooting or linguistics, or, somehow, Paphos car hire.
Strange, though, that Paphos keeps coming up in my blog posts!  I will have to check into the orthographical and phonological history of some of the words I'm using.  Does "caffeine" have roots similar to that of "car hire"?  Important stuff!
You know,'re right.  With a little more flexibility with my accounts, the 70-year-old may not have been accused of the shooting.  I pray that the villas receive are able to recover from the tragedy that occurred there. 

Prayers and well wishes, 

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) D...":
I'm new to
developing websites and I was wondering if having your site title relevant to your content really that critical? I notice your title,
"Blogger: The Isht I Buy " does appear to be spot on with what your blog is
about but, I prefer to keep my title less content descriptive and
based more around site branding. Would you think this is a good idea or bad idea?
Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

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Hey Anonymous!

I really appreciate you coming to me for website advice.  When I started this free blog a few years ago and spent less than one minute not only thinking about the set up, but also implementing that set up, I thought to myself "This blog is going to be something.  Someday, people reading it will come to me and ask me for advice.  I should put at least one more minute thought into the title, set up and lay out."
However, at that point, the phone rang, and I did not.
That being said, I have a LOT of advice for you.
You're so right in saying that the title of my blog, The Isht I Buy, is a crucial factor in each item I post.  Before I write an entry, post a photo or reply to a comment, I ask myself these questions:
1.  Is this about the isht I buy?
2.  Do I have time to post this right now?
If the content passes both those extremely high bars, I post it.  If it only passes the second bar, but not the first, I still post it.  If it doesn't pass either bar, I wait to post it until I have time.  When I have time, I re-ask those two questions, then inevitably post it, no matter what. 
I don't really understand your question about branding, but I agree with you 100%.  YES.  

Thank you again--I hope your blog sees as much success as mine has.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you're working with? I'm going to start my own blog in the near future
but I'm having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/
B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something unique.
P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

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Dear Anonymous, 

WHAT THE HELL, MAN.   DO YOU KNOW ME OUTSIDE OF THIS BLOG AND THINK I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT?  IF YOU DO, thanks for the concern.  It's kind of you to try and reach me in an anonymous way so I won't be super embarrassed.  IF YOU DON'T, JUST LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE ABOUT THE JUMPING!!!

Also, as you had to visit my site at, it's safe to assume that my platform is, ass.

Best to you!

Razvan M has left a new comment on your post "Dear Dollar Rent-a-Car,":

Damn, all this just to rent a car?
I had no idea it's so hard to rent cars as a company and that thy have a different, bigger price...
After the first two problems you should have quit asking for their services because that's unacceptable.
Renting a car shouldn't require more than a phone call, at least that's my opinion.

Razvan M, 

Thank you.  Thank you for bringing it all back home.  Thank you for the affirmation of my decision to leave Dollar in the dust.  Thank you for your opinion. 

You are why I do what I do.

KEEP THESE COMMENTS COMING PEOPLE.  Off to work on my jumpz.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) DATE-RAPE-DRUGGED BY MY BARISTA

Spoiler alert: everything turned out just fine.  But I did have a crazy two hours.

I have recently been trying to maintain even levels of caffeine intake.  I have a really smart, realistic, honest doctor, and he told me, when I visited to remedy some persistent headaches, that cutting caffeine out of your diet entirely basically has the same effect on headaches as just ensuring that you drink the same amount of caffeine each day.

Makes sense.

So I've been trying to ensure that I have an even two cups of coffee each day, instead of the 1-4 I used to have, depending on the day.

It's easy at work, but not always as easy on the weekend.

So Saturday, I had some reading to do and needed one more coffee to finish off the day's quota, so I decided to walk to my favorite local shop, ordered an iced coffee (love San Diego spring-which-is-really-summer) and got cracking.  I put on my iPod "sweet sweet studies" playlist (that I have effectively maintained since my sophomore year of college, and is largely made up of Enya, Beethoven, some random movie themes and two James Taylor songs), put on my reading glasses (because I am 85 years old and wear glasses OVER my contacts now) and opened up to chapter one.

