The One Where My Friend Is Writing A CV

Here’s a conversation you might enjoy.

Friend 1: writing CVs suck ass.

Friend 2: I concur.

Friend 1: what does “interpersonal” mean

Friend 1:  god I’m lying so much already and I’m only writing the cover letter

Friend 3: Lying about your age again? ; )

Britpoptarts: ‘Interpersonal’ is workspeak for “I do not plan to do mental things or be a prat in the workplace.”

Britpoptarts: Most of my former co-workers lied like rugs answering that bit.

Friend 1: oh fuck

Britpoptarts:  ?

Friend 1:  I am totally the mental case in the workplace!

* Friend 1 deletes that bit

Britpoptarts:  LOL

Britpoptarts:  It also implies that you do not plan to kill and eat them for at least two months.

Britpoptarts:  After which, all bets are off.

 

Leave Public Schools Alone!

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If you’re unhappy with our public schools, here’s a radical thought: fund them adequately, provide appropriate textbooks and resources, pay good teachers well, and stop whining that although you can pray there all you want, that you can’t force teachers to lead prayers or enforce daily Bible readings.

Typical GOP stunt: cripple a resource, deny it funds, meddle with curricula, don’t consult educators, have non-educators make policy / laws, bust teachers’ unions, complain teachers get paid too much, promote crappy textbooks, try to insert religion into public schools, fight over ”intelligent design”, then, after leaving the public school system in tatters, complain schools are ”broken” and don’t give ”good value for the dollar,” and, hey, how about some vouchers!?

santorum vest

 

Or, if Rick Santorum, demonstrate your disdain for smart, educated people and the very idea of an advanced degree by calling learned people and scholars ”snobs.” (Ironically, Santorum has multiple degrees himself!)

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People with no relevant real-world experience in the field of education, especially people who did poorly in school or who do not have any higher degrees, need to step off and leave our schools alone.

What Not To Do With A Hot Pocket

What not to do with a Hot Pocket:

1. Eat it.

But let’s just say you’re hungry and poor and tired of ramen, Chef Boyardee or even the delicious home-cooked leftovers that you have reheated four times already because they are stuck together in a frozen ball the size of your head and you can only chip off a little bit at a time.

Or perhaps you live in your basement, collecting crumbs in your neck beard, and don’t want to pause while smiting orcs long enough to eat food that requires utensils (or two hands).

Whatever. (Or, as former Republican Senator from Massachusetts Scott Brown might say, at least on Twitter, ”bqhatevwr,” dude.)

Let’s say that you have access to a Whole Wheat Lean Pocket with broccoli and turkey and cheese in it, and which you can pretend is slightly healthy.

What not to do with a Hot Pocket or ”Lean” Pocket:

1. Misread the directions because you’re pie-eyed from fatigue
2. Nuke one Pocket for the amount of time you’re supposed to nuke TWO Pockets
3. Act surprised that your Hot Pocket is a Hot Briquette, as in charcoal.
4. Eat it anyway.

I guess “briquette” is marginally better than a properly-cooked Hot Pocket, which includes lava inside, surrounding a still-frozen center.

Jim Gaffigan: “‘Will it burn my mouth?’ It will destroy your mouth. Everything will taste like rubber for a month.”

This PROTIP is brought to you by poverty, the fact that I’m out of skim milk for my cereal…and the fact that I had a Lean Pocket in my freezer and probably need upgraded glasses.

Baddiwad Foot Commercials Must Die

ERMAGERD, stop showing me manky, flaky, stinky, ashy, horny, lumpy, grubby, disgusting feet in foot care product commercials! CallousClear and PedEgg, I am calling you out. I’m not normally grossed out by feet, but you’re putting my tolerance to the test.

I don’t even know how an able-bodied adult’s feet can get that gross. Do they hire desperate homeless people with crappy shoes to pose for them in exchange for a cheeseburger or something? I mean, you’d think you’d have to be walking practically barefoot on every manner of filth one can find outdoors, and then not have easy access to a shower for weeks on end to wind up with those nasty trotters.

