Archive for February 20, 2007

I Take It All Back!

February 20, 2007

This is unbelievable. I called the Traffic Court peeps today to ask them how I could pay my ticket, and two things:

1. When I first called, the robot said, “You have. seventy. nine. callers ahead of you. in the queue.” And I said, “Uggghhhhhh, are you kidding, Robot?” and the robot didn’t answer. But I decided to stay on hold and put it on speakerphone while I worked, and within a couple minutes the robot came back on to say, “You have thirty. nine. callers. ahead of you. in the queue.” And I said to myself, I said, “Wow, that’s a lot lower than seventy nine, and it hasn’t been long at all.” And sure enough, before I knew it, an non-surly and perhaps even borderline friendly human voice picked up the phone.

2. That same borderline friendly voice told me my ticket had already been dismissed.

3. It was dismissed.

4. The ticket was dismissed.

5. I do not have to pay a dime. My driving record remains pristine. I do not have to do traffic school.

6. They dismissed the ticket, people.

Why? I do not know. I can only conclude that a. This has happened to me before, and for some reason I seem to have amazing luck with traffic tickets, or More Likely, b. the young, hot cop decided he liked me and didn’t want to give me a ticket after all because I’m so adorable.

So, I take it all back. All of it. I love the government, and I believe it is efficient and wonderful and kind and beautiful and hot and sexy and delicious, like Maverick and IceMan wrestling in ice cream while Captain Jack Sparrow plays with puppies atop a unicorn.

God Bless America, and Happy Belated President’s Day.

Stupid Presidents!

February 19, 2007

Happy President’s Day, my ass.

This morning I decided to attack the pile of clothes that was trying to defy gravity by towering precariously on a chair in my room. As I gathered an armload of clothes that were too dirty to put away, yet too clean to put in the laundry, out fluttered a slip of paper. I picked it up, and, SHIT, SHIT, SHIT, I said. It was that ticket I got right after New Year’s for running that stop sign, and I had totally forgotten about it. As it happens, tomorrow is the last day to pay it.

OK, no problem, I thought, I’ll just log onto the handy little traffic court website and pay it online. Except that it kept telling me my citation number and birth date didn’t match. So I tried searching with my licence number, which also apparently didn’t match my birthdate. So I tried the automated phone system, which cheerfully told me the same thing. So I tried holding for an operator, but the same cheerful robot (I’m really starting to be wary of robots) told me that “Our office is open, but we are unable to assist you at this time. If you need operator assistance, please call back later. Otherwise, press one to return to the main menu.” Um… So I tried “calling back later” about a thousand times, hence my spot-on memorization of the cheerful robot message, but to no avail. At last, I thought I had better just go down to the ghetto place where the court house is, and pay it in person.

So I hopped on the 10 and freewayed down to the courthouse, parked, mused that it appeared to be a ghost town (hmm, how quaint, nobody is here, except for this couple parked in front of me in a red Tercel making out with each other. However, I am sure there will most definitely be someone in the courthouse who will be able to help me with a smile. After all, their phone system robot is so cheerful! I’m sure that all employees at the Los Angeles Courthouse will be equally as friendly and helpful)! I am an optomist.

Unfortunately, I was never able to determine the level of cheerfulness a human courthouse employee might exhibit, because there was a paper sign taped to the door announcing that the courthouse was closed today for stupid dupid President’s Day. Maybe there would be a mail slot or a handy ticket payment drop box somewhere on the building, I thought, and walked all the way around it. But… nah. Why do that? That would be “convenient,” and “efficient,” which are things we here in the government try to avoid.

So, just to recap for you, someone put in the incorrect birthdate on my traffic ticket. The ONLY way to access the ticket online or via the phone system is by entering my birthdate. The court house was closed today, but the phone system robot specifically told me they were open. Unfortunately I cannot see a paper sign taped to the courthouse door from my living room.

Hey, here’s a thought! When the average government office starts operating even almost as efficiently as, oh, I don’t know, a store at the mall or a child’s lemonade stand, and doesn’t make you want to slit your throat every time you have to deal with it, then I can pat our presidents on the back for a job well done.

I-Am-A-Robot-Would-You-Like-A-Coke-Madam

February 15, 2007

You may be familiar with my stance on the horrible injustice that is this: It is seven years past “the future” (the year 2000), and we still do not have personal robots to do our bidding and talk in adorable robot voices. If you’re not familiar with said stance, here’s a refresher.

Today on my morning commute, the radio was talking about something that made my heart skip seventeen beats and made me squeal with joy.

Yes. It is finally almost here, for all of us.

The personal robot.

On the radio, the one phrase that especially excited me was when the DJ said, “Yeah, they say in the next few years they’ll be rolling out robots that will do your housework — answer your phone, get you a beer out of the fridge.”

Specifically, a robot scientist in Korea has designed a robot named EveR-1 who can “hold a conversation, make eye contact, and express joy, anger, sorrow, and happiness.” (Story here).

I cannot believe it. I’ve been waiting for this for so long! I have to admit, I kind of had my heart set on a robot that looked a little more robotty, like how I pictured it in the 80s — much like this little guy, but perhaps with eyes that are slightly less creepy:

cute_robot.jpg

And something rather unsettling is that according to the radio, the folks in Korea say EveR-1 is too ugly! Something about her hands being too big, among other things. I personally think she’s gorgeous, and if she has man-hands, all the better to fix things around the house! And the more I think about it, the more I get a little terrified, if a small amount of terror is possible. Are the personal robots going to set the bar that much higher for women’s appearances? Is my future husband going to leave me for a perpetually young robot with giant cartoon eyes, fish lips, a microscopic waist and ginormous gazongas, like an anime character or one of those hideous Bratz dolls? Will he be like, “OMG, Marcy, Why can’t you look more like Lindabot 8,000?” Will he fantasize about her while we do it? Will she be able to do it with him???