I HAVE NEVER READ A BOOK THAT WAS SO AMAZINGLY INSIGHTFUL.  Within the first ten pages, I had underlined, circled and bracketed so many points that it looked like a page from a book your kid (yours, specifically. your kid will not stop with the book writing!) got a hold of without your permission and wrote all over it to spite you.  I was so into this book that I could barely stay in my SEAT.

I was so inspired that in the middle of reading, I pulled out my phone, looked through my old contacts and emailed my grad school adviser to see if I could set up a meeting to talk about PhD programs.  If academic reading was this exciting to me after just a few years off, I AM READY TO GO BACK TO GRAD SCHOOL!  Meeting scheduled.

I went back to reading and blowing my own mind when I looked up and caught someone from the table across from me staring at me.  I realized then that I had been seat dancing to Enya.  I CANNOT BEAR TO SIT STILL FOR THIS AMAZING MUSIC.  I do really, really love Enya, but I don't usually dance in my chair to her music...without realizing it...  I awkwardly smiled and tried to keep it together. 

At this point, I realized that I had read,  frantically underlined, circled and bracketed at least a full page without being entirely sure that I'd read the page.  I definitely couldn't actually recall what it was about.

At this time, after I had consumed about half my iced coffee, and the barista walked over and said "Heyyyyy, confession.  You ordered and iced coffee and I accidentally poured you our specialty brew, which is cold-brewed to have three times the amount of caffeine as our regular coffee.  Sorry about that!"


Apparently a lot of caffeine makes me act like other people act when they're on coke.

Good to know.

So I packed up before further embarrassing myself and/or signing up for an additional $100,000 of education, changed playlists and walked home.

I arrived faster than I ever had, and Jonsi has never sounded quite as magical as he did on that walk.  I pretty much felt like I'd just solved all of life's problems, but didn't actually DO anything...I just felt so great about it.

But then I had like a day long headache, so overall, not worth it.  

the recipe that has potential to change my life


If you haven't had it, you haven't lived.  I mean, you clearly have, but I feel strongly enough about Burmese that I like to equate eating it to LIVING.

Here's the downer--San Diego (my sunny home) has no options, LA has like one option, and the next closest option is in the Bay area.  And the quality of the Bay area options makes any other option look ridiculous.  It's just not the same.

Anyway, I have tried for YEARS to find recipes that look similar to what I love AND not so complicated that I'm sure to ruin the dish, and this looks like it may be both.  I cannot wait to try this.

Full disclosure--I was basically just hoping to Pin this, but the actual recipe from the NYT didn't have a picture, so I couldn't...hence this entry.  

Rice Cooker Chicken Biriyani With Saffron Cream

1 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 onion cut into chunks
1 2-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 fresh green chili pepper such as jalapeño or serrano, stemmed
3 tablespoons canola oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
6 cloves
6 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups chicken broth (use low-sodium if canned) mixed with 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch saffron threads mixed with 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, more for garnish
3 tablespoons chopped mint
1 lime.
Oil for frying
1 onion, thinly sliced
Big handful cashews
Big handful raisins.

1. Cut chicken into bite-size chunks: 6 to 8 pieces from each thigh. In a bowl, mix yogurt and powdered spices. Add chicken, mix well to coat, and set aside.
2. In a food processor, purée onion, ginger, garlic and chili pepper together. Set aside.
3. In a rice cooker, heat oil in cooking bowl on “cook.” When hot, add onion paste and cook, uncovered, until some liquid has evaporated and paste begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Add rice and whole spices and stir well. Smooth top and arrange marinated chicken pieces over surface.
5. Gently pour in broth and salt. Cover and let cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes depending on cooker.
6. When done (or when cooker switches to “warm” function), add saffron cream and mix, making sure to scrape and scoop up bottom layer of rice. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and mint on top and re-cover. Let steam 5 minutes more.
7. If making garnishes, heat 1 inch oil in a pot until rippling. Add onion and cook, separating rings, until golden brown. Lift out and drain. Add cashews and raisins to same oil and cook until cashews are golden brown. Lift out and drain.
8. Just before serving, squeeze lime over biriyani and mix very well, fluffing lightly. Scoop onto serving platter and garnish with chopped cilantro and fried onions, cashews and raisins.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Note: Lacking a rice cooker, biriyani can also be made in a heavy round pot with at least a 3-quart capacity. After adding broth in Step 5, raise heat to bring mixture to a simmer, then immediately reduce heat to very low. For Step 6, turn heat off.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

