Monday, December 22, 2008

I just don't know anymore

I have never fully understood perfume. Yes, it can smell nice in small amounts. It can spruce up an evening out, I guess. Or it can make you smell like a grandma. Any time I go to a mall I hurriedly sprint through the perfume section, hoping that one of the salespeople doesn't manage to squirt me with anything after asking, "Would you care to try our new fragrance?" Perhaps it's because I have sensitive sinuses and anything too overpowering makes me sneeze, but I just never really understood the hype.

This typically doesn't tend to be a problem. I don't know if I have ever gotten into a conversation with anyone under 50 about buying different perfumes. But all of a sudden the advertising industry has decided that I must buy perfume and lots of it. I thought this was some sort of British phenomenon until I came back to the states for the holidays and realized that it is everywhere. Has perfume all of a sudden become ridiculously popular? Or does the credit crunch mean that people have to find new and less expensive ways to feel glamorous? Well, I can't go on vacation anymore, but if I buy x perfume I'll feel confident and sexy and it'll be like I'm on vacation every day!

What drives me insane is the sheer amount of these perfume ads. Every day I will see a new one that I had never seen before. This has created an avalanche of over the top, obnoxious, and long fragrance commercials, which dominate pretty much all ad time. When salespeople and cool looking bottles aren't doing the trick, TV commercials are the way to go. The problem is that potential customers can't smell the product so somehow their attention needs to be grabbed. They have kept getting more and more extreme and I no longer know which fragrance I should be wearing.

Here are some samples. I have ordered them in what I consider to be least to most extreme:

Here is a relatively simple one for Chloé Eau de Parfum with a CSS song in the background. Somehow the model's dancing/hair flipping doesn't quite suit the music.

Bond Girl 007 from Avon: apparently a more adventurous fragrance. No celebrity in the commercial but it does play off of Quantum of Solace.

A Touch of Pink from Lacoste: A little more action in this one. Stupid little preppy dress with a girl who sounds like she never properly learned how to speak.

Fuel for Life by Diesel: There are about a thousand different ads almost exactly like this one.

Magnifique by Lancome: Oooo a celebrity! It's Ann Hathaway and a really annoying song!

Inspire by Christina Aguilera: She wants you to know that she can play this game too.

Diamonds from Armani: Even more glamorous than Magnifique, here is Beyoncé going completely over the top.

J'adore by Dior: You know what would trump Beyoncé's ad? Charlize Theron getting naked:

Insolence by Guerlain: Hilary Swank wants you to know that she can get naked too, with awful music in the background.

Chanel No. 5: The ultimate annoying and most extreme perfume ad (and possibly most extreme ad in general) out there. Baz Luhrman+Nicole Kidman+randome dude+too much money=a poorly acted Moulin Rouge ripoff with a slightly hotter lead male role. Oh, did I mention that the ad is 3 minutes long?

You may be thinking, "Geez Rageoline, you kind of went over the top with all those videos." But you know what? These videos represent only a fraction of the crappy commercials that I have to see every time I turn on the TV. How am I supposed to decide which stupid fragrance I should purchase? The whole purpose of a perfume commercial kind of becomes irrelevant once the competition creates their own commercials. Hopefully this phenomenon will end after Christmas, or else I might just go crazy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What you should know about this medicine: Side effects=ultimate lame

Every now and then you'll be watching one of your favorite shows on TV and along will come an advert for a prescription medication for some sort of awkward disease or condition. The announcer will try to subtly and soothingly go over the long list of potential side effects, or the side effects will simply flash up briefly on the bottom of the screen. The hand-holding couple or the smiling elderly woman will hope to distract you from the side effects. But once you've paid attention, you can no longer ignore the fact that the SIDE EFFECTS ARE EFFIN' SCARY! So, your insomnia might go away, but you might gain heart problems and massive headaches? Or you might die? Or you might get anxious? Ladies, did you know that if you go on antibiotics you might get a yeast infection? Then you will need yet another prescription to counter the side effects of your original prescription. FUN! 

Of course I can't avoid prescription medications at times, but they never cease to anger me. I went to the doctor on Thursday and discovered that I have some sort of neurodermatitis. Basically, anxiety and stress have caused me to develop a minor skin condition, meaning that my skin gets incredibly red and itchy for no real reason. Awesome! Who would have believed, that me, someone nicknamed Rageoline, would ever be prone to stress or anxiety? I informed the doctor that Benadryl makes this all go away but makes me incredibly drowsy. He prescribed another antihistamine, which is supposed to help me out. I practically skipped out of the doctor's office with my little prescription paper in hand.

Then I picked up the prescription and checked out the little information pamphlet and was filled with some minor rage. Here's why:

"Why I have been prescribed this medicine?" 
"Ucerax can be used in the treatment of anxiety in adults and also to treat pruritus (itch) in adults and children."

Okay, so we've established that it treats anxiety and "itch." Now, moving on to possible side effects:

1) Drowsiness-Yes! The very reason I started taking this one was to avoid drowsiness, gee thanks doc.
2) A dry mouth
3) Blurred Vision
4) Constipation
5) Urinary retention
6) Abnormal liver function-!!!!!! OMG!!!
7) Weakness/Fatigue-I can't wait!
8) Malaise
9) Allergic reaction/Shock (racing heart, cold and pale/Bronchospasm (breathing difficulty)-oh crap, oh and way to over-parenthesize and forget to close one section up instructions
10) Headache
11) Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)-hmm, as I seem to remember part of the reason I went to the doctor was because I was having difficulty sleeping because of this condition?
12) Allergy skin swelling-hold on a second...
13) Confusion
14) Disorientation
15) Itching-WTF??? You're telling me, that my anti-itch prescription might cause itching? 
16) Tremor (shaking)
17) Agitation-again, WTF? Isn't this supposed to treat anxiety to a small extent?
18) Rash (eruption of the skin)-I really don't remember what this medication is supposed to treat anymore
19) Convulsions
20) Hallucination
21) Increased heart rate
22) Nausea
23) Abnormal movements-what does this even mean?
24) Low blood pressure (feeling dizzy on standing)
25) Vomiting
26) Fever
27) Sweating increase

Perhaps I was merely confused, disoriented, or hallucinating, but did I just count twenty-seven possible side effects? Either the company that makes Ucerax really wants to make sure its ass is covered in case of a lawsuit or they just don't know what their medicine is supposed to do. I am so comforted knowing that I could start shaking or sweating at any moment. That should really help calm my anxiety down. Perhaps I'll call my doctor at some point but I'm just feeling too filled with malaise at the moment to do anything about it. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Ultimate Rageworthy person


Canada, Americas' Russia

Rageoline has informed me that Canada and Russia are nothing alike. I say NAY (like a horse), and that there are a plethora of comparisons that can be drawn between the two countries. The first and most obvious is that they are both very large and very covered in ice. Superman's fortress of solitude is in Canada, and Stalin is from Russia. Both of them are nick named: "man of steel"! Eerie!

Less superficial, they both have had failed coups. Russia had the Russian revolution, and the Canadians have Quebec! Both have had border disputes with a the USA. Canada and the US have decided to have their border along the 48th paralell, and the US and Russia have divided most of the Eastern Hemisphere. Russia was once ruled by the Mongoles, a nomadic people whose empire spanned most of Asia. Canada was once ruled by England, a nomadic people whose empire annoyed the entire world.

Both cultures are very fond of their beards and seafoods. Russia in particular has been trying to controle a warm-water port for five centuries, and Canada has been trying to controle Newfundland for just as long.

So in conclusion the two countries are very similar, and you can make any arguement you set your mind to!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Zuckerberg's Law of Useless Information

Now that the election is finally over, it is safe for people in the media to talk about other things, even though there are a few stragglers who think they can still turn heads by trying to call the hotly contested race for first dog. Normally this would be the sort of thing to set me on an acid spewing rant, but I am really sick of politics, so I shall refrain.

