Why I Can’t Participate in Ride Your Bike to Work Week

This month can celebrate National Ride Your Bike to Work Week. While I appreciate the effort of people to cut down on gas usage and trying to make the world a better place to be, I am awfully tired of the snide comments and odd stares when people find out that no, I did not participate.

I would love to ride my bike to work, but the first obstacle presented is the fact that I do not have a bike. It was stolen by hooligans when I was in college. And no, I can’t walk. Or afford to buy a bike.

The big thing is, my work is 30 miles away. That is 60 miles round trip (yes, you can add, but the dramatics don’t really carry without stating the obvious). I imagine myself arriving to work all sweaty and tired from my 30 mile bike ride, carrying twenty pounds of the textbooks and papers I need for class. YES, I could handle this bike ride, but how long would it take? If class is at noon and it already takes 40 minutes to drive, I would probably need at least 3 hours to bike, just in case. When you are obsessive compulsive about time the way I am, it would need to be a huge window of time. Then there is the danger factor. Me, riding my bike alongside the interstate next to 80+ mph traffic doesn’t sound like a safe move. Pretty sure a helmet would not protect my head from damage in case of an accident.

This conversation eventually leads to the question of why I don’t use public transportation. I live in the Midwest, the land of wide open spaces. Public transportation is not available nor efficient in the 7 mile radius of my life outside of work.

So please, I beg you, do not judge my “non-efforts” to conserve gasoline. Just be happy that on the days I don’t work, I don’t leave the house.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | by lacecomplex | , , , , , | 2 Comments

When the Guests Attempt Overthrow

This weekend I attended the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to, besides my own. The ceremony was beautiful, the bride was beautiful, the whole day was beautiful. But then the guests got ugly!

The Expected Order of Other People’s Wedding Days According to Me:

Attend wedding in the middle of the afternoon, after being unsure of what to do for the rest of the day. (This weekend I was involved with the wedding party, so this did not happen. But normally it does as a regular guest.)

Go to wedding, cry, hug couple, take some pictures.

Leave wedding, go back to hotel or out to the bar. Get buzzed or more before reception.

Go to reception at scheduled time as announced in the invitation.

Dance and have a merry time.

A pretty normal day, right? This wedding had an odd glitch in the dinner plans. Since my husband was the best man and I did a reading in the wedding, we went out with the wedding party to a brewery after the wedding and before the reception. As we were having a good ol’ time, the maid of honor received a phone call stating that the guests were at the reception already and wanted to start dinner at 4:30 instead of 5:30.

We were all surprised and unwilling to leave, as it should be, but I remained shocked. Since when did wedding guests get so ballsy? They can’t sit for an hour and wait for the wedding party to get there?

When all was said and done, everything stayed on schedule and the dinner was not moved to an hour earlier. This is a new scenario that most certainly belongs in Emily Post.

May 19, 2008 Posted by | by lacecomplex | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Seriously, knock it off, Mac users

I use a PC, I’ve always used a PC. When I bought a new computer recently, one of my good friends (who uses a Mac), said “why don’t you get a Mac?”

I said, “I don’t like Macs”

She said, “They’re really better because of blah blah blah…”

I don’t like Macs; I don’t have to buy one. I don’t like shrimp either– do you want to try to make me buy that next: “it really is a delicious treat from the sea…” bah.

It seems like the Mac using community want to feel equally persecuted and superior. Yes, everyone has an Ipod, but that’s where it stops for most of us. Mac users walk around a world that is set up for PCs, complain when they can’t do homework assignments as easily or they have to use a PC in the lab, and they say things like “I don’t understand, it really is a superior machine…Life is harder for me, but I love my Mac so much…” It’s always “my Mac” rather than “my computer”, or “my laptop.” Just in case you didn’t already know that they were a Mac user.

I can usually ignore this, but then there’s the sense of community. When one Mac user meets another, they bond immediately. They talk about their machines, whether they’re running Tiger or Leopard and how excited they are for the next big thing named after an animal that’s coming their way. They say things like “Why doesn’t everyone just use Macs?” and “I agree.”

