Thursday, January 22, 2009

Look Out! Here Comes a Rant!

Disclaimer: This is not intended to belittle actual DMV workers. This is to annihilate the DMV and it's policies. So if you are a DMV worker, please do not take offense.


I have to append my previous blog post. The question was What profession would you not want to participate in? My answer was Mortuary Science. My new answer is DMV drone.

And I do mean DRONE. Obviously, the Powers that Wanna Be at the CA DMV give absolutely no power at all to their employees. All they can do is repeat (imagine little robot arms flailing, like the dearly departed robot on Lost in Space intoning, Danger Will Robinson), "That's all I can see on my computer." "That's all I can see on my computer." "That's all I can see on my computer."

Ok, here's my problem~~We've had a VW bus off the road for 5 years. I'm sure at some point I sent in paperwork to indicate that it was non-operational and paid the $5 fee. Now they're claiming we never did that and they want $365 to get a temp registration!!! And all the drone could say was "That's all I can see on my computer." The Husband had to practically drag me from the building!

What's really pissing me off here is that the woman didn't offer any alternatives. She didn't say, "Let me refer you to a supervisor", "Perhaps you could call this number to get this cleared up," even, "Calm the hell down and don't take it out on me." Believe me, in Payroll I do plenty of customer service. And believe me when I say that doing customer service in Payroll means dealing with emotional folks freaking out about their money. I wouldn't think of repeating the same stupid, unhelpful thing over and over like a freakin' android. We have the latitude to help people, by fixing their problem or referring them to someone who can. And when it's a problem that can't be fixed, we at least offer some sympathy in the form of actually showing some personality and compassion. Not just sitting there like our clockworks have run down.

I imagine that the Governator is their ultimate boss, right? Hey, Arnold, give your employees the ability to ease a situation, not throw gasoline on the fire by being so damn useless! At least give them phone numbers to hand out to irate people so they can simulate looking like they're doing something productive and helpful!

And the adventure continues...

C'est la vie!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inside the Actor’s Studio Questionnaire


I’ve been fighting a cold, so I’m tired and cranky. I’ve been keeping this blog subject for a rainy, or cranky, day.

On Inside the Actor’s Studio, on Bravo TV, at the end of the celebrity interview, host James Lipton asks these questions, taken from a French interview show. He always says the guys name, but he gives it this French twisty accent and I have no idea how to spell it. Anyway, here’s what my answers would be:

What’s your favorite word?

What’s your least favorite word?

What turns you on?

What turns you off?

What’s your favorite sound or noise?
A cat purring

Least favorite sound or noise?

What profession would you like to try?
I’d like to have a bookstore/art gallery/art studio

What profession would you not like to try?
Anything in the Mortuary Sciences

What’s your favorite curse word?
Fucktard (credit to Christopher Moore)

If God exists, what do you want him to say to you at the Pearly Gates?
Yes, Mare, you’re right. Heaven IS a library.

C’est la vie!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shelfari-A Book Lovers Haven

So, The Husband has considered himself a Computer Widower for quite a few years now. Especially with the jewelry business, I spend a lot of time posting and schmoozing and browsing online.

Last night, while reading a fave blog, I happened to notice for the second or third time (this is why you can’t run a print ad just once. It takes several views for people to really notice…) that she had a bookshelf in the right column showing what book she’s currently reading. Now, kind readers, you may not know this about me but the only thing that can stop me faster than a bead store is a book store. I want my ashes scattered over a library, that’s how much books mean to me!

So, I clicked the graphic and zoom, found myself at Shelfari, which I think is run by Amazon. This was very late at night and I was so dazzled that I could look up all these books I’ve read and put them on my “shelf”, that the devil himself could have been the webmaster!

I haven’t really gotten that far into Shelfari yet but I know there are groups you can join and you can write reviews and see what’s coming out. Your book shelf consists of what you’ve read, what you’re reading and what you want to read. Now I have to confess, I have a Word page on my computer where I keep up on the titles I’ve read and what’s coming out when (I read a lot of mystery series) and what looks interesting that I need to find. So this is like Hog Heaven for Mare, let me tell ya!

Here’s my Shelfari bio:

When I learned to read in first grade, I must have made my parents crazy, reading everything as we drove around doing errands. I'd read street signs, billboards, signs in windows, on buses, anything I saw. And my parents, bless 'em, encouraged every letter and word!

Consequently, I'm a compulsive reader. I always have a stack of library books next to my chair, plus magazines and all things paper. If I'm stuck in a waiting room without a book (nightmare of nightmares!), I'll read the same sign about paying for services rendered 100 times...

The last few years, I've been going through what I call my American Cozies phase, light mysteries like John J. Lamb, Fran Rizer, Hailey Lind, well I could go on and on. I also love a very specific kind of vampire fiction--not too brutal or gory. Maryjanice Davidson, Charlane Harris, P.N. Elrod. Also a few children's series, namely Diane Duanes' Young Wizards series (rivals Harry Potter, in my opinion) and Debi Gliori's Pure Dead series. And every once in a while, something non-fiction will creep in, like Crashing Through.

If you’re a reader and a computer person, like me, go check it out. You’ll spend hours! Click the link below or my bookshelf in the right column.

C’est la vie!

My new business banner!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Tumbleweed Farm


When you think of tumbleweeds, don’t you think of lonely ghost towns and dusty, empty streets? Well, my Day Job is in a somewhat urban setting, within walking distance of Wal-Mart and industrial parks. But a vacant lot nearby has recently developed into a tumbleweed farm.

I know this first photo blows (well, none of them are Ansel Adams…) but I want to give you the full picture to show the sheer volume of tumbleweeds. They're the dark line that runs horizontally through the middle of the photo.

This second picture gives a little more detail, showing how they jump on top of one another (perhaps this is where baby tumbleweeds come from??). They sort of look like Tribbles… And we know what kind of trouble they were!

And here are a couple of big ass full blown tumbleweeds. Note how they’re almost as high as the chain link fence.

I suppose the city or county will need to call in tumbleweed wranglers soon. Maybe they can relocate them to Calico ghost town…

C’est la vie!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Weight Loss and TV Obsession


Well, along with everyone else, I want to lose weight. This morning, I brought the space heater into the bathroom, stripped down (don’t visualize or your eyes will pop out of your head and roll under the sofa!) and weighed myself. Perhaps you heard the screaming?? Measured myself, too. I’m a glutton for punishment. The plan now is to cut out sweets, as much for health reasons as calories. No, I don’t think I’m teetering on the edge of diabetes, but I don’t want to be either.

The Husband also is lamenting his non-beer belly and so will encourage not having junk food in the house. More exercise, less eating. Sounds easy, huh? Remains to be seen. I’m a great believer in being ready and I know I haven’t been ready to diet in the last year or two. In fact, I’ve been too willing to keep eating myself into stupors. So, we shall see. I promised my best friend, Zan, I’ll be wearing the too-small-but-shouldn’t-have-been t-shirt she gave me for Christmas by the time we take my mom to Vegas for her 75th birthday in April.

The Husband started watching NCIS in syndication on USA a few months ago and somehow I fell into the web of Naval CIS (I never remember what it stands for) and we both sit half the night watching it (me, making jewelry, naturally). It’s a good mix of characters, with some great plot twists. I like that the ever cute Mark Harmon plays a character that isn’t always likable but is always interesting. We both love Abby, the goth chick/genius of the crime lab. And adding Ilya Kuriaken (late of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), David McCallum, is just a lovely bonus for a couple of Boomers like ourselves. Consequently, a lot of my “How long did it take to make that” references on my Etsy items include many episodes of NCIS!

C’est la vie!