Instead I draw your attention the Web 2.0 Summit, or as I like to call it, the meeting of the G2.0 (that's a foreign relations joke, if you are wondering why you are not laughing). There Mark Zuckerberg, president of the illustrious nation of The Facebook, has made a feeble bid for a place in real-people history by positing a defining law for the stalwart science of social networking. "Zuckerberg's law," as the coinage goes, states that every year from now on people, in the general sense, are going to be willing to share twice as much about themselves as the year before.

Despite the fact that this is a terrifying revelation, this statement has been met with a surprising reverence. There is the slight criticism, that this law bares some similarity to Gordon Moore's Law which points out that the number of transistors in a micro chip roughly doubles every two years. This is not to be confused with the Dalton/Moore hypothesis that the plot gets twice as dumb every two Bond movies. Aside from this, all across the Blog-o-sphere, people are bowing down to this chip of "wisdom" from the mother-of-all bloggers, the person who reincentivized staying in on a Saturday night, Mark Zuckerberg.

Now, in the tradition of Einstein, let us perform a thought experiment —Think of everyone you know, not just your friends, everyone. Now ask yourself how many of them do you want to know twice as well? Take a second.


What Mark doesn't seem to ask "is there a point when we just cannot share any more about ourselves?" Some have claimed that we will be stuck in a Zeno's Paradox style loop of never quite making it all the way to total disclosure. However, I believe, which is corroborated by the existence of catbook, that Zuckerberg is wrong about the information we share on the internet.

While it may be true, that we will post/share/twitterize exponentially more information each year, it won't be information about ourselves. Instead we will make up information to feed into the ever-growing social network system, in a "keeping up with the Joneses" fashion. For example, a couple of years ago, someone might not have even thought about their cat's favorite movie, but today we post, for all the world to see, that Wall-E really changed the way the Snuggles thinks about his carbon paw-print.

I will end by noting that Google's spellcheck offers "bloodsucker" as an option for correcting Zuckerberg's name, touché.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Update to Ultimate Dumb Live Blog Post

Wednesday: 11:20 Yes! Boston 103 Houston 99! 

Oh, wait a second...Obama wins!!!! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Live Blogging is the Ultimate Dumb

Daniel Craig is on TV, yes! Oh, excuse me, I was too busy paying attention to what's on my TV to remember that I had started a post. Stinkerton and I have been discussing our annoyance with Live Blogging. Who cares what you, almighty blogger, has to say minute per minute? Holy crap, Tom Cruise just went to the bathroom at 9:15 OMG!!! To prove just how stupid it is, Stinkerton and I are each doing our own live blogging of election coverage. If you're not bored by now then I don't know what help remains for you. I'm not sure how long this will last on my end as I live in the freakin' UK. 

Rewind to 15 minutes ago: Holy crap, Wolf Blitzer has just beamed some woman onto the stage. It looked like R2D2 just vomited her up.

0:27 GMT: Wow, am I watching CNN election coverage or ESPN? I am mesmerized by your touch screen capabilities! You really know how to circle those hot spots with your finger Mr. my face resembles an old piece of ham with a toupée.

0:29: Stinkerton is trying to hold conversation with me about House and Obama having AIDS or something, but I am just too amazed by Wolf Blitzer's tiny stature compared to CNN's giant Poll Closing screen. We then discuss Blitzer's facial hair. I stopped typing for a second because I needed to scratch my head. 

Um, are they discussing the election or are they currently at a Starbucks studying for the next econ exam? Why do these people need so many computers? Are you guys reading my live blogging? Please please say yes, I really want to win and have my precious words read aloud on TV. 

0:33 This is dumb, let's see what's on Fox. This guy's voice is about to lull me into a deep and dark sleep. Oh a countdown clock until the next poll closing! These guys are so advanced!! Oh that lady appeared on a big screen, almost as good as a hologram, but not really. There are so many. things. on. the. screen. how. can. i. And why is the background so red? I get it, the Fox network is made up of communists, or Americans, or communist Americans, yeah, I'm pretty sure that's it.

0.36: Bloomberg, they are so advanced they are using Powerpoint or something like it!!! I can almost read the bullet points except for the ridiculously fast moving ticker at the bottom of the screen, Singapore? Wait a minute, why am I looking at a picture of McCain while hearing about Singapore? Too much finance! Next!

0:38: Ooo BBC! They are just so British I have to trust them on everything they say. There are so many crowds, is this Ascot? Where are all the funny hats? Wow, Cindy McCain not only looks like a resurrected skeleton wearing makeup, she also looks much younger than McCain. You know McCain, you really should have gone for an older woman so that you looked all young and buff in comparison. They are making some annoying jokes, skip! 

0:41, wait a minute, this isn't the US election, this is the House of Commons! 

0:42: That guy is wearing a purple tie on top of a purple shirt, fairly daring I'd say. Wow CNBC can use Powerpoint, extreme ticker scrolling, six pundit boxes, and moving backgrounds. I am wowed. Oh, and the yelling isn't distracting and obnoxious at all. 

0:48 Have just stopped staring blankly into space to realize that CNBC has not one but two fast moving tickers. AND IT CONTINUES DURING THE COMMERCIAL BREAK!! 

0:49 TV France, why are there Americans speaking right now? Why are Americans discussing the US Election on the show News & Magazines. Breaking News: Obama takes Vermont. O RLLY? Big freakin' whoop. What is the deal with these polls? Everyone keeps talking about these polls. Yes! Stupid Americans wearing baseball hats and gloves drinking bottled water TV! 

0:52: Why am I having so much doing this (was going to edit to say "why am I having so much fun doing this, but it's funny the way it is)? Did I just admit that? On to Aljazeera, yes, I really care what this Australian dude has to say to the next US president. Oh, what fashionable coats and scarves. Ooo and a green tie. Aljazeera is winning the fashion prize tonight. Oh, things just got serious, time to switch again. 

0:54: Russian TV, Cubans for Obama! Post Soviet split (how often have soviet and split been in the same sentence?) on who they want next

0:55: I just don't know what channel I'm watching now but the woman said "very unique" which doesn't make sense (if something is unique there is nothing else like it, there cannot be different levels of uniqueness). Whatever this channel is, it looks like it was recorded off of someone else's TV and then re-aired via Skype. Their ticker doesn't even fully fit on my screen and is not moving at all. Lame. 

0:57: OMG It's Carl Rove on Fox News. How can I turn from you Rovey? What is that tie you are wearing? It's orange with some sort of pattern on it, and your microphone looks kind of like a spider so it's kind of like you've prepared for Halloween, which was on Friday dude. OMG less than a minute until the next polls close!!!!!!!!!!  ELECTION ALERT!!!

1:01: Rove isn't speaking anymore, I can't watch this channel. Yes EuroNews is en francais!! Le woOt (remember folks, that t is silent). Oui c'est toute a fait logique. Ouch, it feels like I have a splinter inside of a really painful blister. Ah Non! Les polls sont fermes en New Jersey! 

1:04: Damnit! The Welsh channel has gone to bed, I guess I'm not getting my coverage from those guys. Stinkerton gets to watch the Daily Show's live coverage. I have to wait until tomorrow :(

1:08: Ham face is back on CNN! Who let these guys upload Kid Pix onto their fancy schmancy screens? Do you guys remember Kid Pix? It was amazing! I wish I had it on my computer right now so that I could fill my screen with purply slinky like things. Oh yes, the election, so much screaming!!! Stinkerton lets me know that the word for "polls" in French is "sondage." Well did you know that the French for "douche" is "le douche?" SNAP!

1:12: Stinkerton asked if I called him a shower. Nope! Shower="la douche" not "le douche." Note the difference spam breath. 

1:13 Is it Christmas? Was that the national anthem? Oh just the Phoenix Boys Choir. It sounded really creepy in the background. O-HI-O! Did any of you ever learn that song in middle school where you sing all the states' names in alphabetical order? Cuz I did. Did you realize that West Virginia was a state? Because I forget that it is almost every day. Every time I reach the end of the song I go, "oh yeah, there's an extra one of those Virginias." 