This furthers my greater theory that people only want to talk to people that they already know, or that they are exactly like.

This morning I was reading one of my guilty pleasure blogs, Main Pratap Hoon (I know), and someone actually bothered to write a blog about how Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan uses a Mac– just like her (and millions of others)!


Maybe they are a better machine, but I will stick with my PC because I don’t like Macs, I don’t want to “get used to it”, and I have plenty of other good things in my life that I can talk about besides my computer.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, seriously? | , , , , | 6 Comments

Political Correctness and the Rude Handicapped

This has been bothering me for years. The backstory: While shopping at Maurices (one of two clothing stores in the Copper Country Mall) a clerk was incredibly rude to me and very slow. As she mistakenly rang up my order wrong, she proceeded to blame me with words that actually made me blush and also made my ears ring. It’s true my temper is not a difficult one to induce, but she had no right to treat me like that.

After she was through giving me the total, she held up her hand.  Only it wasn’t the hand we are used to, it was terribly misshapen and had three small and odd-shaped fingers. Upon seeing the hand, I immediately felt sorry about the curse words running through my head and the scowls I threw at my husband (at the time, he was my boyfriend). The rude clerk gave me my bag and my change, and we exited the store.

Safely out of ear shot, Hubs (aka Alan) and I launched into this dialogue:

Me: Now I feel bad. Did you see her hand?

Alan: Why? She was rude to you.

Me: So what, she probably has people staring at her hand all the time.

Alan: That gives her no right to be rude to you. She was rude long before you saw her hand.

Me: That’s true, I don’t even care about her hand. It was her personality that was mean to me.

That day has lingered in my mind for the past four years, and I was reminded of it again this weekend while shopping for (ironically) a golf glove. Alan was with me again, and we were at Target. He was ahead of me, rushing to get to a checkout line. He seemed to be having some weird reaction to florescent lights and the other customers swirling around the store, because normally we are not people that rush to get in line. We are patient and kind shoppers, unlike the next person in my story.

Most people are familiar with the whirring sound of an electric wheelchair or scooter- so imagine the sound getting closer, closer, closer….until your toe is literally an inch away from the wheels running by and there is NOT a small person riding on it. She was on the heavier side, not obese, but big enough to make the possible toe-crunching that much more excruciating.

So yes, I almost got my toes crushed by a woman riding an electric scooter. She wasn’t a regular woman by any means. She was eccentric, and breathing like a dragon. The straw on her head was like porcupine needles, and they jutted out of a black visor with blurred red lettering. Her eyes were frantic and wide, and a little on the bloodshot side. Her clothes were all black, and she barked orders about the merchandise in her scooter basket to a man I assumed was her husband. She was not only rude to me by nearly running over my foot, she was inches from crashing her scooter into Alan’s back and also rude to her husband.

And here come the questions. What is the proper way to deal with these situations? Yes, it is sad the girl at Maurices was born with a defect, and it is unfortunate the woman in Target has to rely on an electric scooter to get around, but why should I be pushed around by these people? If I ever decided to stand up for myself, I would be seen as someone who picks fights with handicapped people.  It’s not their handicaps I am against. It’s their attitudes. And although I am not someone that would ever speak up and point out when someone is being rude, it would still be nice to know how to not be the bad guy in situations like these.

May 12, 2008 Posted by | by lacecomplex | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’m appalled at the number of appalled mothers there are out there

Now there is a mother out there who recently realized Urban Outfitters sells racy books. This must have been her first visit to the store because I’ve seen racy books, dolls, clothing etc., in that place, ummmm, always.

“On one end of the spectrum was “Porn for Women,” a photo book showing men doing housework. On the other was “Pornogami: A Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for Adults,” a guide for making anatomically correct artwork.

‘When I saw it, I was shocked,” Milfs said.'”

Yes, you read right, her name is Milfs. That’s the only reason that this story is worth reading. Take a moment and ponder how it is that appalled mother number 123,467,936,457,623,984,762 is named Milfs.