I can’t imagine what the ad buyer was thinking. ”It’s 7AM on Saturday morning, when most normal people are still unconscious in bed. Let’s treat the insomniacs, old people and small children to some real merzky, grazzy, grahzny, strazky nagoy nogas, o my droogies.” That’s a real horror show, not horrorshow at all, my brethren, and not appreciated on an empty tummiwum.

I’m just saying.

Help People Gift You With Nice Things By Not Being Obnoxious

Yesterday evening I spent a few glorious hours doing almost nothing. Lazy? Yes. Gleefully so.

Well, I’ve done the usual house proud things like thinking really hard about finding the broom and dustpan, washing the dishes, feeding myself, doing a hell of a lot of loads of laundry (effort that will be for naught if I don’t actually put the clean stuff away…like, today), supervising a three day long house power wash that seems to have literally knocked the old shack askew (all doors are now sticking and are a potential “will die in a fire” hazard because they are hard as hell to open and close), and trying to gently urge new-by-marriage family members I only talk to once a year (but like a lot) to please, for the love of Santa, make out a frickin’ Amazon wishlist so I don’t give up in disgust and go buy them all oven mitts and candle baskets and singing penguins to make a point.

They refuse to do this for Christmas, they refuse to do it for anniversaries, they refuse to do it for birthdays. Why is this? I know I’m poor, but I’m trying, here. (If someone is offering to get you EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT for a gift, then throw them a frickin’ bone and put at least two or three items on a frickin’ list, OKAY? Is that so wrong? It’s not gauche or vulgar if someone begs you to do it so their gift shopping is not a pain in the ass! Honest! Do you WANT a Chia Pet? Don’t make me get you a fruitcake for Christmas, because I’ll do it, people. Sigh.)

Here’s another annoying thing you shouldn’t do: My mom has this “don’t spend your money” whenever it is coming up on a gift-giving event, and says shit that translates into an “I would much prefer you to spend three weeks sweating over an original painting that will cost you $200 in supplies, not that you have that kind of cash, and will require elbow room and space in which to actually paint, space which you do not have” routine that ruins the little joy I get out of, for example, the ONLY THING I LIKE ABOUT CHRISTMAS, which is giving other people stuff they want. I like birthday giving and Valentine’s Day giving and holiday giving in general, but I don’t like not having anything to give, no money to get anything to give, and suggestions made in a combination of innocence and ignorance that basically ask me to spend hundreds of dollars and days of time on an Easter basket gift or something equally minor. I get that it is supposed to be a compliment, but when you’re told that art supplies aren’t cheap, when you have helped me buy not-cheap art supplies, and when you know it takes hours to do something half-way decent, your suggestion that I “just make something, you know, with your art skills” is thoroughly annoying.

So cut that shit out.

But I digress. What else did I not-do while enjoying a rare respite from constant stress and an over-booked schedule? Well, I’ve read a lot. And taken a nap. A nap! What luxury!

Okay, I’m not done with the gift giving thing. Bear with me.

Helpful hint: if you tell someone not to spend money on you after they already have, or you reject all offered gift item suggestions (there’s a reason you were being offered a limited list, probably due to finances or the estimated ease of getting you what you want in time for the event), or profess to hate and refuse to use “we sell everything” online wishlists (like Amazon) to suggest instead a gift that was NOT offered and which would be a huge pain in the ass, expensive, and time-consuming for the giver, you are not being courteous and polite, you are being a jerk. Stop that. Did I offer you a damn pony? No. No, I did not.

Just for that, you are getting a fruitcake, and I don’t care if it is February. (It was stale in December, it ain’t getting any less stale.)

Likewise, if someone has made a point of saying that they never, ever shop at Wal*Mart or K-Mart, do not think you’re being cute if you gift them with a $15 Wal*Mart gift card that forces them to look at all the overpriced, limited, lame items on the Wal*Mart website, because the recipient is still not going to drive across town and suffer Wal*Hell. I got one a few years ago, held onto it for months, not knowing WTF to do with it, and almost just threw it out. HOWEVER, did I complain to the giver and remind them that I’d told them (OFTEN!) that Wal*Mart is on my “never give this company a dime” list, or that their gift was thus unappreciated? I DID NOT. I was very grateful, and very appreciative. The thought, however passive-aggressive, was probably well-intentioned. I suspect that my birthday snuck up on the givers and they bundled the gift in with the weekly groceries, because they DO shop at Wal*Mart, frequently, and their Wal*Mart has a grocery section. See, as I didn’t expect anything at all, I was glad to get what I got. I just didn’t know how to use it, and that took some thinking.

