Get it right, people!

This rant comes courtesy of , but it kills me too.

Last night, on Rock Star: Supernova, one of the contestants used a bullhorn in part of his song. A little hack, yes, especially since JD Fortune did it last year with “Pretty Vegas”. But that’s not the rant. The rant is that everyone on the show kept calling the bullhorn a megaphone. They are two distinctly different things, but even when searching Google images for an actual picture of a megaphone, the results were mostly bullhorns.

In other news, I browsed through the entertainment acts list at this weekend’s “A Taste of Edmonds” — my good ol’ hometown food festival. I saw that JP Patches is going to be performing on the children’s stage. Now, JP had a local show on TV in the 60s and 70s. He’s beloved by lots of local people … aged 35-plus. He hasn’t been a going concern for decades, and yet he’s still making appearances. Do kids today even know who the hell he is, aside from “that scary old clown guy with the creepy clown girlfriend”?

Some 15 years ago, when I was working summer camp, we had all the campers in some City of Lynnwood parade. And JP Patches was there too. Most of the kids didn’t know who he was, and were totally not interested. Though the middle-aged parents loved him. Why can’t we all be honest, and admit that JP Patches is NOT for the kids?

Xmess

War on Christmas, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.

I think my biggest problem with wishing people “Merry Christmas” throughout the month of December isn’t that it’s offensive to people of other religions (though I do believe it can be), but that with every other holiday, you tell people to enjoy that holiday on the day of the holiday.

Man, I wish that for the month leading up to my birthday, people would wish me a happy birthday. But it’ll never happen. And it’s not like the entire month of November people are wishing me a happy Thanksgiving. We don’t spend all of March wishing people a Happy Easter, so it’s not just a secular v. religious issue.

I only want to be wished a Merry Christmas on December 25th, damnit.

Workplace Theater

Workplace Theater presents: “Good”

Backstory: Garage Guy D is the assistant manager down at one of the garages, and sometimes brings that garage’s paperwork to the main office. He’s the only smoker in the whole company, I think . . . his paperwork always reeks of stale cigarettes.

Here’s a standard conversation between me and GGD:

GGD: (rings doorbell)
ME: (opens door)
GGD: Hey, how are you?
ME: Good, how are you?
GGD: Eh, it’s Tuesday.

Every time I return the useless, non-caring “how are you” crap, he answers with the day of the week.

Yesterday:

GGD: (rings doorbell)
ME: (opens door)
GGD: Hi there, how are you?
ME: Good, how are you?
GGD: Well, it’s Thursday. Almost Friday.
(pause)
ME: Dude, why don’t you just say “good”?
GGD: Huh?
ME: Why don’t you just say “good”?
GGD: Oh, I don’t want to waste it.

FIN

Workplace Theater

Workplace Theater Presents: “Carrots and Potato Chips”

The backstory: Coworker B has a bag of those peeled baby carrots in the company fridge. The previous day, she’d offered that if I’d like to eat some carrots, they were there and available. An unrelated-to-the-theater fact is that she’s constantly munching on them at her desk. For hours. Loudly. Anyhoo:

CB: Coworker B
SK: Skinny Boss
ME: Moi

SK: Hey, CB, I had some of your carrots last night. I was hungry.
CB: That’s OK, no problem.
SK: They were really good.
CB: Oh, yeah, I love carrots! I eat them like potato chips.
SK: (turns to go back to office, spins back, points at me) I bet Missy eats potato chips!
ME: What?
SK: Yeah, like, barbeque flavor!
ME: What?
SK: (makes spiky fingers above his head) Because of your hair!
ME: What?
SK: Yeah, barbeque potato chips, for your hair!
ME: What on earth are you talking about?
CB: Haha, yeah! Like asparagus!
ME: WHAT?
CB: You know, like when you eat asparagus, your hair changes color!
ME: (horrified expression) Um, it’s not your hair that changes color when you eat asparagus.
SK: Ha ha ha!
ME: So are you saying I must eat barbeque potato chips because . . . my hair is brown?
SK: Ha ha ha!
CB: Once I ate cherries, and my hair turned pink!

FIN

People!

Person #1: So on one of the audition notices I put up, I had to include a phone number. I put in my message line (555-66-MISSY) which records voicemails and delivers them to my email as a WAV file. On the audition notice, I put very plainly to contact me via email.

Just got a message from a guy, asking if he really had to bring a headshot. So I called him back and left a detailed message on his voicemail, all about how we’d at least need a snapshot, something clear of his face, so we can remember who he is during the after-audition decision-making process.

He called back immediately. I answered with hello, and instead of identifying himself, he started with: “Yeah, someone just called me from this number.”

WAIT TWO MINUTES, butthead! Maybe that caller left you, I dunno, a MESSAGE?

