Category Archives: Random Ramblings

Back In The Saddle

I certainly was blogging intensely there for a while, wasn’t I? The campaign and election stuff had my adrenaline pumping, for sure!

While I usually try to post something daily, I don’t feel obliged to, so this isn’t one of those sorry-I-haven’t-been-blogging-as-much-as-usual posts. It’s not like the world is hanging on my every word, after all. I’m just catching up and trying to regain a little momentum.

I want to post a few updates on some stuff, like the situation at my son’s school, which includes a rather humorous story about the call I received from the S.T.E.M Academy Director. There are a few other things as well, but I’ll just play it by ear rather than listing it all right now.

There are also a few other things to rant about, like smokers at bus stops, and how I’m almost certain that shopping at Walmart is significantly decreasing my life expectancy. I’ll get to all this once I’ve reestablished my routine and settled back in after reluctantly sending Mike back to England (I tried hiding his passport, but he kept finding it!).

As for this weekend, I’ve been rearranging what little furniture I own in preparation for the winter. I have central heating, but I hate running it for several reasons. Mainly because it racks up an enormous gas bill that causes me great pain and makes me cry. It also dries me out and makes me cough; plus it just doesn’t seem right to pay so much money to get sick when chest colds and even strep throat are so easy to come by for free.

In light of all that, I’ve set up my relatively large bedroom like a den of sorts. I have a small heater fan, which more than does the trick; I sometimes have to turn it off because it gets too warm. My son has one for his bedroom as well, so we’re both set at night.

When I have to be in the kitchen for any length of time, the stove warms things up quite nicely, and our bathroom is quite small, so we can warm it up before showering just by running the hot water for a couple of minutes before getting in. When my son and I hang out together, it’s usually in my room anyway, so I think this will work out just fine. And it will save us a ton of money!

So, now that I have everything set up the way I want it, I’m totally pooped and my back is aching. I’m going to take some Aleve, lie down with my heating pad for a while and wait for my son to come back from his friend’s house.

It’s really very cozy in here. I think I like it!

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On

Barking Mad

My neighbors are arseholes. There, I said it.

My landlord used to be my roommate and owns the house we live in. She moved out last November. Since I don’t have a car and my neighbors frequently have guests and not enough parking space, I thought it would be a nice gesture to allow their guests to use my driveway when they need to. There’s enough room for two large vehicles or three compact cars. They immediately started taking me up on the offer.

At first they were just parking there, but staying in the neighbors’ yard. But there’s no fence: our yards are divided by a flower garden and some shrubs. After a while, they started migrating in this direction, hanging out by the cars in my driveway, eating, drinking and being merry. I thought it was a bit presumptuous, but I shrugged it off.

Then they started allowing all their kids to play soccer/football and other games in my front yard. They never asked me if this was OK, and did not invite my son to play with them. It seemed they had started thinking of my yard as an extension of theirs. I thought this was rude, especially given that they never even acknowledged my presence when I was coming or going from the house.
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Xanax Please?

My nerves are totally shot!

We went to my son’s school tonight (by the time this goes up it’ll have tomorrow’s date, but whatever) for a mandatory [Mascot] “camp”.

And let me stop right there to ask: Since when is a two hour meeting and campus tour defined as a “camp”? It seems like everything kids do at school these days outside school hours is called “camp”. When I was a kid and someone said “camp”, it meant I’d better take my sleeping bag and some insect repellent.

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Recorded Telemarketing

If I get one more recorded telemarketing call saying that it’s time to renew my automobile warranty, I think I’m going to scream! I do not own a car!

It doesn’t matter that I listen to the recorded spiel and then dial nine (or whatever it is this time) to be removed from the calling list. They keep calling. Every goddamn day!

I also get calls about my Medicare supplemental health insurance. I’m forty-one years old! I’ve jumped through all the hoops to be taken off this list too. But they keep calling!