People with whom I will never be able to be friends

There are a few people in this world that, based on what they do, I know we would never be able to be friends.

Not like serial killers or people who organize dog fights--I mean, I don't think we'd be friends either, but I'd be willing to hear them out if they wanted to try and explain why they got to that place that led them to kill all those men, or whatever.

Here's what I mean: there are some things I see/hear/experience in others that make me recoil so violently that I know, deep inside, even if you offered me love and money and support and trips and other great things,  we could not be friends.

Here are some of those people.

1.  The test panel of people who approved the Charmin commercial campaign with the bears.

If you sat in a room with Charmin decision makers who showed you a commercial with cartoon child-bears talking about how using Charmin toilet paper helps keep your underwear more clean, and you told them that you think it would funny and effective, or if you listened to other people say that in horror and did not speak up, we will never, ever be friends. 

2.  Whoever invented the "My Other Car is a __________" license plate frame.

Disclaimer--I don't fault you for sporting one on your own car.  It's not your fault some asshole invented them.  It's like how so many people fault Jesus for natural disasters--I fault the creator for bringing those things to be.  Your other car is a Toyota.  Sure.  Your other car is an SUV.  Got it.  Your other car is a scuba tank?  That seems really ineffective.  Like, when you sit on top of your scuba tank and try to start it with your keys, what happens?  It doesn't do anything?  Right, because it's not a car.  Your other car can't be not a car.  We aren't friends, that guy.

3.  People who wear two polos at once.


4.  The exec who decided to move forward with hiring "guy without a shirt" or "girl in a bathing suit" to stand outside the Abercrombie and Fitch store.

We can all acknowledge that attractive people without a lot of clothes on can serve as an attention getter.  Whatever, it's real life.  But it's so disgustingly whorey to initiate this conversation:
"We sell clothes geared toward high school kids, right?"
"Yeah we do."
"High school students like...what do they like...things that smell good, loud music, jokes, free stuff, group dates, indy movies..."
"Oh, do high school kids like people without a lot of clothes?"
"I mean, I guess they might?" 
"Well if they don't, we could probably set it up so they think they should, huh?"
"I mean, sure.  Yeah, why not?"

You assholes.

5.  People who celebrating tricking others because "if they deserved to be treated honestly, they wouldn't have been stupid enough to be tricked."

These people may as well be tricking tiny babies out of their baby allowance, and LAAHHVVVING IT.  I used to do it to my brother all the time (sorry), but I'm not proud of it, and have since made reparations. 
Nothing (other than the above four things) make me as mad as hearing a story about how someone got someone else to pay them WAY MORE than something was worth because they knew that that person wouldn't be any the wiser.  No, I cannot congratulate you on making $1500 more on your car than it's worth, because you just made someone pay you $2500 for a vehicle that is in such bad shape that you were told it was only worth $1000.  That's not savvy, that's messed up, and now I hope it happens to you.  Soon.

6.  People who park in two spots intentionally.

I have to believe none of you do this, because it's easily my least creative pet peeve of all time.  Everyone I love hates this. 
I have, however, decided to make this the one "Shan-injustice" that I actually do something about.  I now carry sticky notes with me at all times, and write passive aggressive notes to leave on those peoples' windshields.  My goal is not to inform them that they've bothered me--they have to know that when they park.  My goal is to make them feel just a little douchey.  My notes say things like:
--You're very important!  Park anywhere you like!
--You're much better than people who park in only one space!
--It's very cool that your car means more to you than __________ (insert name of anyone else who may also be here today).
--I wanted to park so close that you couldn't get into your car, but who tries to make a statement by parking, am I right??
--I am positive that you and I could never be friends.