Person #2: A girl wrote me an email expressing her interest in the auditions, but she had some other questions about the show. Silly thing, she didn’t include those questions in her email. So I wrote back, offering to answer any questions she has, she just needed to ask them. What commenced was a series of four emails, each with different groups of questions, such as: “Is this for television, or audience only?” She asked if there was a website, and I sent her the link. The next question was: “Will this take place on weeknights, weekends, daytime, evening, or both?” . . . despite the show times/days being clear on the website. I was patient and pleasant with my answers.

Her last one was sent this past Friday, and in it she wrote, “See you tomorrow!” I wrote back reminding her that auditions weren’t Saturday the 14th, they were Saturday the 21st. She wrote back:

Oh gosh, I don’t know what made me think that the auditions were tomorrow. I’m not going to be able to make it. I have an acting workshop from 9:45 – 5:30 on the 21st. I’m so sorry.

AAARRGGGHHH!

GEEEEEEK

Let’s talk Star Trek. I’m asking the eternal question: Who was the best captain?

Also, what’s your criteria for judging the best captain?

A while back, Scott got into this very conversation with a woman. She claimed Kirk, he claimed Picard. She was all, “But Kirk is so much more fun to watch!” Scott countered that with his opinion that Picard was a better captain because he was more sensible, less hasty, more of a thinker and less of a let’s-go-make-sweet-alien-love-immediately kind of guy.

She looked at him strangely and said, “Um, so you’re talking about him as if he were a real person. Um, that’s scary.”

Is it any wonder we hate people?

Dilbert today

Back in the 90s, I worked for a group of local radio stations. My job was “Continuity Director”, working in the traffic department. No, it had nothing to do with cars. In radio and TV, the traffic people are the ones who schedule what commercials run when, and make sure the correct ones run at the correct times.

One year, the company did incredibly well. The ratings were HUGE, and the income was equally huge. And our department was a big part of that — if commercials didn’t run as the clients wanted them to, they didn’t have to pay. That year I personally had a 99.995% accuracy rate, and was personally responsible for the station losing only around $60 through scheduling errors.

The company decided to celebrate. One weekend, they took the entire on-air staff for a weekend to Las Vegas. Two weeks later, they took the entire sales staff for a weekend to Las Vegas.

The following week, they treated the business department (which included traffic) to lunch at Tony Roma’s.

Playing the "Baby Card"

So as you all know, I’m one of those “BabyHaters” that the bigwigs up in Washington are always warning you about. But the thing that a lot of people fail to understand is that it’s not the children I dislike, it’s the breeders that make them. Not parents — because parents actually take part in parenting their children, teaching them lessons, and so forth. Breeders are the ones who make the babies, but then don’t appear to give a crap about molding those kids into being productive members of society.

Parents will accept responsibility for their errors, and will teach their children to do the same. Breeders, however, will play the “baby card” and make it seem like nothing could possibly be their fault, either by the simple fact that they have made babies, or alternately because their special precious angel is the most innocent and wonderful creature on earth and can’t possibly be responsible for anything bad.

Here are two very different tales from work involving playing the “baby card”:

1. One of the bosses went to small claims court because our company (parking lot management) was being sued. The backstory: girl was driving daddy’s very expensive SUV in a very expensive part of town, was driving in our parking lot, and hit a concrete pier (around 3 feet in diameter, 3 feet high, used to hold a light pole or sign or something). This caused $7,000 in damage to daddy’s SUV. Two weeks later, daddy came home from his business trip and immediately filed suit against us, saying that clearly the pier was a hazard.

More detail came out in court. It was around 1 in the afternoon, so it wasn’t so dark that daughter couldn’t see the pier. She was running late for an appointment to get her hair and nails done, and was cutting through our parking lot (she didn’t actually even park there). She wasn’t following the bright white arrows painting on the ground — she just cut across to get to the salon. Bam, she hit the pier.

Daddy insisted on testifying in court, even though he was out of town at the time of the incident. What did he testify? He wanted to make sure everyone knew what a good girl his daughter was. He brought in her S.A.T. scores (perfect 1600) and her acceptance letter to Harvard. He also wanted the judge to know that even though his daughter owns a cell phone, and that he was not even in the same city at the time, that he knows his daughter is NOT the type who would talk on the cell phone while driving, so there was no way she could have been distracted.

Boss made some comments about this being a great chance for a lesson. The judge grabbed that and ran with it, and when she made her final summation and judgement, commented all about how this girl probably needed this as a chance to learn a little personal responsibility. How no matter how cute and good at test-taking you are, if you hit concrete with daddy’s car, it’s nobody’s fault but your own. Despite the facts that daddy’s precious angel couldn’t possibly be at fault because she’s going to Harvard, we won the case.

2. Since I’ve been hired, the other girl is working at catching up on violations letters. Our surface lots are all pay-before-you-park, so if you park your car and walk away without paying, instantly you’re hit with a $25 violation. I don’t think it will surprise you to hear that probably 70% of people who receive these violation notices don’t send in their payment, so then they get a letter. Of the ones who get the letter, probably another 70% dispute the violation with a story about how they didn’t see the payment sign / thought they could pay later / had some other excuse.

