Monthly Archives: February 2007

Speaking of evil things…

So all this talk of evil neighbors and how to fix ’em right with evil pranks will segue nicely to a something funny that happened at work.

My office is holding a ‘sneaker drive’. I have never heard of such a thing before, but apparently people donate their old nasty sneakers and then someone (Nike? I think?) melts them and uses the rubber to make playgrounds. This is how it is explained on the sign near the elevator. I think it sounds like a crock, but hey, what do I care what they do with my old sneakers. Personally I think Nike is paying some 11-year-old kid 13 cents an hour to shine those shoes up purty so that Nike can re-sell them at 80 bucks for the ‘vintage look’.

But that would be a very ‘glass is half empty’ theory and also totally not the point. The point is that the sneaker drop-off bins are not locked. So someone (we really do not know who) filled my co-worker’s cube with nasty donated sneakers.

I find this to be possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen in real life. But only because it did not happen to me.

Now, the co-worker in question is very nice and took the joke in stride – which I assume was the intended result. However, there are some, ahem, OTHER, cube dwellers out there (certainly none around here, nosiree) that might be taught a lesson or two through some clever office pranks.

Prank 1: The loud phone talker

How often to you look at the earpiece on your office phone? Often enough to notice if there was, say, toothpaste covering it? Before you put it to your ear? Yeah, I don’t look that often either.

But I will now.

Prank 2: The suck-up

You know the type – always eager to talk to the boss, have his/her opinion heard. Basically the biggest brown-noser around. We’ll call this one Joe.

What you do is wait until your boss is in a meeting, and then tell someone (NOT Joe) that the boss, who is in Conference Room 123, wants to see Joe right away. So, if that person sees Joe, can he/she please tell Joe to go to Conference Room 123. This part is important because it eliminates your direct connection with the prank.

When Joe makes it to the conference room, he is greeted with a room full of people (and more importantly, the boss) who have no idea why he is there and who want him to get his flustered ass out of there right away.

Prank 3: Just plain annoying people

This really only works if two annoying people sit near each other. Switch their phone cords so that they keep getting each other’s calls. It will take them a while to figure out what happened, and almost guarantees a lengthy phone call to the IT department. Let them experience some of the frustration that you feel with them.

Prank 4: The person who will not shut up about her pets/kids/family/spouse

Replace all the framed photos on this person’s desk with photos of embarrassing celebrities. Examples of embarrassing celebrities are New Kids on the Block, Englebert Humperdink, and Mr. Rogers. Bonus points if you can change the screen-saver, too.

Prank 5: Another for just plain annoying folks

The Clapper. Plug their computer’s surge protector into it. Clap every hour or so (or when the victim is working on a big report).

Oh, people. I am not really soulless and mean-hearted. I would never actually DO any of these things… I will just laugh hysterically at the thought. And who couldn’t use a good laugh???


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Evil Neighbor Update

Yes, my wrath is still focused on this. It was diverted momentarily when an annoying work-thing happened but quickly returned when I got home last night.

It snowed the night before last. The plow came and did our driveway, but that’s all they do. So when I got home last night, I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of shoveling the rest of the driveway (the plow came before our cars were gone so there was still a ton of snow in between where we park) and the walkway/front porch.

Of course our neighbors shoveled a perfect little path down their side of the walkway. Fine. Whatever. They don’t have to shovel my walkway. I wasn’t mad until I saw…


I am still completely shocked. For a while, their actions have been bordering a fine line between stupid and deliberate. I’m pretty sure this incident crossed that line. What I can’t figure out is why they would be trying to deliberately piss us off. I’ve been trying to think of what we might have done to provoke this and I am coming up dry. I’m not trying to pretend that we’re perfect and they’re not – but I honestly can’t think of what we would have done to bring this on.

Of course, I’m not ignoring the possibility that it’s not deliberate and that they really just ARE that dumb. I just don’t know what to do next.

Although… Emily’s readers had some pretty good suggestions…


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Won’t you be my neighbor?

When Matt and I started thinking about buying a house, we wanted a single family. We figured, if we were going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for something, we wanted it to be solely ours. Also, I knew that if we ever moved into one of those huge condo communities, there would be NO WAY I would remember which one was ours since they all look the same. I could totally picture myself coming home and having to count doors until I figured out which one was mine. (Is it three to the left of the courtyard? Or to the right?) Yes. Dumb. I know.

So we started searching single family homes and while we were not totally discouraged, we slowly began to realize that the homes in our price range would require us to become fast masters in the art of home improvement. Namely, wallpaper removal (a LOT of wallpaper removal), carpet removal, floor refinishing, bathroom remodeling, etc. All things that we are surely capable of but were not eager to begin at that particular point. (While the lazy was certainly a factor here, we were also concerned about the money that these projects would require, because after we bought a house, we knew we wouldn’t have a ton of money to spend on major remodeling.)

We talked about renting for a few more years. We talked about condos. We talked about just diving in and trying the remodeling. Finally we talked to our Realtor and he suggested that we keep trying and maybe open up our search a bit.