This, however, is why I don’t want to just randomly run out and buy giftcards. I personally may love Target. Do you? Not everyone does. Some gift cards I get if I can afford to celebrate Christmas in Atlanta every year require that I shop IN Atlanta before driving home, because the stores DO NOT EXIST down here and the cards expire in a few months, and there’s either no website or the cards have to be used in person in a store.

Which brings me back to my earlier gripe: FILL OUT AN AMAZON WISHLIST, PLEASE. Some of us do not like going in person to a store, be it to buy something for themselves or to buy gifts for others. Don’t make us do it. I was 100% more happy when I figured out that I could do most of my Christmas shopping online and even get stuff wrapped and shipped for me. Now I can’t afford to even buy a candy cane in the penny bin for someone, but back when I could, online shopping was SO much better than dealing with parking, crowds, limited store hours, thieves trying to steal your shit, crying kids, horrible Christmas music and traffic. I will never set foot in a mall again if I can help it.

I LOVE AMAZON DOT COM SO MUCH.

Anyway, while surfing around, struggling to figure out what these almost-strangers actually like, because they have failed to respond to my emails and calls thus far and time is running short if I want to get all this stuff shipped to me in time to wrap it and travel up there with it, I found a lot of nifty (and cranky) blogs and journals talking about holiday hell.

Not everyone enjoys the frickin’ holidays. I am often depressed and unhappy until March. I don’t enjoy all the pro-debt advertising and expectations and etiquette concerns and headaches. I struggle to be civil and positive while suffering an onslaught of holiday crap music and religious advertising from local Jesusland businesses and TV stations (!!!, no attempt whatsoever to be respectful to the large Jewish population here, for one, or to people who simply don’t want to see adverts where Le Grand Fromage of the TV station PRAYS and reads Bible verses in front of a Nativity scene during nearly every commercial break, forcing you to remember why you have cable and never watch local channels in the first place), and poorly-planned roadways that make it a pain in the butt to shift lanes, and family sulks (like how my mother is angry that I do not want to fly or drive up to Atlanta with her, even though I need my car to get from the opposite side of town to my brother and SIL’s house and back while there and am not likely to be arriving or leaving at the same time, and do not wish to be bothered with anal probes at the airport, and like how family members are often being nasty to and about my pet, and other crap).

It makes me all so tired that I get, like, TOTALLY parenthetical!!

Need MOAR semicolons. And brevity. Yup.

That said, it is nice to have the option to see family during the holidays. Since I couldn’t this year, as even buying a single tank of gas was out of my price range, my Christmas may have been a lot less stressful, but it was also really, really quiet. I didn’t hear from my family until almost 9PM Christmas night.
So, there’s that.

Mom Escapes Jury Duty

Mom was called up for jury duty, again. Right now, my days are mostly free, and I’d love to get paid to sit in a courtroom. It’d even help me with paralegal stuff. But no, I haven’t been asked to serve on a jury for over 20 years.

Anyway, Mom knows several lawyers and judges, and so chances were good that she wouldn’t have to serve, but you never know. I don’t understand jury duty. Like I said, I have never gotten a summons when I could actually participate. I’ve been several states away, in college, or in another city (please update your records, you guys), or starting a new job. When I could actually serve (like now), and have endless free time (well, not so much, but I could MAKE time for a paying gig, no matter how little it pays), I never get tapped to serve. Ridiculous. I wouldn’t mind doing my civic duty. Of course, I’m what lawyers Do Not Want. I read the news, I read true crime novels, I’m fairly bright, and I’m going to be swayed only by known and demonstrated facts, not courtroom antics and speeches.