And I do not want a satellite dish! If a live person would actually make the call, I could tell them that. This one doesn’t even offer the option of being removed.

Then there are the newspaper subscriptions that I don’t want. Why on earth do I want a subscription to a weekly paper from BFE Idaho (I’m in Texas) or wherever? Not exactly brilliant marketing there.

The ones I hate the most are the ones that have a recorded message saying, “This is a very important call for [Lottie]. Please remain on the line for the next available agent.”

Fuck that! If it’s so important have an actual person call and ask for me. I have shit to do. It’s completely obnoxious to call my home and then expect me to wait on hold to speak to them.

And if one more Jehovah’s Witness knocks on my door while I’m trying to work (or eat, or shove bamboo shoots under my fingernails) I’m going to take the Watchtower magazine with a smile, invite them in for a cold drink and then set the damn thing on fire right before their eyes.

OK, so that wasn’t about telemarketing, but it gets on my nerves so I thought I’d toss it in there for fun.


Defining “Prepaid”

I am absolutely livid! I just got off the phone with my cell phone company, and my head feels like I’ve been beating it against concrete.

I should begin by explaining that I have prepaid service with no contract. Last time I paid my bill was for service from May 11th to June 11th. If I decide to discontinue service after that, no action is required. If I don’t purchase another month of service on or before June 11th, the service will be suspended on the 12th and terminated in thirty days. No harm, no foul; neither of us owes the other and we go our separate ways.

A little while ago, I called to find out about having a specific feature removed because I’ve had no use for it over the past two months. Since I have prepaid service, I should be able to do this and pay the reduced amount on June 11th, right? Pretty simple, huh?

So why the hell did I just spend the last hour on the phone explaining the concept of prepaid service and resisting the urge to swear and call people names?

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You Have Mail!

As a follow-up to What About Bob? , I will now address Student Doctor Bob’s emails.

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What About Bob?

Bob Wiley is the extremely neurotic, almost paralyzed multi-phobic character portrayed by Bill Murray in the film, What About Bob. I’m not talking about him, although the subject of this post, Student Doctor Bob, appears to be similarly irrational.

Bob Wiley worries that his bladder will explode if he’s in public and can’t find a restroom. Student Doctor Bob worries that American women would be limited to one Pap smear every twelve years under a national health care system.

Bob Wiley believes that faking an illness or disorder makes him immune to it; Student Doctor Bob believes that misrepresenting the proposed system of American national health care makes a valid argument against it.

And so it goes.

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Response To Psycho Bus Driver Complaint

I recently posted about a dreadful experience I had while riding a city bus. If you haven’t yet read the account, please do so. It’s the only way to understand why the response I received isn’t nearly good enough.

This is the entire contents of the letter I received in response to my complaint:

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Psycho Bus Driver – My Worst Trip To Date

Warning: This post contains strong language which may be offensive to some readers.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t own a car, meaning I take the bus when I go places outside of walking distance. I purchase a monthly pass for myself; for my son, I take advantage of the outstanding student discount available, and purchase the semester pass for him. Because the semester pass only has to be renewed twice a year, it’s easy to forget about until we try to board with an expired pass.

We were standing at the bus stop yesterday when I got out my son’s pass, and it occurred to me that it had probably expired. There is no expiration date on the semester passes; not even a month. They do have a colored sticker which changes each time they’re renewed, but there’s no real way to know if it’s expired until a driver tells you. Since this was his first trip since the start of the month, I wasn’t sure.

I told my son to go ahead and show his pass in case it was still good; I figured the driver would let us know if it had expired. I also had his fifty cent fare in my hand, in case it was. The bus pulled up, my son showed his pass as he boarded, and that’s where it all hit the fan.

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We are not responsible…

I just came back from a print shop where I had to go and send a fax. In the window near the entrance is a sign which states:

We are not responsible for accidents or injuries.

I thought to myself, “Of course you’re not. Unless you are.”

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