The next weekend, we looked at a bunch of places, including 2 duplexes. One was pretty nice, and lower in price than a lot of places that we had looked at, but was missing some of the things that we wanted (3rd bedroom, dining room). The other was a dream come true for us (large, completely renovated, nice area) but it was at the max of our price range. We talked about it. Could we justify paying our max for something that wasn’t a single family? Were we willing to sacrifice what had previously been a vital point for our home?

The next morning I checked online and the price of the house had been dropped 30K. We took it as a sign and made an offer. Now it is our home.

When we decided to go the duplex route, we kind of crossed our fingers that our neighbors would be great people who we would become friends with. We knew that it was the luck of the draw, and we were prepared for whatever came our way. (The other side of our house was for sale at the same time as ours. Our neighbors actually closed on their place and moved in at the same time as us. So we had no prior knowledge of what they might be like.)

Now, I’m sure if we went with other places, I would be bitching about how hard it is to remove 17 layers of ugly-as-hell wallpaper. But that’s not the case. Instead I will bitch about HOW MUCH MY IDIOT NEIGHBORS ARE PISSING ME OFF. HATE. OH, THE HATE.

Matt says I’m overreacting. Here are my points to the contrary:

  • We have a somewhat long driveway, as our house is set pretty far back from the road. There is ample room for 4 cars (two of ours, two of theirs) right in front of our house. There is also a parking area at the top of the driveway – room for at least 5 cars. So why do they insist on letting their friends park so that they block us in or so that we can barely open our car doors because they park so close? The final straw with the parking craziness was when I came home one day to find their friend’s SUV parked IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAWN. Who does that? Does anyone really find that to be acceptable in any way?
  • The weekend before we went on vacation, we got a small amount of snow. It wasn’t enough that our plow company would come by, but it was enough that if we just left it, there would be a ton of ice and basically a big mess. So, Matt went out and shoveled the entire (remember, it’s long) driveway, walkway, etc. areas by himself. He didn’t mind doing this because we were home, and he wanted some exercise, and it would be pretty stupid (and kind of impossible) to only shovel ‘our’ part of the driveway.

However, when we came back from vacation, we found that our darling neighbors had shoveled a tiny little strip of walkway on their side only. By this point, the stuff had frozen so solidly that it took us HOURS to get the ice and snow off of our steps and walkway. It would have taken them 15 minutes TOPS to shovel it when they were doing theirs.

[This is one of the things that Matt says I am overreacting on. However, I say that it is common courtesy. If the situation had been reversed, there would have been NO QUESTION that we would have shoveled their walk. I know that this sounds a bit… pious? But this one really pissed me off.]

  • They are apparently dog-sitting for some friends. They let the dog crap directly in front of our bushes and then left it there. This is the one that finally got Matt riled up.
  • They also apparently let the dog crap all over their house. Now, if that’s what they want, then it’s really none of my business, except that I can SMELL IT. The first time, I figured, whatever, dogs have accidents and well, shit happens (heh). But it keeps happening. And they seem to have no urgency to clean it up. Or at least make the smell go away. And it’s not like it happens when they aren’t home and that’s why they don’t clean it up, because I know they’re home.

There are other examples but I think these make my case. I would love to confront them, but I don’t want to start a real feud going. I also don’t want to continue to stew in silence. Is there a tactful way to say, HEY, YOU’RE MORONS. HOW ABOUT YOU STOP SUCKING TREMENDOUSLY?

Yeah, I didn’t think so either.


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Retail Blogging

I keep getting forwarded links to blogs at work. The reason for this is that these blogs have posts either about something my company is doing or something one of our competitors is doing. I find these posts to be really funny because they give a new perspective so things that I spend many many hours and days and weeks working on. (Luckily, the commercial for the project I spent so much time working on got Matt’s approval as being ‘pretty funny’ or else I would have NEVER HEARD THE END OF IT.)

So, I thought that since I enjoy hearing what people write about the company that sucks out my soul provides my paycheck, maybe I should give my opinion on some other companies out there. I am, after all, nothing if not a giver. Of my opinion, that is.

Target:I love you and want to have your babies. Your commercials are entertaining and your product assortment is nothing if not amazing. Your Target brand Dayquil made me vomit uncontrollably the one time I took it, but since many medicines do that I suppose I won’t let it diminish my love for you.

Barnes & Noble:I’m torn here. I love the selection, but the layout is very challenging. It’s fine if I know what I’m looking for, but if I’m going to browse or look for a good new read I find it to be very challenging. I am a fan of the Starbucks proximity, but not of the obnoxious chair-hoggers. There should be a time limit, dammit. Or more chairs. I’m also torn on the Rewards program. I know I’m saving money, because I spend so damn much there that the savings is more than the cost of the card, but I don’t like to pay for Rewards programs. I feel a little less appreciated as a valued customer when I paid to be one.

Borders/Waldenbooks:Did you know they were one and the same? I did not, until the Waldenbooks that I used to go to asked me to sign up for a Border’s card. I was a hugely loyal fan of my local Waldenbooks because it was very close to our old apartment. I spentso much time/money there that the employees knew me and would set aside books so that they could recommend them the next time I came in. I also saved a lot of money with their Rewards program (which they didn’t make me pay for, thankyouverymuchBarnes&Noble). Unfortunately, the only one close-by now is in a huge mall with crazy parking. Not so much conducive to frequent visits.