1:18: Ugh, commercials about gorillas and Egypt and stuff. You should read Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley. It's pretty funny. 

1:22: Back to Fox for the clock, ooo 6:30 to go!!

1:25: We've been live blogging for an hour now! I feel so productive!!!! Working on papers and presentations tomorrow is going to be awesome! I love exclamation marks!!! BBC has a "flurry of projections" Awww Barack cast a vote for himself!! Hey spellchecker, you might want to start recognizing Barack and Obama as real names. 

1:29: CNBC=channel with most use of hair dye and styling products. It is also the most unintentionally hilarious. "Barack brings a different color (literally)." "Diplomacy is a very important game." Have you guys ever played Diplomacy? Maybe I'm pulling out my total nerd points right now, but I think it rules. CNBC also argues more. Has their logo changed since the last time I was watching? Oh no, they just have two different logos to accompany their two tickers. Patriotic music! I feel inspired to send my absentee ballot in all over again two weeks ago!!!

1:33: I have found the ultimate election coverage!! The Celtics game!!! 

1:40: Pee break! Isn't live blogging so awesome? You get allll the details. Stinkerton and I should be paid to do this. So, let's see what's happening now. There's lots of flag waving and fist pumping in Pennsylvania...wait a second, NO! Those people are not just doing a regular fist pump, they are CERTAINLY jihadists!! No, it's already happening. We are totes screwed America. 

1:45: Celtics 4, Houston 8, Garnett, did you forget to eat your peanut butter and jelly today? Oh nope, now they scored. Um, I get the feeling that live blogging and basketball just don't go together. 

1:48: I just realized that it is now Guy Fawkes day in the UK! Yay for backyard bonfires and fire works!

1:53: I should probably split this into two posts, but I'm getting cranky because it's late and I don't wanna. Stinkerton and I have also realized that we've gotten the live blogging formatting kind of wrong, but it doesn't matter because IT IS DUMB! Is this major commercial time? Every single channel has commercials, oh wait Fox won't because they have the clock!

2:00: Sooo tired, must stay awake. Must make it to two hour mark. "Electoral bonanza" on CNN. Hey, did someone add an electoral vote game to Wii Play? Because that's what it sounds like. 

2:04: Hah, John Sununu defeated. That's a funny name. CNBC and CNN are beginning to blend together. They both begin with "CN" (Wait, so does Cartoon Network!! Why don't they have that here?), and they both have lots of beards. "The country's grown up." Wait, that sounded serious. Let's bring this down a knotch. Anderson Cooper is standing up while all the little econ students continue to sit in their little Starbucks!! How come Blitzer gets to play video games while these guys have to cram together at one table on bar stools? 

2:07: I am kind of amazed by obvious statements being made on CNN: "We could possibly see the first black president, but we don't know yet." Did you guys not realize this until right now? Well there must be hope for me in this world if you can get onto CNN with only a second grade education. 

2:10: When I rule the world and control all of the dictionaries I will ban the words "maverick" and "rogue." "Maverick" will say: "see Douche," and if you are lucky enough to have a copy of the M volume of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), you will find, "Maverick: once meaning rebel, however the word lost its meaning after douchebag John McCain used it in reference to himself over and over again. See: douche, douchebag, Miss. Congeniality"

2:16: TV France, British correspondent speaks with obnoxious McCain supporter-ugly tie, baseball hat with McCain and Palin proudly showing, "I believe that McCain can still pull this out." Correspondent: "You believe he can pull this out?" "Yes, he can pull this out." Yeah Obama can use the internet! I wonder if he reads live blogging? 

4:30: Oh no! After a strange electoral shift McCain has won!! I guess he did "pull this out." 

2:23: Just kidding. It's not even 2:30. I've passed the two hour mark which means I can go to bed! CNN is playing Hank Williams right now, definitely a sign that I'm done and need to go to bed. I guess you imaginary readers will have to analyze the coverage on your own! Unless Stinkerton keeps this up. And for the record, Boston 45, Houston 39. 

Election "Live Blog" Post

Even though the only thing that grinds my gears more than small dogs is live-blogging, there is way to much rage to pass up a pass at election night coverage by the major 24-news networks.

I kicked off the night by having Ragoline tell me to turn on the TV becauseWolf Blitzer had just beamed up a correspondent. So I tuned in to watch fifteen minutes of Wolf pretending to talk to Sarah Yellin who was being green-screened in from Chicago. Someone is putting their MacBook Pro to good use.

0:31 TU: Apparently Wolf Blitzer has lost all of his power because Bill O'Rielly shaved his beard.

0:37 TU: Fox News, the star of tonight's post, has enlisted a doomsday clock to countdown the time until the polls close here on the east cost. And the Issues chanel apparently is wondering why Hillary lost, which makes me wonder what Issues refer to.

0:41 TU: Fox News is now joining the cognative world in calling West Virginia for McCain.

0:45 TU: I am really tempted to watch the episode of Scrubs on Comedy central, its the musical one. I would like to take this moment to muse as to why the soap opera network is next to Fox News.

0:47 TU: CNBC stole a page from the Palin-Porno, Six pundits at once!

0:50 TU: Fox News: Bill Crystal, you have come a long way from When Harry Met Sally.

0:51 TU: The Weather Chanel is covering the weather in Florida and other battleground states, awesome.

0:54 TU: CNN: Wolf just named all the states on the Eastern Time Zone, fun fact, he is working on his GED right now.

0:55 TU: Radio France International has called Florida for Obama. This is True: As of Sunday (Dimanche) Their election map for 2000 recorded Florida as going to Gore.

0:58 TU: Rove alert on Fox News!

1:00 TU: Closing time, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay in the White House, unless you are Cheney.

1:01 TU: Errata, RFI has not called Florida for Obama, it is just yesterdays polls. Is it weird that I know the word for polls in French, but not the past tense?

1:12 TU: Rageoline has just called me a "the shower".

1:13 TU: Wolf Blitzer has just announced that 56% of 0% of West Virginia Voted for Obama! I am wondering if Bush has ever worn a sticker that says :"I Vetoed today". That would be clever.

1:16 TU: BET has the most civil election coverage I am seeing right now, why do the Republicans have a boys choir, at their party headquarters?

1:26 TU: VH1 Just told me to "not be an ass" and vote.

1:28 TU: CNBC has just told me that america need a president that will give them a hug.

1:30 TU: Polls close in Arkansas. Virginia, would you stop making love and turn in your results already.

1:35 TU: Telemundo is broadcasting a shot of a jumbo-tron with CNN on it, very bizarre.

1:39 TU: Apparently Barack Obama is playing in concert at Chicago's Grant Park, and MSNBC has just shown footage of everyone in Alaska voting.

1:45 TU: Rageoline says I'm so serious. Well, she doesn't know that MSNBC has a giant hollographic penis! Oh wait, thats Florida...

1:46 TU: MSNBC: "cut to the nut" ... tee hee.

1:52 TU: Rageoline has informed me that I am live-blogging it wrong, apparently the most recent post should be at top. I have Informed her that no one is reading this.

1:56 TU: Fox News: The orange in that jacket totally doesn't match fiscal conservative-ness of her hoop earrings!

1:59 TU: I didn't know that you could buy the giant ipod touch that they display in the Apple store windows. Cool fox news, cool!

2:00 TU: CNBC just dissed Obama's Kansas roots, that's cold!

2:04 TU: ESPN is running down the greatest moments in presidential history, and showing a consrvative bias, because apparently Eisenhower had no game, but Reagan brought it (even though Reagan is a girl's name).

2:07 TU: I totally want to be the guy who looks up all the state nick-names for these news organizations. They must make a mint by looking things up on Wikipedia.

2:10 TU: With Wolf and Anderson walking around to all these different stations, this is like the MOST INTENSE episode of Mr. Rogers ever. And picture-picture mated with Hal from 2001.

2:15 TU: Comedy Central is airing the episode of Futurama which Nixon steals benders body (get it?), and becomes re-elected. Foreshadow?