My mom had to sit for nine hours, then–immediately upon entering the courtroom–she realized that she knew the judge (as usual; she’s lived here a long time) and had even taught the judge’s children. Dismissed! They could have saved a lot of time by asking if any of the jury pool knew the lawyers or judge right off the bat.

Another issue that bugged her was that the case was about an assault in the parking lot of a big box retail store, and the jury pool (approximately 36 people) were asked if they’d ever been assaulted. Over a third had. One had been beaten up while walking home from a frat party. Several women had been beaten by spouses or boyfriends. Some had been mugged. Another guy got into a tussle leaving a bar. My mom was a bit surprised to hear that violence was so common “these days…oh, what a world we live in.” I think we’re just lucky that statistics haven’t caught up with us yet.

The Defense wouldn’t have wanted her, anyway, because the defendant was, according to her, sitting there looking bored and smirking the whole time. She wasn’t impressed. Way to take your trial seriously and not antagonize the jury, pardner.

As a personal favour to me, can you guys refrain from mugging people or beating them up at the Wal*Mart? Thanks. Like I even have to ask, I know. Who are these people going around beating on other people? Do they have blogs? Are they on Facebook or Twitter? Probably so, as I suppose anything is possible.

Just don’t do it. Don’t assault or batter anyone. My faith in humanity is already at a low ebb. Thanks.

Girl Fights Versus Boy Fights

So this one blog talked about how the Internet doesn’t make you an asshole, but that human nature + the illusion of anonymity + minimal personal risk = assholish behavior. Same blogger is an anonymous crankypants, but whereas the tone isn’t what I’d choose, and the topics are those that I’d avoid lest they pissed off people I care about (who can’t separate a difference of opinion from a personal attack, even if the opinion stated was shared WITHOUT THEM IN MIND), I am finding her ranty-rants well-written and entertaining. (Also? I want to kick her abusive, selfish, neglectful, competitive, substance-impaired, crazy, kidnapping, bitchy bio-mom in the teeth. HARD. But she can handle herself just fine without me getting my hackles raised on her behalf.) Said blogger told a story or two about school-era conflicts that she handled with, well, direct violence to the perpetrators.

The interesting thing here is that this was effective, because, as a girl, she was expected to play by girl fight rules. Well, Girl Fight Rules SUCK.

I’m not adverse to an intellectual debate. I DO, however, despise whiny girly fight tactics. (Not all participants utilizing these tactics are girls, mind.)

Girly fights require that you do subtle, nasty things, preferably with a horde of cronies nearby to back you up and you get bonus points if you gesture towards your victim a lot. Say, they’ll pointedly gossip about the victim–who is RIGHT THERE–and then, if confronted, claim that the victim is being egotistical and paranoid. It’s gaslighting and cattiness. It’s not fighting an honest battle. Girly fights require emotional and psychic assassinations, not being able to trust your “friends” and the primary bully is always gathering forces around herself through the collective fear of her posse that the next victim may be one of the current “in” crowd.

Girly fights are lame. It’s all about being fakey-nice while in reality being a conniving shrew beating up on others with innuendo and rumor and shunning and stomping off in a huff and dropping drama bombs and crying and using emotional blackmail instead of, say, fists. Not that fisticuffs are better. But girl fighting is all about fighting indirectly and with a pack of harpies at your side, rather than sorting things out directly one on one.

Note that homophobic boys ganging up on less-than-jock-like peers and torturing them for real or imagined “gayness” is, in truth, a girly kind of fight.

Boy fights are more direct. First of all, the insult that triggers the fight must be rather grave. Mothers or girlfriends must be insulted. Property damage might have occurred. The offense is never “you looked cuter than I did today, so I hate you” or “I am secretly horribly insecure about my own popularity status, and how better to maintain it than by making everyone around me quake in their shoes?” or “you defended an unpopular person I was picking on and revealed me to be the ass I truly am, and now you must pay”.

Boy fights may involve a quick tussle or fist fight. Afterwards, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that two guys who were eagerly bashing each other into concrete walls and trying to kick each others’ gonads concave (low blow that it is) a few hours ago might wind up sharing a couple of beers later on. Boys are generally direct, if slightly more violent.