A letter came in from a man who’d parked down by the lake restaurants. This particular parking lot is shared by a group of restaurants, many of which are pretty darned expensive, and is one of our biggest violation lots. The gist of his letter was:

My wife and I were taking our grandbaby to Expensive Restaurant, and we parked in your lot. We all got out of the car and I was on my way to the payment box, when I heard a noise behind me. I turned around to see that my wife had tripped, and dropped the baby in a mud puddle, and fallen on top of the baby. The baby was crying and had soiled its diaper, so we picked it up and rushed it into the restaurant without even thinking of paying to park. We needed to get this baby indoors! And dry it off! And change its diaper! Then we ate our expensive meal and came back out, and found this $25 violation notice on our car! I don’t feel it’s right, because of the horrible thing that happened to the baby which distracted me so totally that I couldn’t pay to park, and had to go eat an expensive meal instead.

The letter was all, poor baby poor baby poor baby. They wanted to have this violation (which most likely cost much less than a single meal at the restaurant they went to) waived because babybabybaby. The boss let everyone in the office (there are five of us total, including the two bosses) read the letter, and asked us if we would waive it or not. He was very surprised that the 20-year-old girl said “don’t waive”, and I also said “don’t waive”. Other boss also said he wouldn’t waive it, which is why he gave the final decision to the more soft and generous boss. Despite our overwhelming don’t-waive vote, he went ahead and waived the violation fee.

Open up your mind…

Dragged Scott off today to see The Phantom of the Opera. We were going to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou afterward, but the 2:40 showing was sold out, and I didn’t want to hang out downtown for two hours. We’ll see it soon.

Anyhoo, back to Phantom. I’m a fan of the musical, so my expectations were pretty high. How did it disappoint me? Let me count the ways:

The girl playing Christine was the worst . . . lip-syncher . . . EVER. You sing in the studio with a ton of vibrato, you should probably let your chin wiggle. At least a little bit. Maybe it was the director’s choice, and if so, poor choice.

The Phantom was totally not grody enough. Even when you got to see his whole disfigurement without mask or wig, it wasn’t enough. And speaking of the Phantom, that guy isn’t a good enough singer for that part. He wasn’t awful, but the role was a little too challenging for him. Plus, the Phantom is supposed to be older. And the new backstory created for him? Lame.

Overall, song lyrics do not make good dialogue. In fact, they sound pretty darned stilted when just spoken. And if you’re editing a musical and take out a chunk, try to make sure you don’t show the next person who would have sung a line open their mouth and draw a big breath, then cut away abruptly. Tacky. But not quite as tacky as taking a haunting romantic duet (my favorite song from this show, in fact) and ruining it by having dancing mimes in the background.

I offer this film a 6 out of 10, based mostly on the nice costumes and sets. Which were still fairly overdone. I need to watch Evita to get the taste of bad movie musical out of my mouth.

Meanwhile, we got the packages from Best Buy — a DVD of Napoleon Dynamite in one, a Best Buy gift card in the other. Neither one has any indication of who they came from. Both my brother and Scott’s younger brother are potential suspects, since we haven’t seen any gift from either of them. It would be especially creepy if one came from one brother and the other came from the other. We haven’t seen Napoleon Dynamite yet, though my droogies all think it’s fantastic. Otherwise, a good Annual Gift Grab — there’s only a couple of things to return to the store.

Phrases that should be eliminated

“The Customer is Always Right.”

Asshats galore try to use this one as some sort of universal law. What none of them seem to understand is that this was an advertising slogan for a department store. Saying this phrase is roughly equivalent to claiming, “Coke is it!” In actuality, the customer is frequently wrong, a whiner, and a moron.

“It Never Hurts to Ask.”

Scott and I agree that the only good thing to ever come out of the radio advice show “Rhona at Night” was when Rhona Raskin said, “there’s a certain tyranny to asking questions.” It doesn’t matter how rude or inappropriate the request, if someone says “no”, then they are marked as the rude one. And most of us are uncomfortable saying “no” — you feel guilty for doing it. But the ones who should feel guilty are the ones asking questions that they know deep down inside they shouldn’t be asking.

adding on…

“How Are You?”

Perfectly fine between friends. Absolutely unnecessary and out-of-place between strangers. Cashiers don’t care how I am, they’re just trained to say that. And really, even friends and coworkers for the most part don’t want to hear an honest answer. They want to hear the standardized response of “fine”. Back in my bank teller days, I made it a point to never ask a customer how they were, because I really didn’t care. And I was always amused at how many people would respond to my “hello there” with “fine, thanks”. Ah, so not only are you not listening to what I say to you, but you’re also going with the conversation-stopper of “thanks” on the end of your “fine” instead of the more reciprocal “fine, and you?”

Phrase on, people! What absurd/completely wrong/overused sayings grind on you?