2:19 TU: Fox news has an even bigger IPod? What the hell.

2:23 TU: CNN: Its yellow dog Democrat, not bluedog democrat, there is no such thing as a blue dog! That is just absurd!

2:30 TU: Rageoline is going bye bye, which means I'll probably lose interest, there is only so many jokes one can make about a news network overcompensating with giant IPods and holographic penises.

9:49 RPT (real people time): Who is legs McGee on Fox News and why is she hitting on all the number crunchers? Oh snap, Carl Rove just busted a "flip-flop" up in here.

9:52 RPT: BET is booking Chuck D as an activist, which may be true, but is not the first thing that comes to my mind when you say Chuck D.

9:57: Chuck D just blew my mind.

9:59: Is Fox News using the 24 noise for its countdown clock?

10:01: Fox News just offered Carl Rove a cookie, i believe there is a childrens book about this. I also believe it ends in Nuclear war.

10:02: Daily Show coverage just began, this feels a bit meta.

10:11: Nutmeg state you say?

10:12: Things are winding down. Fox News has totally lost all its fight, I'm pretty sure Carl Rove has been drinking. Wolf Blitzer has gone to bed, so I think that it is time for me to untether myself from the computer. I would like to take a moment to thank all the folks who made this possible. This has been a historical election, and I owe thanks to Wolf Blitzer, Carl Rove, and the entire country of France. Of course I couldn't have done this without Rageoline and Snarkmonster, even if Snarky had "real things" to do, and had to write "stuff people would read". But most of all, I would like to thank the American people, whose appetite for getting information faster, louder, and on bigger computer screens has made this sublime process a spectacle truly worth screaming at.

Friday, October 31, 2008

This Week's Rage List

Okay, so perhaps I'm not feeling my ragiest. After all, it's a beautiful Friday and Halloween. However, I am supposed to be working on a presentation, which means that I can of course think of everything but my presentation. Here's hoping that some rageolicious writing helps get me back into work mode. Oh, in case you're worried, I was filled with extreme rage at least twice over the last week.

5) The US postal service
Or at least the postal service in Brighton/Boston. Before I moved to London I requested to have all of my mail forwarded to me here. For the most part it's worked out okay. Until I received someone else's mail. This would happen from time to time while I lived in Brighton and I thought, okay fine, we do live on the same street, I can just leave it here and the mail person will take it to the right place or drop it off later. When the mail man/woman is in a rush, he or she might not stop to go "oh, whoops, this says building 19, but this is 15!" Plus the mail box only had our last names on it, how would he or she know that no Bridgett lived in building 15, apartment 6? A simple enough mistake. But, when mail gets forwarded, the post office has to put a sticker on the envelope, with the forwardee's name and address. This happens before the mail ever makes it to the building. The mail wasn't even meant for anyone in my former apartment and my name is certainly not Bridgett. So thanks post office, for inconveniencing myself and Bridgett. Plus the post office is then supposed to notify the sender that the recipient has moved, which just isn't true in Bridgett's case! And if this Bridgett has moved, she certainly hasn't moved to my house. If you can take time to put a sticker on an envelope, you can take a second to check the name.

4) People who take their cigarettes out before getting outside
This didn't use to bother me or phase me in anyway. Perhaps I just hadn't noticed people doing it. But recently I have noticed several people, either in cafes or shops taking out a cigarette before leaving. I even saw a student at my university's library take one out while at the self-issue station, which isn't even near the exit. They don't take out the cigarette pack but just one cigarette. I find this acceptable only when it is raining or extremely cold outside, which it is not today. This bothers me in the same way that people drinking crappy beer out of a can on a sidewalk at 2:00pm alone does. I understand that most people find some sort of relief/enjoyment/satisfaction from smoking, or at least they must have at some point or else they wouldn't have started in the first place (I don't know, maybe some people say 'mm delicious, I'll have the cancer please, followed by a slice of crappy skin/voice/lungs). But by taking a cigarette out of its pack well before stepping outside, when you know that it'll be a few minutes before you get to smoke it, shows that you have long since passed the enjoyment stage and have moved completely into the "I need it now" phase. Why should this bother me? Mostly because I don't like being bowled over by people who "need" their smoke and manage to then smoke their cigarette in the doorway. I would really prefer to make it out of the cafe/library without getting your fumes all over my coat.

3) Inconsiderate pedestrians
There are two types of inconsiderate pedestrians. The first category involves the "in a complete" rush type. They cut you off at every opportunity even if it means they wind up only passing one person on the escalator. For the most part, at Tube stations people who don't want to walk stand on the right of the escalator and people who do move up the left. Sometimes an obnoxious French person will stand on the left (believe me, it's almost always a French person), or someone with a small child will stand on the left. They will obligingly move over if you ask them nicely. However, if someone does not move, there is usually a good reason. The other day I saw a crowd of people asking this one woman and man to move so they could all get by. They all looked rather impatient. What perplexed me by these people was that the man blocking the way clearly had a white cane and was holding on to the woman. He was obviously blind and yet people continued to show their impatience at not being able to move up the escalator. There is no way that you can be such a hurry that you can't wait 30 seconds for a blind man to make it to the top of the escalator. 

The second category includes the "Oh, this looks interesting" category. Usually these people are lost, tourists, lost in conversation, or just stupid. I will forgive these people on weekends or in less busy areas of the city. But if it is Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6:00-20:00, then please don't clog the sidewalk. They get into a daze and stare into shop windows or realize they're going the wrong way and come to a quick halt with their luggage in tow. I have often come to similar realizations, but I try my best to move to the side before stopping and then turning around. Don't read your map at the top of the stairs of the Notting Hill Gate station. Just don't. There is so much sidewalk to the side that you can easily move over. If you need help, ask me. I will be happy to help you figure out where Portabello Road is. But please, don't stop your whole family in the center of pedestrian traffic. If you are on vacation you have earned your right to walk slowly, but remember that most of us still need to go to work or class. Please walk slowly on the side of the sidewalk. Or if you must take up the whole sidewalk, please be willing to move to the side when people come from the opposite direction. I don't know how many times I have almost crashed into people because they have refused to make even a small amount of space for other people. I have a heavy backpack filled with library books, don't think that I'm afraid to swing it into you if I need to.

2) The Royal Mail Service
In the US, people tend to put return addresses on the top left corner of the envelope. It's a pretty sensible thing to do, unless you're sending hate mail. In the UK, if someone does put a return address on the envelope, they usually put it on the back of the envelope. However, it has typically been acceptable to put the return address on the top left side of the envelope, it's just not extremely common. Apparently, this has become a recent problem. Mail carriers get confused and wind up returning mail to the sender instead of to the intended recipient. Last week I sent my absentee ballot. I went to the post office and purchased the correct amount of postage. As it is an official envelope, I am not able to change any of the info on it. The send to address is a bit confusing, but still says Boston, MA on it. My return address was printed on the top left corner. The postage clearly shows that the envelope should be leaving the UK (why would I attach British stamps to an envelope from the US?). However, a few days later, the envelope was returned with no note. The only reason I could think of was that the postman was confused and had seen the return address and sent it there. So I wrote on the envelope, indicating which was the return address and which was the mail to address. Several days passed and the envelope wasn't returned so I was pretty happy. But when I'd almost forgotten about the incident, it came back with a note: "Could not be delivered." No explanation was provided. It had correct postage and an address. So now it's been Fed Exed. Thanks Royal Mail. That's just stupid. Why not just send it to Boston and let them figure it out from there? If the envelope's so confusing, let me blame them for it being lost than you. But that won't happen now that they returned it to me twice.

1) Nicholas Cage
He's stupid, ugly, and balding. Oh, and he can't act either. Stop showing your stupid face on buses because I don't want to see it. It makes me angry every time I see an ad with him on it. All of your movies suck, except for Raising Arizona. Adaptation was one of the worst movies ever because he played twins, meaning that I had to see him twice as much. Yuck. Why are you famous? 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So MUCH Rage!