There will always be ladies asking their girls to hold their earrings, pinning up their wigs, ponytails or weaves, and putting Vaseline on their faces, sure, but that’s still boy-style fighting: actual blood might get spilled. It’s direct and not prolonged. There’s something to it.

Internet fights tend to be girl fights. Take a typical forum fight. There is a lot of frenzied IRC chatting and PM-ing and whinging on other fora. There’s the archivist, digging up past hurts and fights from whatever cobweb-strewn corner of a dead thread they were buried in. The pissheads who claim to be all in favor of peace, love and understanding, and then (often within minutes or hours) start “calling people out” and “naming names.” There are the backstabbers revealing personal information designed to embarrass former friends and then swearing anew that they really, really, really want a shiny, happy forum. There are idiots who just won’t leave even if they hate the way the forum is run by the owner and have other places to hang out, and lamers who create sock puppet accounts and bitch and whine and complain that others are shit-stirring, and…well, if you aren’t somewhat exhausted after just reading that shit, then you are better than I am.

Girly fights are doomed to fail where I am concerned. You pull that shit, you immediately lose as far as I am concerned. I label you as a jerk, and have no more interest in your arguments.

This is not to say that boy fighting ranks any higher, but, on the Internet, there are no real fists. Also, I may be a cat, sitting here typing. You don’t know. That’s the beauty of the Internet. P.S. Please send tuna, KTHXBAI.

There’s always the adult fight technique, where you stick to the disputed issue at hand, back your opinion up with facts, and don’t take a difference of opinion so darn personally. You don’t poll your buddies before you form your opinion. If your buddies disagree, so what?

The whole “enemy or pal” thing online is lame as well, because the likelihood that you will ever talk face-to-face is slim. 90% of what is said online is probably bullcrap, and that includes how people present themselves and the points of view they claim they hold. Some people just don’t have enough excitement in their daily life and need MOAR, and the Intarweebz is the perfect safe venue to troll, bitch, flame and be an ass. Again, human nature.
Even if you fight like a girl with someone who typically fights like a boy, they can’t sock you in the nose to shock you into behaving yourself if you get insulting and illogical and personally offensive and thereby bypass all the bullcrap and drama.

Girl fights failed with me in high school because I was blithely unaware of them, more often than not. Someone not liking me (or liking me) was not my problem. I didn’t share any secrets I didn’t want to risk having leaked far and wide, so there was nothing to embarrass me with (and it was already becoming more and more impossible to embarrass me, even then). If someone was being shunned by a pack of she-wolves, I either didn’t know or care. People from all groups were welcome to sit with me at any time, and they did. Lunch hour was pretty rockin’, what with the diverse group of folks at my table every day.

I still seem to be the recipient of everyone’s deepest, darkest secrets (because I don’t tell them) as an adult. I still stay out of fights that involve shunnings. When it was supposed to be my turn to be shunned by a group of much younger folks in Atlanta–and I still don’t know why, or really give a shit–I felt slightly hurt (“what did I do?”) and a bit put-upon (“I wouldn’t treat other people like I am being treated”), but that didn’t last long at all. I didn’t depend on only one small group of friends when I wanted to socialize, after all. My self-worth was never really diminished. If anything, I felt a little indignant because I hadn’t done anything wrong, nor had I behaved any differently from before. Once I identified to myself that I was displeased, and what behavior was annoying me and why, that was that. I decided the situation sucked, and moved on, and thought little about it thereafter. When the same group apparently decided the shunning was over and done with, it took me months to figure that out…because I wasn’t paying much attention to any of them any more, even when we attended the same events, other than to be polite as always, but preoccupied with other people or things. I didn’t trust them not to pull the same stunt again, and made no plans that depended on any of them to follow through.

I learn fast.

Often I spend far more time trying to figure out what, precisely, I am feeling about a situation, because I am very much a Think-y type and any kind of new or unexpected emotion that is less than pleasant sometimes takes me a minute or two to define and analyze. If the behavior I’m irked about is illogical, I sometimes just have to give up figuring it out. Odd, but true.

Then I rant for a while, if still annoyed, which often made my former roommates laugh more than anything else, and then I’m done.

Like now.