You get the idea.

Anyway, I have no idea how to end blog entries.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I routinely forget if the Magic Bullet is the little food chopper or the vibrator, and flush every time it's mentioned, because it's hard to tell which people are referring to sometimes.

"Used my Magic Bullet this morning, and I feel great."

Damn it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dear Dollar Rent-a-Car,

Hey Dollar-

I've been doing my best in being cool and patient, but here's the thing:  all I want to do is rent four vans for four other people, and pay for all of them. 

I have no idea why this is complicated.  But you said it was, so I went with it.

I set up a corporate account, like I was instructed to do.  Several days later, when I was informed that I actually needed a purchasing card account, I set that up too.

I faxed you the info you requested, emailed to make sure the fax went through, and didn't hear back for a day, at which point you let me know you didn't receive it.

I asked if I could scan and email the info, and was informed that you only accept faxes, because they're more secure than email.

I faxed the info again, emailed to make sure the fax went through, didn't hear back for a day, at which point you let me know you didn't receive it.

I faxed the info again, emailed to make sure the fax when through, didn't hear back at all, emailed again, didn't  hear back for a day, and learned that you had received it, but it still took a full week, and the minimum, to process.

Although you told me I could make my reservations and add my account info later, I tried to do so, and was informed that I could not do so.

I wanted my week, emailed to see if I was now, three days before my event, able to make reservations, and was informed that I was.  I called the phone number in the email you sent, and was informed that my Corporate number wasn't enough to make the pre-payment arrangements, but that I also needed an authorized billing code, which you did not provide me.  I emailed to request said number, and still haven't heard back.

While waiting, I decided to check online rates, to see if they'd changed from three weeks ago, when I started this process.  I logged on, entered my Corporate code, and found that each van was almost $200 more per week.  I started the process over, did not enter any Corporate code, and found that the same vehicle is the same price that was quoted to me three weeks ago, $200 less than the corporate rate. 

I called to find out why the Corporate rate was so much higher than the regular rate, was placed on hold for 11 minutes and then hung up on.  I called back, was placed on hold for an additional 8 minutes, during which I send Dollar a Facebook message.  Here's what they said:

According to Dollar's website, the non-corporate rental would also include unlimited mileage.  Other companies I've worked with include a free additional driver as well...but that doesn't matter, because we don't need additional drivers.

At that point, I was also connected to someone on the phone who told me that had I chosen to work with Thrifty, (which up until this moment, thought was the same company, as each email that I've exchanged with Dollar has the same email signature that says:

 "CONNECT WITH US, @DollarCars, @Dollar4Business, @ThriftyCars, @ThriftyBiz")
...I would have been able to secure the lower rate, no problem, but I could not do so with Dollar.   

The fact that supporting a company by setting up a corporate account with them may lead to rates that are double than they are for some random family visiting LA for a week in hopes to run into Miley Cyrus is info that would have been really valuable at the beginning of the process............................................ESPECIALLY WHEN THE SOLUTION IS, APPARENTLY, JUST WORKING WITH THE OTHER HALF OF YOUR COMPANY.

That's my first yell of the process...I was nice to everyone on the phone, promise.

So at this point, my only options are:

1. Make a reservation with my Corporate rate code, pay double what it would normally cost, and drive to LAX to be there in person, because I still haven't been provided with the required authorized billing code, or

2. Make a reservation without my Corporate rate code, save a bunch of money, drive to LAX to be there in person to use my card, and know that if I have any issues, I'll have to work with people who don't email back (either in a timely manner or at all), who withhold really important information until the end of the process, who give me conflicting information, and who leave me on hold for 15 minutes, or

3. Make a reservation with another company for the same price as the Dollar non-corporate rate, drive to LAX to be there in person, and start the process of setting up a corporate account with said unaffiliated company, because literally anything will be better than dealing with this for the past three weeks.

Spoiler alert...I went with option 3.  

No love...but I really tried,