I have been incredibly busy. I have moved to a different continent and started school again, which makes me think that I am partially insane. Being so busy means that the rage must remain held deep within until I can release it all at once. Tonight I will discuss several different things that get my blood going. These are ranked in according to mildly awful to outrageously terrible.

7. Professors who refuse to use the internet
If you are 50 and under you have no excuse for not using the internet as much as possible. My mom is in her 50s and she could work at the freakin' Apple genius bar so anyone younger than she is has no excuse. The London School of Economics has the cool intranet thing going on called Moodle. It's similar to Blackboard but way more awesome. Professors can post reading lists and articles directly to the site. Plus students can create profiles and discuss the readings with other students. When the school will set this up for you, why the hell would you not use it? Thanks for the badly organized reading list buddy. I'm glad to see that you recently mastered the art of the word processor. 

6. Odeon movie theaters
Odeon is one of the main theater chains in London. I am sure that other movie theaters in London suck as well, but since I haven't been to them, I'll give them a chance. Odeon charges you something like £10 for a basic ticket, £13 for a premier ticket. That's right, there are different levels of ticket for a movie theater. Oh, did I mention that the theater screen is barely wider than my laptop's 13.5 inch screen? Oh, and seats are assigned so you have no idea if you're not going to be able to switch seats even though you've wound up with the ADHD German girl with high hair sitting in front of you? Awesome. Plus the floor isn't slanted that much and the seat backs are high so good luck actually seeing the screen. I'm happy with most things in the UK, but America wins the movie theater prize.

5. People getting all huffy about "If x number of people join, I'll tattoo my face/donate to charity/contemplate possibly changing my name to!" Facebook groups
If you don't believe in them, then don't join! A lot of the time I tend to roll my eyes when I receive these invites and wind up just ignoring them. But occasionally I'll feel minimally moved and will feel inclined to join. Then the message boards and walls become filled with hateful messages about how crappy the Facebook group is. Have you ever participated in some sort of charity fundraising event? Ever? Before the internet was invented even? Don't they all function in similar manners? I mean, what does walking around a race track all night really do to raise cancer awareness? You've typically raised all of your money before the walk/run event begins, so why bother? Because they help to pull people together and raise even a small amount of awareness and that's how fundraising works people. If you don't want to be aware, then disable your Facebook profile and shut down your email account because people are going to be sending you these invitations until the end of time. In some cases, these groups will enlighten you as to how stupid people really are. Like this girl, who changed her name to cutout because she opposes animal dissection in classrooms. Who doesn't love dissecting animals? I have to give it to her, she did manage to get her point across. Plus she managed to show how meaningless names and identities can really be. I can't wait until next week, when she changes her name to breast (milk) is best! 

4. Which leads me to...bad advertising campaigns
I won't go into this too much because there are endless amounts of examples. Do you ever notice how once you've stopped using a website as much you'll get emails saying "Come back to us!!!" or "We miss you!!!"? Well I have and it's stupid. Websites should subtly try to lure me back with special savings, without mentioning the whole "we need you" whine aspect. Sure they want to make the customer feel special, but mostly it makes the company seem desperate. Amazon knows how to play the game. They send emails saying, "Oh remember that time you bought this really awesome video game? Well, guess what? LEGO Batman is now here!!" Okay, so they don't say it quite like that, but they know how to get me. Borders will send emails to me as though we are separated friends, who once got into a terrible argument, but can no longer remember why. I remember why: Amazon pwned them. 

3. The idea of changing your middle name on Facebook to Hussein
I get the gist of it. Yes, we all know that Obama's middle name is Hussein, which gives him not one, but two slightly terrorist sounding names. Hussein seems to be a pretty common name, although not as much in the United States. I used to know a kid who's name sounded like Saddam Hussein and thought, wow that's really unfortunate, until I realized his name was probably not so far off from being a John Smith or what have you. We get it, you shouldn't not vote for someone because his or her middle name is scary. But aren't the majority of your Facebook friends registered democrats anyways? While the idea sounds like a good one, it comes off as kind of cultish.

2. Sarah Palin
Of course she angers me for all of the usual reasons: she's not a real female, she's not qualified, blah blah blah. But one thing that really annoyed the hell out of me was her saying during the VP debates (and I'm going from memory here so it won't be exact), "As Reagan so beautifully put it, America shall be like a city on a hill." Okay, so maybe I should give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that Palin does not think that Reagan was the first person to say this. But the fact that she said "so beautifully put it" leads me to believe that she did. In fact, Reagan did say it, but Reagan was quoting John Winthrop from a few centuries ago. And John Winthrop was quoting someone else. And um, how can America be a shining beacon for freedom and democracy when books are banned from libraries? Maybe instead of trying to censor the knowledge seeking Joe Four Eyes, Palin should go check out a few American history books.

1. Spaceballs the Animated Series
Ever since the age of about 10, Spaceballs has been my favorite movie. It's completely daft and cheezy, but I can't stop myself from loving it. When I heard about the cartoon I got incredibly excited. The iTunes store was offering the pilot episode for free so I downloaded it hoping for some mild entertainment. Instead, I got the same jokes used in the movie paired with terrible, terrible voice acting and timing. I only made it through about 10 minutes before I had to stop. So thanks for ruining my favorite movie and my dream of one day being able to see Spaceballs the Sequel: The Search for More Money. And they don't even use the Spaceballs song for the theme song! Come on! 

And now for a bonus: 

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hugh Laurie Saves Wallstreet

I'm sorry I have not posted for quite the while, I have been in a coma for a few weeks. The last thing I can remember is hearing some weird name... Sarah Palin or something like that. Apparently I had a brain hemorrhage and almost died. But I'm alive, and not brain damaged enough to be able to post to this blog!

I came to today to see the following headline: Bush Signs Rescue Bill After House Votes. I don't read actual articles, because journalism make me mad... I don't believe in journals. Apparently Dr. House, hopped on his motorcycle and rode down to Washington to have an emergency summit with President Bush.

"At first I thought that the financial crisis was caused by lupus, but then I realized that Wallstreet just needed a money enema." Said Dr House when approached by reporters.

According to unnamed sources, Bush was reluctant to agree to Greg's radical treatment regiment, but was swayed by a combination of his maverick spirit and tight jeans. Also, John McCain, feeling the mavericism, suspended his campaign for an unprecedented seventh time since he hit the trail (in 1832). McCain arrived just in time to see House speed off on his motorcycle.

Upon returning to New York, House delivered the money to Wallstreet, stopping briefly to slap Warren Buffet with a stack of 100-dollar bills.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why I Intend to Avoid American Airlines in the Future

While I love traveling to new places, I hate the process of getting there. Idiots stand in line at security, not understanding that shoes and belts must be removed and that no, you can't bring that bottle of water with you. Out of staters stop in the middle of highly crowded areas to either check for passports, tie shoes, or to argue with spouse about going to the bathroom/how much stuff they didn't need to bring.

As if this weren't enough at 7 AM, now American Airlines hopes to further crush your day. I have flown American quite often and have noticed a steady decline in their service. Oh wait, did I say steady? Indeed it has been going down for a few years now, but this year it has downright plummeted. In the past year I have flown on American, Continental, and Singapore Airlines. The worst experience I had by far was with American.

I showed up at the checkin line about an hour and a half early yesterday morning and had to wait forever to make it to the ticket counter. Staff confused customers by saying "If you have your ticket already, go in self-service. If you don't, go to an actual ticket person." One customer questioned this to find out what the real difference was between the lines, and the staff member just repeated her statement. I wanted to yell, "It's the same freaking thing, except in the self-service line, a machine can process your order faster and more efficiently than a ticket agent can." Another staff member started yelling line rules at us, which were fairly obvious. Rules like "If you don't want to use self-service, don't stand in this line." Um, thanks lady.