OK, now I’m in a panic. Seeing as how the future is here, I’d better go brush up on my science so I can design my own robot, one who looks like a combination of Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise in the Top Gun volleyball scene, and also like Johnny Depp, and also with the approachable, dorky-chic appeal of John Krasinski from The Office.

All I know is: The future is finally here, people, and I don’t know whether to be excited or scared. “Be careful what you wish for” has never seemed like such good advice.

And Tigger, Too

February 8, 2007

One thing I don’t understand, and you don’t see it much in L.A., but I feel like in North Carolina it was/is an epidemic: Why do some pregnant women or women with small children start dressing like small children? Why do they wear Winnie-the-Pooh shirts? I want to say to them, just in case it is unclear, “Ma’am, you are having a baby. You’re not becoming one.”

Winnie the Pooh shirts in adult sizes should not exist. And that goes for Eyeore, Piglet, and any of Pooh’s other friends from the Hundred-Acre Wood, including Christopher Robin; and while we’re at it, what is some adults’ reasoning behind owning Tweety Bird car accessories? Really, now, people.

Ladies, do us all a favor and don’t dress like your babies. It’s embarrassing! It makes me embarrassed for the human race. If aliens came down to observe and probe us and whatnot I would feel the need to apologize for all of you. “It’s the hormones, Sir, we Earthlings give birth to live young, and sometimes it affects people’s brains and makes them do crazy, crazy things like wear pastel shirts with yellow bears frolicking about on the front.”

And the alien would probably say, “Znarf zoot eeep bleep nippy nippy Winnie the Pooh zorf dorf,” which in alien language is, “Well, all these other mammals give birth to live young, and I don’t see them wearing Winnie the Pooh Shirts,” and I would have to just shake my head and shrug, sitcom style, because really, I can’t come up with any other excuses for it.

Oscar Said It Best

February 7, 2007

I don’t complain much on this blog, do I? I mean, not counting complaining about automatic-flush toilets, but that’s only because they are made by demons and if you look far down enough into the bowl you can see glimpses of hell.

But usually I’m pretty upbeat. So I decided I get a free pass today. I’m going to complain about everything I can think of to comlain about, and I’m already getting excited just thinking about it. In the wise words of Oscar the Grouch, “Don’t let the sunshine spoil your rain. Just stand up and complain!”

I had a cockroach incident last night, in my bedroom. I’m not going to go into too many details because I would probably throw up in my mouth, but let’s just say this is the second grossest cockroach incident I have ever had. And I was the only one awake and therefore had no moral support whatsoever when dealing with this trauma. And at the risk of making you throw up in your mouth, I just have to say that something was wrong with this cockroach, and he had left puddles of brown goo on the floor, and my guitar was sitting right there (and thank GOODNESS it was unharmed), and on top of the guitar was a blanket I really like, which dragged in the goo and is now tainted forever. Hold on, I’m going to go inhale some white-out, which will hopefully kill my short-term memory cells so I never have to think of that again.

OK, back. I really did smell some white-out, but only because it smells good. If it kills those brain cells, all the better.

Not surprisingly after that indicent, I had nightmares all night. Scary, scary nightmares involving not only cockroaches and various scary crustaceans, but also aliens landing on Earth with the purpose to destroy us. There was a spaceship, lots of panic, running, mass destruction, planes crashing, a tsunami, more running, climbing a tree, some more running, and more general panic. It sucked, not to mention including pretty much every possible terrifying thing that could possibly be packed into one dream. Then I woke up with a sore neck and a headache, which has only gotten worse as the day has progressed.

I have to be at work until 8 PM. I have one word for that: BARF. (one of my top ten favorite words).

My hair is totally crazy and frizzy today. I look like a homeless person. Also, I was too unmotivated to put on mascara or de-shine my face this morning, and my eyes are all red and squinty. I do not look dissimilar to a baby gerbil. A rubbery, homeless, newborn baby gerbil.

OUCH, MY NECK IS KILLING ME. WTF!??? (By the way, when other people write WTF! to me, I pretend to think they mean, “Wow, That’s Funny!” It cracks me up).

Well, I can actually think of quite a bit more to complain about, but I find I lack the motivation to continue. And that’s probably a blessing in disguise. A not-very-good disguise, either. Like, a blessing in a cheap glasses-nose-and-mustache disguise. OK, it’s just a blessing, in no disguise at all. It’s even wearing a nametag: “Hello, my name is: Blessing.”

Two Things:

February 1, 2007

I have some adorable new sneakers that I’ve been wearing nonstop since I got them, but there’s one problem. The fabric on the inside of them is a nice fuzzy felt-y fabric. It feels delightful to the touch, but it grips my socks and tugs them down as soon as I start walking. I can’t go more than ten paces before I feel the heel of the sock slip down over the heel of my foot, and thus begins the quick progression of the sock, shimmying its way down until it forms a lumpy, uncomfortable sock mass right under my arch.

Also, I posted a blentry days and days ago, but lo and behold, it wasn’t posted after all! I could see it when I was signed into my WordPress account, so I assumed it was there, but it was tricking me. So I have re-added it for your enjoyment. Scroll down a couple blentries to “Linkies, Not Minkies,” and enjoy. My favorite link today is the Brick Testament one. Click on “The Law,” and read all of them. They are awesome. Once you click a picture, be sure to click the arrow in the upper right-hand corner of it to view the whole little story. Awesome.