Every day, every damn day, I wake up and read another story about another outraged mother. I actually got into a bit of a discussion with someone at work the other day about whether or not a rather boring, PG-13 rated, horror movie is appropriate for teens. “How old are you?” she asked. “You don’t know what will scare 13-year-olds and give them nightmares.”

The obvious solution seems to be to shield them from anything potentially scary and let them grow up stunted and doomed to be completely shell-shocked when the real world doesn’t shelter them the way their parents did. I had nightmares as a kid, I have nightmares as an adult. I recently had a nightmare about Oprah– what’s my recourse on that one?

Since when is it a kid’s right to avoid nightmares?

“Milfs was so appalled that she is preparing to file a complaint with the city of Lynnwood, and has already aired her frustrations to State Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, and organizations including Morality in Media, Concerned Women of America and the American Family Association.

She also called Urban Outfitters’ corporate office in Philadelphia.

‘They said they are not sex books or pornography books, but that they are art books and their goals are to support artists,’ Milfs said.

Urban Outfitters declined to comment on Milfs’ concerns.”

On a personal note, I don’t really shop at Urban Outfitters. Their clothes are designed for people who are not shaped like me, and I don’t need a lot of home kitch. I respect what they do, and admire how their clothes look on others. If I was appalled by what was in the stores– I would stop going.

If I was a mother concerned with morality and raising my kids right, I would look at the manequins in the windows and see that they are usually dressed a little bit slutty, then take my teenage daughter to Old Navy. I wouldn’t blame the store because it isn’t what I want it to be.

The logic employed by Milfs seems to that something offensive should either stop being offensive or cease to exist. I’m offended by her and people like her, but I’m probably wrong because I don’t have her kids’ best interests at heart, or maybe I do more than she does. The pornogami was anatomically correct, what the hell is wrong with that? I’m sure the Ken Doll’s smooth area confused more kids than anatomically correct paper figures ever could.

May 10, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, news, seriously? | , , , | 1 Comment

new respect for ants

I feel like when I was a kid, it was constantly impressed upon me how awesome ants are. I don’t know if it came from teachers, parents or what, but it was always stuff like “ants can carry 10x their body weight, hummingbirds can flap their wings 15-80 times per second (depending upon the species), or turtles carry their houses on their backs” etc. It was the wonder of nature conversation that happened quite frequently in state parks, science classes, or just “did you know?” kind of situations.

I would test the ant knowledge, by trying to give ants delicious bits of my lunch whenever I ate outside, just so I could see their amazing strength up close and personal. My grandmother had a hummingbird feeder, so that part of the lesson was covered, but the ants– the most amazing thing I ever saw them do was scurry when I knocked down their home (which my dad showed me how to do with almost perfect results). When I gave the ants delicious marshmallows or bits of candy, they would shun it and chose instead to just wander frantically in circles like they were late for something, but didn’t know how to get there.

I soured on the wonder of the ant.

Until this morning when I saw my cat staring intently at his food bowl. My cat staring intently at his water bowl is nothing new as he is fascinated by the way that water moves and can be manipulated, but rarely is his food ever anything to be impressed by. What he was looking at, I soon realized, was an ant carrying practically an entire chunk of catfood out of the food bowl. This piece of food was easily three times the size of the ant and it was walking on a vertical surface. It slipped occasionally, but persevered, and made a lot of progress. My cat didn’t seem angry at this thieving, he was just as fascinated as I was.

So I took it all in, years after so many people tried to convince me that ants were amazing, I finally got the proof. Unfortunately, all I could think after the amazement had passed, was that this creature had no business in my home. I interrupted his brave and harrowing journey with a quick pinch of paper towel, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive.

May 9, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, seriously? | , , , , , | Leave a comment

why I hate hipsters

SETTING: House party

AT RISE: Tall man is shoved in a corner because of a lack of chairs.


You look like you’re hiding from monsters


I’m not


Yeah, I know


I see you’re drinking from one of those POM glasses


Oh am I?

(look at glass)

Guess so, it’s nice.


Yeah, like every house I’ve ever been to has at least one of those mumblemumblemumblemumble



May 4, 2008 Posted by | by theagirl, seriously? | , , , | 1 Comment