Other staff members stood around looking pissed off and hardly awake. Meanwhile, the crowd stood looking anxiously towards the self-service machines, not knowing which ones were available and which were in use. Instead of directing people to open machines like any other airline would have, the staff members stared off into space. Once I obtained my boarding pass, I was asked to pay $15 to check in one bag. If this isn't bullshit, I don't know what is. American Airlines, do you really think that this $15 is going to help your fuel costs? Wouldn't it make more sense for you to simply raise your ticket prices? When I'm booking my flight at home, I'm already willing to pay x hundreds of dollars on tickets, why not just have me swallow the extra $15 then? Making me pay the money at the ticket counter slows everything down, inconveniences me, and makes me feel like I should have stayed at home. If you're worried about losing money, make me feel like I want to fly American Airlines, don't make me feel like a bad person for visiting friends or family. Do something that makes the airline stand out in a positive light. You want to be remembered for the good you've done, not how you've screwed your customers over. Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines both make their customers feel like stars, no matter where they sit on the plane. They serve hot towels, full meals, and continuously serve free beverages (including free alcohol). I would like to make a small note saying that usually the flight attendants on American are pretty cool. It's not their fault that the company sucks. 

Once I had obtained my ticket, I asked the lady at the counter what to do with my bag. She goes, "you need to show someone your boarding pass first." As I turn to give it to her, she looks away and starts giggling with another staff member. I push my way over to another woman, and she says "Any of us can take it." Instead of taking my ticket, she stares off into space. I finally give someone my ticket and can go off to security. 

I arrived in San Francisco to find that I was one of a couple people whose bag didn't make it on the plane. The reason why? "All it says is TSA: Bag had to be rechecked for security reasons." Oh really? All I had in the bags were clothes, two pairs of shoes, a book or two, and toothpaste. Wow, I must be really dangerous. Most likely, one of the flaky staff members didn't get it on the belt on time (big surprise considering how much attention they were paying to their jobs), and then coded it as "TSA" to cover his/her ass. I landed at 11:00 AM, my bag did not get to the airport until after 10:00 PM. American told me they'd call me when the bag landed. Did they call? No, have they ever called before when my bag didn't make it on the flight? No. I called close to 11, and discovered my bag could either be delivered between midnight and 3 Am or 10 AM and 2 PM. They couldn't guarantee any specific delivery time. I chose the night option. A 2:45 AM finally showed up. Thanks American. I have now officially stayed up 24 hours for you! And now I'm exhausted and pissed off! American has lost my bag several times in the past. I can understand when there are weather issues or if they say they had too many bags on the plane. But security reasons? Also, not once has the airline called me to say my bag has been retrieved. In fact, when I live close the airport, I tend to drive there after a few hours and find my bag just sitting in the baggage claim area. I don't have to sign for it and notify anyone that I'm taking it. Which leads me to believe that anyone could have shown up and walked away with my bag. Also, normally when your bag is searched, there is some sort of evidence that this has been done. They will (or should leave) either a tag or piece of paper saying the bag has gone through additional screening. There was no sign of this on my bag this morning. 

Did American offer me any sort of compensation or travel voucher? No. I have requested to have my $15 check-in fee refunded, but so far haven't heard back. Oh, did I mention that you can e-mail, fax, or mail your complaints in but can't call a customer service line? What a way to discourage negative comments or deny responsibility for fault! As someone who has previously worked in customer service, I know that the easiest way to calm a customer down or to solve their problem is over the phone. Customers will vent in emails, which often times leads to a customer service agent not wanting to really help. On the phone, the customer realizes that you are human too and are actually trying to help. Don't send your customers to a black hole, help them out. Also, when I made a mistake at my job, I'd offer to refund or partially refund the customer. This would make the customer happy and encourage them to shop with us again. If I don't see at least an apology or my $15 back (which is nothing compared to my full day wasted), I do not intend to fly with them again unless no other option is available. 

Hey companies, do you want to know how to lose money and fail at business? Just look at American Airlines! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

TV on drugs

Hands down, the best part of television, is the commercials. They keep us updated with what movie not to watch, what new cell phone is exactly like the iPhone, and who Coca Cola thinks you should want to sleep with. Frankly, there is nothing more fulfilling than having my brain be treated like a mail slot which information needs to be shoved into in the most aggressive manner possible to ensure that it sticks.

Drug companies, more than any other advertiser, have their work cut out for them in this dog eat dog world. Many of them can't even say what their drug does without having to go into the lengthy list of side effects. I still don't know what Cialis actually does, I think it makes you sigh a lot. There is one commercial for an arthritis medication that is nothing more than a lengthy list of sideeffects followed by an official sounding voice telling me "your life might suck just enough for this to be worth it."

Advertising for perscription drugs is difficult, because you have to actually get the viewer to think they have symptoms. So when selling anti-depressants, cue the violin music and get the woman with the dullest voice to ask if you feel paralized with pain and anxiety. I'm not sure if I have the will to live after watching a thirty second spot in the middle of J Leno, too bad anti-depressents make you want to kill yourself.

Of course, there is always the classic ED pill ads. There are two directions you can go with this ad. First, the little blue pill will finally let you be able to please your wife again, filling that gaping void in your relationship (try saying that with a straight face sometime). Or, this pill will give to you ability to schtup every semi-attractive femail at your office party. Either way, this pill does not protect you from HIV or other STDs... which logically it should.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Attack of the Clones

We have all had a pet that we have loved, and most of us have had that pet die. This experience can be rough. What most of us have not done, is fork out $150,000 to create the image of the that pet's immortality. That's right, the clones have launched an attack! And they are hitting us where we are most defenseless: our insecurities that we are willing to throw infinite amounts of cash to try and fill. For about three years now, several companies have been commercially cloning pets.

I am not against cloning. On some level it has useful applications, and I doubt that the artificial creation of human offspring will ever find widespread acceptance or use. As for "not playing god," if trying to dictate how everyone should lead their life isn't "playing god" then I doubt cloning is. My one beef with cloning: Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which will be removing money from your wallets this fall.

What is misunderstood about cloning is, when you clone an animal, the clone is a different animal than the original. So the biggest difference between getting your old pet cloned, and getting a new pet, is in your head. While that puppy will look similar to the original and probably have some similar personality traits, it will be a new puppy. So congratulations, you have just spent 5 years of my salary for something you could have gotten by spending fifteen minutes in choosing a new dog at the pound.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dark Knight, another terrible movie

This weekend, I ventured to the movie theater where I watched, accompanied only by a tumble weed, the silver screen equivalent of Moose Murders, the new installment in the trite Batman franchise, The Dark Knight. The movie makers rushed this film so much in hopes of making a quick buck, that they practically caused the death of actor Heath Ledger. I don't completely understand all the hype over this young man, if Danny DiVito had died in the post-production of Batman Returns you wouldn't have cared.

One sign of a rushed movie, is that they decided to reuse the overdone villain the Joker. While the Joker is Batman's original and defining nemesis, there are no shortages of portrayals of this white-faced mass murderer, and there are so many other colorful villains and the Batman pantheon to draw form. After dipping into the lesser know characters, Ras Al Ghul and The Scarecrow, for Batman Begins I was hoping that Hollywood would be ready to bring some of Batman's adversaries to light.

Imagine, if instead of Heath Ledgers horrifying face appearing on the screen, we were treated to another portrayal of the classic character Clayface. This animated tennis court was once an actor but because of his dependence on an experimental cosmetic product transforms into a giant autonomous clay figure. The emotional range it takes to portray the desperation and the anguish that this character goes through, would require an actor of at least the caliber of Kenneth Branaugh.

I'm sure, like all bad movies, that there will of course be a sequel. Maybe they'll choose to remake more villains from the other movies, such as Mr Freeze, the tragic story of boy meets girl, girl dies, boy uses his advanced knowledge of cryogenics to kill people, later becoming governor of California. Or Poison Ivy, whose magical vagina always seems to come between Batman and his trusty sidekick, Robin. Maybe they'll try to revitalize this movie series by introducing to always fresh character Batgirl!