Stop & Shop: You, um, kind of suck. But you work for my purposes and I am MUCH too lazy to drive a whole extra 2 miles away to go somewhere else, so I guess you will keep getting my business. But really? If I buy raspberries on Sunday, am I supposed to EXPECT that they will be MOLDY and GROSS by Tuesday? I do not think so. Also, I know that this is not necessarily your fault (although I do intend to blame you) but I wish the assholes that shop at your store would not park in the fire lane, thereby causing me to get almost hit by other cars who cannot see me as I try to steer my cart past the illegally parked cars who are blocking the view of the non-illegal moving cars.

[Random side note: The Stop and Shop that we used to go to before we moved had a police officer stationed inside. (In case of theft, I guess? We were not really in the hood or anything, so I’m not entirely sure why it was necessary…) People used to park in the fire lane there, too, so every time we went there I would always go up to the officer and ask him to have them move or ticket them. It used to embarrass the HELL out of Matt, but more so the cop, who was (I swear I’m not lying) always reading a romance novel when I approached him.]

Bennigan’s: You suck ass. Seriously. What is wrong with you? How are you still in business? Oh wait, the one near us just closed down so maybe you’re going to HELL where you belong.

[Yes, we eat at chain restaurants. If you have a problem with that, you and your little foodie know-it-all “I’d rather DIE than eat at Friday’s” snob self can bite me.]

These are all the companies that I’m feeling strongly enough to write about today. What are your favorite/most hated companies?

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Personal Growth

I have a zit on my chin that is trying to take over the world. It is so large, it’s actually not even all that visible; it’s more like my chin has just suddenly doubled in size. WTF, chin? Did I not clean your precious little pores vigorously enough? Did you not appreciate my use of toner and moisturizer? Why do you feel the need to humiliate me so?

Screw you, zit. I’m bringing out everything in my arsenal to get rid of you. Which means that CVS is about to benefit greatly from your presence.

They can take my money, but they can’t take my dignity.

Oh, wait.

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Oh, sweet vacation, I barely knew ye…

What? What is this? Cubicle? Work? Files and meetings and voicemail??? But! But!!


Yes. I am back. And now, for your reading pleasure, is vacation by the numbers:

  • Number of people: 2
  • Nights in Stowe: 5
  • Bottles of wine consumed by those 2 people in those 5 nights: Umm. It may be 11. But I will neither confirm nor deny.
  • Inches of snow that we received on Wednesday: 38
  • Number of Valentine’s Days in a row that Matt and I have spent stuck in our hotel room: 2 (but this one was really fun because it involved a fireplace and lots of wine and TV and board games)
  • Degrees the first day we went skiing: 3
  • Degrees the second day we went skiing: -9
  • Degrees the third day we went skiing: -1
  • Number of times I yelled, “Oh, holy fuck it is fucking freezing!”: Too many to count
  • Samples eaten by me on the Ben and Jerry’s tour: 3
    • Weird Tour Lady who said ‘eyesh cream’ instead of ‘ice cream’: Now, you know it’s bad luck to leave free samples on the tray!
    • Everyone else in our group: *leaves the room*
    • Me: Well, we wouldn’t want to have any bad luck, would we?
    • Matt: Umm… I don’t think she meant for you to eat three more samples.
    • Me: Shut up and hand me a napkin.
  • Pretty sparkly gifts received: 3
  • Bottles of wine finished in the 3 days after we came back home (we came back on Friday): 5 (but a few were already open and therefore don’t really count, right)
  • Pounds gained: Only 2, amazingly
  • Number of times the words, “I really don’t want to go back to work tomorrow,” were spoken yesterday: 1,683,108

Vacation was awesome. But alas, work calls…

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Counting the Hours


Vacation vacation vacation!!!

Skiing! And fireplace! Right in our room! And eating! Drinking! WINE! Sleeping! Vacation!

Oh my. I think my heart might just burst from the joy.

We’ll be gone for a week, so I probably won’t be back at the old computer for a little while. But I’m sure I will have some good stories when I get back. In fact, because I’m psychic (Pshaw – you didn’t know about my psychic abilities? I totally am. Shut up.) I can predict now the titles of my entries when I get back:

  • The time I fell down multiple times while skiing and then ran to the lodge to sulk and drink the hurt away. (See also, last year’s ski vacation.)
  • The time Matt and I couldn’t find anywhere to go for dinner on Valentine’s Day, because neither of us eats a damn thing and the restaurants always insist on some special fancy menu on Valentine’s Day.
  • The time Matt got totally freaked out by the bed and breakfast because he doesn’t really understand that’s it’s not the same as a big hotel and people might be *gasp* friendly to him and he might be expected to be friendly in return.
  • The time I changed my outfit 20 times and then asked Matt what he liked the best and the ensuing riot when he replied with a blank stare and a look at his watch.
  • The time we had a really awesome vacation, because really, it is going to be so incredibly super and awesome and fantastic and whatnot.

T-5 hours. I CAN’T WAIT!!!

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