Interestingly enough, the movie grossed 155 Million dollars over the weekend, that must have been one wealthy tumble weed.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Movie Breakdown

There is no air conditioning in my apartment, so naturally I have been doing pretty much anything to stay out of the heat. This means spending hours in Starbucks, at the supermarket, and going to movies, even if they are bad. So, In tonight's feature, I sum up the pain that I have felt from the third row of the AMC Cinema in Kenmore square.

Indiana Jones and the Legend of Pickle Shaped Skulls (PG 13)
A taste of the good old days, when movies were simple and adventurous, and did not carry any regard for foreign cultures or physics or the fact that refrigerators can't open from the inside. Way to make money George Lucas!

Why is Harrison Ford still so damn beautiful?

You Don't Mess With the Happy Gilmore (PG13 because the kids are alright)
A buffed up Adam Sandler sensitively shows that even if you are a soldier who knows nothing but war, you can still achieve your dreams... as long as you have sex with enough old ladies. I can smell the Oscar from here.

Wanted (R for pointless cursing, violence, and really skinny people)
A movie that sets the bar just high enough to smack its face into. I will use basic math to explain how bad this movie is:
Wanted = Fight Club + Matrix = Why did you think this was a good idea?
James MacAvoy ≠ Badass
Angelina Jolie = ± A Zombie
What have you done lately?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How much do you hate your family?

Do you hate them enough to not send them to not send them a Christmas card? How about to leave them out of your will? If that isn't spiteful enough, you could force them to spend all of your money on charity. Not poetic enough? If you really want to twist the knife, you could always force them to spend every penny you have on your bichon friez.

That is what Leona Helmsley did with her multi-billion dollar hotel fortune. If you are not familiar with the story, after Leona died last year, she allocated her ~6 Billion dollar estate to charities that benefit dogs, saving 6 million for her own toy pooch.

This story angers me on many levels.

First, small dogs are dumb. They usually rank somewhere between an accessory and a stuffed animals on the food chain, even though they will try to eat both. They lack the charm of cats and larger dogs, and if you are too codepended to be a cat person, the game ended for you a long time ago. If you are not convinced: Beverly Hills Chiwawa.

Second, what about people? I don't care that she gave all her money to charity. "Immature" doesn't quite seem to cover a multi billion dollar slap in the face to your own kin and beloved, but they probably don't really need it anyway. 6 Billion dollars could help a lot of PEOPLE. There are countries with GPCs less than 6 Billion dollars. She could have actually bought everybody a coke, and still have enough to feed her pets for the next 70 bajillion dog-years.

There certainly are good charities for animals. But, as the Times reports, Helmsley's estate is more than ten times the value of every animal related non-profit in the country. (I'm not sure if this includes the one where Bob Barker spays you cat) There is certainly a better way of dealing with your money, your pets, and your family.

...At least she was ugly...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Today's Subject: The Distance between MBTA Stops

Every day that I drive to work or whenever I take public transportation in Boston, I get a little bit angrier at the MBTA. I drive from Brighton to Watertown and am frequently stuck behind buses. I live off of the Greenline, so if I plan on going downtown, I resign myself to the fact that I will be stuck on the T for a minimum of 40 minutes, no matter how far I plan to go.

What really gets me is the distance between stops. It takes the average person 13-25 minutes to walk a mile, depending on how quickly he or she is walking. Whenever I'm in a hurry, or on my way to work, I probably walk a mile in under 20 minutes. So how long could it possibly take me to walk one to two blocks? 30 seconds? One minute? Maybe a couple minutes if I need to cross a street? Well, the MBTA bus system does not seem to believe that anyone is capable of walking more than one large block at at time, as judging from the bus routes I've seen, that is how frequently it stops. 

On my way to work, I take a left (from Washington St) onto Washington St past St. Elizabeth's Medical Center. I'm not sure which bus it is, but one of them stops immediately after turning left. Before it has a chance to accelerate, it pulls over to another stop. The bus has maybe gone half a block at this point. The bus then goes through the intersection of Washington St and Market St and pulls over again. I can walk from the Green Briar Pub to Cafénation in approximately five minutes. The bus has stopped three times in a tenth of a mile!

View Larger Map

You shouldn't be able to get to your stop, see the bus get to the stop ahead of yours, run after it, and be able to get on. I have tried taking the bus from home to work and to Harvard Square but have found it is faster to walk. Of course buses stop frequently, but isn't this a bit much?

I have the same issue with the Green Line, especially the B. The B line has 18 stops between Boston College and Kenmore, which is about a 4 mile distance. The Red Line has about 14 stops between Alewife and Braintree, which covers about a 20 mile distance. It takes about the same time (or maybe less) to get from the Park St stop to Quincy Center as it does to get from Park St to Washington St. How does this make sense? OK, so the Green Line does go above ground for those 18 stops and does need to stop for traffic, but I still find this a bit ridiculous. Mostly because a lot of waiting time is spent at stops and not at traffic lights. 

Why does Boston University need three stops? It's big, but it's not that big. Get rid of one of those stops! It's not like removing stops would be that hard. In fact, a few stops, such as the Mt. Hood Rd. stop, were removed simply by putting a chain over the stop and placing tape over its name on the subway map. Several stops, such as the Sutherland stop, don't even look like stops! They don't even have signs!* 

Would it really hurt people to walk a couple of extra blocks? A lot of B line stops aren't even near grocery stores, pharmacies, or anything else worthwhile. Everyone would get home a little faster if they didn't mind getting off a little bit earlier/later. 

*This leads me to a separate rant about how Boston is a great city, as long as you're a local. Expect to see this in a future post

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Oh, So You Can Ride a Bike With No Handlebars Can You?

Unless you live in 1920 and ride a unicycle, you can't. Amazingly enough, this rant is not about that god awful song. Although its mere existance baffles my mind. Have we recovered from our 80s craze and shot straight to 1999? If you are unfamiliar with the song, I envy you. This rant is about bikers. I am not referring to the Harley Davidson riders, or the moped daredevils, but to the assholes on bicycles in Boston.

I do own a bike and from time to time enjoy using it. Bicycles are great for the environment, personal health, and entertainment. If you don't have a car and taking public transportation doesn't make any sense, then by all means take your bike. However, bikers are for the most part, assholes. Boston is not like Copenhagen in the sense that it planned well for bicyclists. In fact, it didn't really plan well for much. Just try driving from Brighton to Arlington some time and you'll see what I mean.

Everywhere I go I see these obnoxious little bumper stickers or shirts on the backs of bikers "Share the Road." I do "share the road" but the majority of bikers I see have no intention of sharing anything. "Oh, there's a snow bank here and there's barely enough room for your car as it is? Let me ride my bike extremely slowly in the middle of the road so no one can go around me." "Oh, you plan to turn right at this intersection and you've had your blinker on for a block and half? Why would I slow down or stop?" "This red light is inconvenient, I shall pause at the crosswalk and then run over some pedestrians."

Bikers are also supposed to obey traffic laws. "But I'll never make it to work on time if I do." Then leave earlier! Chances are that you will make it to work faster by walking then you will by taking public transportation so don't give me the "can't be late" excuse. You know what slows down traffic? People having to stop every five seconds so as not to hit a biker running a red light. Guess what bikers, you aren't invincible. You are not impervious to cars turning left from the opposite direction. Massachusetts bicycle law states that bikers may pass cars to the right. By right, the law does not mean that you may get in between cars or be in the center lane at a red light. You must signal when changing lanes or turning.

Take a look at this crazy intersection which I must cross through every day.

View Larger Map
This is insane!! As you can see from the map, traffic goes in several directions. After going through two traffic lights, I have to get over to my right and watch for cars who only sometimes yield when they're supposed to. This is made far more challenging when a biker gets into the middle of all the lanes and also tries to go right without signalling, staying to the right, or slowing down at all.

If I have three or four other people in my car, it can be difficult enough to see a car in my blind spot. Bicycles are extremely hard to see. Most bikers do not seem to be aware of their surroundings and oftentimes do not seem to care for their own safety. One day on my way to work, I stopped to let a woman make a left turn. The light up ahead was red so I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. It should have been fairly obvious what I was doing. However, a bicyclist decided that the red light was unimportant and so continued to speed on. As the woman turned into the street, he did not pay attention and was not able to brake in time. Instead, he slammed right into the side of her SUV. Of course she wouldn't have seen him coming, and he was out of sight of my rear and sideview mirrors when I initially stopped. He definitely should have realized what was happening. He was okay, but the accident was completly unneccessary and entirely his fault. On the offchance that I ever decide to go into law, I may just opt to defend motorists in bike vs. car accidents.

I really can't stand the bikers who think they are completely badass and can defy gravity. You know which ones I mean, the ones who get in the front and center of an intersection during a red light and refuse to put their feet on the ground. Almost every single one of these that I've seen has almost fallen and gotten hit by oncoming traffic.

Please bikers, develop some common sense and get out of my way. To that woman who rides a tandem bike with her son through Brighton Center during rush hour, why must you continually ride through red lights without even looking first? Do you give a crap at all about the safety of your kid? One day, I know that I will hit one of you, and I really don't think I'll feel bad about it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Third Speaks: Snorkels for Polar Bears

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

You probably have been wondering since the inception of this blog, who is this mysterious/sexy Stinkerton who lurks in the sidebar of this tantalizing blog? Ok, you are right, you have been thinking no such thing, mostly because you don't know what 'tantalizing means'. I have come to answer just that question, with a scathing tirade so acidic it will make you look up from your lol-catz.

The subject of my tirade:
The Balding Penguin

Thats right, its adorable.

This is revolting. It is this sort of mindless whale-hugging that allows Subaru to get away with green living adds. (Note: whales are slimy and bad huggers)

"Oh, look, that penguin is losing its little hair! I know lets give it a jacket so it can swim around and be soooooo cute in its little penguin wet-suit."

WRONG! We should be saying "Haha! You're an inferior penguin, and you are going to die." and then laugh as it shivers alone in a corner.

Don't misunderstand. I love nature as much as any of you hippies. You can tell because I eat more of its creatures than you do (I'm really glad they didn't give those flightless chickens airplanes), but its the circle of life. The weak are supposed to die, it is just how the works.

I will explain this to in a way that caters to your ADD. Lets say we give this penguin a wet suit. Rather than dying like it is supposed to, it goes and gets busy with a bunch of girl-penguins without use of a penguin condom (I wonder if sperm balds too?). Then he carries his little egg and it hatches into little bald baby penguin, which are also adorable. But soon these babies are making more bald babies! Soon, they every penguin in the arctic is to busy shivering, and get eaten by polar bears. It is kind of like the movie 28 days later except far less exciting and far more cute.

However, all of this talk of polar bear gives me an idea. Why don't we just give all the polar bears who are drowning in the north pole snorkels? At least with them it is our fault that they are dying, and not some genetic defect, unless you count that they weren't born with gills (slackers).

Friday, April 25, 2008

Snark Monster Sez: Get These Hos Out of My Job Application System!

So say I got a job opening for a party in my pants.

--Granted, this is all metaphorical so you internet pervballs can understand what I'm talking about.--

So I got this opening in my pants, but there's only so much room in there for potential hires--ya know? Three to a thigh, five in the middle, and ten down the back. It's a huge party and now it's booked up. I don't want to be seeing any more of these stinkin' ho resumes.

But then a friend swings by, "Hey Man, I got the sickest of the sick, A-plus-plus ho for you. You'll love him. You gotta let him into the party."

And I'm all like, "But Dude, I just closed this shit up! Now I have to put a call in to HR to get them to let down the zipper to get one more party person inside past all the other people waiting at my velvet shoelace's rope to get in!"

And Dude's all like, "This guy is the king of parties--like that f*in' Aussie kid good."

And so I'm like, "Fine, fine. I'll put in a call to HR."

So I'm plotting with my HR lady to sneak a fast one by them all and let this party boy through. And I think I'm being all swift--"Let's open it at night, call the guy real fast and have him jump the queue and then we'll pull the zipper back up right quick."

So I hit all the necessary buttons on my keyboard, get Ms. Thang in HR to let down my drawbridge, put my call in to Party Boy, "Yo, let's do this." Dot every fucking T and cross all the Is.

And I think I'm all slick sitting down at my computer this morning, ready to celebrate with Party Boy for making it in, close that shit out and be done with it. But what do you think is sitting in my inbox? A six pack for a job well done?

Hells, no!

It's an email from one of the velvet shoelace hos! Don't you know it, she's been squatting on our hiring page, all night long refreshing until she sees the backdoor slide open. And what does she throw my way? A fucking passive aggressive parade!

"I applied for this position back in March {sound the kazoos!} and was told that the position was currently on hold {here come the baton twirlers!}. But now I see from your website that the position is open again {here comes the marching band!!}. Are you accepting applications again?! {Oh snap! It's the clown car!} And ARE YOU STILL CONSIDERING ME FOR THIS JOB?!? I SWEAR I'M NOT DESPERATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! {Clowns everywhere! It's a fucking red nose apocalypse!}"

I got two words for you Honey: Chill & Pill. Find it. Take one. It's fucking Friday, my friend. And I've got a party in my pants.

Monday, April 21, 2008

You are extremely NOT welcome!!

Oh, hi there! I'm sorry, I was too busy being distracted by how annoying this post is to see you there. Do you own a bike? Do you ride it in the city? If the answer is No, then welcome. Have a seat, or keep standing and continue to read on your mobile device. If the answer is Yes, then please stay the hell away from me. I drive a car and am proud of it. It's bad enough having to have a biker as a roommate, I don't want any reading this blog.

So, to start things off, here is my first subject of rage:


Flan is so dumb, it doesn't even have a page on Wikipedia. Take that, flan. I don't really even understand what it is, and I've eaten it. It's a strange color and the texture is disgusting. If you've ever eaten flan, you will know that it also has an oozing liquid, which leaks out of the side of it. This reminds me of fruit on the bottom yogurt, where you have that extra yogurt juice, which isn't quite yogurt, and doesn't really resemble any of the fruit from the bottom. I know you know which juice I'm referring to.

It also jiggles and does not look or taste real. It looks like something you should find at an office supply store and tastes like an envelope. Oh, you complain that I'm being vague and not descriptive enough? Well that is how flan tastes: vague. I do like foods tha jiggle. Believe me, I love Jell-O with or without liquor in it. But it usually comes in bright colors and delicious artificial flavors. Plus it doesn't have any of that awful pus juice.

Here is an example of the jiggling:

See, gross. This is what my dashboard dictionary has to say about Flan:

1) A baked dish consisisting of an open-topped pastry case with a savory or sweet filling
2) A disk of metal such as one from which a coin is made
Origin: From French (originally denoting a round cake) from old French flaon, from Medieval Latin flado, fladon, of West Germanic origin: related to Dutch vlade 'custard'

Mmm nothing hits the spot like pastry case or a disk of metal. You may be thinking "But Rageoline, the origin of the word shows that flan has existed for quite some time and so must be a beloved and treasured dessert." Absolutely not. Here is what I think actually happened:

The Dutch: Yuk, my attempt to make currency has failed and turned into nothing but goop, we shall pass this onto the Germans as they are gullible and divided. Of course they will believe us, we've been to Asia and stuff.

The Germans: This is terrible, those Dutch are real bastards. You know who we hate? The French. I bet we can pretend to insult them, they'll totally fall for it, and they shall adopt this dessert as their own (very similar to Bismarck's actual strategy).

The French: Okay, not even we could make this good. Maybe we can give it to the Spanish?

The Spanish: This is fantastico!!! It is the only dessert that has survived our climate so far! And oh, we can totally sell this to those Argentines...they love bland and flavorless things.

So there you go, the complete and accurate history of flan. For all those people who like flan, go eat something real with chocolate.